We had a lot of games growing up, and Pac-Man is, to this day, one of the best ways to spend time. That’s why we’ve picked out 17 of our favorite Pac-Man shirts from around the ‘net. (Just be careful if you want to rid your house of ghosts, they suck at that).
Look, most of us 80’s and 90’s kids have memories attached to certain games. There are titles we can hear and the entire concept of the game comes to mind. I highly doubt kids playing Call of Duty and Counter-Strike will remember which was which when they’re our age. Good games. Excellent games, really, but not memorable the way the ones we grew up with were.
What happens if I say things like Mega Man? Paperboy? Lemmings? How about Worms, Frogger, and Sonic? That right there’s gotta be a K.O. from my special move: Nostalgia.
1. Pac-Man Has Many Expressions, He’s Just More Lax on Showing Them Than the Rest of Us…
You can still use him as kind of a legend when you’re around other people so they know how it is you’re feeling too. They have Darth Vader and Yoda ones of these, I’ve seen them, but only in Pac-Man can I personally relate. I am hungry, round, and God damn do I love me some apples. (That is what Pac-Man eats, right? I missed the memo on the game’s lore). Everybody loves Pac-Man to the degree of it being one of those games even non-gamers have played and been addicted to over the course of their lives. If you want people to know you’re a geek and proud, Pac-Man shirts are the way to do it. Live long and geek out.
2. If Pac-Man Was Real, This is How He’d Look…
Scared yet? Terrified? Exhilarated? All of the above? Yeah same, it’s a pretty horrifying design but some of us live to scare and a shirt like this puts the meme-punk (get it?) in geek wear. Pac-Man’s story, if you think about it, is pretty terrifying. There’s a gigantic yellow cookie that eats dots and that’s basically all his world is. Eating dots and getting eaten by ghosts. When he reaches what he thinks is the end, there’s just another level of the same, with harder turns and faster ghosts. Pac-Man is stuck in Limbo but, as shown on this t-shirt, he is the daddy now.
3. This Adorable Retro Pac-Man Shirt Will Cleanse Your Palette
If the last one creeped you out (I’m sorry, I creep out a lot of people, it’s What I Do), have a look at this one that’s cuter than it is anything. Playing on commercials from the 50’s and 60’s (or Fallout, I know you were thinking it because I was too) Pac-Man and the ghosts have drunk the budget Kool-Aid supplied by cult-leader and supreme butt-head Jim Jones, and they’re ready to take on anything in the optimistic, upbeat way only South Park’s Mr. Hanky has managed before them. Where do we even begin arguing with that? More importantly, why would we?
4. If There’s No Royale with Cheese Left, I’ll Take a Pac-Man Burger
Expand your diet with the chain that’s been pegged to knock Wendy’s and Burger King off the map with a shirt that mixes our love of food with our love of Pac-Man. It’s an inside joke, in a way. People that don’t know Pac-Man (rare though they may be) won’t get your shirt, and as geeks, we’ve learned over the years to own the things about us that are different to everyone else. Liking or having something that not everybody gets or likes is like winning the Lottery but not getting paid for it. Not monetarily at least. You’ll be richer in spirit.
5. Give Up Your Cornflakes, Kids! Cinnamon Ghost Crunch Just Hit the Market
And, as its accompanying t-shirt shows, Pac-Man has started to let getting his own back go to his head. The eaten becomes the eat…ed, no, the ate…n? Whatever. Pac-Man is now the Leprechaun and the ghosts are a mere, delicious breakfast for him. He looks way too pleased about it too, but we can’t really blame him. As with Tom and Jerry, whenever Jerry got his own back (every damn episode), we all loved it. Now Pac-Man literally has the power and the power lies directly in the spoon. (That said, one has to wonder why it took him so long to switch to a spectral diet).
6. Ghosts Are Super Calorific, That’s the Only Downside
Should we have told Pac-Man before the Cinnamon Ghost Crunch debacle? He’s looking a little heavy on the scales here and I’m not sure he likes it (he is human-ish, after all). The positives of this are he’s too fat to go into the maze, but the negatives far outweigh (heh) those, in that he can no longer fit into his Pac-Man suit with tie combo. BUMMER. Sorry, 3-Pac, you’re living like the rest of us now. Bet you miss your old, slimline life.
Remember kids: always keep cherries in your diet.
7. This Pac-Man Shirt that Plays on the Very Hungry Caterpillar is EVERYTHING
And the kid’s book it’s based on feels like it’s been around forever. It’s at least been around since I was a kid (so early 1500’s, just to put a guesstimate on it and continue to hide my real age that is actually perfect for stuff like Mega Man merchandise and the original, non-creepy My Little Pony) and it just keeps growing in popularity. Makes sense, then, that he and Pac-Man be thrown into a blender and mixed until it’s puked out as an awesome shirt. They are, after all, both Very Hungry.
