In 1998, the Spice World movie laced up its platform shoes, boarded a plane at Heathrow Airport, and touched down in U.S. theaters. It was a very exciting time. The weekend the best film of that year (sorry, Saving Private Ryan. It's nothing personal) came to America, my friend and I hitched a ride from her dad to the local multiplex. We were all but foaming at the mouth as we bought our tickets at the booth. We were about to see our heroes on the big screen! We had a feeling this would become one of our favorite movies until the end of time!
Our hearts were so full.
(You know what else were so full? The pockets of my cargo pants. I'd shoved multiple bags of cheap gas station candy in my pockets because why would I dump all of my allowance on ONE box of Dots when I can stuff my face with seven different bags of gas station candy?) (Sorry, theater concessions stand. It's nothing personal.)
The brilliant work of art that is Spice World gave us so much: the girl group’s insanely awesome wardrobe, exquisite musical numbers, Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell’s flawless lipliner game, backup dancer/models in bun-tastic onesies, the double-decker bus driving skills of Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham (née Adams), and countless celebrity cameos.
Oh, but that's not all. The movie also brought some British slang, snack foods, and magical transportation into my life. Here are the things Spice World introduced to this [points at own ruddy face] Yankee back in '98:
Milk chocolate Magnum bars
Magnum ice cream bars didn't make their way to the States until 2011. So, when Clifford attempts to bribe the Spice Girls with milk chocolate Magnums, it was the first I'd heard of the frozen confection. Up until I saw that Rachel Bilson ad a few years ago, I'd always assumed Mangum bars were like a Hershey's bar. I was wrong-o-rama.
Boy howdy, had I been missing out. Magnum ice cream bars are bomb dot com.
Over the course of the 93 minute movie, Emma “Baby Spice” Bunton consumes approximately 17 million Chupa Chups. After seeing this movie, I would go on to become a huge fan of the Spanish lollipop brand.
Four words: Spice Girls Chupa Chups.
Four more words: THEY CAME WITH STICKERS!!!!!!
When the Spice Girls finally roll up to Royal Albert Hall for their big concert, Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown asks, “Where are the bacon butties?” No, that isn't a callback to the model/dancers' sizzling buns. A bacon butty is a bacon sandwich. Sounds delicious. I'll take three, please.
The British tabloids (The Daily Event)
The fictional gossip rag that plays a major role in the movie was more or less my introduction to the UK tabloid industry. The British 'bloids are no joke.
The word "gob"
“Gob” = “mouth”.
Wait a second. Is that where the name "Gobstopper" comes from? WHOAAAAAA. (Feelin' REAL smart right now.)
"Sacked in jacuzzi scandal"
When I saw this movie as a youth, I was not familiar with the British meaning of "to be sacked". I assumed the editor of The Daily Event was hit in the face with a sack of flour while lounging in a hot tub. Seemed reasonable.
(I was way off. "Sacked"= "fired".)
Top of the Pops
The movie opens with the Spice Girls performing “Too Much” at Top of the Pops. TOTP was a British music countdown program, er, programme that ran from 1964 to 2006. Basically, it was TRL before TRL.
The word "snogging"
"You didn't know what 'snogging' means?" you ask. "Come on. Everyone knows what 'snogging' means."
Well, I didn't. Like I said, I was a literal child when I first saw Spice World. Cut me some slack.
Flying double-decker buses
As you may recall, the Spice Bus jumps Tower Bridge. I had no idea double-decker buses could soar like that! I'll tell ya, this movie taught me so much.
Additionally, this trip down memory lane taught me something, too: My current wardrobe could definitely use a few pairs of cargo pants.
CARGO PANTS UP YOUR LIFE!