Dr. Suess Hats

Q. Were these ever a good idea?

A. For a period in the '90s, it seemed like a good idea to wear these at concerts & other public occasions, and some Europeans still associate them with "good times", but ultimately, No, they never were a good idea.

Papyrus Font

It wasn't enough in the '90s if you owned a restaurant, women's clothing boutique, or candle shop. It didn't matter if you offered superior service or an excellent product. No, if you wanted that truly '90s clientele, your sign/menu/correspondence better have been in Papyrus font. It was deeply important to consumers that your business related to the idea of an ancient and mystical scroll.

Beanie Babies

The savvy investors of the '90s knew where to put their hard-earned cash: Beanie Babies. How could the value of these simple bean-bag animals go anywhere but up? Yes, the smart folks spent hundreds on "rare" Happy Meal versions, and those with Warren Buffet-like vision knew a sure bet when they outbid each other for limited edition tie-died bears. We all may be laughing at their near-worthless collections now, but someday the wisdom of the 1990s will shine forth and make these people into billionaires.


Who knew they needed Pumpkin-Apricot Ale before the'90s? The decade's microbrewery movement gave college guys the chance to impress their dates with straight-faced discussions about the importance of "small-batch" beers. It also allowed their dates to stay feminine by ordering a brewski with the words "Honey-Strawberry" in its name. Everybody won.

Poetry Slams

Poetry, the ages-old craft of rendering humankind's loftiest ideals and most meaningful experiences into beautiful and memorable language, met its red-haired cousin in the '90s. Listening to amateur poetry at loud volumes in a coffeehouse was like eating dinner made by a 6-year old: The enthusiasm was there, so were the good intentions, the kid seemed impressed by what he or she had put together, but, man, what a mess. Would-be stand up comics or folks who didn't get picked to air their grievances on Ricki Lake could just break their thoughts up into random lines, throw on a ringer t-shirt, and shout their words with gusto into a crowd anxiously awaiting their turn to do the same.


Sinbad. Enough said.

Outdoor Style

Sure, the people who wore outdoor gear in the '90s had no particular plans to go river rafting any time soon, but they sported Tevas and a Nalgene bottle every day (to school, to work), just in case.

'90s Animal?

It's easy to think of quintessentially '80s animals. The dolphin, for instance. The unicorn. The white tiger. Not so easy with the '90s. Does the Peace Frog count? Lizards maybe? Anyone for aliens?


These became the 5th food group in the '90s. Then Atkins came along. That was lucky for us; not only did it take a little bit of fattening bread out of our diets, it also took the word "schmear" out of our daily speech.

Independent Film

It used to be that the amateur writer's ultimate ambition was to pen the Great American Novel. In the '90s that ambition sank to a desire to pen yet another screenplay about a group of doofs trying to pull off a heist. The Sundance Film Festival was there to foster such dreams, and set up guys like Quentin Tarantino as a guiding light to the future of cinema.

Bowling Shirts

Tucked-in dress shirts were for your uptight yuppie dad. To show you were in league with a more blue-collar ethic, as well as being an all-around crazy-fun guy, you needed the bowling shirt. Preferably with flames.

Lisa Loeb

Let's see here... Wrought iron furniture? Check. Faux-finish rag-rolled walls? Yep. Baby doll dress and thick glasses? You betcha. Maybe it felt clean and classic at the time, you know, stripped down and bare as her emotions, but now it's just crawling with '90s.

Goosebumps Series

Back in the day, kids wanted to read Winnie-the-Pooh or Beatrix Potter books. In the '90s, they wanted to wear dark eyeliner, cut themselves, and read about kids turning into (or being pursued by) horrible creatures.


So, let's say the year is 1972. Bellbottoms are the trend of the moment, so you have a pair attached to your body. Permanently. As in, they can't be removed without damaging your legs. Or, let's take it forward to 1980. You have your hair permanently feathered. You can't change it without ruining your scalp. Now, you may be thinking "Pshaw! Who would exhibit such an alarming lack of foresight? Who in the world would damage their body to get in line with a passing fad?" The '90s would, my friend. With a questionably accurate Chinese symbol on your neck, a tribal armband tattoo, or a scrolling lower back design, you may as well wear a sign that says "Hi! I'm from the '90s!"


Whether holding up the front of a floppy straw hat, or adorning an ill-advised denim dress that looked like it was made by OshKosh B'gosh, this clunky, oversized specimen was big time '90s.

Ergonomic Keyboards

From the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" department comes this absurdly swollen, undulating contraption, spreading out in all directions and overwhelming the desks it sat on like spilled pancake batter. Can't you just picture the collection of Dilbert books sitting on the shelf above this baby?

This Video

Seal and Batman Forever? Oh, no you didn't!

The Soul Patch

You say you wanted to look neat, maybe even somewhat "clean cut" while still displaying your affinity for beatnik anti-social style? That means you wore a soul patch, you rebel! And you couldn't stop rubbing it to draw attention to the fact that you were no "square".

Swirly Wrought Iron Furniture

The lighthearted whimsy of this curly breed of home decor captured the heart of the early '90s. Everyone filled their maroon-painted rooms with this stuff, then realized it was not only uncomfortable, but fugly to boot.

Basketball Celebrities

Just because someone says "Hey, you should write a book" or "You should do a movie with Bugs Bunny" or "You should pierce that thing & go around in drag" or "You should rap!" Should you?


Just play basketball, dude, that's what you do.


The perfect lunch-you-can -buy-premade-at-a-coffeshop, the wrap seemed slightly exotic due to the use of (gasp!) a TORTILLA (!) instead of bread. (How '80s nuclear family was bread?) It made people feel cool and healthy even though these tortillas were over-refrigerated to the point of tasting like a paper product.

Doc Martens Sandals

Always worn with white socks and cargo shorts, these beauties were for those who were almost ready to commit to shoes, but couldn't deal with the extra inch or two of leather.