If there ever was a rule that should be listed in the Rules of the Internet but isn't, it would be "If it exists, there's a breakfast cereal based on it."
You name it, a kid had a bowl of it every morning (Adjacent to This Complete Breakfast). Sometimes it was fruity, other times it was chocolatey or had marshmallows shaped like iconic pictures that in some way tied into the piece of media it's based off of.
Nine times out of ten, the cereal tasted worse than the box it came in and was a bargain-bin version of a more mainstream cereal like Trix, Froot Loops, Lucky Charms or the Monster Cereals, but no one actually bought it for the taste. People wanted it for the fun characters on the front, the puzzles on the back and those rare few with the Free Prize at the Bottom.
- Legendary National Football League and Canadian Football League quarterback Doug Flutie took the idea of "Athletes on the Wheaties box" to the next level and came out with his own cereal in 1998 — "Flutie Flakes". The proceeds from the cereal went to to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, created in honor of Flutie's autistic son.
- Kane Brown has Kane Krunch, a chocolate-flavored rice cereal. It can be purchased through his online merchandise shop.
- The Mr. T Cereal wasn't a joke in Pee-wee's Big Adventure (which the cereal makes an appearance). It was a cereal released from 1984 to 1993 with a cartoon depiction of Mr. T on the front, a sticker of his face given as a Free Prize at the Bottom.
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire got a cereal in 2001. It was basically Cheerios with chocolate pieces that had Atlantean letters that would appear in milk.
- Despicable Me has gotten a few tie-ins over the years. The Minions cereal was grains that had pictures of the Minions printed on them. Whereas the Despicable Me 3 and Minions: The Rise of Gru cereals were the simple marshmallows with banana flavored grains.
- The first movie had plain kernels with marshmallow cereal, one box starring Elsa and Anna together, another with Olaf, both of them with a glossy finish.
- The sequel's cereal also 2 boxes, one of them ice-blue with Elsa, the other pink with Anna on the front.
- Both Finding Nemo movies recieved a tie-in cereal from Kellogg's.
- Each Kung Fu Panda movie had their own breakfast cereals, all them being chocolatey cereal with panda-shaped marshmallows.
- Kellogg's produced a Lightyear cereal that has vanilla-flavored star-shaped O's and marshmallows of green spaceships and purple moons.
- Rugrats In Paris The Movie had its own movie tie-in cereal. The corn puffs were white clouds, and there were special shape pieces of the Eiffel Tower, Tommy's ball, Chuckie's glasses, and Angelica's bow.
- "Ogre O's◊" is a Shrek tie-in cereal that can basically be called a Froot Loops ripoff.
- Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse received a cereal from General Mills. It was labeled as Spider Berry flavored and also featured marshmallows shaped like beloved Spidey iconography.
- Batman (1989): Batman cereal is a corn cereal is shaped like the Batman logo.
- ET The Extraterrestrial had the E.T. Cereal, a chocolate and peanut butter flavored product where the kernels were shaped like the letters "E" and "T".
- Ghostbusters (1984): The cereal has fruit flavored no logos and marshmallow ghosts.
- During the theatrical run of Gremlins, a Gremlins cereal was released. The cereal pieces were shaped like Gizmo and had a taste and texture similar to Cap'n Crunch. Along with stickers in the boxes, consumers could obtain a Gizmo toy with two proofs-of-purchase and a $10 fee.
- In September 2022, Kelloggs released a cereal tie-in in celebration of Hocus Pocus 2.
- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves had a tie-in cereal with pieces shaped like arrows, shields, and archers.
- Star Wars:
- Over the years, Kellogg's has released a number of Star Wars based cereals, with Yoda (representing the Jedi) or Darth Vader (representing the Sith) adorning the front of the boxes. Other examples include ones with Jedi from the prequel trilogy, BB-8 and Grogu. It was all the same kind of cereal: plain kernels with Star Wars-themed marshmallows.
- In 1984, Goldenrod released C-3PO's, a cereal based on the character C-3PO with kernels shaped like Bs and 8s.
- In 2002, there were two different "Episode II Cereals". General Mills in the US had Kix kernels with seven marshmallow shapes, packed in two box variants. Kellogg's in Canada had purple and red star kernels with cookies shaped like Clone Trooper helmets.
- In 1991 Ralston briefly marketed an Urkel-Os cereal, whose connection with Family Matters was mainly just that it had Urkel all over the box.
