There’s something about a throwback we just can’t get enough of. Between Cruel Summer’s constant 90’s vibes and a Friend’s reunion we couldn’t love more, we’re thinking about all the things we loved about the last decade of the 20th century. No high-speed internet. Butterfly clips. Overuse of the phrase “as if.” This decade was nothing if not memorable. Today we’re talking about a few throwbacks you can indulge that will have you feeling the 90s vibes even more.

Reading

What’s better than reading a post-apocalyptic novel written in the 90s about the year 2025 by one of the most profound black, female sci-fi writers of her time? Nothing. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler was released in 1993, but it begs to be revisited in today’s current circumstances. This novel is haunting in the wake of 2020, but also, completely captivating as it unveils a world plagued by corruption, greed, and climate change. Butler comes off as more of a fortune-teller than a storyteller as she depicts a dark future and explores the blessing and curse of empathy. Add this throwback to your summer reading pile or “talk to the hand!”

Watching

One thing Netflix has done is allowed us to watch movies made in other parts of the world. And if you’re looking for something with that 90’s nostalgia bomb vibe, the Thai movie Back to the 90s just might satisfy your craving. Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul will steal your heart in sweet time travel about a boy who goes back to his parents’ high school experience in the 90s and attempts to save their failing, future marriage. If you need something light, cute and enjoy the foreign film selection at Netflix, this one is “all that and a bag of potato chips.”

Listening

We’re all suckers for crime podcasts. It’s very out there in the open and we admit it willingly. To some extent, it can be hard to find a good one because there are too many to choose from these days. Simone Taylor’s 90s Crime Time will give you a fresh take on a fan favorite by covering some of the most salacious events of the 1990s. From theft to kidnapping to murder, she covers all the bases and all the cultural caveats of the decade. Named one of the Top True-Crime Podcasts of 2021 by Cosmopolitan and Newsweek, we know it will hook you like it has everyone else. Every episode will have you saying “Oh snap!”

Learning 

In 1992, The Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko was a groundbreaking novel that taught the world more than they could have imagined about Indigenous culture over a 500-year span. A heartbreaking, fascinating history of the Americas is interwoven into an intricately crafted novel. The exploration of trauma inflicted on natives by colonizers and the atrocities on which modern society was built is a lesson we can all still learn from today.

“To read this book is to hear the voices of the ancestors and spirits telling us where we came from, who we are, and where we must go.” —Maxine Hong Kingston

We’re “totally buggin’” about all the ways we can dive into the ’90s while informing our today. Sometimes the best thing anyone can do to move forward is to look back at the lessons we’ve already been given. 

We’ve officially run out of 90’s catchphrases, but we know there is even more 90’s entertainment and lessons to be learned. Share your favorite throwbacks below!