5 Rad ’90s Themed Parties

’90s themed parties are booming now that we’re all in our twenties. And by ’90s, I sadly mean 1990’s and not 1890’s. Man, those were the days.

At a ’90s party I attended not long ago, I wore an actual 1990s Betsey Johnson slip dress, my Sanrio mini backpack (the duck, Pekkle), put a Tamagotchi around my wrist and wore my hair in Baby Spice pigtails. Here are some ideas if you want to throw your own 1990s themed parties. For optimal fun, enforce a “no cell phone” rule. Have everyone leave their phone in a bin by the door. If they want to bring a cell phone, it has to be one of those indestructible Nokia phones. Now THAT’S a party!

5. Legends Of The Hidden Temple /Nickelodeon Guts party.

I couldn’t decide between these two legendary (hee hee, pun) Nickelodeon game shows. Legends of the Hidden Temple was a show that divided kids into teams named after colors and animals and pitted them against each other in physical challenges and historical trivia, all with an Indiana Jones vibe. The real legend of the Hidden Temple, aside from the giant talking head that hosted the show with Kirk Fogg, was the temple run at the end, in which the final team had to race against the clock to get through a temple while trying to avoid getting captured by temple guards (stage hands who would pop out of nowhere in masks, terrifying everyone) and screwing up putting together the silver monkey in The Shrine of The Silver Monkey. The monkey was 3 pieces and yet everyone screwed it up. It was the most frustrating thing on television. Have your guests answer trivia and hire someone to jump out of a corner every 30 minutes.

On Guts, things got a little more real. Guts was more sports oriented. Guts was so intense that the kids had to wear mouth guards. I always thought those were so cool. I would suck on orange slices and pretended they were mouth guards and I would run around the house and pretend I was on Guts and that’s the story of how I almost choked to death. Turn your place into an obstacle course and serve purple, blue and red Jello (or Jello shots!) and call them pieces of the Aggro Crag.

For extra points, encourage everyone to dress as a contestant from either show. If you want to get really into it, you can buy your very own Legends and Guts tees. The Purple Parrots were totally the Hufflepuffs of Legends of the Hidden Temple.

Legends tees from TVstoreonline.com, $17.95.

Guts t-shirts, Mypartyshirt.com, $14.99.

4. Grunge party

An obvious theme, too obvious to ignore. This party salutes the grunge era, when Nirvana was the biggest thing ever and flannel was fashion. Plus, people still dress like this, which makes finding a costume really easy. And maybe you can even get a jam session going. Admittedly, I wasn’t into the grunge scene. I was a little too young to really get into it and so I don’t really have any more ideas for this party other than to show up in torn jeans with messy hair. Which is I guess how everyone in Brooklyn shows up to parties now. AND parts of LA. Don’t yell at me, Brooklyn. We are all one. In being annoying.

Image from Zimbio.

3. Britpop party

After the huge grunge wave, the ’90s music got a British invasion. Well, I guess it wasn’t a British invasion if you lived in the UK. It was just… you. But the United States was really psyched about bands like Pulp, Blur, Suede, The Verve, Supergrass and of course, Oasis. I mean, not psyched enough to put them high on the charts, but oh man, fashion shows loved nothing more than to play some cool Britpop at their runway shows. And then some of us succumbed to The Spice Girls, because we weren’t hip enough to discover Pulp back when they were popular, and we were young girls, and we wanted to be Ginger Spice because she got to wear the Union Jack dress, and maybe we even dressed up as her for Halloween. And that’s okay. Just take all of your favorite Brit bands and throw them together. Let Jarvis Cocker, above, be your guide. Though he’s in his 40s now, he still rocks out like a champ.

Put on your best British accent, wear tailored suits, sunglasses indoors and watch the entire party lose interest in you pretty quickly, even though you were so very good. Sorry, Britpop ?

Image from Zimbo.

2. The Clinton party

This one is great because it’s a pun, and puns are essential in throwing a cool party. The theme of this party is the Clinton years. You can put up “VOTE CLINTON” and “CLINTON/GORE” banners everywhere and make your own campaign buttons and put Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” on loop. And you don’t have to be a democrat or Clinton supporter to attend this shindig. Invite opponents to wear “VOTE BUSH” or “VOTE PEROT” or even “VOTE IOWA SENATOR TOM HARKIN” tees. Then, just when it seems like the party is getting good, have someone burst in and try to end it. That will really make you a… Starr. (ANOTHER pun! This party is going to be huge!)

Image from Wikipedia.

1. Gap commercials party

The Gap had absolutely genius marketing in the ’90s. The khaki ones were the best, but they’re all gold. These commercials featured groups of really attractive young people looking bored while singing Madonna, and groups of really attractive young people looking bored while singing Donovan, and groups of really attractive young people looking bored while singing Depeche Mode, and groups of really attractive young people NOT looking bored while swing dancing, and groups of really attractive young people go-go dancing and the classic groups of really attractive young people doing a West Side Story number (this was the best clip I could find):


Show up in a pastel colored tee, khakis and total indifference.

…I think I’m going to have to do this one for my birthday party. Have fun, everybody!

Party Like It’s 1999 image from Keep-Calm-O-Matic.

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