15 Socially Unacceptable Things That Were Common Practice In The ’90s

Time is passing and the world is changing and it’s all happening way too fast for our liking. There sure are some things we’re glad are behind us, say, certain fashions that make us cringe just by remembering them. But there are also things that we miss and that make us nostalgic, but that the newer generations won’t even understand.


Source: Imgur

Today, thanks to Throwbacks, we’re set for another trip down memory lane. This time we’re revisiting some behaviors that were perfectly normal in the ’90s, but that today could land us in a heap of trouble…

1. Stopping by someone’s house completely unannounced


It was a pretty common occurrence to pop by a friend’s house, you know, just to see if they’re home. Nowadays, though, that’s not socially acceptable. But you know what is perfectly socially acceptable? If someone comes by unannounced, you’re entitled to pretend you’re not home.


Tom Hanks is all of us when faced with unexpected visitors.

2. Smoking


In the ’90s smoking was totally cool! Yes, there were the, let’s say, rumors, that it was dangerous, but who cared? You could smoke indoors at restaurants, at the office, around children… Everywhere! It was completely fine!


You can’t breathe surrounded by my smoke? Go away, then, IDGAF!

3. Using AOL


You probably know someone who still uses their AOL e-mail. Don’t worry if you find yourself judging them, they totally deserve it. AOL hasn’t been a thing for almost 20 years, at least try to keep up with the times, like, seriously!


AOL people are so patient, though, it must be said. They are fine with waiting ages for the thing to load!

4. Throwing/pushing people into pools


It used to be like “It’s just a prank, bro!” but now it’s more like “it’s a very expensive prank, bro, I ain’t doin’ it”. Pushing people in the pool was hilarious, but it’s totally not worth risking having to buy them a new smartphone.


This is exactly what a person who had just pushed another person in the pool looked like.

5. Leaving your kids in the car when you’re going to the store


Source: Lily & Chloe Official

Kids will be kids, and they don’t really like going shopping with their parents. So, leaving your kid in the car while you make a quick stop to the grocery store is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Sorry, was, it was a perfectly reasonable thing to do.


But since this is what we sometimes did while left alone with the car, now parents are too scared to do it anymore.

6. Offensive humor


What was considered funny in ’90s sitcoms may be slightly cringe-worthy now. But then again, people nowadays are offended way too easily.


7. Kids playing or going places unsupervised


Source: Pinterest

Parents would almost kick us out of the house during the day and we’d play in the streets until curfew. Well, it wasn’t an official curfew, but everyone knew that once the street lamps came on, it was time to go home.

Kids now are equipped with mobile devices that parents can use to stay in constant contact and very often they aren’t even allowed to walk to school without supervision.


8. Calling someone just to talk


Disney Channel

People used to make phone calls with the sole purpose of having an aimless conversation with someone. Don’t even attempt to do this today: you need to have a good reason for calling someone, because the more socially accepted version of communication is sending text messages.


Seriously, don’t call.

9. Being unreachable by phone


Source: Know Your Meme

Now that we went over how little we like receiving phone calls, it must be said that, unlike not answering the door when you get unannounced visitors, not answering your phone is just not the done thing. Because, obviously, if you don’t answer, then you are probably dead in a ditch somewhere.


10. Making plans days in advance and just going without confirming that everyone is still going


Source: Firefly Daily

In the ’90s, when you made plans with someone, you went ahead and did the planned thing. You didn’t have to confirm the participation of all parties a hundred times before proceeding with the plan. And nowadays, even after checking with everyone, someone is always going to bail last second!12

Source: Giphy

How dare you?

11. Applying for a job in person


Source: WSB-TV

Once upon a time, people could just go knock on a door and get a job. Apparently, applying in person was something that people did. Not anymore, though. Today, you’d probably receive that ‘are you for real?’ look and instructions to apply online.


Actual footage of a person applying for jobs online.

12. Going out of town and just not telling anyone


Source: Giphy

If you went for a nice and quiet week-long trip somewhere, in the ’90s, no-one would say anything, no-one would even notice! But today, with social media, smartphones, and technology, going off the radar like that is one way to make sure there are missing posters and search parties to welcome you home.


Me trying to quietly leave town

13. Meeting or dropping people off at airport gates



Airport security used to be way more relaxed back in the olden days. It was a normal thing to go and escort someone to the gate, or waiting for them there, but the recent security updates have turned this into an impossibility. So many dramatic airport rom-com scenes wouldn’t be possible today, including this iconic one from Sleepless in Seattle.

Source: stickynotes89

14. Asking people for directions to their house


Source: Hepburn Letter Collection

We don’t need to ask for directions anymore, only for the address. Then we can just use Google Maps and find the place on our own!


Source: Training for Warriors

The ’90s were a hard place for the directionally challenged…

15. Memorizing people’s phone numbers


Source: Sizzle

Why would we bother memorizing numbers now, when our phones can do that job for us? Seriously, though, do you know any number by heart? I don’t, and losing my phone would cause me a lot of trouble… Still, memorizing someone’s number today might even be considered a little creepy…

Source: throwbacks