Pop Culture In Review for the Year 1994

1994 was a year where many great things happened. Several legendary albums were released and quite a few classic movies also hit the theatres. Of course, this was also the year when the long-running superhit T.V. show ‘Friends’ first came on the screen. Let’s have a look at the most iconic events of this year now:


The Lion King

  • Liam Neeson was offered the role of James Bond as he didn’t like the idea of being in an action movie. The James Bond role had previously been offered to Burt Reynolds, Adam West, and Clint Eastwood. Each of these actors turned the role down.
  • River Phoenix was all set to play the character of the interviewer in the movie ‘Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. However, he passed away and Christian Slater took over the role in his place. Slater then donated his whole paycheck from this role to River’s favorite charitable organizations.
  • In October, The Lion King, Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, and The Shawshank Redemption were all playing in the cinemas simultaneously. This was a great month for movie lovers.
  • ‘The Lion King’ became a massive hit at the box office. It’s still among the most successful Disney films ever, even though Disney staff was more interested in working on ‘Pocahontas’ at the time.
  • Whoopi Goldberg voiced a hyena in ‘The Lion King’, while the animated film also featured several Elton John songs.
  • Quentin Tarantino released ‘Pulp Fiction’, which was a massive hit at the box office. Its soundtrack soon gained legendary status, with several cult surf rock cuts.
  • The highest grossing film of the year was ‘The Santa Clause’ released by Disney. It starred Tim Allen, who also appeared in ‘Home Improvement’ and had a New York Times No. 1 bestseller named ‘Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man’. All three of these achievements occurred within just a week.
  • The most expensive film in the history of movies was released, with a $100 million as the production budget. The title of the movie was ‘True Lies’.
  • Frank Darabont gave us his adaptation of ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ by Stephen. This was arguably the most enduring film of the decade. It starred Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, with the story and performance both striking a chord with both critics and the audience. Not surprisingly, it won several awards.
  • ‘Forrest Gump’ won the hearts of moviegoers and propelled Tom Hanks into becoming one of the most renowned names in the movie industry.



  • The largest-ever rock concert was performed at the Copacabana Beach, Rio. The performer was Rod Stewart, and the event gained a total of 3,500,000 attendees.
  • ‘Love Is All Around’ was covered by the band ‘Wet WetWet’. It topped the singles charts in the U.K. and stayed there for around 15 weeks.
  • Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of ‘The King’ and Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, tied the knot in a private ceremony. The news was unexpected and sent shock waves throughout the music community. However, the marriage was doomed to be short-lived.
  • The soundtrack to ‘Pulp Fiction’ sold over 2 million copies.
  • The REM song ‘What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?’ has a slowing near its ends due to the bassist Mike Mills having an appendicitis attack. The musician had to go to the hospital right away, but the band chose to keep the song instead of recording a do-over.
  • David Crosby’s liver transplant received a lot of publicity due to the celebrity status of the patient. Phil Collins footed the bill for the procedure. Another reason for the notoriety of this event was Crosby’s past issues such as alcohol abuse and drug addiction.
  • Known names such as Bob Dylan, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nine Inch Nails were part of the 1994 Woodstock. The attendees numbered around 350,000, and it was the 25th anniversary of the original events.
  • Green Day was among the lineups at the Lollapalooza festival as well as Woodstock 1994. The group was part of a notorious mud fight at the latter event, as a security guard thought one of the members was a crazed fan and knocked out his teeth.
  • In April 1994, the Nirvana group member and music legend Kurt Cobain shot himself. He passed away from the shot. There was a public vigil for him about five days after the incident. Cobain’s death could have been the darkest moment in pop culture for this year.
  • The band called ‘Offspring’ released its multi-platinum Smash in April 1994. It remains the highest-selling indie album ever to this day.
  • Johnny Cash wrote a love letter to June Carter in this year. The couple married in 1968 and remained together until June’s death in 2003. The 1994 letter was later voted as being the greatest love letter in history.


  • Michael Jordan cut off all official communication with the magazine Sports Illustrated for good. This decision was after the magazine published a cover story about the star player’s lukewarm basketball career this year. The story was titled ‘Bag It, Michael’.
  • Hakeem Olajuwon, the NBA MVP, released his own sneaker that only cost $35. This was a revolutionary step at a time when most other basketball stars were endorsing expensive shoes from brands like Reebok or Nike. His reasoning was that the poor basketball fans wouldn’t be able to afford such shoes and might resort to stealing or even killing to get them.
  • Brazil won the 1994 World Cup, but their goalie left around $60,000 and his medal in the cab. The cab driver was honest enough to return it all and received a thousand dollars as a reward.
  • Until this year, the Summer and Winter Olympics were held within the pan of the same year. This didn’t happen in 1994, when only the Winter Olympics took place.
  • Tonya Harding’s friends, including her then-husband, tried to bust Nancy Kerrigan’s kneecaps during the U.S. Figure Skating Championship. Both ice skaters later went on to participate in the Winter Olympics of 1994 but were later banned from the sport. If you wish to buy skates that are reliable and strong, visit Wow Skates to buy.
  • J. Simpson, once a legendary name in the world of football, was convicted and tried for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. The former was his ex-wife. On June 17h, spectators chanted ‘Go, O.J., go!’ at the sight of him in a white Ford Bronco that belonged to his friend. The entire nation was also watching the police chase on their television sets.


