ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Throw an 80s Theme Party

Updated on November 11, 2009

Nothing beats a theme party and if you grew up in the 80s, throwing an 80s theme party can be a great way to relive your colorful past. It’s also a great excuse to break out the crimping iron and blare Prince’s Purple Rain on the speakers.

Set Outrageous 80s Expectations

From the very first save-the-date announcement, make sure you’re setting the tone for your totally radical 80s bash. Make sure to use buzz words like bitchin’, tubular, rad, and bodacious. The eighties were silly and over-the-top so your party should be too. For a theme party to work you’re going to need to get your guests’ buy-in. Hyping up the fun factor in advance is key. Make sure people know everything you’re planning. For my recent 40th birthday, we did an 80s Prom theme, so in addition to the wild outfits, hair, makeup, and music, we crowned a royal court and had some cheesy slow dances. It was a hit!

Costumes Encouraged

Personally, I love a costume party, but not everyone likes to get dressed up. It’s a good idea to let people know that while costumes are encouraged, they are not required and that they will be welcomed at the party even if they are not in costume. There’s nothing worse than worrying you won’t fit in. Think outside the box. The eighties were full of stock brokers too, and that’s a pretty easy costume!

Food and Décor

I searched for 80s food and frankly couldn’t find any that was particularly representative of that era—at least not any I wanted for a party. Keep it simple and don’t stress about the food. For décor and general party atmosphere it sort of depends on the flavor of your 80s. My party was a prom theme so we named it ‘Pretty in Pink’ and had the DVD of the Molly Ringwold movie on a big TV screen. Later that same screen was used for a PacMan tournament. We made centerpieces out of cans of AquaNet and balloons (pink, of course). If you can get a few of your friends to donate pictures from the 80s, blow them up an set them around the party. The hairstyles alone spark hours of conversation.

It’s All About the Music

Between your friend’s music collections and an internet or cable radio 80s station, you should have no trouble getting a good selection of eighties music for your 80s theme party. For mine we hired a DJ, who had a great selection of Top 40. If you want anything at all alternative, you may need to provide your own music. If this is important to you, it’s a good idea to ensure the DJ’s system will accommodate your files before the party.

I hope you’ll add ideas to the comments. The 80s theme party idea’s time has come! Let’s party like it’s 1999—because that song TOTALLY came out in the eighties!\

Photo Credit: Lela Davidson


Submit a Comment

  • The Perfect Gift profile image

    The Perfect Gift 

    8 years ago from

    I love theme parties too.. check out the party favors from

  • Hendrika profile image


    9 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

    I love theme parties, but the eighties sort of passed me by because of some reasons. Another problem I have with the "era" parties is that the decades seem to blur in my mind and I end up wondering is this the sixties or was it the seventies? as happened when my son went to a sixties party last week.

  • JustanotherGirl profile image


    9 years ago from Knoxville, Tennessee

    I love theme parties. I'm definitely going to steal the AquaNet centrepiece idea.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)