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10 Struggles You Faced if You Grew Up Without Cable

Before Hulu and Netflix, there was cable and network. You either had all the channels under the sun or you had ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and maybe Univision if you were lucky. If you didn’t have cable, you definitely made friends with that one kid who was a little weird but had DirecTV. Let’s rehash one of the ultimate struggles in life: growing up without cable.

Sports

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NBA, NFL, MLB. These acronyms have no meaning to us because we didn’t have ESPN and it’s abundance of offshoots. What is sports?

Cartoons

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You laughed and pretended to know what your bff was saying when they stated, “You’re the Patrick to my Spongebob.” Only years later did you catch on and learn that that was a f*cked up thing for them to say. Harrumph. Fairly OddParents, Jimmy Neutron, Courage the Cowardly Dog…we would list more but we don’t know any ‘cuz our parents didn’t love us enough to get cable!

Soapey-Teen Dramas

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If you didn’t have cable growing up, you probably had no idea what the whole Drake wheelchair thing was about. We weren’t part of the privileged elite to witness Aubrey Graham’s first shot at stardom on Degrass. We didn’t see Zac Efron’s awkward puberty-transitioning sex symbol self in High School Musical. Basically, we missed out on the most important historical moments of our time.

Old Shows

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When people talk about the classics like The Brady Bunch and The Mary Tyler Moore Show we just quietly wait until the conversation is over to jump in with a, “Did you see yesterday’s Maury? While our friends were catching up on TV’s classics during their sick days, we just had shows like The People’s Court where neighbors were arguing over $30. PS, was it just us or did you think The Dick Van Dyke Show was some kinda dirty, adult show when you first heard about it?

Reality TV

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Remember Snooki’s crazy antics on Jersey Shore? Or when Kim still looked Armenian on Keeping Up with the Kardashians/i>? Nope, neither do we because we didn’t grow up with the educationally stimulating reality TV programs of cable yore.

Grown Up Cable Shows

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Every school had that kid who knew about scandalous grown up in second grade. That wasn’t us because we didn’t watch Sex and the City or any other HBO program for that matter. Oh we were so pure and innocent.

Shark Week

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Literally, what is Shark Week? We know it takes place at some point during the year and everyone is like “Sharks!” during that week. But other than that, we really don’t understand it at all. Googling now brb. Oh! Shark Week is going on right now as we write this. Seriously we didn’t know. Because CABLE. And our lack of it.

MTV VMAs

miley cyrus vmas
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We’ve come to accept that we’ll never see something happen live on the VMAs. We will hear about it for weeks after in the news and through friends. We will silently nod along as if we too had been watching the award show, but instead we were knitting alone in the dark because that’s what you do if you don’t have cable. Here are all the moments we missed out on: Madonna and Britney making out in 2003, Kanye makes Taylor “famous” in 2013. Thank goodness for gifs or we wouldn’t know what the heck was going on. BTW, we are legitimately watching Miley’s performance for the first time ever right now in 2016 at this non-legit link ‘CUZ CABLE.

Comedy

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We thought comedy was NBC’s Thursday night lineup of Friends and Will & Grace. “An Asian girl as a romantic interest for Ross? Will is gay? Wow comedy is really pushing the envelope!” we thought until we learned about The Chappelle Show, Da Alli G Show and the like. Just think, we could’ve been a famous comedian but now but noooo we were stuck with laugh-track sitcoms our whole childhood.

Hallmark and Lifetime Original Movies

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Not that we’d actually watch these, but we’d at least liked to have the option to! THANKS MOM AND DAD.

When people talk about the formative struggles that made them who they were, not having cable is definitely a big one. Right up there with growing up in the Depression or during a war, cable basically defined your childhood. We are forever scarred by our lack of useless TV trivia. What did you miss out on? Let me know on Twitter @andihester!

Contributor: 
Andi Hester
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brady bunch
dave chappelle
espn sports
lifetime
miley cyrus vmas
sex and the city
drake degrassi
spongebob squarepants
growing up without cable reality TV
growing up without cable shark week

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