Pop Culture In Review for the Year 1993


  • The top films of the year include Jurassic Park, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Firm, The Fugitive, Sleepless in Seattle, and Schindler’s List.
  • The Jurassic Park saga began in 1993 with the very first movie. It brought about a change in movie making by ushering CG into the industry. It also beat ‘E.T’s’ ratings at the time.
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantom was released, which might be one of the best animated films ever. However, it was a flop at the box office and had several runs before it could cover its budget. May blame poor marketing for this failure rather than the quality of the film itself.
  • Army of Darkness! Evil Dead 2 was released, starring Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi. This followed two prequels and is usually thought to be the greatest movie within the Ash Williams trilogy.


panoramic stadium

  • The top songs of the year included ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston, ‘I Will Do Anything For Love’ by Meatloaf, ‘I Can’t Help Falling In Love’ by UB40, and ‘Creep’ by Radiohead.
  • The top musicians included Janet Jackson, Madonna, Depeche Mode, Tupac Shakur, Mariah Carey, R.E.M, Radiohead, Aerosmith, UB40, Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana, and Alice in Chains.
  • There was a musical event on Washington Mall just before US President Bill Clinton was inaugurated. The event starred Albert Collins.
  • There was a stamp released by the USPS (United States Postal Service) on January 8th, 1993. The stamp featured an Elvis Presley design.
  • The halftime show during the Super Bowl XXVII was played by Michael Jackson, with his performance resulting in a huge ratings success. This event began the trend of big-name acts being signed on by the NFL for performing during the Super Bowl halftime.
  • Michael Jackson gives his first interview in 14 years on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The interview earned a spot in the most-watch interviews in all of television history.
  • On February 19th, Elton John was performing in Melbourne, Australia. The concert had to end 30 minutes early due to an invasion of grasshoppers.
  • ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston reached its 14-week mark as number one on the US Billboard charts, carrying forward from the previous year. This makes it the longest-running single that remained at number one.  It was also the song of the year at the end of 1993.
  • Paul McCartney headlined at the Hollywood Bowl as a celebration of ‘Earth Day’. There were other top-rated performers there as well, including Don Henley, Steve Miller, and Ringo Starr.
  • Farm Aid 6 took place in Ames, Iowa. More than 30 artists performed, including Neil Young and Willie Nelson.
  • The band Oasis received their first offer of a recording contract during a performance in Glasgow. The co-founder of Creation Records, Alan McGee, was among the audience at that time.
  • Prince turned 35 years of age and announced the change of his name to a ‘Love Symbol’. The symbol was not pronounceable, but was a mixture of the symbols denoting male and female. The change was apparently an attempt to rebel against Warner Brothers, his record label at the time. In another act of rebellion, he also started performing with the word ‘SLAVE’ written on his face. Eventually, people started referring to him as ‘The Artist’ or ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Prince’.
  •  Guns N’ Roses completed the last performance on the ‘Use Your Illusion’ tour. The gig was the last time that the original band members all played on stage together.
  • Billy Joel released his last studio album ‘River of Dreams’. This will be his final work before quitting the music business. The cover of the album was a painting done by his wife. It won an award for the best album cover of the year
  • The news about Michael Jackson being investigated on accusations of child molestation broke on August 24th. On December 22nd, Jackson finally made a public statement regarding the case. His statement was videotaped, where he called the allegations ‘totally false’ and requested everyone to wait for the truth before labeling or condemning.
  • Depeche Mode was among the first bands to interact with their friends through the internet. They did so by holding a Q&A session on AOL. There were a lot of technical difficulties with the event, especially with logging into the chat itself.
  • Madonna began her The Girlie Show World Tour in England and including certain counties for the first time. Some of these were Argentina, Mexico, Australia, Turkey, Brazil, and Puerto Rico.
  • Rick Astley announced his retirement from music at only 27. He sold around 40 million records within 5 years at the peak of this career.



  • Pitcher Jim Abbott, who didn’t have a right hand by birth, was playing for the New York Yankees. He managed to throw a no-hitter.
  • Steffi Graf was the winner of three tennis grand slam tournaments
  • Manchester United finally won the title after 26 years
  • The Tour de France saw its 80th episode, with the winner being Miguel Indurian. The Spanish rider was the fourth person to win this event three years in a row.
  • Sergei Bubka set a strong record of vaulting about 6.15 meters while using an indoor track. He is considered by many as the greatest pole vaulter in history. His record stood for more than two decades after that, and was just beaten by 0.01 m.
  • The dominating figure in women’s tennis was Monica Seles. She even began to overcome Stefi Graf’s achievements, ranking No.1 in the world and also defeating Graf in the Australian Open. Shortly after that, a mentally unstable Graf fan stabbed Seles in the back while she was playing a match. The incident prompted Seles to stay away from tennis for a couple of years and affected her career for life.
  •  Arthur Ashe, the winner of three grand slams, passed away at the age of 49. He had previously contracted HIV through a blood transfusion for his bypass surgery.
  • The whole Zambian National Soccer team was killed when their plane crashed on the way to Senegal. They were going to play in the USA World Cup Qualifiers 1994. The 30 passengers plus crew included the 18 team players along with the support staff and coaches. Everyone perished in the crash.


