Three women stand with Stanley Cups, one of which is the size of the woman holding it. From "Big Dumb Cups" sketch on Saturday Night Live.

Don’t Worry, They’re Not Coming For Your Silly Oversized Cup

Recently, searches for a Stanley cup recall have started popping up on Google. Hey, maybe that’s how you found your way to this article! Is there a Stanley cup recall? Is your Stanley cup poisoning you? Here’s what all the brouhaha is about—and why you should retire that big stupid thing anyway.

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What is the controversy over Stanley Cups?

A few months ago, my 11 year old daughter told me she wanted a Stanley cup for Christmas. Not one of those unacceptable knockoff cups. A real, authentic Stanley cup, with the little logo on it and everything. I balked at the $45 price tag, but luckily she got an Amazon gift card from her grandfather, so she was able to buy the thing herself.

What is a Stanley cup, you may be wondering for some reason? It’s an oversized tumbler with a handle, officially called the Stanley Quencher, made by a company called Stanley, which makes assorted vessels for beverages. The Quencher comes in 30 and 40 oz sizes, for when you like to spend your days constantly running to the bathroom to pee. Apparently, every single middle schooler in the U.S. has one.

The moment the cup arrived, my child declared that it was unusable. This thing she’d been wanting for months. Why? Because it would supposedly give you lead poisoning.

That doesn’t seem to be true, though. As Stanley has explained, each cup contains a pellet, which in turn contains some lead, that keeps its interior vacuum sealed. The pellet doesn’t come into contact with the liquid inside, so lead poisoning from a Stanley cup is extremely unlikely. Unless you go at your cup with a drill or something, the pellet should stay safely contained within the lining of the cup.

I suspect the real reason my daughter didn’t want to use her coveted cup is because the lead panic was a convenient out for people who suddenly realized how silly these things are. Yes, you heard me. These cups are stupid. Don’t believe me? Let Saturday Night Live explain it to you with their “Big Dumb Cups” sketch.

Mmm, I can taste the bacteria!

So there’s no Stanley cup recall?

Nope. As of this writing, the company has declared its cups safe for use, and is not issuing a recall on the Stanley Quencher. However, there is a class-action lawsuit going on over the company’s delay in disclosing that they use lead in their manufacturing. Do what you will with that information.

And in the meantime? If you need an expensive container for your water (or vodka, I dunno), get a Hydro Flask instead.

(featured image: NBCUniversal)


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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>