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The '90s

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Bart: Nothing you say can upset us! We're the MTV generation!
Lisa: We feel neither highs nor lows.
Homer: Really? What's that like?
Lisa: Meh. [shrugs]

I'm only Describing The '90s Here ironically.

The Nimble Nineties: The Cold War had come to an end and people were starting to fear Y2K. All of the kids (of whom the older ones were of the cynical and disaffected Generation X) listened to grunge bands, wore flannel or a Jennifer Aniston haircut while watching Friends, Seinfeld and The X-Files. Or they listened to Gangsta Rap, wore their baseball caps sideways paired with ridiculously baggy cargo pants and routinely "capped" people who "dissed" them, or they were beaten up by police and taped. Or they were the early ravers dressing in even baggier JNCO jeans, kandi beads, and pacifiers (to help out with teeth gnashing from ecstasy) and listened to electronica. Everything was neon, colorful, and Totally Radical. Cowabunga!

The world at this time was awash in radical changes and catastrophes on a global scale. The Soviet Union collapsednote , Nelson Mandela was finally freed from prison, Iraq invaded Kuwait, and Margaret Thatcher hung up her handbag.

Yugoslavia, Somalia, and Rwanda exploded into savage sectarian genocide, while Liberia and Sierra Leone faced deadly civil wars that were frustratingly difficult for other nations to stop, provided that they even cared. Radicals revolted against corporations in Seattle at the beginning and end of the decade. Germany reunited after decades of post-World War II division, Czechoslovakia split up and Canada came within a hair's breadth of doing the samenote . Japan came to terms with the end of its economic bubble and settled in for the long, frustrating stagnation of "The Lost Decade". "Made in Japan" was replaced by Red China as the big outsourcing villain. HIV awareness grew, with disgust towards its victims gradually being replaced with sympathy upon Freddie Mercury's death from pneumonia exacerbated by AIDS in 1991. Additionally, the notorious spread of the virus among the heterosexual population of Africa finally killed off the "Gay Plague" stereotype of HIV, even as effective drug regimes were at long last developed. Meanwhile, Anita Hill would expose the social blight of sexual harassment that too many women endure in the workplace and elsewhere in the US Congress and thus the popular world at large. There were riots in Los Angeles and the OJ Simpson chase/trial/media circus. The younger tropers might have been born at this time — possibly in the back of a white SUV.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan pressured Mullah Omar's Afghanistan to extradite a dissolute Saudi nobleman, Osama bin Laden, who was holed up in the newly radicalized Afghanistan. It was almost as if he was planning something big... At this time, Bin Laden was not yet a household name, so when Bill Clinton dropped a bomb on an alleged Bin Laden hideout, many questioned the President's motives. Some critics suggested he was merely trying to distract the public from his many scandals, à la Wag the Dog. Of course, this suggestion may appear Harsher in Hindsight.

The conservative-dominated Reagan/Bush/Thatcher/Gorbachev era ended with a bang as "greed is good" got replaced by the 1987 Wall Street Crash and postwar recession ennui through the early '90s; the violent polarization of the '70s finally culminated in a return to centrism among the general populace as moderate liberals swiftly replaced the hard left and hard right of the preceding decades. In the U.S., Ross Perot led a political revolution of pissed-off independent voters; dissatisfaction with "The Man" became the norm, and Rush Limbaugh-inspired Conspiracy Theorist talk radio became the rage. Bill Clinton got elected thanks to Gulf War Syndrome, and remained popular during and after his presidency, even and especially during his impeachment trial in 1998. The right would eventually return to prominence during the latter half of the decade though, with born-again-Christian conservatives eventually sweeping away the secular, Clinton-led left in 2000. The opioid crisis started in the U.S., mainstreaming negative attitudes towards Predatory Big Pharma (both for accurate reasons and conspiracy theories). Meanwhile, Seattle coffee culture was all the rage as a Starbucks opened up on every street corner, driving fear into the hearts of Hipsters everywhere, who sought solace in Post-Hardcore, Postmodernism, and other things with "post-" and "-core" in it. In the U.K., Tony Blair and his 'New Labour' swept to power on a landslide, hailing a new era of optimism and 'Cool Britannia', fueled by an explosion of bands like The Spice Girls, Blur, and Oasis, and the transformation of Premier League football into an international spectacle, sport mingling with celebrity culture — most notably with the marriage of David and Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham.

