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10 Worst Crayola Crayon Colors

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Since 1903, Crayola Crayons has made over 130 different colors. Some of those will forever stand the test of time (mostly because they’re primary colors and so are essential). Some have led to questionable choices in kindergarten artwork (mostly because few five-year-olds know what to do with “Ceruleanv). And some like the following have been complete bombs, either removed from the Crayola box permanently or doomed to remain untouched until every other possible color option has been used, including one’s own blood…



close-up of red-orange crayon with smudge


Remember that old “Star Trek” episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” in which the black-and-white face alien and the white-and-black face alien can only see their differences and so are forever doomed to try and destroy each other? That’s what one can only imagined happed between “Red-Orange” and “Orange-Red” every single night in the Crayola 64 box, all the while as the real “Red” and “Orange” crayons quietly slept, exhausted from being worn down to nubs because unlike the twins they actually got used.



three different crayola flesh crayons


When you hear the word “flesh” what color do you think? Why, several different kinds of colors, of course! But not Crayola, who thought “flesh” could only mean a particular niche of the population that couldn’t get a tan even if it stood next to a supernova. But thanks to the Civil Rights movement in the early 60’s, the crayon “Flesh” was renamed “Peach” and all was right in terms of social harmony. That is, except for another big no-no on the part of the crayon manufacturer…


Indian Red

crayola Indian Red crayon lying on carpet


Unlike “Flesh,” which although a massive mistake was changed in 1962, “Indian Red” stuck around until 1999, long after several stereotypical Native American sports mascots had been replaced and Crayola might have countered it with “Cowboy Sh*t Brown Under Boot.” Eventually the color was renamed “Chestnut” and kids could place it alongside “Antique Brass” as crayons they never used unless drawing an 18th century dining room.



crayola thistle crayon on table


Nothing encourages a small kid just learning to talk than a word so unusual to pronounce that will throw them immediately into speech therapy or absolute muteness. Add to the fact that kids would want to color something “thistle” as much as they would “herbaceous” and you have a crayon that was phased out in 2000, 51 years after anyone even knew it was in the box.



crayola bittersweet crayon standing straight up


Has there ever been a crayon color better suited to let small children capture both fleeting joy and enduring sadness in their drawings of a house, family, and sun? One wonders how many parents asked their little kids what they were sketching only to hear them say “I’m coloring minor hopes dashed all too soon.”



close-up of asparagus crayon with smudge


Crayola has always made some odd choices when it comes to food-related colors, from the curiously high-voltage fruit “Electric Lime” and “Laser Lemon, ” to the fun-sounding “Cotton Candy” and “Pink Sherbet, ” to that taste sensation no kid wants, “Apricot.” Furthermore, on the average little kids do not get excited about vegetables, whether as a side dish, as forced payment for ever getting dessert, or as a means of ruining a perfectly good drawing with the one veggie famous for making your pee smell funny. But for any four-year-old who used to his Crayolas to create perfect art forgeries of Flemish food still lifes, this was an essential tool in their international art thief kit.



close-up of manatee crayon with smudge


The question isn’t “Why Manatee?” so much as “Why out of all the vividly colored creatures in the air, earth, and sea did the one who—although adorable—has the complexion of an exfoliated zombie be one of the very few animals to get a crayon named after him?” (The others being “Pink Flamingo,” “Piggy Pink,” “Timberwolf”, “Robin’s Egg Blue,” and “Beaver.”) One figures that Crayola ran out of exciting ways to say “Gray.” One also wonder why Crayola has so many different variations of the somber color gray in one box, unless their test marketing shows that most of their consumers are very depressed kindergartners.


Purple Mountain Majesty/Purple Mountain’s Majesty

three different crayola purple mountain majesty crayons


The fact that Crayola couldn’t agree on a single name for this crayon might have been the first sign that something was wrong. The second sign was that Crayola already had countless “purple” crayons, including the curiously named “Purple Heart” that caused parents to worry if their kids had drawn one too many battle scenes. Obviously named after a lyric from “America the Beautiful” (which actually goes “For purple mountain majesties,” thereby offering a possible third spelling for the crayon), one wonders why Crayola didn’t just carry through with the theme and name other colors after the song’s lyrics, including “Amber Waves of Grain,” “Fruited Plain,” and “Stern Impassioned Stress.”


Macaroni and Cheese

six different crayola macaroni and cheese crayons


If Crayola seemed to experience some difficulty deciding on a spelling for “Purple Mountain Majesty,” look at the hell they put their creative staff through with “Macaroni and Cheese.” Or should we say “Macaroni-n-Cheese”? Or “Macaroni n Cheese”? Or “Mac & Cheese”? Or “Light Orange,” which would be its correct name if someone over at the company didn’t want to make the crayon so delicious sounding that maybe kids would gnaw on it to make a point, thereby saving wear and tear on the Crayola box sharpener.



crayola mauvelous crayon on table


Essentially the forgotten love child of “Gray” and “Vomit,” “Mauvelous” will forever be remembered as the crayon with the name so unbelievably idiotic and unappealing that it made kids momentarily choose to use “Jazzberry Jam” before just chucking the entire box of crayons and drawing on an iPad instead.


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