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Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs
"They're crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and they don't have a single natural ingredient or essential vitamin to get in the way of that rich fudgy taste!"
Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes, performing a mock advertisement for his favorite cereal

In fiction, breakfast cereals marketed as "for kids" are invariably loaded with ridiculous amounts of sugar and contain virtually no nutritive value whatsoever. This stands in contrast to the cereals marketed for adults, which are depicted as being about as healthy (and tasty) as eating a cardboard box.

Common ingredients of these ridiculously-sugary kid cereals include:

Given all this, it's a mystery why parents even buy these cereals for their children in the first place; perhaps it was just a way to appease them when shopping for cereal, as the child will no doubt demand to have it.

There is a definite, if somewhat dated, Truth in Television to this trope, as kids have a natural disposition towards sweets (which sugar definitely qualifies), and presweetened cereals quickly became popular when they were first introduced — with sugar as their selling point, beginning with 1949's Sugar Crisp, and continuing with Sugar Corn Pops, Sugar Frosted Flakes, Sugar Smacks, Sugar Smiles, and Sugar Jets.note  More recent concerns about healthy eating have reduced the number of such cereals, though said reduction has done absolutely nothing to reduce childhood obesity, which has actually gotten even worse. Modern kid cereals may still make popping noises or turn the milk chocolate, sport kid-friendly mascots in neon colors standing proudly under explosive wordplay, and sugar may still appear high on their list of ingredients, but the cereal itself is intentionally designed with a respectable portion of vitamins and minerals, comparable to many adult cereals; in fact, sometimes a given kid-friendly cereal can be more healthy than an adult cereal (though to be fair, there are extremes both ways - and virtually all cereals are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals above and beyond the ordinary ingredients).

See also Unfortunate Ingredients, on which sugar frequently appears.

Examples

Advertising
  • There's an ad for Fiber One cereal where a couple convinces their son that the product is one of these by covering the name and calling it "Number One".

Comic Books
  • In one Sam & Max strip, "The Beast from the Cereal Isle", all cereals are like this, with only one exception: In the oldest corner are brands so old that "they contain wheat" (and not as an allergen warning).

Film
  • "Woody's Roundup", the Show Within a Show in Toy Story 2, is sponsored by Cowboy Crunchies, "the only cereal that's double-frosted and dipped in chocolate".

Literature
  • Since the Goodkind family owns so much in the Whateley Universe, it's no surprise that Overclock's favorite cereal is Honey Nut Goodios. He's a bit obsessive about them. In "Ayla and the Great Shoulder angel Conspiracy" he decides to drive a girl insane and kill all of her friends because she ate the last of the Honey nut Goodios in the school cafeteria.
  • Dave Barry cited these as an important part of his childhood, citing a Long List that culminated with "Kellogg's Big Box O'Sugar With No Cereal In It".
  • In Stephen King's Cujo, the Sharp Cereal Company puts out a product called Red Zingers, designed for kids who want something "halfway between cereal and candy."

Live-Action TV
  • In Dinosaurs, the family's kid-friendly cereal is known as "Sugar Frosted Booboo Bears". Millions of years before bears existed.
  • In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Miles, a local conspiracy theorist, declines Sabrina's breakfast offer, citing government processing. He does, however, make exception for "the cereal that turns the milk purple".
  • In a classic Saturday Night Live film short, John Belushi is unaccountably proving an Olympic track and field star, rather like a hippo being a gazelle. The punchline is a commercial where he endorses a Wheaties-like cereal, but the product is "Little Chocolate Doughnuts," Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    Belushi: I logged a lot of miles training for that day ... and I downed a lot of doughnuts. Little Chocolate Doughnuts.

Music
  • Gorillaz song Superfast Jellyfish focuses on one such fictional, chicken tasting, cereal;
    "Yo, pretty packages of frosted delights
    Look it comes with a toy I like that
    I wanna number four, number six, and throw in a plastic donut
    Just enjoy the gritty crunch that tastes just like chicken
    Wrappers of many bite sizes
    Man, are you freaking blind
    That's a rock
    All mixed in the potful
    Momma's homemade from scratch, well not quite"

