What do clear plastic sandals, Taylor Lautner, and the Harlem Shake all have in common?
You forgot about them.
Obscure pop culture trends are a bizarre phenomenon. They erupt from the wilderness of social media to overhaul school assemblies and the pedaled goods of middle school hallways.
Or they're a little bit more legitimate: an actual product that has an incredible two quarters of revenue before a massive drop in sales when everybody moves on to the next best thing.
Or, they're a pop culture anthem or artifact that we all like to emulate, like some line in a hip hop track or a weird catch phrase.
A recent Reddit thread drudged them all up. Strap in for one blast from the past after another.
Alternative_Ad_9598 asked, "What was a huge trend everyone forgot about?"
What Was Happening
"Yik yak" -- gibbsge
"Yik Yak was the shit. Everyone knew what was going on on campus within seconds. People within the same classes used it to sh**-talk professors and cheat on tests."
"It's too bad people had to ruin it with death-threats and such which kind of forced Yik Yak to make it non-anonymous, killing the appeal it had in the first place."
"As a commuting student at the time it was key for me to keep up with the happenings and drama around campus." -- Nikflame
Never Made it to the Olympics
"Cup stacking...what was that all about?" -- Emotional-Fruit
"Holy sh**. I forgot about that! Our school made us do cup stacking in gym for a few weeks." -- AllUrFail
"My elementary school had a cup stacking competition and I got 1st place....I've already peaked" -- Yumina23
An Excellent Marketing Strategy
"Yo-yos who was that motherfu*ker that came to my school? And why did he do a sales pitch for Yo-yos? And why did so many of us buy them?" -- istilldontreddit
"Fast Eddie. I can't remember but I'm sure he wore a track suit." -- mydogisamy
"Wow I thought that was just a weird thing that my school did, I had no idea that the yo-yo guy had established global domination." -- scherrzando
Not Gone, But Niche
"Cell phones that worked like walkie talkies" -- ThoughtIWasDale
"These were very big for contractors. People on sites used these all the time; they almost became a requirement for any builder." -- culb77
"This functionality is in an app now. We have them at work. It sucks compared to the old hard button on the Nextel phones, but it works." -- jinxes_are_pretend
An Engine of Middle School Entrepreneurship
"Silly bands" -- u_asked_i_answered
"they died because every school banned them" -- Bigchango69
"Holy sh** I forgot about those. There was a silly band trading black market at my elementary school lmao" -- zirzeal
Everybody Was Into It, Whether We Liked it or Not
"Flash mobs. I miss the awkwardness of school teachers and office managers to entice others to join." -- gozba
"My boss made us do this one year, as a kind of bucket list for herself before she retired. I had scheduled the day off since it was my birthday so I was hoping I had a gracious out to skip it."
"Instead, she told me if I came for the flash mob I'd get the rest of the day off with pay and I wouldn't have to use a vacation day."
"It was exactly as awkward as I expected but the 20 minutes was worth it for 8 hours pay." -- othybear
Hell of a Year
"Planking and YOLO." -- Cheetodude625
"Yolo is one of those words I started saying ironically but to this day I keep saying it from time to time because it unintentionally became part of my vocabulary." -- Kea_birdy
"My mom has a three page scrapbook spread of me and my friends planking all around the town when we were 13." -- buzzybee3333
Zombies in Hoodies
"I'll never forget the summer Pokémon Go came out. Everybody and their grandparents were playing it, all the parks were full of people just talking and meeting each other."
"I hate to sound boomer-y but it made me remember what life was like before smartphones, which is ironic I guess because an app made it happen."
"I wish more technology had the goal of getting people active and outside and interacting with others."
A Polarizing Figure
"Furbies, absolutely needed to have one and when it woke up in the middle of the night I was over it." -- Jaegek
"So I finally get to tell this story. I had a furby as a kid. The thing learned my name. You also could not turn them off so it would randomly talk throughout the day and night."
"It's batteries started to die so it sounded weird to say the least. So one night, at ~3am, I'm about Seven years old. I hear, in this demonic sounding voice from my closest, say my f***ing name."
"The furby was evicted from my room after that." -- The_Titam
Blow Up, Fade Away
"LMFAO. LMFAO may be a total trainwreck of a music group, but they were also everywhere in 2011-2013."
"You couldn't turn on the radio without hearing 'I'M SEXY AND I KNOW IT!' played five times in the span of 30 minutes, and 'PARTY ROCKERS IN THE HOUSE TONIGHT!' was a line scream-sung at any night club."
