Every mid-to-late 90s point of reference in Can’t Hardly Wait

Last night I watched Aguirre, Wrath of God, tonight I watched Can’t Hardly Wait. Aguirre is clearly the superior film, but having come of age in the late 90s, Hardly strikes a few more chords than I’d like to admit. From Lauren Ambrose’s hair to Seth Green’s inspired performance as a white kid who desperately wishes he were black, it is a time capsule. Some of it is positive and resonant, like crocheted blouses and the music of Soul Coughing, and some of it is negative and regrettable, like the employment of “fag” as an insult and the music of 311, but all of it is saturated in the second half of 90s popular culture.

So you will never have to, I assembled an inventory of every mid-to-late 90s point of reference that appears in Can’t Hardly Wait. You’re welcome.

  • chunky Mary Janes
  • Dr. Martens
  • that folded paper fortune game thing that you operate with your thumb and forefingers
  • that redheaded kid from Angus
  • Eve 6
  • dog tags as necklaces
  • Smash Mouth
  • Pop-Tarts
  • that kid from Empire Records who is really into GWAR
  • dialogue that is uncharacteristically smarter than the characters ala Kevin Smith
  • bleached tips
  • an Al Davis reference
  • dudes wearing chains
  • goatees
  • that kid from Hook
  • Simon (the electronic game)
  • multiple X-Files references
  • K’nex
  • an homage to Independence Day
  • multiple references to laser pointers
  • Todd MacFarlane’s KISS action figures
  • a Batman Forever Happy Meal toy
  • upside-down visor
  • thick chain with padlock as neckless
  • Tupac reference
  • Biggie reference
  • little braids tied with colorful mini-elastics
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • white sneakers
  • football jersey tucked into jeans
  • Nintendo 64
  • pager clipped to puffy jacket
  • Breckin Meyer cameo
  • the youngest sister from Party of Five
  • crocheted blouse
  • silky, oversized button-up shirt, both buttoned and unbuttoned
  • ringer t-shirts
  • 3/4 length ringer t-shirts
  • Clarissa
  • Donald Faison cameo
  • sleeveless flannel shirt
  • velvet pirate shirt
  • long hair on guys parted down the middle
  • White Zombie
  • 80s style portrayal of nerds
  • yellow-tinted, horn-rimmed sunglasses
  • Jaime Pressly cameo
  • Party of Fivehead’s yearbook quote if from Jewel
  • so many chokers
  • several Smashmouth songs
  • Hot Topic goths
  • the line “He is the most dope guy in school.”
  • references to “Brad and Gwyneth”
  • reference to Twelve Monkeys
  • Soul Coughing
  • stylish goggles
  • G Love and Special Sauce’s “Cold Beverage”
  • greasy hair
  • tank tops under sheer tops
  • Clea Duvall cameo
  • “Bust a Move”
  • multiple sterling silver rings on guys
  • rabbit’s feet
  • babydoll dresses
  • key necklace
  • astrological sign necklace
  • silver ball necklace choker
  • Tamagotchi
  • velvet dresses
  • 3rd Eye Blind
  • white guys with dreads
  • belly shirts
  • wallet chains
  • the line “You better recognize, fool.”
  • the line “Why y’all gotta waste my flava?”
  • “fag” used as an insult several times
  • Silly String
  • Hootie reference
  • fedoras
  • references to “jimmy hats”
  • Tone Lōc
  • 2 piece dresses
  • reference to getting tickets to Pearl Jam
  • the line “There is a super mad honey downstairs…”
  • Selma Blair cameo
  • the line “Isn’t this the weekend you’re supposed to meet your girlfriend from the Internet?”
  • protagonist has a question about a song and must use a pay phone to call the artist during a call-in show as opposed to looking it up on Wikipedia
  • Jenna Elfman cameo
  • tongue piercings
  • cherry jewelry
  • Manic Panic
  • Superman tattoo
  • Independent Skateboards t-shirt
  • tiny View-Master keychain
  • Sublime
  • Jerry O’Connell cameo
  • Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You”
  • “The Right Stuff”
  • FILA sneakers
  • 311
  • Blink 182′s “Growing Up”
  • there is sub-plot in which two characters are to be framed to appear secretly gay
  • pinup doll devil t-shirt
  • so many sideburns
  • velvet sports coat
  • the line “Peace out, G.”
  • reference to Urkel
  • flare jeans
  • In the “where are they now” lines at the end of the movie, the nerd is said to go on to Harvard and start a company worth 40 million. Only 40 million. LOL, the Nineties.
Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.