The 90's had to exist. They were the perfect intersection between the heavy metal 80's and the technology boom of the '00s. They were a time when AOL was basically an internet monopoly, Sunday cartoons were still a thing, and Disney made regular cartoons. Without the 90's, we never would have been introduced to 3D video games, grunge, Clarissa Explains it All, or Spongebob Squarepants. That’s right, Spongebob was a 90's kid – 1999 to be exact.
Even though the 90's mostly feel like a weird transitional period, it still had some pretty classic things that were only said in the 90's. Here are the top 5 phrases that kids today won’t ever understand.
1. DON’T PICK UP THE PHONE, MOM! I’M ON THE INTERNET!
Getting onto the world wide web wasn’t an easy endeavor in the 90's. You had to wait for 5 minutes while your dial-up modem made horrible screeching sounds until it produced a haphazard connection to the internet
. If someone picked up the phone while you were surfing, the experience all came crashing down. That’s why every web session started with this courtesy screech.
Born out of the West Coast skateboarding culture, rad was the shortened form of radical that all the kids started saying. Land a sick ollie? Rad. No math homework tonight? Also rad. Mom went to the store and brought back a family pack of Flintstone Creamsicle Push-ups? Holy cow, the most rad. Nickelodeon’s Rocket Power really helped this little aphorism sky to the top of 90's kid
3. GROOVY BABY
Stick with me here. You might think that it was people in the 60s that were saying Groovy
Baby all of the time. Well, you’re probably right, but here’s another piece of knowledge. In 1997, Mike Myers made what may be one of the most absurdly amazing comedies of all time – Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Few movies have had the quotability of that movie, and people were talking like Austin Powers for years. “It’s not mine, baby. I swear it isn’t.” Mike, darling, where have you been? Your films were so groovy, baby.
4. LET’S GO TO BLOCKBUSTER AND RENT A MOVIE!
Back before Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, the way that you watched all the latest film release was by heading to the local Blockbuster to rent a VHS
or two. You had to carefully time your visit so that the newest Jean Claude Van Damme flick wasn’t sold out, and God forbid you ever snuck into the back where the...uh...less savory films lived. If it worked out, Blockbuster was amazing. The worst was when you had to go with your 5th choice of a movie, and when you got home, the tape wasn’t even rewound. What monsters couldn’t just be kind and rewind?
5. LET’S GO HANG OUT AT THE MALL!
In the 90's, the mall was the place you went to hang out with friends. You didn’t go to the local community center. You went to the mall. It had everything a kid needed. Food courts for snacks and cokes, stores to window shop, and tons of hormonal teenagers to stir up enough drama to keep everyone busy for a few hours. It seemed like the only store that ever got any business was the candy shop, but JC Penny hung in there somehow. For better or worse, the 90's were a time of growth, discovery, and minor inconveniences that seemed like revelations at the time. Nobody really misses Blockbuster or dial-up internet, but they were an indelible slice of growing up as a young millennial.