Today it seems like going out to eat is more about the aesthetic than it is the taste. Food doesn't exist solely to be posted about on Instagram, and it seems like a lot of people are missing that. Other times, things are just unnecessary, unhealthy, or just plain gross. Here are some of the food trends that many wish would just stop.
u/fallen_narcc asked: Which food trend should stop right away?
Gross or classy?
Putting gold leaf on your food.
Or worse, eating those golden pills that make your poop golden colored.
Do it for the aesthetic.Giphy
Milkshakes with a tower of crap on top and no feasible way to actually consume it.
Burgers that are bigger than any normal person's mouth. Give me a burger that I can actually eat and it'll always taste better.
Searches for a recipe for pasta sauce
clicks on one that looks good
"It was the spring of 1997 and I had been selected for a study abroad program in Naples. scroll scroll scroll The food reminded me of the wonderful Sunday dinners my Nonna would prepare scroll scroll scroll She was a small woman, but feisty. I think her spirit ..."
Just gimmie the godd*mned recipe already.
What the heck?
Deconstructed. Had deconstructed bacon mac & cheese which was just a pile of bacon, cheese, and macaroni. It was pretty bad. A friend had Deconstructed Corned Beef Hash at a restaurant here in Seattle that sounded even worse.
Teeny tiny $12 cocktails. The problem is they're usually really good, but you get like 3 sips.
Just to chime in since I used to be one of the people who came up with drinks like this for a cocktail bar. Pricing was first based on the cost of the drink, then time it takes to make it, and then sensory presentation. For example we had a drink that contained 4 ingredients totaling about $9.00 which could be made in 2 minutes that was a real full experience. That would go for 13-15$ depending on the shift.
Almost all the bar money was made from beer and single liquor+mixer drinks, good cocktails are pretty damn expensive to make.
Sounds like a horrible idea.
Eating activated charcoal is a particularly bad idea if you need some kind of medication to get through the day in one piece.
Sooo bad for you.
Recipes that say "sugar free" or "butter free" but then use five tons of sucralose and margarine (which BTW is far worse than butter)
Ugh!! The cafeteria where I work is trying more and more vegan, gluten free, healthy options. The problem is the vegan/ gluten free baking is god awful, and full of artificial sweeteners and fake butter and it just makes me feel like crap.
Too much sugar in everything. I have no use for spaghetti sauce that's about as sweet as a soft drink.
This is why I'd rather pour a can of Cento diced tomatoes over some macaroni than buy canned pasta sauce. My daughter thinks it is weird, but I like the taste of good tomatoes, not sugar.
Taking regular, cheap Middle Eastern food, hiking up the price, and marketing it as health food. Things like couscous, tahina, chickpeas, rose water, and falafels are cheap AFat Middle Eastern stores so why the hell would you buy a crappier, smaller version for five times the price at some pretentious health food store?
That's a load of BS.
Treating agave syrup as a health food. Mass harvesting it wrecks the local ecosystem. Plus, at the end of the day, it has similar fructose content as corn syrup.
I overheard someone say that it was better for diabetics than sugar. Nope. Still sugar, and their BS will make my BS higher than a guy in a burning hemp field.
Anything designed solely for Instagram photos and not for actually eating - Unicorn anything, frappe's with more cream than actual coffee, massive versions of foods that will not be eaten unless you have an entire group (or a swimmer) with you, you get the idea
Boba IS life.
Bubble tea/Boba, it's gotta stop.
Sure it's good, but at what cost? The sugar level in each drink is insane, the calories alone from a drink reaches 400+ calories, especially the super thick one that has 1000+ calories.
Now there's so much variations it's hard to keep up, and there's a huge mix of good and shitty ones that it's become like coffee shops.
Boba is not life.
Hey, spicy is good!
I'm seeing more and more spicy options at restaurants, even items that have no business being spicy. As someone who thinks medium Tostitos salsa is far too spicy, it's kind of annoying.
Your chicken bacon ranch + loaded veggie pizza option sounds great until I get to the part where it's chipotle pizza sauce...
Also, food delivery services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron. The packaging waste is a travesty.
Doesn't sound satisfying.Giphy
The "satisfying" videos of cake being cut open and pure chocolate liquid running out of the middle like blood. There is no way in hell that's edible.
Any of the items that are meant to be "luxury" food or something that is 100% overindulgent. You should feel like sh*t if you're buying a tiny plate of some item or another for hundreds of dollars. I don't care if it's well-made or unique ingredients, it's stupid.
And with overindulgent food, I saw an ice cream sandwich recipe that was an entire box of Oreos, crushed and made into patties, fried, then frozen. Then ice cream was placed between the two pieces. It SERVED ONE PERSON!
