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10 Signs You’re Watching a ’90s Movie


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If you’re a “Real ’90s Kid,” chances are you watched a lot of movies. The decade that gave us Jurassic Park and Crystal Pepsi had more than its share of clichés and tropes. Here are 10 of the pre-millennial era’s most notorious.

10. Hackers

Before everybody and their Grandma was on Facebook, the Internet was something new and exciting. And also something that absolutely no one in Hollywood understood. ’90s movies almost always had “hacker” supporting characters spouting techo-babble that sounds like pure gibberish today.

9. Skaters and/or Surfers

We’ll throw these two into one entry because it was tough to spot a single ’90s movie that didn’t have somebody “gleaming the cube,” “ripping the curl,” or whatever it is that rollerbladers did.

8. Environmental Awareness

During the ’90s, Mother Earth was the hottest actress on the planet. (Well, after Claire Forlani. Yes, she was a popular actress. Google her, young ‘uns.) So we all got behind fixing the ozone layer and saving the whales. Suddenly the bad guy in every Steven Seagal movie was a crude oil baron and/or seal clubber.

7. Grunge Music

As the Seattle scene dominated the world of music, it was reflected in the casting of male leads wearing tons of flannel and sporting questionable facial hair. (See Reality Bites, Singles, Empire Records, etc.)

6. The Big Makeover Scene

It was literally impossible to find a teen movie in the ’90s that didn’t have a makeover scene where a previously nebbishy character was revealed to be a total hottie once she took off her glasses and let down her hair.

5. Don LaFontaine, aka “The Voice of God”

With his trademark “In a world…” opening, trailer voiceover king Don LaFontaine was associated with many of the biggest flicks of the decade. Yes, even Booty Call.

4. Liquid Metal

After the massive success of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the “liquid metal” effect pioneered in that film’s CGI was copied ad nauseum.

3. Natural Disasters

With Y2K looming, the ’90s were all about the end of the world, whether by earthquake, volcano, or massive meteorite crashing into the planet.

2. Product Placement

Marketing went bananas during the ’90s, with companies shelling out big money to get their brands on-camera. Good thing that trend went away…

1. The Cranberries

The Irish alt-rock group released their debut album in 1994 and for half a decade it was impossible to find a movie that didn’t have “Dreams” or “Zombie” on the soundtrack.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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