11 Things We Were Obsessed With In The '90s That Make Fidget Spinners Seem Normal

Ad failed to load

One thing that social media has done in the last few years is make bizarre trends more visible. Things suddenly go viral, flaring up everywhere and disappearing just as quickly. It’s easy to forget that we were obsessed with plenty of ‘90s trends that were as weird as fidget spinners, slime, apps that can turn you into an anime character, unicorn beverages, and all the other things that inexplicably manage to take the world by storm. Instagram and Twitter may have made strange obsessions more evident, but humans have been weirdos for a long, long time.

When I recently heard of slime for the first time (yes, I’m behind the times), my first thought was, “What the hell is slime? This is so stupid.” And then I promptly spent the next 30 minutes watching Instagram videos of people squeezing, stretching, and popping glittery, foamy, bead-filled goo. So I guess some part of me — the part that could literally not look away — gets why slime-themed Instagram accounts are getting hundreds of thousands of followers. But this is far from the first time that people have been obsessed with unlikely things — certainly the ‘90s (and every other decade) had their own weird flash-in-the-pan hobbies that make slime and fidget spinners seem fairly norma lby comparison. These were just a few of them:

1. Gak

ProjectAdHand on YouTube
Ad failed to load

Seriously, what is slime but a fancy, newer version of Gak? First released by Nickelodeon in 1992, Gak was a lot like Silly Putty, but generally gooier and stickier.

2. Silly Putty

Ad failed to load

Silly Putty isn’t a ‘90s thing — it was invented in the 1940s — but it was still a staple among ‘90s toys. It wasn’t as trendy as Gak, but kids still adored the stretchy stuff (as well as the trademark Silly Putty eggs).

3. Floam

3rdMLKid on YouTube
Ad failed to load

Rounding out our discussion of weird, gooey substances of the ‘90s is Floam, a Nickelodeon–produced toy that existed somewhere on the spectrum between clay and foam. Filled with microbeads, Floam had a fun texture and, unlike Gak, would stay in whatever shape you put it into, so you could use it as a building material.

4. Slap bracelets

Ad failed to load

Slap bracelets had it all: They were sweet jewelry and a fun activity built into one. When you were bored in class, there was nothing quite as satisfying as slapping that bracelet on, over and over (and over and over). When they were banned from my elementary school (because, apparently, knock-off versions could rust and cut through the skin), I was heartbroken. HEARTBROKEN, I tell you.

5. Pokémon Trading Cards

Ad failed to load

Pokémon cards were so popular in the ‘90s that adults were actually worried that kids’ obsession with them would spark a "crime wave." Yes, really. According to Business Insider, an 11-year-old in Arizona was arrested for armed robbery after threatening other kids with a knife in order to get their cards. And someone filed a lawsuit against Nintendo in 1999 because, the suit claimed, the card game was a form of gambling.

6. Creepy Crawlers

TheClassicShows on YouTube
Ad failed to load

My sister got a Creepy Crawlers oven for her birthday one year, and I was so, so jealous. It was essentially an Easy Bake Oven that you’d use to bake up stretchy, plasticky little bugs. You could then hide them all over the house to freak out your siblings.

7. Pogs

Ad failed to load

TBH, I didn’t really get the Pogs phenomenon back in the day, but my little sister was into them. Her collection of a few dozen Pogs was nothing compared to what a lot of kids had — hundreds upon hundreds of cardboard caps, all gathered for the purpose of winning… more cardboard caps.

8. Skip-It

Ad failed to load

Isn’t Skip-It — aka the Greatest Toy Of The 90s — sort of like a giant fidget spinner? It goes around and around and around… and you get lots of exercise in the process. What’s not to love?

9. Sky Dancers

Ad failed to load

Sky Dancers were magical fairies that could fly. You’d put the doll in the toy base, pull a string, and the doll’s arms/wings* would whip out and start circling like a helicopter. Sky Dancers were recalled in 2000 after six years on the market. The reason? Apparently flying plastic toys aren’t very safe after all. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, toy company Galoob received reports of 150 injuries caused by the flying dolls, including “eye injuries, including scratched corneas and incidents of temporary blindness, broken teeth, a mild concussion, a broken rib, and facial lacerations that required stitches.” Temporary blindness? BROKEN TEETH? Who knew sparkly, plastic fairies could be so bloodthirsty?

