Folgers has such a deathgrip on the pre-ground coffee market I’m sitting here trying to write a joke like, ‘Of course I drink Folgers. What the fuck else am I going to drink? BLAH?’ And I can’t fucking think of another brand to fill in the BLAH with. Like, sure, Dunkies or Starbucks, but I’m trying to think of another standard grocery store brand and I fucking can’t. Beans Ahoy? Columbia House? Chock Full o’Nuts! Do they still make that? Hold on.
Of course I drink Folgers. What the fuck else am I going to drink? Chock Full o’Nuts?
Another quick search tells me I should have gone with Maxwell House. I’ve literally never knowingly had Maxwell House in my life. Are there even commercials for Maxwell House?
Oh, yeah. These people.
Peter Comes Home
This thing aired for roughly three hundred and fifty thousand years, including all of my childhood. It’s so eighties I’m amazed Nancy Reagan doesn’t show up to white-people rap about just saying no. There’s a few nitpicky things wrong with it including the biggest nitpick with every commercial: who gives this much of a shit about pre-ground coffee? My favorite part, though, is the parents don’t know Peter is back, obviously, and the others kids are very clearly not old enough to safely be operating a coffee maker, but Mom and Dad smell the coffee and are just like, ‘Fuck, is that coffee?!’ and not ‘my children are going to burn the house down.’ And that’s not a mistake. This is the eighties, and everyone knows child safety as a concept wasn’t invented until 1995.
You know what, I take it back. It’s hard to make out the details because this video is about as potato-quality as it gets, but there does appear to be a teenage daughter. Except the point still stands, because all three of them come down the stairs together. So, not knowing Peter came home, the only two options here are a half-blitzed burglar in a Santa suit trying to make coffee to stave off the hangover, or their four-year-old daughter is standing on the back of a chair pouring grounds directly into the pot and shoving the whole thing in the microwave. But Poodle-Hair and her husband and older daughter are all, whatever. It’s the eighties. We have Swatches and nuclear holocaust to worry about.
Lucky bastards. Now we have to worry about nuclear holocaust and we don’t even get Swatches.
All in all, though, it’s a perfectly fine commercial. There’s a reason it’s been airing since the Pleistocene era. It’s cute and homey and while the family does go overboard on coffee, they do seem way happier their son made it home for Christmas, so that’s nice.
Terrible Remakes: Not Just for Movies Anymore!
They stopped airing the original commercial by the late nineties, and after nearly fifteen Peter-less years, Folgers decided to bring it back. What they should have done was touched up the video a bit and started airing it in its original form. Eighties Nostalgia was already ramping up, and they had a perfect sixty-second chunk of 1985 sealed in amber. I think it could have worked. Better than this thing did.
Before we get to the elephant in the room, let’s discuss a few minor things here.
- Instead of a college kid getting waylaid by a huge snowstorm, Peter has now been in the Peace Corp for so fucking long he at least pretends he doesn’t recognize his sister. Also: ‘West Africa?’ Have the writers ever met anyone who was in the Peace Corp? There is no way Peter wouldn’t not only give his exact location down to town or village, but he also would have thrown in the handful of words he struggled to learn of the country’s language, like, immediately.
- They changed it so the family knew he was coming home. In the first one, it seems like they all think Peter isn’t going to make it home at all because of the storm. In this one the ‘little’ sister waits up all night and then as soon as the mom smells the coffee she’s like, ‘he’s home!’ I know I complained about the exact opposite in the last version of this suburban dystopic nightmare, but I think it’s well within my rights to entirely dislike both scenarios. Also, at least the eighties one was funny.
- He salivates over Folgers and breathlessly calls it ‘real coffee.’
Anyway, those kids are totally going to fuck.
The Greatest Lesson the Internet Can Teach You
Please, please tell me this was your first thought when you saw this thing? Because it sure as shit was mine. And, thankfully, lots of other people. This only aired for three seasons before the mega-brains behind the commercial finally figured out America was loving it for reasons entirely separate from coffee and pulled it, but the articles, parody videos, and social media posts just keep coming.
So, this is the lesson:
“You have never had, and will never have, an original thought. Never ever ever. Never.”
Not once have you ever thought something that no one else thought at the exact same time. Not once have you ever thought something that only a few other people thought at the exact same time. All of the world, people are experiencing the same things you are and having the exact same reaction. In this case…
I Already Told You The Internet is a Terrifying Place
Look, I think the best practice here is to rip the band-aid off quick:
There’s a Folgercest fandom.
Honestly, at this point, I’d have been way more shocked if there weren’t people out there furiously writing fan fiction about a coffee commercial that is a barely-concealed opener for Christmas-themed smut. Fans will ship literally any character with literally any other character without a hint of romance or even mutual like between them because that’s what they want. And then you present them with this shit? The sexual tension between these two is immediately present, and more in-depth than some actual couples pushed in media. I totally believe these two are doing the horizontal hoe-down way more than, say Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.
Also, I completely blame this commercial for the decade-long uptick in stepsibling porn.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
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