Teens are bringing back the 2000s in a big way, but many can look back on that time from a 20+ year vantage point. You may look back on those dresses with jeans and phone charms with fondness instead of embarrassment. Whether you were just a kid living for the latest Disney Channel movie or you were making your own kid's toaster strudel before school, the first decade of the millennium was something unlike any other. Get a touch of 2000s nostalgia with these memorable throwbacks.
The 2000s Technology That Raised the Bar
It's laughable the tech achievements we marveled at in the early 2000s. Like little goldfish, our minds couldn't believe how fast the world was changing (if only we'd known just how quickly it could change). But sometimes in our fast-paced world, we wish we could go back to simpler technology like these products.
The real hallmark of 2000s tech design was the color. Tech giants weren't afraid of showing off their wires and microchips with the colored see-through plastic that every computer, phone, and video game console was made out of.
While cellphones had been out for a few decades, it wasn't until 2004 that the Motorola Razr came out and changed everything. Colorful, slim, and with the ability to make a clacking sound so satisfying you wanted scammers to call you just to hang up on them, the Motorola Razr was the most coveted cellphone of the 2000s. And if you weren't customizing it with cases or skins, then you had dozens of charms hanging out of the headphone jack in the top. If you see a Razr, it's sure to bring on that early 2000s nostalgia.
The iPod changed the way we listened to music forever. If you didn't jump on board with the classic, you probably picked up a mini, nano, or touch at some point. Oh, the days when both of your back pockets were taken - one for the iPod and one for the cellphone. That's a true hit of nostalgia for the 2000s.
2000s Pop Culture Hits That Captivated Listeners
With the internet still in its infancy, people reading tabloids and gossip sites like they were The New York Times, and social media on the cusp of being born, 2000s pop culture was a breeding ground for memorable moments.
If you want to bring a smile to any 2000s kid's face, just utter the name "LimeWire." It was a legendary online file sharing program that people used to illegally download music MP3s throughout the 2000s. The best part about it was seeing just what exactly was on the file you downloaded to your computer. Was it the song? Was it a random recording of a movie you've never seen? Was it two minutes of bicycle horns honking? You'd never know.
Pop Punk and Emo
Aside from the Billboard Hot 100, two musical genres that came out of the 2000s that still have millennials in their grip are Pop Punk and Emo. Legends like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Paramore, Simple Plan, and Blink-182 molded fringe subculture with pop music for some of the greatest years in music history.
Reality television broke onto the scene in the 2000s. From Fear Factor and Survivor to 2002's American Idol, you couldn't escape this late-night appointment television. You might even remember exactly where you were when Kelly Clarkson was crowned the show's first winner.
When mentioning millennial media, we can't forget how popular teen movies were. Tweens cornered the market on Mary Kate & Ashley movies, while their older siblings fantasized about having their own regular-girl-turned-pop-star summer like Lizzie in the Lizzie McGuire Movie. And of course, 2004 was the year we were all introduced to Mean Girls. From "That's so fetch" to "Does she even go here?," the movie was full of one-liners that you can still hear pulled from the mouths of babes today.
The 2000s were really the prime for Disney's straight-to-television (often musical) movies that put kids and teens in impossible scenarios. The one that's had the most lasting impact is High School Musical. Where would the film industry be if Zach Efron hadn't wooed ever 13-year-old girl with his dilemma of having his "head in the game, but his heart in the song"? So much 2000s kids nostalgia from one little channel.
Of course, when you think of teen culture in the 2000s, your mind might immediately go to MySpace. Pre-dating Facebook and any other organized social media, MySpace was a unique way to experience digital connection. Figuring out who made your top eight friends list was truly a life-or-death scenario, and determining what song needed to be playing in the background was like picking out the name of your first child.
2000s Fashion and Beauty Trends We Can't Forget
Butterfly clips, low-rise jeans, and jeans under dresses were just some of the fashion hits that are making a comeback with Gen Z today. It didn't matter what age you were in the 2000s, we all made some questionable beauty and fashion choices. Looking back, though, a lot of us secretly kind of loved it.
Remington Wet 2 Straight Flat Iron
When people couldn't decide whether they wanted crunchy curly or stick straight, they combined the two into the iconic flat ironed bangs and scrunched hair look from the early 2000s. You can probably still smell your wet hair sizzling off of your Remington Wet 2 Straight flat iron. Why people thought mixing wet hair with electronic tools was a good thing, we'll never know.
If you want to achieve the ultimate 2000s look, then you can't forget to pull out a stick of roll on body glitter. Dig that familiar grit all across your arms, collar bones, cheeks, and legs to shine like a lighthouse. Highlighter? Who needs her when you've got body glitter to save the day.
Popped Collar Polos
If you weren't on the alternative circuit in fashion in the 2000s, then preppy was your vibe and you wouldn't go anywhere with popping the collar on your polos. These short fabric collars popped up to look like a Doberman's clipper ears were one interesting look.
2000s Snacks We'd Love to Bring Back
If the 2000s were known for one thing, it was the unexpected and surprisingly delicious snacks you could gorge on. Whether you were snacking on M&M Kudos granola bars between shifts or you made sure to pack some Trix yogurts in your lunchbox, the 2000s were undeniably the decade of snack innovation.
Take us back to the days when we weren't concerned about gelatin production and eating healthy, and we could rely on the best-tasting gummy on the market to get us through our work breaks. There was just something extra special about that indecipherable blue flavored gummy.
Did we love this yogurt? No. But was mixing the two colors together at your lunch table absolutely worth the average product? Yes.
Ritz Bits S'mores
Undeniably the superior Ritz Bits flavor, this delicious snack that walked the tight-rope between sweet and salty was discontinued in 2016, and we've been asking for it back ever since.
Wonder Balls were like little land mines for anyone who had kids in the early 2000s. Dodging them at every checkout line was an impressive feat. Somehow, the chocolate and the candy ended up being powdery, but the prize inside made it all worthwhile.
Cheetos Twisted Puffs
We all love a gimmick, and the twisted Cheetos weren't any different tasting than regular Cheetos, except they were twirly. Did that stop us from choosing them over regular puffs every time? No.
Nestle discontinued their perfect movie theater snack in 2006, much to so many fans despair. After all, regular Butterfingers are a dentist's nightmare, and these snacks were the perfect bite sized versions.
In the early 2000s, there'd be a Pop-Tarts Go-Tarts! log in every kid's mouth as they were driven to an early morning sports practice. These granola-bar sized versions of everyone's favorite breakfast pastry had just the right amount of crust-to-filling ratio that hasn't been perfected since.
Take a Trip Down Memory Lane With 2000s Nostalgia
With Gen Z revisiting the 2000s' top hits, it's hard not to look fondly back on that time and imagine what our younger selves would think of us today. But, when the present gets overwhelming, you can always take a trip down memory lane a steep yourself in a little 2000s nostalgia.