As someone who was in college (ugh!) in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I definitely have some sweet nostalgia for the period, no matter the in-depth discussions on whether NSYNC or The Backstreet Boys were the superior boy band.

It’s NSYNC, and I won’t be entertaining arguments to the contrary in the comments.

Here are other things that remind people – in a good way or a bad way – about life in the early aughts.

1. Now is just makes us old.

Very far side parts and side bangs

They can take my deep side part from my corpse

2. That smell will take you back all the time.

Bath and Body Works body sprays and Victoria’s Secret Lovespell

I’m a CucumberMelonKindaGirl. 😉

3. We don’t need no stinkin’ arch support.

Fueled By Ramen
Those rubber bracelets with different colors, like the “Live Strong” ones
Juicy tracksuits
Ugg boots
Juicy sweatpants tucked into Ugg boots
Low-rise jeans with chunky belts
Checkerboard anything
side-swept bangs that covered one eye
Black eyeliner all around the eye
Chunky highlights
Reggae/Dancehall pop music
Newsboy hats and Fedoras
Axe body spray for guys and Bath & Bodyworks for girls
Shoes without arch support (Vans, Converse, Ballet Flats, Gladiator sandals)

4. A short and accurate list.

Pink and black stockings, spike bracelets, emo haircuts, male eyeliner, shirt of American Idiot and Harry Potter books.

This reads like Punk Rock 101 by Bowling for Soup, which incidentally perfectly encapsulates that period in its lyrics hahaha.

5. New Spongebob doesn’t cut it.

Classic SpongeBob, Destiny’s Child

6. Nothing better than a Happy Meal and a playground.

Birthday parties at McDonalds

My friend did his 18th birthday at McDonalds and the workers lost it when they had to paint our faces. It was 2011

7. Omg the roll-on body glitter.

Roll on body glitter, butterfly clips, inflatable furniture, cucumber melon body spray, caboodles lip gloss

8. That was a good day.

Pokemon gold and silver

Man I got pokemon gold version for my golden birthday. I was turning 12. Was so awesome

9. We experienced that.

Boarding a plane while never having to remove shoes or belts.

In the mid nineties I think, my parents got me visiting the cockpit or a commercial flight UK to Barcelona. My kids will never experience that.

10. Good ol’ Tom.


Wish still had all the pictures I uploaded on there.

11. We were all basketball players in our hearts.

RocaWear, Being ghetto fabulous, FuBu, Enyce, Nelly’s Country grammar, fitted caps, baggy basketball jerseys, having a basketball headband as a clothing accessory.

Basically just watch HBO’s The Wire

12. You had to be really committed.

Spending 2 minutes to text “how are u?” to someone.

13. I know you were singing along.

(sung to the tune of We Didn’t Start the Fire)

BeyBlades, Baha Men,

Console wars are back again

Dexter’s Lab, Cow and Chicken,

Jimmy Neutron, Shrek

Toonami, Smash Mouth, SpongeBob,

Austin Powers on the job

Four Harry Potter books today, what else can I say?

Those were the early 2000s

For a while we befriended, but suddenly they ended

Those were the early 2000s

Now we’re twenty years later, but are we that much greater?

14. Nailed it.

Butterfly clips. Those little ones you wound all your hair up into because you weren’t ballsy enough for a pixie cut.

15. Yes, the cool blue.

Thumb-drive MP3 players. Shout-out to my cool blue 512mb sandisk

16. Straight from the top.

Freestyler… rock the microphone Straight from the top of my dome Freestyler… rock the microphone Carry on with the freestyler.

17. Tamagotchis are back, y’all.

Soda flavored chapstick.

buying a Tamagotchi at a Montgomery Ward

Scratch and sniff stickers. And the markers. I still think about the toasted marshmallow scented marker.

18. We will never hear that sound again.

Nokia Phones

And your dial up modem screamed at you when you connect to the internet.

The dial-up sound is more 90s to me. Of course, that will vary for some people.

19. You used the whole pack at once.

Butterfly hair clips, some were glittery too.

Came to say this! I found a pack last week at our local supermarket, sparkling in all their glittery glory! Couldn’t believe how expensive they were though 🙁

20.  Theft was rampant.


21. OG angry girl music.

Linkin Park and Avril Lavigne.

Low waisted Jeans with a lil thong sticking out.

Sisqo’s Thong Song. Never forget. ?

