The Dark Longhorn Steakhouse Commercial That's Fascinating Reddit

Longhorn Steakhouse is a casual restaurant chain known for selling more affordable steak options that the average consumer can handle without suffering too much of a financial setback. Although enduring meat sweats are a whole different matter entirely.

There are 569 Longhorn Steakhouse locations in the U.S., including 74 in Florida, the state with the highest percentage of stores (via Scrape Hero). Although mostly concentrated on the East Coast and in the Midwest, Longhorn Steakhouse is found in 43 states and 468 cities. Per the company's website, the first location was founded in Atlanta in 1981, meaning it has been around longer than some of its chief competitors such as Outback Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse, and Logan's Roadhouse.

Longhorn Steakhouse is passionate about its menu namesake, and just as serious about its Texas-style roadhouse/cattle ranching vibe, with steer heads and horns mounted on the walls, according to Insider. But like most restaurants that advertise food offerings to draw in customers, the brand wants to convince patrons that its version is superior to that of its competition. One dark Longhorn Steakhouse commercial uncovered from the '90s is a time capsule that may have gone a little overboard with the approach, which fascinated people on Reddit's r/ObscureMedia forum.

A steak good enough to die for

Redditor leejtam posted the 1997 Longhorn Steakhouse commercial, entitled "Last Meal Jailbreak," starring Nick Offerman, best known for his character Ron Swanson in the show "Parks and Recreation." Offerman plays a death row inmate who escapes from prison to procure a last meal from Longhorn Steakhouse, after which he inexplicably returns to his cell to eat his steak and baked potato.

A couple of things immediately stood out to commenters, including how closely the character he portrays in the commercial matches his Ron Swanson persona, who is obsessively fond of gorging on meat. Henrywrm noted, "This is strangely on brand for him." User dholmestar observed, "classic Ron." Others, such as curiouscuriousmtl, detected a young Offerman's uncanny resemblance to actor Rainn Wilson (who played Dwight Schrute on "The Office"). "That's weird," they mused of the similarity.

Redditor ElGosso dissected the macabre ad a little further to point out some of its rather strange and unsettling implications, including "first, that Longhorn Steakhouse is happy to serve a death-row escapee in prison clothes (where did he get the money?) and second that Offerman's character could have left at any time but chose to be put to death." All reasonable questions and not so minor details that the Longhorn Steakhouse marketing team that produced the commercial either overlooked or intentionally brushed aside as not integral to the main point, which is that its steaks are good enough to die for.