Looking back, the ’90s seem a bit of a blur — some of it has to do with the fact of having lived it as a child, but some, maybe even more, has to do with the fact that we ’90s kid were at the forefront of some crazy tech advances, cultural movements, and other mind-expanding experiences.
If you were a kid in Korea in the 90s this list is sure to bring back some major nostalgia.
1. The cool kids moved out of black and white to color phones with cameras and 2G connections with which you could access June. June was some type of early wi-fi in phone thing, but it was better understood as access to phone games.
2. Commercials for mineral water “2%” had major dramas in them and came with iconic lines such as, “Nothing’s been going well for me since I met you. Leave!”
3. And for those who stuck to soda, McCOL was the weird vitamin-added soda substitute to Coke or Sprite. It could have easily been labeled as Dr. Pepper’s Korean cousin. Floats with McCOL is a stuff of legends.
4. Forget raising a little creature in Tamagotchi, Princess Maker 1 and 2 were classic games of the era that had you raise a true Queen!
5. Dinosaurs and humans collaborated to make the greatest ever soccer team in cartoon history in Dragon League.
6. But the greatest soccer team in real life for 90’s kids was made up of these 10 men + Guus Hiddink in 2002.
7. The comfort and fun of an internet café, aka PC Room, was a natural go-to — it had the fastest computers, overpriced but convenient snacks like cup noodles and microwave pizza.
8. For the more “studious”, the go-to hangout was the corner spot at a local manga-room. You paid by the hour to read as much manga as you could, away from the eyes of teachers and parents. They even let you order delivery jajangmyeon too!
9. And of course, no manga-room, barber shop, or doctor’s waiting rooms, could escape a number of copies of the Dragon Ball series. A real 90s classic!
10. The family with the New Grandeur were the family to befriend for their apparent luxurious lifestyle.
11. Pokemon stickers came inside “Pokemon bread”, which were overly sweet and surprisingly delicious, sold at convenience stores — many pastries were consumed, many were chucked after their crown jewels were taken out.
12. Metal Slug was THE game to play on your way home after school. For 100 Won, some could go to the very end and beat the big boss.
13. Prior to the days of Netflix, VHS tapes were available at brick and mortar video rental stores, each with its own rules and late-fees and cranky store clerks on the lookout so that kids wouldn’t slide into the adult sections.
14. Pocari Sweat was the alkaline drink of choice for the young, the beautiful, and the would-be travelers to Santorini, Greece. It was thought that only the beautiful could model for it, and only the beautiful did.
15. For a less glamorous snack, there was Apollo, a strangely addictive, colored tube-snack that required one to suck on small plastic, which was possibly also a choking hazard. What were we thinking?
16. Jun Ji Hyun was the ultimate Queen and ideal “It” girl. The sassy girl many teenage boys would swear loyalty to in the drop of a hat.
17. Back then, Jang Na Ra’s kiss was supposed to help Korea win the World Cup and it almost did.
18. BoA told us where all the cool kids went shopping: Dongdaemun!
19. The idol-backed fried chicken advertisements first began back in the 90’s with FIN K.L.’s seductive commercial that repeated the magic words, “BBQ is mine.”