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Must-See 80s Movies for Kids

Must-See 80s Movies for Kids

There are so so many old movies that we grew up with that are on our “must see” lists, and I’ve gotten some crowd sourced suggestions as well to add to our must-see 80s movie list for kids…and teenagers. All our favorites are not appropriate for everyone, but there is something for everyone.

We believe in creating well-rounded kids, so we like to include everything in their education to build their little minds and personalities. Art, music, sports, and a healthy dose of pop culture from the 80s (and some from the 70s). It’s nice when they start to understand all the random movie quotes that mom and dad throw out in conversation. And there’s never a prouder parent moment than when they unexpectedly quote and old movie properly for the first time.

Must-See 80s Movie List

I’d love if you came back to this post again and again (I like eyeballs on my page!) but I’m going to do you a solid and provide you a PRINTABLE list of movies to kick off your old movie nights.

As with all movies, all are not created equal as to what is age appropriate, or what YOU thing is best for your family. We didn’t start showing these films to our kids until they were about 9 or 10 years old. We currently have an 11 and 14 year old, and we’re working through the middle part of the list with them now. My younger son couldn’t watch Ghostbusters until he was about 10, as it scared him.

There are also some PG movies that I wouldn’t show to my 10 year old…because he’d be bored to tears, but in a few years, he’ll appreciate them. But you’re the parent, use your best judgement when screening films on family movie night with your offspring!

The best part of watching 80s movies with your kids, I’ve got to say, is showing them what life was like before things like cell phones and laptop computers. War Games had a computer the size of several rooms, accessed with coding prompts. Frequent use of pay phones and fold-up maps and really really poor special effects compared to today might make kids appreciate they aren’t in the “good old days.”

Click here for the printable list of must-see 80s Movies for kids.

Our Favorite 80s Movies

Ok for younger kids

Back to the Future Trilogy (pg)
Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark (PG)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (PG)
Star Wars Trilogy (pg)
One Crazy Summer (PG)
Better Off Dead (PG)
Princess Bride (pG)
Goonies (PG)
Space Camp (PG)
The Dark Crystal (PG)
The Labrynth (PG)
Top Gun (PG)
War Games (PG)
Karate Kid (PG)
Teen Wolf & TEEN WOLF TOO (PG)
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (PG)
American Graffiti (PG)
E.T. (PG)
Freaky Friday (G)
Short Circut (PG)
Big (PG) 
Gremlins (PG)
Beetlejuice (PG)
Three Amigos (PG)
Bad News Bears (PG)
9 to 5 (PG)
Ghostbusters (PG)
Never-ending Story (PG)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (PG)
Field of Dreams (PG)

11 to 13 years old

Sixteen Candles (PG)
Say Anything (PG-13)
Weird Science (PG-13)
Ferris Bueler’s Day Off (PG-13)
Can’t Buy Me Love (PG-13)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (PG)
Footloose (PG)
Twins (PG)
Blues Brothers (R)
Some Kind of Wonderful (Pg-13)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (G)
Three Men and a Baby (PG)
Dead Poets Society (PG)
Steel Magnolias (PG)
Real Genius (PG)
Fried Green Tomatoes (PG-13)
License to Drive (PG-13)
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (PG)
The OUtsiders (PG)
Adventures in Babysitting (PG-13)
Teen Witch (PG-13)
Chariots of Fire (PG)
Tron (PG)
Batman (Michael Keaton) (PG-13)

Suitable for Older Viewers

National Lampoon’s Vacation (R)
The Breakfast Club (R)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (R)
Stand By Me (R)
Heathers (R)
Dirty Dancing (R)
Revenge of the Nerds (R)
The Manhattan Project (PG-13)
Risky Business (R)
The Lost Boys (R)
Desperately Seeking Susan (PG-13)
St. Elmo’s Fire (R)
Fame (R)
Mystic Pizza (R)
Trading Places (R)
Good Morning Vietnam (R)
Major League (R)
Terminator (R)
Beverly Hills Cop (R)
Coming to America (R)
Die Hard (R)
Caddy Shack (R)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (R)
Rocky (PG)
Rain Man (R)
Amadaeus (R)

Paula Biggs

Paula Biggs

Owner at Frog Prince Paperie
Paula Biggs is a professional party planner, DIY crafter, and owner of Frog Prince Paperie, where you can find hundreds of party and craft ideas. You can also buy birthday party supplies, printables and accessories from the Frog Prince Paperie Etsy shop.