The secret Sonic Drive-In menu you'll wish you knew about sooner

Depending on what age you are, when you hear the word "Sonic" the first image your mind might conjure up is the blue hedgehog that ran around a pixelated SEGA Genesis screen. However, the only appetite that hedgehog quells is a gaming one; he's no use when hunger kicks in and you're left scrambling for a solution. That's where the Sonic Drive-In, the fast food chain swoops in like a caped crusader to whisk us away to a place where bacon double cheeseburgers grow on trees and cherry limeade flows from the fountains like wine.

Sonic's whole schtick is unique compared to other places. Instead of standing impatiently on a long line inside the restaurant, patrons park under a big garage-like structure, order through an intercom, and then the food eventually arrives, often in the arms of a smiling employee cruising towards them on roller skates. These guys know how to dip and swerve their way to each vehicle with the grace of a ballet dancer (hopefully). And honestly, watching food nimbly delivered from someone standing on eight wheels makes it worth it.

Now, whether you're new to Sonic Drive-In or not, just know the menu that intimidatingly looms over you is only some of what they sell. There's a whole "secret" menu available, and you can snag some exclusive stuff reserved only for those in on it. Just make sure you know what's in these menu items, as the Sonic employee helping you may need a few hints if they're not in on the secret. 

These are the secret Sonic Drive-In menu you'll wish you knew about sooner.

Sonic's Pickle-O's

Pickles are a staple ingredient on any burger; any burger-phile will tell you that. That vinegary bite a pickle lends to the meat cuts through the rich mouthfeel for an elevated potpourri of flavors. It's interesting to think how odd it'd seem to throw a few slices of cucumber onto a burger, but let that 'cumber marinate in a batch of vinegar and spices for a while and there's no burger it doesn't belong on. But, any pickle-addict will also admit they love munching the things like snacks just as much as they crave them decorating their burgers. So, if you're a person who needs to itch a pickle scratch that a burger can't reach on its own, order up the secret Pickle-O's.

Sonic was clearly aware people loved pickles, as the Pickle-O's were once featured on their regular menu. They've even returned to the regular menu a time or two. Most think when an item is banished from the menu, it's been discontinued. But don't make that mistake! Sonic has both pickles and a deep fryer — as well as their own batter, according to Secret Menus Guru — which means they can fry you up a batch of crisp golden pickle chips in no time at all if you ask nicely. Maybe go crazy and even try adding them on top of a sandwich. Hey, sometimes the craziest ideas are the most worthwhile. One tip, though, is to only order these bad boys when your local Sonic isn't busy. Making them to order takes time, and they'll be more likely to oblige if they're not rushed.

Sonic's Extreme Tots

A side order of golden fried tater tots with any meal is never a bad idea when you're at Sonic. Not only are they delicious and easy to throw back by the dozen, but you can tell yourself you had a serving of veggies that day (well, sorta). When fries sound too basic, tater tots usually solve the starchy dilemma. And, like any food on the planet, adding a whole bunch of fixings on top makes it infinitely better, which is why you need to order up some Extreme Tots the next time you're at Sonic. It's all the wonderfulness of Sonic's tater tots piled high with everything but the kitchen sink.

It's hard to pass up anything on a menu that has "extreme" in its name. The word implies you're in for quite the treat, and boy do these tots deliver on that expectation. Obviously you won't find Extreme Tots on the menu, but that doesn't mean speaking those two special words won't kick the kitchen into gear. And if your local Sonic employee has no idea what you're asking for, just order Chili Cheese Tots and then ask them to add ranch, jalapeno, and onions. And make sure to save plenty of room to take down this beast. Actually, make sure you save a lot of room. You're gonna need it.

Grilled Ham and Cheese from Sonic

It's so simple: two pieces of toasted bread with melted cheese sandwiched in the middle. Yea, grilled cheeses are hard to beat. They're so easy to make and always delicious. Sure, you could mix and match different cheeses to enhance them, or you could go the Sonic secret menu route and add some meat. Like ham. Could you ever go wrong with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich? The answer is no, and that's why Sonic secretly offers it to customers who want one. Vegetarians need not apply to this particular culinary application.

