Top 10 Trends From the 90s That I Hope Stay in the 90s

Top 10 Trends From the 90s That I Hope Stay in the 90s

By Jeremy Azevedo
Now that we are hurtling toward a new decade at breakneck speeds, 80s nostalgia is really beginning to show it’s age.

All of the people that were actually cool in the 80s (and are still living today) now look ridiculous… like grandparents in designer jeans, desperately clinging to the last shreds of youth, their tattoos faded and running together on skin that looks like leathery, pre-chewed gum. Metal Skool in Los Angeles is drawing nothing but frat bros in backwards baseball caps and 80s night at the local all ages club is starting to look like an episode of “To Catch a Predator”. Obviously the only thing to do now is to leave the dead to lay and move on to the inevitable 90s nostalgia. But before doing so, I would like to caution everyone against resurrecting these ten 90s trends that are better off dead…

Modern Primitives

Clearly an expert on primitive cultures.

These assholes justified their crappy “tribal” tattoos and facial piercings by claiming that they were paying homage to the rite of passage rituals practiced by primitive cultures. Just what primitive cultures these were, exactly, was never quite clear, as there was never such a thing as a  “Modern Primitive” cultural historian or anthropology professor. Rather, most were probably employed primarily as BDSM club bartenders, industrial musicians, janitors or anything else that did not require a college education or any interfacing with the public at large. Every time you see some asshole manbot with a “tribal” tattoo on his bicep or get sneered at by a surly teen skank with a ring in her nose and a fishhook in her lip, you have the Modern Primitives to thank.


Cloning: It really only works if you are Michael Keaton.

Cloning will never, ever result in another “you” that can go to work for you while you stay at home sniffing airplane glue and playing video games all day. Nor will it ever provide you with an exact copy of your jealous girlfriend to participate in threesomes without your lady-piece getting all weird about it. So, knowing that, my question is “why bother?”

Nu-Metal (Korn, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, etc.)

90% of the time, these dudes wore Adidas track suits. I shit you not.

Some might say that the early 2000s were the time in which this genre of music really took hold, but the late 90s were the time in which it actually still seemed like a good idea to many of us. That nearly every single person now in their twenties owned at least a half-dozen Nu-Metal albums in our teenage years is the secret shame of my generation, most especially those of us that are now employed as journalists of sorts (like myself) and are expected to be some sort of arbiter of taste. My friend Pete Pelmo, a former writer for, likened his early support of Korn and Limp Bizkit to blindly supporting the Nazi regime prior to WWII.

Last year, Pete Pelmo was publicly called out as the “world’s biggest 311 fan” by Internet user and former (Hed) P.E. groupie, BuckCherryFan420, on the message boards of Pelmo’s article, “Top 10 Ways in Which Radiohead Can Solve the Impending Financial Crisis Through Their Musical Economic Policy”. Pelmo responded by shooting himself in the dick, taking his life. A suicide note left behind claimed that “He did it all for the nookie”.

America Online

A familiar sight in 1997.

I used to get an America Online free trial disc in the mail like 10 times a week for like 2 or 3 years straight, I shit you not. If I didn’t check my mail every single goddamn day, all my bills and jack mags would be all smashed into oblivion by the 6 or 7 discs that the mailman unceremoniously shoved into the box like your date on prom night. Unfortunately for AO, people like rampaging solicitation about as much as they like paying by the minute for their Internetz, which is to say, not at all. Nowadays, America Online users are like the white tigers of the Internet (i.e. endangered). Old people, on the other hand, continue to use this service to this day because it is so goddamn hard to cancel and they are still struggling to figure out the mysteries of the touchtone phone. But they’ll all be dead soon and that will be the end of that I suppose.

School Shootings

Screen from an RPG video game some asshole made about Columbine.

After teen angst and Pac-Manning behavior modifying medication like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory became popular, but before we had really good video games about shooting people like Halo and Call of Duty, high school kids used to have to shoot each other for kicks. I guess some people still do this but the 90s were when this activity really rose to prominence. Do you know how many school shootings there were in the 90s? Fourteen! That’s more than the entirety of recorded American history combined up to that point.  I say it’s high time we took the guns away from the greasy, Ritalin addicted children and put them back into the hands of muggers, rapists and gangster rappers where they belong.

