It’s never too soon to indulge in a little nostalgia. If you came of age in the ’00s—or even the late ’90s—you probably have fond memories of trucker hats, iPod Shuffles, and new episodes of Drake and Josh.
We’re here to ruin some of those treasured memories. We spoke with a few ’00s kids and looked into some of the era’s most infamous trends.
1. Razor scooters were fun—but remarkably dangerous.
Let’s start with one of the dumber toy trends of the ’00s. Foot-powered scooters were everywhere, especially Razor scooters, which were built for awesome tricks like “jump three inches in the air” and “spin the handlebars slightly and then turn them back before you fall down.” Unfortunately, there was also a dark side.
“My mom actually fell off of my Razor scooter and had to go to the emergency room,” a 31-year-old musician tells Urbo. “I don’t think they’re more dangerous than any other scooter, but I never saw anyone strapping on a helmet to go on a Razor scooter ride, and that’s pretty dumb.”
In 2014, a study on toy-related injuries found that ride-on toys like scooters accounted for 34.9 percent of injuries and 42.5 percent of hospital visits from 1990–2011. Researchers found that injuries increased over that time period.
“Much of the increase in the overall toy injury rate after 1999 is due to foot-powered scooters,” said Gary Smith, the study’s senior author, in a statement. “I will say that I’ve never seen anything like it in my career.”
To their credit, Razor has a page on their site set up to promote safer riding habits, and we don’t think there’s anything wrong with the design, per se; if you’re going to ride around on a two-wheeled scooter, you’re going to occasionally fall down.
Still, we’re glad that today’s kids aren’t into anything that dumb.
Oh, right. Never mind.
2. “Twilight” was fun and all, but it eventually caused “50 Shades of Grey”.
“I was on Team Edward,” a 22-year-old St. Louis student tells us. “Nobody was really on Team Jacob. They might have thought Jacob was hotter, but there was no reason to…wait, I’m getting too into this.”
You might have been on Team Edward or Team Jacob, but author Stephenie Meyer was on Team Money. Twilight ushered in a sparkly new era of Gothic fiction, ruling the latter half of the aughts and launching an incredibly successful film franchise. The books broke sales records, while the films grossed more than $2.5 billion globally.
We could pick apart the plot of the Twilight movies, but that feels slightly unfair since they were intended for a young adult audience. However, we can’t forgive the franchise for launching Fifty Shades of Grey.
No, we’re not talking about thematic similarities: Fifty Shades author E.L. James literally began writing her erotic thriller as a Twilight fanfiction story called “Master Of The Universe.” Early drafts of her first manuscript are still floating around online. Some paragraphs are essentially identical to paragraphs Fifty Shades of Grey, but with the names Edward and Bella in place of Anastasia and Christian.
In any case, it worked. In 2013, James was the world’s top-earning author, according to Forbes. We wonder how Meyer feels about that.
3. “Jackie Chan Adventures” had a terrible secret.
Okay, this isn’t that terrible, but it could certainly ruin your childhood for a few hours. You’ve been warned.
Jackie Chan Adventures was a surprisingly complex cartoon show with a rich mythology, and from 2000 to 2005, it was must-see-TV for ’00s kids. In each episode, Jackie and his family would try to capture a mystical talisman, inevitably encountering demon sorcerer Shendu. At the end of each episode, the real Jackie Chan would answer questions from fans.
Unfortunately, that was Chan’s only real involvement with the show. The animated Jackie Chan was voiced by actor James Sie.
It makes sense—Chan was a pretty major actor in the early ’00s, so of course he wouldn’t have taken the time to voice his own character in 95 episodes of a kids’ cartoon series—but we’re still slightly heartbroken.
The good news: A reboot of Jackie Chan Adventures is reportedly on the way. We doubt that Chan will voice his own character this time around, either, but we’re still cautiously optimistic.
4. While we’re on the subject, remember Lilo from “Lilo & Stitch”?
Of course you do.
Lilo & Stitch was notable for several reasons. It featured Hawaiian characters, which was fairly progressive for a Disney movie in 2002, and it was a modest success, grossing $145 million domestically. It also launched a franchise, with several direct-to-DVD sequels and a Disney Channel television show.
