Fast Food Menu Items That Look Nothing Like They're Supposed To

Anyone who's eaten at a fast food restaurant more than once knows better than to expect the meal they pull out of that grease-stained paper bag to look like the mouthwatering advertisements that lured them to the drive-thru in the first place.

We all know that those flawless burgers with fat, glistening patties, ooey-gooey melted cheese, and fluffy buns are a result of food stylists with their tricks of the trade, and expert photographers with their keen eye and editing skills. That one perfect sandwich is the product of hours and hours of work, and obviously, your burger isn't getting that kind of treatment in the fast food kitchen.

So what can we realistically expect when we unwrap our drive-thru dinner? Unless you want to be thoroughly disappointed, you'll need to adjust your expectations a bit. Here's how the fast food menu items from popular chains might look when you order them, and — spoiler alert — it's nothing like the advertisement. 

Wendy's Baconator

What it's supposed to look like: According to Wendy's, the massive double Baconator comes complete with a half-pound of beef, six pieces of crispy bacon, American cheese, ketchup, and mayo. Not mentioned in the description is that perfect bun, which is not in the least bit squished or soggy. In fact, you can almost hear the crackle as you bite into its toasty goodness.

What you can expect: Once you stop laughing upon unwrapping this decidedly not massive burger, you will notice that the perfect bun you were promised is a sad, moist, soggy mess that looks more steamed than toasted. That "crispy" bacon? You will fight it with each bite because it seems as though it's actually made of rubber. And all that glorious melted cheese seems to have evaporated into the ether, along with any and all condiments. 

But hey, you'll eat it and probably love it, because even if it is rubber bacon, it's still bacon, and that's all that really matters. 

Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

What it's supposed to look like: Taco Bell's Mexican-Italian mashup promises "crisp pizza shells, refried beans, and a layer of seasoned beef [as] the 'crust,' while pizza sauce, a three-cheese blend, and tomatoes make the topping." While most devout pizza lovers would balk at likening this to their beloved pie, they might be willing to concede that it does look pretty darn tasty. Or, at least, the Mexican Pizza in the ad does...

What you can expect: The prescient Instagrammer who snapped this fail sums up what we're all thinking: "@tacobell giving me a preview of what dinner will look like coming out." Gross, but true. Unfortunately, this Mexican Pizza isn't very easy on the eyes with its unappetizing puddle of sauce and cheese. Missing are the oh-so-ripe tomatoes, and we can only assume that the beef and bean layer looks nothing like we were promised. One positive? The shell might be cracked, but at least that's proof that it's still crispy. 

Jack in the Box Munchie Meals

What it's supposed to look like: The Late Night section of Jack's menu gives you three Munchie Meal options with names you'll find absolutely hilarious at two in the  morning: H'angry Chicken Hash, Wakey Bakey Hash, and Jack'd Jalapeño Hash. Each meal consists of a different combination of ingredients atop "Crispy Hash Browns and Tasty White Cheese Sauce." And, we have to admit, these even look pretty good in the sober light of day.

What you can expect: Because it's likely that you're ordering these Munchie Meals while drunk or otherwise incapacitated, you can expect to think that they are the very best things you have ever tasted in your entire life. You will probably even think they look just like the menu board... unless you take a picture of your regretful food choices and happen upon it the next day. Then you will see three trays of soggy who-knows-what under a sea of congealed cheese, and swear you will never again order a Wakey Bakey Hash, no matter how funny you think the name is.

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

What it's supposed to look like: In a word? Amazing. Even if you don't like fish, all it takes is one glimpse of that crisp fried filet, the melty American cheese, the abundance of creamy tartar sauce, and you're suddenly ordering two in lieu of your usual Quarter Pounder. 

What you can expect: To be disappointed. The Filet-O-Fish happens to be one of the least-recommended McDonald's menu items by its employees, and we can see why. The fish filet to bun ratio is clearly off here. If the fish patty were twice as big, then we'd be talking. The same goes for that teeny tiny piece of cheese. It's supposed to be dripping over the sides, McDonald's, not sitting sadly on one-third of the oversized bun. And the tartar sauce! Why so light? The tartar sauce happens to be the best thing about fish and chips, and is most certainly needed here, lest you be forced to choke down the driest sandwich you've ever eaten. 

Next time, maybe just stick with the Quarter Pounder. 

Burger King Croissan'wich

What it's supposed to look like: With its Croissan'wich, Burger King promises a "soft, flaky croissant piled high with savory sizzling sausage, fluffy eggs, and melted American cheese." It's a beautiful thing, and you might even wonder how you'll get your mouth around this towering sandwich. 

