Doritos Super Bowl Commercials Ranked Worst To Best

For most football fans, the idea of watching the Super Bowl without a hefty supply of snacks on hand is simply unacceptable, even heretical. Among the most popular in the pantheon of salty snack food are Doritos, the triangular corn chips renowned for their zesty flavors and unmistakable crunch. With this in mind, it's no surprise that Doritos manufacturer, PepsiCo, spends big bucks to run ads during the NFL's biggest game of the year, though you may not see some of these ads in 2021. 

In fact, Doritos' Super Bowl commercials have proven to be some of the funniest and cleverest among the many products attempting to attract eyeballs during the game, which is typically watched by an audience in excess of 100 million, according to Techradar. However, like any TV advertising campaign, some commercials work better than others. 

To pay tribute to Doritos' legendary game-day advertising, read on to experience a trip through the past to recall some of the most memorable Doritos Super Bowl commercials, ranked worst to best.

Doritos depicts a mousetrap mishap

Dubbed "Mousetrap", this Doritos commercial aired during the 2008 Super Bowl. The premise was simple: a suited guy enters a dingy apartment, carrying some groceries, while an aria from the opera Carmen plays in the background. He pulls out a bag of Doritos and a mousetrap, setting up the trap at the entrance to a small mouse hole in the baseboard with a Dorito fragment as bait. He pulls up a chair in front of the mouse hole, sitting and staring intently with a deadpan expression on his face. 

Finally, he reaches into the bag, pulls out a handful of chips, and crams them into his mouth. At that moment, a guy in a mouse costume crashes through the wall and tackles the Dorito-muncher, knocking over the chair and repeatedly punching him in the head.  

As Ad Age reported, this commercial wasn't the brainchild of an advertising agency, but an entry into Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, in which folks submitted their homemade commercials. "Mousetrap" was that year's winner, airing during Super Bowl XLII, and named one of Doritos' five all-time funniest Super Bowl commercials by Bleacher Report. Yet, other commercials ranked higher that year, and, once you think about the concept, this violent ad spot doesn't make much sense at all.

"Keep your hands off my mama!"

This crowd-sourced Doritos commercial, which aired during 2010's Super Bowl XLIV, begins with a man knocking on a door, flowers in hand. His date invites him in and introduces him to her young son, telling the kid to "play nice." She exits the room to get ready as the guy leers at her derriere.

The suitor wastes no time making himself at home. "What's goin' on, little man?" he tells the kid. "I see you got your game skills down pat," he says while plucking a chip from a bowl of Doritos, "but you might have your hands full once I pick up the control — " His sentence ends with a slap across the face from the ticked-off kid. "Put it back," he commands. The boy is not messing around. "Keep your hands off my mama," he says, glaring intensely from only a few inches away, "and keep your hands off my Doritos." 

While some people loved the commercial — Spoon University and The Urban Daily both offered high praise — National Review's Dennis Prager blasted the entire concept. "A sexually aware child who essentially serves as man of the house at the age of five? Hilarious," he wrote.

A man predicted free Doritos

The 2009 commercial "Free Doritos" – another "Crash the Super Bowl" submission — is set within an office break room, a vending machine loaded with Doritos in the background. A guy asks his co-worker, "Hey man, what's that?" The fellow being questioned excitedly declares, "It's my crystal ball!" The other man is unimpressed, telling him, "It looks like a snow globe." 

"Nah-ah, it's real," he insists. "Watch." He cradles the glass ball, staring at it while asking, "Free Doritos at the office today?" He then grins maniacally and hurls globe into the vending machine, shattering the glass. "I think that's a yes!" he yells, as another co-worker casually strolls over and plucks a bag of Doritos from the machine.

As ABC News reported, the commercial was created by Dave and Joe Herbert, unemployed brothers described as "two nobodies from nowhere." Not only did they win the $1 million contest prize, but their commercial also beat 51 other legit commercials to top USA Today's Super Bowl Ad Meter, compiled by data provided by consumers' real-time responses to the commercials aired during the game. In 2013, CBS News listed the commercial as one of the 10 biggest viral Super Bowl commercials ever, though some viewers may be turned off by the deranged behavior of its co-protagonist.

Don't mess with Lil Nas X for Doritos

This 2020 Super Bowl commercial begins with a black-clad cowboy riding into the town of — what else? — Cool Ranch. That cowboy turns out to be none other than rapper Lil Nas X, who faces off with another cowboy in what seems to be a brewing gunfight. 

That other cowboy is mustachioed actor Sam Elliott, who faces off against Lil Nas X with a bag of Doritos Cool Ranch chips at stake. "Make your move, cowboy," Elliott says. Suddenly, Lil Nas X begins dancing as his trap-country hit "Old Town Road" kicks in. Then it's Elliott's turn, and he responds by undulating his 'stache. They continue their dance duel, which culminates with the rapper atop his dancing horse. Elliott glances at his horse, who simply shakes its head. Elliott gamely tips his hat before country star Billy Ray Cyrus makes a commercial-ending cameo. 

