Photo: Pernia Jamshed

You are not a ’90s kid

In Fun & Satire32 Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Katie Swyers

Basically 90 per cent of you reading this sentence, are in fact, not ‘90s kids. But some of your profs are.

To be a ‘90s kid, you must have been a child during the ‘90s—not an infant, fetus, or still in the sack/tube.

While commonly co-opted by those who were born in the late ‘90s and who have, until recently, identified as a child, most true ‘90s kids were actually born in the ‘80s. To be a ‘90s child, you must actually remember the ‘90s.

So, if you’ve only ever seen reruns of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, have no memory of life pre-Internet, had to Google what Y2K was and have never rented (or had to rewind) a VHS tape from a store, you are not a ‘90s kid.

I spoke to Ryerson professors born in the mid to late ‘80s, who have felt frustration over their identity being jacked by Gen Z students. In order to protect their Rate my Prof ratings and tenure track, all three have requested anonymity.

“They’re so… young. It’s like they had no idea that Adam Sandler used to actually be funny,” said one undisclosed computer science professor, who requested to only be known as MS-DOS.

“I had one student say they loved Nirvana so much, seeing them live was on their bucket list,” said MS-DOS.

“That moment defined my pre-teen years, the flannel I wore during that time has never been the same! Kurt was my first heartbreak. I bet they don’t even HAVE an opinion on whether Courtney did it or not. FOR SHAME!”

Another professor, Ms. Frizzle, lamented over how “these kids never had the struggle of going through puberty searching for your parents’ porn stash and blowing into your Nintendo cartridge with all your lungs’ might.”

“They can pry my Game Boy Color from my cold dead hands, bitch.”

For the record, Ms. Frizzle really likes the Magic School Bus and hopes that you all got the reference. If not, she requests you make mistakes and get messy, like she did “by swearing in front of student journalists.”

Another professor, known by their childhood MSN nickname, Frosted_tips_rMYjam, was born in 1985 and considers the ‘90s “their era.”

“From five to 15, a lot happens. I’m a ‘90s kid, not an ‘80s kid, what do I remember from 1989? I was four!”

Frosted_tips_rMYjam describes themselves as “a low-key Myspace star” during college.

“I overheard some students talking about forgotten social media sites from the past, their conversation was primarily about Vine.” Frosted_tips was not amused. “I was actually friends with Tom from Myspace, like we messaged, I can judge!”

None of the professors were willing to comment on the Pokemon Go vs the original playing cards debate. One asked me to leave their office when the topic was raised.

So please stop posting 2000s-era things and saying, “only ‘90s kids will remember.” You’ll all be claiming to be 2000s kids when trucker hats make their unfortunate comeback anyways.

Comments

  1. Its the same thing with 80s babies, specifically those born in 1981-84, claiming to be 80s kids even though they were only infants or fetuses when ET, Back to the Future, Sesame Street, Alf, Smurf, Madonna, Prince, MJ, Cyndi Lauper, Duran-Duran, Rick Astley etc. became popular and they only barely remember the late 80s. They’re 80s babies only (although I do understand 1981 babies claiming to be 80s kids since half of their childhood is in the 80s but they are basically an 80s-90s kids and not simply an 80s kid). I guess its about being confused by the term. In reality, 90s kids are those born from 1981-1990, basically the Older Millennials. They entered the 90s as children and left that decade as tweens and teenagers. People born in the 90s (except the 0 year) were too young to remember Nirvana, gameboy, tamagochi, bulky cellphones, Y2K, Spice Girls, Aqua, 70s throwback, Beavis and Butthead etc. My oldest nephew, niece and younger cousins were all born in the 90s and they barely remember anything from the 90s.

    1. Interesting point but I would argue that, but I would argue that 90s kids are those born from 1982-1991. I wouldn’t really call someone born in 1981 a 90s kid since they were coming close to adolescent territory before the first half of the 90s, so clearly they’ve had enough of their childhood in the 80s to claim a significant part of their childhood took part in the 80s. As for myself I was born in 1991 and my overall memory of the 90s goes back to 1994(although vague memories from that year, and my best memories from 1996 onward so I don’t think that those born in the 1 year of a decade would necessarily be excluded from claiming their birth decade as their childhood as well, even though their childhood would continue into the next decade just like those born in the 0 year of the decade, however I wouldn’t extend 90s kids any further than 91′.

