Life is cruel and full of disappointments.
Bad things happen to good people. Natural disasters strike. Relationships end.
But there is, without a shadow of a doubt, no greater disappointment in this world than McDonald’s fucking up your order.
the OG fuckboy
Picture this: it’s a Saturday night, mid-2004.
Shrek 2 has just been released on DVD. Mum’s in a good mood so she lets you borrow it from Blockbuster even though it’s a New Release and you’re “3 Weeklies, tops” kind of family.
Wait, turns out Mum is in a seriously good mood, and after only 10 minutes of badgering, she concedes to getting Maccas for dinner.
Your mind begins to race. What will you order? Will you branch out from your faithful Cheeseburger Meal with a Lemonade and a Sweet ‘n’ Sour Sauce? Perhaps tonight you dare to dabble in a 6 pack of McNuggets™?
Before you know it, a greasy 14-year-old boy is welcoming your Holden Commodore with a perfectly half-arsed “May I take your order?”
You tsk at yourself for ever even considering the nugs and instinctively call out your order from the backseat. Your sister goes the nuggets, Mum a Medium Fries.
You collect your food and make a car-wide pact that you won’t sneak a few chippies out the bag on the way home. You’ll wait. It’s the right thing to do.
After what feels like a french fry-scented eternity, you arrive home, open the bag on the kitchen counter and begin riffling through to collect your feed. A wave of joy washes over your body as you sneak the fullest carton of fries past your sister.
A wave that soon crashes, hard on the sand of your soul, when you make a most alarming discovery.
The Sweet ‘n’ Sour Sauce. The Sweet ‘n’ Sour Sauce is not in the bag. The Sweet ‘n’ Sour Sauce is missing.
After cracking a tantrum that lasts just long enough for everyone’s fries to go soggy, you consider phoning triple zero but decide the most reasonable recourse is to spend the duration of your meal hanging shit on the poor teenager who served you.
How dare they? How very dare they, that young hoodwink who probably caught a bus here straight from school to work on his feet for $12.50 an hour, fail to place the aforementioned sauce in my bag?!
The night, though not wholly ruined because Shrek 2 is a cinematic feat, sours. (But not Sweet ‘n’ Sours.)
But the dreaded missing S’n’S wasn’t Ronald’s only method of deceit. In honour of those before us who have fallen victim to a slipped chip, we present this tragic retrospective of the absolute worst McDonald’s Drive-Thru fuck ups of all time.
COKE WHEN YOU ASKED FOR LEMONADE
Yeah, this one’s not good.
You’re one of two things in this life. You’re a Lemonade or you’re a Coke.
These fluids are not fluid. The two don’t exist on a sliding scale. They’re mutually exclusive. They’re Capulet and Montague.
Everyone knows McDonald’s default poison of choice is Coke. Not Diet Coke, Not Coke Zero, just Coke. Whatever the reason – be it a marketing thing or the fact the sweetness of Coke cuts through the salt – it doesn’t matter to your average Lemonade lover who has been left high and dry by the restaurant’s propensity to serve it on default.
And extra points if the Coke is watery as fuck ’cause Damo hasn’t changed the syrup bag today.
NO SAUCE: NUGGET EDITION
If the story at the beginning of this article didn’t bring you to tears, this will.
It’s common knowledge that McDonalds nuggets is a special kind of nuggets.
They have a certain… texture. Some would liken them to battered tofu, others would liken them to a dry sponge in a coat. Whether you’re crunching down on the bell, the bow-tie, the ball or the boot, one thing is for certain: they’re close to inedible without sauce.
It’s not that they’re yuck on their own, it’s just that they’re infinitely better with McDonald’s expertly crafted condiments. The recipe testers have been busting balls for decades to perfect those flavour profiles. Forget fillet mignon with a red wine jus or coq au vin braised in a balsamic reduction; just givvus a six pack of chicken nuggets with some Sweet ‘n’ Sour Sauce.
side note as i put this gif into this story Marvin Gaye Sexual Healing just started playing over the office speakers and i am inappropriately aroused
Hell, even a tub o’ Tangy BBQ is better than no sauce at all.
A moment of silence now for all the Nugget Meal children who were forced to settle for Rosella.
AN ENTIRE MEAL, MISSING
Typically reserved for high-volume orders, the entirely forgotten meal holds the power to tear a family apart.
When you order anything above three meals at a time, you’re rolling the dice. There will, without a doubt, be one missing element. Best case scenario, it’ll just be an extra cheeseburger your greedy older sibling ordered and definitely doesn’t need.
Worst? It will be your order.
This usually happens at high-traffic times when another ring round the drive thru circuit is just not feasible. Dad will not be turning this car around, Funniest Home Videos is about to start and you will most definitely be eating last night’s leftover apricot chicken.
GRILLED CHICKEN INSTEAD OF CRISPY
No offence but what child, or adult for that matter, would go to McDonalds and order a burger with grilled chicken? What happened? Who hurt you?
Even the most measured bag-checker can be blindsided by this cock up. There really is no way of knowing if the crispy fillet you ordered is in fact crispy until you unbox. At this point, it’s all too late.
May as well have gone to Subway.
ICE IN THE DRINK
Provided this isn’t your first rodeo, you’ll be full aware that Macca’s plonks as much ice as possible into their drinks. Whether it’s to keep them cool or to jib you on juice is for you to decide. But you don’t have to take it lying down. Instead, you can ask for no ice please and thanks.
You’ll feel like a covert spy, a greasy secret agent, a mole shot directly into the inner workings of the forever-churning bowel of the fast food universe, equipped with this insider knowledge.
That is, until you open that lid and see cold hard ice. Feigning allergy is unfortunately not an option in this instance.
PICKLES WHEN YOU ASKED FOR NO FUCKING PICKLES YUCK!
Everyone knows pickles are only good for throwing against the windows of the McDonalds party area. Outside of this their reason for existing is unclear.
You don’t want them, of course you don’t. But you’re gonna get them, whether you asked for them or not. With that in mind, the smartest thing to do when you don’t want pickles is to ask for extra pickles.
Whether this is some sort of quantum-physics-black-hole-once-observed-the-elements-change kind of thing is unknown, but your pickle preference will almost never be honoured by Ronald and his cronies.
That damn Ronald. We all know he’s no good. But we keep coming back. We’ll always come back.
And the next time we do, the soft serve machine will be broken.Image: Getty Images / Phil Ramey