10 Iconic Scenes from 80s Kids’ Movies

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We know. Before you say it. Where’s ‘Big, Labyrinth, The Neverending Story, Teen Wolf, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Short Circuit, Splash’ and a host of other worthy candidates. But like it says at the top. This article covers just 10 Iconic Scenes from 80s Kids’ Movies; not 50 plus, sadly.


In our defence, where would YOU start when discussing/compiling the most iconic scenes from 80s kids’ movies? Now you begin to understand the scale of the problem we had here, can’t you? But persevere we did, and that’s how we’ve managed to narrow it down to this top 10. And we think you’ll agree, pretty much ALL of your favourites are included hereabouts.

We’re talking about the sort of scenes which automatically spring to mind at the merest mention of a film title, or just a fleeting glimpse of one of the movie’s leading characters. Other lists chew the fat over where the stars might be now, who went on to do what and which star’s only over claim to fame thereafter was voicing a TV ad for some organic yoghurt on an obscure American TV channel. Which is exactly why we’ve plumped for iconic scenes. The interesting stuff. The stuff that instantly transports us back to then and there; only without the need for a certain DeLorean or Tardis. Which, if you’re not British, is a phone box which travels through time. Which you could have just Googled for yourself, to be honest.

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Anyway, and without further ado, the candidates;

10. Time Bandits: Like BMX Bandits, Only Minus BMX’s

Not everyone’s cup of tea when reminiscing about cult 80s movies, but one worth more than a passing mention here all the same. Especially because it could have been REALLY bonkers, as opposed to just slightly bonkers, on account of Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin being at the writing/directional helm.

We want you straight home after dinner tonight, Kevin. No messing around with small folk, you hear….

Yup things could have gone in various strange directions, yet in the event Time Bandits turned out to be a hugely enjoyable, fantastical, slightly scary and camp adventure. An adventure where an 11-year old boy’s bedroom wall becomes a time portal into other dimension, most of which are populated by a friendly gang of nutty dwarves. Again something which might be frowned upon were it to be re-booted in 2018.

Hmmmm. I’m not convinced many readers will think this entry belongs in the top 10

And in terms of the most iconic scene, then the ending is completely at odds with all of the above, as the boy, Kevin is left standing in the ruins of his home, having just watched his parents explode after touching a chunk of evil somethingorother. So despite the fact he’s this hero who has just helped save all of creation, he’s now left alone in the world. Steep learning curve right there eh kids….

9. Back to the Future: Marty Was Always Skating on Thin Ice Around Biff

Again, not just one iconic scene to choose from when the question is put to us, but then it’s just the one we have to select for word count/SEO purposes. And based on our own personal opinion, we’re going for the moment Marty McFly singlehandedly invents the skateboard back in 1955.

Still no sign of Avril Lavigne, thankfully…

Yeah, the job was made even more challenging given that there was three Back to the Future movies to choose memorable moments from. OK, maybe two if we’re gonna get real here. We mean, the final part of the trilogy was, well, not exactly full of what even the biggest fan might call iconic junctures.

Hold on. Just what year is it supposed to be again?

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Still, the original motion picture gave us an abundance of wonderful snapshots, chief amongst them being when Michael J Fox accidentally created the world’s first skateboard. Well, we say accidentally, but because he came from three decades in the future, he kinda knew what he was doing in advance. Although changing the course of history was what Doc Brown was desperately trying to get Marty to avoid!

8. Gremlins Microwave Scene: Ping! Your Dinner For One is Now Ready!

Maybe not one for the younger members of the TV audience to witness, but nonetheless one of the most amusing moments of Gremlins. Although run very close by the scene where the evil incarnation of far cuddlier Gizmo re-programmes the old lady’s stairlift, if you cast your minds back.

Yeah, I’m with Nelly. It’s definitely getting hot in here

Spike, the ringleader of the Gremlins, was running riot in the kitchen of Billy’s house, where he was seen terrorising Billy’s mum. Or rather was, past tense, right up until the point at which his mum slammed him into the microwave and set it on the highest powered cooking setting.

That’s it. I’ve just about had enough of your lip!

And yes, splat, ding, door opens and one of the protagonists is immediately removed from the picture. I don’t know why, maybe it’s just the unruly teenager in us, but this scene still makes us guffaw like naughty kids all these years later. So let’s run with this, eh…

7. Ghostbusters: Don’t Whatever You Do Think About The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

Come on peeps, really? Do we have to spell this one out for you? Like, have you never even seen one of the best 80s films ever made or something?! Four words, five syllables. Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Say no more.

Yes. That’s right. I AM your worst nightmare. Eat it up!

Only we have to, as we have a bit more space to fill and we’re contractually obliged. Surely EVERYONE recalls the scene where Ray accidentally lets the mental image of his favourite, most docile childhood hero slip into his mind’s eye, when evil Gozer asks the Ghostbusters to choose their destructor.

I am the God of hellfire, etc, etc….

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Yeah, it “just popped in there” explained Ray when his colleagues wondered why all of a sudden the streets of New York were reverberating to a huge version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man heading their way.

6. The Karate Kid: Polishing Up On His Martial Arts Skills

If one phrase has the capacity to identify with an 80s movie in less than 10 seconds, then that phrase is ‘Wax on, wax off’. And mercifully we’re not referring to Debbie Does Dallas. Largely because that came out at the tail end of the 1970s, so is irrelevant here.

