I was sitting on my laptop, trying to brainstorm friendly jokes that could make my articles as humorous as they are interesting. As I was writing about my siblings, my mom lit a candle that made me think of summertime and memories that I’d relive any day if it were possible. Suddenly this idea popped into my head, and I thought, “Hey, let’s bring on the feels for some, and maybe conflicting memories for others, as we take a little, teeny-tiny step back in time.”
A Poetic List of Things That Bring on Childhood Nostalgia (mine, at least) Like a Tsunami
Who can deny the rush of a Pokémon battle? I watched the movies and the show for years and I still buy the games. I have no shame. Wanna swap trainer cards?
My friend and I grew up together. She had a dollhouse in her room, just plain wood, unpainted. We didn’t play with dolls, but she had huge crates of plastic Pokémon figurines. Our characters had more drama than a soap opera. Once, Charizard was dating Ninetales, but Ninetales was pregnant with someone else’s baby.
We never found out who the father was.
- The Magic School Bus
Whether you liked Ms. Frizzle or not, one thing is absolutely certain: I relate to her hair issues.
I’m with you, girl. Besides, I’m a fan of her passion for travel and her work ethic.
- Bill Nye
- Spongebob SquarePants
I’ve always appreciated how most of us millennials (some older, some younger) have always been able to loosely crack Spongebob jokes that we all understand. Like, “haha, yeah, ‘me hoy minoy.’”
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I still watch Spongebob from time to time, so…
- Tim Allen
Whether it be the Santa Clause or that movie he starred in where he turned into a dog, Tim Allen is a classically late 90s/early 2000s actor that makes me think of Christmas time (thanks to his Santa Clause franchise), more often than not.
(How creepy looking is that?)
- The old Nickelodeon logo
Can you believe they changed it?!? I could say the Disney logo too, but personally, the orange splat was more iconic (to me) when I was growing up.
Also, follow-up Nick things… Let’s not forget Nicktoons Network. That was a biggie for me.
- ALL THINGS DISNEY
As a fan of all things Disney, this had to be on the list. Never too old, people— I asked for a Disney ticket for my 19th birthday. I think of my first Disney trip, my Disney cruise, my high school senior trip. If I could live anywhere, it would be Cinderella Castle.
I could elaborate a lot more, but I realize it would be useless for me to just rave about Disney for 6 or 60 more pages, so I’ll leave you with Ariel Thornberry (The Wild Thornberrys, bonus!), instead.
- Certain candles
Depending on the person, certain scents may elicit different feelings. Some good, some bad; for me, it’s Bath & Bodyworks Mahogany Teakwood. It reminds me of a crappy boy. Eh, what can you do?
- Josh Groban
This is just a me thing I think, but I get the weirdest sense of homey-ness when Josh Groban is singing to me in Italian, IDK?!?!?
- This little VHS throwback
It scared me for awhile, before I become a teenage-pirating-badass.
And let’s not forget the classic grainy-ness, rewinding the tapes before you put them back in the case (because my mom would harass me), or forgetting to rewind them and having to wait before you watch your movie. Ah, VHS (and no, not the horror movie).
- Classic Crayola
I just recently found one of these buried in an old futon in the basement. There’s a video of baby me covering myself in one of the red stamper markers and pretending that I had the chicken pox.
What was it about this smelly stuff that I loved so much? I made clay dragons out of this crap. I mixed so many colors, I’m pretty sure I invented some new ones. There were no boundaries with Play-Doh. I was free, as free as my young, nonexistent art skills allowed the cheap, clay-like substance to be.
Ever heard of synesthesia? I’m pretty sure some people can smell (or even taste) the very familiar Play-Doh by just looking at the picture above. Mmmm… Tasty.
- Lisa Frank
…need I say more?
I was a big fan of the Dunkaroo Oreo Handi-Snacks or whatever, but no one can deny the deliciousness of these cute little packaged guys. Seeing them in my lunchbox was the ultimate treat. Can you believe I found this HD shot of a single Dunkaroo?
Artsy. Yaaas before “yas,” was a thing, mom, YAAAS.
This may have come to mind immediately after the previous list item because of “Dunkaroo,” (“Scooby-rooby-roo!”) but this particular show (and Courage the Cowardly Dog; what is it about dogs?) was a huge part of my childhood. On snow days or even just summer lazy days, I’d build a fort and watch VHS tapes that were pre-recorded with Scooby-Doo marathons on Cartoon Network. The commercials would sometimes come on between episodes, and ancient dolls that you probably can’t even buy anymore were advertised every 30 minutes or so. I watched when I was sick, tired, or basically anytime because Scooby-Doo was life.
I’m going to find those tapes and invest in a VHS player.
- America’s Funniest Home Videos
I would’ve mentioned Bob Saget earlier, but he was involved with AFV as well as Full House, no? I lived for this show. I still watch reruns. What is it about people falling down that brings happy tears to my eyes?
(I kid, that’s sad. I just laugh. A lot.)
- Slap bracelets
I wasn’t the only sick individual who would beat people—and myself—with these, right? Not too aggressively. Just enough to establish dominance.
… Oh my god, I am SO sorry for that.
- Nat King Cole
Christmas/holiday music, anyone? I think of sitting on the floor of my Nonna’s house on Christmas Eve, decorating her Christmas tree.
- The Amanda Show
Bring in the dancing lobsters! (Except don’t, because I have a raging fear of them, but that’s a different story.)
And last, but certainly not least… A (semi) anti-climactic ending for you. I’m sorry, I hope you weren’t expecting the biggest of all the nostalgic things, the undisputed, High King of our Collective Childhoods. No, it’s just vague. But it comes with a (funny?) thing that happened to me.
- CDs in general
Funny story, I used to have a square-ish, hot pink Barbie case that could be used to hold anything (probably makeup), but 9-year-old me used it for CDs. My bag was full of them, ranging from Cher, to the Steve Miller Band, to Disney soundtracks (oh yeah, the love has been there forever). I treasured this bag just as I treasured my trashy little grey-and-mustard-yellow portable CD player. One day, on vacation in California, we were parking our car for the night. I asked my mom if she was bringing her CDs into the hotel, because I was, and wasn’t sure if carrying my big box-bag was some kind of CD overkill. She said no, but my little paranoid butt hauled that pink thing into our room. Lo and behold, the next morning, our rental car had been broken into, and some San Franciscan had stolen all of my mom’s CDs. After that, my CD case was always on hand. Ironically enough, I can’t find it—nor any of those CDs—now.
Hopefully, you remember your childhoods as fondly as I remember mine, and also hopefully, this list was like a little walk down memory lane for you. Growing up isn’t as bad as I thought, but if I could always have someone push me around in a stroller while I lounged in sunglasses, I would.
(I have a baby picture like this that I can’t find, so… Not actually me, but I wish it were.)