Regardless of your location on the space-time continuum, one fact will always remain true: School cafeterias are ruled by the kid with the coolest lunch. Back in the '90s, Lunchables were the trump card, winning out over even the most lovingly-packed sack lunches brought from home. But as you'll come to learn from the following definitive ranking of Lunchables, some combinations worked better than others. Many a child rejoiced at the sight of a yellow box filled with tiny, delicious pizzas to assemble at their leisure — but on the flip side, they could also wind up with some crackers and room-temperature bologna for lunch. It all depended on the whims of whoever did the grocery shopping.
In 2017, school lunches look entirely different from the stuff we plonked down on the cafeteria table 20 years ago. After Michelle Obama's campaign for healthier lunch programs during her time as First Lady, you're not likely to find as many kids chowing down on the same processed, delicious garbage that made up the traditional '90s lunch. It's for the best, but that doesn't mean we can't indulge in some good, old-fashioned nostalgia for the days of Dunkaroos, Fruit by the Foot, and of course, Lunchables.
And so, without further ado, I present to you the unofficial ranking of Lunchables. Enjoy.
11Bologna & Cheese
Seriously? People still eat bologna, the canned meat of uncanned meats? That's gonna be a no from me, dog.
10Mini Hot Dogs
Not even a candy bar could make up for miniature, rubbery hot dogs. Besides, I can only speak for myself here, but they're so small I was always starving a few hours later.
What kind of chicken nugget tastes like nothing but the sauce you dunk it in? The Lunchables kind, apparently. Every chicken nugget is a good chicken nugget in my books, but I'm docking points because it only came with ketchup. The American public deserves barbecue sauce at the very least.
8Nachos Cheese Dip & Salsa
In the interest of full disclosure, I have no idea whether I would enjoy Lunchables nachos as an adult. As a kid, though, I quite literally drank the cheese dip from the container, so they must have been appealing somehow.
I'll be the first to admit that mini-burger Lunchables sound questionable, especially considering that in the '90s, people didn't question meat sources quite as much as they do now. That doesn't change the fact that these tiny disks, swimming in ketchup and mustard because your mom wasn't there to stop you, tasted just fine.
6Extra Cheesy Pizza
Cheese is obviously the human equivalent of ambrosia, so you'd think that cheese pizza Lunchables would have shot to the top of this list. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Not even heaps of cheese could cover up the fact that the "dough" tasted like oddly sweet cardboard. Still delicious, but not quite worthy of first place. The Airheads were a nice touch, though.
5Turkey & Cheese
Whether it was American, Swiss, or Cheddar on the menu, turkey-and-cheese Lunchables are a classic for a reason. (That they're simple yet delicious, obviously.)
4Ham & Cheese
Ham and cheese Lunchables were pretty much the same deal as the turkey variety, but they came with cookies. Therefore, they're higher on the list.
3Pizza With Pepperoni
I realize that cheese pizza Lunchables were ranked far lower on this list, but the pepperoni version was far superior. While the dough still tasted like dusty paper, the combination of cheese and salty, preserved meat slices managed to make you forget this fact. Add some chocolate at the end of the meal, and you have yourself a lunch fit for a cafeteria queen.
2Lunchables Waffles & Pancakes
Please take a moment of silence to appreciate Lunchables waffles and pancakes, which are no longer available. In the early aughts, though, they reigned (almost) supreme at the lunch table, whether you were smothering everything in syrup or making pancake-sausage sandwiches.
1Pizza & Treatza
As previously discussed, pizza for lunch is exciting enough on its own. But when you add in pizza for dessert, too, you achieve sweet, '90s nirvana. The best part? You can still buy Pizza and Treatza boxes even in 2017. O happy day!