The Most Ridiculous Super Bowl Snack Ads That Live In Our Heads Rent-Free

The pomp and circumstance surrounding the Super Bowl isn't confined to the field of play, or even the stadium itself. Frankly, some of the most significant action is exclusively reserved for viewers watching the big game on their television, or computer, or tablet, or, well ... you get the idea. Now, while some of this excitement relates to the expected smorgasbord of must-have Super Bowl party dishes, the food-based fireworks aren't found solely in the kitchen. They often also emanate from the off-the-wall snack commercials seen between the football action.

It seems that every snack food brand has taken a stab (or 50) at Super Bowl commercial infamy. But for every floundering failure — and there have been many – there are those that burrow into our brains and stick in our minds. In fact, certain Super Bowl snack ads essentially moved into our consciousness afterward, establishing a near-constant mental reminder of the harebrained hecticness seen on-screen.

Of course, just which Super Bowl commercials will top the rest in 2023 is impossible to say ahead of time. But hindsight is a different beast, and there's nothing we love more than reflecting on the more preposterous past commercials produced by snack food brands. Since we've recently reviewed beer and fast food Super Bowl commercials, we decided to compile a list of the more bizarre snack food entries from the past 57-plus years, as well. Here are the most ridiculous Super Bowl snack ads — those that live in our heads rent-free.

Jason Alexander as the Parachute Man (Rold Gold - 1995)

It's no real secret that Super Bowl commercials often lean on celebrity appearances to generate buzz. Sometimes, these famous faces do little more than show up as themselves. But other times, a well-known actor dives head-on into the absurd abyss and embodies a zany character to sell chips, beer, or whatever else. Rold Gold knew this during the mid-1990s and so made sure we'd never forget its 1995 commercial (which aired during Super Bowl XXIX, according to USA Today) featuring two big-time '90s stars: Jason Alexander and Eddie the dog (of "Frasier" fame).

Of course, just seeing this pair of '90s television icons isn't what made this pretzel advertisement so memorable or ridiculous. No, that would be Alexander's airport chase to catch the wily dog, followed by his parachuting excursion into a football stadium, that's kept this in our heads through the years.

Now, why did the man behind George Costanza need to skydive from a military plane at the behest of a growling Lloyd Bridges in this pretzel advertisement? Who's to say? But the undoubtedly odd sight of his flight capped this all-time snack ad and made sure we'd always remember it.

Nuzzle & Nibble (Baked Lay's - 1997)

We've said it before, and we're sure we'll say it again: The Muppets are the best. Moreover, Miss Piggy is a goddess among peasants, whether it's pigs, puppets, or people. Of course, if you don't show the proper respect to the world's favorite sassy swine, she'll let you know how unacceptable that is. If you weren't aware of this rule, though, it's clear that you must have missed the 1997 Baked Lay's commercial (shown during Super Bowl XXXI, according to Baltimore Sun). That's because the snack ad involved moi herself smacking an unsuspecting Antonio Sabàto Jr. after he tries to snake her chips.

Now, anything where Miss Piggy's in peak diva mode is always ridiculous. And we'd imagine anyone would have trouble discarding the memory of the pig "hi-yah!"-ing an actor for trying to enjoy one of her non-fried potato chips without asking first. But we also feel this ad continues to resonate because Baked Lay's are, well, pretty terrible.

This pale imitation of real chips may be the last food that would prompt us to violence, so the notion that it drove a fervent passion in anyone (puppet or otherwise) is just funny. Frankly, the thought of someone truly loving Baked Lay's is nearly as silly to consider as this incredibly goofy Super Bowl snack ad.

Laundromat (Doritos - 1998)

There's ample reason to believe that this Doritos commercial starring Ali Landry (shown during Super Bowl XXXII, according to Ad Age) remained etched in the minds of numerous American individuals after it debuted way back in 1998. After all, Landry was a former Miss USA winner who had a certain allure for anyone attracted to, well, stunningly gorgeous brunette women. But the decision to use the silly setting of a laundromat — one of the least romantic places we can imagine — as the scene for her seduction (surrounding the then-new line of puffed Doritos 3D snacks) sealed its place in viewers' minds.

A bonafide first-ballot entry in the Super Bowl commercial pantheon if there was such a thing (there isn't), this late-1990s ad obviously works in part because of Landry's tantalizing time on-screen. But if we're being honest, we get an additional kick now in the 2020s by seeing a pre-"Will and Grace" Sean Hayes as one of the two characters who are enamored with Landry's entry.

Additionally, we vividly remember how uninspiring (and disappointing) Doritos' original 3D varieties were. Since that letdown of taste remains prominent in our minds, it's no wonder this classic Super Bowl snack ad has stayed fresh in our memory, as well.