- Hannah Montana got its own cereal at the height of its popularity. The full name was "Secret Identity Cereal".
- For the premiere of Loki (2021), Marvel Studios collaborated with General Mills to produce a limited edition variant (heh) of Lucky Charms where Lucky the Leprechaun was replaced with Loki. It wasn't available in supermarkets, rather it was only available on a dedicated website called MischievouslyDelicious.com. According to IGN, it sold out fast.
- The Muppets had a short-lived cereal based on their popular Swedish Chef character, Cröønchy Stars (the full absurdity of the vowels is not capturable here). The marketing was borderline parody, between the Chef's antics in the commercials and the unusual games and puzzles on the back of the box.
- Nickelodeon "cerealized" their famous "Slime" in 2003 with Green Slime cereal. It was in the shape of green "slime blobs" with orange marshmallows in the shape of the Nickelodeon "blimp" logo. Green Is Gross was fully in effect and the cereal didn't last long. In 2022, they partnered with Apple Jacks to create a new "Slime" cereal which was a recolored base cereal.
- FunkO's Breakfast Cereal was made as an Homage to the trope by the Funko Pop! toy line, with many of their collectible cereal boxes based off of specific characters and a miniature Funko figure as a prize. Such examples include Stitch, Freddy Kreuger, Jason Voorhees, Beetlejuice, Elvira, Harley Quinn, Lion-O, Skeletor, the Red Ranger, Cuphead and Mugman, Huckleberry Hound, Mega Man and so on.
- The Garbage Pail Kids cereal is made of pink strawberry kernels ("crazy crisps") and marshmallows ("marshmallow barf bits"), and each box comes with two collectible franchise cards.
- Donkey Kong Cereal is the 1981 breakfast cereal based off of Donkey Kong.
- Kelloggs released a Minecraft Creeper Crunch Breakfast Cereal, the box made to look like a Creeper holding a bowl of cereal.
- Kellogg's released Super Mario Cereal in December 2017 as part of a deal with Nintendo to promote Super Mario Odyssey. The cereal featured marshmallows in the shape of Super Mushrooms, 1-Up Mushrooms, and Question-Mark Blocks, and initially featured an NFC amiibo chip in the box that could be scanned in Odyssey and various other games to obtain power-ups and other small benefits. The latter feature led to intact boxes being widely scalped, especially after Kellogg's started selling boxes without the chip a few months later.
- In 1989, the Nintendo Cereal System was released. It was made with 2 bags of cereal, one based on Super Mario Bros. and the other on The Legend of Zelda, and the box was made to look like a TV, the screen showing each game on each side.
- Originally a background prop in Overwatch, Lucio-oh's would later be Defictionalized into a real cereal.
- Pac-Man Cereal was released in 1983 to capitalize on Pac-Man's monster popularity at the time.
- In the early 2000s, there was a toasted oat cereal with marshmallow pieces in the shape of Pikachu, Oddish, Poliwhirl, and Ditto. A limited edition of the same cereal was also released with pieces in the shape of Gen II Pokemon.
- There is currently a Pokemon-fruit flavored breakfast cereal from General Mills called Pokemon Berry Blast with marshmallows shaped like Pikachu's head and tail.
- Web Animation/RWBY: Has Pumpkin Pete's Marshmallow Flakes with marshmallows shaped liked crescent moons and stars. Like the one seen in the series, Pyrrha is prominently featured on the box.
- While The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius never got its own stand-alone cereal, there was a Limited Edition Cap'n Crunch cereal named Cap'n Crunch's Neutron Berries◊, being a version of Oops! All Berries with the "berries" shaped like a rocket, Goddard, and Jimmy's and Cindy's heads.
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures had their own cereal called "Bill & Ted's Excellent Cereal."
- On the back of various Kellogg cereal boxes in the late 1990s, a campaign was made for fans to vote for one of eight tie-in cereal ideas for Cartoon Network properties. While Dexter's Laboratory won first place and The Powerpuff Girls (1998) was the runner-up, the campaign was abandoned before any of the cereals could get made, though tie-in stickers were made and are now collector's items.
- The Powerpuff Girls (1998) eventually received its own cereal in 2000, unrelated to the contest above. It featured crisp rice cereal with colorful fizzing clusters.
- The Fairly OddParents! had a cereal with stars made of wheat, oat, and sweetened corn.
