The Charmin Bears: Can We Stop Pretending This is Cute?

By Andrew Blumetti

Yogi.  Berenstain.  Winnie.  Jim McMahon.

Like it or lump it, that’s pretty much it when it comes to bears in popular culture.  The quota has been filled up faster than Wynonna Judd’s dinner plate at a Sizzler salad bar.  Yet, for a head-scratchingly high number of years, we’ve been subjected to a number of two-plyed commercials oddly dreamt up by the head honchos at toilet paper company, Charmin, featuring, well bears with questionable bathroom procedures.

Advice:   Turning missed toilet paper wads into sparkles isn’t making it any cuter.


“The Call of Nature”, a marketing idea first envisioned back in the year 2000 by Charmin.  Apparently they felt like a post-Y2K fear-struck world needed an outlet to laugh and clean backsides to sit on.

Let’s face it, when you’re a bear in the woods, you pretty much have the reign of the whole joint.  Gentle-eyed deer wisely run in the opposite direction, tasty river trout are your delicious dinner, and the birds- well let’s just say they know who’s territory the ground is.  If you’re a bear, the wooded-world is your honey-covered oyster.  You can eat campers, garbage, more campers, heck… anything your little heart desires.

Sadly though, there’s one thing you don’t have control of in the mean streets of the forests, and that’s missed toilet paper bunches in a not-so friendly area.

The Chicago Bears crappy play caused them to miss the playoffs this year.


As a people, we’re a lot more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for.  Much like how the living human race grew accustomed to an undead world in Zombieland, we too, grow used to change pretty fast.

I’m slowly accepting that Donald Glover is leaving Community this season, that Blockbuster Video is quickly becoming a prehistoric term, and finally come to terms that the creepy Burger King king has hung up his flame-broiled crown for good.  So why for a decade now, have we so easily seemed to accept that a bunch of dingleberried-cartoon bears pushing toilet paper in commercials during dinner time is an adorable idea?


“Let’s Meet The Bears”

This grizzly group isn’t just a bunch of no-names though.  In fact, they’re a furry family- a really clean-bummed bunch of bears.   Let’s reach out our collective paw and give them the ‘ol Charmin squeeze:

(From L to R)

Dylan:  The obvious nerd son, an overachieving bookworm bear who ruins the curve in class.  He’s slightly cooler than the Steve Urkel bear, but not as cool as the Paul Pfeiffer Bear.  He will go through an awkward goth phase when he discovers contact lenses and Bauhaus.

Amy:  The only female cub in this clan truly is Daddy’s little girl.  She spends a good portion of her day sobbing to Adele songs, and shopping at ABEARcrombie and Fitch.  Her planned sweet sixteen party will cause the family to switch to a cheap off-brand toilet paper to save cash.  Bear bums will be paper covered for weeks.

Molly:  The fuzzy matriarch of the family, this momma bear keeps a swift eye on her cubs’ keisters.  She cooks, she cleans, she enjoys a sip of good honey wine every so often, and won’t apologize for it.  Back in her wild days in the 80’s, she was once a dancer in a Skid Row video.  She also inexcusably hangs the toilet paper so the part to grab hangs underneath.

Leonard:  Bumbling dad is the Homer Simpson of the forest.  He loves to get in a quick nine at the Pitch and Putt, trot over to the Home Depot, and spends a good portion of his day avoiding his wife’s incessant Charmin nagging.  He’s not really a good toilet paper user, as his rump often looks like a tissue-patched-up job of a blind man shaving.

Bill:  Older jock brother who would’ve had a football scholarship to Michigan State if it weren’t for a salmon-catching injury that sprained his left paw (or southpaw).  His gym playlist on his iPod consists of the following:

– Between the BEARied and Me

– InCUBus

– Linkin PAWk


This will be our Cloverfield one day.


Lord knows if sales have actually increased due to this absurd butt-oriented furry campaign.  You’d figure toilet paper is one of the few products out there that doesn’t need to be pushed hard (not literally).  Nature calls, and everyone’s gotta answer, whether we like it or not, even if it’s the two-minute warning.  We all gotta go, so it’s not like not buying it is an option, so all this cute on-a-roll absurdity might all be for naught.

When you gotta go that bad, it’s UNBEARABLE. 


