Taking place in a 1950s-style train car diner, the player takes the role of a waitress who has to serve five hungry customers — Haji, Babs, Boris, Pépé, and Buck. As each person calls out an order, hit the drop targets for their dish and their sides, then collect the Grill bonus before it gets cold. Serve all five customers and you can collect the Dine-Time Jackpot, an award based on the game's backbox clock. For more tips, make successive shots to the cash register, Beat the Rush, then spell D-I-N-E-R for a chance to Stir the Cup for a pipin' hot couple'a millions.
A digital version was once available for The Pinball Arcade before the license to all WMS tables expired on July 1, 2018.
The Diner pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Americans Are Cowboys: Buck, the only American customer at the diner, speaks with a Texan drawl and wears a big white Stetson hat.Buck: I'll have the Texas chili and fries!
- Amusing Injuries: Shooting the grill when it is not lit makes a noise of someone burning himself on a hot griddle and then screaming.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Unlike Taxi, you don't have to serve all the customers in a single ball.
- Captain Ersatz: Babs and Boris are obvious caricatures of Margaret Thatcher and Boris Yeltsin, respectively. It's also believed Haji is based on Bill Gates, and Pépé was modeled after Pancho Villa.
- Five-Token Band: Done literally with the customers, who embody a range of national stereotypes — an Indian (Haji), a Brit (Babs), a Russian (Boris), a Hispanic (Pépé), and an American cowboy (Buck).
- Gratuitous Spanish: If you take too long to serve Pépé, he responds, "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale!"
- I Am Very British: Babs, the only British customer, speaks solely in proper English with Reserved Pronunciation.Babs: "I shall have the iced tea and the frankfurter."
- Just a Stupid Accent: Each of the customers hails from a different country, and all of them speak English with a stereotypical accent.
- Leitmotif: A short jingle related to each customer's home country plays when you complete a customer's order.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Boris uses the same Leitmotif as Gorby from Taxi.
- Signature Style: As with other pinball games by Mark Ritchie, Diner includes criss-crossing ramps, numerous timed shots, and escalating rules.
- Skill Shot: Time the launch so the ball lands in the upper-right saucer to claim the reward on the moving jukebox light.Singers: Number one!
- Spelling Bonus: C-U-P raises the bonus multiplier and lights the inlanes, while D-I-N-E-R enables Stirring the Cup.
- The Smurfette Principle: Babs is the only female customer.