Newspaper Comics
  • The original "Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs" comes from Calvin and Hobbes, where the cereal is sweet enough to choke on, yet Calvin proudly eats multiple bowls a day and collects the box tops for prizes. Sometimes he even adds more sugar, thinking the cereal is "kinda bland" without it. One strip implies that "Buzzy the Hummingbird" is the cereal's mascot.
    • When he's trying to eat enough boxes (six) to send away for a CFSB propeller beanie, it proves too much even for him, and he tries to enlist help from Hobbes and his dad. Neither are willing, and one of the strip shows Calvin sitting with a bowl and box in front of him going "Man, I'm earning this."
    • There's also a variety with marshmallow bits too, but Calvin's mom won't let him eat it.
    • In one strip, Calvin eats so much of this cereal, he literally starts vibrating due to the sugar overload. Even worse/better, he's completely unaware of it.
    Calvin: (to Hobbes) Hhhheeeyyy, yooouu knnnooooww wwhhyyy yyoouuu'reee shaakkiinngg lliikkee thaaattt? Vvviiittaaaminnn dddefiieennnccyyy, Iiii bbbbetttt.
  • The subject comes up occasionally in FoxTrot, usually to contrast against Mom's own health-craziness Running Gag:
    • When out shopping, Jason tries to find a cereal that Mom will approve — one whose first ingredient is not sugar. Jason cites a box where the last ingredient is sugar — actually, sugar was its only ingredient.
    • Another strip had Peter reading from a cereal box, "Sugar, Sugar, Sugar, Sugar..." and so on, finishing with, "...Sugar, Sugar, Sugar... Flakes."
    • A third has Jason admitting that while his "Sugar-Frosted Honey Flakes" are gross enough to turn his milk into purple ooze, he'll still eat six bowls every morning to get a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur stickers offer. Paige, reading the ingredients, remarks, "Actually, I'm a little surprised you don't glow in the dark by now."
      • The choice of the color purple is likely a direct homage to Calvin and Hobbes, in which Calvin has said, "I won't eat any cereal that doesn't turn the milk purple."
    • In yet another series of strips, Jason's cereal itself glowed in the dark, and when Peter ate it (because they were out of Wheaties) it made him sick. At first he was surprised that one bowl of cereal made him so sick; then he read the ingredients, and was glad it only made him that sick.
    • In yet ANOTHER strip, the kids have nothing but a bowl of sugar for breakfast and claim it STILL doesn't have as much sugar as most cereals.
      • Well, there are certain plants that are actually sweeter than sugar cane (the source of sugar). But that's probably not what they were referring to.

Video Games
  • Fallout 3's kid cereal is called "Sugar Bombs", whose pieces are shaped like miniature nukes. A ghoul will buy them off you since they can apparently be used to double the potency of a particular drug (useful for ghouls who are much more resistant to them).
  • The best food item in Twilight Heroes is called "Frosted cocoa-fruity marshmallow blasts", and in case the name didn't make the cereal's nature obvious, the description tells us it has "a powdery white coating of frosted goodness that instantly dissolves in milk, turning the liquid into something nearly as sweet as soda, because if it didn't the unsweetened milk would seem downright sour compared to the rest of the cereal".
  • Broken Age has a plethora of cereals for Shay to choose from with increasingly odd names until you're finally forced into eating "Splargh!". The joke is that, despite the promises of the descriptive and varied boxes, every cereal is exactly the same.

Web Animation
  • Spoofed in Homestar Runner with the "Cheat Commandos...Os" Sugar Cereal, which includes an advertisement where the word 'nutritious' is crossed out and replaced with 'delicious'. (In an unrelated short, Strong Bad explicitly points out several traits associated with kid cereals and special offers in general.)

Western Animation
  • In Darkwing Duck, Darkwing occasionally wonders whether Goslyn's favorite cereal (a ridiculously sugary brand) is responsible for her acting hyperactive. Not that DD himself is any mellower...
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Springfield is declared America's fattest town. Marge notes how unhealthy everyone's diet is, including the sugar-loaded cereal, "Frosting Gobs."
    • In many episodes of the show, both Bart and Lisa inhale "Frosty Krusty Flakes", one of Krusty the Clown's most well-known pieces of trademarked merchandise.
  • The Powerpuff Girls has Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets, with a mascot who's some weird mashup of Lucky the Lucky Charms leprechaun, Cap'n Crunch, the Trix rabbit, and King Vitaman.
    Repeated tag line: Ridiculous Lucky Captain Rabbit King ... Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets are for the youth!
  • Arthur featured such cereals including "Crunch" (whose mascot was a singing cereal nugget wearing sunglasses and a tuxedo, who sings the cereal's jingle) and "Golden Honey Squids."
  • A Rugrats episode in which Grandpa and Tommy go grocery shopping features Reptar Cereal: "They're round, They're mean. They turn milk green!" For adults, there's Corrugated Bran Puffs.
    • The "Reptar on Ice" episode shows Stu reading the ingredients for Reptar Cereal on the side of the box (Including re-hydrogenated cardboard bits) and remarking, "Hey Deed, there's no actual food in here!" Didi tells him that Angelica (who's staying over) won't eat anything else.
    • And over at Chuckie's house, Chaz buys "Dummi Bear Sugar Lumps", which, based on the coloring, appears to be honey flavored. Despite the word "sugar" in the title, it's probably less sweet than the "Reptar Cereal" because Tommy considers it yucky.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Grim reads off a cereal box's ingredients. "Sugar" is both the first and last ingredient, and every other ingredient is "sucrose", "glucose", "fructose", or some other artificial sugar.
  • In an episode of CatDog, our heroes get a job stuffing prizes into boxes of a sugary cereal called Kavity Krunch.
  • A parody of this is shown as a short in one episode of Ren and Stimpy. The cereal is "Sugar-Frosted Milk" and it "stays crunchy, even in cereal!"

Real Life
Cargo CultImageSource/Newspaper ComicsContrived Coincidence
Chez RestaurantFood TropesChocolate of Romance

alternative title(s): Ridiculously Sugary Kid Cereal
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