Modern culture's obsession with electronics was born in The '80s and became dominant in the Turn of the Millennium, but it really came of age in the last half of this decade as people switched out computer models every other year. Dolly the sheep was cloned. GPS became operational. Cell phones became smaller and more common. Home computers that were actually easy to use instead of requiring a degree in programming became cheap enough to be affordable to everyone, and this, coupled with the invention of the World Wide Web note , inevitably led to the explosion of the Internet note , which opened the floodgates. Porn, gifs of kittens, porn, jokes about the Clinton sex scandal and evil overlords, and porn involving Clinton were widely accessible for the first time. Bulletin Boards hooked up, moving from dial-in systems to the web. People began to band together to discuss their opinions of Star Trek and Star Wars on Usenet, the original "message board" system. Soon, other people joined in to talk about other shows, too, and thus the seeds for the birth of this wiki were planted. So while in 1990 teenagers who "spent time on computer message boards" were nerds, by 1999 it was a social stigma among teenagers if you didn't have an e-mail address.

On the business side of the internet sensation came the Dot-Com Bubble of the late-'90s, powering the biggest economic boom of the 20th century and putting even the best years of The Roaring '20s, The '50s, and The '80s to shame, meaning people had more money than ever to spend on all the exciting new technology while at the same time ironically having less cash in their pockets than ever thanks to another exciting new technology: digital banking. ATMs appeared on every street corner and allowed people to withdraw as much money from their accounts as they needed anywhere at anytime 24/7 without having to deal with asshole bank employees. In store debit often eliminated the need for cash at all, and the credit card was never more widely used (partly because more places than ever were accepting them, and partly because people didn't quite grasp the long term consequences of their overuse and abuse yet). Some even predicted the end of paper money all together. As the Web Browser was invented, garage entrepreneurs sold content-free websites for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Nineties also saw the largest government budget surplus in American history.

The Ford Explorer became the first SUVnote , and the GM EV-1 became the first (production, consumer) modern electric car. The Explorer would be successful, while the EV-1 would not for the same reason as the Sega Game Gear of the same decade, as indeed was a problem for many of the decade's portable devices, the incredible new technology drained batteries too fast, as GM insisted it be fitted with the same lead-acid batteries as all its cars. The Lithium batteries that would power the cars and electronics of future decades were still in their infancy, and still far too expensive and unproven for most manufacturers or consumers to bother with. The gas crisis of the next decade had its origins in the shortsightedness of a decade when gasoline was much cheaper. Cars from this decade are easy to spot thanks to a cartoonishly curvy look, moving beyond the unaerodynamic box-on-wheels design that dominated The '70s and The '80s, thanks to computer-aided drafting and design, but still not quite like the more aerodynamic angular cut corners look that dominated in the Turn of the Millennium and The New '10s.

Electronics underwent a similar change in design from depressingly boxy to cartoonishly curvy, culminating in the first iMac, and from analog to digital for exactly the same reason. In terms of media technology, this was the decade of Cable TV and the first emerging direct-broadcast satellite TV services.note  Movies ran on VHS or in Multiplex theaters with digital sound systems. DVD emerged at the end of the decade, but was in its infancy and ridiculously expensive. Music came on CDs or cassette tapes in the very early '90s, to a more CD dominated culture until the invention of Napster.

Internet dollars gentrified the inner city, turning what had been viewed as an irredeemable wasteland into a playpen for the rich. Every building, sneaker, and coffee shop was painted in pastel colors with the black lights at the rave club making them all glow, along with that mustard stain you thought you got out weeks ago.

