TGIF Treats


When the lovely Ms. Jennifer Still asked me to write the TGIF Treats column for the week, I was completely amped. TGIF Treats are a special category – they symbolize the perfect thing to celebrate the completion of a typically tough week. Since they yanked the TGIF lineup off the air years ago, we need these treats to remind ourselves that it’s time to relax – moreso now than ever.

One of my close friends moved this past weekend and she excitedly told me when she heard her first  familiar Ice Cream Truck  jingle in the new neighborhood. In all capital letters (this was over GTalk, of course) I announced that she needed to “GET THAT THING WITH THE GUMBALLS ON THE BOTTOM!” That “thing” is better known as a Screwball. And since the weather has been obnoxiously hot on the East Coast, I claim the cold, delicious Screwball to be our treat of the week!

The one negative about the Screwball is that it’s commonly found… on ice cream trucks only. While the rare store might carry them (Popsicle and Blue Bunny have their own versions), the only definite is flagging down the guy who’s wearing white and blasting ‘The Entertainer’ from his vehicle. Is it worth it to chance standing in line with a bunch of elementary school children? In short, yes.

The Screwball is the top of the line, as far as desserts go. When you’ve finished the ice cream portion, there’s still a treat – or in some cases, two treats (The “Two-ball Screwball” exists – I know, the name is unfortunate) – waiting for you at the bottom of the plastic cone. The inventor of the Screwball obviously knew that the worst part of dessert is knowing when it’s over and made a fantastic effort in prolonging the experience for as long as possible. It’s like a double-dessert!

Here is some history on the Screwball: They originated in the 1970’s, and became such a hit that the commercial name eventually became the universal name (kind of like the “Kleenex” or “Q-Tip” of ice cream products.)  While many-a Screwball includes a raspberry or cherry flavoring, a company called Rich Ice Cream Company, located in Florida, also makes them in Blue Raspberry and Sour Watermelon.

In the slim chance my TGIF Treat leaves you ice cream-less (if you’re in a neighborhood where ice cream trucks fail to travel), some winning alternatives are the products by Skinny Cow. Delicious, not terrible for you, and available at most major grocery stores. I personally recommend the Mint with Fudge Cone, and the Caramel Truffle.

And if you just so happen to chew some gum afterward to try and relive the Screwball, I recommend Bazooka Joe, solely because I think the comics are a nice bonus.

Photo Credit:

  • Phoebe Gao

    Sounds yummy! We have an equivalent in Australia called Bubble O’ Bill, except it’s an ice-cream on a stick in the shape of a mustachioed, cowboy hat-wearing gentleman and the gum ball is his nose. Best of all it’s available pretty much everywhere :)

  • Scott Smith

    Screwballs were awesome! The original bomb pops were great too.

  • Lori Dargis

    Oh. My. God. These were the shiznit.

  • Lucy Bergin

    I lived next to the public beach in my small New England town growing up, and this was my FAVORITE summer snack!!! Only my ice cream man always had TWO-BALL screwballs, double the fun :). They also have about the silliest name I ever heard of for ice cream—“Magnum” ice cream is a close second in this regard.

  • Ana Marie

    What was the ice cream truck treat with pop rocks in them?? I want one of THOSE!

  • Zoe Rees

    We have almost the exact same thing here in the uk – the containers are the same the bubblegum ball is the same the only difference is ours have ice cream instead of Slushed ice :) used to have them all the time

  • Anonymous

    This was the only thing I would get from the ice cream man growing up. My favorite! Haven’t had one in years and years. Great choice for TGIF!

  • Ali Berry

    Mmm. These look like they would be particularly yummy after a game of badminton.

  • Flo Chica


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