Retrotisements — Back to School edition

Back to school!

One of the few advantages to being out of school is that I don’t get to experience the huge buzzkill that occurs around mid-to-late summer, when the first Back to School ads start appearing. There you are, all happy and carefree when BAM! — you walk into the mall and see giant displays of backpacks, notebooks, and other implements that have absolutely no use outside of school.

So for the rest of the summer, you can’t quite enjoy yourself on the same level because there’s that little nagging reminder in your subconscious that any day now, it’s all over. See, I don’t have to deal with that anymore because I work for a living. Every day is like that, so eventually your soul is numbed and you kind of get used to it after awhile.

Anyway, here’s some ads to either get you back in the spirit of the days of forced primary education, or at least make you want to force a kid to watch them so they too can know your silent agony. Enjoy!


Well aren’t they just perfectly cheeky!

Mead Trapper & Trapper Keeper

I guess “Folder” and “Folder Holder” just don’t have the same ring to them. Get it? That’s a Trapper Keeper joke, people. You can’t get this kind of funny on just any old site.

Bic Roller pen (1981)

Because if you must demonstrate your coolness by writing a fan letter to the Bee Gees, you really have to choose a pen that will let you “go with the flow.” Whatever that means.


Wow, Toughskins pants and electric typewriters?!?!? Can we go now mom, can we?!?!?!


Oh my. So yeah, there was that.

“First Day” (McDonald’s)

Hey, I know that guy! It’s Terry’s brother from Just One of the Guys, right? He’s the one I used to get confused with Patrick Dempsey.

Hills Department Store

I’m totally down with local retail chain ads, even if they’re out of my area. This particular Hills (Check Us Out!)  appears to have been in Tennessee. The chain went away in 1999, so you’ll have to shop elsewhere for kids coordinates. Again, whatever that is.

JCPenney (again)

Oh JCPenney. While I am not interested in purchasing any of your Arizona Jeans, I do have a strong urge to watch an old episode of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose for some reason.

Back to School ’86

Just because this is such an awesome movie.

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