Tag Archives: 80’s

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


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)


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.


Clash of The Titans – Retro Tourist T-Shirt

funny clash of the titans t-shirt

clash of the titans movie poster 1981

Coast of the Titans: Visit Joppa: Here’s a pretty sweet design inspired by the original Clash of the Titans movie.

Starting with one of those tropical shirts that tourists wear, designer Hillary White made something pretty cool by incorporating Titans imagery including the bad-ass Kraken, and Pegasus; changing the tropical location to Queen Cassiopeia’s city of Joppa. (hey, maybe she’ll do another one featuring that mechanical owl, Bubo?)

The distressed filter on the design adds to the retro feel, reminding us this tee is clearly based on the original 1981 version of the movie.

Release the Kraken! (sorry, I had to say it) For sale over at teefury for one day.

Need cheap business cards or a deal on custom printing? There are a bunch of coupons over at customprintingdeals.com


Nostalgic Christmas Movie T-Shirts

griswold national lampoon christmas t-shirtseddie merry christmas shitter fullMerry Christmas! Sh#@%er Was Full! – Every time December comes around, I feel the need to watch a number of movies. Probably the top 3 are, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and “A Christmas Story.”

These movies aren’t especially good, but for some reason they have lodged themselves permanently into pop culture to the point that someone may accuse you of being Al-Qaeda if you hate them.

charlie brown christmas cola colaA Charlie Brown Christmas has a nice “anti-commercial” message, but the irony is that every 3 minutes the movie is interrupted by commercials. (Did you know the original version included product placement by Coca-Cola? After the opening title, Linus originally crashed into a sign for Coca-Cola after being thrown by Snoopy)

I bet 99 out of 100 people who lived through the 80’s can tell you what movie cousin Eddie’s famous lines like, “Merry Christmas, shitter was full!” came from. (But, unlike actual images from the movie it’s not copyrighted, so you can incorporate it into a t-shirt design) A number of online t-shirt stores, including 80s Tees have these, and I’m sure they sell a lot this time of year.

Anyway, whether they are great movies or not, they spark nostalgia in a many of us, enough to the point that we might even buy a t-shirt for a friend or family member to remind them of some laughs we shared years ago. Next time you watch a well known pop culture classic movie, think whether there is t-shirt design material in any of the famous lines! (you serious, Clark?)

more christmas commercialism: harry & david busted tees wolferman’s


Mister Black Tee T-Shirts

Big Robot T-Shirt

Big Robot T-Shirt

anime cartoon characters

112 anime retro cartoon characters on one t-shirt!

Cool Ghostbusters T-shirt

Cool Ghostbusters T-shirt - Who You Gonna Call?

1980s t-shirt

1980s Pop Culture T-shirt - ¿Quien es malo?

mister black tee logo

Mister Black Tee

I love finding out about great t-shirt shops online that I’ve never heard of. Spanish t-shirt shop Mister Black Tee is just that. Above are a few of there newer designs with some cool American pop culture references like Ghost Busters. (how many 80s characters do you recognize in the shirt above?)

For someone like myself who grew up watching these 80s movies, it’s really cool to see them reinterpreted in these creative t-shirt designs. (Would these designs be even cooler to me if the text was en Espanol?) There is even a design on the site featuring famous movie directors and one with little anime drawings of retro cartoons. (112 personajes de dibujos animados – desde 1962 hasta 1997)

tarantino t-shirt

Mira! Tarantino!

I’m not an expert on copyright law, but I’d say that they have done a great job with the retro-looking illustrations; alluding to the characters in these movies without getting in trouble for using actual movie names or pictures of actors.

They also have some great paper toys under their “Goodies” section.” Check out their shop at Mbtee.com


Malgusto T-shirts

Malgusto Cult Movie T-Shirts
Although “malgusto” is Spanish for “bad taste,” their t-shirt designs are pretty sweet:

west reanimator t-shirt Herbert West Reanimator T-Shirt

plan 9 movie t-shirtPlan 9 From Outer Space – Movie t-shirt

Big Lebowski T-shirt

The Big Lebowski

Malgusto t-shirt company describes themselves as, “a heartless corporation that, sick of not finding out movie based t-shirts that we liked, decide to produce them by ourselves, jeopardizing our personal fortunes.”

They feature t-shirt designs with colorful retakes on cult classic movies. Besides the t-shirts featured above, they have pretty sweet designs for Night of the Creeps, Evil Dead, Robo Cop, The Big Lebowski, and Big Trouble in Little China among others.

Priced in Euros, these American Apparel tees ship from Spain, making shipping fees a little salty here in the U.S. — In any event, they seem to be doing well, so if you have some spare Euros in your jeans, pick one up at malgusto.info!


Chop Shop puts the films of the 80’s on a t-shirt in splendid icon form.

If you are a fan of 80’s movies and like it whittled down to icon form on a t-shirt, you’re in luck. Chop Shop has the shirt for you. Plus, the icons are arranged in a symbolic 8!

Can you name them all? I’m trying, but if I were you, I would buy this shirt so you can wear it and solicit the help of friends and strangers.

Grab it here at Chop Shop