18 People Muse On What Makes Them Think of the Early 2000s

Listen, as someone who was in college (argh) in the late 90s/early 2000s, I definitely have some nostalgia for the period, no matter then tiny butterfly hair clips and in-depth discussions on whether NSYNC or The Backstreet Boys were the superior boyband.

It’s NSYNC, and I won’t be entertaining arguments to the contrary in the comments.

Here are 18 other things that remind people – in a good way or a bad way – about life in the early aughts.

18. We will never hear that sound again.

Nokia Phones

And your dial up modem screamed at you when you connect to the internet.

The dial-up sound is more 90s to me. Of course, that will vary for some people.

17. You used the whole pack at once.

Butterfly hair clips, some were glittery too.

Came to say this! I found a pack last week at our local supermarket, sparkling in all their glittery glory! Couldn’t believe how expensive they were though 🙁

16.  Theft was rampant.


15. OG angry girl music.

Linkin Park and Avril Lavigne.

Low waisted Jeans with a lil thong sticking out.

Sisqo’s Thong Song. Never forget. 🙏

14. They tried so hard to make Clippy a thing.


I kinda miss Clippy 😀 I also often used the cat. I liked watching it sleep on my documents when I was writing.

13. Simple, but not sweet.

“Complicated” came on the radio the other day and I was immediately transported back in time to being like 13 and and thinking that Avril Lavigne was utterly cool.

And wearing a t shirt (pref Roxy) over a long sleeve t. Simpler times.

12. All of this is cool again.

Those fishing line lacy choker things. Velour tracksuits, ultra low rise jeans. Baggy short sleeve shirts over baggy cargo shorts. Soul patches.

The lacy choker things are kinda cute honestly. I saw they had been making a comeback with the 90’s / 00’s becoming trendy again.

11. Ah, the memories.

And pop punk. Pop punk wasn’t that great musically speaking but it’s associated with so many memories of those simpler times.

“Turn the lights off, carry me home!”

To a lesser degree “street punk” was big in the early 2000’s. Tons of leopard/zebra print, skin tight jeans with ankle zippers, super charged brightly colored Mohawks and liberty spikes, a bondage belt, bullet belt, and studded belt worn together, bum flaps.

What a time.

10. It takes you right back.

Good Charlotte- The Anthem

It’s a new day, but it all feels old, It’s a good life, that’s what I’m told. But everything it all just feels the same.

9. What was that all about?

Jeans with chains on the pockets.

8. Inflatable furniture.

AIM, inflatable furniture, frosted tips (maybe this one is more associated with the late ‘90s).

Man I wanted one so bad and asked for an inflatable chair for my birthday and Christmas for years and never got one. Was always so disappointed

7. Not many.

Matrix references everywhere!

People’s usernames trying to be like Matrix characters, too.

I know Shrek has become so popular with the younger kids again, but I wonder how many of them get the reference jokes like the slow-mo kick scene.

6. Oh those homeschool kids.

YES!!! AOL Instant Messenger was the shit! Everyone had edgy away messages/statuses, and it was so much fun!

Great resource for homeschool kid with only a few friends!

5. We were so proud of them, too.

Portable CD player.

Ooh CD binders or those cat visor cd holders. I once lost my entire CD binder on a trip and it was one of the biggest tragedies of my early life!

4. A shortish list.

Shrek, Baha Men, expensive DVD players, a collection of Harry Potter books that ends at Goblet of Fire, BeyBlades, Yu-Gi-Oh, and the unbearable thrill and excitement that came with the launch of next gen consoles (PS2, Xbox, GameCube, GBA).

Those are some of the stand-out cultural memories from my childhood between 2000-2003.

Oh wait we can’t forget Toonami, collecting entire DBZ sagas on VHS so you could finish the image on the spines, Deltora Quest, and the best run of cartoons on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

Dexter’s Lab, Ed, Edd, n Eddy, Cow and Chicken, Jimmy Neutron, SpongeBob, and Johnny Bravo were all flying high, even though some of those started before the new millennium.

Edit: forgot Zoids!

3. Story time.

When they wanted to evoke NYE 1999 in Iron Man 3, they used Blue Da Bee by Eiffel 65. That was perfect.

Story time, Eiffel 65 is an Italian band. My family is from Italy and we went summer of 99 for vacation. I was sure to bring my MiniDisk player and at my grand mom’s house we could watch The Box but it was for Italy so it was all the pop hits in Italy at the time. So I recorded the songs off the tv. One of those was Eiffel 65’s song.

So I come back to the states. I worked in a sandwich shop with other people around my age. So I put This music on and every laughs at how stupid Eiffel 65’s song is. They would constantly make fun of how I liked such a stupid song. I was like, I don’t know, it was popular over there and catchy.

The video was also weird. I was kind of embarrassed but whatever. Fast forward a few weeks later and it’s in heavy rotation on US pop radio stations. Then my coworkers would constantly bring up how they chastised me for liking that song.

2. Overused is an understatement.

Who let the dogs out was over used.

The Hangover

Rat Race


Men in Black II

Madagascar 2

Bubble Boy

1. The pop scene was lit.

Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Evanescence, Avril Lavigne, MSN, skater shoes, Fantasy perfume by Britney, Harry Potter.

Ah, the nostalgia kind of burns sometimes, don’t you think?

Mostly in a good way.

What screams “early 2000s” to you? If it’s not on this list, drop it in the comments!