The 90s gave us a lot of pop culture trends to follow, many of which we still remember today. Some of these might not have aged well, while others might have been carried forward and still be relevant today.
There are pop culture references that scream 90s whenever we mention them, while some iconic pop culture moments also define the decade. Pop culture trends, however, are long-running interests that held our attention for a long time during the 90s. Let’s have a look at some of the most 90s-defining examples now:
The Tamagotchi Craze
Tamagotchis hailed from Japan and soon became a worldwide phenomenon. Many 90s kids had at least one Tamagotchi to take care of, while the lucky ones would have a whole collection. This was basically a tony device that could fit in the palm of a kid’s hand. With just a few buttons, you could choose an egg, have it hatch into a small pet, and then take care of that bunch of pixels.
90s kids would feed these pets, give them water, call the doctor when they’re sick, and even play with them all on that little screen in their hands. While the device could get frustrating, it was something that taught you a bit of responsibility. If you got too busy in a project or with your friends, your pet could even die from starvation! However, one press of the reset button and you could have a new pet to drive you crazy.
Girl bands were officially a craze in the 90s, with passionate fans and a lot of media attention. We had the Spice Girls, TLC, Aqua, and Destiny’s Child (just to name a few of the more well-known ones). While many of the 90s girl bands might not be around anymore, they did give rise to several of the most famous female singers of our time. One of the most well-known of these is Beyonce Knowles, who was among the original lineup for Destiny’s Child.
Girl Bands gave us a lot of pop music hits back in the day. Along with that, they added a good dose of women empowerment to popular culture. Young girls in the 90s would gain a lot of inspiration from the female presence on the music screen in the 90s, even if they were also obsessed with boy bands. Which brings us to…
The boy bands of the 90s were also an iconic trend of the decade. While there are several girl, boy, and mixed bands around today, the boy bands of the 90s were something else. Fans all over the world knew all the lyrics to the Backstreet Boys’ greatest hits. Just a few other examples of the most popular boy bands from that era include NSYNC, Boyz II Men, and Westlife.
Again, not many of the original 90s boy bands are around today. The Backstreet Boys, however, are still together and making music to this date. They’re popular with a whole new generation, though 90s kids and teens get the most thrills whenever the boys come out with something new.
The Beeper Trend
The cool kids and professional adults of the 90s had beepers instead of cell phones or smartphones. While cell phones did start making an appearance in the latter half of the 90s, beepers were still more common for the younger generations.
These devices were a simple deal; if someone wanted to contact you when you weren’t near a landline phone, they beeped you. You would get a number on your beeper, and could then find the nearest phone or payphone and call that number. It sounds very cumbersome and roundabout now, but the beeper was a delightful little piece of technology in the 90s.
Pop culture trends include many different departments, so let’s have a look at one of the most iconic food trends of the 90s. We’re talking about Lunchables here, the cool lunch that made you a star in school. Instead of those homemade, organic, and high-nutrient choices that many mothers try to give their children today, 90s kids would prefer Lunchables for their midday meal.
These items were available in many different flavors and combinations, which we could probably replicate in a healthier fashion today. For example, one box might contain tiny crackers, mini slices of cheese, bologna, and other similar components. Kids would put the items together in any combination they pleased. While they were delicious, the high sodium content of Lunchables makes them a major no-no for school kids today.
The Influence of Friends
You can’t talk about pop culture trends of the 90s without mentioning the hit TV series ‘Friends’ at some point. The catchphrases, stories, and ensembles of the characters all became quite popular with their audience. Even if you weren’t a fan of the show (which was unlikely), you would have noticed the fashion and cultural trends that stemmed from it.
The Rachel haircut is one of the most well-known influences, with women all over the world trying to sport the same layered look. Mom jeans were another aspect of the Rachel character that many people copied and still wear to this day. Knitted T-shirts, Levis, Gunther’s neon shirts, layered looks, and several other styles also inspired many 90s looks back then. In fact, some of these might even be acceptable today.
The Spears and Timberlake Duo
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were among some of the most iconic celebrity couples of the 90s. The duo was talked about in celebrity gossip magazines, on TV talk shows, and among the young music fans of the decade.
Having first met in The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, they got together in the latter half of the 90s. Spears opened for the band NSYNC in their 1998-1999 tour. Timberlake was one of the members, so it’s believed that their relationship started from that point.
In 1999, the pair began dating. They were the talk of the town for the tail-end of the 90s. Their matching outfits and public appearances were certainly one of the pop culture trends that rounded off the 90s, though they were to break up a couple of years later. It’s said that Timberlake’s song ‘Cry Me a River’ was about Spears, but that’s a discussion for another time.
It’s quite difficult to narrow down all of 90s pop culture into a few trends, but the ones above are just a start. You can revisit this decade and dwell on the nostalgia by getting some of these 90s-themed items.