Everyone attended music festivals like Lollapalooza or Lilith Fair — or at least, claimed to their friends that they did, as they were just as likely doing either "Lambada" or "The Macarena". In the US Grunge dominated the real life soundtrack for five years, before collapsing into an identity crisis. Kurt Cobain continued chart-topping for two years after his death, alongside Alanis Morissette and Alice in Chains, eventually replaced by pop music, which had managed to reinvent itself following the Milli Vanilli lip-syncing scandal (which itself played a partial role in Grunge's rise), during the latter half of the decade. Across the pond, meanwhile, Britpop and the Cool Britannia movement soared; Oasis and Blur had their famous chart war, while the Spice Girls became cultural icons. In academia, modernism was out and relativism was in; the magazine Social Text published a word salad hoax by an angry physicist as the "Culture Wars" smoldered between scientists, anti-abortionists, and radical academicians. Alternative Rock took over rock music, along with the Perishing Alt-Rock Voice. Boy bands and girl groups began to dominate the market, and two major Gangsta Rap stars were killed within months of each other following a war of egos between the east and west coasts. Electronic Music continued to refine itself over this decade, spawning numerous different genres (and sub-genres) and growing massive fan scenes across the globe (except in the USA which took longer to catch on), with all-night dance parties, AKA "raves", becoming the new target of moral panic among politicians and moral guardians (not helped by the deep associations with drug use).

CGI completely changed what you could see on the silver screen. Blockbusters like Jurassic Park (1993) and Titanic (1997) made full use of cutting-edge visual effects on their way to record-smashing box-offices. The first animated films created entirely in CGI also began their slow but steady takeover of the animated marketplace. On the other side of the spectrum, indie films became hot commodities as young, self-made filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater used the advances in filmmaking technology to create unique, edgy films on shoestring budgets. For a whole year, America lost its collective mind in the woods of Maryland over a film made on handheld cameras. Seinfeld, after a shaky start in 1989, shot to wild popularity. The Simpsons redefined both animation and the family Sitcom. Reality Television started. The millennial decade's comedy superstars were getting themselves known on Saturday Night Live, including future (now-retired) senator Al Franken. Mystery Science Theater 3000 got really good, then was canceled twice. After people got the answer as to who killed Laura Palmer, Special Agents Mulder and Scully chased aliens, monsters, and other creepy creatures, Buffy Summers chased vampires, demons, and vampire boyfriends, while Hercules and Xena fought the tyranny of the gods in ancient Greece. Surfing and going to the beach became even more popular thanks to Baywatch, which became the most popular syndicated television show on the planet and turned Pamela Anderson into probably the most famous sex symbol since Marilyn Monroe. This was also the heyday of modern-era Star Trek, with TNG, DS9 and Voyager all airing in the same decade. Furthermore, that franchise finally got real competition from Babylon 5 and Stargate SG-1. The UK, meanwhile, would be at a bit of a loss, what with their most famous science-fiction series getting canned in 1989 and not returning for 16 years, save for an American-produced telemovie in 1996. This did, however, give enough time for Doctor Who to reclaim a sizeable enough following on both sides of the pond (partly thanks to its syndication on PBS) as people began to reflect on the factors that led to the show's downfall in the late '80s, eventually culminating in the show's return in 2005.

Adventure Games hit it big in the mid-1990s; Strategy Sim games with orthographic landscapes were invented. People bought games in boxes with elaborate supplements and funky midi music. Or pirated off their neighborhood BBS, along with the copy protect page. "The 3D revolution" meant vector graphics, which meant "virtual reality" and Wolfenstein. Superman came back (albeit with a horrible game). Doom, Mortal Kombat, and Pokémon scared the Moral Guardians.

Games like Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, and the Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy series introduced Western gamers to the concept of the Japanese Role-Playing Game, and with the arrival of Final Fantasy VII and Pokémon in the latter part of the decade, the genre went mainstream: Pokémon became a worldwide phenomenon of unprecedented scale, while SquareSoft became a household name for any video game enthusiast, and their games came to exemplify the cutting edge of innovation in graphics, sound and storytelling in games for years to come.

Kids and adolescents played Street Fighter in the arcade leading to a Fighting Game boom led by Capcom, SNK, Sega and Namco. On the PC side of things, Doom helped make the First-Person Shooter mainstream and StarCraft was starting to conquer Korea.

