23 Classic Breakfast Cereals We All Miss

By Mikey Rox on 9 November 2015 0 comments

When it comes to our childhood breakfast cereals, it's absence that makes the heart grow fonder. Let's take a walk down memory lane and reminisce about all the sugary Saturday morning staples that have passed on to that big milk bowl in the sky. A moment of silence, please, for this 'In Memoriam.'

1. Smurf-Berry Crunch

I have to start this list with my personal-favorite-but-long-dead cereal, Smurf-Berry Crunch. I'd eat it while watching my favorite cartoon, The Smurfs (and The Chipmunks). I'm pretty sure I died a little inside the day my mom couldn't find it on the supermarket shelf. I still get phantom scents of those sweet-sweet Smurf-Berries every now and then, and that makes me happy and sad at the same time.

2. C-3PO's

Crunchy honey-sweetened oats, wheat, and corn cereal, which is basically just Honeycomb by another name. This cereal could make a comeback, because Star Wars will never die.

3. Dunkin' Donuts Cereal

Available in glazed style and chocolate, these "crunchy little donuts with a great big taste" had to suffice when dad was too lazy to get a box of the real thing. Not the worst compromise ever.

4. Nintendo Cereal System

The Nintendo Cereal System appealed to a broad batch of 1980s gamers by including two types of cereal in one box, with one side representing Mario, and the other, Zelda. Didn't matter which one you ate, though, because they both tasted like the same fruity Trix knockoff — just more fun to scarf down while trying to beat Level 8.

5. Oreo O's

Isn't it strange that your parents would never let you know eat Oreo's straight out of the package for breakfast, but when Post put them in a cereal box it somehow wasn't as bad? If you'd like a box of Oreo O's today, you can still get them — you'll just have to go all the way to South Korea, the last place on Earth that sells them.

6. Nerds

Like the Nintendo Cereal System, Nerds featured two separate packages in one box that had different fruit flavored cereal on each side. You could eat them each separately or together for three distinct experiences. Obviously for the more discerning palates.

7. Kaboom!

This citrus-flavored, circus-themed cereal from General Mills featured smiling clown-shaped oat cereal bits and marshmallow bears, lions, elephants, and stars. It also had a big creepy clown on the box to help facilitate your irrational adult fear of big-footed funny guys.

8. Pop-Tarts Crunch

Essentially an early version of the contemporary chocolaty cereal Krave that featured filled centers in flavors like frosted strawberry and frosted brown sugar cinnamon, the two most popular regular Pop-Tarts flavors.

9. Strawberry Shortcake

I'm digging deep for Strawberry Shortcake cereal, which was sort of like Kix in strawberry. Or maybe a hybrid between a strawberry Kix and the crunch berries from Cap'n Crunch. Strawberry Shortcake's little friend Orange Blossom got in on the action, too, with the same type of cereal in... well, you get the picture.

10. Hidden Treasures

A friend of mine told me about Hidden Treasures cereal when I was researching this post, but I had never heard of it before. Wiki calls it a short-lived cereal that was introduced in 1993 alongside Sprinkle Spangles, which, coincidentally, I do remember — and it was gross.

There's also quite a morbid story that goes with this discontinued cereal: "Since Hidden Treasures was so short-lived, only two commercials were made for it. A temporary mascot was made for the first commercial, a robot named H.T. H.T. was said to have been programmed to try to figure out what was inside each of the cereal's pieces. He was dropped when the final commercial aired and shattered on impact." Uh huh, they straight-up murdered that dude right before our eyes. Totally harsh, bro.

11. Halfsies

Halfsies, from Quaker, was introduced in 1979 as a result of the so-called "sugar-backlash," which was apparently a thing for a hot second but obviously didn't last long considering all the awesome breakfast cereals dipped, spun, and dunked in pure sugar in the 1980s. It got its name because it was half the sugar of regular cereals and consisted of half-rice/half-corn cereal pieces. Halfsies was discontinued in 1984 when America collectively said, "F it; pass me the Cookie Crisp."

12. Ice Cream Cones

For those times when your terrible, awful, no-good parents wouldn't let you have ice cream for breakfast because it was full of sugar. Good thing they didn't do a side-by-side comparison.

13. Bart Simpson Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch

My guess is that this cereal was Kellogg's trying to capitalize on the Simpson's successful 1990s Butterfinger campaign without actually mentioning the candy. Ay caramba!

14. Mr. T

I pity the fool who didn't have this cereal in their cabinet.

15. Gremlins

Movies have always been a great tie-in for cereals, especially when they offered prizes inside. But the 1980s and '90s saw a major push toward entire cereals based on movies, or their characters for at least a limited run. Gremlins cereal falls squarely in that category, having disappeared from shelves after the movie left theaters.

16. Batman

There have been other Batman cereals over the years, but the most important one — the one that you remember most — is the one that was released in conjunction with Michael Keaton's 1989 Batman. Like Gremlins cereal, Batman was similar to Cap'n Crunch; it also was made by Ralston, the brand that totally owned the movie-to-cereal market back in the day.

17. Rainbow Brite

Listen, I'm not saying that having an affinity for Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Brite as a kid made me gay (because, baby, I was born that way), but I am saying that my parents shouldn't have been so surprised; the signs were in our kitchen cabinets the whole time. Rainbow Brite cereal was legit, y'all, and I'm proud to say I was a fan.

18. Ghostbusters

Who you gonna call to get this fruity and marshmallow-y cereal back in your bowl? Ralston is a good start, but maybe they'll read our mind and resurrect this cereal now that a new band of 'busters will be hitting theaters next year.

19. Pac-Man

I liked the Pac-Man cartoon when it was on in the 1980s, especially as part of the USA Cartoon Express (shout-out to all my homies out there who were down with that choo-choo), and the cereal wasn't half bad either — like Kix with marshmallows in the shape of Pac-Man, Mrs. Pac-Man, and the ghosts.

20. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

In this incarnation, based on the 1987-96 TV series, the 'Heroes in a Half Shell' came as marshmallow pieces in a Chex-like cereal. That was back when animation was old-school, and not the abomination that is computer-animated cartoons or whatever the heck Michael Bay is doing these days.

21. Teddy Grahams Breakfast Bears

Post got pretty close to serving kids cookies for breakfast with Oreo O's, but Nabisco did them one better. Teddy Grahams Breakfast Bears is just a smaller version of the larger cookie — for breakfast, and with absolutely no apologies.

22. Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal

Oh, snap! Almost forgot about this cereal. I imagine my little girlfriends playing with their Cabbage Patch dolls while eating Cabbage Patch Kids cereal and having a grand ol' time. Meanwhile, my Cabbage Patch Doll wasn't allowed out of the box, and I'm still in therapy for it.

23. G.I. Joe Action Stars

Not letting this star-shaped cereal get soggy in milk was half the battle.

What were some of your favorite cereals as a kid? What cereals do you miss the most? Let me know in the comments below.

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