Skip to Content

18 Signs of Growing Up in the 90s

18 Signs of Growing Up in the 90s

Sharing is caring!

Remember when butterfly hair clips, Tamagotchis, and dial-up internet were all the rage? If so, you likely spent at least some of your formative years in the iconic 1990s, whether as a child or teenager. This decade, characterized by its unique blend of fashion, music, and technology, left an indelible mark on those who experienced it.

But how can you be sure you’re a true 90s kid? Here is a list of telltale signs that you grew up in the era of grunge, boy bands, and cassette tapes. Whether it’s the nostalgic pang you feel when you hear a dial-up tone or the fond memories of playing Snake on your Nokia phone, these symbols will transport you back to a simpler time.

So, grab your scrunchies, slap bracelets, and Discman, and let’s take a trip down memory lane as we explore the signs that define a true 90s childhood. Whether you’re reminiscing with fellow 90s kids or educating younger generations about this iconic decade, we think this will spark a wave of nostalgia and appreciation for an era when life seemed a little slower and much more fun.

1. You Know the Dial-Up Internet Sound by Heart

Old computer workstation
Photo Credit:

The screeching, whirring, and beeping symphony of dial-up internet was the soundtrack to many 90s childhoods. You can probably still hum it from memory, a reminder of the days when patience was a virtue when connecting to the World Wide Web.

The anticipation of finally hearing that magical “You’ve got mail!” notification made the wait worthwhile. It was a time when the internet was a novelty, not a necessity, and every online adventure felt like a thrilling expedition.

2. You Owned a Tamagotchi

Close-up portrait of handsome young man holding Tamagotchi toy at home
Photo Credit:

The virtual pet craze of the 90s reached its peak with Tamagotchis, the handheld digital pets that demanded constant care and attention. You probably spent countless hours feeding, cleaning, and playing with your Tamagotchi, fearing the dreaded day it would meet its virtual demise.

The responsibility of caring for a virtual pet taught many 90s kids valuable lessons about commitment and the consequences of neglect. It was a virtual world of joy, heartbreak, and the endless cycle of life and death, all contained within a tiny egg-shaped device.

3. You Collected Beanie Babies

A view of a collection of Beanie Babies stuffed animal toys
Photo Credit: PBT at

These plush toys with their iconic heart-shaped tags became a cultural phenomenon in the 90s. You likely had a collection of Beanie Babies displayed on your bed or shelves, hoping they would one day be worth a fortune.

While the Beanie Baby craze eventually fizzled out, the memories of collecting, trading, and cherishing these adorable creatures remain a cherished part of 90s nostalgia.

4. You Watched Boy Bands and Girl Groups on MTV

Photo Credit: lifeinapixel at

The 90s were the golden age of boy bands and girl groups, with icons like Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Spice Girls, and TLC dominating the music scene. You probably spent countless hours watching their music videos on MTV, memorizing their lyrics, and dreaming of attending their concerts.

The catchy tunes, coordinated dance moves, and charismatic personalities of these groups captured the hearts of millions of 90s kids, creating a cultural phenomenon that continues to resonate today.

5. You Wore Butterfly Hair Clips and Scrunchies

woman pulling her hair back in a ponytail with a scrunchie
Photo Credit:

Butterfly hair clips and scrunchies were the ultimate hair accessories of the 90s. You likely had a collection of these colorful and playful accessories, adorning your hair with them for school, parties, and everyday wear.

These accessories were symbols of self-expression and individuality. They allowed 90s kids to experiment with different looks and styles, expressing their creativity and embracing the carefree spirit of the era.

6. You Played Snake on Your Nokia Phone

 Classic game Snake II being played on a Nokia 6310i cellphone
Photo Credit: Gudella at

Before smartphones took over our lives, Nokia phones with their iconic game “Snake” were the height of mobile technology. You probably spent countless hours trying to beat your high score, navigating the snake through a pixelated maze in pursuit of virtual snacks.

The simple yet addictive gameplay of Snake provided hours of entertainment and a welcome distraction from the mundane. It was a testament to the ingenuity of early mobile gaming and a reminder of how far technology has come since then.

7. You Rented Movies from Blockbuster

Employee handing over dvd at the video rental store
Photo Credit:

In the 90s, Blockbuster was the go-to destination for movie rentals. You probably spent countless Friday nights browsing the aisles, searching for the perfect movie to watch with friends or family.

The anticipation of picking out a movie, bringing it home, and settling in for a movie night was a cherished ritual for many 90s kids. It was a time when streaming services were non-existent, and the physical act of renting a movie was an integral part of the experience.

8. You Listened to Music on a Discman

A black CD player with headphones on an orange background
Photo Credit: vicenfoto at

Before iPods and Spotify, the Discman was the ultimate portable music player. You likely had a collection of CDs neatly organized in a binder, ready to be popped into your Discman for on-the-go listening.

The Discman allowed you to create your own personal soundtrack, accompanying you on walks, bus rides, and study sessions. It was a symbol of independence and a gateway to the world of music.

9. You Owned a Pair of JNCO Jeans

Girl sitting on vintage suitcase, Wearing bell shaped Bottoms and with a Bouquet of Flowers and a Wearing beautiful Shoes
Photo Credit:

The 90s were a time of bold fashion choices, and JNCO jeans, with their ultra-wide legs and baggy fit, were no exception. You probably owned a pair of these iconic jeans, embracing the grunge aesthetic and rebelling against traditional fashion norms.

JNCO jeans were a symbol of self-expression and individuality. They allowed 90s kids to challenge the status quo and embrace a style that was uniquely their own.

