90s fads we’re embarrassed about today

90s fads we’re embarrassed about today

Every decade has its fads. The '80s had things like suits with shoulder pads, parachute pants, and leg warmers, while the 2000s and 2010s dropped the ball with fidget spinners, twerking, and eating all that damn avocado toast!

But what about the '90s? As much as we glorify the past here — and why shouldn’t we? It’s a fact that Dick Clark counting down the ball on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 1999 was also the countdown to everything going to sh** — we must be humble from time to time and admit that the '90s weren't without any fault.

Here are the top 10 fads from the '90s we’re super embarrassed about today.

Fanny Packs

We’re sorry, OK!? There’s no reason for the fanny pack to exist, end of story. Even if you’re wearing a dress or something, just carry a purse or backpack. Hell, you’d look better carrying all your crap in a big sock than a fanny pack.

These crimes against social standards somehow caught on and live to this day. So, technically, it's your fault too.

Beanie Babies

Stuffed animals are awesome, don’t get it twisted. However, why did everyone and their mom suddenly vomit with excitement for these specific stuffed animals? I mean, they’re cute enough, and I guess they all have names or whatever, but seriously?

The craziness is really the embarrassing thing here. These things, which are just small stuffed animals I’ll remind you, were going for hundreds of dollars — and today, could be worth a small fortune. They were like a mini-Pokémon, only way less cool.

Overalls/Waist-high Jeans

Of all the fashion disasters of the '90s — excluding fanny packs — overalls and waist-high jeans remain baffling. If you’re not a plumber, train conductor, or farmer, you have no business wearing overalls. Stop fooling yourself.

As for waist-high jeans… may the Lord have mercy on your soul. Perhaps you’re just so embarrassed by yourself that you wanted to cover as much of your body as you could; bottom up.


Pog has a completely different meaning today, but if you explained what they are, they would probably sound like a toy from the 1890s. Seriously, these were little cardboard discs that kids just threw at each other trying to flip them over.

Again, this is another example of the '90s preying on our desire to collect anything and everything as just about every type of Pog you could imagine was made. You got Looney Tunes Pogs, Peanuts Pogs, celebrity Pogs, and even Pokémon Pogs to really send your OCD into the stratosphere.

Inflatable Furniture

What’s the worst part about furniture? Having to move it all the time, right? I mean, constantly having to pick up and lug your sofa and chairs around is just so inconvenient! And why do they have to be so comfortable? Such a pain.

The previous statement was uttered by no one in history, thus leading us to believe that inflatable furniture was some sort of alien plot. These abominations were ugly, loud, uncomfortable… but admittedly super easy to move.


The uncanny valley typically refers to humans, but Furbies prove that even a fictional creature looks intensely terrifying with rudimentary robotic facial expressions. Then there were the sounds these things made, somehow even years after their batteries were taken out!

This was the era of kids loving digital pets like Tomogatchi, so it made sense on paper to try and translate that experience of taking care of a fun little creature into real life. Their one mistake was designing them like a half-mutated Mogwai.

The Macarena

I’m no dancer, so to me all dancing looks stupid. However, I think everyone can agree that a song that has a set dance that everyone does in sync with each other is just embarrassment set to music.

The song is whatever, but the moves themselves are just so bad. This isn’t dancing, but more of a game of Simon Says.

Scented Markers

This is the kind of crap you wouldn’t believe was real if you didn’t live through it. I mean, who allowed this? I can’t imagine how many brain cells were obliterated once kids got in the habit of smelling damn markers! They might as well have made fruit-flavored bleach or something.

Even ignoring the plot to teach kids to shove dangerous chemicals up their noses, which is bad enough, what about all the kids that no doubt tried to eat the damn things? No part of this was a good idea.


There’s not much that screams '90s louder than someone wearing a thin leather choker. These were originally more of a goth thing, but I guess everyone else liked to be lightly strangled at all times because it caught on hard.

Before you knew it, tons of celebrities were disappointing their fathers with this fashion choice, such aws Kate Winslet, “Posh Spice”, and Jared Leto (which actually makes a lot of sense in hindsight).


Bandanas have been around forever, but only in the '90s did they transform into a giant bro-beacon. It used to be a cool style when used sparingly in rap circles but got completely neutered.

Unless you’re bald or painting your house, keep that rag off your head. You don’t look badass — you look like you're waiting in line for a Dave Matthews concert.