* Even as a child, I marveled at how annoying it would be to have your arms strapped to your wings. How would you drive? Or write? Or hold a cup of coffee?

10. Beanie Babies

Ad failed to load

Beanie Babies might not be mesmerizing in the same way that slime and fidget spinners are, but, if we’re talking about sheer trendiness — and the power of one random object to take the nation by storm — nothing beats these little under-stuffed critters. Looking back, it’s incredibly strange to think that people invested small fortunes in rare Beanie Babies, convinced that these baggy little toys would somehow become more and more valuable over time. These days, most ‘90s Beanies sell for only a few dollars on eBay.

11. Furby

Ad failed to load

In terms of pure WTF-ness, the Furby wins, hands down. These talking, furry, electronic alien robot toys were incredibly popular in the late ‘90s. They were also super creepy (to me, at least).

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Here’s Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In April

As the virtual shelf life for non-original Netflix programs grows shorter and shorter, fans of the streaming service are bidding woeful goodbyes to their favorite titles left and right. So, for those who need some time to prepare, here's everything l…
By Angelica Florio

Is Amazon's Alexa Making Our Relationships Weird?

Earlier this year, I started dating a guy who was in a very codependent relationship with Alexa. Alexa helped this guy (I'll call him "Paul") decide where to eat dinner and reminded him to work out. Alexa handled his to-do lists, restocked his toile…
By Sophie Saint Thomas

You Can Get Too Faced Mascara & Tarte Lipstick For HALF OFF At Ulta This Month

It's finally here! Ulta's 21 Days of Beauty Sale runs from now through Saturday, April 7 and is the retailer's epic "event" of the year. The promotion features "Beauty Steals," which means 50 percent off specific products for a single day. It also in…
By Amy Sciarretto

7 Things My 20s Taught Me About Toxic Relationships

I'll be turning 30 in less than a week, and while I'm trying to get all the habits of my twenties out of the way ASAP, I'm also reflecting on the what I learned over the past decade. And top of the list is the lessons I learned about toxic relationsh…
By JR Thorpe

7 Surprising Things That Happened When I Went A Month Without Drinking

If someone asked you if you could take a break from drinking alcohol, would you be able to do it? You may think it’s no big deal to take a month off from drinking, or you may think it’s a *huge* deal, as alcohol seems to be the center of many social …
By Natalia Lusinski

I Wore 'Dad Shoes' For A Week & They Were SO Much Cooler Than I Thought They’d Be

It’s no secret that fashion loves a good polarizing trend. Not too long ago, Birkenstocks made their high fashion runway appearance at Céline and Crocs followed suit on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Now, it’s time for the "ugly" sne…
By Dale Arden Chong

8 Ways Younger Millennials Communicate That Older Millennials Don’t Get

When comparing the ways our parents grew up communicating and the way we all grew up communicating, it seems like their generation and ours grew up in a different world. The technology our parents grew up with was so basic, it's ancient in comparison…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

This Is The ONE Sign That Won’t Be Affected By Mercury Retrograde This Month

It really doesn't seem fair that one astrological sign can ever enjoy the benefit of escaping the wrath of Mercury retrograde — that is, of course, unless that sign is your own — but it happens. Occasionally, the stars just align in the right way for…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

Why My Boyfriend & I Started Couples Counseling 6 Months Into Our Relationship

Right away, Kurt and I agreed on almost everything. We had met through a mutual friend in 2015, but we didn't start dating until we came across each other on Bumble a few years later. That's when we discovered that we were on the same page when it ca…
By Rachel Simon

This Lace-Front Wig Is Going Viral Because No One Believes It's Actually A Wig

To understand how Zendaya easily goes from a pixie cut to voluminous curls or how the Kardashian-Jenners switch hair colors as frequently as they change clothes is to know the power of a good wig. Now that there's a lace-front wig going viral, the Tw…
By Summer Arlexis

