Adobe Flash, the multimedia software that gave us everything from chintzy pre-mobile video games to atrocious restaurant homepages, just got its death sentence. Or the next-closest thing, as Adobe announced that it will “stop updating and distributing the Flash Player,” and expects it to be officially extinct by the end of 2020.
Flash isn’t, um, popular — its security vulnerabilities have made it a favorite of hackers — and many are cheering its demise. But others are petitioning to keep it alive as an open-source project. Why? Partly for the pleasure of fixing all those bugs, I’m sure, but also to preserve internet history: “Killing Flash means future generations can’t access the past,” the GitHub petition states.
What past would that be?
Glad you asked.
Here are the stone-cold classics of the Flash viral video age, all of which have since migrated to platforms like YouTube, but whose raw aesthetic speaks of a time before.
Peanut Butter Jelly Time
If you’re too young to remember what the web was like in 2002, this animated banana dancing to a song by The Buckwheat Boyz should give you a pretty good sense of it.