'90s

Hubble Space TelescopeGulf WarOslo AccordsWorld Wide WebDissolution of the Soviet UnionDolly the sheepDeath of Diana, Princess of WalesRwandan genocide
From left, clockwise: The Hubble Space Telescope orbits the Earth after it was launched in 1990; American F-16s and F-15s fly over burning oil fields in Operation Desert Storm, also known as the 1991 Gulf War; The signing of the Oslo Accords on 13 September 1993; The World Wide Web gains a public face during the start of the decade and as a result gains massive popularity worldwide; Boris Yeltsin and followers stand on a tank in defiance to the August Coup, which leads to the dissolution of the Soviet Union on 26 December 1991; Dolly the sheep is the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell; The funeral procession of Diana, Princess of Wales, who dies in 1997 from a car crash in Paris, and is mourned by millions; Hundreds of thousands of Tutsi people are killed in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
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The 1990s (pronounced "the nineteen-nineties"; shortened to "the '90s") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 1990, and ended on December 31, 1999.

Culturally, the 1990s are characterized by the rise of multiculturalism[citation needed] and alternative media, which continued into the 2000s and 2010s. Movements such as grunge, the rave scene and hip hop spread around the world to young people during that decade, aided by then-new technology such as cable television and the World Wide Web.

A combination of factors, including the continued mass mobilization of capital markets through neo-liberalism, the thawing and end of the decades-long Cold War, the beginning of the widespread proliferation of new media such as the Internet from the middle of the decade onwards, increasing skepticism towards government, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a realignment and reconsolidation of economic and political power across the world and within countries. The dot-com bubble of 1997–2000 brought wealth to some entrepreneurs before its crash between 2000 and 2001.

The 1990s saw extreme advances in technology, with the World Wide Web, the first gene therapy trial, and the first designer babies[1] all emerging in 1990 and being improved and built upon throughout the decade.

New ethnic conflicts emerged in Africa, the Balkans, and the Caucasus, the former two which led to the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, respectively. Signs of any resolution of tensions between Israel and the Arab world remained elusive despite the progress of the Oslo Accords, though The Troubles in Northern Ireland came to a standstill in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement after 30 years of violence.[2]

Video game consoles released in this decade included the Super Nintendo/Super Famicom, Neo Geo, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast; while Portable video game consoles included Game Gear, Atari Lynx and Game Boy Color. Super Mario World was the decade's best selling console video game, while Pokémon Red and Blue was the decade's best selling portable video game; Super Mario 64 was the decade's best selling fifth-generation video game, while Street Fighter II was the decade's highest grossing arcade video game.

Politics and wars[]

Wars[]

The most prominent armed conflicts of the decade include:

International wars[]

Bosnian parliament building burns after being hit by Bosnian Serb artillery.

Civil Wars and guerrilla wars[]

Rwandan genocide: Genocide victims in Murambi Technical School. Estimates put the death toll of the Rwandan genocide as high as 800,000 people.

Coups[]

Terrorist attacks[]

Decolonization and independence[]

Prominent political events[]

Africa[]

South Africa[]

North America[]

During the late 1990s a move was made to oust the American president Bill Clinton following the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal. This attempt did not succeed and Clinton continued to serve as the president until the end of his term in January 2001.

The enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on 1 January 1994, creating a North American free trade zone consisting of Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a former Haitian priest and politician who became Haiti's first democratically elected president. A proponent of liberation theology, Aristide was appointed to a Roman Catholic parish in Port-au-Prince in 1982 after completing his studies to become a priest of the Salesian order.He was born 66 years (July 15, 1953). He made 11 books.Jean-Bertrand Aristide (born 15 July 1953) is a former Haitian priest and politician who became Haiti's first democratically elected president. ... Aristide was later forced into exile in the Central African Republic and South Africa. He finally returned to Haiti in 2011 after seven years in exile.

Asia[]

Europe[]

South America[]

World leaders[]

1990199119921993199419951996199719981999

Assassinations and attempts[]

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

Disasters[]

Natural disasters[]

The 1999 İzmit earthquake which occurred in the northwestern of Turkey killed 17,217 and injured 43,959.

