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Old August 8th, 2009
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Joseph Joseph is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,796
Default TV Tropes: Cereal Vice Reward

Just for shits and giggles (this IS the Lobby/Spam Bistro after all...)

We all know how Graham and Kellogg are responsible for circumcision.

Did you ever stop and think how fucked up the commercials themselves were?

I always felt sad for the Trix rabbit myself... here's a website that says everything I'd say would that my thoughts were in order.

Check it out!

Cereal Vice Reward

Ridiculous Lucky Captain Rabbit King! Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets are for the youth!
The Powerpuff Girls


For all the struggles over making sure normal television shows have "positive influences", commercials seem exempt from this.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in children's breakfast cereal commercials. Children are rewarded for being brats, for discrimination, for theft, and a number of other deadly sins. It's only a matter of time before they get rewarded for being cereal killers.

The main message seems to be that, as long as it helps you acquire their cereal, the ends justify the means. Interestingly, the fact that it's the adults who buy the kids the cereal is completely lost. This may be because they're expected to not be watching.


•"Applejacks" and "Cinnamon Toast Crunch" repeatedly has children mocking adults such as scientists, parents, life guards, etc. for being clueless and not understanding what the appeal of their cereals are.
◦There was one Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercial where the adult guessed why kids loved it on the first guess, but the kids promptly ignored him.

■The moral is kids, your parents are stupid.

•The kids in "Trix" take delight in making certain the Trix Rabbit never gets any of the cereal. If he ever gets a box, even if he bought it with his own money, they take it away from him, telling him "silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!" There have been one or two events where people could vote whether he could have some. He always won. These were the only times — which might just indicate that the people who make the commercials are a bit out-of-sync with their target demographic. Then again, it might solely be because he's been built up to be The Woobie.

◦Family Guy got fed up with this, and had an Asian Trix commercial, where after the kids say the line, the rabbit angrily responds "You share!", kills them and runs off with the trix. So satisfying to watch...

◦In the The Nostalgia Critic's Top 11 Cereal Mascots, he proposed that the Trix Rabbit's plight was meant to demonstrate the dark, depraved inner nature of humantiy; inflicting continuous harm on an innocent creature for no better reason than simple entertainment. His theory goes that the commercials are not meant to sell cereal, but rather to serve as an expose on the bitterness of reality.

•The kids in "Lucky Charms" are constantly robbing a leprechaun blind of his possessions. He seems to be enjoying this.

•Sonny the Coocoo Bird shows an almost drug-like addiction and reaction to his cereal, and encourages others to explode in sugar-propelled hyperactivity. Early Cocoa Puffs commercials even had children pushing the cereal on him like little dopemen
◦Nowadays he's stopped pushing, and is attempting to kick the habit. But unfortunately Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere. Seriously, who writes an opera about a friggin' cereal?

•Barney and Fred of The Flintstones fame hawk their various "Pebbles" brand cereals. Typically Barney steals Fred's cereal through deceptive means, and Fred chases Barney and screams threats. Barney, apparently, is meant to be the one you root for.
◦Barney gets his annual bowl of the stuff at Christmas when Fred is scolded by Santa.
◦"Dammit Fred, all I wanted was some of your fucking cereal!"

•While originally, the Cookie Crook and Chip were punished for their attempted thefts of "Cookie Crisp" by the Cookie Cop, the newer version only has a completely redesigned Chip the dog.
◦Chip has been replaced by a wolf, and the commercials are more or less the same shtick as the Trix.
◦Ironically, earlier commercials featuring the Crook and the Cop played this trope straight by having the Crook actually outwit the Cop. Later on, they made the Cop catch the Crook frequently because they feared the previous ads were sending their wrong message to children.

•Cap'n Crunch has a habit of crashing his ship through the walls of childrens' homes to deliver cereal to them, usually when the stupid/evil adults are forcing them to do something they don't want to do, like school.

•This trope was parodied in an episode of Robot Chicken, where cereal mascots re-enact Scarface. They make a living smuggling sugar — which they inhale. (At one point, the "Stix Bunny" says, "Do you know how rich I'm gonna get selling all this cocaine- I mean, sugar! I meant to say, sugar. Okay?")

•Not a cereal, but the same idea: the Teddy Grahams commercial in which a little boy, pretending his cracker is alive, demonstrates sadism and betrayal.
◦Everyone who has ever eaten animal crackers or Teddy Grahams or gummy bears has done this. "Haha, I bit the head off the rhino! Now to eat its limbs, one by one..." or "Look, the Teddy Graham is going swimming in the milk! Whoops, he drowned."

