5 Things You Should Always Remember About The '90s

1. The WB

Before there was the CW, we had The WB — a channel that produced much of the teen programming in the late ’90s. Without its existence, the world wouldn’t have been introduced to psychos like Felicity Porter and Dawson Leery, which would’ve been a very sad, no good, terrible thing.  What was great about those characters was that they had no qualms about being freaks. Having rewatched both Dawson’s Creek and Felicity in recent months, I can actually say that the protagonists were 100% insane. I’m surprised they even made it on TV, let alone had entire shows built around their cray cray personalities.  Need I remind you that Felicity stalked a boy she liked by following him across the country? And Dawson used words like “unequivocal” and “romance” while claiming to be straight?! Sure, they were both self-aware, but I don’t think they understood completely that they were delusional losers. Nowadays, teenagers on TV are savvy and sexy with well-porportioned foreheads. They might be labeled outcasts but even that’s become cool.  Sigh. I guess I just miss the teens of the ’90s. All that frizzy hair, dorky clothes, and obsessive stalkerish tendencies. I also miss Amanda Peet, Simon Rex, and that weird show Zoe, Duncan, Jack, and Jane, which was later retitled Zoe… for some reason.

2. TRL

The other day I was watching The TRL Decade on VH1 and I wondered where the hell pop music went. Sure, we still have singers like Adele, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, but what happened to the ultimate cheez-whiz acts like Eden’s Crush and Backstreet Boys? Pop music was so saccharine in the ’90s! Then I realized that kind of music still exists. It just moved to The Disney Channel. The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez are making that sickly sweet juvenile pop on a venue that’s specifically targeted to their tween audience . And what a shame, I say! I miss having a space like TRL that put pop music in a blender and spit it out to a diverse audience. Watching it every day after school felt like interacting on a message board, except you didn’t have to do anything besides stare at Carson Daly. The internet is a poor substitute for what the show used to provide, which was endless hours of entertainment from watching the pop music fans co-habitate with the goths.

3. Raves were cool

Growing up, I always wanted to go to a rave and do Ecstasy. Even when I watched True Life: I’m An E-tard and saw an MRI of that girl who had holes in her brain, I was still like “K, gimme.” Raves were just SO COOL in the ’90s and I wanted nothing more than to wear glowsticks and feel someone’s aura. By the time I became old enough to actually do it, however, Ecstasy was no longer in vogue and ravers had become embarrassing. Incidentally, I tried E for the first time a few weeks ago at THE AGE OF 25 and mostly just felt mortified for myself. I went to a gay bar, danced to Whitney Houston and subsequently felt brain dead for the next 48 hours. I’m almost positive I would’ve had a better experience if it had been 1997.

4. The internet wasn’t The Internet

We had the best of both worlds in the ’90’s, didn’t we? We could type our research papers on a computer and search for useful information while shooting out an email or two without being totally held by the balls. Back then it was acceptable to sign offline and have a real life. No one was going to yell at you about an unanswered email, or ask you to follow them on Twitter, or ask for your thoughts on EVERY SINGLE  THING that happens to you throughout the day. That wasn’t the purpose of the Internet. In the ’90s, you went online to talk with strangers in a chat room and spend 7 hours downloading music and/or porn. In retrospect, doesn’t that just sound so much better?

5. You were young! “Were” being the operative word…

If you could relate to and remember all of the aforementioned things, that means you are no longer the youngest person at the bar. It means you can have sex with someone who was born in the ’90s and not go to jail for it. Well, not jail jail. You could still shame spiral about sleeping with someone so young and create your own emotional prison. My favorite! TC mark

image – Dawson’s Creek

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Patrickhclapp

    So true. The 90s were such a magical time, truly the best of both worlds. On one hand, the last decade of the true Blockbuster films i.e. Independence Day, Jurassic Park-and on the other hand the death of great television along with the birth of the internet. Brings a tear to my eye.

  • mb

    the best movies came out in the 90s too. Remember Jawbreaker? Cinematic masterpiece. Characters aren’t bitchy enough anymore, they need to take a few pointers from Rose McGowan.

    Also re: Felicity- totally agreed. Thanks to Netflix instant I rewatched the entire series (lol, so lame) recently and holy shit she was certifiably crazy but somehow still ended up with Ben in the end?? So what’s the morale: keep stalking, eventually it’ll pay off?

    • mb

      yikes, typo- moral ** sorry 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5229681 Jessica Murfin

    Aw….I guess I’m old! I really miss TRL and Dawson’s Creek was my jam. That and Buffy :)

    • guest


  • Brandon h

    There is some soft-core video of Simon Rex jerking off floating around the internet for years now. He’s a sexy guy and he’s got nothing to be ashamed of if you know what I mean.

    Not that anyone would be interested in such filth. *clutches pearls*

    • WHERE.



  • S.

    born in 88 and I TOTALLY FEEL YOU on the rave thing. I was at a party a while ago with a bunch of 30-somethings reminiscing about all the sweet raves they went to in, like, death trap warehouses and I was so completely jealous. also they used to throw keggers for suburban university students to finance their raves: charge kids $10 apiece, play them shitty top 40, and then kick them out at 1 am so they could bring in amazing DJs and get balls high. genius.
    the other day my dad was like “remember when you were 12 and you wanted to go to a rave in Toronto with [best friend at the time]? you asked if we could drive you guys there and pick you up the next morning.”  UGH SO HILARIOUS/UNCOOL. whyyyyy.

  • kgb

    I’m still trying to figure out why people are writing these memoir-like articles about the 90’s like it was 50 years ago.
    I’ve noticed it’s pretty much always about the 90’s too, like saying “OMG, we are SOOOO old!  Remember all the crazy stuff from when we were little?  OMG, it’s SOOO different now!”

    • punny


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zack-P/503416752 Zack P.

    Raves are still cool if you know where to look; also I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the rave sounds of 1997 are all over the pop music of today. You should look for an environment less conducive to mortification than a gay bar playing Whitney Houston (unless you’re gay and/or really into Whitney, but if that’s the case I think maybe MDMA just isn’t your thing); as a 33 year-old, I still love eating a couple pills and leaving it all on the dance floor. Maybe try some at a show by Teengirl Fantasy, James Blake, Diplo, or A-Trak maybe?

  • Anonymous

    Soooo many 90s nostalgia posts. ahhhhh.

  • Jake

    had to say “eden’s crush” out loud

  • Anonymous

    I feel forty years older just reading this.

  • tooyoungfordawson

    You forgot to mention video stores, which Netflix has now more or less rendered obsolete. I can’t remember anything greater than going to the local video depot to rent The Neverending Story or It Takes Two on VHS.

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaNassiri Joshua

    “not jail jail.”
    God I love your writing. 


    List Catalog

  • Batchelorh

    Until this article I complete forgot about the concept of signing offline.  I wish I could do that right now, but I’d probably lose my job and have to throw my phone in the Hudson.

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