Unicorn (Emerald Nuts - 2005)

It's crazy to consider how often parents seem to lie to their children. It's not simply a matter of common fibs about magical (and momentous) characters, like the Tooth Fairy's so-called existence, but just about anything that may provide some peace and quiet. Or, in the case of the incredibly comical 2005 Emerald Nuts ad (which aired during Super Bowl XXXIX, according to Ad Age), a parent might deceive their child just so they can enjoy a snack without having to share.

Now, we were often told that sharing is caring while growing up. But if this Super Bowl snack ad is to be believed — unlike the commercial's father — perhaps that was a lie, too, meaning that few parents actually abide by the mantra. After all, a dad telling his daughter he can't give her any of his snack nuts because it may directly lead to the death of a unicorn, Santa, and the Easter Bunny? That's surely a quintessential example of "do as I say, not as I do" — a mindset that seems to go hand-in-hand with adulthood.

The laugh-out-loud premise and execution made for a winning Super Bowl snack commercial at the time. And the genius remains funny years after its premiere, just as this ad's memory lives on in our heads.

Fence (Lay's - 2005)

Did you ever wonder what happened to MC Hammer after 1992? While some may have thought he ended up in the slammer (he certainly filed for bankruptcy), the reality was far less nefarious for the "2 Legit 2 Quit" rapper. At least, it was if you believe the story of the 2005 Lay's commercial (aired during Super Bowl XXXIX, according to Ad Age). In this spot, Hammer was simply stuck in the yard of a cranky old man, not unlike James Earl Jones's character in "The Sandlot."

Of course, the rapper wasn't stuck in a junk-filled yard, waiting to be returned to the opposite side of a wooden fence alongside a ball, dog, and car. But if that had been the reality, perhaps the downfall of MC Hammer would seem less harrowing in hindsight.

Not that the real story would do anything to diminish the smirk-inducing appearance of the parachute-pants-wearing musician in this commercial. We've never been able to fully rid our minds of his hit "U Can't Touch This," either, which the commercial naturally plays once Hammer appears. Given that, we understand how (and why) this Super Bowl snack ad remains in our heads rent-free.

You're Not You When You're Hungry (Snickers - 2010)

To be honest, we're not sure we need to pontificate too much on why many of these Super Bowl snack ads are among the most ridiculous spots that we've ever seen. The proof is in the commercials, so to speak. And we think that no snack advertisement requires less explanation than the wildly-famous 2010 Snickers commercial from Super Bowl XLIV (via Ad Age). That's the spot featuring the one and only Betty White portraying a flag football player who's not her(him)self due to hunger.

Now, while the focus on White's appearance in the snack advertisement is entirely justified, it does tend to offer short shrift to Abe Vigoda — the other famous elderly actor who shows up in the ad's tag. His unexpected cameo (in which he looks as miserable as ever) was just as charming as White's, quite frankly. Vigoda's role surely helped this snack ad make its mark as the Tom Brady of Super Bowl commercials — that is, the GOAT.

With top-notch appearances from two American acting legends, this Super Bowl Snickers commercial really struck a nerve with consumers. And if we had to guess which snack commercial most folks remember from Super Bowls past, we'd put money on this one topping all of the lists.

Man's Best Friend (Doritos - 2012)

When it comes down to it, there are two types of people in this world: those who love dogs, and those who love cats. Frankly, unless you are willing to endure absolute anarchy, there can be no overlap between these two groups. Now, we're obviously joking. But seeing as how many of us are firmly on "Team Dog" in the never-settled debate regarding the title of best pet, it's logical that we've never forgotten the ridiculous 2012 Doritos commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLVI (via Ad Age). In this spot, a man witnesses a dog murder a cat.

The innately foolish premise — that a dog wouldn't just kill a cat, but consciously cover its tracks afterward in an attempt to evade justice — is amazing to consider. Frankly, the uncertain morality surrounding the story of this Doritos Super Bowl spot is one we can't entirely wrap our heads around. Consequently, we can't rid our minds of the note-sliding dog attempting to bribe and silence its human acquaintance.

Even though some of us prefer dogs to cats, it's not like we'd actually be in favor of dog-on-cat crime in any way, shape, or form. And since we're confident no animals were harmed during the filming of this early-2010s Super Bowl snack ad (just as the classic disclaimer often reads at the end of TV shows and films), we'll gladly relive this comical commercial each and every year.

Just My Shell (M&M's - 2012)

Since we're discussing ridiculous things, we have to wonder whether the fact that the M&M's mascots were "canceled" in January 2023 diminishes the memory of this 2012 commercial (which aired during Super Bowl XLVI, according to Ad Age). It's not that we're unsure whether this candy advertisement should be categorized as completely ludicrous (in a good way) since it seems crystal clear that it should. But the fact that the premise revolves around the then-debuting brown M&M's mascot being taunted for appearing to be naked? Well, that sticks in our memories like velcro, even more than a decade later.

