Top 10 Famous Movies that Started Real Life Trends

Most of the time art imitates life but in these instances, life imitates art! These are the famous movies that started real life trends. We're talking about fashion trends, such as Annie Hall's influence in masculine clothing for women, Borat impressions, real life fight clubs after the movie Fight Club came out, the decrease in hunting after Bambi was released, the increase of clownfish as pets after the movie Finding Nemo was released, the increase in popularity of 80s fashion after Flashdance and the rise of Guy Fawkes masks after the release of V for Vendetta.
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Top 10 Famous Movies that Started Real Life Trends


Sometimes fiction can become reality. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Famous Movies that Started Real Life Trends.
For this list, we’re taking a look at popular films that encouraged actual fads in everyday life.

#10: Women in Masculine Clothing
“Annie Hall” (1977)

With the women's liberation movement breaking out in the 1960s and 1970s, female fashion went through some drastic changes. Rather than wearing dresses, more women started to sport trousers, collared shirts, and other clothes that are generally considered masculine. The titular character of “Annie Hall” notably helped spark this trend. With a mix of female and male attire, she had a distinctive wardrobe that was all her own. Her apparel inspired numerous other women to go against the norm as well. Annie Hall thus emerged as something of a feminist icon, but without calling attention to herself. She truly wore the pants in her relationship, not to mention the necktie.

#9: ‘Borat’ Impressions
“Borat” (2006)

Sacha Baron Cohen captivated the world in 2006 with the release of “Borat,” a comedy about a journalist from Kazakhstan exploring American customs. Shortly after the film hit theaters, it wasn’t long until everybody started impersonating the titular character. “Sexy time” became a household phrase, “very nice” was used in everyday conversation, and “not” jokes even made a comeback of sorts. The comedy proved so quotable that the screenplay actually scored an Oscar nomination. While Borat impressions aren’t as widespread as they once were, many of the film’s classic lines continue to stick with us. We’re just glad that Borat’s mankini never really caught on.

#8: Ray-Ban Wayfarers
“Risky Business” (1983)

Tom Cruise has been one of the biggest stars on the planet for well over three decades. He reached the pinnacle of cool in the early ‘80s, however, following his breakout role in “Risky Business.” Audiences still remember Cruise dancing in his underwear with "Old Time Rock and Roll" playing. But his character’s look wouldn’t have been complete without the Ray-Ban Wayfarers he dons in the movie poster and later on in the film. Subsequent to a substantial decline in sales, these sunglasses took on a second life thanks to “Risky Business.” 360,000 pairs were sold in 1983 alone. From the second Cruise put his Wayfarers on, he went from being an ordinary high school student to the hippest kid on the block. Consumers seemed convinced that Wayfarers could do the same for them.

#7: Real Fight Clubs
“Fight Club” (1999)

The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You DO NOT talk about Fight Club. When David Fincher’s 1999 movie came out, though, it was impossible not to talk about Fight Club. This controversial film resonated with numerous people across the country. It even inspired some young men to start their own fight clubs. Since the dawn of the 21st century, there have been various reports of real life fight clubs, including San Fran’s "Gentlemen's Fight Club." Fight clubs have been organized through Craigslist and videos can be found all over the internet. Tyler Durden might not be real, but his influence is indisputable.

#6: Pet Dalmatians
“101 Dalmatians” (1996)

It isn’t at all uncommon for hit movies to instigate pet trends, especially when a lovable canine takes center stage. Following the release of “Lassie Come Home,” collie registrations increased 40% with the American Kennel Club. Even more significantly, Dalmatian sales went through the roof following Disney’s live-action remake of “101 Dalmatians.” Children everywhere suddenly wanted a dog just like Pongo and Perdy. Unfortunately, Dalmatians are a lot harder to train than the film suggested. Although the breed was in high demand for a brief period, many families either abandoned their pet Dalmatian or dropped them off at the pound. Was this all part of Cruella de Vil’s master plan?

#5: ‘90s Fashion
“Clueless” (1995)

Back in the ‘90s, men wanted Alicia Silverstone and women wanted to be her. It’s not surprising that so many teenage girls modeled their wardrobe after Silverstone’s career-defining role. Cher Horowitz might’ve been one of the most clueless characters ever to grace the silver screen, but she was also one of the most fashionable. Miniskirts and plaid attire were all the rage because of Cher, who stood out as the official mascot for valley girls. Her white Calvin Klein dress in particular became every young lady’s dream ensemble. While “Clueless” primarily inspired ‘90s fashion, it’s still having an impact even two decades later. Just look at Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” music video.

#4: Guy Fawkes Masks
“V for Vendetta” (2005)

Guy Fawkes was the man behind the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. After his failed assassination attempt against King James I, November 5 was forever cemented in history. The Guy Fawkes mask wouldn’t break out into mainstream popularity until 2006, however, with the adaptation of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel, “V for Vendetta.” In the film, the titular vigilante dons a Guy Fawkes mask in a crusade against a ruthless government. The hacktivist group known as Anonymous followed V’s example in 2008, wearing Guy Fawkes masks during their protest against the Church of Scientology. According to illustrator David Lloyd, "The Guy Fawkes mask has now become a common brand and a convenient placard to use in protest against tyranny.”

#3: ‘80s Fashion
“Flashdance” (1983)

Alicia Silverstone might’ve epitomized ‘90s apparel, but the ‘80s had its own fair share of fashionistas. ‘80s fashion reached a whole new level of sex appeal when Madonna starred in “Desperately Seeking Susan”. Meanwhile, Jennifer Beals defined this generation’s signature look through her role in “Flashdance.” Playing an exotic dancer with big dreams, Beals popularized ripped t-shirts, leg warmers, and off-shoulder sweatshirts. Virtually every woman adopted this style. Heck, even the Peanuts gang got on board with the fad. Although people often look back on the ‘80s as a fashion disaster, nobody can deny that Beals made everybody want to dance like a maniac.

#2: The Beatnik Look
“Funny Face” (1957)

Of all the fashion trailblazers on this list, Audrey Hepburn arguably had the greatest impact. Hepburn solidified her place in fashion and film history with her iconic look in “Breakfast at Tiffany's,” sporting a black cocktail dress, oversized sunglasses, and elegant pearls. Before that, Hepburn prompted the beatnik look in “Funny Face.” As a bookshop clerk turned model, the actress launched black turtlenecks and black cigarette pants into the public eye. This look would greatly influence the beat generation throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s. Even today, people still sport beatnik ensembles, although that’s usually because they’re trying to be “ironic.”

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

‘Vote for Pedro’ T-Shirts
“Napoleon Dynamite” (2004)


Merlot Sales Down, Pinot Noir Sales Up
“Sideways” (2004)


Pet Clownfish
“Finding Nemo” (2003)

#1: Hunting Decreased
“Bambi” (1942)

When people think of devastating movie moments, the death of Bambi’s mom usually comes to mind. The film left children everywhere drowning in a river of their own tears. It’s safe to say that “Bambi” had an impact on plenty of adults as well. In the years following the film’s initial release, the number of deer hunted in the United Stated reportedly went down by almost half. Whenever somebody objects to killing "cute" or "adorable" animals, it’s often referred to as "The Bambi effect.” It might’ve traumatized audiences for generations to come, but at least “Bambi” spared the lives of countless cuddly critters.


Do you agree with our list? What other movies started real life trends? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.
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