Trends are never meant to last forever. They're always temporary, whether it's the horrible fashion of the early 2000's, or fidget spinners, or any number of outdated memes, trendy things are not built to last. And usually, that's for the best. Here are some trends that are better off left in the past.
u/KingMjolnir asked: What's a trend that you're glad died out?
Keep Calm and blank
Keep calm and mindlessly regurgitate popular sayings until they have lost all semblance of their original meaning.
I mustache you a question.Giphy
That weird obsession with mustaches printed on everything.
What was up with that? They did it with tacos too.
Those Alvin and the Chipmunk remixes. God imagine those high pitched voices haunting you at night.
I was at a coffee shop during the holidays, and a Chipmunks version of a Christmas song came on. The barista slammed down the cup she was holding and went "ALEXA SKIP" at full volume. I died of laughter.
Don't forget coning.
Throwing milkshakes back at drive through workers then driving away.
Also throwing jugs of milk onto the ground at grocery stores. They weren't funny, they were just a**holes.
That song will haunt me forever.Giphy
There was a 2-year span in the late 90's when every single movie had "Who Let the Dogs Out" in it's soundtrack.
As in, "They make a great couple. The only problem is... He's a puppet! whaaa I feel good..."
This is still happening?
Those stupid "scientifically-backed" athletic wrist bands that were meant to do things like maintain your balance when they were glorified placebos.
Just last week we witnessed these creatures in the wild, attempting to spread their influence. They flagged down my husband. Tested his balance, which was slightly funny because their attempt to push my husband off-balance failed. "Hmmm, you're more balanced than most people." They gave him the bracelet. No discernible difference that I could see.
They want to show my husband their "evidence" that the bracelet works, and he happily agrees. Cue propaganda about curing back pain and pregnancy aches and your credit score, probably. And then comes the point where I had to walk away:
Them: Oh, like Himalayan salt lamps.
Me: Oh, sh*t, they don't know he's sarcastic.
They kept talking. FOREVER. And my husband's story just keeps getting worse. The pyramid has an eye on it and monitors him when he leaves the house, in order to protect him no matter where he is, etc. In the end, he politely declined buying a bracelet, because "the pyramid is all I will ever need."
Chunky highlights, overplucking eyebrows into that sperm shape and using concealer as lipstick.
Ah yes. "Foundation lips" we called it in the UK.
That was....a lot.Giphy
In 2016 when those f*cking clowns ran around scaring people.
Time goes by way too fast.
Those were actually kind of cool.
Fidget spinners. My kids wasted SO much allowance on those things. Now they're collecting dust under beds and furniture across the nation.
I'm sure you can pick them up cheaply in volume. There are warehouses full of these, snap bracelets, and pogs.
Mine is still the Halloween 3 theme song.
Ringtones on phones, especially those annoying custom ones you'd have to listen to multiple times a day at the office or elsewhere. Now you rarely hear a phone ring and when you do it's something basic.
Man, I remember in high school being so hype to record the chorus of a song I downloaded on Limewire to use as my crush's ringtone. Now when I hear my phone ring, I cringe and yell at myself for turning my volume on.
You never really know when you're in the throes of a fad or a phase. You're spending a ton of time enjoying yourself. Most of the time trends seem like they're going to be around forever. However when we look back we are always shocked by our lack of awareness. Who really thought fanny packs and socks with sandals were fashion forward? Thank the Lord for cycles. An end will always follow.
Redditor u/cy5266 wanted to compare notes with everyone to see what fads we're thrilled are in the past by asking.... redditors, what's a trend that you're really glad has died out?
not so much.....Giphy
Keep calm and... posters. It was cool the first couple times I saw it. The next 5000, not so much. Curious-Kaleidoscope
When I was a kid in the 1980s, there was this weird vandalism in public buses, some craphead hooligans would take a knife and cut into the seats so much that all the stuff was coming out, it looked absolutely repulsive. Back then, most seats in public transport buses were fake leather + stuffing, and sometimes half of them were gutted.
It died out somehow after 1990. The last cut up bus seat that I remember was like 1993 or so. DefenestrationPraha
"who's here watching in 2020"
"First" comments used to be everywhere, but I haven't seen one in ages. Does every commenting feature in the internet now automatically reject them? Blando-Cartesian
To be replaced by "who's here watching in 2020" posted to some Youtube video that's like 1 year old. lipsweater
I am sad to say that for my birthday party, either in sixth or seventh grade, can't remember, I had a My Little Pony mustache themed birthday party, and I got cups with the ponies on it and drew custom mustaches on every one. Filled 'em up with candy and fake mustaches and gave it out as a part favor. Even the cake had ponies with mustaches on it. Not to mention it was at Roller Palace, so that's a thing. So glad it's over now lol. harvestwheat27
"Cray cray".... anonymousladyvotes
"That's cray cray!"
