The Most Cringe-Worthy Tweets In Fast Food History

Fast food chains have created massive social followings on Twitter. Many are hilarious marketing platforms designed to engage with users and create a voice for faceless global brands. The same fast food brands have received plenty of attention in recent years, due to the popularity of their often less-than-subtle Twitter feuds, attacks on users, and complete takedowns of celebrities and competitors alike. In the pursuit of a coveted viral tweet, however, more than a few missteps have thrust the eateries into the public eye for the wrong reasons. 

Not everyone in the food industry has admired the sometimes brutal responses from the supposedly family-friendly chains. Respected food media outlets, including the less-than-amused Eater, have lamented the corporate attempts at relevance. Let's not forget that these accounts are just another effort to get you to buy a burger or chicken sandwich. Evoking a bit of schadenfreude, Wendy's has famously taken on random users and celebrities alike but failed to boost sales in restaurants. Despite some aggressive and nihilistic tweets, most simply lean toward humor to entertain fast food Twitter devotees. Granted, not all of the tweets land as intended. 

Popeyes, Wendy's, and Chick-fil-A fight over chicken in a pointless Twitter feud

Fast food Twitter is a relentless battle in 140 (or 280) characters. Popeyes, Wendy's, and Chick-fil-A all needed to sit down after a 2019 social media feud over the best chicken sandwich. The Takeout explains that it all started when Popeyes released a chicken sandwich so terrific that even delivery people started stealing the sandwich. It didn't take long for the internet to compare the new Popeyes sandwich with Chick-fil-A's beloved option. On and off the internet, Chick-fil-A brews controversy for its stance on the LGBTQ community. Now, Popeyes is viewed as a conflict-free alternative. The Chick-fil-A social media team stepped into the fray in August by claiming its sandwich as "the original," surely referencing nothing in particular. Popeyes responded to the subtle dig with "...y'all good?"

Instead of Chick-fil-A responding, Wendy's decided to voice its opinion as one of the more hilarious and ruthless social media brands out there. Wendy's threw its own sandwich in for consideration: "Y'all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich." Popeyes responded by calling Wendy's "thirsty," sending the two brands into a heavy spat. The chain known for its biscuits might have underestimated Wendy's thirst for blood. After some back and forth, Wendy's social team responded by taking a screenshot of deleted Tweets from its competitor attempting to craft the perfect retort. When brands go to that length to make a point, you know the fight has gone too far.

Wendy's rhyme battle with Wingstop

The "never frozen" burger chain is notorious for its cheeky jabs at fellow fast food competitors, and a Twitter feud in 2017 showcased the creativity of both Wingstop and Wendy's. Twitter user @LeftAtLondon started the viral thread by posting an image of a Wingstop next to a Gamestop. They compared the neighboring stores to the lyrics of a Migos song that go, "Raindrop, drop top." The funny coincidence fell into the hands of social media managers who apparently had some time on their hands.

Thrillist followed the feud where Wingstop responded with its own rhyme, which gained over 134,000 likes. A Wendy's loyalist called on the burger brand to throw in its own humor. Within three hours, Wendy's responded to Wingstop with a Kendrick Lamar lyric, "Sit down, be humble." The marketing stunt then went overboard. Wingstop quoted Wendy's response with a slight jab at its "not frozen" motto. An impressive back-and-forth rhyme battle continued, with each brand responding with multiple stanzas in minutes. Wendy's did quit first, thanking Wingstop for what is probably the only rap battle between two food brands. Both of the eateries proved to be formidable, even if it left the rest of us wondering where our afternoon went.

Burger King drags Taylor Swift on Twitter, and fans cancel the chain

Fast food chains are known for pushing jokes to the limit on Twitter, and Taylor Swift fans, also known as Swifties, aren't exactly known for having a generous sense of humor. On top of that, fast food chains aren't known for subtlety. Distractify reports that it all started in May 2020, when a user on Twitter asked the Burger King account what the brand's favorite Taylor Swift song was. The account, known for its Twitter jokes, called out the pop singer by replying, "the one about her ex." Swift is known for turning her breakups into smash hits.

Burger King's seemingly harmless but snarky jab turned out to be the wrong response. The tweet caused an uproar with Swifties. The hashtag #BurgerKingIsOverParty started trending. Many Twitter users couldn't see the point of the controversy during a time of much bigger issues, such as George Floyd's recent death at the hands of police officers. Other Twitter users pointed out that the comment was sexist. Still others commented that the Burger King controversy made them crave its competitor. McDonald's chimed in, letting its following know it "would never" make the same mistake.

