Cartman's Favorite Snack & Other Fictional Products That Became Real

In honor of South Park’s 15-year anniversary, the world will finally have the opportunity to watch the show while munching on their very own bag of Eric Cartman’s favorite snack – Cheesy Poofs.

The orange, synthetic cheese-based treats will be handed out at this year’s Comic-Con and will be sold in retail stores soon.

That got me thinking about a few other retail items that made their way off of the large and small screen and into real life homes:

Brawndo, Stay-Puft and Brian Fantana's Favorite Scent

If you’ve seen the film Idiocracy you know that Brawdo is “The Thirst Mutilator” that has “what plants crave.” At least that’s the slogan. The movie shows us, of course, that plants really have no desire for the electrolyte-packed chemical concoction.

If you crave it, however, it can be your’s thanks to Omni Consumer Products – which is also responsible for bringing you Ghostbusters’ Stay Puft Marshmallows and Anchorman’s Sex Panther Cologne (“60% of the time it works every time.”)

The Red Swingline Stapler
Apparently Mike Judge’s films are great candidates for this, because his cult classic Office Space is also responsible for helping to launch a new product. Well, re-launch a product, actually. At the time that the 1999 film hit theatres, Swingline did not sell the red stapler that the film’s office nerd Milton so cherishes. The version used in the film had been painted by one of the film’s prop masters. But after three years of repeated requests, Swingline finally released a new red version of their stapler – so that to this day basement-dwelling office outcasts everywhere can cherish one of their very own.

Wonka Products
Roald Dahl’s 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its 1971 film adaptation gave birth to an entire universe of delectable candy creations: the Wonka Bar, the Scrumdiddlyumptious Bar, the Everlasting Gobstopper. So, it was really only a matter of time before they sprang into life and started appearing on real store shelves. The only catch being, of course, that at present time no one has developed a candy that never gets any smaller or loses its flavor. So the Gobstoppers you can pick up in the store are just your ordinary everyday jawbreaker that, while definitely long-lasting, are far from everlasting.

The days of new Harry Potter big screen releases may be behind us, but your Butterbeer nights can go on. All you have to do is visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, where they sell a version of the magical beverage. If you can’t get there, you can whip up your own at home, thanks to the Food Network.

What did we miss? What other movie and TV products have you seen – or really, relay want to see – in stores?

How Do You Stress the Word: THANKSgiving or ThanksGIVing?

Here’s something else to stress about for Thanksgiving: where to put the stress in the word Thanksgiving.

If you’re from California, Iowa, or Delaware, you probably say ThanksGIVing, with the primary stress on the second syllable. If you’re from Georgia, Tennessee, or the Texas Panhandle, you probably say THANKSgiving, with the primary stress on the first syllable.

This north-south divide on syllable stress is found for other words like umbrella, guitar, insurance, and pecan. However, those words are borrowed from other languages (Italian, Spanish, French). Sometimes, in the borrowing process, competing stress patterns settle into regional differences. Just as some borrowed words get first syllable stress in the South and second syllable stress in the North, French words like garage and ballet get first syllable stress in the UK and second syllable stress in the U.S.

Thanksgiving, however, is an English word through and through. And if it behaved like a normal English word, it would have stress on the first syllable. Consider other words with the same noun-gerund structure just like it: SEAfaring, BAbysitting, HANDwriting, BULLfighting, BIRDwatching, HOMEcoming, ALMSgiving. The stress is always up front, on the noun. Why, in Thanksgiving alone, would stress shift to the GIVE?

The shift to the ThanksGIVing pronunciation is a bit of a mystery. Linguist John McWhorter has suggested that the loss of the stress on thanks has to do with a change in our concept of the holiday, that we “don’t truly think about Thanksgiving as being about thankfulness anymore.” This kind of thing can happen when a word takes on a new, more abstract sense. When we use outgoing for mail that is literally going out, we are likely to stress the OUT. When we use it as a description of someone’s personality ("She's so outgoing!"), the stress might show up on the GO. Stress can shift with meaning.

But the stress shift might not be solely connected to the entrenchment of our turkey-eating rituals. The thanksGIVing stress pattern seems to have pre-dated the institution of the American holiday, according to an analysis of the meter of English poems by Mark Liberman at Language Log. ThanksGIVing has been around at least since the 17th century. However you say it, there is precedent to back you up. And room enough to focus on both the thanks and the giving.

TAKWest, Youtube
Watch Boris Karloff's 1966 Coffee Commercial
TAKWest, Youtube
TAKWest, Youtube

Horror legend Boris Karloff is famous for playing mummies, mad scientists, and of course, Frankenstein’s creation. In 1930, Karloff cemented the modern image of the monster—with its rectangular forehead, bolted neck, and enormous boots (allegedly weighing in at 11 pounds each)—in the minds of audiences.

But the horror icon, who was born 130 years ago today, also had a sense of humor. The actor appeared in numerous comedies, and even famously played a Boris Karloff look-alike (who’s offended when he’s mistaken for Karloff) in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace

In the ’60s, Karloff also put his comedic chops to work in a commercial for Butter-Nut Coffee. The strange commercial, set in a spooky mansion, plays out like a movie scene, in which Karloff and the viewer are co-stars. Subtitles on the bottom of the screen feed the viewer lines, and Karloff responds accordingly. 

Watch the commercial below to see the British star selling coffee—and read your lines aloud to feel like you’re “acting” alongside Karloff. 

[h/t: Retroist]


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