Stop Ruining My Childhood!-logo

Stop Ruining My Childhood!

Arts & Culture Podcasts

A sometimes nostalgic, sometimes cynical look back at pop culture. Join us as we revisit movies, cartoons, and live-action TV of the 80s and 90s, and ask the question, ”Does this hold up? Or did I just ruin my childhood?”

A sometimes nostalgic, sometimes cynical look back at pop culture. Join us as we revisit movies, cartoons, and live-action TV of the 80s and 90s, and ask the question, ”Does this hold up? Or did I just ruin my childhood?”


United States


A sometimes nostalgic, sometimes cynical look back at pop culture. Join us as we revisit movies, cartoons, and live-action TV of the 80s and 90s, and ask the question, ”Does this hold up? Or did I just ruin my childhood?”




Magic School Bus... and Charleston Chew

Scholastic's "The Magic School Bus" follows Ms. Frizzle and her class as they set off on field trips. Based on the best-selling book series of the same name and starring Lily Tomlin, the original cartoon version of "The Magic School Bus" ran for two seasons on PBS. It was created to encourage students to become more interested in science to promote more diversity in the sciences. Before taking a fieldtrip with "The Frizz," we try out our non-sponsored snack, Charleston Chew and talk about...


ABC Afterschool Specials... and Capri Sun

ABC Afterschool Special was a television anthology series that aired on ABC from1972, to 1997. Younger Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, and even "Elder" Millennials might remember coming home to these very special programs created for teens. First, we revisit an afterschool drink, Capri Sun! We learn about the origins of the foil-pouched drink and then dive into the fascinating history of the Afterschool Special, which started on ABC and was quickly replicated by CBS and NBC in a fight for teenage...


Reading Rainbow... and Snack Packs

It's September, and that means it's back to school time! To celebrate, we're revisiting the show that got everyone to read in the summer... Reading Rainbow! Hosted by Levar Burton, Reading Rainbow is an American educational children's television series that originally aired on PBS from 1983 to 2006. After digging into the fascinating history of the show, Steve reminisces about "Book It," a program that gave kids free pizza for reading, and Megan describes cataloging her books and movies as...


Office Space... and Cotton Candy

This week, in honor of Labor Day, we revisit Office Space! Office Space was written and directed by Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butthead. The film debuted in 1999 and was a sleeper hit with low initial box office returns, but huge VHS sales after being shown almost daily on Comedy Central. The movie satirizes the worklife of a typical 1990s software company as well as the food service industry. We talk about our early jobs, frustration with middle managers, and toxic workplaces......


Scooby-Doo... and Sixlets

This week, we go way back to revisit the original Scooby-Doo! Scooby-Doo Where Are You debuted in 1969 to answer a call for Saturday morning cartoons with less violence and more humor. The Hanna-Barbera production spawned dozens of TV shows and movies. Before our full review of the original animated TV series, we have our non-sponsored snack, Sixlets: a candy that tried to be better than M&Ms! We talk about our memories of Scooby-Doo, and Steve calls Megan "pretentious" and Megan calls...


Camp Nowhere... and Gummy Worms

The camping fun continues with our summer movie pick, Camp Nowhere! Starring Christopher Lloyd (of Back to the Future fame) and Jonathan Jackson, Morris "Mud" Himmel hates spending every summer at computer camp, When he realizes all of his friends are unhappy about their respective camp prospects, he devises a plan to create his own, kid-friendly camp. Before our full review, Megan explains exactly what happens at an academic camp, Steve talks about the differences camps went through from...


Double Dare... and Sour Patch Kids

After receiving a listener suggestion, we decided to revisit another beloved Nickelodeon TV show, Double Dare! Double Dare began when Nickelodeon was looking for more programming to play after school, and a sponsor suggested a kid's game show instead of a cartoon! What resulted was a fun, exciting mixture of trivia, dares, physical challenges, and the famed obstacle course! Before our full review, Steve and Megan reminisce about wanting to be on Double Dare, and talk about how the show...


Salute Your Shorts... and Oreo Dirt

It isn't summer until you go to summer camp! So this week, we revisit the beloved Nickelodeon TV show Salute Your Shorts! Salute Your Shorts began as a collection of short stories before being developed as a pilot by Propaganda Films. It took a year for Nickelodeon to green-light the project, but once it was on the air, it was an instant hit with kids who were too old for cartoons, but too young for prime time dramas. Before our full review, Steve reminisces about Boy Scout Camp, Megan...


My Little Pony... and Pez

This week, we revisit another classic franchise that started with a toy line... My Little Pony! Hasboro began with the failed "My Pretty Pony" doll and then ran a more successful line of smaller ponies from 1982 to 1992. The toys launched a global phenomenon, and a movie and TV series captured the hearts of kids everywhere. Before our full review of the original animated TV series, Megan talks about playing with the toy line, Steve talks about not playing with the toy line, and we both...


