In the 1980s, Domino's Pizza was taking the country by storm, promising a hot, fresh pizza at your door in under 30 minutes. They even had an annoying advertising mascot called "The Noid" that took shots at other fast food services. McDonald's, the biggest of the big, the baddest of the bad, the real "king" of fast food couldn't take this sitting down. So naturally, the figured that they needed to add pizza to the menu. It started as a test and they started small, only about 50 stores, but by the early 90s, it had grown to over 500.
It didn't work. But, it wasn't because the pizza was gross, or becasue it was mocked (and it was both of those things), but McDonald's took it off menus because it took too much time to cook and as everyone knows, speed equals quality. Ok, maybe not that last part, but speed is an important part of McDonald's success, so the pizza was left to the Noids and the Huts of the world.
Aside from being the absolutely greatest name for a food product ever conceived, these actually sound pretty tasty. Who doesn't like chicken nuggets? Who doesn't like onion rings? Who wouldn't like combining them into one delicious package? As McD's claimed, they were "bite-sized chunks of onion, deep fried to a golden crunch." Can a crunch really be "golden?" No matter, that's not remotely important. Seriously, there should be a petition to bring these back! People should be gathering in large groups like a protest movement chanting "On-ion Nug-Gets! On-ion Nug-Gets!" Someone quick, start a FB page.
This has got to be one of the silliest ideas in history and maybe one of the grossest. Your first thought is probably that this might have been introduced in Hawaii as a homage to Hawaiian culture or something. Even in the 60s, when it first appeared on menus, McDonald's wasn't that culturally insensitive. No, instead, this was invented by the CEO of McDonald's himself, Ray Croc, as a way to grow the business on Fridays in Catholic neighborhoods when sales plummeted on beef burgers as observant Catholics didn't eat meat on Fridays. As it turned out, Catholics didn't want this atrocity either. Eventually, a franchise owner in Philadelphia struck on the idea of a fish sandwich and the Filet-O-Fish was born, saving everyone from having to eat grilled pineapple on a bun.
These beauties were introduced in February of 2013. Chicken McNuggets! But with genuine Alaskan cod! Yum!
They were removed from menus in March of 2013.
Sadly, it was an extraordinarily short run. Most people probably never had a chance to try them. No doubt, Fish McBites connoisseurs must feel like fans of the show Arrested Development, like cornballs, they just weren't given enough of a chance to catch on. These, like the Hula Burger before them, were supposed to be a hit for Lent. They weren't.
BTW, Fish McBites is really annoying to say, it seems like it should be McFish Bites, but I'm no marketing whiz.
When you think of McDonald's, you think of 5-star dining, right? Surf and turf and a bottle of wine? No, you don't? Yeah, most people don't, but that didn't stop the smart folks in charge from introducing lobster to the menu in 1993. Ok so it wasn't surf and turf, but it was lobster, in the form of a lobster roll. Reheated lobster on a butter roll, just like Mama Kennedy used to make up on Cape Cod.
Let's be real here, lobster at McDonald's just sounds like a horrible idea. What's next? Clams Casino? Frozen raw oysters? There are some things that should not exist and this is one of them. The amazing thing is, that even though they only made a very short appearance nationwide, they've been a hit in New England for years. New England, where you can get a great, cheap lobster roll almost anywhere in the summer somehow still loves them made by The Clown. Incredible! They are McRib of the Northeast!
In the late 70s, McDonald's was trying to get more of the dinner-time crowd and no doubt in an attempt to lure them away from those fancy steakhouses, they cooked up the idea of a Chopped Beefsteak Sandwich. It was a slab of beef on a bun. "Wait," you say. "Isn't this a hamburger?" You know, the thing that McDonald's has sold billions and billions of? What makes this different?
Well, for one, it's called a steak and it's a different shape than the standard McD's burger AND they serve it with fancy steak sauce. So there. It's dinner time, America! Don't forget your Onion Nuggets.
As they did in the 1970s with the McBeefy and Onion Nuggets, Mickey D's tried again in the late 80s to grow its dinner business. This time, they boldly ventured into Italian food with the famous McSpaghetti. It came to be about the same time as the McPizza.
Yep, it was probably worse than it sounds. It even came in a cardboard box and who doesn't like Italian food served in a cardboard box? Every picture we found on the internet make it look unappealing. Seriously, every single one.
Of course, it flopped as badly or worse than the McPizza. At least people moderately enjoyed eating the pizza, even if it took too long to prepare. People were immediately turned off by the McSpaghetti. And people probably still are, 30 years later. Amazingly, it seems to be a bit of a hit in the Philippines.