- If there was ever an example of the trope that outlived its source material, that honor would go to Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles. Originally made as a tie-in to The '60s animated sitcom The Flintstones, the Pebbles Cereal was so popular that the cereal would continue to be sold in every grocery store in America to this day, even as the original show reached its end. Even if you've never seen an episode of The Flintstones or any other iteration of the franchise, you've probably had one of the Pebbles Cereals at least once.
- Besides the everlasting Fruity Pebbles, other Hanna-Barbera characters have also sponsored cereal. Quick Draw McGraw sponsored Sugar Smacks, Snuffles (also from QDMG) sponsored Apple Jacks, when Sugar Smacks was changed to Honey Smacks The Banana Splits sponsored it at one point, Snagglepuss sponsored Cocoa Krispies, Yogi Bear sponsored OKs Cereal, and Huckleberry Hound sponsored Sugar All Stars.
- General Mills made a Little Einsteins cereal, with the cereal pieces shaped like stars and fruit-flavored.
- The Pink Panther had Pink Panther Flakes, made by Post in the 1970s.
- Even Rainbow Brite had her own cereal. It, according to the commercial, had natural fruit flavors.
- Ren & Stimpy had Powdered Toast Man Cereal, which is essentially a version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
- Rugrats: Reptar Crunch, filled with purple rice crisps and green dinosaurs. This took its inspiration from an early episode in which the babies are curious about "Reptar Cereal" ("They're big, they're mean, they turn milk green!").
- Scooby-Doo had "Cinnamon Marshmallow Scooby-Doo!" cereal from 2002 to 2008. In 2013, it came back as Scooby-Doo Cereal. There was also the short lived Berry Bones.
- SpongeBob SquarePants had a tie-in cereal on four occasions: twice in 2004 (once to tie in with The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie), once in 2014, and once in 2020 to tie in with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. All of the cereals except the 2014 one were similar to Lucky Charms in that they had grain bits with marshmallows shaped like SpongeBob, Patrick, and SpongeBob's pineapple (as well as Plankton in the original movie's cereal), with the pieces themselves shaped like jellyfish in all but the Sponge on the Run cereal; in the 2014 one, the pieces are shaped like SpongeBob and Patrick, and no marshmallows are in it.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
- The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal came out in 1989 and was released by Ralston Purina (who were behind a lot of the older specimens on this page before selling their branded cereal line to General Mills), with pizza-shaped marshmallows coming out later on. Prizes included Ralston Purina comic books and collectible cards that tied into the 1990 live-action film.
- The 2012 series even had its own cereal◊, though it was nothing more than a Trix knockoff, the kernels shaped like the turtle's faces.
- The early-mid 2000s saw a collaboration between Disney and Kellogg's to create different kinds of cereals based on different Disney and Pixar properties, some containing prizes such as a Disney Read-Along DVD with a story, songs and lessons in vocabulary. Some of these Disney cereals included:
- "Chocolate Mud and Bugs◊", a Timon & Pumbaa cereal. The "mud" was the chocolate cereal and the "bugs" were marshmallows.
- "Mickey's Magix" was themed to Mickey Mouse (specifically, The Sorcerer's Apprentice). This cereal was a Lucky Charms-esque cereal with star, moon, and Mickey-shaped marshmallows whose main selling point was turning the milk blue (but not you).
- "Hunny B's" was based on Winnie the Pooh and was a honey graham-flavored cereal with pieces shaped like the letter B, Pooh's face, honey pots, and bees.
- "Buzz Blasts" was a cereal based on Buzz Lightyear. The cereal was similar to Hunny B's but instead featured pieces shaped like flying saucers, Buzz's face, LGMs, and Buzz's spaceship.
- The Wild Thornberrys had a cornpuff and marshmallow cereal called "Wild Thornberry's Crunch".
- Tiny Toon Adventures had their own cereal released in 1990, the year the show debut, it was Alphabits but only had the letters T,O, and N which spelled Toon. Which was ironic since the show has colorful characters and it you would have thought it would be sugary sweet cereal.
- To showcase Jimmy's dad as a Manchild in the Out of Jimmy's Head pilot film Re-Animated, he is introduced watching a Golly Gopher cartoon eating a Golly Gopher cereal called "Sugar Cube Crunchems". As the name would imply, the cereal is basically just a bowl of sugar-cubes that he pours a whole bag of sugar onto.
