’90s Canadian Childhood Checklist

The ’90s was a magical decade in which to grow up. TV was kid-specific but weird, there was no pressure to be online all the time, and best of all, there were house hippos.

You Probably Had Strong Opinions on the Best YTV PJ

Look, we all know the best PJ was Phresh Phil. But who was second best: Suga Baybee? Carlos? Tarzan Dan? PJ Katie and her farm? If you were a ’90s kid, this was a perennial recess argument.

You Watched a Whole Lot of Are You Afraid of the Dark . . .

. . . and therefore you saw the early work of major stars such as Ryan Gosling, Elisha Cuthbert, Ryan Reynolds, and like every single Canadian star of the era.

You Hucked Toonies in a Foolish Attempt to Be Rich

You heard a schoolyard rumour that the government would pay a bounty for anyone with one of those sweet new toonies that split, so you and your friends were throwing toonies around all afternoon until your mom told you it wasn’t true.

Your Mom Made You Get Up and Move Around During Body Breaks

’90s TV, why did you make us get up and exercise while watching you?

You Got Clearly Canadian in Your Lunch

Flavoured water is healthier than pop, right?

Your Board Games Came with a Lot of Gimmicky Parts

Crocodile Dentist, Grape Escape, Ask Zandar, Mr. Bucket, Shark Attack, Don’t Wake Daddy . . . so many ’90s games needed elaborate plastic toys to make them fun.

You Remember Weird TV Shows That Are Hard to Place

Do you remember plasticky monsters? Could’ve been Bump in the Night or Freaky Stories. Puppets teaching you stuff? That was Professor Iris or Eureeka’s Castle. What about a green puppet alien thing who hung out in her backyard and sort of spoke English but also spoke gibberish and was kind of bald but also had pig tails? That would be Nanalan’, the strangest of the strange Canadian TV shows.

You Have Strong Feelings About the House Hippo

Okay, you know they aren’t real, but why can’t they be?! Who doesn’t want a house hippo?

You Probably Had a Poster of Keanu Reeves or Pamela Anderson on Your Wall

Plenty of Canadians made it big overseas in the ’90s, but few had the photogenic appeal of Reeves or Anderson.

You Probably Sat Through a Bunch of Strange PSAs

The ’90s were the height of the odd PSA, such as Don’t Put It in Your Mouth, We Are Girls, or What’s Your Thing. Look, kid who’s good at making dinosaur noises: find a different thing.

Your School Banned Trading Cards

Sure, Magic and Pokémon were the big players in the trading card economy, but you may have been illicitly trading Spice Girls cards, Disney cards, X-Files cards, or even Garbage Pail Kids cards.