14 Nostalgic Gifts To Give On Valentine's Day

Ad failed to load

Valentine's Day is a stressful holiday for adults, whether you're single and stuck watching 50 Shades of Grey on your couch, or in a relationship and feeling pressured to come up with a "perfect" date, or starting something new and not sure whether you're at V-Day status or not (the worst!) Back in the day, though, Valentine's Day was a great opportunity to overindulge on Russell Stover chocolates, watch Rugrats' Valentine's Day specials, and send your crush secret heart-shaped cards in class. Now, though, Valentine's Day is a good time to give nostalgic gifts, so at least that'll cut through all the happy couple noise.

Indeed, even for grownups, Valentine's Day is a prime excuse to sate your sweet tooth with abandon via childhood treats like candy hearts, gummies, and the aforementioned Russell Stover's. It's also a great time to give your, lovers, loved ones, crushes, friends and other objects of affection small tokens from a simpler time, one in which boyfriends didn't routinely break up with you a couple weeks before Valentine's Day so they could spend February 14 playing video games with their buddies while you stuck a straw in a bottle of Two Buck Chuck and marathoned Arrested Development.

Anyway, here are some good buys:

Ad failed to load

1Necco Sweethearts

Via Target.com

Necco Sweethearts, $2, Target

I'm not sure whether these are nostalgic or just necessary, but it is against the law to celebrate Valentine's Day without forcing someone to eat candy hearts. These babies are chalky, hard to chew, and odd-tasting—what even is the white flavor??!—but they also effectively convey old-timey messages of luuuuurve, like "Fax Me," and, um, "Call Me," which has also been phased out IMO.

2Valentina and Valentino

Via Amazon

Valentina and Valentino, $8, Amazon

When I was a kid, my parents gave me a little Valentine's Day gift every year, thereby tricking me into believing the holiday was a happy day for treats and plush toys instead of a celebration of Single's Awareness. One year, I got Valentino, a special Valentine's Beanie Baby with a beautiful, soft heart. The next year, Valentino got a mate, Valentina. Like all my Beanie Bears, I encased their tags in plastic and stuck them on a shelf in hopes that they would accrue worth, which, I am certain they did not, but they are still adorable, and available online for your gifting purposes.

3Romeo + Juliet Movie Poster

Via Movie Poster Shop

Romeo + Juliet Movie Poster, $14, Walmart

Baz Luhrrman's 1996 masterpiece Romeo + Juliet was THE hottest love story of my youth, in part because Young Leo has never looked better, but also because tragic romance seemed really appealing in elementary school. IRL, it is definitely NOT, but the film (and soundtrack) lives on in the hearts and minds of many a millennial. Gift your Shakespearean partner with a framed or unframed poster while playing "Kissing You" on repeat. You can thank me later.

Ad failed to load

4Miss Piggy Kissing Kermit the Frog Salt Shaker

Via eBay

Miss Piggy Kissing Kermit the Frog Salt Shaker, $22, eBay

An equally tragic love affair, Miss Piggy never quite won Kermit over, despite multiple relationship go-arounds and plenty of attempts at wooing. Though it's definitely time to Miss Piggy to move on — girl, you deserve an amphibian who worships you — you can relive the duo's better moments via this fantastic ceramic salt shaker set.

5Lisa Frank Puppy Love Binder and Notebook

Via Amazon

Lisa Frank Puppy Love Binder and Notebook, $13, Amazon

Lisa Frank is probably the most recognizable '90s icon at this point, having blessed many a millennial woman with a lifetime supply of sparkly stickers and unicorn art over the years. Puppy Love was always my favorite of her designs (because, puppies, duh), hence my excitement over this fantastic binder and notebook set. You might not use this one to hide love notes you'll never send to your third grade object of affection (Harrison Ford) but it makes for a decent budgeting ledger. ADULTING!

6Disney Lion King Sweetheart Simba & Nala

Amazon

Disney Lion King Sweetheart Simba & Nala, $53 to $65, Amazon

Someone bought this toy for me and my little sister when we were kids, which, if you think about it, is kind of weird. But anyway, I had Simba, she had Nala, and when you touched their magnetized noses together, they "kissed." It was cute. 20-plus years later, it's still cute.

Ad failed to load

7Framed Titanic Poster

Via Etsy

Framed Titanic Poster, $17, Etsy

There are two camps — those who think Romeo + Juliet is the greatest Leo love story of all time, and those who think that title belongs to Titanic. I am in the former, but those in the latter are acceptable. This gift is for them.

