10 ’80s Catchphrases That Are Still Quoted Today

10 ’80s Catchphrases That Are Still Quoted Today | Society Of Rock Videos

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The ’80s were a colorful era full of unique fashion, music, and language. Some of the catchphrases from that time have stuck with us, showing up in conversations even today. Here’s a look at 10 of those memorable phrases.

“Fer sure”

The catchphrase “Fer sure” captures a carefree and unabashed affirmation that was emblematic of the ’80s. It was less about simply agreeing with someone and more about embracing a particular lifestyle characterized by the laid-back, sunny dispositions of Southern California’s valley and surf cultures. By stretching out the syllables and injecting an enthusiastic inflection, the phrase conveys a sense of wholehearted agreement with a tinge of colorful personality. Even today, when someone utters “Fer sure” with that distinctive drawl, they invoke the playful spirit of an era that celebrated extravagance and teen subcultures.

“No duh”

The phrase “No duh” served as a quintessential verbal eye-roll. It’s a retort steeped in sarcastic undertones, usually directed at a statement that was painfully obvious. The beauty of this phrase lies in its brevity and biting simplicity, offering a crisp comeback to what might be perceived as a lack of common sense or a remark bordering on the naive. Although “No duh” reached the height of its popularity during the ’80s, it resonated well into the ’90s, layering itself into the fabric of youthful slang and sarcastic banter, becoming a go-to, tongue-in-cheek response that has managed to linger on the edges of modern conversation.


Delving into “Gnarly,” we find a term originally born from the lexicon of surf culture that quickly diffused across different social scenes. The word “Gnarly” paints a picture of something that goes beyond the ordinary, into the realm of the intense or formidable. Such a term could describe the curl of a massive wave, a difficult skateboard trick, or metaphorically, any life experience that’s particularly challenging or awe-inspiring. Its usage underscored a sense of admiration for things that were not just cool, but also had an edge of danger or complexity. Even today, “Gnarly” retains its bite, embodying a blend of respect and amazement that still resonates when describing extraordinary feats or situations.


When someone exclaimed “Psych!”—or its alternate spelling “Sike”—it had the air of playful deception. The word was the verbal equivalent of pulling the rug out from under someone, often used after leading a person to believe something only to reveal it as a joke. It’s reminiscent of the classic misdirection used among friends, from a fake promise of sharing treats to a high-five left hanging. This phrase allowed for a moment of light-hearted, mischievous interaction that can disarm with humor, showcasing how language can be wielded in jest.

“Like a boss”

Asserting oneself “Like a boss” came to define carrying out actions with supreme confidence and authority in the ’80s. It was most often used to acclaim someone’s ability to handle situations or perform tasks with exceptional prowess or style. The phrase transcends simple accomplishment; it represents a level of performance that’s both impressive and commanding. Today, “Like a boss” is still used to celebrate someone who dominates a challenge with flair, embodying the cool self-assurance that made the phrase a staple of ’80s lingo.

“Party on, dudes!”

Encapsulating the enduring ’80s ethos of living life to the fullest, “Party on, dudes!” is a rallying cry for continued celebration and enjoyment. The line skyrocketed to popularity thanks to its memorable delivery in culturally iconic films, epitomizing the exuberance and brotherhood that defined a generation’s approach to fun. Its insistence on embracing the present with gusto reflects a universal desire for good times and camaraderie, sustaining its use in pop culture as a timeless exhortation for joy and unity.

“Oh snap!”

The phrase “Oh snap!” remains an adaptable exclamation, voicing astonishment or disappointment with a pinch of urban flair. It bridges emotions in a single, concise outburst that easily slots into daily discourse, effectively capturing spontaneous reactions to unexpected situations. Whether expressing empathy for a misfortune or amazement at a clever twist, this catchphrase serves as a spontaneous verbalization of inner thoughts that provides both the speaker and listener a moment to acknowledge the shared surprise of the moment.

“That’s so rad”

Dialing it back to the passionate heart of surf and skate subcultures, “That’s so rad” continues to ride the wave of ’80s enthusiasm. Short for “radical,” “rad” is a slang iceberg—with most of its weighty implications hidden beneath a surface-level cool. The term signified not just an appreciation, but an accolade reserved for the truly spectacular or innovative. By reducing “radical” to “rad,” the ’80s youth encapsulated a huge amplitude of admiration within a three-letter bombshell that still detonates with positive vibes decades later.

“Like, whatever”

Resignation or aloof indifference gets no clearer than with “Like, whatever.” This phrase is a verbal shrug, often accompanied by an effortless flip of the hair or a nonchalant wave of the hand. It’s a declaration of detachment, a verbal boundary set to dismiss what’s deemed uninteresting or unworthy of further energy. The nonchalance implied by “Like, whatever” transcended its ’80s origin to become an enduring artifact of blasé attitude, embodying the universal sentiment of just not caring.

“Oh, My Goodness”


Sung into pop culture history, “Oh, My Goodness” is a slogan that captures the quintessential Valley Girl speak. It provides a glimpse into the world of mall-hopping teens, exuding a blend of astonishment and frivolity. The words feel almost like beads on a string, each syllable a part of the decade’s melodious slang. The evolution to “OMG” demonstrates how these expressions adapt to remain relevant, but the dramatic overtones of “Oh, My Goodness” remain a beloved relic from the days of neon leggings and big hair.

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