Magic: The Gathering, Collectible Card Games in General

A very rare Magic card, which has the ability to damage the player’s feelings.

Imagine a game that can be played with a simple deck of cards… One that has set rules and can be played against opponents competitively. Becoming very good at this game is difficult (because it combines skill and luck), but mastery of it can bring fortune, wealth and an unending parade of trashy women. Now imagine that instead of playing this card game (poker, for those of you who are slow), a bunch of sweaty nerds decided to play a card game about wizards and elves and shit instead, often times paying hundreds of dollars for rare cards, gaining nothing and scoring exactly 0 babes.

Magic geeks have since learned that bragging to women about the value of a mass-produced piece of cardboard with a picture of a unicorn on it does more harm than good to their already ailing social life. However, there’s a whole new generation coming up on Pokemons and YuGiOh that don’t realize that collectible card games are the gateway drug to harder nerd habits like Pogs and collecting Beanie Babies.

Riots in Los Angeles

Yeah, I didn’t know that glass was flammable, either.

In the 90s, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone in the process of rioting about something. Most notably were the Rodney King riots in which Los Angelians found themselves unable to “Just all get along” and the Lakers riot, in which sports fans trashed the shit out of downtown because the Lakers won a basketball game. The good thing about LA riots is that, “hey, free TVs!” But the bad thing is that someone could stomp your ass into toothpaste and get away with it if they feel so inclined, because the only rule about riots is that there are no rules. And those are not good odds, my friend.

Tibetan Freedom

Typical Free Tibet protesters.

College students in the 90s loved Tibetan Freedom because most of their parents were presumably Christians, a religion that does not in any way, shape or form include monks or karate or people with colorful names like “Dalai Lama” that sit around being “enlightened” all the time (getting high) like Buddhism does. Because college students love nothing more than to rattle the cages of the people that pay their tuition and student housing costs, Tibetan Freedom was a hot issue throughout the 90s. College students in the 90s also tended to strongly disapprove of China, not realizing that this too, is a hand-me-down from their parent’s cold war generation. (I won’t tell them if you don’t!)

Try and imagine, if you will, the naiveté of a bunch of hippies holding rock concerts and putting bumper stickers on their Volkswagens in support of a group of people that could give a shit less about rock concerts and/or Volkswagens and make up only a small fraction of the displaced indigenous people to begin with. A group of people that wouldn’t even stand up to protect their solidarity if by some miracle that solidarity was handed to them, because they are non-violent. That, in a nutshell, is the gist of Tibetan Freedom.

Ridiculously Baggy Pants

In prison, having your pants below your ass means you’re down for the ol’ BF.

I swear to Christ if I never see another dude’s boxer shorts because his pants are around his knees in public, it’ll be too soon. Now I’m not saying that I never wore baggy jeans myself… it’s not as if you can really go against the fashion of the time without inviting a certain amount of unwarranted attention. But there is a line between “wearing baggy pants” and “waddling around in denim leg warmers with your dick flopping out all over the bus seat that I was gonna sit on”. Even fashionable hoodlums and gangbangers have since eliminated the extremely baggy pants from their wardrobe for the most part, realizing after ten years of extensive field-testing that running from the cops with your pants around your ankles is both ineffective and sort of embarrassing.


Next to this, hipsters actually don’t look too bad.

Fact: Gay dudes have even shittier taste in music than women, I swear. I don’t know what’s worse, the horrible, early 90s bootleg photoshopped fliers, the garish neon colors, the glowsticks, the giant pants, the f**king pacifiers, the cat in the hat caps, the false sense of brotherly love, the elevation of the DJ to the level of rock star… The whole scene was an abortion in the world of music, fashion and art and should have any evidence of its existence erased from the history books for the protection of future generations.

Protip: The rave scene actually sort of still exists today, only now it is sponsored by Red Bull and it is called “Burning Man”.

Alternatively: 10 Things About the 90s I’d Like To See Make A Comeback