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What's The Deal With Milk On "Mad Men"?

Don't cry over spilled milkshakes.

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Anyone who watches Mad Men knows that every detail means something. So what's with all the milk-based products?

AMC / Dan Meth

1. Betty has some milk on her nightstand.

Season 1 Episode 6
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Season 1 Episode 6

2. After his heart attack, Roger starts drinking (vodka-spiked) milk.

Season 1 Episode 7.
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Season 1 Episode 7.

3. Roger says, "I like redheads. Their mouths are like a drop of strawberry jam in a glass of milk."

Season 1 Episode 7.
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Season 1 Episode 7.

Don replies, "Drinking milk. I never liked it. I hate cows"

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4. After Peggy gives birth, she refuses to feed her baby milk from a bottle.

Season 1 Episode 13
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Season 1 Episode 13

5. Don drinks milk straight from the bottle. Didn't he just say he didn't like milk?

Season 2 Episode 6.
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Season 2 Episode 6.

6. Betty feeds Glenn Bishop chocolate milk.

Season 2 Episode 10.
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Season 2 Episode 10.

7. Ken Cosgrove talks about making ice cream; "It was a pain in the ass."

Season 2 Episode 12.
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Season 2 Episode 12.

8. Don and Anna drink egg nog.

Season 2 Episode 12.
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Season 2 Episode 12.

9. Don heats up some milk.

Season 3 Episode 1
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Season 3 Episode 1

10. When Don (Dick Whitman, actually) was being born, there was some milk in the room.

Season 3 Episode 1

Season 3 Episode 1

11. Grampa Gene eats ice cream with Sally...and he puts salt on it.

Season 3 Episode 4
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Season 3 Episode 4

12. Roger eats an ice cream sundae while congratulating Don on the birth of baby Gene.

Season 3 Episode 5.
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Season 3 Episode 5.

13. Bert Cooper eats pudding.

Season 3 Episode 6
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Season 3 Episode 6

14. A baby bottle sits on the kitchen counter.

Season 3 Episode 6
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Season 3 Episode 6

15. Don drunkenly pitches a Life cereal ad that features a pitcher of milk.

Season 4 Episode 6
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Season 4 Episode 6

16. A glass of milk...

Season 4 Episode 12
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Season 4 Episode 12

17. Sally knocks over her milkshake.

Season 4 Episode 13
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Season 4 Episode 13

18. Betty eats Sally's unfinished ice cream sundae.

Season 5 Episode 2
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Season 5 Episode 2

19. Another glass of milk.

Season 5 Episode 3
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Season 5 Episode 3

20. Another baby bottle.

Season 5 Episode 3
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Season 5 Episode 3

21. Megan resents Don making her eat ice cream at a Howard Johnson's.

Season 5 Episode 5
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Season 5 Episode 5

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22. Don and Peggy do a pitch for Cool Whip (which, should be noted is an artificial dairy product.)

Season 5 Episode 7
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Season 5 Episode 7

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23. Betty weighs pieces of cheese when she's on her Weight Watchers diet.

Season 5 Episode 8
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Season 5 Episode 8

24. At the Carnation pitch, there's dairy products everywhere.

Season 6 Episode 9
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Season 6 Episode 9

Once again, however, it's a pitch for an artificial dairy product. And that must mean something.

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25. Milk bottle on the table during this flashback to Don's brothel-based childhood.

Season 6 Episode 12
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Season 6 Episode 12

26. Don pitches Hershey's Milk Chocolate.

Season 6 Episode 12
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Season 6 Episode 12

27. Betty chugs raw milk from a metal bucket. WHAT?

Season 7 Episode 3
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Season 7 Episode 3

28. At this point we can only assume they are drinking milkshakes at Burger Chef.

Season 7 Episode 6
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Season 7 Episode 6

29. Don makes his kids a milkshake... in his ex-wife's kitchen.

Season 7 Episode 8
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Season 7 Episode 8

Ok, so what could it all mean?

-Milk represents Don's poor upbringing on a farm?

-Milk represents motherhood and a mother's love (or lack thereof) for her child?

-Milk represents the old, rural America that is giving way to an industrialized modern America of artificial values?

-Milk represents happiness, abundance, and safety?

-Ice cream represents decadence and vice?

-Nothing! It's just milk! What else would babies drink? And in the 1960's everyone drank more milk. Besides, the shows been on for 8 years... of course dairy products will have appeared over two dozen times, you fool!

What do you think milk symbolizes on Mad Men? Comment below!

AMC / Dan Meth
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