Oh, and Lilo was a ghost. Not literally, but her voice actor, Daveigh Chase, also played Samara Morgan in The Ring.
That feeling when you realise that the girl who played Samara in The Ring was also the voice of Lilo in Lilo & Stitch… childhood improved? pic.twitter.com/xvXP2HDRoq
— Lazy Masquerade 👹 (@LazyMasquerade) November 23, 2016
We’re not sure whether this revelation ruins The Ring, Lilo & Stitch, or both movies, but it definitely changes something.
5. All things considered, Tom from MySpace was a pretty solid friend.
You can see his profile picture now, can’t you?
For especially young readers, we’ll set the scene (and we definitely mean “scene” as a pun). The year is 2006, and you’ve heard about an exciting new website where you can interact with friends. It’s called MySpace, and it’s the first social network that allows you to combine your AFI fandom with your love of sparkly GIFs.
You’re not quite sure where to start. What do you do on a social network when you don’t have any friends? Fortunately, you’re in luck: By signing up to the site, you’ve already made one.
Tom—full name, Tom Anderson—was that friend. The co-founder of MySpace, he was in everyone’s “top friends list” during the site’s heyday, giving a friendly smile that never changed.
What happened to Tom? Unsurprisingly, he sold MySpace and retired. These days, he travels, takes photographs, and posts them on Instagram. Yes, he’s still using his old profile photo.
Honestly, we really miss Tom’s approach. Sure, he put his picture right in the middle of your MySpace page, but that’s pretty much the worst thing he ever did. We could use more friends like Tom.
6. The “High School Musical” franchise was way bigger than you’re remembering.
“Don’t say anything bad about High School Musical,” a 21-year-old student tells us. “That was middle school for me.”
We can’t bring ourselves to badmouth this Disney made-for-TV classic, but we’ll let film critic Scott Weiberg do our dirty work.
When im sad i play the high school musical playlist on spotify and life is great again
— Laura !!! 👱🏼♀️ (@lauraisfab) April 7, 2018
“I saw a schmaltzy little piece of obvious fluff that’s directed in truly horrendous fashion and populated by cardboard characters who spit out simplistic platitudes and breathy pop tunes,” Weiberg wrote back in 2006. “If I were 10 years old, I might have seen something different.”
Look, we can’t think of many ’00s kids’ movies that would get great reviews from adults. It doesn’t really matter; High School Musical was a massive success, attracting 7.7 million viewers and earning Disney about $1 billion in 2006 and 2007. Its two sequels were also massively successful.
But perhaps our fond memories of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens are making us forgetful, because we definitely didn’t remember High School Musical: The Ice Tour, an ice show that made the rounds back in 2007. We also purposely forgot about High School Musical: Get in the Picture, a reality show that ran on ABC in 2008. How about the direct-to-DVD Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure from 2011?
Disney also put out region-specific High School Musical films in China, Argentina, and Brazil. There was also a concert tour, a stage musical (duh), and six—yes, six—video games.
If that’s not enough, you can always look forward to High School Musical 4, which is reportedly in production. Although this is just a fan-made trailer, you can probably look forward to a genuine one in the coming months.
And people say that Disney milks its franchises.
7. Xbox Live was a pretty brutal place…but it could have been worse.
In 2002, Microsoft launched Xbox Live, changing online gaming forever. If you had an Xbox in the early aughts, you remember playing Halo into the wee hours of the morning while sucking down Mountain Dew Code Red and eating handfuls of French Toast Crunch. Sure, it wasn’t healthy, but it was a lot of fun.
In retrospect, Xbox Live wasn’t such a great place for kids. Anyone could log on anonymously and say anything, and most of what they said wasn’t great; Xbox Live was a hotbed of racism, sexism, and homophobia.
Granted, that’s true of any online gaming service, and Microsoft certainly makes efforts to improve the quality of its online community. Sometimes, those efforts go too far; in 2010, the company suspended an Xbox player because his profile listed his location as Fort Gay, West Virginia.
Fort Gay is, of course, a real place, but Microsoft’s customer service team needed proof (apparently not the kind you find on Google or a map). Eventually, the town’s mayor got involved. The suspension was eventually revoked, but the message was clear: Microsoft takes online gaming seriously.
Perhaps a little too seriously.