It’s often said that people will try anything at least once, and it’s true, fast food companies have gone to outrageous lengths to prove that human beings will stuff just about anything in their faces. To anybody who asks why these outsized food items exist at all, the answer is always – the crazier it is, the bigger it is, the higher the risk of failure, the more likely it will become memorable, so – why not? Junk food has always been tied to people’s quest to fulfil their most primal and decadent food desires, and these menu items have proven that sometimes bigger equals better. So, without further ado, here is a run down of some of the top 10 most outrageous fast food menu items of all time.
10. The Kuro Ninja Burger
Otherwise known as the Kuro Pearl Burger, the Black Pearl, or sheer irrationality, this Japanese Burger King contraption is certainly one of the most visually intriguing burgers ever put out by any fast food chain – ever. Featuring a now-infamous black dyed bun and jet-black cheese, stained with bamboo charcoal, wrapped around a fat black-peppered beef patty, with squid ink ketchup as a condiment, the good people at Burger King must really have wanted to test the limits of what people consider appetizing. And apparently the risk paid off – this burger was a massive hit, lighting up the internet – and people’s taste buds, with its bizarre Addams Family style aesthetic and apparently succulent flavor profiles. Burger King has said that the Kuro Ninja burger was one its greatest hits, and customers have rhapsodised about its memorable, savoury flavor which is apparently reminiscent of a charcoal barbecue flame grill. Of course it was a hit. The chain attempted to import this burger over to the US for one Halloween season, but it didn’t catch on in quite the same way, probably because people were too terrified by the look of a colorless, tar-colored sandwich to muster up any hunger to consume it. But you can’t blame Burger King for trying to recreate their Tokyo success story, any more than you can blame people for being attracted to it in the first place. And at least Burger King can say they succeeded in scaring the pants off of people just in time for Halloween, which was enough for most people.
9. KFC Fried Chicken and Donuts
KFC finally went the distance, stuffing a massive chunk of deep fried chicken between two deep fried glazed donuts, combining breakfast, lunch, and dinner into a sweet and savory calorie bomb that completely transcended the idea of a meal altogether. In 2016 this Kentucky-based fried-chicken chain unleashed their fried chicken and donuts creation onto the world and then sat back and dared people to eat it. And people did – lots of them. Customers came in droves, discarding every piece of health advice they have ever been given by their doctors for the sake of chowing down on this monstrosity. The KFC fried chicken and donut sandwich was apparently so popular it went flying out the window the month it was introduced, after KFC made a solid bet that people wouldn’t care what it was they were eating as long as it was delicious. Clearly capitalizing on the chicken and waffles phenomenon, this gamble paid off – the sandwich became a viral hit, spawning countless homemade copycats, especially after customers complained online that the donuts themselves were a bit cake-y and dry. But that is otherwise known as nitpicking. It’s a fried chicken and donut sandwich, people – enough said! Sadly – or thankfully – this frankensandwich was only available for a month before KFC decided to put a halt to the madness, which led fans to declare a week of national mourning, and commemorate this donut-chicken mash-up with its own national holiday! Okay maybe the last part is a stretch, but legends never die, and this breakfast-slash-dinner indulgence has made its mark on society in ways that we’ll probably never know.
8. Burger King Mac n’ Cheetos
Arguably two of the most popular cheese-related indulgences of all time are Mac n’ Cheese and Cheetos, so it makes sense that somebody would eventually attempt to jumble these cheesy staples into one single food item. This brings us to Burger King’s Mac n’ Cheetos. Back in 2016 Burger King proudly started sprinkling Cheetos dust onto its Mac and cheese side dish, both in regular and flamin’ hot flavors, which made perfect sense, because who doesn’t want a face full of Cheetos dust that also burns your nose and mouth? This concoction only lasted a year in restaurants before migrating to Walmart shelves so people could continue to indulge in this epic Frito Lay – Burger King masterpiece, only without the hassle of having to ask somebody for it. This fried Cheeto ball of wonder is harder to get your hands on these days, as Burger King has discontinued the menu item for the time being – but frankly those who tried it are happy it ever existed at all, and that Burger King dared to dream so big. Besides, if you really can’t live without your Mac n’ Cheetos, deep frying some mac n’ cheese and Cheetos together doesn’t sound all that hard. Just ask the internet.
7. Wendy’s Japan Fois Gras Burger
If you’re ever looking to class up your life with a splash of luxury and feast on some of the most coveted and opulent food ingredients in the world – look no further than…Wendy’s. In Japan. Foie Gras, the French fatty goose liver which is synonymous with decadent, high-end deliciousness, and an ethically dubious practice known as gavage – the force feeding of geese to fatten the birds liver, rendering the foie more delicious – was destined to adorn a fast food menu at some point, and Tokyo Wendy’s was the first to go the distance. You can’t blame the fine people at Tokyo Wendy’s headquarters for attempting to slam a large hunk of foil gras on top of a burger, throw a tomato, cheese and, yes, a completely gratuitous slather of truffles over it and call it fast food. Part luxury, part insanity, this burger was made to be savored by only the most discerning and elite fast food diners, which translates into whoever wanders into a Wendy’s in Tokyo at 2 am ready to shell out $16 bucks on it. Not soon after this feat of madness was attempted in Japan, Burger King in the UK attempted to replicate this sandwich, only updating it’s snobbishness factor by trying to charge 88 pounds for it, in a publicity stunt which went off the rails when animal rights groups protested. Sorry Wendy.
6. Taco Bell’s Cheetos Quesadilla
To those who have been tormented by the age-old question of what a quesadilla tastes like when you add a pile of cheese puffs into it, your prayers have finally been answered. Taco Bell’s Cheetos Quesadilla is either a cheese lovers dream come true or a complete nightmare depending on how often you throw a bag of chips into your dinner and call it a meal. Back in 2016, Taco Bell restaurants around the Philippines began offering this completely delicious looking quesadilla to customers, and the reaction was swift and decisive. The people came, from far and wide, across the valleys and over mountains to clog their arteries with this Tex-Mex fast food Frito-Lay tie in, which became an overnight sensation. Soon after it was released exclusively in the Philippines, to the dismay of North American Taco Bell customers who were tired of only getting Doritos in their tacos, Twitter became clogged with videos of people attempting to recreate it from the comfort of their own homes. You can guess how that worked out. You’d be surprised how much could go wrong. The bottom line is – don’t try this at home.
5. Pizza Hut Cheeseburger Stuffed Pizza
Pizza Hut might have finally went off rails when they decided to turn their stuffed crust pizza into some sort of macabre hamburger-pizza hybrids, a complete affront to everything you thought you knew about the world of pizza. A worthwhile attempt at disruption perhaps, but critics are mixed as to this experiment’s success. While the cheeseburger-stuffed crust on this so-called pizza has nearly transcended the category of pizza altogether and become it’s own unique food category, this might be one example of fast food cross breeding which might have been best left in the laboratory. Just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. But of course somebody had to – after all, burgers and pizza are the two quintessential fast food items, so it stands to reason that eventually they would be melted into a single meal. Unfortunately this monstrous food item was only served in the Middle East and UK, where it has finally found a permanent home among the late night food intelligentsia.
4. Fatburger XXXL Burger
One of the most notorious gut busting burgers, the XXXL or triple king burger from LA burger chain Fatburger, is so grandiose that some have said that it encapsulates America in burger form. This epic three burger patty sandwich could feed a small army, which goes without saying when you talk about any food related item in extra extra extra large size. Clocking in at over two thousand calories, anybody daring to take this burger on should have a comfortable bed available nearby, because this isn’t something anybody could possibly consume on their own without lapsing into a major food coma. Fatburger’s creations are renowned throughout the world, for their grilled-to-perfection deliciousness and outsized appearance, so it comes as no surprise that this burger continues to be featured prominently on their menu, apparently since those who have ordered it have actually lived to tell the tale. But this burger comes with a fair warning: if you happen to add an order of fries and a milkshake with the XXXL burger, you will likely have consumed enough fat, salt and calories as three days worth of food, so proceed wisely.
