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Hot Topic Is No Longer Just For Teen Goths

It's your favorite store at the mall, admit it. But Hot Topic has changed, and now your mom is as subversive as you are. Sorry.

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Fortunately, Hot Topic existed.

Like how Urban Outfitters became a suburban hipster haven, Hot Topic was (and is!) the go-to for all your alternative clothing needs. Instead of an eye contact showdown between you and your enemy clique in the food court, you could escape here, listen to Christian metalcore, and paint your nails black. It ruled.

But have you noticed that, like, it's totally different now?

In the past, it would have been Paramore standing in front of that Hot Topic–branded backdrop. They did have a song in one of the Twilight films, so maybe they're onto something...


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I just learned that mall haul videos are a thing, and they're destroying America. There was a reason PacSun is situated directly across the mall hallway from each Hot Topic: It's supposed to be a face-off. You don't shop at other stores. Get off our turf and we'll stay off yours. Now everyone is, like, friends or something. But high school still sucks.

Articles like this are now void.

Alternate title: "How to Not Be Afraid at the Mall" followed by "If You Can't Deal with Punks, How Will Your Mom Know to Go Into Hot Topic and Buy You All the Things." They've made Hot Topic unintimidating, so instead of commodifying a subculture, they've made it more lucrative: It's a subculture for everybody!

Employees have gone from looking like this...

Pretty sure facial piercings and/or spiderweb tattoos were, like, a prerequisite or something. At least they're smiling! These guys totally would've been at my lunch table in high school.


Even the store looks different now.

Oh, spiderweb vault, how I miss you. How I still fear I will one day lose my friend with the stupid nickname and end up trapped inside you forever. At least it's not Spencer's Gifts, right? No horror film paraphernalia?


Moms are totes down.

I remember my mom yelling at me when I bought a My Chemical Romance hoodie that had guns on it from Hot Topic. She called it the "weird kid store" and, more often than not, asked me why I wasn't normal. She never wanted to go inside the store with me and the few times she did, she asked the employees why they would "choose" to "self-mutilate" (that's mom for "have a nose piercing").

Advertisement full-on rave gear.

It probably happened at the moment Sonny Moore shed his emo exterior/flatiron and was reborn as Skrillex, but somewhere down the line, wearing black and going unseen was replaced with attention-grabbing(/seeking) neon colors.


Where you can enter to win themed stuff from the most popular prime-time television program.

If this means nerds everywhere are considered cool/entertaining now, I'm down. Progress looks good on you, Hot Topic.

Hot Topic was founded by some bro, but has been run by women since 2000.

You know, when it started to get popular. Betsy McLaughlin's reign lasted until 2011, when she was replaced by Lisa Harper. She was dedicated to making Hot Topic accessible to everyone.