If there’s one style of food that’s more synonymous with American dining than any other, it’s fast food. Burgers, fried, chicken nuggets… you know fast food when you see it. And while it could be argued that the majority of fast food items deserve their places on their respective menus, some of them really never should have existed at all.
When McDonald’s decided back in the summer of 2013 that they were finally going to roll out their Mighty Wings — breaded and fried chicken wings — on a national scale, the timing seemed right: wings were everywhere, competitors like Buffalo Wild Wings were booming, and everyone was tiring of burgers. But they were too expensive and too spicy, and people just didn’t really feel right eating wings at McDonald’s. The product failed miserably, leaving 10 million pounds of unsold wings sitting around. Even though they actually tasted pretty good if you could handle the spice, there was just no reason for these to make it onto the menu.
Burger King spent millions of dollars developing and rolling out a lower-calorie French fry in 2013, even though there was zero demand for them. Despite a marketing push, nobody bought them, because nobody who’s eating fries cares if they’re healthy or not. They fell off just about every location’s menu within a year of their release. More like saddest fries.
Once you were done assembling your McDLT, which was offered by McDonald’s between 1984 and 1990 (before people realized that they were wasting an obscene amount of Styrofoam), you were left with a normal McDonald’s burger. The gimmick? The container had two separate compartments, one containing the hot beef patty and bottom bun and the other with the cool lettuce and tomato and the top bun. Put them both together and you’re left with… the same burger as always. Huh?
KFC decided to help Americans clog up their arteries when they rolled out a novelty item that somehow became an actual real menu item. Twice-fried chicken patties with bacon, cheese, and secret sauce in the middle, this can barely be called a sandwich (even though KFC did). This monstrosity should never have been thrust upon a public that for the most part doesn’t need the extra calories.
Taco Bell launched their breakfast menu with much fanfare in early 2014, with some very of-the-moment menu items like the Waffle Taco and A.M. Crunchwrap. But one breakfast item really had no place among the savory foods: Cinnabon Delights. Like Munchkins, except filled with cream and far greasier than they should be, these should not exist on any breakfast menu, let alone one that specializes in Tex-Mex food. Even worse? They’ve spawned what’s sure to be a limitless amount of spinoffs, like their new Cap’n Crunch Delights.
One quarter-pound burger patty is enough. Two quarter-pound burger patties is more than enough, and most burger aficionados will tell you that a half-pound is the perfect amount of meat in a burger. Three quarter-pound patties, though? Give us a break, Wendy’s. It’s overkill, and so are the 1,090 calories and 66 grams of fat.
The mid-2000s was the era of “EXTREME,” and in 2005, Burger King attempted to cash in by pairing that with the growing trend of fast food breakfast sandwiches by introducing the Enormous Omelet Sandwich. Comprised of eggs, cheese, bacon, and sausage on a sesame-seed roll (add ham and you’ve got the Meat’normous Omelet Sandwich), this artery-clogging overload performed well at first, but sales fizzled out once consumers realized that they probably didn’t want to eat 330 milligrams of cholesterol for breakfast.
While we’re on the subject of chains trying to sell food items that are far beyond their comfort zones, why does McDonald’s think it needs to sell lobster rolls? Because it doesn’t need to sell lobster rolls. Lobster rolls are the domain of homey and rustic New England shacks, perched right on the water. And trust us, if someone were in the mood for a lobster roll, they wouldn’t head to McDonald’s.