If the 90’s and early 00’s taught us anything, it’s that anything that’s normally totally bogus and square can be turned awesome and tubular simply by making it EXTREEEEEEEEEEME. There were (and still are) a lot of extreme variations on mundane everyday crap, such as TV shows, food, sports, and everyday household items.
But how any of them actually ARE “extreme”? Which of these products truly fit the bill of being, as dictionary.com puts it, “utmost or exceedingly great in degree…exceeding the bounds of moderation”?
Well, not very many. For every extreme snowboarder who rides an avalanche from top to bottom, or for every extreme metal-head who screams and thrashes through death-and-gore obsessed riff-fests that average 375 beats per nanosecond, there are countless others who use the moniker solely as a marketing tool, hoping it will cause their bank accounts to fill up to the EXTREEEEEEEEEME.
10. Extreme Ghostbusters
The original Ghostbusters was all well and good, except for one problem: they were all so OLD. And so WHITE. Well, except for that one black dude who was in both films, but the other 75%? Total pale-face.
Well, the Extreme Ghostbusters took care of both those glaring issues by cobbling together a whole new team of the best gigantic ghost-sucking technology-wielding parapsychologists around (all four of them). But remember, this is an EXTREME ghost busting team. So one guy is a grunge Latino slacker, the girl is a goth freak with a brain, and the black guy is…black. To pad out the team, we have a regular white guy who, because few things are more extreme than political correctness, is in a wheelchair that naturally does not get him down or hinder him in any way.
When the best part of the show is that Carlton from The Fresh Prince voices the black guy, you know you’ve got 30 minutes free to clip your toenails before something better comes on.
9. Extreme Pita Bread
Nope, this is not some hipster band name. It’s the food. There is a company called Extreme Pita that sells various foodstuffs wrapped in pita bread. That’s it. So what could possibly be extreme about that, you ask? Perhaps they mix shards of broken glass in with the lettuce and chicken? Or maybe every fifth sandwich is liberally sprinkled with pure, uncut cocaine? Hey, perhaps if you don’t finish your meal fast enough, a big guy comes up from behind and pounds your face into utter oblivion?
Well, no. This is taken from the site itself: “we’re EXTREME when it comes to our commitment to creating a unique product bursting with ingredients that are healthy.” Riveting. So unless they actually track down the people who grow all these healthy ingredients and force them, at gunpoint, to hand over their best stuff so Subway and Quiznos are stuck with the spoiled crap leftovers, then it seems like these guys might be extreme in one of the absolute loosest ways possible.
8. Extreme Doritos
Potato chips. You open the bag, pull out a handful of the delicious crisps, stick them into your face, and then repeat the process. So, naturally, leave it to Doritos to take something so simple and attempt to give it “attitude”. And, perhaps just as naturally, their version of giving something attitude is slapping a giant X on the front of the bag, making the chips slightly bigger, and releasing unconventional flavors, like…chili. And…cheddar and sour cream…flavors you can find in chips everywhere, extreme or not. That had better be one GIGANTIC X on that bag.
*looks back up at picture*
Nope. Now, as we mentioned a whole two sentences ago, the Xtreme chips are “bigger” than regular old-lady chips. Far-out. But really, they would have to be the size of a school bus to qualify as extreme in any way. You only become more radical and jaw-dropping with an inch of size added if you’re a giant, satanic, aggressive death wasp, or any other angry, untamed creature that would cause a grown man to borrow their kid’s diapers for awhile. Not if you’re a freakin’ potato.
7. Extreme Ballet
In the right hands, ballet could easily be made extreme. The dancers have extremely strong legs and, if a troupe of them were walking around, doing triple-lutzes and pirouettes while kicking people in the face, they would be feared and respected the world over.
So naturally, we didn’t get that. The best extreme ballet people can do is, well, more ballet. Evidently, being extreme is little more than being really good at something and willing to work at it more than other people. Sounds like every goal-oriented person ever, really. Does that make us extreme writers? Is the lady who cuts your hair and goes that extra mile to make sure your sideburns are just the way you like them an extreme stylist?
Though, to be fair, some of these extreme ballet people are going the extra mile to prove how tough they are, and they’re doing so by risking crippling injury. Ballet dancers who want to take their art to the next level have been kicking progressively higher over the past fifty years, all in an effort to make their stances progressively more vertical and more Youtube-worthy. In short, it’s commendable, and certainly more credible than most anything else mentioned today, but, sadly, the most extreme part of this is still where the dancers end up with extremely large hospital bills in a couple years’ time.
6. Sell This House
The original Sell This House was fairly exciting, as far as shows about fixing houses and getting them ready for market go. But for the ninth season, they cranked that dial up to extreme levels by, well, doing the exact same thing. But this time the houses were in real bad shape, so they had to take drastic measures to get them sold. Things like, breaking down walls, adding new floor tile, and replacing leaky sinks. Edgy stuff.
So basically, this show was built around the premise that working extra hard sometimes and getting your hands dirty every now and then is extreme. No wonder it’s cancelled. If they had redesigned the houses to look incredibly goofy, or possibly turn them into push-button homes, like the ones Daffy Duck used to sell, then maybe they would’ve had a point.
5. Extreme Dog Leashes
Dogs are great, but their leashes are just so damn dull. Luckily, Xtreme Pet Products have come along to give those boring ol’ straps a near-lethal dose of EXTREME ATTITUDE!