ET Canada reported that Burger King tried to calm fans down with another tweet referencing a Swift song. "Let's shake it off. Celebrate #BurgerKingIsOverParty with the $3 shake + fries deal in the app." Nothing like a bargain to calm the internet.

White Castle tries to court Chrissy Teigen, but Taco Bell gets the last laugh

Chrissy Teigen is known for being at the helm of a growing cookbook empire. She's also gained a reputation for roasting unwitting users on Twitter, so it's not surprising why fast food brands might fight for her attention. Us reported that White Castle and Taco Bell each made a pass at the celebrity on the social platform in February 2014. First, Teigen tweeted that her users were telling her about the release of Taco Bell's new breakfast menu. White Castle reached out to Teigen for failing to shout out the burger chain's "delicious sliders." The cookbook author replied, "Well well well it's a good ol fashioned showdown."

White Castle then tweeted, "All we have to say is, your an original cover model. We're an original slider. It's a match made in heaven." While the fast food chain might be original, the social team didn't notice their less-than-original grammar mistake. Taco Bell, on the other hand, didn't sleep through English class. The drive-thru giant replied with a simple and deadpan, "You're*."

A few months later, Teigen was quoted in Bon Appetit talking about her love of Taco Bell and indulgence in guilty pleasures like White Castle while imbibing. Tiegen went even further to mention her love of the store-bought White Castle sliders "in the poisonous plastic wrapping." Grammar mistakes or not, turns out you might win over a celebrity with the right late-night snack.

Pizza Hut mocks Kanye West's Twitter rants

Kanye West is known for his off-kilter comments and full-on Twitter rants. The tirades are often paired with his wife Kim Kardashian making public statements apologizing on his behalf. Refinery29 details a time West aired his grievances with other rappers. ABC 7 reports he also called a Forbes editor a "white supremacist" and posted his phone number in a tweet. Twitter banned West for posting a video of himself urinating on his Grammy award. The erratic behavior online indicates more than just a celebrity acting out. Newsweek reports West is open about his struggle with bipolar disorder. Like the rapper or not, mental health isn't a laughing matter.

Many fans have stayed loyal despite Kanye's messiness online. Many others can't help but watch the meltdowns with a mix of shock and concern. The Things reports that Pizza Hut UK picked on a 2016 rant where West spoke about problems with his personal finances, among other things. Pizza Hut saw a marketing opportunity and created a fake résumé for the rapper to make light of the money woes. The absurdist résumé includes blatant misspelling, God as a reference, and Taylor Swift as a crossed-out reference. On brand? Sure, but the humor is a little dark considering the celebrity's history.

Wendy's starts beef with everyone on the internet

At the start of 2017, Wendy's caused a stir when it decided they weren't taking any prisoners. Thrillist followed Wendy's social media evolution when the team who ran Wendy's Twitter feed gained notoriety in January for dragging a vocal troll. The user attacked the brand's "never frozen beef" slogan and waxed poetic about McDonald's burgers reigning supreme. Following the exchange, the user made their account private before deleting the account entirely. However, the exchange itself took a strange turn when someone from the Wendy's team posted a Pepe the Frog meme made to look like the brand's mascot. The meme was promptly taken down, as the frog had been co-opted by racist groups on the internet.

Despite that unexpected lapse in judgment, the savvy brand team continued the clapbacks. Thrillist found that the snarky burger company couldn't resist the hundreds of Twitter users willing to mention the company. Wendy's roasted McDonald's by comparing it to a trash can. The brand responded to someone with "delete your account." When asked the cost of a Big Mac, Wendy's said buying the famous burger would cost "Your dignity." 

The Takeout argued that while humor can win the internet, Wendy's had turned into little more than a troll itself. Reuters reported that McDonald's might get the last laugh after all — at least in restaurant sales.

McDonald's get political

Fast food chains appeal to a wide range of people. In recent years, however, the brands have started to express political views. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Chick-fil-A's CEO publicly stated his opposition to same-sex marriage in 2012. The stance continues to be an ongoing controversy for the chain. Competitor McDonald's entered the political realm with a tweet in 2017 that has since been deleted. 

NPR reported McDonald's corporate account stirred up users by blasting the Donald Trump, calling him a "disgusting excuse" of a leader. The tweet also expressed a desire for Barack Obama to come back and made fun of Trump for having "tiny hands." Not a subtle shout-out. The political tweet garnered more than 1,000 likes and retweets before it was taken down. Angry Trump supporters called for a #BoycottMcDonalds hashtag, which was short-lived. Who can resist the golden arches, after all? McDonald's posted an apology for the tweet, claiming the account had been "hacked by an external source."

