Bad Boys of the ’80s

If you’re anything like me, then you’re all about the cinematic bad boys. According to an article I read in Cosmo, women like bad boys because we like the challenge of the change. While this may be true for some girls wielding baggage of daddy issues, I think it’s far simpler than that. I think we like them because there’s a little bit of bad in all of us that we like to retreat to when we’ve just been too good—or when we’ve had a couple cocktails. I love movies from the ‘80s because the bad boys are edgier and real. Here are four of my favorite on-screen bad boys.

Matt Dillon as Dallas Winston in The Outsiders (1983)


Admittedly, it has been a really long time since I’ve seen this movie, but I’ll do my best to reminisce on this bad boy. He sports a leather jacket, carries a switch blade, and smokes in a hospital. I mean what more could a girl want? He takes pleasure in bullying little kids, but he’s fiercely loyal to his friends. When he’s gunned down by police, we see the soft side of a misunderstood kid.






Kiefer Sutherland as Ace Merrill in Stand by Me (1986)


Ace falls more on the villain side of the bad boy scale because there isn’t a good side that is revealed. But still, he’s got us swooning with his ‘50s hairstyle and his hardcore attitude. And who could forget the part where he’s involved in a game of chicken, heading full speed into a truck that swerves out of the way at the last minute. That twisted smirk has got a girl all hot and bothered.


Charlie Sheen as Ricky Vaughn in Major League (1989)



Bad attitude baseball player Ricky Vaughn gives zero shits about anything. Of course, this was when Charlie Sheen was younger and cooler. Right after he was fired from Two-and-a-half Men he looked like he had aged fifty years over night. So I prefer to remember him fondly as dangerous Ricky Vaughn in tight baseball pants. Or, as “guy at the police station” in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) where he again, plays a bad boy arrested for drugs of some sort. Love it.

Judd Nelson as John Bender in The Breakfast Club (1985)


This movie is always a crowd pleaser. We love the way John Bender constantly over-steps his bounds and how he makes conversations go from funny to painfully real. In a couple moments of weakness when his good nature is revealed, we feel sorry for him, and I think that’s the major swoon factor. That, and the fact that his clothing makes him the epitome of the ‘80s bad boy; jean jacket, fingerless gloves, plaid button-up, ripped jeans. And don’t even get me started on the hair.







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