As a child of the 90s, I take a lot of pride in my childhood. There are things about the way that I grew up that won’t ever exist again, and that’s something that a lot of 90s kids carry with us. Gone are the days of iconic cartoons, weird fashion and cult classic movies. Gone are the see through telephones, the sound of dial-up internet, and videos played via a flash player. There’s a lot of things 90s kids really miss about the era that would be totally strange and out of place today. That being said, there are things about the 90s that we should definitely leave in the 90s, and they’re things that we definitely won’t miss.
While there are some things about the 90s that we can and should be nostalgic about, the things we’re going to talk about here have no place in the world anymore. With the advances made in technology, the existence of the Internet, and the reality that our awful fashion choices will live on forever, some of the things that we considered normal in the 90s would be really creepy to do today. Some of these things involve our manners and etiquette, which change over the course of time, while others involve fashion, rave culutre and trends that need to die a horrible death. Here are fifteen things that should never come back from the 90s, and all the reasons why.
15. Frosted Tips In Your Hair
The 90s were a simpler time when our boy band heartthrobs could have their hair looking like slightly overcooked ramen noodles. Sorry, Justin Timberlake: I was seven when N*SYNC really became a thing, and even I knew that your ramen noodle hair was not going to stand the test of time. I was actually kind of sad about that, even at that age, because I had hair about as curly as yours, and not too many people out there had hair quite like that who happened to be famous. Justin Timberlake wasn’t the only one who made this look popular, but he was definitely the most egregious offender. Frosted tips don’t really look good on anyone, and the only reason why we let the whole thing go in the 90s was because we were wearing lots of crazy things then. Acid wash jeans and heroin chic was a thing during the 90s, too. The last thing we need is this trend coming back.
14. Excessive Nostalgia
To be honest, children of the 90s tend to overidealize their own childhoods. Everything about our childhoods was better than those before or after us, at least in our own minds. We’ve all done it, even me. However, 90s kids tend to be really elitist about “our” stuff, to the point where 90s nostalgia is everywhere. 90s nostalgia is so pervasive right now, remakes of 90s stuff are almost more prevalent than new things. Did we need a new Beauty and the Beast movie starring an overly Autotuned Emma Watson, or are people responding to the overwhelming demand for 90s nostalgia? Do we need all these remakes of 90s and early 2000s cartoons, or do people want to cash in on our nostalgia? These are things worth thinking about. The 90s nostalgia is so prevalent right now, kids of this generation aren’t really getting their own stuff, they’re just getting remakes of what we used to get as kids, and that’s kind of unfair. As 90s kids, we need to learn to let go of some of the things that were normal when we were young and make room for new things that might be just as cool or even cooler.
13. Pushing People Into Swimming Pools
Back in the 90s, people really loved throwing people into swimming pools. Even more so, they loved recording it and immortalizing it into different films. I have no idea why people would do this, but I’m honestly glad people stopped. If people made it a habit of pushing people or throwing people into swimming pools in this century, people would be in way more debt than they are now. People carry their cell phones, tablets, handheld gaming devices and more on them at all times nowadays. If this was still a habit, we’d owe at least $600 whenever we did it. That’s a steep price for anything that we could possibly do for the vine. This is something that we should leave in the 90s, not just because it’s rude and inconsiderate, but because doing so will ruin our precious 21st century devices, and that’s too big of a price to pay to push someone into a pool.
12. Rat Tails And Other Awful Haircuts
I talked a little bit about frosted tips, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to awful 90s haircuts. Looking back on the 90s, it’s almost hilarious how we thought these haircuts were cool. Remember the rat tail, pictured above? The half cornrow with butterfly clips lots of girls rocked in the 90s that really hurt your scalp but you powered through because it seemed worth it? Crimped hair that made it out of the 80s? Feathered bangs that made it out of the 80s (think DJ Tanner)? The Rachel haircut on anyone who isn’t Jennifer Aniston? We thought all of these looks were the height of cool, and they most definitely weren’t. We probably all look back at those photos and freak out about how people actually let us walk outside like that. In this century, we’re a lot more conscious of what our hair is capable of, so we’re not going out of our way to give ourselves unflattering haircuts that will just fall apart after a couple of days anymore. Hopefully, these hairstyles never make a resurgence.
