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What the . . . Spandex Twins?

January 11, 2013

*What the…Friday? is a weekly Friday feature in which I resuscitate a video relic from the swampy pits of Pop Culture Wasteland.*

You may know that around October I scaled back the frequency of my blogging.  And it’s been nearly seven long weeks now since I offered you a WTF? post.

I know, I know — without your weekly dose of video-awkward, what’s the point of getting up in the morning, am I right?

Well, just for you, I’ve begun scouring the internet tubes again.

biker_shortsToday:  What the Spandex Twins?

Oh how far we’ve come as a society.

Let me just start by saying that today I am a much more sensitive person than I was twenty years ago.

For example, I now know that calling out a person’s “spandex” is shameful, that “spandex” is hurtful and derogatory.

It’s difficult to accept that a long, long time ago, we all felt comfortable dropping this word into casual conversation, even going so far as pointing at a person and right to their face saying “spandex.”

What’s more heartbreaking?  People even once used “spandex” to describe themselves.

Like if I told you people many years ago would willingly nickname themselves The Spandex Twins, you would tell me I was lying.

Oh how quickly we forget our bitter past.

Brace yourself.

76 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2013 10:48 am

    And now it has come full circle. This is evidence of Mario’s initial dabbling in the dance scene which eventually led to his downhill plunge into Dancing with the Stars. It all leads back to the spandex.

    Just say no to spandex kids!! If only we had known how dangerous it was back then. We might have been able to save him in time. Save him . . . by the bell.

    • January 11, 2013 11:03 am

      In terms of dance-offs (not to be confused with jerkoffs), Mario/Slater was far ahead of his time. I sort of admire him for that. If “admire” means “repulsed by the sight.”

  2. January 11, 2013 10:58 am

    Seven weeks is an eternity … and when clothed in Spandex, well, it stays fresh forever. Or something like that.

    But people wear this more and more. I don’t get it.

    • January 11, 2013 11:01 am

      I typically try to avoid wearing any fabric that shows every slight pucker of the skin. Also, I don’t trust fabric that is a trademarked brand name and cannot be chemically broken down.

      • January 11, 2013 11:03 am

        Yes, spandex even shows when you haven’t shaved your legs.

        And people wear it outside their homes. Nobody should be forced to look, Angie. Nobody.

  3. January 11, 2013 11:03 am

    Modern day spandex: yoga pants. Which I’m wearing right now.

    • January 11, 2013 11:07 am

      Let’s role play to help understand. Now see, if I pointed at your pants and said, “Those are yoga pants,” you would understand that I accept them and am not insulting them. Now substitute the word “spandex” in place of “yoga.” It hurts, doesn’t it.

  4. January 11, 2013 11:34 am

    Angie… another gem (I missed these!) … I actually (should I reveal) am familiar with that episode – Lisa hurts her ankle and dances with Screech- they get the pity vote… So much for Spandex giving you an edge!
    Thanks for the clarification about not saying… Spandex… guess I got confused – but I agree, yoga pants… much more hip.
    YEA WTF videos

    • January 11, 2013 1:01 pm

      Excellent recap. I almost forgot this was even a television show and not just a dance competition. You really drew me in with the dramatic arc. I better go google the episode now.

    • January 11, 2013 4:32 pm

      For some reason, I especially remember that episode. They named the stupid dance something lame too – awww, so cute! Puke.

      • January 12, 2013 1:54 pm

        See, I have some of the smartest commenters ever! Because if you just read below, you’ll see the dance was apparently called The Sprain. That’s so cute I want to punch someone.

      • January 12, 2013 2:02 pm

        And break both their ankles.

  5. January 11, 2013 12:33 pm

    I remember my babysitter sitting me down and having a very serious talk about the risks of wearing a spandex unitard that snaps at the crotch as a shirt. She had just been traumatized by getting her first detention for “misusing” the bathroom pass. The teacher did not believe her excuse that it took too long to snap her shirt back together. Thanks to my babysitter’s words, I never, ever wore a spandex unitard as a shirt. Not even once.