However, when it comes to gaming in the 1990s, nothing defines it better than one phrase: "Genesis does what Nintendon't". Created for the Sega Genesis's initial North American ad campaign in 1989, this would mark the first spark in the inferno that was the fourth-generation Console Wars, with Sega's new 16-bit system butting heads with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, an attempt by Nintendo to stay relevant after having their late-'80s domination crushed by competition from evolving technology. With Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog and crass ad campaign preaching to teens that Nintendo was nothing more than a washed-up kiddie company, Nintendo would fight back with full-force, as both companies repeatedly attempted to outdo each other with various advertisements, technological marvels, and blockbuster titles as their fanbases picked fights on the playground over whether they were loyal to the slick black Sonic system or the boxy gray Mario machine. Despite a decade of brisk competition from Sega, Nintendo would end up winning this battle, with the SNES outselling the Genesis by 50%, or roughly 15 million units. However, both Nintendo and Sega would end up being blindsided by the sudden success of the PlayStation, Sony's fifth-gen revenge against both companies for backstabbing the consumer electronics company (itself another lengthy story detailed on the PlayStation's own page). Sega would find themselves in a mountain of debt with the failures of the 32X (a 32-bit stopgap add-on for the Genesis) and the Sega Saturn (the result of internal feuding and mismanagement); they'd release one last console at the very end of the decade before the inability to recoup their losses forced them out of the hardware business in 2001. As for Nintendo, while they remained persistent with the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo GameCube, not until 2006 would they be the kings of the hill again, partly due to their adherence to cartridges when CDs had already become the dominant physical medium in the industry. Overall, the '90s marked both the golden and dark ages for the two biggest names in the console market.

Virtual pets, Pogs, yo-yos, laser pointers and Beanie Babies were all the rage with kids. The Razor scooter and roller blades were invented and quickly considered two of the must have items, and the Discman began to replace the Walkman. In Japan, we saw a farewell to the Darker and Edgier Metal Heroes and Kamen Rider as well as Ultra Series as they went through an ice age while Super Sentai prospered and was beginning to be adapted for western audiences as Power Rangers.

Michael Jordan reigned, retired, and returned. Mark McGwire and other beefy dudes beat out Roger Maris as home-run king, totally legitimately. The New York Yankees "dream team" inspired Americans with good old-fashioned teamwork from 1997-2001. David Beckham became a star. The NHL introduced a ridiculous new rule which they would abolish after it brought extreme controversy in the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals. Fox Sports, after a sudden establishment following their snatching of the NFL rights from CBS (resulting in a Disaster Dominoes situation when they upgraded their affiliate base), introduced a glowing puck for American audiences. This also crashed and burned. The game's greatest player, Wayne Gretzky, retired at the close of the decade. American Gladiators, having debuted at the tail-end of the 80s, came out of nowhere and became a cultural icon with their superhero-esque Gladiators and determined contenders, as well as the frankly-bizarre events (dueling with giant Q-tips, rushing around inside giant metal hamster balls, etc.), with a British version becoming even more successful.

The Dark Age of Comic Books was going strong, and Rob Liefeld was at his peak of popularity as comics became gradually Darker and Edgier, before hitting the brick wall of the comics crash, while the likes of Kingdom Come killed the "Grim and Gritty" mid-decade.

AKIRA, originally released in Japan in 1988, became a surprise cult hit on home video in the West, ushering in an entire generation of anime fandom and helping, along with The Simpsons, to mount a serious offensive against the Animation Age Ghetto. Following in its footsteps, Ghost in the Shell (1995), Princess Mononoke, and Perfect Blue would go on to grab the attention of serious film critics the world over and signal the arrival of adult-oriented animation as an artistic presence. Meanwhile, Pokémon redefined "Cash-Cow Franchise" for millions of children (and adults) around the world. Sailor Moon gave girls strong female heroes to idolize besides Wonder Woman;note  on the flipside, Dragon Ball Z redefined "action cartoon", and would be responsible for more kids taking martial arts than anything since The Karate Kid;* Ranma ½ became the most famous and funniest show to never be able to be shown on US Television.* Slayers and Record of Lodoss War showed the D&D community that Japan was just as nerdy as we are. The Toonami Cartoon Network block was launched, bringing Anime to the viewing options of The Nineties children en masse. Even though it took almost a decade for it to be widely accepted as "mainstream" media in the United States (it was already mainstream in Latin America before that), and its influence should be obvious by now.

