Full Guide on Throwing the Most Rad 80s Party

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My husband is a child of the 80s and since he is turning 40 this year, I need to start planning the best 80s party.

I’ve put together the ultimate 80s party guide – everything you need is here in this post. You will find 80s party decor, including sub-themes, 80s party food, 80s party songs, 80s party games, and 80s party fashion!

80s arcade party
Image via Cottonbro Studios

So grab your Aquanet, we’ve got a 80s party to plan!

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.*

80s Party Theme Food

80s Mall Food Court Inspired Recipes

80s food mall court
Image via Jupiter Images

If you were relatively young in the 80s, you likely found yourself at the mall. Therefore, I think we should start off this 80s party food list with some mall-inspired recipes.

The Country Cook has an amazing copycat Orange Julius smoothie that will be perfect to serve your party guests. You can serve them in little paper cups too just like the taste test cups.

Real quick, while on the subject of cups, remember that bottled water was pretty rare/luxurious in the 80s. If you really want to bring it back to the 80s, make sure to serve water in cups!

Panda Express opened in the early 80s and this Panda Express orange chicken copycat recipe by Cuisine and Travel is sure to be a favorite among the party guests.

80s party food mall favorites
Image via Cuisine and Travel

Moving a bit later into the 80s, another great mall dish to serve at a party is Sarku Japan chicken teriyaki. This highly rated copycat recipe by Alena’s Home Cooking is perfect.

We absolutely cannot forget a mall pretzel. This soft pretzel recipe by Modern Honey is the perfect pretzel to bring you right back to the 80s.

80s party food mall pretzel
Image via Modern Honey

Popular 80s Dinner Party Recipes

Much of the 80s consisted of homemade meals for many households. If you are having a dinner party, any of these meals would be a fantastic option.

First up, we have the classic meat, starch, and veggie plate. Many households served some sort of meat, potatoes or pasta, and a side salad or veggies. Dinner rolls and cornbread were also common, too.

Another common dish in the 80s was pork chops, served with applesauce as a bonus. This oven baked pork chop recipe by Carmy is an easy dinner party dish – it tells you how to make your “side of starch,” too!

80s dinner party pork chops
Image via Carmy

Chicken alfredo was a popular dish as well and it would be easy to whip up a large dish of pasta for an 80s party. The Slow Roasted Italian has an amazing chicken alfredo fettuccine recipe you need to check out!

80s dinner party chicken alfredo
Image via The Slow Roasted Italian

Now, we cannot forget a classic meatloaf when we think of the 80s! The Cookin’ Chicks have the best meatloaf recipe, just the way mom made it.

80s dinner party meatloaf recipe
Image via The Cookin’ Chicks

I’m not sure what decade started sloppy joes, but they were definitely popular in the 80s. This old fashioned sloppy joes recipe by Quiche My Grits is sure to hit the spot at an 80s party.

80s dinner party sloppy joes recipe
Image via Quiche My Grits

If your guests love seafood, this blackened red snapper recipe by Ask Chef Dennis is perfect. Blacked fish was a popular meal in the 80s, in case you didn’t know.

80s dinner party blackened fish
Image via Ask Chef Dennis

Lastly, we have a very popular dish, beef stroganoff. To make the most delicious beef stroganoff for your 80s dinner party, make sure to follow The Forked Spoon’s easy beef stroganoff recipe.

80s dinner party beef stroganoff recipe
Image via The Forked Spoon

80s Party Theme Desserts & Snacks

Sticking to the mall theme real quick, imagine serving your party guests these amazing cinnamon rolls, another recipe by The Cookin’ Chicks.

cinnamon rolls 80s mall inspired foods
Image via The Cookin’ Chicks

Do you remember the baked Alaska dessert trend? You can make a baked Alaska at home with this easy to follow recipe by Spend With Pennies.

80s party dessert
Image via Spend With Pennies

Popular Snacks of the 80s

80s Party Songs

Here are some popular songs from the decade, broken down by genre.

