12 Things From The '90s That Don't Exist Today, Despite Our Heart's Deepest Desires
Thanks to the '90s renaissance in which we currently live, much of what was old is becoming new again. But while '90s kids are enjoying a resurgence of some of our favorite fashions, foods, and toys from the glory days, there are some things from the '90s that simply don't exist today — they've been relegated to the past, along with our actual youth and ability to pull off powder blue corduroy overalls. (Seriously, I wasn't the only one rockin' this style). Yes, despite our obsession with all things '90s, there were some things we left behind. Begrudgingly, but still.
Having said that, there's still hope, you know. After all, we'd long since made peace with the departure of Surge when it resurfaced. And, much to our delight, our chokers and denim jackets can come out of retirement. From Crystal Pepsi to the Backstreet Boys, '90s kids have recently enjoyed the revival of many of our favorite things once believed to be extinct. Could some of the following fads, foods, and other fun yet now non-existent stuff from the greatest decade in recent history be given the opportunity to live on IRL and not just in our memories? Let's hope so.
Until that day, though, let's wax nostalgic about 'em. Here are 12 things from the '90s that don't exist today — even if we kind of wish they still did.
1. Blockbuster VHS Tapes
'Twas a long and (re)winding road for video rental store Blockbuster. Once a total behemoth whose brick-and-mortar stores served as a popular hangout for '90s teens on the search for copies of Clueless or Pulp Fiction, Blockbuster basically went belly up sometime around 2010 after filing for bankruptcy. They survived as on online DVD subscription service until late 2015, when customers began being redirected to Sling TV.
2. The Aggro Crag
What '90s kid didn't dream of the crowning glory that could only come from conquering the Aggro Crag? This giant fabricated mountain was the fifth and final leg of intense competition on Nickelodeon GUTS, a series that originally ran for a few years in the mid-'90s. Mastering it was by no means as breeze, though — "dangers" like strobe lightning, foam rock avalanches and confetti snow stood in the way. And heaven forbid anyone forget to hit an actuator on the way up!
3. Puff Daddy & Mase
While both Puff Daddy and Mase both still obviously exist individually (albeit under different monikers nowadays), the dynamic duo they once were is no more. Although Mase remained on Puffy's Bad Boy Records label for nearly two decades, we were never again treated to the kind of collaborations the two created in the '90s — think "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" and "Been Around the World." Happily, they did perform together for the 20th anniversary of Bad Boy Records at the 2015 BET Awards. More, please. We want more.
4. Floppy Disks
Floppy disks were by far the most ubiquitous means of data storage in the '90s. I distinctly remember the satisfying clicking sound they'd make as I shoved one into my desktop's floppy drive to save my latest school project. But with the emergence of newer (and, let's be real, better) technology, floppy disks have been rendered obsolete. Now, you can save to your heart's content using teeny tiny flash drives shaped like superheroes and such.
5. Passing Notes
There was something so exciting about slipping notes to your BFF throughout the day at school. Would you get caught? Would your teacher give you detention? The risk was well worth it to unwrap elaborately folded notes, like being gifted little presents all day long. Such old school forms of gossiping have since been rendered obsolete by the much more efficient means of texting, tweeting, and Snapchatting. Booooo.
6. Bob Barker on The Price Is Right
Bob Barker was like an extended family member in our household when I was growing up in the '90s, thanks to my grandma's daily Price is Right habit. I even got to enjoy this venerable game show host well into the early '00s, before he was replaced by Drew Carey — not that I have anything against Carey, but by golly, no one could remind you to have your pet spayed or neutered lke ol' Bob.
7. P.B. Crisps
Mmmm, P.B. Crisps. Introduced by Planters in 1992, these delightful little snacks were marketed as "peanut butter with a crunch." I can't imagine what my '90s cafeteria days would have been like without this sweet afternoon pick-me-up, but that is the sad reality for cafeteria-lunching kids today. Sorry 'bout your luck, you guys.
8. The Windows Start Maze Screensaver
If you had a desktop computer circa 1995, you undoubtedly are familiar with the Windows maze screensaver. It. Was. Mesmerizing. Granted, the graphics now look comically clumsy, but in the '90s, this felt like a 4-D Motion Master ride had made its way into our home computers.
9. Justin & Britney
More than a decade has passed since Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake called it quits, but they remain the prom queen and king of '90s pop culture couples. He was her first kiss, she apparently broke his heart, they wore matching patchwork denim — ahh, ain't love grand? Since a reconciliation is unlikely, these two will simply have to live on in our hearts.
For the life of me, I can't recall why I ever wanted to chug a beverage with free-floating edible balls bouncing around in it. At the time, it seemed totally legit — much like the mile-high hairsprayed bang phase of middle school did. Eesh. No wonder this fruit-flavored "texturally enhanced alternative beverage" didn't last long after its inception in '97. Lava lamps are fun to look at, but no one wants to drink one.
11. The Dream of an Empire Records Job
Le sigh. So many hours of my youth were spent swooning over Johnny Whitworth's dreamy A.J. and wishing I was half as cool as Liv Tyler's Corey or Rory Cochrane's Lucas. My entire circle of friends and I couldn't wait for the day we could score a gig somewhere just like Empire Records. And although there are still boutique music stores around, they are few and far between — and they likely don't include bosses anywhere as hip as Anthony LaPaglia's Joe.
12. '90s Slang
To be fair, '90s slang does still exist ... especially if you visit my home, where you are entirely likely to hear sentences punctuated with "word" and "booyah!" (Don't hate.) However, outside of nerds like me, not many people still drop '90s vernacular on the regular. What's a girl gotta do to get "Oh, snap," "talk to the hand," "as if," and "my bad" back into circulation? C'mon, admit it — '90s slang was all that and a bag of chips.