The McDonald's Burger That Didn't Deserve To Fail

It is, without a doubt, impossible to create a fast-food item that will tickle everyone's taste buds. Some creations, however, simply scream "limited appeal." Burger King's foray into black hamburger buns serves a prime example, but BK's black-bunned Halloween Whopper is far from the weirdest thing that Americans have encountered in the fast-food realm. 

Does anyone remember McDonald's McSpaghetti? While most have forgotten it, BuzzFeed points out that this bizarre burger-joint offering consisted of fried chicken accompanied by spaghetti smothered in marinara sauce and cheese. This combo that didn't exactly jive with the rest of the McDonald's menu was available in the 1970s. Another odd little number was Red Robin's Red Ramen burger. Eater describes this limited edition offering as a hamburger patty between a bun made from ramen noodles. Yes. Noodles pressed into the form of a bun. And, moving ever higher on the rungs of unusual fast-food offerings is Carl's Jr.'s Rocky Mountain High CheeseBurger Delight. It wasn't the pair of patties, waffle fries, or pickled jalapeños that made this item unique. No, as NBC News relays, it was the five milligrams of "hemp-derived CBD extract" that set this burger apart from the rest. Available for one day, April 20 (a noteworthy day for cannabis fans), this burger is said to be low in THC. (So, no, it didn't make you high.)

The discontinuation of offbeat and downright weird menu items make sense. Why, then, did McDonald's cancel a perfectly ordinary, respectable hamburger? 

The Big'N Tasty's demise marked the end of the Burger War

The McDonald's Big'N Tasty wasn't unusual in any way. It didn't ask diners to chow down on an oddly-hued bun. And the bun wasn't made from anything unusual, such as a glob of noodles. It didn't contain any mind-altering substances. It was, quite simply put, an ordinary burger. A quarter-pound of beef bedecked by mayo, ketchup, onions, dill pickle, tomato, and lettuce on a traditional McDonald's sesame seed bun, the Big'N Tasty was introduced in 1997 to compete with Burger King's Whopper, McDonald's Fandom explains. It quickly became a popular offering on the Dollar Menu, yet in January of 2011 it was laid to rest.

According to a YouTube video by Industrial Industries World Radio, the Big'N Tasty was yanked from the Dollar Menu in February of 2003 and replaced by the Double Cheeseburger. The production cost made it impossible to sell it for a buck. A former McDonald's exec told the Chicago Tribune, "They've kept the Big' N Tasty around as a competitor to the Whopper, in case they wanted to launch another burger war and put it on the dollar menu. Then Burger King has to retaliate with 99-cent Whoppers," (per NBC Chicago). By getting rid of it, the company hoped to avoid that. 

Perhaps, someday, the Big'N Tasty or a reasonable facsimile will grace McDonald's menu once again. For now, it has gone the way of McSpaghetti.