10 Things That Made The 90's Nostalgic

Image of VHS tape in the post 10 things that made the 90's nostalgic

A Simpler Time

The 90’s may have been a simpler time, but much like the 80’s, this decade was jam-packed with gems that had a great influence on modern society as we know it today. Let’s look away from our smart phones and stroll down memory lane to what could arguably be one of the best decades to grow up in. 

Here are 10 things that make the 90’s nostalgic:

Friends is still very popular today
Ross and Rachel in the Friends episode, The One With The Prom Video, in the Why We Still Watch Friends blog
The One With The Prom Video - a classic episode

1. Friends

Friends is undoubtedly one of the most iconic TV shows ever to bless our screens. Insomnia Café (the original title), ran for 10 years with over 200 episodes. The show became so big that several aspects of it leaked into pop-culture. 

Friends became one of the few shows to influence fashion. One of the most notable influences was Rachel’s hairstyle. At the height of the show’s popularity, millions of girls across the world had their hair done like Rachel’s. 

In the 90’s, most sitcoms revolved around a family setting. Friends, however, was one of the first few shows to feature young characters, living carefree, with little to no interaction with their parents. I do believe that this fresh take was a huge reason for the success of the show. 

Friends also resonated well with a lot of people because it was very relatable to the majority of its viewers. It was able to tackle usually mundane tasks and make those moments highly entertaining.

Read our full post, Why We Still Watch Friends Today.

Wolfenstein 3D poster in the blog, Is Wolfenstein The Best Game Ever
I definitely got my 10000 hours with Wolf 3D

2. Wolfenstein 3D

When floppy disks were still a thing, Wolfenstein 3D was surely the game to get. Hailed as the ‘grandfather of first-person shooters’, Wolfenstein 3D is widely regarded as one of the best video games ever made. 

Yes, there are many more complicated and graphically impressive first-person shooter games around now, but there is just something quaintly special about the simplicity of Wolf 3D that you just can’t get enough of. 

If you want to explore the evolution of first-person shooters by going back to its explosive beginning, then Wolfenstein 3D is the game to play.

Read our full post, Is Wolfendstein 3D The Best Game Ever?

3. Frasier

The 90’s was definitely not short of iconic sitcoms and Frasier was one of them. It’s a show about a psychiatrist named Frasier Crane who attempts to start a new life as a radio jockey dispensing psychological advice to the people of Seattle. Along with this, he also accepts the responsibility of taking in his retired, cop father, who can no longer live alone after he gets shot in the hip. 

What I like most about this show is how it tackles a very real enemy that a lot of people face – themselves. Behind all the comedy and light moments, we get to fully explore the shortcomings, emotions, insecurities, and uncertainties of a divorced, middle-aged man. 

This 90’s series really delivered the goods in the most satisfying way. From the perfect chemistry of the casting, the perfectly timed comedy and meaningful life lessons, Frasier showed us what a group sitcom should be.

Frasier dispensing shrink advice on the radio
Almost 30 years on, Jurassic Park still looks good

4. Jurassic Park

At this point, I would be surprised if anyone is not familiar with the Jurassic Park franchise. The first movie, based on a novel by Michael Crichton, premiered in 1993 and soon became a box-office smash. 

This story takes us to an island, where scientists have been able to create dinosaurs through experimentation. Things get hairy when the lead IT guy gets bribed and sabotages the security network which allows the dinosaurs to roam free and wreak havoc on the staff and visitors. 

This highly-suspenseful, out-of-this-world movie keeps you on the edge of your seat at all times. The 90’s would’ve felt a little dull without the birth of this now massive franchise.

5. The Simpsons

The Simpsons is now the longest-running scripted U.S. primetime television series of all time and it’s not difficult to see why. From the show’s outlandish jokes to the hilarious situations the characters are placed in, there always seems to be something funny going on with our iconic yellow friends. 

If you watch some of the newer episodes and compare them with one of the first few episodes of the show, you’ll see that not a lot has actually changed. The animation has perhaps improved a bit, but the humour is all the same. This proves how timeless the show is and how The Simpsons is an excellent gateway drug for anything nostalgic.

6. The Shawshank Redemption

I still get jealous when I meet people who haven’t watched The Shawshank Redemption yet because they get to experience it for the first time which is something I can’t do. This 1994 film features a banker named Andy Dufresne, who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murders of his wife and her lover, despite his innocence. 

Although the majority of the movie is set within a prison, I believe that The Shawshank Redemption eventually became so successful because of how it tackled real life issues that so many people face in their own lives. From persevering through tough times, to the desire for freedom, to the importance of friendship, this movie hits close to home on many levels.

Read our full post here, The Power of The Shawshank Redemption.

The Simpsons continues to entertain the world over
Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption
Having crawled through shit, Andy comes out clean on the outside

7. Gameboy

When talking about iconic gaming consoles in the ‘90s, Nintendo’s Gameboy has to be at the top of just about anyone’s list. 

The Gameboy brought portable gaming to the market way before portability even became a popular feature for gaming. Likewise, the Gameboy served as the platform for many gamers to play their favorite games such as Mario and Pokemon, without spending a fortune. 

Years later, the Gameboy is still one of the most recognizable gaming devices. This is truly an icon and I am sure that this gaming console has its own special place in a lot of early gamer’s hearts.