The spot was deemed to one of the best of 2020 by The Washington Post. The most glowing review came, appropriately enough, from Horse Illustrated, which called it "one of the funniest 2020 Super Bowl commercials." Assuming you're not yet sick of "Old Town Road", you'll probably like it, too.

Doritos makes a man an offer he can't refuse

"Dead Cat Bribe", which aired during the 2012 Super Bowl, begins with a suburban guy doing some yard work when he sees a Great Dane burying what appears to be pet tags. He quickly realizes those are the tags of a missing cat pictured on a neighborhood sign. 

Slowly, the dog inches away. A close-up reveals the dog's paw sliding a bag of Doritos to the man. Attached is a note reading, "You didn't see NUTHIN." After the Doritos logo appears on the screen he's seen inside his home, pouring the last crumbs from the now-empty bag of Doritos into his mouth. "Honey, have you seen our cat?" an off-screen female voice shouts. He glances through the glass door, where the Great Dane awaits outside, another bag of Doritos clamped in its teeth.

The crowd-sourced commercial – winner of that year's $1-million prize, according to ABC News — was well-received, earning positive reviews by such outlets as Bleacher Report and ranked by USA Today as one of its all-time top Ad Meter performers. However, it also spawned controversy. A petition demanded the commercial be banned because "cruelty to CATS doesn't sell chips!"

A baby takes flight for Doritos

Aired during the 2012 Super Bowl, "Sling Baby" begins with a bratty young boy standing atop a children's playhouse in a backyard, taunting a baby bouncing in a sling. "Who has the Doritos?" he says in a sing-song tone. "You want one?" he says, extending his arm and offering a chip before abruptly pulling it back. "Sorry!"

Next to the baby is the kids' grandmother in a motorized wheelchair. She's clearly not impressed by her grandson's obnoxious antics. She gives the baby a conspiratorial look and backs the wheelchair up while holding the baby's bungee cord-like sling. When she's at the appropriate distance, Grandma releases her grip on the baby, who flies through the air in slow motion. Before the baby's brother even realizes it, the infant has snatched the bag of Doritos from his grip and returned to Grandma. As the brat looks on in slack-jawed confusion, the grandmother and the baby smugly enjoy their purloined Doritos.

According to ABC News, the ad — which won that year's edition of Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" contest — was also the winner of USA Today's Super Bowl Ad Meter, earning a ranking (compiled from viewer votes) of 4.33 out of five.  

Here's Grandpa!

This 2011 Super Bowl commercial begins with a guy sitting on a couch munching on Doritos. "Hey dude, feed the fish, water the plant, see you Thursday," says the apartment's resident as he leaves his house-sitting pal. The camera then cuts to the same guy as he suddenly realizes that it's Thursday. 

Panicking, he turns to the fishbowl and its apparently dead occupant. He sprinkles some Dorito crumbs onto the water and the fish magically comes back to life. The same move revives the similarly dead plant.

After cleaning up the place, he steps back to survey his work and accidentally knocks over an urn on the mantel, dumping ashes on the floor. A beat later, his friend walks in. "Grandpa?" the guy exclaims as his friend and resurrected grandfather sit on the couch, sharing some Doritos. Viewers were led to believe that, with the power of Doritos, the friend was able to defeat death itself. A hit with viewers, the commercial was deemed to be one of Spoon University's 10 funniest Doritos Super Bowl Ads of all time, while Time gave it a grade of A. Just don't try to feed your fish Doritos in real life.

Doritos showcases a powerful pug

Doritos aired "Pug Attack" during the 2011 Super Bowl, with a doofus dude playing a mean trick on his girlfriend's pug. "Oh babe, check this out," he says, closing a glass door and trying to attract the dog's attention by waving a Dorito in the air. 

The pug begins running toward the closed door in slow motion. His girlfriend warns, "Babe, don't hurt my dog," but he continues to taunt the approaching canine. As the dog nears, it takes a leap and, instead of smacking into the glass, knocks down the entire door right on top of the boyfriend. The dog is seen munching Doritos from the bag, while the guy is pinned beneath the glass, watching in helpless amazement.

As CNBC reported, "Pug Attack" was a submission for the brand's "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, tying for the number one place on the USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter and earning the spot's creators — J.R. Burningham and Tess Ortbals, who created the ad at a cost of just $500 — a cool $1 million. Definitely a hit with viewers, in 2013 CBS News declared the commercial to be one of the top 10 most viral Super Bowl commercials at that time, though dog lover might give it a bit of a side-eye.

Doritos introduces the break room ostrich

A 2014 finalist in Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, this consumer-generated commercial is a 30-second whodunit. "I am upset, guys," a boss in an office says to a pair of unseen employees. "Someone has eaten all the Doritos in the break room, while, mind you, making an incredible mess. And I've narrowed it down to you two."

The camera then pans to reveal who he's been speaking to: a balding guy in a yellow tie, sitting next to an ostrich. The next shot depicts a flashback, of the man sitting in the break room, furiously chowing down on some Doritos as crumbs fly everywhere. Just then, the ostrich walks down the hallway past the break room's door. The ostrich looks in and sees what's happening — then, in a close-up, gives him a withering stare. The next shot goes back to the boss's office. "Obviously it was the ostrich, right?" the culprit declares, leading the appalled ostrich to gasp in horrified indignation. 