11. McDonald’s McPizza
I’m going to be totally honest: I didn’t know pizza from McDonald’s was a thing. Unfortunately, it totally is, and it’s kind of horrifying. McDonald’s started selling pizza in the 90s but abandoned it when they weren’t selling well, partially because they take longer to cook than the rest of the menu there. Most franchises actually stopped selling it a long time ago, but there are two places selling it in Pomeroy, Ohio and Spencer, West Virginia. There’s no way that these things are going to be making a major comeback, but in those two towns, they still sell. According to one employee working in Spencer, while they don’t sell well all the time, there are days where everyone wants McDonald’s pizza. If you’re feeling nostalgic for McDonald’s pizza, you’re going to have to go to one of those two locations, because this stuff really shouldn’t make a comeback at all.
10. Taking Advice From Pop Songs
90s pop songs are amazing, and they have a way of burning themselves into our consciousness. A lot of these songs are actually good places to get advice. For example, “The Sign” teaches you that you can be your own savior by getting yourself out of a bad relationship. “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” is about letting go of a relationship by not living inside it forever. “Tubthumping” is about never giving up and always getting up again, not to mention getting drunk and standing up to politicians. However, a lot of songs from the 90s are filled with terrible advice. For example, if you want to be my lover, absolutely do not get with my friends. Also, Mariah Carey was wrong: he’s not always going to be your baby because he left you high and dry and he totally did escape you. Britney Spears was wrong: guys and girls can be friends without leading each other on. There’s a lot more like these and I’m pretty sure once I brought this up, a few examples came to mind yourself.
9. Soul Patches
The soul patch, also known as a jazz dot, is a form of facial hair that I’m actually not too clear on how to grow. It’s such a specific area of a man’s face that it doesn’t seem like hair would grow that way unless it was coaxed to do so. Either way, while soul patches look good on a few people, a lot of the time they just serve to make a hot guy that much less hot. Try imagining the hottest actor/male singer you know with a soul patch. Chances are that their faces are not improved by it. On top of that, soul patches tend to advertise things that guys might not want to advertise. Soul patches have long been considered to be the facial hair of the douchebag and to be honest, personal experience hasn’t done much for me to try and counteract that argument. If you’re a guy considering growing a soul patch, think before you do it, because it might not be the life changer you think it is.
8. Showing Up Unannounced At Other People’s Houses
Remember when you could just walk over to your friend’s house, knock on the door, and be let in without having to let anyone know first? Nowadays, you have to send a text letting the other person know you want to come over. Then, they have to accept that offer, and even after that, you need to send a confirmation text, then let them know you’ve arrived before they even let you in. The fact that we have tiny supercomputers that live in our pockets make it so it’s impossible to spontaneously drop on by someone’s house without letting them know first. Honestly, it’s a little sad, but to be honest, it’s important that we know that this era of society is over now. It’s not like we’re ever going to need to do this again, so it might be high time to let this particular 90s etiquette thing die.
7. Not Letting People Know When You’re Going To Be Late
In this day and age, there is nothing more annoying than going to meet someone somewhere, only to find that they’re going to be egregiously late. The one thing that’s probably more annoying than that is finding out that a person is going to be really late and them not telling you about it. It gets even worse if people just don’t bother to show up. If you were really late in the 90s, people would just have to assume the worst until you showed up, since there was no way to reach someone regardless of where they were. Nowadays, there’s no excuse to not let someone know when you’re running late because you have a cell phone that’s capable of reaching a person. You don’t even have an excuse for forgetting an event because your phone is capable of reminding you. Needless to say, people still do this and blame it on all sorts of things.
