From bubblegum pop and boy bands to the PlayStation 1, the 1990s had it all. Looking around today, the 90s - with its oversized JNCO jeans, butterfly clips, and body glitter - doesn't feel that far away, and with us millennials woefully realizing middle age is fast approaching, there's no medicine to cheer you up better than a healthy dose of 90s nostalgia. Breathe in the familiar scents of CK One and plastic jelly shoes: we're going back to the 90s.
90s Nostalgia: Birthday Party Edition
When it came to birthday parties in the 1990s, there were strict social limitations about just what places your parents were willing to take 30 kids from your class in school to. Waking up on that sweet birthday morning, you knew you'd either be busting kneecaps at the roller rink or be traumatized by the giant animatronic puppet band at Chuck-E-Cheese. While teens mostly stuck to hanging out at the mall, going bowling, or having a good old-fashioned sleepover, you younger kids relished in giving your parents their first gray hairs at these kid-tastic venues. After all, there's nothing like negotiating the prize wall with 30 wild adolescents breathing down your neck at the Chuck-E-Cheese.
Yet, the most important part of birthday parties was figuring out what toys and gadgets you wanted to ask for that year, and the 1990s had some legendary options. It's pretty likely that 90s babies were gifted at least one of these hot-ticket toys from the 1990s:
- Beanie Babies
- Polly Pocket
- Betty Spaghetty
- Pokemon Cards
- Slap bracelets
- Super Soaker
- American Girl Dolls
90s Nostalgia: Family Game Night Edition
Long before families had the luxury of handheld video games and streaming services to occupy everyone during 'family time,' many parents had mandatory family game night. Unfortunately, the ever-present fear that watching tv too close was going to fry your retinas gave every parent the justification to turn off the picture box and return to the tabletops.
Of course, classic board games like Monopoly, Life, and Clue were constantly in rotation, but the board game that really dominated the 90s was Trivial Pursuit. After all, if you didn't come out of playing Trivial Pursuit feeling at least a little stupid, then you weren't playing the game right. Families could tear themselves apart over giving too many hints, deliberately saving the hardest questions to ask at the end, and getting stumped on categories people had no right knowing that much information about.
On top of Trivial Pursuit, you'd find any number of these titles stacked on your game table in the 90s:
- The Settlers of Catan
- Dream Phone
- Mall Madness
- Mouse Trap
90s Nostalgia: Movie Night Edition
Blockbuster. Need we say more?
You know there was nothing that a kid in the 90s looked forward to more than going with their parents to the Blockbuster and using their mom's worn-down laminated keychain membership card to rent the latest big cinematic hit. There was nothing more fun than running up and down the carpeted aisles, pulling empty VHS cases off the shelves, and skimming the movie's plot just to end up putting it back and renting the same movie that you'd already seen a thousand times before. Before Netflix tried to bring the theater to your door, Blockbuster brought the theater into your home - and they'll always be missed by the 90s generation.
If you had the chance to revisit Blockbuster one last time, which of these 90s smash hits would you rent first?
- Pulp Fiction
- Romeo + Juliet
- Cruel Intentions
- The Silence of the Lambs
- The Big Lebowski
- My Own Private Idato
- The Matrix
90s Nostalgia: Video Game Edition
Although Pong's known for being one of the first interactive at-home video games to pull kids away from the arcade, the 1990s really is to blame for birthing the video game generation. It was like every video game developer spent the entire decade working tirelessly to one-up their competitors, leaving 90s kids with loads of carpal-tunnel-in-the-making fun. From Nintendo 64 to PlayStation 1 to the Game Boy Color, which of these 1990s games could you still play in your sleep?
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
- GoldenEye 007
- Resident Evil
- Super Mario 64
- Pokemon Red/Blue
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- Gran Turismo
- Super Mario Kart
- Sonic the Hedgehog
90s Nostalgia: Family Vacation Edition
Fanny packs, disposable cameras, and enough cash to buy a small island in the tropics - these are just a few of the things you could find in any suitcase designated for a family vacation in the 1990s. Piling into the family van to see the sights around you, decked out in high socks and sneakers and ponytails held up with scrunchies was how everyone dreamed of spending their childhood summer vacations.
But, the real thrill of summer vacations was screaming your lungs out on a roller coaster at a massive theme park. Which of these iconic theme parks was your family's favorite haunt in the 90s?
- Six Flags
- Cedar Point
- Action Park
- Worlds of Fun
Relive the 90s Like it Wasn't 30 Years Ago
There's no better way to crush a '90s kids' spirit than reminding them that their beloved decade happened 30 years ago. While we can't Marty McFly ourselves back to the last decade of the millennium, we can pop in our NSYNC CDs into our Sony Discmans and just for a second relive those glory days.