•Magnificently parodied to (hilarious) oblivion in the "Jewel of the Aisle" episode of Powerpuff Girls where a thief accidentally drops a stolen diamond in a box of cereal that gets purchased by Professor Utonium. The thief then dresses up as a cereal mascot to try and get the box back, the entire plot veering into a massive parody of every cereal commercial ever made. "Ridiculous Lucky Captain Rabbit King! Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets are for the youth!"

•The webcomic Breakfast Of The Gods both subverts and revels in this trope. Sonny and the Trix Rabbit are portrayed as pathetic junkies (though the Rabbit was more along the lines of "Hooked while working undercover), Count Chocula and Franken Berry are forces of darkness, and Tony The Tiger and Cap'n Crunch are the pillars of good (though Cap just got offed by historical rival Jean Lafoote)

•Not a cereal either, but the Kool-Aid Man, at one point, frequently rescued children from having to do chores by bursting through the walls.
◦Truth In Television - Most parents won't care whether or not the couch got shampooed if a stranger just burst through the living room wall.

■As Dane Cook pointed out back when he was funny. OH, YEAH!!!

■Did that actually ever happen?

•The Madness is spreading to adults. Cheet-oh's "Orange Revolution" commercials have a mystical sorta Asian Chester Cheetah corrupting adults into doing things to people who annoy them, like empty a Cheet-ohs bag into a rude woman's load of whites at the laundromat, or stuff Cheet-ohs up the nose of someone snoring.
◦Notably, that ad campaign failed.

■Yet it's still going — I just saw an ad during the Super Bowl where Chester Cheetah eggs a woman on to throw Cheet-ohs at a valley girl and let the birds swarm her.

■Makes you wonder what would've happened if he was still in the "can't get his hands on his own product" phase, like the Trix Rabbit.
◦Anyone who could be that rude to Felicia Day deserves to have their clothes stained.

•Sugar Bear was always stealing Sugar Crisp from the factory, and the security guard trying to stop him was portrayed as evil.
◦American Sugar Bear is much more sinister. He often flat out steals cereal from an old lady with magic powers, going as far as to go back in time to make sure she doesn't get any cereal. And this is just in the early 90s. In the 80s, Sugar Bear outright committed assault and battery and manslaughter to get his Golden Crisp. He was basically Popeye with cereal instead of spinache.

•Another non-cereal example can be seen in recent Eggo commercials; everybody, from the child to the mother to the announcer is out to prevent the father from obtaining the product, even when he builds a machine to make his own.
◦Though sometimes the father's tactics get rather underhanded as well.
◦This troper has had to apply the MST 3 K Mantra, since he starts thinking about why the dad keeps trying to steal his daughter's food when he can clearly afford to buy some himself. Either he takes some sort of thrill from taking something from her, or he's some kind of masochist who enjoys being bested by a little girl. The family is clearly aware of his antics, and plays along, even stealing the Eggos that he, presumably, buys himself in order to fuse with french toast. They're either doing it because he wants them to, or because they like messing with him. You see where this is going.

•An ipso facto example: Honeycomb cereal apparently transforms the child into a small, feral, hairy dog-like creature with stubby limbs and wide, manic eyes (and of course an insatiable craving for Honeycombs). And this is all meant to be seen as desirable and positive.

•An example in Western Animation: The Delightful Children from Codename
Kids Next Door never get to enjoy their birthday cake because the Kids Next Door always come after it and ruin their party. True, the Delightfuls are being selfish little greedbags for not sharing the cake in the first place, but surely even they deserve to eat their own cake on their own birthdays.
◦Not when they force kids to come to their party just so they can have people to not share it with.

•Parodied in an episode of Invader Zim, when Dib encounters Turkey Neck. Who complains about those darn kinds who are always after his "lucky neck meats".

•Kelloggs Crunchy Nut adverts, unusual in that they're targeted at adults, which portray Crunchy Nut eaters as addicts desperate for a fix.

•Those freaking Toon Town commercials. Kids will be running talent shows, baseball games, martial arts contests, etc. Cogs will attempt to join the fun and do not seem to be doing anything particularly underhanded. Joining the talent show results in death by anvil, joining the baseball game means pies are thrown to humiliate the poor Cog, and the kids cheat using a hose in the martial arts contest. The Cogs' only crime seems to be... ugliness. I have a sinking feeling that the Cogs that survive attempting to play with the other children cry themselves to sleep and ask, "Why? Why do they hate me so? What's wrong with me?"
◦Well, the Cogs are actual villains in the game. They're trying to make Toon Town all grey and corporate. Those bastards! Well, Or So I Heard...

•The new Dolmio for kids adverts are like this, with the father and oldest son (or whatever their relationship is) try to take some while the mother and the children manage to stop them. It's slightly justified, since they are specifically trying to get the children's Dolmio rather than just eating the normal stuff.

•Another crossover to adults: Twix used to have "Two For Me, None For You." Also not really a cereal, but the same principle applying.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead
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