A HobNob is a brand of biscuit made from rolled oats and jumbo oats, similar to a flapjack/digestive biscuit hybrid. They are mainly sold in the United Kingdom. The biscuit can be dunked in tea without losing its shape. Invented by Julien Pike, the recipe was purchased by McVitie's who introduced the brand in Scotland in 1984. A milk chocolate-covered version was made available in 1987, and the biscuit is currently available in many varieties, including dark chocolate, chocolate orange, and HobNob bars. Other HobNob-branded snacks include a HobNob flapjack.
The original tagline of the HobNob was "one nibble and you're nobbled"
, although it has been removed from the Chocolate Orange varieties.
The name comes from an earlier phrase, to hob or nob, meaning "to drink together, taking turns toasting one another," probably from Middle English habbe "to have" and nabbe, a contraction of ne + habbe, "to have not," hence, "to have and have not, to give and take." The earliest hob nobs first appeared in 1343; hob nob residue has been found on Medieval crockery and Geoffrey Chaucer made reference to them in his Canterbury Tales
- A sketch in the British comedy show [[A Bit of Fry and Laurie] mentioned a "chocolate HobNob" as euphemism for sodomy.]
- Pundit Roddy Forsyth mentioned before taking part in the 28th of October episode of BBC Five Live's show Fighting Talk, that he had his "HobNob, my cup of tea" and that "everything is right with the world."
- HobNobs are Keane's drummer Richard Hughes' favourite biscuit.
- HobNobs are Francois Bs' favourite biscuit.
- Comedian Peter Kay uses HobNobs in his trademark jokes in which he calls them "the Marines, the bloody SAS of the biscuit world!". Kay has also called them the "Steven Seagals of the biscuit world".
- In the British comedy 'Bottom' episode 6 of season 2 featured the character Eddie saying 'I've got a packet of chocolate Hobnobs' resulting in a fight during which the hobnobs fly into a pond.
- The fictional character Inspector Fowler from the TV series The Thin Blue Line, played by Rowan Atkinson, often mentions chocolate HobNobs as being his favourite sweet.
- In the webcomic Sheldon, Sheldon, his duck and the cartoonist himself, Dave Kellet, have proclaimed their love of HobNobs in a number of strips. Sheldon asking for distribution in the US and Dave Kellet fantasizing receiving a full crate
- HobNob is the Nickname of esteemed playwright and social commentator Rebecca Hodgkinson. Interestingly, the etymology is related to Hobbit and a reported likeness to the creatures detailed by Tolkien, rather than a personal predilection to oat biscuits.
- Hob Nob Anyone? an unofficial fanzine site dedicated to Reading Football Club. The name Hob Nob Anyone? is in reference to the Reading's association with biscuit making.
- Comedian Ricky Gervais has stated his love for Hob Nobs on the Xfm Radio show he presented with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington.
- Comedian Peter Kay produced a skit in which he compared Rich Tea biscuits and HobNobs. He described how HobNobs were far more superior to Rich Tea biscuits due to their stability when dunked in a cup of tea.
- Cartoonist Dave Kellett of Sheldon Comics often is given HobNobs at conventions after the February 16, 2006 comic he did about them.
- Yorkshire-born rapper Braintax recorded the track Munchies from his 2008 album My Last And Best Album that heavily featured the HobNob as a superior biscuit.
- The founding biscuit for Biscuit Wednesday