Remember when summertime used to mean something other than higher electricity bills and needing to find a babysitter? Back when the last day of school lead to a seemingly endless vacation stretched out before you filled with whatever your little heart desired? Remember when colorful, sugar-filled snacks just magically appeared when you got out of the pool?
Yeah, those were the days.
The '90s were the heyday of processed food bliss. Moms didn't worry about corn syrup, GMOs, or gluten! Back then, when it came to our summer snacks, the more sugary, the fruitier, the saltier, and the weirder, the better. If your Mom brought out a bowl of apples, you'd ask her two questions: Where is the caramel, and why don't you love me anymore?
Now, Crystal Pepsi is back on the shelves. We know, we know: Its shelf life the first time around was brief for a reason, but nostalgia has a way of improving the flavor. Here are ten other '90s snacks we loved to love in all their unhealthful glory. Some are still around, while others need to have a 2016 reboot of their own.
It can be argued that this was the kid equivalent of your first beer. Come to think of it, we aren't totally sure these didn't have alcohol in them. Half of the fun of drinking a Squeezit was twisting off the top and squirting the liquid goodness into your mouth from increasingly competitive distances, which is also probably the reason we needed that emergency dental care in college. These bottles littered the areas all around us and our Nintendos. Squeezits were basically melted Jolly Ranchers with a thimble of water added to them, and we loved them. On a hot summer day in South Florida, a six-pack of these stood no chance.
While we aren't quite sure if Squeezits had a small percentage of alcohol in them, we are much more certain that Warheads are the real gateway drug people should be talking about. Have you tried a Warhead recently? It's like smoking a cigarette a decade after you quit. It's a startling experience I wouldn't recommend unless you are ready for the consequences. At one point, Warheads came out with a sour-spray candy because apparently waiting for this tiny crack rock to dissolve in your mouth became too much of a hassle as we got older. Our tolerance had heightened, and we needed that black cherry hit.
There's nothing like burning 500 calories playing outside and then eating your weight in cookies and icing afterward. Dunkaroos are the reason we grew up walking through Winn-Dixie fantasizing about buying a tub of icing and a package of Oreos, knowing damn well we weren't baking any damn cake. Dunkaroos never came with enough icing, which made the entire ordeal that much sadder. At some point, all of us cut our tongue tying to evacuate every last trace of "blueberry"-specked icing out of that tub.
Seeing Airheads in South Florida gas stations in 2016 gives us PTSD, and we aren't even sure why. We all remember exactly where we were when the one Airheads expert introduced us to the fact that you could repeatedly slap these babies on your arm like giant Sweet 'n' Low packets, thus condensing all the Airhead into a ,perfect little dishwasher-detergent-size nugget of diabetes. Before there were casinos in South Florida there was the Mystery Airhead; we all gambled our lives away on that one. Nobody wanted to waste a good Airhead pick on the Mystery flavor, but we couldn't resist the rush we got.
Soda is bad! Fill all the school vending machine with Fruitopia juice, right away! Strawberry Passion Awareness had to be healthful because it says "strawberry" right there on the label. Turns out, not so much. We didn't care, and we still don't. Fruitopias were damn delicious, and if our parents thought they were better for us than Coke, who were we to object? Being able to buy a Fruitopia on your own as a kid was one of the most grownup feelings ever; you drank it with pride. It was like a Starbucks Refresher before we knew about Starbucks.