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Drive-Thru Antics

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"Yeah, let me get 23 cheeseburgers..."
My wife says "maybe we should park
We could just go eat inside"
I said "I'm wearin' bunny slippers
So I ain't leavin' this ride"
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Trapped in the Drive-Thru"
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These are antics for when someone orders from the drive-thru window at the local Burger Fool. Common gags include a Big Eater customer ordering something huge and improbable (with something light to wash it all down), while the employee speaks in a bored monotone over the speaker.

A related trope is Wrong Restaurant, wherein a customer tries to order food that the restaurant doesn't sell. Compare with Toll Booth Antics, where this happens at a toll booth.


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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • In a Pepsi TV commercial from the 90s, a guy tries to order a combo meal from a fictional drive-thru, but the sound quality on the speaker is so terrible that he can't understand a word the cashier says. They go back and forth several times, and the customer gets so frustrated that he cancels his order, except for the Pepsi. When he pulls around to the pickup window, he discovers it wasn't the speaker's fault—the cashier actually sounds like a scratchy intercom all by himself.
  • In this commercial for Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, a father is trying to order meals for his two sons from the fictional Timmy's Tacos restaurant. The employee at the drive thru is playing Super Mario Bros. Deluxe on his Game Boy Color and saying insulting things like "Don't even think about it, pal!" and "You're not getting anything from me, mister!", causing the dad to drive away. When the next customer comes to the drive thru, the employee says "Halt! Who goes there?"
  • A McDonald's commercial for Tiny Toon Adventures Happy Meal toys naturally has this. The animated versions of Buster, Babs, Plucky, Hamton, and Elmyra are all hanging out in the car of a little boy and his father as they arrive at the drive-thru. As the father places his order, Plucky tricks him into ordering one hundred Happy Meals (when the father only meant to order one). The commercial ends with the employees bringing the father one hundred Happy Meals, to which the father asks, "Now what?". Hamton then says, "Better pop the trunk!" and dons a bib with the McDonald's logo.

    Comedy 
  • Stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias is fond of pulling these. In his routines he describes using a high-pitched cheerleader voice to mess with drive-thrus that mess up his orders. He goes back around to order again, does so in his girly voice, pulls up with an intimidating look on his face knowing that he is not what they're expecting, and proceeds to hit them with the girly-voice. In later shows, he says that the drive-thrus in his neighborhood have wised up enough that, when he tries it on them, their response is "Okay, Gabriel, pull up."

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield:
    • February 6, 1998: Jon orders from a drive-thru and asks Garfield what he wants. Garfield answers, "One of those [order] boxes right next to my bed!"
    • July 26, 1998: Jon has trouble with the automated order box.
      Order window: May I help you?
      Jon: Two Happy Burgers and two fries, please.
      Order window: Would you like a Happy Burger today?
      Jon: Yes, I want two Happy Burgers.
      Order window: Any fries with that?
      Jon: Yes, two fries!
      Order window: OK, how about some Happy Burgers?
      Garfield: Ain't technology great?
      Jon: TWO BURGERS! TWO FRIES!
      Order window: May I help you?
    • April 13, 2000: Jon is refused from ordering "Happy Burgers" because he isn't happy. The drive-thru attendant suggests that he get "Grumpy Burgers" and "Rude Fries" instead.
    • November 12, 2013: At the drive-thru with Jon, Garfield is confused for a "fat lady in a fur coat". He knocks the head of the order box clean off.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Dude, Where's My Car?, Jesse gets in a fight at a Chinese drive-thru because the voice at the intercom keeps asking "And then?"
  • Madea's Big Happy Family: Near the start of the film, Madea is trying order breakfast from Snax. However, breakfast had stopped being served at 10:00, and she had placed her order at 10:30. At the Snax, she goes up the window to demand her food. When she doesn't get it, she drives her car through the restaurant, attacking the employees, stealing the food, and then driving off.
  • Zoom: Academy for Superheroes has a scene where the main characters attempt to fly their flying saucer through a Wendy's drive-thru. They manage to successfully get their order... after repeatedly hitting the restaurant and knocking over a street light.
  • Early in Wayne's World 2, Wayne and his buddies drive up to Stan Mikita's Donuts, and place an order, but Wayne leaves parts out to imply the drive-thru speaker is on the fritz. Somehow, the employee manages to completely decipher the order anyway.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Marshall remembers how his older brothers played a prank on him by making him order 12 cups of coffee at a drive-thru while naked. After that, his brothers jumped out and surprised him, causing him to jerk the car and make the hot coffee spill all over him.
  • In The King of Queens, Doug Heffernan comes to grief when he tries to drive his UPS parcel van up to the window of the drive-through, only to discover it doesn't fit, it gets jammed under the low roof, people waiting in the queue behind him get mad, and he still cannot get close enough to the window to collect his order.
  • One MADtv sketch has Ms. Swan frustrate a McRonald's manager by ordering extremely broad items (i.e. "nugget") and never properly explaining herself.
    Manager: Now, do you want one six-piece chicken nugget or one nine-piece chicken nugget?
    Ms. Swan: Yeah, one six nine one... and a McChicken meal!
  • Saturday Night Live: One sketch features an Absurdly Long Hummer Limousine full of eccentric artsy types attempting to order at a Burger King drive-thru. They place nonsensical orders and ask to split the bill onto 26 credit cards.
  • An episode of Scrubs features J.D. and Turk at a drive-thru with an entire marching band (as pictured above).

