90’s Middle School Contraband


7. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Parents objected to reading Alvin Schwartz’s terrifying masterpiece in schools when it gave their kids nightmares. If you were lucky, indulgent teachers went ahead and read it aloud anyway.


8. Rubber Poppers

The whole point of these toys was to turn them inside out and watch them “pop.” After the third time you set one off in math class, it was likely to be confiscated and never seen again. Luckily, they were easy to replace. Advanced popper owners discovered that it was more entertaining to use suction to covertly stick them to friends’ bodies.


9. Black Lipstick

While excessive make-up was generally frowned upon in middle school, black lipstick was in a category of its own and had to be washed off immediately. Related item: black nail polish.