Sometimes you nail it, and sometimes you fail and fail hard. McDonalds is not immune to this and when you’ve been at it as long as they have and are as huge as they are — it’s going to happen. A lot.
Take a look at 20 McDonalds items that were spectacular failures.
It was literally Campbell’s Soup in a McDonalds cup, but they thought people would be into this.
It was focused on select markets and was only in the colder months, and was around way more recently than you think.
19. Son Of Mac
It was a Big Mac, just smaller. And without the bread in the middle. And only one patty. So… basically it was a hamburger.
It was sold here and there and reports say you can still find it in parts of Canada.
What is totally hysterical about this is that McDonalds actually tried it multiple times.
The snag with McPizza was two-fold. First, it took 11 minutes to cook, which is totally not fast food by any stretch of the term. Second, they came to find out the boxes didn’t fit through the drive-thru windows.
17. McJordan Special
Michael Jordan will put his name on pretty much any product on Earth for enough money. This extends to burgers.
They took a regular burger, threw some bacon and BBQ sauce on there, and let His Airness sign off on it. The jugs of McJordan BBQ sauce have reportedly sold on the internet recently for upwards of 10 grand for some reason.
16. Chopped Beefsteak Sandwich
This was part of McDonald’s idiotic campaign to get people eating there for dinner. They took a burger, elongated it, threw it on a roll with some onions, and served packets of steak sauce with it. The whole campaign self-destructed, taking this sandwich with it.
Burger King has a horrible memory and recently introduced a nearly identical sandwich.
15. Onion Nuggets
Another part of the moronic dinner campaign, Onion Nuggets were exactly what they sound like.
Chopped onions, battered and deep fried. That’s it. Chunks of onions. This item is missed by nobody.
14. McSalad Shakers
They give you a salad in a cup with some dressing. You go to your table, pour the dressing in, put the lid on (that part cannot be stressed enough), and shake vigorously.
How anyone thought this would end in anything but salad showers is a mystery.
13. Fajitas & Burritos
McDonalds has taken a few swings at Mexican style food in their day — including trying to do Tortas in their California stores.
The Chicken Fajitas were the first in this ill-advised venture, and they just came up empty. Oddly enough, you can still get these in Canada. Again, what is with Canadian McDonalds?
This did not need to be a thing, yet it was. It got worse, since some areas had test markets of lasagna and fettuccine.
There are still some places where you can find McSpaghetti, but you don’t need to know where. You’ll just have to try to find it.
11. McHot Dog
The founder of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc, specifically banned hot dogs because he felt they were unsanitary (he had a point).
After his death, some franchises gave ol’ Kroc the finger and started serving hot dogs. Since they’re technically still banned, it’s hard to say when and where they pop up, but when they do — they fail miserably. Some international markets have them because they don’t know any better, but in the U.S. they’re unicorns.
10. McLean Deluxe
McDonalds has repeatedly tried to wrangle in the healthy crowd. Late in the 1990s, they forgot fast food isn’t health food and put this abomination out. Most of it was lean beef, but the rest of it was seaweed extract.
It may have been healthy, but it also tasted like death. People preferred to get their health kick elsewhere.
9. Spanish Omelet Bagel
Chalk this up to the existential phase McDonald’s breakfast went through for a bit there.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but they forgot McDonalds didn’t know how to make bagels. Or omelets. They were nauseating.
This was not a bad idea in concept, but when it came out it just didn’t hit and most people said no thank you.
Except the Philippines who said, “Yeah, if you’re not gonna eat that, we’ll take it…” That’s all yours, Philippines.
7. Bacon Bacon McBacon
Few photos of this exist, and you really just don’t need to see it.
In the 1990s, healthy food was the rage. Remember the McLean? Well, Australia said “screw that” and introduced a burger topped with with five slices of bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce. They then took the bun and dipped it in pork drippings. Yes, seriously.
It was pulled from the menu for Australia’s own good.
6. Eggs Benedict McMuffin
The failure of this should probably be self-explanatory.
It’s further proof of why we need to never trust McDonalds with actual food.
5. Angus Burgers
History shows that any time McDonalds tried to class up the joint, they fell on their face. The Angus burgers were the latest attempt. They figured burgers made from “pure Angus beef” would get people in the door. The snag was that most people couldn’t taste the difference and didn’t want to pay the jacked up price for what felt like the same thing.
The ones with horseradish sauce or swiss mushrooms failed even worse.
4. Mighty Wings
When McDonalds introduced chicken wings, the basic response was, “Why?”
For reasons unknown, they got mega popular in Spain, China, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. Yet in America, people were “meh” to the idea. It has recently been brought back for the uber-frightening purpose of “liquidating the remaining inventory.”
Umm, how old are those wings?
Apparently in the 1980s, they felt like lettuce got too soggy during the journey of nine feet from counter to table. Hence the some-assembly-required McDLT.
Bun and patty on one side, lettuce and tomato on the other. You then had to put it together yourself. People didn’t take to this since they were eating at McDonalds, not working there. Assembling the burger is not their job.
A franchise owner in the 1960s was having problems with sales, being in a primarily Roman Catholic area. He needed something to sell on Fridays when most customers couldn’t eat meat other than fish. Ray Kroc and the franchisee tried their ideas to see who bought more. Kroc came up with the Hulaburger that swapped the burger patty for grilled pineapple. The owner tried the Filet-O-Fish.
Guess who won.
In one of the most spectacularly offensive ideas in the history of ideas, McDonalds tried to promote the 2008 Beijing Olympics in various markets by introducing this burger, “with an exotic African sauce.”
McDonald’s sort of forgot that much of Africa was in the grip of devastating famine and maybe let’s not name a burger after a region where people are literally starving to death.