At the start of a new year, we decided to take a trip down memory lane and see what was trending in 2003. It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since it was relevant in our lives.

The 1990s was a decade of unforgettable trends, from velor tracksuits to the hits playing on our iPods.

Read the selection of memorable moments and trends we look back on that are now 20 years old, from what we saw on the big screen to sporting events and everything in between.

what we heard

A color photograph of rapper '50 Cent' at New York's MTV Studios, February 2003
Rapper ’50 Cent’ at MTV Studios in New York, February 2003

Nothing throws us into nostalgia like music. The Billboard top single of 2003 was 50 Cent’s “In da Club”, other popular hits of the year included Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” and Sean Paul’s “Get Busy”.

what we bought

You know the years fly when you’re old enough to remember this blast from the past – video tapes. Now a retired source of entertainment, there’s no doubt that every household from Belfast to Enniskillen has a collection of these in their attic.

what we were looking for

A color photo of singer Britney Spears in 2003
The singer Britney Spears in 2003

What we looked for can tell us a lot about what was trending this year. The most popular Google searches in 2003 were pop princess Britney Spears, Harry Potter, Matrix and David Beckham.

What has been released

Girlfriends and wives despised the day this game hit shelves and threw their partners under an addictive spell. In October, it will be 20 years since the first game of Call of Duty was released.

How we named our babies

A color photo of a nurse feeding a newborn baby in Gabrovo Hospital's maternity ward, September 2022
This photo taken on September 13, 2022 shows a nurse feeding a newborn baby in the maternity ward of Gabrovo Hospital

The most popular name for boys registered in Northern Ireland in 2003 was Jack, while the majority of girls born that year were named Emma.

What was on the big screen

A color photo of actor Matthew McConaughey arrives at the premiere of 'How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days' at the Cinerama Dome on January 27, 2003 in Hollywood, California.
Actor Matthew McConaughey arrives at the premiere of ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ held at the Cinerama Dome on January 27, 2003 in Hollywood, California.

Rom-coms were at their peak in the 1990s. It’s safe to say that one of the most iconic chic movies made its debut on our screens in 2003: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

what we won

2003 was certainly a memorable year for sport in Northern Ireland. Two Ulster teams went head-to-head in the All-Ireland Football Final, with Tyrone defeating Armagh and winning the Sam Maguire for the first time.

what we wore

A color photo of socialite Paris Hilton in a dark gray velor tracksuit in 2004
Socialite Paris Hilton wore a dark gray velor tracksuit in 2004

Nothing says early ’90s fashion like Paris Hilton in a velor tracksuit. Other garments from this decade included low-waisted jeans and scarf belts – we hope they stay firmly in the history books!

which we used up

If you grew up in the early 00s, you can assume your diet consisted of Sunny Delight, Fruit Winders and BN Cookies.

What did we communicate about?

A color photo of the MySpace logo displayed on a smartphone in 2015
The MySpace logo appeared on a smartphone in 2015

Hands up when the first thing after school is to turn on the family computer, wait for the dial-up Internet connection to activate, and log into MySpace? Communication has certainly come a long way since the social networking service was first launched 20 years ago.

  • Iconic Late Late Toy Show moments that everyone will remember from years past

  • Take a step back to 1990s Belfast with vintage photos of the city

  • Vintage club photos show nights out in Northern Ireland at Coach, Lush and more

  • Throwback photos feature class nights at the Box, M Club, and more

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