The Real Reason McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Only Come In 4 Shapes

Whether you are a huge fan of them or not, almost everyone has a childhood memory of walking into a McDonald's and ordering its famous chicken McNuggets with a side of perfectly salted golden french fries. A Business Insider report refers to the iconic McNuggets, which were introduced to the menu in 1980, as one of the most popular menu items currently served at the fast food establishment.

Seek Adventures conducted an impromptu survey of around 200 neighborhood kids and concluded that the McNuggets truly reign supreme between the five-year-old to 13-year-old crowds (a very close second was the McDonald's Cheeseburger). This comes of no surprise as the always crispy McNuggets are perfectly shaped and fun to dip into sauces and eat. But, did you know that the McNuggets shapes are intentional? Not only are the shapes very intentional, but these golden chicken crisps of joy also have specific names (#gasp).

The names and shapes of McNuggets

For those that proudly wear the title of McNugget connoisseur, you've probably noticed that they come in four distinct shapes. Shapes, that despite their irregularities, are very much intended to look that way, according to Eat This, Not That. These four shapes have also been the same for over the last 36 years, explains Eat This, Not That, so no matter where you go, you will find the same four consistent McNugget shapes.

In a video discussing how the small morsels are made, published by McDonald's Canada, we hear a Cargill employee say the name of the shapes: the Boot, the Ball, the Bow Tie, and finally, the Bell. A Business Insider report explains that shapes (which are cut out using a giant cookie cutter-like machine) were created to ensure that there is a standard shape and size that will allow for all the McNuggets to cook evenly. This philosophy is a way for McDonald's to ensure that the food safety protocols it enforces are followed by all 38,695 of their global franchises (via Statista).