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The fast food industry is cutthroat—notoriously so.
It doesn't take too much to see why fast food is such a competitive industry. There's only so many areas that a chain can branch out to, and there's only so many people you can reach. Consumer bases switch, overlap, and everyone is basically fighting trying to keep the customers they have while also trying to grab for territory.
This, of course, leads to a lot of fast food feuds between companies. Though consumers might not always take notice of fast food feuds, those of us who follow the food industry can tell you that there's a lot of shade being thrown by fast food companies.
Here are some of the most notorious fast food feuds—and why they would make most other industries take pause.
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Every stoner who has ever lived through the 2000s remembers the hit movie, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. The movie's release was very heavily promoted by White Castle (natch) and involved the comedic duo going to a New Jersey White Castle to get their cravings met.
The movie was a hit among stoners, and it turned into a great marketing tool for White Castle. Most people don't remember, though, that the movie threw a tsunami of shade at its competitor—specifically, Taco Bell.
In one scene, two girls who the boys were talking to end up rushing to the bathroom due to diarrhea caused by eating Taco Bell. Subtle? Absolutely, and it got its point across pretty well. Shit happens when you go to get baked and eat too much fast food.
Leave it to Harold and Kumar to launch one of the most subtle attacks ever seen in fast food feuds. Considering that the two later spent time in Guantanamo, it's possible that Taco Bell dropped a dime on their subtle attack.
Though White Castle's diss of Taco Bell may not have counted as one of the most notorious fast food feuds, there was still a lot of salt being thrown around thanks to that movie.
McDonald's Versus Taco Bell: The Breakfast War
In 2015, Taco Bell decided to open up its own breakfast menu, which in turn sparked the wrath of McDonald's. And so, as legend has it, began one of the most notorious fast food feuds dealing with a specific meal time ever to be seen.
As consumers began to go to Taco Bell for their decadent and occasionally spicy breakfast menu, McDonald's began to advertise their breakfasts more heavily. Advertising continued to pick up, and then it got pretty darn ugly.
Taco Bell shot back at the double arches by mocking their breakfast menu. This led to Mickey D's firing back via Vine by saying, "We love everyone, even defectors!"
IHOP ended up commenting on Twitter that they didn't understand what the fast food feuds dealing with breakfast menus were about. After all, that chain has been serving pancakes all day for ages. (It's okay, IHOP, we know you still exist.)
Eventually, the breakfast war between the two died down—sort of. Of all the fast food feuds out there, this one happened to have some of the biggest changes to the industry. It didn't take too long for many other groups to follow suit, and now, there's a much more varied number of breakfast menus out there.
KFC Versus Everyone Else
KFC had decided to get really mean in 2010—and launched a pretty low blow to all the other fast food franchises out there. In July of that year, the chain decided to offer free meals to the first 10 people who went to a KFC wearing a different fast food company's uniforms.
It sounds like a move straight out of a scene from Mean Girls, and the franchise even offered "Sandwich Amnesty" in the form of job offers to any people who were fired for collecting their free chicken sandwich.
Yes, KFC poached other companies' employees, and did it all while looking good. That's brutal, even on a list among the meanest and most notorious of fast food feuds.
Dominoes And Pizza Hut's Love Triangle
Twitter seems to be the breeding ground for spats among three different categories of people: high schoolers, celebrities, and fast food chains. Popular YouTuber Phil Lester decided to joke about "cheating on Dominoes with Pizza Hut."
Pizza Hut, via Twitter, congratulated him on a job "Well done." Dominoes actually let out a tweet telling him that they want his clothes out of the apartment and that they "thought [he was] different."
Yes, it was all in jest, but it's hard to deny that there was not shade behind the exchange. Does this sound like high school drama to you, too? It does to us—and that's part of the reason why we love watching fast food feuds from afar.
Even though the comment was in jest, there is some serious beef there. This isn't the first time Pizza Hut has made a dig at another chain.