      1. I agree with you.. I was the born in the year of 94’ so of course I remember watching shows with my big sis (a true 90’s kid) in the late 90’s, like 98 and 99 I’m not a 90’s kids I’m a true 2000’s kid bc I became a teen at the end of the early 00’s decade…. ppl confused generation babies with kids a lot..either way we are still millennials.. in a few years the 00’s will be super nostalgic and 90’s kids will stop thinking 00’s kids grew up with WiFi and iPhones lol..

        1. Born in ’95, same here, remember watching a lot of TV shows with my elder brother born in ’90, who is more likely a 90’s kid. I am a 2000’s kid, I am not a 90’s kid either, however, me and my brother share similar childhood together, besides, I entered Kindergarten school in 1998/99, so I have spent much of my kindergarten days well in the late ’90s until 2000. That signals me that I have started becoming a kid at this time. I think people born in 1995 like me are the youngest millennials out there, the final people who can experience at least one year of the 90’s that is 1999, unlike people born in 1996 and 1997, who were still toddlers in the 90’s, and entered kindergarten around 2000.

      2. Actually, they’re spot-on in their description, because someone born in 1981 would only be 8 at the oldest in 1989 (if even just for a day as those born December 31, 1981 would turn 8 on December 31, 1989), so they are really “late-80’s/early-90’s kids”. There’s no way in the world they can claim they grew up in the 80’s going from NEGATIVE 1 to 8. However, they can claim a late-80’s, because around 1987 they’re at least in Kindergarten (if not 1st grade for the older 1981 babies), so they do remember the late-80’s, but they have no idea how big Dallas got when J.R. was shot. Nor do they remember staying up to watch the series finale of MASH in 1983, the highest rated show in the history of television.

    2. I was born in 1980 so a little of both… mostly 84-93 were my kid years. I turned 13 in 93 and entered high school in 95 so it was a dif era and phase then.

    3. That’s a little dismissive considering myself and many others were born in 1991 and still remember everything you listed and more from crazy bones, to MS DOS, to the start of dial up internet in homes. Anyone from 1990-1992 is easily a 90’s kid and would remember most of it.

      1. They’re not fully 90s kids, they didnt not experience the struggles of 90-94

        1. Born in 93…I relate more to kids born in the late 80s and early 90s i.e(1988,1989, maybe even people born 1987) than those born in 98/99 for example

          1. Dude, dont be ridiculous, how could you relate to people from the 80s?? you sure as hell are not the same as them, you are not a 90s kid

      2. Yes, you remembered the late 90s. Cool. People still used MS dos back then, well people still uses Vista and XP today in 2020. Dial up internet is still used today in places with bad internet infrastructure. If you can’t remember the early 90s then you’re more a 00s kid

  2. You are aware that the 90s was technically the decade when the internet came about, right? So technically, 80s kids are the last to remember pre internet life, not 90s ‍♂️

  3. I was born in 1980. Part of the micro generation, called Xennial. Half my childhood was in both decades. Half analog. Half digital.

  4. It’s not a confusing concept.. I’m a TRUE 00’s kid. And still a millennial. I was over the age of 5 in the year of 2000… I have some memories of the late 90’s only bc I started school in 98 and 99 and bc I have a sister born in 87.. so I do have vivid memories of the late 90’s leading into the 00’s but I’m not a 90’s kid… I was born in 94.. so I became a teen Mid way through the 00’s.. I grew up with technology but it wasn’t as heavy as it is now.. we had to pay for each text we sent out, we still used VHS and DVDs, CD players were still popular.. and we didn’t have internet on cellphones..

  5. I agree with you.. I was born in 94 so I’m a 25 year old millennial. I’m a 00’s kid… I was 6 in 2000 and I entered high school in 2009… But some of the things you named were popular in the 2000’s. Like I remember going to Pokémon tournaments and having the board game.. I had an original MySpace and Tagged, and VHS were still being made… (that’s how I watched Freaky Friday and Pirates of the Caribbean lol.. and WiFi was non existent.. I feel like 90’s kids mistake 00’s kids for 2010’s kids a lot,

    1. Born in ’95, same here, remember watching a lot of TV shows with my elder brother born in ’90, who is more likely a 90’s kid. I am a 2000’s kid, I am not a 90’s kid either, however, me and my brother share similar childhood together, besides, I entered Kindergarten school in 1998/99, so I have spent much of my kindergarten days well in the late ’90s until 2000, when I entered 1st elementary school. I entered high school (Grade 9) in 2008, and graduated in 2012. But around the time I started school in Kindergarten, that signals me that I have become a kid (and no longer a toddler) at this time. I think people born in 1995 like me are the youngest millennials out there, the final people who can experience at least one year of the 90’s that is 1999, unlike people born in 1996 and 1997, who were still toddlers in the 90’s, and entered kindergarten around 2000.

