Besides all the snark, class wars, and weekly mysteries perpetrating the seedy underbelly of Neptune, Veronica Mars was well-loved for its pop culture references. They definitely tended to run the gamut — tapping upon '50s sitcoms and vintage movies alike — and yet watching the show now, it seems most of the pop culture references were geared toward '90s kids. And when you think of this era and the Veronica Mars audience, it just feels right.
"But Mary Grace,Veronica Mars came out in the mid-2000s, as shown very obviously from its aesthetics and lack of iPhones," you say. Oh, I know this, my sweet, delicate baby fawn. When I use the terminology "'90s kids," I mean those of us millennials who can now watch the show and catch all those references to the '90s, the late '80s, and yes, even the beginnings of the '00s when this neo-noir took place. Veronica and her class of 2006 peers fit solidly into this demographic, and as such, we can really understand a multitude of these references as her real-life contemporaries.
Anyway, without any more delay, I've rounded up just a very small sampling of the pop culture references that cater directly to '90s kids.
1"I'm Gonna End Up A Downloadable National Joke. You Know, Right Up There With Paris Hilton Or That 'Star Wars' Kid. I'll Be The Video That Everyone Emails Their Friends." - Carmen
Definitely a prime, vintage meme, and I love the addition of "that video that everyone emails their friends," proving this was long before the time when these sort of things just manifested in your newsfeed.
2"Relax, Dad. I'm Cutting Pictures Of Ashton Out Of 'Teen People' As We Speak." - Veronica
Oh, back in his prime Punk'd and That '70s Show days, he was the dreamiest.
3"So, What, You're Just Going To Mope Around Like The Guy In... What's That Book Where The Guy's Mom Dies, And He Comes Back To Jersey? He's Got That Motorcycle Sidecar..." - Dick
The film Garden State had pretty much just introduced an entire generation to The Shins, and I think that really helps pinpoint the era this show was made in.
4"We Ran Over That Fisherman And Promised We'd Take The Secret To Our Graves." - Mac
An I Know What You Did Last Summer reference just felt right on a show that so prominently featured murder. Speaking of Freddie Prinze Jr...
5"Remember? You Bet Your Friends You Could Turn Me Into A Super-Hot Prom Date As A Joke, But You Ended Up Falling In Love With Me." - Mac
It's a well-placed nod to She's All That.
6"Nice Backpack. You Like The Powerpuff Girls, Huh?" - Veronica
What little girl didn't? What grown millenial woman doesn't?
7"Dad Might Be Too Busy For Miss Brightside, But I Think I Can Pencil In Some Time To Make A Couple Of Quick Gs." - Veronica
It was a peak time for The Killers, and the song that to this day we can't get out of our head.
8"Jackie And I Aren't Exactly The 'Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants.'" - Veronica
We all read the YA novels. We've all watched the movie and its lesser sequel a million times.
9"Meg Was One Of Those Britney Spears Virgins, Huh. And You Were Her Noble Justin, Just Keeping It All On The Down Low." - Duncan
Man, who can forget that creepy fascination about Britney Spears' virginity (or lack thereof) in the late '90s and early '00s?
10"Adam Bunting? Isn't That The Guy Who Looks Like Fievel?" - Mac
Ooh, the American Tail reference is a little niche but very vivid.
11"Well, On Behalf Of Nature, Thank You For Doing Your Part In The Circle Of Life." - Veronica
I mean, it's never a bad time to callback The Lion King, a Disney renaissance staple.
12"I'm Super, Thanks For Asking." - Veronica
South Park is referenced all over Veronica Mars, and I know that series is still going strong, yet this particular reference definitely reminds me of the series' early aughts, and the phenomenal number in Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
13"I'm Trying To Figure Out Which Gilmore Girl You Are." - Veronica
Oh come on, if you weren't mainlining fellow CW show alongside Veronica Mars (or Netflixed the hell out of it later), what have you even been doing with your life?