It’s easy to get wistful about the snack and drink landscape of our youth, when ridiculous ideas were commonplace and neon colors didn’t alarm us a bit. Without these memorable flavors from bygone eras, life just isn't the same. Our campaign to bring them back starts right now. Here, the latest installment in our Last Big Thing series:
McDonald’s Fried Apple Pies
It’s been almost a quarter century since McDonald’s deep-fried rather than baked their apple pies, but let’s get real: Which super-toned workout buffs are actually ordering apple pies at McDonald’s? Give 'em a big hot oil bath, Ronald.
Jell-O Pudding Pops
Forever synonymous with its embattled '80s celebrity endorser Bill Cosby, Jell-O Pudding Pops might be a controversial choice, but frozen pudding on a stick is something humans shouldn’t have to live without. You can buy Jell-O Pudding Pops Mold Kits at places like Walmart, but we long for the lazy days of having them ready to go in the freezer.
While we’re on the subject of Jell-O: Why, why did they ever discontinue their fabulous 1-2-3 product, which was reportedly on the market for 27 years? Certainly the new generation of gelatin enthusiasts would enjoy the three layers of satisfaction that ensue as you prepare your instant treat and watch it separate into wobbly, mousse-like and creamy layers.
WWF Superstars of Wrestling Bars
Back in the '80s, before World Wrestling Entertainment was WWE, it was known as the World Wrestling Federation (or WWF), and its larger-than-life heroes—Hulk Hogan, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Andre the Giant—were emblazoned on ice cream bars. Surely if these came back, with exactly the same characters, no store would be able to keep them on the shelves.
Clearly Canadian’s late-'90s, orb-filled soda didn’t really taste that great, but it looked so cool on your desk or side table. As far as we're concerned, the company can bring back the self-described “texturally enhanced alternative beverage” with cheaper ingredients; we don't really care, so long as they look the same.
Fruit Corners’ Fruit Wrinkles
Those '80s gems known as Fruit Wrinkles gave birth to the zillions of fruit snacks that crowd supermarket shelves today. The shriveled wrinkliness of these things somehow made them more flavorful—or maybe it was all that delicious high-fructose corn syrup? Needless to say, they’re sorely missed.
Nothing screams early-Aughts junk food like Doritos 3D, because one dimension of cheesy tortilla chips was clearly not enough. It’s pathetic to have to return to our flat 2D lives, and the current derivative product, Jacked 3D, isn't cutting it.
Keebler’s Pizzarias Chips
At one point, TGI Fridays started producing their own version of the '80s favorites known as Keebler’s Pizzarias Chips, but it lacked the certain je ne sais quoi of the original. The Keebler elves really knew how to make more than cookies, and we're sad they got fired from that job.
Pepsi introduced a totally brain-teasing clear version called Crystal Pepsi in the early '90s, but it was gone almost as quickly as it appeared. We can end with some good news, though: Crystal Pepsi made a brief appearance last month, and rumor has it that it could be back in stores this summer.
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