Top 10 Worst Fast Food Items of the Century (So Far)

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Top 10 Worst Fast Food Items of the Century (So Far)

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Zachary Siechen
We just lost our appetite. For this list, we'll be looking at the most unhealthy, unappealing, and most outright unwanted misfires in the fast food industry, from 2000-2021. Our countdown includes Halloween Whopper, Fish McBites, Dry Pork & Seaweed Donut, and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Worst Fast Food Items of the Century So Far


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Fast Food Items of the Century So Far.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most unhealthy, unappealing, and most outright unwanted misfires in the fast food industry, from 2000-2021. Discontinued and international foods all qualify, so no unsavory treat is safe.

What fast food item made your stomach hate you the most? Is there one on our list that you secretly love? Comment away.


#10: Halloween Whopper

Burger King
Before the Nightmare King promised us bad dreams, the Halloween Whopper promised us…well, a Halloween-themed whopper. In 2015, Burger King’s signature Whopper was costumed for the holiday with A1 sauce and a black bun. Spooky, but harmless, right? Well, not exactly, as consumers quickly found out that the recipe’s edible dye messed with their Number-Two: the Halloween Whopper turned their poop green. The burger didn’t taste particularly bad, but was the smoky flavor worth the unusual result? Ultimately, the Halloween Whopper only lasted one season. Although BK’s “Scary Black Cherry” slushie went on to have a similar effect, just a couple years later(XREF).


#9: Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe

Chicken Charlie’s/Various
This is a rare gem (or perhaps a rare piece of deep fried coal) that very few vendors offer. The legend began in 2013, at the San Diego County Fair. It was here that Chicken Charlie’s food truck decided that a doughnut, fossilized in glaze, could hold together sloppy joe meat. But the manufactured sugary taste of Krispy Kreme and ground beef just don’t go together… even if you’re trying it just to say “I tried it”. The Krispy Kreme company has even officially renounced any involvement with the product. Can’t track it down? It’s a fairly simple DIY recipe with plenty of YouTube videos to guide you. But why…oh why, would you ever want to?


#8: Red Ramen Burger

Red Robin
Have you ever needed a quick bite but a standard sandwich just won’t cut it? The Ramen Burger apparently has you covered. Instead of a traditional bun, the patty rests between two nests of fried Ramen noodles, mixed with chili-infused vegetables and a teriyaki aioli. Concocted in Brooklyn by a chef who’d studied in Japan, the spaghetti sandwich was adopted and rebranded by Red Robin in 2016, making it available across the US. Good for them, we suppose, but does an on-a-budget snack that mostly populates the microwaves of college student kitchens really need a national uptake? If it does, then perhaps pair it with Ramen fries to double the experience!


#7: Fish McBites

McDonald’s
McDonald’s doesn’t always fare well when they venture from their tried-and-true beef patties and special sauce (see “Hula Burger” and “Mighty Wings” for proof). Fish McBites were Mickey-D’s answer for customers observing lent, and they consisted of fried Alaskan Pollock shards. They came with tartar sauce and a convenient lid that doubled as a condiment holder. Despite the marketing ploys, however, Fish McBites were discontinued shortly after their 2013 debut, due to poor sales. Maybe it was the high calorie count per serving. Maybe the absence of a bun exposed the disappointment of the fish. Whatever the reason, you’ll find this seafood sampler only in the Golden Arches’ graveyard. And good luck getting that song out of your head. (Commercial Clips)


#6: Chizza

KFC
This idea truly has us wondering if there was a toddler in the room at the pitch meeting. But KFC’s attempt at blending pizza with the Colonel’s secret recipe has spread to the menus of multiple countries(Goofy Movie “cheeza” clip). Pizza dough gets replaced by fried chicken filet and topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and “chicken ham” (whatever that means). If you can imagine a meat lovers' pizza having an evil twin, then you’re probably on the right track. It’s just pure, unorganized, junk-food-chaos. The chizza’s clutches never reached the US, though the poultry pizza had a short life in Asia, including in the Philippines and Singapore in the 2010s.