    Music 
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" is a very long song about a man who tries to take his wife to a fast food restaurant and goes through all sorts of mishaps in the drive-thru. First, they can't just go inside because he's wearing bunny slippers, then the guy gets into a weird conversation about a guy named Paul and finally forgets that he didn't find his wallet, forcing him and his wife to dig for change.

    Video Games 
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Early in the story, CJ drives his crew to the nearby burger joint, and after everyone places a modest order, the resident Big Eater Big Smoke rattles off one so long, it easily eclipses the rest of the gang's combined. The order is extra-long because he's trying to buy time for the Ballas to turn up and attack the gang.
  • WarioWare Gold: In Orbulon's segment, he goes to a burger joint for some food, often ordering one thing, eating it, then coming back for something else. When he tries to order a burger, the cashier tells them they're out of meat to make any more. Orbulon goes off to collect pigs, thinking that because they're called "Hamburgers" they're made from ham. After you beat his games, he returns to the burger place to try to get them to take the pigs, but the cashier promptly denies him, stating he couldn't even cook them if he wanted, as he isn't allowed to work the grill yet. Orbulon sheepishly apologizes and goes to return the pigs.
  • Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled: Drive-Thru Danger is a racetrack that passes through the drive-through lanes of two alien fast-food chains: Toxic Burger and Nuclear Pizza.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner goes particularly surreal with it. The burger restaurant Blubb-O's has a drive-thru speaker shaped like a cartoon whale, which can spontaneously appear anywhere, even miles away from any restaurant. (In fact, the Drive-Thru Whale, by itself, debuted in a cartoon before the rest of Blubb-O's restaurant did.) Those who try to place a drive-thru order find the voice on the other end is prone to confusing and vaguely disturbing non-sequiturs.
    Drive-Thru Whale: Sever your leg, please, it's the greatest day.
    Strong Bad: "Sever my leg"? "It's the greatest day"? I'm not sure I understand the transaction that's taking place here.

    Webcomics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Dan McNinja sends his son Sean to climb a mountain and steal a condor egg from the summit—and then to make it more challenging, he reports Sean to the park rangers. Sean, however, anticipates this and reroutes the phone call to a Wendy's drive-thru speaker.
    Customer: I'd like a number 8 with ranch sauce, please.
    Dan McNinja: [over intercom] I saw a suspicious figure climbing the mountain by my house! I think he's going to steal a condor egg! Aren't those endangered, officer?
    Customer: Uh... Ranch. Sauce.
The original Alt Text for that page was Chris Hastings asking if any of his readers worked at a drive-thru, and encouraging them to record themselves pulling this stunt on a customer in Real Life. Someone actually did.

    Web Original 
  • Downplayed/Subverted in a sketch for The Runaway Guys Colosseum 2021. Tim is shown ordering breakfast from a McDonald's drive-thru as his Tim Skywalker alter-ego, but aside from using some Star Wars linguistics, the sketch is played as straight as possible, with very little antics surrounding it.
  • In this choose-your-own-adventure game based on The Simpsons, Principal Skinner tries to order from the drive-thru despite the fact that he's walking. When the Squeaky-Voiced Teen points this out, Skinner threatens to tell the principal of the high school (Skinner himself is the principal of the elementary school), so the teen lets him order food anyway.

