Planters confirmed that Mr. Peanut died during a pre-Super Bowl ad and nut lovers everywhere Wednesday are mourning his death.
The snack company posted the ad of Mr. Peanut, clad in his signature top hat and holding his black cane, and his friends, Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh, getting into a car accident to social media Tuesday. As the trio tries to escape the swerving NUTmobile, they cling to a tree branch. While they were momentarily safe, their combined weight nearly snaps the branch until Mr. Peanut decides to let go and sacrifice his life to save his friends.
“It’s with heavy hearts that we confirm Mr. Peanut has passed away at 104 years old,” Samantha Hess, planters brand manager at Kraft Heinz, said in a statement. “He will be remembered as the legume who always brought people together for nutty adventures and a good time."
According to Hess, fans can "tune into Mr. Peanut's funeral" during the third quarter of the Super Bowl when the company's full ad will premiere.
"I'll do my best to honor his legacy and be there for my friends like he was always there for me even until our last wild ride together," Walsh said in a statement encouraging viewers to "pay their last respects" during the Super Bowl.
But some fans are not waiting until the Feb. 2 game to pay tribute to their favorite animated nut.
"Always classy, always crunchy, always cleaned up nicely," read a tweet from the official Mr. Clean account. "We'll miss him!"
"As a kid with a severe peanut allergy, I was raised to fear Mr. Peanut," tweeted another person. "But he always seemed so pleasant and jovial. He will be missed!"
Yet some remain critical of Mr. Peanut, even after his death, while others questioned whether Mr. Peanut was actually dead.
"Mr. Peanut, who wore a monocle and top hat while selling fellow peanuts, was the ultimate capitalist," tweeted editor Jonathan Cohn.
"These marketing IDIOTS think I’m gonna fall for their obvious 'Mr. Peanut is dead' ploy?," wrote comedian Ian Abramson. "They’ll have a funeral for Mr. Peanut at the Super Bowl. Here’s the thing: he’s a nut (legume, I know, but still). His buried body will GROW more peanuts."
Mr. Peanut's death is only one of Planter's many promotional efforts as the Super Bowl approaches. The company said people who spot the NUTmobile up until Super Bowl Sunday will receive a pin celebrating Mr. Peanut’s life.
Fans can also enter to win commemorative packaging that shows Mr. Peanut throughout his lifespan from Jan. 24-Jan. 27.