  6. I was born in 1999, I spend all of my time outside playing in the park, I had a tamagotchi, a furby and a game boy. I remember rewinding VHS tapes and cassettes, and watching the simpsoms and friends (because my mom loved that show) on tv. The last day of class before summer, we would always have a water-balloon fight in the park, and when in the beach we would play with magic mitts and they would get so full of sand that we had to throw them out. My favorite movie was the parent trap, and my sister and I would always fight over who would be the daughter while playing with sylvanian houses. My point is, it kind of pisses me that people divide the generations in such a stiff line, like if you were born after “x” year, your experienced this or you never did that. I think it also depends where you grow up, as I grew upon Spain, maybe all this fashions took a little more time to come to europe, and because of that I can say I experience a 00’s/ late 90’s kind of lifestyle, mind of this the next time you want to judge someone for remembering a childhood that happens to be a lot like the 90’s.

  7. I am born in 85 and my memories start at 89. But I lived the 90s I turned on The tv every Friday to watch TGIF . I watched every episode of 90210, sister sister, boy meets world, family matters, step by step, fresh prince. I can go on and on. Not only did I watch those shows but I watched the last episodes when you cry because it’s going off the air. I remember when nirvana debut on MTV. Nintendo was the thing. For girls there was mall madness and many other games like Trouble and Guess who. Yes I remember when SNL was actually funny and Wayne’s world came out. Adam Sandler made the Hanukkah song. Going to teen clubs. Shuffle dancing which is now coming back. Doin the running man and roger rabbit. For Christmas I got a NANO baby and then Tamogatchi and Giga pet. I SAT ON AOL ALL DAY IN 95 going in chat rooms and when NAPSTER came out I downloaded songs that took me 6 hours LOL.

  8. i feel like people are really greedy and want t be known as a 90s kid when they were literally fetuses during the 90s. 90s kids span from – 76 to 85

  9. it works the same with me born in 83. I would never call myself an 80s kid cuz I was picking bugs from under rocks, and my nose for most of the 80s. I was not a part of pop culture at all, because back then our childhood lasted until about 13, to be honest. So I wasn’t really influenced by pop culture directly until 96 or so for me – especially raised in a strict house where the tv wasn’t allowed on except for Friday night TGIF. ) I did have a whole giant computer in my room without internet, eventually I got some games on it, like sim ant, sim city 1, sim copter, theme park…those games were so fun then. I really start to remember being influenced by pop culture in 1998 when I was 15 and in love with the backstreet boys (but these boy and girl groups were not cool to like as a high schooler. You had to like them in secret outside of school.
    I also was developing my sense of self in the 2000s, so that time is still nostalgic for me. Your early 20s are a huge part of your learning experience, so I consider myself a 90s kid, but I was still heavily influenced by the 2000s culture, which is why I can still identify with younger millennials. Gen Z, I Don’t understand them at all. It’s crazy how one generation can change everything.

    1. Hmmm sounds like you were emotionally immature so your more like someone born 1986

  10. it works the same with me born in 83. I would never call myself an 80s kid cuz I was picking bugs from under rocks, and my nose for most of the 80s. I was not a part of pop culture at all, because back then our childhood lasted until about 13, to be honest. So I wasn’t really influenced by pop culture directly until 96 or so for me – especially raised in a strict house where the tv wasn’t allowed on except for Friday night TGIF. ) I did have a whole giant computer in my room without the internet, eventually, I got some games on it, like sim ant, sim city 1, sim copter, theme park…those games were such fun then. I really start to remember being influenced by pop culture in 1998 when I was 15 and in love with the backstreet boys (but these boy and girl groups were not cool to like as a high schooler. You had to like them in secret outside of school.
    I also was developing my sense of self in the 2000s, so that time is still nostalgic for me. Your early 20s are a huge part of your learning experience, so I consider myself a 90s kid, but I was still heavily influenced by the 2000s culture, which is why I can still identify with younger millennials. Gen Z, I Don’t understand them at all. It’s crazy how one generation can change everything.

