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Back in the aughts, the internet was a totally different landscape. Surfing the web without abandon, I often found the funniest, most addictive, and weirdest corners online. Whether they knew it or not, these sites basically shaped a generation.


Kiddo Net

Kiddo Net / Via kiddonet.tumblr.com

All the cool kids were on Kiddo Net. Parents approved of the educational content so it was easy to sit down and play for hours without interruption. Luckily, most parents didn’t look too closely at the game center, which had dozens of non-math related games!


Girl Sense

Via aboutborealis.tumblr.com

Before Instagram models set the trends, we flocked to Girl Sense for all things fashion and make-up! So you can blame this site for those choppy side bangs you just had to have in 7th grade…



Industrial feeling homepage from the early '00s

Newgrounds / Via newgrounds.wikia.com

Something about Newgrounds felt dangerous. You certainly didn’t want to get caught by your parents playing games like Henry Stickmin, Pico’s School, or Territory Wars. Nevertheless, the edgy content kept us coming back, which might be why this website still exists today!



Almost bare webpage with dozens of links to click on

Funny Junk / Via funnyjunk.com

FunnyJunk was a competitor to Newgrounds. It was the first home of the iconic “forever alone” meme that, dare I say, changed the internet forever. It also delivered video classics like Le End of Ze World!


Homestar Runner

A cartoon shaped like a marshmallow welcoming people to the Homestar Runner site

The Brothers Chaps / Via homestarrunner.com

If you can hear this picture you might be a millennial. Homestar Runner was an interactive comedy website where you could watch toons and play games. The zany cast of characters like Coach Z, The Cheat, and Strong Bad still make occasional appearances in recently uploaded videos!


eBaum’s World

Outdated webpage with link under the categories daily media and best of the web

eBaum’s World / Via web.archive.org

Some might call this site the original home of dank memes. If you visited eBaum’s World in the early 2000s you were probably bombarded by the Peanut Butter Jelly Time song. Believe it or not the site remains active today!


Rather Good

Webpage from 2005 featuring a cat dressed as a ninja and human-crab hybrids

Rather Good / webarchive.org / Via web.archive.org

If you were in the mood to watch weird Flash videos, then Rather Good was your one stop shop. Joel Veitch, the British Animator responsible for hits like “We Like The Moon” or “Northern Kittens,” still maintains the website today!



Twitter: @queasy_f_bby / Via Twitter: @queasy_f_bby

Formspring was a site where you could ask and answer questions from anonymous users. Naturally, as children, many abused the platform for purposes of cyberbullying. Be careful mentioning Formspring to your Zillennial friends because it may bring up some less than pleasant memories.


Dollz Mania

Dollz Mania / Via liquid-snake-official.tumblr.com

I vividly remember dressing goth girls on Dollz Mania. Meanwhile, I was probably wearing a Limited Too graphic tee and gauchos. These pixelated dress up characters were a staple of the early web. You knew someone was a bad bitch if their AOL avatar was created here.


Doll Palace

Via whizpurr.tumblr.com

Doll Palace was another regularly visited dress up site. Someone put these dolls in the Smithsonian so we never forget this important piece of aughts history.


Weebl’s Stuff

Website homepage listing toons like banana fingers and salad fingers

Weebl’s Stuff / Via web.archive.org

If you’ve ever gotten the Badger Badger song stuck in your head or had a nightmare about Salad Fingers, then you must have visited Weebl’s Stuff.



Two anime characters smile on the sites homepage

Gaia Online / Via web.archive.org

Gaia Online was an anime social platform. You earned Gaia Platinum for posting in forums or interacting with other users. Gaians could spend their currency building homes or buying fast cars. When you were kicked off the computer you definitely went up to your room and drew anime.



Picnik / Via web.archive.org

Before there were VSCO girls, there were Picnik girls. This might as well have been Photoshop in 2008. The software was simple – upload a picture from your flip phone, add a tacky quote, throw on a filter, and post. All your Facebook friends would be jealous of your artsy personality.

Two brace-faced middle schoolers smiling with under the quote "we so fly we make birds jealous"

Claire Pickhardt

Sorry to my sister for putting her 12-year-old self on blast, but this was a good edit circa 2009. Let that sink in.



Website homepage with options to read stories in a multitude of fandom categories

Fanfiction / Via web.archive.org

Whether you want to admit it or not, you may have found yourself on Fanfiction.net. Fans of TV series, movies, bands, and video game franchises flocked here to read some unofficial stories about their favorite characters. Nowadays, these stories can be seen on the big screen too. The books/films After and Fifty Shades of Grey both started as fanfics!



