Tricia: Are you ready for some ’90s throwback nostalgia?
Elizabeth: Yes, but I was not paying much attention to pop culture in the ’90s. Also, we didn’t have cable growing up.
I think I may have missed some things.
Tricia: I didn’t have cable either!
So all the TV shows I’m going to bring up were well within your ability to watch.
Elizabeth: So I have no excuse for not knowing all these things, is what you’re saying.
Tricia: Yes. 🙂
Elizabeth: IS WISHBONE ON THIS LIST. If not, your list is invalid.
Tricia: …it’s not.
Elizabeth: Well, that was short.
Tricia: I veered more toward late ’90s / me as a pre-teen (because of the reason this all began…JTT).
Elizabeth: You’re never too old to watch Wishbone, Tricia. But okay. Begin with JTT. Explain who that is for the readers at home.
Tricia: JTT is every ’90s girl’s first sexual awakening, except, apprently, for Elizabeth. He was the sassiest, best child on the TV show Home Improvement, and he solidified MY love forever when he voiced Simba in The Lion King.
He was the cutest child and the hottest teenager.
Elizabeth: That’s a cute shirt, I would totally wear that.
Tricia: He also later came out as gay.
Elizabeth: You didn’t google that? If so, that makes me feel better about my preteen crush, Lance Bass.
Tricia: I think every little girl crushes on a gay person first. They are both adorable and non-threatening.
Elizabeth: His Wikipedia article doesn’t say he’s gay, but it does say he is vegetarian.
Tricia: I want to know how you avoided JTT’s existence. Literally every single other woman I’ve ever met, when asked, “Who was your first celebrity crush?” has said, “JTT,” and then burst out giggling.
Elizabeth: I don’t know, honestly. I think Nick Carter and Leo Di Caprio (who I got confused with Da Vinci, initially) were more popular in my hometown.
Tricia: Well, sure. Leo was everyone’s second, more sexual crush.
I think that’s the whole JTT thing – he was so CUTE, and it was easy to love him and try on the whole “I like boys” thing without feeling TOO many feelings.
Elizabeth: K, well, I skipped these stages of sexual development, sorry. Went straight for the Backstreet Boys.
But not, NEVER Justin with cornrows, ew.
Tricia: That brings us to our next ’90s nostalgia topic: Backstreet Boys vs. Nsync.
Elizabeth: Yay! I know who they are!
Tricia: What did you think of Justin’s bleached ramen noodle hair?
Elizabeth: Lol, no. I thought (still think) he sang like a girl.
In retrospect, I think JC was clearly the cutest.
Tricia: I love men who sing like women. So Justin was my favorite, along with Lance.
Elizabeth: Lance Bass was from Mississippi! He sang in my town’s high school show choir.
You win the ’90s!
Elizabeth: Attaché! *jazz hands*
Tricia: Was the rivalry between the boy bands a thing in your world?
Elizabeth: We kind loved Backstreet and Nsync at different times.
Tricia: Oh, INTERESTING. That was definitely not allowed in Peoria, IL.
So where did you stand on the bsb/nsync rivalry?
Tricia: I was firmly in the Nsync camp. Although even at that time, I knew that I was mostly performing a love that I didn’t really care all that much about.
Bye Bye Bye was a classic
Also I Want It Thata Way
How can you choose?
Tricia: I did genuinely like Nsync. But the whole “I want to plaster my walls with posters and I will fight anyone who prefers Backstreet Boys” was beyond me.
Elizabeth: Right, that’s why you love and appreciate both.
Tricia: Unfortunately, we live in a polarizing society.
Tricia: Let’s move on to some ladies!
The most important female celebrities of the ’90s were…
Elizabeth: Kate Winslet and Britney
Tricia: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen!
Elizabeth: Oh, right
Elizabeth: I love them!
Their movies were so great.
Tricia: Me too! They were a perfect combination of fashion-forward and SMART.
Elizabeth: Especially the ones where they went to exotic locales and immediately picked up cute boys.
Tricia: They really had it all.
It’s strange that like JTT, the Olsen twins have kind of fallen off the celebrity scene.
Elizabeth: No, they totally have their own fashion line now! They made the transition to adulthood just fine.
Tricia: Yeah, that’s true. I guess maybe they just didn’t like making movies all that much. But we still have Elisabeth Olsen!
Elizabeth: Speaking of fashion, I have to know whether the Britney and Justin matching denim looks made your list.
Tricia: No, I just picked a couple quintessential things from a variety of topics.
We’re done with music.
Elizabeth: I’m sorry, I can’t let this one slide.
Elizabeth: Okay, now we can move on.
Tricia: TV shows!
Since we’ve discussed JTT and the Olsen twins…did you watch either Home Improvement or Full House?
Elizabeth: I watched some Full House, yes.
Tricia: But not Home Improvement? Tim Allen? Wilson with the fence face?