The 1990s saw a trend in increasingly frequent and more devastating natural disasters, breaking many previous records. Although the 1990s was designated by the United Nations as an International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction as part of its program to prevent losses due to the disasters, its disasters would go on to cause a record-breaking US$608 billion worth of damage—more than four previous decades combined.[19]

Non-natural disasters[]

The crash site of El Al Flight 1862 in 1992.

Economics[]

North America

The Dow Jones Index of the 1990s.

Asia

Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton share a laugh in October 1995.

Europe

South America

Technology and science[]

Technology[]

The 1990s were a revolutionary decade for digital technology. Between 1990 and 1997, individual personal computer ownership in the US rose from 15% to 35%.[21] Cell phones of the early-1990s and earlier ones were very large, lacked extra features, and were used by only a few percent of the population of even the wealthiest nations. Only a few million people used online services in 1990, and the World Wide Web had only just been invented. The first web browser went online in 1993[22] and by 2001, more than 50% of some Western countries had Internet access, and more than 25% had cell phone access.

Electronics and communications[]

The "historical" World Wide Web project logo designed by Robert Cailliau.
The logo created by The President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, for use on Y2K.gov

Software[]

Eurostar[]

The opening of the Channel Tunnel between France and the United Kingdom saw the commencement by the three national railway companies of Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, respectively SNCB/NMBS, SNCF and British Rail of the joint Eurostar service.

Eurostar logo 1994–2011
A pair of Eurostar trains at the former Waterloo International since moved to St Pancras International

On 14 November 1994 Eurostar services began between Waterloo International station in London, Gare du Nord in Paris and Brussels South in Brussels.[27][28][29] In 1995 Eurostar was achieving an average end-to-end speed of 171.5 km/h (106.6 mph) between London and Paris.[30] On 8 January 1996 Eurostar launched services from a second railway station in the UK when Ashford International was opened.[31] Journey times between London and Brussels were reduced by the opening of the High Speed 1 line on 14 December 1997.

Automobiles[]

The 1990s began with another recession that dampened car sales. General Motors continued to suffer huge losses thanks to an inefficient structure, stale designs, and poor quality. Sales improved with the economy by the mid-1990s, but GM's US market share gradually declined to less than 40% (from a peak of 50% in the 1970s). While the new Saturn division fared well, Oldsmobile declined sharply, and attempts to remake the division as a European-style luxury car were unsuccessful.

Cars in the 1990s had a rounder, more streamlined shape than those from the 1970s and 1980s; this style would continue early into the 2000s and to a lesser extent later on.

Chrysler ran into financial troubles again as the 1990s started. Like GM, the company too had a stale model lineup (except for the best-selling minivans) that was largely based on the aging K-car platform. In 1992, chairman Lee Iacocca retired, and the company began a remarkable revival, introducing the new LH platform and "Cab-Forward" styling, along with a highly successful redesign of the full-sized Dodge Ram in 1994. Chrysler's minivans continued to dominate the market despite increasing competition. In 1998, Daimler-Benz (the parent company of Mercedes-Benz) merged with Chrysler. The following year, it was decided to retire Plymouth, which had been on a long decline since the 1970s. Ford continued to fare well in the 1990s, with the second and third generations of the Ford Taurus being named the best selling car in the United States from 1992 to 1996. However, the Taurus would be outsold and dethroned by the Toyota Camry starting in 1997, which became the best selling car in the United States for the rest of the decade and into the 2000s. Ford also introduced the Ford Explorer, 1991 being the first model year. Fords Explorer became the best selling SUV on the market; out selling both the Chevy Blazer and Jeep Cherokee

Japanese cars continued to be highly successful during the decade. The Honda Accord vied with the Taurus most years for being the best-selling car in the United States during the early part of the decade. Although launched in 1989, the luxury brands Lexus and Infiniti began car sales of 1990 model year vehicles and saw great success. Lexus would go on to outsell Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the United States by 1991, and would outsell Cadillac and Lincoln by the end of the decade. SUVs and trucks became hugely popular during the economic boom in the second half of the decade. Many makes that had never built a truck before started selling SUVs. Car styling during the 1990s became gradually more round and ovoid, the third-generation Taurus and Mercury Sable being some of the more extreme examples. Safety features such as airbags and shoulder belts became mandatory equipment on new cars.

