Oh, sleepovers. Some of my favorite moments from childhood (and the tween years) took place at these magical sleep-deprived events. Loads of snacks, silly TV shows, and, of course, a gaggle of giggling girls made for some good times. But there were sleepovers and then there were sleepovers. And of course, there were things every '90s cool girl did at sleepovers that made their gatherings all that and a bag of chips.
Snacks, games, and VHS tapes were basic requirements, although some girls had access to makeup and nail polish for extra fun. There was considerable time devoted to discussing the relative merits of each *NSYNC member. “MMMBop” was sung in its entirety no less than a dozen times.
And your friends’ personalities got to shine in different activities. The more strategic thinkers could outpace you in a board game, whereas the more theatrical ones would perform an impressive approximation of Britney’s latest video. There was always at least one girl who was absurdly great at braiding hair, and she was summoned to give everyone a matching style, which probably included a generous use of scrunchies. (I was always the little nutbag who would overdo it on the sugar and annoy everyone with hyperactive laughter. And to be honest, sometimes that still happens.) Looking back, I’m grateful to our parents for enabling such madness. Because the one thing no cool girl did at a sleepover was actually sleep.
1. Played With Nail Polish
Hard Candy's sky blue shade was mandatory, along with anything glittery. Maybe you got all wild and crazy and painted each nail a different color.
2. OD'd On Surge
Lord help the parents who supplied their daughter's sleepover party with Surge. They'd spend the rest of the evening peeling girls off the ceiling.
3. Played With The Mom's Makeup
Which was actually not all that fun, really, because it was the '90s and all makeup was just a varying shade of brown. But if your friend's older sister had some body glitter on hand, that stuff got slathered on like spackling.
4. Played Dream Phone
Because you could pretend to have your own phone line. And talk to boys on it. Runner up board game: Electronic Mall Madness.
5. Rearranged Their Beanie Baby Collection
Or Littlest Pet Shop figures. Or plastic horses. It’s a universal truth that every group of cool girls includes at least one horse fanatic.
6. Hung Out In Their Disney Sleeping Bags
The Little Mermaid and The Lion King were top favorites. There was just something thrilling about being allowed to sleep on the floor, surrounded by friends and snacks.
7. Watched 'Spice World'
Or Clueless. Or My Girl. Every friend group had a favorite movie to watch at sleepovers.
8. Snacked On Pop Qwiz
Even snacks came in Day-Glo colors in the '90s. For some reason, multicolored popcorn just made sense during that time. And it paired exquisitely with a box of Hi-C.
9. Danced To Mariah/Backsteet Boys/Britney
Cool girls studied music videos and recreated their choreography. And you probably had that one friend who was obnoxiously good at it.
10. Told The Future
Whether you used a Magic-8 Ball, Ouija board, or just one of those origami fortune tellers, you and your friends totally helped divine the future. M.A.S.H. was also a fun game for this, although I always wound up living in a shack.
11. Played "Light As A Feather, Stiff As A Board"
Doubtless at least one of your group was considered mature enough to watch The Craft, and part of your sleepover entertainment included a concerted effort at levitating one another. But it was difficult to keep from laughing long enough for anything to work.