ICYMI, Here Are All the Fun '90s References in Little Fires Everywhere
Between its props and references, you can probably tell that Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere is an extremely '90s series — indeed, it takes place in Shaker Heights, OH, in 1997. The proto-WiFi technology and vintage fashion trends are, for example, very indicative of the decade of yore. Seriously, kids only slightly obsessed with TV and not glued to their cell phones? Baffling! Still, it's admittedly fun experiencing this era through the costume and set design of Little Fires Everywhere. Putting on our investigative journalist power suits à la Elena Richardson, we've done the research and compiled all the major '90s references throughout the first few episodes, so grab your PalmPilots and take notes!
Elena once profiled Janet Reno and she would very much like everyone to know. Reno served as the United States attorney general from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton.
The Rachel Haircut
Preppy and Grungy Clothes
Though '90s fashion is pretty broad, it's mainly either grunge or preppy here to highlight the social hierarchies between the characters. Mia and the kids wear easy tees and cutoffs, while Elena's squad sport preppy styles that look like they came straight from Witherspoon's very own Draper James brand — with more argyles and power suits, of course.
VSCO girls have scrunchies, '90s hunks have puka shell necklaces. Though, uh, there are scrunchies in Little Fires Everywhere too, because those are very much artifacts of that decade. Anyway, Moody always wears a puka shell necklace with his baggy shirts. Izzy and Pearl get more '90s grunge with chokers.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It's dubious that Lexie, given her prim and proper ways, would be into the '90s campiness of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but she is! In the series, she chats about an episode over the phone with a pal.
Ellen's Time Cover
In 1997, Ellen DeGeneres came out on the cover of Time. In the show, the kids at school bully Izzy by plastering the issue's cover in her locker and calling her Ellen.
The Vagina Monologues
Reese's, er, Elena's book club read Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues. Elena can't bring herself to like it, partially because she despises the word "vagina." Elena has suggested other '90s books, such as Memoirs of a Geisha and Primary Colors.
You can't have a '90s show without a '90s soundtrack. The homecoming dance becomes peak '90s with hits such as "Lovefool" and "Truly Madly Deeply." Plus, you hear some Counting Crows and Queen Latifah, too!
Apparently, Shaker Heights has dial-up internet. Dial-up internet? Who is she?! Those around in the '90s and early aughts will recall the truly grating sound associated with web connection.
Kids of the '90s might remember sneaking disposable cameras on school field trips because they were the cool thing to have back then. People also gave them away as favors at parties as well. At Mirabelle's/May Ling's celebration, Elena stocks up on a bunch for guests to use.
Even as a '90s child, I had no idea that car phones were a thing until I watched Ryan Murphy's adaptation of the Bronco chase on American Crime Story. Anyway, Elena has one in her car, unsurprising given that her family is rich. There are lots of home phones in the series as well, not yet rendered practically obsolete by cell phones.