22. They tried so hard to make Clippy a thing.


I kinda miss Clippy 😀 I also often used the cat. I liked watching it sleep on my documents when I was writing.

23. Simple, but not sweet.

“Complicated” came on the radio the other day and I was immediately transported back in time to being like 13 and and thinking that Avril Lavigne was utterly cool.

And wearing a t shirt (pref Roxy) over a long sleeve t. Simpler times.

24. All of this is cool again.

Those fishing line lacy choker things. Velour tracksuits, ultra low rise jeans. Baggy short sleeve shirts over baggy cargo shorts. Soul patches.

The lacy choker things are kinda cute honestly. I saw they had been making a comeback with the 90’s / 00’s becoming trendy again.

25. Ah, the memories.

And pop punk. Pop punk wasn’t that great musically speaking but it’s associated with so many memories of those simpler times.

“Turn the lights off, carry me home!”

To a lesser degree “street punk” was big in the early 2000’s. Tons of leopard/zebra print, skin tight jeans with ankle zippers, super charged brightly colored Mohawks and liberty spikes, a bondage belt, bullet belt, and studded belt worn together, bum flaps.

What a time.

26. It takes you right back.

Good Charlotte- The Anthem

It’s a new day, but it all feels old, It’s a good life, that’s what I’m told. But everything it all just feels the same.

27. What was that all about?

Jeans with chains on the pockets.

28. Inflatable furniture.

AIM, inflatable furniture, frosted tips (maybe this one is more associated with the late ‘90s).

Man I wanted one so bad and asked for an inflatable chair for my birthday and Christmas for years and never got one. Was always so disappointed

29. Not many.

Matrix references everywhere!

People’s usernames trying to be like Matrix characters, too.

I know Shrek has become so popular with the younger kids again, but I wonder how many of them get the reference jokes like the slow-mo kick scene.

30. Oh those homeschool kids.

YES!!! AOL Instant Messenger was the shit! Everyone had edgy away messages/statuses, and it was so much fun!

Great resource for homeschool kid with only a few friends!

31. We were so proud of them, too.

Portable CD player.

Ooh CD binders or those cat visor cd holders. I once lost my entire CD binder on a trip and it was one of the biggest tragedies of my early life!

32. A shortish list.

Shrek, Baha Men, expensive DVD players, a collection of Harry Potter books that ends at Goblet of Fire, BeyBlades, Yu-Gi-Oh, and the unbearable thrill and excitement that came with the launch of next gen consoles (PS2, Xbox, GameCube, GBA).

Those are some of the stand-out cultural memories from my childhood between 2000-2003.

Oh wait we can’t forget Toonami, collecting entire DBZ sagas on VHS so you could finish the image on the spines, Deltora Quest, and the best run of cartoons on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

Dexter’s Lab, Ed, Edd, n Eddy, Cow and Chicken, Jimmy Neutron, SpongeBob, and Johnny Bravo were all flying high, even though some of those started before the new millennium.

Edit: forgot Zoids!

33. Story time.

When they wanted to evoke NYE 1999 in Iron Man 3, they used Blue Da Bee by Eiffel 65. That was perfect.

Story time, Eiffel 65 is an Italian band. My family is from Italy and we went summer of 99 for vacation. I was sure to bring my MiniDisk player and at my grand mom’s house we could watch The Box but it was for Italy so it was all the pop hits in Italy at the time. So I recorded the songs off the tv. One of those was Eiffel 65’s song.

So I come back to the states. I worked in a sandwich shop with other people around my age. So I put This music on and every laughs at how stupid Eiffel 65’s song is. They would constantly make fun of how I liked such a stupid song. I was like, I don’t know, it was popular over there and catchy.

The video was also weird. I was kind of embarrassed but whatever. Fast forward a few weeks later and it’s in heavy rotation on US pop radio stations. Then my coworkers would constantly bring up how they chastised me for liking that song.

34. Overused is an understatement.

Who let the dogs out was over used.

The Hangover

Rat Race


Men in Black II

Madagascar 2

Bubble Boy

35. The pop scene was lit.

Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Evanescence, Avril Lavigne, MSN, skater shoes, Fantasy perfume by Britney, Harry Potter.

Ah, the nostalgia kind of burns sometimes, don’t you think?

Mostly in a good way.

What screams “early 2000s” to you? If it’s not on this list, drop it in the comments!