It’s almost like they’re proud of it…

Quick…what’s the first thing you think about when someone mentions “Thrills“?

(You know…that cheap purple gum you used to buy as a kid..?)

If you’re like most people, you’ll probably say “Ugh….isn’t that the gum that tastes like soap?”

Well, they still make Thrills.

And it still tastes like soap.

Only this time they openly admit it.

Right on the package.

I don’t know if this is brilliant marketing, or just plain stupidity.

But either way,  I ended up buying the gum, didn’t I?

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53 Comments on “It’s almost like they’re proud of it…”

  1. Amy Says:

    I’ve never heard of it, but of course now I’m curious — what kind of soap does it taste like? Is it a dish soap flavor, or more like a hand soap? Hehehe.

  2. Karen JL Says:


    I totally chewed that shit too! It was horrible, yet you still went back for more.

  3. Kelly Says:


    Is it a Canadian thing? I led a pretty quiet life but my little sis would try anything, candy-wise. Gum that tastes like soap should have made it into our house at some point.

    That package is so funny it seems made up. REALLY hard to believe.

    So did you try it, or just bought it to take a picture?

    Oh, by the way, before I read any further… that wasn’t the first…

    or the second…

    or the third thing I thought about when you mentioned thrills.




  4. Friar Says:


    I havent’ seen this gum in stores for a good 20-25 years, until recently. And it was only in that one gas station/convenience store.

    The gum isn’t great. When I was a kid, I bought it because it was half the price of the good kind of gum (i.e. Wrigleys). But after I tasted it…I realized why.

    I would compare it to crappy gumball machine chewing gum….with a hint of hand soap! 🙂

    Yeah, we still went back for that stupid gum, eh? Not very often. But we’d keep hoping mabye they improved the taste…but every time we’d try it…UGH. Same old shit.


    Oh….BEHAVE!! 🙂

    Actually, when I bought this gum, I thought of you (with all your marketing and customer service expertise). I said to myself: Oboy, Kelly is gonna LOVE this!

    And yes…that’s what the package actually says! (I didnt’ make it up…!)

    Yes, I tried the gum. It’s slightly improved from what I remember, but still shitty.

  5. Brett Legree Says:

    I had some just the other day… awesome.

    (Hey, an acquired taste, like tequila…)

  6. Friar Says:


    Bet you it goes really good with the fat-free, gluten free Berenstain Bear Candy. 🙂

  7. Kelly Says:


    Behave? What’s the fun in that? Seriously (?), because I didn’t know about the gum, the question led me other places. Can’t help it.

    That’s why I read other blogs. So I can misbehave without burning down my own. Hehehe.

    Yup, I love that box. If it’s your unique selling proposition, you might as well flaunt it. Strange and gross, but it worked on you.

    Until later,


  8. Friar Says:


    If you weren’t a little bit naughty with your comments, if you didnt’ occasionally misbehave, it just wouldn’t be the same! 🙂

  9. Steph Says:

    I remember getting Thrills from gum machines and at skating trips to the arena. Everyone hated it so there was something brave in chewing it, I guess! I personally prefer the sour chews if I’m going to have anything like that. Used to put handfuls of those in my mouth! My mouth’s watering just thinking of them!

    I still wonder how in the hell Thrills decided on that flavour. It seems like a good punishment: “Billy, since I can’t literally wash your mouth out with soap for calling your sister a dirty ho, I’m making you chew this whole package of Thrills. Do it, NOW!”

  10. Friar Says:

    I remember those sour chews out of the gum machine…they tasted awful, then there was a brief moment they were perfect,then they went to pureley tasteless. The things kids will eat, eh?

    Stupid Thrills, though. Makes you wonder WTF were they thinking?

    Maybe the gum was created in the 1800’s (when it was still a novelty and they had no competition). Maybe Old Man Thrills was an eccentric who didn’t want anyone to mess with his secret recipe.