Yeah, just imagine we’re serving afternoon tea at The Ritz, OK…

No, we’re waxing lyrical about one of the greatest buddy films this side of E.T. Namely ‘The Karate Kid’. The film loosely based on martial arts, bonsai tree-maintenance and being a decent person. And which saw a lovely relationship between a young Ralph Macchio and Mr Miyage develop.

Don’t worry. It’ll buff out.

And the scene we’re citing is the one where Mr Miyage describes to ‘Daniel san’ how mundane everyday chores follow the same basic physical principles as a rudimentary karate move. Be it sanding a floor, painting a fence and/or waxing cars. Each and every time illustrated with this specific clockwise/counter-clockwise hand motion.

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: How To Have Wheely Good Fun When Sciving

Yadda yadda. Some of you will say that it’s the moment Bueller’s best mate’s father’s pride and joy vintage Ferrari is earmarked for the truancy day’s entertainment, but the most iconic scenes don’t necessarily have to focus on a visual stimulus.

Not quite Home Alone bath ‘scenes’, but close enough….

Which is why we’re gone with Ferris Bueller’s opening monologue. What? Give us a break! Being all about the words, it was almost impossible not to. Anyway, as monologues go, it’s right up there with Patrick Bateman’s shower monologue in American Psycho a decade or so later.

Who needs a note from your mum?!!

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So as to convincingly pull off yet another sickie, our anti-hero discusses faking an illness. And goes on to present his case very eloquently and refers to “barfing up a lung,” and faking clammy hands and a stomach cramp to complete the trickery. Oh, and he also sings in the shower and quotes John Lennon too. Awesome.

4. E.T: Your BMX is Now Cleared for Take-off!

If one scene in the pantheons of celluloid history deserves to be crowned the most iconic, then Elliott getting some serious air on his BMX is undoubtedly the one for many folk. Of course, Elliott has some significant help in the lift-off department, courtesy of his special friend.

“I’m not sure I should be out in the cold air with wet hair, Elliott”

Yes, it was E.T himself (we assume it’s a him? Hello? Can we have Mr Spielberg on line 1 please??) who was granted clearance off the road and through the forest as his best mate peddled like the clappers to escape the clutches of the men in white lab coats.

“Quick E.T. I appear to have a young Kevin Bacon on my tail!”

If there was a dry eye in the house at this point, then all we can say is that your hearts are colder than E.T’s when they started subjecting him to all those tests to determine who, or indeed, what, he was.

3. The Lost Boys: Anybody for a Chinese Meal Tonight?

Another slightly grim one we’re afraid, for any of you of a nervous disposition. Or perhaps have just eaten. As it involves some noodles, Michael. Sorry, we’re assuming that everyone reading this is called Michael. Our bad.

“Yeah, we’re trying this new take-away that opened in Santa Carla tonight, Michael. Dig in”

Sam’s older brother Michael has been lured into the bat cave where Keifer Sutherland’s bad ass Lost Boys hang out, after trailing them on his dirt bike along what turns out to be a very long Santa Carla beach.

“Er, hello. Environmental Health department please…”

And once in the close company of the best dressed vampires in movie history, Michael is invited to share their supper. Which while looking like what lead undead, David refers to as Chinese rice (or noodles), once Michael reluctantly tucks in turn into maggots. Yuk!

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2. Raiders of the Lost Ark: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Right. If we’re sticking with a slightly scary perspective, we might just say the Nazi face-melting scene towards the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark remains the most memorable; albeit for gross reasons. But that would then be overlooking the more child-friendly boulder scene.

(In his best panto voice) “It’s behind you, Indy!!!!”

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Inspired, according to George Lucas, by a comic starring Donald Duck, believe it or not, whereby Donald and his nephews find themselves in a forbidden cave/treasure chamber. Thereafter both he and Spielberg then put it into the context of an Indiana Jones-pursuing big rock for Raiders of the Lost Ark’s seminal opening scene.

Mystic Meg receives drastic makeover; becomes virtually unrecognisable

Manufactured from fibreglass – or if you’re a fan of Christmas-based chocolate treats, a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, as per the parody TV ad a few years later – the boulder certainly looked real to a kid’s eyes. And as a stage-setter for the film (and sequels to follow) definitely did the trick.

1.The Goonies: Anyone Fancy a Truffle?

Who doesn’t recall this??!! Possibly THE most iconic movie scene in the history of movie scenes if you were lucky enough to grow up in the decade of relentlessly amazing flicks/movie scenes.

“I don’t know what’s worse guys. Being made to do the Truffle Shuffle or THIS wardrobe?!”

Picture the scene now. In order to be granted access to Mikey’s house (where all the rest of The Goonies gang are gathered at the time of asking), ever-pranked Chunk is told he must do something to entertain them.

“OK. Here goes my career!!”

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That ‘something’ manifests itself as the legendary ‘truffle shuffle’; whereby its creator lifts his hawaiian shirt to expose his puppy fat belly and proceeds to shake it vigorously, much to the delight of his friends. Arguably an act which might be slightly frowned upon today, on the grounds of body shaming. But, you know, the 80s, etc.