84 Things That Vanished Into Thin Air And No One Noticed

The passage of time has its way of obscuring things we once saw as commonplace. Day-to-day routines and distractions chip away at our memories, so when something happens over a long period of time, we end up just missing it. Unless someone points it out, a lot of subtle changes end up ignored. 

One internet user was curious about what things people noticed disappearing quietly without much attention. The answers were illuminating, relatable, funny, and at times sad. So get comfortable and read through people's answers, make sure to upvote your favorites and comment your own ideas if you feel inspired. 


Shame in politics. Politicians used to resign in disgrace if caught taking bribes.

Image credits: LarryLurkerWaste


Being able to buy software products etc without needing a “monthly” subscription for f*****g everything.

Edit: For all the “Oh yes we noticed” comments. I get it. It wasn’t an instantaneous thing. But I’m still salty about it. Thank you for your input though.

Image credits: Advena1


CD/DVD drives in laptops.

Image credits: DVLCINEA

As a young millennial (or a zillennial, depending on who you ask), I still remember getting toys in cereal boxes, indeed, these actually would motivate my choice of product. Let’s face it, most kids’ breakfast cereals just taste like sugar anyway. But a casual walk down the grocery aisle reveals that toys are just not part of the deal anymore and honestly, it makes me a bit sad, even if it was mostly trash plastic. 

The primary reason was actually safety. Food and toys don’t really mix, and having plastic items inside a bag where an overeager child might drop them into their bowl ultimately isn’t the best of ideas. Interestingly, there haven’t been any reported cases of a child actually dying, but it shouldn’t take a freak accident to implement basic safety concerns.


Appliances that work for 20 years.

Thanks, planned obsolescence!


Livable wages. Ten years ago. You could work a min wage job maybe a couple bucks more and still afford a 1 bedroom apartment while living a pretty chill life. My goal as a kid was simple. Make 60K a year and get a nice little apartment. Have savings and live happy. Here I am making 80k a year and renting a room that costs as much as a full apartment used to cost. Paying for a tank of gas that used to cost me almost half as much. Paying for food for a week that costs as much as my mom used to get on food stamps for the whole month. Everyone accepts this now a days as life. I’m over here still hoping some huge market crash happens and everything “resets” to an OK economy.

Image credits: bryrod


My hometown published its final paper a couple weeks ago and then shut down the printing press and went to online only.

It's been such a slow death of the newspaper that nobody seems to have noticed at all.

The other reason is a lot more mundane, kids are not that interested in physical toys. Firstly, digital playthings are a lot more dynamic, interesting, and generally of higher quality than some plastic in one’s Captain Crunch. And the physical toys they do enjoy are often more complex in nature. Doubtful that someone will find a whole NERF gun in a cereal box. Now, if you look closely, you can find codes for digital goods and even movie ticket lotteries inside cereal boxes. Also diabetes.


A common pop culture (in the US, at least). Until at least the 80s, most people watched the same TV show, saw the same movies, listened to the same music, could recite the same commercial slogans or jingles, bought into the same fads.

I don't know when it happened, but now we are all siloed into highly specific subcultures.

Image credits: ChorePlayed


Saturday morning cartoons.


Someone answering the phone at businesses.

On a more pleasant note, acid rain is gone. Mostly. While it sounds like something from a sci-fi dystopia, it was a very real symptom of climate change that we overcame. Basically, our electricity generation, animal agriculture, factories, and motor vehicles all added chemicals into the atmosphere that would lower the pH levels of rain. While it remains an issue in areas that don’t really care too much about the environment, signatories of the 1985 Helsinki Protocol on the Reduction of Sulfur Emissions have all benefited from reducing or eliminating this issue. Hooray for us. 


Toys in cereal boxes.

EarlGrey_Picard replied:

More importantly toys in Cracker Jack. Hell, they don't even come in a box anymore, they come in a bag.

Image credits: getupk3v


Privacy in your daily life.

Image credits: Annoyedatreddit1


Attention spans.

Image credits: Nick_TheReader

One that adults will, unfortunately, encounter more and more is the tendency for most products to be replaced with subscription services. From the business side, this makes a lot of sense, where keeping a customer for over half a year will already yield more profit than selling something as a one-off. Plus it’s more predictable, regular, and brings in consistent cash flow. On the consumer side, it sucks. We pay more, we have to figure out ways to cancel subscriptions when we want it to stop and it tricks our brains into spending a lot more than we need. 


Having many Family photographs in homes.

Not completely gone, but homes used to be plastered in them. The only times I really notice them is in homes of older people.

Image credits: boxoffingernails


Kinda surprised I haven't seen this one yet, but Ronald McDonald. You remember the old clown everywhere in and around McDonald's commercials and stores? Gone. Phased out when that "clown scare" prank trend was going around.

Image credits: bshred8


Acid rain.

Huge win for environmental action. Identified a problem, raised awareness, and implemented solutions that have mitigated most of the harm.

jdsekula reolied:

Same for the Ozone layer.

