All the Foods You Thought Were Totally Fancy as a Kid (That Definitely Weren’t)

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Television writer Ariel Dumas (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert) asked a seemingly innocuous question on Twitter last week that brought out almost 7,000 responses while getting at an adorable but very true point: Kids have an extremely skewed view of reality. “What was the thing you thought was very fancy as a kid that turned out not to be?”

The answers came in quickly: those Andes mints that are free after dinner at restaurants or on your pillow at a motel, the Viennetta ice cream cakes.

There are a lot of Pepperidge Farm cookie answers, other small mints and candies. Others are more random — like the purple bags that Crown Royal came in.

Others make perfect sense: Petit Ecolier crackers because “the name was French, so the story checked out,” and those little round tins of mini-candy, because “all French and French-sounding things were fancy.” Packaging is everything, we learn, as someone adds “Any chocolate with a ‘map’ that showed the flavors,” or anything individually wrapped.

Then we get into the restaurant answers, which mostly involve chain restaurants: “I thought Red Lobster was for rich people,” (which, I mean, lobster seems to imply this, so I fully agree), Olive Garden, Sizzler, and Outback Steakhouse (again, it’s a steakhouse, how could it not be?). Applebee’s, Chili’s, and Pizza Hut all get a lot of mentions.

But the part about how we eat might just be the best. There are mentions of kids insisting on candlelit dinners for Tuesday night chicken strips, and there are a lot that are “just anything Grandma served,” from Bugles to Shirley Temples. But one person had perhaps the greatest of grandmas, because she turned 7-Up into a fancy food — by serving it in Champagne flutes which had lights in the base.

And now we all have our new grandmother goals for life.