What would you add to these lists? Let me know in the comments. There were so many to choose!

Popular 80s Hair Metal Songs

  1. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
  2. KISS – Rock And Roll All Nite
  3. Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It
  4. Warrant – Cherry Pie
  5. Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me
  6. Quiet Riot – Cum on Feel the Noize
  7. Scorpions – Rock You Like a Hurricane
  8. Ratt – Round and Round
  9. Van Halen – Panama 
  10. Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to The Jungle
  11. Motley Crue – Girls, Girls, Girls
  12. Poison – Unskinny Pop
  13. Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock
  14. Quiet Riot – Bang Your Head
  15. Skid Row – 18 and Life
  16. Van Halen – Jump
  17. Aerosmith – Rag Doll
  18. Motley Crue – Smokin’ in The Boys Room
  19. Slaughter – Up All Night
  20. Winger – Easy Come Easy Go

Popular 80s Dance/Pop Songs

  1. Cindy Lauper – Girls Just Want to Have Fun
  2. Soft Cell – Tainted Love
  3. Queen – Radio Ga Ga
  4. Michael Sembello – Maniac
  5. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in The Dark
  6. Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
  7. Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
  8. Fleetwood Mac – Everywhere
  9. Rick Springfield – Jessie’s Girl
  10. The Outfield – Your Love
  11. The Knack – My Sharona
  12. David Bowie – Let’s Dance
  13. Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky
  14. Prince – Kiss
  15. DEVO – Whip It
  16. Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance
  17. Billy Idol -Mony Mony
  18. Pat Benatar – Love is a Battlefield
  19. Michael Jackson – Beat It
  20. Madonna – Material Girl

Popular 80s Ballad Songs

  1. The Police – Every Breath You Take
  2. George Michael – Careless Whisper
  3. Berlin – Take My Breath Away
  4. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart
  5. Kate Bush – Running up That Hill
  6. Whitney Houston – Greatest Love of All
  7. REO Speedwagon – Can’t Fight This Feeling
  8. Eric Carmen – Hungry Eyes
  9. Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes – I’ve Had the Time of My Life
  10. Prince – Purple Rain
  11. Guns N’ Roses – November Rain
  12. Foreigner – I Want to Know What Love Is
  13. Stevie Wonder – I Just Called to Say I Love You
  14. Michael Bolton – How Am I Supposed to Live Without You
  15. Lionel Richie – All Night Long
  16. Tina Turner – What’s Love Got to Do With It
  17. Bryan Adams – Heaven
  18. Alannah Myles – Black Velvet
  19. Cindy Lauper – Time After Time
  20. Bangles – Eternal Flame

Popular 80s Hip Hop & Punk Songs

  1. Run D.M.C. – Tricky
  2. Salt-N-Pepa – Push It
  3. Public Enemy – Bring the Noise
  4. The Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
  5. Beastie Boys – Brass Monkey
  6. Tone-Loc – Wild Thing
  7. Young MC – Bust a Move
  8. Run D.M.C. – My Adidas
  9. Newcleus – Jam on It
  10. LL Cool J – Rock the Bells
  11. Dead Kennedys – I Fought the Law
  12. Violent Femmes – Promise
  13. The Clash – Should I Stay or Should I Go
  14. The Ramones – Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio
  15. Black Flag – Rise Above
  16. The Cramps – Goo Goo Muck
  17. Social Distortion – Mommy’s Little Monster
  18. Fugazi – Waiting Room
  19. Rich Kids on LSD – Senseless Violence
  20. Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized

