The 7 Most X-Treme Products of All Time

If the '90s brought us anything of note, it was either Kurt Cobain's suicide, The Usual Suspects, or corporate America's cynical attempt to exploit teenagers with the X-Treme movement. Of the three, guess which was easiest to turn into a modular humor countdown? Hint: the article about Cobain's suicide will be up next week. For now, we present the most X-Treme products of all time.

7.
RC Cars!

Remember when remote control cars were a just harmless hobby, or a chance for lonely kids to discover they were interested in engineering? Well, move over, grandpa! The Firestorm, the Tyrannosaurus, and the Hurricane are here to burn your house down, devour your livestock, and displace thousands of Louisianans.

RC cars no longer resemble anything you would ever hope to see on the road: some have three giant wheels, others have mechanical jaws, and one of them is just your dad's loaded handgun with axles and a steering column attached to it. And the days of tiny, whining engines are long gone; today's RC Cars sport V-8s and up, and get six feet to the gallon, highway driving.

So what do all of these X-treme cars spend their time doing? Crashing into shit, that's what. The best ones were those ones that exploded on impact (The Subaru, I believe), but they stopped making them when that kid burned his little brother's face off. How X-treme is that?! Up next from RC: The Suicide Bomber, The Colonoscopy, and The Holocaust.

Most X-treme Moment
The fourteen-RC car pileup that caused an actual eight-car pileup. Six fatalities baby!

Least X-treme Moment
The fourteen-RC car pileup that caused a semi to veer off the road into a daycare center. Six baby fatalities!

Level of X-tremity!
You know those tubes you connect two soda bottles to and it makes a wicked water tornado? Like twelve of those.

6.
Sonic the Hedgehog!

The original bad boy of phylum erinaceomorpha, Sonic has often been credited with starting the whole X-treme movement with his in-your-face attitude, gravity-defying speed, and undying thirst for gold rings. Whether blowing up robots to free baby animals or foiling the plans of an overweight physician, Sonic is all about being blue and going spiny balls-out at all times. This motherfucker will spin dash directly into your spine; he doesn't give a fuck. And when you're paralyzed for the rest of your life, he'll be using the chaos emeralds to woo a sexually questionable underage fox.

The brand has been somewhat diluted by several less extreme cartoon series (chili dogs? No, Sonic subsists entirely on an all-pussy diet) and the addition of a ridiculous number of supporting characters-Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and even a robot and some sort of giant retarded cat-but when you see that glint in Sonic's single, misshapen eye/viewplate-thing, you have to admit, he retains a certain air of the X-treme.

Most X-treme Moment
Landing on the little biplane Tails was piloting after blowing up Eggman's ship at the end of Sonic 2.

Least X-treme Moment
The Knuckles vs. Sonic paternity suit following Amy's tragic succumbing to her methadone addiction.

Rating on the X-treme-O-Meter!
A busload of electric guitarists jumping an alligator-filled Grand Canyon.

5.
Corn Nuts!

What could be more X-treme than a roasted corn snack? Lose a couple fillings to Corn Nuts, and you'll know. It seems that when the makers of Corn Nuts discovered that their product was essentially the overseasoned, unpopped kernels left over from the Orville Redenbacher factory, they decided that instead of improving it (or possibly providing some sort of Corn Nut softening agent with every bag), they'd use an X-treme ad campaign to openly challenge consumers to bite through their openly menacing nacho cheese-flavored rocks.

The solution: anthropomorphized cobs of mutant corn practically goading you to devour them, plausibly to prevent the menacing cobs from sexually assaulting a loved one. Looking at a bag, one imagines an angry cob bending you over a desk and whipping you with his horrifying husks, or else helping other cobs beat you into membership in an all-corn street gang.

Did the strategy work? Hell yes! You can hardly go anywhere in the rural South these days without seeing someone crunching into a handful of Corn Nuts, gladly sacrificing their few remaining teeth for the exhilarating flavor of Corn Gone Wrong.

Most X-treme Moment
The first time you reach into a bag and pull out a glorious, salty, savory Corn Nut.

Least X-treme Moment
Four seconds later when you're on the ground, writhing in pain and clutching your splintered jaw.

Maximum X-tremeness to the max!
Tony Hawk coming to your eighth birthday party.

4.
The X-Games!

How can it not be X-treme? It's got X right in the name!