#5: Grilled Cheese Burger Melt

Friendly’s
Welcome to a foodie’s version of livin’ on the edge (Aerosmith—“Livin’ On The Edge”). And make sure your ventricles have done their push-ups, because this heavyweight packs fifteen-hundred calories and ninety-seven grams of fat. One grilled cheese, one burger, another grilled cheese on top…and a whole lot of potential for seriously ill health. Dr. Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest literally dubbed this sandwich “deadly.” Friendly’s dared patrons to take on this behemoth at a time when fast food chains seemed to be in a World Series for “most sensational menu item”. Their ultimate decision to pull the burger in 2010 quite possibly saved lives, although imitators remain as proof of the meat-mountain’s ghastly existence. (YouTube/WayFM Clip/s)



#4: Cap’n Crunch Delights

Taco Bell
In the realm of speedy Mexican-ish cuisine, Taco Bell is king. When it comes to converting kids’ breakfast cereals into express dining…not so much. In July 2015, the franchise tried its hand with Cap’n Crunch, turning the fruity flakes into pastries with a warm icing interior. After success with the Cinnabon Delights, it sounded like a good idea. The Cap’n Crunch flavor was all too often reviewed to be underwhelming, though, drowned out by the extremely oily filling. These treats weren’t aesthetically pleasing, either. They were dark and dismal-looking, compared to their bright and colorful advertisements. And so, what should’ve been a fun menu addition swiftly turned into something of an anticlimax.


#3: Buffalo Latte & Buffalo Crunch Donut

Tim Hortons
Just south of the Great White North, Tim Hortons created a curious cup of buffalo, spice, and everything nice. Once available in Buffalo, NY, the Buffalo Latte combined chocolate, buffalo sauce, espresso, and milk, topped with buffalo seasoning. A little farther south, Tim Hortons at the Great New York State Fair offered the Buffalo Crunch Doughnut, garnished with tortilla chips and wing sauce. The trend MIGHT have made sense… except it really, really didn’t. The contradictory flavors perhaps hinted more at “stomach bug” than “caffeine buzz”. Most foodies saw them as nothing but a dare, and the reign of the chicken-wing dessert remains hotly debated.


#2: Dry Pork & Seaweed Donut

Dunkin’
If you’re in China and you spot the familiar logo of Dunkin’, you might discover this questionable creation straight from the sea. It’s a yeast-made doughnut topped with seaweed, sesame seeds and pork floss. The yeast batter tends to be much less sweet than western consumers are used to, so this product might taste more like fuzzy jerky to US taste buds than a sugary snack. In fairness, Dunkin’s goal here might be to make a savory meal, and not a sweet treat. However, the pastry’s extremely offbeat taste, texture, and leafy appearance will likely appeal to only a very select few. The Seaweed doughnut is probably best left in its lunchbox, far below the waves.


Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.

Kit Kat Quesadilla, Taco Bell
Chocolate Wafers Don’t Complement Sour Cream


Chicken-Flavored Chocolate Truffles, KFC
New Zealand’s Mother’s Day Treat Is Confusing to Taste Buds

Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut, Dunkin’
The Donut That Will Set Your Tongue On Fire


Pumpkin Spice French Fries, McDonald’s
Do We Need to Autumn-ize Everything?


McHotDog, McDonald’s
McDonald’s Really Needs to Just Stick with Burgers

#1: Big Catch Meal

Long John Silver’s
Long John Silvers’ “Big Catch Meal” was named the “worst restaurant meal in America” by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, with stats that suggest the food is borderline dangerous. The calorie count is astronomical, and the meal carries thirty-seven hundred milligrams of sodium and a combined fifty-two grams of trans and saturated fats. Perhaps it’s not the point, but there’s not even any jazzy creativity behind this dish—it’s just fried fish, hush puppies, and onion rings. It’s just a boring and unnecessary health hazard. And so, it’s a relief that Silver’s was all-but forced to pull it from the shelves.
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