Before people even finished uttering the words, "What the hell is a cronut?", a bajillion knockoffs were hitting the shelves, joining a proud tradition of taking a popular food item and replicating it with just enough inauthenticity to not get sued. From the generic section of the cracker aisle to the tables of fancy-pants restaurants, we've dug up a collection of knockoff foods that defy copyright while mostly also defying taste buds.
The Counterfeiter: Cherry Bomb Bus
What It's Copying: The Schmitter
What exactly is a Schmitter? It's a three-layered, copyrighted version of a Philly cheesesteak w/ cheddar, ribeye & salami that you usually have to suffer through a Phillies game to get, as it's exclusive to the stadium. Or you can just go to the city's Cherry Bomb Bus and get a Top Chef vet's version without the side of crushing disappointment.
The Counterfeiter: Cheese Nips
What It's Copying: Cheez-Its
It's one of the tragedies of a brown-bag school lunch most kids try to block from their memories. You open up your lunch and find a bag of delicious Cheez-Its. You eat one, and something's a little off. Maybe it's the residual Snack Pack flavor in your mouth. But you keep going, and it doesn't get any better. It's then that you realize... YOU GOT NIPPED. Then you start looking into emancipating yourself from your parents.
The Counterfeiter: Coconut Dreams
What It's Copying: Samoas
Keebler has a long, wonderful history of making delicious knockoff cookies, but Coconut Dreams goes so far as to take business away from the Girl Scouts of America by offering their version of Samoas. They taste way better if you buy a pack then eat it in the entryway to the supermarket while pointing at the little girl selling cookies. Be sure to wash them down with a box of Grasshoppers.
The Counterfeiter: The Big DMK
What It's Copying: The Big Mac
Chicago's DMK's rocking "two grass-fed patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a flour-topped bun", totally testing the litigious nature of that McDowells dude.
The Counterfeiter: Dr Thunder
What It's Copying: Dr Pepper
Knockoff sodas are not at all uncommon, but Walmart takes the cake with its line, which includes this font- and underscore-aping Dr Pepper knockoff with questionable medical credentials that could also serve as the inspiration for the main villain of a Walmart-brand Megaman ripoff.
The Counterfeiter: Twin-Keys
What It's Copying: Twinkies
When Hostess announced its closure, the world went into a panic... and then they came back. But in case it happens again, the Twin Cities' Buttered Tin made the preemptive move of replicating Twinkies and cupcakes that actually, somehow, taste better. But they probably can't survive a nuclear holocaust like the originals.
The Counterfeiter: Hydrox
What It's Copying: Oreos
It looks like an Oreo, right down to the serrated sides and sexy mound of cream in the middle. So how do you know a Hydrox is a Hydrox? You bite into it. Then go get some Oreos.
The Counterfeiter: The California Burger
What It's Copying: In-N-Out Burger
Eschewing the Animal Style, Protein Style, and Gangnam Style -- plus super-long drive-thru lines -- that are synonymous with In-N-Out Burger, LA joint Short Order has devised a higher-end version of the classic burger, w/ aged cheddar, secret sauce, and that classic flimsy paper. Order it Doggy Style, just for fun.
The Counterfeiter: Johns Daphne
What It's Copying: Jack Daniel's
Johns Daphne isn't just a nickname for a prostitute who specializes in Scooby-Doo cosplay. It's also the name of one of the most remarkably sly counterfeit boozes ever. Note the glorious substitution of "Tenderness" for "Tennessee". The upside-down number 1. And the fact that it clocks in at under a liter. Jinkies.
The Counterfeiter: Oinkster
What It's Copying: Pretty Much Every Fast-Food Burger (Pictured Is The McRib)
McRibs. Big Macs. Baconators. During one magical week in LA ("burger week", they call it), burger joint Oinkster does its best to replicate them all. The result is surprisingly authentic, except for one thing: the ingredients are high-end, the prices aren't on the dollar menu, and the classics all come together under one roof.
The Counterfeiter: Prem
What It's Copying: Spam
Spam is imitation ham. Prem is imitation Spam. Obviously, this isn't going to end well, but hey -- it does use real Virginia ham... seasoning.
The Counterfeiter: Clark Bar
What It's Copying: The Butterfinger
What's the difference between a Clark Bar and a Butterfinger? For one, Bart Simpson doesn't endorse Clark bars. Secondly, a Butterfinger is called a Butterfinger, not a Clark Bar. That is all.