Joi/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

12 things you won’t remember if you were born in the ’90s

Remember that time? (Not!)


Eve Peyser

Internet Culture

Published Aug 16, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 3:51 am CDT

Objectively speaking, the most awesome moments in history happened between 0 AD and 1997. 

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If you were born in the ‘90s, you totes won’t remember any of that magic. But no worries, kiddo. I’m here to assuage your FOMO!

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1) The Reagan presidency

Some say Reagan destroyed America (and the world), and others say he saved it. Being a liberal arts-educated New Yorker, I’m inclined to agree with the former, but regardless, if you were born in the ’90s you will never understand what it felt like to live in a pre-Reaganomics world. Bummer for you!

2) Being born

Perhaps you had the most ’90s birth ever. Perhaps your parents were into that retro shit and got a midwife or whatever, but regardless, you don’t remember! Sucker!

3) That traumatic thing that happened to you when you were six, which you should remember but blocked out as a self-preservation thing

I didn’t mean to bring up a sensitive issue, sorry. You know what? Pretend I never mentioned anything. It’s OK.

4) Your parents’ divorce

You probably should remember this a little bit, but it ties into that traumatic thing that happened (sorry to bring it up again!), so you blocked out the little memory you did have. OK, I’m gonna move on now. Don’t even worry about it!

5) The women’s suffrage movement

Yoooo, that shit was craz-ayyyyyy.

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6) When people sent telegrams

In a time before text messaging, people sent each other telegrams, which are text messages that took a really long time to get delivered and involved decoding and shit. (I think?) Anyways, you really didn’t miss out on much, I promise.

7) JNCOs

The exciting thing is that in February, JNCOs announced that they will start producing their iconic jeans once again. The less exciting thing is that you don’t really remember when they were trendy the first time around, so you don’t quite get the cultural significance of their comeback. Sorry, kid!

8) The iconic release of The Breakfast Club

Sure, you watched the movie when you were on the precipice of puberty and it totally changed shit for you. I totes get it! But you didn’t get to experience the magic of seeing it in theaters. You never got to see Molly Ringwald rise to stardom; instead, you saw her slowly fade into irrelevance. Boo hoo!

9) John Belushi/Chevy Chase/Bill Murray/Gilda Radner/Phil Hartman/Dan Aykroyd/ Eddie Murphy/Al Franken/Chris Rock/Chris Farley/Dana Carvey/Jon Lovitz on SNL

Like the news, SNL is best to watch within the week that it first airs. Sure, some sketches are forever, but the topical shit is lost to time. So you’ll never really get to experience the magic of Weekend Update or really most of the sketches that these talented comedians were in. Too bad for you because a lot of this is really significant in comedy history!

10) Your mother’s foray into musical theater

A year after giving birth to you, your mother wanted to ensure that she still had her own adult life and didn’t sacrifice everything for parenthood, so she participated in a community theater production of Grease. She played Frenchie and was apparently awful; it’s been a running joke in your family ever since. But you never saw it, so all you have is your imagination!

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11) That time little Tommy stole your Tamagotchi

OMG remember Tamagotchi? Sure you do. But do you remember when little Tommy stole your Tamagotchi? You were on a playdate and things got pretty heated, but it happened when you were five and, truth be told, it wasn’t a particularly important moment so you have absolutely no recollection of it. Oh, well!

12) The majority of the 1990s

Sure, you identify as a ’90s kid, but say you were born in 1992: Your earliest memory is from roughly age four (I’m being generous here), you only remember bits and pieces of 1996-1999, plus you had no real understanding of the way the world worked then anyways. So how about you stop idealizing a time you don’t even remember and live in the moment! 

Photo via Joi/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Aug 16, 2015, 6:22 pm CDT