I love “The Simpsons” and am completely indifferent about Tic Tacs. Luckily, my love for Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Snowball II, Santa’s Little Helper, and the entire town of Springfield is so strong that I immediately snapped up every kind of Simpsons Tic Tacs as soon as I saw them at a gas station.
While all three boxes of Tic Tacs contain yellow breath mints, there are three distinct flavors.
- The Marge box has blueberry-flavored mints, because her hair is blue, get it?
- The Homer box has donut-flavored mints, because he loves donuts. Mmm… Donuts… <drool>
- The Bart box has bubble-gum-flavored mints, because… Bart loves gum? It may seem like a stretch, but long-time fans, like me, remember the “22 Short Films About Springfield” episode, where Marge tries all sorts of home remedies to get gum out of Lisa’s hair (with the whole town piping up with suggestions). But how does the gum get in Lisa’s hair? Because of Bart. He whizzed by on his skateboard, tried to throw gum in the trash, missed, and it ended up in Lisa’s hair. Here’s the clip.
I love that all three flavors are yellow. And that’s because each individual mint has one the of the Simpsons stamped on it! There’s Marge mints, Homer mints, and Bart mints.
Check out this European commercial! They’ve been on sale in Europe for a couple years now.
(Setting up that shot, by the way, took 20 minutes. 20 well-spent minutes. And Lisa and Maggie are sad, on the front porch, because they don’t have flavors. Sigh.)
There’s actually two different faces for each!
- Top row: conniving Bart and innocent Bart.
- Middle row: wide-eyed Homer and pensive Homer.
- Bottow row: bespectacled Marge and wide-eyed Marge.
You could mix mints from each box together, and, if you don’t look at the face before you pop one in your mouth, be surprised by the flavor.
Speaking of flavor, the blueberry mint is the best. Maybe I’m partial, because I love blueberries.
The bubble gum mints taste like bubble gum, but it’s a let down, because it’s not actually gum. If I’m tasting bubble gum, I want to keep chewing it, and then blow bubbles. But these aren’t pieces of gum, they’re breath mints, so… it’s disappointing.
Sidebar: Tic Tac recently released a line of gum, and I’ve tried it, and wasn’t impressed. You need four or five pieces to get a piece of gum that’s big enough to actually be worth chewing, and it ends up being mostly crunchy outer shell. Ugh.
The donut-flavored ones are… bizarre. They sure taste like donut – a cake donut, to be specific, like the unglazed ones you get at cider mills or dunk in coffee. But it’s strange to taste that in a piece of candy that is so different in texture from a piece of sweetened, fried dough.
I get it, though. This is a novelty product. One you buy because you’re a sucker, like me, that loves “The Simpsons” and wants something cool to share with your friends. Not because your breath smells bad and you want to cover the stench of onions or garlic or tuna or whatever with the smell of donuts.
But I don’t really think any variety of Tic Tacs are terribly effective as a breath mint. I find Altoids to be more powerful and helpful, but then again, I’m not a breath mint fan, I’m a gum fan.
Tic Tacs have always struck me as candy masquerading as breath mints. Maybe all breath mints are? Tic Tacs have the same outer candy shell as Skittles and M&Ms, and they’re colored as brightly. They sure look like candy. Or pills.
Sidebar: The Tic Tac brand is owned by Ferrero, based in Italy and one of the largest candy companies in the world. They own Ferrero-Rocher, Nutella, Kinder, Brachs, Fannie May, and Trolli. Earlier this year, they bought Nestle’s candy-making division for around $3 billion, so now they own Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Nerds, Wonka and many other brands too.
I grew up with Tic Tac being marketed as the one-and-a-half calorie breath mint. I think the slogan has changed. I checked the nutritional information online, and I don’t know if the Tic Tac recipe has changed, or if that marketing campaign played fast and loose with the truth, but one Tic Tac has 1.9 calories. Let’s round that up to 2.
I’ve eaten four of each Tic Tac flavor while taking photos and writing this post. That’s 24 calories – information I feel necessary to share, since this is a health, fitness and weight loss blog. Ultimately, that’s not a bad caloric price to pay for a little burst of Simpsons sweetness!
Keep it up, David!