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Back to the Eighties is a strange variation on the Jukebox Musical by Neil Gooding where instead of using all songs from one band, only songs from one decade (the 80s) are used. The musical focuses on the senior year of fictional American high school William Ocean High, particularly an uncool kid named Corey Palmer with a crush on popular girl Tiffany Houston, a hatred of popular guy Micheal Feldman and rather unfair feelings of superiority towards loveable nerd Feargal McFerrin III.
The show is subtitled "The Totally Awesome Musical", and it doesn't really get any less cheesy from that point on...
- Ambiguously Gay: Alf Bueller is described as "destined to remain a bachelor" and also blows Corey a kiss at one point.
- Butt Monkey: Feargal, initially.
- Flash Back: The entire show is basically a series of flashbacks had by the narrator, Corey Palmer Sr.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Mr Miyagi, the Japanese teacher/Martial Arts instructor. Although we do hear his voice, once.
- Higher Self: The show is narrated by Corey Palmer's older self.
- Jerk Jock: Micheal Feldman
- Jukebox Musical: sort of.
- Lemony Narrator: Older Corey is not above mocking his younger self and his ex-classmates in his narrations.
- Love Triangle: Corey and Micheal both have a crush on Tiffany.
- Minored in Asskicking: Feargal, almost literally - he takes extra-curricular martial arts lessons.
- Musical Theme Naming: Everyone.
- Shout-Out: Oh boy. For starters, every single character (even ones we don't see on-stage) is named after a famous 80s personage. Then there are on-stage conversations about The A-Team, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Star Wars etc. And some scenes are clearly an Affectionate Parody of similar scenes from Ferris Buellers Day Off and The Karate Kid.
- This Loser Is You: The audience is clearly supposed to relate to Corey, despite his being very low down the high-school food-chain.
- Those Two Guys: Alf and Kirk, Corey's best friends. Laura and Debbie could be seen as a female variant, as could Mel and Kim.
- Verb This:
Feargal: These are not just hands; they are defensive weapons!
- Waxing Lyrical: Micheal leaves fake love letters in Eileen's locker, all of which are made up of lines from famous songs put together.