Rad 90s Dog Names: Pogs, Polly Pocket and More!

Chances are if you had a dog in the 90s, it’s dead.

But if you’re a 90s kid – someone whose main childhood years took place from 1990 – 1999 – you’re also now old enough to adopt a dog of your very own. Silver lining!

I’ve entertained the idea of getting a second dog – an idea that I’ve shelved for now because my 11-year-old puppy needs some pricey surgery. However, I got far enough to start mulling over dog names. I don’t think you can really name a dog before you meet it, but maybe you have a new dog and you can just tell that it’s a 90s dog. But not an actual dog from the 90s. Which, again, are mostly dead. If your new pup is giving you total pre-Y2K vibes, get a load of some of the 90s dog names I’ve brainstormed.

Lisa Frank

Because a great dog deserves to be named after a great dog artist. I actually had a dream that I had a dog named Lisa Frank which was the catalyst for this post. I may use this if any of my short-list dog name faves don’t fit my next dog.

DJ Tanner

Other Tanner family options that work are Becky Katsopolis, Kimmy Gibbler and Uncle Joey, which will always lead into a fun convo about how Joey wasn’t even really an uncle.

Comet would still be good, too.

Space Jam

For this reference to really *work* and make people think of the preeminent sports/animation/celebrity vehicle right away, you can’t name your dog after a Space Jam CHARACTER. You have to name it Space Jam.


Bella is one of the most popular dog names out there, but in this case your dog is named for famed gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi.

You could probably name your dog after Kerri Strugg as well.


After Nancy. Also if you have two dogs, and ones a good girl and one’s full of mischief? Nancy and Tonya.


Please? Someone please?

Hallie and Annie

Only if you have two dogs, otherwise the reference is lost.


I happen to think that it works better with the “s” on the end, but do what you wanna. Pogs the pug would be especially wonderful.

This is a great name for a dog that you think is really cool-looking but you don’t actually know what to do with.

Cory Matthews

Is your dog the lovable boy next door? With tousled brown curls?

The Rachel

You can technically name your dog just Rachel, but you have to use the article before it for this to be a top-shelf 90s reference. 

Mavis Beacon

Mavis is a great dog name AND Mavis Beacon is a great fictional typist. Obviously if you get a pet pig you’ll name it Mavis Bacon.


Have to leave your dog Home Alone? And he always gets into unlikely, messy mischief?

Also you could call a boy dog Mac for short and a girl dog Callie so this is just perfect for any dog ever.

Polly Pocket

If your dog is tiny and compact, maybe you should name her after our favorite 90s choking hazard, Polly Pocket. I’ve already talked about how Molly is an overdone dog name, but for some reason Polly doesn’t get much play and I think it’s a lot more unexpected and cute.


Your dog already has fur, so right away this fits. It’s especially apt if you end up with a dog who doesn’t shut up.


Macarena isn’t just an annoying pop song and an even worse dance craze – it’s also a girl’s name. Heyyy, Macarena!


If you were jealous of the kids whose moms bought Dunkaroos, imagine how jealous people will be of your dog named Dunkaroo. This has no basis as a dog name other than that it’s fun to say and also sounds kind of dog-ish?

__ Spice

You can name your dog after a Spice Girl, but I think the spice name has to match your dog’s personality. Like if your dog is intimidating, Scary Spice, and if small and fluffy, Baby Spice.

Carmen Sandiego

How dope was Carmen Sandiego? This would work great on a dog who was a runaway, is sneaky, or who is just very good with geography.


You can definitely call your dog Baz or Zubie for short, but if he’s stripe-y or sporty there’s no name like Zubaz.

Biggie Smalls

Too soon? It works equally well for a very big dog or a very small dog.

Pepper Ann or Doug Funnie

She’s like one in a million.

Or in the case of Doug, dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah.


I don’t like the sound of this as a dog name. But what I DO like is the idea of someone being like “I have to go home to feed my Tamagotchi.”



Last but not least: I can think of no better way to honor your dog than to name him or her after the greatest dog of the 1990s, Wishbone.


