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A gesture or phrase common to a series of commercials, intended to give the impression that the product is Bottled Cool and reinforce brand recognition, but which comes across instead as awkward or ridiculous, especially when repeated long past the point of cliche.

The term arose in the newsgroup in the mid-1990s at a time when commercials for Mentos mints were so frequently repeated between breaks -- often two or more back-to-back -- that it seemed it was the only sponsor Mystery Science Theater 3000 could get. Every one of the commercials (which had no speaking parts other than the voiceover, so they could be played worldwide) ended with the protagonist beaming towards the camera, holding a package of the candies, in a gesture that the weary fans took to resemble someone flipping them off.

Examples of Mentos Finger include:

  • Parodied by Weird Al Yankovic on a TV special where he's shown pushing a guy off the roof to his death, and when others respond with horror and outrage, he holds up a pack of Mentos causing the others to smile and give him the thumbs up. Mentos have since become pop-culture shorthand for a Deus Ex Machina.
    • Also parodied in Family Guy when John Wilkes Booth misses the shot and shoots Abraham Lincoln's top hat. Abe's pretty pissed until Booth pulls out his stick of Mentos. Peter comically misses the point and wanders off to kill Lincoln.
      • Satirized also in Get Fuzzy Where Rob is discussing how he got punched in the face on the subway. Apparently, he sat on somebody'd groceries by accident, but that's not what pissed the guy off; he only hit Rob after he tried to lighten the moment by pulling out some Mentos.
  • Enzyte's "Smilin' Bob".
  • Spoofed on Mystery Science Theater 3000, in a sketch called "Mystos!". [1]
  • The music video for Foo Fighters' "Big Me" is entirely a parody of this (even the product is renamed "Footos").
  • "Flea Market! Montgomery! It's just like! A mini-mall!"
  • Parodied in the Strong Bad Email "candy product", where after describing his ultimate candy bar, Strong Bad announces "with a candy bar like that, you could get away with anything!" and promptly launches into a mock-commercial where he does, in fact, get away with smashing Marzipan's canvas over her head and launching Strong Sad into the ceiling simply by smiling at the camera and showing off his SBLOUNSKCHED! bar.
  • The standard MO for The Burger King is to start to turn around, turn back towards the other person with his (index) finger pointing up (the standard "wait one moment" meaning... we think), turning around, and presenting the advertised sandwich on a silver platter.
  • Parodied yet again in The Spoony Experiment, specifically the Final Fantasy VIII segments.
  • Hungry Jack's (the Australian Burger King) are currently advertising one of their burgers by having 'customers' frozen in shock, holding their hands up to their face as if holding a burger. Yeah, it's a 'stunner' deal or something. May their stores be plagued by wise-ass teenagers evermore.
  • Parodied in Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth, where The Chick escapes from the killer in a send-up of the commercials thanks to a stick of 'Mentals'.
  • The Geico commercial line, not the cavemen,, not the Gecko, the one w...Aw, c'mon, FLO ISN'T EVEN GEICO! The one with the googly-eyed stack of money stalking people who don't have Geico. The reaction to the "victims" is the same as the "victims" of Mentos shenanigans...made even creepier by a cover of Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" playing in the background.
  • Parodied again here
  • For a while, every advert for Wal-mart owned supermarket chain ASDA featured someone patting their back pocket, apparently to show how much money they'd saved. Basically, they were spanking themselves. And ASDA tried to trademark it.
  • Do the Arches!
  • In the Pittsburgh Area, Attorney Edgar Snyder does a copyrighted pointing gesture as he says "And remember, there's never a fee unless we get money for you." Watch it here, at the end of the commercial.
  • Used for laughs in a scene of Wrongfully Accused, with Leslie Nielsen's character eating a Mento and then holding up the pack like in the ads.
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