What Happened in 1984 – Trivia, Movies, Songs, TV Shows, Born In

Trivia, Movies, Songs, Sports, Celebrities Born In 1984, News, Fun Facts and more.

Ever wonder, “What Happened in 1984?”

Well if you if you are planning a birthday party for friends or family, 1980s trivia game night, wedding anniversary event, class reunion or just interested in 1984 movies, music, tv, famous people born, trivia and fun facts; well you are in luck. Party Game Ideas has pulled together a list of news and interesting facts that happened in 1984, so you can create trivia games or activities based on 1984 facts.

1984 Items – Page Topics Listed in Order
1984 History & News, 1984 Fun Facts
1984 Top Movies, Notable Quotes, Top 40 Songs of 1984, Sports
Celebrities Born in 1984, Top TV Shows of 1984, Saturday Morning Cartoons
What Did Things Cost in 1984, and a handy Calendar at the bottom of the page.

1984 History & News

  • President Ronald Reagan wins re-election by defeating Walter Mondale.
  • Bishop Desmond Tutu wins Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Indian Prime minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated.
  • After 117 years, the US formally re-established diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
  • Soviet leader Yuri Andropov dies at 69.
  • Astronaut Bruce McCandless makes the first un-tethered space walk outside of the space shuttle Challenger.
  • U.S. Embassy in Beirut is bombed killing 12 people.
  • San Ysidro McDonald’s shooting leaves 21 innocent people dead and 19 injured. The gunman was also killed.
  • Geraldine Ferraro becomes the first woman Vice President nominee on a major US political party. She was Walter Mondale’s running mate.
  • AT&T’s 22 local service companies finally breaks up into 7 regional Baby Bells allowing customers more choices and lower prices for long distance calls.
  • USSR and soviet block countries boycott the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angles in retaliation for the US boycotting the 1980 games in Russia.
  • Time Person of the Year: Peter Ueberroth

Interesting Trivia & Fun Facts about 1984

  • Mary Lou Retton needed and scored a perfect 10 on the vault to win Olympic Gold and becomes America’s sweetheart and a gymnastics’ legend.
  • Howard Cosell retires from ABC’s Monday Night Football.
  • The first syndicated version of Jeopardy! airs in 1984 with Alex Trebek as the host.
  • Ice Skating pair Torvill and Dean of England win hearts and Olympic gold in Sarajevo.
  • Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” commercial is released and creates an iconic catch phrase, increases sales and makes Clara Peller a celebrity.
  • With the release of Madonna’s Borderline video mesh tops become a rebellious teen fashion must have.
  • MTV hosts the very first MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall. (Sept. 14)
  • The first Papa John’s Pizza open in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
  • Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl ad – The Orwellian 1984 themed “Why 1984 won’t be like 1984” Macintosh computer ad elevates Super Bowl commercials to something people want to watch.
  • Miami Vice premieres on NBC and become a hit and fashion influencer. Men started wearing more blazers, Ray Ban Wayfarers, pastel colors and shoulder padded jackets.
  • Joe Kittinger is the first solo balloonist to cross the Atlantic.
  • Personal care company Burt’s Bees was founded in Maine.
  • McDonald’s serves up its 50 billionth hamburger!
  • The first Air Jordan are produced in late 1984 for Michael Jordan. Nike would then released the 1st version for sale to the public in April of 1985.
  • Hair styling mousse was released in 1983 but became a must have hair accessory in 1984.
  • Androgynous looks become the norm in music with Boy George, Annie Lenox, Grace Jones, Nick Rhodes , Prince and others breaking gender norms.
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal is released.
  • Neon, neon, neon – Shirts, socks, scarfs and more take on vibrant hues. The Wham video “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” totally captures the neon trend.
  • Dell computer company is founded in Austin Texas.
  • Michael Jackson’s hair caught fire while filming a Pepsi commercial. Embers from a pyrotechnics landed in his hair and as a result he suffered burns on his scalp and face leaving him permanently scarred. (Jan. 27)
  • Freddy Krueger makes falling asleep a risky proposition when A Nightmare on Elm Street is released in November.
  • Top pop musicians came together (Band Aid) to sing “Do They Know Its Christmas?” which raise money for those suffering from famine in Africa.

