OK, everyone, we can all stop clutching our pearls now: Pumpkin Spice Four Loko doesn’t actually exist. I’m sure I’m not the only one breathing a huge sigh of relief; if the image that started circulating last week had turned out to be real, I’m pretty sure it would have meant that the end of the world is nigh.
The story is a textbook example of how Internet hoaxes are born: On Sept. 19, the Twitter account @Things4WhitePpl tweeted what appeared to be a promotional image for a new pumpkin spice-flavored Four Loko. Something as hilarious as Pumpkin Spice Four Loko was inevitably going to go viral — but unfortunately, no one thought to look into whether it was real or not. As Gawker’s Antiviral blog pointed out, it was picked up by media outlets like Complex, EliteDaily, and even a San Francisco Bay Area CBS affiliate, KITS-FM, before anyone attempted to clarify whether it actually existed. KITS-FM scores the biggest fail for falling for it completely; their post, titled “Pumpkin Spice Four Loko Is On the Way,” stated, “Today an even bigger WTF pumpkin spice-flavored product became a reality, pumpkin spice Four Loko.” To be fair, Four Loko themselves had previously posted it on their Facebook page on Sept. 9 — but you'd think their caption, which read "If this was a thing," would have tipped us off that it was a joke, no?
It should be noted, by the way, that @Things4WhitePpl is pretty clearly a novelty account. It’s full of things like:
Antiviral, however — driven by the thirst for Internet truth as they are — reached out to Four Loko to find out whether a pumpkin spice version of their potent concoction was poised to make its big debut. The response? “Pumpkin Spice Four Loko is a parody flavor… for now!” So there you have it: It’s fake. It seems the brand is keeping the door open, though, in case they decide later on that it’s worth pursuing. I still find it amazing that people drink Four Loko at all, so, y’know… stranger things have happened.
That said, though, I’m sincerely hoping no one ever tries to make the following imaginary products a reality. Some things were just never meant to taste of pumpkin spice.
1. Pumpkin Spice PBR
Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale? Amazing. A pumpkin spice beer that tastes of ironic mustaches and trucker hats? Decidedly less amazing.
2. Pumpkin Spice Pizza
Cinnamon and nutmeg might make for an interesting dessert pizza; however, I’d avoid mixing your pumpkin spice with tomato-based pizza sauce. Ick.
3. Pumpkin Spice Lay’s
Lay’s has been coming up with some pretty weird flavors recently (see: Cappuccino Lay’s), so I wouldn’t put it past them to try to spike their potato chips with a dose of fall’s most basic flavor. Let’s hope it’s one trend they decide to leave well enough alone.
4. Pumpkin Spice Twizzlers
You said it, Wonka.
5. Pumpkin Spice Grapes
I’ve had cotton candy grapes before, and they a) are actually pretty good and b) do taste remarkably like cotton candy — but somehow, the idea of grapes plus pumpkin spice does not fill me with dreams of autumnal deliciousness.
6. Pumpkin Spice Cheese
I love cheese. I would definitely not love pumpkin spice cheese.
7. Pumpkin Spice Lemonade
Thank goodness these two flavors occupy totally different areas of seasonal appropriateness, right?
8. Pumpkin Spice Toothpaste
No, thank you.