From "All in the Family" to "Zombieland," Hostess' soon-to-be-departed Twinkie has had a big impact on our culture as well as our waistlines
America says goodbye to a beloved (and tasty) icon this week, as the last batch of the troubled Hostess chain's signature snack hit store shelves in Chicago.
As the nation begins the mourning process for the spongy, cream-filled treat, let's look back at the best references to the Twinkie in film and television.
"The Simpsons": In the episode "Homer and Apu," after an angry Kwik-E-Mart customer unsuccessfully attempts to vent his rage on an innocent package of Twinkies, Apu scoffs, "Silly customer! You cannot hurt a Twinkie!"
"Die Hard": The action-movie series is rife with Twinkie references, but one of the better ones came in the first installment. After Sgt. Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) carts an armload of Twinkies to the counter of a convenience store, the clerk tells him that he thought cops "just ate donuts." Powell tells the clerk that the treats are for his pregnant wife, and is met with no small amount of suspicion.
"Ghostbusters": Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) attempts to explain the enormity of the threat facing his colleagues with a lesson in proportions — using a Twinkie as a prop.
"Let's say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psycho-kinetic energy in the New York area," Spengler notes. "According to this morning's sample, it would be a Twinkie 35 feet long weighing approximately 600 pounds"
"That's a big Twinkie," Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) replies.
"Chuck": In a call-back to the "Die Hard" scene above, the "Chuck Versus Santa Claus" cast VelJohnson as Sgt. Powell, the Twinkie-loving cousin of Buy More manager Big Mike (Mark Christopher Lawrence) — who's also a Twinkie-lover.
"All in the Family": When noted television bigot Archie Bunker received a visit from Sammy Davis Jr., he set aside his racial biases to offer his guest a Twinkie, even offering to open a brand-new box. Could the Twinkie be the secret to harmony among the races?
"UHF": "Weird Al" Yankovic's 1999 feature-length film — criminally overlooked by the Academy that year — featured an innovative twist on the Hostess treat with the introduction of the Twinkie Weiner Sandwich. (Recipe: Cut a Twinkie in half length-wise, stuff it with a hot dog, and cover with E-Z Cheez.) Bon appetit!
"Zombieland": The 2009 comedy-horror film featured Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee, a gun-toting tough guy on a quest to find the Last Twinkie. Sadly, after this week, he probably won't be the only one.
"Family Guy": The Season 2 episode "Da Boom" centers on a dream sequence during which the Griffin family must seek refuge in a Twinkie factory after the Y2K bug wreaks havoc on civilization. In addition to the Twinkie reference, the episode was momentous for featuring the very first fight between roly-poly patriarch Peter Griffin and the Giant Chicken.
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