Now, this Super Bowl snack ad doesn't settle for a simple and rather crass misunderstanding about the brown M&M's shell matching the brown chocolate underneath. Frankly, if that were the extent of what we saw on screen during the big game in 2012, we might've already forgotten this commercial. But M&M's decided to take it further by throwing in a quick scene where the red candy is likewise "stripped" out of his shell and also acts like a drunk, unclothed college kid. That's priceless and enough to keep this M&M's Super Bowl ad in our mental rotation for years to come.

Dream On (Skittles - 2016)

Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, is a flamboyantly over-the-top human being. This makes his appearance in a 2016 Skittles commercial opposite a surreal portrait of himself created out of Skittles all the more logical. The spot aired during Super Bowl 50, according to Entertainment Weekly. Then again, when we're talking about Tyler — who looks like an aged Jack Sparrow in the ad — the baseline is inherently ridiculous. So this Super Bowl snack ad was likely destined to remain near the surface of our memories no matter what. And that was even before the bonkers commercial decided to go one step further and have the Skittles Tyler sing itself into a million candy pieces.

Actually, we could easily conceive of a world where the Skittles-art version of the Aerosmith front man was enough, on its own, to become the stuff of nightmares. But the choice to have the candy Tyler sing back to an actual person made this Super Bowl commercial crazy enough to linger in our thoughts for a long, long time.

Additionally, while we realize that there is a limited amount of colors to work with when it comes to Skittles, couldn't the candy Steven Tyler have looked more like Tyler and less like a Bob Marley mosaic poster? Maybe it couldn't. Maybe that was part of the point. But the disturbing, inhuman color scheme helps ensure this humorous snack ad won't fade from memory any time soon.

Everything Goes Wrong Live! (Snickers - 2017)

It may sound childish, but there's no denying that at least part of the appeal of live television is the possibility you'll witness a complete and unmitigated disaster. After all, there's no safety net of potential editing in post-production if something, or multiple things, go wrong. Of course, if your entire plan for a real-time performance involves intentionally triggering a series of mishaps, as was the case with a 2017 Snickers commercial that was allegedly shown "live" during Super Bowl LI (via CNN), things are different. Then you might end up with an unforgettable snack ad for the ages.

It all starts with actor Adam Driver excitedly announcing the game's halftime score to verify the commercial's live-airing credentials. The ad then features miscues galore, with each one bigger than the last. The commercial ends with a bang, naturally, as the Old West-style set completely falls apart, leaving an aghast Driver to look on helplessly.

Clearly, the candy brand has a way of producing Super Bowl snack ads that linger on the palate like a sweet, texturally-sublime Snickers bar. Between this and Betty White's legendary appearance in a 2010 Super Bowl commercial, it's easy to predict that we'll be satisfied by another Snickers Super Bowl ad at some point in the future.

Tribute (Planters - 2020)

In the world of ads, a commercial that treats a fictional character as equivalent to a real-life person while they interact with actual humans is almost always amusing. Maybe it's simply the idea that death's gravity could apply to, say, a walking, talking, monocle-wearing peanut. Case in point: the funeral services are on display in a 2020 Planters commercial (which aired during Super Bowl LIV, according to Ad Age). The deceased? None other than Mr. Peanut himself.

Would the decision to stage a deadly-serious memorial service for the supposedly-deceased Mr. Peanut have been as ridiculous and memorable if it wasn't attended by the likes of the Kool-Aid Man, Mr. Clean, and Wesley Snipes? Possibly. But having the mourners feature one of the most iconic food mascots among the crowd (honoring the sixth-place mascot in Mr. Peanut) made this big game snack ad too humorously bizarre to forget.

Add in the all-too-perfect fact that Mr. Peanut regrows and returns during his service (because peanuts are plants, don't you know), and this ridiculous Super Bowl snack ad was destined to remain a prevalent memory.

Stuck In (Pringles - 2022)

Has anyone out there ever gotten their hand stuck in a Pringles container? We can see how it may be possible to get yourself in such a situation since it's a fairly narrow tube and some hands are far too large to be accommodated when you're fishing for those final few chips. So while the premise of the 2022 Pringles commercial shown during Super Bowl LVI (via People) makes sense and is an entertaining riff on what might happen if your hand was forever stuck in a Pringles can, well ... who actually would get their hand stuck in one?

Look, it's not like a Pringles container is made of solid steel or even some less aggressive but still fairly sturdy material. It's more or less cardboard. So why wouldn't a person just tear a container apart if the need to extricate themselves arose? Additionally, if you're concerned with your hand getting stuck inside, we'd suggest you don't reach too deep into a Pringles can, but rather pour them into your hand or a bowl.

With such an easy solution to this final chip retrieval proven, the idea of living with a Pringles-hand disability is a ridiculous image that's hard to shake. We may have never thought about this concern before this Super Bowl snack ad. Now we can't let it go.