The most ’90s things about ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’

Alert, alert: Jonathan Taylor Thomas up ahead.

The ’90s were such a magnificent place, because this young heartthrob was everywhere. He was in Home Improvement, he was the voice of Simba, and he also appeared in a little movie about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere, and then trying to find your way home for Christmas. Hence, the title, I’ll Be Home For Christmas. But does he make it home in time?!?

Considering it’s a JTT movie, and it’s a Disney JTT movie, it doesn’t even feel like I’m spoiling it when I say YES. If you want to see how it shakes out yourself, the movie is currently streaming on Netflix right now. As in, stop what your doing and go watch it right now, everything else can wait. Or you can stay right where you are, and join me for a quick trip down JTT Memory Lane, where we examine the BEST ’90s things about I’ll Be Home for Christmas, to get you ready for your own viewing.

Smashmouth was HUGE

The first ’90s thing is actually that 7th Heaven-era Jessica Biel played JTT’s GF in the movie. She really loved Smashmouth. So much so, she had a poster of them on her wall, like all the cool kids.

Beepers were a thing

How did you text someone in a pinch in 1998? You didn’t. But you could send them simple text-based messages via a beeper. Which is what JTT proposes some bros use to cheat on a test. What could go wrong with that plan, huh?

This giant cordless phone, and that blue Hawaiian shirt

Also, that TV. There’s no way that TV is HD. Also, check out the TV picture frame on the wall that has rabbit ears.

Rollerblading to class

Biel is such a cutie. OK, but now look in the background where you can clearly see two boys, on rollerblades, heading off to class. Nowadays, they’d just hoverboard there.

President Bill Clinton

Just in case you still weren’t sure this movie took place in the ’90s, witness the photo of Bill Clinton on the wall to the right of the chalkboard.

Biel’s at a payphone

She’s just trying to call home. But JTT got himself into trouble and now he’s stranded. For me, the biggest takeaway from I’ll Be Home For Christmas is that if these kids had cellphones, this chaos would have been avoided. Except that was 1998.

This phone. With a cord.

It’s hard to tell if it’s in fact a rotary phone. It might be. I believe those are all in museums now.

The band Aqua

At one point in the move, Biel’s character, Allison, sings Aqua’s “Doctor Jones.” She gets SUPER into it.

Classic ’90s electronics

Ignore Santa in the foreground. Check out that sweet Nintendo 64 in the background. In the bottom corner, can you see that Microsoft SideWinder joystick? I haven’t seen one of those since… well, 1998.

The subtle Home Improvement reference

Like I need to remind you, but the Taylor’s next door neighbor was named Wilson.

The fact that JTT stows away on an airplane

Oh gosh, just thinking about this makes me ridiculously anxious. Since JTT doesn’t have any credit cards on him, let alone any identification, the ticket agent refuses to give him a ticket – AS SHE SHOULD. Seeing no alternative way to get home, he sneaks into a restricted part of the airport, which is as easy as walking through swinging doors. Then he climbs into the cage of a big dog, and flies back home that way. Everything about this is SO WRONG and would NEVER HAPPEN TODAY.

[Deep breath] But it’s only a movie, and try as he might, JTT could never stow away on a plane today. Even though almost 20 years later we’d still be perfectly happy to find him waiting at baggage claim.

(Images via Netflix/Disney)


Things you never noticed about Love Actually

Filed Under