Skip to Content

13 Things That Were Popular in the 90s But Don’t Exist Anymore

The 90s was a decade filled with iconic trends, innovations, and cultural phenomena that shaped the collective memory of a generation. From the rise of the internet to the pop culture boom, it was a time of rapid change and innovation.

We’ll explore 11 things that were wildly popular in the 90s but have vanished from our lives, leaving behind only nostalgic memories

VHS Tapes

hand photographer holding a VHS tape and DVD disc for conversion

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Before the era of DVDs and streaming services, VHS tapes were the primary way to watch movies at home. These bulky cassettes required rewinding and were susceptible to wear and tear, but they held a nostalgic charm that many millennials remember fondly.

Cassette Walkmans


Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Long before iPods and Spotify, cassette Walkmans were the only way people listened to music. These portable devices allowed users to listen to their favorite tapes anywhere, but the advent of CDs and digital music files eventually rendered them obsolete.

Portable CD Players

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

In the 90s, CD players were the tech for portable music, enabling users to enjoy their favorite tunes while on the move. Nevertheless, the emergence of MP3 players and smartphones equipped with music features swiftly ended the lifespan of these bulky gadgets.

Dial-Up Internet

Redhead girl with green phone on red background.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

The sound of dial-up internet connecting is a nostalgic memory for many who grew up in the 90s. This slow and cumbersome method of accessing the internet via landline phone connections gave way to faster broadband technologies, leaving dial-up internet in the past.

Floppy Disks

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Before USB drives and cloud storage, floppy disks were the primary way to store and transfer digital files. These flexible plastic disks were prone to data corruption and had limited storage capacity compared to modern storage solutions. Eventually, it disappeared from the tech space.


POZNAN, POL - FEB 03, 2020: Encyclopedia Britannica volumes on a shelf in a public library

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Encyclopedia sets were once prized possessions in many households, providing a wealth of information on various topics. However, the advent of the internet made encyclopedias obsolete as people turned to online sources like Wikipedia for instant access to information.

Pay Phones

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Pay phones were once ubiquitous fixtures on city streets and in public places, providing a convenient way to make calls when away from home. However, the widespread adoption of cell phones rendered pay phones obsolete, leading to their gradual disappearance from public spaces.

Video Rental Stores

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Video rental stores like Blockbuster were once a staple of American entertainment culture, offering a wide selection of movies and video games for rent. However, the convenience of streaming services and digital downloads led to the decline of video rental stores, with many closing their doors for good.

Remembering Phone Numbers

The concept of family problems, difficulties, relationships, talks disgruntled husband and wife in a room on the sofa. They are directly in front of the camera in different poses.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

In the pre-cell phone era, people relied on memorizing phone numbers to stay in touch with friends and family. However, the advent of smartphones with contact lists and speed dialing features made it unnecessary to remember phone numbers, leading to a decline in this once-common skill.


Dog Beds Pets

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Virtual pets became all the rage in the 90s with the introduction of Tamagotchis. These handheld electronic devices required constant attention and care to keep the virtual pet alive and happy. While they provided hours of entertainment for kids, they eventually fell out of favor with the rise of smartphones and other digital distractions


Image Credits: Deposit Photos

Before everyone had a cell phone, beepers or pagers were the go-to communication devices for staying in touch. Users would receive numeric messages, prompting them to find a payphone or landline to return the call. However, the widespread adoption of cell phones made beepers obsolete.

CRT Monitors

A senior lady confused by the computer.  Screen intentionally blank ready for content.

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors were once the standard display technology for computers and televisions in the 90s. These bulky monitors produced images by firing electron beams onto a phosphorescent screen. However, the advent of LCD and LED technology led to the decline of CRT monitors due to their bulkiness, lower image quality, and higher energy consumption.

Phones with Finger Dials

Image Credits: Deposit Photos

In the 90s, rotary phones with finger dials were still commonly used in households. Users dialed numbers by inserting their fingers into the corresponding holes on a circular dial and rotating it to the desired digit. However, the proliferation of push-button phones and later, smartphones, rendered rotary phones obsolete due to their slower dialing speed and limited functionality.