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    19 Very Random Facts About 2000s Pop Culture That You Never Knew You Needed To Know

    YouTube didn't actually launch as a site for all types of videos.

    1. The singing hamster things in the Quiznos commericals are actually called "spongemonkeys" and they pre-date the commercials.

    The Spongemonkeys singing "Because they toast them" in front of a Quiznos

    They were created by British animator Joel Veitch, who put them in a video where they sang about loving things like the moon and cheese on his website, Rathergood. An ad agency working with Quiznos saw the video and thought they would make great mascots for a new campaign.

    2. Reportedly, it was Russell Crowe who recommend Hugh Jackman for the role of Wolverine in X-Men after he turned it down.

    Photo of Hugh as Wolverine in X-Men
    20th Century Fox / Everett Collection

    Scottish actor Dougray Scott was originally cast as Wolverine in the film, but after the movie he was working on at the time, Mission: Impossible II, went over-schedule, producers were forced to replace him. Producers then approached Russell first before casting Hugh (who would become a megastar because of it).

    3. The iPod's name was inspired by the iconic 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

    Iconic photo of an astronaut walking through spaceship hallway
    MGM/ Courtesy of Everett Collection

    According to Vinnie Chieco — who was the copywriter at Apple that came up with the name — when he saw the original iPod for the first time, he immediately thought of 2001 and the line, "Open the pod bay door, Hal!" They then just added the 'i' prefix to it.

    Coincidentally, the iPod was released in the same year that the film takes place: 2001.

    4. Spider-Man 3's writer-director, Sam Raimi, was very unhappy with how the film turned out and was planning on making a fourth film to make up for it, and to also end the franchise on a high note.

    Photo of Spider-Man and Venom hanging upside down and looking at each other through a building window
    Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Unfortunately, Raimi could not get the script together in time and Sony decided to just reboot the films (the ones with Andrew Garfield as the lead, FTR).

    5. In 2002, Ashanti became the first artist since the Beatles to have their first three Billboard Hot 100 singles chart within the top 10 at the same time.

    Ashanti receiving an award in 2002
    Maury Phillips Archive / WireImage

    In case you were wondering, the songs were "Foolish," "What's Luv?" (with Fat Joe), and "Always on Time" (with Ja Rule).

    6. It's hard to think of anyone else singing on Fat Joe's "What's Luv?" other than Ashanti. But, according to him, his label boss, Irvi Gotti, wanted to replace her with J.Lo so they could market the song to the Latino market.

    Screenshot of Fat Joe and Ashanti dancing together in the video for "What's Luv?"
    Murder Inc./

    Ashanti originally sang the vocals on the demo for the song and Fat Joe thought she sounded "amazing" on it, and he knew there was no reason to replace her with J.Lo. By the way, Ashanti only learned about this almost happening last year!

    7. Anne Hathaway was actually the ninth choice to play Andy in The Devil Wears Prada.

    Anne in the Chanel answering a phone
    20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Anne recently made the revelation on an episode of Season 13 of RuPaul's Drag Race.

    8. Songwriters Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis originally offered "Can't Get You Out of My Head" to UK pop group S Club 7 and to Sophie Ellis-Bextor, but they both turned it down. They then offered it to Kylie Minogue.

    Screenshot of Kylie from the music video with her in a white jumpsuit.
    Parlophone/ Ric Di Olive/

    In the case of S Club 7, it was actually their manager, Simon Fuller, who turned the track down.

    9. In the early '00s, Disney was working on a direct-to-video sequel to Dumbo (simply called Dumbo II). However, when John Lasseter became CEO of Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2006, he canceled the movie, along with all other direct-to-video sequels.

    View this video on YouTube


    The sequel to the Dumbo was first teased in a behind-the-scenes trailer featured within the 60th anniversary DVD of Dumbo. Lasseter canceled that film, along with an The Aristocats sequel, because he felt that direct-to-video sequels were cheapening Disney Animation's brand.

    10. No Doubt's iconic cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life" was a result of the band being on a break and needing a new song for their greatest hits album.

    A photo of Gwen Stefani dressed as 1920s movie star taking the stand in a courtroom

    At the time, the band was on a break as Gwen was working on her debut solo album, so there wasn't really time to get together and write an entire new song for their greatest hits album, Singles 1992-2003. But No Doubt found a workaround and decided that, for the first time, they would do a cover song and release it as a single.

    11. Paris and Nicky Hilton flaked on doing a cameo in Sex and the City. The two were supposed to play Samantha's neighbors in the Meatpacking District.

    A photo of Paris and Nicky at an event in 2002
    Evan Agostini / Getty Images

    According to Nicky, she and Paris were in LA and never got on the flight they were supposed to be on to get to the shoot in New York. The two were then too scared to call and say they wouldn't be there.

    Nicky recently revealed that it's one of her biggest regrets because she was "obsessed" with the show.

    12. Jay-Z appearing on "Crazy In Love" was truly a last-minute thing. According to Beyoncé, she asked him to appear on the track the night before she turned her album in.

    Screenshot of Beyoncé and Jay-Z in the Crazy in Love music video
    Beyoncé/ Sony Music/ Ric Di Olive/

    "Crazy In Love" was also the song they chose for their first dance at their 2008 wedding.

    13. In 2009, Kathryn Hahn played Eddie, and Kristen Johnston played Patsy in a pilot for the US remake of the classic UK sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.

    A screenshot of Kathryn and Kristen sitting on a couch
    Kristen Johnston/

    The show — which was titled AbFab — was meant for Fox, but the network ultimately passed on it and the pilot never aired.

    14. Britney Spears did not win her first Grammy until 2005, when she won the Grammy for Best Dance Recording for "Toxic."

    Screenshot of Britney as a stewardess with a phone in her hand in the Toxic video
    Jive Records

    Prior to her win, she had been nominated six times.

    15. When YouTube originally launched in 2005, it was meant to be a video dating site. The founders of it even had a slogan for it: tune in, hook up.

    A photo of someone searching YouTube in 2006
    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    YouTube's founders — Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim — thought that people would be really interested in video dating. With the idea being basically people uploading videos of themselves giving bio information and what they were looking for. However, they couldn't get anyone to upload dating videos (even after putting up ads in Craigslist that they would pay woman $20 to upload one), so they decided to open it to all types of videos.

    16. Mark Ruffalo almost dropped out of 13 Going on 30 because he had such a hard time during the rehearsals of the "Thriller" dance scene.

    A photo of Jennifer and Mark in the dancing scene from the movie
    Columbia Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

    According to Jennifer Garner, both she and Judy Greer had been dancers growing up, so they were able to learn the choreography quickly, while Mark, not knowing that, struggled to keep up with them.

    17. Paramount optioned the film rights to Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi" and wanted to make it into a movie — going as far as hiring a writer to adapt the song into a script.

    Screenshot of Avril in a green T-shirt and backwards cap from the Sk8er Boi video
    Sony Music/ thelanoz Music Video/

    Not too much was know about the movie other than it was basically going to follow the plot of the song, and that it wasn't going to be a musical or star Avril.

    18. The Office was not actually meant to be a show for NBC. It was originally developed with the thought of taking it to either FX or HBO.

    Promo photo of The Office cast from Season 1
    Nbc / Getty Images

    When the then–entertainment president of FX, Kevin Reilly, moved to NBC, he decided to bring the show to the network.

    19. And lastly, in 2006, A History of Violence was the last major Hollywood movie to get a home video release on VHS.

    A VHS copy of A History of Violence

    By that point, major retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target had already stopped selling VHS tapes, as DVD was the dominate format. (And 2006 was also the year that Blu-rays were starting to hit the market.)

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