If you, like me, live on Twitter, you spotted images of Prongles, the obvious Pringles knock-off being sold at Target, between dumpster fire announcements of sexual harassment and net neutrality horrors, At that point, you probably had a good chuckle and moved on to tweet something hilarious about your cats. But, if you are instead one of the intrepid detectives spending your online time at Reddit, you did considerably more. You solved the mystery.
Packaged in the familiar tennis ball can shaped container, Prongles are very simply potato chips that are perfect for pretending you have a duck bill. Ringing any bells? Yeppers. But, unlike the mainstream counterpart, Prongles have a large, vaguely 90s boar as a mascot. It’s kind of like Bebop and Rocksteady from the late 80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon had a baby who grew up to do extreme sports while shoving chips in it’s drooling mouth hole.
It’s kind of a nightmare. I miss the little face with the giant stache and the bow tie.
The boar may be most obvious moment of cognitive dissonance but then, there’s the flavors: onions and cream and salt and potato. It’s all an exercise in the uncanny valley — like Lars and the Real Chips. As is the slogan “Once You Pop … THAT’S GREAT!” That’s great? Way to be satisfactory. So, I’m not a huge Pringles fan, but everything about Prongles makes me like Pringles more.
This is where the Boxcar Children of Reddit started. They had a can and an insatiable hunger for knowledge. What to do? Rip that fucker apart. Under the Prongles label lay the packaging for The Good Crisp Company, Australia’s iteration of Pringles. So, the product isn’t chips. The can is just a vehicle for the label.
The next clue was in the receipt. The potato snacks rung up as a purchase from toys and sporting goods, specifically the cans were listed as a CAH card game. For those who aren’t down with game acronyms, that’s Cards Against Humanity, the game that asks you to reveal the very worst parts of yourself to other players. You may also know it as the game that purchased land on the Mexican border to prevent the building of a wall and sold customers boxes of literal shit.
And, it doesn’t stop there, the letters CAH are hidden on can illustrations. The address on the product belongs to Cards Against Humanity. And, the web address for Prongles was registered by the makers of the card game. Though, the website isn’t live yet and only displays the Original Prongles logo and a coming soon message.
Writers at Neatorama assert the chips are simply a promotion for an alternate reality game the company is releasing soon. Presumably, the website will shortly reveal the answers. In the meantime, the curious can follow Prongles on Twitter, though the account hasn’t updated since October 30. Maybe they are busy with Thanksgiving. Or they’ve popped and… GREAT!
It’s odd that Cards Against Humanity would have the product in stores without sufficient web support, but perhaps they didn’t expect Redditectives to go so hard, so fast. Either way, it’s a fun bit of nonsense in a world increasingly devoid of whimsy.