Home Alone Moments I’ve Had To Explain To Modern Children

Home Alone turns 25 this month, with theatrical screenings this week bringing the movie to a whole new audience: children born after the turn of the millennium. Add that to Home Alone’s heavy tv rotation for the past 24 years, and chances are, most of the kids in your life have seen it – and they have questions. I’ve watched Home Alone with the oldest six of my nieces and nephews – ages 4-8 – and it really brought home how much the world has changed since 1990. Here are just some of the topics of conversation that have come up during repeated viewings – the actual questions and answers, as best I can remember them, with real, post-2007-born kids.

Why don’t Kevin’s parents just call him?

They have to find a phone first. Plus Kevin’s phone lines were down.  Your phone used to be attached to a wall, then there were wires. If the wires weren’t attached to the house, you couldn’t call.

But they could call his cell phone.


[If you want to feel really ancient, and you know my five-year-old nephew, ask him to explain phones in the ’90s to you. He takes on the tone of someone telling age-old folklore, and explains that “a long time ago, people used to have big books. You had to find the phone number in the big book, then you dialed it.  EVERY TIME, they had to dial it. On buttons. If there were other people with the same name, you had to try all of them. The phone was only in their house. If someone wasn’t in their house, you couldn’t call them.” Thanks, Henry. Sounds just as awful as I remember.]

Where is Kevin’s phone?

The wall. It’s attached to the wall.

Also, he can’t call his parents, because of the phone line thing.

Aren’t Kevin’s parents going to call one of the neighbors?

Yeah. I know. This isn’t really a cell phone thing, we wondered that in the 90s, too. But they probably didn’t have the phone numbers memorized. They may have had them handwritten in an address book, though. Ask Nana. She still has one.

[Note: after this exchange, we got to the part where she did try to call everyone, using – you guessed it – an address book.]

Why is Kevin’s family so mean?

Because they’re garbage. That wasn’t a 90s thing either.

Would you ever forget me like that?

No, buddy. You’re unforgettable.

Plus Kevin’s family is garbage.

Why are the robbers listening to Kevin’s parents on the radio?

That was called an “answering machine.” When people weren’t home, you’d leave a message and they’d call you when they got back. Like voicemail.

Didn’t Kevin have to check in?

Airports were different. You used to be able to go all the way to the gate with people if you weren’t flying yourself, security basically meant that a person looked at you and checked your ticket, and if a big family of rich people stormed the check in desk, they really might have just waved them through. Kevin’s parents still should have noticed at that point, though. That’s on them.

[Note: We watched Home Alone last Thanksgiving right after driving through a Christmas light display featuring an American flag that said Never Forgotten. It was obviously purchased during the Christmas 2001 season when we were all wondering whether it was okay to be merry. Anyway, between that and his airport questions, that will always be the Thanksgiving that Jack (age 5) learned about 9/11.]

Why does Kevin dress so nice when he’s home alone?

I know, right?




Gay Apparel: Fashion Inspiration From 90s Christmas Movies

90s fashion is – like it or not – totally in. And so is Christmas. So for the 2014 Yuletide Season, let’s take all our fashion cues from Christmas movies of the 1990s, shall we?

Home Alone (1990)

When I was watching Home Alone with some nephews last week, I told them that this movie showed how people dressed when their mom and I were kids. Then, I realized that everyone looked almost exactly like they do now. Not sure if this is because we’ve 360’d back to 1990 fashion, because the costume designers aimed for a timeless  look, or a bit of both.

There’s a lot of fashion here, so let’s take it category by category:


Please, try to suppress your rage at Kevin’s garbage family for the next few moments so we can focus on their outfits. Here’s what I’m seeing. A baseball-style coat on Buzz, a few of Kate Middleton-worthy cranberry-colored jackets, cheerful Fair Isle-type scarves, and some heavier coats that you can probably still buy from Patagonia or North Face. All outerwear that is entirely appropriate for winter 2014-2015.

