Life Lessons learned from 90s TV shows: The truth and blatant lies

There was a lot to learn from 90s shows, stick with me as I count them down!

1. Abuse of male authority figures is hilarious and goes mostly unpunished.

Ug Lee the camp counselor, Principal Belding, Uncle Phil, Mr. Lippman, Principal Schwinger, Carl Winslow….the list goes on and on. Endless pranks, verbal and emotional abuse and utter disregard for any rules put in place and yet these guys seem to forgive, forget and come back for more. No bigger lie has been told by television! Park the principal’s new car on the roof of the high school and you WILL go to jail, friends. These men were still a prime figure in 90s shows regardless.

2. The more layers the better!

It took a long time for a girl to get dressed in the 90’s. Bodysuit, leggings, denim skirt, flannel shirt, slouch socks, doc Martins, minimum of three scrunci’s, and a choker. The layers you were rocking were directly related to how cool you were. This life lesson…. absolutely true.

3. Having a giant watch clock and/or a traffic signal in your bedroom = instant popularity.

Seriously, why else would so many people want to hang out with Mike Seaver or DJ Tanner? If I could find these things today I would put them in my room and finally feel like one of the cool kids. If only my life was as cool as the characters in 90s shows..

watch clock, funky hats, spotted trunk, window seat, teenage boy…Clarissa had the ultimate 90’s bedroom.

4. Absentee parents aren’t so bad

Where the heck was Zach Morris’s dad anyway? Who cares?! Zach had the coolest room, the greatest clothes and a frickin CELLULAR TELEPHONE! Whatever it is you’re doing, Zach’s Dad, just keep on doing it. The Tanner girls’ mom was never around but that’s because she was a saint who died of being too beautifully angelic. I’m surprised there wasn’t a candlelit shrine to the woman in Danny’s immaculate bedroom. As a matter of fact when Will Smith’s dad bounced he got a new rich one and a mansion in Bel-Air! Leaving was the best thing he could have done for his son…now he’s a multi million dollar grossing movie star! Hey, kids- missing a parental unit? No worries, someone will step in and overcompensate or at the very least you’ll get double Christmases and birthdays!

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This life lesson- way off. I myself was lucky enough to grow up with both parents but I knew many people who didn’t and it was never a cool situation. 90s shows taught us that even without both parents we can still grow up to be honorable individuals.

What do you mean people aren’t really frozen when I call time out directly into the camera!?

5. Adolescent boys and girls can be totally platonic BFF’s.

If there’s one thing Clarissa explained to me it was that your guy BFF could have 24 hr access to your bedroom and not only would your parents be cool with it but nothing of an inappropriate nature would ever occur! Oh wait, it turns out that’s a total and complete lie. (Source: my guy bff that my father chased down the stairs after catching him in my room.) Thanks for nothing, Clarissa.

6. Parent’s love having heart to heart’s with their kids. Like all the time. Let’s sit on your bed or on the front porch or at the kitchen table and talk about deep stuff and no one will feel awkward because we are so close and comfortable.

Lie. Total Lie. I’ve been on both sides of the fence on this one. As a kid listening to my parents stumble through an awkward sex or death conversation and thinking “just stop talking please.” And as a parent wishing that I had a script to read from.

mom isn’t here to show me how to use tampons, dad. Can we talk about it?

7. Bigger is better!

Tease it, flip it, blow it, feather it, spray it then do it all again for good measure. From Uncle Jesse, and Randy Taylor to DJ Tanner, Elaine Benes and Rachel Green. 90’s hair was a glorious thing and although it’s dated I have to admit I still rock a ponytail with just the two face framing pieces. Solid lesson.

8. Less is more aka why guys love the girl next door.

The most desirable female characters in 90’s shows weren’t always who you expected.
Joey (Dawson’s Creek), Topanga (Boy Meets World), Ellen (Pete and Pete), Angela (My So Called Life), none of these girls were particularly gorgeous. 90s shows had no lack of women full of personality. Other than fresh faces, long natural hair and generally sweet dispositions there’s nothing in particular that stands out as a man magnet but every guy in my middle and high school was crazy for these girls and if they’re being honest with you they would tell you they still are. Life lesson….guys enjoy looking at shiny glossy things but they don’t like to be intimidated by women. Nine times out of ten they will go for the down to earth girl. True story.

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Doesn’t even try; wins the heart of every geek in the Creek.

9. Public school teachers are available for council 24/7-365.

I think it started with Ms. Bliss (reach way back in your Saved By The Bell memories for that reference) inviting students into her home just to hang out after school hours, before school hours, during the summer and well, pretty much whenever they wanted to whine about being a super attractive tween or whatever was happening in Bayside. Then onto Mr. Feeny who actually went from being the principal to being a teacher who followed his students to college, not to mention the fact that he lived right next door and was available for insightful statements at all hours. Speaking of Boy Meets World- remember the season where Mr. Turner, the too cool English teacher let Shawn move in with him? I won’t even go into Pacey’s memorable experience with his teacher. Life lesson….yeah this one is total b.s. If you have a teacher who is this open to spending time with you as a student- run away. Quickly. And tell a trusted adult.

if you know that your teacher has a set of coffee mugs with chickens on them it’s too late for you.

10. At some point someone will offer you “speed.” And it WILL end badly.

I was never sure what the little white pills were that seemed to float from sitcom to sitcom. The ones that made Jessie Spano study and work out until she burst into tears in the arms of Zach Morris (refer to #5) or made Carlton bust so many awesome moves at the school dance that he landed in the hospital. Was it no-doz? Was it Ritalin? Where were these kids getting the pills and why were they so willing to share them? Life lesson…. completely bogus. As a legal user of ADD meds I can now tell you that if they had become hooked on those mystery pills all of those kids would have wound up with engineering degrees from Harvard.

11. Embrace the weird characters in your neighborhood.

Most of us can think of at least one of those people. A guy or a lady who wanders around. Sometimes they talk to you, sometimes just stare at you. It can be unsettling or funny and most of the time you just get used to it. I don’t personally know anyone who freely invited that character into their home but every week I watched and laughed with delight as Cosmo Kramer, cousin Cody , and Artie- the strongest MAN….in the world, burst into scene after scene dropping insane wisdom in one breath and complete idiocy in the next. This is a lesson that I’m torn about. I’m not saying that you should hand a spare key to your moocher neighbor however, if you think really hard I’m pretty sure we all have that one friend that we wonder about sometimes but we keep them around because they make our lives really interesting.

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