I know, I know, the ’90s and 2000s trend is getting kind of old. Fourteen-year-old girls sported space buns and tattoo chokers and starting some kind of niche alien inspired aesthetic, and people romanticized problematic faves before they were problematic — Johnny Depp and Ben Affleck, I’m looking at you.
But while it may be irritatingly old news to some, for those who lived and experienced at least some of that gloriously wacky time, the nostalgia hits hard. Sometimes, all you need to do is sit back and reminisce about the best things about those early days.
Here are 20 things from the ’90s and 2000s that you may have forgotten about but are sure to bring a familiar smile to your face.
1. Now & Later Long Lasting Chews
Who else chewed relentlessly at these taffy-like candies? Sorry, but these colorful squares will always be superior to Starbursts.
2. The Phrase “Coming Soon to Own on Video & DVD Screen”
R.I.P. this iconic screen and voiceover, which played during the beginning of every VCR screening. I’m still met with waves of memories when I pop in an old tape and see classics like “Mulan” played in the previews, although you can still try to approximate the experience by converting your VHS into digital files and watching them on your phone.
3. Silly Bandz
Like many collectible items of the ’90s and 2000s, Silly Bandz were a surefire way to prove you were cool. I distinctly remember begging my parents to get me these animal shaped bracelets so I could trade with kids at school. Stupid? Yes. A waste? Never.
4. Massive, Bright Colored Makeup Palettes
I don’t know what it was about the 2000s that had everyone obsessed with color and unnecessary items, but these ginormous makeup palettes that every pre-teen girl owned were surely treasured. Who didn’t need seven shades of terribly formulated purple eyeshadow?
5. Lisa Frank
Lisa Frank was the shit, that’s just a fact. Keeping with the colorful theme, this company provided an array of sparkly neon products. I owned everything from stickers to glitter pens to coloring books. No one designed cute, eccentric animals quite like Frank.
6. Care Bears
These cuddly, pastel colored bears were all the rage when I was still a toddler, with stuffed animals, movies and video games showcasing their wonderful adventures. As a stuffed animal aficionado, I excitedly received my first stuffed bear when I was young and never let it leave my side (although I couldn’t tell you where it was now).
This educational kids electronic company had it all, including the Leapster, which was truly one of the best inventions ever made for constantly bored children like myself.
8. Yogos Bits
Guys! Yogos Bits! I can’t believe I forgot about these tiny, fruit flavored yogurt balls. They were seriously delicious and came in a wide variety of flavors. Change.org even has a petition for Kellogg’s to bring back the beloved snack. One sec, I’m signing this ASAP.
Did anyone else create a bunch of different accounts on this game just to personally design their own character and then never login again, or was that just me? Either way, this massive online multiplayer game was another hit in the genre, along with the holy trinity of Neopets, Webkinz and Club Penguin.
10. Cooking Mama
If you were cheap like me, you owned Cooking Mama Lite (aka the free version) and played on an iPod Touch addictively until you got bored. Honestly, though, no App Store game has come close to the pure joy of stirring a pot and making an omelet through a screen. What a simpler time.
Something about the ’90s and 2000s had everyone in a “dress-up” game frenzy. Seriously, back when every kid was surfing the web using Internet Explorer on a dusty Windows PC, there was nothing more enjoyable then dressing up B-List celebrities on a sketchy online gaming website. Stardoll was the reigning favorite across the board.
12. Froot Loops Cereal Straws
Now that Starbucks is ending their use of plastic straws, I propose that everyone returns to their roots and starts sucking milk out of these sugary cylindrical tubes of perfection.
I found another petition urging Kellogg’s to get the job done, so we’ll see. Is 2018 the year Kellogg’s gets bullied into giving ’90s kids their dreams back? I’m in.
13. Clear Items
This was not so much a singular object but an aesthetic of many objects. Truly one of the best things to come out of this iconic period was the trend of transforming everyday, boring items by making see-through, inevitably making them 1000 percent cooler. Phones, staplers and Gameboys were a few pieces that got makeovers from the clear-craze.
14. Magic Math Machine Multiplication Table
Some things from my childhood seem to disappear entirely from my memory until I glance upon them again on some nostalgic Instagram starter pack. Perhaps it has something to do with its relation to math, but this magic board that revealed its solutions when you pressed down on the times tables buttons was one of them.
15. Minute Maid Juice Bars
Sweet, sweet stickiness. Elementary school lunches were simply not complete without these messy, hands-on juice pops that left the glorious taste and color of artificial blue raspberry and red cherry on your tongue.
16. Crayola Mini Stampers Markers
Writing tools were all the rage at the time, with glitter gel pens, color changing markers and, of course, Crayola’s coveted stamp markers. Both fun to use and cute to look at, these markers allowed whimsical child creativity to flow through the innovative mini stamp designs.
17. Freddi Fish PC Game
As much as I love my Mac, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the classic video games that could be used on a giant PC. I played this game nonstop when I was little, solving mysteries and answering riddles by sketchy looking sea creatures.
18. L’Oreal Kids No More Tears Shampoo
For years and years, ’90s and 2000s kids believed the shampoo’s tagline meant the product would protect children’s sensitive eyes. However, everyone was wrong. “No more tears” really means no more tears (aka rips) in your hair. A whole generation has been bamboozled.
19. Trix Yogurt
Trix had it all: killer cereal, a fun online game and most iconically, dual flavored yogurts. The amount of cotton-candy flavored cups of sugary goodness I ingested as a kid could very well have left some long-lasting damage to my poor immune system, but it was worth it all the same.
20. Deluxe Art Sets
I’m beginning to sense a theme of this era, which is “the bigger the better.” As if huge makeup palettes weren’t enough, giant deluxe art sets — that contained everything from watercolors to oil pastels — became widely popular. Turns out everyone was an art hoe to begin with.