Everything I needed to know about being a smart kid, I learned from 80’s movies
My favorite part of every other weekend visits with my Dad was Friday night. After Dad picked us up, we always took a trip to Blockbuster Video to rent a stack of movies for our VHS player. Favorite movies earned multiple rentals and viewings. In addition to entertainment, I learned 10 valuable lessons about what it means to be a bright kid or teenager.
10. Physical transformations, and blending in with other people will make you accepted by your peers.
It might mean ditching the glasses and adding mouse to your hair like Ronald Miller from Can’t Buy me Love. Maybe you sew your own Pretty in Pink prom dress. As long as you change your physical appearance, to adapt to the group, it will lead to greater acceptance. Life is better when you look good, because you will fit in.
9. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend, especially if they are popular, makes life better
You might have to build your own supermodel girlfriend like Gary and Wyatt did in Weird Science. Or pay for a new white suede suit for Cindi Mancini. It doesn’t matter how you get a boyfriend or girlfriend. You must have one.Your significant other will save the day for you. A good boyfriend will remember your birthday, even if your entire family forgets. He will even put 16 Candles on your cake. However, if the relationship goes south, and leads to break up, it can send you into a suicidal depression like Lane Meyer on Better off Dead, but hopefully you can find a replacement quickly. The first place to look is toward your opposite sex platonic best friend.
8. If you are smarter than the system, you should ignore the rules.Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Hack a national computer to initiate global thermal nuclear War Games. Rules do not apply to you if you are smart enough to work around them. You will be forgiven if you don’t get caught, or are charming enough to talk your way out of it. Especially if you’re Mathew Broderick.
7. You can solve problems that adults can’t
The Goonies found the escaped convict Fratelli family. They solved the pirate’s treasure map and were able to get farther than Chester Copperpot on their underground search to find the pirate’s treasure. The Goonies even saved the boondocks from Troy’s dad and big developers building a golf course. Kids working as a team are unstoppable.
6. Adults are Clueless
Maybe you will take the Anderson kids you are tending on Adventures in Babysitting to downtown Chicago. The parents will never know. Grownups are easy to trick and manipulate. No matter what you say to convince them otherwise, adults won’t believe you. Sometimes they do believe you, but only after they see the alien in your closet, or backpack.
5. Books are magical
A book can be a friend and create adventures when you are sick when your grandpa reads it aloud, like The Princess Bride. Reading can also create a world with a weird white dragon like The Never Ending Story. Books are amazing.
4. You will get bullied and picked on, but will win in the end
Daniel Larruso got beat up after his move from New Jersey to California. A really creative shower costume did not make him invisible to the skeleton crew from the Cobra Kai dojo at the Halloween dance. A sweet Karate Kid crane kick made Daniel’s pain, from Johnny’s illegal leg sweep, worth it in the end.
3. Get a mentor to guide you
Maybe your mentor can artfully sculpt a bonsai tree and catch flies with chopsticks like Mr. Miyagi. Maybe he invented a time machine like Doc Brown. Your mentor needs have the intellect and ability to guide you through challenges.
2. No one will listen to you, but they really should
It can be hard to convince the rest of the world that you are the only voice of reason. They might not believe that you traveled back in time to 1955, the day the clock tower was struck by lightening. Especially because in movies…
1. If something weird can happen, it will happen to the smart kid.
Other people might be able to enjoy a trip to the carnival with their parents. Not the smart kid. They make a wish with Madame Zoltar to be Big, and become a grown up over night. Being brilliant brings the unexpected. Haven’t you learned that by now? The most extra ordinary things happen in life when you’re gifted.
Genealogy Jen’s Challenge of the Week– What were your favorite movies as a kid? Watch one and reminisce.
Bonus points- if you know the movie well enough to quote a majority of the lines with the main characters
Double Bonus Points-if you make popcorn, because it’s my favorite. True story.
This post is part of Hoagies’ Gifted Education monthly blog hop series about gifted people in popular culture.
Click here or the righteous pop culture graphic below to read more on this fun topic from one of my peers.
PS My post contains Amazon affiliate links. Basically, if you rent or buy one of these cool movies, you will be totally rad. Plus, I might earn enough money for a digital version of my favorite John Hughes movie. Fingers crossed.
You’ve listed some of my favourite 80’s movies–though you have omitted The Breakfast Club–when you get five archetypes of any school cafeteria in a room, alone, their walls will break down and their true, insecure, selves will emerge.
Awesome post. I could relate to it all and I love the topic. Thanks.
I’m glad you enjoyed it Anthony! I was feeling the need for less serious. I have felt weighted down with so many heavy topics I’ve written about lately. I was going to mention the Breakfast Club as well, but edited it it out. I love those characters. They were all bright, and it shows that being gifted can come in a lot of different packages. Which Breakfast Club character was your favorite, or could you most relate to?
When I was young, of course I loved Bender. He was the angry rebellious one. However, as I have gotten older, I realize that each character is a part of me. The athlete who wonders if he can live up to everyone’s expectation. The smart one who has too much pressure to succeed. The one who was written off. The one who is caught between warring grownups and of course the one who was the bad one. None of those characters was %100 of those things, but that is what made them true….. of course, I did have a huge crush on Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald, but more Ally Sheedy.
I re-watched this after your comment. I loved it so much. Fantastic movie. I loved Ally Sheedy too.
That was a great post! All these iconic movies, with the messages you pointed out, and me thinking, “Huh, and I was merely entertained.” Excellent points.
Thanks Joey! I was entertained watching the movies as well. I still am, as I’ve revisited a couple with my boys over the past few weeks. I also never realized how much I love John Hughes.
Loved this, Jen. Enjoyed the light-heartedness of it! You sure know your movies!
I love them so much! Thanks Paula.
Oh my gosh! What a fun post! You are making me want to have a movie marathon!!
I just watched to goonies with Casey recently and took her to the house a while ago too. Super cool read!
Glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I’ve watched a couple of them with my boys. One eyed Willie freaked them out. Karate kid turned our condo into a dojo of couch jumping karate kicking boys. Watching childhood favorites with the next generation is the best.
Thanks for a really enjoyable revisiting of these movies!
I’m glad Jo! I have rewatched several of them over the past couple of weeks.
Great choices! I would also add WarGames (1983) with Matthew Broderick.