80’s Flashback Party

Put those shoulder pads back in, girls, break out the Spandex and get a perm. Guys – bring back your muscle pants and start growing your mullets. And let’s start practicing our breakdance moves. What a rich decade that was!

It was the decade of the first spaceship, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Schwarzenegger movies and Hulk Hogan. Computers were starting to land on every desk and the Walkman made its debut.

Music was multi-faceted, from Funk and Punk Rock, Prince and Elton John, Guns ‘n Roses to Metallica, from Michael Jackson to Madonna.

Popular TV shows were Dynasty, Dallas, Little House on the Prairie, Happy Days, Magnum PI, Cheers, Murphy Brown, and Miami Vice.

Cabbage Patch dolls, Rubik’s cubes and Jelly Shoes made their debut.

Everyone has their own memories of the 80’s, and everyone coming of age in the 80’s had their own unique style.

The absolute MUST for a fun 80’s party: everyone comes dressed in 80’s wear.

When looking around for decorations available for an 80’s party, I saw LOTS of neon. And although it was huge in the 80’s, I’m more like The Material Girl wanting to have a party at Southfork in Dallas. So this is how I would do it, while remaining loyal to the 80’s, while using a modicum of neon.

And.the next three photos have neon. Oh, well…can’t escape it.


Set this 45” tall standing sign outside your Front Door or on your lawn, with a speaker playing an 80’s soundtrack tucked in behind it.


Okay, more neon. But it’s sooo 80’s! And would make a great backdrop for photos.


The 80’s had so many influential people. People who still engage us or impact our lives today. That’s why what I would do is take the 10 most influential people of the 80’s (lists are online) and make black and white posters of their photos and hang them. Can’t afford posters or don’t have a backdrop to put them on? Make 12×20 prints and hang them on a line with clothespins!

Slinkies anchored to a hula hoop.

80’s lingo poster.


The most famous bartender of the era, Sam at Cheers, hardly had a discerning clientele so we didnt get any ideas from him. But there is one thing for sure: a lot of the popular drink names had a sexual innuendo. There was the Fuzzy Navel, the Screaming Orgasm and the Between the Sheets. Alongside those were the Amaretto Sour, Long Island Iced Tea, Grasshopper and Harvey Wallbanger.

This is a creative way to make a bar with black vinyl and square neon paper plates hot glued to the sides. Hang these 24” inflatable guitars on the wall behind and leave this 80’s portable phone on the bar for emergency calls.

This Inflatable Boom Box is great for cold drinks or beer.

Start with a basic black tablecloth and some 80’s confetti:

Make a few of these vases by hot glueing cassettes together and tucking a vase of flowers inside. We’re going to use yellow flowers. You can buy battery operated LED up lights that go under the vases and shine up to get some light.

At each place setting: A gift Rubik’s cube for all night frustration, and a yellow napkin.

Appetizer Table

Martha Stewart wasn’t on the scene yet, telling us how to entertain elegantly, so things like cheese balls, Doritos and dip, and jelly meatballs in a crockpot were all on the party scene. The giant soft pretzel made its debut in the 80’s, too, as did spinach dip in a bread bowl.
I’ve done some experimenting with styrofoam mannequin heads recently and they’re a lot of fun. You need to apply 2-3 coats of chalk paint to fill the holes in the styroam and then you can paint the head in the color you want. I put fake eyelashes on mine. The heads need to be glued down to something for stability. And then you can get creative! This one, with a “mullet” of cheese skewers, is perfect for your 80’s party.

Gather some old 78’s and glue them to an upside down stem glass to make serving platters.


About the only memorable food item in the 80’s was the fondue. If all of your friends have a fondue pot stored in their garage, this is a no-brainer for dinner. You would need one for every four people.

Otherwise, it’s Sloppy Joes or Blackened Chicken. Cesar Salad or a salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. and…neon cupcakes, of course.


You can also:

– Play 80’s Charades
– Do a Breakdance Competition
-Do a Lip Sync Competition
-Do an Air Guitar Competetion

Have a Totally Rad 80’s Flashback!

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