Burger King has got to be one of the most successful fast-food chains ever. From low prices to delicious Whoppers, it seems like the perfect place to go to enjoy a nice and cheap meal. But Burger King has not always been as perfect as you might think and has had its fair share of pretty questionable menu items over the years that didn’t make the team. Here are the Top 10 Biggest Flops In Burger King History (Part 2).
10. Real Meals
The rivalry between Burger King and McDonald’s wasn’t born yesterday. The two chains butt heads a lot, but especially when one or the other doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of originality. And that’s exactly what happened with Burger King’s Real Meals. Basically a rip-off of Happy Meals, Real Meals were introduced in 2019 to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Month. They consisted of Whopper combos – burger, fries, and drink in little boxes “reflecting different moods,” whatever that means. You know, if you were in a sassy mood, you could get the “YAAAS” box, or if you felt angry at the world, you could get the “Pissed” meal or the “IDGAF” one. Burger King came up with this genius idea because they thought that “not everyone wakes up happy” and wanted to reflect how real people felt every day. Kind of a direct critique of the Golden Arches’ meals, saying they were “oppressive on happiness.” Overall, it just sounds like something no one really asked for, and people were quick to let BK know. Twitter was flooded with quirky and sarcastic comments about how the Real Meals had cured their depression and how they had been wasting their money in therapy because all they really needed was some box that said “BLUE” on it, and they were good to go. Even the ads with the now-famous “All I ask is that you let me feel my way,” were eviscerated online and created a big media buzz. Here’s to hoping BK doesn’t bring them back for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
9. Nightmare King
This next Burger King item is living proof that just because something is green, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. The Nightmare King, also known as the “Green Burger” was released as a Halloween promotion back in 2018 and it was, to say the least, spooky. But not only because of its greenish, unappetizing color, which by the way, was rather sickening to look at, but also because of the cognitive effect it could have on some people. According to Burger King, eating this scary-looking burger could impact your sleep cycle and cause some serious, and very real nightmares. The name seems even more fitting now, huh? Apparently, the high level of carbohydrate and fat content in the Nightmare King could affect the most restful part of the sleep cycle and cause you to wake up earlier during that cycle. This would lead to an “interruption,” and cause you to experience vivid dreams. Others also claimed that people were experiencing nightmares after eating this particular burger because they just had that gut feeling that they were eating something bad or dangerous and that feeling was carried out into their dreams – kind of like what happens when you watch a scary movie. This last one is a bit of a stretch, granted, but it would still make sense. Who wouldn’t have bad dreams about a mysterious, green burger? Burger King could’ve made so many other healthy alternatives with a name like “Green Burger” but no. They had to go even scarier than their regular burgers. Way to scar us for life, BK!
8. Bacon Sundae
Sweet and salty usually go hand in hand. It’s the perfect combination when you don’t feel like choosing sides and want to enjoy both of these rich flavors. Allegedly. Sometimes, it sucks. Sometimes, it creates a very weird and bad combination that probably never should’ve been made. Cue the Bacon Sundae from Burger King. Now, in theory, bacon and ice cream together does not seem that horrendous. Bacon is good and ice cream is good, so where’s the harm, right? Well, it would’ve been one thing to just sprinkle little bacon bits on a soft serve. That might have been acceptable. Maybe tasty, even. But Burger King likes to think big. Instead of just adding little pieces of bacon, they went all in and dropped one thick bacon strip right in the middle of the cup, along with some caramel and chocolate syrup. But, why? Why not just stick to little bits here and there, why the need to go so big? The bacon sundae was introduced in 2012 and, let’s just say it didn’t create the hype that was expected. The bacon didn’t blend well with the ice cream, it only added some annoying saltiness to some scoops and the whole thing was just very disappointing. This proves that some things should be left in the “brainstorm” pile and never hit the menu. Burger King had to find that out the hard way. While it’s now discontinued, if you want to recreate this flop, you can always ask a BK worker to add some bacon to your sundae, but fair warning, you might be better off with just the ice cream.
You probably know by now that fast-food and innovation don’t always mix well together. Well, in 2016, people in Israel were about to find out just that, when BK released their hamburger-jelly-doughnut hybrid, the SufganiKing. It was basically just your regular, run-of-the-mill burger, only with a little twist – actually two twists – it featured donuts that mimicked the look of buns and the ketchup was on top of the bun. Okay, technically it was inside too, but inside the doughnuts. A ketchup-filled doughnut, if you may. The ketchup top looked like it was a little hat to warm the doughnut bun’s head. Or like excess jelly from a jellied doughnut. That would make more sense. But either way, it sounds adorable, right? But adorable can also mean deadly. It contained so many calories and so much fat, it was nicknamed the “Deep-Fried Monstrosity,” and for good reason. It was, after all, two of the greasiest foods ever invented put together into one, decadent experience. While the exact calorie count has never been released – gee, I wonder why – it’s safe to assume the number was astounding. And the taste wasn’t exactly as “festive” as BK had hoped. With limp shreds of pale-green lettuce and a sad, grey patty, the holiday spirit wasn’t there. It was released to celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah, but to be honest, it was more likely to give you eight days of indigestion.
6. Windows 7 Whopper
No, this wasn’t a high-tech, futuristic-looking burger that tasted like innovation. It looked more like a burger that was designed by a very hungry toddler with no sense of right or wrong. The Windows 7 burger was released in Japan in 2009 and unfortunately – or not – never made its way to the American market. It was just as the name suggests: a Whopper with 7 beef patties. Yes, 7. Not exactly the type of burger you get when you want to “eat something light.” It was only available for 7 days – get it? – and it didn’t exactly get a positive reaction. Mostly because it was 7 beef patties all in-between two soggy buns, but also because, well, that’s all it was. No cheese, barely any tomatoes or lettuce. Just beef. Endless bites filled with beef and – almost nothing but – beef. It wasn’t the most flavorful burger, that’s for sure. It was also rather a challenge to eat, accompanied by a greasy mess that just wasn’t worth it. Why not just get 7 Whoppers if you’re that hungry? Japan is often seen as the land of cool and crazy inventions, which most of the time, is very true, but with the Windows 7 Whopper, it just seems like the mark was missed.