It might seem weird to show up at Sonic and not order one of their burgers. But then again, you seldom go to a fast-food establishment that even offers grilled cheese, so trust your gut (literally), and ask for one. Grilled cheese is on the kids menu, and they keep the ham on hand as a meat option for their tasty Breakfast Toasters, so it shouldn't be an issue. 

Once you take your first bite, all thoughts of burgers will drift away, and you'll find yourself enjoying the warm ham, gooey cheese, and buttery toasted bread. The item may be on the secret menu, but it's no secret that a grilled cheese sandwich does wonders for an appetite.

Sonic's Frito Pie

If you've ever been to a fair, a food truck, or a craft show, you've probably had a Frito Pie (sometimes also referred to as a Walking Taco). But if it's not fair season — or if you're just not in the mood for crowds — you can head on over to Sonic. They have a secret item called the Frito Pie, and yea, it's worth every second of your time.

This one, unfortunately, isn't always available. You'll have to wait until they add a limited time item containing Fritos to the menu, which they pretty often. The recipe is simple: Take a handful of those curly corn chips, smother them in chili and nacho cheese, and wait until the people flock like the salmon of Capistrano (Dumb and Dumber reference, anyone?). It's a pie you can eat with a burger. Could life get any tastier?

Dr. Pepper Orgasm from Sonic

OK, we know the thought of asking anyone for something ending in the word "orgasm" is enough to make their cheeks burn with embarrassment. This makes a request for this secret menu item pretty intimidating. It's natural to expect a puzzled look — or even a gaze of disgust — after muttering the order, but once your request is met with an approving smile, you'll realize there's nothing to feel silly about. This is one of the few times you can ask for something that sounds vulgar, but is nothing short of delicious.

If you already love Dr. Pepper, then it doesn't make any sense to not give this drink a go. If you're on the fence, it's well worth the chance to finally leap that fence. It's a pretty simple — but ingenious — cocktail of three different flavors. You have the carbonated goodness of cherry Dr. Pepper, but mixed in with it are Powerade and lemonade. It's a roundhouse kick of flavor to your mouth. In fact, this secret item is so good some might say it offers a "mouthgasm."

Sonic's Extreme Popcorn Chicken

One of the best ways to eat chicken is in its popcorn form. Sure, a lovely rotisserie or piece of poultry covered in marsala sauce is also divine, but there's just something better about crispy nuggets of white meat you can throw back like those little kernels of popped corn. They're easy to consume, don't leave a mess behind, and at Sonic, they're totally affordable. But, instead of just setting your appetite to "Basic Popcorn Chicken" mode, up the ante and ask for their secret Extreme Popcorn Chicken. Hey, you're already at Sonic, so you might as well make the visit an extreme one.

First, take a look at the option for Jumbo Popcorn Chicken on the menu. Now, forget all about that basic order and take your interest to a whole different — and secret — level. When you ask for the Extreme Popcorn Chicken, you get all the fried goodness of the regular kind, except Sonic does you a favor by smothering the crunchy morsels with chili and cheese. Yea, it's a winning combination for sure. And, if you want to make things even better (wait... better?), grab one of those suckers and dunk it in ranch sauce. You're welcome.

Sonic's Heart Attack

The name of this secret item doesn't sugarcoat a darn thing. You know exactly how heavy the meal is going to be, so give your arteries a little pep talk beforehand and get them ready for the tsunami of saturated fat and calories they're about to go into battle with. Now, while a caloric-filled eating binge isn't an advisable venture to embark on frequently, every once in a while you have to treat yourself to one. And this, folks, checks off every box.

The base layer of this behemoth from Sonic is tater tots covered in chili and cheese, an existing menu item which already gives your heart valves the shivers. But, Sonic doesn't even come close to ending there. Draped on top of the tots are five strips of fried chicken. Then, to finish everything off in the most heart attack way possible, the whole tray gets a ranch, bacon, and jalapeno dump. 

This item clearly isn't for the faint of heart (did you get the pun?), but those feeling brave enough to risk future cardiovascular disease will absolutely jump in head-first with a smile on their faces. If you do feel like treating yourself to the Heart Attack, however, make sure you have a good cardiologist on speed dial just in case.

