The high school movie landscape of today is a much different place than it was in the 1980s. In today’s teen comedies — they still make the occasional teen comedy, right? — everybody’s chill with each other and acceptance and tolerance are core principles. The high school movie universe of the ’80s, though, was a terrifying place where anybody who was slightly different or didn’t have the athleticism of an Olympic athlete was subject to regular humiliation in front of the opposite sex. Hiding inside one’s locker or the school nurse’s office was the only safe haven. The ruthless ruler of high school and college campuses in ’80s movies was of course — the bully.
The ’80s teen bully was a unique creature. He could be a jock that would destroy a nerd if said nerd’s blood happened to splatter on his letterman jacket during a pounding, or a prep hiding behind mirrored sunglasses that engaged in a more psychological sort of torment. There’s even the occasional redneck bully. But is there a perfect ’80s teen bully, one that commands more fear and dispenses more douchery than all other ’80s bullies? If not, why not create one? Oh… those are all good reasons. Nonetheless, we’re going to do it and hope that the end result can be tamed by evolved societal norms, or maybe a taser.
A number of classic ’80s teen movies celebrated their 30th anniversaries this year (Back to the Future, Teen Wolf, Better Off Dead, Weird Science), so in the name of science, let’s strap a bra on our heads and make the perfect ’80s bully.