Looking back on your childhood if you’re a 90’s baby tends to feel like a weird fever dream. Fashion peaked (we thought), boy bands ruled (we thought), and all those weird niche memories that you only have if you also read The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales will haunt you until your kids have kids.
The Pink Panther
If you were up early enough, you could catch The Pink Panther on Boomerang, along with other classics like The Jetsons. I feel like I’m sitting at my kitchen counter eating Eggo waffles and waiting for the school bus right now. The sax intro is unforgettable.
Bristle Blocks by Battat
I can feel the ripping noise these made when you had to pry them apart because you were a row off from making a perfect sandwich. The upside? You could step on them without losing a foot. All the fun of Legos without the pain.
The Assorted Chocolates at Grandma’s
Every Thanksgiving…. and Christmas…. and birthday… one of these babies was sitting out on your Grandma’s kitchen counter. If you’re lucky, some of them would be half-bitten because you never knew what was inside them.
The struggle of sharing a landline. If your mom was on the phone with her friend, forget it. Remember when schools used to call your home phone to announce snow delays? Me either.
The original GameBoy. Tiny Screen. Like 3 buttons. I crave this kind of simplicity. If you had one of these in elementary school, you were beyond the coolest kid in your class.
The Wind in the Willows
For whatever reason I remember like ten different versions of this story. If you read the books, you know this wasn’t really meant for kids, but the toad on a motorbike was pretty cute. The films are just as odd. I’d recommend.
The Predecessor to Slime
Why aren’t any Snapchat famous stories featuring GAK in their slime tutorials? I can still remember how nasty this felt out of the container. Why do kids like the grossest stuff?
Every popular girl in school had one of these choker necklaces. And I was probably the only one who thought they were uncomfortable. Are they cute? Maybe? They remind me of orthodontic braces.
I had a pair of these in third grade. I felt so cool. I wish I’d looked in the mirror first. Who came up with the word “gaucho” and who thought loose, cropped, and flared pants were cute?
The Flumps TV Show
The British TV show, “The Flumps” was something else. Though this was aired in the 70’s and 80’s, its memory is pretty timeless. I mean. Look at that. That’s an image I’ll never forget.
Learning the Recorder
Seriously, WHY did we all learn the recorder? What were they planning for us? Hot Crossed Buns never gets any better. My ears are ringing just thinking about this.
My Little Pony
I’m not sure why these were so popular, but nobody was messing with my Applejack. While the consistent TV shows and movies are unnecessary, the memory of brushing a teeny pony’s hair with a teeny brush is pretty sentimental.
Garfield invented the case of the Monday’s. His comics in the morning papers were always the best ones, don’t lie. But I’ll never forget the live-action movie with Jennifer Love Hewitt. That was a bit of a reach.
Alien Antennae Headbands
For some reason, my friend had several of these growing up. Did anybody ever wear them? Absolutely not.
When Handheld Games Meant Business
I could sit with one of these things for hours and not make any progress. The people behind these schemes are genius. It was all fun and games until one of the buttons stopped working, though.
The Most Recognizable Image on the Internet
I don’t even need to say it. Were anybody else’s parents super weird about changing the family computer’s desktop background? Because honestly I could have taken this picture.
Perfection (And a Heart Attack)
This game scared me every time. The insanely loud timer and the hard plastic sound it made when it popped up. It caught me by surprise every. single. time.
Your mom was the cool mom if she brought these to every family reunion or graduation or holiday. Were you ever getting those pics back? No chance. Was it fun to pretend the camera actually worked? Maybe. Who knows.
Making the Best of Shopping with Mom
The easiest way to annoy your mom while also managing to stay in one place in a store: getting yourself stuck in the clothing racks. Either way, there was no way you were getting lost in Marshall’s while she scoured for some deals.
The Classic Lunchbox Sandwich
Think of the driest thing you’ve ever eaten. Odds are it’s this. That’s definitely Wonder Bread and some thick-sliced bologna. I can smell this image. It’s stuck to the roof of my mouth.
Every Waiting Room Had One
I’ve been going to the same dentist my whole life. There have always been a couple of these hanging through the office. Have I ever been able to figure it out? Nope.
Why do they look like they belong on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Who did this to them? Something like this was the ultimate cool grunge kid look. Don’t believe me? Check your junior high yearbook.
The Happy Meal
Don’t even think about asking, “Do you want the girl toy or the boy toy?”
The Classic Kickball
I can hear this image. You were a real one if everyone chose you for their team first. (I was never a real one).
These little wooden planes never really worked. You always got a splinter when you put it together, and the wood was so frail that 9 times out of 10 it would snap if you jammed the pieces together too hard.
