Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives Moments That Made Us Cringe

From his signature hair that reminds us all of the blazing sun, to his colorfully kitschy catch-phrases, it's hard to find something to say about Guy Fieri that hasn't already been said. Love him or hate him, Fieri is an absolute force of nature, not to mention one of the most successful chefs and TV personalities of our time. And while he has quite the extensive list of shows on the Food Network, his signature series is without a doubt "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." 

Chock-full of grease, full mouths, would-be food critics, and charmingly down-home with warm and fuzzy feelings, this entertaining program will leave you feeling hungry for some humble, local cuisine. But there are occasions when the show manages to leave a bad taste in our mouth. Let's take a look at some of the more cringe-worthy moments and occurrences that Fieri's "Triple D" has gifted us with over the years.

When the customers are asked to be professional food critics

In case you're unfamiliar with "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," the basic outline is that Guy Fieri rolls up to a local eatery, gets chatty with the customers, shares the history of the place and why it's so beloved, then learns to make a signature dish or two with the chef and/or owner of the establishment. During the customer segments, the interview is usually with some casually clad and passionate patron, asking about what makes the joint so special, and the replies are about as varied as Fieri's wardrobe. 

These poor customers, who have no formal training in food critique and are often put completely on the spot, are left to simply shrug their shoulders and give a full-mouthed reply. It's even worse when Fieri and the crew catch a restaurant guest completely off guard. Take this poor woman from the show's season two stop at Hodad's in Ocean Beach, California. Just as she takes a juicy, meaty, seemingly delicious bite of her burger, she's asked about her thoughts on the food that is now in her full mouth. Clearly embarrassed, but wanting to be polite for the camera, she sheepishly says, "It's messy and it's delicious" before awkwardly grabbing her napkin. If we ever catch Fieri and his "Triple D" squad at our local spot, we'll make sure to keep a low profile.

When Guy likes the food a little too much

Why would anyone create and star in a show that features delicious food if they didn't love to eat? Well, Guy Fieri clearly loves to eat. Like, really loves to eat. So much so, that, while catching an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," it isn't rare to experience a few real life "When Harry Met Sally" moments on Fieri's part. While, Fieri has a specific tell if he's not loving the dish (more on that later), he has an even more obvious one when he is a fan — or more specifically, when he's loving it a bit too much. 

In the cooking segment of the show, Fieri is coached by the restaurant's chef on how to make a particular specialty of the house. Fieri will then give the dish a try; a bite is taken; and if he loves it ...  a pause. Eyes fluttering closed, his mouth slowly churns around the tantalizing morsel inside, which is sometimes accompanied by a passionate fist pounding to the table. That will likely be followed by an incoherent mumble or two capped off by a simple and breathless, "Wow!" After devouring the New Englander hot dog at Connecticut's Super Duper Weenie in Season 5, he let's out an awkward "Mmmm," then proceeds to ask the chef "where has that been all my life?!" It's a bit uncomfortable to watch, but all we have to say is, we'll have what he's having.

When Fieri plugs his own restaurant on the show

Guy Fieri has his ring-clad fingers in lots of pies. As a TV personality, author, game show host, and owner of over 70 restaurants, it makes sense that a few lines would get tangled here and there. Such was the case during the Season 22 episode "Griddles and Vittles" when the mayor of Flavortown dropped by his own Las Vegas restaurant, Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar.

The awkwardness kicks right from the get-go, when Fieri rolls up in front of the joint in his signature car, casually tosses his keys to the seemingly familiar valet attendant, and humble brags to the camera about his wild success. Cut to a few of the usual restaurant and food shots along with raving customer reviews and praise. But then, things take a turn for the worse when Fieri interviews himself via split screen. We get it, Guy. You're successful.

