When the Ouija board didn't work, you moved on to Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. And that, you totally felt. No seriously, it really started happening! Melissa just lifted up into the air. You were barely even touching her!
MASH was a staple of life, let alone of slumber parties. Too bad you always ended the game solemnly thinking about your future, living in a shack in Antarctica with 57 kids, married to a hobo, driving a covered wagon and going to your job at the wig factory to make all $7 you would have.
Never Have I Ever was a dangerous game, both for the girls who'd done it all and for the lame-os who had never gotten braces or been out of the country or kissed a boy. No good ever came of it and it induced anxiety in everyone involved, so naturally you played it all the time.
Movies at slumber parties were non-negotiable. The problem was deciding which movie to watch. And it was ultimately the choice of the host for the night. Jessica could always be counted on to choose something scandalous that was rated PG-13. You couldn't watch those movies without permission from your parents, so you had to call home and make sure it was okay, all the time dreading that it wouldn't be and you'd have to go hang out with Jessica's mom upstairs. At least she usually gave you M&M's.
This is a true story: One time, I was at a sleepover and my friend ”” we'll call her Nancy ”” decided to put shaving cream all around my other friend ”” we'll call her Beth ”” while Beth was sleeping. (Nancy and Beth were best friends.) Beth got up in the middle of the night and was FURIOUS. She was covered in shaving cream, she was SO MAD, and she spent a few minutes alternately screaming at Nancy and crying. It was terrible. Nancy felt so guilty and spent the rest of the night wide awake, afraid that she had ruined their friendship.
In the morning, Beth had literally no memory of the prank, or her screaming, or her crying. She thought it was funny and felt guilty about the distress she'd caused Nancy. Either she was lying, or Beth really was a sleepwalking psychopath.
Let this be a lesson to all of you: Pranks are never worth it.
A few brave souls would gather around the phone and listen to the most popular girl in your group call the most popular boy in the grade. It would take every bone in your body not to snicker too loudly on the other end. Man, childhood was magical.
Before or after the boy phone call, or any minute you weren't watching a movie or stuffing your face, you were gossiping about everyone in your lives ”” which boys at school were cute, which girls were awful, which teachers were totally into each other. And gossip never gets old, tbh. You're definitely still going strong today.
Gossiping inevitably devolved into crush talk. Sure, it started with the boys at school, but you all quickly realized how crusty and gross they were. None of them were even close to the god status of Rider Strong or Leonardo DiCaprio.
No matter how exclusive you tried to keep your sleepover, a bad girl always showed up. She'd offer you cigarettes or raid your parents' liquor cabinet. She brought nothing but trouble, and she terrified you (but she also made you feel a little cool).
What were sleepovers for if not stuffing your face? Cheez Doodles were consumed by the bucket, pizza rolls rained down, Twizzlers' ends were bitten off so you could use them at soda straws. Stomach aches be damned. It was glorious.
The incredible drama and life-altering events of the night before would all be washed away in the morning with a glorious breakfast. Waffles, French toast or pancakes with fresh fruit and a pitcher of OJ were enough to make you happy again, in all the ways. Sleepovers in the '90s were melodramatic microcosms of life. They were wonderful and weird, terrible and terrifying and terrific, and we wouldn't have traded them for anything in the world.