The ‘90s was a wild time.
Some of the biggest events of our time happened in this glorious decade in history.
And while some stories we will never forget – OJ Simpson’s trial and the name Monica Lewinsky – others have managed to since fade from immediate memory.
To celebrate all seven episodes of The Nineties dropping on Binge today, a Tom Hanks-produced miniseries that revisits the moments that defined pop culture, we’re taking you on a journey down memory lane, so slide into your Spandex leggings and feather your bangs because we’re going back to the 1990s.
JULIA ROBERTS BAILED ON HER FIANCE
Julia Roberts absolutely ruled Hollywood in the 1990s, with classics like Pretty Woman (of which she won an Oscar), My Best Friend’s Wedding and Notting Hill being released.
But her life off-camera was just as exciting.
In 1990, Roberts met Kiefer Sutherland on set of the movie Flatliners. They began dating and quickly got engaged. The venue was ready to go and they had planned to honeymoon at Sutherland’s Montana home.
But Roberts called it off a mere three days before their wedding on June 11, 1991, and instead high tailed it to Ireland with Sutherland’s friend and Lost Boys co-star, Jason Patric, in pictures that were splashed all over the glossy mags.
They dated for a few months but called it quits the following year.
ELLEN’S SHOW WAS CANCELLED
She’s weathering a ginormous PR storm right now, but it certainly isn’t the first time Ellen DeGeneres has copped a backlash.
However in 1997 it was for a much more unjust reason.
The talk show host was fronting her own show Ellen for five seasons when it was canned following the iconic ‘The Puppy Episode’ where she came out to the world as gay.
Despite the critical acclaim and massive ratings (according to NBC, 42 million people tuned in to watch DeGeneres’ coming-out episode), “The Puppy Episode” was met with strong backlash from right-wing groups, and saw sponsorships pulled from the network.
It would be another six years before Ellen would become the talk show host of The Ellen DeGeneres show, which up until this year has been a hit.
RELATED: A timeline of Ellen’s year from hell
BILL CLINTON’S IMPEACHMENT
Former US president Bill Clinton will go down in history as being at the centre of one of the biggest political scandals of all time.
Who knew having an affair with a White House intern would be so damaging, eh?
Clinton became only the second president ever to be impeached in 1999, after Andrew Johnson in 1868.
And while he was later acquitted of lying under oath and obstruction of justice, it certainly did little for his reputation given it all kicked off over his reported sexual relationship with 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky in 1995. He was 49, and married to wife Hilary.
Several key moments are still part of our cultural glossary to this day (Lewinsky’s name has apparently featured in more than 100 rap songs). But perhaps none more so than Clinton infamously declaring, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”.
WAR OF THE WALESES/SQUIDGYGATE
If this wasn’t so scandalous it would have simply just been endearing. Princess Diana, one of the most famous people to ever walk this earth, was privately referred to as “squidgy” on phone calls by her close friend, James Gilbey.
Controversy ensued by exactly how these conversations were recorded in the first place, but at the time headlines were focused on intimate details around Diana’s private life and the British Royal Family’s damage control.
In the lengthy conversation, which was publicly revealed in 1992, the Princess of Wales is heard comparing her life to British soap opera EastEnders. Elsewhere in the chat, she expresses fears she could be pregnant and makes it clear she is unhappy in her marriage.
Gilbey reportedly referred to the princess as “squidgy” 52 times.
The Sun newspaper publicly revealed the tapes’ existence in an article dubbed “Squidgygate”. Despite surfacing in 1992 the conversation was actually recorded in 1989, which is the same year Prince Charles’ damaging bedside phone conversation with his mistress, Camilla Bowles, was recorded.
When Squidgygate hit the press, Prince Charles and Princess Diana were in the middle of ugly pre-divorce proceedings, which was dubbed the “War of the Waleses”.
They were officially divorced in 1996. Princess Diana died in a car accident in 1997.
