Baskin Robbins: Mom as a human garbage disposal

Baskin Robbins is running a commercial (unavailable online) in which Dad tells his son to finish his peas, or they won’t go out to Baskin Robbins. Before the kid can react, Mom frowns, grabs the son’s plate and eats the peas directly off it. Mom, by the way, is plump and not particularly stylish or blond or in possession of any other visual “hot babe alert!” triggers.

Okay, it would be quicker to list the things that aren’t wrong with this commercial, but I’ll attempt to list the ones that are:

  • A plump woman eating like an animal.
  • This rare use of a plump actress is for fat jokes, not diversity.
  • Mom setting the example of deceiving someone to get what you want instead of just confronting that person with a polite counterargument.
  • Mom subverting the healthy part of the kid’s diet (which will earn her special scorn in the midst of the international panic about an “epidemic” of overweight, unhealthy kids).
  • Baskin Robbins has a freakin’ lot of nerve making fun of fat people, as attested by Robbins’ own heir, who refused his family money because he felt it came from the company’s assault on public health and the ecology.

So tacky.


  1. says

    I know this comment may be a little off topic, but this post reminded me of something that happened when I was about 12. We were having a family dinner and I spilled my milk all over my plate of fish sticks. I turned to my mom and offered to trade her my soggy fish sticks for her crispy ones, she asked “why would I want those?” and I said, “because mom’s eat that kind of stuff”. I will never forget the sad kind of anger that filled my mother after that comment. Mom’s are often reduced to the role of garbage disposal, taking in everyone else’s cast-offs. Everything that isn’t good enough. Its definitely a sad state.

  2. Jennifer Kesler says

    That’s sadly not off-topic, Becky. Moms traditionally put everyone ahead of themselves, and unfortunately dads and kids both tend to infer she must not care about herself or have any wants/needs of her own.

    The very role of mother, as it’s presented in our culture, is one of objectification.

  3. scarlett says

    I remember how often my mum took the burnt bits of dinner so everyone could have a bigger share of the good bits. Why not everyone have a smaller bit of the goodbits and dad supplement it with his scrambled eggs that everyone loved?

    I really feel shame now now for all the slack I expected mum to pull as a kid.

  4. Stacy says


    Just wow.

    I can’t believe you can turn 15 seconds of humor into a sudden attack on overweight society, and a display of the “every woman”.

    How ridiculous.

  5. Bob Castledine says

    A very funny commercial(mom the human garbage
    disposal) and it would have been just as good
    if the roles were reversed and the characters
    were thin. Where do I get a copy?

  6. Jennifer Kesler says

    If all you’re concerned about is whether or not it’s funny, you’re on the wrong site. This is a critical analysis site.

  7. jill says

    I actually LOVED this commercial! I could totally identify with it! Not that I’ve ever done, or would ever do something like that–but it resonated with that side of my personality that loves ice cream THAT much–that childish side that would chase the ice cream truck for two blocks just so I could get an It’s It! I’m a bit on the curvy side–a Bettie Page sorta plumpish and I was NOT offended by this commercial! It was very human, and as someone mentioned, already, spoke to the “everywoman” in all of us! I found this site searching for the commercial, so I could send it to another ice-cream-crazy-mom!

  8. says

    I love this commercial. I think it is hilarious and I looked on it more like as mothers we get sooooo sick and tired of waiting for our kids – esp boys. The running joke is that hurry is not a word in their vocabulary. I belly laughed at the thought of hurrying my son’s peas down to get the hell out of the house. The fact that it was for great ice cream is even better. It could have been a PMS joke … I thought she just looked like me and my friends and thought nothing of her weight or anything related to it.

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