Looking back on it, 1999 was a glorious year for pop culture and American events. Some of them foreshadowed the good and bad of the 21st century while others are safe and secure in the world of innocent nostalgia that were the simpler times of the 90s.
This also means that the last year of the 90s, 1999, is now 20 years old.
1. "SpongeBob" debuted
That's right folks.
"SpongeBob Squarepants," the defining cartoon of our generation, took the torch from those glorious 90s Nickelodeon cartoons and took them to new heights in the year 1999.
2. "Fight Club"
If you're a dude aged 16-24, "Fight Club" was or is your favorite movie.
David Fincher's incredibly well-filmed and paced masterpiece was a character exploration between two men: an alpha and a beta with the movie's narrator and Tyler Durden.
Their relationship and creation of a fight club where men could take out their testosterone aggression turned into a dangerous cult that challenged corporate America and the status quo.
20 years later, it's still darkly fascinating, and the twist at the end is both absurd but perfect for the story.
3. "The Matrix"
Before revitalizing his career as John Wick, Keanu Reeves's most iconic role was as Neo in The Wachowskis ambitious and high concept sci-fi epic "The Matrix"
Remarkable dialogue, complex storytelling, and incredible action, "The Matrix" will go down as one of the most influential movies of the past 20 years.
It also led to sooooo many bad sci-fi and action movies with the stars wearing sunglasses and black leather, even The Matrix sequels!
4. "American Pie"
The 21st century's saga of raunchy teen movies began with this classic film of cinema...
5. "The Iron Giant"
This is, without question, the most underrated animated movie of all-time and one of the greatest of all-time.
I'll never forget getting to watch this classic multiple times when they played it nonstop on Cartoon Network for 3 straight days.
6. Bill Clinton survives impeachment
The 42nd President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton nearly suffered ultimate humiliation when Congress passed articles of impeachment in late 1998 due to perjury and obstruction of justice over an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
The Senate would not garner enough Guilty votes to convict and remove the President from office and Clinton got to finish his second term.
And all this happened just because his semen was found on Lewinsky's jacket...
Hmmmm I wonder if a situation like this could happen again?
7. WCW screws themselves in Spoiling Mankind winning WWF Title
In the legendary Monday Night Wars between the WWF and World Championship Wrestling (WCW), WCW would always spoil the taped results on Monday Night Raw.
Well on January 4th, 1999 they spoiled the outcome of Raw again by revealing that Mankind aka Mick Foley was going to become WWF champion for the first time.
A longtime veteran of WCW, ECW, and WWF under different personas like Mankind, Cactus Jack and Dude Love, Foley became a popular superstar in the WWF after an epic Hell in the Cell match with The Undertaker in 1998 when he fell off and through the cell 15 feet above the ground.
WCW's plans to get more views by spoiling their competition backfired, as millions switched the channel to witness history.
8. The Rock & Mankind have an Empty Arena Match
You thought we were done with Mankind and The Rock in 1999? Oh no!
During halftime of Super Bowl 33, they literally battled all over an empty arena for the WWF Championship which Mankind won by pinning The Rock with a forklift. I'm not making this up.
Rock and Mankind would also become tag team champions later that year as The Rock N Sock Connection.
9. The Greatest Show on Turf
Seemingly out of nowhere, the then-St. Louis Rams went from worst to first in 1999 with one of the most explosive offenses of all-time, The Greatest Show on Turf.
Led by quarterback Kurt Warner, who was literally bagging groceries a few years earlier, their new running back acquisition from the Colts in Marshall Faulk, receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, and elite offensive lineman Orlando Pace, the Rams took their insane offense all the way to Super Bowl 34 against the Tennessee Titans.
Ironically, the defining play of the Super Bowl was on defense when St. Louis linebacker Mike Jones tackled Titans receiver Kevin Dyson on the one-yard line as time expired. Dyson was literally one yard short of sending the game into overtime.
The Greatest Show on Turf looked to become the NFL's first dynasty of the 21st Century, but they quickly unraveled after being upset in the Super Bowl two years later by some team from the New England area who had some head coach who was a retread from Cleveland and this sixth-round draft pick from Michigan at quarterback, I wonder what happened to those guys after?
10. Stone Cold Steve Austin crashes with a beer truck
No moment defines the glorious WWF Attitude Era than when Stone Cold Steve Austin drove a beer truck to the ring and doused The Rock, Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon in the ring a week before Rock and Austin's WWF title match at WrestleMania XV.