Back in Japan, the surprise breakthrough of Neon Genesis Evangelion shook the anime world with its dark Deconstruction of the medium; its unexpected success proved not only a Genre Turning Point but an outright Medium Turning Point, changing the landscape of televised anime forever. TV anime had up until Evangelion been a very mainstream affair, consisting pretty much exclusively of family-oriented shows and adaptations of popular manga, with only the more niche Original Video Animation market trying to push the medium's artistic limits. In Evangelion's wake a torrent of imitators sprung up, attempting (with varying degrees of success) to copy its visceral mecha combat, trippy plot, and unconventional use of Judeo-Christian symbolism. But more importantly, Evangelion also proved that more mature Anime First properties could be profitable on the TV circuit, leading to more original, experimental, and darker shows starting to appear throughout the last half of the decade, the most successful examples of which were The Vision of Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Serial Experiments Lain, The Big O, and Now and Then, Here and There. Still, the new era of more experiential TV-anime started by Evangelion would first truly kick into high gear in the early years of the next decade, and the show's influence would continue to be felt as a constant background hum throughout it. Some argue that Evangelion's shadow even still looms over the anime industry in The New '10s.

The US saw what amounted to a cartoon revolution in this decade. The 80s has seen a somewhat increase in quality from the 60s and 70s, especially on TV, but there were still a lot of issues like Animation Age Ghetto and Limited Animation at play (not to mention that most tv cartoons were Merchandise-Driven, thanks to 80s deregulation). Towards the end of the decade, movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988 and The Little Mermaid in 1989 showed the world an unprecedented return to form, and reminded them that cartoons could be a serious art form. Disney also started releasing TV shows based on their classic characters, like DuckTales (1987) and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, which contained a level of quality never seen on TV before. With this in mind, the 90s saw both Disney and Warner Bros. get back to their roots. Disney started producing lavishly animated films again, like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Their success was more mixed in the latter half of the decade, but still, there’s a reason people tend to call this the Disney Renaissance. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. decided to mostly stick to TV, meaning they made some of the most influential tv shows in history during this time. Under Steven Spielberg himself, Looney Tunes saw a big revival, and their zany style of humor carried over to the insanely popular Animaniacs. On the other end of the spectrum, Bruce Timm and Paul Dini started work on grim and gritty Batman: The Animated Series. Not only did it defy the age ghetto through its amazing writing and dark tone, but it was so popular that it started a whole animated universe of spin-off shows! Finally, as mentioned previously, Pixar came in to its own in the 90s after previously sticking to commercials and special effects. The success of Toy Story, as well as the hit shows Reboot and Beast Wars by Mainframe Entertainment, proved that CGI was the future of animation. The departure of Jeffery Katzenberg from Disney after The Lion King to found DreamWorks Animation only further solidified this idea, not to mention started a rivalry that lasts to this very day.

The Nineties politically started with the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and the Soviet Union dissolving on December 26, 1991, and ended with both the 2000 Presidential election which saw the victory of George W. Bush and the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 which left people so stupefied that it functioned as something of a cultural reset button. Pop-culturally, it started with the release of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on September 10, 1991, and in 1992 with both the rise of Grunge and the emergence of the heroin chic fad and ended with the increased rise of online sharing and when the September 11 terrorist attacks happened making this one of the longest cultural decades. To distinguish the era from the "Turn Of The Millennium", look for the twin towers of the original World Trade Center in establishing shots or title sequences of TV shows and films set in New York City. Of course, this is also true for the 1970s, 1980s, and the very early 2000s. One could argue though that the cultural 1990s instead ended with the rise of Boy Bands in 1997, the premiere of Total Request Live on MTV in 1998, the quashed Seattle rebellion of November 30, 1999, the bursting of the Dot-Com Bubble on March 11, 2000 and subsequent 2001-2002 recession (which marked a jobless turning point for the new generation) or in 2002 when MTV stopped playing music videos.

