Five 90s Shows I Recreated in My Basement

My sisters are both within two years of me and we had one thing in common during our younger years: we were all idiots. Often left to our own devices, we would create our own versions of the shows we saw on television. Somehow, none of us ever broke anything.


This was actually a solo act. For a year I went to a different school than my sisters and this is when I honed my superior karaoke talents. I jumped off of tables while singing Limp Bizkit with a tenacity that would frighten any Juvenile Corrections Officer. At ten, “Changes” by 2Pac was my favorite song. This probably says all you need to know about me. I later used the art of gliding across surfaces to slide naked across the Women’s Table at Yale. LIFE SKILLS.


Hosted by Kurt’s dad and some lady with an accent named Mo, this show helped us transition from making decisions based on what color uniform we liked best to pinpointing the weakest competitor and wondering why that kid got to be on the show and we didn’t. The event we usually recreated with our meager resources was only the best obstacle of any show ever in the history of game shows, THE FUCKING AGGRO CRAG. The lights went off, someone got a harness-like device tied around them, then over obstacles and up the couch they went. All while being pelted with balls, pillows, and whatever else we had lying around.

Power Rangers

I suppose this just gave us a reason to fight BUT it was excellent self-defense training. Of course my sisters claimed the two female power rangers and I not at all begrudgingly was the black Black Ranger. Don’t worry. The weird social implications that went along with that show were not lost on us, even then.

American Gladiators

The Gauntlet wasn’t too hard to pull off. Grab some pillows and dare each other to run from point A to point B without being demolished. Joust was easily and dangerously recreated with any stick-like objects we had lying around plus a couple of chairs. Obviously if we had it our way, we would have had the Assault arena in our backyard.


Slamball actually aired in the early 00’s so I immediately regret admitting that things of this nature were still transpiring into my junior high years but what are you gonna do, ya know. Teenagers have a lot of energy. Naturally, we used couch cushions as “trampolines”/slippery death pillows. At this point we were pretty tall and the ceiling was…not so you can use your imagination to figure out how this sometimes turned out.

What were your favorite shows to recreate? Did you ever have a crush on Carson Daly (please say no)? How much do you miss Legends of the Hidden Temple?

Green Monkeys 4 Life

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 328 articles for us.


  1. Power Reangers!!! I loved that show!! I was the yellow one! :-D we used to make “monsters” out of my grandmom chairs and fight against them… But the real action started when my grandmom said “you damn kinds!!! Those are not toys!!!!” and we started running for our lives…

    I also liked Beverly Hills 90210… Such a drama queen, i know… We were a lot of females, cousins i mean, we all were about the same age (8-12) so i said “ok you can be Brenda, you can be Donna… I’ll be Dylan… Its ok” xD xD xD

  2. we used to play “street fighter”. my evil cousin was always m.bison. and the blue barracudas were way better dude. i mean really.

  3. Thunder, Thunder, ThunderCats HOOOOO!
    Nobody was a better Panthro than Me. I even made my own Nunchucks!

  4. Pokemon! We have a big back garden which has a lot of different little areas so we’d designate which was long grass and woodland and the house was the next gym. We’d then fight by throwing various plushies around and yelling TAIL WHIP! etc. I also used to play Buffy with my Barbies, which is kinda ironic since one is a feminist icon and the other is not.

    • Yeah, what kid who wasn’t in elementary school age in the late ’90s didn’t pretend to be a Pokemon trainer with their friends? Hell, I still play the video games…

      I was also a Sailor Scout and a DigiDestined during my elementary school years.

    • I lived in a pretty heavily wooded area as a kid, and recess/lunch was half-playground, half-tromping around in the woods. I think for 3 years or so, all we would do was pretend to be Pokemon trainers. It’s to the point that this one little glade that I staked out is still referred to as “Eevee’s Bakery” by my friends and I.

  5. At every single large group sleepover I went to from ages 9-13 we would do “MTV Say What? Karaoke.” Like with a full blow three contestants and three judges (accuracy judge, style judge, performance judge), first round the contestants pick their own songs and outfits, second round new outfits and the judges pick the song.

    It was so real.

  6. every time the neighborhood kids would get together to play baseball, i would secretly imagine that i was benny from the sandlot. (and now, as a grown-ass woman, any time i wear my black pf flyers, i secretly imagine that i’m benny from the sandlot)

  7. Oh Power Rangers and American Gladiators were enthusiastically recreated with my guy friends in the school yard. They always tried to force me to be the pink or yellow ranger. I would then punch them until they let me be the green/white ranger

  8. I’m afraid to admit how much Slamball me and my brother watched. It was a lot.

    But then again we also watched the entire XFL season (yes, the WWE football league. We watched all of it. ALL OF IT. And were probably the only ones, too).

  9. We had a lot of Ninja Turtles v. Power Rangers battles in our living room (with the Power Rangers always winning thanks to my awesome pink ranger skills). And the yellow ranger was totally my first crush. How could you not love her?

