EIGHT Wacky Fads That Should Never Come Back

Words by Jasmin Pedretti

Okay, so these actually happened. Before Tik Tok and flossing, our human race got into some pretty bizarre stuff.

It’s amazing what the world can obsess over. We have collated the eight most absolutely wacko fads of all time for your amusement. 

1. Death 

Death might seem morbid nowadays, but during the Victorian era, it was all the rage. People wore brooches made from their dead loved one’s hair and skeletal remains. Cemeteries were the perfect spot for a picnic, and it was fashionable to catch tears at a funeral with a glass vile so that when the tears evaporated, they could stop mourning. The discovery of Egyptian Pharaohs saw the upper classes host parties where guests would watch a mummy get unwrapped and disintegrate when it came into contact with the air. Because what else would you do at a party?

  1. Fasting Girls

Based on how bizarre the Victorian Era was, it’s no surprise some young girls claimed they could survive without eating and were an exhibit display in public.

 3. Flagpole sitting

By the mid-1920s fads became a little more fun, if you consider standing on top of a flagpole for extensive periods “fun”. Who knew this was even possible? 

  1. Dance till you die. 

Okay maybe not till death, but dance marathons during the Great Depression were taken very seriously. I guess when times are tough, why not dance till you pass out to make some extra coin? 

  1. Leg paint

During World War II, the manufacturing of nylon stockings stopped because the money went towards the war effort. It became popular for women to wear “leg make-up” to create the appearance of nylon stockings. Nothing could stand in the way of a woman and her style!


  1.   Phonebooth stuffing

Whoever thought it was a good idea to stuff as many people as possible into a phone booth was clearly bored. Somehow, this claustrophobic nightmare caught on and became a huge fad in the late 1950s. 


  1. Hunkerin’

Thankfully, by 59′, phone booth stuffing was old news and was replaced by hunkerin’. Considered by authorities as preferable to the previous craze, people hunkered for hours in random places like car roofs and around campus, wherever people gathered. Apparently, it helped you get to know each other and talk peacefully about issues such as politics.


  1. Banana peel smoking

This is known as the biggest hallucinogenic hoax of all time. The Berkeley Barb published a recipe in 1967 claiming that inhaling dried banana peels would get you high. This became an actual thing, even though the feeling of “tripping” was just a placebo effect. 

These quirky crazes are a testament to either the random stupidity or wild imagination of humanity. If we can gain anything from this history of nonsense, it’s that a group of people will enthusiastically follow any impulse if it becomes popular enough.

They might be peculiar, pointless and often life-threatening, but fads are the ultimate vehicle that bonds all walks of life from all over the world.