Oh, uh, I’m not crying—I just have Cinnamon Toast Crunch endmilk in my eyes, I swear!
You may have noticed that we haven’t heard from cereal futurist Gabe Fonseca in a while. For most of the 1.5 years Cerealously has existed, we’ve been doing periodic watch alongs of Gabe’s “Cereal Time” YouTube series, which involves weekly throwbacks and spotlights on cereals past and present. The episodes are stuffed with nostalgia, and each contains enough fun to make a Barrel of Monkeys shamefully throw in the towel.
If you’re a long-time Cereal Time fan, you probably know by now that the above episode is the series’ last. You also probably saw that I “guest star” in the video’s description, so if you’re a cereal lover who migrated over from Gabe’s YouTube channel I welcome you here with open arms and pantries. Hopefully I can provide the hard-hitting cereal journalism you seek.
But if you’ve never watched Cereal Time, the good news is that you have a large library of re-runs to check out in “syndication.” Gabe’s final episode includes stunning special effects, nail-biting drama, and a look at milk-flavoring Crazy Cow cereal from the ’70s—pretty much all you could ever ask for—but I thought I’d count down my top 5 favorite episodes from over the years.
So without further a do, let’s celebrate the greatest hits 0f Cereal Time’s action-packed life, instead of mourning:
#5: A Trip to General Mills
Between Gabe and I, we have the two biggest cereal manufacturers’ company archives pretty well covered. Visiting Kellogg’s was awesome, but like a needy child who begs for pizza and ice cream, I’d love to see the home of French Toast Crunch and Cookie Crisp, too.
So even though such a trip isn’t in the works at this time, Gabe’s coverage of General Mills’s archives makes up for it with his quality shots and eye for interesting old cereals. From Waffelos and Peanut Butter Grahams to Star Cruisers and two kinds of Tiny Toasts—no, not that kind of Tiny Toast: these were the adorable predecessors to Cinnamon Toast Crunch—this video is like reading a time-traveling Skymall catalogue of novel breakfast products.
Let’s be honest: I just want to carry around a picture of those Peanut Butter Tiny Toasts mascots in my wallet and refer to them as “my pride and joy.”
#4: Dunkin’ Donuts Cereal
Gabe’s had many run-ins with ancient cereals over the course of Cereal Time, but this earliest one, from Cereal Time’s more minimalistic years, features my favorite.
As Gabe uncomfortably stares down and finally chomps down a 25-year old bowl of Dunkin’ Donuts Cereal, my own eyebrows became more furrowed and wrinkled than the mummified mini baked goods he was gagging on. I’m still not entirely convinced that this wasn’t an outtake Gabe’s Fear Factor audition tape.
It also helps that Dunkin’ Donuts Cereal is in my own “Top 5 Cereals I Wish I Had Tried” (that’s a countdown for another day) list, because any video that lets me see retro doughnut glamour shots is automatically inducted into some sort of personal pantheon.
#3: What’s Your Favorite Cereal?
No, this video—released by Gabe to celebrate National Cereal Day—didn’t just make the list because I have a cameo appearance in it.
Cereal Time’s compilation of people and celebrities sharing their favorite cereals made this list because it perfectly summarizes the joy and magic that a simple thing like breakfast cereal has brought so many people for so long. Young or old, just about everyone has warm memories of specific cereal mascots or flavors, and that’s something that few other foods can claim.
I mean, when’s the last time you heard someone gush about their favorite bread brand?
#2: Cap’n Crunch Varieties
No cereal brand has more complex lore and obscure, ancillary characters than Cap’n Crunch. From Sea Dog to Smedley the Elephant, the Cap’n has countless wonderfully weird and wacky “bowlfellows” over the years, and Gabe’s video on the topic covers them pretty exhaustively.
And I mean exhaustively. I had to reach for a lozenge and glass of water just listening to Gabe plow through decades of encyclopedic Crunch mythology.
Just which Cap’n Crunch character is my favorite? That honor goes to Chockle the Blob from 1982’s Choco Crunch, because in my world, shape-shifting cookie dough blobs rival dogs for the title of “man’s best friend.” Though I will say that Choco Donut Crunch from the early 2000s is the Crunch cereal most worthy of a comeback.
Because anything mini doughnut-related must be in my countdowns, remember?
#1: Pokemon Cereal
Okay, this video probably isn’t on anyone else’s “Top 5 Cereal Time Episodes” list, but as a lifelong Pokémon fan who dressed up as Ash Ketchum for Halloween way too late into his grade-school career to not get beat up for it, few things are funnier than watching Gabe struggle over Pokémon name pronunciations.
And Pokémon Cereal holds a nostalgic niche in my own heart, as it made a great breakfast companion on many Gameboy-clutching mornings. Plus it tasted delicious, as I insisted on saving every marshmallow for a single end-of-the-bowl sugar rush.
I called it “catching ’em all.”
So there you have it! A series that ended proudly, instead of with jumped sharks, annoying cousins, or shoehorned love triangles.
I know this Cereal Time tribute’s a little late, but I still want to earnestly thank Gabe for being a constant friend of this site. From providing retro box art and trivia to to gifting me All Marshmallow Lucky Charms and just geeking out about new products, he’s been a long-time cereal supporter.
I’ll even forgive him for hating Krave.
If you want to dive deeper into the show’s archives, every episode of Cereal Time can be found here. Be sure to check out Gabe’s Twitter, too—though he seems to be taking a long stay in ’90s-era San Junipero.