    • January 11, 2013 12:39 pm

      Oh wow. There should be a PSA about this. At the very least, an after-school special. We need to warn our children before they throw their lives away on spandex.

    • January 11, 2013 1:26 pm

      I confirm how long it took to snap those spandex unitards back together(esp if you’d been drinking) but Donna on Melrose wore them, so we had to. They never came untucked, though.

      • January 11, 2013 2:06 pm

        And they looked dynamite with velvet chokers.

  6. January 11, 2013 2:14 pm

    Spandex is a derogatory term! Hilarious!

    I never forgot this happened. Don’t forget about Zack and Jesse as “The Preppies” or Screech and Lisa doing “The Sprain”!

    (prepping for SBTB bar trivia next week)

    • January 12, 2013 1:57 pm

      Too bad they don’t ask Saved by the Bell trivia questions in job interviews or we could all be like astronauts or brain surgeons or something.

      • January 12, 2013 4:23 pm

        I think a good sbtb trivia question could tell a potential employer more about you than “Tell me about a time that you worked in a team.”

      • January 12, 2013 5:18 pm

        Ha! And “what is your biggest weakness?” Answer: “Probably that I am such a perfectionist….”

      • January 12, 2013 6:18 pm

        “I spend too much time at work.”

      • January 12, 2013 6:24 pm

        I can tell you’re a pro at this. And, “I have a hard time delegating so I take on too much work.”

      • January 12, 2013 8:05 pm

        Good one!

  7. January 11, 2013 3:13 pm

    zomg, I grew up with that show, and I would have given anything to be the female of the spandex twins, shaking my booty in The Max. *swoon*

    • January 12, 2013 1:59 pm

      You mentioned The Max and, for whatever reason, I’m now thinking of The Peach Pit. And The Regal Beagle. Ah, good time hangouts with our favorite made up friends.

  8. January 11, 2013 3:34 pm

    I lived in spandex. Remember, I was the girl who tore the croches out of spandex pants and tights to wear as UNDER-clothing. A real addiction, I tell you. But I did typically stay away from the typical 80’s shades of chartreuse, hot pink, and — as so boldly worn by Spandex twins — construction cone orange.

    Today? Yoga pants like Rachel. Only I don’t give a flip how big my ass looks (or even if I have panty lines). Here in Deep South Texas, It’s just how we roll. It’s worse in summer when those same pants suddenly become shorts. Richard Simmons style.

    • January 11, 2013 3:39 pm

      I should clarify: underclothing SHIRTS (head through crotch, arms through legs). This to distinguish myself from Nicole’s, uh, embarrassing babysitter situation comment.

      • January 12, 2013 2:03 pm

        Okay, now I know why it sounded cool. The other way sounded a little ewwwww.

    • January 12, 2013 2:01 pm

      Yes, yes! I heard this story of yours and thought it sounded super cool….and I’m not sure why.

      Tight spandex in a hot climate sounds deadly.

      • January 12, 2013 2:07 pm

        It is the go-to solution for the inner-thigh chaffing that sometimes occurs with liberal cellulite combined with short shorts. (PS — tomorrow’s my bloggy one-year! Tweaking the new format as I type…tee hee).

      • January 12, 2013 2:13 pm

        One year? Holy Smokes! Congrats, Shannon. I will stop by for some punch and cake. Vegan, I hope.

      • January 12, 2013 2:15 pm

        Always. And I have finally perfected the vegan brownie after three months and twenty batches. Cheers!

  9. Tony permalink
    January 11, 2013 3:38 pm

    So if you reuse a unitard does it become a retard?

    • January 12, 2013 2:01 pm

      I’m too PC to answer that. Are you asking because you own one?

  10. January 11, 2013 4:31 pm

    Spandex, just, no, just – why? Whenever I hear that word I think of that horrible Olivia Newton-John video “Let’s get Physical.” I hate that video. Also I had a Barbie with a spandex exercise outfit. It was fun to make Barbie sweat.