10. You Watched TRL (Total Request Live)

Old video recorder and tv. Vintage Video VHS Player on the shelf
Photo Credit:

TRL was the ultimate after-school destination for 90s kids, showcasing the latest music videos and celebrity interviews. You likely tuned in every day, eager to see your favorite artists and vote for their videos.

TRL was more than just a music show; it was a cultural phenomenon that connected teenagers across the country. It was a platform for discovering new music, engaging with pop culture, and feeling like part of a larger community.

11. You Owned a Pair of Rollerblades

Energetic woman rollerblades on city road, smiling. Dark hair in the wind. Active lifestyle.
Photo Credit:

Rollerblading was a quintessential 90s pastime, a symbol of freedom and youthful exuberance. You likely spent countless hours cruising through parks, sidewalks, and roller rinks, mastering tricks and enjoying the wind in your hair.

The iconic sound of wheels on the pavement and the feeling of gliding effortlessly through the air is forever etched in the memories of 90s kids. Rollerblading represented a carefree spirit and a sense of adventure, a time when the world was your playground.

12. You Had a Collection of Cassette Tapes

90's cassette tapes, Mixtape Playlists
Photo Credit: birchphotographer at

Before the advent of digital music, cassette tapes were the primary medium for listening to music on the go. You probably had a collection of mixtapes carefully curated with your favorite songs, painstakingly recorded from the radio or borrowed from friends.

The act of creating a mixtape was a labor of love, a way to express your musical taste and share your favorite tunes with others. The sound of the tape rewinding and the anticipation of hearing that song were a vital part of the 90s music experience.

13. You Wore Overalls and Flannel Shirts

Three young multiethnic girls sit closely side by side with their backs against a bright yellow wall. They are casually dressed in jeans and flannel shirts and are smiling joyfully
Photo Credit:

Grunge fashion, with its emphasis on comfort and rebellion, dominated the 90s scene. You likely embraced this trend, sporting overalls, flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and Doc Martens.

This anti-fashion fashion statement was a cultural movement that rejected materialism and embraced individuality. 90s kids used their clothing as a canvas for self-expression, creating a unique style that defined the era.

14. You Played Oregon Trail on Your School Computer

Teacher and schoolchildren studying in front of a computer
Photo Credit:

Oregon Trail, the classic computer game that simulated the hardships of westward expansion, was a staple in many 90s classrooms. You probably spent countless hours guiding your virtual wagon train across the treacherous Oregon Trail, facing dysentery, broken wagon wheels, and other perils along the way.

The pixelated graphics and text-based gameplay may seem primitive by today’s standards, but Oregon Trail was a captivating and educational experience for 90s kids. It taught valuable lessons about history, resource management, and the importance of perseverance.

15. You Collected Pogs and Slammers

Colourful pogs and chips
Photo Credit:

Pogs, the cardboard discs that became a collectible craze in the 90s, were more than just toys. They were a social currency, traded and battled with friends in fierce competitions.

The satisfying sound of a slammer hitting a stack of pogs and the thrill of winning a coveted slam were unforgettable experiences for 90s kids. Pogs were a symbol of camaraderie and competition, a testament to the simple joys of childhood.

16. You Watched “Friends” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith
Photo Credit: Jean_Nelson at

These iconic sitcoms, with their relatable characters and hilarious storylines, were a staple of 90s television. You probably spent countless evenings laughing along with the antics of Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe, or the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith.

These shows not only entertained but also shaped the cultural landscape of the 90s, influencing fashion, language, and even hairstyles. They provided a sense of community and belonging for 90s kids, who could relate to the struggles and triumphs of their favorite characters.

17. You Used a Landline Phone with a Cord

A girl with Glasses, talking on Landline
Photo Credit:

Before the advent of smartphones, landline phones with their coiled cords were the primary means of communication. You probably spent hours chatting with friends, gossiping, and planning your next adventure, all while tethered to the wall.

The sound of the rotary dial or the click of the buttons, the limitations of the cord, and the thrill of receiving a call from your crush are all nostalgic memories for 90s kids. The landline phone was a lifeline to the outside world, a symbol of connection in a simpler time.

18. You Wore Sketchers with Light-Up Soles

Children's sneaker shoe with led light illumination
Photo Credit:

Sketchers with light-up soles were the ultimate status symbol for 90s kids. These shoes, with their flashing lights and futuristic design, made you feel like you were walking on air.

The light-up Sketchers were more than just shoes; they were a fashion statement and a conversation starter. They allowed you to express your personality and stand out from the crowd, illuminating your path with every step.

18 Items from the 90s That Are Now Worth Some Serious Cash

baby with money
Photo Credit:

The 1990s was a decade of vibrant colors, fantastic tunes, and tech breakthroughs that totally changed the world. So, it’s no wonder some stuff from the 1990s is super valuable. These items could bring some serious cash or continue to be fun collector’s items.

18 Items from the 90s That Are Now Worth Some Serious Cash

17 Insane Things That Were Acceptable for Children in the 1960s

black and white photo vintage kids on a slide
Photo Credit:

Many of the behaviors that were deemed ordinary for children in the 1960s would be mortifying to people today. If parents from the ’60s were to raise their children in the same manner in today’s world, they might find social services knocking on their doors. As time progresses, so do parenting methods and the level of supervision and exposure provided to children.

17 Insane Things That Were Acceptable for Children in the 1960s

17 Insane Things That Happened at Woodstock

hippie van 60s guitars
Photo Credit:

Two things happened in 1969: The Moon landing and the Woodstock Festival. The famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair was the highlight of the 60s and a great testament to a people’s desire for fun, peace, and a little rebellion.

17 Insane Things That Happened at Woodstock


Like this post? Why not share it?

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!