I'm a product of the '90s. My formative years lived and breathed grunge, '90s music, the advent of the Internet, dial-up, movie rental stores—you name it. Cult classics are my jam. So when I saw Captain Marvel was set in 1995, I couldn't have been happier. I couldn't wait for all of the Captain Marvel 90s references that I just *knew* would be in the film.
When I screened the movie this week, my '90s kid heart died and went to heaven. I've compiled a list of all the Captain Marvel 90s references / '90s Easter Eggs I could come up with for your reading pleasure.
Note of caution. By reading this, there will be spoilers! Stop now if you haven't see the movie!
All the '90s References You May Have Missed in Captain Marvel
I'm starting with my favorite. I adore music. It's no secret I was a music major for two years in college. Music is life. When I first saw the trailers and clips with Brie Larson wearing the NIN shirt, I was like, “OOOOOOH. I owned that shirt.” I was a bit of a NIN fan; I still am. I also, not-so-secretly, hoped Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross would be scoring some or all of the film or there would at least be some NIN music in it. I was a touch disappointed to learn there wasn't. But much less disappointed when I learned the score was done by Pinar Topak and she was the first female to score a Marvel film.
So let's talk about the tracks included in the film.
- Waterfalls: TLC (does it get any better than Fury and Danvers driving through the desert to this?)
- Only Happy When it Rains: Garbage (I may have sung this 8 million times out loud)
- Crazy On You: Heart
- Just a Girl: No Doubt (hello epic battle scene)
- Come as You Are: Nirvana (sigh)
- What Man: Salt-N-Peppa feat. En Vogue
- You Gotta Be: Des’ree
- Kiss Me Deadly: Lita Ford (what a great karaoke choice)
- Man on the Moon: REM
- Crush with Eyeliner: REM
- Connection: Elastica
- Celebrity Skin: Hole
- I’m so Free: Beck (post credit scene)
- Please Mr. Postman: The Marvelettes (Thank you, Samuel L. Jackson, for singing this one)
And music posters scattered in the film include Bush and Smashing Pumpkins (Mellon Collie and Infinite Sadness).
I already mention the NIN shirt, but Heart and Guns N' Roses are two other band shirts I noticed make an appearance in the movie. Flannel shirts. Bomber jackets. Distressed Jeans. Panama Jack boots. Turtlenecks. Coveralls. '90s grunge. The list goes on.
Going to the store to rent a VHS, those days are long gone, but I remember the sound of the VHS cartridge rewinder you used to rewind the VHS when you were done to return it to the store, because why wear out the actual VHS player? And you got charged if you didn't rewind before you rewound your movie. Be kind, rewind. Friday night after dinner you went to the rental store to grab a movie for family night. Sometimes you could get a new release if you were lucky. Side note, I went to the last Blockbuster store still standing (As of April 1) this weekend. And I was only a little excited. My little asked to pose with here Captain Marvel dress.
When Carol Danvers falls through the Blockbuster store roof, she picks up a VHS copy of The Right Stuff as she stands up before shooting the True Lies cardboard cutout across the store. Of course, she has no idea that The Right Stuff is non-fictional adaptation about military pilots who conduct aeronautical research gone wrong and the implications that resulted…oh, wait…
Oh, those were the days. I can warmly remember going to Radio Shack for all the things. My dad was a HAM radio operator and he repaired his own photography equipment when he could. Radio Shack was practically my second home as a child. I probably know all too well the things you could buy in Radio Shack and how you use 80% of what you could buy in that store.
Carol Danvers asks the mall rent-a-cop where to find communications devices and he sends her to Radio Shack. I *knew* that was going to be it, because, well, I'm a '90s kid and I spent a lot of hours in that store.
While I expected Radio Shack, what I didn't expect was that she would use a Nintendo Gameboy to dissect as her communications device to communicate with the Kree Starforce.
We all love a Stan Lee cameo (RIP, good man) but a cameo with a 90s throwback? Bring it on. Stan Lee reading Mall Rats on the train was perfection. Among other things, this cult classic movie was made in, you guessed, 1995, and featured Stan Lee. No attention to detail is overlooked.
AltaVista and Internet Cafes
I graduated high school the year before NSFNET was decommissioned removing the last restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic (Google that, I know, I'm married to a super geek). So I'm that generation that remembers when Internet wasn't a *thing* and I barely had internet in college. Dial-up and internet cafes were real. Oh, connection interrupted? Stab me in the face. That scene was so real it isn't funny. Google didn't own all the search and all the things. Believe it, we had other search engines people! Carol used AltaVista to search the name of her favorite air force dive bar hang out. Oh and AltaVista was created in 1995, the year Captain Marvel takes place.
The Rambeau House
This one is filled with SO MANY GOODIES.
Monica had Barnum's Animal Crackers. While they are still around, and necessarily a '90s things, they are one of my faves from when I was a kid and wildly popular as snacks when we were kids from their singular box distribution!
Maria has a Discman. Post-Walkman, pre-MP3 player, for you young ones. Maria ” Photon” Rambeau is like the '90s version of Peter Quill.
“Still Loading…” When they all sit down to listen to the audio on the CD on Maria's PC, it takes FOREVER to load. Hello, Windows 95 (assuming she even had the latest OS). OMG the flashbacks.
Monica makes a reference to watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with her mom.
Pagers, Cell Phones, Pay Phones
Sometimes a pager isn't just a pager. Sometimes it is. And sometimes it gets an upgrade to be, well, if you haven't seen Avengers: Infinity War, you have just a few weeks until Endgame comes out. Get cracking. But Fury has a '90s style pager and it gets an upgrade.
And that cell phone Coulson was using. Gotta love a cell phone the size of your head. I remember the days of cell phone being that large. My girlfriend and a college boyfriend both had car phones/bag phones. They were so big!
Pay Phones. Ha. So many have been pulled out but I remember when you used to use a dime and then a quarter to make a call.
Dr. Lawson's Orbiting Lab
On Dr. Lawson's Orbiting Lab there were several references as well. Remember those metal lunch boxes we had as kids with a Thermos inside? I had several…Star Wars, Muppets, Strawberry Shortcake. Well, Mar-Vell had the Fonz, which is timely given that the show Happy days aired from 1974–1984. The characters were still popular.
She also had Koosh Balls, Trolls, a Nerf Gun, and arcade & pinball games, specifically Space Invaders. We all have collectible toys, right?
In the comics, Goose is named Chewie as a Star Wars reference, but in the movie, the name has been changed to be a Top Gun reference to tie into Danvers' Air Force pilot origin story. Nick “Goose” Bradshaw was Tom Cruise’s character’s wingman in the ‘80s film, which was still very much a cult classic in the '90s.
What Captain Marvel 90s References did we miss? Tell us in the comments!