McDonald's drive-thru sign

Whether you’re a Big Mac or a Chicken McNuggets person, and regardless of your opinion on the french fries on tap at your local McDonald’s, there’s one thing we all know to be true. The McDonald’s menu you grew up on looks a lot different than the one you’ll see today. The nearly 70-year-old brand has grown well beyond its roots as a local California burger joint and is now an international franchise that’s recognized as the biggest fast food chain in the world (via Investopedia). It’s since served up hundreds of different items at its locations around the globe over the years, from spaghetti in the Philippines to fried shrimp in Switzerland, and just about everything in between, menu-wise.

Just within its original homeland of the United States, the McDonald’s menu has undergone numerous changes over the years, sometimes expanding to include a range of appetites, and sometimes shrinking to focus on the company’s bottom line and cut some of the business fat, metaphorically speaking (via Bloomberg).

Of course, those changes don’t always please the customers, who are a varied bunch with similarly variable opinions on each and every detail of the McDonald’s menu over the years. And when they raise enough fuss, sometimes McDonald’s listens. Keep scrolling for the discontinued McDonald’s items that are making a comeback after some time away from their fans. Perhaps you might even spot them on a menu near you.

The McRib returned to fan acclaim in 2020

McDonald's McRib sandwich

The McRib has had a tumultuous history at McDonald’s. It was introduced in 1982 and then removed from menus nationwide in 2012. Since then, the barbecue-flavored pork sandwich has made limited appearances at some select locations over the years, but for the most part has remained an elusive, nostalgic sandwich from the hazy McDonald’s memories of our childhoods. It’s all part of McDonald’s business strategy to leave customers wanting more, which is simultaneously frustrating and canny from diners’ perspectives.

But now, fans of the McRib everywhere can rejoice. That’s because, while the year 2020 didn’t bring us very many good things judging by the state of the news every time you dared to open it, that year did at least bring back the McRib to McDonald’s menus nationwide. McDonald’s just put the McRib sandwich back on its menu at locations around the country in December, according to the fast food chain’s official Twitter account. It’s not clear at this point how permanent this move is going to be, given McDonald’s past propensity for pulling things off the menu. But as long as folks keep coming back for it, there’s a good chance that the widely beloved McRib will stick around for a while.