’80s Teen Movie Characters: Where Are They Now?


What would Say Anything… look like in 2011? It hadn’t occurred to us that the 1989 film needed to be remade, but at a recent Television Critics Association event, Cameron Crowe admitted that he was considering a sequel. “I’ve thought about it from time to time and talked about it with John Cusack once and just said this is the only story that I kind of think there might be another chapter to that at some point,” he said. That got us thinking about where Lloyd Dobler and our other favorite ’80s teen movie characters would be now. Our best guesses are after the jump.

Lloyd Dobler, Say Anything…

The last time we checked in on Lloyd Dobler, his plans for the future didn’t involve much more than kickboxing and Diane Court. This may have sounded short-sighted at the time, but that was before kickboxing took off as the pre-Pilates workout of choice for America’s moneyed classes. Lloyd opened a small gym in the early ’90s, and by the end of the decade, Body by Dobler had grown into a national franchise with over 100 locations, aided by its reputation for playing really good workout music. He is, of course, still with Diane, and her father still doesn’t approve — although since, as an elderly ex-con, he’s completely dependent on the couple financially, there isn’t much he can do about it.

Lane Meyer, Better Off Dead

Convinced by his love affair with Monique that he’s not so much better off dead as better off in France, Lloyd Dobler’s doppelganger spent his college years in Paris. He majored in — what else? — philosophy and soon became captivated by the Existentialists. Inevitably, he spent a few bummer years as a cliché, with a closet full of black turtlenecks and a seemingly permanent residency at a local outdoor café. But after a few years of the intellectual life (read: poverty), Lane returned to the US to help his high-school pal Charles get over a the very real substance abuse problem he developed after moving out of suburbia. It took nearly losing a friend to get our anti-hero’s head out of his ass; these days, we hear he’s a ski instructor.

Andie Walsh, Pretty in Pink

Believe it or not, Andie’s thing with Blane didn’t last. But by the time she realized what a complete and total fool she had been, Duckie wasn’t interested, either. So Andie ended up spending some time alone that summer, and all that time at TRAX convinced her to pick up an electric guitar and try writing some of her own music. Her career really took off in the early ’90s, when she moved to Olympia after college, went radical, and formed a riot-grrrl band. (Hey, she already had the wardrobe for it.) These days, she’s viewed as a sort of elderstateswoman to punk-rock ladies everywhere and runs a successful Etsy business selling her own whimsical, handmade, ’80s-retro clothing line.

Allison Reynolds, The Breakfast Club

With the support of her new jock boyfriend, Allison broke out of her crazy-girl stereotype and embraced what made her unique — without scaring the shit out of her peers. This breakthrough came to define her life, as Allison studied psychology in an attempt to reach other “at-risk” youth who show up for weekend detention purely because they have nothing else to do. Eventually, she became a pioneer of the “life coaching” field and published the bestselling memoir I Was a Teenage Basket Case. As for Andrew, she dumped him the summer before college because he just wasn’t challenging her enough and married a New Age guru she met over mugs of kombucha at a therapeutic retreat. They have two children, who they assure us are both happy and creative.

Jeff Spicoli, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

You may remember that Fast Times gave us a brief glimpse of Jeff’s future, wherein he rescued Brooke Shields from drowning and then squandered all the reward money on a personal Van Halen concert. (This, we believe, is a decision that still holds up nearly three decades later.) Since then, he’s done a few short sentences for possession, maintained on-and-off employment in local surf and head shops, and still hangs out with high-school kids. Little-known fact: Jeff Spicoli is also the father of Nathan Williams, better known as Wavves.

Baby Houseman, Dirty Dancing

Baby may have had the time of her life, and Jake may have admitted he was wrong about Johnny, but that didn’t mean he was going to let his precious daughter gallivant around with a dance instructor. Instead, he shipped Baby off to Mount Holyoke that fall, where she met the man she would marry with her family’s hearty blessing — a Jewish accountant from Long Island. They celebrated their tenth anniversary and had three children together before signing up for a salsa dancing class to recapture the lost spark in their relationship. And that’s where Baby met Enrique. They’ve been living happily in sin ever since.

Julie Richman, Valley Girl

Meanwhile, after the cameras stopped rolling on the West Coast’s version of Dirty Dancing (or was that Romeo and Juliet?), Julie and Randy really did bridge the massive psychic distance between Hollywood and the valley. After she finished college and he started to get steady work playing a generic “urban tough” in the increasingly popular music video medium, they settled down together. Troubles came when they couldn’t agree on whether to raise their kids punk or valley, but the couple avoided divorce by seeking counseling and are now successfully negotiating the pleasures and obstacles of maintaining a blended family.

Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller has spent his whole life being that irritating guy who does terrible things and gets away with them. In college, he charmed countless women into bed by convincing them that he had played the baby brother in a popular sitcom. Soon after, he organized a pyramid scheme that netted him millions of dollars and managed to deflect the blame onto a dimwitted business associate. Ferris invested the money he made from that venture in the stock market, quadrupling his wealth before pulling out of the market in late 2007 on the advice of an in-the-know friend. At the moment, he’s sipping tropical drinks next to a pool in the Caribbean. Or, you know, maybe he’s still just a hallucination of Cameron’s.

Tracy Turnblad, Hairspray

Adulthood has been very kind to Tracy, who won fame and fortune as one of America’s first plus-size models in the late ’60s. She went on to launch a clothing line called Pleasantly Plump and a brand of wigs (Hair Hopper), donating a sizable chunk of the proceeds to the fight for racial equality. In recent years, she’s been enjoying the residuals from a Broadway show and movie based on her life — although her mother was horrified to hear that she’d be portrayed by John Travolta.

Veronica Sawyer, Heathers

Despite how composed she might have looked after JD’s suicide and his attempt to blow up their school, Veronica needed to take some time off before resuming the role of Westerburg High’s benevolent queen bee. After what has variously been described as a long vacation and a stint in an asylum, she toured the nation’s high schools warning girls about the dangers of dating improbably attractive psychopaths. Eventually, her intelligence and knack for untangling sordid schemes leads her to a career as a private detective. As you might imagine, Veronica has witnessed some gory scenes in her life — but she still can’t look at a croquet mallet without breaking down.