  • The iconic T.V. sitcom ‘Friends’ premiered on screen in America. The show quickly became a beloved symbol of American culture and changed the landscape of T.V. for good. From now on, any show about a group of friends was automatically held up to the standard of ‘Friends’. The show has spawned loads of merchandise, a spinoff titled ‘Joey’, and introduced several catchphrases into mainstream society. .
  • ‘You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown’, a Peanuts special, was broadcast on NBC. This turned out to be the last of the new Peanuts specials on T.V. for at least eight years.
  • ‘All That’, a popular sketch comedy show, aired its pilot episode on the Nickelodeon episode.


  • Yahoo and Amazon were founded and made available to the public. In the beginning, Amazon was mainly a platform for buying and selling books. With Yahoo, you could email and chat with strangers all over the world for the first time ever.
  • The Playstation came along and was a much bigger success than the Sega Satum. While the latter was quite popular in Japan, the latest offering from Sega just couldn’t keep up with the Playstation from Sony. To learn more about Sony’s iconic console, check out The Interesting History of the Sony PlayStation.
  • The classic Nokia tune was set, being a fragment of the Gran Vals by Francisco Tárrega for the guitar. While this piece of music was written back in 1902, it was released in 1994 as ringtone Type 7 in the Nokia 2110 model.
  • A fraudulent virus known as the Good Times virus was making the rounds in 1994. It was spread through an email with ‘Good Times’ in the subject line.


  • The disgraced ex-US president, Richard Nixon, passed away at the age of 81. The cause of death was a severe stroke.
  • Howard Stern managed to convince a caller not to commit suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. The conversation was aired live on the radio.
  • Bill Gates purchased the Codex Hammer by Leonardo da Vinci for around $30,802,500.
  • The ‘Caution, Hot!’ warnings on McDonald’s coffee cups came about as a result of a woman named Stella Liebeck suing the restaurant chain after she spilled their coffee on her lap. The spill caused her third-degree burns. WhileLiebeck initially sued for just $20,000 to cover her living and medical expenses, she was given $160,000 by the jury. She also received an additional $640,000 to cover punitive damages.
  • Mattel acquired the license to the popular line of cloth dolls called “Cabbage Patch Kids,” which was previously owned by Coleco and Hasbro, two giant toy companies in the 1980s. It was Mattel that introduced the version of Cabbage Patch Kids that have vinyl bodies, as previous versions have bodies made of cloth. These vinyl-bodied Cabbage Patch Kids are considered to be more durable than the previous version. To know more, check out The Interesting Origins of Cabbage Patch Kids.


  • The grunge style was very much in vogue, almost completely taking over the fashion world in America. This consisted of a style derived from the appearance of Seattle-based rock musicals.
  • To complete the grunge look, you need footwear that looks like hiking boots along with a collection of vests, scarves, skirts, jackets, and sweaters. Even Marc Jacobs developed a grunge line.
  • Gianni Versace also came out with their grunge collection. However, it was difficult to convince anyone to pay the high-end prices for ‘designer’ wear that looked second hand.
  • Grunge may have been popular for the younger generation, but it didn’t apply to older individuals (say, over 30).
  • By the end of the year, high heels for women were back in style.
  • Shiny fabrics such as satin and metallic were also very much in vogue.
  • The glam of 1972 and possibly the roaring 20s was back, with sequins, beads, fringes, and feathers used to adorn women’s clothing.
  • For their downtime choices, most people preferred comfort over anything else. Loose sweaters, spandex tights, and the classic t-shirt dominated this area of life.
  • Power dressing was carried forward from the 80s, with the suit still helping women feel more confident and in control at the workplace. Giorgio Armani tailored suits were adored by both males and females who wanted to emit a certain aura while building up an ambitious career.
  • The invention of the Wonderbra and its release to the market gave women an innovative bra design. It provided more comfort and more freedom for the wearer, also allowing for greater strap elasticity.
  • Yves Saint Lauren was met by angry picketers when he visited the United States for the first time in 12 years. The protests were against his use of real fur, especially the fox fur trim on the jackets displayed in a Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. This enraged many animal rights activists who resolved to take a stand against the renowned designer.



  • Michael Crichton achieved several hits at the same time. He was the screenwriter of Jurassic Park, but in 1994, he also had a T.V. show, ‘E.R.’, and a novel ‘Disclosure’, reach the top spot in the United States.

Unusual Occurrences

  • Crayola released their scented crayons line. However, they had to discontinue the ones that smelled like edible items after about a year. This step was necessary due to complaints by several parents that the crayons smelled too good and well being consumed by children.
  • The Beastie Boys were cited by the Oxford English Dictionary as being the official colors of the word ‘mullet’ as a label for the infamous 1980s hairstyles.
  • The Crested Gecko was rediscovered this year; previously it had been listed among the extinct species. Today, it’s among the most common gecko species known to humans and is easily bred or kept.
  • There was a ‘blob rainstorm’ in Oakville, Washington. Several gelatinous blobs fell on a certain farm. The blobs apparently had human white blood cells in them, but without the all-important nuclei. The matter remains a mystery, with one of the many theories proving to be correct.
  • There was a power outage caused by an earthquake in Los Angeles. During this phase, several emergency calls were made regarding a huge silvery cloud over the city. This turned out to be nothing more than the Milky Way.

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