There were so many reasons to be totally pumped in the '90s. For one — no adult responsibilities! We were still living at home, enjoying the cushy life of not paying bills, cooking our own food, or cleaning our own homes. But besides those glories of childhood that we totally took for granted, we were also doubly lucky, because we were growing up in one of the best times to be a kid! We had awesome TV and edgy cartoons, we had amazing music, and all the Capri-Sun and SqueezIts we could drink. It's hard to list all the many myriad reasons to be stoked on life in the '90s— but I'm going to try anyway!
Some of these quintessentially '90s things have withstood the test of time, and would still make us insanely happy today. If I got a mix tape (not a Spotify playlist — an actual tape!), I'd be thrilled. However, it's hard to remember a time when we would get excited for dial-up Internet or having our very own landline installed. Taking this walk down memory lane will hopefully bring back that warm fuzzy feeling of pure childhood excitement — that wonderful feeling like you just shoved an entire bag of Pop Rocks in your mouth and you're about to explode. Scan this list and see how many make you want to fist bump the sky!
1. Seeing Titanic In Theaters— Even Though It Was PG-13
Even if you had to sneak into the theater, nothing was gonna make you miss the ultimate love story. A movie complete with old Hollywood style grandeur, action, slowly sinking ships, and the romance of the century? Yes, please! Jack and Rose were the perfect couple. And for years after, none of the boys at school could compete with Leonardo DiCaprio's winsome mischievous smile. I mean, he sacrificed himself — even though there was plenty of room on that piece of debris for both of them. And there is nothing more romantic than that. Nothing.
2. The iMac G3 And All It's Colorful Plastic Glory
Introduced in 1998, the iMac G3 was so freakin' cool. It wasn't just another beige box — it was bright blue and uniquely shaped. It taught us computers could look, well, different — and it even had two USB ports! In 1999, the five fruit-flavored variations came out, and you could even choose the color! Nothing was more fun than deciding if you wanted a tangerine, lime, blueberry, grape, or strawberry computer. Yum!
3. Literally EVERYTHING Went 3D
In the mid-'90s, it seemed like 2-D wasn't cutting it anymore. From your favorite snack food to your fave video game characters, and even TV shows, everything entered the 3-D realm (at least temporarily). And that was three times as awesome! Doritos 3D was a cult food — blowing your tastebuds away with triple the surface area for cheese powder. Super Mario 64 pushed the limits of game design. Even The Simpsons weren't safe when Homer got trapped in a three-dimensional world in a 1995 Treehouse of Horror episode.
4. Finally Getting "Fast" Dial-Up AOL Internet At Home
Around 1995, many families were starting to install the Internet in their very own homes, and nothing could make you more excited than hearing that screeching sounds of dial-up transition into a soothing voice announcing, "You've got mail." In the '90s we finally got that magic AOL disk, and the World Wide Web, and OMG chatrooms! Goodbye, BBS boards, we shall not miss thee.
5. Michael Jordan And The '97 Bulls
In 1997, Michael "His Airness" Jordan cemented his reputation as a legend. And whether you were a basketball fan or not, you were beyond stoked to watch The Bulls face off against The Jazz in the incredible NBA Finals. Those games went down as some of the most memorable in NBA history. Everyone was sitting glued to the TV, watching in awe at the miraculous shots and amazing plays by Jordan, John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Steve Kerr. One year earlier, in 1996, Michael Jordan had even played basketball with the Looney Tunes in Space Jam, so you had to root for number 23!
6. Being The First To Read The Latest Goosebumps Book
Being the first of your friends to get the latest Goosebumps book, stay up late reading it, and then being too freaked out to fall asleep was almost a right of passage. The next day at school you were tired, but knowing the twist ending before anyone else made the sleepless night totally worth it. If your friends asked nicely, maybe you'd lend them your copy... maybe.
7. When The Macarena Finally Came On During The School Dance
You had been practicing your moves all year, and you finally got to show them off! If you got to Macarena next to your crush, that was even better. A little sexy hip swivel during "Hey Macarena!" could lead to a slow dance later that night!
8. Getting To Rent Whatever VHS You Wanted At Blockbuster
With the advent of streaming movies, kids will never again understand how thrilling it was to get to rent your choice of VHS. These days, you can rent a new release whenever you want, and that is great. But today nothing can match the taste of success you got when you arrived just in time to grab the very last copy of the movie you wanted! Uh, hello? Clueless — duh.
9. Catching All The Pokémon
While catching all 718 Pokémon is an impossible task — buying a pack of cards and getting a rare one made you feel like a super star. You're deck was unbeatable (at least for the moment), so you were definitely coolest kid on the playground.
10. Watching Someone Get Slimed On Nickelodeon
Growing up in the '90s, I constantly daydreamed about one day being a contestant on Double Dare and getting slimed. I was obsessed with the mysterious goo and hoped to experience the elation and excitement that came from a good sliming. Today, we know that slime is a mixture of vanilla pudding, oatmeal, applesauce, and green food coloring. So, while it's disappointing that it didn't come from an alien world, at least it probably tasted... well, maybe not good, but possibly not so bad.
11. Leaving Recess A Kickball Hero
If you could kick that ball out of the park, you really didn't need to accomplish anything else that school year. Being the kickball champ meant instant popularity, hallowed whisperings of your greatness in the school halls, and your choice of date to the school dance. And if that's not something to get you totally stoked, then I don't know what is.