Why Does Each In-N-Out Burger Location Have Two Crossed Palm Trees?

Even if you live on the East Coast, you've probably seen an In-N-Out at least once in your life. While some people would travel across the country to just see this famous burger joint, if you live in one of the states that have them, they might just fade into the background like any other business. If you belong to the latter group, there's one unique feature at each In-N-Out location that may be going unnoticed.

In-N-Out is known for a lot of things, from an expansive "not-so-secret" menu to bible passages printed on cups and wrappers, but one of the chain's lesser-known signatures is the two crossed palm trees found at almost every location. Perhaps they represent In-N-Out's California roots, symbolizing how the state of palm trees and sun will always be the restaurant's home no matter where it expands to? Or do they represent some kind of connection between employee and customer, showing how the two work together to support the company?

Although these may sound like good guesses, the truth is that it's actually one big pop culture reference, courtesy of founder Harry Snyder.

They're a reference to one of the founder's favorite movies

In 1963, Stanley Kramer directed "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World." The comedy film featured a gaggle of oddball motorists — police detectives, hapless salesmen, dentists, beatniks, and mother-in-laws — on a wild adventure to uncover an enormous treasure hidden somewhere under a "big W." The film, which included a star-studded cast of comedians, was hailed as a commercial and critical success and even praised for its title sequence alone (via Art of the Title). But what does this have to do with In-N-Out?

According to In-N-Out's website, founder Harry Snyder considered the film one of his favorites, so he decided to pay tribute to it at In-N-Out. The movie's "big W" — and we apologize for this spoiler to those who haven't seen the film — is actually four palm trees, with two of the trees crossing in the middle to form a distinctive "W" shape. In a way, Snyder was marking the spot where his "treasure" would stand, with Double-Doubles and Animal-style fries being the promised wealth to those who discover the "big W."