Elizabeth: Er, I think I saw a couple episodes…
Tricia: This is quite a childhood departure. My whole family would watch that show together every week.
And then when DVDs came out, we bought all the seasons and re-watched them together.
No, we watched britcoms on PBS instead, but that sounds lovely.
Elizabeth: The Boukeaaaay residence, lady of the house speaking!
Tricia: I have literally no idea what you are talking about.
Elizabeth: Okay, back to your childhood now.
Tricia: Other non-PBS ’90s shows: Boy Meets World!
Elizabeth: Did not watch that one either.
Elizabeth: I’m telling you, there were some years where I was just not paying attention.
Tricia: It was great. I think I would probably still enjoy it now.
Cory and Topanga were #relationshipgoals. Shawn was the hot bad boy best friend.
Elizabeth: You loved Shawn, of course.
Tricia: Of course. 😀
HE HAD A HEART OF GOLD, but he was so afraid of being hurt!!
Elizabeth: *rolls eyes*
Tricia: What about Saved by the Bell? Did you watch that?
Tricia: All the best ’90s shows were about a group of friends who KIND of went together but were also representative of different social groups attending school together.
Tricia: Saved by the Bell was the least believable.
Their friend group was Two Popular Kids, the Athlete, the Supermodel, the Overachiever, and the Nerd.
But it was still good television.
Elizabeth: Are these worth watching now? Do I have to go back and make up for my misspent youth, or has the moment passed?
Tricia: I honestly don’t know if they would be good as an adult who doesn’t have prior feelings attached. You should try a couple episodes and let me know!
Okay, my last ditch media effort: Did you see the ’90s Disney movies?
Elizabeth: Yes, duh.
Tricia: Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King…
What are your Disney feels?
Elizabeth: I was in love with Robin Hood, the cartoon fox. Actually, that was probably my first celebrity crush.
Tricia: Robin Hood is not ’90s, but YES, he was sexy.
Elizabeth: Well, I got a VHS copy of Robin Hood for my fourth birthday, so it was ’90s for me.
Aladdin is a great movie. I rewatched it with a friend a couple of years ago, and it definitely holds up. The Lion King was too sad.
Tricia: Yeah, I still watch Disney movies on the regular. They really are timeless.
I loved The Lion King best, because TALKING ANIMALS. And I like being sad.
Now, though, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite.
Elizabeth: We didn’t have that one, so I didn’t watch it as much as Aladdin. Also, Gaston really skeeved me out.
Tricia: He is SUCH a great evil guy. He may be the most human Disney villain: a sexist pig who kills things he’s afraid of.
He is toxic masculinity personified.
Tricia: We gotta move on because I need to eat dinner.
Let’s talk about ’90s STUFF.
Like gel pens! They were awful, but everyone wanted them.
Elizabeth: Gel pens!!!
Lisa Frank’s fault???
Tricia: OH Lisa Frank! I totally missed her on my list, but she is a ’90s queen!
What about tomagotchis? Did you clean digital poop?
Elizabeth: No, I felt that I wasn’t ready for the responsibility of a digital pet, so I didn’t have any.
Tricia: You were such a wise child.
I had Star Wars themed tomagotchis, so I was taking care of a little Yoda and R2-D2.
Carried them around on a keychain to keep them safe.
Elizabeth: I was worried I’d forget to feed it and it would get hungry and it would be all my fault!
Tricia: It would have been.
But have you have Cookie now, so you learned responsibility somewhere along the way!
Elizabeth: Yes, I worry about her now, which is why she’s fat.
Tricia: Better fat than hungry!
Okay, we have just one last ’90s thing to discuss!
Tricia: BEANIE BABIES
Elizabeth: Beanie Babies!
I had a few. You?
Tricia: I had a lot.
Tricia: My grandpa made me a special Beanie Baby tree with elastic so I could display them.
Elizabeth: A tree?? Pics please?
Tricia: Well, kind of. It wasn’t as tree-like as you’re imagining, but it was very nice.
Looking back, I don’t think I played with them all that much. I was just caught up in the Beanie Baby fever.
I think the point was to collect them, more than play with them.
Tricia: Did you have a favorite Beanie Baby?
Elizabeth: I don’t remember. I had a panda that was cool, but I don’t think it was an actual Beanie Baby?
Tricia: Oh yeah, the knock off beanie babies!
Tricia: Hmmm…probably a cat. But I don’t know! I have so few memories of actually LOVING them and playing with them.
Elizabeth: Kind of a sad note to conclude our ’90s chat.
Tricia: I know.
I guess…that’s the ’90s? Things that felt so important at the time but aren’t all that influential overall?
Which is why we can have had such different childhoods and still wound up being friends.
Elizabeth: Of course, would we be friends without Harry Potter, itself a product of the ’90s?
Tricia: GOOD POINT. We should make an entire separate post about HP.
Elizabeth: Okay! Now go eat your dinner. 🙂