RELATED: Follow the latest royal news
THE TRIAL OF OJ SIMPSON
On October 3, 1995, 150 million people tuned into the OJ Simpson murder trial. 150 million people couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
The 1994 murder of the NBA player’s wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman, is one of the most talked about stories in history.
The pair were founded stabbed to death outside Brown’s condo in Los Angeles, and Simpson was immediately declared a person of interest in their murders.
But the retired athlete did not turn himself in, instead leading a low-speed pursuit by police while riding as a passenger in the white 1993 Ford Bronco SUV owned and driven by his longtime friend Al Cowlings.
TV stations famously interrupted coverage of the 1994 NBA Finals to broadcast the pursuit live and the already highly-publicised case became even more scandalous.
On the final day of his mammoth 10-month trial, Simpson was acquitted of the murders in a decision that sent shockwaves around the world (though he was later found financially liable in a civil trial).
Simpson’s arrest came amid a tense time in Los Angeles where the Rodney King riots had been going on. The riots broke out after four police officers were acquitted on charges of using excessive force against King, a black man, in 1992.
To this day Simpson maintains his innocence, though he did write a controversial book, If I Did It, which detailed how he would have done it.
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GOOGLE CHANGED EVERYTHING
It’s incredible we ever lived in a world without Google. And the search engine really hasn’t been around that long.
Launching in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google was originally the search engine for Stanford’s website (with the domain google.stanford.edu).
It had very humble beginnings in Page and Brin’s friend’s garage in California.
Now, Google.com is the most visited website in the world with 500 million people visiting it daily. Not too shabby.
MICROSOFT SAVED APPLE FROM BANKRUPTCY
Speaking of things we don’t know how we lived without, iPhones may have never become a thing if it weren’t for Bill Gates.
In 1997, the Microsoft founder threw the technology company a $150 million investment lifeline just days before Apple was planning to file for bankruptcy.
Apple is the world‘s largest technology company by revenue, and in 2018 became the first publicly traded US company to be valued at over $1 trillion. Two years later, in August this year, it became the first $2 trillion US company.
FYI, in case you forgot, this is what computers looked like then.
TUPAC AND BIGGIE SHOT AND KILLED
To this very day, we still don’t know who killed Tupac.
The popular rapper was gunned down on a Las Vegas strip in September 1996. He was 25.
Tupac was shot several times while he was a passenger in a car, after leaving a Mike Tyson boxing match with former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight.
The rapper and his bodyguards had gotten into an argument with 21-year-old Crips gang member Orlando Anderson in the lobby of the MGM Grand casino that night.
Later, a white Cadillac pulled up beside Tupac and Knight while they were stopped at a traffic light and one man began shooting out of the back window.
He died six days later.
Two years earlier, Tupac survived a shooting when three gunmen opened fire on him at a New York recording studio. He survived the shooting and accused fellow rapper Christopher “Biggie Smalls” Wallace of setting it up, which was said to have started a war between hip hop’s east and west coast factions.
Biggie – also known as the Notorious B.I.G – was later accused of being involved in Tupac’s murder. He denied this accusation.
Six months later, Biggie was also shot in another drive-by shooting, this time in California. He was 24.
Both murders remain unsolved.
THE RISE OF GRUNGE
Grunge was perhaps the rising trend of the early 90s..
Thanks to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, the obscure style was thrust into the mainstream in 1992 and suddenly, wearing effortless thrift shop pieces and not doing your hair was cool.
Cobain’s then-wife, singer Courtney Love, also made it popular for women to embrace the grunge scene. The look consisted of barrettes, tiaras, ripped tights, Mary Janes, slips and Peter Pan collared dresses.
Pearl Jam also made their mark on the grunge fashion scene with leather jackets, corduroy jackets, kilts, shorts-over-leggings, ripped jeans and snapbacks.
As an added bonus for your viewing pleasure, behold, this picture in our extensive library of news images captioned “Grunge fashion, 1998 daywear”.
The Nineties is available to stream on Binge