Not Everything Is As Good As #ThrowbackThursday…

…except perhaps Flashback Friday.  Or Friday in general.

But we’ll take Thursday as an acceptable answer!

I found this week’s commercial while going through my videocassettes last weekend.  Apparently there is a group of videos I haven’t tackled in my archiving yet, and they’re from 2001 and 2002.  Today’s commercial was on a tape from June 2001, which feels like a lifetime ago!

So, what was going on in June 2001?

I was eighteen years old, I was on the verge of graduating high school.  Childhood was just about behind me, adulthood was awaiting my arrival, and college was a few months away.  One thing I love about my archives from 2001 is that they aren’t too far removed from the late 90s, so they still have a great late 1990s feel that looks great for inclusion in my archives.

I also completely forgot this commercial exists, and the fact that it made me laugh was enough for me to write about it here!

This commercial takes a nice twist – it starts out as a game show parody, and becomes a product placement to match the product’s then current “not everything is as good as the original,” but that their diet equivalent is as good as their original product.

The game show is Crime Family Feud (pretty obvious what game show is being parodied), the soda brand is Dr. Pepper, and its Diet equivalent is being toted!

This one really needs no real introduction or explanation!  Go on, click play!

So…who brings a can of Diet Dr. Pepper to a game show taping?


The Diet Dr. Pepper commercials were part of a series of recreated activities that seem legitimate, such as XGA (the Extreme!!! version of the Professional Golfers’ Association), Green Bay Watch (a parody of Baywatch), and CHImPs (CHiPs).  The commercials informed you that not everything can be as good as the original, but Diet Dr. Pepper is!


The commercials aired from 2001 until 2003, and were produced by the band They Might Be Giants; however the slogan “Tastes More Like Regular Dr. Pepper” was used beginning in 1991, and continued to be used until 2006.

I used to love Dr. Pepper when I was a kid.  I could never exactly wrap my head around the formulation that gives it the most unusual taste it had (I used to think it tasted like cinnamon-flavored soda, but I was 12 at the time).  I haven’t been able to drink Dr. Pepper since I was 13 years old (when I had to give up caffeine due to an allergy to the additive).  Ironically, until ten years early, there was a caffeine free version of Dr. Pepper (called Pepper Free, produced from 1982 until 1985), made to fill the niche of the health-conscious consumer.  Strangely enough, there was a Caffeine Free version released in 1983 that wasn’t called Pepper Free.  Not sure how this worked.

I haven’t actually ever seen the caffeine free version anywhere (not that I’ve paid a ton of attention, since I don’t drink much soda), and you know restaurants don’t carry this version.  As for Diet anything, that’s a hard pass for me, I don’t enjoy diet soda…or anything marked “diet.”  It is a taste preference, and again, I don’t drink soda very often (perhaps a couple times a month at the most, and that is rare).

Dr. Pepper (and its Diet equivalent) continue to be manufactured today by Keurig Dr. Pepper (since 2008), but is sometimes bottled under Coca-Cola and Pepsi.  The actual flavor used to be a trade secret, and rumors abounded in the 1930s that prune juice was a flavor in the soda (not true).  It is actually a combination of 23 flavors – cola, cherry, licorice, amaretto (almond, vanilla, blackberry, apricot, blackberry, caramel, pepper, anise, sarsaparilla, ginger, molasses, lemon, plum, orange, nutmeg, cardamon, all spice, coriander juniper, birch and prickly ash.

Thank you Google!

As for Crime Family Feud, there has never been an actual Family Feud spinoff by that name (gee, I wonder why?), but the idea seems creative, don’t you think?

Nah, it would probably be in the guise of an FBI sting.


Wonder what the number one answer is?

Tomorrow, another commercial from the archives of the “2001 video” for your Flashback Friday!

Have a great Throwback Thursday!


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