Top 10 Things From the 90s That Are Still Popular

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Top 10 Things From the 90s That Are Still Popular

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Few decades continue to entertain us quite like the 90s. For this list, we'll be looking at various things from the 1990s that are still popular to this very day. Our countdown includes Pokémon, Nintendo, The World Wide Web, and more!
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Top 10 Things from the ‘90s That Are Still Popular


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 things from the ‘90s that are still popular.

For this list, we’ll be looking at various things from the 1990s that are still popular to this very day. The only exception will be people, as that will be another list. Therefore, Keanu Reeves - despite being more popular now than ever - will not be making an appearance.

Do you partake in these ‘90s traditions? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: Pokémon

Few franchises have been as successful as Pokémon. This series was introduced in the late ‘90s, with both “Pokémon Red and Blue” and the iconic anime releasing in North America in September 1998. To say that Pokémon became a phenomenon would be an understatement. “Red and Blue” sold four million units by the end of 1998, and “Pokémon Yellow” became the fastest-selling handheld game ever, moving one million copies in its first two weeks. The franchise is still enormously popular. The anime continues to this day, its 1,000th episode having aired in 2018. “Pokémon Go” was a global phenomenon in the summer of 2016, and “Sword and Shield” became the fastest-selling Switch game in November 2019, selling six million units in its first week.

#9: “Jurassic Park”

Apparently dinosaurs never go out of style. The original “Jurassic Park” premiered in June of 1993, beating Spielberg’s own “E.T.” to become the highest-grossing movie ever made with $912 million. A sequel followed four years later, breaking the opening weekend record with $92 million over the four-day Memorial weekend. A third movie followed in 2001, and that seemed to be it. Nearly fifteen years passed before “Jurassic World” premiered in June 2015, grossing $1.6 billion worldwide. 2018’s “Fallen Kingdom” followed, with “Dominion” set for 2022 - as did an animated Netflix show, a ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, a roller coaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and even a live show titled “Jurassic World Live”. It’s 1993 all over again.

#8: “South Park” (1997-)

This animated sitcom from Trey Parker and Matt Stone took the world by storm in the late ‘90s. And not necessarily in a good way. While it earned consistent praise for its sharp writing and incisive satire, it also generated enormous controversy. “South Park” attacked everyone and wasn’t afraid to depict taboo material. The result was an outraged country and lots of questions regarding the supposed deterioration of Western society. Surprisingly, “South Park” is still finding unique ways to offend, with the 2019 episode “Band in China” resulting in the show getting...well, banned in China. The series still has its finger on the cultural pulse, with the 2020 “Pandemic Special” becoming the highest-rated episode in seven years with over four million viewers.

#7: Mom Jeans

Fashion trends really do work in cycles. Mom jeans were quite popular in the early 1990s, notable for the extremely high waist and its impact on the figure. Bonus points were awarded if a t-shirt was tucked into the waist. The jeans were popular with middle-aged women and were the constant subject of derision by the younger generations. “Mom jeans” was used as a derogatory term, and they even became the butt (no pun intended) of a famous “Saturday Night Live” skit written by Tina Fey. However, the mom jean came back in style in the late 2010s, and they are now quite popular among young girls and women.

#6: EDM

Standing for ‘electronic dance music’, EDM was enormously popular throughout Europe in the early ‘90s, being largely associated with rave and club culture. It took North America a while to catch on, but catch on it eventually did. EDM began slowly creeping its way into the mainstream, with electronic acts like Fatboy Slim and Madonna’s Ray of Light helping to popularize the genre in the US. EDM became one of the most prominent musical genres of the late 2000s and early 2010s, with acts like Daft Punk, Skrillex, David Guetta, and The Black Eyed Peas finding major chart success. This also meant that critics began to argue that EDM was being over-commercialized, arguing that this remnant of underground rave culture was being made commercially viable through global pop acts.

#5: TV Shows / “Friends” (1994-2004)

They say the cream rises to the top, and that is certainly an apt metaphor for the television industry. Many shows from the ‘90s have faded into obscurity, but the best have retained their popularity throughout the decades. Shows like “The Sopranos”, “Seinfeld”, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, and “The X-Files” remain very popular to this day, each with their own dedicated subculture. And then there is “Friends”. “Friends” was a national phenomenon throughout much of the ‘90s and early 2000s, with each season drawing millions upon millions viewers per episode. “Friends” later captured the attention of a new and younger generation after being uploaded to Netflix in 2015. It’s amazing to consider that this show is over 25 years old.

#4: Polaroid Cameras

In the age of 4K pocket cameras, we’re still taking pictures with bulky Polaroids. Polaroid changed the instant camera game in 1972 with their SX-70. This camera made many revolutionary steps in the instant camera business, including automatic ejection of the paper and quick development of the photo itself. It became so popular and ubiquitous that “Polaroid” is now synonymous with “instant camera”, much like “Kleenex” is to tissues. These types of instant cameras remained popular well into the ‘90s, with Fujifilm’s Instax being introduced in November 1998. Instant cameras are even still popular today, including the Polaroid Originals OneStep+ and various types of the Fujifilm Instax.

#3: Nintendo

When people think of the 1990s, images of wood paneled basements and Nintendo consoles immediately spring to mind. Released to the United States in 1991, the SNES became the best-selling console of its time. The iconic Nintendo 64 followed, helping to popularize 3D gaming with classic titles like “Super Mario 64” and “Ocarina of Time”. And despite a rocky patch with the Wii U, Nintendo has remained one of the leading names in gaming. The Wii revolutionized motion controls and moved over 100 million units, and the Nintendo Switch was released to great acclaim and popularity in the spring of 2017. The Switch shipped nearly 85 million units by the end of March 2021, outselling the SNES and 3DS and outpacing both the PS4 and Xbox One.

#2: Mac / Apple

Macintosh computers experienced a decline throughout the early ‘90s, but the company came back with a vengeance in 1998 with the iMac G3. Developed under Steve Jobs, the iMac proved one of the most popular and revolutionary computers of its time. They looked cool as heck, complete with the translucent Bondi blue case, and they helped popularize USB and CD-ROM by doing away with ADB and floppy disks. It also marked an enormously important name change for the company, transitioning from the traditional “Macintosh” to the more hip and trendy “Mac”. Both Mac and Apple remain popular to this day, with macOS Big Sur releasing in November 2020 and Apple reporting $111 billion in revenue in the December 2020 quarter - a 21% increase over 2019.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Mortal Kombat”
“Mortal Kombat 11” Released in 2019 & a New Film in 2021

Tamagotchi
Various OS Games Released Since 2013

PlayStation
PlayStation 5 Released in November 2020

Flannel / Plaid Shirts
Plaid Was Huge in the 1990s, Thanks to the Grunge Movement Out of Seattle

Fanny Packs
These Experienced a Resurgence in the Late 2010s

#1: The World Wide Web

It looks a little bit different today, but the World Wide Web is alive and kickin’. The internet was invented by Timothy Berners-Lee in 1989 and was made available to the public two years later. However, websites as we know them today were a few years off, and the first Dot-com bubble didn’t occur until the late ‘90s upon the widespread adoption of the internet. Things changed even more in 2007 when the iPhone announced support for smartphone apps, giving users easy access to the internet and forever blurring the line between cell phone and multi-purpose computer device. It is now estimated that almost 60% of the world’s population is active on the internet - or, roughly 4.6 billion people.
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