Dads Through The Decades: Meet ’80s Dad

Dads Through The Decades

We’ve been thinking about dads. While no two dads are exactly alike, our memories of them – what they looked like, what we watched together, the music they played in the car – are a product of their time.

With that in mind, we embarked on our Dads Through The Decades project, asking you to share your memories of your Dad in the decade of your youth.

Those stories (combined with a few of our own) are helping us to create some fantastic paper doll style illustrations of ‘Dad’ stretching back from the ‘00s to the ‘50s – just in time for Father’s Day.


Meet ’80s Dad

‘80s Dad might not have had the internet, but he was still ahead of the curve when it came to technology.

Like everyone else, he toyed with the idea of Betamax… but still stuck with VHS.

Long before every bit of film ever shot was just a YouTube search or a Netflix account away, ‘80s Dad had the best video library known to man. Each VHS was painstakingly labeled with a handwritten sticker. Want to watch the episode of Mr. Bean with the diving board? How about Knight Rider? Or Jim Bowen give away a shedload of Bendy Bullys? ‘80s Dad had you covered.

And long before Google or 24-hour coverage on TV, ‘80s Dad could get his news from Ceefax – anytime, day or night.

If he was a true early adopter, he might have had a mobile phone… even if they were the size of a brick.

And whilst he was walking around with the weight of his phone dragging him down, ‘80s Dad was the best dressed man in town.

He had the Miami Vice yacht club style down to a T. Light coloured suits lined his wardrobe, always combined with pastel toned t-shirts underneath. A sweet pair of loafers completed the look.

He wasn’t afraid to mix things up and rock some double denim, too. Or go full Top Gun with a bomber jacket and aviator shades.

And if ‘80s Dad ever doubted his skills as a father, then he only had to look as far as the silver screen to see that, compared to movie dads, he was doing a great job. After all, Henry Jones Sr. nearly got Indy killed by Nazis. Wayne Szalinski shrunk the kids. And Darth Vader, well…

‘80s Dad admired your budding artistic flair when you showed him your latest Spirograph-assisted masterpieces. He didn’t question why the one thing you took to bed with you to ward off nightmares was a terrifying looking My Pet Monster.

Let’s face it, ‘80s Dad was nothing without his music. He fished The Police’s ‘Message In A Bottle’ from the radio waves. Blondie could call him (anytime). And he was pretty sure that he’d be guaranteed an invitation to join the cocktail parties at Club Tropicana.

When your birthday rolled around each year, ‘80s Dad threw a party for you, your friends, and the rest of the gang (Alf, Teddy Ruckspin, and the Cabbage Patch Kids – that even had their own suitcase packed for family holidays).

He took you all to the local arcade for a couple of hours of eating Pac-dots and avoiding ghosts with Pac-Man, then headed home for a feast that included cheese & pineapple on a stick, sausage rolls, and Viennetta.

After that, ‘80s Dad set up the disco, complete with lights, and showed you how it was done.

‘80s Dad: the best Agadoo dancer. Ever.


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