Pop Culture | TV | 90s
7 Times 90s Shows Tried To Warn Us About The Internet With Hilarious Results
Remember when you were young and just starting to learn how to use the internet? It can be a real creepy place, but at the time we didn't know that.
We thought it was all Neopets and friends chatting, but sitcoms had to find a way to work these real world computer issues into their shows, and the way they did it ends up looking pretty ridiculous now.
These shows had to make things entertaining, while simultaneously trying to warn us about computers because people were honestly still a bit afraid of them at the time. I guess because we grew up with them we never were, but the older generations didn't get it.
Sitcoms often used these internet jokes in their shows, but when you look back at them now it's absolutely hilarious to see what was "new" back then.
Let's take a look at some of funniest instances where computers and the internet were referenced in ways that make these 90s shows feel like they were filmed a hundred years ago.
1. Home Improvement's Intro to Photoshop
Poor Jill. She lived in a house full of boys and her husband was constantly destroying everything. But she was smart and always working on her own thing.
In one episode she has to write about women who get plastic surgery, and in order to do that she finds out about this computer program that changes your appearance.
Yep. She loads her own picture up and checks out what it would be like to change her body, and she's not happy about how excited Tim is about the "enhancements".
I think we've all been burned by Photoshop before, but it's funny to see these people in the early days learning all about the software that will make us all feel bad about ourselves!
2. Are You Afraid of the Dark's interactive Tamagotchis
Who owned a Tamagotchi? Basically all of us, right? Even if you didn't have the brand name ones, you probably had something similar. Personally I was a big fan of Dinky Dinos.
But in Are You Afraid of the Dark, they had an episode that had kids being sucked into the computers.
While I don't think was intended to really teach us a lot about how the internet actually works, it did remind us to be a little bit more careful about what we agree to.
I don't want to hit upload and then become a virtual pet for some alien, but also, I am not going to read those Terms and Conditions so I guess this is my future...
3. The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air's online dating mishap
I think the most common thread through all of these episodes is the evolution of online dating. While it's super common now to meet someone through an app or online, back in the good ol' days it wasn't how most people met.
So, to go off of this, on Fresh Prince Carlton starts online dating under the name "Hershey's Kiss" and talks to someone named "Brown Sugar." Here's the thing, it ends up being his own sister. Hilary.
They end up on a blind date together, realizing what happened and of course are mortified. Maybe if you're going to go on a date with someone, get a picture first.
4. Friends' online dating double take
Chandler also fell victim to an online dating surprise because he wasn't smart enough to get a picture.
This time, he's chatting with someone and when he finally meets up with her in person, it turns out to be none other than the infamous Janice.
Although, this time he seems to be all in. Kind of insane how much he liked her when he couldn't hear that laugh...
5. Roseanne deals with Jackie's addiction
Jackie gets the internet and becomes addicted to it almost immediately. I don't know how we all became addicted because everything took 20 minutes to load and there really wasn't all that much to look at, but oh well.
She spends her time in Urkel chat rooms, but luckily there are people around to help her remember she has a life outside of the internet.
6. Randy Taylor's catfishing experiment
There are a lot of times when you hear about young kids being catfished, but young Randy Taylor was the one who was catfishing an older woman.
He is talking to a 25-year-old woman, but he told her that he was 32 and rich. The problem is he gave her his address and she comes to see him.
That's pretty insane though, the fact that someone would drive all the way over there unannounced is not very cool.
7. Ghostwriter's hacker attacker
It takes four episodes for them to find the hacker, but that's probably because they are all still learning what that even means.
The hacker leaves threatening notes and changes grades, but maybe this school just needs to install a firewall.
Literally a quote from the episode: “A modem is like ... it’s like a telephone for computers. Computers with modems can talk to each other.”
Yeah... it was the early 90s, what can you really say.
Do you remember any of these old episodes where people learned how to use the internet?
Honestly, what did we even do before the internet? Well, we played all of these games, over, and over, and over, and over.
To be fair, even when we all got the hang of the internet, we all panicked and thought it was going to kill us all in 1999...
But eventually we got over it and could go back to using all that incredibly cool slang.
Source - Mental Floss