5. Burger King Tacos
Who doesn’t love a good taco? A crispy, perfectly seasoned taco with all of your favorite toppings? Burger King wanted to hop on the taco bandwagon and came out with their very own line of tacos in 2019. They announced that their new Mexican-inspired items would be available for only $1, and well, the price is – how to put this delicately – quite appropriate, if you know what I mean. You pay for what you get. A cheap, messy taco, but not exactly the right kind of messy. The reviews are pretty mixed, some people love them and others despise them with a passion. They’re mostly described as half-filled, sludgy, gooey and do not hold up to the high expectations many have for tacos. Greasy, viscous, and overall very underwhelming, the Burger King Tacos are still surprisingly on the menu but are nowhere near the “perfect taco” standard. The sole reason why Burger King got in the taco game was because of the hype. That’s it. Fast-food tacos were becoming big – and still are – and so BK wanted to be included and delivered a rushed, badly designed taco. Don’t get us wrong, some people go crazy for them! I mean, if you’re a taco half full kind of fella and pay no mind to what others say, then, by all means, eat away!
4. Dinner Baskets
The fast-food restaurant label says it all: it’s fast food. Food you get when you’re running late or want to enjoy a quick meal. It’s not the place you go to when you want a classy and “true” dining experience. Unfortunately, that’s something that Burger King might not have completely understood when it came out with the Dinner Baskets and table service back in the 1990s. In an attempt to classy up the joint and appeal to a new type of customer, Burger King began offering table service between 4 pm and 8 pm and slightly altered the menu. You would go up to order, then you would be assigned a table number and given a basket of popcorn to snack on while waiting for your food – often for more than a little while – which would come in little baskets as well. You had your regular menu options, just served in a basket and accompanied with sides like fries, baked potato, or coleslaw. From the Whopper Dinner Basket to the Shrimp Dinner Basket, there was something for everyone. But, as we mentioned before, fast-food is supposed to be fast and on-the-go. Not waiting around at an assigned table. It was fun while it lasted, but Burger King had to say goodbye to their new posh and fancy new service after only 2 years and go back to their fast and efficient ways. So long, dinner baskets, so long!
3. BK Burger Shots
As the home of the giant Whopper, Burger King has delivered a lot of new burgers over the years. All usually bigger than the last one – hello Windows 7 Whopper – but at some point, they couldn’t go any bigger, so they went smaller. The Burger Shots were an exact replica of their predecessors – the Burger Bundles – and were put on the menu in 2008. They were these little tiny sliders all attached together by the buns, resulting in small conjoined hamburgers. And they were adorable. The reason they were kind of a flop wasn’t so much because they tasted bad, but because they were just so dang tiny. The beef patties were so small, they kept falling through the broiler grates, they took way too long for employees to assemble, and they had a lot of controversial and odd commercials. The ads were perhaps the main reason why the Burger Shots were such a flop. First was the commercial with all the ladies gathering around a guy eating the tiny burger. The way the whole commercial unfolded was kind of ambiguous and somewhat oversexualized for what it was, which is a burger. The other bizarre ad was the creepy bordering on disturbing Burger King’s plastic-headed King mascot waking up a sleeping man with an airhorn and whispering: “Don’t go to bed before the King” in a really sinister voice. Not only was it pretty freaky, but it was also so random. How is seeing a guy being startled awake make you want to eat a burger?
2. Chilli Cheese Hot Dog
We’ve talked about the failed Grilled Hot Dog BK tried to put on the map before, but now, imagine that same flopped hot dog, only with some added chili and cheese on top. What do you get? An even bigger flop. Hot dogs in general are amazing. They’re practical, not as greasy as a burger, and overall iconic. But there’s a reason why Burger King is called BURGER King. When you head over there, you expect burgers, that’s it. You don’t expect to find grilled hot dogs, especially not hot dogs with toppings like chili. If the first version of the hot dog flopped, how could they expect this one to soar? Well, to be completely honest, chili and cheese on a ‘dog does sound pretty enticing, but still, it did not belong on the BK menu. It seems that numerous fast-food chains have tried to add their own version of hot dogs at some point or another, and they have almost all failed miserably – sorry, McD’s. Burger King claimed they wanted theirs to be the Whopper of hot dogs, but turns out, it ended up being the Flopper of hot dogs. Perhaps, some foods are better left for the stadium vendors and street corner stands.
Yet, another attempt to jump on the Mexican food bandwagon, the Whopperito is every taco and Whopper fans’ wildest dream – or nightmare, depending on your take on hybrid products. The Whopperito was introduced to Burger King’s menu in 2016 and the reviews were mixed before it was even out. It was basically all the ingredients you would find in a Whopper, only instead of the usual buns, it was all wrapped inside a soft tortilla and the traditional condiments were replaced by some cheesy queso sauce. Now, it doesn’t sound so bad at all on paper, but in reality, it was a different story. People described the Whopperito as being way too heavy and way too messy to eat. The whole point of a burrito is to be able to eat it on-the-go, which is something that could hardly be done with the Whopperito. Plus, it tasted just like a Whopper. Yes, the queso and the pickles did add a little something special, but in general, it was the exact same thing, so why even bother? It seems like they thought they were really onto something and were going to revolutionize the world of Mexican cuisine, but instead it proved to be the perfect example of what not to do.