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"They're Nowhere To Be Found Now": 25 Common Things From Back In The Day That Silently Disappeared Without Anyone Noticing

As a true '90s kid, nothing beat listening to NSYNC on my HitClips and recording the radio to set the ringtone on my indestructible flip phone. But sometimes, it feels like I just woke up one day, had a Spotify subscription, and refused to take my phone off silent.

someone opening a very old flip phone

Looks like I'm not the only one who feels like everything suddenly changed overnight. When redditor u/isawillmakeyouhappy asked the r/AskReddit community, "What disappeared silently and nobody noticed?" people jumped on the nostalgia train to remind us all of the common things from our past we likely forgot about. Here's what they had to say:

1."Those shoes with the little wheels in them."

A Heelys commercial

2."Pay phones."


"In a lot of rural areas, they’ve been converted into free lending libraries/book swaps. And there’s a phone box in Yorkshire that was converted into the world's smallest museum."


3."Missing people on milk containers."

an old photo of two missing people on the side of a milk carton

4."Paid lunches. The term '9 to 5' used to mean eight hours, including lunch. Now most jobs are 9 to 6 with no paid lunch, but people still use the term 9 to 5."



someone using a pink flip phone

6."Picture-in-picture as a television feature. You don't hear about that anymore."


7."The prizes in cereal boxes."

an old commercial for honey smacks cereal

8."3D TVs and to a lesser extent, 3D in cinemas. For a while, so many movies in the cinema had a 3D option. Many were not even shot with stereoscopic cameras, they just had their regular frames reprocessed digitally for the 3D effect. 3D TVs were the next 'logical step' in bringing this same effect to the living room. But it turns out that something that works in an environment where you sit still in a fixed spot doesn't work as well in an environment where you look at the screen from all kinds of angles and directions throughout a single viewing."


9."Kids playing outside. I grew up playing outside, and I just don't see that anymore..."

children riding their bikes outside

10."Freestanding newspaper stands."


11."AOL messenger (and ICQ). I used to love having people pop in and message me on these apps. ICQ was great because it allowed for people on AOL, Yahoo, MSN, etc. to communicate. Sad that it just disappeared. I met so many great people."

a log in screen for AOL instant messenger

12."So much in games: cheat codes, unlockable cosmetics, and downloadable content that isn't just a veiled micro-transaction."


13."Bugs, especially on the car windshield. I'm somewhat horrified thinking about how much bug juice was on the car's windshield and grill when I was a kid, but today my own vehicle is very clean."

a car windshield covered in bugs
Cturtletrax / Getty Images/iStockphoto

14."Voiceovers in movie trailers. For some reason, I can't think of when exactly they died out. I just remember that they were a thing, and then they weren't."


15."VCR tape rewinders."

a digital VCR display rewinding
Sebastian Santa Cruz / Getty Images

16."Lifetime licenses — everything is a subscription now."


17."Play places at fast food establishments. There aren’t that many that still have them."

a mcdonald's play place

18."Long distance phone companies and their ubiquitous advertising."


19."CD players. I have a rather large collection of CDs, and I had to search for a car that could play them. Same with CD players in computers."

a CD player in a car
Deepblue4you / Getty Images/iStockphoto

20."Layaway plans, which I’m sure was due to the rise in credit cards, but still."


21."Pagers. I remember thinking, 'Who's going to page you at school, and how are you going to call them back?'"

someone holding a pager
Isaac Lee / Getty Images

22."Mechanical credit card machines that took an imprint then you had to sign."


23."Garage sales and a local newspaper that lists where they are. There was a time I furnished half my house and filled my kitchen from garage sales."

a garage sale sign in front of a few pieces of furniture
Anthonyrosenberg / Getty Images

24."Does anyone remember the coin-operated horses outside of grocery stores? I suddenly realized they're nowhere to be found now."


25."Cigarette lighters/ashtrays in cars."

a cigarette lighter in a car
Algre / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Is there anything else you can think of that just slowly disappeared on us over the years? Tell us about it in the comments!

Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.