Not yet for climate change…

Image credits: Juliusxx

Others mentioned technological fads like 3D television which, thankfully, have mostly gone away. Yes, at the time they were very interesting, like an innovative way to view media, it’s pretty clear these were just a fad. Most 3D programs halted broadcasting in 2012, rendering the further development and sale of these TVs pretty pointless. While perhaps it’s sad to see this avenue no longer explored, truthfully, it wasn’t that great in the first place. 


Somewhere along the way 9-5 turned into 8-5.

TwoIdleHands replied:

Yeah when I hear the song I’m like “Wait, did they get paid for lunch? Or just eat at their desks? Or did they actually not work 8 straight hours?”

Image credits: nocerazbj


The COVID quiet.

You remember how quiet things were? When we all just took a chill pill? I remember.

Everything is loud again. From streets to stores. Sidewalks. Everything is loud. I couldn't point to when it happened, it just disappeared. And nobody seems to talk about how nice the quiet was.


Critical thinking.
As Benjamin Franklin said: "People will believe everything they read on the internet."

Image credits: anon


Phone books.


Longevity in careers – this is a big one nobody seems to have said.

Longevity in careers has largely gone away. People used to get a job and after being there for decades reap the benefits of being seasoned employees (higher salaries and better perks).

Maybe it’s because I work in the Entertainment industry, but I feel that longevity in careers has gone away. Meaning, people can be amazing at a job, but after 5+ years the employers start wondering if they could be doing better with a younger/cheaper candidate for the job.

I understand if you ever want to move up in a works place they expect you to bring your A-game, but 30+ years of being incredible is hard. Some years will be better than others, and if employers don’t have loyalty to their employees anymore, it is likely the good employee will be fired or let go at some point.

I feel like in recent decades this has forced many people who normally wouldn’t, to switch careers. Can someone work successfully up the ladder at any job without having to shift to another company for a promotion?

A combination of employers halting upward movement of their staff while they look for new employees to fill higher roles, and the fact that they “get bored” of their seasoned employees has largely killed the idea of anyone having a single career.

Image credits: arthurdentxxxxii


The need to remember phone numbers.


Stretch Limos. They used to be considered the s**t, especially the Hummer, Expedition, or Escalades, but now seem to have been replaced by party and coach buses.


That most people can never see *Milky Way* or the beautiful *night sky* anymore, it eventually got buried under the light pollution.

There was once a time when our ancestors struggled to count the stars.


Pay phones.



And not just in the usual places, like museum gift shops and tourist traps.

There was once a time when you could buy at any truck stop or roadside motel a postcard of the small town you were driving through. But not anymore.

No point when you can just text your friends a photo.


Our need to know who our neighbors are. I listened to a podcast about human interaction recently and the host said that the internet slowly made it possible to live without knowing who the people are next door.

It used to be that we would hang out with people in our street or attend dinners, birthdays, and whatnot. Now, everyone seems to have no need to even so much as introduce themselves.

The only time we do get to know each other is if we have a complaint.

Image credits: anima99


Color from the world. Everything is becoming gray scale. Look at commercial buildings and fast food buildings. McDonald’s used to look fun and exciting, now they’re all gray and boring.

In my area, we had the funnest looking McDonald’s by the Dallas zoo, and now it’s being renovated (for whatever reason) to look like a standard gray colored McDonald’s. No fun.


Alien abduction news stories.

Seems coincidentally related to increased number of cell phones with cameras on them.


The foil wrapper on chocolate bars.

Image credits: BrassMonkeyMike


I never see swarms of Monarch butterflies anymore.

Image credits: JRsFancy


Lobster tanks in grocery stores! Not that I particularly want them back, but those are nostalgic af.


Fireflies aka lightning bugs.
I live rural and I used to see hundreds on a warm summer night.
Now I get excited if I see just one.
I mentioned it to other people who live in the same area as I do and they were just like "Huh. Yeah. You're right!"


Slips. Women used to have them in various lengths. I had a pair for pants. They were in the lingerie section of every store. And nylons. Every grocery store used to have a wall of them.


Completely paid for benefits by corporations for employees.


Strangely enough. worms on sidewalks.


Landline phones in homes.


Panama/Paradise papers.

Loads of high profile people were discovered funneling their taxes through offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands.

I can’t believe this isn’t the main thing we hear about every day in MSM. The culture wars are a distraction from the top .0001% robbing the world blind.


Those BLM ladies, they made out like bandits with all the donations.


Good value for price at restaurants.

Restaurants have quietly reduced portion sizes since COVID without restoring them. Noodles and Company (along with many others) advertise large portions like pre-pandemic but only give to-go sizes even when dining in. All for a higher price.

Image credits: sunsetben8


One specific thing that quietly disappeared from the world without much notice is the Kodak Kodachrome film, which was a popular and iconic film used for photography for several decades. The film, known for its vibrant colors and sharpness, was discontinued in 2009 due to the rising popularity of digital photography. Despite its historical significance and loyal following, the discontinuation of Kodachrome film went relatively unnoticed by the general public.


