In 1995, I went to California with my friend Jill to visit our friend Marissa. We had just graduated from high school, where I had learned that wearing and doing things that your friends approve of is of the utmost importance.
During this trip, we found ourselves at the local mall. As my friends went to go look at cute bangles and earrings, I gravitated towards the men's section of the place - having seen what looked like the most comfy pair of pants EVER.
There they were - a pair of pants, with pockets and a drawstring, made of plaid flannel in the clearance section.
Make no mistake, they were UGLY. But they were comfy.
I bought them then and there - creating peals of laughter and taunting from my friends.
It reminded me of the Saturday Night Live skit, called "Happy Fun Ball" where a ball is advertised as being happy and fun in the midst of a bunch of warnings. At one point, they warn potential owners, "Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball."
I found this skit hilarious. So I started calling the pants "Happy Fun Pants" and told my friends to not taunt them.
By the time I went to college later that year, I had acquired several more pairs of happy fun pants, such that friends started calling me Happy Fun Pants - or Fun Pants for short. I even played on a softball team and had "Fun Pants" across the back. Note: this can lead to quite a bit of confusion for college boys who do not know the backstory.
While the nickname is no longer used, I still use the term for any pair of lounge pants. All these years later, and I still have and cherish many pairs of fun pants. Some are flannel and some are cotton. Some are plaid, some are seasonal, and some are rather plain...but they're all fun.