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What Can The Movie Can’t Buy Me Love Teach Teens About Life?

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I hope that this doesn’t come off sounding like a VH1 behind the music special, but I love everything about the 80’s. The 80’s remind me of more carefree and less complicated times (even with all of the teen angst). I have way too many favorite 80’s movies, but one of them that ranks highly with me is the classic 80’s movie, Can’t Buy Me Love. There are so many good messages within the movie, but what can the movie Can’t Buy Me Love teach teens about life?

You might automatically think that my love for this movie stems from the fact that the very handsome Patrick Dempsey plays the lead role of Ronald Miller, but that is not the case (ok, maybe a tiny bit). Instead, my love for this fabulous movie about a teen  who desperately wants to feel like he is a part of the popular group and tries to buy his way in, comes from the many life lessons I am reminded of each and every time I watch this classic 80’s movie.

I recently watched the movie for the billionth time and the whole time I was thinking today’s tweens and teens should really watch this movie because there are many excellent life lessons to be learned, especially about growing up and friendship.

Tweens and teens of today may face different obstacles and challenges, but life lessons about being a kind, good person as well as being a good friend are timeless.

What Can The Movie Can't Buy Me Love Teach Teens About Life?

So What Can The Movie Can’t Buy Me Love Teach Teens About Life?

1. If you want something badly enough, you must work hard for it.

Nothing good in life will come to you for free kids, so start working toward earning your own money.

Take a page from Ronald Miller’s book who worked hard all summer long mowing lawns in order to earn $1000 that was supposed to go toward buying himself an expensive telescope that he wanted.

2. You should never have to buy a person’s friendship or love (even if it is for Cindy Mancini to turn you from geek to chic).

Be an honest, genuine and loyal friend and look to befriend those with similar qualities.

3. Never date someone your friend has already dated.

Cindy’s “friends” showed their true colors when they went out on dates with Ronnie after she “dated” him.

4. Never shop in your Mom’s closet, even if she is a cool Mom like Ms. Mancini.

5. Don’t categorize yourself or stick to only one group of friends.

Having quality, diverse friends in your life will only enrich you and make you a better, more well-rounded person.

One of the most important lessons teens can take away from Can’t Buy Me Love is when Ronald Miller says, “Nerds, jocks. My side, your side. It’s all bullshit. Its hard enough just trying to be yourself.”

6. Whatever happens to your popularity, stay yourself, don’t ever change to please others.

7. The easiest way to make and keep friends in life is simply by being the best version of yourself that you can be.

Take a note from Kenneth in the movie who never tried to buy anybody, instead he tried to make friends by being himself.

8. Don’t ever plagiarize.

You will almost always get caught and the embarrassment and/or punishment you could face is never worth it.

Ronald recites poetry that Cindy wrote, to another girl, and when Cindy overhears him she destroys his rise to popularity by telling everyone about their “deal”.

9. Don’t be a follower.

Be a leader instead of following the crowd or else you might end up on a dance floor stupidly doing the African Anteater Ritual dance, like Ronald and his friends.

10. Teens, please don’t go to a party that serves alcohol as it could possibly ruin your outfit, as well as your life.

Red wine being spilled on the severe white suede fringed outfit that Cindy Mancini wore to the party was the start of her problems. 

11. I know this is a difficult lesson to learn, but don’t lie to your parents.

Lying is what got both Cindy and Ronald into the messy situations that they ended up in toward the end of Can’t Buy Me Love.

Nothing good ever comes from lying. Honesty is always the best policy.

Lying resulted in Cindy ruining her mother’s outfit and being paid $1000 to pretend to be Ronald’s girlfriend. Lying resulting in Ronald not being able to buy the telescope that he worked so hard to save up for, losing his friends, gaining fake friends and being untrue to himself. 

If you have yet to see this fantastic 80’s classic movie, you need to pick up a copy of it (click the picture below) and plan a movie night asap!



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Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

The 80's were such a brilliant and vibrant time to go to High School.......I still watch The Breakfast Club and Can't Buy Me Love, religiously. G'day from Dowunder Clarissa, I liked the article


Tuesday 29th of March 2016

I love this movie! I'm a sucker for 80s flicks. You did an awesome job of pulling out the best lessons, I'm sharing it all over the place!


Tuesday 29th of March 2016

What a sweet comment. Thank you so much!


Monday 21st of March 2016

I love the 80s too. Great movie!

Jessica Ann Walsh

Monday 21st of March 2016

I always watch this movie when it's on. A classic! I think you covered it all. :-)


Monday 21st of March 2016

Thank you for the comment!