Any 90s kid would have been enthralled by the Fresh Prince of Bel Air reunion on Friday night’s Graham Norton Show. In case you missed it, here’s Will Smith, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Alfonso Ribeiro reliving the glory days, with Will’s son Jaden (and our own Graham joins in too!):
The 1990s were a great decade to grow up in; sophisticated toys like Furbys and Tamagotchis made us feel like we were living in the future, but we never had to worry that our foolish thoughts would be captured by Twitter for the universe to see. So what other magical 90s things should make a return?
Great 90s shows include Friends, The Simpsons, and Frasier. It’s hardly a coincidence that both Friends and The Simpsons started to go off the boil once the new millennium rolled in. Moody teens could watch Dawson’s Creek and sulk about how awful their lives were; for kids there were fantastic and clever cartoons such as Hey Arnold, Cow and Chicken, Animaniacs, Earthworm Jim… the list goes on. If you get a chance to watch any of those again, sit back and simply marvel at how the hell they got away with this stuff.
- Kenan and Kel
Worthy of their own entry simply because….
“Who loves orange soda?”
- The supernatural
Growing up the 90s, everyone became obsessed with all things spooky and magical, thanks to Sabrina: The Teenage Witch, Charmed, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, The Craft, Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Hocus Pocus, Casper, Edward Scissorhands, The Addams Family, Beetlejuice, to name but a few. Who didn’t try and levitate their classmates while chanting “light as a feather, stiff as a board”?
Whatever the merits or demerits of joining the euro, we can all agree the old Irish punt was far prettier than the bland bridges of the single European currency. Sadly for today’s pre-teens, they will never really appreciate that our old coins had pictures of animals on; the proud stag on the pound seemed to wink whenever you got one of those babies in your hand.
And for 90s kids, twenty pence stretched comfortably to cover your daily ration of sweets. You probably only got pounds when you went on a school trip, or your Communion, or Christmas. (I’m not making this up).
Full of E-numbers and chemicals, but never did any of us any harm. *Eye twitches*.
There were even bags of crisps you could get for 5p. A trip to the shop was a fine excuse to fill up up with sweets, and every birthday party you went to had gallons of TK Lemonade and acres of birthday cake for every child.
Perhaps it’s because I spent most of the 90s in primary school, but stationery seemed a much bigger deal back then. Every summer while we visited family in the UK, I would raid WH Smith and return with notebooks, coloured pens, gel pens, scented pens, metallic pens and many other writing implements. Then I’d spend the rest of the year filling up all my notebooks and wondering why there was a grape-scented pen, when, as far as I know, grapes don’t smell of anything.
Nowadays stationery sections in places like Easons seem much smaller and kind of sad. I still enjoy a good sniff around the Pen Corner in Dublin though.
May was one of my favourite months as a child because the weather always seemed to be lovely. Now look at it. When historians look back at the 90s (and maybe the early 2000s) they’ll see that it was the last time Ireland saw the sun.
- Toys and video games
Toys like the aforementioned Tamagotchis and Furbys could be at once considered terrible and amazing. Keeping Tamagotchis alive and Furbys quiet was a Herculean feat.
The 90s were probably the first time that video games became mainstream. OK. the graphics have improved vastly, but has there ever been a more fun game that Super Mario 64?
There was a lot of crap music around in the 90s too, and there’s only so much benefit of the doubt that nostalgia can give. But some of the world’s greatest bands and artists emerged in the 90s; Nirvana, REM, Radiohead, to name but a few.
But even the pappiest pop was somehow less hard, overtly cynical and sexual than what was to follow. Compare early Britney to Rihanna; one a cheeky, saucy wink, the other as obvious as nipple tassles.
You know you grew up the 90s when you wore shellsuits, tracksuit bottoms with buttons at the bottom, Nike Air Max, double denim, denim skirts, Wrangler jackets and trousers with skirts. Accessories included beads, crimped hair and Indian chokers (which made even the most swanlike neck look like a bullock’s). We’re better dressed now, but sadly, less ridiculous.
So altogether now, “In West Philadelphia, born and raised…”
What would you like to bring back from the 90s? Let us know in the comments below!
The Daily Shift’s Roisin Peddle looks back at the glory years of the 1990s, following a highly nostalgic reunion on Friday’s Graham Norton show…
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