12 Things '90s Kids Were Scared They'd Get Coal At Christmas For Doing
Being on Santa's naughty list is a constant fear at this time of year, and there were plenty of things '90s kids were scared of doing that might get them a lump of coal. For those who are unfamiliar, coal is what Santa brings the bad kids. So you better watch out, you better not cry, because the creepiest version of Santa Claus knows when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake. He's always watching. And you thought Elf on the Shelf was terrifying. There's plenty you can do to get on the naughty list that's timeless. Being mean. Lying. Stealing. Cheating. You get the picture. But the '90s had their unique "naughty list" activities.
Being bad in the '90s was, like all things in the '90s, peppered with the popular culture of the time. Whether you were a Tamagotchi murderer, a prank phone call poltergeist, or someone who frequented chat rooms just to see what kind of sexy stuff you could get away with saying but not necessarily meaning (hey, we all have to experiment with sex stuff somehow!). Some of the things on the list below aren't things you'd do these days (unless you're still obsessed with slap bands, and if that's the case, as you were), but they'd get you that lump of coal in the '90s for sure. Here are 12 things '90s kids were scared they'd get coal for doing.
1. Making Prank Phone Calls
These days you wouldn't even pick up your phone to make a regular call, but in the '90s, the phone was basically there for calling up people and making dumb jokes. Unfortunately, the people you were pranking weren't always so cool about being pranked. Annoying phone calls are one of the things that got you on the naughty list, especially if your parents got wind of it.
2. Saying Dirty Things Anonymously In Chat Rooms Just To See What Would Happen
When you first got online, you used your new connectedness to push the boundaries. A lot of the time that involved going into chat rooms and having "cyber sex," but in a way that was totally non-sexual to you. You just wanted to have a giggle at the naughtiness of it. Meanwhile, you were probably just chatting with another awkward giggling teen hoping Santa wouldn't notice.
3. Purposefully Neglecting A Tamagotchi
You sick, twisted '90s child. I know you purposefully neglected your Tamagotchi to see it die. Santa would be disappointed in you.
4. Making Out With Your Sister's J.T.T. Poster
Sometimes you did things you weren't proud of when you thought no one was watching but remember, SANTA IS ALWAYS WATCHING YOU. Compromising your sister's poster was for sure something you weren't proud of and thought might earn you a lump of coal.
5. Tricking A Friend With A Three-Way Phone Call
Discovering three-way phone conversations instantly transformed a generation into Mean Girls. Tricking a friend for another friend by using the function is something you lived with the shame of in the '90s, always afraid it would come back and bite you on the bottom.
6. Writing Mean Notes
I wrote some nasty words about a girl I didn't like in a note when I was in high school in the '90s. It didn't get me a lump of coal, but it did get me grounded by my mum and detention at school when adults found the note. Same thing, really.
7. Buying A CD With A Parental Advisory Sticker On It Without Permission
You know that CD your parents banned you from buying, but that you saved up and got your hands on anyway? You were always scared that would get you in the doghouse.
8. Listening In On A Phone Call By Picking Up The Other Line
Then there was that time you just knew your mum was talking about you, so you picked up the other line and listened in.
9. Taking A Slap Band To School Even Though You Knew They Were Banned
Pretty much the worst thing you could do. Coal guaranteed.
10. Making Your Sylvanian Families Do Nasty Things
In the '90s, your Sylvanian Families were the cutest things you owned, but behind closed doors, they were also the most depraved. The things they've seen, that you forced them to do...
11. Shouting The Swear Words In Alanis Morissette and The Offspring Songs
You weren't even supposed to know those words, but you screamed them out anyway.
12. Forgetting Your Candles And Incense Burning When You Left Your Bedroom
This one was really, really bad, because the repercussions could have been very, very real (hopefully they weren't). You constantly walked around with the guilt of forgotten burning incense.
Oh, '90s babies... maybe we'll do better next year.