Science[]

Dolly the sheep is the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell.

Environment[]

NASA satellite observation of deforestation in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil. The transformation from forest to farm is evident by the paler square shaped areas under development.

At the beginning of the decade, sustainable development and environmental protection became serious issues for governments and the international community. In 1987, the publication of the Brundtland Report by the United Nations had paved the way to establish an environmental governance. In 1992 the Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro, in which several countries committed to protect the environment, signing a Convention on Biological Diversity.

The prevention of the destruction of the tropical rainforests of the world is a major environmental cause that first came into wide public concern in the early 1990s, and has continued and accelerated.

The Chernobyl disaster had significant impact on public opinion at the end of the 1980s, and the fallout was still causing cancer deaths well into the 1990s and possibly even into the 21st century.[33] All along the 1990s, several environmental NGOs helped improve environmental awareness among public opinion and governments. The most famous of these organizations during this decade was Greenpeace, which did not hesitate to lead illegal actions in the name of environmental preservation. These organizations also drawn attention on the large deforestion of the Amazon Rainforest during the period.

Global warming as an aspect of climate change also became a major concern, and the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) after the Earth Summit helped coordinate efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere. From 1995, the UNFCCC held annual summits on climate change, leading to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in December 1997, a binding agreement signed by several developed countries.[34]

Society[]

The 1990s represented continuing social liberalization in most countries, though coupled with an increase in the influence of capitalism, which would continue until the Great Recession of the late 2000s/early 2010s.

Youth culture in the 1990s responded to this by embracing both environmentalism and entrepreneurship. Western world fashions reflected this by often turning highly individualistic and/or counter-cultural, which was influenced by Generation X and Generation Y/Millennials: tattoos and body piercing gained popularity, and "retro" styles inspired by fashions of the 1960s and 1970s were also prevalent. Some young people became increasingly involved in extreme sports and outdoor activities that combined embracing athletics with the appreciation of nature.

Those born in the 1990s are usually considered part of the Millennial Generation, along with those born in the late 1970s and 1980s. However, dates vary, with many demographers considering those born from 1995 onward as part of Generation Z, the post-Millennial generation.[35]

The slacker and Valley Girl cultures were prevalent, and the decade was heavily influenced by Californian culture.

In 1990, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of diseases.[citation needed] Increasing acceptance of homosexuality occurred in the western world, slowly starting in the early 1990s.[36]

Third-wave feminism[]

Women's rights demonstration in Paris, November 1995

Additional significant worldwide events[]

Europe

North America

Asia

Popular culture[]

Film[]

The highest-grossing film of the decade was Titanic (1997)

Dogme 95 becomes an important European artistic motion picture movement by the end of the decade. The first full-length CGI movie, Pixar's Toy Story, is released, revolutionizing animated films. Titanic becomes a cultural phenomenon throughout the world, and eventually becomes the highest-grossing film of all time, grossing over $1.8 billion worldwide. It would hold this record for over a decade until 2010 when director James Cameron had another one of his films take the title, that being Avatar.[39]

Family animated feature films began to gain popularity during the decade, though the late-1990s (1997, 1998 and 1999) were more known. Don Bluth's animation studio, wasn't having great times due to the underperfomance of their family animated films such as Rock-a-Doodle, Thumbelina and The Pebble and the Penguin and ultimatelly closed down in 1995. In 1994, former Disney employee Jeffrey Katzenberg founded DreamWorks SKG which would produce its first two animated films: The Prince of Egypt and Antz which were both aimed more at adults than children and were both critical and commercially successful. Meanwhile, films by Walt Disney Feature Animation became popular once more when the studio returned to making family traditionally animated musical classic films, most notable films were Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Lion King. This era was known as the Disney Renaissance. Other significant animated films have also gained cult status such as The Jetsons Movie, The Princess and the Goblin, Happily Ever After, An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, Tom and Jerry: The Movie, The Thief and the Cobbler, Once Upon a Forest, We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Felidae, The Swan Princess, Balto, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Cats Don't Dance, Anastasia, Quest for Camelot, The Rugrats Movie, Kirikou and the Sorceress, The King and I, South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut and The Iron Giant.