When a Fieri joke is met with silence

Guy Fieri has some jargon gems in his back pocket and isn't afraid to use them. He has somehow managed to masterfully construct a language that pairs perfectly with his whole, overall aesthetic. Those unfamiliar with "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" might be wondering how it's possible to couple language so well with flame-embossed shirts, backwards neck sunglasses, and a hot red 1968 Camero

Let's take a moment to appreciate the more colorfully cringey descriptions of Fieri as he enjoys a meal in front of the camera. From one of his favorites, constantly referring to something particularly tasty as "gangster!" to the more complex, sometimes confusing turns of phrase, such as, "These cheesy pork fat pancakes are a hot frisbee of fun coming straight for your dome, muchacho

And of course there are the countless "dad jokes" Fieri loves to sprinkle into almost every episode. Take this gem from season 25 during a stop at Vida Cantina with his son Hunter. When making tortillas and preparing the masa, Fieri asks, "Now, how much do you use? Masa or Lessa?" After an awkward silence the chef lets out a polite chuckle, but it's the eye-roll from Hunter that truly says it all. Fieri's eccentric vocabulary seems to have been deep fried in "bomb-dot-com" grease before being shipped directly from Flavortown.

When Fieri won't eat an egg

Over the years, it's become well known that Guy Fieri hates eggs. While it's completely understandable to have food aversions, it does seem a bit strange to host a show that quite frequently features breakfast restaurants, without being able to eat an egg. Apparently his refusal partially stems from an unfortunate childhood experience he had, whereupon cracking an egg open, he found a baby bird inside. A regrettable memory, to be sure, but you'd expect, given his job, that he'd have conquered his distaste for this commonly featured ingredient. 

The editors of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" are usually clever in their craft, making it hard to notice that Fieri hasn't touched the sunnyside special on his plate, but watch carefully the next time he's served one. Of course, some examples aren't quite so subtle.  During a Season 14 stop at Pizzeria Lola in Minneapolis, Fieri is served a pie with two deliciously runny sunny side eggs on top. When the chef slices the pizza, allowing the creamy, golden goodness to run out all over the pie, poor Fieri looks as though he may have a heart attack. Yet, he seems willing to devour any other food, no matter how crazy. Duck tongue tacos? Sure! Pig Head Platter? You bet! Testicles? Give him two! Some good ol' ordinary eggs, over-easy? No, sir. That crosses the line.

When Guy doesn't like the food

No matter how you feel about Guy Fieri, it's obvious he doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, or their business, for that matter. But, he's not going to lie about something he doesn't think is "off the hook" either. Turns out, Fieri has a fairly obvious tell when he doesn't like the food he's tasting, and people have started to catch on. Rather than praise and rave with one of his signature catch-phrases, Fieri will simply list the ingredients of the dish, nodding along with the chef in lieu of rattling off something like "this is gangster!" or, more obviously, messily finishing off the dish completely while the camera rolls on.

Unfortunately for Fieri, his acting skills aren't always a match for utter disgust. For example, take Fieri's visit to Oklahoma City's Cattlemen's Steakhouse in a Season 7 episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." After sampling some seemingly delicious pepper steak, poor Fieri is pressured to try calf brains paired with his nemesis eggs. A ghostly pale Fieri watches as the dish is prepared, breaking into a cold sweat as he laughs and says, "I don't want to do it!" In a moment that seems to take all of his willpower, he takes the bite. After a wash of pure disgust spreads over his face, he quickly turns to the line to grab the nearest food he can find to chase away the taste. It's a regrettable choice for Fieri, who happens to grab lamb testicles. Now that's just good TV.

When the owner would make a better host than Fieri

Guy Fieri isn't for everyone, for reasons we've probably already established. And while "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" is undoubtedly successful thanks to Fieri and his crazy antics, sometimes the show introduces us to a slightly brighter burning would-be star. In episode 12 of the show's inaugural season, we meet Doug Grina, the chef and owner of Al's Breakfast in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Absolutely beaming behind the craziness of his jam-packed counter, slinging hash and chatting with Fieri like he's just another regular, Grina sweetly describes his restaurant. "We're sort of a dump, aspiring to be a dive." Now that's charmingly humble, especially considering Al's Breakfast earned a James Beard Award

And just when you think he couldn't be any more enjoyable, he goes and screams comically at the top of his voice, "Somebody pick up these pancakes!" Food Network, please give this man a show, because we're tuning in every week.

