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.
5. Shark Bites
Shark Bites wasn't as off-the-wall crazy as some of the other food items on this list, but they were just as addictive. When a fresh box was opened, the rush passed through your body in a very real way. Like a dog that hears a treat bag opening in the distance, the tearing open of the cardboard tickled our senses. For some young boys, this might be the true moment they became a man. The idea of only eating one pouch was laughable; that box was lucky if it wasn't in the trash by the end of the day. The albino shark bite was always a showstopper — that white-out colored goody was always saved for last.
Gushers are the Holy Grail of '90s snacking. They were like the iPhone 7 to Shark Bites iPhone 3. These were the babies you kept stuffed in your back pocket at school, then slowly inched into your hand while your teacher was writing on the board. Gushers and a Fruitopia combined are actually Red Bull. (We can prove it. We have the technology.) A handful of Gushers in your mouth and some Sega Genesis was the happiest a kid could get in the sixth grade.
You totally forgot about Orbitz until right now, didn't you? What the hell was that? This drink reminds us of putting highlighter liquid in bottles because it looked awesome when we turned the black light in our room on. We were easy to impress in the '90s, so a drink with flavor pellets in it had our minds completely blown. We would drink Orbitz again if they filled the flavor-pellets with alcohol. Or chocolate. Or chocolate alcohol.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
2. Doritos 3D
Baby waffle-looking Doritos were a thing, kids. Trust us. Since the beginning of time, man has tried to figure out a new way to package the nacho cheese chip, and back in the '90s, 3D was the mountaintop. Back to the Future had us wanting 3D everything, even our chips. These are greatly missed. If we're being truthful, we would eat Doritos in any shape or form, but these bring us back to a better time in life.
1. Fruit by the Foot
Nothing says "I don't care about anything other than getting this sugar in my fat-kid mouth" quite like pushing Fruit by the Foot into your piehole. The unwrapping of a Fruit by the Foot alone brings us back to our childhood; we never really knew what to do with all that tape when we were done. These were our favorites because of their sheer size. You could put entire feet of candy in your mouth at one time, and that was totally OK back then!