Live-action films featuring computer-animated characters became popular with films such as Casper, James and the Giant Peach, 101 Dalmatians, Men in Black, Small Soldiers and Stuart Little, although live-action/traditional cel animated film featuring traditional characters like the blockbuster release Cool World, The Pagemaster and Space Jam were also prevalent.

Japanese anime films continued in the 1990s as Studio Ghibli's continued to dominate with films such as Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso, Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke (which became the highest-grossing anime film at the time) and My Neighbors the Yamadas. Other significant anime films which gained cult status include Roujin Z, Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama, Patlabor 2: The Movie, Ninja Scroll, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Ghost in the Shell, Memories, The End of Evangelion, Perfect Blue, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, and the Pokemon film series which started with the first two entries Pokemon: The First Movie and Pokemon: The Movie 2000.

Award winners[]

Award 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Academy Award for Best Picture winners Dances with Wolves[40] The Silence of the Lambs[41] Unforgiven[42] Schindler's List[43] Forrest Gump[44] Braveheart[45] The English Patient[46] Titanic[47] Shakespeare in Love[48] American Beauty[49]
Palme d'Or winners at the Cannes Film Festival Wild at Heart[50] Barton Fink[51] The Best Intentions[52] Farewell My Concubine and The Piano[53] Pulp Fiction[54] Underground[55] Secrets & Lies[56] Taste of Cherry and The Eel[57] Eternity and a Day[58] Rosetta[59]
César Award for Best Film winners Cyrano de Bergerac Tous les matin du monde Savage Nights Smoking/No Smoking Wild Reeds La haine Ridicule Same Old Song The Dreamlife of Angels Venus Beauty Institute
Golden Lion winners at the Venice Film Festival Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead Close to Eden The Story of Qiu Ju Short Cuts and Three Colours: Blue Vive L'Amour and Before the Rain Cyclo Michael Collins Fireworks The Way We Laughed Not One Less

Highest-grossing[]

The 25 highest-grossing films of the decade are:[60]

Films by worldwide box office
No. Title Year Box office
1 Titanic 1997 $1,850,197,130
2 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 1999 $924,305,084
3 Jurassic Park 1993 $912,667,947
4 Independence Day 1996 $817,400,891
5 The Lion King 1994 $763,455,561
6 Forrest Gump 1994 $677,387,716
7 The Sixth Sense 1999 $672,806,292
8 The Lost World: Jurassic Park 1997 $618,638,999
9 Men in Black 1997 $589,390,539
10 Armageddon 1998 $553,709,788
11 Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 $516,950,043
12 Ghost 1990 $505,702,588
13 Aladdin 1992 $504,050,219
14 Twister 1996 $494,471,524
15 Toy Story 2 1999 $487,059,677
16 Saving Private Ryan 1998 $481,840,909
17 Home Alone 1990 $476,684,675
18 The Matrix 1999 $463,517,383
19 Pretty Woman 1990 $463,406,268
20 Mission: Impossible 1996 $457,696,391
21 Tarzan 1999 $448,191,819
22 Mrs. Doubtfire 1993 $441,286,195
23 Dances with Wolves 1990 $424,208,848
24 The Mummy 1999 $415,933,406
25 The Bodyguard 1992 $410,945,720


Music[]

Spice Girls became one of the biggest global pop acts of the decade.
Nirvana performing at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.
Mariah Carey at Edwards Air Force Base during the making of "I Still Believe" video in 1998.