Field of Dreams... and Big League Chew

This week, the summer fun continues with the classic 1980s baseball movie, Field of Dreams! Starring Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Amy Madigan, Gabby Hoffman, and Timothy Busfield, this award-winning film came into theaters in 1989. When Iowa farmer Ray (Kevin Costner) hears a mysterious voice one night in his cornfield saying "If you build it, he will come," he feels the need to act. Despite taunts of lunacy, Ray builds a baseball diamond on his land,...


Quantum Leap... and Pop Tarts

"Oh Boy!" This week, we revisit the cult favorite, Quantum Leap. Quantum Leap ran for 5 seasons and 97 episodes from 1989 to 1993. Created by Don Bellisario, the show starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a time traveling scientist, who leaps into people from 1953 to 1987 to help them and correct something that went wrong in the original timeline. Dean Stockwell, who co-stars as Admiral Al Calavicci, Sam's best friend, who appears as a hologram that only Sam can see and hear. They are...


Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue... and Nik L Nips

On April 21, 1990, all four major American television networks: ABC, NBC, Fox, and CBS, most independent stations, as well as cable networks Nickelodeon and the USA Network ran the anti-crack PSA, Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue. Sponsored by McDonald's, the special featured nearly every famous cartoon at the time: Winnie the Pooh, Muppet Babies, Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Smurfs, Garfield, Bugs Bunny, the Duck Tales Gang, ALF, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more! Steve and Megan...


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Totinos Pizza Rolls

This week, we revisit the original cartoon version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! What began as a comic book in 1984, TMNT quickly launched into a series in 1986, and an empire was born. The franchise spawned 5 animated television series, 5 live-action films, 4 animated films, 4 comic book series, toys, video games, table top games, pinball machines, amusement park rides, and more! Megan remembers her brother's obsession with the show and her enjoyment of the original toy line. Steve...


Top Gun... and Freezy Pops

To celebrate the Fourth of July this week, we revisit Top Gun! Starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Tom Skerritt, and Meg Ryan, this summer blockbuster burst into theaters in 1986. The movie helped to increase Navy recruitment, and was popular enough to spawn the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick earlier this year. Steve talks about the ways the movie inspired his childhood obsession with airplanes... and how he may have recreated the "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"...


Fantasy Island... And Fruit Gushers

"The plane! The plane!" This week, we revisit Fantasy Island! Fantasy Island started out as a joke made by a frustrated Aaron Spelling as he was pitching ideas to network executives. The executives loved the idea, and so did the public! The show ran 152 episodes and two made-for-TV movies over seven years from 1977 to 1984. In the ratings, it never broke into the top 10, but it was popular enough to spawn a reboot series in 1998, a prequel film in 2020, and a sequel series in 2021. Tying...


25th Episode! The Fifth Element... And Happy Meals

We have a special extravaganza, celebrating our 25th episode! We went back 25 years to the 25th highest box office film and rewatched The Fifth Element! Starring Mila Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and Chris Tucker, this sci-fi adventure film is known for its stunning visuals... and Mila Jovovich's infamous orange and white costume. Some called it a comic book come to life! Others found it overstuffed and overstimulating. Before we give our take, we revisit a few of our favorite...


Father’s Day BONUS! Rad... And Skittles

Megan is out of the studio this week, and Steve is joined by his brother, Kevin, who is celebrating his first Father's Day as a new dad! To help Kevin celebrate, we let him pick the movie, so this week's Bonus Episode features the classic 1980s BMX racing movie, Rad! The film stars Bill Allen, Lori Loughlin, Talia Shire, Jack Weston and Ray Walston, along with 1984 Olympic gymnastics champion Bart Conner and famously features a dance sequence on BMX bikes! The film was a box office bomb,...


Jem... and Symphony Bars

This week, we revisit Jem! Jem and the Holograms was a hit Saturday Morning Cartoon that ran from 1985-1988. It rose to the top of the Nielsen Ratings its first two years, and then dropped down into relative obscurity. We talk about the show's strong cult following, original songs, toy tie-ins, and the 2015 reboot film. Before digging into Jem, we try a Hershey's Symphony bar. Launched in 1989, this candy bar was create to appeal to wealthier and European customers. Did we love it? Did we...


Flight of the Navigator... And Sugar Daddies

This week, we revisit the live-action Disney film, Flight of the Navigator! This 1986 movie starred Joey Cramer as David, a 12-year-old kidnapped by a spaceship he calls Max. The voice of Max was provided by Paul Reubens, best known for his Pee-Wee Herman character. Sarah Jessica Parker also appears in one of her first film roles. Before our review, we try the retro childhood treat, the Sugar Daddy! The sticky, caramel pop was invented in 1925, but surged in popularity in 1973. Did we...


Memorial Day BONUS! Glory... And Salt Water Taffy

This Memorial Day, we revisit the Civil War film, Glory Inspired by the true story of the 54th Regiment, the first military unit consisting entirely of black soldiers who fought for the Union army during the Civil War. Despite the bravery of the many men amongst their ranks, the 54th Regiment were often mistreated as second-class soldiers. Under the leadership of Robert Shaw, the first all-black volunteer company fought prejudices of both their own Union army and the Confederates. We talk...