    Web Videos 
  • In some of Brian Hull's videos, he does voice impressions while ordering at the drive-thru. In one video, he dressed up (specifically as Edna Mode from The Incredibles) but found this embarrassing, so he generally does not dress up.
  • A trilogy of Drew Gooden Vines feature Drew "pranking" a Wendy's drive-thru by asking if Wendy is there. It backfires every time; one time his window wasn't rolled down, one time he came when they were closed, and one time he was actually at Taco Bell.
  • In one Jack Vale Films prank, called the "Disappearing Soda Prank", Jack and his friend order soda at a drive-thru, drink it, then pretend the glass was empty.

    Western Animation 
  • BoJack Horseman: In a late Season 6 episode, BoJack approaches a drive-thru, and after hearing his order, the workers begin laughing about BoJack's terrible reputation. BoJack tells the workers that he can hear them over the intercom, and they shakily get him his order as soon as possible.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "Death Has a Shadow", Peter announces that, with his new riches, he'll buy the family their most expensive meal ever.
      Peter: Yeah, I'll have 6,000 chicken fa-jitas.
      Employee: I beg your pardon?
      Peter: 6,000 chicken fa-jitas.
      Brian: And a so-sage McBiscuit, please.
    • In "Emission Impossible", Peter stops at a window while driving Lois and her pregnant sister Carol, who is in labor.
      Peter: Um, yeah, I'll have three cheeseburgers.
      Lois: Peter, for God's sakes, she's having a baby!
      Peter: Oh, that's right. A-And a kids meal. And, uh...I-I guess I'll have fries. If I have fries, is anyone gonna have any? 'Cause, you know, I don't wanna be the only one eating them. I'll feel like a fatty.
    • In "Not All Dogs Go to Heaven", Stewie kidnaps the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation and forces them to spend the day with him. In one scene, Stewie takes them to a McDonald's drive-thru, where they stress him out with demands for things the place isn't selling anymore.
      Patrick Stewart: What time do they stop serving breakfast?
      Stewie: It's 3:00!
      Patrick Stewart: Some of them serve breakfast all day—
      Stewie: NONE OF THEM SERVE BREAKFAST ALL DAY!
    • In "Pal Stewie", Peter gets a triple-bacon burger at a drive-thru with less bacon than he paid for, so Tony Robbins (who got struck by lightning and is now possessing Peter's car) advises him to stand up for himself and demand more bacon.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the flashback from "I Married Marge", Marge reunites with Homer, who is trying to earn money for her and her coming child by working at the Gulp 'n' Blow.
      Homer: Yeah, what do you want?
      Marge: My husband by my side?
      Homer: Would you like fries with that?
    • In "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy", Grampa gets a job running the drive-thru at Krusty Burger, which he fails spectacularly at.
      Grampa: Come in! Mayday! I'm losing your transmission!
      Customer: I SAID FRENCH FRIES!
      Grampa: What the? [to his supervisor] Do we sell French fries?
    • In "Who Shot Mr. Burns: Part 2", Chief Wiggum tries to order while driving a paddy wagon containing Homer. Because the vehicle is above the window's maximum height requirement and can't fit under the bar, it tips over, allowing Homer to escape, parodying the escape scene from The Fugitive.
    • In "Secrets of a Successful Marriage", Homer goes around town bragging about his new teaching job. One stop is Krusty Burger, where he doesn't order anything and simply tells the order box that he has a job. The cashier replies, "Sir, it's a felony to tease the order box.". Later, he goes back there to talk again. When Chief Wiggum shows up, saying "All right, Simpson! You were warned about teasing the order box!", Homer high-tails it out of there, prompting the cashier to say "Hey, I need closure on that anecdote.".
    • In "Two Bad Neighbors", George Bush holds up the line at Krusty Burger's drive-thru by asking if they have stew and commenting that a "Krusty Burger" doesn't sound appetizing.
    • In "The Cad and the Hat", Homer tries to order five meals at the Krusty Burger drive-thru, but the attendant keeps getting the math wrong. Leads to a Brick Joke later on, when Lisa looks for her missing hat and the car is stuffed with hundreds of discarded wrappers, including the trunk.
    • In "The Regina Monologues", the double-decker bus tour the family is taking on their trip through London stops at Dame Judi Dench's Fish 'n' Chips. Homer is skeptical of the menu, which causes the employee to beg him to order for fear of retaliation from their Bad Boss herself.
