The Absolute 10 Best Things about Growing Up in the ’90s
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The ’90s were an era unlike any other. It was the perfect transitional decade, with a lot of the neon goofiness from the ‘80s segueing into the more straight-faced ‘00s. The ‘90s were a time of Saturday morning cartoons, skateboarding, pro wrestling, and Pizza Hut. It was an era that saw the rise of Super Nintendo, slasher flicks, and SNICK. TGIF was destination viewing, long before the battles for the Iron Throne. The ‘90s were a more innocent time, despite the sexual proclivities of the President of the United States.
Ladies loved LL Cool J, boy bands sold as many CDs as hair products, and MTV still actually played music — some of which was even requested live. It was the era of Pogs and Ninja Turtles and Giga-Pets. For those who lived through the ’90s, there is nothing but fond memories. Those are memories worth revisiting, which is why we’re presenting the 10 best things about growing up in the ‘90s.
Times were simpler: Everything That Mattered To ’90s Kids
While skateboarding arguably started in the ‘80s, it was the following decade that really shone a spotlight on this extreme sport. This was due, in large part, to a renegade skater named Tony Hawk. Hawk was, at one point, the greatest skateboarder on the planet and he helped bring a worldwide audience to what was once an underground fad.
If there was one actor who defined the ‘90s, it had to be Jim Carrey. He appeared in a number of films throughout the decade, all of them hits. From The Mask to Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura, The Cable Guy, Liar Liar and Man on the Moon, Carrey was all over the box office throughout the ‘90s and there was, perhaps, no bigger star of the silver screen.
The ‘90s were pivotal for the music industry. Rap music, pop, rock, and every other genre delivered songs and artists in spades. Nirvana, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Creed, U2, Kid Rock, and Limp Bizkit were just some of the acts that dominated the airwaves. This was truly one of the best decades for music and it is one that has yet to be topped.
Professional Wrestling Boom
If you were to look around a room in 1997 or 1998, there is a good chance you would see a lot of black T-shirts featuring either an nWo logo or an Austin 3:16 logo. Both of those logos come from the world of professional wrestling because, in the latter half of the ‘90s, pro wrestling was everywhere. It was one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons of the decade. The "Monday Night War" between WWF and WCW resulted in millions of viewers tuning in on Monday nights. It was truly an incredible thing to watch and be a part of.
Lack of Technology
It’s hard to believe, but back before iPads and iPhones and iAnything, kids actually had to use their imaginations. Instead of "screen time," we had "play time." We would wake up early, ride our bikes to the nearest and newest adventure, and return right before dinner. A lack of technology meant kids had to improvise, so instead of watching Paw Patrol, we became superheroes, Ninja Turtles, or Indiana Jones. It was a simpler time, a better time.
Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
The ‘80s had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but the ‘90s gave life to the mighty morphin' Power Rangers. These “teenagers with attitude” were everywhere in the ‘90s. As they battled Rita Repulsa and her evil "putty patrol," these superheroes in motorcycle helmets also dealt with adolescence. Whether your favorite ranger was the Red, Yellow, Pink, Blue or Black Ranger, it didn’t matter, because none of them were as good as the Green Ranger. Don’t @ us.
AOL Instant Messenger
Of course, as soon as we did get technology, that’s literally all we could think about. Before the days of text messaging and Snapchat, there was AOL Instant Messenger. AIM was the ‘90s equivalent of texting, except you had to stop doing it anytime your mom needed to use the phone. But we did have sweet screen names, like thrlseekr540. We may not have been the "coolest person" in middle school, but we spent a significant amount of time talking to hot babes online, all day.
SNES vs Sega Genesis Console War
Before PlayStations and Xboxes, if you wanted to get your game on, you had to take a side in the war between Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Super Nintendo, of course, was home to classic games like Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong and Zelda. Sega, on the other hand, had Sonic the Hedgehog, Toe Jam and Earl and the best versions of Mortal Kombat. Both consoles offered hours of entertainment, but we were always partial to SNES. What say you?
Going to the Video Store
Friday nights were meant for the video store. They were meant to be spent perusing through the shelves, judging films based solely on their covers and convincing your parents to let you rent a movie and a video game. The video store is a relic of the past these days, but back in the ‘90s, there was no greater place on Earth.
The Silver Age of Television
Ahem. Seinfeld, Friends, South Park, The Simpsons, Batman: The Animated Series, TGIF, SNICK, Are You Afraid of the Dark, MonsterVision, Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Need we say more?