Everyone knows '90s nostalgia is at an all-time high right now and we're taking some time to honor one of our favorite invention from the era: the Tamagotchi. The virtual, keychain pet was created in Japan in 1996, before becoming one of the hugest toy fads of the decade. A combination of the Japanese word for egg, "tamago," and the English word "watch," Tamagotchi gave '90s kids the chance to raise a bizarre little alien petand they were absolutely obsessed.
Check out the best things about Tamagotchis below and get inspired to run into your parents' basement to find yours laying in an old toy chest. Before that, tune in to #FBF90s every Friday afternoon and night on Fuse from 4/3c till 11/10c, where you can watch episodes of classic '90s shows like Moesha and The PJs, movies like Anaconda and Spike Lee's Crooklyn, and much more nostalgic fun. Find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder here.
1. The game got better the more you cared: Tamagotchis were based around the idea of caring for a virtual alien-animal-pet-thing and making sure it was always fed and happy. They grew older and took on different forms the more you cared for them, moving through Baby, Child, Teen and Adult phases. Some later Tamagotchis even had a Senior mode. Who wouldn't want to see that?
2. So many sold: According to a report from 2010, they have been more than 76 million Tamagotchis sold worldwide. That's more people than they're are in the United Kingdom. A lot more.
3. It wasn't just fun and games, though: There was a "scold" option when your Tamagotchi wanted attention but then wouldn't play with you or eat its meal. That went into a Discipline meter, which was also important to watch if you wanted a successful and happy pet.
4. Also, they pooped...a lot...: Tamagotchis were famous for the "droppings" they'd leave on the screen and your pet could get sick if they weren't cleaned up in a timely manner. Every '90s kid remembers forgetting to check on their Tamagotchi for a few days and seeing the screen littered in stinky droppings.
5. ...but there was hope: There was an option to hit the toilet icon when stink lines started coming out of your Tamagotchi, which meant your pet would use the toilet. If you monitored your Tamagotchi's bowel movements enough, it could become toilet trained, a huge relief for users.
6. You could bond with other Tamagotchis: One could forge friendships, play games, exchange gifts, and sometimes even marry your friends' Tamagotchis using infrared communication a.k.a. the same medium for which optical fiber systems operate on and the technology remote controls use. Was this, like, the first form of social media?
7. They had cool takes on marital roles: When Tamagotchis married, a female produced two eggs where the female cared for one and the male cared for the other. We liked the idea that it wasn't just left up to the women to raise children, and that parents could be separated from one another, but still care for the kids.
8. They've grown past the keychain: Since their introduction in the '90s, you could play Tamagotchi games on a load of platforms through the years including...take a deep breath here...Game Boy, Nintendo 65, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows, Android, iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone.
9. ...and went to the big screen: A film about the sensational toy was released in 2007. Tamagotchi: The Movie focused on the main "character" of the Tamagotchi world, named Mametchi, and his adventures with his equally adorable friends Memetchi and Kuchipatchi.
10. And every kid got in trouble for having them at school: During the 1990s, children frequently took Tamagotchis to school because in the first two generations, the pets needed constant love and care as they were very likely to die in less than half a day if they didn't get it. This led to tons of '90s kids getting in trouble for peeping on their pets, leading many schools (including mine!) to ban Tamagotchis. (But we still totally sneaked them in and checked on them while grabbing our coats for recess, Ms. Davidson!)
Tune in to #FBF90s on Fuse where you can watch episodes of classic '90s shows, movies and much more nostalgic fun. Find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder here. Below, see the best looks from Brandy's Moesha era below: