Do you want to know what one of the leading trends of 2023 has been? The 90s. That’s right, the 90s. The decade that felt like it was just yesterday is now well into its 30s, and if you’re reading this – then so are you.
From fashion trends to top TV shows, the 90s were pretty great, so why wouldn’t it come back around? It’s time to enjoy a wave of nostalgia with the help of these 20 things you’ll remember as a ‘90s kid.
Early game consoles were a lot simpler than they are now. Game Boys were the ultimate toy to pass the time – can you still hear the Tetris music in your head? While today’s games are all about headsets and group parties, the sweet life was taking it in turns with your bestie to make it past the next level on Super Mario.
And if you’re feeling a little bit nostalgic for the days of Tetris, you can always watch the movie:
Long before Trolls was a movie featuring the voice of Justin Timberlake, Trolls were a popular collector’s item. The original dolls, complete with their neon hair and funky accessories, were an essential item in any ‘90s kid’s bedroom.
‘90s teen TV was pretty amazing. From Sabrina, the Teenage Witch to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, shows about teens really began to take off in the ‘90s. Bet you’d give anything to enjoy one more lazy Saturday watching teen TV without a care in the world!
Home computers really took off during the ‘90s. For a lot of people, Windows 95 was their first taste of a computer, the perfect introduction to the technology that would transform our lives. Who didn’t spend hours between typing with Clippy playing Solitaire and Minesweeper? Back then, you probably had to split computer time with the whole family, a big change from having portable devices in the palm of your hand.
Polly Pocket was a magical line of toys from the people who brought you Barbie, Mattel. Polly Pocket was a teeny doll figurine that lived in houses contained in small cases that resembled purses or handbags. Cute and quirky, they were a firm favorite with many ‘90s kids, but the small size meant Polly Pocket was very easy to lose.
It would be impossible to talk about the ‘90s without talking about the phenomenon that was girl power. The release of their debut single Wannabe in 1996 really blew up the decade, inspiring girls everywhere. The Spice Girls’ influence continues to this day, something that’s pretty incredible when you think about it.
The ‘90s signalled a spectacular era for Disney movies. Who doesn’t remember crying over Mufasa’s death in The Lion King or singing along to ‘A Whole New World’ in Aladdin? This was a great time for animated movies, with things levelling up with the arrival of Toy Story in 1995.
Back before on-demand services and digital music, there were tapes. Taping your favorite shows was a weekly occurrence while sitting near the radio ready to record the hottest new song was a military operation. Tapes had their uses, but they also had their limitations. Who still remembers when a tape would get stuck, ruining all of your hard work? And let’s not even talk about having to rewind everything…
As well as the Spice Girls, the ‘90s were a time for boy bands. Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and 98 Degrees – they were all extremely popular, sparking a new era of boy band goodness. It would be some time before the Jonas Brothers and One Direction would come on the scene and drive a whole new load of fans wild.
Tamagotchis started in Japan and soon became the world’s must-have toy. For those who don’t remember, Tamagotchis were tiny electronic pets that needed care and attention to grow and stay alive. Rumor has it they’re making a comeback.
Renting a movie was one of the highlights of a ‘90s kid’s weekend. Was there anything better than heading down to Blockbuster Video and choosing movies to watch with some popcorn and snacks? There was something thrilling about securing the latest new release or making it to the top of the waiting list for the latest must-see movie. Netflix has just made things so easy now – where’s the challenge?
Another kids’ toy craze, Furbies were the cute/annoying animatronic pets that responded to your voice and could even learn a thing or two. Furbies were great fun, to a point. Waiting for your Furbie to ‘go to sleep’ could feel like the longest night ever.
Staying up to read at night felt rebellious once upon a time, and what were people reading back in the ‘90s? Goosebumps. The R.L Stein series was a huge success, selling more than 400 million copies worldwide, and was once the world’s most popular book series before a certain Mr Potter came along. Want to revisit your childhood? Take a look at the definitive ranking of each of the original Goosebumps books.
‘90s fashion had a little bit of everything – color, sparkle and most importantly, comfort. Sports apparel was particularly popular, as was minimalism. The good news is that ‘90s fashion trends have made a strong comeback, with cozy, easy-to-wear styles casual cool once again.
@thehistorysource 90s fashion is iconic, and many of the decades trends are still popular today. Check out 5 of the most important fashion trends that defined the 90s. #fashionhistory #historicalfashion #history #historytime #historytok #millennial #millenialsoftiktok #genz #90sfashion #90sstyle #90saesthetic #y2kfashion #y2kaesthetic #fashiontok #historytiktok #historyfacts #historylesson ♬ It's A Wrap – Sped Up – Mariah Carey
The 1990s were significant for a lot of reasons, but the advancement of the internet is perhaps one of the biggest developments. While the days of dial-up are long behind us, there’s something very retro about the thought of the internet as it once was. Whether you were into AOL Chat or loved playing games online, who could ever have imagined how the internet would grow over the coming decades?
Most ‘90s kids are familiar with having to visit a library to research an essay for homework. But when Encarta was launched in 1993, it was a real game changer. This electronic encyclopedia made it extremely easy to find what you were looking for, full of facts at your fingertips! Consider it an early Wikipedia, except one you initially needed CDs to run to get the info you needed.
Lazy Saturday mornings were about running downstairs to watch TV before your parents woke up – a fantastic way to start the day. Some of the best cartoons of the ‘90s included Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy, Recess, Doug… Cartoons were great back then!
Food as fashion? Way before Lady Gaga was sporting meat dresses at the VMAs, teenagers were wearing candy necklaces and bracelets. These rainbow-colored candies were always popular at school and at parties, and you can still track them down now in candy shops and online.
Another form of arm candy, friendship bracelets were another ‘90s jewelry trend that everyone loved. Whether you made them yourself or you bought them at Claire’s Accessories, giving a friendship bracelet was one of the greatest gifts you could give, or receive. Friendship bracelets are still worn even now, and were made even more popular this year by those who attended Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.
Finally, one of the best things about being a ‘90s kid was the fun of spending time outside with your friends. From riding bikes to hanging out in the local diner, it was a much simpler time. Today’s teens have access to all kinds of technology that keeps them indoors, and even adults have forgotten what it’s like to live without phones. Why not recreate those days by learning how to do a digital detox and connect with your friends and family out in the real world?
There were so many great things to love about the ‘90s, it’s hard to name just twenty. While some of these trends may have come and gone, it’s fun to take a trip down memory lane and rediscover some of your childhood memories.