Every '90s Reference in Charli XCX & Troye Sivan's "1999" Video
On Thursday, Charli XCX and Troye Sivan released a new music video loaded with '90s references for their song "1999." Check out the list of every reference they made below. (Read an interview with Charli about the video and more.)
AOL Instant Messenger
AIM was released in May 1997 and quickly became the quickest way to chat with friends. In the clip, Charli’s iMessage on her iPhone transforms into an AIM chat conversation with Sivan, complete with the platform’s characteristic screen names (TroyeBoy95 and CharliXCX92).
In May 1998, Jobs unveiled the colorful, translucent iMac G3, as sported by Charli in the music video. The design stuck out, as it was completely different than the gray or beige boxes of other computers.
Charli XCX transforms into TLC’s Left Eye for a re-creation of their 1994 iconic “Waterfalls” video. She even has the black paint streak on her cheek.
The “Boom Clap” singer goes to get a drink from the refrigerator, and since it’s 1999, Surge soda is stocked up. The fizzy drink was discontinued in 2003. In August 2018, the soda partnered with Burger King to bring the '90s favorite back, exclusively at the fast-food joint.
Troye and Charli become Jack and Rose aboard the Titanic, paying homage to the 1997 movie’s most famous scene, in which Jack holds Rose as they stare off the edge of the boat to the sea. “I’m flying,” Kate Winslet’s Rose tells Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack.
Charli becomes the biggest British girl group of the '90s, circa their "Say You'll Be There" music video. She is decked out in Baby Spice’s blond pigtails, Scary Spice’s cheetah print and Posh’s short ‘do.
Skecher sneakers were all the rage in the '90s. In 2000, Britney Spears signed to the brand and appeared in many of their advertisements.
Troye becomes Nick, Kevin, Brian, AJ and Howie, dressed in head-to-toe white as a nod to the boy band’s "I Want It That Way” music video.
Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? Sivan channels his inner-Eminem in "The Real Slim Shady” video, released in 2000. He perfectly channels Slim’s facial expressions and even painted on some tattoos.
Old-school cell phone
Forget a full keyboard and touch screens: Nokia cell phones from the '90s led to some creative abbreviations (BRB, CTRN, TTYL) due to having to press each number a few times to get to the letter you want.
Charli becomes the object of Lester’s (Kevin Spacey) desire in the 1999 film American Beauty, as she transforms into Angela Hayes (Mena Suvari) swimming in a pool of roses in one of his fantasies.
Marilyn Manson & Rose McGowan at the 1998 VMAs
McGowan caused quite the stir when she appeared on the red carpet with then-boyfriend Manson wearing an entirely see-through beaded dress. She recently told Dr. Oz that the dress was a “political statement,” as it was her first public appearance after being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.
The video game, which is still popular to this day, was first launched in 2000. Troye and Charli’s Sims characters dance on a table surrounded by a house up in flames.
Baby G watch
Charli dances around in a bikini and shows off her stylish white Baby G watch, which fits perfectly since the Baby G is both water- and shock-resistant.
Also called the “Baby Cha-Cha” or the “Ooga Chaka Baby,” the dancing baby was one of the first-ever viral internet memes. He became popular all over email chains in 1996 and later on Ally McBeal.
Charli and Troye become Matrix love interests Trinity and Neo, as they slo-mo through the movie’s characteristic green digital rain. As also depicted on the single’s cover art, the two pop stars are dressed in all-black latex and sunglasses just like the characters in the movie.
What’s a '90s-themed video without a reference to JT’s ramen curls? Troye does them justice, sprinkled with the frosted tips every boy in that decade tried out.
"The Blair Witch Project"
The 1999 horror film recounts footage from three students who vanish in a forest while trying to make a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend. Charli becomes one of the students, frightened and talking to the camera in the dark.
Hanes Her Way underwear
Charli and her pals dance and pose carefree in a re-creation of the Hanes underwear advertisements of the late '90s, complete with lyrics to the commercial’s jingle and the company’s logo.
1990s company logos
eBay, Nickelodeon, Bubbalicious gum, Beanie Babies and Netscape all get a shout-out in the last line of the song, as “Take me back to '99” in the style of the companies’ iconic logos flash across the screen.