World Population – 4,756,000,000

Top Movies 1984 – US Box Office in millions

This list represents the earnings of movies that were released in 1984. We feature the top grossing movies of 1984 and other movies that were very memorable or are now notable decades after they first hit the big screen.

1. Beverly Hills Cop $234.8
2. Ghostbusters $229.2
3. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom $179.9
4. Gremlins $148.2
5. The Karate Kid $90.8
6. Police Academy $81.2
7. Footloose $80.0
8. Romancing the Stone $76.6
9. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock $76.5
10. Splash $69.8
11. Purple Rain $68.3
12. Amadeus $51.6
13. Tightrope $48.1
14. The Natural $48
15. Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes $45.8
16. Revenge of the Nerds $40.9

Other notable 1984 movies:
Bachelor Party, Red Dawn, The Terminator, Dune, Sixteen Candles, The NeverEnding Story, A Nightmare on Elm Street

The Terminator wasn’t a blockbuster hit when it was released in 1984, it made $38.4 million dollars at the box office. However Arnold Schwarzenegger had a strong on-screen presence, iconic catch phrases, and the story was so intriguing that they have made five more Terminator films.

Director John Hughes movie Sixteen Candles is released and is one of many releases that result in him becoming the king of teen 80s movies. His hits include Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

  • 1984 Academy Award for Best Picture – Terms of Endearment
  • 1984 Best Actor – Robert Duvall for Tender Mercies
  • 1984 Best Actress – Shirley MacLaine for Terms of Endearment

Since the Academy Awards honors films from the past year, rather than the current year we include who won the Oscars in 1984 on our 1983 trivia page as well. This way you know if any of the big movies of 84 won any awards.

  • 1985 Academy Award for Best Picture – Amadeus
  • 1985 Best Actor – F. Murray Abraham for Amadeus
  • 1985 Best Actress – Sally Field for Places in the Heart

Notable Quotes from 1984

“My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”
– President Ronald Reagan – He was testing his microphone before his weekly address and didn’t realize it was “live.” Thankful it was not a true statement, but it did cause concern.

“Whatever you do… don’t fall asleep.”
– Nancy’s warning to Glen in A Nightmare on Elm Street

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Top 40 Songs of 1984

Ratings are based on Hot 100 Charts from 1984 rankings by Billboard

No. 1. Song of 1984 – “When Doves Cry” Prince
2. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” Tina Turner
3. “Say Say Say” Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
4. “Footloose” Kenny Loggins
5. “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” Phil Collins
6. “Jump” Van Halen
7. “Hello” Lionel Richie
8. “Owner of a Lonely Heart” Yes
9. “Ghostbusters” Ray Parker Jr.
10. “Karma Chameleon” Culture Club
11. “Missing You” John Waite
12. “All Night Long (All Night)” Lionel Richie
13. “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” Deniece Williams
14. “Dancing in the Dark” Bruce Springsteen
15. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” Cyndi Lauper
16. “The Reflex” Duran Duran
17. “Time After Time” Cyndi Lauper
18. “Jump (For My Love)” The Pointer Sisters
19. “Talking in Your Sleep” The Romantics
20. “Self Control” Laura Branigan
21. “Let’s Go Crazy” Prince & the Revolution
22. “Say It Isn’t So” Daryl Hall & John Oates
23. “Hold Me Now” Thompson Twins
24. “Joanna” Kool & the Gang
25. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” Stevie Wonder
26. “Somebody’s Watching Me” Rockwell
27. “Break My Stride” Matthew Wilder
28. “99 Luftballons” Nena
29. “I Can Dream About You” Dan Hartman
30. “The Glamorous Life” Sheila E.
31. “Oh Sherrie” Steve Perry
32. “Stuck on You” Lionel Richie
33. “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” Elton John
34. “She Bop” Cyndi Lauper
35. “Borderline” Madonna
36. “Sunglasses at Night” Corey Hart
37. “Eyes Without a Face” Billy Idol
38. “Here Comes the Rain Again” Eurythmics
39. “Uptown Girl” Billy Joel
40. “Sister Christian” Night Ranger

Interesting Facts:
Tina Turner makes a comeback. The 60s soul queen icon, released her first solo album Private Dancer and had the second biggest hit of the year with “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

Purple Rain – Five weeks after Prince’s Purple Rain album was released it reach No. 1 on the album chart. The album then spent 24 consecutive weeks at No. 1 and 32 weeks in the Top Ten. It is one of the best selling and highly praised soundtracks of all time.

