The following is a thorough and completely arbitrary ranking of my favorite extremely specific film phenomenon: The 80s Movie Montage. Rankings are based on the objective, scientific critera of "Total Aggregate 80sness." Enjoy!

8. Footloose - Learning To Dance

Footloose is already in the Overwhelming 80sness Hall Of Fame simply for the Kevin Bacon warehouse scene, but the movie actually includes an EVEN MORE absurdly 80s-ey montage where he teaches the locals to dance that hits all the 80s montage staples: Happy synthesizers, gradual improvement, reaction shots of Kevin Bacon shaking his head in a "they'll never get this right!" way, passage of time leading into a sunset, you name it!

If that's the "dancing" John Lithgow wanted to ban, I can totally see his argument. How is that fun for any of these characters? Either way, nice sticktoitiveness, KB!

KEY MOMENT - Whatever this is:

"Hey John Lithgow Preacher Guy, what you do think of THIS???"

"Uh... is that dancing? I guess I'm... against it, then? Technically?"


7. Ghostbusters - Theme Song

This is the classic "show the characters getting more and more famous" montage, as the Ghostbusters skyrocket from having one client ever to being on the cover of Time, every NY Newspaper, Casey Kasem's countdown, and being interviewed by a still-old-looking-even-then Larry King:

All of this does whimsically gloss over the fact that the entire world is REMARKABLY okay with the knowledge that GHOSTS ARE REAL AND ARE EVERYWHERE.

KEY MOMENT - The never-not-awkward Dan Aykroyd ghost BJ:

I've seen this movie probably around 100 times, and every time this scene happens there's an awkward "ohhh yeah, forgot this happens!" realization. Wonder who pitched this scene?


6. Teen Wolf - "Win In The End"

The Michael J. Fox magnum opus Teen Wolf concludes with a climactic basketball scene where the titular wolfman heroically decides to play the game as HIMSELF, not as a suddenly-very-good-at-basketball lycanthrophe. What's most striking about this big triumphant ending, besides the thumping synth beat, is the fact that the montage is SO FUCKING LONG. It's basically a basketball game in realtime, complete with guys missing shots and the 'bad guy' team still scoring some points so it's not too unbelievably uplifting.

Also note that Michael J. Fox is wearing #42, since he's basically the Jackie Robinson of Wolfmen:

KEY MOMENT - Francis from Pee Wee's Big Adventure knocks down a clutch free throw to ignite the comeback montage:

See? MJF playing as a human is so inspiring, even the shitty Pee Wee villain turns into friggin' Robert Horry.

(Random Sidenote: That "Win In The End" song sounds a LOT like the Strokes' "Machu Picchu". We can discuss this in a separate list of Strokes Songs That Sound Like Inspirational Wolf Movie Themes.)