The best, though, is Kevin’s tan parka with the red-green plaid flannel lining. And that knit reindeer hat? I’ll take one in an adult size, please.


No, you’re not looking at the early 90s J.C. Penney Christmas catalog. The garbage McCallisters are serving some serious pajama here, and I think we could stand to recreate it. I’d wear Kevin’s robe and PJs with the contrasting white piping. And how about those nightgowns? What do we have to do to bring those back?

I bet Fuller and the cousin over Kev’s shoulder are still wearing those same glasses, but now in an ironic hipster-y way.

Sweaters Forever

If left home alone, all of the little boys I know would remain in whatever they woke up in that morning because they “can’t find their clothes.” Even if they woke up on top of or next to their clothes. But not Kevin. Kevin appreciates a good chunky-knit sweater, and what can I say? So do we.

Turtlenecks Forever-ever

Turtlenecks are so silly (looks-wise) and practical (warmth-wise) that I kind of want to start wearing them again. But do I dare wear them under a button-up like Kev’s garbage relative?

Novelty Prints

My memories of 1990 are sketchy at best, but I do recall wearing a lot of silly, loud prints. To preserve the timeless aesthetic, the Home Alone costumers stuck to muted tones and L.L. Bean-y cuts instead of the neon monstrosities that most of us were wearing. Um. I would wear Fuller’s exact shirt. And maybe the glasses.

Miracle On 34th Street (1994)

Look At All These Freaking Coats

Obviously Susan’s mother made some serious bank, because I doubt most New Yorkers could even afford an apartment that would house this many beautiful, classic wool coats.

Everyone. There were more coats. It’s important that you know that there were even more coats, but I had to stop myself.

Ain’t No Collar Like A Peter Pan Collar Cause A Peter Pan Collar Don’t Pop

Like the costume designers of Home Alone, the folks behind Miracle on 34th Street aimed for a timeless production. And nothing quite says “timeless” like the Peter Pan collar — the collar that will never grow up, if you will.

I just feel like everyone’s all “oh, Zooey Deschanel, she’s the queen of the Peter Pan collar,” but long before Mara Wilson was a funny, relateable 20-something writer, she was doing big things for the Peter Pan collar industry.

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

Warm Stuff

Chicago is cold, but when you have a floppy knit tam or a newsboy cap, you won’t feel the chill. It was true in 1995 and is true 19 years later.

Ouch. Writing that “19 years later” part hurt a little.

Knit Stuff

Everybody had a chunky, oversized oatmeal-colored sweater, probably from The Gap or, like Barbara Moss or whatever. They were cozy as hell.

What’s so 90s about this? In addition to the thick chain stitch on Sandy’s sweater, I’m pretty sure it’s cropped, so it would fit right in now. Not like an above-the-belly-button thing, but this look where they were … my friend and I used to call them “awkwardly short.” Hitting right around your natural waist, so that if you raised your arms you were in trouble. Or you would have been, but it was 1995 and you were wearing a bodysuit so it was fine.

Ruggedly Handsome Stuff

Yes, please, gentlemen of 2014.

Stuff We’d Rather Forget

Nobody ever talks about this when they talk about 90s fashion, but there was this thing for a while where we were all like “fuck it, I’m just gonna put a rosette on this.” Seriously. Around this time my First Communion dress had a sailor collar that met in a rosette and to this day if you try to tell me I wasn’t hot shit, I will not hear it.

The Preacher’s Wife (1996)

This movie makes me want to lift my hands in praise … for its wardrobe department. Whitney looks like a Central Park ice skater from a Currier and Ives print. Really. The costume designers on The Preachers Wife are angels sent to bestow gifts on humankind. Proof: Denzel Washington dressed like a handsome man from the 1990s dressed like a handsome man from the 1940s.

So, I really like Whitney’s ensemble here. But I also have to note that if you were a preacher’s wife or a Catholic school teacher in the mid-90s, you definitely wore that front-button dress/ turtleneck combo into the ground. Still, as the weather turns chillier I find myself more and more into the long skirt/dress with boots look.