Because most media is Two Decades Behind, Fictionland ended up being set in this decade in The New '10s, and at the start of The New '20s this decade still looms large in pop culture.

The word "Nineties" means a very different thing in post-Soviet Russia, a thing much more cynical on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism.

Not to be confused with The Gay '90s, which were a century earlier. But these Nineties were probably just as gay.

See Also: The '70s, The '80s, the Turn of the Millennium and The New '10s.

Now has a totally fresh Useful Notes page!


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Tropes associated with the 1990s:

Naturally, a lot of technology tropes due to the rapid pace of technology and the Internet:


Many things were created or existed in the 1990s:

    open/close all folders 


    Asian Animation 

    Comic Strips 

    Eastern Animation 

    Fan Works 



    Pro Wrestling 

Tag Teams and Stables




  • Big Gold Belt: Was mainly used as NWA/WCW's World Title. It made its debut in the WWF on September 1991 when then champion Ric Flair took it with him after having a fallout with NWA, though WWF won't use it until a decade later. The original Cordovan brown strap would be replaced with a new black strap in 1999 (even though, by that point, the original strap had turned black anyway.)
  • Grand Slam Champion: Shawn Michaels became the first ever wrestler to achieve this feat in 1997, both in the WWF/E and pro wrestling in general.
  • Hell in a Cell: The match debuted during the main event of the aforementioned Bad Blood, but the most famous match is considered to be the one from the 1998 King of the Ring.
  • Triple Crown Champion: A lot of wrestlers achieved this feat in the decade.
    • For the WWF/E, Bret Hart became the first wrestler to achieve this feat in 1992. He is then followed by Diesel (1994), Shawn Michaels (1996), Steve Austin (1998) and The Rock (1999).
    • For WCW, Ric Flair became the first wrestler to achieve this feat in January 1991. He is then followed by Lex Luger (also in 1991, July to be precise), Sting (1992), DDP, Goldberg and Bret Hart (all in 1999).

  • See Radio of the 1990s.
  • It was during this time that The Howard Stern Show started to become nationally syndicated and eventually became the highest-rated nationally syndicated morning radio show in most major radio markets the United States.
  • Chris Evan's (in)famous BBC Radio One Breakfast Show from 1995 until 1997. Initially credited with "saving" the station (the hugely popular national station had suffered a drop in listeners following a serious shake-up under Matthew Bannister starting in 1993 in his attempt to re-position Radio One as a "youth" network following two decades of it being a "housewife's favourite"; Evan's show coincided with an upturn in listener numbers) he increasingly became egotistical, dismissive of BBC and general broadcasting guidelines and often took what many thought was a bullying attitude to his on-air colleagues. Things eventually came to a head when he and the rest of his staff refused to come in for a Friday morning show leading to someone else having to cover for him. Evans was subsequently sacked and his career took a long, very slow nosedive which culminated in several flopped attempts at TV "comebacks" in the 2000s. He has now reached middle age, has regained much (if not all) of his former popularity, and hosts the Radio Two Breakfast Show. He apparently regrets many of his past mistakes and behaviour.
  • During this time, Rush Limbaugh became a nationally syndicated star of talk radio who gave the medium an ideological bent that was unchallenged until the middle of the next decade. (Limbaugh also was popular in the mainstream media for a period in this decade, including being given a television show that aired during President Clinton's first term.)
  • This was the decade in which Shock Jock Howard Stern became the "King Of All Media" from his radio base in New York; he set the way for many imitators. (The radio show was also broadcast on TV for a time; something which even Limbaugh could not claim.)
  • Neal Boortz began his show in 1993.
  • Sherlock Holmes (BBC Radio), which began in 1989, continued until 1998.
  • The third installment of the Star Wars Radio Dramas, adapting Return of the Jedi, aired in 1996 after spending a decade in Development Hell thanks to Reagan-era cuts to NPR's funding.
  • Says You! began in 1997.
  • Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me began in 1998.
  • Phoenix (1954)