Of all the weird stuff that McDonald's has tried over the years, McStuffins have to be the one that sounds like they might actually taste pretty good, but look absolutely awful! Basically, they were the Clown's version of a hot pocket and everyone loves hot pockets. The problem is, even in the commercials, the products looked like puke. Like vomit, actual vomit. Super gross and probably too hot to eat on the edges and ice cold in the middle.
These tasty, meaty wings obviously deserved a strong name! These were not just regular, old chicken wings, these were MIGHTY. They were a mighty big failure too. Seriously, "mighty" is the only way to describe this level of failure that left the company with 10 million pounds of unsold wings! 10 million! That doesn't even seem conceivable! How many chickens is that? It truly boggles the mind.
This was all back in 2013 when McDonald's bought 50 million pounds of wings for this test-menu item. The wings had been a staple of the Clown's menu in the 90s, but they were discontinued in 2003. When they brought them back, at $1 a wing, customers were obviously less than impressed and while they did seemingly did sell 40 million pounds worth of the breaded nightmares, it wasn't enough to continue to roll out.
More recently, in 2016, they did bring Mighty Wings back again for a limited time in the Atlanta area. Let's just hope it wasn't the 10 million pounds of unsold wings from 2013.
There is really nothing weirder than when McDonald's tries to get healthy like he did back in 2005 with the Fruit and Walnut Salad. It was simply a cup of sliced fruit and some walnuts in a separate cup, to keep them from fighting or something. Oh, and some yogurt, of course. It has to go down as the laziest items they have ever added to a McDonald's menu. It's almost like an exec at corporate looked down at her depressing breakfast one morning and said "we should make everyone in America as miserable as I am" and voila! this "salad" was born.
Somehow, it lasted eight years on the menu, until finally going away in 2013, along with the far more popular Chicken Selects.
Long before they had anything to do with Chipotle, McDonald's tried their hand at Mexican food with the Chicken Fajita. And it sort of worked, maybe. There is a Facebook page with over 600 likes begging for the Clown to bring them back! That might not sound like a lot of likes, but it's still probably more than Nickelback has. At least Nickelback can still get these tasty throwbacks at select locations in their native Canada. There is also a petition over at change.org demanding McDonald's bring them back! They can't really be worth all that, can they?
Everyone loves brunch and one of the most popular items on brunch menus nationwide is the good old eggs benedict. A tasty poached egg with a running yolk with a slice of Canadian bacon on an English muffin with a nice dollop of hollandaise sauce. Yum.
McDonald's, as they do, completely ruined it in 2001. If you've ever made hollandaise, you know how hard it can be and the thought of it coming out of a squeeze bottle, as it likely did in the kitchen at Mickey D's, is enough to make even the most stoic French man cry. That's not even the worst part. They didn't even attempt a poached egg, instead, it was the same weird, egg mold-thing that they use for the regular McMuffin. That might not even be a real egg, much less a poached one.
Apparently, it's still available in some parts of the world.
This one wasn't so much a weird idea as it just wasn't necessary. The Arch Deluxe was one of McDonald's many attempts at a fancier, "gourmet" burger. Those never seem to work and this one didn't either. Just like the McDLT before it and the Angus Beef Burger after, it failed to capture the imagination of MickeyD's regulars, who wanted a burger, but they wanted the burger they had always had, a Quarter Pounder or a Big Mac or a regular Cheeseburger. Maybe a Double Cheeseburger if you're really going nuts.
With much fanfare and a ton of advertising, McDonald's continued the focus they had started a few years earlier on offering healthier options on their menu that was dominated by burgers, fries, and shakes. The McSalad Shaker was introduced in early 2000. It was fun! It was healthy! It was revolutionary! The customer chose which kind of salad and which kind of dressing they wanted and they could - get this - pour the dressing over the salad, which was served in a cup for some weird reason. Then, after returning the plastic top to the cup, you could SHAKE the cup, thereby spreading the dressing evenly across the salad! Revolutionary? Well, no, but actually pretty darn convenient.
It was a flop. No matter how much flack Mickey D's takes about not being healthy, people still don't want them to ACTUALLY serve healthy food.
Ok, technically, this is not a discontinued item and technically it's never really been available to most of us here in the United States, but it's so odd, we had to include it. Just look at that picture. Would you eat that? It's purple!
Taro is root vegetable popular in southeast Asia and McDonald's has made one of their signature pies out of it. We have no idea how it tastes, but it's not uncommon for the Clown to sell savory pies outside the US. It was introduced for a short while in Hawaii, but it didn't take off, despite its electric appearance.
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