How ’80s movies made me believe in love and kind of ruined it at the same time

“Make a wish. It already came true.” Are you serious? This quote and so many more from ’80s movies basically killed any chance there was of real-life romances living up to the wonderful and dreamy expectations of the movies that era presented. The ’80s were a crazy time, but the era was priceless when it came to telling love stories that we still dream about coming true in reality.

It really doesn’t matter how it happened, but I’m totally okay with the fact that ’80s movies not only made me believe in love, but also kind of ruined it at the same time. Sadly, John Hughes didn’t write my life, or anyone else’s for that matter, but I’m not giving up on all of those romantic fantasies happening some day. See which moments from some of your favorite ’80s films totally messed with your mind when it came to love below.


New Year’s Eve revelations. Okay, New Year’s Eve is a big spectacle in a lot of movies, no matter the year, but they all preach one thing… that kiss at midnight will lead to love and blah, blah, blah. The realistic version is you’re alone at midnight and totally unhappy. In comes When Harry Met Sally, in which they work hard for years to build a ridiculous friendship that finally leads to a confession of love on New Year’s Eve, but the date is irrelevant. That’s the New Year’s we should all want and honestly it stinks that it rarely happens.

Driving lawn mowers as something hot. Yep, your gardner was never as good-looking as Patrick Dempsey (who played Ronald Miller) was while riding that lawn mower in Can’t Buy Me Love and it still hurts to think about. What if he was as cute as Patrick? Ah, that would be awesome.


Detention is for lovers. Getting into trouble, in order to get detention and meet a bad boy guy who looks like John Bender, was one of many things you hoped for when you got one of those detention slips back in school. If that wasn’t your dream then maybe you were the basket case looking for her jock, or just a brain looking for friends, either way real-life detention was a harsh wake up call.

Family vacations turned steamy dance camps. Come on, Dirty Dancing totally ruined family vacations for like, everyone. Summer flings do happen, so don’t lose total faith in a similar, yet not as extravagant scenario unfolding on your next vacay. PS: Nobody puts Baby in the corner!


Boombox to my heart. Even though boomboxes are pretty much extinct, this is a movie moment I’m still holding out for. Music is definitely a way to show love for someone and Say Anything nailed the romantic moment with the boombox over Lloyd Doblers’s head. Swoon.

BFF equals BF. Ya, this is something that was definitely preached in almost every good film from the ’80s. I’m not complaining though, because let’s face it, Some Kind of Wonderful was wonderful. A tomboy winning her artsy BFF’s love over the popular girl? That is a serious success story to strive for. Sadly, this isn’t always the case in reality, but a girl can dream.


Richies vs. Poor. Ugh, this might’ve been the worst message in an ’80s film. Although Blane picked Andie because of love and not status, he also dumped her because she was poor. It was heartbreaking and annoyingly made us long for a dreamy guy with money to want us back. Luckily, Blane turned out to be a good guy, but the message is just wrong.

Geeks can’t get the girl. The best part about any ’80s film, especially one by John Hughes is that anyone could be the person with the happily ever after. That being said, weren’t we all waiting for these extravagant signs to prove that it was our dream coming true in the romance department and not just another boring day? No matter what, at least we learned that geeks aren’t just geeks and everyone deserves love. Side note: I’d SO date Brian Johnson from The Breakfast Club or Farmer Ted from Sixteen Candles for that matter.


Cake, cake, cake. If you haven’t dreamt of your crush kissing you on a table with cake between you, you are lying to yourself. Although this is a crazy situation, Sixteen Candles is fairly realistic. Life is hard and complicated and sometimes your parents forget your birthday, but if Sam could still win over her hot, older crush, then there’s hope for all of us!

Helping someone will lead to your love story coming true. Despite what all these movies claim, it doesn’t always end in your favor when you help your best friend (usually a guy BFF) get the girl he is pining over. Sure, he or she might figure out that you’re their dream person, but getting your hopes up is not a good idea. Duckie however, does seem to be very happy with helping Andie get Blane (in Pretty in Pink), so it might be closer to a win-win situation than I think.


School dances are actually a good idea. How many films portrayed teens going to a school dance and finding love? Too many to count! On the one hand this made me at least attempt to like school dances, but it also added a LOT of pressure on the whole night.

Jake Ryan. Yes, Sixteen Candles was one of the greatest movies ever, but the hottie that is Jake Ryan doesn’t exist, which is just unfair. Jake Ryan (yes, you have to say his full name every time you mention him) was the dream guy and forever my MCM, but sadly he kind of ruined mine and a lot of other people’s expectations of who your true love would look like.


Being a hopeless romantic is a great thing. The underlying message in all ’80s romance movies was that love is possible in the weirdest of situations and love conquers all. I’m sticking by that message and letting the hopeless romantic inside me come out!

Thank you ’80s films for outrageous love stories and adorable endings.

(Images via Universal Pictures, Tumblr and Giphy)