The TV Guide
It never mattered if your siblings couldn’t agree on a Friday night Tv show. You could never read the blurry TV guide anyways. And if the channels were different at a friend’s house? Forget about it.
Honestly where did these come from? They are flavorless and hard as a rock. Who wants to eat candy that looks like literal bottle caps? What is the fun? What is the point?
These always grossed me out. What is that cheese really? Half the time these were packed in my brother’s lunchbox, and every time it always came back home with him.
Sleepover Starter Pack
What gets me the most is the Blockbuster card. I still miss that place with everything in me. And the Pizza Hut mug? The Cooler Ranch Doritos? This kid had a great sleepover.
I’d still drink this today if I could get that lid off.
If you didn’t come home with one of these after summer camp then why did you even go in the first place? Flout your clout with one of these by the community pool next weekend.
The Chronicles of Narnia
The lion’s death in this film was graphic and that’s all I remember. Also Turkish Delight candy is not that great. Not worth starting a war over, tbh.
American Girl Dolls
You were only cool if you had Samantha. She was the OG coveted American Girl. The fact that you could go to a store and have lunch with a doll is a little outrageous though, but you better believe I did that.
Koala Pencil Hugger
In all of elementary school, this was my only school store purchase, and it made my pencil so heavy. But was the status symbol worth it? Of course.
This flavorless, chalky candy somehow never tasted bad when it came out of the dispensers. The placebo effect is real. And Pez still sells.
Felt Board Toys
I don’t really know what the point of these things was, but I had tons of them. They were fun for a minute, but if any of the pieces bent or somehow stopped catching onto the board, your story was ruined.
6 feet of gum is definitely unnecessary, but the gimmick worked because this stuff was delicious and I always chewed way too much of it at once.
I still love these. You could only wear like six at a time, no less. Those were just the 90’s fashion rules, and you stuck to them.
Every year my brother and I always argued over which days we could open. Of course I always wanted Christmas, and of course so did he. The chocolate inside these was always mysteriously good.
Hair Comb Clips
These hurt so bad but looked so good (sort of).
Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men is literally the ultimate boy band. Every 90’s wedding played “I’ll Make Love to You” and you know it. They’re still popular today. Jams like that never go out of style.
Cher was every high school girl’s fashion icon. Paul Rudd suddenly was (but still is because he’s ageless) everybody’s celebrity crush. As if there’s not something to love about that?
This show still intrigues me for some reason. It’s still famous after decades and there was just a Katy Perry remake. And why is Smurfette the only girl?
In fourth grade every kid had a Tamagotchi and we all brought them to school, and we were so distracted that the principal had to lay down a ban. Talk about a craze. I don’t even remember what these little guys did.
Paddington Bear is my favorite, next to Corduroy. Have you even been to Paddington Station in London? The name is not coincidental.
No sleepover was ever complete without sending a *69 phone call to your crush. You could hide your caller ID and hope someone picked up. Usually, they didn’t. But the rush was still the same.
I spent an entire summer making these and sold them on the boardwalk for $1. Now you can buy them online for $10. What did I do wrong??
Nearly everyone read this in middle school. It was DARK. Lois Lowry really pointed out humanity’s flaws decades ago and sent that message straight to the children.
This film was meant for kids, but it started a whole ocean preservation movement. Similar to Netflix’s “Blackfish,” “Free Willy” spread awareness about whale captivity before we even knew it was wrong. Go Willy.
Gym Class Scooters
This is one memory that I know we all share. What even were these? What was the point of a rolling seat? Do you know how badly it hurt if you caught your fingers under the wheels? Do you know how many emergency trips to the nurse these have caused?
I had one of these In middle school and nobody messed with me. I had limited texts an hour but did I even remotely know how to text on those keys? Nope. Couldn’t do it today either probably.
I don’t really understand the point of these. Of course every girl in my class had one. But what were you supposed to do when you hit the end? Say goodbye??
These… did not work. The commercial was a lie.
This was either so delicious or absolutely disgusting. It looks like five steps down from an elementary school cafeteria meal. What are those little colorful things?
Cabbage Patch Kids
I vividly remember my preschool classroom had a pile of Cabbage Patch Kids. And I also remember that I never wanted to play with them.
The Oregon Trail
After you’ve played this game so many times I think dying of dysentery just became the goal. Did anyone actually enjoy this game though?
I feel like I was the only one who thought these were creepy. I never learned the story behind them and I don’t know why anyone would honestly want to play with these. They. Are. Scary.
You were only cool if you had twenty of these on each wrist. No exception. I remember losing FEELING in my hands because of these. Dedication at its peak.
Billions manufactured. Zero consumed. I don’t even want to know what these taste like. I hope they aren’t going for a candy-burger flavor. I threw these out every Halloween.