Twitter Is Cringing Over A McDonald's Drive-Thru Tweet

Around noon on July 21, the official McDonald's Twitter account tweeted "we need a McDonaldland character who gets crippling social anxiety in the drive thru." Lampooning the anxiety some customers feel when they reach the drive-through window, as chronicled in Reddit and Quora threads, the tweet got many reactions within its first few hours online. The account engaged in banter with many of the early replies — one user said "me, hire me!" and the McDonald's account replied, "how nervous r u." Another user said "It should be a straw shaped character that lives in a large cup named Shaken," to which the account replied, "i love ur imagination." 

While this might read as nonsense to the casual Twitter user, those who spend a lot of time in the joke-laden trenches of the site will recognize this tweet format. The trend appears to have begun as a parody of people advocating for representation in Disney films (or other brands) with leading characters. Some popular tweets in the format include "we need a Disney princess who can't do basic math" and another says "we need a Disney princess who rips her juul in the middle of a serious conversation." According to Know Your Meme, this joke format is called a "snowclone," which is a phrasal template where users fill in the blank with their own phrases to create new jokes. 

Humor can be a win for brands on social media

Many brands have turned to humor to engage with their audiences on social media. Sprout Social notes that humor can help a brand go viral, since communicating with individuals "as a person rather than a shop" can help potential customers find the brand more accessible. After all, it's nice to feel like you're talking to a real human instead of a corporate persona. Blue Bear Creative shouted out five restaurants that have found success using humor on social media. For example, Noodles & Company appealed to the astrology lovers out there by posting a graphic on Instagram assigning different types of noodles to the various astrological signs.

McDonald's in particular has been going deep on the Twitter jokes lately. For instance, on June 21, the account posted "they're a 10 but they have food at home," hopping on the trend that, as defined by BuzzFeed, involves "a hypothetical scenario in which someone's a '10,' but, they have a weird quality that could potentially lower their rating." The chain's Instagram account has also joined in on the fun: On June 3, it posted a picture of the Hamburglar with the caption "is it still Short King Spring?" It looks like McDonald's is hitting the sweet spot of making everyone laugh, while probably also craving a hamburger.