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Pop Culture

19 super-specific memories that are giving people instant childhood nostalgia

Certain sensations bring up incredible memories.

1980s kids, 1980s nostalgia, 1990s nostalgia

Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”


It was a call for people to tap into the collective subconscious and bond over the shared experiences of youth. The most popular responses were the specific sensory experiences of childhood as well as memories of pop culture and businesses that are long gone.

Ready to take a trip down memory lane? Don’t stay too long, but it’s great to consider why these experiences are so memorable and still muster up warm feelings to this day.

Here are 19 of the best responses.

1. 

"An eraser that looks and smells like a very fake strawberry." — zazzlekdazzle

2. 

"Remember the warm, fuzzy static left on your tv screen after it was on for a while. A lot of you crazy kids WEAPONIZED the static to shock your siblings!" — JK_NC

3. 

"Waking up super early on Saturday morning before the rest of the family to watch cartoons." — helltothenoyo

4. 

"When you'd watch a vhs and it would say 'and now your feature presentation.'" — Mickthemmouse

5. 

"Eating one of those plastic-wrapped ice pop things after a long day of playing outside in your backyard with your friends." — onyourleft___

6. 

"Scholastic book fairs." — zazzlekdazzle

"The distinctive newspaper-y feel of those catalogues, the smell of them. Heaven. I would agonize over what books to get, lying on my living room floor, circling my options in different colored gel pens, narrowing it down to 2-4 from a dozen in an intense battle royale between slightly blurry one-line summaries. I know my mom's secret now. She would've bought me the whole damn catalogue. But she made me make my choices so that I really valued the books. I'd read them all immediately, reading all night if I had to, hiding in a tent under my covers with a flashlight I stole from the kitchen. I thought I was getting away with something. As an adult, I notice, now, that the flashlight never ran out of batteries." — IAlbatross

7. 

"Watching 'The Price Is Right' when you were sick at home." — mayhemy11

8. 

"That feeling of limitless freedom on the first day of summer vacation. That feeling of dreaded anticipation on the last day of summer vacation." —_my_poor_brain_

9. 

"Blockbuster." — justabll71

10. 

"The noise when picking up the phone when someone was surfing the web." — OhAce

11. 

"The TV Guide channel. You had to sit through and watch as the channels slowly went by so we could see what was on. It blew getting distracted by the infomercial in the corner and then realizing you barely just missed what you were waiting for so had to wait for it to start all over." — GroundbreakingOil

12. 


"Light Bright. I barely remember it myself but you’d take a charcoal-black board and poke different colored pegs through it. You plug it in to the electrical outlet and all the pegs light up creating whatever shape you made in lights." — 90sTrapperKeeper

13. 

"You knew it was gonna be a good day when you walk into PE class and see that huge colorful parachute." — brunettemountainlion

14. 

"Ripping handfuls of grass at recess and putting them on your friend." — boo_boo_technician

15. 

"In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem if no one else can help, and if you can find them....maybe you can hire The A-Team." — Azuras_Star8

16. 

"Watching 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.' There was something so special about the intro where he would sing Won't You Be My Neighbor while he changed his jacket and shoes. I loved every second of it, and would watch in utter content and fascination each time as if I'd never before seen him zip his cardigan up and back down to the right spot and change his shoes with the little toss of a shoe from one hand to the other." — Avendashar

17. 

"Somewhere between blowing on some cartridges and pressing the cartridge down and up in the NES to get it to play." — autovices

18. 

"That feeling when you are going as high as you can go on the swings. Power? Freedom? Hard to describe." — zazzlekadazzle

19. 

"Cap guns. But smashing the entire roll of caps at once with a hammer." — SoulKahn90

Courtesy of Molly Simonson Lee

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