    Does Mario realize he looks slightly less masculine in his spandex?

    • January 12, 2013 9:57 am

      Say, you wouldn’t be THE Alice At Wonderland, of Freshly Pressed fame, would you?

      • January 12, 2013 10:36 am

        Indeed I would, Byronic Man of freshy pressed sheets fame! Thanks for noticing. :D

      • January 12, 2013 11:15 am

        Whaaaaaaaa? Going over to have a look-see. Ah, I’m always late to the party. CONGRATS!

      • January 12, 2013 12:21 pm


      • January 12, 2013 2:06 pm

        Thanks for alerting me of this! My ipad’s Freshly Pressed page format looks like poop right now so I’ve been avoiding it.

  11. January 11, 2013 6:27 pm

    ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG. So here’s something you need to know about me: before I even read your post and before I even watched that video, I had that music in my head. All I had to read was “spandex twins” and that wonderful made-for-SBTB music was rattling around in my brain.

    • January 12, 2013 2:11 pm

      I love, love, love Saved by the Bell’s crappy music! You could produce your own music using a Casio keyboard and saxophone and try to make it suck, but you could never really suck that bad no matter how hard you tried. It’s a gift.

  12. January 11, 2013 6:33 pm

    I don’t know why your “like” button won’t let me like this post, but just so you know, I do. :)

    I didn’t even need to click on the link to see Slater and Kelly do their dance routine. I have it memorized in my head from years of watching every single episode over and over and buyin g every season on dvd. I’m doing the “sprain” right now, you just can’t see…Weee!

    I would have married Zack Morris way back when if he wasn’t so conniving and sneaky. Oh heck, I still would have married him anyway he’s so dreamy!

    Slater in spandex doing the ballet routine in the episode where Jessie/Slater/Kelly/Zack celebrate thier anniversary would have been a great clip to showcase too. Good Golly that spandex was tight!!

    • January 12, 2013 2:16 pm

      Perhaps my “like” button is protesting since there’s spandex involved.

      Zack Morris over AC Slater? Really? Are you forgetting Slater’s sweet, sweet mullet?

      I know that other spandex episode to which you’re referring. Regrettably.

  13. Emily permalink
    January 11, 2013 8:22 pm

    If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that Slater’s “costume” for the dance-off is just a wrestling uniform with silver sparkles glued diagonally across his chest. Meanwhile, Kelly seems to be rocking the “bathing suit and tutu” look, with the same sparkles as Slater.

    • January 12, 2013 2:19 pm

      You mean like a singlet? You can’t possibly know how much I despise myself for knowing that word.

      • Emily permalink
        January 15, 2013 10:32 pm

        In Australia, “singlet” is just another word for “tank top.” I didn’t know that it meant anything different until now.

      • January 16, 2013 6:20 am

        Yep….wrestling uniform here. Tank top? Interesting…

  14. January 11, 2013 9:37 pm

    How did I miss that episode? I think the only thing more disturbing than Slater’s shoe/sock combo is the fact that the crowd cheers when Kelly flashes her crotch. Family entertainment at its best.

    • January 12, 2013 2:20 pm

      They cheer while wearing Cosby sweaters. How demoralizing for all involved.

  15. January 12, 2013 9:08 am

    I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that this clip is so fresh in my memory – but I do know how I feel about you bringing back the “What the…” feature. And it is the opposite of spandex.

    I really wanted them to bang their heads together during that one move. SOCLOSE.

    SlaterWhatsHisFaceMarioSomething? seems like a terrible person. Just me?

    • January 12, 2013 1:52 pm

      As a general rule, I never trust a man with deeply penetrative dimples.

      What are we talking about?

  16. January 12, 2013 9:56 am

    Spandex Ballet was one of my favorite early-80’s, British, soft-pop bands.

    • January 12, 2013 9:57 am

      Also – FINALLY! with the “What the…” post!

