Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

Takeaway Truth is a regular Lifehacker feature where we compare fast food advertising images to cold, hard reality. While a little ‘artistic licence’ is to be expected, sometimes the differences are ridiculous. Today, we take a look back at some of the worst offenders of 2015. Feast your eyes if you dare! We’re also running a poll to crown the worst Takeaway Truth product of the year. Cast your vote!

Takeaway Truth is now in its third year — in that time, we’ve seen some shocking instances of false advertising, ranging from farcically undersized burgers to literal dog’s breakfasts. On the whole, 2015 was a pretty good year with most fast food products delivering on taste and ingredients. But as always, there were still a handful of pustulant eye-sores that let the team down. In no particular order, here are this year’s takeaway items that conspicuously failed to deliver.

McDonald’s Southwest BLT Burger

“As you can see, the ingredients are pretty faithful to McDonald’s advert: we’re particularly impressed by the fresh-green lettuce which is a rarity on McDonald’s burgers. Sadly, the slipshod assembly has once again let the visuals down.”

Mad Mex Spicy Habanero Steak Quesadilla

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

“With apologies to our Spanish-speaking readers: Cagaste y saltaste en la caca!!! It looks like Gilbert Kane’s ruptured stomach after the xenomorph burst through it in Alien .”

McDonald’s Bacon And Cheese Sauce Loaded Fries

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

“The colours are wrong, the quantities are off and the bacon looks more like a grated beef jerky. Are these even the same ingredients? I’m genuinely not sure.”

Carl’s Jr. Jalapeno Thickburger

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

“Hmmm. While the real thing is by no means disgusting, it’s also significantly less attractive than the advert would have us believe — even if you ignore Kate Upton.”

McDonald’s Mighty McMuffin

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

“The muffin has been lazily assembled (we’re pretty sure this is a McDonald’s law) but the results aren’t as messy or slipshod as the average burger.”

Subway Mexican Chicken Flatbread

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

“I think we can all agree that the sandwich artist didn’t do a particularly bang-up job. So, no change there then.”

McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Deluxe

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

“Our bun looked pretty festy and the fish fillet lacks the smooth golden hue seen on the poster. As always, our lettuce was a bit rubbish, with the frilly gourmet stuff replaced with colourless iceberg. Tch.”

Hungry Jack’s Bacon Chicken Crunch Burger

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

“Instead of the frilly stuff in the poster, they appear to have used a cheaper type of lettuce; a crime we’ve called fast food companies out on before. The real thing also looks a bit squashed and droopy.”

Mad Mex Baja Prawn Tacos

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

“Eew. The most glaring difference between the two images is the avalanche of lettuce smothering the real tacos. The advertising image has none. I specifically requested that my tacos be made to look like the poster with no extras, so I’m not sure what happened there.”

Subway Mexican Chicken Flatbread

Takeaway Truth: The 2015 Hall Of Shame

“Herpes in bread form.”

Before we kick off a new year of takeaway torture, we thought we’d crown last year’s “winner” via a Reader’s Choice poll. Vote for the product that you think was the worst offender below!

[polldaddy poll=9232088]


  • I said the exact same thing about the maccas cheese and bacon chips…barely any cheese…cream cheese at that…and I was about 110% sure that it’s just finely chopped jerky rather than bacon.

    • I agree, looks nothing like the advertised product.

      On the other hand, that fillet of fish burger looks better made than advertised!

  • Wow, you must have an extraordinary maccas! all my local ones are part Ikea and you have to assemble the burger yourself

  • Are you kidding me? The Maccas Southwest BLT was the best thing to happen to their menu for nearly all year until the recent BBQ Angus. You must’ve just had a shitty server who had long since ceased giving any fucks.

    That bacon and cheese, though… I’ve seen it a few places and it seems to be consistently horrible. That cheese, man. So icky and plastic. That ‘bacon’. It’s not even bacon. It’s like… reconstituted bacon powder. I’m very skeptical it was ever actually involved with a pig in any way, shape, or form.

    • Good news though, they’ve been replacing the bacon on the Southwest BLT with the crispy bacon from the CYO range. SO much better!

      • Oh, I meant the bacon and cheese fries thing. Which is a squirt of plastic cheese and some fries stuffed in it, sprinkled with some kind of I-can-definitely-believe-it’s-not-bacon dust.

        I never had a problem with the bacon or cheese on the SW BLT.

  • Just a note: In the list, the “Subway Beef Teriyaki Sub” has been mislabelled as “Subway Mexican Chicken Flatbread”.

  • Please leave the loaded fries alone. I love these bacon and cheese loaded fries. LEAVE THEM ALONE *sob sob*
    On the other hand, some of those look like some of my ex gf’s.

  • My wife hated the cheese and bacon loaded fries, as has everybody else iv met, but the salsa and guac ones,, yeah, i love em! I even spring for the share box sometimes, just for me 🙂

  • You somehow missed KFC.You left it out because they are all so “worst” it is hard to pick just 1.My vote is their “taco”of a few months back.Worst value for money and worst pieces of tasteless garbage EVER. We never go to KFC anymore.Sick of being ripped off.They should be sued for false advertising.

  • Who wants to eat B-grade food put together by juniors who cough and sneeze in the preparation area, and, many don’t want to be there, plus, no real training in food presentation and customer service.
    As many juniors admit, “It’s like, er yeah, er, just here to pass the time like, until I/we ya know, get a better job but.”, speaking, using imperfect, illiterate English.

    • I can’t see the poll results either. At one stage I ended up on a different website with the same poll but got the message that the poll results were private. Has anyone seen the results?

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