From 'Where's the beef? to 'Let's get Mikey,' what are your favorite old TV commercials?

When you only have 3 or 4 stations, you tend to hear the same commercials over and over again, and boy do we remember them. "Back Then" columnist Tracy Briggs wants to know your favorites.

old tv set
With only three or four TV channels, we tended to see the same commercials over and over again. What are your favorites?
Grassetto / Getty Images / iStockphoto
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — You remember that old commercial about the woman who loved her shampoo so much she told two friends about it, then they told two friends and "so on and so on and so on?" It was so popular for the manufacturer of Faberge Organics that they made several versions of the commercial, including one starring Heather Locklear from the early 1980s.

It became such a part of popular culture that Mike Myers even parodied it in 1992's "Wayne's World."

When I stumbled across this commercial while wasting time on YouTube the other day, it got me to thinking about other popular old commercials. While music might be the soundtrack of our youth, TV commercials are the earworms.

Who can forget "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" or "Time to make the doughnuts!" or "My bologna has a first name"?

I could list my favorites, but I'd rather hear from you. Email me at with the ones you remember most. I'll also create a Facebook post on InForum's page on the day this story publishes, so you can weigh in there. I'll calculate some of our favorites and if possible gather a few clips. If you think of it, tell me why you like or dislike the commercial (remembering a commercial doesn't always mean you like it).


Now back to your votes on the retro candies . More than 2,600 of you weighed in on whether you'd give eight old-time candies the thumbs-up or thumbs-down. And let's just say most of these candies failed miserably. The most popular of the disliked sweets only garnered a 31% favorable rating. (If you ask me, the other 69% of you are wrong.)

Thanks for weighing in on these important matters.

What do you think of these retro candies?

Red Wax Candy Lips
Red wax candy lips. Remember these from your childhood?
juliaf / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Black Jack gum:

  • Black Jack belongs in a casino, not in a gum: 81%
  • I love black licorice! Keep it!: 19%

Circus peanuts

  • I'd rather eat off the floor of a three-ring circus: 80%
  • I know they're kind of weird, but I like them: 20%

Wax lips/wax bottles

  • Should we really be eating wax? Maybe not anymore: 83%
  • They were drooltastic! Keep them!: 17%

Candy corn

  • The scariest thing about Halloween. Just say no!: 72%
  • We're never getting rid of candy corn, let's find new ways to embrace the flavor: 28%


  • I'll stick with Cadbury Eggs and chocolate bunnies: 76%
  • I's basically a sugar-coated marshmallow. I can live with it: 24%


  • A bit-o-yuck: 73%
  • A bit-o-yummy: 27%

Necco wafers

  • It tastes like drywall in a tablet: 73%
  • They're maybe not as good as vanilla wafers, but there's room in wafer world for all: 27%

Peanut Butter Kisses

  • If I still trick-or-treated, I'd still throw them away: 69%
  • Peanut butter, molasses and a peanut butter center? Better than you remember: 31%

And remember, email me with your favorite old-time commercial or comment on InForum's Facebook page.

Tracy Briggs (right) and a friend throwing imaginary hats in the air in front of the Mary Tyler Moore statue in downtown Minneapolis.
Tracy Briggs

Tracy Briggs is a News, Lifestyle and History reporter with Forum Communications with more than 30 years of experience, in broadcast, print and digital journalism.
What to read next
The Minnesota State High School League changed its rules, allowing boys to compete on dance teams for the first time starting in 2019. Now 14-year-old Salman Masood no longer has to learn the Austin High School Dance Team's routines in solitude — he's one of the dancers.
In this week's Fielding Questions, Don Kinzler offers advice for caring for a weeping fig, tips for thinning apples, and tells readers it's not too late to wrap trees to prevent sunscald damage.
Gardening columnist Don Kinzler writes about achieving the proper headspace, which is the space between the potting soil and the rim of the pot.
The Tom and Jerry was invented in London, but 200 years later, it's Wisconsin and Minnesota that carry the torch for this sweet and rich drink. The hot-batter cocktail remains a regional obsession.