The '90s gave us boys bands, Furby, crimped hair, and the golden age of romantic comedies. Whether it was Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan pining after one another in tapered khakis or Julia Roberts getting into hijinks after hijinks on her endless quest for love, the movies of the '90s gave us wisdom on everything in life from love to popularity to the importance of contacts.
Here are nine (often questionable) life lessons that '90s movies taught us.
All it takes for the popular guy to fall in love with you is a makeover.
In "She's All That" Rachael Leigh Cook stars as the total weirdo Laney Boggs who becomes part of a bet put on by dreamy jock Zack Siler (played by rom-com king Freddie Prinze, Jr). He originally just shows interest in her to win the bet, but when she gets her extreme makeover (which is basically just taking off her glasses), Zack sees that there is more to Laney than paint-splattered overalls and freaky performance art.
It's totally fine (and encouraged) to make out with your stepbrother.
With the infamous forbidden love in "Cruel Intentions," things got a little incestuous in the '90s. But the ultimate in stepbrother love comes from "Clueless." Cher realizes that she is in love with her stepbrother Josh (who is a total Baldwin), and rather than worrying that this could be a bad move, they make out on the stairs of the mansion owned by Cher's father, who is Josh's stepfather.
Love is best explained through overpriced accessories.
Putting your feelings into words is really tough, but luckily "10 Things I Hate About You" taught us the subtle differences between like and love. "There's a difference between like and love. Because, I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack," Bianca says in the movie. And while Chastity questions, "But I love my Skechers," Bianca quickly explains, "That's because you don't have a Prada backpack."
Post-college life is pretty much the worst.
The years after graduation as shown in "Reality Bites" are some pretty crappy ones. Once the valedictorian of her university, Lelaina (Winona Ryder) ends up working at a local fast-food joint and engaging in dramatic and unfulfilling relationships, while her friends encounter HIV-scares, unemployment and family deaths -- showing the plight of the educated 20-something before "Girls" made it so hip.
Ruining someone's life is acceptable if it's in the name of love.
In "My Best Friend's Wedding," when Julianne hears that her best friend Michael is getting married, she realizes that she is actually in love with him. In a series of schemes to keep him from marrying his 20-something fiancee, she ends up getting him fired from his job and kisses him on his wedding day. While this is sucky of her, it's totally understandable because she was in love, duh!
After high school, the nerds all thrive and the popular kids all flounder.
With their high school reunion upon them, best friends Romy and Michele start working out, buying fabulous neon clothes, and inventing identities for themselves to impress their classmates. However, once they get to the reunion they realize that all the people that were popular in high school are now leading small, unhappy lives, while the nerds are now successful millionaires.
Bonus lesson: Arthur Fry invented the Post-it.
Never hire a cute nanny.
"You've Got Mail" taught audiences so many lessons - cyber-cheating isn't technically cheating, love is blind, and after "I love you," the three most powerful words are "you've got mail." But the most important lesson in the movie is a subtle one. When Joe Fox is newly single and living on his boat, he is joined by his father Nelson who has split from his fiance. When Nelson reflects on his marriages, we learn that he left Joe's mother for the nanny at the time, then left her for the next nanny, only to find out that his last financee turned the tables on him and ran away with the nanny herself.
Prostitution is a smart path to falling in love.
While there are a few hiccups in Edward and Vivian's road to true love in "Pretty Woman," considering she is a hooker, it is relatively smooth sailing. Not meeting any guys at your local coffee shop or nightclub? If Vivian's tale is to be believed, picking a guy up in a wig and thigh-high boots can only lead to shopping sprees, polo matches and happily ever after.
A bad nickname can ruin your life.
In "Never Been Kissed" Josie Geller goes back to high school as an undercover reporter. While she is able to strategize her way into the popular group, she is haunted by the memory of her years as Josie Grossie. Word to the wise, name your kid something that is hard to rhyme with.