  11. Amy Says:

    When I was a kid we had something called Chicklets. Those tasted like stale gum ball machine gums, but I don’t remember them tasting like soap. I do remember that my favorite color of machine gum was always yellow, because it tasted so bad but no one could ever figure out which flavor it was supposed to be (banana maybe?). Everyone would always give me their yellows.

  12. Kelly Says:


    I’ve figured out why the name, if not the taste. So people can say things like “I remember getting Thrills from gum machines” and not have the folks around them faint. Later today I will Google this to find out if they’re a Canadian phenomenon or if I’m just a poorly-informed granola chick.


    Chicklets. Now there’s something I remember. They were nice as you bit into them, crunch, crunch, then two chews into it, you wondered what the point was. I think they’re still around.



  13. Friar Says:

    @Amy and Kelly

    Chiclets are can still buy them.

    Thrills are like low-budget Chiclets wanna-bees. But with the bad taste.

    I remember the Blue Chiclets Box that were “Pepsin” flavored. The Urban Legend I heard is that they used extract of cow’s stomachs for the gum.

    There’s probably a grain of truth to that…Pepsin is an enzyme found in the digestive tract. (I might have to Google that to see if it’s true!)

  14. Steph Says:

    Chiclets!! Oh yeah! I just bought some recently, to conjure up that feeling I had when I took all the packs from everyone’s Halloween bags. They were my favourite, esp. the cherry flavour. But yeah, they last all of three seconds. SUCKS.

    Pepsin-flavoured blue ones? No recollection of those! But for sure I would have tried them. I’ve been a gum addict since I was four.

  15. Steph Says:

    Friar: got an email from my cousin today. Thought of you and your trips to Alaska. Check this out:

  16. Steph Says:

    Though you should know I’m a vegetarian, and those pictures almost made me cry. Still, I think of you, buddy.

  17. Friar Says:

    Wow…Those fish are so big you can almost use the old lady as BAIT…!!

    Though I understand…I do feel bad when a big fish is caught. I like to keep the smaller ones for the frying pan (for just a taste of fish). I like to let the big ones go…so they can go back and breed and make more fishies.

    PS. Haven’t seen the Pepsin flavored Chiclets for years. (and they were my favorite). They came in a dark blue box.

  18. Kelly Says:

    Time for Wikipedia:

    “Thrills is a Canadian brand of chewing gum now made by Concord Confections, but once produced by Wonka. It is well known for its distinctive rosewater flavour. Comparisons of its flavour to soap are so prevalent that recent packaging states “it still tastes like soap!” Despite this rather odd flavour Thrills is a favourite with children and adults (though many will outwardly deny this) alike. Thrills once came in a cardboard package similar to a Chiclets box but now comes in a paper envelope.”

    My inner research hound is satisfied, and I don’t feel so candy-clueless.



  19. Friar Says:


    Well, I learned something too! I never realized it was Canadian! (We always end up borrowing our candy from the U.S….we hardly ever come up with our own).

    “Rosewater flavour”….HAHAHAH!

    More like Irish Spring or Ivory.

  20. wendikelly Says:

    You and I did really have similiar childhoods I think. No thrill gum in my childhood either. I have never heard of it.
    and it wouldn’t have crossed my mine to think of gum when I thought of thrills.


    then I wouldn’t think of chewing soapy gum either.

  21. neyellen Says:

    Looks like purple teeth.

    We had cigarette stick candy when I was a kid.

  22. Amy Says:

    Oh, that cigarette candy was horrible!! But the cigarette gum that blew out real smoke was good. The cigarette candy tasted like sweet chalk.

  23. Friar Says:


    Wasn’t that Popeye Cigarettes? 🙂

    (Or did they have different cigarette stick-candy in the States?)

    Yeah, I remember those bubblegum cigarettes. The first time you blew, there was that puff of powder sugar that came out and looked like smoke. That was SO COOL.

    (Of course, today’s parents would hold Candle Light Vigils if they ever saw such a thing).

    But back then, they assumed we kids had brains, and they let us to buy that kind of stuff.

    And (as I’ve said in earlier posts)…despite all that bad influence, lots of us kids never smoked for real. And never will.

