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.

Rules are meant to be broken if you’re smart. Go ahead, skip school. Take a 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.

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