Slimer’s back! In juice form: 7 pop-culture tie-ins that outlived their inspirations

1. Hi-C Ecto Cooler
Like an over-reliance on digital effects and “special edition” re-cuts of decades-old films, the pop culture world can also sarcastically thank George Lucas for the proliferation of tie-in merchandise. Not that this type of thing was invented for Star Wars—that film and its sequels just set a new…

“I Will Refuse”: 13 bands that could reunite, but won’t

1. The Smiths
If the passion of a fan base was enough to get a band back together, The Smiths would’ve toured every summer for the past decade, headlining Coachella, Bonnaroo, and any hot-weather festival where it’s inadvisable to wear black on the outside (even if black is how you feel on on the inside). At this…

13 depictions of cities and towns gripped by miserable winters

1. The Weather Man (2005)
Screenwriter Steve Conrad attended Northwestern University, located 30 minutes from downtown Chicago, so it’s safe to presume the Florida native’s time enduring bitter Midwestern winters informed The Weather Man. Gore Verbinski’s film about a TV weather man perfectly captures the Windy City’s…

“Wow, an award statue! Oh… it’s a Grammy”: 12 award-show disses

1. “Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic,” Public Enemy
Released in 1988, the 16 tracks from Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back were among the first to be eligible for the newly minted Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance. Not that anyone expected the members of Public Enemy to care: “Who gives…

“How can you tell them on Thanksgiving?”: 12 awkward family revelations at holiday gatherings

1. The Lion In Winter (1968)
Christmas 1183 was a particularly disastrous one for England’s royal family. In 1968’s The Lion In Winter—a film adaptation of James Goldman’s play—King Henry II (the late, great Peter O’Toole) calls for a special Christmas court to receive the new king of France, Philip II (Timothy…

That was who? 13 actors rendered unrecognizable by makeup

1. Pretty much everyone playing a dwarf, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Peter Jackson already had experience hiding a recognizable actor beneath makeup and effects in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, casting John Rhys-Davies (the tallest member of the cast) as Gimli the dwarf. The Hobbit upped the ante with a…

Gobble garble: 11-plus unorthodox turkey preparations in pop culture

1. Desiccated turkey, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
As Thanksgiving approaches, self-styled culinary experts are reviving the annual debate over how best to prepare a turkey. But while the Rachael Rays and Alton Browns of the world provide helpful pointers for hapless cooks, pop culture often comes at it…

He’s big, he’s bad, and he’s babysitting: 19 least essential entertainments from 1993

1. Mr. Nanny 
Tuba-voiced pro wrestler Hulk Hogan was a ubiquitous media presence throughout the ’90s, trying his hand at everything from music (1995’s Hulk Rules) to restaurants (the terrifyingly punctuated Hulk Hogan’s Pastamania!) despite showing very little talent for anything that didn’t involve leg drops.…

Everyone has a skeleton in their closet: 15 Oscar nominated actors in television horror anthologies

1. Jessica Lange, American Horror Story<
With the third season of American Horror Story off to a gruesome start (though there’s now an explanation for those hyper-sexual snakejob ads), Jessica Lange is still the clear star among a cast of notable talent. Nominated for a total of six Oscars and winning two throughout…

Kindred on the silver screen: 29 big-screen family reunions

1. Henry Fonda with Jane Fonda, On Golden Pond (1981)
Though father-son acting pairs seem to be the most prevalent version of real-life relatives appearing in films together, there are plenty of other familial connections to be found onscreen. Generally speaking, the last 10 years or so of Henry Fonda’s career were not…

Killing the mood music

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d

Fuck! The A.V. Club staff’s favorite uses of the F-word in media

This week’s question comes from reader Wade Carney:

What should be your state’s official rock song?

This week, reader Matthew Bernat asks: Not that anyone living outside of Massachusetts’ I-495 would know, but this winter, elected representatives introduced competing legislation to name an official state ‘rock song.’ The (ahem) contenders: Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’ vs. Modern Lovers’ ‘Roadrunner.’ For me, it’s no…