90s Theme Party: A Nostalgic Party That No One Would Like To Miss

birthday hat on the table

The 1990s was an interesting decade so, obviously, a 90s theme party would be too. this was the era of increasing social liberalism and environmental awareness. The economy was driven by entrepreneurs expanding their businesses onto this new thing called the "world wide web." The products and technology that would drive a generation down the information superhighway created high-paying jobs.

A middle class comprised of something other than factory workers was born, and a decade was defined. Fashion, music, and even historical events were manipulated by the ability to instantly find information. Sure, Ask Jeeves was crude, but it saved you a trip to the library.

In the 90s, your 56K modem cut out all the time because you'd forget to disable call waiting and Your little Janie's friend, Julie, just has to talk to her. When you reconnect, click all the popups closed -- causing 40 more to open -- and find what you need, you realize it took you slightly longer than oh, say... a trip to the library.

The 90s were fun and exciting times. Music went through major changes. Iconic films that still rule the all-time charts were created by masters. People became aware of global issues that impact not only people but every living thing we share our planet with. When you plan your 90s theme party, you won't run short on material.

black guitar amplifier

What Is a 90s Theme Party?

A 90s theme party is simple. It's 2018. Google it. The question is, what is your 90s theme party? What is your connection to that decade? If you were just a kid, you remember a glorious age for video games at home and an adventurist spirit outdoors. Sega and Nintendo were joined by the Sony Playstation and the mountain bike took over the BMX as the cycle of choice of choice.

If you were an adult, you watched as the eclectic 1980s led to a more civilized time, when hair bands transformed into Stone Temple Pilots and people with cell phones were really, really cool. The 90s saw "The Year of the Woman." More women were elected to Congress than any prior year in history.

The 90s, therefore, have plenty to offer. Movies, music, television, sports -- the list goes on. Planning a 90s theme party will be fun. Pulling it off will be epic.

Is a 90s theme party right for you?

Remember, a party is for your guests as much as it is for you. Is a 90s theme party something they'll want to participate in? For Generation Z, the 90s is a faint memory of a time before iPhones. They're more likely to appreciate the antics of the 80s, along with the clothing, commonly spoofed on film and TV.

Any other generation, however, will definitely enjoy playing along. Your friends might love the clever outfits they can come up with!

woman in a 90's dress outfit

Getting Started

The best way to start any party plan is to enlist your closest friends. You need help to pull off a great 90s theme party. Your friends will love the idea of getting involved and will, hopefully, offer to pitch in to help pull it off. Who doesn't want to be on the front lines of something as fun-tastic and memorable as a 90s theme party?


Plan everything for your party. Seriously, planning is the only thing that will ensure that your party is great. Time management and a solid schedule before your guests arrive will make for a better time not only for them but for you as well. Know when you're going to serve food. Have your music playlist ready to go. Don't let something trivial like ice cubes ruin your night. Make a checklist of the supplies you need and check it twice.

It's also a good idea to invite your neighbors, or at least inform them you're having a party. Clear up any parking issues. Have local cab companies on standby for those without designated drivers. Inform your local police you're having a party so they aren't surprised when they get a call from Millie down the street who didn't get the memo.

Your Place or Mine?

Before you invite people, make sure you have room. When the plan calls for 30 people because 10 can fit on the back deck, you've set yourself up for a weather disaster. If you have room for 20 people to comfortably enjoy themselves, invite 20 people. Otherwise, you're going to end up with unhappy guests.

backyard setup for a party


Invitations to your 90s theme party should go out with a couple weeks notice. The invitation itself is simple enough. Whether you're emailing, snail mailing or sending event invites on Facebook, it's going to be easy to convince people to get their 90s on.


Decorations are a key component to any good party. Decorating for a time genre like the 90s theme party gives you lots of choices. First and foremost, check your own home. Chances are there's a sports team championship banner laying around somewhere. If you don't have one, a friend might. Is there a VCR in your basement? Do you still have your first Nokia? How about that picture of you wearing "The Rachel?" Can you still play the pan flute part of the theme song to Titanic on that old Casio keyboard? Wait a tick -- is that your first computer? The guy at Montgomery Ward told you it was a 386 that acted like a 486 and you still have no idea what he was talking about. That computer, though, with its 5-1/4 inch floppy drive and onboard 56K dial-up, is something everyone will remember fondly.

A collection of memorabilia makes for a fun and interesting party. Consider making fact sheets about intriguing items. Facts don't have to be nerdy, either. The fact that you still have a juicer you purchased 25 years ago that you've only used once isn't nerdy -- its endearing to the dozens of people with one just like it and hilarious to the people who threw theirs away.


1990s music is often lost to the undeniably horrible commercial garbage pumped out across America. It's unfortunate, however, as there are plenty of shining stars in that dark night. Even Limp Bizkit has a song or two people would tolerate at a 90s theme party. Well, maybe not Limp Bizkit, but -- you get the point.

Those who were there, however, will never forget. Grunge gave way to... Whatever you call Nickelback. Blink 182 and Greenday developed a new accent, attached the pop/punk label to it and drove black eyeshadow sales into the stratosphere. Hip Hop took hold as East Coast vs West Coast rap turned deadly. Pop Princesses sprouted from the Mickey Mouse Club like they were going out of style -- because they were -- and Ted Nugent still couldn't manage to put out a good song, even surrounded by actual talent.

All of that makes for one incredible soundtrack. On the issue of music, the 90s has plenty to offer.

radio setup in 90's

Other Entertainment

One advantage to throwing a 90s theme party is -- it isn't the 90s. It isn't difficult to put together hours and hours of media. TVs and other devices to display 90s shows, movies, commercials, and music videos don't weigh hundreds of pounds and most are wireless.

Don't let this party tip pass you by. Your friends will love that the family room has a 65-hour stream of Jerry Springer going while the front room TV shows random sitcoms in 22-minute increments all night long. An iPad on a stand in the kitchen runs commercials nonstop for products and businesses that no longer exist. Little pockets of nostalgia will make your 90s theme party stand out from the rest.

The Big Day

When the day of your party arrives, the time has come to double everything. from beginning to end. Call anyone who has volunteered and find out if you're losing anyone. Life happens. People get sick and have unexpected emergencies. The earlier you know about it, the earlier you can put a backup plan in motion.

Make sure the food is on schedule. Double check your list of beverages, condiments, paper products, ice, and anything else you need to throw a memorable bash. If you're unsure if you'll have enough of something, get more. The last thing you need with a house full of guests is to run out of Clearly Canadian and Zima.

The Most Important Thing To Remember

Parties are about having fun. Far too many times in life, something we thought we planned well just doesn't go our way. The internet changed a lot of things that were staples of the 1990s. Murphy's Law isn't one of them. Should your party take a turn for the worse, run with it. Focus on what is working and make that your party. You spent a lot of time, energy and money to make this thing happen. Never give up; never surrender. The party isn't over until the last guest leaves -- or the police break it up -- whichever comes first.

Take lots of pictures and videos. Your 90s theme party is something you and your friends are going to want to remember.


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