Sex and the City, the show you claim you’re totally over because it’s so annoying and materialistic but you find yourself re-watching on E! more than you’d ever admit, is 15 years old today. That’s right: It’s been 15 years since Carrie originally confidently stumbled around Manhattan and met Mr. Big, setting up women for a decade of unrealistic expectations about everything from New York real estate to how charming the average person will find a plethora of puns.
But dashing guys and great friendships are only part of the show’s enduring pop culture legacy. We couldn’t, ahem, help but wonder: What else did Sex and the City introduce to mainstream culture over the past 15 years? Read on to find out the original reason you can’t get away from Manolo Blahnik, Cosmos, or even the phrase “He’s just not that into you.”
1.) Carrie’s obsession with shoes is well-documented, and perhaps no brand got more feet-time than designer Manolo Blahnik. There’s a reason the Sex and the City bus tour (!!!) stops at Manolo Blahnik’s store. When you see women teetering around on too-high heels, know that in their heads they likely think they look like Sarah Jessica Parker glamorously running around New York City.
2.) Magnolia Bakery: The chic and cute bite-sized dessert for the urbanite in your life. The show kicked off the 2000s obsession with cupcakes thanks to Carrie and Miranda stylishly eating on the go.
3.) A season 6 episode shows Miranda cracking the mystery — courtesy of Berger — about why a guy didn’t call in one simple little phrase: “He’s just not that into you.” That phrase became a book by Sex and the City writers/consultants Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, and then became its own 2008 film.
4.) Just how shocking the sexual frankness (“funky spunk”) on the show originally was has probably faded as viewers are exposed to more and more on programs such as True Blood, Game of Thrones, etc. One tell-tale sign that woman liked what they were seeing and hearing about? The Rabbit Pearl vibrator became an instant bestseller once it appeared on the season 1 episode “The Turtle and the Hare.”
5.) Obviously these ladies weren’t the first people to come up with the brunch concept, but they sure made regularly day-drinking and gabbing with your girlfriends look glam. And if you’ve got one friend at brunch who can’t stop with the puns, well, she probably thinks she’s headed for $4 dollars a word at Vogue.
6.) Speaking of drinking, Sex and the City also popularized the Cosmopolitan as the sexy drink for the cool kids; alas, by the time the first movie rolls around, the Sex gang had moved on.
7.) What do Justin Theroux, Will Arnett, and Bradley Cooper all have in common? One of their first Hollywood projects was guest-starring on the HBO series. That’s right: thank Sex and the City for this, this and even this.
8.) The HBO comedy had a writers’ room full of whip-smart television gurus that included Michael Patrick King, Cindy Chupack, and Jenji Kohan who went on to create and write for a whole host of television shows such as Two Broke Girls, Men in Trees, Lipstick Jungle, and Modern Family.
9.) The fame of Patricia Field, the costumer for the show, marked the first time the costumer was just as famous as any of the on-screen stars. Looking back on fashion trends such as giant flower accessories or the iconic ‘Carrie’ necklace, it’s easy to see why Field became a showstopper. Since her Emmy-winning work on the show (and both movies), Field has been Oscar-nominated for the costumes in The Devil Wears Prada, in addition to many other projects.
10.) Fendi purses and the Birkin bag got a second wind after Samantha publicly lusted for them on-air.
11.) All the challenging heroines that we now see everywhere — whether it be Carrie on Homeland or Amy on Enlightened or Hannah on Girls — owe a debt of gratitude to the complicated affair-participant Carrie Bradshaw.
12.) Pre-texting, “He broke up with me on a Post-It” became shorthand for a bad break-up.
13.) Alongside The Sopranos, Sex and the City put cable network HBO on the map — and the fact that both series were Golden Globe and Emmy winners only added to the prestige. Of course, HBO was just the beginning. The series eventually gave way to two movies as well as the spin-off/prequel The Carrie Diaries, which premiered last fall on The CW.
14.) The quick-paced, pun-y dialogue was certainly an inspiration for other quip-y shows such as Gilmore Girls, Happy Endings, and New Girl.
15.) Thank it for the phrase, “I’m getting married…To myself.“ The battle cry of single women everywhere.
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