The older you get, the faster time passes. This is a cruel trick of the universe, so much so that stuff which seems like it just happened actually happened years ago. Decades even. Take for example the following landmark cultural and news of 1997. These things, believe it or not are 20-years-old now. Oh man, where did the time go?

1. A rich woman and a poor man had the Greatest Romance of All Time aboard the Ship of Dreams.


And yet she couldn't make room on that damn door-raft.

2. Collectively, as a culture, we really, really, really wanted to zig-a-zag-ah.

Just think: Without the Spice Girls and their five distinct, easily marketable personalities, we never would have had "which [thing] are you?" online quizzes.

3. Ellen DeGeneres on Ellen made TV history.

It's hard to believe it now, but Ellen DeGeneres' character became the first openly gay main character ever on American TV.


4. Princess Diana died in a car accident Paris.

Twenty years later, it's still just as shocking and sad.

5. An American president unequivocally distanced himself from Russian bad guys by throwing them off a plane.

The only thing "obstructing justice" for President Harrison Ford in Air Force One was an airplane door.

6. Girls loved Hanson and boys pretended to not love Hanson.


They were tiny little children who played their own instruments and played them well and "MmmBop" rules and you know it. (And now they have tiny little children of their own.)

7. Peak TV was born.

As Buffy herself was an unlikely hero, so too was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show about a teenager who killed vampires was an unlikely candidate to demonstrate that TV could be just as good, if not better than, movies.


8. Mother Theresa died.

Fun fact: Mother Theresa was the last good human being.

9. Will Smith saved the world from aliens while dressed like a hit man.

And he made a little rappity-rap about it, too!


10. Bob Dylan showed us that he passed down some really good genes.

Yes, Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers is ridiculously good-looking, but he's also the most talented songwriter in his family who didn't win a Nobel Prize. At least not yet, because "One Headlight" is pretty good.

11. Mmm-hmm.

King of the Hill debuted, I tell ya what.


12. Is there life on Mars?

Possibly! The Pathfinder, which landed on the planet in 1997, gave eight billion of us hope that we can crash there if Earth gets too hot.

13. Everybody liked them apples.

Which is to say, the acting and writing of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.


14. Her name was Barbie and she came to party.

If Barbie were magically transformed into a piece of music, she would've transformed into the Aqua's inescapable yet infectious "Barbie Girl."

15. The Simpsons made TV history (and R.I.P. Poochie).

"The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" was an episode about old shows, in this case, The Itchy and Scratchy Show, trying desperately to stay relevant by adding a hip character. Ironically, with this episode The Simpsons became the longest-running primetime cartoon ever. That was 20 years ago and it's still on!


16. Mike Tyson bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear.

Who would've thought that a sport in which the whole point is to punch each other until one of the competitors is too weak to stand of his own volition could descend into violence?

17. Romy and Michele attended their 10-year high school reunion.

This year they'd be attending their 30-year high school reunion and Romy would say she invented Twitter.

18. The Notorious B.I.G. died and then he became the biggest star of the year.

Biggie's songs "Hypnotize" and "Mo Money Mo Problems" hit #1 after his death. Puff Daddy's song "I'll Be Missing You" was about Biggie and also hit #1.


19. That Cinderella TV movie was huge.

1997 is the tail-end of when made-for-TV movies were a big deal. This one was a very big deal. Brandy as Cinderella! Whitney Houston as the Fairy Godmother. Super-progressive-for-1997-and-frankly-today colorblind casting.

20. Kylie Jenner was born.

All hail the overlord.