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18 Unexpected And Fascinating Facts About '00s Pop Culture That You Probably Never Knew

1.Batman Begins is the first movie to successfully reboot a franchise. At the time the last Batman film, Batman & Robin, had been released eight years prior — in 1997 — and the reviews and audience reactions to it were so bad that Warner Bros. put a stop to future movies.

Closeup of Batman

As Forbes points out in their article, back in 2005, the idea of a reboot was so new that some people assumed that the movie was actually a prequel to the original 1989 Batman film.

Warner Brothers / courtesy Everett Collection

2.People online HATED and were really UNHAPPY that Heath Ledger had been cast as the Joker in The Dark Knight — most people thought he was a really bad choice for the role.

Heath Ledger as the Joker

When it was announced, a lot of people just thought of Heath as a heartthrob.

Warner Brothers / courtesy Everett Collection

3.Contrary to rumors, "Umbrella" was not turned down by Mary J. Blige and Britney Spears before being offered to Rihanna. The writers of the song, The-Dream, Jay-Z, Kuk Harrell, and Tricky Stewart, offered it to all of them at the same time.

Closeup of Rihanna

FTR, RiRi was not happy about that, she told the Guardian newspaper in 2008: "No one wants to be teased. How can you bring a record to me when you took it to a million people at the same time? I thought Mary J. Blige was going to get it for sure. But at the back of my mind, I was thinking, No, wait, I'm never giving this up. I went up to the guy [Nash] at the Grammys, and I was like, '"Umbrella" is mine.' And he just kind of giggled. And I really held his face [...] like, 'No, you're not hearing me, "Umbrella" is my record.'"

Rihanna/ UMG / Via

4.According to Jonathan Bennett, Tina Fey told him he got cast as Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls because he looks like Jimmy Fallon.

Screenshot from "Mean Girls"

While filming Mean Girls, Bennett and Daniel Franzese — who played Damian — both came out to each other. In an interview with Gay Star News (via Gay Times), Franzese said that the two had an "open dialogue" with each other, saying, "We both were sharing in our little private misery of having to be in the closet. We definitely confided in each other."

Paramount / ©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection

5.In 2006, at its peak, the iPod accounted for 40% of Apple's revenue.

The iPod

Though it had been released in 2001, it truly wouldn't dominate the market until Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003.

Photo by SSPL / Getty Images

6.While Juicy Couture tracksuits are very much associated with then-younger celebs, like Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, the first celebrity to wear them was actually Madonna (the founders of the company sent one directly to her with her nickname "Madge" embroidered on the back).


Madonna (who was a fan of the brand) was photographed in it by the paparazzi. The pics were then featured in the Daily Mail, and after that, Juicy's business blew up.

Diane L. Cohen / Getty Images

7.In 2006, analog TVs still out sold HDTVs.

an analog TV

While HDTVs had been introduced in the late '90s, people were not quick to adapt because they remained pretty expensive for most of the '00s.

Finn Brandt / Getty Images

8.Gwen Stefani's "Cool" is a song she wrote about her ex and No Doubt bandmate, Tony Kanal. The music video for it stars Erin Lokitz as the "new girlfriend" and IRL, she was the then-girlfriend of Kanal (the two would eventually go on to get married).

Screenshot from "Cool"

In an interview with MTV, Gwen said she didn't have any plans to put in such a personal track on Love. Angel. Music. Baby., but one of her producers for it, Dallas Austin, played her a demo of it, and after she heard it, "within the next 15 minutes, the lyrics just poured out" of her.

Gwen Stefani/ UMG / Via

9.In 2004, Starbucks got into the music business with their Hear Music Coffeehouses. The new stores were a mix of a coffee shop and music store and offered the ability to make mix CDs — you would select the music you wanted from a touch-screen computer kiosk and then burn it onto a CD (for 99 cents a track).

People at a store

But the idea was a little too late; by 2004, a lot of people either burned their own CDs at home and/or listened to music on a iPod. By 2006, Starbucks removed the kiosks from most of their Hear Music locations.

David Mcnew / Getty Images

10.Amy Winehouse was the first choice to sing the Bond theme song for 2008's Quantum of Solace. After meeting with the franchise's producer, Barbara Broccoli, it was clear that she couldn't do it. According to Broccoli, Winehouse "was not at her best" and that "she was very fragile emotionally."