"Dad, never say that again. Just don't." tweakingforjesus
Those Facebook games that people would play and invite you to. FarmVille, the one with the mafia or whatever, etc. Corporate-Asset-6375
That thing where people get out from moving cars and dance on the road.
Had no idea how many people qualified for a Darwin award until I saw that trend go viral. Onceabanana
Making cartoons looks gangster. Like bugs bunny with a pistol or spongebob with chains and a gold grill. Saying same to everything was so annoying too. Espada_6
I can't even imagine a non-gangster Tweety-bird anymore. MarkHirsbrunner
Using tanning beds. Maybe it hasn't died out completely, but usage has dropped significantly thanks mostly to education on the risks of developing skin cancer. lifewitheleanor
I don't know how there's people that freely venture into those things, I developed a mad fear of those from some horror movie where the woman literally fried in one of them, not to mention how claustrophobic they look. LeMetalhead
built to die.....Giphy
Trends are built to die. It's considered cool by people who do it when it's brand new, but eventually they decide to make fun of the people who follow along just because they can. Honest_Man_76
Another dating term was added to the American lexicon before closing out the year and there is no way to describe it other than to say it is so 2019.
If an ex suddenly comes-a-knockin' and wanting something from you, you were "cause-played."
While they sound similar, "cosplay" is different from "cause-play."
Cosplay is a portmanteau of the words: costume and play, and applies towards fans dressing up as their favorite characters.
Cause-play is antithetical to "ghosting" in that the reprobate who abruptly stopped all forms of communication without explanation suddenly re-emerges with an ulterior motive.
There's a new dating-term people are using now: "cause-playing" to look out for in 2020 by basically means when som… https://t.co/QlpgUWzDfg— KPRS - Hot 103 Jamz (@KPRS - Hot 103 Jamz)1577383219.0
The Plenty of Fish blog listed cause-playing as:
"When a casual relationship fizzles out, only to have one person later circle back with a favor to ask (usually about supporting a good cause)."
Examples would include an ex asking you to donate to their charities like Kickstarter or to sponsor them in a marathon.
I just noticed that an ex-girlfriend set up a GoFundMe account for her wedding expenses. Yes, I definitely dodged a bullet there.— Sensedog 🇺🇸 (@Sensedog 🇺🇸)1430142138.0
Lee, a co-host for the Say Bible podcast, is all-too familiar with the tacky tactic after having been a victim.
She told The Huffington Post:
"I got this request several months after he told one of my friends how stupid he felt for messing things up with me."
"I didn't contact him. Communication is not a skill I can endorse in good conscience."
"Perhaps I have selective memory, but I'd like to think I've never cause-played someone myself."
"In general good, bad or ghost, I like to stay far away from my exes. Even those I maintained a semi-platonic friendship with, I don't want to give any mixed signals or feel on the hook by asking favors."
Here is another example of a cause-playing victim.
But instead of being asked for a donation, this victim was asked for job leads.
Alex Ludwig, a student from San Antonio, Texas, told HuffPo.
"My ex and I had been broken up for roughly three months before he texted me asking if my dad, a landscaper, had any jobs available."
"We had actually ended on decent terms, but not to the point where I would feel comfortable having him work for my family."
The ex was not granted any gardening gigs, but at least Ludwig gave him the courtesy of a response.
"I honestly didn't bother asking my father and just told my ex that he didn't and wished him luck."
adding my ex on linkedin to endorse him for cheating— lil sewer rat (@lil sewer rat)1560453409.0
Alessandra Conti—a celebrity matchmaker in Los Angeles who didn't mind endorsing an ex who cause-played her for a podcast endorsement—said the trend isn't always deplorable if the break-up ended amicably.
"If you're breaking up and want to remain acquaintances for work, you should verbalize that then."
"It makes it a lot more acceptable to cause-play them in the future."
However, Conti believes that if the relationship went down in flames, the ex is better off asking someone else to help with their cause.
"It comes off as being desperate and careless, and truly diminishes the cause that you are trying to promote, even if the cause you're involved in is wonderful."
"You might not be trying to hurt the person you dated―you're just attempting to utilize your network―but wow, are you going about it the wrong way."
According to PoF, 61% of singles broke up with someone who later had the nerve to ask for a favor.
The PoF members they polled in November were ages 18 - 50, with 56% identifying as male and 44% identifying as female.