Via saucybanter.tumblr.com

Omegle is a video and messaging website that links you with other random users around the world. If you’ve ever been messaged, “asl?” then you probably spent hours on Omegle meeting strangers online.


Making Fiends

Amy Winfrey / Nickelodeon / Via scissorfiends.tumblr.com

This quirky flash web series dropped in 2003 and was later made into a short lived Nickelodeon series. Making Fiends followed the journey of villainous Vendetta, her army of fiends, and sweet Charlotte who just wanted to be friends. You can still find the original webisodes and the series here!



Neopets / Via bye2k.tumblr.com

Back in the day you logged onto Neopets to care for your creatures, play games, and run around with faeries. The world of Neopia even had its own economy to keep you playing for points and making money. The thrill you got from spinning the Wheel of Excitement was unmatched…until Webkinz dropped their Wheel of Wow.



Webkinz / Via 2000ish.tumblr.com

Webkinz were stuffed animals you could buy and then register online. Your adopted virtual pets had homes you could decorate with KinzCash collected from playing games. You made sure to log on everyday so you could collect your rare gems from Arte’s mine and spin the Wheel of Wow!



Miniclip / Via myspace0012.tumblr.com

Miniclip was an extraordinary corner of the internet. There was a flash game for everyone on this site! Bubble Trouble, Raft Wars, and Crypt Raider were responsible for many missed homework assignments.

Screenshot of a complex maze wired with bombs and booby traps

Miniclip / Via youtube.com

If you could beat this Crypt Raider level, you were a Miniclip pro.



Login page for Toontown on an old windows computer

Disney / toontown.com / Via rosey-kid.tumblr.com

Toontown was an online world created by Disney in 2003. You could customize a cartoon animal and explore the world. Most of the game was spent fighting Cogs or completing ToonTasks. Everyone was jealous of the kid at school whose parents paid for the membership.


Habbo Hotel

A check in page for the Habbo Hotel

Habbo Hotel / Via web.archive.org

This hotel-themed online community was always a party. You could play maze games or socialize in different party rooms with other users. Regular Habbo players probably still remember what time the pool opens!



Sign up page where you can discover the the things you like on the web

StumbleUpon / Via web.archive.org

StumbleUpon was a site that would send you to a random internet destination with the click of a button! It was a great spot to find new places to waste time.



Website homepage with a group of the game's quirky characters

Poptropica / Via reddit.com

Poptropica was a wholesome adventure game for kids. You got to hop around from island to island completing quests. Fun fact: Poptropica was created by Jeff Kinney who also wrote Diary of a Wimpy Kid!



Zwinky / Via porcelainpistol.tumblr.com

If you weren’t causing trouble at the mall, you were probably roaming around on Zwinky. You got to make yourself into an avatar, play dress up, and explore different chat rooms.



Akinator / Via moo-moohead.tumblr.com

You might not remember Akinator, but he definitely remembers you. This genie could guess literally anyone you’re thinking of simply by asking you questions. We used to huddle around at sleepovers trying to stump him with obscure TV, movie, or book characters.



A list of quiz categories to choose from on an outdated homepage

Quizilla / Via web.archive.org

Similar to Sporcle, Quizilla led the charge of online quiz taking. You could take a quiz to find out who you should play Seven Minutes in Heaven with or spend some time scrolling through fanficition. The internet has always been a horny place!


Addicting Games

Homepage with rows and rows of icons you can click to play online games

Addicting Games / Via imgur.com

Addicting Games was exactly that – addictive. Hours were spent playing anything from Spank the Monkey to Fancy Pants Adventure to Max Dirt Bike. Some of these games feel violent even as an adult!



General Mills / Via sabertoothwalrus.tumblr.com

Another interesting corner of the internet were cereal gaming websites. Millsberry.com was an online extension of General Mills. The arcade made us drool for Cinnamon Toast Crunch!



Post Cereal / Via american-cobrahawk.tumblr.com

Post Cereals also had a website for kids! Honeycomb Stunt Bike, Cocoa Pebbles Boulder Dash, Waffle Boys Mountain Adventure, and Bedrock Bobsleddin’ Blowout were some of the most fun games you could find online.


Club Penguin

Club Penguin / Via nazzstalgia.tumblr.com

Last, but not least, Club Penguin was the ultimate time sucker. You’d run off the bus yelling at your friends to meet you at the iceberg and spend the whole afternoon trying to tip it. I hope that someone out there is feeding my puffles…

Via animatedtext.tumblr.com

Warning: Club Penguin does not cure nostalgia induced depression.


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