The 1990s were a decade that saw marketing become more segmented, as MTV gradually shifted away from music videos beginning in 1992 and radio splintered into narrower formats aimed at different niches.[61][62][63][64] However, they are perhaps best known for grunge, gangsta rap, R&B, teen pop; eurodance, electronic dance music, the renewed popularity of punk rock mainly because of the band Green Day (which would also help create a new genre pop punk) and for being the decade that alternative rock became mainstream. U2 was one of the most popular 1990s bands, their groundbreaking Zoo TV and PopMart tours were the top selling tours of 1992 and 1997. Glam metal dies out through its own accord in the music mainstream by 1991.[65] Grunge became popular in the early 90s due to the success of Nirvana's Nevermind, Pearl Jam's Ten, Alice in Chains' Dirt and Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger.[66] Pop punk also becomes popular with such artists as Green Day, Blink-182, Weezer, Social Distortion, the Offspring, Bad Religion, NOFX and Rancid.[67] Other successful alternative acts included Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Nickelback, Creed, Radiohead, Gin Blossoms, Soul Asylum, Third Eye Blind, Stone Temple Pilots, Faith No More, the Smashing Pumpkins, Live, Everclear, Bush, Screaming Trees and Ween.[68]

Dr. Dre's 1992 album The Chronic provided a template for modern gangsta rap.[69] Due to the success of Death Row Records, West Coast gangsta rap commercially dominated hip hop during the early 1990s, along with the Notorious B.I.G. on the East Coast.[70] Hip hop became the best selling music genre by the mid-1990s.[71][72]

In the United Kingdom, the uniquely British alternative rock Britpop genre emerged as part of the more general Cool Britannia culture, with Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Suede, Supergrass and Elastica. The impact of boy band pop sensation Take That lead to the formation of other boy bands in the UK and Ireland such as East 17 and Boyzone. Female pop icons Spice Girls took the world by storm, becoming the most commercially successful British group since the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.[73][74] Their global success brought about a widespread scene of teen pop acts around the world[75][76] such as All Saints, Backstreet Boys, Hanson, N Sync, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera who came to prominence into the new millennium.[77] 1991 also saw the death of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury from AIDS-related pneumonia.

Contemporary R&B and quiet storm continued in popularity among adult audiences, which began during the 1980s. Popular American contemporary R&B artists included Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, D'Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston, Brandy, Sade, En Vogue, TLC, Destiny's Child, Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, Dru Hill and Vanessa L. Williams.

The Tibetan Freedom Concert brought 120,000 people together in the interest of increased human rights and autonomy for Tibet from China. Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain, Selena, Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. are the most publicized music-related deaths of the decade, in 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997 respectively.

Richey Edwards of Manic Street Preachers was publicized in the media in 1991 following an incident involving Steve Lamacq backstage after a live show, in which Edwards carved '4 Real' into his arm. Edwards disappeared in 1995, which was highly publicized. He is still missing, but was presumed dead in 2008.

Controversy surrounded the Prodigy with the release of the track "Smack My Bitch Up". The National Organization for Women (NOW) claimed that the track was "advocating violence against women" due to the lyrics of that song. The music video (directed by Jonas Åkerlund) featured a first-person POV of someone going clubbing, indulging in drugs and alcohol, getting into fist fights, abusing women and picking up a prostitute. At the end of the video the camera pans over to a mirror, revealing the subject to be a woman.

1994 became a breakthrough year for punk rock in California, with the success of bands like Bad Religion, Social Distortion, Blink-182, Green Day, the Offspring, Rancid and similar groups following. This success would continue to grow over the next decade, the 2000s. The 1990s also became the most important decade for ska punk/reggae rock, with the success of many bands like Buck-O-Nine, Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Murphy's Law, No Doubt, Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris, Sublime and Sugar Ray.

The rave movement that emerged in the late 1980s rose. Rave spawned genres such as Intelligent dance music and Drum and bass. The latter is an offshoot of jungle techno and breakbeat. Popular artists included Moby, Fatboy Slim, Björk, Aphex Twin, Orbital, the Orb, the Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Todd Terry, 808 State, Primal Scream, the Shamen, the KLF and the Prodigy.

The rise of industrial music, somewhat a fusion of synthpop and heavy metal, rose to worldwide popularity with bands like Godflesh, Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, Ministry and Marilyn Manson. Groove metal was born through the efforts of Pantera, whose seventh studio album Far Beyond Driven (1994) was notable for going number one on Billboard 200. Another heavy metal subgenre called nu metal, which mixed metal with hip hop influences, becomes popular with bands like Korn, Slipknot and Limp Bizkit selling millions of albums worldwide. Metallica's 1991 eponymous album Metallica is the best-selling album of the SoundScan era, while extreme metal acts such as Death, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Emperor, Cannibal Corpse and others experienced popularity throughout the decade.

