34 Comments

  1. Umm…. If you know who Tom of Finland and Tom’s of Maine are there is no way you can’t not get this.

    If you don’t know who Tom of Finland or Tom’s of Maine are please tell me how you managed to do that. I’m very envious.

  2. I had never heard of Tom’s of Maine until this thread…doesn’t seem to be that hard…they’re not that ubiquitous. Don’t even know if their stuff is sold, here.

    Also, I’m not sure this character is a good depiction of the company. I’d expect a hippie or a hipster.

  3. Tom’s of Maine was pretty big 20 years ago and I think they are in the top five brands of Toothpaste.

    As for Tom of Finland. Well, it helps to spend you life in West Coast in college towns and hanging out with peoples whose sole purpose is to annoy their parents.

    But I’ve never heard of Kyläihmiset…..

  4. I used to buy “Tom’s of Maine” toothpaste, but that was over 25 years ago, and I had completely forgotten about it until I read the links that Waferthinmint posted @1. I might have remembered that faster if the man on the right had been holding a toothbrush instead of a coffee cup.

  5. Kamino Neko, Tom’s of Maine products are, I believe, only sold in health food stores and large supermarkets with health food section. Tom of Colgate isn’t losing any sleep worried about the competition.

  6. Am I the only one here who not only knew these both, to the extent that I started chuckling before I scrolled down, and thought that the caption was superfluous, but live in a community such that I would expect both of these to be universally known?

    … yeah, probably.

  7. “Tom of Colgate isn’t losing any sleep worried about the competition.”

    Especially since Colgate bought Tom’s back in 2006.

  8. I personally don’t think ‘Tom’S of Maine’ has anything to do with ‘Tom of Maine’ in this situation. If he’d been holding a toothbrush, as suggested, then yes. I think it is just a guy named Tom who lives in Maine, and met this guy named Tom (of Finland) and has no idea who he is. Yet.

  9. I will claim to have thought of (and posted to Usenet as a joke) the idea of confusing these two as a source of humor some time in the Nineties.

    Today, I am more likely to confuse Tom’s of Maine with Burt’s Bees.

  10. I knew both and thought this was funny.

    Andrea. I’m positive it has to do with Tom’s of Maine and that either the cartoonist made an error in the apostrophe or was trying for symmetry. It’s just not funny if it’s a random guy and if it were a random guy, why Maine? Why not Detroit?

    Actually I think Wayno is making one of those Doonesbury/Bloom County[1] confusion things and confusing Tom’s of Maine with L.L. Bean. I frequently confuse the two (based in Maine with a wholesome outdoorsy image) and, for utterly inexplicable reasons, I frequently confuse L.L. Bean with J.Crew (initials I guess)

    [1] or Elijah Woods/Toby Maguire or Ingrid Bergman/Vanessa Redgrave or Who’s the Boss/Growing Pains. Confusing two completely different things for no good reason but which have a strong similarity to the eye of the beholder but utterly no merit and complete confusion to anyone else. (For the life of I can’t comprehend how anyone can confuse The Addams Family with The Munsters or Disney Cartoons with Warner Brothers Cartoons but why when I say specifically “I don’t know *anything* about rock music” should I be expected to realize that Eric Clapton and Peter Frampton are two different people…..)

  11. Actually I guess I *didn’t* know both, and, like Wayno, compounded “Tom’s of Maine” with “L.L. Bean”.

    This is a case where you can get the joke and think it’s funny because …. you are an idiot. (By “you” I mean…. me.)

    Now if we could make an Judge Roy Bean meets L.L. Bean or L.L. Bean meets L.L. Cool Jay…

    Or just draw the dang guy with a toothbrush….

  12. It’s karaoke night, Tom of Finland will knock your socks off with his performance of Bohemian Rhapsody.

  13. I thought to go right to the source, so checked the WaynoBlog for 2016, but he didn’t discuss it. So I wrote to him to ask if it’s Tom’S in Maine or not. We’ll see if I get an answer. Or not.

  14. @ CIDU Bill – Back when I was buying it in a normal (suburban D.C.) supermarket, the Tom’s of Maine toothpaste was racked in the same shelf as all of the other dental stuff.

  15. I had never heard of Tom of Finland, and even though I had bought Tom’s toothpaste in the past, I didn’t connect it with the comic. So I was clueless. Love this website!

  16. My wife still uses Tom’s of Maine toothpaste , never really thought of it as hippie. We have no trouble finding it, it’s in grocery stores and drug stores around here. Now, that Tom of Finland guy, absolutely no clue. Learn something new every day, even if you don’t want to.

  17. Tom’s of Maine deodorant is sold in just about every supermarket and drug store around here. If you want a deodorant with no scent at all, it’s just about your only choice. (And a deodorant with a scent sort of defeats its own purpose if you think about it.) Tom’s of Maine is advertised on the radio here in Boston too.

  18. I use Tom’s of Maine toothpaste – but not peppermint flavor, so I do have to go to the odd shops. Peppermint toothpaste (and similarly, one or two “ordinary” varieties of deodorant, lotion, etc) is everywhere (supermarkets, Target, etc), but the odd flavors are only in health food places (Sprouts, for instance).

  19. @ jjmcgaffey – I quit buying Tom’s toothpaste after I developed a sensitivity to the peppermint oil. There was another flavor that I liked much better, but peppermint later became the only flavor our supermarket stocked.

  20. ianosmond, I did not know that. My knowledge of Tom’s of Maine goes back to when the company started out and somebody — it might actually have been Tom himself — came to my family’s health food store trying to get us to buy their new products.

    A couple of years later, somebody came in to get us to try a new drink called Snappy Apple.

    Some people witness great world events. I was there during the genesis of chalky toothpaste and Snapple.

  21. jjmcgaffey: I don’t think I could take sprouts-flavor toothpaste first thing in the morning.

  22. @ Andréa – Now that you mention it, it’s also on Amazon.DE, but I was rather shocked by the prices I saw there, so I compared them to the prices for our favorite German brand, and found out that Amazon is simply not the best place to buy toothpaste.

  23. You were all right; I was wrong. Straight from the artist himself:
    “The Tom of Maine character is indeed my imagined personification of the Tom’s of Maine brand. I pictured him as an outdoorsy, flannel & trail mix sort.”

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