Pop Goes The Soda

mr green

Last week, I had someone stumble upon The Nest via the following search term:

drinks mr green

And instantly a Flashback Friday idea was born!

I am a huge fan of soda, even to the point of being intrigued over the generic term that is used in different parts of the country.  I live in one of the few places in the Midwest where we use the term “soda” rather than “pop”.  I live in one of the few areas anywhere where Pepsi is king, and Coke takes a backseat to even Dr. Pepper.  And I certainly enjoy reflecting about different soda brands that are no longer with us.

As for Mr. Green, I’d lay good odds that few if any of you had ever heard of it.  It was flashback fridayintroduced around 2001 by SoBe (which is owned by Pepsico, thus why it was likely popular here in St. Louis at one time), and it was religiously downed by most of the maintenance crew at work back in its day.  It looked absolutely disgusting, and was actually green colored.  I think it was supposed to be a combined soda/energy drink, but this dreadful concoction didn’t last very long on the market.  Within a year, I had never seen it again…


While we’re on the subject of strange sodas from the new millennium, here’s one that also didn’t have a long shelf life, “dnL”.  From the makers of 7 Up (It’s their logo upside down, see it?), this offering was everything 7 Up wasn’t.  In particular, it was caffeinated.  I don’t think I ever saw a can or bottle of this in real life, but it’s most memorable attribute was the hilarious ad campaign that introduced it, with the high strung leprechaun!

This one was far but the best, but sadly, for a campaign that ran just 10 years ago, it’s the only one I could find on YouTube:

OK, now let’s really flash back!  Remember what Marty McFly tried to order at the diner in 1955?

I can't give you a tab, you haven't ordered anything yet!

I can’t give you a tab, you haven’t ordered anything yet!

If you want a Pepsi, pal, you're gonna pay for it!

If you want a Pepsi, pal, you’re gonna pay for it!

The early days of the diet drinks!  Who knew that Back To The Future skit would generate the same puzzled reactions in 1995 as it would have in 1955.  Coca Cola’s Tab had been around since the 1960’s, but was all but gone from the market by the end of the 1980’s thanks to the introduction of Diet Coke, as well as that little controversy over whether saccharin causes cancer or not.  Pepsi Free was also practically a relic by the time MC Hammer brought in the 1990’s, or at least its name was.  My pathetic research has determined that Pepsi Free was simply renamed Caffeine Free Pepsi, which itself has all but disappeared from the store shelves since the introduction of Pepsi One, and most recently Pepsi Max (Sorry, but I will not and never will try a sugar free soda, I don’t care if I balloon to 300 pounds and go into diabetic comas every few hours).


If there’s one thing Pepsi can’t do right in my mind, it’s make a good lemon-lime soda.  Now thanks to 7 Up going out of their gourd and changing to all natural flavors (ick!), Sprite is the undisputed king of this market.  But like Coke tried to copy Mountain Dew with Mello Yello, Pepsi tried to do the same with Sprite and introduced Slice.  Slice managed to hold it’s own throughout the mid to late 1980’s, and actually got me aboard as a drinker when the Pepsi button’s red light was on.  But alas, Slice eventually fell off the face of the earth, and was subsequently replaced by the inferior Sierra Mist, which I tried once and never again.  Of course, Slice wasn’t the original Pepsi lemon-lime soda….


I’m just barely old enough to remember Teem, which was introduced back in the 1960’s, but succumbed to Slice in the US back in the early 80’s.  If Teem’s Wiki article is correct, you can still buy Teem in places like Brazil, Honduras, Uruguay, South Africa, and Pakistan!

What soft drinks do you remember from back in the day?


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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14 Responses to Pop Goes The Soda

  1. Betsy Norman says:

    I grew up in a *very small* midwestern WI town and we drank RC (Royal Crown) cola in BOTTLES, that we would then return to the store – in the same cardboard bottle holder w/handle that we bought it in – to get a return deposit.

    • RC!!! That was big when I was a kid, then died out but has since made a comeback! I may have to do a future FF on the old soda bottles, I am old enough to remember them well, and still have a few as souvenirs in my computer room…

  2. mskatykins says:

    I’m a Pepsi girl out of the two options. It just tastes that little bit cleaner than Coke, do you know what I mean? Having said that I would favour Dr Pepper over it! In Glasgow, Scotland we have our very own fizzy drink (with a secret ingredient) it’s called Irn Bru and is bright orange. In Glasgow we call it fizzy drinks or, in really slang terms, it’s referred to as ginger. 🙂

  3. pishnguyen says:

    That dnL commercial cracked me up! Too funny. The only one of these I remember (or have ever seen in real life) is Tab. I remember my mom drinking that when I was a kid. She was so upset when it went away. There was one store near where we lived that still carried it, and I think she bought out every last can they had. And then rationed out the cans so that her stash lasted as long as possible.

    Where I come from, every soft drink — no matter the actual brand — is a coke. The typical restaurant-ordering conversation:

    “Hey! How y’all doin’? Can I get you started with drinks?”
    “Yes. I’ll have a coke.”
    “Okay. What kind?”
    “Coke.” (Well, because I’m a Coke drinker, when I drink sodas. Other people might order a Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Seven-Up … whatever.)

    This is usually followed by the server bringing me a Diet Coke, which I have to send back. A couple of times. Because, apparently, I’m the only female person on the planet who thinks diet drinks are nasty. Plus, I’m allergic to most of the fake sweeteners; they give me migraines.

    • Ugh! Diet sodas are wretchedly awful tasting! I occasionally run into one of those people at an establishment that only serves Coke products who will ask “what kind?” when I order a Coke, and I want to politely remind them that this is not the South… here a Coke is a Coke! 😉

  4. merbear74 says:

    Do you remember Jolt cola? Man, that stuff would make you feel like running a marathon..

    • I’ve certainly heard of it…. don’t know if I ever saw it, let alone drank it. I like my caffeine, but I have my limits. I didn’t even go as far as drinking Mountain Dew, which was always a poor man’s energy drink….

      • merbear74 says:

        I used to drink 2-3 cans on MD when I was young..now it feels like it is rotting my guts out..you know your getting older when “pop” 😉 makes your tummy hurt.

  5. dogfordavid says:

    Mr. Pibb! the bad attempt at a Dr. Pepper re-make by a rivaling company

    I used to be an avid Dr. Pepper fan and people kept trying to tell me you couldn’t taste the difference but oh man could you ever. ughh lol

    I now am big on Pepsi lol I’ll drink coke if there is plenty of ice and it’s litterally the only thing available to drink and I am that thirsty. haha

    I will drink Sprite though when Pepsi is not available.

    • I can’t stand Dr. Pepper, and never tried Mr. Pibb…. but boy, if something was ever a second banana, it was Mr. Pibb. Pibb’s almost faded out of existence itself…

      People think I’m weird, but I can’t tell much of a difference between Coke and Pepsi, especially from the soda fountain where I think they’re almost identical. I’ll even mix and match if the opportunity arises….

  6. dogfordavid says:

    great post by the way 🙂 it was fun getting to remember all these old sodas and learn about a few I didn’t know about yet. 🙂

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