When Hunter steals the spotlight

Guy Fieri's son, Hunter Fieri has tagged along with his dad on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" since he was just a backwards hat wearing, sweet little kid. But when tuning into the more recently aired episodes of "Triple D," you might catch a glimpse of Hunter now, all grown up

Take episode 17 of Season 30, for example. Hunter is touring Alaska with his dad in this episode, and absolutely steals the show with his subtle charms while sampling some Reinbeer Pizza at Forno Rosso Pizzeria. At 25, Hunter seems to have inherited much of his father's charisma and charm, without all the brazen fanfare. It's pretty safe to say Hunter is growing into his own "brand," and it's a far cry from the cartoon flames and bottles of hair bleach that his dad seems to favor. Sometimes we wonder if "Triple D" would be better off with a different Fieri taking the wheel of the Camero. 

When Guy gets pranked

One of the most famously awkward "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" moments happened at Forte European Tapas Bar and Bistro in Las Vegas, when chef Nina Manchev and her father decided to pull a prank on Guy Fieri. While Chef Nina is showing off a beautiful antique knife to Fieri, and appearing to struggle with English, her father starts passionately shouting in their native language. Confused and embarrassed, Fieri awkwardly turns to the camera. "We're having a little bit of a cultural intervention right now," he explains. "What he's telling her now is, 'don't share the family recipe.' Now he's storming off and this has just turned into 'Maury Povich.'" Fieri is visibly shaken and continues to awkwardly stumble through the situation for a few seconds, calling on help from the crew. 

This continues for a few moments until Fieri turns to chef Nina and asks, "What are you guys arguing about?" At this point, the father reenters the kitchen, and continues to shout. Chef Nina, then, without a beat, drops her accent and says to Fieri, "Yeah, we've been here about 20 years so we speak English pretty well." Then her father chuckles and says to Fieri, "What's up, man?" It is so perfectly executed and hilarious that it takes Fieri a moment to register that he's just been pranked. When he gets it, he has a great laugh along with everyone else in the room, including the crew. It's truly a hysterically cringe-worthy moment that you'll want to watch over and over.

When Fieri forgets his manners

So many stuffed faces. So many open-mouthed, food visible, impossible to understand conversations. So many needs for a wet-nap. And while it's true, the show is called "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," not "Michelin Stars, White Gloves and Coat Tails," must all basic table manners be completely forgotten? Tossed to the side and neglected as if our grandmothers' teachings were as useless as the cursive we all learned in fourth grade? It's as though Triple D assumes the audience enjoys watching the human mouth be shoved so full of greasy food that it really becomes a show of survival at a certain point. 

The burgers alone are cringeworthy to watch be devoured by both Guy Fieri and customers alike. Not to mention all of the other crazy foods that we've watched Fieri ravage gracelessly over the years. Just take a look at Fieri indulging in some greasy pastrami at The Oinkster in Eagle Rock, California. It seems Fieri may have taken the name of the restaurant a bit too seriously. First, he eats the meat directly from the chef's cutting board of the chef. Then Fieri proceeds to shove the entire sandwich into his face once it's given to him. Unfortunately, this is pretty run-of-the-mill behavior from Fieri. So while there's something to be enjoyed about a casual dining atmosphere, let's not allow "Triple D" to make animals of us. Let's make our grandmothers proud. And remember, the salad fork should be placed to the right of the dinner fork.

When it's always on TV

There's zero doubt that "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" is a phenomenally successful show. It has run since 2006 and filmed over 500 episodes with no end in sight. The success it has helped bring to the Food Network is nearly unparalleled, and Guy Fieri, arguably the most famous of all of the Food Network stars, is to thank for that. These are a few of the reasons that "Triple D" seems to be constantly airing on The Food Network. Around the clock. All the time. Morning, noon, and night, you can depend on the show to suck you into a vortex of bacon grease and fried potatoes. 

But at the end of the day, it's just good business to air the most successful shows. And the reason behind the success of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" was summed up perfectly by Fieri in an interview with Deadline: "[The mom-and-pop restaurant business] is, I think, one of the toughest businesses in the world, especially in today's climate, and we give [restaurateurs] a chance to be highlighted, recognized, spotlighted, put on a pedestal." So perhaps we can put aside the bad manners, silly slang, and overly bold wardrobe choices of Fieri, because the beauty in what he's done for so many businesses and families around the country far surpasses the cringe. Still, airing multiple episodes of "Triple D" in a row nearly every day may be a case of too much of a good thing.