The Boneless Wendy's Wings You Forgot Existed

There's a few things that come to mind when you overhear someone mention Wendy's. Maybe it's those square beef patties that they famously boast are never frozen? Maybe it's the Frosty's, those little delights that perfectly straddle the line between milkshake and soft-serve. Whichever it is, there's no denying that Wendy's has found itself a home in the world of Big Burger, even surpassing Burger King for second favorite in the United States in 2021 (via Forbes). With burgers, salads, chicken, fries, and Frosty's, Wendy's has carefully honed its menu to try and satisfy — and attract — even the most finicky fast-food consumer.

With all great fast-food giants, however, there are plenty of things that have been smash hits and things that just burned up on the grill before serving. Just as McDonald's had the Arch Deluxe and Burger King had Satisfries, Wendy's has a few skeletons left in its freezer they would prefer you forgot about. One of these forgotten menu items from a few years past isn't a burger or a new type of French fry, but instead Wendy's take on a bar food classic: the boneless wings.

Wendy's boneless wings didn't take off

"Our new Boneless Wings are as far as it gets from fast food. Sweet & Spicy Asian wings are something you'd find at an upscale restaurant, and now you can get them at Wendy's," said Wendy's chief marketing officer Ken Calwell (via National Restaurant News).

These were bold words as the burger joint prepared to launch its newest venture. In 2009, Wendy's was making fast-food history, being the first major hamburger restaurant to offer boneless wings on the menu. With three classic wing flavors — Honey BBQ, Buffalo, and Sweet & Spicy — you could purchase seven to nine wings for only $3.99, or in a combo meal for $5.69. Yet, this optimistic marketing didn't seem to help make the wings stick, and they were discontinued not long after. What exactly caused this spicy new addition to fall so flat?

The answer is pretty simple. "Sure they were just chicken nuggets with sauce, but for whatever reason they tasted great," wrote one Redditor, who admitted to enjoying the short-lived menu item. The wings may have been good, yes, but when compared to the cheaper original chicken nuggets, it wasn't so much about taste as it was thriftiness. After all, while $3.99 could net you chicken nuggets drenched in sauce, why not get a box or two of crispy chicken nuggets for about 99 cents to $1.39 (via Reuters), and save yourself $2?