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- The Hummer. Created in 1992 as a civilian version of the military HMMWV (or "Humvee"), its parent company AM General was purchased by General Motors in 1999, and it soon became one of the most popular SUV brands in the United States, especially after the launch of the smaller, less expensive H2 and H3 models. The original H1 model earned a reputation as the ultimate off-road vehicle, made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger (who owned several of them), while the H2 and H3 offered the same swagger to people who didn't have six figures to shell outnote . All of them were status symbols, popular for limousine conversions and modifications; custom H2s with massive rims and chrome plating were a common sight in the Glam Rap videos of the era.
However, sales for the brand started to plummet in the summer of 2008 during the oil crisis (they were notorious for guzzling gas even at the height of their popularitynote , and stayed low once the financial crisis and subsequent recession hit later that year. Production was halted when GM declared bankruptcy in June of 2009, and after the company emerged from bankruptcy a month later attempts were made to re-brand the Hummer as a more eco-friendly vehicle with a smaller hybrid electric/gas version, which didn't get very far. After GM's attempt to sell the brand to the Sichuan Tengzhong Automobile company in China failed, they completely discontinued the Hummer brand in late 2009. Today, the brand is remembered as a poster child for the excesses of Turn of the Millennium consumerism, and not many people will admit to having owned one. Only the original H1 model still gets any respect nowadays, and even then, it comes almost entirely from off-road enthusiasts; its H2 and H3 siblings especially are seen as pure style-over-substance road boats that were basically nerfed versions of the H1, and helped cheapen the brand and give it its current reputation.
- The Chevrolet Vega was showered with praise by automotive critics when it debuted in 1970, including Motor Trend's 1971 Car of the Year award and Car and Driver's Best Economy Sedan for three years running (1971-73). The sleek, comfortable, nimble compact flew off of dealership lots, and it was hailed as proof that General Motors could compete with Volkswagen and Toyota at their own game. However, once those critics and early buyers had their cars for more than a couple of years, they changed their tune fast. The Vega had a multitude of engineering and build quality problems that, before long, made it notorious for rust, breakdowns, excessive oil consumption, and being a death trap in crashes, turning its name into a byword for The Alleged Car and a symbol of GM's — and Detroit's — Dork Age in the '70s. By the end of the decade, even many junkyards wouldn't take Vegas, as it was assumed that there were virtually no usable parts that could be stripped off of them before they were simply thrown into the crusher and sold for scrap. Nowadays, Americans remember it as one of the worst cars ever built, a car whose initial praise is now treated as an Old Shame by those magazines.
- The pillarless hardtop body style. Introduced by General Motors in 1949, it quickly became very popular and was offered by pretty much every major American automaker by the dawn of The '60s. However, concerns about rollover safety in The '70s lead to it being phased out alongside the convertible, and while convertibles made a comeback in The '80s with the introduction of roll bars (both built-in and retractable), the hardtop has stayed dead.
Food and Drink
- Zima was a clear alcopop beverage that popped up in the 1990s during the "clear craze" where beverage manufacturers started selling clear drinks (such as Crystal Pepsi and Tab Clear). Zima was marketed heavily by its manufacturer, Coors Brewing Company, as a manly alternative to wine coolers for guys who didn't like beer. For a while the drink became very popular, but to Coors' horror the most of its drinkers were women in their 20s (the drink was also popular with teenagers due to an urban legend that Zima couldn't be detected on police breathalyzer tests). Coors then attempted to sell Zima to the male demographic by releasing a bourbon-flavored variant, but was unsuccessful. After a while Zima began to gain a reputation as a "girly man" drink and became the butt of jokes by stand-up comedians. The drink's popularity plummeted after its first year, but it managed to linger for another decade before Coors quietly decided to discontinue domestic sales of the drink. These days the only place you can still buy Zima is Japan. To this day men still make jokes to each other about Zima being a drink for wimps.
- The "scene" and "emo" subcultures as practiced by many a MySpace-using Emo Teen are similarly dead in the water. When MySpace and emo music were big, Moral Guardians around the world took potshots at "emo and scene kids" as the look was everywhere on the Internet. Then those teens became young adults and grew out of it. The bands that were at the heart of the subculture have either broken up or moved on (many of which make up the rock section for DTD. MySpace and other online services that catered to scene/emo kids have either folded or the users have moved on as well. By The New Tens, the labels 'emo' and 'scenester' had become epithets and insults among young people.
- Public Service Announcements that take the form of surreal skits, musical numbers, or ironic drama. Typically, the idea was to get the point across without heavy handed preaching or emotional manipulation. Many of them remain memorable due to their Narm Charm. Today, P.S.As are more likely to be a celebrity, a famous pundit, or increasingly an ordinary non-celebrity person simply addressing the audience in a serious matter. They want to make sure the message gets across without the audience being distracted by the messenger.
- While smartphones with screens above 5 inches have been tried before, Samsung Galaxy Note was the first one to have a real commercial success. In the time where most flagship smartphones barely went above 4 inches and Apple was still hanging on to Steve Jobs' "no one wants a smartphone above 3,5 inches" mantra, Note had a 5,3 inch screen, with a stylus and software features to take advantage of the screen real estate. As years passed and all manufacturers (including even Apple with their iPhone Plus line) eventually followed Samsungs lead and 5 inch screens became de facto a smartphone standard. Despite that Note still distinguished itself with the stylus and screens that eventually approached 6 inches. This made Samsung by far the biggest and most popular of Android smartphone makers and allowed them to release a flagship phone twice a year (Galaxy S in spring and Galaxy Note in autumn). This quickly fell apart with the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Despite the initial rave reviews some customers had their phones 'explode' due to faulty battery. Samsung quickly started a recall and exchange program (not helped by the fact that after Note 4 they ceased to use a removable battery which would make the whole thing much easier). Soon it turned out that replacement phones 'still' had the same problems. After three recalls that failed to address the exploding issue, Samsung decided to stop production of Note 7 and withdraw the phone from the market. The Galaxy Note name is now synonymous with "bomb" (literally and figuratively) and its safe to say it will take years for Samsung to regain trust of their customers. And even if they do, they sure as hell won't be doing it with the "Note" line.