This Primer & Mascara Combo Literally Doubles The Length Of My Eyelashes

Even as someone who loves beauty, I was never been particularly passionate about finding the perfect mascara. And then I got lash extensions for the first time. While I enjoy the long, full lashes that lash extensions provide, I always found myself j…
By Olivia Muenter

I Accidentally Fell In Love With My Friend With Benefits & It's Painful

Against my better judgment, I have fallen in love with my friend with benefits. I think I may have fallen in love with him month ago, but being stubborn AF, I fought against those feelings, tooth and nail, and, when it was suggested by a couple close…
By Amanda Chatel

This Viral Post About A Woman Breastfeeding In Public Actually Has A Happy Ending For Once

And today in things that will warm even the coldest of hearts, we have this: A story recently posted to the r/TwoXChromosome subreddit about a dad’s response to his daughter shaming a breastfeeding parent is everything. Posted by Redditor u/starsonwi…
By Lucia Peters

These March Beauty Launches Require Your Immediate Attention

I write one of these beauty editorials every month (feel free to check out January and February 2018 if you're in need of even more products to shower yourself with). Sometimes, I get worried that there won't be enough newness to share — especially b…
By Amanda Richards

Here's How You’re Most Likely To Get Your Heart Broken, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Getting your heart broken can be one of the most painful experiences you can have in your life. But if you're into astrology, being familiar with your zodiac sign can be pretty helpful. For instance, when you know the ways you're likely to get your h…
By Kristine Fellizar

Finger Piercings Are Trending & The Internet Is Very Divided About Them

A new "accessories" trend is asserting itself on Instagram and it's subversive, non-traditional, and so darn precious. It also looks a tad painful but the end result is worth it. Dermal diamond finger piercings are a thing and they may make actual ri…
By Amy Sciarretto

How I Learned Losing Your Job Isn't The End Of The World

Two and a half years ago, I was taking a day off from my marketing job at a San Francisco tech startup to host a friend when I got a call from the CEO. Apparently, I'd missed a pretty big day: 80 percent of the company, including the whole sales and …
By Suzannah Weiss

Meghan Markle's First Appearance With The Queen Included An Homage To Princess Diana

Fashion pundits love keeping a close eye on what the women of the monarchy are wearing, especially when there's an overlap with Princess Diana's sense of style. We're nothing but nostalgic when it comes to Princess Di and her on-point aesthetic. Find…
By Marlen Komar

Why Arizona's Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy' Is A Huge Blow To The LGBTQ Community

Whenever I re-watch Grey's Anatomy, I don't start with Derek Shepherd waking up in Meredith's apartment after their first hookup. I start with Season 5, when Callie first meets Arizona in a bar. I start here, because I want to watch someone like me f…
By Martha Sorren

I Couldn't Find A Beauty Campaign With Plus Size Models, So I Made One Myself

In the fall of 2015, I visited relatives in my hometown, a small suburb of New Jersey. There isn't much to do there, apart from dining at Applebee's or hitting the mall. As a plus size woman, cruising through a shopping mall is a mixed bag. Certain d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Signs You're The Emotionally Unavailable One In Your Relationship — And How To Work On It

It can be a weird feeling when you realize your relationship isn't working. But it happens — even in a long-term relationship — that, despite spending months or years together, you can realize that something is just missing. Sometimes that thing that…
By Lea Rose Emery

The 21 New Books That Goodreads Users Are Most Excited About This Spring

Despite the fact the Northeast is being pummeled by yet another storm that threatens to trap the region in snow and ice for eternity, winter is finally almost over, and you know what that means. No, I'm not talking about April showers or May flowers …
By Sadie Trombetta

Chelsea Clinton Gets Real About Twitter Trolls & What REALLY Infuriates Her About Trump

Before you read the first word on the first page of Chelsea Clinton's new book, you already know one thing: Strong women have always been a big part of her life. There's her mother, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was the first woman to run for president…
By Erin Delmore

If You’re Addicted To Rewatching ‘The Office,' There’s An Actual Reason For That

A few weeks ago, I tweeted that I was looking for fans of The Office who can't stop, won't stop rewatching the series, and that they should email me if they'd like to contribute to an article about their obsession. By the next morning, I had 32 messa…
By Lia Beck