People Are Sharing Inconveniences From The '90s That Don't Exist Today

OK, so yes, we here at BuzzFeed have written about a half million articles about how great it was to grow up in the '90s. But, as wonderful of an era as it was when you compare it to today, you can't help but think, How did we live like that? It feels like prehistoric times!!!


And recently, Reddit user u/bassistmuzikman posed that question to the AskReddit community when they asked: "What inconvenience from the '90s no longer exists today?"


Well, lots of people who lived through the 1990s chimed in and reminisced about things that were so common back then but would be major inconveniences today. Here are some of the top-voted and best comments:

1."Calling your friend's house and having to talk to their parents."

a person on a landline as a teenager stands by


"Even worse, calling your crush and having to do the whole 'Hi, is so and so there?'"


"And just assuming someone else in either house had another phone and was listening."—woahdude12321

Mark Peterson / Corbis via Getty Images

2."Missing an episode of your favorite TV show and not being able to see the episode until it became a rerun."

the cast of Friends watching TV together


"I am just thinking the mere fact that you couldn't miss a show resulted in higher viewing numbers and, of course, higher ratings. Also the limited number of TV shows and that inconvenience meant more money to the TV people."


"As a third-grader, I was dying to see the Tiny Toon Adventures prom episode. I always missed it. I knew the order of episodes, and I knew if I missed it, it would take months to see it again. When it came back around, I usually had a doctor's appointment or my parents needed the TV. Bullshit.

I finally saw it years later in high school when I was home sick and Nickelodeon or whatever was running four episodes of Tiny Toons in the middle of the day. Of course by then I was in high school, so I didn't give a shit and just saw it for completion's sake, then went back to puking."


Nbc / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

3."Having to rush back to the TV after the commercials had ended."

TV Land


4."My mom would often call me frantically because she got stuck in traffic or something and wouldn't be home in time to put in the VHS tape to tape my dad's show (he always worked nights). Our VCR technically had a timer function, but it was a total crap shoot as to whether it would actually work or not, so we'd always do it manually."

a tape going into a VCR


"Or you manage to get the timer set, and upon watching the show you discover that it was preempted by a breaking news story or weather report. Or started 10 minutes late due to a ball game running over."


Stockphotosart / Getty Images/iStockphoto

5."Rewinding a VHS tape to rewatch a movie from the beginning."



"And when you borrowed a movie from Blockbuster, there were always those stickers that would say: 'Be kind — please rewind.'"


6."Trying to plan your own route with a map."

paper maps


"Just imagine the number of people who used to live on nice quiet streets until GPS routing became a thing, and suddenly they were on the before-unknown shortest path between two points."


Slobo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

7."Having to wait for RealPlayer to buffer just so you can watch a pixelated 30-second clip."



"I remember spending a week downloading a 25 mb RealPlayer video of a single episode of Sailor Moon Stars in potato quality. Dial-up was the worst."—iglidante

"First part: Trying to download a 30-second clip, but it keeps failing at 98%."—AstroINTJ

8."Waiting for your mom to hang up the phone so you could use the internet."



"There were times in my childhood when my mom didn’t want to talk to someone and she would tell me or my sister to get on the internet, LOL."—Mataurin-the-turtle

9."Blowing in the cartridge to get the game to work."



"I recently found out you weren’t meant to do that; apparently it puts moisture onto the little metal connectors on the inside and makes them less effective over time, making it harder to get the game to work, plus causing me to blow it more often."—Psychological_Pay_36

10."Having no idea if any of your pictures actually looked OK. Nothing was more heartbreaking than realizing that great shot you thought you got was actually a close-up of your thumb."

a girl holding a camera and smiling


"But it was always so exciting to go pick up your pictures! It was an envelope of surprises! You totally forgot like one-third of the pictures in there. Then you go home and put them in a photo album. Good times."



11."Trying to find a pay phone when someone pages you."

Ben Affleck on a pay phone


"Finding a pay phone that worked."


Archive Photos / Getty Images

12."As someone whose dad had a store in the 1990s, the '90s credit card machines. You used to have to put the credit card on this manual machine that would take an imprint of their number. If it was over a $100 you had to call a number and get the card authorized. You then took those slips of paper to the bank and deposited them along with all your cash and checks."

an old credit card machine


"I can still hear the sound of that machine...ka-chunk!"—Move_In_Waves

Stockbyte / Getty Images

13."Long-distance phone calls."

a commercial for a phone company


"International long-distance phone calls that cost a week's salary and sound like you're talking through a speaking tube to the bottom of the ocean."—the2belo

Pixierocket/ AT&T/

14."Getting lost driving places and having to call someone who knows the area better so you can rattle off streets and landmarks."



"Or when all else fails, going into a gas station and asking or just flagging down some guy on the street."


15."Setting up a meeting point and time to meet someone and having no idea of their whereabouts other than faithfully waiting till their arrival."

a man looking at his watch on a city street / Getty Images

16."Having to go get a newspaper to figure out what times a movie you wanted to see was playing."

a couple looking at a newspaper at a movie theater


"Theaters had phone hotlines in the '90s you could call, but they were on a loop, so if you called in the middle of it you had to wait until it started over again!"—CJMyself

"Ours wasn't a loop; it was basically an answering machine that would start playing when you called. If someone else was on the line you'd get a busy signal. I remember calling that line all the time just as like, a form of entertainment. Not even intending to see a movie; I was just curious what was out since the recording also gave a brief synopsis of the movie. That would sound like insanity to a kid today, but there wasn't a lot of stuff to do. Sometimes I'd also just call the number for the time and just let it play till it eventually disconnected."


Getty Images

17."Having to go to an internet cafe to check your emails."

a cyber cafe
Jonathan Elderfield / Getty Images

18."Waiting for your enormous computer to load — on a good day it would take minutes for stuff to be booted up."

a teenager on a computer in the '90s


"And you had to do that a few times per day, because it would crash for no reason."—RenaKunisaki

Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

19."Discman constantly skipping when you would try to jog with it."

a girl listening to music through her Discman
Kwanisik / Getty Images/iStockphoto

20."Knowing a song's title. Used to record off the radio via tapes, but they didn't always announce song titles when they played them so I would only learn their titles and who sang them years later thanks to Google. These days, song identification apps makes it all 200x easier."


21."Getting a wrong number call from a fax machine."

a fax machine
Wwing / Getty Images

22."Having to leave the house if you wanted to rent a movie."

a person at a video rental store


"As much as I enjoy having movies available with the click of a button, I do kinda miss the anticipation of going to the video store."—PersonMcNugget

"Friday night. You wander up and down the aisles, hoping for that gem.

Then you hear an employee dump the drop bin! Think of all the new releases waiting to be re-shelved!!!"


James Leynse / Corbis via Getty Images

23."Watching the TV Guide Channel as it scrolled through the whole list of channels and getting distracted just before it got to the channel you wanted to see. Then waiting for it to repeat every three minutes."

TV Guide Channel showing listings
Vincenzo Grillo/

24."When faced with a random question, like, 'Who invented bedsprings?' and not having any real way to look it up unless you were at the library or right next to an encyclopedia."

NBC/ Warner Bros. Television


"I remember thinking, I wonder who started/invented this? And then thinking it wasn't worth my time trying to find a way to look it up."


"Also having no way to fact-check liars.

'Hey, that secret code you told me about doesn't work.'

'Yes, it does! You're just not doing it right! My uncle works for Nintendo and gave me the code. It's real!'

Reallll easy to solve that sort of standoff these days."


And lastly...

25."Scrambled Porn!"

a fuzzy TV screen showing green boobs

You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.