2000s throwbacks to make you feel old

Dom Brazeau

As 2020 is quickly approaching, it’s easy to get sentimental about the things we all enjoyed growing up in the era of boy bands, pop-punk and cheesy rom-coms. If the icy weather is getting you down, here is a quick blast from the past to warm you back up.  



The early and mid-2000s were dominated by a few distinct sounds. Auto-tune was huge, with artists like T-Pain, Kanye West and Lil Wayne making hit songs that, at the time, were filled with sexual innuendos that went right over your head. Now, tracks like “Chopped N Skrewed” or “Heartless” not only make sense, but are friendly reminders of how embarrassing that period of your life was. The first iPod Nano came out in 2005, and the real cool kids illegally downloaded the latest Usher hits from YouTube to MP3 Converter. 


It’s no secret that the shows we all consumed shaped us as people. In this way, the kid’s network paradigm rings true. There are Disney kids, who are type-A and sophisticated; Nickelodeon kids, who are funny and laid back but ultimately have their life together; and Cartoon Network kids, who likely do psychedelics. Shows like “Hannah Montana,” “Drake & Josh” and “iCarly” were loved by everyone, but we all had a specific network we were attached to. Nickelodeon had arguably the most iconic animated shows like “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Jimmy Neutron” and “The Fairly OddParents,” but Cartoon Network comes in close second with the “The Powerpuff Girls,” “Adventure Time” and “Steven Universe.” The commercials of that era are similarly burned into our brain, like the iconic Chef Boyardee and Moon Sand advertisements.


The early 2000s marked the release of several important franchises. “Iron Man,” released in 2008, launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon. The first “Harry Potter” movie was released in 2001, and “The Hunger Games” came to the big screen in 2012. Middle school girls camped outside the theater to watch Robert Pattinson claim his iconic vampire role in 2008, and they similarly enjoyed a night in with Disney Channel’s first “High School Musical” movie in 2006. “Shrek” hit the big screen in 2001, which led to more cheeky animated comedies. Of course, Pixar had its fair share of releases, especially “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E” in 2003 and 2008, respectively. 


Style changes fast, and looking back at old trends can be especially cringy. These styles featured multi-colored skinny jeans, snapback hats that barely stayed on people’s heads and an arm full of silly bands in the typical middle-schooler style. Girls sometimes paired their low-waisted Abercrombie jeans with a logo tank top. Power Balance bracelets had tons of kids convinced they had better balance while wearing them. 

Video games

The Xbox 360 came out in 2005, and games like “Halo,” “Call of Duty” and the new “Madden” ruled the shelves. The PlayStation 3 came out in 2006, and featured titles like “Uncharted” and “LittleBigPlanet” came soon after. A few years later, the Wii came out, and everyone was playing “Wii Sports” and “Mario Kart.” Not only was console gaming huge, but mobile gaming also became a craze with “Angry Birds,” “Temple Run” and “Tiny Wings.”

As corny of an era as it was, looking back at the 2000s can bring back some nostalgia of a time when there weren’t 10-page essays or long lab assignments. 


Dominic Brazeau can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @DomBrazeau.