Ah, 2005. That magical and confusing time when fully grown men bleached the tips of their hair and Facebook was just a strange website where college students poked one another. Here are 35 crazes from way back in 2005 that, with the benefit of hindsight, seem pretty lame.
35. Ringtones you had to record yourself
It seems slightly insane now, but back in the prehistoric era of 2005, you didn’t just have a phone already loaded with awesome tunes. No, you had to wait until your jam came on the radio and then record it yourself.
34. Messing up your Converse
People used to ruin perfectly good pairs of brand new Converse sneakers by scribbling nonsense all over them – in permanent marker. In fact, it was all the rage in 2005. But no one really knows why.
33. Guys highlighted the tips of their hair…
In time, fashion and beauty historians (that’s a thing, right?) will look back on 2005 and ponder the mystery of why adult men bleached the tips of the hair. This crime against style was first perpetrated by boyband *NSYNC, but why did so many guys follow suit?
32. And women highlighted all of their hair
This craze took hold in the early 2000s before eventually reaching a horrible peak in 2005. Yes, women would highlight giant sections of their hair so they looked pretty much like zebras. But just why did hair salons go along with it?
31. Phones were pink
In 2005 pink phones were the must-have accessory – but we don’t mean a cute rose gold like the iPhone 7. No, this was a horrible dusty pink like your grandma’s old lipstick.
30. Shoes had wheels
That’s right kids, shoes had wheels on them. Actual wheels, for wheeling around. And the inspired names for these horrendous shoes (that adults ended up wearing)? Heelys, of course.
29. You listened to music on an iPod Nano
People would go crazy for these little devices, and of course, all the cool kids in school had one. Yes, the first-generation iPod Nano was unleashed on an unsuspecting public in September 2005.
28. You used a separate webcam
It’s almost impossible to conceive of now, but back in 2005 people actually used separate, plug-in webcams. Yep, we mean those weird little cameras that sat on top of laptops and computers.
27. People wore velour tracksuits
Pink velour tracksuits: the very idea of them seems abhorrent these days. But back in the day, anyone who was anyone wore these matching outfits designed by Juicy Couture… including J Lo, of course.
26. You “topped up” your cellphone
Oh you poor Generation-Z thing, you; we’ll have to break this one down. In 2005 you had to actually go to the store, buy a pre-paid card and then call the phone company – all just to make sure you could actually use your cell phone. Hard times.
25. You made calls on a landline
People used to actually talk to people on actual telephones that were plugged into the wall. After all, that’s why they were called landlines. Some lunatics, meanwhile, even knew their own phone number off by heart. Can you imagine?
24. Dial-up internet was the internet
The fabled internet of 2005 could only be reached by using a dial-up modem, which made a now legendary tone. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and, hey presto – you’re online! But only for five minutes, because it was way too expensive, and your dad would yell at you.
23. Movies had to be rented
Forget Netflix. Forget streaming from dubious sources. Audiences of 2005 had to get up off the couch and then drive to Blockbuster to rent movies in person. And they came in DVD format. How totally backwards.
22. Your texts were limited
The texters of 2005 had to carefully think about and then construct what they wanted to say to people. That’s because texts back then had a 160-character limit. Crazy, right? Might as well have been the Dark Ages.
21. Everyone had a Baby G watch
Big, clunky plastic watches that took up too much space on your arm – sound familiar? Except unlike the Apple Watch of today, the horribly colored Baby G watches of 2005 fame could only tell the time.
20. People wore trucker caps
In 2005 everyone seemed to be wearing Von Dutch trucker caps. But we’re not talking about truckers wearing trucker caps. No, that would kind of be okay. We’re talking about people who should have known better – like Ashton Kutcher and Pharrell, for example.
19. People showed off how charitable they were
In 2005 people liked to demonstrate how great they were by wearing yellow gel bracelets in support of… uh… Lance Armstrong. Who’s great now?
18. Myspace was the social network to be on
Myspace was the only way to connect with your friends (and the occasional weirdo) back in 2005. In fact, between 2005 and 2009 it was the biggest social networking platform on the planet.
