The new series of The Crown - Charles and Di! - has prompted a wave of Eighties nostalgia for ra-ra skirts, wine bars, Essex Man and movies like Pretty Woman (hey, being a hooker ain't all bad).
But for those of us growing up in Northern Ireland, this iconic decade also had its own very unique spin...
Duran Duran, Wham!, the Smiths and U2 provided the soundtrack to our lives, but we always had an ear out for a Troubles pop song. To our emotionally charged adolescent minds these a) made us feel very special for surviving a war zone and b) singularly unfortunate to be coming of age in Portadown or Cookstown. Classics included Spandau Ballet's Through the Barricades, the Police's Invisible Sun and Simple Minds' Belfast Child. Cue hours spent in bedrooms poring over lyrics on album sleeves, trying to work out what foot, if any, the band kicked with - and whether you could still be a fan. For Prods, whose cause was never trendy, this led to much covert listening on the Sony Walkman.
This was the era of Thatcherism and bombs weren't going to stop you splashing the cash (or causing gentle ripples with £12.50). The only obstacle to spending Saturdays browsing the LPs in Harrison Musique and Golden Discs in Belfast was the ritual of the bomb on the railway line. A freezing wait for an ageing Ulsterbus, being left off miles from the city centre, a hike to the security gates, a search at the shop door and Hounds of Love was yours. Shopping in town centres was tricky because someone always had to sit in the car. You're still traumatised by that time your mother nipped off "for five minutes to do a message". When an unattended vehicle prompted a security alert and she was nowhere to be found, three soldiers reached in, let off the handbrake and pushed your car out of the danger zone. Mortifying. You're scarred by it yet.
This era brought forth superb Troubles dramas. Remember that sense of pride watching the Billy Plays when Big Norman thundered through a gaggle of paramilitaries in the back alley, sending them scattering? Or Harry's Game with that haunting, ethereal Clannad theme (that absolutely demanded the listener stare meaningfully into the middle distance). Now every cop show set in Anytown UK is filmed in Belfast, but back in the day you'd hardly hear an Ulster accent on the box, apart from the Beeb's political editor John Cole. True, there was Anne Gregg on the Holiday Show and Gordon Burns hosted the Krypton Factor, but they sounded quite English anyway. Which meant Caron Keating on Blue Peter was a thing of wonder, with her edgy fashion and fab Eighties hair. Though you were alarmed the BBC was receiving complaints about her accent. Which was exactly how you spoke, only posher.
4. Reality TV
Non-existent. The closest you got to seeing a pal on screen was if they popped up on Blockbusters demanding to have a P from an old man called Bob. The real reality TV came later in the evening when viewing was interrupted by the legend that is Julian Simmons with a police message: asking keyholders in Bangor to return to search their premises for incendiaries. Those appearances are why there's such residual affection for TV personalities like Julian today. He came through it with us.
5. Big events
It wasn't just Sir Bob Geldof who could pull a crowd for a cause. Never mind Live Aid, our teenage years saw numerous large gatherings. Granted, it wasn't a rock star line-up, but the Day of Action, hunger strike protests or Ulster Says No rally at City Hall certainly left an impression. They were strange days that felt like a mixture of a bank holiday and a painful reminder of what a weird place you were growing up in.
Still, there was always those sporting triumphs which brought us together, if only temporarily. Alex Higgins winning the World Championship in 1982 - when snooker actually meant something to the enthralled millions watching on television. Or Gerry Armstrong's goal against Spain in the World Cup that same year. Which almost made Dana and the squad's 'Yer Man' single bearable. Almost. (Google it on YouTube, if you dare). Amid the abnormality, the potency of these shared moments, songs and all, can never be forgotten.
7. Social life
Whatever that was. You had very little of this thing, but it still involved much time and energy. Before mobiles, contact with the outside world relied on the family landline. You'd get in from school and immediately phone those you'd been talking to all day. Except the phone was in the hall beside the living room door in the direct eyeline of your mother who patrolled the area as if it was Checkpoint Charlie. She'd eavesdrop briefly before grounding you for a week.
As Seamus Heaney said, whatever you say, say nothing. Eighties Northern Ireland was a shutdown, scary place. You got by on instinct. You just knew what areas not to stray into and not to tell anyone your mate's dad was a cop. Occasionally at school assembly, there'd be prayers for a pupil whose parent had been murdered. And when they returned to school, pale and hollowed out, you'd be gauche and at a loss as to what to say. You also had this innate sense of wanting to keep it all away from you. At a remove. Which is why that Saturday you'd be back waiting for a train to Belfast to buy LPs and a ruffled collar shirt just like Princess Di's (and Tony Hadley's).