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What’s In a TV Dinner?

tv dinner

Because yesterday was Thanksgiving, we spent most of the day passed out on a bean bag chair. But midday through the day our old friend Swanson was there to ensure we had a hot meal, after only minutes in the microwave. And as we feasted on the contents of that compartmentalized microwave safe dish, fairly certain we knew what it was thanks to the outside of the box and its handy ingredient list, it became clear that the box of a TV dinner is the greatest lie since the female orgasm. And we abide it every day like suckers.

In the interests of exposing the truth and removing the worlds’ blinders, we decided to look for several TV dinners online, sans description, and see if we could figure out what the hell was going on, the truth behind the lie. Behold!


#1 – Brown and Mac

tv dinner

What is it? I have the utmost confidence that the right vestibule on this tub is mac and cheese. I can see macaroni and the odds on someone at the factory screwing up turnips or green beans so badly that they begin to resemble mac and cheese is something I am not ready to accept at this point in my life. My faith in humanity is just that great.

On the left is probably a protein. If I were a gambling man and I was put in a situation with some socially maladjusted mobsters or maybe a vengeful djinn or something and I simply had to commit to an answer lest my life be immediately forfeit, I would throw caution to the wind and say Salisbury steak. Incidentally, Salisbury steak is steak in the same way a rusty trombone is a musical instrument.

What was Probably on the Box:

tv dinner

Judgement: The box has mushrooms and onions on a cut of meat. That actual dinner looks like it has a fake mustache and is wallowing in a fetid pool of swamp effluence. The macaroni just looks overdone with that crunchy ass-crust at the edges that you’ll try to pick off but never fully pry away from where it fused to the packaging.

Lie Scale: Salisbury steal looks like a turd when done properly, so the hideous thing that it birthed in your microwave isn’t too far off the mark. 3/10

#2 – Cornsplosion

tv dinner

What is it? Oh, TV dinner, are you even trying? Everyone knows that the pale brown in darker brown is turkey and gravy, even when you make it look like a stool sample or something topographical. You can’t fool me. But kudos on having what appears to be both mashed potatoes and corn spread across one compartment and the turkey slot, a goo-filled crevasse in the bottom and no justifiable location that either the corn or potatoes alone can call home. This makes me think it was indeed the original plan that both just be smeared across the greater meal as a whole.

Goo on bottom? Probably cranberries. Festive!

What was Probably on the Box

tv dinner

Judgment: Shit, I messed up a bit there. That looks like stuffing and now that I look at the original image, some of that brown may very well have been stuffing. And look, the corn is all sequestered in one spot. The box also claims that’s a cranberry apple dessert. This isn’t relevant, but isn’t it lazy when the word dessert is in the name of your dessert? If they called it corn vegetable everyone would balk at the madness of it all.

Also, look at the box, then the one prepared underneath it, and finally the one at the top of this entry. This is exactly the same special effect that was used in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when that Nazi drank from the wrong cup.

Lie Scale: Is it as bad as the last one? On the surface no, you can tell there’s corn in it, but the same can be said about poo. 7/10

#3 Grim Death

tv dinner

What is it? Making me wish I’d cheated and read the website I found this image on, this one is really making a mockery of my detective skills. The top right is presumably rice and it’s reddish, so I’m saying this is something Mexican. That’s exactly where this train falls off the tracks. The top left looks like some deep forest ground cover, the sort of place a salamander might like to call home. That’s kind of nice, isn’t it?

On the bottom, our entrée, is more mystifying than cuneiform limericks. It looks like a special effect from an Anchor Bay horror movie.

What Was Probably On the Box:

shit box

Judgment: I don’t have enough information to go forward on this one. Look at it, for God’s sake.

Lie Scale: I will eat my hat if the actual box that product came in looks anything like what that poor blogger produced. But since I can’t imagine the box being like this, I will assume it’s 90% lies. 9/10.

8 Responses to "What’s In a TV Dinner?"

  1. J the tv dinner king says:

    I think I know what #3 is…. here is a link to the box…

    see what you think….

  2. Graygrrrl says:

    I vote for Caitlin’s guess as I have also eaten this in the past. Ugh.

  3. Ian Fortey says:
    If I ever do a food review, I’ll keep that in mind.
  4. Ryan Risco says:

    Doing a food review and imaging things are two very separate things, especially with this idea…. Poorly executed, waste of your time writing it, waste of time posting it.
    - Ryan Risco

  5. Anonymous me says:

    piss off spammer

  6. Jo Dean says:

    Wow, I havent had a TV dinner since the early 80s! Have they changed??


  7. lunchboy says:

    i should be doing these!

  8. Caitlin says:

    Number 3 is definitely this: http://tinyurl.com/2fuo83h

    I would know, as I have had the misfortune of attempting to consume it. But, then, I guess it’s not misfortune if I do it willingly.