    Rides and Attractions 

    Tabletop Games 

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • Disneyland Paris opened on April 12, 1992.
    • Blizzard Beach, Walt Disney World's third water park, opened on April 1, 1995.
    • Disney's Animal Kingdom, the fourth theme park of Walt Disney World, opened on April 22, 1998.
  • Action Park continued until 1996.
  • The Howl-O-Scream event first began at Busch Gardens in 1999.
  • Universal Orlando Resort:
    • Universal Studios Florida opened on June 7, 1990.
    • Universal's Halloween Horror Nights had its first year in 1991.
    • Universal's Islands of Adventure opened on May 28, 1999. CityWalk Orlando also opened on the same year.


    TV Documentary 

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 
  • Atheist Professor Copypasta: Originated in 1999.
  • Claus. Launched in 1995.
  • FunBrain. Launched in 1992.
  • The Funday Pawpet Show. Started in 1999.
  • The Legion of Net.Heroes, a superhero parody shared universe which is one of the oldest and longest-running online fiction projects.
    • The LNH also led to the creation of the rec.arts.comics.creative newsgroup for superhero comics-inspired online fiction. It hosted several other shared worlds such as the Patrol, Omega and Academy of Superheroes. Other writing fora from this period include alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo and
  • Neopets. First discussed in 1997, launched on November 15th, 1999.
  • Launched in 1998.
  • Diary of a Camper (1996). The first Machinima ever.
  • Ill Bethisad started in 1997.

Works set, but not made in the decade:

    Anime & Manga 
  • The first and second parts of 5 Centimeters per Second takes place over the course of the 1990s, the movie aired in 2007.
  • 16bit Sensation: Another Layer was made and is set in 2023, but the main character frequently travels back in time to various points during the 90s, when bishoujo games were just taking off and becoming popular.
  • Akiba Maid War: Released in 2022, set in 1999.
  • Another: Originally published in 2009, anime aired in Winter 2012, begins in spring 1998.
  • Ayashimon, started in 2022, is set in 1992.
  • Black Lagoon: Manga started in 2002, anime aired in 2006, set in the early and mid 1990s.
  • Blue Drop: Begins in 1999, manga started in 2004, anime aired in 2007.
  • Chainsaw Man: Chapter 75 reveals that the story takes place in an alternate version of the year 1997. The manga itself began in 2018, with the anime debuting in 2022.
  • Daimos takes place in 1999. It was mentioned that in 1995, the very peace conference that caused the Earth-Baam war took place, and this is further emphasized with the UN setting.
  • Destroy All Humankind. They Can't Be Regenerated. began serialization in 2018 but takes place in 1998; its main focus is the two main characters bonding over Magic: The Gathering, which was becoming popular during that year.
  • The Garden of Sinners: The seven chapters of the anime film series were produced from 2007 to 2009, and set in a time-lapse from 1995 to 1999. It's not meant as a period piece, as the original light novel was published online between October 1998 and August 1999.
  • Future Robot Daltanious: Dr. Earl stated that him and Prince Harlin arrived to Earth during 1945, and set his cryo-sleep device to wake them 50 years later. By then, Earth has fallen to the Zaal's Conquering Alien Prince, Kloppen, and is a shell of its former self.
  • God Mars: 1981-1982 series set in a futuristic 1999.
  • Hi Score Girl began serialization in 2010; the story is set in the nineties, beginning in 1991 when Street Fighter II was released in arcades.
  • Koi Kaze: In one of the last episodes, a note on a 20-year-old says she was born in 1975. The technology in the show also doesn't appear to correspond to when the anime adaptation aired (2004).
  • The Place Promised in Our Early Days is set in an alternate 1999 where the Soviet Union never dissolved and it and the United States partitioned Japan after World War II. The short film itself released in 2004.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Made in 1982, set in a futuristic 1999.
  • Voltes V takes place in the 90s, with an Alien Invasion significantly reshaping history on Earth, and our main character's efforts to stop them.

