Mall-lite 8: Wetzel’s Pretzels (5) vs Hot Topic (1)

Episode 12

26th March 2024

The Mall-lite 8 continues with Food Court vs Mixed Nuts. Snacks vs Scene. Wetzel’s Pretzels vs Hot Topic!

Episode notes

The Mall-lite 8 continues with Food Court vs Mixed Nuts. Snacks vs Scene. Wetzel’s Pretzels vs Hot Topic!

Wetzel’s Pretzels was our fifth seed in the Food Court and has surprised all but one of us with its win after win. Gen-Z correspondent Ashley Dueñas knew all along what kind of contender we had on our napkin-covered hands. We talk about shopping while pretzeling, the story behind their founders, and if we think it has what it takes to make it to the Final Floor.

Facing the pretzel stand that won’t quit is the number one seed in the Mixed Nuts region, Hot Topic. After handily taking down mall icons along the way, Hot Topic finds itself facing the question du jour when it comes to mall stores: Is it still relevant? We dive into what Hot Topic has provided to generations of adolescents, our memories, and whatever “scene” might be.

Wanna get involved? Find us on social media @maxfunhq and participate in our mall polls! But be quick, because votes close in 24 hours.

Find the March Malldness bracket here:

MaxFunDrive ends on March 29, 2024! Support us now by becoming a member at

In this episode...

Host & Producer
Host & Producer
Host & Producer


  • Ashley Dueñas

About the show

MaxFun Presents is dedicated to stuff a little more behind the scenes and fun at Maximum Fun, a worker-owned podcast network. 

Join the staff of Maximum Fun as we argue over what makes the perfect mall store in our March Malldness bracket. Is it the iconic scent of a baked pretzel or cinnamon roll as you walk through the food court? Affordable ear piercings or blacklight band posters? Memories of an unsanctioned sports official checking if your shoe size is in the back or lounging in a massage chair after a long day of shopping?

Every episode pits two iconic mall brands head-to-head from regions like Department Stores, Food Court and “I’m just looking” to decide what deserves your vote in the March Malldness bracket. The winner will be announced during the MaxFunDrive Finale stream on Friday, March 29, 2024.


Host & Producer

Host & Producer

Host & Producer

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

Share this show

New? Start here...