Closeup of Amy Winehouse

Jack White went on to record the theme song, "Another Way to Die," with Alicia Keys. But according to White, he was brought on at the very last minute to replace Winehouse.

Kevin Mazur / WireImage / Getty Images

11.The Motorola Razr is one of the most iconic cellphones of all time. However, when it was first released in 2004, it was not an immediate success because it cost $500, which was too expensive for most people at the time. Once the price was cut on it, it became a HUGE seller.

A Motorola Razr

By the time Razr V3 was discontinued in 2007, it had sold 130 million units.

South China Morning Post / South China Morning Post via Getty Images

12.Mad Men is considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time. The show's creator, Matthew Weiner, envisioned the show for HBO, but not only did HBO pass on it, they didn't even read the pilot.

The cast of "Mad Men"

Weiner had written several episodes of The Sopranos and thought of himself as part of the "HBO family." Additionally, even Sopranos showrunner, David Chase, was telling everyone at HBO that they needed to read the script. Weiner went on to say of the whole thing, "It was very disappointing to me, as I pushed the rock up the hill, that they did not notice me. Because I was part of the family."

Amc / ©AMC / courtesy Everett Collection

13.It took Beyoncé one-and-a-half months to learn all the choreography to "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." During the shoot, they did the routine 50 times and broke multiple pairs of high heels because they were dancing so hard.

Closeup of Beyoncé

The music video would go on to win Video of the Year at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

Beyoncé/ Sony Music / Via

14.The idea for the series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy came from a total fluke. In 2001, the series co-creators, David Collins and Michael Williams, where at an open artist studio in Boston when they overheard a wife yell at her husband for not being dressed as nice as three gay men that were there — the gay men then went to talk to the couple to smooth things over. While they were all talking, Collins said to Williams, "They just got a queer eye for the straight guy. That's the show we've been looking for."

The cast of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"

The two later went outside to talk to their friends who all thought it was a great idea. Williams then said, "I guarantee you a year from now, it will be one of the biggest hits on television." Which was partially true...the series was a big hit, but it premiered two years later, in 2003.

Bravo Tv / ©Bravo TV/Courtesy Everett Collection

15.Leona Lewis's breakthrough hit "Bleeding Love" was co-written by Jesse McCartney (along with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder) — who intended to put it on his own album, but instead gave it to Lewis.

Closeup of Leona Lewis

According to Tedder, he came up with the melody, verse, and opening lyrics by asking himself, "What would Prince do?"

Leona Lewis/SME / Via

16.In late 2007, Netflix got VERY close to releasing their own streaming device called The Netflix Player. However, Netflix's CEO, Reed Hastings, realized that if he put out his own streaming device, he would likely lose out on Netflix being available on other devices — like AppleTV — because he would be a direct competitor. With just a few weeks before the product was set to launch, Hastings canceled it. However, he decided to spin off the product to Roku, which was the company that had helped develop the device.

A Roku

The first Roku hit the market in 2008 — and really just served as a box to stream Netflix.

Pc Format Magazine / Future via Getty Images

17.The final episode of Friends is the most-watched show of the entire 2000s. The series finale was watched by 52.5 million viewers.

The cast of "Friends"

However, that isn't Friends' most-watched episode; that title goes to "The One After the Superbowl" (which aired right after the 1996 Super Bowl) and was watched by 52.9 million viewers.

NBC/ Warner Bros. Television/ Dreamer1422 / Via

18.And lastly, The Devil Wears Prada is not only one of the most iconic fashion films of the 2000s, but of all time. However, the movie only had a wardrobe budget of $100,000, which meant the movie's costume designer Patricia Field had to call in a lot of favors in order to create all the high fashion looks. According to Field, she imagined Andy Sachs as a "Chanel girl," so she personally called Chanel (who she had a long relationship with) and showed them the script. Chanel was ecstatic to work with her because "they wanted to see Chanel on young women." Of course, this collaboration all led to the iconic Chanel boots quote and look.

Screenshot from "The Devil Wears Prada"

Field ended up pulling about a million dollars worth of clothes for the film. Her work on the movie was also recognized with an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design.

Also, in case you're wondering, Field imagined Miranda Priestly as someone who wore Donna Karan. She ended up pulling many archival pieces from Donna Karan for the film.

20thcentfox / ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection