As far as fast-food restaurants go, it’s pretty safe to say that McDonald’s is a go-to. You’ve got your hamburgers, your cheeseburgers, your fries, and your nuggets. But what about pizza and hotdogs? If, like Little Texas, you’re curious about what might have been, stick with us as we count down the Top 10 McDonald’s Menu Items You Can’t Order Anymore!
10. Triple-Double Burger (Batman Forever Burger)
Calling all DC fans! Also known as the Superhero Burger, the Triple-Double Burger was released in 1995 to promote the release of Batman Forever. It consisted of three beef patties and two slices of cheese – hence its name – and was served on six-inch sesame seed roll buns—the same as the beloved McRib. Sports and heroes sometimes go well together, right? (Right?) McDonald’s seemed to think so, because this burger was also sold under a few different aliases, mainly the names of regional sports stars in the 1990s and early 2000s. It was known as the Jason Kidd Burger in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona, named after Phoenix Suns player Jason Kidd. In 1998, the Triple-Double burger was sold as the Boselli Burger in Jacksonville, Florida, named after NFL player Tony Boselli. In the Sacramento area, it was named after the Sacramento Kings star Rory Sparrow. In Cleveland, the burger had two names: the Michael Dean Perry burger and the Thome Triple—named after the then Cleveland Browns player, and the first baseman for the Cleveland Indians, Jim Thome, respectively. In Canada, the Triple-Double Burger was simply sold as the Hockey Hero burger, you know, something a little easier to remember!
9. Premium Desserts
It’s safe to say that McFlurries are definitely one of McDonald’s fan-favorite menu items. While we’re all familiar with the Oreo and M&M versions, there have also been a few other more creative flavors introduced over the years, with one of the most popular being the Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry. It consisted of a strawberry and vanilla soft serve, topped with sliced strawberries. It was only on the menu for a limited time, much to the dismay of many customers. In 2017, McDonald’s released a Strawberry Shortcake Sundae, in conjunction with the Turtle Brownie Sundae. They were called “Premium Desserts” and it’s easy to see why. The Turtle Brownie Sundae was a vanilla soft serve with small chunks of chocolate chip brownie, drizzled with hot caramel and hot fudge sauce, topped with whipped cream and salted pecans. The Strawberry Shortcake Sundae featured vanilla soft serve with chunks of white cake and strawberries, strawberry sauce over top and whipped cream. Unfortunately, these are no longer available. (Come on, McD’s! What do we have to do to get some strawberry ice cream around here?) But, not to worry! If you were one of the many who loved the limited-edition flavor, we’ve got good news for you! Earlier this year, McDonald’s introduced the Strawberry McFlurry. It’s actually made with sorbet, which means vegan customers can also enjoy this sweet treat! You can order it plain or with Oreo cookie pieces for an added chocolatey crunch. So far, the flavor is only being tested in Germany, but we’re keeping our hopes high that it will eventually move its way to the good old’ U.S. of A!
8. Chicken Fajitas
In the 1990s, McDonald’s introduced Chicken Fajitas and Breakfast Burritos. While a breakfast burrito option is still available, their Chicken Fajitas have long since been retired. They consisted of chicken, cheese, red and green bell peppers, and diced onions wrapped up in a flour tortilla and served with either mild or spicy Picante sauce packets. With Mexican fast-food chains like Chipotle gaining popularity in the early 90s, it’s no wonder McDonald’s wanted to get in on the action. There isn’t a whole lot of information on why the dollar menu item was pulled, but one thing’s for sure: it is sincerely missed. If you live in the UK, there’s a variation of the classic Chicken Fajita called “The Fajita Chicken One” which you can order with either crispy or grilled chicken breast strips, lettuce, Pepper Jack cheese, red onion rings, Jalapeño slices, and Mexican salsa on a toasted tortilla wrap. Canada also has a few different wrap variations if you’re looking for a close second to the Chicken Fajita. For some reason, American options are a little more limited. You’ve got the Sausage Burrito – featuring fluffy eggs and pork sausage to start your day – and… well that’s about it. McDonald’s USA did have wraps at one point, but they were phased out around 2016, only three years after they were first introduced. Apparently, there just wasn’t much of a market for them and simply created more work for the employees. McDonald’s typically aims for a simple menu and speedy service, and wraps just didn’t fit this formula.
7. McJordan Special
The McJordan Special was a value meal dedicated to the legendary NBA star, Michael Jordan. It was introduced in 1992 and was only sold regionally in the Chicago area. The value meal consisted of a Quarter Pounder with cheese, pickles, raw onions, bacon and barbeque sauce on a sesame seed bun; fries and a drink. The burger itself, however, was also called the Big 33 and was named after Boston Celtics star Larry Bird—although most people remember it as the McJordan. If you’re really craving one of these right about now, you’re in luck! On September 8, 2020, in the midst of an worldwide crisis, McDonald’s graced us with the revival of the McJordan Special. However, It is now called the Travis Scott Meal, in partnership with the famous rapper, Travis Scott. While the original version had McDonald’s classic circular bacon, the revival uses normal, modernized bacon strips. Unsurprisingly, the Travis Scott meal was incredibly successful. In fact, McDonald’s actually ran out of ingredients in some locations and, in others, the Quarter Pounders were sold out entirely. Keep in mind this is McDonald’s we’re talking about here. They sell around two billion burgers every year!
6. Fish McBites
This is one long-lost menu item that most people would prefer stay lost at sea. Unlike most of the other items on this list, Fish McBites were not so commonly sought after. They were introduced in 2013 and only lasted about a month until they were removed in March that same year. (Whomp, whomp…) They were the first new addition to Happy Meals in several years and were likely modeled after McDonald’s Chicken McBites from the year prior. The Fish McBites were battered, deep-fried pieces of flaky Alaskan Pollock—the same fish that is used in the Filet-O-Fish—and served with tartar sauce for dipping. In addition to being included in Happy Meals, Fish McBites came in a special carton container that held dipping sauces in the lid when flipped open. They were marketed toward the Catholic population as an alternative menu item during Lent, and were specifically meant to have a short run. However, they never returned in the following years after that due to a lack of sales. If there’s one thing we loved about this discontinued food, it was the advertisements. One of them starred mounted fish and another featured an anthropomorphic Fish McBite, each grooving to the catchy jingle for the menu item! Fish-fish McBites-McBites! Fishy, Fishy!
5. Fried Apple Pie
Apple pie at McDonald’s might be just as big of a staple as ice cream, as far as desserts go. And that’s not an exaggeration. Their apple pie is as old as their Big Macs! Both menu items were added to the McDonald’s menu in 1968, with apple pie being the very first dessert offered at the franchise. Mickey D’s apple pie was created at a franchise in Knoxville, Tennesse. McDonald’s had been struggling with the addition of desserts to their menu, and after kolackies, brownies, and strawberry shortcakes fell short, a McDonald’s restaurant owner in Knoxville had an idea. Litton Cochran loved the apple pies his mother used to make for him and decided he would start selling them at his restaurant. He employed his mom and sister as dessert chefs and they followed the original recipe from his childhood. And, so, the McDonald’s in Knoxville began selling fried turnover-style apple pies tucked into a cardboard pouch. You probably guessed the rest – they were a huge hit! And the rest is history… At least until 1992, when the franchise made the soul-crushing decision to move from fried apple pies to baked ones. This sparked national outrage! To this day, many still prefer the classic fried taste to the newer baked apple pies, and there are plenty of recipes online that try to recreate the original! It’s unclear why McDonald’s made the switch in the first place since the baked apple pie really isn’t that much healthier. To make matters worse, they changed their recipe again in 2018, this time with the explicit attempt to make it healthier. The new recipe features 100-percent American sliced apples instead of the diced mixture of yore, and lattice design and sugar sprinkles instead of a cinnamon and sugar coating. Ironically, the pie is still spiced with cinnamon and actually has more sugar than the older version. History seems to have repeated itself because there was yet another uproar over the pie, this time online. Let this be a lesson, McDonald’s: Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke!
