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Please help me to understand the meaning of "everything is all MoonPies and salted peanuts" in this context:

“Toby.” A brief pause. “Don’t even try. You really expect I would give that sorry excuse to Jason? The software patch we sent out to fix the frame- rate problem made everything worse and now people are raisin’hell ’cause they got weapons malfunctioning and dragons flying ass- backward. You’d better come up with some kinda brand- new patch to fix it, or . . . hold on.” Another cell phone went off, and she grabbed it out of a bag slung over her shoulder. “Yeah,” she said into the second phone. “I got the asshole on the other line, trying to convince me everything is all MoonPies and salted peanuts.”

Excerpt from "Crystal Cove" by Lisa Kleypas

Is it something like everything is as nice as unicorns and rainbows?

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It means "everything is perfect", perhaps in way that is "too good to be true".

I've not heard it before, but there are a number of other similar idioms:

  • "everything is rainbows and butterflies"
  • "everything is rainbows and unicorns"

It is quite common for English speakers to make up their own version of this idiom, keeping the format but replacing the nouns with other things associated with perfect, idealistic conditions - common substitutes being sunshine, lollipops, lemondrops and roses. Moonpies and salted peanuts are both snack foods, maybe considered "comfort" foods, and so are synonymous with 'feeling good'.

These expressions are just as likely to be used sarcastically as they are sincerely. In your example, it is being used sarcastically as it is being used to exaggerate and mock what the person on the phone is saying.

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    Other than this question, other SE sites showing this question in hot network questions list, and actual excerpts of the Crystal Cove book ... the Internet has no hits for this phrase. Author made it up. – Ross Presser Sep 16 at 19:53
  • Not sarcastic. The guy on the first phone is trying to persuade the talker everything IS actually wonderful. She's being ironic as (II assume) both her and the 2nd caller are aware of the (non-wonderful) reality, but the phrase itself isn't sarcastic. – mcalex Sep 17 at 8:44
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    @Astralbee I think mcalex's point was that while the speaker is being derisive about the caller, she's not technically being sarcastic. Sarcasm requires irony, and nothing ironic is being said about the caller on the other end of the line -- the caller really IS [presumably] trying to convince the speaker that everything's fine. It's just a quibble, and your assertion that this construction is frequently used sarcastically is very true, this just may not be one of those cases. – A C Sep 17 at 16:03
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    @RossPresser: A pairing I've used in the past is "beer and Skittles", which, AFAIK, isn't used by anyone else, but it's the same idea. – John Bode Sep 17 at 16:33
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    @johnbode Beer and skittles is definitely out there. Tom Leherer's comic song "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" from the 50s has the lyric "Life is skittles, and life is beer" and "skittles and porter" frisky appears in Dickens's The Pickwick Papers (1837). – Ross Presser Sep 17 at 22:00
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You have the gist of it, it is meant to meant that everything is just great, peachy-keen, hunky-dory, etc.

Side note: it's kind of an odd pairing. Moon-pies are typically considered a Southern comfort/junk food. So if the author was trying to give this a Southern feel, boiled peanuts would have made a better choice than salted peanuts as boiled peanuts are another typical Southern food and salter peanuts are not

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    Boiled peanuts are often also salted, so it could still work. – Darrel Hoffman Sep 16 at 18:54
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    but no one refers to them as salted peanuts – Kevin Sep 16 at 19:02
  • Ha, so "MoonPies" are actually a thing! Being from the UK I'd never heard of them and just assumed it was an imaginary, pleasant sounding, out of this world, thing of niceness! – MrWhite Sep 18 at 12:58
  • Yes, they are a real thing. It's basically a sandwich of two graham cookies with marshmallow cream in the middle and then dipped in a coating, originally chocolate but now there are a variety of coatings. It's actually the official snack of my home town – Kevin Sep 18 at 13:10

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