In the 1990s, country music became a worldwide phenomenon thanks to Billy Ray Cyrus, Shania Twain and Garth Brooks.[78][79][80] The latter enjoyed one of the most successful careers in popular music history, breaking records for both sales and concert attendance throughout the decade. The RIAA has certified his recordings at a combined (128× platinum), denoting roughly 113 million United States shipments.[81] Other artists that experienced success during this time included Clint Black, Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin, Travis Tritt, Suzy Bogguss, Alan Jackson, Lorrie Morgan and the newly formed duo of Brooks & Dunn; George Strait, whose career began in the 1980s, also continued to have widespread success in this decade and beyond. Female artists such as Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Deana Carter, LeAnn Rimes and Mary Chapin Carpenter all released platinum selling albums in the 1990s. The Dixie Chicks became one of the most popular country bands in the 1990s and early 2000s. Their 1998 debut album Wide Open Spaces went on to become certified 12x platinum while their 1999 album Fly went on to become 10x platinum.


Television[]

Friends which premiered on NBC in 1994 became one of the most popular sitcoms of all time.
Seinfeld premiered on NBC in 1989, becoming a commercial success and cultural phenomenon by 1993.

TV shows, mostly sitcoms, were popular with the American audience. Series such as Roseanne, Coach, Empty Nest, Mr. Belvedere, 227, Cheers, The Cosby Show, Growing Pains, Night Court, The Hogan Family, A Different World, Amen, ALF, Perfect Strangers, Family Matters, Charles in Charge, Saved by the Bell, My Two Dads, Newhart, Dear John, Designing Women, The Golden Girls, Who's the Boss?, Head of the Class, and Seinfeld, which premiered in the eighties, and Frasier, a spin-off of the 1980s hit Cheers were viewed throughout the 1990s. These sitcoms, along with Friends, That '70s Show, Ellen, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Full House, Nurses, Murphy Brown, The Wonder Years, Living Single, Step by Step, NewsRadio, Blossom, The King of Queens, Major Dad, Fired Up, Jesse, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, For Your Love, The Steve Harvey Show, The Larry Sanders Show, Sex and the City, Arliss, Dream On, Grace Under Fire, Mad About You, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Naked Truth, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, The Jamie Foxx Show, Smart Guy, The Wayans Bros., Malcolm & Eddie, Clueless, Moesha, The Parent 'Hood, Unhappily Ever After, Roc, Martin, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, In Living Color, Sister, Sister, Boy Meets World, Ned and Stacey, Becker, Veronica's Closet, Two Guys and a Girl, The Drew Carey Show, Wings, The John Larroquette Show, Caroline in the City, Sports Night, Home Improvement, Will & Grace, Married... with Children, Evening Shade, Cosby, Spin City, The Nanny, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Suddenly Susan, Cybill, Just Shoot Me!, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Dharma and Greg turned TV in new directions and defined the humor of the decade.

In early 1993, one of the last westerns ever to air on television was Walker, Texas Ranger, a crime drama which also starred Chuck Norris as the title character. Lasting for 9 seasons, the show tackled a wide variety of subjects, and was one of the few shows ever to perform karate.

1993 also saw its debut of the medicalmystery drama, Diagnosis Murder, a comeback vehicle for Dick Van Dyke, who guest-starred on an episode of its sequel, Jake and The Fatman, where the show got off to a rocky start, and became one of television's long-running mysteries, that lasted until its cancelation in 2001.

Medical dramas started to come into television in the '90s. One show stood out as a critical and ratings success for NBC. In 1994, ER, which starred Anthony Edwards, Noah Wyle and George Clooney, was a domestic and international success, lasting until 2009 and spawning series such as Grey's Anatomy (2005–present). It made NBC the most watched channel in the United States.[citation needed] This show launched the career of George Clooney. That same year, Chicago Hope, that starred Héctor Elizondo, Mandy Patinkin and Adam Arkin, was also a popular series for CBS, lasting between 1994 and 2000.