When you sit down to watch some X-games coverage, don't be surprised if you find yourself literally blown to the back of the room as an electric guitar wails to a fourteen-year-old snowboarder grinding pipes. Unfortunately, that effect eventually wears off, and constant comparisons between the X-games and its older, more respectable brother the Olympics has left the franchise worn and weary. It's like that cool cousin you looked up to when you were ten. At first, the fact that he smoked weed instead of doing homework and snuck into R-rated movies all the time seemed awesome, but by the time you're twenty-five and he's in his late thirties, smoking weed instead of collecting unemployment and sneaking into pay toilets all the time, some of the glamour wears off. Not that the Olympics is looking much better, that steroid-popping tight-ass.

If there's any lesson in all this, it's that there are no more good role models for kids outside of professional wrestling.

Most X-treme Moment
The year they added the Happy Days-inspired "shark-jumping" event.

Least X-treme Moment
The year they added the M.A.S.H.-inspired "wry social commentary on the horrors of war" event.

X-tremeitude!
Steven Seagal, pre-Executive Decision.

3.
Right Guard X-treme!

For the place on your body you thought would never be X-treme enough to challenge your taint: Right Guard X-treme! Coat your underarms with this pine-scented gel and even your most X-treme friends will be ashamed of their own, dull, workaday armpits.

Deoderant was a latecomer to the land of X-treme marketing, only getting really hardcore after 2000. Seeing as how antiperspirant gels and being X-treme are such a good match, one has to wonder how this didn't happen sooner. Really, it's a no-brainer: after skateboarding off of the world's biggest ramp or pulling an 1180 on your BMX, what does a truly X-treme person need more than the assurance that his deoderant is kicking the shit out of stink molecules, as portrayed by sexy roller derby babes?

Furthermore, Right Guard has had celebrity endorsements from Method Man, Red Man, and king of X-treme Bam Margera, who you know has to stink something fierce. As the '90s mantra goes, if it's X-treme enough for a skateboarder who named himself after Barney Rubble's son and routinely beats his fat father on national television (God, what a dick), it's X-treme enough for me.

Most X-treme Moment
The addition of the fluorescent green stripe. Before that, how could you know it was working?

Least X-treme Moment
When all those people got skin cancer from the green stripe.

X-tremeiousness!
A helicopter battle raging high above the surface of the moon.

2.
Ultra-Violent Video Games!

From Killer Instinct to Mortal Kombat to Duke Nukem to Tomb Raider, the '90s saw a major upswing in the badassness of video games. For example, compare the above with a list of games from the '80s: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Jr., Pac-Maphrodite, Fuckin' Gay-ass Grandpa Pac-Man, and Q-Bert. I rest my case. While those yellow sons of bitches were gobbling fruit and running from multi-colored ghosts named Blinky and Inky, the Duke was shooting space-pigs and ogling pixilated stripper boobs. No, it doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to. It's X-treme.

For the first time, the X-treme movement gave gamers the chance to vent their frustration at parents who wouldn't allow them to skip school to go to a Metal Mulisha BMX show by ripping out each others' spines. And, also, raiding tombs. True, those same games probably fueled their feelings of rage and isolation, leading them to one day turn guns on their classmates, but hey: at least we've established it wasn't their parents' fault, right? In related news, look for the Virginia Tech Counter-Strike mod sometime later today.

Most X-treme Moment
Finally being able to reliably perform Raiden's fatality.

Least X-treme Moment
Finally being able to reliably perform Raiden's fatality only to have your ass handed to you by some thirteen-year-old dick in a Pokémon backpack.

El nivel del X-tremo!
El maximo, puta!

1.
Mountain Dew!

Mountain Dew is the only drink so hardcore, you can't even drink it. Go ahead, try. I guarantee you'll spit it right out. That's how X-treme it is. Careful you don't spit it onto anything important though; that shit will burn through plexiglass.

Few recall that incredible as these soft drinks are, however, Mountain Dew and its whole family of X-treme sodas-Livewire, Baja Blast, MDX, and Tiger's Blood-are all just pale imitations of the king of X-treme sodas: SURGE Cola. Yes, all caps: SURGE. SURGE was the apotheosis of all that is X-treme, and its sole heir is that delightful extract we call the Dew. The ritual known as "Doing the Dew," usually observed either by base jumping while on fire or skydiving backwards (that's being hoisted into a plane at high velocity), is the X-treme aficionado's small way of remembering SURGE, and all it and Mountain Dew have done for us.

God Bless you SURGE cola, and you as well, Mountain Dew, and a hasty death to those false prophets Mountain Lightning and Mello Yello.

Most X-treme Moment
When a freak global climate change turned all fresh water into Mountain Dew: Code Red. Or was that just a beautiful dream?

Least X-treme Moment
Finding out that Yellow 5 kills your boys.

Ranking on a scale that measures the level of a quality hereafter denoted as "X-treme!"
Relatively high.

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