21 VHS Tapes You Most Likely Had In Your Childhood Collection
If there’s one thing we know about each and every one of you, it’s the VHS tapes you definitely used to own back in the day. As early as “Star Wars” and “E.T.” to ’90s classics, we have a stockpile of classic tapes you used to rewind constantly in the VCR, at least until you got in a fight with your brother and he pulled the ribbon out and made you cry. Ah, memories. Now get scrolling and fall disgustingly into a world of nostalgia and overpriced, low quality rewinds. And if you’re wondering where VHS tapes go to die, you’ll have to scroll through our fun little list first.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
The first live-action feature of the green team was the gritty New York City classic before bad costumes and cheesy storylines made their ugly appearance. “Pizza dude’s got 30 seconds.”
The Mighty Ducks (1992)
Although we all have wondered where they are now, Emilio and his ducks will always hold a place in our adult hearts. And it’s one of the few trilogies where the first sequel — “D2: The Mighty Ducks” — gets more rewinding than most original VHS tapes in our collection. The sequel had extra Goldberg farts and knuckle-pucks; that’s why. Still, it’s one of the best trilogies of all time in my humble opinion.
Sister Act (1992)
The worldly Reno singer turned convent choir conductor was a young Whoopi Goldberg at her finest. Whoopi and Catholicism never looked so good.
A young Drew Barrymore and her suburban California family take in an extra-terrestrial via Reese’s Pieces before helping a sick E.T. get back to his mothership. “Oh, piece of candy!”
Home Alone (1990)
The formerly adorable kid actor, Macaulay Culkin, plays Kevin McCallister, who outsmarts a couple of burglars, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, with a few toy cars, a couple buckets of paint and his brother Buzz’s tarantula. The sequel is a classic, too, but everyone has the original. “Buzz, your girlfriend, woof!”
Pete Venkman (Bill Murray), Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), partners in slime, begin their own extermination start-up to save New York City from a ghost infestation and Sigourney Weaver’s hot, possessed body, which gets transformed into a barking bear-dog. “Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!”
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Jim Carrey was a triple threat in 1994, and as Lloyd Christmas with Harry Dunn (Jeff Daniels) as his old buddy, old pal, gives people more quotable classic lines than any comedy to date. The film’s sequel arrived in 2014, a nice 20-year anniversary present. I didn’t love it, but I did like it. “I like it a lot!”
The Mask (1994)
The summer of ’94 was hot — “Smokin!” actually — as Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz dance into a magical mask-querade, where Carrey’s Stanley Ipkiss goes from boring, pathetic banker to hip, supernatural hunk with the touch of the evil green mask.
Wayne’s World (1992)
Dana Carvey and Mike Myers rise from a “Saturday Night Live” skit as Wayne and Garth to the big screen to battle the man and keep their show from going commercial. “Party time, excellent!”
The Land Before Time (1988)
One of the most classic animated films of the ’80s, the story of Little Foot and his pal dinosaurs, along with an old fashioned brutal, traumatizing death in film, in one of survival from the great earthquake to the promised land of the Great Valley, along with the chasing of tree stars.
Star Wars (1977)
The George Lucas saga started in 1977, and we kept the dream alive by bringing C-3PO and R2-D2 into our living room in the highest quality way possible. Of course, the VHS is a laughingstock now, but back in the ’80s it’s all we watched. It started with “A New Hope” in ’77 and kept going. Now we get a (big sequel this year).
Homeward Bound, The Incredible Journey (1993)
Shadow, Sassy and a little Chance marched their fury behinds home after their family gives them up to move to the big city. If you ask us, this little trio of trouble deserves better pet owners after being abandoned and getting chased by mountain lions, whacked by a porcupine and almost drowned. Michael J. Fox did the voiceover for Chance. “Back to the Future” might be in this list if I had owned it, since it is one of the best trilogies and all.
Robin Williams did a lot of great things, but none will keep us as young as his middle-aged take on Pan, opposite Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, in the live action feature. Williams plays a workhorse office dweeb who struggles make his family a priority, but when his children are kidnapped by James Hook, he must go to Neverland, learn to fly and get his kids back. Fake food fights ensue.
The Sandlot (1993)
The new kid on the block, Scottie Smalls, joins the neighborhood kids for some pick-up baseball, only to have his dad’s prized baseball land in the arms of their neighbor’s English mastiff, Beast. The ball is retrieved and summer hijinks ensure. Spoiler.
Ace Ventura (1994)
Jim Carrey’s whopping triple threat comedy lineup of 1994 was never outdone by his character, Ace, a private pet detective and lover of all animals. When the Miami Dolphins mascot, Snowflake, is kidnapped, guess who’s on the scene, solving animal abuse crimes and having a tranny’s gun dug into his hip? None other than Ace Ventura, Pet Dick.
Jurassic Park (1993)
What do you get when extinct dinosaurs are genetically recreated and thrown into a park with Jeff Goldblum? The best damn dino franchise in history. This summer’s monster blockbuster sequel was kicked off by Michael Critchon’s same-titled book, adapted for the big screen in 1993. The park was created to inhabit the extinct species, only to kill most of its human occupants upon initial opening. Colorful remixes of Ford Explorers did not help for blending in.
Free Willy (1993)
When a young orphan boy Jesse strikes up a friendly relationship with Willy, a baby orca, he develops a bit of a show for the water park, only the park owner looks to take advantage of the whale while Jesse works to set it free to be with its fellow orcas. Saltwater raindrops that resemble tears conveniently appear as the movie climaxes.
Top Gun (1986)
Hot shot, daredevil pilot, Maverick (Tom Cruise), is competing in Top Gun’s flight school to be the best behind the wings of the plane as well as competing for the loving embrace of his flight instructor, Charlotte. Val Kilmer is Iceman, about as cool as they come.
Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992)
Michael Keaton dons the black cape and cowl as the Dark Knight in Tim Burton’s two attempts at the Batman franchise. The first in 1989 with Jack Nicholson as his Joker was the first gritty live action feature, and the 1992 follow-up, “Batman Returns,” was an expansion including Catwoman and Penguin as the villains of the film.
The Lion King (1994)
And as far as Disney films, “The Lion King” was likely the most popular VHS in your collection. That’s not to belittle “101 Dalmatians,” “Beauty and the Beast” or “Aladdin,” though. You probably had those, too.
Bonus: If you’ve ever wondered where all of these VHS tapes ended up (besides the trash), for one particular movie, it led to one of the weirdest collections in the world.