Considering that the drive-thru restaurant window has been around for over 70 years, it’s likely that people have been pranking unsuspecting fast food employees for nearly as long. Maybe it’s the virality of early 00s prank shows like Punk’d, or that all it takes to build a YouTube empire these days is an iPhone and a half-clever idea, but drive-thru pranks abound on the interwebs.
Some drive-thru pranks go for shock value and easy scares, while others seem to aim for sheer silliness. The result is a variety of fast food gags on-the-go that use drive-thru speaker systems and service windows to serve up all kinds of prankery. Most of the employees seem to enjoy or at least tolerate the pranks — after all, constantly taking orders over an intercom must get monotonous.
We’ve ventured into the never-ending rabbit hole that is YouTube prank videos and emerged with some of the best pranks to happen in the drive-thru lane. Hopefully these videos will serve as a reminder to always be nice to the person taking your order. They deal with a lot of nut jobs.
Ice cold revenge
Maybe this McDonald’s employee was already having a bad day at work, or maybe she’d had this dumb prank pulled on her too many times to count. Whatever the case, she was in no mood for these two clowns and doesn’t hesitate to lob the joker’s full drink into his lap.
The video might just be 36 seconds long, but there are so many things to love about it, and its eight million views should come as no surprise. Let’s run down the highlights as they play out in chronological order, shall we? First, the driver contemplates whether to honk before he gets his drink or after. Clearly, he chose very poorly. And you have to appreciate the passenger saying "rolling and ready" — just like a real pro! Next, we have the video’s soda-soaked climax. How somebody hasn’t edited that cup flip into slow-motion with some fitting sound effects is mind-boggling. Finally, the passenger’s "AHHHH!" response might just be the cherry on the top.
The invisible man
A constant of working in the drive-thru window is that you’ll be serving people. So when a car rolls up that appears to be driven by an invisible man, fast food employees are understandably shocked. A fair number of them refuse to even interact with the vacant driver and bolt off to get the manager. "Mr. Charles! I’m not doing it!" proclaims the first drive-thru employee.
Made by YouTube magician MagicofRahat, Rahat might just have more drive-thru prank videos than any YouTuber out there. With 5.8 million channel subscribers, his numerous drive-thru pranks vary from vanishing food to ghoulish clowns.
The twist with Rahat’s invisible man gag of course comes when the manager and employee return to find Rahat sitting casually in the driver’s seat. While most of the employees are shocked and even scared by the ghostly sight, props to the worker at 1:29 for not even batting an eyelash. "One ninety-seven, stick." She’s obviously a drive-thru vet who has seen stranger things.
Convict on the loose
For an escaped convict on the run, hitting up the drive-thru doesn’t actually seem like the worst idea. Everybody’s gotta eat and you’re already in your getaway vehicle in case your cover gets blown and you need to drop your fries and run. Viral prank master Tom Mabe, who is no stranger to national media attention with his telemarketer revenge and D.U.I coma pranks, achieved another round of viral video success with this prisoner in the drive-thru prank from 2015.
With 14 million views, this video sort of serves as a wickedly funny sociology experiment. Complete with orange jumpsuit and dangling handcuffs, Mabe rolls up to several drive-thrus in a van with his accomplice posing as a passed out prison guard. Maybe it’s his polite manners, but none of the drive-thru employees seem too rattled by the sight. They’re weirded out, for sure, but still seem happy to serve his order and even offer up directions for how to get out of town.
Serving customer after customer over the course of a long day has to be boring at times, so it’s easy to see how orders could blend together. YouTuber BigDawsTV takes advantage of the repetitiveness of working the drive-thru and finds an incredibly simple, yet very effective way to pull this prank.
After asking for a single menu item, he’ll ask for something like a large cup of water at the window. When the employee turns to retrieve the item, the driver switch happens with a blonde woman jumping up front and utter confusion following seconds later. Some workers seem to recognize it’s a gag and applaud the creativity of the caper. Others like the guy at 3:32 seem to be unsure if the customer simply left… or maybe serving one too many combo meals has cost them their sanity. "Who paid me? It was you?" questions the very confused man at the end of the clip.
