90s Food Commercials Report Card

Hey 90s kids, ever wax nostalgic on those colorful, borderline-seizure-causing commercials that used to fill your Saturday mornings in between episodes of “Power Rangers” and “Rugrats”? Let’s see how some of the most popular commercials stack up now…graded on creativeness, persuasiveness, truthful representation and general classiness (some of these still work today, people!).

1. Nestle Magic Ball

Hopefully you’re one of the lucky ones out there that was able to have a Magic Ball with the toys inside before Nestle switched it to the less dangerous (and wayyyy less fun) Wonder Ball with candy inside instead. You would get a delicious chocolate ball AND a toy Pegasus?! Nothing beats that! (Except the whole choking thing. Points deducted, but still a winner).
Grade: A-

2. Eggo Cinnamon Toast Waffle

Awesome move on Eggo’s part. Tearing, instead of using a butter knife and fork to cut up a tough waffle? They knew how hard it was for kids learning how to cut with a knife for the first time (“Honey, need me to cut that for you?” “NO I CAN DO IT MYSELF, MOM”). Also, points added for the wonderful mishmash of vintage clothing added to the music video….it could totally hold its own alongside a Rita Ora video (and probably win).
Grade: B+

3. Gushers

By NO MEANS was there any real fruit in Gushers, but they were delicious anyway. That being said, kids all over the world were always disappointed not to have a blueberry for a head after popping one in.
Grade: C+

4. Tang

Did this remind anyone else of the drug montages from “Requiem for a Dream”? Sad looking people looking to get happy from an unknown substance (seriously, what’s in that stuff?) and then everybody is HAPPYHAPPYHAPPY. Sure, the orangutans prove to be the best selling point with their crazy antics, but it’s not enough to hide the scary mystery that is TANG.
Grade: D

5. Dunkaroos

Hold on. Let’s get real…there was NEVER a surplus of frosting when one ate Dunkaroos…kids were always left wanting. But that doesn’t change the fact that it was still the highlight of post-soccer game snack time and is wayyyy too difficult to find on the grocery shelves nowadays.
Grade: B

6. Lunchables

Yes, yes, yes. Brilliance. First of all, look at all that continuity…in the span of a thirty second commercial, we see this kid go through the start of school, Halloween, and springtime rainy season while continuing to ask his mom ever so sweetly for pizza for lunch (What kind of mother ignores her kid asking for a pizza for lunch for an ENTIRE YEAR?? A little abusive, don’t ya think?). And man, it was still worth the wait. That bland dough with watery pizza sauce, chalky cheese, and sodium-packed pepperonis….somehow it added up to a gourmet meal. Plus, it made you one of the cool kids at school…just look at our little protagonist! At the end he has babes crawling all over him.
Grade: A

7. Fruit Stripe Gum

Guys…this is why we all have ADD. Seriously. Impossibly fast edits, added with swirling colors and a voice-over artist that sounded like she was speaking in tongues…it’s no wonder we didn’t know what to concentrate on (aliens eat fruit stripe gum too?!). And those suckers lost their flavor after ten seconds of chewing. No amount of cool zebra tattoos will be able to reconcile that.
Grade: F

8. Butterfinger BBs

And saving the best for last…add one of the best families on televisions with a delicious candy and what do you get? La crème de la crème of 90s commercials. Classic Bart…enough said. Except someone needs to bring back Butterfinger BBs nooooooooooooooooooow.
Grade: A+

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