11. Triple H Marries Stephanie in Las Vegas
Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie and WWF bad boy Hunter Hearst Helmsley, the greatest love story since Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth.
So as apart of a WWF storyline in 1999, Vince McMahon's enemy Triple H crashed his daughter Stephanie's wedding (which was in the ring) and showed footage revealing that Triple H drugged and kidnapped Stephanie into a Las Vegas chapel wedding and that they were married all along.
Yes, you read that right.
But don't worry ladies, because it was revealed a month later that Stephanie was in on it the whole and did it to get back at her father.
Oh, and now Hunter and Stephanie are married in real life and pretty much run WWE.
Ah, true love!
Yes, you read that right, THE NEW YORK KNICKERBOCKERS were good in the 90s and made the Finals in 1999. Unfortunately, they would fall in 5 games to the San Antonio Spurs at the beginning of their 21st-century dynasty.
It would be their last great run before being sent into the abyss of chaos by Jim Dolan and Isiah Thomas and Phil Jackson and not winning the Zion Williamson draft lottery.
13. Smashmouth's "All Star" was Released
The 90s began with the greatest song of the decade with Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
The decade ended with the 2nd best song of the 90s...
14. Backstreet Boys and N 'Sync lead the Boy Band Phenomenon
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones of their day, no two boy bands represented their brand better in the history of their genre than the Backstreet Boys and N 'Sync.
15. Millennials Ruin Woodstock (or were they Gen-Xers?)
Before Fyre Fest, the biggest music festival disaster of the 90s was Woodstock '99, an attempt to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the granddaddy of them all from 1969.
The only problem was that the original Woodstock was for the Peace & Love generation who just wanted to chill, dance, get high, and make love in the mud.
So when they decided to revive it in 1999, it wasn't the Hippies, but those jacked-up millennials that just had to go and ruin the good times by setting off wild bomb fires. I don't actually know if they're millennials or not, maybe Generation X? Most were probably born in the 70s.
But yeah Woodstock can't happen anymore and music festivals today are either phony corporate cash grabs or epic disasters.
16. Yankees Win 25th World SeriesYankees celebrate
The Georgia Peach. The Babe. The Splendid Splinter. The Yankee Clipper. The Mick. The Say Hey Kid. Jackie.
The 20th century belonged to baseball.
The heroes, the games, the lore. The combination of old radio and the transition of new television made baseball America's national pastime.
And that glorious century of the sport had a fitting ending with the New York Yankees winning the World Series for the 25th time in a sweep over the Atlanta Braves. That means in the 20th century the Yankees won one out of every four World Series in the century.
Of course, it turns out that most baseball superstars of the late 90s were frauds using steroids and now our childhood is ruined and baseball is eternally slow and boring.
17. The Phantom Menace aka The Birth of Fan Hate
16 years after the completion of the classic Star Wars trilogy, George Lucas revitalized his masterpiece with the beginning of a new prequel trilogy.
Episode I was one of the most anticipated movies of all-time, and what did Star Wars fans get after the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia paid off?
Long dull scenes of aliens in weird costumes talking politics and trade routes.
Dated stereotypes and un-funny supporting characters.
The most iconic character in the series, Darth Vader, being portrayed as an annoying little kid.
Monotone dialogue and character interactions.
And a climax that jumped into four different sections every 30 seconds.
Looking back on it now, The Phantom Menace was the birth of die-hard fans obsessively hating over poorly made new content they always begged for.
The same still happens for Star Wars fans, Indiana Jones fans, Harry Potter fans comic book movie fans and Game of Thrones fans.
The lesson is: it's better for a popular franchise to go out on top than it is to never get their material milked for more money.
18. Bruce Willis Being Dead The Whole Time was an actual surprise
At the age of 29, local Philadelphian M. Night Shyamalan made a masterpiece of horror and suspense with "The Sixth Sense."
And like "Empire Strikes Back" in 1980, the twist at the end was an actually shocking twist for moviegoers instead of being ingrained in cultural osmosis.
Many thought Shyamalan would become the next Alfred Hitchcock and......"Unbreakable" and "Split" were pretty good!
19. "The Blair Witch Project" aka Found Footage movies are born
Remember all those bad found footage movies you watched in the 2010s?
You can thank 1999's "The Blair Witch Project" for that!