"One baaaad bay bay kid"
Kids who can barely reach the gas pedal have gone for joyrides before, but have you ever heard about a kid driver cruising through the drive-thru? MagicofRahat is back with his second entry on our list and this time it’s not an invisible man throwing fast food employees through a loop, but a little boy instead.
The employees aren’t sure what to make of the pint-sized customer behind the wheel and call their coworkers over to check out the cute, yet rebellious kid driver. "You one baaaad bay bay kid" comments one employee. "Are you doing the speed limit?" asks another.
One employee even seems a little jealous telling the kid driver "I can’t believe you’re driving before me!" Nobody seems concerned enough to call the police or ask the kid where his parents are, and the lil’ dude puts any uneasy concerns to rest with jokes like "Guess what? Chicken butt!"
Cruising the drive-thru on a couch
There’s something to be said for the simple and silly when it comes to drive-thru pranks. It doesn’t get much more delightfully juvenile than prankster Alex Mandel swapping a car for a motorized couch. It’s the sort of thing that seems like an idea you might have kicked around your college dorm room with friends, only Mandel went out and followed through with the hairbrained prank.
Oddly enough, McDonald’s does have regulations against serving customers on bicycles in the drive-thru. Couches, though, appear to be fair game. The employees don’t seem to mind and even admire the guys’ creativity. "That’s dope," comments a Wendy’s drive-thru worker. While cruising the drive-thru on a couch is undoubtedly the most casual way to enjoy a fast food meal on the go, it does have some obvious drawbacks. Then again, what it lacks in cup holders and air conditioning it makes up for in chill factor.
Car seat on the roof!
In terms of crossing the line with drive-thru pranks for the sake of entertainment, tricking employees into thinking you have a baby on your car roof definitely toes the line. Prankster OmarGoshTV seems determined to see how high he can push the blood pressure of the fast food workers and does a convincing job as a candidate for the "crappiest parent of the year" award.
At the 1:16 moment in the clip, he’s called out about the car seat on his roof before even placing his order, but proceeds to go ahead with asking for fries. The sound effect of a crying baby takes the gag a step further and he only climbs out of his window to retrieve the car seat after throwing out lines like "that’s not something you see everyday" and "I was driving 55 miles an hour." The prank isn’t without its funny moments, but might have landed better if there weren’t actually people out there this careless and dumb.
Stone cold E.T. wants some cheeseburgers
E.T. with the voice of wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin demanding cheeseburgers might just be the weirdest/best entry on the list. The prank has all the bizarre makings of something that would come from the minds of the folks at Adult Swim, but the absurdity is courtesy of YouTuber FizzyPops3434. We wish we could tell you that there was a legitimate connection between E.T. and Stone Cold, but sometimes it’s best not to question the internet’s mysterious ways.
What we’re getting at is that we’re just as confused by the prank as the drive-thru employees of White Castle. Just give the guy his cheeseburgers already before Stone Cold E.T. has to phone home and open up a can of whoop ass. The ridiculous video was such a hit that it even got its own action figure. The only thing better would be a reaction video from Stone Cold watching the absolute nonsense. What’s that? Stone Cold DID react to the video?
All praise be to the internet gods!
Passed out driver
What would you do if you were working the fast food drive-thru window and your customer passed out at the wheel? Well, if you’re anything like the folks in this video, the answer is probably freak out because you think there’s a dead guy now holding up the customer line.
MagicofRahat feigns getting a static shock from the money transaction and collapses on his steering wheel. As his car drifts away, the poor employees in the window watch on in horror. Yeah, it’s kind of messed up and maybe he pushes the envelope perhaps a little too much. Most of the employees seem concerned about what just happened, though there is the employee at 1:17 who doesn’t seem phased and says "really… ?" (That’s no way to win employee of the month.) How MagicofRahat pulled this off without sacrificing safety and letting his car aimlessly pull away isn’t revealed, but maybe skip attempting this one yourself.