Other notable songs that came out in 1984 include:
“The Heart of Rock & Roll” #44 by Huey Lewis and the News, “Islands in the Stream” #56 by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, “Love is a Battlefield” #57 by Pat Benatar, “Legs” #60 by ZZ Top.

Need 1980s Music for a birthday party or event. Check out 80s Forever playlist on Spotify with around 300 hit songs from the 80s!

80s Forever 80s Music Playlist

1984 – What Happened in Sports

  • Football – Super Bowl XVIII – Los Angeles Raiders defeated Washington Redskins 38-9
  • Walter Payton breaks Jim Browns rushing record on October 7
  • In the darkness of March 28-29, the NFL’s Baltimore Colts left for Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Horse Racing – Kentucky Derby – Swale
  • Ice Hockey – Stanley Cup – Edmonton Oilers defeated New York Islanders 4 games to 1
  • NBA Finals – Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 3
  • Golf – U.S. Open – Fuzzy Zoeller
  • Tennis
    Wimbledon Championships – Men’s John McEnroe, Women’s Martina Navratilova
    US Open – Men’s John McEnroe, Women’s Martina Navratilova
  • Baseball – World Series – Detroit Tigers defeated San Diego Padres 4 games to 1 games.
  • Doc Gooden becomes known as Dr. K by striking out 276 batters and setting a modern MLB record during his rookie season.
  • Tour de France: Laurent Fignon


  • Football
    Orange Bowl: January 2, 1984 – Miami Hurricanes defeated Nebraska
    Rose Bowl: January 2, 1984 – UCLA defeated Illinois
    Sugar Bowl : January 2, 1984 – Auburn defeated Michigan
    Cotton Bowl : January 2, 1984 – Georgia defeated Texas
  • Men’s Division 1 Basketball – Georgetown defeats Houston 84 – 75

Celebrities Born in 1984

These celebrities and famous people were all born in 1984! You’ll be surprised at how many household names were born in the mid-80s.

Scarlett Johansson is how old
Scarlett Johansson

Prince Harry How Old Is Harry When Born
Prince Harry

Lebron James was Born in 1984
Lebron James

How old is Kate McKinnon SNL Born 1984
Kate McKinnon

Katy Perry When was She Born
Katie Perry

How old is Noah Trevor when was Trevor Born
Trevor Noah

More Celebrities and Famous People Born in 1984

  • Kid Cudi (Rapper)
  • Matt Duffer (Co-Creator of Stranger Things)
  • Ross Duffer (Co-Creator of Stranger Things)
  • America Ferrera
  • Calvin Harris
  • Luke Grimes
  • Theo James
  • Khloe Kardashian
  • Avril Lavigne
  • Ryan Lochte (Olympic Swimmer)
  • Mandy Moore
  • Aubrey Plaza
  • T-Pain (Rapper)
  • Trey Songz
  • Cecily Strong (SNL)
  • Lindsey Vonn (Skier)
  • Olivia Wilde
  • Mark Zuckerberg

Top Baby Names of 1984

  • Girls Names – Jennifer, Jessica, Ashley, Amanda, Sarah
  • Boys Names – Michael, Christopher, Matthew, Joshua, David

Hosting a Baby Shower? Consider some of our unique baby shower games including Bad Baby Advice, 100 of Baby Name Trivia and Baby Shower Taboo.

Most Popular US TV Shows of 1984

We include the US Top 20 TV shows for two seasons, since they are different. Interesting to see the shows shift in popularity over the course of one year. The number after the show is the number of average viewers per week in millions. Numbers based on Neilson Media.