This was basically McDonald’s attempt at Hot Pockets. They were made of baguettes filled with ingredients like pepperoni, barbecue chicken or teriyaki chicken and, of course, cheese. They were released in 1993 and had a pretty short run, and were removed from the menu that same year. The commercials are pretty true to 90s culture. The first ad, No Telling, features a McDonald’s employee, Jerry, and who we can assume is his girlfriend, or simply a friend. He says they’re not supposed to tell anyone about the new menu item but she convinces him to anyway. Jerry goes on to describe the French bread and the four flavors it’ll be stuffed with. The commercial ends with him inciting the girl not to tell anyone, but you can probably guess what happens in the second advertisement. It’s called Who Told? and opens in a McDonald’s restaurant with a manager and two employees wondering how all the customers already know about McStuffins. The manager goes on to describe the menu item the same way Jerry did, asking several employees if they told. Each one replies that they didn’t. Jerry is then shown standing outside the McDonald’s watching the fleet of customers enter the restaurant. The secret’s out: It’s the best thing since sliced bread! As he enters, the manager asks if he mentioned the new product to anyone and Jerry feigns innocence: “Mentioned… what?”
3. Szechuan Sauce
The Szechuan Sauce was a dipping sauce for Chicken McNuggets and was yet another promotional food item tied to a movie. This time, for Disney’s 1998 original Mulan! It was a limited-edition condiment and was meant to replicate traditional Chinese Szechuan Sauce. In the Happy Meal, it was accompanied by one out of a set of eight Mulan toys, featuring various characters from the film. Although the sauce was supposed to be discontinued, it returned briefly to the menu in 2017 and 2018. If you’re a fan of Rick and Morty, you know why. In a 2017 episode of the Adult Swim science fiction dark comedy series, Rick visits a McDonald’s in his memory to experience the taste of Szechuan teriyaki dipping sauce one last time. The gag is then brought up again at the end of the episode when Rick goes off on a tangent, declaring that one day, even if it takes 9 seasons or 97 years, he will finally get more Mulan Szechuan Sauce. Fans of the show took to social media to express their enthusiasm for wanting to try the sauce themselves. Thus, McDonald’s brought back the sauce for a single day in October of 2017, which turned out to be kind of a bust. They had so little quantity of the sauce that it was barely distributed, and the same went for the limited-edition posters they were giving out with the sauce. The corporate phone lines were overwhelmed and a man was stabbed in the middle of a long line during the distribution of it in Los Angeles. The fast-food chain did send Justin Roiland, the creator of the show, a four-pound bottle of the sauce in a customized suitcase and a letter explaining how they’d traveled to Dimension C-1998M—where it’s always 1998—and managed to bring back some of the long-lost menu item. On February 22nd, 2018, McDonald’s announced that it would bring back the beloved sauce – this time for longer and in a larger quantity—20 million cups to be exact!
It’s pretty rare to meet anyone who doesn’t like pizza and McDonald’s knew this when they introduced the McPizza to their menu in 1989. It started out as a family-sized pizza that workers would bring out and place on racks in the center of tables. It was later scaled down to personal-size. By 1991, McPizza’s were being sold in over 500 locations before its marketing was put on hold. By the year 2000, pizza was removed from the menu at most McDonald’s restaurants. In fact, the only place McPizzas are still available at is a location in Orlando, Florida, where you can also still get McPasta! (Yes. McPasta. And yes. It’s exactly what it sounds like) The reason behind the discontinuation of the McPizza was the time it took to prepare and cook: 11 minutes. McDonalds prides itself on quick service and it simply took too long for customers to receive their pies. (Talk about holding up the drive-thru!). So the next time you head to Orlando, you can double your pleasure and get a McPizza and stop at Disney World!
It’s only seems natural for hamburgers and hotdogs to go together, right? Well, McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc would have disagreed. He publicly condemned the food as “dirty”, claiming you never really knew just what was inside a hotdog’s skin. He thought of the quality standards at McDonald’s as too high to include a hotdog on its menu. Despite this, the McHotDog was eventually sold at locations across the Midwest as a summer item in 1995. In the late 90s, it was also sold in the UK and was brought back in 2002 as a seasonal item. In Pennsylvania and Toronto, certain restaurants sold it until 1999, although it returned to locations in Pennsylvania in 2007, due to popular demand by local sports fans. As of today, the only place the McHotDog is still available in is Japan! It’s a little further than travelling for the McPizza, but at least die-hard McDonald’s fans still have the opportunity to try the rare menu item!