Except it’s not even close. Even within the realm of pseudo-extreme marketing, this is weak sauce. The product promotes “extreme” comfort and control along with a “comfortable, padded handle” that doesn’t collapse in your hand when using it. Which, last we checked, is the exact polar OPPOSITE of extreme. Ask the guy who climbs steep, rocky mountains, without any gear or harness, how comfortable his fingers feel at night.
At least with the ballet from earlier, there was some level of risk involved. That’s extreme at its most basic: a thing or action done with such intensity and ferocity that you’re all but guaranteed to get hurt in the process. Not that we’re advocating hurting the poor puppy in the name of feeling awesome, but how about yourself? Padded handle indeed; make the handle hotter and hotter the longer something’s attached to the leash. Don’t let go, though; even at 200 degrees, you don’t want to be seen as a weenie, do you?
4. Extreme Football
Actual extreme football could be insanely fun. It could also make the players insanely dead after a couple plays. So, when WWE/F/G/H/I/J/K/L owner Vince McMahon created the Extreme Football League, careful precautions were taken to make sure it looked extreme, but wasn’t so in the slightest. He’s quite good at that and, if you don’t believe us, ask ACTUAL extreme wrestling people how on-the-pulse they think McMahon’s got his finger.
McMahon promoted the XFL (EFL would’ve just looked silly), as football with ATTITUDE. Just like in wrestling, people would hate each other, there would be dramatic storylines, and the game itself would be absolutely bone-crunching, just like old-timey football used to be. You know, back when they all wore tiny leather helmets and died on the field on a semi-regular basis. Now THAT was extreme.
One guess as to what happened, and if your guess is anything but “the players didn’t hate each other, nobody wanted to play along with McMahon’s silly attempts at making them act like characters in a TV show, the game itself was beyond bad, and almost none of the players turned out to be any good”, then you probably spent early-2001 going out on dates and being social, instead of following one of the biggest pro sports train wrecks in recent history. Your loss.
3. GI Joe
Much like with Ghostbusters earlier, GI Joe attempted to revamp an old and stale franchise by reimagining it for a new generation. A harder generation. A darker generation. A more EXT…OK, fine, they just did the same damn storyline as before, only with a cooler font and a crapton of shadows, because shadows are mysterious and cool.
Seriously, GI Joe Extreme was almost 100% the same thing as before: a group of elite military meatheads go after an evil terrorist group with an incredibly unsubtle name. At least they came up with a new evil moniker; instead of COBRA, it’s SKAR: Soldiers of Khaos, Anarchy and Ruin. EXTREME misspelling! Did they realize that, if they spelled chaos correctly, the acronym would become SCAR, and still work? Shockingly, re-hashing a 20-year-old toy line and stealing your one and only innovation from the spelling test that the head writer’s second-grader got an F in, didn’t equal oodles of money for Hasbro.
Gee, it’s almost as if slapping EXTREME on your product doesn’t automatically turn the public into drooling morons who want you to take their money yesterday. Well, now we know.
We are almost sorry for all the Joe songs that stupid reference just tossed into your head. SO almost sorry.
2. Extreme Furniture
Yup, furniture. A bunch of wood you sleep on, or stick your video game systems in. How in the name of Hell do you make THAT extreme?
Well, you don’t. But you sure can make the value of said wood extreme. Extreme Value Furniture offers no frill, gimmick-free furniture buying. And sure, virtually every furniture dealer out there says the same stuff, but these guys mean it! They’d have to; otherwise they would be doing the word extreme a…well…EXTREME disservice. And nobody wants that.
To really hammer the point home, XVF (we assume that’s the acronym, since X’s are cool and all), offers a Double The Price Back Guarantee, which states “-If you should happen to find any identical in-stock item from any local retailer, we will match the price and refund you double the difference…GUARANTEED!” Yes, you read that right. These guy are so EXTREEEEEME, that they will give you gobs of money simply for finding another store that sells the same kind of mattress or dresser drawer that they do. Now THAT’S extreme!
Either that or the guy who types out their website is a moron, who left out the part where you need to find said identical item at a lower price somewhere else. Hopefully XVF will let us know, after the customer complaints and lawsuit threats start rolling in.
1. Extreme Ice Cream
Does it get any more un-extreme than ice freakin’ cream? You can buy ice cream shaped like Dora The Explorer and Spongebob, for God’s sake; that should automatically disqualify you from being classified as extreme anything. Except maybe extreme brain-freeze.
But don’t let The Ice Creamists hear you say that, or else they’ll cut ya. They offer ice cream that’s about as cutting edge as anything you could ever ask for, and the unique flavors they offer are clearly designed to make your mother gasp in horror. Or, at the very least, make people giggle at the very thought of breast-milk-flavored ice cream. Pretty sure breast milk tastes more or less like regular whole milk, though if one of our lady readers offers to let us taste-test in order to to learn the difference, we’d be more than willing to experiment.
And don’t think it’s just this one company, by the way. Check out this Drumstick ad from what we’re pretty sure is Israel. The message is loud and clear: when your six-year-old dumps ice cream on his head and pretends he’s Bugs Bunny, it’s stupid and immature. But when a bald guy with evil eyebrows and a spiked collar does it, then it’s bursting with EXTREME ATTITUDE. The jury’s still out on what happens when a bald six-year-old eats ice cream while wearing a spiked collar. Our guess is that the Nuclear Apocalypse is triggered.