11 Baby Names That Seemed Like They Were the Only Ones in Existence in the 80s

Fond memories from my childhood during the eighties include awesome cartoons, jellies (yeah, the shoes), and having 5 friends who were all named Jennifer. Two of them were cousins. And all of them spelled it the same way.

The popularity train for the name didn’t stop during that era, and many more little girls were christened as Jennifers too. If you grew up or were born in the 1980s then you know which names were mainstream at that time. You could have one of those names yourself!

Listed below are a few plucked from the Social Security Administration’s top 200 1980s’ monikers. If it seems boring and predictable, it’s probably because you’ve lived through hearing these names called out over and over.

We’d tell you these were making a comeback, but they’ve never gone anywhere. You can still find plenty of kids named Mike, Nicole, and Brian in a sea of Lulus, Jaxes, and Skylers.

  1. Michael

    According to the SSA, Michael received top billing for over 40 years – number 1. And why not? There’s an angel named Michael, Michael Knight of Knight Rider, Michael Myers, and a slew of pop singers that were hot during that time. One of the best features? When you shorten it to Mike, it still sounds cool.

  2. Jessica

    Though Jessica is still going strong around the world, the name spiked over the course of the eighties and WELL into the nineties. Somewhere around 2004, it started to fall from favored grace.

  3. Jennifer

    Before there was Jessica, there was Jennifer. If you didn’t know an adult, child, or baby version of Jennifer during any part of 1980-1995, then we’d like to know where you lived. Like, seriously.

  4. David

    Guaranteed to be present at every family function, birthday party, or school was a David. It’s a strong name that reminds people of the Biblical hero, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down in terms of popularity. David is still ruling supreme on name charts.

  5. Justin

    Somewhere out there are a group of Justins looking for the rest of their tribe. In the ‘80s, this name shot to #12 on popularity lists, but many Justins believe their name is fairly unique. But 1988 was a huge year for it in the U.S., where 35,000 boys were crowned Justin.

  6. Jason

    When you think of the ‘80s and Jason, who’s the first person to come to mind after your brother? Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, right? Just like Michael, this name will forever be immortalized thanks to horror movies.

    But Moms giving birth during this decade could have been fans of TV shows they grew up watching too, and the actors that played in them.

  7. Melissa

    Here’s another name you can count on two hands for the amount of people you may know with it. It’s a classic name with a pretty ring to it, and Melissa jumped in popularity during the ’80s and ’90s.

  8. Lisa

    A lovely, grown-up name that when you think about it, you could toss a Cabbage Patch doll anywhere and bank on hitting a Lisa.

  9. Timothy

    Timothy is a popular one in our family, and back in the rockin’ 1980s, it ranked high up on the list. Today, it’s dropped down a couple hundred notches since not as many people are naming their kids Tim.

  10. Tiffany

    Another heard-all-the-time name, thousands of baby girls were named Tiffany in the ‘80s. A generation at least. It’s been steadily dropping off lists since then, however. These days, it’s barely ranking in the top 1,000.

  11. Christopher

    As soon as the new kid walked in the classroom, you could probably guess that his name was Christopher, but Chris for short. Chris Smith. Chris Jones. Chris White. You guessed right.


Before the internet took hold and created a space for sharing name ideas, it seemed people just rolled with whatever was floating around at the time. Did they realize it was trendy? Did their baby give them “Jason” or “Jessica” vibes? Ask your mom, your aunt, or your best friend’s parents and they’ll all probably have different answers.

If you have a name that used to sit high on this list from this period, then high-five. There are lots of you out here! If for some reason it’s spiraled down, perhaps now is the time to start campaigning for a resurgence. Get Jennifer trending again!

Which of these names remind you of everything ’80s? Are you one of these? Could you guess these names without looking at a list?


Social Security Administration