The 90s were full of great catchphrases (“Wassup”) and the popularization of a previously unknown dialect: Valley Girl. If saying “as if,” “off the heasy” or “let’s get jiggy with it” doesn’t make you smile, than just add a “psyche!” to the end of every sentence.
Hands down, the 90s had some of the best music. We had the rappers, Tupack, Biggie Smalls, Notorius B.I.G., LL Cool J, the Diva’s Whitney, Mariah, Celine, the boy bands Take That, New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, Westlife, NSync, the girl groups Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, All Saints, Atomic Kitten, TLC. No matter what genre – rock, rap, pop, punk, country – the music was just incredible. And who could forget Ant and Dec – Lets get ready to Rhumble!, might be our Anthem for the week.
One name says it all: Michael Jordan. Jordan was not alone in his epic-ness; Ayrton Senna, Wayne Gretsky, and Tiger Woods also joined the legend at the top. And the launch of the Football Premiership League.
Plaid was everywhere; somehow the work clothes of outdoorsmen became a fashion staple for every Gen Xer. More than that, the 90s promoted function over fashion. High-waisted ripped jeans, bike shorts when walking, windbreakers, bandannas, and combat boots, lycra and yes Shell Suits; 90s clothes were more than style statements, they were also really comfortable. That might be why many believe it is the most unfashionable decade.
In the 90s, the phrase “Must-See TV” actually made sense. There was no Sky+ or DVRs to record a show (remember video cassettes?). To break it down, there were the sitcoms: Friends, Seinfeld, Will and Grace, Keeping up Appearances. The drams: ER,Law & Order (the original). The family-friendly shows: Gladiators, Noels House Party, Crystal Maze, TFI. The Teen classics – Dawson’s Creek, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The Word. Kid’s only – Rugrats, Live & Kicking, SM:TV.
So. Many. Masterpieces. Don’t believe me? Well, than take a weekend to watch some of the best films the 90s had to offer: the action-packed Independence Day; the war epic, Saving Private Ryan; the tear-jerker Schindler’s List; the mind-bending Matrix; the epic romance Shakespeare in Love and anything Disney touched (Lion King, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story). The list goes on, however, if you’ve never seen Wallace and Gromit or Home Alone, than you don’t know the 90s.
Remember slap bracelets? What about Lisa Frank and Trapper keepers? The 90s can be described in terms of the fads that swept the nation for there were many. stuffed with God-only-knows-what, Beanie Babies popped on the scene and became the thing to have. The little stuffed animals caused frenzies across malls, as collectors believed they would one day be worth millions. The Macarena is the gift that keeps on giving, inspiring anyone who hears its hypnotic rhythm jump to their feet and shake it.
The 90s saw the birth of an invention that changed all of our lives; the Walkman. Music you can hear while you walk without carrying a boombox? A bona fide miracle. Not to mention car phones that seemed minuscule in comparison to cell phones the size of your head. Oh, and the internet started to get popular, too. Remember the familiar sound of dial-up as we waited for to hear the welcome words “you got mail” and check our AOLinbox to see if your chat room buddies IM’ed you.
Summer would not be summer without getting blasted by a Super Soaker or sliding headfirst down an unstable Slip ‘n’ Slide. The 90s was full of toys and games that made being a kid (at heart) extra awesome. Whether you were into expressing your culinary skills with an Easy-Bake Oven, making attempts to grow your very own Cabbage Patch dolls, going ham with Skip-It or experiencing the technologically advanced at-home gaming system Nintendo 64, there was something for everyone. Now, if only I could get my Gigappet and Tomogatchi to play nicely together.
The (almost) Apocalypse
Y2K. We thought the world was coming to an end. People around the world stocked up on non-perishable food, water and beanie babies and hunkered down in the bunkers preparing to fight whatever zombie apocalypse awaited them in 2000. As for the rest of us, well, we partied like it was 1999. No matter what the strategy, we survived and kept the party going.