10 Definitively ’90s Commercials


1. The Clapper

Was I the only 70-year-old trapped in a lazy ass 8-year-old body asking for The Clapper every time a holiday or birthday rolled around? I’m still in the dark, so to speak, as to why I need to waste precious energy getting out of bed to turn my light on and off when the technology exists to get the job done in an efficient — and festive — manner. Because I’m able-bodied? Because the machines haven’t won yet? I don’t get it. Someone explain.

2. This Is Your Brain On Drugs

The OG version of this anti-drug PSA aired in ’87, but the ‘90s version starred a young Rachel Leigh Cook channeling a post-Johnny Winona Ryder who spaced on taking her meds. This is the type of scary ass commercial that made you hug your mom when she got home from work, and she was all, “Is everything all right?” and you were all, “Yeah, just glad you’re my mom. Please don’t cook a dinner that requires pots and pans tonight?” That, or you’d reenact the spot at your friend’s place after school.

3. Chia Pet

Another gift deferred. It’s like, Mom and Dad — I don’t want a goddamn coloring book. I don’t want a jump rope. I want to breed and raise my own family of grass teddy bears. Get with the program.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Drug PSA

This PSA would’ve been much more effective if Michelangelo wasn’t perpetually stoned.

5. Miss Cleo

Miss Cleo brought more shame to the Jamaican culture than the Rasta Monsta energy drink, Mr. Nice Guy weed delivery, and those beanie hats with dreadlocks sewn in combined. Still, I felt compelled to take action whenever this commercial came on — usually by changing the channel.

6. Yo Quiero Taco Bell

It seems like only yesterday that renowned dog-actress Gidget Chipperton (LOL, yeah, the Taco Bell dog’s name was Gidget Chipperton. Talk about blatant Hollywood whitewashing; no self-respecting Mexican Chihuahua would rep that moniker) broke language barriers and — if I’m speaking honestly — the collective heart of America with a graceful, relatable request for Taco Bell. I mean, haven’t we all been there? Specifically at 3 AM after a long night of drinking?

7. Life Call, aka ‘I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up’

The unintentionally hilarious “I’ve fallen — and I can’t get up!” actress pretty much made this spot. Whoever casted this commercial deserves to be retired in Boca Raton, livin’ life (in an upright position, no doubt).

8. Sunny Delight

Remember when juice was only like, 10% actual juice and 90% artificial flavor, color, and liquid? In a more conscious 2012, Sunny Delight has been relegated to the proverbial ‘purple stuff.’ We’ve come so far since the Clinton years!

9. Gap, Mellow Yellow

The only thing more distressing than Gap’s late ‘90s Pod People commercials is that I’d never heard Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow” or Madonna’s “Dress You Up in My Love” before they aired. SHOWING MY AGE, AVERT YOUR EYES BEFORE YOU’RE BLINDED BY MY YOUTH.

10. Mentos

Or, the unbearable whiteness of white people.

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