      • January 12, 2013 2:25 pm

        I blame you, B-Man, for my series hiatus. After you fed me the General Foods International Coffee post idea, my confidence tanked. Clearly I can’t do these by myself anymore. Next WTF?….music video clip from Spandau Ballet.

    • January 12, 2013 2:22 pm

      Yes, Spandex Ballet! Who can forget their strange, yet cutting-edge, music videos? Wait, I already forgot.

      And wasn’t it Spandau Bandana?

      • January 12, 2013 8:49 pm

        I thought it was Spandexananarama?? ;)

      • January 22, 2013 9:31 pm

        I think it’s fair to say that you can add “rama” to the end of any word and it was most likely a band in the ’80s.

  17. John-Paul permalink
    January 12, 2013 12:28 pm

    The presenter had a really spandex top on.

    The advantage of spandex for a certain kind of man is it looks like you have a small dog down your pants instead of normal sized bits. Now it’s not called spandex its called compression technology, but it’s still an excuse for joggers to flaunt their highly compressed asses around my neighbourhood and should be banned.

    • January 12, 2013 12:43 pm

      JP! How I’ve missed you! I’ve had your Karate Kid post open in a tab on my iPad since Monday. Looking forward to reading it this weekend.

      So true on the spandex. It’s almost more overt than being naked. Blech.

      Like the new blog theme and look, too. Happy 2013!

  18. January 12, 2013 1:36 pm

    This blog entry put me in mind of an old aerobics show I used to watch in the ’80s, when I was a tween and adored legwarmers and headbands. It was three women, all permed brunettes, all sporting spandex workout outfits with coordinating headbands and legwarmers and Reeboks, always with at least one of them wearing a thong leotard over her spandex tights/leggings. I wanted to be them. So bad. Wish I could find a video clip or remember what the show was called!

    • January 12, 2013 2:31 pm

      That sounds like fun! I could see myself watching it just to take note of how they wore their aerobics gear. As a kid, I also used to watch a PBS yoga show just so I could learn to braid my hair like the host.

  19. January 13, 2013 3:20 pm

    Kids today need to know about these horrors, or the past will repeat itself. Thank you for sharing these important but painful aspects of our past.

    • January 22, 2013 9:30 pm

      You are absolutely right. Spandex aside, between you and me, I can’t sleep at night when I think of the return of MC Hammer pants.

  20. January 13, 2013 10:52 pm

    but here’s the thing….they were so freaking comfortable. They stretched every which way and to the moon. It was great as long as a person didn’t go out in public.

    • January 22, 2013 9:26 pm

      They were also meant to be worn to Thanksgiving dinner. If that counts as “public,” I think you’ll need to amend your rule, Barb.

  21. January 14, 2013 10:08 pm

    Adding insult to spandex injury is the depths to which Casey Casem was willing to whore himself for the almighty dollar. Shudder.

    • January 22, 2013 9:25 pm

      Peg, I think you’re the only one who mentioned m’ boy Casey. That guy. Geez. I can’t listen to his voice without hearing Shaggy speak of submarine sandwiches and the old haunted mansion.

  22. FCblacksheep permalink
    January 16, 2013 9:15 pm

    I just pulled my old spandex pants out of the attic and am settling down to watch this video again in style. Of course, it’s nothing as fancy as Kelly Kapowski’s getup but we can’t all be that fashion forward.

  23. February 6, 2013 1:09 pm

    Why is nobody commenting on the travesty of Slater’s SHOES?? Spandex, yes, but spandex and blindingly white high tops? God help us all! [retina scars ripping open and causing irreversible damage to my sight. Then again, if spandex and white shoes are all that’s left to see in this world, I choose blindness.]

    • February 7, 2013 7:58 pm

      Shoes? I couldn’t look that far downward on Slater or I might put my eye out. Eeeeek.

      White high tops can’t even be helped with spandex? What a sad, sad world we live in, Dana.

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