Let’s start with a disclaimer here, obviously there will be others who remember at least some of the things mentioned in this article. However, only those born in the 90’s will truly understand the importance and significance they played in our young lives. Prepare yourselves for several blasts-from-the past and a severe wave of nostalgia whilst you mourn your childhood youth.
1. Fruit Winders
Rumour has it that these lunchbox specialities are still about today but they certainly don’t make the impact on kids today like they did for us. The comic strips on the wrappers had many a use (warrior headbands being just one) and when the double strand ones were brought in your social status was largely determined by if you possessed one of these fruity, sugary delights.
2. Nev the Bear
He was on Smile with Barney and his catch phrase was “no no no nooo”. I don’t think it will ever be truly understood why CBBC insist on having puppets present shows alongside real people (although Basil Brush was phenomenal).
3. Tracy Beaker
This is before she turned twenty and it became a lot less socially acceptable to call an enemy a “bucket of worms”. Tracy Beaker Returns exists but I would strongly advise avoiding it – there’s a distinct lack of Elaine the Pain and Justine Littlewood and Tracy is too busy trying to be a good role model to provide true entertainment. Let’s all take a minute to remember the Jacqueline Wilson books on the whole too – ‘Dustbin Baby’ will always be literary genius in my eyes.
4. Pop Idol
It still had Simon Cowell but there was also that bald bloke Pete Waterman who has since disappeared off the face of the earth. Pretty much the same set-up as The X Factor except the backdrop at the auditions was blue as opposed to the red and black ‘X’ we’re used to these days.
5. Avril Lavigne
I fully blame Avril for the “too much eyeliner” phase every girl from the 90’s went through in their early teens but forgive her because she brought about the classics Sk8r Boi and My Happy Ending. Let’s just all pretend the last two albums she’s released don’t exist and she can still remain a moody teenage heroine in our eyes.
You’d pretend to go to the toilet at school just so you could ensure your tiny virtual pet wouldn’t starve to death because the trauma that its death incurred was far too much for a young heart to handle. Soon they were replaced by games like Nintendogs but they’ll forever be remembered as many people’s first pet.
8. Windows XP
Not much can be said about Windows XP except it symbolises quite how well technology has developed since we were in primary school. In fairness though, most of us could use this interface far better than the most recent Windows, symbolising perhaps how we’re already being left behind.
A number of girls won’t publically admit it but Ash was their first childhood crush. The cards became the currency of the playground and the Gameboy games would dominate your life. We’re all still traumatised by being caught in those caves for weeks at a time and walking through a long-grassed field in real life was always a disappointment because you weren’t confronted by wild Pokemon you could capture. For all the fanatics out there – Netflix now shows the cartoons,you’re welcome.
Credit goes to a pal Arthur for this one. They were the ultimate party-bag item and there were those plastic reverse domes that would become the battle arena. If you lost the plastic strip you were in trouble and there were always those daredevils who would touch a spinning one, earning complete respect from their peers.
11. Dick n Dom in da Bungalow
It was every kid’s dream to be on that show. There were cream pie fights and green slime punishments that entertained many a 90’s kid on a lonely Sunday morning when the parents were having a lie-in. “Bogies” became a household recognised name and even now you hear people playing it in shops – they were that influential.
12. Those machines that would braid your hair
I can’t, for the life of me, remember what they were called but I’m glad they appear to have gone off the market because they had a high potential for being a form of torture at an innocent sleepover. You’d trap strands of hair into this machine, just like they did on the advert, but instead of the results being the braided look, you’d end up having half your hair wrenched out and drowning in a flood of your own tears.
13. When Freddos were affordable
The price of a Freddo is a source of great pain for anybody over the age of fifteen. No longer can a child go to the corner shop and buy that chocolatey treat for a few pence, purchasing one now would essentially break the bank and in reality they’re not really worth it.
Early secondary school years would be spent crowded around that one kid in the class who had the new Basshunter or Cascada song so you could have it bluetoothed to your phone and play it out loud constantly for the next six months. It’s an unsolved mystery how the first person got it onto their phone but nobody minds. Bluetooth has essentially died now which is a good thing really, the song options were vastly limited.
15. Busted & S Club 7
The final song at the school disco was always from one of these two bands and it always went down a treat. It’s a great sadness to me that my ten year old brother doesn’t know all the words to Year 3000 and it’s not even worth talking about the formation of McBusted – the absence of Charlie was just too much of a loss for it to be successful. Every girl would choose either the rebel, blonde one or the “eyebrows” guy. Their break-up brought tears to a decade’s worth of children’s eyes and in all honesty, I’m not sure if I’ll ever forgive them.