Mr Do was my favourite game on Gameboy
Pokemon was a little after my time

8. Pokemon

The Pokemon craze seems to never end and I’m not complaining. In the year 1996, Japanese designer Satoshi Tajiri released cute little creatures called Pokemon on the Gameboy platform. Decades later, Pokemon has grown to be the second-largest Nintendo franchise, only behind Mario. 

Since its initial release, Pokemon has been adapted into TV shows, movies, card-collectibles, pop-culture merchandise, and a whole slew of video games available on different platforms. All of these expansions show how much of the world has fallen in love with these cute little creatures. 

Pokemon is one of the most endearing things to come out of the 90s. Being alive and well today with kids and even adults, there is no question that these nostalgic creatures will continue to be present in pop-culture for years to come.

I've never actually seen one of these

9. Tamagotchi

If you were a 90’s kid, you’ll no doubt be familiar with Tamagotchi fever. This incredibly original and fun concept revolved around taking care of virtual pets and making sure that they stay happy, clean, and fed. You get to experience their entire life cycle, from an egg all the way to adulthood. 

The cool thing about Tamagotchi is that you get to feel the responsibility of owning a pet, but are not plagued with the actual realities if you screw it up. Ultimately, it’s just a little computer but to many, they were virtual creatures that, as the relationship grew, became inseparable companions. 

10. Dumb And Dumber

If you’re a fan of Jim Carrey, then you’ll probably be familiar with Dumb and Dumber, one of Carrey’s first movies that massively boosted his career. 

I don’t want to give too much away, but in short, this hilarious movie tells the story of two dim-witted friends who get themselves caught up in the middle of an elaborate crime. 

Aside from the endless laughter, I also love this movie because of how relatable it is. If you want to watch a movie that will undoubtedly brighten up your day, while at the same time showcasing what true friendship means, then watching Dumb and Dumber is a no-brainer.

For more, read our full post, Why Dumb And Dumber Is A Genius Film.

Lloyd showing exactly how not to approach women on the street

Final Thoughts

The 90’s was a simple but meaningful decade. It really showcased the idea that new gadgets or even the Internet are not integral to happiness. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pace of modern life, check in with some of these 90’s classics. The time will be well spent and will no doubt lull you into a state of calm reflection. 

Do you agree with my 10 things that make the 90’s nostalgic? Let me know in the comments below.

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14 thoughts on “10 Things That Make The 90’s Nostalgic”

  1. Most of all the things that you have written here about the 90s are still with us today. Simpsons is still up and running. The Gameboy might not be here anymore but it gave way for the new generation of video games we have out there. Also,just last year, Pokemon made a movie so everything is pretty much here. I like that you can promote something like this here in your website. I should buy one of these gift ideas you have here.

  2. Oh my! Where do I start from. I particularly played the hell out of the gameboy. Concerning the various shows and movies listed here, I actually watched them all and the Simpsons took over my world and I love them so much. In fact, I have all the episodes on my laptop at the moment. I just watch them randomly. Thanks for bringing this nostalgic feeling

    1. The Simpsons is a classic show that just keeps on giving although I haven’t seen it much of late. i was also a huge fan of the Gameboy and I kinda wish I still had mine. Lotta good times. 

  3. Hello, Great post! I like that you can advance something like this here in your site. I think the things that you have composed here about the 90s are still with us today. Simpsons is still going. Also,just a year ago, Pokemon made a film so everything is basically here. Movies like Jurrasic Park and Shawshank Redemption still hold up really well almost 30 years on and I enjoy rewatching them from time to time.  

    1. I agree with what you said about Jurassic Park and Shawshank Redemption. My girlfriend for some reason hadn’t seen either and so I very happily rewatched them with her. They actually get better with age because there are so many rubbish movies getting made these days. 

  4. You’ve just taken me down memory lane. I grew up in the 90’s before the world got consumed with smartphones and social media. Those were the days! I was the biggest fan of “Friends’’ especially Rachel. I watched and re-watched the show several times, to be sincere I won’t mind re-watching it even now. Frasier and the Simpsons were equally good. Thanks for making me remember my younger years.

  5. Hello there Murray, Going through this article was like a walk down memory lane and I’m really glad that I came across it. Some of the things you mentioned like Friends and Jurassic Park are without a doubt timeless classic but I however doubt the Simpsons validity on the list as it is still ongoing or was ongoing some years back

    1. The Simpsons is on the list because it makes me nostalgic for the those first few years of the 90’s when I first watched the episodes and played the arcade game – both occurred on my first trip to the States when I was fifteen. For more on Friends read, Why We Still Watch Friends Today and Jurassic Park, 

  6. Hey, i just want to say, amazing article by the way. I was born in 1999 so i didn’t get the full experience but i’m not fully ignorant at all. 9 out of 10 of the things you’ve listed, i’ve experienced first hand. I whole-heartedly agree with the list. The time period was definitely one to remember for anyone who was born in the early 90’s. I still watch Friends to this day and I have an old Tamagotchi somewhere in my closet. 

  7. Any kid of the 90s would tell you that you have hit the nail on the head with this. For one thing, the fact that we were not governed by our phones then is just the right reason that made the 90s worthy time to live in much better than now. However, most if the things you have highlighted here made our days back then as they were things we looked forward to. My favourite would have to be the Walkman which I carried around with me everywhere. I still have it actually. 

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