Skip To Content

    65 Pictures That Perfectly Capture The Rabid "Stan Culture" Of The Early 2000s

    It was the best of times. And it was the worst of times if your parents refused to drive you to the mall.

    1. The late '90s and early 2000s were the peak of pop culture fandom.

    a group of nsync fans

    2. I might be biased, but I definitely think of it as the glory days.

    children at a britney spears concert losing their minds

    3. The internet basically didn't exist, so you actually had to show up.

    times square in 1998

    4. And the important thing was being noticed.

    times square in 1998

    5. Check out that clothing dedication.

    two girls in nick carter custom tees

    6. It was life.

    girls crying at an nsync concert

    7. Before I go any further, we gotta talk about the Claymates.

    The back of a T-shirt that reads " Clay shakes my ovaries a thousand different ways"

    8. Yes, Clay Aiken's rabid fan base.

    a group of three women hold up clay aiken merch

    9. From teens...

    a guy holding up a clay aiken cd

    10. ...to old ladies.

    a senior woman holds up a seniors love clay sign

    11. Clay Aiken had a GRIP on people everywhere, especially middle aged women.

    a woman holds a vote for clay sign

    12. We also have to talk about cameras.

    a row of people taking pictures on their cameras

    13. Especially disposable cameras.

    A girl with an air kirkpatrick sign

    14. Like, this was when disposables were our only option and not some "aesthetic" thing you buy at Urban Outfitters for $20.

    a kid shoots his disposable

    15. I just wonder how that picture turned out. Hopefully she had the flash on.

    a girl taking a photo of jc chasez

    16. Back then, we made homemade gifts for our faves.

    a girl giving aj from backstreet boys a gift

    17. There were autograph signings at CD stores.

    A Tower Records autograph signing

    18. Yes, CD stores. A relic of the past.

    a man listens to music at a cd store

    19. Honestly, there was an autograph signing for everything, even dolls.

    DC3 signing dolls

    20. I always thought it was funny when people would have their limbs signed because doesn't it wash off?

    guy from o-town signing a teenager's arm

    21. Seems awk.

    a girl kissing nick carters hand

    22. Concerts were a sea of colorful signs.

    american idol concerts

    23. Love this one.

    american idol concerts

    24. This person spent a lot of time in the CVS craft aisle to make this one.

    an nsync fan sign

    25. And this one took a whole lot of Sharpie.

    a jc rox my sox sign

    26. Concerts were a time to show up and dress up.

    girls dancing at a concert

    27. Radio contests were also a big thing. Everyone's favorite Top 40 station always had contests leading up to a big concert event.

    fly 92 concert.

    28. There were sleep contests.

    a person sleeps outside a 6 flags

    29. There were chocolate licking contests.

    a man licks chocolate off of a woman

    30. This guy is even "bobbing for trout" for concert tickets.

    a man sticks his head in a cooler to bob for trout

    31. Now let's talk about specific fandoms.

    BSB fans

    32. There were the Backstreet Boys fans.

    33. The NSYNC fans.

    a girl with nsync on her head

    34. And then the fans of the pop girls, we're talking Britney, Christina, Brandy etc.

    britney spears fans

    35. There were also Hanson fans.

    a group of hanson-loving girls

    36. 98 Degrees fans.

    random 98 degrees fans

    37. And Eminem fans.

    crowd of fans in times square

    38. You name a person, there was a rabid fan of them.

    jessica simpson fans with a jessica collage

    39. We were all nuts, and I say that in the nicest way.

    bsb fans scream at a concert

    40. We were taught from a VERY early age to stan.

    a group of young britney fans

    41. It would be unfortunate to not talk about the Spice Girls.

    two girls holding spice girls books

    42. Because everyone, and I mean everyone, was a Spice Girls fan.

    two people hold up a zig a zig ah sign

    43. From the dolls...

    a girl holds up five dolls

    44. ...to lunch boxes and stuffed animals.

    spice girls lunchbox and stuffed animals

    45. You were either a Scary, Sporty, Ginger, Baby, or Posh

    spice girls fans outside of a theater

    46. I'm sure everyone reading this remembers exactly where they were when you found out Ginger was leaving the group.

    a ginger spice headshot

    47. Regardless of who you supported, you were there for their every move.

    girls celebrating 3 years of aj's sobriety

    48. We also have to talk about TRL.

    at the trl studios

    49. A sacred place.

    Jennifer lopez waves out of the studio windows

    50. Times Square was the literal center of the fan universe.

    51. It was everyone's dream to go there...

    TRL fans outside the studio

    52. ...and to stand in the crowd behind the police barrier begging Carson to come up.

    fans stand outside the trl studios

    53. Fans showed up for the good...

    happy hilary duff fans

    54. ...and for the bad.

    the day aaliyah died

    55. Signs were the main way of getting your favorite celebrity's attention.

    an nsync fan sign

    56. "LET ME UP" —Everyone.

    "carson we wanna be bad with you baby" sign

    57. "What's next for Chris's HAIR?"

    two enthusiastic nsync fans

    58. It was *the* fan meeting point.

    crowd in times square

    59. And Times Square routinely had to be shut down whenever one of the big boy bands, emo bands, or rappers would show up.

    a crowded times square

    60. Also, people were just constantly losing their shit there.

    excited fans

    61. Like, really losing it.

    excited fans

    62. Basically, this is what Stan culture looked like 20 years ago.

    fans holding signs

    63. Simpler times.

    64. To sum it up, everything was better then because there was no Twitter or Instagram and everyone wasn't so annoying blah blah blah I'm going to shut the hell up because we're old now.

    TRL fans

    65. Bye bye.

    britney spears making a confused face