  24. Kelly Says:


    You are not invited to any more of my Candle Light Vigils.


    On that other post I never did say that I don’t think Popeye sponsored them down here in the States. I was too busy crunching on my granola.


    I grew up in Nowhere, Illinois (age 2–10, anyway), which I believe is the equivalent of your upbringing. Nowhere, Nebraska, am I remembering that right? We had a corner candy store near school to get our candy cigs at (loved them), and they still had penny candy. Makes me sound like an antique, but it was only the 70s.

    Now the area where I lived is under a mall, so I hear. Nowheres are disappearing fast.



  25. wendikelly Says:

    I started out in nowhere, Ohio and moved to nowhere, Illinois in the 70’s where I still am today. hmm, maybe we were neighbors.

  26. Kelly Says:


    Oops. Thought it was NE.

    We lived in Wheaton. 26 miles west of Chicago. Us and the Belushis, though I didn’t know them. They were (gasp!) public school kids, and a touch older than I am, too. Until we left IL I was in Catholic school, which was way closer to the candy store. Suited me fine.

  27. Karen Swim Says:

    Hmm, the first thing that came to mind was rollercoasters! Never heard of Thrills gum but it sounds awful! The Marketing seems dubious but on the other hand, many savvy companies have used customer conversations to leverage new product uses or product creation. So, if people said “Yuck, it tastes like Soap” perhaps it was smart to admit it right on the package for those who think “yum, soap taste maybe it cleans my mouth.” I dunno, I would not want to chew anything that tastes like soap but someone must be buying it.

  28. Friar Says:

    @Kelly and Wendi

    I drove through Nebraska about 4 years ago.

    There is still plenty of Nowhere left. Believe me.

  29. Friar Says:


    I must admit…this is the most bizarre marketing I’ve ever seen.

    It got me to try the gum once again, and to show my friends the funny label. But this is good for mabye a few purchases.

    The fact is..the gum still SUCKS and I won’t be buying it any time soon (except for a joke!)

  30. Soap gum, huh?

    What’s next? Gum that tastes like Windex? I’d name it “Sparkles.”

  31. Friar Says:


    Wouldn’t suprise me. Kids would eat anything.

    I’ve even seen an edible slime that comes out of a plastic nose.

    (NO….I did not buy it!) 🙂

  32. Thrills. Gum is not what came to mind for me either….see Kelly’s response above. But I thought I would just behave here, watch , listen and learn…but if Kelly and I were in charge of a candy or a gum named Thrills, it would SO not taste like soap. 🙂

  33. wendikelly Says:

    it would taste like…what exactly??

    Never mind. I’m afraid to ask around here.

  34. Ellen Wilson Says:

    @Amy – Yeah. It did taste like chalk.

    @Wendi – Ha! Add your Freudian thoughts!

  35. Ellen Wilson Says:

    I am on a quest to find the real America. Candy? Granola?

    Hippy vans and magic buses.

    I need to find an old abandoned bus like the that kid found in Alaska. If you know of any let me know.

    Don’t worry, I don’t intend to crawl into it and eat poisoned seeds.

  36. wendikelly Says:

    I can’t go anywhere near my thoughts right now and it’s all AMY’s fault. She has expounded on Friar’s Talents one to many times I’m afraid and now I can’t get the picture out of my mind.
    Poor Friar.

  37. Wendi,
    Chuckling here. Do you think he knows what happened at Amy’s? I’m thinking he’s a good enough sport…

    Ellen- Have you read the Majic Bus by my friend, Doug Brinkley?

  38. Friar Says:

    OMG…I’m gone for half the day and lookit what happens to the discussion.

    The ladies have started dancing around the maypole, thinking impure thoughts.

    (I think Kelly is the ring-leader!) 🙂

    Now I’m afraid to check out Amy’s blog….

  39. Amy Says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever been talked about in the comment section of someone else’s blog before. Maybe I should be unintentionally evil more often?