It is disappearing, but not entirely gone. Big budget tv shows with hour long episodes, 10+ episodes in a season, and a season being released yearly. Now, we get big budget shows that have at most 8 episode, and episode length can vary between 40 minutes and an hour and some change, with sometimes two or two and half years between seasons. I hate that. I know this is mostly to do with Covid, but I miss 10 hour long episodes and yearly seasons of shows.


Water beds.


Those rubber bands shaped like things that you wore on your wrists.

Image credits: broken_keyboard335


Internet search results related to what I typed in.


On the good side of things, the hole in the ozone layer. We listened to scientists and it repaired itself.


Toy commercials. That was basically every commercial in the 1990s & now it’s all prescription drug & car insurance commercials.

I meant on network tv, like during local news.


Video game arcades.


We used to have these really fat bumble bees in my backyard. No longer see them.


Audio cassette tape pulled out and tangled in the shrubs of a strip mall. It was the gold standard parking lot decoration of the 90's.


Those God-awful Chevy commercials with the “real people, not actors.” One day, I realized I hadn’t seen one in a while and it was almost as if they’d never existed. Except I knew they had. Man, I hated those damn things.

Image credits: frickinwhiz


Gaming consoles at McDonald’s.

-manabreak replied:

Or in big markets. In the 90s, I lived in a small town that didn't have any big stores, but there was a bigger town an hour's drive away where we did our shopping that had those. In those stores, they had Playstations and Nintendo 64's out for you to try out. I remember seeing Mario 64 for the first time there, and after some other kids got bored with it, I got to try it out as well. It was MAGIC.

I think the last store console I saw was PS3, and the last one I tried was probably GBA.


The coffee bean dispenser wall at every grocery store.


I don't remember when it was the last time I had to use a CD of any type.


Corporate Pensions.

30 years ago, it was a standard benefit. 401ks turned out to be an excuse for corporations to junk pensions.


Growing up, the fronts of cars would be completely covered in bugs. I hardly ever find a dead bug on a car anymore.


Smoking areas in restaurants. I was a 90s-00s kid and have vivid memories of going to Friches Big Boy among other places, and the waiter asking my dad if he wanted smoking or non-smoking. Being an asthmatic child I'm surprised I survived.

Fast forward to today and I can't even imagine any food establishment letting people smoke in the dining area.


Murder hornets. They showed up, everyone went "Yeah that's about par for the course", then they disappeared without a trace.


The Bermuda Triangle. Used to be talked about everywhere and had us wanting to avoid the area entirely.


Paying for ringtones.


We're in the process of full size can of Arizona teas for $.99 disappearing.

I'm seeing a lot of places starting to carry the smaller plastic bottles for $.99 or the larger plastic bottles for more. I'm honestly surprised that they've lasted for this long at the same price.


Plasma TVs. I had one and it died after we all watched an Intervention marathon during COVID. TV repair shops, now that you mention it. It used to be a guy behind a counter with electronic guts all over the place. He'd give you a ticket and you had to listen to the radio for a week or two.


Fidget spinners.


The outrage over net neutrality.


Gum with sugar, the majority of chewing gum is sugar-free.


3D television.

anonymous replied:

Just gives you a headache.


Chi-Chi's. As a kid it was the place to go for a celebration bigger than McDonald's but not Chuck E. Cheese big. Then one day in the mid 2000s I looked up and they were all gone


TV bumpers. There used to be a little sequence between the show and commercials. Some of them were really interesting and creative. I think my generation remembers the "wand IDs" on the Disney channel (where a Disney celeb would use a wand to make the logo). There were also bumpers that were PSAs or other actual content.


Blimps, helium is expensive and drones can do some of their missions.


Software that just does what it’s supposed to be. Or websites without ads. Man the internet was cool before the whole corpo buzz.

Also software seems just getting worse with less features or your forced to pay more. For example those video surveillance apps.


Grandfather clocks.

It was almost a must have decor My company in the 80s gave it as a gift to employees for their 10th anniversary.


Mp3 players.


Metal twist ties for produce at grocery stores


I guess Game of Thrones is dead. Nobody talks about it at all anymore, I've never watched it but all I heard was GoT this, GoT that until the final season.

Yet to this day people still love and adore shows like Breaking Bad and Friends, The Sopranos etc. Was GoT that disappointing?


Girls Gone Wild. Or maybe it's just because I don't really watch Comedy Central anymore.


Among us.


Emo's died out in the late 2000s i guess.


Sobe drinks.


Stupid curved televisions.


Altoid Sours. Loved those things.


Reddit live streams. Remember that guy with a guitar in your feed? He disappeared a long time ago but you didn't even notice it.


There used to be these spicy root beer flavored gummy candies that were shaped like mugs with a foam topping ( not the hard root beer barrels ) and I haven't met anyone who even remembers them.


People fainting when something unexpected happens. And people carrying smelling salts for just such an occasion. It’s so 19th century…


Chuck Norris, last I hear of him he had infected covid.


Choco Taco's :(

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