Have you ever wondered which boy band your favorite soda is most like? No? Keep reading anyway.
The ‘90s were a sugary decade, an indulgent era filled with bubblegum pink crop tops and fruit snacks that never saw a grape or an apple in their lives. It was a time before we knew water existed, when all we drank were liters of soda. And the music was just as saccharine. Ruled by packs of age-agnostic man-boys, ‘90s radio oozed into your ears. And some of us have never managed to get it unstuck. I will never really get “I Want It That Way” or “Give Me One More Night (Una Noche)” out of my head. And, similarly conditioned by the decade, I will also never not be craving an ice-cold soda. Sure, I drink water now. But not because I want to.
So, to satisfy my own ‘90s neuroses, I have stunt casted sodas as boy bands. I stand by my decisions.
Coca-Cola = Backstreet Boys
I don’t want to tell you how long I spent thinking about this, but I am confident that this is the correct choice. I can hear all the Justin fans out there screaming about the superiority of *NSYNC, but BSB is just more wholesome—more all American. And they still tour together. They came out with a banger just a couple of years ago (“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” get on board). That’s staying power. And, as we know, Coca-Cola is the ultimate soda that stands in a class all its own.
Pepsi = *NSYNC
We’re out of Backstreet Boys, is *NSYNC okay? Yes. Of course. But—and as an *NSYNC fan I am so sorry to be saying this—they just don’t have the range and mass appeal of a Backstreet Boy. Much like the flavors of a Pepsi seem to be missing the cohesive satisfaction of a Coca-Cola, *NSYNC always felt a bit splintered. I’m not blaming Justin or saying J.C. was unfairly shoved aside. I am saying, however, that I would have liked to have seen a bit more Joey or Chris up front. Look, Pepsi has always tried to be the bad boy of the soda world. And if you’ve ever listened to “Digital Get Down,” then you know *NSYNC wants to get nasty too.
Diet Coke = 98°
The Lacheys and the two Js (Jeff and Justin) are a diet boy band. They have their moments and they’ll satisfy your craving for four-part harmonies in a pinch, but there’s just something missing. Personally, I think it’s because they’re all basically the same guy. A real boy band needs a bad boy, a cutie pie, an old guy—and 98° have…four standard edition white dudes.
Sprite = 5ive
The London quintet may have had multiple hits in the U.K., but in the U.S. it was all about “When the Lights Go Out.” And Sprite is the refreshing, clear soda you reach for when you’re sweating to that song in the club. (And by club, I mean school dance.) 5ive is a sexy, edgy boy band (can I say that as a thirty-something-year-old mother?). And Sprite is an edgy soda. It’s lemon-lime. It’s zesty. It’s the soda equivalent of spiky hair and a fisheye camera lens.
Dr Pepper = Boyz II Men
I almost don’t want to call Boyz II Men a boy band. They’re just so much more. They’re—and I say this with all due respect to everyone else on this list—genuinely talented. And Dr Pepper is also a little different from the rest. It has a completely unique flavor profile. There’s also something a little sad about it. It’s there for you as you silently weep to “End of the Road.” In fact, your salty tears complement the complex flavors (that are not prune).
Mountain Dew = O-Town
There is nothing natural about O-Town. The group formed on the reality show Making the Band and they were named after Orlando, Florida. Were the dudes from Orlando? Nope. That was just where the auditions were held. (They’re also, admittedly, a band from the year 2000, but I just couldn’t leave them off this list and they really do bring the late ‘90s vibes.) Similarly, there’s nothing natural about Mountain Dew. If you ever saw actual dew the color of Mountain Dew, you would know that the world was just minutes from ending. In the end, though, both the band and the soda are the product of “Liquid Dreams.”