NSFW KFC Australia Tweet

Double entendres in a blatantly suggestive tweet don't mix well with family-friendly food chains. Who'd have thought? HuffPost followed the KFC controversy in Australia in 2016 when the brand decided to get saucy in a tweet deemed not suitable for work. The marketing ploy relied on a photo of a man and woman sitting on a couch. A blurred area around the man's groin is where the image only starts to get suggestive. The guy looks suggestively at his lap while the woman reaches over. The caption reads: "Something hot and spicy is coming soon." It didn't take long for Twitter users to poke fun at the racy tweet. One read, "Wait, is KFC introducing jerk chicken? Was that the joke?" What started in jest quickly turned into a social media nightmare.

KFC Australia took the tweet down an hour after first posting it. The brand also apologized for its lapse in good taste — something most people want at the very least from a food brand. The brand tweeted, "We are very sorry for our earlier tweet on H&S – we didn't mean to offend and removed it when we realised we'd made an error in judgment." In this case, it's best to leave anything hot and spicy on the menu.

Mcdonald's loses control of a hashtag

The internet is notorious for making what might seem like an innocent request into an all-out drag, so a global fast food chain should know better than to think it can control its image, especially on social media. McDonald's attempted to engage users with a bit of nostalgia about the fast food eatery in 2012. The proposed #McDStories hashtag quickly took a turn for the worse when users hijacked the term, according to Business Insider. The vague tweet read, "'When u make something w/ pride, people can taste it,' McD potato supplier #McDstories." 

Instead of stories about children's birthday parties and fries with friends, users talked about food poisoning. Someone mentioned receiving a fingernail in their Big Mac. Another user mentioned losing 50 pounds in six months after quitting McDonald's as part of their diet. Yikes. The social media team pulled the corporate promotion after only two hours. At its peak, 1,600 mentions of the hashtag were sprinkled across the platform. Fortunately for the mega-brand, McDonald's itself received 72,788 mentions on that day alone. For the most part, people really were loving it.

Carl's Jr. fails to drag Wendy's on Twitter

Attempting to drag rivals on Twitter is a losing game if you don't have the following to back it up. Carl's Jr. learned this the hard way. It's long been known that rival Wendy's is not one to go against on social media. The Daily Mail reported in 2017 that the competitive burger brand wasn't one to take an online jab without a clapback when a user named Andrew Morgan started the commentary when they asked Wendy's how Carl's Jr. compared. Carl's Jr. replied a few hours later, "LOL they don't."  

Wendy's, known for its brutal takedowns replied, "Yeah, for one, if we were going to diss another restaurant we'd have more than zero likes and RTs after 13 hours." Harsh, but excellent point. The clapback resulted in almost 60,000 likes. Looks like Carl's Jr. might want to think twice before picking another fight it can't win.

Wendy's drops absurdist mixtape

Wendy's is one of the fast food chains willing to take its joke to the limit on social media. Eater reports Wendy's went all in on Twitter in 2018 with a mixtape called We Beefin?. Yes, you read that right. The mixtape was meant to poke fun at the tendency for rappers to start their own feuds. At first glance, the music is actually pretty good. Songs include "Twitter Fingers," "Holding It Down," "Rest in Grease," "Clownin," and "4 for 4$." The playlist was also taking itself seriously. Users could find the burger chain's songs on Spotify and Apple Music.

Upon further inspection, this musical marketing ploy might leave a bad taste in listeners' mouths, though. Shots are taken at burger competitors including McDonald's, Burger King, and Shake Shack. The We Beefin? mixtape is proud to be the musical version of Wendy's rough and mean social media personality, but do we really need an elaborate advertising ploy to convince us to eat at the fast food chain? Frostys taste just as good with or without Wendy's "pulling punches."

Steak-umm's existential Twitter rant

We realize Steak-umm isn't a traditional fast food chain. The brand has become legendary, however, for its Twitter rants. Instead of being hostile to Twitter users like certain testy food brands, Steak-umm brought some realness with an unexpected Twitter rant aimed at our collective existential dread. And this was in 2018, well before the year best described as a dumpster fire. The six-tweet thread maxed out the character limit with some dark and disturbingly insightful pondering on the lack of solutions in a world of uncertainty. 

Eater mentioned that despite the misery campaign, the brand did receive a boost in traffic. The American food brand for "thin-sliced frozen steaks" questioned the purpose of social media as disenfranchised youth struggled with debt, mental health problems, and uncertainty. The sad social media manager explained that young people on Twitter didn't always have parents to turn to, so "they go to obscure or absurdist humor. They go to frozen meat companies on Twitter." We're not crying, you're crying.