Tag Archives: 1980s

napoleon dynamite pop culture

Flippin’ Sweet: Why Napoleon Dynamite is Still a Cultural & Fashion Icon

Napoleon Dynamite is Still a Cultural and Fashion Icon – When Napoleon Dynamite came out in 2004, everyone thought the little indie movie was going to fly under the radar. But, despite a tiny budget of only $400,000, it grew wildly out of control and earned a staggering $46.1 million.

Overnight, everyone was quoting every line of dialogue from the film. Plus the quirky “norm core” looks turned Napoleon into a fashion icon.

Now, more than 10 years later, the fever for the film may have cooled but Napoleon Dynamite is still a phenomenon.

Here’s why.

80s Wave Fashion Icon

Have you noticed the 80s have come back big time? The neon retro-future has hit its stride in the 2010s but was predicted back in 04 by Napoleon Dynamite.

How did Napoleon become a fashion icon? Beyond blowing up big time at the box office, it had everyone feeling a bit nostalgic

Let’s go over the classics that made the movie a master class in Idaho couture.

Vote For Pedro

The most recognized of all the looks from the movie, the Vote for Pedro tee is the gold standard.

The white ringer tee with iron-on red letters is ultra nostalgic. Who didn’t have a little league shirt that looked just like it?

Plenty of people wore this shirt ironically and yet…they wanted to be part of this uncool cool club.

napoleon dynamite patriotic pantsPatriotic Pants (Rex Kwon Do)

Remember the hilarious dojo scene? Of course you do – all because of those Rex Kwon Do pants.

In the quotable scene, Rex promises that his own brand of martial arts can bring you “…the STRENGTH of a grizzly, the reflexes of a PUMA, and the wisdom of a man.”

Unabashedly patriotic plus roomy enough for roundhouse kicks, you want to rock this look at every summer backyard BBQ.

Rex Kwon Do pants had an ironic edge to them as well and yet can you deny Rex is your personal style sensei?

napoleon dynamite deb

Puffy In Pink

Deb’s debut at the dance was memorable for so many reasons. The crimped hair, the side ponytail, and that puffy pink dress.

The director based the story on his own experience in Idaho, a place where time moves a little slower and fashion lingers long after its expiration date.

So while Deb may seem a bit behind the times, she was a fashion icon back then – and is still one now.

The excess of the 80s is making a comeback and with it, big sleeves and bright pink. Take a tip from Deb who was way ahead of the curve.

Besides, Napoleon liked her “real big” sleeves. Ladies, take note!

Moon Boots

These are the foundation of the Napoleon Dynamite style. If you want to rock the look, you must have a tucked in printed tee, dad jeans, and a pair of sweet moon boots.

Would Napoleon have been able to dance his way to victory without them? Probably not.

Moon boots, puffy sleeves, ironic tees, and Rex Kwon Do pants – Napoleon Dynamite set the trends.

We’ll never stop quoting it and the fashion has stuck with us all these years. This movie is worth its weight in tots, it’s so good. Flippin’ sweet.


Photo credits: Napoleon Dynamite, Fox Searchlight

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18 Classic Pop Culture Cars on One Radical T-Shirt

classic cars pop culture t-shirt

inspector gadgetClassic cars of Pop Culture T-shirt: Can you guess them all? In many popular movies and cartoons of the 1980’s, the cars were as big of a character as any of the people. So, why not illustrate the best of them and put them on one t-shirt? (I can’t think of a reason; except that it might take you a week)

If you’re the type of person who likes to have people squint and stare at your chest, this t-shirt might be a good investment, and you’re in luck;

Also interesting to consider that nearly all of the movies that featured memorable automobiles from the 80’s spawned sequels modern remakes; I’m struggling to find one on this design that didn’t! (Maybe that’s all that Howard the Duck needed to be a hit? You know, like a “Duckmobile” or something?)

greased lightning carAlso, the way things are headed, it looks like we might get a modern day remake of The Cold War to go with our remixed 80’s pop culture.

Anyway, if you grew up in the 80’s and think you’re pretty sharp, try naming all of the classic cars featured on this nostalgic shirt. (OK, there are a few automobiles that aren’t from the 80’s mixed in)

I’ve put the answers below, but don’t cheat! Be sure to share this with friends, and see who scores the highest. By the way, I thought that #6 was the hardest; it’s not from the 80’s, so here’s a big clue:

lost show van

Answers: (don’t peek!)

Speed Racer • Jurassic Park • Back to the Future • Toy Story • Ghostbusters • LOST • Scooby Doo • Dukes of Hazzard • Breaking Bad • Inspector Gadget • Dumb and Dumber • Batman • Grease • The Jetsons • Transformers • Flintstones • The Love Bug • The A-Team


Another coupon: Speaking of automobiles, you can get 30% off at Advance Auto Parts + free shipping with this coupon! (Sorry, they don’t carry Delorean parts)

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Funkalicious: Retro 80’s Astronaut w/ Boom Box T-Shirt Design

retro 80s moon landing astronaut boom box

funkalicious shirt astronaut 80sFunkalicious – Threadless churns out its share of cool retro-inspired t-shirts, but this has to be one of the best, and is sure to take it’s place as an iconic design.

For those of us who grew up in the 80’s it immediately brings to mind that old MTV clip with the astronaut jumping on the moon.

Well, fast-forward to the future; MTV sucks, and we’ve outsourced our space program. Maybe that’s why I have such nostalgia for this design?

It also works because of the effortless simplicity in the design, and that’s what you find in most iconic t-shirt designs. It looks like the artist, Chris Golebiowski, didn’t have to try to hard to hit this home run, either.


I also remember calling those radios, “ghetto-blasters,” by the way; a term which apparently didn’t survive the invention of “political correctness.” (but the Cleveland Indians logo did!?) You can pick up one of these Funkalicious, moon man t-shirts over at threadless for about $20.


Do you have a bunch of digital photos that need to be printed, or might work on a t-shirt? Check out these coupons for up to 50% off at snapfish.

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Cool Rubik’s Cube Meltdown T-shirt

melting rubiks cube t-shirt

Melting Rubik’s Cube T-Shirt – What a cool visual in this t-shirt design showing Rubik’s cube melting down. Beyond the visual, this imagery has some nice symbolism in it. Maybe accompanying a story about the meltdown of negotiations in the Middle East or something. To me it symbolizes “entropy,” which is the tendency of things to move from order to chaos. (like an ice cube or the universe itself)

Anyway, I’m probably reading into that too much, but a sweet design. Also, this t-shirt was apparently worn by Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory. Nice little tv exposure there. Sold online at glennz.com

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