Popular 80s Country Songs

  1. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – Fishin’ in The Dark
  2. Dolly Parton – Islands in The Stream
  3. Randy Travis – Forever and Ever, Amen
  4. George Strait – All My Ex’s Live in Texas
  5. Waylon Jennings – Good Ol’ Boys
  6. Alabama – Love in the First Degree
  7. Hank Williams Jr. – Texas Women
  8. Dolly Parton – 9 to 5
  9. Eddie Rabbit – The Best Year of My Life
  10. B.J. Thomas – Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love
  11. Sheena Easton – Almost Over You
  12. The Judds – Why Not Me
  13. T.G. Sheppard – Slow Burn
  14. James Taylor – Everyday
  15. Kenny Rogers – Morning Desire
  16. Billy Vera – At This Moment
  17. Reba McEntire – What Am I Gonna Do About You
  18. Tanya Tucker –  Strong Enough to Bend
  19. Shenandoa – Two Dozen Roses

80s Party Outfit Ideas

The fashion was fun in the 80s. Encourage your guests to wear their best 80s attire, grab a camera, some props, and create a glamour photo shoot for your party!

80s party glamour shot
Image via RyanJLane

It’s time to rummage through your closets, hit up the thrift store, or find some look-alikes on Amazon! These 80s party outfits are sure to be a hit!

Popular Clothing Brands From the 80s

  • Reebok
  • Converse/Chucks
  • Adidas
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Izod
  • Levi
  • Wrangler
  • Gianni Versace
  • Jordache
  • Member’s Only

Popular Clothing Trends & Accessories of the 80s

80s party clothing ideas
Image via PeopleImages
  • Belts (both thin and wide belts were popular)
  • Shoulder pads
  • Leotards for activewear
  • Bright headbands for activewear
  • Big statement necklaces
  • Leg warmers
  • Tube socks
  • Short shorts for the men
  • Fishnet tights
  • Men’s sport jacket
  • Tracksuits
  • Acid washed denim
  • Leather jackets
  • Cut off denim jackets
  • Denim on denim
  • Safety pins and patches on jackets
  • High waisted loose pants/jeans
  • Bright pastel colors
  • Crushed velvet
  • Corsets
  • Kitten heels
  • Laced or fingerless gloves
  • Muscle tanks for men
  • Western clothing
  • Power Suits
  • Tortoise shell plastic sunglasses
  • Pack of cigarettes in a pocket (get fake ones please!)
80s party shoulder pads
Image via YuriArcurs

80s Hair and Makeup Trends

80s party fashion fishnet gloves
Image via Mattabbe
  • Frosted lipstick, typically light pink
  • Blue eyeliner
  • Heavy mascara
  • Pink or red blush
  • Big curly hair
  • Crimped hair
  • Scrunchies
  • Using half a can of Aquanet on your hair (just kidding, but seriously, set that big hair with hairspray)
  • Punk/gothic makeup
  • Red or black nail polish

80s Party Decor

Since this is a decade party, decorations are a must. If you have anything in your storage closet from the 80s, now is the time to bring it out! Here I’ve included some niche 80 party theme decor ideas.

80s Arcade Party Theme

80s Neon Party Theme

80s Bowling Alley Party Theme

80s Rollerblading Party Theme

80s Hair Metal Party Theme

80s Party Games

With the popularity of Stranger Things, we’ve seen just how big Dungeons and Dragons was in the 80s. If you have this popular game already, it is time to bring it out! If not, you may want to buy this fun game for the party!

Popular board games in the 80s included Clue, Trouble, Monopoly (although you’d have to look hard for the older style with the original character pieces), Battleship, Stratego, and Mouse Trap.

If you were a child in the 80s, you likely remember some of these fun recess games:

  • Tetherball
  • Four Square
  • Red Rover
  • Wall Ball
  • Tag
  • Chinese Jump Rope
  • Red Light Green Light
  • Kick the Can

If your party guests are more of the active kind, playing some of these games would be a fun way to feel like a kid again!

Save This List for the Best 80s Party Theme

What did I miss? Leave a comment below to let us know how your 80s party theme went!

If you have a 80s party theme coming up, make sure to save this post to your party board on Pinterest. Alternatively, use any of the social sharing icons at the top of the page to save it to your favorite social media site.

ultimate 80s party ideas 80s food 80s fashion 80s games and 80s music

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