  10. My brother and I never recreated any of these, but we loved recreating Captain Planet, which mostly meant we yelled at my mom to recycle things that couldn’t actually be recycled and sang the theme song a lot, which we altered to be about different things as the situation warranted. Captain Gumballs was a good remake.

  11. In 1st grade I would play Power Rangers with my best friend.

    I made her relinquish her title as Pink Ranger and forced her to be the Yellow Ranger.

    She’s not Asian, so I’m glad that young me wasn’t racist.

    She was just a bitch.

    • LOL!

      For me and my younger siblings…it was ALWAYS Legends of the Hidden Temples. I played the guards that wouls scare the shit out of the kids. Sometimes we would play Power Rangers but shit got dangerous when the stupid kids would actually fight…..*sigh*

      I was more of a PBS kid so it was fucking Wishbone with the neighbor’s dog but I couldn’t teach the cute mutt to read :/

  12. I remember playing american gladiators, I can’t believe I ever liked it… but I mostly remember playing “el juego de la oca” which was an spanish game show where players had to go through mazes and do acrobacies in order to win. it would air like friday night and me and siblings and cousins would all gather around to watch and then play.

    • Y de oca en oca, tire porque le toca…! xD I loved that show… And we also played it… With Monopoly money as the “pecetas” xD

  13. Yeah, I was all about Power Rangers. We frequently played that on my neighbor’s trampoline, which just involved a lot of kicking and punching while bouncing and trying not to fall off. We also played while running through the woods and conquering the imaginary evil villains. I was always the green/white ranger, like a good lesbian in training.

    Also, I’m not ashamed to admit that when they brought American Gladiators back for a hot minute with Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali my dream to be on the show was rekindled. I wanted to get back in shape for the sole purpose of winning and becoming a gladiator. My name would be Shock and my move would be the Shocker. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

      • My favorite was Sailor Mercury, because I always liked the “nerd” characters since I am a nerd.

        At least, she was my favorite until the later seasons when I met my fantasy girlfriend, Sailor Neptune…

      • My friend and I had epic(?) passive-aggressive fights over who got to be Sailor Moon. We lived in different states, so they were over fax. xD;;

        …I do totally approve of wanting to be Sailor Mars to light shit up on fire, though.

    • I am definitely guilty of playing Dragonball Z with friends and siblings for an insanely large percentage of my childhood.

    • By the way, everyone knows, right, that Zoisite and Malachite (originally Kunzite) were a gay couple in the Japanese version? But they turned Zoisite into a girl in the American dub because they thought that kids couldn’t handle homosexuality :(

      At least that completely backfired when they tried it with Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune.

  14. girl the only basement i’m recreating these days is eric forman’s. i kind of think sometimes i also act like frasier but these shows are both incredibly sad / accurate examples of my taste.

  15. I jump the girl is not what to say allors je vous un gros boujours à vous toute ey surtout une bonne journer salut

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  17. I jump the girl is not what to say alors je vous eait lpein de gros bisous à plus merci de votre atention

    • Oh my god, the X-Men cartoon. I was the only one who liked Storm, so I was always her.

      Although sometimes I got to be Cyclops because I wore glasses.

    • Ah, I did Star Trek too, but mostly Deep Space 9. Not that it mattered cuz we mostly just played sick bay (like the nerd version of doctor and nurse? Now Im wondering about my childhood…)

    • Oh my guy friends and I played X-men too. They always forced me to pick a female character, but I was alright playing Storm or Rogue, just not that pissy little Jubilee

      • When it comes to Jubilee I always think of Katy Perry FIREWORKS!!!!

        From her breasts not fingers (insert lesbian joke).

      • Shadowcat! xD i had forget about the X-Men! How could i?? My sister was Cyclops and im the one who’s a lesbian nowadays! We tried making the uniforms but that didn’t work out too well.! -.-‘

  18. Do do do do do you have it? GUTS
    dunno why but after reading this i feel the need to sing this song out loud repeatedly

  19. Definitely Captain Planet. I even had a plastic ring that I probably got for a quarter from the grocery store and I would go around pointing it at things yelling “Wind!” It was all fun and games until the neighbor’s cat attacked me…that put an end to that game.

  20. Ghostwriter anyone? Who doesn’t love invisible clue giving ghosts and mysteries dude! And if anyone was like, ‘what are you doing, children getting into bad things’ we were like ‘ghost writer! look at the computer/journal!’

    • I loved Ghost Writer! I think my Ghost Writer phase coincided with my Harriet the Spy phase. I was always snooping around in places I shouldn’t have been, trying to solve “mysteries” that I’d created myself.

      • I think my Harriet the Spy phase coincided with my “oh wow, I’m probably gay” phase. She could have snooped around in my room anytime.

    • True story: Last month I randomly got You Gotta Believe stuck in my head. Ghostwriter was one of my favorite shows EVER (also Lenni was ridicucute.)

