What Was “Cool” Back in Your Day? Reddit Gets All Nostalgic for Throwback Thursday With Pogs, Hypercolor T-Shirts, and More
I’m not sure whether redditor JustDoItM8 timed this AskReddit thread to coincide with Throwback Thursday on purpose — but even if s/he didn’t, I can’t really let this hefty dose of nostalgia go by without comment on it, can I? The thread, titled “What was ‘cool’ back in your day?”, is basically just one big repository of everything you could possibly remember from your childhood. I’d call that a win.
As is the case with most Internet nostalgia, it’s heavily weighted in favor of the ‘90s; there are, however, a few pleasant surprises from earlier generations, as well as at least one from a generation that was well past my time. Many of the memories are fond ones, although not all of them are — and at least one of them will probably make you regret clicking on the thread in the first place. But you know what? Screw it. I’m going in. And if you’re still with me, so are you. Are you ready for this? We may not be getting any younger, but at least we can keep stewing ourselves in the things that made our childhoods worth remembering.
No collection was complete without a metal slammer heavy enough to cause some real damage if you weren’t careful. Don’t forget the plastic tube to carry your collection around in.
You never forget your first pair.
Era: ‘80s and ‘90s
Fun fact: Choose Your Own Adventure parties are apparently a thing that nostalgic adults occasionally throw. From what I can determine from the photos on Flickr, they involve eating and drinking questionable foods and beverages when specific things happen. Also, go get yourself a Choose Your Own Adventure shirt from Out of Print Clothing. You won’t regret it.
4. Jnco Jeans
Huge jeans. Gigantic. So enormous you could get lost in them.
Era: ‘50s and ‘60s
In the midst of all the ‘90s nostalgia, it’s nice to see some other generations represented. The redditor who brought up this one, rickmaz, was born in 1952; s/he says s/he carried it everywhere. A prized possession, indeed!
6. Atari 2600
Era: ‘70s and ‘80s
When my parents were cleaning out the house before they moved six years ago, my mom found not one, but two different types of Atari systems in my brother’s room. Why two different ones? No idea. But man, do I have fond memories of playing California Games and Pitfall. Never Pong, though. I was terrible at it.
Era: ‘80s and ‘90s
I wanted a pair of these color-changing snow gloves so badly. Alas, I never got them — although as BuzzFeed points out, now we have the beer can version of them, so I guess everybody wins in the end.
Era: ‘70s and onward
These will always be associated with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for me. Anyone else?
In the words of Buffy:
Era: ‘80s and ‘90s
I’m not sure what it was about the ‘90s and thermal color-changing things, but they really were everywhere, weren’t they? This picture was actually taken in 1991, by the way. Nostalgia win.
Why the incredibly specific date? According to Slate, 1996 is when two-strapping started to become the norm, probably because wearing your backpack on one strap can cause a whoooooole lot of back problems. Nowadays messenger bags are in, so if you dig the one-strap look, that’s how it’s usually accomplished. P.S. I had no idea which strap your wore your backpack on had such an interesting cultural history.
Era: ‘80s? (I’m guessing here because my memory is a little fuzzy. Thoughts, everyone?)
I’m willing to bet a lot of us either had or desperately wanted a radio disguised as a Coke can like the one redditor drumanddrummer had. I think the one seen here wins the prize, though: It’s a radio, disguised as a Coke can, disguised as a dude wearing earmuffs, a scarf, and sunglasses. Inception, you guys.
These were a little after my time, but I’m sure there’s an entire generation of kids that remembers those shoes with the wheels on them with great fondness.
14. Devil Sticks
I was only allowed to play with mine in the driveway or the yard — never inside the house. In retrospect, this was probably a really, really good move on my parents’ part.
15. Hamster Dance
Era: Late ‘90s and ‘00s