11 Awful Fads ’90s Kids All Partook In

Bad Fads

1. Bangs

I don’t know if the look was inspired by Rachel from “Friends” or if we all just had the sudden desire to make the front section of our heads suspiciously reminiscent of a mullet. Whether you had the severe, across-the-forehead chop or the oh-so-annoying side bangs that would never stay in your damn bobby pins, almost every single one of us sported them…then swore we would never get bangs again. And then, when our hair stylist asked if we wanted our bangs trimmed, we said yes and fell back into the horrible, forehead-itching vortex, which explains why we actually can’t have nice things. Or nice hair.

2. Typing evrthng lyke dis LOLCATZ

You want to feel real pain? Go back to your 2007 Facebook statuses. If the content of what you said isn’t enough to make you cringe, then the grammar will. (Really, 16-year-old me? Did everyone need to know that your boyfriend made out with that slut from the school choir?) “You” becomes “u,” “are” becomes “r,” and any feeling of hope you had for your future crumbles after reading the sentence, “i g3T 2 g0 2 L!m!t3d 2 aftr skool XD.” But, like, Limited Too was the shit, so…

3. “Soulja Boy”

If you didn’t stay up all night before your freshman year homecoming dance to learn how to “crank that,” then I really don’t think you experienced high school. I don’t know why our 15-year-old selves felt the need to “Superman that ho,” but as soon as we’d hear that “youuuuuuuu,” we’d feel a tingle all the way from our dancin’ feet to our just barely pubescent genitals.

*Note: After recently learning what it meant to “Superman” a ho, I realized that I did not ever, nor will I ever want to Superman a ho, or any other woman. Gross fucking kids.

4. Jelly Things

Remember living in the fabulous world of jelly things? We had jelly shoes, jelly sandals, jelly notebooks, gel pens, jelly hair clips, jelly outfits for our Barbies, and, of course, the jelly choker. There is only one time in my life that I felt cooler than I did when I wore a multicolored jelly choker around my neck, and it was when I wore a giant afro to a ’70s party. Destiny’s Child was right–we weren’t ready for the jelly, but if someone wants to bring it back, I’d be in full support.

5. GTL

“The Jersey Shore” did some really bad things to our society. It made fist pumping a staple dance move (as opposed to, say, the sprinkler). It created Snooki. But worst of all, it made saying “GTL” acceptable. If you happened to miss this plague of a show (you lucky asshole) then you wouldn’t be aware that it stands for “gym, tan, laundry.” And that was basically the entire premise of the show. Get ripped at the gym. Tan in the tanning bed. Then wash your clothes, something humankind has been doing for about as long as we have had clothes. And it didn’t stop there. People would make it their status, people would text it, people would SAY IT ALOUD, and people would even buy shirts that said “GTL,” which, I imagine, they put in the “L.” I hate everyone.

6. The “Harlem Shake”

So, basically every organization in the world did a “Harlem Shake” video after it went viral. Your school did it. Your workplace did it. And your sorority did it before Nationals found out and immediately made you take it down. It was one of those super annoying but super addictive fads that you just had to look at and participate in. It didn’t matter if you hated it. It didn’t matter if you didn’t “get it.” Whenever you saw a video that said “Best Harlem Shake Video Ever,” you had to watch it because, like, what if it was the best one?


But really, this is the best one.


It delights me that every person who ever hashtagged–or worse, SPOKE–the acronym “YOLO” will, in fact, only live once, because I wouldn’t dare wish his or her existence on future generations.

8. Planking

I never quite got this. Basically, people took pictures of themselves lying on weird things. Granted, it was sort of cool in a “why is his body so erect and balancing on an uncomfortable surface” way, but really, just come see what lying positions I assume after a night of drinking tequila and planking will look like amateur hour. And no, that wasn’t a solicitation for sex. I just usually fall asleep on the bathroom floor or under a piano.

9. “Gangnam Style”

The fact that this became a thing is proof that America won’t be the best country in the world for the next few years. Children, parents, teachers, rabbis, ministers, celebrities, and, unfortunately, probably you, all did this horribly addicting dance at one time or another. With more than a billion (yes, a billion) YouTube views, it was one of the biggest–and by far most annoying–fads to date. Don’t call me a sexy lady, Psy. You don’t even know me.

10. Your Ex

Sure, he had nice hair (when he washed it) and it was totally cute when he put his hand down his pants to fondle his balls. (Really, guys–what are you doing down there, taking a fucking vacation?) But despite the strong feelings you had for him after you watched “P.S. I Love You,” he’s old news. Sure, sometimes it’s nice, like with other fads, to take a nostalgic look back (or a roll in the hay) every now and then, but as for being popular, he’s so last season.

11. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

And here we are: the fad that is currently taking the Internet by storm. Hot celebrities and people with Lou Gehrig’s disease have all come together to pour really cold water on their heads and donate money to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research. As of right now, the campaign has raised around $42 million for the charity, which is about $42 million more than other fads have raised for charity. It would be pretty awesome if fads started going in the direction of helping people as opposed to just making asses of ourselves. Only problem with this one? It sort of feels like getting picked for kickball teams in gym class. Like, I get it, I have short, stubby legs, but why haven’t I been nominated yet, you know? I like ice. I like buckets. Sorry I’m not good enough for your challenge, ALS. I’m not good at kickball, either.

Email this to a friend

Rachel Varina

(yeahokaywhat) Aspiring to be the next Tina Fey, Rachel spends her free time doing nothing to reach that goal. While judging people based on how they use "they're" vs. "there" on social media, she likes eating buffalo chicken dip, watching other people's Netflix, and wearing sweatpants way more than is socially acceptable.

For More Photos and Videos

Latest podcasts

New Stories

Load More