3. Arby’s Arbynator
For those who have never had enough time to eat their side order of fries, Arby’s now offers a menu item designed specifically for you: a sliced roast beef sandwich with the fries inside the sandwich. Genius! Why hasn’t anybody done this before? This over-the-top looking mountain of meat weighs up to a half pound, and comes smothered in curly cheese fries and three sauces including melted cheddar, Arby’s sauce and horsey sauce, which as far as we can tell isn’t made from real horses, so you can sleep easy. But don’t say we didn’t warn you – this sandwich is a beast, and contains over eight hundred calories, a whopping forty-two grams of fat and twenty seven thousand milligrams of sodium, which is just…like way more than your daily recommended dose of salt, but that’s irrelevant, since we all know this sandwich will exceed your daily recommended dose of anything. The Arbynator has made only brief and limited appearances throughout the years, but the sheer audacity and outrageousness of this sandwich has helped it grab headlines each time it’s reared its head.
2. KFC Double Down Dog
Whatever drunken late night brainstorm session led to this abomination is still a mystery, but KFC has proven themselves to be a company that will put everything on the line in the name of junk food glory. KFC’s double down dog has all the ingredients to satisfy the most indulgent late-night cravings: a fat hot dog sandwiched between two sizeable chunks of KFC fried chicken – as though a hot dog on its own isn’t gratifying enough. This outrageous invention became known as the Double Down Dog, a follow-up to their now infamous Double Down sandwich, which is essentially the same thing but with twice the bacon and minus the hot dog. Why double down? Maybe because after you’re done eating it you’ll need to lie down, twice. This dog is slathered with ketchup, mayo, mustard or cheese, or you can take it with all of them together, which is the preferred method of consumption. While the original Double Down went on to become a cult hit throughout America, variations of this outrageous sandwich have popped up all over the globe, including a Waffle Double Down which hailed from Quebec, Canada, and a black pepper Double Down version was also released in France.. And let’s not forget the spicy Zinger Double Down from the Phillipines, which was also the birthplace of the Double Down G, which was a Double Down classic sandwich but came topped with crispy fried spinach… Okay, you get the picture. We could go on and on and on. Just know that there’s a Double Down lurking out there somewhere, and it’s as hungry for you as you are for it.
1. The Original Cheeseburger – McDonald’s
And finally on our round up of most outrageous fast food items of all time comes the McDonald’s cheeseburger. Surely you must be thinking – how did a lowly McDonald’s burger end up on a list of most outrageous fast food items of all time? Well, in the grand scale of the universe and all things inside of it, we just can’t ignore how totally groundbreaking the McDonald’s cheeseburger is. This original cheeseburger – a simple smashed patty, seasoned only with salt, and covered in a slice of processed cheese, with onions, pickle, mustard and ketchup, was a revelation to the masses, and was a total game changer in the world of fast-food. This original burger was basically to the food industry what the Ford Model T was to the automobile, only this cheeseburger has, with only few exceptions, stayed exactly the same over the years as when it was first introduced. Why mess with something that works? So goes the saying, and we have to agree. This cheeseburger has become so iconic, mimicked by so many countless adversaries, that it would be a challenge to ever even try to unseat this giant of fast-food burgers. What is most outrageous is is how daring McDonald’s was at the time, creating a fast-food production line that outpaced their competitors, spawning a revolution in the industry, a worldwide chain of restaurants and a completely iconic brand, all the while creating millions of jobs for people around the world. And they still get a bad rap. The symbol of this revolution: the humble McDonald’s cheeseburger, which still is the original jewel of this fast food burger chain’s fleet. So – respect.