52 Things Only ’90s Teenage Guys Can Understand

Because you can still smell CK One and carry a torch for Pamela Anderson.

Justine Zwiebel/ BuzzFeed

1. That Umbro made the coolest shorts around — mainly because they came in every color and pattern imaginable.

And, when wearing them, the terrible risk you took of sitting down the wrong way and exposing yourself.

2. How JanSport was the ONLY backpack — which you, of course, one-strapped and customized with a Sharpie.

No Eastpak for you!

3. And of course, Five-Star was the only notebook worthy of your JanSport.

4. The importance of nailing the perfect middle part.


5. You lived by one fashion rule: The baggier the jeans, the better!

Paramount Pictures

6. The importance of picking out the right boxer — because you sagged your pants.


7. That Beavis and Butt-head was the funniest cartoon ever.

8. How Pamela Anderson was the most perfect woman…

…and the ONLY reason you watched Baywatch.

Of course, it wasn’t for the acting.

9. The little joy you got from pumping these bad boys up — even if they really didn’t do anything to improve your game.

And the sense of self-satisfaction you got if you were the only person among your friends to own a pair.

10. How super-cool and stylish you felt wearing one-strapped overalls — even if it made you look like one of the Little Rascals.

NBC / Via way2enjoy.com

11. The never-ending quest to scam Columbia House and BMG Music out of free CDs.



12. Totally thinking you could pull off Cross Colours.


13. How you’d never seen anyone sexier than Denise Richards in Wild Things!

Mandalay Entertainment //img.pandawhale.com

Mandalay Entertainment


And you’ll never forget the infamous threesome.

14. When it came to sunglasses, it was ALL about Oakleys — nothing else came close.

15. How your Starter jacket was a wardrobe essential.

And you probably had a Dallas Cowboys one, even if you lived nowhere near the Dallas metropolitan area or Texas.

16. That Lil’ Penny could sell you anything.

Via gq.com

17. Decorating your bedroom walls with the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

18. How there was no cooler denim brand than Levi’s Silvertab — in medium stonewash, of course.

19. These were your TV crushes:





From left: Hilary Banks (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Kelly Kapowski (Saved by the Bell), and Winnie Cooper (The Wonder Years).

20. And these were your MTV crushes:

Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

Dave Allocca/ Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images

Getty Images/ Hulton Archive


From left: Karen “Duff” Duffy, Kennedy, and Daisy Fuentes.

21. How you thought you could pull off a Caesar cut, like George Clooney.

NBC / Via ketv.com

It was usually an epic FAIL.

22. Dousing yourself in one of these:


23. This was the craziest thing you’d ever seen:

24. The horrible amount of pilling you got on your acrylic ski sweaters after wearing them just once!


25. Watching these classic films over and over again and then quoting them per verbatim…


…especially the Adam Sandler films.


“Why don’t you just go HOME?! That’s your HOME! Are you too good for your HOME?!”

26. The deliciousness that was Cheetos Paws.

27. How rocking a Stussy T-shirt made you feel instantly cool.


28. Putting in the code to unlock the super-violent version of Mortal Kombat.

29. The lingering sweet scent of girls who wore Gap Heaven — or Sunflowers.


30. You know this was Levi’s GREATEST ad campaign:

31. These were seminal albums in your life:

32. How Sam Goody, Journeys, Merry-Go-Round, and Structure were your first stops on trips to the mall.


And of course, Chess King and Foot Locker as well.

33. That there was no greater delicacy than Bagel Bites.

“Pizza in the morning. Pizza in the evening. Pizza at suppertime. When pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime!”

34. How the Dog Brothers from Sex in the ’90s were MTV’s original guidos.


35. Having your pager clipped to your pants.

36. The importance of the wallet chain.

Keeping that Velcro wallet secure!

37. That there was no better decade for sketch comedy shows.

Ivory Way Productions

CBC Television



From left: In Living Color, The Kids in the Hall, and The State.

38. The disappointment you felt after washing your Hypercolor shirt for the first time.

Why couldn’t it last more than just one wash?!

39. The art — but also the struggle — of making a perfect mixtape. Especially if it was for someone you liked!

40. The whoosh-whoosh sound you made while you walked whenever you wore wale cord.

41. How, somehow, it was totally cool to wear hip-hop Looney Tunes T-shirts.

Bugs, you’re such a badass!

42. The happiness that getting the perfect fade brought you.

But the upkeep was a bitch.

43. How hemp necklaces went with everything.

44. That Michael Jordan was the greatest athlete ever…

Getty Images / Getty Images Sport

…even after THAT Iverson moment.

45. Speaking of Jordan, his shoes were BALLER status.


Let’s be honest, they were probably the most expensive thing you owned.

46. How this was the bible for witty insults.

“Yo mama so fat, she sat on a rainbow and made Skittles.”

47. How Surge really was the nectar of the gods.

48. Having an allegiance to either Airwalk or Simple.


49. Knowing that Burger King was the place to get your grub on because Whoppers only cost 99 cents.

50. How totally cool you looked wearing Adidas sandals with white socks.



51. Of course this was the ultimate accessory.

52. And lastly, the struggle and frustration of trying to watch scrambled porn.

“I think I saw a boob!”

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