      English Squeaky Voiced Teen: Please order, or Miss Dench'll be furious. She'll beat us, she will.
      Judi Dench: Who are you talking to?!
      English Squeaky-Voiced Teen: No-one, Mum, I swear!
      Judi Dench: I'll Mum you! [the sounds of her giving him a kicking are heard]
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Squidville", Patrick mistakes the intercom at the entrance of Tentacle Acres for a drive-thru, and he tries to order some food.
      Patrick: [after the doors open] I guess we have to order inside.
    • In "Bucket Sweet Bucket", Plankton hires SpongeBob and Patrick to redo the Chum Bucket, and SpongeBob builds him a drive-thru window that's much too high for his miniature stature. He then notices that Patrick has built a window down to his height, but it has a metal wall in the frame.
      Plankton: See, SpongeBob? Patrick's using the old noggin. He knows I'll actually want to see out the window.
      Patrick: Wait, you wanted to see out the window? Weird.
    • Another episode, appropriately titled "Drive-Thru", has Mr. Krabs turn a large hole in the Krusty Krab's wall into an extremely cheap drive-thru window. This leads to several issues: SpongeBob struggles to fit the food through the window and spills it on a customer, Pearl uses a megaphone to shout her order as a prank, and the ridiculous length of the drive-thru causes lengthy traffic and overwhelms SpongeBob and Squidward.
  • The VeggieTales episode "Madame Blueberry" has the song "His Cheeseburger", in which Jerry Gourd tries to order a cheeseburger at the Burger Bell drive-thru, but finds the restaurant is closed for the night. But he wants that burger so much, and Burger Bell reopens at 10 the next morning, so he decides to wait at the drive-thru until then (until he heads to Denny's for breakfast, but "he'll eat and be back here for lunch."). The entire thing is portrayed as dramatically as possible; it's a love song between Jerry and his burger.
  • The "Hissing Noise" skit from Robot Chicken has Cobra Commander, Destro, Major Bludd, and Baroness stop at a drive through. When attention is brought up to Cobra Commander's Snake Talk, the others have a laugh at his expense.
    Employee: Could I interest you in a bonus meal today?
    Cobra Commander: NO! Why would assssk that, assss if you could influenccce my decccision right before I order?
    Employee: What would you like, sir?
    CC: Yess, I'll have a sssssssssssssssssmall Sssssssssssssprite and a-
    Employee: Could you repeat that sir, I'm getting a... hissing noise.
    CC: I ssssssssaid I'll have a ssssssssssmall Sssssssssspite and a-
    Employee: Could you speak more clearly, sir?
    Destro: Tell him I want seven super sized special sandwiches.
    Baroness: With sweet and sour sauce.
    CC: You're all doing this on purpossse!
    Major Bludd: I'll have a hamburger.
    CC: Thank you, Sssssebastion.
    Major Bludd: (Baroness whispers in his ear) Oh, and a strawberry shake!
    CC: UGGHH! (hits the car horn in frustration)
  • The climax of the Dennis the Menace episode "Marky the Menace" has Dennis' cousin Marky take Dennis' skateboard for a joyride, and Dennis, Alice, and Aunt Matilda chase after him. During the chase, they pass through the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant. Dennis places an order, Alice pays for it, and Matilda picks it up.

    Real Life 
  • Jim Cummings, who has been the voice actor for Winnie-the-Pooh since 1988, said that he sometimes orders in-character as Winnie asking for honey.
  • A rather disturbed and drunk Melodi Dushane of Toledo, Ohio went berserk over Chicken McNuggets at a McDonald's drive-thru. She had a HUGE hankering for the things but when she arrived, it was 6:30 AM and it was the time when McDonalds started only serving breakfast. Melodi, however, would not take "no" for an answer and DEMANDED some nuggets! She even went as far as punching the drive-thru employee in the face!. The whole thing was caught on the restaurant's security video and went viral (often with others adding hilarious sound and dialogue to the originally silent footage).
    Dushane (Gag Dub): “Don’t make me assume my ultimate form. I will fuckin’ wreck you!”
  • There was a trend involving the driver taking their drink then immediately throwing it at the worker and speeding off, then uploading it as a "hilarious" video online. This trend swiftly died when perpetrators started being arrested and charged with assault and criminal damage. In one case the reverse happened when a prankster loudly sounded their horn at the drive thru window to scare the worker and they threw the drink at the driver in retaliation.

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