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This or That: Throwback pop culture trends that defined the Class of 2022’s childhood

Photo Illustration by Auden Yurman | Senior Photo Editor
Webkinz offered not only a cozy stuffed animal to add to your collection, but also a gateway into the world of online games.

Whether you rocked Silly Bandz or Slap Bracelets, obsessed over The Hunger Games or Divergent, or played Webkinz or Club Penguin, there were some 2000s and 2010s trends that ignited a cultural shift for the Class of 2022.

We asked seniors the pinnacle “this or that” questions on pop culture trends that defined their childhood and pre-teen years. From High School Musical to Hot Topic to One Direction, take a look back on some of the hottest fads through the years.

Nicholas Anastacio | Graphics Editor

Webkinz or Club Penguin?

Readers’ choice: Webkinz

In early elementary school years, Webkinz were the most innovative gifts you could receive. They offered not only a cozy stuffed animal to add to your collection, but also a gateway into the world of online games. Webkinz took on a digital life on the computer screen as we gleefully navigated Webkinz World’s arcade games and used KinzCash to dress our pet to the nines.

Disney Channel or Nickelodeon?

Readers’ choice: Disney Channel

With stellar choices like Wizards of Waverly Place, That’s So Raven and the Sweet Life of Zack and Cody, Disney Channel supplied formative shows for the Class of 2022’s childhood years. Let’s not forget classic movies like Lemonade Mouth, Camp Rock and The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which offered some iconic top-charters to grace our iPod Nanos.

Sillybandz or Slap Bracelets?

Readers’ choice: Sillybandz

Whether you wanted to sport a subtle or intense pop of color, Sillybandz offered the optimal way to accessorize. These thin, rubbery bracelets took the shape of magical creatures to sports equipment to rock band instruments. Nothing could beat the feeling of trading bracelets from the newly released pack with classmates to find your optimal combination reflecting your interests.

‘Cupid Shuffle’ or ‘Cha Cha Slide?’

Readers’ choice: ‘Cha Cha Slide’

From school dances to birthday parties, DJ Casper’s “Cha Cha Slide” was a staple at any big gathering. The classic dance bridged friends, classmates and peers as everyone followed the steps together, in anticipation for directions like “cha cha real smooth” and “Charlie Brown.”

GoGurt or Trix Yogurt?

Readers’ choice: GoGurt

GoGurt was truly an afterschool snack that hit like no other. Squeezing the yogurt up the plastic tube provided an extra bit of sensory fun, while the snack’s sweet, fruity flavor offered the ultimate pick-me-up – especially when frozen.

Bill Nye the Science Guy or the Magic School Bus?

Readers’ choice: Magic School Bus

You’re in fifth grade, it’s the middle of the week and all you want to do is have a chill day in class. Turns out your gym and health teacher is out for the day, so your entire class gets to hop on a ride with Ms. Frizzle in her Magic School Bus to learn about space, human anatomy and pre-historic times. This show transported us into another world and granted us the escapism we needed from everyday classes.

High School Musical or Teen Beach Movie?

Readers’ choice: High School Musical

No Disney Channel movie elicited the same wave of excitement as High School Musical. The exceptional cast blessed our screens with legendary songs like “Fabulous,” “Gotta Go My Own Way” and “We’re All In This Together” as romantic dilemmas and theater kid drama brewed in each of the three popular installments.

Kik or Omegle?

Readers’ choice: Kik

The messaging app Kik offered a free platform for those of us who had limited texting plans, Androids and for potential stars of “To Catch a Predator.” Since users didn’t need a phone number or email address to sign up, Kik let us chat with our friends easily without wasting precious cell phone data or texts.

One Direction or 5 Seconds of Summer?

Readers’ choice: One Direction

When it comes to boy bands, no group had quite the hold on our hearts that One Direction did. Brought together through the British TV show “The X Factor,” the five charming singers quickly captivated a cult following and rose to stardom through pop bops like “What Makes You Beautiful,” melodic gems like “Night Changes” and scream-singalongs like “Story of My Life.”

Spencer’s or Hot Topic?

Readers’ choice: Hot Topic

In their middle school years, Tumblr-obsessed preteens in the Class of 2022 were shopping for edgy Nirvana t-shirts, artsy Anime merch and horror movie hoodies to unleash their inner “I’m not like other girls” phase. Purchases of mature and explicit clothing articles at Hot Topic signified a rite of passage for the current graduating class as they entered into their teenage years.

The Hunger Games or Divergent series?

Readers’ choice: The Hunger Games

Out of the many influential young adult, dystopian novels that the Class of 2022 read, The Hunger Games marked the most essential of all. The riveting politically based plot, complex characters, dramatic love triangle and subtle criticism of American society within Suzanne Collins’ best-selling series enraptured its audience while also popularizing Katniss’ iconic side braid.

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