Skip To Content

    17 '80s Kids Share What It Was Like Growing Up In The Greatest Decade To Be A Kid

    Now those were the days.

    As an '80s kid myself, I was recently looking through some Reddit threads reminiscing about what it was like to grow up back then (you can find them here and here). If you grew up in the '80s like me, these things will be instantly familiar:

    1. Being beyond excited to get up on Saturday mornings so you could run to the TV and watch all of the cartoons.

    2. Of course, there was also that feeling of despair at noon when the cartoons ended and the adult programming kicked in.

    3. We also had lots of incredible cartoons to watch after school from like, 3-5 p.m. (that is if your mom wasn't using the TV to watch Oprah and The Phil Donahue Show).

    4. In the '80s we would play outside a lot...sometimes all day long.

    5. Now that our parents aren't listening, we can admit we did dangerous stuff outside we really shouldn't have.

    Riding the playground carousel at the speed of vomit. #DidAsAChildButDangerousNow

    "Doing dangerous things with no adult supervision. Like building a jump out of snow on the biggest hill in the neighborhood and launching each other off of it on sleds. The broken bones and stitches were good life lessons."


    "I used to love playing in construction sites. One time my friends and I were climbing on some houses that had just been framed, having a great time, when the contractor saw us and called my dad about me being on the roofing frame of a two-story house."


    6. In our defense, safety was not the concern it is today.

    7. We loved going to arcades to play the games...and just hang out.

    8. Playing video games at home — whether it was on the Atari 2600, Coleco, Sega, or Nintendo — was also the best.

    9. I know you remember taping songs off the radio and calling stations to request songs you needed for your mix tapes.

    10. The excitement of learning about the new TV shows all at once, right before they premiered, was also a rush.

    11. Then there was the agony and ecstasy of trying to get your hands on the most popular toys — like Cabbage Patch Kids and Transformers — before they sold out immediately.

    12. Talking on the phone with your friends was a big deal in those pre-cell phone days.

    13. And the phones — like the football phone and see-through phone — had personality.

    14. MTV was an important part of our lives, and kids today wouldn't get it with Spotify, YouTube, and the rest.

    15. There's a good chance you got a Columbia House Record and Tape Club membership and lived in fear (like I did) that the FBI was going to break down your door for past dues. Sure, the first tapes were practically free, but the ones they auto-sent you after that were full price!

    16. You probably (make that almost definitely) have great memories of riding your bike around with your pals.

    17. In those days, we had to learn how to entertain ourselves.

    It would be fun to go back for a day to see it and all of your old friends once again, wouldn't it?

    Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.