What you can expect: To feel the same way as the Instagrammer who ordered this sad breakfast and lamented, "When you look at the menu and the #croissantwich looks like it might be good... What is this thing @burgerking???" That towering sandwich you believed to be several inches high is actually squished to about half an inch, and any dreams you had of a flaky croissant go out the window when you lay your eyes on this soggy, chewy mess. As for those fluffy eggs? We can assume with a fair amount of certainty that they're no longer fluffy. 

Keep in mind though, the meal comes with hash brown nuggets, and they make everything better — even a squished Croissan'wich.

Sonic Drive-In Chili Cheese Coney

What it's supposed to look like: Based on the mouthwatering images of Sonic's Chili Cheese Coney, you might think the "soft, warm bakery buns" are made of a magical dough that repels chili and never gets soggy. And speaking of the chili? It's super chunky, and not in the least bit watery.

What you can expect: The least Instagram-worthy chili dog you've ever seen. But the thing is, most of us know that chili cheese anything is going to be a soggy mess approximately three seconds after it's made, and we're totally fine with that. We know that soft hot dog buns stand no chance under a couple ladlefuls of chili (which happens to be quite a bit less chunky than we were led to believe), no matter what the pretty pictures in the advertisements promise you. So let's stop pretending, Sonic, we're onto your games.

Taco Bell Waffle Taco

What it's supposed to look like: The short-lived but drool-worthy Waffle Taco trotted out in advertisements looked more like it came from a gourmet food truck than from a Taco Bell drive-thru. The waffle that was somehow crisp yet bendable, and the eggs impossibly perfect, as if Gordon Ramsay had cooked them himself. Yes, this glorious breakfast would definitely make the masses run for the border.

What you can expect: If you ordered a Waffle Taco thinking you were going to be indulging in soft, fluffy scrambled eggs, you were very, very wrong. You would instead be partaking in an egg blob that you might have been able to chop up to resemble scrambled eggs. Maybe. 

The Instagrammer who snapped this questionable taco captioned their photo, "#tastesbetterthanitlooks," and we can believe that. At the end of the day, it's still waffle + sausage + cheese + syrup, and no matter what's going on with those "scrambled eggs," that's a winning combination.  

McDonald's Big Mac

What it's supposed to look like: McDonald's bills this iconic sandwich as "two 100% pure beef patties and Big Mac sauce sandwiched between a sesame seed bun. It's topped off with pickles, crisp lettuce, onions, and American cheese for a 100% beef burger with a taste like no other." Honestly, these picture-perfect Big Macs could almost turn a vegetarian into a meat-eater.

What you can expect: Your first clue should be the box that the Big Mac comes in. McDonald's isn't even trying to pretend that it's going to be as tall as the picture promises. Yes, it comes with the requisite three-part bun and two patties (which don't look nearly as tempting in real life), and the toppings and condiments are all there as promised, but everything is limp and lackluster compared to the flawless example we're shown on the menu. As for the cheese... well, it's more rubbery than melty. Sure, that secret sauce is good, but it can only do so much.

Burger King Original Chicken Sandwich

What it's supposed to look like: Burger King has had some time to perfect its Original Chicken Sandwich — it's been on the menu since 1979 — and it's a testament to "less is more." It's made up of a crispy fried white meat chicken patty topped with fresh shredded lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, and cheese that melts temptingly down the sides. Just four simple ingredients nestled inside a soft, fluffy sesame seed bun.

What you can expect: All the ingredients will be there, yes, but as the Instagrammer who snapped this sad image pointed out, "Well @burgerking - This looks nothing like the picture!" The bun, while obviously soft, will likely have zero fluff left to it, and will be quickly heading towards disintegration. An excess of mayo won't help the sogginess any, and the wilted iceberg will probably leave a little something to be desired. On a positive note, the cheese will be almost melty, so you'll have that to look forward to.

Jack in the Box Monster Taco

What it's supposed to look like: Jack wants you to think you're getting the most beautiful fast food taco you ever did see. A crispy shell, fresh crisp lettuce, discernible slices of American cheese, and meat that bears some textural semblance to ground beef. And of course, it's even bigger than a regular taco... it's monstrous. 

What you can expect: You can expect a super flat, supremely greasy taco full of mystery meat goo, creamy "cheese," and useless more-white-than-green iceberg lettuce that will never look like the Monster Taco in the commercials, and you can expect to love it more than you care to admit — possibly more than life itself. In fact, you can expect to be disappointed if your Monster Taco ever actually came out looking like the ads promised, because real-life Jack in the Box tacos might not be Instagram-worthy, but they are stupidly delicious.