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SundayKittens's avatar

In your mind, what single person, thing, idea truly represents the 90s?

Asked by SundayKittens (5834points) September 24th, 2010

My students and I were discussing the concept of “Zeitgeist”, and I was trying to explain the impact and importance of the music scene when I was growing up. To me, Nirvana (like it or not), was the ultimate Zeitgeist of this era.

What single “thing” embodies the spirit of the 90s to you?

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38 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

The Real World.

SundayKittens's avatar

Aww snap, didn’t even think about that. Absolutely. Everything about it screams 90s.
Puck 4 LYFE

marinelife's avatar

The First Internet Boom.

TexasDude's avatar

The band “Third Eye Blind”

kenmc's avatar

The Spice Girls

Brian1946's avatar


ucme's avatar

The Gulf war
Princess Diana dies in car crash

lemming's avatar

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

RomanExpert's avatar

The personal computer.

Deja_vu's avatar

Dirty hair.

Deja_vu's avatar

And baggy pants in all genres.

CMaz's avatar

The internet.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

The Real World was the first thing that came to mind for me. Maybe this hairstyle.

SundayKittens's avatar

@TheOnlyNeffie Gawwww, yes. The ol’ slightly opened chili bowl curtain.

janbb's avatar

a blue dress

DominicX's avatar

I was born in ‘91, so I was too young to really get into the “spirit” of the ‘90s, but when I think of the ‘90s I think of Windows 95, ivory-colored computers, bubblegum dance music, Pokemon, Kidsongs, and the dot-com boom.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Bill Clinton with all his charisma and foibles

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

The Atlanta Olympic bombing. Bill Clinton would be a close second.

tinyfaery's avatar

The explosion of the internet.

SamIAm's avatar


edit: also, zombienation

iamthemob's avatar

I think if we’re talking about zeitgeist, I would consider the “Aughties” more the age of the internet (I think of zeitgeist as more the cultural influence or sensibility of the time – the internet began to gain widespread functionality and popular usage when social networking became the rage, along with texting, etc.).

The interesting thing about the 90s is that they really are two decades from a zeitgeist perspective. I think “The Real World” straddles both. But the first thing that popped into my head was Nirvana as well. Grunge, however, was the first half. The second half I would characterize as the Snoop Dogg/Backstreet Boys era.

iamthemob's avatar

PS – I like a more literal translation of the german “zeitgeist” into the english “space ghost!” (the exclamation point is part of the translation).

tinyfaery's avatar

@iamthemob How you soon you forget the “dot com” boom.

iamthemob's avatar


But that was accompanied with the bust, which nearly ruined faith in internet start ups. When innovation was spread more to the population, I think that’s when the internet had a greater effect on our culture instead of just our economy.

iammia's avatar

He “did not have sexual relations with THAT woman”

Bill Clinton sex scandal….despite it i still liked him and i’m not even American!

talljasperman's avatar

people saying “its the 90’s things are better now…”

zannajune's avatar

First half of the 90s would be Grunge.
Latter half would be the internet.

Berserker's avatar

Final Fantasy VI and Pearl jam.


iamthemob's avatar


VI and not VII?

Berserker's avatar

Well, for me it’s way more six than seven. The question asked about in my mind, so. :D

Jabe73's avatar

Bill Clinton’s presidency. Alternative rock becoming more popular. The Buffalo Bills 4 straight Super Bowl losses.

Kraigmo's avatar

the flowering of the World Wide Web

a close 2nd, and inter-related to that, would be the flowering of the 2nd psychedelic generation

Atacama's avatar

The end of the Cold War, and more to the point, the birth of the second age of globalism. The feeling that there was actually only one world we all shared, not the “us vs. those subhuman commie bastards” mindset of 40+ years.

The return of sanity to rock music and ecstasy were pretty big too.

geeky_mama's avatar

Agree with @zannajune. And as for me I think the movie: “Reality Bites” neatly summarizes the 90s.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

The internet.

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