The commercial was a big hit in the Twitterverse. "It's our favorite!" declared one Twitter user, while another tweeted, "The Doritos Ostrich commercial took the cake. I'm still laughing." 

A Doritos chip off the old block

A 2016 Doritos Super Bowl commercial managed to deliver both hilarity and controversy. The commercial depicts a pregnant woman and her husband in a doctor's office, where she's receiving an ultrasound. "There's your beautiful baby," the doctor says, gesturing towards the computer screen. As the expectant mom smiles, she glances at her disinterested husband. "Really? You're eating Doritos?" she asks with disgust.

Suddenly, he notices that every time he moves a Dorito close to his wife's belly, the fetus reaches out its tiny hand. He repeats the experiment a few times until his exasperated wife grabs the chip from his hand and hurls it across the room — causing the fetus to leap out of the womb in pursuit of that chip.

According to Unruly, the spot was that year's most-shared Super Bowl commercial on social media. Yet, the commercial also caught backlash from NARAL Pro-Choice America, which tweeted: "#NotBuyingIt – that @Doritos ad using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight." However, as numerous Twitter users such as this one pointed out, "um, fetuses are human." We'll let you decide for yourself.

Swipe right for Doritos

Aired during the 2016 Super Bowl, "Swipe for Doritos" ventured into the world of dating apps. The male protagonist is seen in a restaurant on a date with a woman who is talking a mile a minute. He takes his phone and swipes left on the app, which magically causes the fast talker to disappear, replaced by another woman. He continues swiping past a few more before settling on an attractive woman. "I'm looking for a real man," she tells him as she pulls a baby from beneath the table, "to be the father to my son!"

He then swipes an older woman. "I'm a youthful 32," she lies. Just as he's about to move on to his next potential match, she pulls out a bag of Doritos, instantly capturing his heart. He reaches over to take a Dorito from her bag and it's she who swipes left, sending him off so she can enjoy her Doritos solo. 

While the ad didn't win that year's top prize in the "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, CNN reports that it was a finalist, thanks to what Just Jared described as the "hilarious twist" featuring Everybody Loves Raymond actress Doris Roberts.

A song of ice and fire and Doritos

Titled "A Song of Ice and Fire," this 2018 Doritos Super Bowl commercial relied on the star power of Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage and Oscar winner Morgan Freeman. The commercial begins with each actor being tutored by a legendary rapper — Dinklage by Busta Rhymes, Freeman by Missy Elliott. 

Then it's time for a full-on lip-sync battle, with Dinklage strolling through a posh mansion, fire bursting around him, as he flawlessly lip-syncs Rhymes' verse from Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now" to promote Doritos' spicy new Blaze variety. Then it's Freeman's turn, lip-syncing to Elliott's "Get Ur Freak On" in support of Mountain Dew Ice. While the actors rap, Rhymes and Elliott make appearances as Harry Potter-style animated portraits hanging on the wall. 

Given the actors' popularity and the use of some iconic rappers, the spot was a clear hit. Forbes listed the commercial as its top pick for the funniest Super Bowl commercial of 2018.

His dying wish was for Doritos

One of the 2010 "Crash the Super Bowl" winners, "Casket" took a hilarious premise to the extreme. The commercial is set at a funeral, where the deceased's final wish was to be buried in "a jumbo casket of Doritos." The camera then cuts to the inside of the casket, in which a very-much-alive guy, covered in Doritos, bites into a chip while watching football on television. 

Two of his pals are in on the scam. "Genius," says one. "Yeah," replies his friend, "free Doritos and he'll get out of work for at least a week." When the "corpse" becomes excited by a touchdown, he overturns the casket in an avalanche of Doritos. Caught red-handed, his mouth stuffed with chips, he stares helplessly at the church full of people until one of his friends attempts to cover for him. Leaping to his feet, the friend thrusts his arms skyward and declares, "It's a miracle!"

Just three years later, CBS News declared "Casket" to be the second most viral Super Bowl commercial ever, boasting more than 50 million views at that point.

A Doritos-powered time machine wreaks havoc

According to AZCentral, Ryan Thomas Anderson took the million-dollar prize in 2014 for his "Crash the Super Bowl" entry titled "Doritos Time Machine." The premise: a Dorito-eating guy is strolling down a suburban street when he encounters a young boy standing next to a large cardboard box with the words "time machine" scrawled on it, who informs him that the time machine "works on Doritos."

The dude enters through the cardboard door and takes a seat. He inserts the entire bag of Doritos into a slot, with the kid waiting outside the box to accept the chips. The youngster begins kicking the "time machine" and making noise with a bullhorn to create the illusion the box is actually doing something. Suddenly, a cranky old guy runs out of his house, yelling, "Get out of my yard." The kid hands him the Doritos and skedaddles just as the gullible guy, believing he's journeyed into the future, exits the box. "Jimmy?" he tells the man. "You're so old." 

As USA Today reported, the commercial — which only cost $300 — won that year's $1 million prize and became a hit. According to its website, the commercial has since received 111 million views.