Ask anyone who lived with through the 1970s and they’ll eagerly tell you what a magical time it was. The hair was higher, the fashion was brighter, and, in the twilight of the decade, we were gifted with a film that sparked a perpetuating (and much-appreciated) Hollywood obsession with laser-sword fights. And despite the backdrop of the Vietnam War and a scandal-embroiled presidency, people managed to make the most of this influential decade, now looking back fondly on the tumultuous times that shaped who they are today.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up 20 images that will evoke some happy nostalgia for kids who lived through the 1970s. And when you want to move on from your ‘70s glory days, scrub your vocabulary of these 20 Slang Terms From the 1970s No One Uses Anymore.
Spending Hours Trying to Conquer Pac-Man on Your Atari
Of course, Pong wasn’t the only video game that occupied hours of your time after school. You were equally addicted to the thrill of outrunning those pesky ghosts in Pac-Man, too.
Bonding with Your Pet Rock
Dogs are messy and expensive, cats leave fur everywhere, and parrots (at least in the ’70s) only repeat phrases their owners learned from MAD magazine. So, instead, your parents got you a Pet Rock. And while it may never have licked your face or kept your feet warm at night, you loved it nonetheless. And if you want to bring a more traditional pet into your life, discover these 15 Amazing Benefits of Adopting a Pet.
Creating Amazing Art on Your Magna Doodle
Picasso had paint. Rodin had marble. And you had your Magna Doodle, on which you created your own masterpieces before swiping them away for good.
Practicing Your Styling Skills on Your Barbie Beauty Center
In the 1970s, budding hairdressers had to practice those banana curls and teased bangs somehow. And without YouTube tutorials to guide, Barbie Beauty Centers tended to bear the brunt of amateur styling attempts—and all the curling iron singes that went along with them.
Copying Comics in the Paper with Silly Putty
Long before scanners were a fixture in every home and office, you copied things the old-fashioned way: with Silly Putty. And, of course, you relished the opportunity to ball it up after copying a Family Circus panel and starting again.
Loving Your Parents’ Wood-Paneled Wagon
While a sleek SUV or sports car may be more eye-catching option by today’s standards, in the ‘70s, there was nothing cooler than hitting the road in your parents’ wood-paneled station wagon. And when you were being especially good, you got to ride in the way, way back and look out the rear window. And for more so-bad-they’re-good rides, check out The 20 Worst Rental Cars of the Last 20 Years.
Having Shag Carpeting Throughout Your House
Covering your floors wasn’t as simple as popping into Pottery Barn and picking up a rug in the 1970s. Your house—apart from the patterned linoleum in your kitchen—was covered in shag carpeting in a variety of earthy tones, from moss to pumpkin to, of course, leopard.
Teasing Your Hair to Get Farrah Fawcett Waves
Big hair was the name of the game in the ‘70s, and nobody had a more iconic mane than Farrah Fawcett. And though you may have lost a good portion of your hair trying to emulate her classic ‘do, you still teased and curled and sprayed until your waves were just right.
Rocking Short Shorts with High Socks
Long before Lululemon made made athleisure cool, those who grew up in the ’70s had their own take on the would-be trend. Much to your dismay, this often meant that your dad wore sweat bands, high socks, and precariously short shorts when he took you and your friends to the mall.
Worshipping the Hairy God That Was Burt Reynolds
Behold: the measure of masculinity in 1975.
Begging Your Parents to Take You to Walt Disney World
While kids today have been going to Disney theme parks for decades, children of the ’70s were the first to see Walt Disney World in all of its glory when the park opened its doors on October 1, 1971. Of course, you begged your parents every summer to ditch your trip to your grandparents’ house to take you there instead. And if you love Disney, then check out these 20 Secrets Disney Employees Don’t Want You to Know.
Having Every Dish Served Out of Patterned Pyrex
Fancy china has its place, but as a ‘70s kid, you know that the true height of sophistication is enjoying your mom’s tuna noodle casserole straight from the Pilgrim-patterned Pyrex it was baked in.
Taking Your Fashion Cues From ABBA
Understated fashion rarely made the cut in the 1970s, and you happily followed the fashion stylings of ABBA. Breaking out your feather boa and Christmas pajamas, you’d happily twirl around your living room to “Dancing Queen,” imagining you were the fifth member of the Swedish pop quartet.
Collecting Pez Dispensers
The candy may have been chalky, but you weren’t going to rest until you had every Pez dispenser in the market lining the shelves in your bedroom.
Learning about the World with ViewMaster Reels
While an annual international vacation may not have been in your parents’ budget, you got to explore the world, anyway. With your ViewMaster reels, you learned about the Eiffel Tower, Machu Picchu, and got an up-close-and-personal look at the pyramids, too.
Singing Along to the Bee Gees
With their tight jumpsuits, long hair, and high voices, the Bee Gees were about as cool as bands got, in your opinion. And even today, you still tear up a little when their version of “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” plays somewhere. And for more blasts from the past, check out the 50 Cover Songs Way Better Than the Original.
Taking Pride in Your Cumbersome 8-track Collection
While you loved the bands of the time, you also knew that listening to them on-the-go was quite the endeavor. Nonetheless, you brought your bulky 8-track collection with you on every car trip, often sacrificing precious suitcase space to do so.
Getting Frustrated When You Couldn’t Follow the Instructions Playing Simon
You may have mastered the basics of Simon Says as an elementary schooler, but years later, you still struggled to follow directions when passed a Simon, often meaning you played for hours at a time trying to get the pattern right.
Thinking Pong Was the Coolest Video Game Ever
Today, we have games so realistic it feels like you’re actually in them. In the 1970s, decades before the advent of Fortnite, we had Pong—and yes, it felt awesomely modern at the time.
Practicing Your Design Skills with Your Fashion Plates Set
If you fancied yourself a fashion designer in the 1970s, odds are you begged your parents for a set of Fashion Plates for your birthday. Once you got them, your after-school hours were spent tracing their designs, imagining yourself becoming the next Gloria Vanderbilt with every pencil stroke.
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