Nostalgia-ception: Fictional Pop Culture IN Fiction

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Please enjoy this guest post by the incredibly funny and talented Sarah Kennedy -Ed.

We here at 80s Baby love to ride the high of nostalgia. Remembering all the movies, TV, music, toys, cereal, etc. from when we were little is the good stuff and if it’s pop culture that exists in a fictional world? Why, friend, that’s like getting a double dose!

That’s why we were so excited to read this recent conversation happening over on Twitter. User, Jenny Jaffe (follow her!), posed this question yesterday: “What are your favorite pieces of fake art or pop culture? Like a pop song that exists within the world of a movie or TV show.” And the thread did not disappoint. Below is a round-up of our favorite responses.


Alison Klemp (@alisonklemp)

Zack Attack!

If you made a list of quintessential aspects of “90s cool,” you’d find that one Mr. Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell would check all the boxes (as would Stefan Urquell ). The boy with the brick cell phone and the mini fridge in his bedroom had everything: including a sick band — named after himself, natch — with his friends! Zack Attack took on the big responsibility of composing a class song for their graduation, and the result was Friends Forever, a killer 90s jam that still slaps.



Akilah Hughes (@akilahobviously)


How cool is Powerline? So cool that Max, the young lead of A Goofy Movie, decides that impersonating him during an assembly to impress a girl is worth the possible suspension. Quick side note: How does a school threaten suspension on the last day of school? Quick secondary side note: Does Max ever actually get punished for his scheme? Anyway, Powerline, the fictional pop star in the Goofy-verse, is so cool that Max even hijacks his whole road trip with his dad to end up at his concert. Friggin’ cool, man.



Marissa Monticolo (@MMonticolo)

The Beets from Doug


If you’re a fan of Doug, you know how that line ends. In the fictional town of Bluffington, there was no bigger band than the Beets, who were a take on the Beatles. Making their first appearance on the show in the episode “Doug Rocks,” The Beets spent the entirety of the Nickelodeon version of the show on a reunion tour — a small nod to The Who. Once the show moved to Disney, the Beets broke up but not before releasing their last album, Let It Beet.



Chelsea (@cee_ryan)

Smelly Cat

Phoebe Buffay is a great friend and a great character on F*R*I*E*N*D*S, but is she a great songwriter? It depends on what you think of her classic, Smelly Cat. To some, including the other characters on the show, it’s badly composed, poorly sung, and about an odd subject. To others, including the people watching at home, it is hilarious, relatable, and only aging better with time. Taylor Swift even invited Lisa Kudrow onstage to sing the song during her 1989 tour!


Daniel Halperin (@dhalperi)

Sick Sad World

In the world of MTV’s Daria, the title character is surrounded by a wacky cast of characters while she maintains an even keel, never-wavering tone of resignation and sarcasm. With her artsy best friend, Jane, by her side, the two work to survive high school before heading off to bigger and better things. How can two teenagers be so cynical? Maybe it’s what they’re watching on TV. Sick Sad World is seemingly the only TV show ever on in Lawndale and it is WILD!

The whole thread is full of excellent references, and you can check out the entire thing here With 3.1 K comments in the thread you’re sure to find the exact one that hits your throwback sweet spot and if not, contribute your own!

Follow all of these gifters of sweet, sweet nostalgia. Retweet their things! Support their projects! Send them a card on Rex Manning day!

Sarah Kennedy is a writer, comedian, and producer in New York City. She’s contributed pieces to Reductress, Laughspin, and The Advocate and has been featured in pieces for the Huffington Post and She is an avid Taylor Swift stan and she loves her girlfriend, her cat, and you. Follow her on Twitter.  


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