  • The show ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ was the creation of a collaboration between MTV and Mike Judge. The result was a kind of comedy that had never been seen before. This might have been the show that prompted MTV’s shift away from music and into regular programs.
  • This year saw the start of the show ‘Frasier’. Unlike most sitcoms from the early 90s or late 80s, this show was a bit sophisticated. It didn’t bend to lowbrow comedy, but was still quite silly and hilarious.
  • The ‘Animaniacs’ came on the screens during September, and immediately captivated their audience. Their humor was self-aware, the characters were fun, and it was an overall colorful yet nutty experience. The show also employed many tools that were once rare in the world of animation. One example is that they called out personalities by name, such as Steven Spielberg or Prince.
  • The X-files’ made its debut in 1994 and went on to spawn eleven seasons. It started out as a gamble on the Fox network, but was a massive hot with both critics and audiences. It eventually became a milestone that changed the television landscape for good, setting the bar high for every other show based on the paranormal.


  • NASA lost contact with the spacecraft named the ‘Mars Observer’. This ended its mission, as contact was lost before the spacecraft entered the Mars orbit. Since the objective was to sturdy the surface of MARS, the attempt was labeled as a failure costing around $980 million.
  • The American and Russian Presidents signed the START II treaty, with the purpose of banning Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles. This treaty didn’t come into effect but was replaced by the SORT (Strategic Offensive Reductions) Treaty. The latter mandated the reduction of each country’s nuclear arsenals. The range given was 1,700 to 2,000 warheads for each party.
  • The STS-55 Space Shuttle mission by NASA ended in May with a safe return. The mission was a success despite some minor issues. Overall, there were 88 experiments performed in orbit during this mission.
  • Intel introduced the Pentium microprocessor, heralding in a new age of speedy computers.
  • Microsoft released the Window NT 3.1 version
  • CERN came up with the World Wide Web
  • The first bagless Dyson vacuum cleaner was sold in the market.
  • This year was the start of Take 2 Interactive, a video game publishing company that was responsible for several well-known titles in different genres. Their most renowned offerings included video games based on game show titles, sports titles, etc.


  • There was a bombing in the World Trade Centre’s parking garage, with a rental van used for carrying the bomb inside. The conspirators were caught due to one of the group trying to claim hid deposit on the van.
  • There was a Great Flood along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Despite all efforts to stem the flow, there was major flooding around that area. The floods resulted in the loss of billions of dollars and at least 50 deaths.
  • There was a Waco siege in Texas that lasted for about 51 days. It resulted in 76 deaths. The event took place due to law enforcement against a cult known as the Branch Davidians. The latter were suspected of stockpiling illegal weapons.
  • This was the year of the Storm of the Century, also called The No Name Storm, the 93 Superstorm, and the Great Blizzard of ’93. This was a huge cyclonic storm that formed on March 12 around the Gulf of Mexico. It had a large size and far-reaching effects. At the height of the storm, the effects ranged from Honduras all the way to Canada. These included heavy snow, the loss of electric power for millions of households, and more than 200 deaths.


  • The twin stars of ‘Full House’, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, were the trendsetters for young people’s fashion.
  • Scrunchies were in vogue, as were small beads that clipped onto strands of hair.
  • There was a slight increase in the popularity of platform shoes and bell-bottom pants, reminiscent of the 70s. However, most such fashions by leading designers failed before they became mainstream.
  • Ankle-length and calf-length skirts sold, but weren’t worn in public much. Pants or short skirts were deemed more comfortable, practical, and fashionable.
  • The fashion world started to lose touch with the kind of clothes that one would actually wear. Diverse designs inspired by styles like Victorian England and Ancient Greece were there, but they were more for fashion shows than everyday or even formal wear.
  • The long winter coat in a fitting design was a surprising success. It was especially popular in black.
  • Teenagers were starting to grow their hair long and sport tattered shorts, usually flannel. Groups like Nirvana and Pearl Jam were the role models for this grunge-inspired look.
  • The billed baseball cap was a common accessory for both young men and women.
  • Large cotton T-shirts were appearing in place of tight, skinny ones.
  • Military-style green canvas jackets were also a common sight, while Nike Air Jordans were the epitome of cool in footwear.

Unusual Occurrences

  • The voice boxes of several G.I Joe and Barbie dolls were switched by the ‘Barbie Liberal Organization’. After the switch, the members of the organization would reverse shoplift the dolls back to the stores. G.I Jones dolls would then say ‘Want to go shopping?’, and Barbie would say ‘Eat lead, Cobra!’. If you want to know more about Barbie and other kinds of dolls, read our article titled “What are the Popular Types of Dolls from Various Eras?

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