How long have the folks who make Mentos known their candy could be used as a sugary IED? A look back at the subtext of their famous early 90s ad campaign reveals a shocking truth ...

Just The Facts

  1. Chewy mint candy that comes in rolls.
  2. First produced in the Netherlands in the 1950s.
  3. Possesses power to get you out of bad situations.
  4. The much anticipated successor to Pop Rocks for the prestigious title of "Candy Most Likely To Blow Your Fucking Head Off".
  5. Good with Diet Coke.

Cracked on Mentos


Mentos is a chewy mint candy that comes in rolls. It has a unique texture/taste combination that is pleasant at first, and ends up as a flavorless gelatin tablet that you have to spit out. But all of that is really besides the point. Mentos is still sold because it has gone viral twice, once before the fucking Internet was even invented. 
The candy's popularity first surged in the 1990s due to a series of campy TV commercials. Each commercial spot depicted a scenario where an individual got into a jam. There was also a bystander in each commercial who would observe the events as they unfolded. As the bystander watched, the protagonist would pop a Mentos into their mouth, and as if by magic, overcome their adversity. (On Cracked: Mentos Fans Make Their Own Ad).
The Freshmaker!
The TV commercials always ended with a freeze frame on the individual with their fist clenched around a roll of Mentos. At the time it seemed like an incredibly lame, sugar coated thumbs up, but that all changed once we found at that Mentos FUCKING EXPLODE.  
I didn't get the job.
The TV spots were so popular that they inspired the music video for the Foo Fighters song "Big Me" which parodied several Mentos commercials. It also inspired Dave Grohl to dress like a girl. 
Keep in mind that this all happened before there was an Internet, AND that nobody really liked the candy. The people making these commercials were secretly geniuses. 
A decade later Mentos went viral a second time due to the discovery that they react violently when combined with Diet Coke. Unlike the Pop Rocks myth, the Mentos & Diet Coke combination actually has merit as evidenced in the now famous Internet video created by EepyBird.
While people will typically flee from exploding things, Mentos' popularity increased as a result. The destructive power was so well documented that the Mythbusters were inspired to explore it in an episode. It also inspired Kari Byron to get kind of naked. 
Diet Coke, I know how you feel.