s we move further and further away from the 1990s, we learn to cherish a not so distant decade filled with pop culture-defining moments more and more. With shows like ‘Friends’ and comebacks like that of Kerrigan’s, it is hard not to love the amazing times that gave us so many iconic items that are evergreen in our hearts.
Let us take a look at shows, music, movies, sports teams, and other memorable things from the 1990s decade.
Nickelodeon Ruled Children Television
In the 1990s, Nickelodeon ruled television. Even parents could not deny it won a place in their hearts. Iconic shows like ‘Hey Arnold!’ and ‘Rugrats’ still pop in references and are even worthy of a binge-watch, if you are feeling up for one. And with the 1998 Rugrats Movie, we loved seeing Tommy, Chuckie, and friends on the big screen.
Household Names as Cast of the Mickey Mouse Club
Today, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, and Ryan Gosling are all household names, but their 1993 audience had no clue to except such big things from them. When the ‘All-New Mickey Mouse Club’ aired its sixth season with these future stars, they were indeed presenting us with a Hollywood red carpet view from 2010. Who would have thought?
Clueless was Monumental
Clueless has gone down in history as one of the best movies of all time, but in the ‘90s, even that loyalty-given award wouldn’t be enough to describe how much it affected pop culture. From dressing like Alicia Silverstone in complete plaid to talking and behaving like the cast, no movie quite shaped the culture of the 1990s like Clueless. You’re clueless as to why? See the movie. You’d understand.
McDonald’s Supersize Fries
It was in the 1990s that fast food went to supersizes, providing, even more, to relish for the customers. In 1992, McDonald’s released supersize fries that were famous until 2004.
Chasing the White Bronco
Everyone remembers the 1990s White Ford Bronco that the police chased for two hours over 60 miles, and everyone remembers why.
O.J. Simpson hopped into his car hoping to outrun the Los Angeles Police Department before they caught up with him and arrest him for the alleged murder of his ex-wife and her lover.
Simpson will be exonerated after two years of a drawn-out trial, but the story unearthed a lot of interracial conflicts and is still prominent on the debate radar today.
Microsoft Saved Apple
iDevice lovers of this decade, did you know that Apple was about to file for bankruptcy in 1997 when Bill Gates announced a $150 million investment into the company? In true leadership fashion, Gates’ philosophy was perfectly outlined by Jobs’ words spoken to explain the phenomenon:
“WE HAVE TO LET GO OF THE NOTION THAT FOR APPLE TO WIN, MICROSOFT HAS TO LOSE.”
Guess we know whom to really thank for our sweet iPhones.
The Digital Pet Age
If you were a proper 1990s kid in America, you owned a Tamagotchi. There was no way around it, you just did. 1997 saw kids adoring their digital cat or dogs, even skipping classes to “feed” their handheld digital pets. You can still get one of those keychains today if you feel like resuscitating some childhood nostalgia.
We All Love Our “FRIENDS”
Friends definitely win the award for a show of the decade with the most lovable cast — single and leading city lives in their 20s. It was a new direction, different from what the media was used to at that time. And even though the storyline has now been tested and tried, Friends remains a favorite over two decades later.
With the Y2K, everyone was fairly certain the world was going to end. Obviously, people deny it now with statements like, ‘Oh, we never really did believe it then,’ but never mind that. They did believe it. And yet, nothing happened. The 1990s did of course have an ending that couldn’t be more anticlimactic.
The Dream Team
In 1992, the U.S. basketball team competed in the games hosted in Barcelona. Although the decision was born out of the failure to capture gold in the 1988 Summer Olympics, its results were nothing like it. The games were well attended by the greatest compilation of basketball players in history — players like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan.
The Dream Team, as they are fondly called, went on to beat teams by an average of 43.8 points per game, win the gold medal and solidify America’s dominance in basketball.
Disney’s Never-Dying Classics were Born
The 1990s gave us some of Disney’s greatest hits that turned the franchise to a household name — there was Beauty and the Beast in 1991, Aladdin in 1992, and Lion King in 1994.
Nancy Kerrigan’s Unbeatable Comeback
50 days before her competition in the 1994 Winter Olympics, figure skater Tonya Harding masterminded an attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan. But this did nothing to stop the brilliant performer. Kerrigan would perform at the Olympics and finish with a silver medal on a show that has the sixth-highest rating in U.S. TV history.
1997 Saw The First Harry Potter Release
J.K. Rowling gave us entry into Potter’s magical world in 1997 with her first book — Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone. We can proudly say it’s been two decades, and we are still obsessed.
Streetwear was For Us By Us
FUBU or ‘For Us By Us’ quickly became the staple source of streetwear in America in the 1990s. What began as a Queens-based hat company took over street fashion. How we loved every bit of it!
Did You Know Mike Tyson is a Biter?
When Tyson fought Evander Holyfield for the second time in eight months, he was something close to desperate to regain his position as the all-time reigning champion and reclaim the heavyweight championship belt. So, in not-so-typical fashion, he nearly bit off Holyfield’s right ear after a series of headbutts from the frustrated Tyson. The absurd part? Tyson wasn’t disqualified till he did it again, biting Holyfield’s other ear in the same round. He must have figured if he was going to get away with it, might as well double the sneak attack?
Our Dear Dear Beanie Babies
Beanie Babies were ‘born’ in 1993 with the nine originals — Squealer the Pig, Legs the Frog, Spot the Dog, Splash the Whale, Flash the Orca, Patti the Platypus, Chocolate the Moose, Pinchers the Lobster, and Brownie or “Chubbie” the Bear. No one knew how much of a phenomenon they would become. They were so popular, that a mob trampled kids during a rush for the limited edition TY toys.
The Simpsons Paved Way for Modern Satirical Cartoons
We know ‘The Simpsons’ actually started in the 80s, but it counts as a major part of the 1990’s since that was when it gained most of its earliest recognition. ‘The Simpsons’ defied the definition cartoons had been attributed earlier, allowing deeper themes of modern living to emerge, along with relatable content and crude humor. What’s not to love?
The Macarena Move
Can you remember how to bust this move? No? Every wedding, birthday party, prom, sweet sixteen and club was overtaken by the 1995 Spanish pop-dance hit.
The Rise of Google
A time before Google is really hard to picture now. We have so many questions — starting with how the oldies got by. So naturally, we are thankful for 1998, the year that Larry Page and Sergey Brin blessed us with the gift of Google. We truly cannot express our gratitude enough.
Nelson Mandela Was Freed From Prison
And Like any great decade, the 1990s began with the best of news — Mandela’s freedom after 27 years in prison. In 1990, the anti-apartheid activist was released from jail.
Can you think of anything we left off the list? Tell us.