      • Finally!! People that watched Ghostwriter! :-D Lenni! <3 i tried to pretend i liked Alex but i think i just wanted to be his friend because of Lenni! *.* RALLY!!!

  21. I think I’m a little older than most of the commenters here, so this is totally ’80s, but my best friend and I spent a good portion of the 1st grade reenacting the movie Labryrinth. Mostly just taking all the cushions off the couches and making a maze out of them, then camping out in the middle of the thing.

    • My mom had a wig from some old Halloween costume that looked exactly like Jareth’s hair. I totally ran around the house in leggings and that wig, shouting “I’m the Goblin King!” and “Nothing? Nothing, Tra la la?” until the wig mysteriously disappeared one day. Dear god, I am so gay.

  22. Most of the mid ’90s was spent endlessly riffing on “The State” sketches. Sadly, we could never quite manage to get ‘$240 worth of pudding’ together at one time.

    Oh well, I’m outta hheeeeerRRrRRe.

    • I am only now discovering “The State” so I’m going to appreciate this on behalf of my future self.

  23. my best friends in elementary school and i would pretend to be cher, dionne, and tai from clueless. we seriously went around saying “whatever” and making the loser sign like we were cool, lol. and my cousins and i would pretend we were some of the characters on martin. we’d always play act pam and gina fighting with shenehneh,lol.

  24. You Can’t Say That On TV.
    I was dangerous with my bucket of torn up newspapers (I wasn’t allowed to use real slime) when people said the magic words.

  25. I endlessly recreated GUTS and American Gladiators, but I was a ridiculously competitive kid who would turn anything into an obstacle course

  26. This was awesome until I looked up the actors who played the original Power Rangers, and found out the actor who played the Yellow Ranger died in her twenties in an accident, & the Green Ranger lost his brother the same year, and is now barely recognizable underneath tons of muscles. Then, I stopped reading.

  27. I was all about the DBZ, Sailor Moon, Tenchi Muyo, Card Captor Sakura, and basically anything that showed up on Toonami. Also, for reasons unknown, I deemed Pokemon way too childish to watch. Really. I think it came on in the morning and I never wanted to wake up for that under any circumstances.

    • Well, Pokemon the TV show is pretty childish; it’s really the video games that make up what is so great about that show.

        • Haha, yeah, seeing as I’ve never owned any video games ever (I have enough addictions, I did not need to add another) I pretty much missed that craze completely. I also hated all the kids fighting monster thingies. Except for Yugi-Oh. I freaking loved that show.

  28. I think we really need a post about Yuri or Anime that had serious gay shit of gay shit that was subtext because I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE! Hell, I am even willing to write it because I LOVED Sailor Moon and goddammit, the Stars where in MALE DRAG AS MALE POP STARS!!!! I can’t even, I need more whiskey (kitten).


    • I used to reenact the shit out of that show. And we would be swinging across couches or jumping over hallways. Pretty much the same thing as recreating “Guts” except this time there was a hidden artifact aka old novel hidden somewhere in my parents’ basement. Lmao.

      Also, did anyone else have a mega rush on the “Guts” co-host and her adorable accent??

  29. I liked to claim I liked Power Rangers, even though I rarely watched it. Mostly I said I liked it because it annoyed my sister, who didn’t. My being a fan of Power Rangers manifested itself by jumping off of/onto things and singing the theme song.

  30. My top two were batman, and ninja turtles. I was always batman, and my (boy) cousin was forced to be robin. Sometimes our grandparents will hear us arguing and tell me I had to be batgirl or poison ivy because I was the girl. I would cry until I was batman again. Lol! I really wanted a batmobile. And if anyone suggested I had to be April instead of michaelangelo, it was world war three.

  31. “I suppose this just gave us a reason to fight BUT it was excellent self-defense training. Of course my sisters claimed the two female power rangers and I not at all begrudgingly was the black Black Ranger. Don’t worry. The weird social implications that went along with that show were not lost on us, even then.”

    This was all so true to my young’un life, I had to de-lurk and make my first AS post in agreement.

  32. I’m pretty sure that Amy Jo Johnson, aka Kimberly the Pink Power Ranger was my first lesbian crush. I was 5.

  33. my brother and i would play ghostwriter by leaving each other clues and solving mysteries, like where i hid his homework or something involving the stealing of cookies.

    straight up chubby kid nerdery

  34. I’m an utter nerd, because the only recreating I can remember doing was that my best guy friend and I wore capes and ran around in the woods with plastic swords and pretended to be Hobbits. I watched Ninja Turtles and some of those fabulously strange Nick shows, but I don’t remember pretending to be those characters. Just Hobbits.

  35. I accidentally poked my brother in the eye with a broken fishing rod while we were playing Power Rangers, and he had to go to hospital. Even nowadays, his pupils are slightly different sizes. Still feel a bit bad about it, I coulda sent him blind in one eye.

  36. haha power rangers was my show!!! i remember watching it & then going outside & pretending to be the red power ranger….man those were the days :D

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