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The Ultimate ’90s Cartoon/Anime Starter Pack for Gen Z: What to Binge to Understand Millennial Hype

A Millennial’s Guide to the ’90s, Just For Gen Z

Hey Gen Z, let’s rap for a sec. I see you over there, rockin’ those scrunchies, high-waisted jeans, and sporting that “Friends” merch. Kudos for embracing the ’90s, but let’s get one thing straight: You’re just tourists in this nostalgic wonderland, and I’m your trusty Millennial tour guide, Ryder. Ready to get schooled in what made the ’90s the golden era of cartoons and anime? Grab your slap bracelets and pogs; class is in session.

The “We Had to Watch TV Shows on Actual TV” Section

1. “Rugrats”

Before there were life hacks on TikTok, Tommy Pickles was our OG life hacker, armed only with a screwdriver and insane levels of baby bravado.

2. “Hey Arnold!”

Forget life coaches; we had Arnold and his endless wisdom about urban survival.

3. “Dexter’s Laboratory”

Science YouTubers? Nah, Dexter was our pint-sized Einstein, and we were cool with his failures. (Mostly.)

4. “Powerpuff Girls”

Girl power before Instagram feminism was even a thing.

5. “Recess”

The OG guide to social hierarchies. Forget Twitter wars; the playground was where alliances were made and broken.

The “Anime Was a Secret Club” Section

6. “Dragon Ball Z”

Your current Anime Twitter debates? Pfft, we had to defend the honor of Goku and Vegeta on the playground.

7. “Sailor Moon”

We didn’t have makeup tutorials; we had Sailor Moon transformations to inspire us.

8. “Neon Genesis Evangelion”

Our existential crises didn’t happen in quirky 15-second TikToks. They were 26 episodes long.

9. “Pokémon”

Pokémon GO? Cute. We were trading real cards and battling on chunky Game Boys.

10. “Yu Yu Hakusho”

We learned about the spirit world long before ghost hunting became a YouTube niche.

The “These Shows Were Our TikTok, Reddit, and Instagram” Section

11. “Gargoyles”

Our #Mood before hashtags were invented.

12. “Street Sharks”

Forget viral challenges; we were too busy pretending to be mutant sharks on skateboards.

13. “Cowboy Bebop”

TikTok dance? We were swaying to “The Real Folk Blues.”

14. “The Magic School Bus”

Science class? Psh, we took field trips with Ms. Frizzle.

15. “Animaniacs”

Our memes were hand-drawn and broadcast between after-school snacks and homework.

Learning from the Masters (That’s Us, Millennials)

Listen, we’re not saying the ’90s were better; we’re just saying they made us who we are today, and you wouldn’t love it so much if we hadn’t lived it first. We navigated social life without social media, made fashion statements without influencers, and most importantly, we survived dial-up internet.

So, Gen Z, while you’re doing the Macarena and watching “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reruns, just remember who made it cool first. And if you’re looking for more ’90s pop culture insights from someone who was there, lived it, and survived to tell the tale, head on over to All Ages of Geek’s Patreon to join the club.

Class dismissed.

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