McDonald's Mukbangs Are The Cringey Yet Satisfying Trend Taking Over TikTok

People have consumed vast quantities of food in single sittings from time immemorial, whether as part of hedonistic ancient Roman feasts or at competitive eating contests for cash prizes across America. The genre of mukbang, though, is a relatively new invention in comparison — first appearing online around the early 2010s in South Korea. In fact, the term "mukbang" itself comes from Korean — it is a portmanteau of the words "meokbang" (eating), and "bangsong" (broadcast). Mukbang videos arguably first achieved international attention on YouTube, and involve creators filming themselves eating as much food as possible in a short amount of time. Usually, but not always, these videos focus on specific fast food chains or restaurants — and their influence can be seen across the wider genre of fast food YouTube content like The Try Guys' "Eat the Menu", and Insider's "Food Wars" series.

Of course, TikTok is also a natural home for mukbangs and mass-eating videos, and one chain, in particular, has taken over our feeds recently. Searches for Mcdonald's mukbangs have amassed over 127.7 million views on the app, where videos typically involve creators consuming cheeseburgers, McNuggets, Big Macs, and other fast food favorites in front of the camera. Some creators, like @ggflavor (who has 4.3 million likes across her videos), film daily mukbang content, many of which involve items from Mcdonald's — further tying the trend in with other popular food trends on the app, like "What I eat in a day" style videos.

Why is McDonald's food perfect for mukbangs?

McDonald's mukbang videos get extensive engagement from users who find them both cringey and inexplicably satisfying. "Not sure why but this makes me wanna get McDonald's lmao," one user commented on a video with over 313,000 likes. "I've never had a big Mac but you make it look amazing," said another. (It's worth noting that, since this is the internet, many videos featuring women are loaded with comments about their appearance — as if the contrast of this with large amounts of food is somehow unexpected.)


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♬ original sound – Tasmin Dhaliwal

Mukbangs go down easily on TikTok because the app is tailored to addictive content that keeps us scrolling, especially when we're hungry. Their popularity also ties in with ASMR-related food content — some mukbang fans get sensory satisfaction from hearing and watching others eat, similar to soap cutting or slime videos. As for why McDonald's is leading the trend, cheap prices probably have something to do with it. Although McDonald's has been criticized recently for upping costs, in the US, a single cheeseburger will set you back just over $2. This allows mukbangers to sample a wide array of items.

The global presence of the golden arches also inevitably boosts popularity. According to McDonald's website, the chain has over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries. With each region offering something different — from the French Croque McDo to the Indian McSpicy Paneer Burger — McMukbangs are fun to watch worldwide. They illustrate the unique foods available in each location, making us hungry to try it all.