Beverly Hills, 90210 ran on Fox from 1990 to 2000. It established the teen soap genre paving the way for Dawson's Creek, Felicity, Party of Five, and other shows airing later in the decade. The show was then remade and renamed simply 90210 and premiered in 2008. Beverly Hills, 90210 spun-off Melrose Place, a popular TV show that dominated throughout the '90s as well. Baywatch, a popular TV show that dominated throughout the '90s, became the most watched TV show in history and influenced pop culture.

Sex and the City's frank portrayal of relationships and sexuality caused controversy and acclaim, leading to a new generation of sexually progressive television shows that would be seen in the 2000s.

The fantasy and science fiction was popular on television, with NBC airing seaQuest DSV beginning in 1993, This series is a Steven Spielberg production, made Jonathan Brandis popular teen idol, but after three seasons it was canceled.Touched By an Angel, broadcast by CBS in 1994. The series was intended as the comeback vehicle of Della Reese, and also launched the career of Roma Downey. It wasn't an immediate hit, and was canceled the following year, but revived the following year, thanks to die hard fans who approached a letter-writing campaign, where it ran for 8 more seasons.

Crime drama and police detective shows returned after soap-operas died down. After the successful debuts of Law & Order, NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Street, Nash Bridges, a comeback vehicle for Don Johnson, lasting 6 seasons (1996–2001) which also dealt with escapist entertainment, rather than tackling issues.[82]

Reality television began on MTV; this would grow in importance in the western world into the next decade.

During the mid-1990s, two of the biggest professional wrestling companies: World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Federation were in a ratings battle that was dubbed the Monday Night Wars (1995–2001). Each company fought to draw more viewers to their respective Monday night wrestling show. The "War" ended in 2001 when WWE bought WCW. In November 2001, there was a Winner Takes All match with both companies in a Pay-Per-View called Survivor Series. WWF won the match; putting a final end to WCW.

As an animated sitcom, The Simpsons, debuted in December 1989, became a domestic and international success in the 1990s. The show has aired more than 600 episodes and has become an institution of pop culture. It has spawned the adult-oriented animated sitcom genre, inspiring racier shows such as Beavis and Butt-head (1993–1997), Daria (1997–2001), along with South Park and Family Guy, the latter two of which began in 1997 and 1999 respectively and continue to air new episodes through the 2000s and into the 2010s.

Anime was popular in the 1980s, and expanded to a worldwide audience by the 1990s, for its expansive spectrum of story subjects and themes not limited to comedy and superhero action found in the US, and well produced, and well written, visual and story content, that held emotional and intellectual depth and integrity to its viewers, and which also expanded to older and adult ages in the medium of animation. TV shows such as Sailor Moon, Digimon, Pokémon, Tenchi Muyo!, Detective Conan, Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ranma 1/2, Dirty Pair, Slayers, Rurouni Kenshin, Initial D, Gunsmith Cats, to anime movies such as Akira, Vampire Hunter D, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, The Castle of Cagliostro, and imports by various distributors such as Viz, AnimEigo, Central Park Media, A.D. Vision, Pioneer Entertainment, Media Blasters, Manga Entertainment, and Celebrity, helped begin the mid to late 1990s and early to mid-1900s introductory anime craze in the US, and the Cartoon Network anime block Toonami in 1997.

Nickelodeon's first animated series (Doug, Rugrats, The Ren & Stimpy Show) debuted in 1991.

American animated children's programs went through a renaissance during the decade with studios producing many critically acclaimed shows. Specifically Warner Bros Animation shows like Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Batman: The Animated Series, and Superman: The Animated Series. Also syndicated shows like Phantom 2040.

The late 90s also saw the evolution of a new TV genre: primetime game shows, popularized by the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, hosted by Regis Philbin on ABC, as well as other first-run game shows aired in primetime on the newly launched Game Show Network.

