27. Original BBQ
Before you get mad, remember that Lay's has a whole arsenal of BBQ chips. Consider the original the foundation upon which all that BBQ greatness and innovation was built. The master has been surpassed by the pupil. Also, the master just kind of tastes like sweet ketchup kissed with liquid smoke, so it wasn't too hard to surpass.
26. Fiery Habanero
Flamin’ Hot is still the undisputed king of Lay’s for spice heads and the most effective torture device in a bag for the weak of tongue. Still, the newest flavor in the Lay’s spice rack has a kick that should satisfy masochists. What makes it superior, though, is the actual flavor. Mostly because there is some: It’s smoky, and definitely has the habanero flavor it promises. Sure, it’s powdered habanero, but at least it tastes like pepper and not a crowd-dispersal agent.
25. Baked Original
The baked Lay's are actually a perfectly delicious healthy-ish snacking option, with a whopping 65% less fat than their crunchier, fried brethren. They’re still super crunchy, and while there’s some flavor lost in the baking process -- which weirdly seems to make them all slightly hexagonal -- they’re plenty serviceable. Bland, yes, but not enough that I’m about to stop eating them.
24. Flamin' Hot Dill Pickle
Where the straight-up Flamin’ Hot kind of feels like getting pepper-sprayed in the throat due to its fire-powder being unchecked, the presence of vinegar and dill here goes a long way in tempering things, making for a much more satisfying heat. Maybe the trick for Lay’s foray into the Flamin’ Hot realm is to take a cue from Cheetos and start blending flavors to counteract the spice, a la Flamin’ Hot Chipotle Ranch. Or, given that this flavor works so well, maybe Flamin’ Hot Pickled Egg. That was a joke. Please don’t do this. We don’t need another Do Us A Flavor: Cappuccino incident.
23. Original Sour Cream & Onion
The chip world seems to be split into two camps: Those who think sour cream & onion chips are the (sour) cream of the crop, and those who think that they taste like somebody made powdered milk out of spoiled 2%, mixed it with onion powder, then blasted a bag of chips with it before going to have a picnic with Satan to celebrate. I’m on team not-delicious. But these are better than most brand’s version, and they paved the way to a much-better variation that you’ll see toward the top of this list. So it’s not all a wash. Eat up, Satan.
22. Wavy Hickory BBQ
Have you ever ordered an ill-advised BBQ-based sandwich at a place where you should know better than to get anything that's not pre-packaged, like a high-school sporting event or a raceway or out of some dude’s trunk off the highway? And the sauce-to-sandwich ratio is, like, 100:0, and it just leaks all over the place, and you’re left with questionably generic BBQ sauce all over everything you touch all day? The first victim is always the chips that inevitably come on the side. These taste like perfectly good potato chips that accidentally got smoky BBQ sauce all over them, and could have once been in a stranger’s trunk for several months (along with the BBQ).