ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

A full 18 years ago, the world was first introduced to the magical works of J.K. Rowling and the magical world of Harry Potter. On June 26, 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone first hit shelves in the UK and we were spellbound by the story.

It wasn't until nearly a year later that those of us on the other side of the pond were privy to the goings-ons at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but boy was it worth the wait.

In the 18 years since its release, here are 25 things that have happened since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released that will make you realize just how much the world has changed.

1. Google was invented

Google was started in a Stanford dorm room by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, but it wasn't officially incorporated as a privately held company until September 4, 1998. That's a year after Harry Potter first went to Hogwarts!

2. The Gameboy Color was released

And back then it was all about the color you had (teal FTW)!

3. Dawson's Creek came and went

From 1998 to 2003 all teens wanted to do was read their Harry Potter books and dream about hanging by the Creek with Dawson and the gang.

4. Britney Spear's first album was released

Britney Spears released her debut album '...Baby One More Time' in 1999. You might remember some of her early hits like "...Baby One More Time" and "(You Drive Me) Crazy."

5. Furbies became available on toy store shelves

...and subsequently stepped into the nightmares of children everywhere.

6. Ginger Spice left the Spice Girls

1998 was a rough year for Spice Girls fans.

7. The Matrix hit theaters

8. Spongebob and Family Guy first aired

Both Family Guy and Spongebob Squarepants aired in 1999.

9. The Backstreet Boys released 'Millennium'

Back in 1999, the boy band released their most popular album which included hit songs like “I Want It That Way,” “Larger than Life,” and “Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely.”

10. George W. Bush was elected President

Twice! George W. Bush was elected President of the United States beating Al Gore in 2001 and was re-elected in 2004 over John Kerry, completing his term in office in 2009.

11. The euro became an official currency

The freakin' euro, man! We're talking currency here. The euro wasn't introduced as an accounting currency until 1999.

12. Text messaging became a thing

Text messaging has been around for much longer than we realize, but it wasn't until the early 2000s that people were fully utilizing this technology that is now part of our everyday lives.

13. There have been nine Olympic games

Yes, that's nine separate times where it's been rubbed in my face that I have absolutely zero athletic ability. Well, and international camaraderie and whatnot, but mainly that I should have started iceskating at age two.

14. The first X-Men movie came out in 2000

Hugh Jackman will be retiring after the third Wolverine movie, meaning the man played Logan for a shocking 17 years.

15. People dressed like this to the 2000 VMAs

16. Apple launched the first iPod

In 2001, being able to hold that much music in the palm of your hand was pretty much the coolest thing any teen had ever seen.

17. Microsoft released the Xbox

November 15, 2001 marked an important day in gaming history.

18. The first Spider-Man movies swung into theaters

Not only did we see Tobey Maguire play Spidey in 2002, with two sequels, but then we saw the franchise rebooted again in 2012 with The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield. Now we're gearing up for our youngest Web-Slinger yet! Three Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?) and only one Harry Potter. Props to you, Daniel Radcliffe.

19. These celebrity couples dated and broke up

20. Social media took the world by storm

The early 2000s brought us the start of Myspace (2003), Facebook (2004), YouTube (2005), Twitter (2006), and Tumblr (2007).

21. Kanye West stepped into the spotlight with his first album 'The College Dropout' in 2004

And he hasn't stepped out of the spotlight since.

22. Twilight became a worldwide phenomenon

2005 brought us the story of Bella and Edward, which was followed by three more books and a five-film saga.

23. Android and iOS smartphones reached the pockets of people everywhere

And where would we be without our trusty smartphones?

24. Three new Star Wars films were released

Including [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158), more Star Wars movies exist today than before Harry Potter was released! I'm not saying Harry Potter brought back Star Wars, but I'm also not saying he didn't (okay, he didn't).

25. The Harry Potter series is older than the film careers of these A-List celebrities...

To name a few, Rachel McAdams, Chris Pratt, Rosamund Pike, Kevin Hart, Tom Hiddleston, Bendict Cumberbatch, Zoe Saldana, and Emily Blunt all had their first film roles after 1997, but now it's hard to imagine Hollywood without them!

I'm sure that tons of things have happened to you personally since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released, so tell us...


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