Chew on This: Twenty-One Gum Salute!

rbrb 3016If it’s not candy you crave, then it just has to be gum. Growing up, nothing quite dealt out that sugar rush quite like a mouthful of sweet, sweet Bubble Yum or Big League Chew. Hanging out with your friends, having bubble-blowing contests, or just waxing poetic about the new flavor you were chewing, could, realistically, take up an entire afternoon. But, once it either lost its flavor or you popped a huge bubble into your hair, it was pretty much all over. Or, let’s say you had braces, well, then your gum choices were really limited. Any way you did it, chewing gum was tons of fun. Here are twenty-one favorites.



The tiniest gum ever in one of the most distinctive packages of all time, Chiclets are the way to go if you want a whole ton of gum in your mouth without looking like it.


Card Gum

Everything from baseball cards to Garbage Pail Kids once came complete with a dry, pink plank of crunchy gum that made your collectible pictures of Fran Tarkenton smell like sugar for ever. Yum.


Gum Cigarettes

What’s more awesome than being nine and having a white tube jutting from your mouth so you look like your alcoholic old man when he’s stinking up the kitchen losing bets to his buddies? Nothing.

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You’ve chewed your gum so long that it takes the combined acts of a goat kicking your balls and a group of Russian dancers crushing the life out of you for you to spit it out? Damn.



This was the go-to gum for anyone’s grandparents who had dental bridges, tons of crowns, or folks with braces since it was supposed to not stick to metal shit in your face. Too bad it tasted like garbage.



Not really a kid’s personal favorite, but it was certainly populating the nether regions of your grandmother’s purse, no doubt.



A newer type of gum, but I do believe it no longer exists… at least not around here. Anyway, if I remember correctly, you could actually eat the wrapper as well. Yum.


Bubble Tape

If you’re going to create a product that inexplicably compares carpentry to gum, why not a tape measure, right? Frankly, I’d have gone with Bubble T-Square, but that’s just me.


Bazooka Gum

Oh yeah, unwrapping a rock-solid hunk of this age-old favorite was tons of fun, since you got to read the imbicillic comic as well. I actually collected them for a time, always striving for that next insipid adventure of Bazooka Joe and friends. Oh, and this dance is borderline criminal.


Fruit Stripe Gum

This gum was delicious for all of twelve seconds, and then it reduced itself to a flavorless wad. Oh well, it was fun for that fleeting moment.


Juicy Fruit

The flavor of this gum did not disappoint! A good sized chunk of this sweet stuff could keep you chewing heartily for quite some time, but it did lack real bubble-blowing prowess.



Sugar free and often the gum your parents would concede too when they didn’t feel like dealing with the sucrose overload of normal kid’s gum. Why can’t we all get paid in Trident Layers?


Tidal Wave

The One thing I really remember about this gum, aside from its odd shape, was the overpowering smell once opened and the slick goo that erupted into your nervous mouth. Tasty. Sounds like a description from a Furry Fan-Fic. Not that I read those…


Freshen Up

Around before Tidal Wave and more or less the same thing. I think the fluid center that spewed into your masticating face was a little thicker, too.



Two words: Hot Twins. This gum could have tasted like hot vomit, and having hot twins shill it would have still sold millions.


Big Red

Though I love cinnamon gum now, when I was a kid, this stuff was mouth-searing. You did, however, have that delicious cinnamon breath for hours.


Bubble Yum

The first of the Big Three from when I was a lad. This gum was soft, flavorful for a full minute! Now that’s impressive! Oh, and came in a plethora of unusual flavors, probably because it was made by Life Savers.



The second of the Big Three for kids, this particular gum was by far the best for blowing bubbles, for sure.


Hubba Bubba

And finally, of the Big Three, this gum had the coolest commercials! How could you not remember those cowboy guys!


Big League Chew

Nothing screams “Great Idea!” like marketing ‘shredded’ gum that looks remarkably like chewing tobacco, to youths. Right on! I still lived for this stuff, though, and the sour apple was awesome.



A classic through and through. No matter where you were, and as long as you had a penny or two, you could always get a gum ball. Sure, they only looked fruity, and they were often hollow, but nevertheless, they were always at hand.