Remember that time when we were kids? Yeah, things have changed quite a bit since then, haven’t they? When I was in elementary school, I was playing Spice Girls & Rugrats at Recess, listening to the young, innocent Britney Spears in my discman, and trying to keep my tamagotchi alive. Now, just about 12 years later, kids are listening and singing songs such as Katy Perry’s latest hit about getting wasted and having random sex on a Friday night, sneaking their iPads and iPhones on the bus so they can check their Facebook newsfeeds, and playing Jersey Shore at recess (my 11 year old brother confirmed this). The other day, I went into this brother’s 5th grade classroom to watch his class do a poetry reading and at the end, the teacher turned on Teach Me How To Dougie – and the kids started dancing. What in the world happened to youth???? I don’t really think anything happened actually… When we were young, I’m sure older people were saying the same thing about our excessive use of the phrase “Girl Power” and our obsession with emailing our friends on AOL for Kids the minute we got home from school. Technology just advanced… pretty quickly… or wait, maybe we just got old? Yeah, that happened too. But anyway, this list below of fantastic 90s fads will not only leave you begging for your youth back, but also simply amazed at how much technology has advanced since we were kids.
Talk about a significant waste of money, time, and effort! Not only did beanie babies become more expensive every day, but they also became harder to get. When the Princess Diana beanie baby came out, that thing went for WAY too much money. I have it – It’s in my room, stuffed on a shelf. It does not look like the Princess… and it’s probably not worth a cent anymore. Can you imagine a Kate Middleton beanie baby being made? That thing would be stylish as f*ck. So remember the days you spent researching information about your stuffed toys on ty.com? Or remember the times you waited in the long lines at McDonalds to get a teenie beanie baby?! Yeah, in the long run all that did was score you a few short-term friends (if you had the cool beanie babies) and make you fat (by eating fast food & sitting online).
This has to go down as THE creepiest and most annoying toy EVER – The Furby. It was actually kind of terrifying. It spoke – and not in a playful voice (like that doll that WENT TO THE BATHROOM). I honestly have NO idea what was so cool about furbys… You even had to put the thing in a dark place to make it shut up! And it said “Let’s have fun!” What was it? Michael Jackson?
This toy came fresh off the boat from Japan. Thanks guys. At least this toy had a purpose, unlike furbys and beanie babies. You had to keep it alive! I remember when it would start to die… It would turn into that face/shape, kind of like a worm if I remember correctly. It was pretty sad… I remember always having to reset mine by pressing pens into the reset button. If tamagotchis were made now, they would be colorful and have videos. Actually, maybe tamagotchis are still creeping around – is there an app for that?
There is no better TV than the awesomeness that was All That, Doug, Rugrats, Keenan and Kel, Clarissa Explains It All, Ahh! Real Monsters, Figure It Out, Cat Dog, The Angry Beavers, Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold, HEY DUDE, Legends of the Hidden Temple, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Sponge Bob (when it was good, duh), The Adventures of Pete & Pete, GUTS, etc. But seriously… take that list and think of what kids watch now. Hannah Montana (not on anymore, but still), iCarly (love that show, but still nothing compared to the above), Wizards of Waverly Place (what does that even mean?), and other meaningless shows that promote eating disorders (because all of these shows are promoting the fact that the average is kid is nothing). Hannah Montana was famous… iCarly has a web show and super, talented smart friends AND she also seems to live with no parents. I have never seen “Wizards,” but Jeff from Curb is apparently in it.. and they make fun of the show in the episode where Larry is caught texting bad things to a 9 year-old (now THAT is good TV). But anyway – 90s tv was for the AVERAGE kid. Thanks to the awesome people now working at Nick (aka our generation), we can now catch some 90s shows on Nickelodeon from midnight – 2am. Unfortunately, that is past my bed time… so I am hoping Nick will make a channel dedicated to only 90s shows (this way – more jobs will be open, and I will have a better chance at scoring one in television… please).
AOL basically defines the 90s. But it also really, kinda defines our youth. Is the dial up noise stuck in your head yet?! Because it’s stuck in mine. First, there was just basic AOL accounts with email. I had AOL for Kids where my mom would set preferences of what I could and couldn’t do. Not long after this, I started emailing friends… and then AOL Instant Messenger began where I could chat with my friends not through email if they were online… followed by AIM… AKA the beginning of the end. Email fights turned into AIM fights. Profiles were created listing inside jokes no one got, names of boyfriends and girlfriends with a “<3″ next to it, and giant lists of people’s initials (those were your friends – or just every single person you spoke to at school). Soon, subprofiles were created – where you had a whole webpage dedicated to your profile. Nowadays, kids have Facebooks, just like us, to do all of this and more from… And parents pretty much have no control of it.
Talk about a great toy! This toy actually provided exercise to youth – something they needed after wasting time on AOL & ty.com. And you could get it in any color. I had pink. You could play with this toy at recess too – much more productive than playing Jersey Shore. I bet if skip it was around now, they would tell you how many calories you burned. At least you could be outside and do this – unlike Wii Fit. (Please note how this girl is dressed in the pic – SO 90s)
Boy Bands do not exist anymore – as long as you don’t consider The Jonas Brothers a boy band… because they aren’t. At least not like Nsync, BSB, 98 Degrees, Hanson, LFO, Five, O-Town, Soul Decision… and the list goes on! These guys not only sang in harmony, but they also danced… and they were pretty damn good at it. They climbed the charts on TRL (another 90s fad, along with Carson Daly & Tom Green’s “The Bum Bum Song” which hit number 1 one week) and they were attacked by young, screaming girls at their various concerts throughout the nation. Ya, NKOTBSB is on tour right now but I don’t see any 8 year old girls running around doing dance moves taught to them by Darren’s Dance Grooves (another awesome fad) at school.
Ask a 10 year old to do the macarena. He/she will have no idea what you are referring to. Personally, I think this dance should be brought back to life. This or the Cha Cha Slide. You could bust out those moves to Pitbull no problem.
I wish Girl Power was still a common term used today not just by feminists. In 5th grade, I had a “Girl Power” themed party and some women came to our house and dressed us up to look the 5 fabulous, girl-power promoting Brits. Do kids even have such parties anymore?? The Spice Girls were THE staple of our youth. Sexy Spice even had to be changed to Ginger Spice because the name was too provocative… Now, the name Sexy Spice would be way too tame.
Pagers were really annoying. This later turned into 2-way or “beep beep” on Nextel phones – Giant Nextel phones are another 90s and early 2000s fad – I do miss mine sometimes.
Games on CD
Oregon Trail, The Sims, etc. These games didn’t really go anywhere. They just don’t come equipped with installation CDs anymore. You can now play these on Facebook, on your phone, and online… CDs are sooo 1990. Where’s the app?!
All you have to do is listen to a track off her first album, “…Baby One More Time,” or watch her awesome performance at the VMAs with then boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, and his band Nsync – and then listen to a track off her new album, “Femme Fatale.” Then, please tell me what happened. Actually – don’t. It’s a long story and I know what happened. It’s kind of like 90s Lindsay Lohan (Parent Trap, anyone?). Kind of.
Other fads included:
VCRs (no one is going to know what a tape or VCR is anymore… depressing, right?)
Power Rangers (I’m talking about Mighty Morphin… not the others)
Discman (Remember those bus rides to school and camp listening to your CDs?)
Walkman (And remember those bus rides listening to your CASSETTE TAPES?)
Mambo No 5
Tickle Me Elmo
Now That’s What I Call Music!
Roll On Body Glitter
Have any others? Comment away!