80s Valley Girl

Though the term has been around for quite some time – as early as 1975 in a Lily Tomlin character, Susie Sorority – 80s Valley girl culture exploded early in the decade, and some people are, like, still totally into it. No duh.

The Stereotypical 80s Valley Girl

When you think of 80s Valley girl, there is probably one type of personality in mind – a girl from California.

Originally from the San Fernando Valley in California, the stereotypical Valley girl was kind of ditzy, liked to shop, and, like, said ‘whatever’ all the time. This was the bubble-blowing, hair-twirling, fashion-savvy, status-loving kind of girl that was way cool.

She would look down her nose at anyone in a lower socio-economic class and not from the Valley. All the Valley girls had their own language called Valleyspeak or Valspeak.

Some of the words and phrases such as gnarly, bodacious, and tubular may have been borrowed from the language of surfers, but it was still totally Cali.

A good example of Valleyspeak was Jennifer from the early 80s sitcom, Square Pegs, played by Tracy Nelson, and more recently, the movies Clueless, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Wayne’s World.

Even Shaggy from Scooby Doo, like, uses some phrases, as well as Snake from the Simpsons…it’s all in the inflection.

The Movie

In 1983, a movie called ‘Valley Girl’ was made. It had two relatively unknown lead characters with Deborah Foreman as Julie and Nicholas Cage as Randy. This was one of the first films Cage appeared in, and it earned him a huge following of fans, propelling his career.

The relationship between Randy and Julie could be compared to that of Romeo and Juliet. Randy was the street-smart punk from Hollywood who was a total hunk, while Julie was the babe from the Valley with some totally stuck-up friends. Like the Capulets and Montegues, they didn’t usually associate with each other.

It all started when Julie spotted Randy on the beach one day. Her friends thought he was a total hunk. When they saw him at a party he crashed, they realized he wasn’t from the Valley and quickly changed their minds, except for the more down-to-earth Julie.

Randy and Julie started seeing each other, much to the disgust of her friends. They eventually convinced her to break up with him.

Randy wasn’t going down without a fight – literally. He realizes her friends were making the decisions for their relationship and he swears at Julie in possibly one of the funniest lines of the movie…he tells her to (buzz) off – fer sure, like, totally.

Thankfully, things work out in the end. Randy goes fisticuffs with Julie’s arrogant ex-boyfriend, and then the two lovebirds escape from the prom together. The good guy wins.

The movie was actually based on a song written and recorded by Frank Zappa and his daughter, Moon Unit in 1982. They were asked for permission to use it for the movie. They were like, as if, what-ever, and like, totally said no.

So, like, everyone knows how totally awesome it was to be an 80s Valley girl. The language may be, like, way confusing, but what-ever, it’s totally part of the charm.