14 People Recall Things From The 80s and 90s That We’ve Tried To Forget

If you, like me, belong to GenX or the Millennial generation, you probably tend to view the 80s, 90s, and early aughts with rose colored glasses tinted by nostalgia. We remember the music, the fashion, the stars and the days without cell phones, but we tend to forget the less savory parts.

For this post, though, these 14 people are forcing themselves to remember those darker, less savory parts we’d rather forget.

14. Not nostalgic for that at ALL.

Justin Timberlakes Ramen hair.

13.  It was supposed to be fun.

Don’t forget Moon Shoes, where you strapped your feet in to a plastic frame full of heavy rubber bands and jumped around until your ankles broke.

12. There were smoking sections!

Tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke everywhere.

I’m currently watching Mad Men, and that sticks out. So much smoking. I wasn’t alive in the 60s, but my dad’s office building in the 80s was just so smoky. Everyone had company-issued ash trays on their desks. Ash cans by the elevators.

I would find cigarette butts in the ash trays in the backseat of my parents’ cars (both never smoked) after they went out with friends. I can’t fathom one of my friends just hopping in my car and lighting up.

Ugh, and then in the 90s, early 2000s when bars still had smoking. Didn’t matter how drunk or tired I was when I got home, I had to shower and throw my clothes in the wash.

11. Why did we think these were fun?

The Ribbon Dancer was my version of this! I begged my mom over and over for one. We were low-income, but I finally wore her down and she got me one for my birthday. I think my 10th.

I LOVED watching gymnastics and figure skating, and imagined myself flittering about doing my own floor show with my Ribbon Dancer…I’m talking majestic af.

I opened up the package and it was totally lame. I don’t know why I expected more than a cheap baton with a dollar store ribbon glued to the tip.

10. I miss those cereal toys.

Fast food. The portions were insane as “super sizing” was the new trend. Burgers used to come in styrofoam containers at McDonalds. The fries were cooked with lard instead of vegetable or canola oil.

On that note, kids breakfast cereal also. Tons of sugar and had toys so parents would buy it.

9. It doesn’t seem like it.

When mtv stopped playing music.

MTV stopped playing music and the world slowly fell into despair with each passing year.

Coincidence? I think not.

8. A great ride.

Old teacher here:

The violence in schools. Growing up, we had multiple fights after school. On Fridays, we had so many, we had to delay some until Saturday.

Kids today, overall, don’t fight.


Holy cow, this blew up. Thanks to all who kept this a very civil conversation.

Yes, I know kids still fight. This has been mine, and also, hundreds of people’s view, that kids seem to fight less today. I never implied kids have stopped fighting. I am curious to know though for those who said kids still fight: what was it like 30+ years ago? Was there no fighting and now there is?

The overall consensus is that kids do it online now, and many of you think that is worse than duking it out. I agree with this.

Many of you also pointed out that this year is an odd duck. I think it’s because many people, including kids, seem to have forgotten how to socialize after going on two years of the pandemic. Kids seem stunted in their growth, both mentally and emotionally.

Thanks again all, was a great ride!

7. Predatory business practices.

Despite the nostalgia surrounding places like Blockbuster, they mostly relied on you not bringing your movies back and charging you a bunch of money for it.

Late fees drove their business and it’s also what put them out of business.

Also, half the time when you wanted to rent a new movie, all the new releases were taken. You kind of had to manage your expectations.

6. And they got away with it.

The murder rate was so much higher in the 80s,90s, and 00s compared to now.

Plus it was easier to get away with stuff back then. Now, forensics are much more advanced, and ppl have cameras everywhere. Things can be uploaded to social media and immediately go viral

5. They were definitely liars.

Little more benign, but how portable music was compared to now. I like running with music and now I have countless tracks on my phone thanks to Spotify.

Back then you had a cassette or CD Walkman so one album on a loop and the skipping as it bounced around. They claimed shock protection and no skip, but all were liars!

I honestly cannot imagine going back to running that way.

4. School lunches have always been controversial.

The federal government entity in charge of the standards for school lunches tried to get ketchup to be counted as a vegetable, meaning that the little children would get less food. If my memory is correct the public outcry caused this to be changed back.

While a serving of vegetables doesn’t sound like a big deal, for some children school lunches are the main meal of the day.

3. It was a rough time.

Watching your favorite TV show at a scheduled time, and if you missed it you missed it.

2. These were rampant.

The false claims about ritual satanic abuse of children.

And how Dungeons and Dragons was a gateway to Satanism/ritualistic ceremony. Man, I just want to be a half-elf assassin and go fuck up some Orcs!

1. So much wasted time.

having to wait 12 hours for 1 song to download on limewire/napster/kazaa through your shitty 56k dial-up, just for it to not be the song you were looking for.

it was either a kidz bop version, porn, a virus, a recording of bill clinton saying “i did not have sexual relations with that woman,” or something COMPLETELY different.

We might rather forget some of these things, but I think we all realize that there are good reasons we can’t.

What are some other things from your childhood and youth that belong on this list? Drop them in the comments!