Top TV Shows of 1983 – 1984 Season
1. Dallas CBS 25.7
2. 60 Minutes CBS 24.2
3. Dynasty ABC 24.1
4. The A-Team NBC 24.0
5. Simon & Simon CBS 23.8
6. Magnum, P.I. CBS 22.4
7. Falcon Crest CBS 22.0
8. Kate & Allie CBS 21.9
9. Hotel ABC 21.1
10. Cagney & Lacey CBS 20.9
11. Knots Landing CBS 20.8
12T. ABC Sunday Night Movie ABC 20.4
12T. ABC Monday Night Movie
14. TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes NBC 20.3
15. AfterMASH CBS 20.1
16. The Fall Guy ABC 19.9
17. The Love Boat ABC 19.0
18. Riptide NBC 18.8
19. The Jeffersons CBS 18.6
20. Scarecrow & Mrs. King CBS 18.3

The start of the 1984-85 TV Season launched what later became to be know as NBC’s Thursday Night Must See TV line up. NBC had languished for many years behind CBS and ABC, but with the launch of “The Cosby Show” they were able to draw in and keep audiences. Thursday night would belong to NBC starting in the mid-80s and that title would hold strong for almost 20 years with hits like Cheers, Seinfeld, ER, and others. It wasn’t until Friends went off the air 2004 that NBC’s Thursday night dominance ended.

Top TV Shows of 1984 – 1985 Season
1. Dynasty ABC 25.0
2. Dallas CBS 24.7
3. The Cosby Show NBC 24.2
4. 60 Minutes CBS 22.2
5. Family Ties NBC 22.1
6. The A-Team NBC 21.9
7. Simon & Simon CBS 21.8
8. Murder, She Wrote CBS 20.1
9. Knots Landing CBS 20.0
10T. Falcon Crest CBS 19.9
10T. Crazy Like a Fox CBS
12T. Hotel ABC 19.7
12T. Cheers NBC
14. Riptide NBC 19.2
15. Magnum, P.I. CBS 19.1
16. Newhart CBS 18.4
17. Kate & Allie CBS 18.3
18. NBC Monday Night Movie NBC 18.2
19. Highway to Heaven NBC 17.7
20. Night Court NBC 17.6

Popular Saturday Morning Cartoons & Shows in 1984

  • Super Friends
  • The Smurfs
  • Scooby and Scrappy Doo
  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Bugs Bunny & Road Runner
  • Snorks
  • Flintstone Funnies
  • Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies
  • Shirt Tales
  • Mr. T
  • Get Along Gang

Notable Games and Toys of 1984 

These are toys and games that were popular during the mid 80s or just released in 1984.

  • Tetris was released in June and the block building game quickly became a hit.
  • My Little Pony
  • Care Bears
  • Cabbage Patch Kids
  • Rainbow Brite
  • He-Man Masters of the Universe Toys
  • Transformers
  • GoBots
  • Gremlins toys 

What did things cost in 1984

Check out this 1984 prices for food, gas, and even gold. Keep in mind that these tend to be average prices for an item in the US during the year. Things like bacon, gas, eggs and milk often fluctuate during the year by as much as 10-20%, so we average out the price. For gold we use the end of year price. When possible we used US Govt. Economic data.

  • Stamp $0.22
  • Loaf of bread $0.65
  • Dozen Eggs $1.00
  • Sliced Bacon 1 lb. $1.85
  • Gallon of Milk $2.18
  • Gallon of Gas $1.16
  • Movie Ticket $3.36
  • Minimum Wage $3.35
  • Ounce of Gold $308
  • Apple Macintosh computer $2,500
  • New Car $11,299
  • Cost of a 30 second Super Bowl ad in 1984 $368,200
  • Cost of a gigabyte of data storage $171,500

Most likely if you are searching for fun facts, trivia, and What Happened in 1984, you are getting ready to plan a big event like a birthday celebration for a spouse or close friend. We hope that our 1984 trivia, fun facts, top movies, top 40 songs of 1984 and other information was helpful and interesting.

If you are hosting a birthday party for someone Born in 1984, be sure to check out these party decorations that will help make your event extra special.

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1984 Calendar

Want to know on what day of the week someone was born, an anniversary or just need to check out a specific date from 1984? Then check out our 12 month 1984 calendar.

1984 Calendar Month Days

Thanks for visiting our What Happened in 1984 Trivia page. We hope you had fun reliving the movies, top songs & music, tv shows, actors born in 1984, fun facts and other items from 1984. We created a graphic so you can save this page on Pinterest.

What Happened in 1984 Songs Movies Celebrities Born 1984