Fashion[]

Grunge-style flannel shirt and curtained hair

Significant fashion trends of the 1990s include:

Video games[]

Popular notable video games of the 1990s include: Metal Gear Solid, Super Mario World, Doom (1993 video game), Donkey Kong Country, Pokémon Red and Blue Versions, Pokémon Yellow Version, GoldenEye 007, Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Gran Turismo, Mario Kart 64, Half-Life, Super Mario Kart, Radiant Silvergun, Rayman, Gunstar Heroes, Banjo-Kazooie, Soulcalibur, Star Fox series, Tomb Raider series, Final Fantasy, Sonic the Hedgehog series, Story of Seasons series, Tony Hawk's series, Crash Bandicoot series, Metal Slug series, Resident Evil series, Street Fighter II, Spyro the Dragon series, Commander Keen series, Test Drive series, Dance Dance Revolution series, Monkey Island series, Dune series, Mortal Kombat series, Warcraft series, Duke Nukem 3D, Tekken series, EarthBound, Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game, and StarCraft.

Sony's PlayStation becomes the top selling game console and changes the standard media storage type from cartridges to compact discs in consoles. Crash Bandicoot is released on 9 September 1996, becoming one of the most successful platforming series for the Sony PlayStation. Tomb Raider's (PlayStation) Lara Croft became a video game sex symbol, becoming a recognizable figure in the entertainment industry throughout the late 1990s.

3-D graphics become the standard by end of decade. Although FPSs had long since seen the transition to full 3D, other genres begin to copy this trend by the end of the decade. Most notable first shooter games in the 1990s are GoldenEye 007 and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six.

The console wars, primarily between Sega (Mega Drive, marketed as the Sega Genesis in North America, introduced in 1988) and Nintendo (Super NES, introduced in 1990), sees the entrance of Sony with the PlayStation in 1994, which becomes the first successful CD-based console (as opposed to cartridges). By the end of the decade, Sega's hold on the market becomes tenuous after the end of the Saturn in 1999 and the Dreamcast in 2002.

Mario as Nintendo's mascot finds a rival in Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog on the Genesis in 1991.

Arcade games rapidly decrease in popularity.[83]

Fighting games like Capcom's Street Fighter II, Sega's futuristic Virtua Fighter, and especially the more violent Mortal Kombat from Midway prompted the video game industry to adopt a game rating system. Hundreds of knock-offs are widely popular in the mid-to-late 1990s. Doom (1993) bursts onto the world scene, and instantly popularizes the FPS genre. Half-Life (1998) features the next evolutionary step in the genre with continual progression of the game (no levels in the traditional sense) and an entirely in-person view, and becomes one of the most popular computer games in history.

The real-time strategy (RTS) genre is introduced in 1992 with the release of Dune II. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994) popularizes the genre, with Command & Conquer and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness in 1995, setting up the first major real-time strategy competition and popularizing multiplayer capabilities in RTS games. StarCraft in 1998 becomes the second best-selling computer game of all time. It remains among the most popular multiplayer RTS games to this day, especially in South Korea. Homeworld in 1999 becomes the first successful 3d RTS game. The rise of the RTS genre is often cred with the fall of the turn-based strategy (TBS) genre, popularized with Civilization in 1991. Final Fantasy debuted (in North America) in 1990 for the NES, and remains among the most popular video game franchises, with many new titles to date and more in development, plus numerous spin-offs, sequels, films and related titles. Final Fantasy VII, released in 1997, especially popularized the series.

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) see their entrance into the computer game world with Ultima Online in 1997, although they don't gain widespread popularity until EverQuest and Asheron's Call in 1999. MMORPGs go on to become among the most popular genres in the first decade of the 21st century.

Pokémon enters the world scene with the release of the original Game Boy Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green games in Japan in 1996, later changed to Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue for worldwide release in 1998. It soon becomes popular in the United States, spurring the term Pokémania and is adapted into a popular anime series and trading card game, among other media forms.

Resident Evil is released in 1996. It becomes the most popular survival-horror series in video gaming well into the next decade and inspires several films.

Crash Bandicoot is released in September 1996, becoming an innovative platformer for the PlayStation.

Internet[]

Architecture[]

The Petronas Twin Towers were the world's tallest buildings when completed in 1999.

Sports[]

Fireworks in the SkyDome after Joe Carter's World Series-winning home run, as the Canadian Toronto Blue Jays won their second straight World Series title in 1993 against the US' Philadelphia Phillies.

Literature[]

See also[]

Timeline[]

The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events of the decade:

1990199119921993199419951996199719981999

Notes[]

References[]

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Further reading[]