8. If Over-Sized T-Shirts Are Your Bag, This One Should Do the Trick!
The only downside to this shirt is that it’s going to bug me forever that Pac-Man is risking going after the dot when he could go back on his steps and then go around the way the ghost is going around (unless the ghost turns right?) but I guess we’ll never know the outcome of this game, and I guess, in addition, that the moral of this Pac-Man shirt is that we’ve really got to start adapting to live life without too much of a plan. Plans can go wrong, and you really don’t want that to happen when you’re mere points away from beating your high score!
9. Turns Out, if you Pit Pac-Man Against a Ghost 1-on-1, He Might Come Out on Top
On your top, that is. On this Pac-Man shirt, Pac-Man turns the tables to make a ghost sweat. No longer do they have the upper hand (which, for things that don’t have hands, is a feat in itself), Pac-Man’s journey through all of these shirts has been one of self-discovery. Pac-Man is kind of like a yellow version of Jon Snow, if you think about it, just a really hungry version. The ghost just needs to accept his pending doom. We’ll just wrap him in a video game wall art print and let him drift out to sea.
10. Ever See Pac-Man be CAMP Before?
Neither, which is why I’m super into this t-shirt. I mean, on the one hand, the camping can actually be camping. There are ghost tents on a hill, after all, but if you want to make your life a little more colorful for a while, join me in exploring my version of Geek Camp. (Rainbows and unicorns and Pricefield, oh my!) Whichever way you take this t-shirt, the design of it is really unique and different, making it one of the coolest Pac-Man shirts out there, if you ask me. Not that you did…..
11. Well, That’s One Way to Win the Game…
Just crash the entire system like video game lore says the first Atari version of Pac-Man did in 1983. If you’re going to go all out to win the game, you might as well literally go all out to the point of single-handedly destroying technology for a little while, no? Did Nostradamus predict any world ending in the 80’s? Because the idea of not playing Pac-Man and then having my super-hip-technologically-advanced Atari crash on me rattles me to the core.
12. Score in this Retro Pac-Man Shirt
Get tons of giggles for it — sorry, Manly Chuckles — when you wear it, as well. This shirt probably isn’t for kids who have just discovered Pac-Man thanks to, you know, it being LEGEN(wait for it)DARY. It’s pretty dirty and as much as I buy into the idea of a witty video game shirt being successful in starting up a conversation, I will require a drink and the new PlayStation first, thanks. I’d say a geeky engagement ring but I’m not sure we’re ready for that sort of commitment.
13. Unexpectedly, the Ghosts Didn’t Take Well to Pac-Man’s Passing
They should join the club, really. They’ve taken him away from us so many times, a lot of them when we’ve been so close to beating others’ scores or our own that it was so close we could taste it. (It tasted of cherries, naturally). Rumors in the newspapers say that Pac-Man died due to over-eating, which… yeah, I don’t think there’s anything shady going on there, but if there was, whoever actually killed him has one great alibi. Keep Pac-Man alive in your memory by keeping his post-mortem photograph close to your chest. Literally.
14. Wanted: Dead or Alive
The ghosts went down for Pac-Man’s murder. I’d like to say it’s unsurprising but after so many years of killing him over and over again (even if, a lot of the time, it was Pac-Man’s fault for trying to get the dots as fast as he possibly could. He’s an addict, okay). They look pretty guilty on this Pac-Man shirt but hey, at least we get to know their names and isn’t that what everybody wants for themselves? A little notoriety? Granted, it would be more useful if it wasn’t in the form of four mugshots, but spirits can’t be choosers.
15. If You Really Want People to Know Their Names Without them Being in Trouble…
With t-shirts, we’ve got the choice to spin our own narrative. If you maybe don’t want Pac-Man to have bit the bucket and taken the ghosts down with him, he doesn’t have to be dead. He could be happily nomming away while the ghosts get some of the attention they rightfully deserve. Pac-Man’s future is in your hands. You can even flip-flop back and forth from one day to the next!
16. Give the Ghosts Another Little Pizza Pac-Man’s Heart
Er, I mean head, but ‘head’ doesn’t fit into the play on song lyrics like I’d initially hoped. Still, the attempt was there, and I don’t feel like this Pac-Man shirt needs many other puns besides ‘pizza’, do you? If you’re more of a ghost fan than a Pac-Fan, we’ve got you covered with these last few shirts. We NEVER forgot about you. We’re too fond of these guys ourselves. That is until they ruin our lives by ruining our games. But UNTIL THEN, we’re right there with you.
17. 2-Pac Never Died, He Just Had Corrective Surgery to Become Pac-Man
Forget thug life when you can have nerd life. 2-Pac-Man made his return to the stage at Coachella, where everybody thought he was a hologram. HA. To them, I say, “You’re WRONG!” Okay, maybe I’m wrong, but this t-shirt blends 90’s pop culture and Pac-Man in all the right ways, and isn’t that what we really look for when it comes to nostalgic things? There’s a reason things from our era are considered retro now, and it’s cause we lived through a pretty awesome time for pop culture.
Pac-Man, we salute you.
We salute you hard.