What If 'Catfish' Happened in the '90s?

Catfish, MTV's strangely addicting TV show about real and fake people on the Internet, is such a millennial thing. Think about it. The show is built all around the Internet. Without it, these people wouldn't be able to communicate with one another, and dupe each other with fake profiles and pictures. In this current decade, catfishing is a thing, but I don't know if it would have been in the '90s, when everyone was busy reading American Girl books, playing with pogs, and, well, not having the Internet. Can you even imagine what Catfish would have looked like in the '90s?

First off, catfishing someone back then would have been incredibly difficult. Or easy, depending on how you look at it. Remember way back in like, fourth grade, when your teacher made you pair up with an overseas pen pal and it lasted for maybe three months and then you just gave up? Because you were actually hand-writing them notes and that's hard (admit it, that's so damn hard). Can you even imagine getting to the point in that pen pal relationship when you would have a solid reason to believe that your pen pal was lying? How would you even bring that up to your mom without sounding insane at age nine?

Or better yet, all those silly ridiculous chain-mail things that used to arrive in droves. Like, here's someone 15 states away, send them a letter/book/postcard from your hometown. I can't be the only one who remembers these absurd things from the '90s. Those pen pal chain-mail letters were simply replaced by MySpace, which is basically the same annoying equivalent of it.

So, let's pretend that this is the '90s (something I tend to do frequently), and we need Nev and Max's help to wade through the treacherous waters of our Catfish pen pal.

To help set the mood, here's a picture of a tiny little Max in the early '90s.

And a picture of a young adult Nev in the late '90s.

Instead of Facebook messages, Tinder messages, and Snapchats, can you even imagine trying to comb through pages and pages of letters on Lisa Frank stationary? And you'd KNOW something was up if suddenly the Painting Panda paper changed.

Lots of times, Catfish meet-ups — those first to face moments — happen at coffee shops, mom and pop restaurants, and internet cafes. In the '90s, they would have happened at Discovery Zone (RIP).

Or Chuck E. Cheese. Can you imagine instead of trying to meet someone on a bench in the middle of a seemingly abandoned park, you have to climb through the ball pit and into the play tunnel to meet whoever has been ghosting you on the internet?

You'd meet up with your Catfisher, and from the 3x5" school picture that they mailed you, you'd expecting them to look something like this:

Only to have your expectations completely shattered.

Not only that, but there's a camera crew following you the entire time. Max tapes everything on a tiny little camera that fits into his back pocket — the '90s didn't have that. And I'm sure the rest of the Catfish camera grew uses the best, high-tech equipment to film the series. However in the '90s, everything was the size of a small brick and just as heavy. So there'd be a team of 15 people, all holding absurdly large equipment, following you guys everywhere. And then at the end of the night, to review it all, you'd trek back to your hotel room and pop in the VHS.

Also, let's not forget that you'd totally be dressed in your favorite oversized sweatshirt, denim skirt, leggings, leg warmers, and floppy hat. And your Catfish bae would probably be dressed in the same contrasting thing, too.

You know, this doesn't actually sound like the worst idea in the world. Last season, Catfish invited along celebrities. Maybe this season we could get an entire throwback episode, where Nev and Max have to dress in Hammer pants the entire time. Something tells me MTV would totally support this idea, too.

Images: MTV, Kadeen Griffiths; buzzfeed,

w0wscandalous/Tumblr; Giphy