When Pepsi announced it would be bringing back its short-lived clear replica drink, Crystal Pepsi, from the early 鈥90s junk food grave for a limited time this summer, the nostalgia machine went into a frenzy. After all, everyone loves a novel reminder of pop culture past. But Crystal Pepsi fell flat when it was first released, lasting in stores for only a year. Most of the Twitter jokes about its re-release even made fun of this. Pepsi just brought back an item that people didn鈥檛 even like to begin with because it鈥檚 associated with the 鈥90s.

Originally released in 1993 as a play for consumers鈥 obsession with health and 鈥減urity,鈥 Crystal Pepsi was touted as a clear, caffeine-free alternative to other colas on the market. It was supposed to taste the same as regular Pepsi, but critics of the product were disappointed. Despite how cool it looked, the obvious jump on the health bandwagon ultimately flopped. Then, because you can find a devout audience for everything on the Internet, Pepsi responded to Crystal鈥檚 cult following鈥檚 demands for a comeback in December 2015 with a contest to win some via the Pepsi Pass rewards app. And now, for two months this summer, Pepsi will put the product back in stores for everyone else.

We鈥檙e major a fan of revivals, fawning over Fuller House, Lisa Frank adult coloring books and Ghostbusters remakes on the regular. But if we鈥檙e being honest, the marketing around Crystal Pepsi鈥檚 comeback sounds like a neon-drenched 鈥90s nightmare.

Accompanying the release is a video game called The Crystal Pepsi Trail 鈥 Pepsi鈥檚 take on the classic computer game The Oregon Trail 鈥 where the goal is to collect as many 鈥90s items as possible. Here are the retro toys, clothes, shows and more included in the game: the song 鈥淲hoomp! (There It Is),鈥 dial-up Internet, Tamagotchi, Furby, pagers, bucket hats and Marc Summers (former host of Nickelodeon鈥檚 Double Dare). Phew. It鈥檚 all a little too much.

The game鈥檚 site launched today and, true to the era, its design is all ancient animated GIFs, webrings and website guestbooks. We get it guys: You remember the 鈥90s.

So why are we so grumpy when you know we LOVE that storied decade of our childhoods? Well Crystal Pepsi was gross; it鈥檚 probably why Pepsi made the decision to pull in 9,000 other distracting 鈥90s symbols into the marketing tactics for this re-release. But it also feels misguided, disjointed and out of touch. Is anyone else picturing Steve Buscemi trying to fit in as a teen in 30 Rock?


Using people鈥檚 memories and the emotional attachment that comes with them is undoubtedly an effective approach. It鈥檚 why 鈥90s revivals are serious business right now. But even with Pepsi鈥檚 undeniable place in pop culture, grasping at every sentimental straw can鈥檛 help but make it feel like Pepsi has done the unthinkable 鈥 they鈥檝e gone and done the 鈥90s to death.

Will you try Crystal Pepsi? Let us know over at @BritandCo!

(Featured image via Pepsi/Facebook)