Your Personality, as Determined by Your Favorite 1980s Musical

Les Misérables

Even though you were riding in the relative privilege of the backseat of your mother’s minivan, the angst and injustice of Les Miz spoke to you through the headphones of your walkman. It taught you that, no matter how righteous you are, life is never fair. You also learned that even though you’re destined to suffer great misery, love makes it all worth it. As you grew up, this knowledge (and perhaps a junior year abroad in Paris) led you to adopt a worldly, jaded persona. But despite your cool exterior, you remain a romantic at heart. You tend to see yourself as an outsider battling against the system, and you love a man who doesn’t play by the rules. Your Liberal Arts major ensured that you ended up working in some kind of publishing/non-profit/teaching job, so you live in a bit of squalor. But that doesn’t stop you from wearing chic clothes and resisting the cookie-cutter things in life. Oddly enough, you are now the type of person who would be extremely reluctant to publicly admit that you spent many a night singing along, word for word, with the entire Original London Cast recording while wearing your worn-in Les Miz t-shirt. But in your heart can ever forsake the memories of greatness like this (and also this)?

The Phantom of the Opera

As a young person who sensed great things were in store for you, you were immediately drawn to the passionate duets and soaring heights of Phantom. The melodramatic synthesizers and organs struck a chord inside your budding theater geek body. You were Christine. Even if you didn’t pursue a life in the theater, you still have a drama queen inside of you. You love mystery and romance, no matter how campy, and you enjoy a good Lifetime Original Movie. You had at least one boyfriend in high school that turned out to be gay. There’s nothing more thrilling for you than being pursued by a man, and you have a weakness for guys who are vain and a little jealous. You like candles and have a not-so-secret obsession with Celine Dion. You always look put-together and polished, and you like being the center of attention. While you may live a normal life on the outside, inside you know you’re playing the lead in an epic romance. Sometimes if you sit very quietly, he sings to you: “The phaaantom of the Opera is there inside your mind!”


Technically this came out in 1977, but you spent most of the ’80s memorizing it and performing it with your friends at slumber parties. You, like Annie, had a somewhat plain and dreary youth, but deep in your heart you knew you’d been adopted and somewhere your fabulous real parents were trying to find you so they could whisk you off to a new, more glamorous life. Of course, you got over that fantasy eventually, but you never gave up that optimistic, plucky attitude. Now you’re a practical and outgoing person, who can win anyone over with your sunny personality. After all, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile!” You’re a dog lover, and you use a lot of exclamation points! You are mysteriously attracted to men with shaved heads, and you may have some lingering daddy issues — though you’re surprisingly well-adjusted and successful in life. You wear cute dresses and sing when you’re in the shower. You believe that things will always work out as they should in the end. And sometimes you actually find yourself thinking, on a particularly gloomy day, “The sun’ll come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun!”


One listen to the jazzy music and the lively Jellicle Tribe had you hooked. (Also, have you re-watched it recently? Because, whoa, it is BANANAS!) You might not have gotten all of the more adult themes of Cats, but it spoke to you anyway because even as a child you were an old soul. You grew up with a love of the arts, and now you dabble in something unusual, like being an acrobat or spoken word poet or having psychedelic experiences. There’s a drum circle or two in your past. You have a taste for the absurd, and love to laugh and dance. You run with a big gang of friends, and you have elaborate nicknames for all of them. You’re the type of person who collects stray cats and people, and your apartment bears a striking resemblance to a (cool, funky) junkyard. You’re a non-conformist who’s not afraid to rock a unique personal style — maybe you’ve had dreadlocks or wear skintight body suits? You’re spiritual, and you believe in reincarnation. You’re sentimental without being cutesy, and you know it’s important to be in touch with your past but not ruled by it. As Grizabella says, “Let your memory lead you. Open up, enter in. If you find there the meaning of what happiness is, then a new life will begin.” In retrospect, doesn’t it seem weird that a cat could sing hauntingly about such deep shit?

Gotcha! This did not come out until 1996, so if this was your favorite childhood musical, all it reveals about you is that you are still very young. Congratulations, you have far more than five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of life ahead of you.