Jill Layton
March 13, 2015 7:00 am

The greatest thing to ever happen to people who can’t/don’t/refuse to cook were TV dinners. They had everything we needed out of nutrition — vegetables, protein, carbs, and if we chose wisely — dessert. At the time that TV dinners starting existing for us (when we were kids, but they actually started existing for real in 1944), we believed we were eating a well-rounded meal. As a person who can’t/doesn’t/refuses to cook, I have spent many nights debating between a bag of popcorn and a popsicle (made with real fruit, of course) or a frozen dinner. When it’s one vs. the other, obviously the choice with a picture of vegetables on the box is a better option. But then, what’s inside the box is another story.

This week, Mashable gave us a neat side-by-side comparison of TV dinners as advertised and IRL. In all honesty, they didn’t look all that different. So we decided to do our own deep-dive into the wild world of Internet frozen food reviews to discover those TV dinners that truly look nothing like their packaging suggests. Here’s what we found.

Lean Cuisine Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry

See those three cubes floating in a rice ocean? That’s chicken. Despite the absence of the main ingredient, it got a pretty good review from one brave taste-tester. Some things taste better than they look.

Marie Callender’s Honey Roasted Chicken

This one got one big thumbs down from blogger Tasty Lies who writes:”I don’t expect a nice chicken breast in a meal, but I expect something that resembles the texture of chicken….Bummer.”

Morningstar Farms Lasagna with Sausage-style Crumbles

Fact, via. CrazyFoodDude:: “The sausage-style crumbles were not plentiful.”

Swanson’s Hungry Man Turkey

This is just a plate of colors. (Apparently, it doesn’t taste that bad, though!)

Hungry Man Homestyle Meatloaf

FYI, that thing in the middle is a brownie, allegedly.

Michelena’s Chicken Fried Chicken

Here’s a direct quote from the blogger who sampled this stuff. “Oh, now come on, what the hell is this?”

Moo Moo’s Chipotle Black Bean Burrito

We’ll just say, as one blogger pointed out, this lump of sustenance is four times the price of a real burrito.

Smart Ones Tuna Noodle Gratin

Blogger Four Cents writes what we’re all thinking: “It somehow tastes like the inside of an airplane smells. . . interesting.”

Banquet Pepperoni Pizza Meal

Just wow. And how does it go down? Tasty Lies says: “Definitely doesn’t feel like pizza.” We don’t even want to know how that “pudding” feels.

Featured images via Pinterestvia OvertiredMommy, via TastyLies, via CrazyFoodDude, via BrandEating, via GiGiReviewsvia ReviewtheWorld, via VeganDerbyCatParty, via FourCents

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