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15 Gross Foods from the 1980s We Actually Want to Try

The '80s really were a different time.
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If you were young in the '80s, things like MTV, Mr. T, Valley Girls, and VCRs were probably a big part of your childhood. And when you were sitting on your basement couch waiting to see Duran Duran videos or The Cosby Show, you were probably munching on some of these '80s snacks.

If you weren't an '80s kid, read on to find out all the weird goodies we were pigging out on. Remember, most people weren't eating organic, local, or dye-free back in the 1980s, so try not to be, like, totally grossed out to the max.

And for more throwbacks, don't miss these 33 Super Popular Snacks From Your Childhood That Are Discontinued.

Shark Bites Fruit Snacks

box of shark bites fruit snacks

Why eat an apple or a banana when you could just eat a plastic bag of gummy sharks made of "fruit juice blend," corn syrup, carnauba wax, and sugar? In the 1980s, that's exactly what people did. Gross.

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Hi-C Ecto Cooler

hi-c ecto cooler vintage commercial
Courtesy of Hi-C

If you could talk your mom into buying this juice box legend for you, chances are you were a pretty cool '80s kid. But as an adult, drinking green juice named after ghost slime is pretty unappealing.

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Tidal Wave Gum

tidal wave gum 1980s
Tidal Wave/YouTube

This looked like a normal cube of gum, but upon the first chew, a "tidal wave" of goo would gush out into your mouth. It was exactly as gross as it sounds.

And to keep the nostalgia going, don't miss these 35 Snacks From Your Childhood You Forgot You Loved.

Jello Pudding Pops

jello pudding pops

These frozen-pudding-on-a-stick treats were the no-brainer choice in the freezer aisle in the 1980s and remained popular through the '90s. They were discontinued in the early 2000s but came back under the Popsicle brand, but they weren't the same. The chocolate flavor was actually good, but the vanilla…totally grody.

Smurf Berry Crunch

post smurf berry crunch cereal

The most iconic cartoon of the '80s was obviously The Smurfs, the little blue creatures that lived in mushroom houses. If you weren't watching them, you collected the toys and ate this sugary red and blue cereal, described as "fruity sweetened corn, oat & wheat cereal fortified with 10 essential vitamins and minerals."

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Squeezit Fruit Drinks

General Mills/YouTube

We're not sure anyone wants to try Squeezits, but these neon-colored "fruit" drinks with names like "Mean Green Puncher" were a lunchbox staple in the '80s. They've since been discontinued, much to the relief of parents who had to clean up the sticky mess the weird plastic bottles seemed to leave everywhere.

Big League Chew

big league chew gum

Created in 1980, these giant bags of gum were meant to mimic the experience of chewing tobacco, only fruit-flavored. You could be just like your favorite baseball player, chewing on a giant wad of sugary gum.

And for more '80s throwbacks, these 17 Failed Chain Restaurants From the 1980s That Will Make You Feel So Nostalgic.

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Hostess Pudding Pie

hostess pudding pie in wrapper
Courtesy of Hostess

In a move so gross it was actually kind of good, these chocolate-covered hand pies enrobed globby sweet pudding, making for a messy and delicious treat.

Jumbo Push Pop Candy

triple push pops

Imagine a lollipop, but in a giant lipstick style container, and you've got the basic idea behind Jumbo Push Pops. The only good thing about them is you could save half of your candy for later.

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Jeno's Pizza Rolls

buffalo chicken pizza bites

While these were invented in 1968, they really took off in the 1980s as an after-school snack for latchkey kids. The sauce and cheese always exploded out of the bites, and they were always too hot and burned the roof of your mouth. There are no good memories of this snack.

Bagel Bites

box of bagel bites

While pizza bagels are delicious, Bagel Bites—another after-school favorite—aren't that great. The texture of the tiny frozen bagels was a little bit like styrofoam, and like with pizza rolls, you'd usually burn the roof of your mouth.

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rainbow nerds boxed package

While you might be nostalgic for these sugar-coated sugar candies, your palate has probably evolved since 1983. And eating sugar and wax sounds kind of gross.

Wacky Wafers

wacky wafers in box

These dollar-coin-size candies were sold in a long strip of plastic and were supposedly fruit-flavored, but the strongest element was a dusty chalky texture.

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Handi Snacks

handi snacks breadsticks and cheese

These odd packable snacks, which include crackers, orange "cheese" spread, and a tiny red spatula, are still around. Not because they're good, we suspect, but because they're easy to put in a lunchbox.

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Hubba Bubba Soda

hubba bubba soda
Hubba Bubba/YouTube

Remember Hubba Bubba, the pink gum that ran out of flavor after about ten chews? Now imagine that as a soda. We don't know why this was a thing, but it couldn't possibly have been good.

And the next time you're grocery shopping, don't miss these 30 Cheap Costco Buys That Make the Membership Worth It.

Tanya Edwards
Tanya Edwards is a seasoned food and health journalist, who has held roles at Yahoo Health as Managing Editor and at Food Network as Programming Director. Read more about Tanya
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