The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Oink! Oink! Zoo Pals

Childhood nostalgia and the return of Zoo Pals
Photo courtesy of the “People” website (

Childhood nostalgia is a concept that many students across the globe are familiar with due to the popularity of the phrase across social media and its prevalence in everyday conversations. 

Nostalgia moreover, is defined as a sentimentality for things or events of the past, more specifically toward an era of time, or a place that holds affectionate value. When it comes to the sweet memories of childish bliss and naivety, childhood nostalgia is a notion that many individuals fondly look back upon. 

Seeing that the average college student ranges between the ages of 18 and 24, many current university students have euphoric childhood nostalgia and memories dating way back to the year 2000. 

During the first three years of the 2000’s, monumental advances in technology were being developed and released to consumers such as the camera cellphone, bluetooth functions, and Blu-ray DVD. Android, Facebook, and YouTube all made their show-stopping debuts around this time as well. 

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Along with the launch of these inventions and products, Steve Jobs released the very first iPhone through his company, Apple. As we all know, the rest is history, and Apple has now become a company that earns billions of dollars in revenue every year.

As many students can recall, a substantial amount of early 2000’s nostalgia is presented in the form of the technology and media that were available to our generations during this time period. 

 The early 2000’s was a more simple and magical time period across the nation. It was the golden age of television shows, cartoons, music, toys, and even snacks. 

 Many people can remember the iconic television commercials – like the “Reese’s Puffs Rap” and Sprouse Brothers Danimals commercials – that would play amidst our favorite cartoon programs like “Wonder Pets,” “Max and Ruby,” “Scooby-Doo,” “Blues Clues,” “Dora the Explorer,” “The Backyardigans,” “Curious George,” “Little Einsteins,” and more. 

Not to mention, we kept ourselves entertained by watching the Nyan Cat video on YouTube, or playing a Nintendo DS game in our spare time after school.

The music during the 2000’s had a very distinctive upbeat melody. Artists like Usher, Beyonce, The Black Eyed Peas, and Rihanna ran the show. Much of the music throwbacks played on certain radios nowadays are from the 2000’s era, like “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s and “Umbrella” by Rihanna. 

While listening to the hit songs on the radio, 2000’s kids would play with Polly Pocket dolls, Webkinz, Silly Bandz, and Beyblade spinning-top toys to keep themselves occupied while munching on Kellogg’s Yogos, Froot Loops Cereal Straws, or multicolored Yoplait Trix yogurt. 

While many mass-produced products of our childhoods have been discontinued and lost to the tragic abyss of time itself, a few early 2000’s items are making a comeback bigger than ever. 

 One of the most notable comebacks of the decade has been noticed by the return of Hefty® Zoo Pals™ paper plates. While Hefty is widely known for being an American household product brand that is a trustworthy supplier of trash bags and food storage products, their trademarked “Zoo Pals” paper plates were a huge success on the market immediately following their release date in the 2000’s. 

These unique, colorful plates were a predominant childhood lunchtime necessity throughout the first decade of the 2000’s up until they were discontinued in the early years of the 2010’s around 14 years later. 

The Zoo Pals plates used to be available in countless designs, and were popular among the younger generation due the creative nature and the variety of the plates available. Moreover, parents liked Zoo Pals because each plate featured segmented sections to put smaller snacks and dips like ranch or peanut butter. 

 “Over the last nine years, we have received many calls, social media, and even petition requests from fans to bring back Zoo Pals and the wait is finally over,” Jen Ganahl, senior brand manager at Reynolds Consumer Products said. “With this re-launch, our original fans will be able to relive their fondest childhood memories as adults and we are excited to bring the joy of mealtime with Zoo Pals plates to the next generation.” 

To the delight of many 2000’s kids who are now mostly in their twenties, ten of the original Zoo Pals plate designs have been making their way back to the market. However, some are finding it hard to get their hands on a package of these beloved plates due to them flying off the shelves. 

All things considered, childhood nostalgia is an unspoken binding agent that ties generations together through the sentimental power of collective memories from our youth. Thus, if you ever need a blast from the past, or feel the need to tap into your inner child, the remnants of childhood nostalgia exist all around; you just need to search for it.

 For information regarding childhood nostalgia and the return of Hefty® Zoo Pals™ plates , please visit throwbacks-nostalgia-parts-1-and-2/2000s+Childhood+Throwbacks+Part+1.mp4 and

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Campbell Burnett
Campbell Burnett, Content Editor

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