Sonic's Hickory Burger

If you're perusing the burger selections on Sonic's menu and can't quite seem to settle on something that tickles your fancy, just know that with a few basic ingredient substitutions you can create awesome new burgers that just may get your fancy tickled. One of these amazing concoctions is called the Hickory Burger, and it does an immaculate job of satisfying anyone looking for some barbecue flavor in every bite.

In order to create this secret item, you start off with a simple cheeseburger, but instead of adding all of the regular condiments — mustard, mayo, or ketchup — you get a nice fat dollop of hickory-smoked barbecue sauce, instead. The sauce is tangy and smoky, everything you need to feel like you're eating a meal on a beautiful Texas ranch. Except, now you can harness that freeing feeling in a Sonic parking lot.

Also, if you're a big fan of Carl's Jr. Western Bacon Cheeseburger (and honestly, who isn't?), ask to add some crispy onion rings right on top. Now that's a flavor combination fit for a king.

Sonic's Ring Leader Burger

Sometimes the greatest things in life aren't put right in front of your face. You have to do a little digging to finally discover the goldmine, and the Ring Leader Burger from Sonic is certainly a tasty mine worth digging for.

The Ring Leader burger starts with a basic cheeseburger foundation. But, then it takes a turn for the best with its additions. There's a reason for the word "ring" in the name: A hefty portion of onion rings are plopped on top of the already-delicious essential toppings. Sonic doesn't halt its progress there, either. If you ask for the Ring Leader, they also add on grilled onions for an extra-oniony bite every time, and then they finish it off with bacon. You can never go wrong with bacon, and the glistening fatty strips work wonders when paired with the two variations of onions. Everyone wants to be a leader. When you go to Sonic, however, become a Ring Leader.

Sonic's Sunshine Smoothie

When it comes to food (or drinks, in this case), everyone wants something that goes down smooth. That's why smoothies are so popular. The assortment of fruits and various other ingredients come together for a drink that makes your esophagus smile. This makes Sonic's Sunshine Smoothie the perfect drink. But, you'd never even know to order it since it's not on the regular menu. Don't worry, though, we got you covered.

Those who've been Sonic regulars for years would actually recognize this item, as it was featured on their regular menu for some time. However, around 2014 it started disappearing from one location to another until everyone thought it met its final fate and vanished completely. It still lives on, though, in Sonic's secret menu. With the Sunshine Smoothie, you can expect a splendid blend of strawberries, bananas, and orange juice, along with a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt — whichever you choose. It's as refreshing as it is eclectic, and it starts any day with a sunshine-filled bang.

Slap Your Mama Slush from Sonic

Yowza! An item that seemingly promotes violence against your own mother? Not to worry, dear readers, we're not condoning violence against anyone. We're just letting you know of a secret menu item that's so tasty, it's sure to cause a very strong reaction.

So, what exactly could possibly be in a drink with such an alarming name? It's slush made from a mixture of three great beverages: lemonade, Powerade, and raspberry flavor. That's a three-hit combo that'll leave your salivary glands feeling like they just put in several rounds with Mike Tyson (if Mike Tyson was a tasty drink, that is). It's also in slush form, so you get that great crunched-ice mouthfeel that's perfect for any hot summer day. It might be uncomfortable asking an employee to Slap Your Mama, but they'll be happy to oblige. As in, get you the drink. Rest assured, your mother's safety is in the clear. But maybe it's better to leave her at home, just in case.

Made-to-order burgers from Sonic

Sonic has enough burger selections on their menu to put a smile on the face of anyone craving a beef patty with toppings. But, what if you're the kind of person who likes to get creative when it comes to a pattied concoction? Some fast food establishments may say you're out of luck, but Sonic's got you covered.

So long as Sonic has the ingredients in the kitchen, they'll be happy to custom-make any kind of burger you want. Sure, one of their Bacon Double Cheeseburgers is certainly an appealing option, but once the wonderful world of topping additions and subtractions comes into play, that world becomes your oyster, and you better take full advantage of the culinary pearls it offers. Not a fan of ketchup or mayonnaise? Leave them off! Want an extra patty or another layer of crispy bacon? Don't hesitate to ask! Sonic exists to please their customers, and nothing's better than taking the steering wheel and navigating your order down roads you never thought possible.