20 Nostalgic ’90s Songs That Have A Totally New Meaning Now That We Are Adults

All The Small Things: My Adult Dating History posted on

1. Blink-182, “What’s My Age Again?”

There’s nothing like a song that literally makes you question your whole mid-twenties existence. “Nobody likes you when you’re 23…” Nobody likes you when you’re 27 either.

2. Smash Mouth, “All Star”

The majority of us grew up to be neither famous musicians nor professional athletes. Just another song that led us to set unreasonable expectations for our futures.

Hey now, you work retail, put those tags on….

3. Semisonic, “Closing Time”

A song that reminds you that there is an actual time of night when people won’t serve you alcohol anymore? You’re taking away my only coping mechanism.

4. Matchbox 20, “Real World”

A song about the “Real World” you say? The lyrics are depressing in their own right, and thats without words like “Bills”, “Work” and “Forever Alone”.

5. Marcy Playground, “Sex and Candy”

Being a single adult means you probably won’t be having either on a regular basis. With that being said, eating candy often makes you feel a little better about the lack of sex in your life.

6. Chumbawamba ,”Tubthumping”

The classic puke-and-rally war cry. Except when you’re an adult. Taking a whiskey drink followed by a vodka drink followed by a lager drink followed by a cider drink means you’re staying down for the rest of the night and probably most of the next morning.

7. Blessid Union of Souls, “Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me)”

This one is a double whammy. No one here is friends with Leonardo DiCaprio or Steve Buscemi, those hollywood dreams died the moment you started waiting tables in LA. Also, the last person who said “she likes me for me” was probably told a month later “it’s not you, its me”.

8. Deep Blue Something, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

The inevitable lunch with your ex. You know your searching for small-talk when you start bring up movies from the 1960s.

9. TLC, “No Scrubs”

“Forget guys!” you said as you and 10 other girls ate cookie dough and did each other’s nails at the slumber-party in Rebecca’s basement. What you didn’t know at the time unless you watched ER was that doctors wear scrubs and are ideal significant others.

10. The Goo Goo Dolls, “Slide”

Think back to freshman year college when you said to yourself “hey, I’m gonna learn to play Slide on the guitar for all the girls on the dorm floor”. Turns out, the only sliding you’ve been doing is the Electric Slide alone at all your friend’s weddings.

11. Backstreet Boys, “I Want It That Way”

Admit it, Backstreet Boys was YOUR jam from 1997-1999. No one understood them like you did. Back then, you could totally get away with saying “I Want It That Way”, after all we were kids. Then you grew up and the only thing you “want your way” is a BurgerKing double cheeseburger.

12. *NSYNC, “Tearin’ Up My Heart”

I threw this one on here so I wouldn’t get flooded with “Hey you forgot *NYSNC dude” comments. Fair enough, but I don’t really have anything besides a joke about JT being super famous and all of us not being super famous. I feel like that’s been played out ad nauseam though. Maybe adult life is just redundant? Or maybe it’s redundant?

13. Nelly, “Ride Wit Me (2000)”

So I know Country Grammar came out in 2000 but this song is too great to ignore. Nelly serves as a friendly reminder that you still drive a 2001 Honda Accord. “…Why do I live this way, hey, must be the student loans”.

14. Alanis Morissette, “Ironic”

The ironic thing about being an adult is that nearly nothing in this song has actually happened to you. And the things that have happened (“a traffic jam when you’re already late”) are less ironic as they are just really inconvenient.

15. Celine Dion, “All By Myself”

Belting this out with all your sorority sisters was probably one of the best nights of your college life. Now it’s more of a statement of fact. Sooner or later you are going to have to move out of that studio apartment.

16. Eve 6, “Inside Out”

Think about getting yelled at by your boss in your cubicle. Think about how much you hate your boss. Now think about putting your thoughts and feelings into a ’90s rock classic.

17. Dishwalla, “Counting Blue Cars”

So as an adult you sometimes find yourself stuck talking to children, probably at family functions like holidays at the in-laws. What’s worse than the in-laws you ask? Having some kid with pasta-sauce all over his face ask you asinine questions like “Tell me all your thoughts on God”. Believe me kid, if God existed he wouldn’t have created you.

18. Hanson, “MMMBop”

If you check out the lyrics of MMMbop it’s pretty much about being forever alone. In 8th grade this prospect was easily remedied by playing 7 minutes in heaven. As an adult, registering for JDate is about the best we can do.

19. Seal, “Kiss From a Rose”

This song used to be all about young love and 3 am bar make-outs. Now the only time you sing this song is when you’re singing to your Starbucks coffee at 6:30 in morning driving to work. A kiss from a beautiful caffeinated rose.

20. Paula Cole, “I Don’t Want to Wait”

Remember hearing this song and saying “Hell yea, Dawson’s Creek is on”? If you can’t admit to saying that then you’re probably lying about not singing this song in the shower either. “So open up your morning light and say a little prayer for right” might hands down be the most beautiful opening lines to a song ever. But every year we get older this song just gets that more relevant.

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