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Decoder Ring
Decoder Ring
Slate Podcasts

Decoder Ring is the show about cracking cultural mysteries. In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit;... more

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Episodes

Why Do So Many Coffee Shops Look the Same?

The eerie similarity of coffee shops all over the world was so confounding to Kyle Chayka that it led him... more

14 Feb 2024 · 33 minutes
2024 Teaser

We’re back with a new batch of cultural mysteries! This year, we’re putting out more new episodes—like many more of... more

07 Feb 2024 · 1 minute
The Forgotten Video Game About Slavery

In 1992, a Minnesota-based software company known for its educational hit The Oregon Trail released another simulation-style game to school... more

15 Nov 2023 · 47 minutes
The Dating Manual Unlike Any Other

From the moment it was released in 1995, The Rules was controversial. Some people loved it—and swore that the dating... more

08 Nov 2023 · 37 minutes
Mailbag: The Recorder, Limos, and “Baby on Board” Signs

We receive a lot of fantastic show ideas from our listeners—and we’re grateful for each and every one. For our... more

01 Nov 2023 · 40 minutes
When Art Pranksters Invaded Melrose Place

In the mid-1990s, the prime time drama Melrose Place became a home to hundreds of pieces of contemporary art—and no... more

25 Oct 2023 · 41 minutes
The Fast Decline of the Slow Dance

Judging from teen dramas on Netflix, the slow dance seems to be alive and well. But when you talk to... more

18 Oct 2023 · 45 minutes
Fall 2023 Teaser

We’re back with a new batch of cultural mysteries! This season, Decoder Ring explores the decline of an awkward yet... more

11 Oct 2023 · 1 minute
Think Catchphrases Are Dead? Eat My Shorts.

Once you start listening for catchphrases in everyday life—you can’t stop hearing them. From the radio era’s “Holy mackerel!” to... more

09 Aug 2023 · 40 minutes
The Quest for a Homemade Hovercraft

When Slate’s Evan Chung was a kid, he was obsessed with a mysterious advertisement that ran for decades in the... more

02 Aug 2023 · 42 minutes
Decoder Ring
Why Do So Many Coffee Shops Look the Same?
Decoder Ring