Really, why the fancy bathroom decorum when you’re in the woods?  Can’t bears just go anywhere they want?  I thought that was one of the great things about being a bear, you dookie near any tree, brook, or campsite, and if anyone gives you crap about it, you eat them.

On an invasive scale of 1 to 10, this ranks at “Facebook newsfeed ads”.  Where does that vacuum plug in anyway?


Charmin, in their infinite toiletry wisdom, even promoted a line of public restrooms in Times Square back in 2006 looking to push a rare clean public lavatory in a city of millions.  It replaced the classic popular bathrooms of Jamba Juice or any random sidewalk in Manhattan.  The dream was short-lived though, as the location is now the home of a Disney Store.  (Rumor has it that Pluto requires the world’s largest pooper-scooper.)  When the idea was fresh, they sure went all out for the promotion, including a special appearance by the queen of the ample derriere herself, Ms. Kim Kardashian.

That left bear’s paw is a little too close for comfort. 

The bears don’t get out much.  This one thought this guy was the Japanese Fonz.   “KONNICHIWAAAAAAA”


So, my friends, I guess nearly thirteen years in, there’s not much we can do.

No matter how annoying, even in the age of DVR, insipid commercial schtick is something we just another thing we will have to learn to live with.  We’ve been shackled with the Geico gecko, Flo the over-lipsticked insurance woman and snobby people receiving red-bowed Lexuses for Christmas.  So, until these woodsy weisenheimers learn to wipe better, it looks like we’re stuck with these bad bathroom behaving bears who are inevitably stuck to their TP.

They may be number one in toilet tissue ads, but they’ll always be number two in our hearts.


Filed under Advertising, Animation, Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Television, Uncategorized

18 responses to “The Charmin Bears: Can We Stop Pretending This is Cute?

  1. I thought I was the only one who thought these Charmin commercials are not cute at all

  2. Better a bare bear than a human bum 😉
    Yet I have to agree, they need a re-do and a price adjustment. Remember when a roll lasted a week?

    Now, please don’t hash the Allstate commercials, they entertain in a clever manner. 🙂

    By the way, are you an ad exec with spare time? Fess up! I know the office door is shut, the secretary has been told to hold all calls, and you’re writing your daily bits of wisdom to the world.
    Hmmm…. 😉

    • I promise the AllState commercials are safe! I can’t have President Palmer from 24 mad at me. Haha

      Haha, nope, no ad exec here, just someone who hopes to make people chuckle.

      I do thank you though, I love writing and sharing these posts and attempts at goofy wit. So when I receive kind words and feedback (such as yours), it really means a lot, and makes me happy to keep doing it.

      Thank you.


  3. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for stopping by my mini-world. This post was fun. I have to laugh for another reason too. Recently a photographer friend of mine posted his picture of a bear in mid-poop (so to speak), The bear had some kind of weird face thing going on, so funny. But – definitely no Charmin to be seen.


    • Hi Robyn-

      Thanks very much for reading, I’m very glad you enjoyed! Haha! That’s a great story. I think you should send Charmin that poopin’ bear photo, maybe they’ll rethink the whole campaign. Unless the bears were just using ultra-soft, extra-quilted Scott Tissue and were hiding it out of view.

      Thanks again for stopping by!


      P.S.- I really enjoyed your blog as well. I look forward to following!

  4. strawberryquicksand

    So, there are seriously bears that advertise toilet paper? One company here in Australia recently released “gripples” which are wrinkles on dunny paper to supposedly clear the rest of the poop out from your butt that you might have missed with regular paper. Now, we never got to SEE said poop, but the commercial featured a cute puppy dog sniffing a postmans arse as he bent over to deliver the mail, amongst other things. Us Aussies voted it off our screens. I only saw the ad twice, I think…

    • Your country has a much higher standard for awful bum wiping commercials. I applaud your voting it off tv! We are still stuck with these goofy bears for nearly a decade now. It’s made the 21st Century quite challenging.

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  6. Where’s Mr. Whipple when you need him?

  7. TSC

    Does the recent commercial really show the boy kid bear peeping into someone’s bathroom using binoculars?

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  10. Unknown

    Cute butts. Cute butte (booty). Tryin to get to you and that booty. Haha put their butts on glass.

  11. Unknown

    Do not post that comment I just posted about cute butt or cute booty okay dont post this one either. I am the unknown guy from the last comment

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  13. Mike

    And why are they sometimes blue and sometimes red?

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