The most popular fads from decades past
Find out what was popular when your parents were kids, or take a nostalgic trip down memory lane from your own childhood:

Beanie Babies
  • As one of the most popular, endearing and widespread fads of the last 25 years, one would imagine that Beanie Babies must have some type of unique and incredible attributes. Instead, they are simply small, inexpensively priced, stuffed animals with a tag stating the animal's name and birth date. Despite logic, the stuffed animals created an almost cutthroat collecting frenzy, which inadvertently spawned magazines, websites and fan clubs. In 1993, Beanie Babies made their debut and were being sold in early 1994 in Chicago area stores. As word of mouth cast attention on the stuffed animals, interest, and therefore, sales of the toys grew significantly. By mid-1994, Ty, Inc., was offering more than 30 additional versions in order to meet the collecting craze that was now spreading across the United States. By 1996, more than 100 million Beanie Babies were sold and the craze was now spreading across the world. The popularity of the craze was not lost upon corporate America. In April of 1997, McDonald's began bundling certain Beanie Babies with Happy Meals, and within 14 days over 100 million of the Beanie Babies had been given out by the food chain.

Bleached Hair
  • This fad was popular with high school and college students. Many just bleached their tips. This fad really caught on in the mid 90's and continued into 2000.

Boy Bands
  • Teenage girls went crazy for bands such as Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, New Kids on The Block, 98 Degrees, and New Edition.

Budweiser Wassup Commerical
  • This popular Budweiser beer commercial started a new trend for the 90's. It caught on quick. People were answering their own phones and saying, "Wassssssuuup!!". There were even many different mocked versions all over the internet.

Fanny Packs
  • Purses that buckle on to the waist. Very popular in the early 1990. Now it's considered to be a fashion faux pas.

  • First introduced in 1998, this interactive furry toy had a mind of its own. It spoke its own language and communicated with other Furbys. It was so popular that many stores sold out early for Christmas.

Gigapets / Tomogatchi
  • Very popular little electronic device that needed to be feed and cared for. If not then it would die. Kids used to carry them around everywhere they went.

  • Whether it was worn out jeans or a flannel shirt grunge music and grunge fashion was big in the 90's.

  • This music sharing community which is now a paid service was once free. All internet users had to do was download the software and get any mp3 music file they wanted. After a couple years, the Record Industry caught on to this, considered it piracy and took Napster to court. The result was Napster being shut down.

  • Although popular in the 1970's, in the early 1990's teens wore their overalls in two ways: they wore their overalls with a belt, and let the 'front flap' and 'back straps' hang straight down. The other way was to only hook together one side of the overall straps, and leave the opposite side open. The popular over-all styles were: light blue; or gray stonewashed; overalls, with lots of zippers and metal buttons down the sides.

Oxygen Bars
  • An establishment that sells oxygen for recreational use, usually for about $1 per minute. Bar guests inhale it through their nose in the hopes that having a high oxygen content in their body will remove toxins and improve their health and well-being. Sometimes flavored scents are added to enhance the experience.

  • Getting your tongue, belly button, eyebrow, nipple, etc. pierced was the popular thing to do to show your "coolness."

  • A game popular with kids played using discs ("pogs"), originally played in Hawaii with bottle caps.

  • Originating as game for the Nintendo Game Boy, it turned into a merchandizing bonanza with anime, manga, trading cards, toys, books, and more. It is set in a fictionalized world with themes of collecting, training, and battling.

Polly Pocket Toys
  • A popular toy for girls in the 1990's. The toy actually came out in 1989, but was most popular in the 90's.

Push Pops / Ring Pops
  • Lollypop type candy turned entertainment, either on a ring or in a tube.

Rachel Haircut
  • Many women in the 1990's starting cutting their hair in the same hair style as Jennifer Aniston's character 'Rachel' on the popular television sitcom Friends.

Reebok Pump
  • In the early 90's Reebok released basketball sneakers that had a pump up mechanism on the front tongue of the shoe. This little ball/pump allowed one to inflate air into the cushon of shoe or release the air out. This shoe became very popular despite the retail price of $175, which was very expensive for sneakers at the time. The shoe first stepped into the spotlight when NBA superstar Dee Brown pumped his pair up before competing in the NBA slam dunk contest...he would go on and win the contest that year.

  • Instead of the traditional four wheel skates (one in each corner of your foot) the inline roller skates had their wheels lined up single file and were very popular.

Sagging Pants
  • Popularized by hip-hop artists such as LL Cool J, it is the practice of wearing your trousers so the top is significantly below the waist, many times showing your underwear.

Spice Girls
  • A well known, worldwide pop group that had many hits songs in the 90's. Girls loved their music and boys loved their looks. Five attractive pop singers that went by the names Posh Spice, Ginger Spice, Sporty Spice, Scary Spice, and Baby Spice.

  • Sports Utility Vehicles became the hottest new type of vehicle bought in the U.S. despite the high cost of gasoline and the poor MPG the automobiles would give you.

  • A keychain-sized virtual pet simulation game that was popular with both children and adults.

  • Formerly a preference for gang members, jailbirds and other rebels, tattoos are now so common that even the Spice Girls have them. You used to get a tattoo to stand out, now you get one to blend in.

The Macarena
  • During the 90's you couldn't turn on the tv, radio or go to parties without hearing this song. People would dance The Macarena to the song made popular by Los Del Rio.

Tickle Me Elmo
  • This popular toy would giggle when you tickle its belly then it would end with a "Oh boy, that tickles". Elmo, who became the most popular character from Sesame Street in the 90's was on every kids Christmas wish list and stores were selling out quickly. People who really had to have one for Christmas had to resort to buying them for more on auction websites.