SMTV live, perms, hooch, Tamagotchi’s, recording songs off the radio from the top 40. If you were a teenager in Britain in the 90’s, you no doubt remember these things. Being a teen was kinda hard for the majority, hormones, school and finding your own identity all could be pretty tough at times. But there were so many awesome moments that made dents of happiness and good memories. Who could forget when The Spice Girls burst on the scene? Picking your favourite and accessorizing yourself like sporty or baby spice & learning all the dance moves. Or coming to school with the latest magazine with your favourite pop star on the front cover and comparing the free gifts & talk about doing swaps? Here are some of things which you’ll probably understand if you were a 90’s kid
- 90’s TV
I always said just how cool programmes were in the 90’s. And the 80’s. We had some great stuff. We had the original Power Rangers (remember the movie?) there was always something on the telly worth watching when you came back from school. I remember quite vividly Fun House, Finders Keepers, Art Attack, Byker Grove & The Demon Headmaster. Other programmes from the 90’s I used to love were Gladiators, The Crystal Maze, Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bell Air, Top of the Pops & every morning before school The Big Breakfast. Nickelodeon programmes such as Rugrats, Sister Sister and Are You afraid of The Dark were fab. And before everyone knew her as Sabrina the Teenage Witch -Melissa Joan Hart in Clarissa Explains it all, ruled. She was so cool. There was T4 on a Sunday with one of my favourites of the 90’s Dawson’s Creek, and who could forget Saturday morning TV a la Live & Kicking then SMTV Live. If you were a kid in the 90’s you were spoilt for choice.
If you were trying alcohol for the first time, you probably tried one of these. Most people I knew had tried them. Either at so and so’s party in your year, at a friends when their parents were out or down the park. The likes of Hooch, reef, 20 20, WKD, Bacardi Breezers were drunk. They weren’t particularly great, but for some reason they were a popular choice amongst 90’s kids. Probably your first drunken experience? Not mine *looks sheepish* But let’s be honest you probably did try some White Lightening at some point when it was bought for you & your friends.
3. Nintendo & Sega
Nearly every kid I knew had either a Nintendo or Sega console. I’ll never forget how much joy I got from my Christmas present I received one year in the form of a Sega Master System. Alex the Kid in Miracle World, Land of Illusion staring Mickey Mouse & Sonic The Hedgehog. My God I loved Sonic. I then progressed to watching the cartoon & buying the magazine as I loved him so much. A few of my friends had the Sega Megadrive and I used to love going on each other’s games. I was without a doubt a Sega Kid. But Mr Mario had his fair share of fans amongst my friends too and many of them had Gameboys. I eventually got one.
4. Puffer Jackets
If you were a teen in the 90’s you have to remember these. Everyone wore Puffer Jackets. They were all the range in the 90’s. I wore mine for a good few years at school and the trend lasted a while. A comfy padded coat that kept you super toasty when it was cold, and was considered cool. They came in a variety of colours and black, orange, white & yellow are the ones I remember around school that were pretty popular. I wore a navy one which I bought from Newark on Trent market and it lasted me years. The kids with money used to don the designer flashy jackets with the likes of Firetrap & Helly Hansen on them.
5. Chunky Shoes
Nearly all girls owned a pair of these. The great thing about these is that there were so many different types so there’d be something for everyone. If you were smaller you might get a chunky pair with a huge platform heel, and if you were taller like me you could opt for something less ankle breaking and go for something smaller. I remember getting a pair of brown kickers for my Birthday and I was so chuffed as I never usually wore stuff like that. It must’ve cost a fortune to my mum who didn’t have a lot of money but these shoes lasted me years at school and I loved them.
6. Clueless was the 90’s Mean Girls
This film sparked a whole generation of fashion trends & phrases and catapulted Alicia Silverstone in to a star. I remember seeing lots of floppy hats, long socks, mobile phones, small backpacks & fluffy pens after this film. And like thousands of others across the world used to say the phrase ‘Whateverrrr’ which is still used today. This was kind of like the ‘Mean Girls’ of 90’s. Girls of the 90’s loved this film.
