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Anyone Remember Pogs?
Thankfully they are now Deader Than Disco... Or are they?

Throughout human history, people have become obsessed over the darndest things, especially in the consumer-driven economy that sprung up during the 1950s. Hula hoops, pet rocks, disco, pins, breakdancing, and of course, pogs were all once insanely popular, but like most fads they faded away, and these days most of us look back on all the hooplah and laugh.

Thus, comedies can generate laughs simply by making an off-hand reference to a fad that was once wildly popular, but is now considered ridiculous. Sometimes this takes the form of a pointed comparison between a current fad, or a thinly-veiled parody of it, and one that used to be popular but is now Deader Than Disco, with the implication that the current fad is headed the same way.

If the show is about Remembering Pogs (humorously or seriously), we have I Love the Exties. If it's a character who just can't leave his pogs behind, he's Disco Dan. If it's so ridiculous that the damn kids today don't believe it was actually real, it's Aluminum Christmas Trees.

Compare Zeerust and Cyclic National Fascination.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • An early episode of the Pokémon dub includes a Macarena reference. Dogasu runs a site dedicated to the changes made in the dub, and even he had to snigger a bit at that.
  • The reference to Crystal Pepsi in the dub of FLCL. It was an attempt at a Cultural Translation of a reference to a similar fad soft drink sold in Japan, Cherio.

    Live Action TV 
  • The last episode of Beakmans World actually does this to a then-current sensation:
    Beakman: You wrench 'em, I'll drench 'em, let's Macarena!
    Everyone in the entire friggin world, including the makers of the song: LET'S NOT!
  • Jon Stewart uses a slightly more serious version of the trope in a lot of his standup. He mocks the tendency of politicians to pander to the Lowest Common Denominator by saying they're "Just like you. I'm a common man!"
    "Really? You watch eight hours of television a day? You thought the Macarena was fun?"
  • An episode of Teen Angel had the titular character going back in time to try to prevent his death. When his past self demands proof he's from the future, he says "I know this may be a little hard to believe...but the Macarena is just a phase.", followed by his past self bemoaning his huge investment in "Planet Macarena" stock (which he later plans to sell and invest in Tony Danza t-shirts instead).
  • An episode of Murphy Brown had Murphy and Kay realizing they had met before during the Bicentennial at a Starland Vocal Band concert (which consists solely of them replaying their One-Hit Wonder "Afternoon Delight" over and over), of whom Kay was the manager. Murphy purchases a Pet Rock to "bash [her] blind date's head in", talks to Kay about how miserable both are, and Kay "accidentally" gives Murphy the key to backstage for her to sabotage the event.
  • In an SCTV sketch, Woody Allen was trying to do a film project with Bob Hope, but found his outlook too old-fashioned - Hope was just as put out by Allen's morose personality and tells him "Your mood ring is turning black." Allen replies "My mood ring, what is this, 1968?"

    Magazines 
  • The MAD parody of Pokémon introduced Hokéycon as the latest "flavor of the week" fad destined to rot in closets everywhere. One later panel had a fanboy who boasts that Hokéycon is "a phenomenon whose popularity will never, ever fade" being approached by another desperate to trade him any number of Beanie Babies, Smurfs, Power Rangers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in exchange for a single Hokéycon card. (Hilarious in Hindsight, as all of these are still being made in some form, even though they're not as wildly popular as they once were—as is Pokémon itself, which is still one of the top selling video game series overall. For the record )

    Newspaper Comics 
  • A Zits strip has Jeremy and Pierce reacting this way to Walt's description of tiddlywinks.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons does this often.
    • From the episode "Bart Sells His Soul": "Remember ALF? He's back, in Pog form."
    • The Ultimate Pog, which bears the likeness of Steve Allen.
    • In "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", Homer wins a Grammy thanks to inspiration from Marge's purchase of a then-trendy "Baby on Board" sign for the family car. ("Now people will stop intentionally ramming our car!")
    • Moe was once asked why his bar doesn't have cable TV. He replies, "It was that, or the mechanical bull. (camera pans back to show the cobweb encrusted bull) I made my choice, and I stand by it."
    • In "Hurricane Neddy", Marge finds a Rubix Cube in the basement during the storm, and the family decides to try to solve it; they have no more luck than most people did when it was popular, Marge eventually getting frustrated, and yelling, "Now I remember why I threw this down here in the first place!" before tossing it.
    • The episode "Lisa the Skeptic" reveals that Homer has an entire closet filled with such kitschy outdated fad items collected over the years, including a large supply of Billy Beer.
    Homer: (drinks the beer) Ah, we elected the wrong Carter.
  • Peter finds his old pet rock in an episode of Family Guy. He remembers when they had to housebreak it after it peed on the floor, including rubbing its "nose" in the puddle.
  • In an early episode of Arthur that dealt with fads, Arthur's grandmother gave him his father's old pet rock to substitute for a Woogle, the new toy everyone has. It barely lasts one scene before Arthur dumps it.
    • Heck Arthur winds up creating a new fad by just popping a bottle cap. The kids instantly drop the new toys to get in on it and by episodes end, said toy is in the bargain bin.
  • South Park focused an episode on Kyle's difficulty in getting in with the recent Chinpokomon trend. Every time he ran to the toy store to get the latest part of the fad, he would return to find his friends had already moved onto the next new item.
  • The "Dethcomedy" episode of Metalocalypse had a comedian whose entire 'routine' was him standing on stage saying "Anybody here remember (insert old-school reference here)?" The guys Lampshaded it, but then admitted they found him funny.
  • An episode of The Venture Bros. had Dr. Orpheus imprison the souls of a pair of annoying rednecks in Homies figures. Homies, for anyone who missed them, were collectible figures of stereotypical Latino "thug" types sold in the capsule machinesnote  in front of grocery stores in the early 2000s.
    Orpheus: That's a "home-boy". But be careful! It houses the souls of TWO FOUL-MOUTHED REDNECKS!
  • Recess dealt with this a few times, ranging from an addictive puzzle type game, to having a stock market style system based around stickers to quoting lines from a popular movie.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Doofenshmirtz was once hula hooping and invited Perry the Platypus to join. However, Perry's hula hoop was a trap to capture him.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, it turns out in "The Void" that all in Elmore the things considered "bad ideas" are erased from existence by the universe itself. This is shown to include such things as pogo balls, disco, Crazy Frog, mullets, and people. In short, no one remembers pogs in Elmore because they can't!


Waldorf: They seem to be using this page to discuss dead fads.
Statler: Hey! Do you remember Those Two Guys who used to heckle The Muppet Show?
Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!


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