Only ’70s Kids Will Get These 18 Throwbacks

The days of over-the-top, groovy everything was also a time that was somehow simpler than the way we live today. These 18 trends, toys, and pieces of nostalgia are guaranteed to take ‘70s kids on a trip back in time.

Pet Rocks

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The quirky fad of owning a rock as a pet, complete with feeding and walking, made kids beg their parents for $4 to buy one. Sure, it was absolutely a scam, but it made the kids happy, and that’s the whole point of a toy, right?


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Jaws is still a classic most generations have seen, but for kids in the 1970s, Steven Spielberg scared them out of the water. ’70s kids would scan the water for signs of a shark fin, hearing ‘da-dum, da-dum, da-dum.’

Disco Music

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The dominant music genre of the ’70s, with hits from bands like the Bee Gees, quickly became a cultural movement for many. “Disco is shorthand for ‘discotheque.’ The word ‘discotheque’ comes from the French, and it literally means ‘record library,’” as we learned from Disco After Dark. The music mixed multiple genres in a way that had people on the dance floor all night long. 

Schoolhouse Rock!

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Tricking kids into learning during their block of Saturday morning cartoons, “Conjunction Junction” and “Three Is a Magic Number,” Schoolhouse Rock! probably taught kids more than teachers did. Ask anybody who grew up in the ’70s to explain how laws are made in our country and they’ll likely start singing “I’m Just a Bill.”

Tube Socks

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The fashion statement that every ’70s kid believed made them look athletic. Everyone from Farrah Fawcett to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wore the trend, convincing kids of the era that they looked cool and sporty.

The Fonz

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Kids tuned in to the sitcom Happy Days to see the Fonz, the coolest character on TV. All across the country, kids would be practicing their Fonzie thumbs up and saying “Ayyyy” with their best inflection.

Colorful Tupperware

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Tupperware now is synonymous with disposable. If it’s forgotten or a friend never brings it back, it’s no big deal. In the ’70s, it was another statement piece—bold, colorful, and designed to keep around. Luckily, with the color options, it was easy to notice who had added yours to their collection.

8-Track Tapes

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8-track tapes were cumbersome and complicated, with four programs instead of sides like vinyl or cassettes, which is probably why they died out quickly. But anyone from the ‘70s has a unique fondness for the music staple, even if they still find it frustrating.

Floral Prints

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Floral prints adorned the walls, while furniture was saturated in colors like mustard, orange, and avocado atop shag rugs in browns and greens. Floral print wallpaper would now only be allowed next to muted and minimalist furniture and décor, but then it was about the louder, the better.

Platform Shoes

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Though platforms were worn for centuries before, platforms are most closely associated with the 1970s. Platforms were everywhere, from male rockstars to everyday partywear. With their height and drama, platforms were part of the over-the-top aesthetic, particularly when decorated with glitter, bright colors, and loud patterns.

Shag Carpets

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Shag carpets were soft and fluffy and fun to run your fingers through. Though we look back now and question the aesthetic, people who grew up in the ‘70s still get hit with a hint of nostalgia for childhood days on those hairy rugs.

Lava Lamps

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The lava lamp made its first TV appearance on Dr. Who in the 1960s; the mood-setting, groovy light fixtures were a décor staple for most of the ‘70s. Though sales declined in the late ‘70s, with a resurgence in the ‘90s after Austin Powers, many kids had them in their bedrooms and may have even brought them along to their college dorms.

Metal Lunch Boxes

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These lunch boxes were adorned with cartoon characters and pop stars or decorated with stickers you did yourself, like a little billboard advertising who you were. What lunchbox you brought that ham and cheese sandwich to school with could completely determine your social standing for the entire school year.


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For kids growing up with the high-resolution and social interaction of games today, people were once completely enthralled by games like Pong and Space Invaders. But any child of the ’70s will always be nostalgic for Pong. The two-dimensional video game, which was released by Atari in 1972, was a game changer. 

TV Antennas

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Kids in the ‘70s didn’t have the high-definition TVs we’re used to today. Cable wasn’t even a thing yet; most homes that had TVs brought in their shows on TV antennas that resembled bunny ears, and it was usually the children’s job to adjust them when the signal wasn’t coming in clearly. The ‘70s were also the first generation raised with the concept that TV was influencing them in a possibly negative way.

Mood Rings

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A staple ’70s fashion accessory was essentially a liquid crystal thermometer, which could “recognize” your emotional state based on your body temperature. Blue meant you were calm or relaxed, amber meant you were nervous or anxious, and black meant you were angry. 

Sea Monkeys

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Comic book ads had children mailing away for these novelty pets, though they were actually just brine shrimp eggs packed dry and brought back from a dormant state when they hit the water. The truth behind them didn’t stop a generation from nurturing, naming, and staring wide-eyed in fascination at the little creatures whose resemblance to monkeys may be questionable.

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