Growing Up In The ’00s In The UK Vs The USA

This is a tale of MSN vs. AOL.

1. In the U.K. you carried your schoolbooks in a Roxy backpack and your sports kit in a Jane Norman carrier.

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In the U.S. schoolbooks went in your JanSport backpack and gym clothes in a Gap shopping bag.

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2. In the U.K. you covered yourself in So…? Kiss Me, Charlie Red, or Impulse.


And if it was a special occasion, you went for Just Pink from Next or the Body Shop’s White Musk.

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In the U.S. you smelled like Bath & Body Works or Victoria’s Secret body spray.


And special occasions called for Clinique Happy.

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3. In the U.K. the highlight of your year was queuing up at midnight for the newest Harry Potter book.

Chris Jackson / Getty
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Whereas in the U.S. you preferred standing in line for concert tickets to see whichever boy band you were obsessed with that year.

Chris Hondros / Getty

Although you obviously loved Harry Potter too.

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4. In the U.K. nothing was better than a night in playing The Sims or SSX.

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In the U.S. you loved The Sims too. But you also loved Tomb Raider.

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5. In the U.K. you spent your evenings flirting with boys on MSN.

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In the U.S. you spent your evenings flirting with boys on AOL.

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6. In the U.K. you read Shout, Mizz, and Bliss religiously.

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In the U.S., YM, Teen People, and Seventeen were your bibles.

Condé Nast

Time Inc


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7. In the U.K. you either wanted to be a member of either S Club 7 or Sugababes.


But you would have happily become a member of Steps, Atomic Kitten, or Miss-Teeq too.

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In the U.S. you wanted to be in The Pussycat Dolls or Destiny’s Child.


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8. In the U.K., these books spoke to you.


And you aspired to speak like Georgia Nicolson.

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In the U.S., these books spoke to you.

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9. In the U.K. you dressed exclusively in Tammy tees, Gap hoodies, and Claire’s Accessories tat.


And you ventured into River Island when you needed something glitzy.

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In the U.S. you bought all your clothes from the Delia’s catalogue, American Eagle, and, obviously, Claire’s.

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10. In the U.K. you spent every Friday night watching Top of the Pops and scoffing microwave popcorn.

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In the U.S., Friday night meant catching up on America’s Next Top Model and scoffing 3D Doritos.

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11. In the U.K. you wished your life was like Skins.

But really it was more like The Inbetweeners.

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In the U.S. you wished your life was like The O.C.

But it was more like Daria.

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12. In the U.K. you watched My Parents Are Aliens and Kerching.


But also Tracy Beaker and Big Kids.

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In the U.S. you watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Malcolm in the Middle.



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13. In the U.K. you bought scented gel pens from WH Smith and “sensible” school shoes from Clarks before the new term began.

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In the U.S. you bought Gelly Roll pens from Target, and your “sensible” school shoes came from Payless ShoeSource.

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14. In the U.K. you spent your lunchbreak on Neopets and Dollz Mania.


Before working out how to compose “Round Round” on your Nokia 3310.

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In the U.S. you spent your lunchbreaks playing Snake and trying to update your MySpace profile from the school library.

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15. In the U.K. you stocked up on tuck-shop Millions at lunch.

Which complemented your turkey twizzlers perfectly.

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In the U.S. you bought tons of these from the student store.

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16. In the U.K. you wrote love letters to Gareth Gates and Prince William.

John Li / Getty

Pool / Hulton Archive / Getty


And you genuinely felt your heart break when Will Young stole Gates’ rightful Pop Idol crown.

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In the U.S. you wrote love letters to Adam Brody and Prince William (obviously).

Getty / Frederick M. Brown

Pool / Hulton Archive / Getty


What happened to Brody?

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17. In the U.K. you accessorised with tattoo-style chokers and Livestrong wristbands.


And shag bands, if you were feeling cheeky.

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In the U.S. it was all about large sunglasses and super fun hats.

Frazer Harrison / Getty

Getty Images Entertainment


It was basically all about doing whatever Britney did.

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18. In the U.K., you owned both of these.

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In the U.S. you owned both of these.

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19. In the U.K., you got drunk on blue WKD and Caribbean Twist.

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And in the U.S., you got drunk on green apple Smirnoff Ice and Bartles & Jaymes’ Fuzzy Navel wine coolers.

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Tabatha Leggett is commissioning editor at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
Cate Sevilla is the UK managing editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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