    Comic Books 


    Films — Animation 
  • The intro scene of Turning Red consists of photos taken mostly in the 90s the first of which is specifically from 1994. In one of the deleted scenes the setup of that aforementioned photo is shown.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • America Is Not the Heart: published 2018, its main plot begins in 1990 and progresses until around 1993, but it has frequent flashbacks and detours that show its characters' past lives going back into The '60s and The '70s.
  • Breaking Point (2002): Published in 2002 and set in the 90s, as evidenced by the mention of dial-up internet.
  • The Cinderella Murder: The novel is set in 2014 outside of the first few chapters and a flashback, though the decade is significant to the plot. Susan, the titular murder victim, attended UCLA in the early 90s and was murdered on Saturday, May 7th 1994. There's some emphasis on the then-budding World Wide Web and associated technology, especially given Susan was studying computer programming at UCLA. Dwight Cook founded REACH the same year Susan died, which was originally built around a revolutionary search engine that made finding information on the internet much easier (although it was later surpassed by more advanced engines like Google).
  • The Electric State takes place in an alternate 1990s where the United States has fallen due to the overuse of VR technology.
  • The last few chapters of Fyra systrar by Solveig Olsson-Hultgren.
  • Fate/Zero
  • Fraternity: Released in 2022, set in the school year of 1991-1992.
  • The Ghost Writer (Starts in 1960s, ends in 1990s)
  • The Harry Potter books (set in 1991-1998). Although only the last four books fit the "Works set, but not made in the decade" category. They are:
  • The Hole We're In: Released in 2010, the first section of the book is set from the early 1990s to 1999.
  • I Think I Love You: The second half is set in 1998.
  • Jacky Ha Ha, published in 2016 and set in 1990.
  • Little Fires Everywhere, published in 2017, set in 1997.
  • Never Let Me Go: Made in 2005, the buildup towards the story's end starts in 1994.
  • Large parts of Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower (2004), the last two books of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, both released in 2004, are set in 1999.
  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: Published in 2020, and is set from 1989 to the mid-1990s.
  • Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: Published in 2022, main characters Sam and Sadie spend most of the decade in high school and college and meet after a long time apart in 1998.
  • Ubik (made in 1969, set in 1992) A case of I Want My Jetpack.
  • Unimaa: Completed in 2021, set in December 1999.
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin: Book-only (the film seems to be set contemporaneously to its release in the 2010s, although it's not made clear.) The book was released in 2003 and Eva writes letters in 2000, but they primarily look back on Kevin's childhood and adolescence, starting in the mid-1980s through to the late 1990s.

    Live-Action TV 




    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Murder by Numbers (2020) is set in 1996 Los Angeles. The setting is most evident by the characters' clothing designs, and SCOUT being a robot whose appearance is steeped in Cassette Futurism.
  • Secret Little Haven takes place in 1999, and is about a teen coming to terms with being a trans girl and finding solace in online fandoms in the late 90s. The entire game has a Retraux style that emulates 90s OSes and Web 1.0 websites.
  • Spirit Hunter: Death Mark is set in the '90s, before cell phones and the Internet are widespread enough to really help the protagonists deal with spirits.
  • Spirit Hunter: NG specifically is set in '99, with Kaoru taking advantage of everyone's doomsday attitude re: Y2K to promote her occult idol gimmick.

  • The Boy in Pink Earmuffs seems to be in this period, based on the presence of floppy disk computer games.
  • Charby the Vampirate starts in 1994, eventually things progress into the 2000s and the current arc is set in 2004.
  • The events of Furry Fight Chronicles take place in 1997, and some background lore about the events prior to the story take place in the same decade.
  • The autobiographical Joe vs. Elan School begins in the mid-to-late 1990s.
  • Nineteen-Ninety-Something quite obviously takes place during it. If the title doesn’t give it away, then the fact that it’s main Schtick is having its characters live through the decade, constantly reference it’s music, movies, tv shows, video games, news events, etc. might give that away.
  • Superego is set sometime in 1995, possibly June 1st.
  • [un]Divine is set in the 90s, with Daniel's birthdate of May 7, 1979 revealing that it's set during 1996 in particular.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

"May the power protect you."


Alternative Title(s): The Networking Nineties, The Nineteen Nineties, The Nineties