  11. If you have vivid memories of the 90’s, you’re a 90’s kid. Simple as that. People born in 85-90 are those who fully experienced the 90’s. The people born in 91-93 are mid to late 90’s kids. 95 and above are 2000’s kids

    1. those born from 1993 onwards are 2000’s kids, there core childhood and formative years where in the 2000s, not in the 90s

    2. My belief is that people born from 90 to 92 are hybrids and that they are half 90s kids and half 2000 kids

  12. Born in ‘92 and I hit pretty much ever tick in your checkbox. Y2K scared me as a kid because I actually thought the world would end. lol
    Also, my god I miss video rental stores. But yeah, I hate to break it to you, that’s when I was growing up. So, this article is just kind of….opinionated bullshit. lol

  13. Born in 1982 was 7 and in 2nd grade when the 80s ended and 10 when the 80s vibe ended in 1992 /93 and the actual real 90s began ! I was at browns river middle school 5th to 8th grade 1992-96 I’m certain those of us born in 77-83 are core 90s teenager’s our preteen and teenage year’s encompassing most the 90s I myself started puberty at age 10 I think when you start puberty plays a big role as to how you think being a kid versus a teenager! The 90s vibe ended after 9/11/01 happened and the 00s era began I was already in the army stationed at fort Bragg NC my cousin born August 17 1983 was in Bootcamp when that happened he had graduated high-school that past June 2001 and left for fort Knox for Bootcamp July 2001 . My point is your a adult once you turn 18 so your teenage year’s spent before than are your real teenage years 13-17 core teen year’s. I’m a 80s kid 90s preteen &Teenager 10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 all in the 90s .

  14. I’m born in 1972 hears my observation as I have a two 90s kid’s 1991 and 1993 and a 3 00s kid born 1999,95,97

    Core 90s kid’s were not babies 0-2 or teenagers 13-17 for most the 90s
    1986 – August 1993 at the latest are your genuine 90s kid’s
    84,85 are fringe year’s depending solely on maturity of the individual as to weather they identify as both 80s/90s or just 90s !

    Remember teenagers In the 90s and 80s and 70s and 60s and even early 2000s teens were much more mature most of the 14-17 yr olds held jobs after school and on weekends and all week in the summer many 10-13
    yr olds babysitting, mowing grass paper routes were also working to make money especially 16/17 yr olds during the school year often working full-time jobs in the service industry that you would normally find grown adults working in now in 2021 American culture is very different we had way more freedom and less rules back then.

    1. Nope, to be a 90’s kid you had to have been a teenager during the 90’s. As in started middle school and ended high school within that 10 year period. You didn’t turn 13 until 2000.

  15. “To be a ‘90s kid, you must have been a child during the ‘90s—not an infant, fetus, or still in the sack/tube.”

    This is completely, offensively, and ironically incorrect.

    To be a ’90s kid you had to have been a teenager during the ’90s, not a child. That’s what the term ‘kid’, in the context of discussing generational identities, actually means. The milestone is not the point at which you are able to form and retain memories, but when you are old enough to be genuinely cognizant of the culture of the time, yet still young enough to be deeply influenced by it. None of the ‘flower children’ of the ’60s and ’70s were 9 years old.

    So if your middle and high school years, or one’s ‘coming of age’ period, began and ended within the the 10 year bracket that was the ’90s, then you’re a ’90s kid. Which means you were born in the late ’70s to early ’80s. If you were born in the mid ’80s then you are a Millennial, not a ’90s kid.

    That’s right, ’90s kid is it’s own cultural micro-generation. The ‘overlooked’ generation, if you will. Our coming of age period, not our childhood, entailed a distinct and lasting shift in the zeitgeist (which is what cultural generations are) that was neither Gen X or Millennial in nature.

    So what you are doing is the exactly what you think Gen Z is doing to you, misusing terms to claim that which isn’t yours. Call yourselves ’90s ‘children’ if you’d like, to distinguish yourselves from the younger Millennials, but you’re not ‘kids’. You are our younger sibling, sneaking into our rooms and trying to swipe our CD’s.

Leave a Comment