Pizza Hut's squabbles with fellow chains Dominoes, Little Ceasar, and Sbarro still remains a huge part of one of the most notorious fast food feuds dealing with a food type.
Wendy's Versus Hardee's: A Hardy Comeback
Wendy's has no chill on Twitter, and it's such a well-known fact that the restaurant has become an internet meme because of how savage their social media zingers are. The newest victim of the Queen Bee known as Wendy's is Hardee's... and the results are hilarious.
Hardee's actually made the mistake of stepping in on a conversation between two friends who were debating whether Hardee's or Wendy's "Four for Four" special was better.
Hardee's congratulated one of the guys who liked the chain, and then the other guy asked what Wendy's thought of this. When the guys who were arguing asked Wendy's, the chain slammed Hardee's by saying, "We usually prefer the originals to a knock off, but hey, you do you."
Ouch. Did Regina George ever go for that low a blow?
Wendy's Versus McDonald's: The Twittering
Remember when we said that Wendy's was savage on social media? This time, it was redhead against redhead—and tempers really flared on Twitter. Wendy's had decided to start this food feud, and it turned into one of the most notorious fast food feuds in recent history.
After hearing a McDonald's tweet about guaranteed unfrozen beef patties in most of their restaurants, Wendy's tweeted, "@McDonalds So you'll still use frozen beef in MOST of your burgers in ALL of your restaurants? Asking for a friend."
A fan then asked Wendy's to ask if McDonald's still served McFlurries. They replied, "Only when the ice cream machine isn't broken."
That ice-cold attack might count as freezer burn.
McDonald's seemed to be a bit frozen when it came to handling Wendy's beef at the time. Rather than reply with a witty retort, McDonald's just had a spokesperson issue a statement about their beef.
Burger King Versus McDonald's: The 100 Years War
Burger King and McDonald's have long been known to have beef, and while their feud hasn't actually lasted 100 years, it definitely feels that way. It's one of the longest running and most notorious fast food feuds in history.
Even back in the 1980s, the mascots of both fast food franchises had commercials that showed them converting diners from their competitors to the "right fast food choice." By the 1990s and 2000s, both chains began to war with one another by using different celebrity spokespeople.
However, it's not like there hasn't been an attempt at peace. Burger King was actually willing to bury the hatchet among flagging sales.
Around 2015, Burger King had actually offered an olive branch to McDonald's—primarily because the entire fast food industry was suffering due to a massive price war. The fast food chain offered it up as a national Peace Day, and even offered to collaborate on a dual-chain burger called the McWhopper.
McDonald's said no, and boy did that backfire.
On social media, fans of both chains made sure to tell McDonald's exactly what they thought of the spurned peace offering—and it wasn't pretty. To make matters worse for the golden arches, they issued out a reply asking Burger King to focus on "raising global awareness" that came off as patronizing and passive-aggressive.
The spurned offer made such huge waves, it actually caught the attention of other fast food chains as well.
In a humorous bid for relevance, Denny's ended up stepping up to offer a peace deal with Burger King. The ailing breakfast chain called the burger hybrid they wanted to make "the McSlopper," which sounds about as good as it probably would have been. Burger King, presumably as grossed out by Denny's as we are, didn't ever really reply to them.
Basically, no matter how ugly some of the other food feuds on this list are, they will not be as bitter and long-lasting as this one. Let's just say that there are so many different stories of one-upmanship in this feud that it's obvious why it's the most famously bitter fast food feuds on this list.
Nescafe Trolls Starbucks
Starbucks has become one of the hottest fast food coffee chains out there, and truthfully, it has almost no competitors. Nestle's Nescafe coffee chain has been struggling to poach Starbucks fans with very little success. So, in a wild bid to get more buyers paying attention to the fledgling chain, Nescafe decided to pull a mean move...
...By opening up a pop-up shop of their own inside a Starbucks.
Trolling? Yes, and we're pretty sure that this is the beginning of one of the most epically notorious fast food feuds involving overpriced coffee we've ever seen.