Who didn’t own a big scrunchie in the 90’s? Regularly worn with several others for full effect. They came in a variety of shocking colours like neon pink & polka dots. Popular with buns and a classic with pony’s. We sure as hell loved our scrunchies.
8. Sending Notes to Your Friends
Back in the 90’s we didn’t have mobile phones. Our way of saying hey to your friends instead of by text or social media? It was by writing or passing notes. Notes to your friends to have a catch up with or share some important ‘teen’ news to was such a regular thing. I kept mine in a shoe box and used to re-read them.
9. The Spice Girls
90’s kids and pretty much anyone actually was hit with Girl Power. Whether you liked them or not they were everywhere. Coming out with their first hit single ‘Wannabe’ and catapulting them in to super stardom. The Spice Girls dominated TV & radio and influenced millions of girls across the world. They were plastered on magazines and merchandise everywhere and everyone had a favourite & picked the one they related to or liked the most. Really clever marketing. These girls took over the world and resonated with young girls everywhere. My favourite was sporty spice and I used to wear my hair in a high ponytail & took great pleasure in wearing sporty gear like her. Does anyone else remember going around scouring for Pepsi ring pulls to get a free Spice Girls CD?
10. Stick on earrings
Oh, how I used to love my stick-on earrings. Sticking on what looked like a variety of jewels and pretending to be grown up wearing earrings. It was really nice receiving them as presents at Christmas in my stocking and for my Birthday. And it was sooo awful when one fell off!
I was a bit too young to appreciate the Britpop period in all It’s glory, but boy did I know about it. It was all over the telly/radio and the battle was on over who would pick up a Brit Award. You was either a Blur or Oasis fan and I remember the rivalry so vividly at things like The Brit Awards and in the papers. I thought that both bands were great personally.
12. Gel Pens
I remember several school stationary trends. Yikes pencils, troll pencil toppers & going back to Primary school collecting rubbers and taking them to school in a huge tin! But gel pens were everywhere. You could get them in a variety of metallic colours and nearly every girl had them. When writing notes to each other a variety of different colours were used from our beloved gel pens and also for highlighting things in school work.
13. Plastic dummy necklaces
This was a weird trend. I didn’t know why they were popular, but they were. I remember seeing these on the necks of all the girls at school. You could get them in different colours and sizes and for some reason girls went crazy for them. I had about 2, but some girls used to where them by the bucket load. Plastic dummies on a necklace, who would have thought it?
14. Body Glitter
Body glitter. How could I forget body glitter? I used to wear it on my shoulders, top of my chest and the tops of my arms. And I used to love wearing it next to my eyes and under my eyebrows. The likes of Britney Spears influenced us to wear this by the bucket load at places like going up town on a Saturday, going to the cinema or meeting with friends.
15. Jelly Bracelets
Everyone remembers the real name for these… Different coloured plastic bands that were worn in bulk on your wrist. We couldn’t get enough of them and wore some of them interlinked. But the actual theory around them is pretty strange. The theory that went around was that each band that you wore on your arm stood for someone that you hooked up with. Not the most appropriate trend for kids, and since nearly everyone wore them this seemed to be a bit false and unbelievable.
16. When penny sweets were penny sweets
Going to the newsagents on the way to or from school to buy a bag of penny sweets was a given. Each sweet was just 1p so you could get a whole big bag for about 35p/40p. Bon bons, cola cubes, toffee peanuts & flying saucers were always in my bag. Who can remember cherries, shrimps, eggs, blue dolphins & lips that tasted like perfumed lipstick?
17. Butterfly Clips
Tiny butterfly clips used to scatter the hair of teenage girls everywhere and a favourite hairstyle to do was to put your hair back in several twists either half up or completely. I used to spend ages in the morning trying to get these things right. I used to think the glittery ones were awesome.
These were just some of the things that contributed to making growing up in the 90’s awesome. Thank you to all these things for providing me with 90’s oodles of happiness!