Jimmy's Dad: Each bite is a sugary jolt of life. Plus, makes my hands dance.
- One of the examples of "moichandising!" Yogurt mentions in Spaceballs is "Spaceballs: da Breakfast Cereal." If you look closely, the box has a label that reads, "100% Sugar."
- During the "commercial breaks" in the Psychonauts 2 level "Compton's Cookout", the commercials show boxes of breakfast cereals "Bees!" and "Tincan Crunch", the former a reference to Compton's bee-keeping hobby and the judgmental goat-puppets that represents Forsythe, Ford and Otto that plague his thoughts.
- Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance has an unlockable joke video advertising "Kan-Os".
"Before heading into kombat, Kano likes to start his day with the wholesome goodness of Kan-O’s cereal. Its vitamins and minerals give Kano the energy to give his toughest opponents a massive butt-kickin’. Kan-O’s, the only cereal that turns milk blood-red!"
- Cheat Commandos, being Homestar Runner's spoof of Merchandise-Driven children's cartoons of the '80s, naturally has one of these in the form of "Cheat Commandos...O's". Another cereal from the in-universe cartoon appears in the Strong Bad Email "specially marked", called "Blue Laser Blasts", as a part of Strong Bad recommending buying cereals with sound effects in their names.
- In The Nostalgia Critic review of Children of the Corn (1984), they do a Parody Commercial based on a tie-in cereal of the movie.
- StacheBros: In "Luigi's Friday The 13th", Luigi's story begins with him getting ready to have a bowl of "Luigi O's" cereal.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, episode five begins with a fake sponsorship announcement about such a cereal.
Yami Yugi: "Yu-Gi-Oh is sponsored by Yugi-O's. They're Yugi-licious. Wait a minute ? 'Yugi-licious?' Is that even a word?"
- Animaniacs: The show once had a parody ad for "Branimaniacs" by Smellogs, which Slappy Squirrel claimed would give you "that get-up-and-go feeling!"
Skippy: [after he and Slappy eat a bite and get visibly ill] ...I gotta get up and go.
Slappy: Race ya.
Yakko, Wakko and Dot: [to the tune of the show's theme song] Eat Branimaniacs! Nutritionally it lacks! This cereal attacks all of your digestive tracts! It's braniman-y!
Slappy: My stomach's in pain-y.
Yakko, Wakko and Dot: Branimaniacs!
- In the Arthur episode "The Secret Origin Of Supernova" Arthur stops liking Bionic Bunny when he's used to promote an unhealthy energy drink. He then switches to liking a superhero called Manacle, only to stop liking THAT superhero when it turns out he has a sugary breakfast cereal.
- Bobby's World: Bobby's favorite superhero is Captain Squash, who has his own cereal.
- One Futurama episode parodying Saturday Morning Cartoons had an in universe cereal tie in to a Smurfs parody, where the cereal would be the mcguffin of the show and would even change to reflect the addition of a new character.
- MAD: There is a parody commercial for "Cloudy with a Chance of Flavor" based on the animated movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
- The Simpsons:
- Naturally Krusty the Klown has one of these: Krusty-Os. It's appeared multiple times; in "Round Springfield" the Free Prize at the Bottom is a Jagged Metal Krusty-O which Bart accidentally eats and kicks off the plot. Krusty also admits on live TV, after eating a single piece of the cereal to prove that it is safe, that the cereal itself is outright poisonous while doubled-over in pain! As the episode winds down, the next free prize offered is "Free flesh-eating bacteria"!
- "Co-Dependent's Day" shows a cereal based on the character Jim-Jam Bonks from the Cosmic Wars movie (who is in turn based on Jar-Jar Binks from the Star Wars franchise), which is described as being Alpha-Bits with more 'J's.
- In "Little Big Mom" an Aerosmith cereal is shown called "Sweet Emotions"
- Phineas and Ferb: In the episode "Run Away Runway", Candace has an Imagine Spot where she imagines her self as a successful, rich and famous model who also has her own brand of cereal called Candace-Os.
Candace: I know, I should've eaten breakfast.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob has been shown eating Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy bran flakes.
- Nickelodeon made a Parody Commercial for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) cereal call "Mutagen-O's" that turns your milk (and everything else) green. It's radioactive, toxic, packed full of mutagen and can cause a multitude of unfortunate symptoms if you were to eat it.