17. School ties got paired with regular clothes
A school uniform tie worn over your normal clothes couldn’t be lamer now. But back in the year that style forgot, this was a serious fad. Thanks a lot, Avril Lavigne.
16. Uggs were everywhere
No, that’s not just a weird noise, it was actually an Australian brand of shoe. Well, more like a big furry boot. Despite their hideousness (the manufacturers literally took the brand name from the word “ugly”), they were worn by celebrities and mere mortals alike around the world.
15. Facebook poking was the height of awkward flirting
Facebook hadn’t been running for long in 2005, so nobody quite knew what to do with it yet. Apart from poking one another, that is. And while the poking has since developed into more of a friendly nudging, the strange tool was once the epitome of how to flirt awkwardly online.
14. You thought cargo pants were the coolest trousers around
Forget jeans, leggings or anything remotely stylish; practicality was the order of the day in 2005. In fact, everyone who was anyone rocked a pair of cargo pants, complete with more zips and pockets than you really knew what to do with.
13. People actually liked Crazy Frog
Musical trends tend to come and go, defined mostly by the decades in which they were made. But Crazy Frog was something else entirely. Both appalling and baffling in equal measure, the tinny ring-a-ding-ding single it spawned was pretty much an affront to the very concept of music. But, somehow, people still ate it up.
12. Online chatrooms were a thing
Remember MSN? That was nothing compared to online chatrooms, where you could be totally anonymous thanks to the ability to choose your username every time you went in. But why on Earth we decided to waste our evenings talking to strangers, we’ll never know.
11. People bought CD singles
As if buying full albums wasn’t already an archaic concept, as recently as 2005 people were still buying CDs each with just one song on them. One song! And maybe a B-side or a remix. But nobody really cared about those anyway.
10. Fake glasses were a shortcut to looking smart
Or at least, that’s what people apparently thought. Not just any people, either; even cool-as-they-come celebs like Justin Timberlake were in on it. Sorry, Justin, but you’re not fooling anyone with those. In fact, you’re just making a mockery of the genuinely visually-impaired. Way to go.
9. LimeWire was the source of all music
…as long as you didn’t mind waiting for it, of course. Oh – and potentially accidentally downloading a million viruses onto your computer, or the same 15-second porn clip over and over again. What a time to be alive.
8. Tennis visors were a legitimate fashion choice
For East Coast frat boys, anyway. Can you imagine walking round in one of these now? Some fashion trends can be explained away, but tennis visors most certainly can’t.
7. “Distressed” jeans were all the rage
You might have thought that these looked effortlessly cool, but in reality you were just paying upwards of 50 bucks for jeans that someone apparently took a pair of scissors to. Who’d have thought scruffiness could be so profitable?
6. Everyone loved beaded jewelry
Headbands, bracelets, chokers – if you could think of it, then it probably existed in beaded form. And most of the time, it was either garishly glittery or blindingly bright. For reasons known only to 2005 kids, however, they weren’t shunned on first sight.
5. Shrugs were the sweaters that weren’t
Remember shrugs? Yeah, now you do. Sorry. These sweaters-but-not-really were poor excuses for clothing – and pretty much the flimsiest fashion choice around. Actually, it’s probably best if we go back to forgetting that they ever existed.
4. Pink and blue Burberry
As if regular Burberry clothing wasn’t cringe-inducing enough, back in 2005 people apparently thought that the blue and pink versions were even cooler. Okay, so maybe most fashion choices can’t be explained after all.
3. Bratz dolls
Remember Bratz? They basically embodied all that was wrong with spoilt teenage girls while propagating all their worst ideals. As positive female role models go, there were definitely better choices out there. Oh, and their feet came off with their shoes, too. Weird.
2. Platform flip flops
Because nothing screams “the height of fashion” like being really tall in flip flops. Well, apart from turning up the cuffs of your jeans, of course. And in 2005 the pair apparently went hand-in-hand.
The ultimate in TV and marketing crossovers, the spinning Beyblade toys were so popular that they spawned their own TV show. Of course, shows and movies based on toys are all the rage these days, but thankfully, none are centred on anything as weird as Beyblades.