20 things you won't believe happened 20 years ago.

You know what’s weird? Time. And how it just keeps moving.

I was chatting to a friend the other day when she abruptly interrupted me and yelled, “DID YOU KNOW MMMBOP WAS RELEASED 20 YEARS AGO THIS YEAR?”

I…I didn’t. I didn’t know that.

britney spears dead
That...that doesn't sound right. Source: Giphy.

And she's correct.

Hanson released MMMBop in 1997, and it was number one in 27 countries.

I think we can all agree that's nothing short of terrifying. But the revelation got me thinking about all the other things that happened 20 years ago, and the more I realised, the less I believed.


For example:

Princess Diana died.

How was this 20 years ago?

But surely enough, Diana Princess of Wales was killed in a car accident in Paris on August 31st, 1997. A month later, Elton John wrote and re-recorded his version of 'Candle in the Wind' for her, with the proceeds going to Diana's charities. Her funeral was watched by 1.5 billion people around the world.

Image via Getty.

Bill Clinton was President.

And the incident with Monica Lewinsky hadn't happened yet.

'Never Ever' by All Saints was released.

Thank God.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published.

The first novel in the Harry Potter series, and J.K. Rowling's first ever novel, was released. Who was to know it would be the first of seven books, that would sell 500 million copies worldwide? Who was to know these books would be turned into some of the most successful films of all time, and that the Harry Potter brand would one day be worth $15 billion?

I remember getting the first book for Christmas. Some of my colleagues weren't even born yet. FML.

My Best Friend's Wedding was released.


Image via TriStar Pictures.

Julia Roberts literally hasn't aged a day, which is depressing.

Martina Hingis became the world number one women's tennis player.

She also set the record for the youngest-ever world number one, as well as the youngest-ever Grand Slam champion.

Stuart Diver survived the Thredbo landslide.

The ski instructor was the sole survivor when 3,500 tonnes of rock and mud slid down the side of the NSW ski resort. It killed 18 people, including Stuart's wife, Sally.

The Spice Girls were EVERYTHING.

While the group formed in 1994, they had groundbreaking success in 1997. They released Spice World, with brilliant hits such as 'Spice up your Life' and 'Stop.'

Perhaps even more exciting was their film Spice World, which I remember thinking was the funniest thing I had ever seen. I'm never going to re-watch it. For the sake of my self-esteem.

The actress who plays Arya Stark was born.

Maisie Williams, the British actress who plays the youngest Stark daughter in Game of Thrones, was born in 1997.

She went to the Golden Globes. Because she's an ADULT. Image via Getty.

Well. Isn't that lovely.

Ellen DeGeneres announced she was gay.

On the Oprah Winfrey Show in February, DeGeneres announced she was gay to an audience of 42 million. The following month, her character in her sitcom also came out in a scene with a therapist, played by Oprah.

Steve Irwin's The Crocodile Hunter aired in the US.

Steve and Terri Irwin spent their honeymoon trapping crocodiles, and footage of this became the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter on Australian TV in 1996. The following year, the show aired in the US, and rose to international fame.

Image via Getty.

Pauline Pantsdown was born.

I don't like it,

When you turn my voice about.

I don't like it,

When you vote One Nation out.

It's...genius. Pauline Hanson sued the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for playing the song, but Simon Hunt's parody revolutionised political satire. Thank God.

Titanic hit cinemas.

The single best film of all time came to cinemas in 1997, and ultimately won 11 Oscars. Leonardo DiCaprio was 20 YEARS YOUNGER than he is today.

Kate Winslet was 20 YEARS YOUNGER than she is today.

I can't.

They were...children. Image via Getty.

Tasmania decriminalised homosexuality.


So this one is unbelievable for a very different reason. On May 1, 1997, Tasmania became the last Australian state to decriminalise homosexuality. And it was only 20 years ago.

'Bittersweet Symphony' was our anthem.

It's a song which so profoundly reminds me of a particular time and feeling. Turns out that time was AGES AGO. Eugh.

The first Austin Powers movie was released.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery starring Mike Myers and Liz Hurley (when she was still dating Hugh Grant) came to cinemas 20 years ago. In the following films, stars like Beyonce, Will Ferrell, Rob Lowe and Heather Graham played major roles.

Image via Moving Pictures.

Candace Bushnell wrote Sex and the City.

The book, which comprises of a number of columns Bushnell wrote for The New York Observer, was turned into a TV show the following year. It was broadcast from 1998 to 2004, and extended into two feature films. 

For many women, Sex and the City defined a generation.

Kylie Jenner was born.

The youngest daughter of Kris Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner was born in August, 1997. Now, at age 19, she's worth over $10 million.

No one could have known that 20 years later, Kylie and her sisters would be some of the most recognisable faces on the planet, and some of the most 'followed' individuals on social media. Instagram wasn't even a thing anyone had thought of. IT'S BLOWING MY MIND.


Natalie Imbruglia's single 'Torn' was number one.

And it was soooo good. Torn was Imbruglia's first international single, and went to number one around the world. I still have that on a playlist. How on earth is it 20 years old.

Image via Youtube.


When did we all get so old?