Before online gaming became a thing, there was Neopets. And kids growing up in the '90s and early '00s were obsessed -- like, spend-five-hours-a-day-hoarding-Neopoints kind of obsessed -- with it. The site's marketplace taught us about comparison shopping and its chat rooms taught us how to spot trolling before the term "trolling" even existed.
Exploring Neopia wasn't always a positive experience, though. The game had a healthy dose of villains to steal our precious Neopoints and destroy our morale in the Battledome. Here are all the things that made your blood boil while playing Neopets:
When the Giant Omelette ran out
Now what will your pets eat?! Those omelettes lasted for DAYS.
When nobody bought anything in your shop
Probably because it was all overpriced junk, be honest with yourself here.
When the Pant Devil stole your baby paintbrush before you could put it in your safety deposit box
This traumatized you so badly that you debated deleting your account and giving up on Neopets forever.
When you weren't fast enough to get the codestone at the Money Tree
Bless you, kind stranger, for donating your valuable codestones to a worthy cause.
When your pet lost its fight in the Battledome
Beating Punchbag Bob barely counts.
When the Snowager woke up
When your pet got sick with Hoochie Coochies, whatever that is
You were too cheap to buy medicine, so you visited the Healing Springs every 30 minutes until the Water Faerie cured your beloved pet.
When you couldn't use the Shop Wizard to search for items during Faerie Quests
Before there was Team Edward and Team Jake, there was Team Jhudora and Team Illusen.
When it was December and you forgot to visit the Advent Calendar
You can only get the free stuff if you actually show up.
When you casually forgot to feed your Neopet for two years
When you got sucked into playing Dice-A-Roo
"Look mom! Gambling is FUN!"
When you spent hours getting the HTML code justtt right
Whether you were trying to customize your font, your pet page or your shop's description, HTML and CSS looked like a jumbled mess of letters and symbols to your 9-year-old self. But you eventually got the hang of things, and your Neopets coding skills came in handy later on when you designed your own Myspace layout in middle school.
When you couldn't make the Grumpy King Skarl laugh
This dude was grumpier than Grumpy Cat.
When you kept misspelling faerie as "fairy"
Neopets made up a lot of words, but "faerie" wasn't one of them -- and it took you awhile to realize that.
When the Wheel of Excitement didn't bless you with a prize
Or worse, when it led to the Pant Devil stealing your stuff.
When you couldn't pronounce any of the Neopet species' names
Does Gelert have a hard or soft "g" sound? Do you say the "e" at the end of Elephante? Does Kau sound like "cow"? Does Draik = Drake?
When you couldn't figure out what time to visit Coltzan's Shrine
You could only visit once every 12 hours, but you never managed to figure out which minute or hour or second gave you the best prizes.
When you couldn't find or afford the last piece in a treasure map
All so the Mad Lab Ray Scientist could change your pet's species or color or strength level to something you completely hated.
When you missed a painted pet or a pet with an extra-cool name at the Neopian Pound
Putting underscores in your pets' names -- because Neopets wouldn't let any pets share the exact same name in their universe -- was the worst.
Just everything about petpetpets in general
Weren't petpets -- a pet for your pet, obviously -- enough? And then Neopets went and made petpetpets -- a pet for your pet's petpet, c'mon, keep up -- a thing. Getting a petpetpet to latch onto your petpet was so annoying, too. You had to just keep refreshing the page over and over again until the stupid petpetpet had the common sense to jump onto your petpet. Why did this seem like so much fun when we were kids?!
When you got busted for cheating
If you didn't cheat at least once while you played Neopets, you're lying -- or you're just a really honorable person, in which case I applaud your honesty. Whether you had multiple accounts to hoard extra Neopoints or cheated other users into giving you their passwords so you could loot their accounts, scammers were EVERYWHERE in Neopia. On the downside, you probably lost a few hundred Neopoints when you cluelessly fell for that "type your password in and it turns into ****" trick. On the bright side, you learned a very important lesson about the internet at a young age -- never trust anything anyone says online.