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Worst 80s Fads: A Complete Guide to Your Nightmares

The 80s were a decade full of some great fads, but it also had its share of bad ones too. In this blog post, we will explore the worst 80s fads that may have sprung up and died out quickly back in the day, but continue to linger on with us today. Some are more obvious than others (like neon clothing), while some you might not even remember from your childhood (such as those tiny keychains). But all of these are definitely worth mentioning if you want to learn about how embarrassing fads and fashion can be!

Neon Clothing

The worst 80s fads that we can’t forget are all the ones involving neon. You know those light-up sneakers, jackets, and shorts? And don’t get me started on how many people rocked clothing with a neon glow in their hair back then! It seemed like everyone wanted to be seen at night, which is why this fad took off and why it’s one of the worst 80s fads.

Rubik’s Cube

The Rubik’s Cube is another one that you might be too young to remember all about, but it was a toy that kids would spend hours trying to solve and had parents running around town looking for replacement parts when they inevitably broke because their child wouldn’t stop messing with them! The Cube may just have been the most infuriating toy ever, and because of that, it’s one of the worst 80s fads.

Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls

The Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were another toy craze that made children go wild in stores and parents waste their money on this stuff when they could have just saved up for a more traditional, quality gift instead! These dolls looked nothing like actual babies – I mean, how many babies do you know of that have long, sugary-sweet hair and big bows in their head?

New Coke

New Coke is an example of a very bad idea! Coca-Cola thought their original formula needed to be improved on, but it wasn’t necessary to change the name and the bottle design. They just had to tweak something about how they made their drink, not overhaul everything. When New Coke debuted in 1985, people were angry because plastic bottles weren’t available for the replacement and old Coca-Cola was still being made. Then when Coke went back to its original formula we were all elated because it tastes so much better than New Coke ever did!

Crystal Pepsi new Coke, Crystal Pepsi was a bad idea. Though it debuted in 1992, it felt very 80s — and for some reason people thought it would be tasty, even though the color is so unappetizing! The drink tasted terrible, but why? We may never know because Crystal Pepsi discontinued production just three years later.

Max Headroom

Max Headroom was supposed to be an edgy, new take on television. There were Max head-shaped TV sets in 1985 and the show had a live host with a funny haircut who would break into other channels. But because of constant technical difficulties it didn’t last very long!

Plus people thought that the character’s voice sounded like he was high.

Parachute Pants

Parachute pants were a trend in the 1980s when it became popular to buy jeans that were too big. They had huge pockets, droopy bottoms and sometimes came with belt loops on the outside of each leg. The look was supposed to be intentional but some people thought they looked like parachutes!

They seemed cool at first–but after a while it was clear that they were just pants with too much room in the waist and knees.

Break Dancing

Break Dancing was a popular dance craze in the 80s. It started when people would go to clubs or break-dancing competitions and they’d show off their moves by dropping on all fours, jumping up into the air, spinning around–whatever!

There were even some guys who went so far as to learn how to do back flips for their routines.

Or — omigod! — spin on their heads!

It’s crazy to think that people would go so far as make up their own moves for this one!

Velcro Sneakers

Velcro sneakers were invented in the late 70s by a guy named George de Mestral, a Swiss electrical engineer, and they became very popular in the 80s when people wanted sneakers that they could easily slip on.

The downside to Velcro sneakers was that if you had dark-colored shoes, dirt would show up more than with laces .

The upside was that it was easier to take them off for whatever reason, like if you were going into an event and weren’t sure how long you would be there.

Plus they made a pretty satisfying sound when people first put them on!


This is another one of those games that people would play in the 80s for hours.

It became so popular because it was a cheaper game to buy and way more portable than playing cards or chess, which were two other popular ones at the time.

Pogs can come with different values, but usually they are worth five points .

To play, you would stack the Pogs in two piles.

The goal is to flip one of your opponent’s pieces off their pile and then knock yours down with a throw from either side or above so that they land on top.

If you’re playing with multiple people, whoever knocks all of their opponents’ pogs off the table wins.

Pogs were popular in America and Australia, but they’re still played all over the world today.

This is a game that will never die!

Easy Bake Ovens

The Easy Bake Oven is a children’s toy oven that was produced by Hasbro in the 1960s but lingered into the 1980s … and into the 2020s, for that matter!

Children would mix up a cake or brownie batter, insert it into an edible paper pan and put the whole thing inside the stove to bake for 20 minutes. This made toys like this very popular with kids at one time.

But, like, your parents never bought you any refills, so you ended up making worm burgers and crap pies.

Care Bears

The Care Bears are a line of stuffed animals, originally created by American Greetings in 1981.

They became one of the most popular toy lines among children during the 1980s and 1990s. The bears first appeared on TV screens as animated cartoon characters before becoming best friends with their human counterparts and saving them from villains like Dr. Fright.

Timex Watches

One of the best-selling watches in history, Timex has been making wristwatches since 1854.

Their price point and durability made them a popular choice for kids during the 1980s. The watch had additional features like alarms, stopwatch function, water resistance and date window all built into one gadget that could be quickly configured.

They are cheap as hell, though, making them one of the worst 80s fads of them all.

(Like 80s Fads? Then you might like our article on 80s Fashion, click here.)

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Note: When you click on links to various merchants in this post and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network and Amazon Associates.

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