6. Butterfly Clips
When I was a little girl, I was envious of everyone who could wear these without getting them caught in their hair. Anyone with hair that was anything more than stick straight, let alone really curly like mine, couldn’t wear these things because they wouldn’t do anything for you. These clips were basically for decoration: they’d hang in your stick straight or slightly wavy hair and set off your tattoo chokers, and they were a lot of fun to wear. However, these clips are really flawed in their design. If you were wearing the tiny ones pictured above, they’d get caught in your hair, and God in heaven help you if you were unfortunate enough to step on one. If you’ve ever stepped on a Lego, you’ve got a good idea of the pain that you’d be in stepping on one of these. They were also really easy to lose. Women’s hair trends are all over the place nowadays, but this is one of those trends we probably could stand to forget about.
5. Memorizing Phone Numbers
When we were younger, if we wanted to contact someone, we needed to know that phone number by heart. If we didn’t know it, we’d have to keep a physical contact list in order to call people, and if we lost it, we were out of luck. These days, we’ll never have that problem, because our phones keep track of our contacts and will even recover them if we move from one device to the next. That being said, this comes with a downside. If on the off chance you use a number enough that it burns its way into your head, it’s actually seen as creepy. After all, you didn’t have to memorize the number, but you learned it anyway. If you went out of your way to memorize a number, this effect is doubled: why would you learn a number if the computer that lives in your pocket can do that for you? This one is kind of sad, just because there are a lot of times when memorizing a number was seen as sweet, and it still can be under the right circumstances, but most of the time, memorizing a number is creeper behavior now.
4. Pants That Turn Into Shorts
When I was a little girl, I had a pair of pants that could turn into shorts. I thought they were awesome, even though I never turned them into shorts. I just wanted the option to be able to do so. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what I know now: pants that can turn into shorts are really tacky. Cutting pants up into shorts as a DIY project is cool, but zippers? Nope. They don’t really go with all that much, and there’s always the chance that the zippers could jam, and then your pants are broken in the worst way. There’s also the possibility that you lose one of those legs while you’re having fun in your convertible shorts, and when that happens, what do you do with your one legged pant-shorts? There’s a lot to consider here, and this is just way too complicated for pants.
3. Not “Doing” Technology
There is no reason that in 2017, you should be avoiding technology the way people did in the 90s. Back in the 90s, it was seen as almost cute to say things like “I just don’t do computers.” People in the 90s used to actively avoid computers and technology because it was new and scary, and that was totally acceptable behavior. Nowadays, saying you “don’t do computers” is actually crazy. We rely on computers for just about everything now. You’re reading this on a piece of technology that runs like a computer does. There are a lot of people who can’t wrap their heads around the more complicated parts of technology, but no one is saying that they’re not about using anything technological at all because that would be ridiculous. This is one of those attitudes that died early on in the millennium and will only die further with every passing decade.
2. Fighting Over The Phone
When I was a little girl, I wanted my own phone line in my room. I have no idea what I would have done with it because I hated talking on the phone even as a kid and I mastered the art of the instant message early on, but I still wanted one because it seemed like the thing to have. Even though I didn’t like the phone, when I was younger I’d always rush to be the one who got to answer it. I don’t actually know why I did this, it just seemed like the thing to do. Luckily, this behavior is totally obsolete now. We all have our own phone lines in the form of cell phones, and no one is fighting with us for the right to answer them. Actually, it’s a little weird to even get excited about answering the phone at all, because we have the art of texting, a clearly superior form of communication. Needless to say, this is behavior that has no place in the 21st century.
1. Going To The Gate At The Airport
If you’re a fan of older movies and TV shows, you might find that there are sometimes scenes of going to meet people right at the airport gate, or dropping them off at the airport gate. For those of us who have been to the airport sometime during this millennium, we know that this never happens now. Thanks to high-profile terror attacks that have happened over the last couple of decades, it’s basically impossible to meet someone at the gate at the airport, no matter how well it would serve your fictional narrative. Remember that one scene from Love, Actually, or all of those times the cast of Friends would go and pick someone up right at the gate? Those days are gone now. This is one of those 90s things that I’m actually a little sad to see go, but the times have changed, and we must accept that.