    Ellen — If you find a bus and steal it, can I come on a road trip with you? I don’t know how to drive, so I’d be entirely useless. But I could make witty comments to keep you awake at night. 🙂

    Friar — I have seen the edible slime that comes out of a nose. One of my neighbors’ kids eat that junk all the time. They say it tastes good but feels like eating an oyster. I don’t eat sealife (alive or dead), so I’ll have to take their word on that.

  40. Friar Says:


    I’m not a vegan or anything, but eating slime: THAT’s where I draw the line! (Candy or no Candy). ….UGH.

    And please, DO go ahead and spread more evil. Today was lots of fun! 🙂

  41. Still laughing…Hey. long weekend for us, effectively it is Friday night…we need beverages and a Viking or three….

    Yes, Amy, yes. 🙂

  42. Friar Says:


    We just had our long weekend (well, Tuesday was a holiday).

    Viking Friday is tomorrow…as we speak, Brett is coming over tonight to abuse alcohol with me! (Even though we have to work tomorrow).

  43. What was Tuesday for you?

    I will be having a beverage here myself in just a bit. I have to go see what Brett is up, I have been hard at work this week….

  44. Kelly Says:

    Y’all are utterly silly, and I get accused of being the ringleader. It’s not right.

    I really, really can’t think about Thrills gum by Janice and me.

    Okay, now I’m thinking about it. Geez.

    Happy boozing, Canadian widget-workers, and happy 4th to all those who didn’t get their kicks on Tuesday.

  45. Friar Says:

    You ladies, now y’all behave yourselves,

    Happy 4th, eh?

    And no May-pole dancing till after 5:00 PM, okay?

  46. Kelly- Okay , now I’M thinking about it. Nahh, he asked us to behave.

    Fireworks, Friar, we need fireworks to go with that May-pole dancing… Time for a beverage here and some chillin’. Have fun with the Viking.

  47. visionpoints Says:


    This link doesn’t quite belong here but when I read my buddy Paul’s post, I thought of you, because you could have written it. Instead of being “proud of” it, this is more like flaunting something you really, really shouldn’t.

    Go check it out. It’s horrific, and you will howl.

    Until later,


  48. Friar Says:

    OH my GOD!!! LMAO!!!

    Is this SERIOUS??? Is Burger King really associated with this?

    Poor Onion..I think he’s being “Vegetable Profiled”.

    I googled this…there are actually a whole serious of prints like this (including a Vegetable Sniper scene..and a Vegetable Red Light District).

  49. Kelly Says:

    I knew you would love it. Poor Paul, he’s a very dignified sort. Just posting that must have KILLED him. He had to have been hopping mad to do it. I really thought he was having some horrible joke, but it’s for real.

    Yup. I agree on the profiling. Other pickles are sailing on by.

    My thoughts (after I commented on my horror to Paul) were: Friar could have drawn this but HE would have understood it as a very, very private, off-color joke, and

    Friar would have written about this if it had been on his BK tray. Because you, Friar, are either the instigator of the odd thinking or its brilliant and witty observer.

    So, did you send in your application to be chief cartoonist to this Munich ad agency yet?

  50. Friar Says:


    This is too funny. I have to show Brett!! 😉

  51. Sean Says:

    Hahaha it was funny. I found it at a dollar store (they charged less than that for it) and I said to my seven year old, “Oh look! Soap gum!” She didn’t believe me until I had her read the package. “IT-STILL-TASTES-LIKE-SOAP” She has a hard time believing that the truly bizarre can be bizarrely true. Actually I don’t really think it tastes like soap. At least, not the brands I’ve tasted – inadvertently. Either by washing my face or hair and having it run down to my mouth, or by an angry parent washing my mouth out with it in younrger days. I prefer the gum and there isn’t as much after taste.

    As for Popeye cigarettes, they are still around. Only now they call them “candy sticks” and don’t have the coloured end to resemble a lit cigarette.

  52. A Says:

    Thrills is very odd, but really addicting! It doesn’t taste like soap at all, more like rosewater.

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