8Choose Your Decade Retro Candy Box

Via Candy Crate

Choose Your Decade Retro Candy Box, $35, Candy Crate

I didn't realize how era-specific come candies are, probably because my local bodega exclusively sells candy manufactured in 1992. But apparently treats like Candy Buttons, Lemonheads, Good 'n Plenty, and Chuckles are harder to come by in the 2010s, so it's worth snapping up this retro candy box to gift your millennial Valentine with lots of fun cavities.

9Now That's What I Call Music! 4

Amazon

Now That's What I Call Music! 4 CD, $24, Amazon

There are approximately 972 "Now That's What I Call Music!" iterations today, but this compilation, released in 2000, is the best one. Jam with your date to classic bangers like "I Knew I Loved You" by Savage Garden, "Meet Virginia" by Train, "Waiting for Tonight" by Jennifer Lopez, and, most importantly, "Blue (Da Ba Dee)" by Eiffel 65, which makes waaaaay more sense now that we've confirmed aliens walk among us.

Ad failed to load

10Beauty and the Beast Magic Rose

Via Etsy

Beauty and the Beast Magic Rose, $100, Etsy

Long before Emma Watson put on the iconic yellow dress, there was the OG Beauty and the Beast, in which an animated, signing Belle and Beast introduced legions of young children to the theory of Stockholm Syndrome. This recreation of the cursed rose that transformed a selfish prince into a beast is a great gift for Disney enthusiasts, Angela Lansbury fans, and dudes who never ask you any questions about yourself on dates.

11A Goofy Movie Valentine's Card

Via Etsy

A Goofy Movie Valentine's Card, $5, Etsy

Roxanne (voiced by the great Kelli Martin) was Max's crush in the seminal 1995 cinematic offering A Goofy Movie, and though the above image was definitely NOT in that film (which predates American Beauty by about four years), it makes for a funny V-Day card. Or an unsettling one. I can't really tell.

12Casper Enamel Pin

Via Etsy

Casper Enamel Pin, $8, Etsy

For most of the 1995 film Casper, the titular character was a friendly ghost. For one brief, beautiful scene, he was Devon Sawa. AND CHRISTINA RICCI JUST LET HIM GO. Huge mistake.

Ad failed to load

13Wax Lips

Via Old Time Candy

Wax Lips, $27, Old Time Candy

Wax lips are fun because they are both edible candy and a more affordable way to look like a Kardashian. Buy just one, or a whole box, for maximum pucker potential.

14A Walk to Remember DVD

Best Buy

A Walk to Remember DVD, $8, Best Buy

Of all the teen tearjerkers to grace the early aughts, this was the most defining. Shane West and Mandy Moore's doomed romance had everything: bad boys, good girls, a high school musical production, cancer, Jesus. I listen to the soundtrack at least once a month. Force your loved one to do the same.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Here's Your Horoscope For Memorial Day Weekend

We’re constantly fascinated by what our zodiac sign says about our lives, whether it's which signs are most compatible or how each sign handles conflict in relationships. That's why Bustle has enlisted Mecca Woods, a New York City-based astrologer of…
By Mecca Woods

These Are The Absolute Best Memorial Day Sales This Year

Get your credit cards ready, because this year's fashion and beauty Memorial Day sales might just be the best ones yet. There's not only major savings for the holiday, but some of the savings start days before. You know, so you can spend the entire w…
By Kali Borovic

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In June To Help Get Your Summer Started

Summer is right around the corner, and so is another batch of streaming options to get excited about. On Wednesday, everything leaving and coming to Netflix in June 2018 was announced by the streaming platform. And don't worry, there's something for …
By Jamie Primeau

These Are The Beauty Products That Came Out In May That You DEFINITELY Need On Your Radar

For beauty lovers, months aren't just months: They're 28 to 31 day periods, wherein any and all product and brand launches can happen — and when they do, it feels like your birthday, no matter what time of the year you were actually born. The May 201…
By Amanda Richards

The 5 Rom-Coms You Need To Read This Summer, According To Someone Who Writes Them

'Tis the season for rom-coms. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and everyone is rocking the flirtiest items in their wardrobe. I don't know about you, but summer always takes me back to my teenage years — and that automatically makes me want t…
By Cristina Arreola

11 Tiny Sunglasses That Will Make You Look Even Cooler Than Kylie Jenner

You know what they say — the tinier the sunglasses, the more stylish the outfit. OK, that's not really a saying, but it seems to be the case these days. Basically every celebrity, model, and It person has been spotted sporting tiny sunglasses as part…
By Sara Tan

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan
)}