Taking a food product that people already don’t particularly like and altering its appearance to make it exponentially more disgusting is a bold marketing strategy, so you’ve got to hand it to Burger King in its creation of the Halloween Whopper—an ordinary Whopper, but with a black bun made from either food coloring, squid ink or excessive mold. What really sets the Halloween Whopper apart from other strange fast food gimmicks, though, is that this one apparently comes with a rather, um, shitty side effect. Take it away, New York Daily News:
The scariest part of Burger King’s Halloween Whopper doesn’t happen until after you eat it.
Something in the burger’s pitch-black bun turns eaters’ poop a ghastly bright green — sometimes for as long as three days.
Now, that just sounds delightful. Obviously, I figured I’d have to test it out for myself, though. You know, in the name of journalism.
After searching for a few minutes on Google Maps, I finally found a Burger King in my area. You never have to do that with McDonald’s because people eat McDonald’s, so they’re everywhere. Burger King has fallen off the map, though. Admit it. You have no idea where the nearest Burger King is located. Like, you might kind of remember that it’s in a shopping center you pass by on your way home from work, but you can’t say with any certainty what street it’s on or what stores are around it. There’s probably a random office building with dentists and chiropractors, right? There are always random office buildings in the Burger King shopping center.
I walk inside the restaurant and it’s completely empty (shocking, I know). The guy behind the counter, a scrawny young man wearing tiny circular sunglasses, looking like he’s auditioning for a live-action version of a Three Blind Mice movie, asks if he can take my order. I tell him that I’d like a Halloween Whopper and he begins giggling uncontrollably. This does not make me feel comfortable with my decision.
“Should I not be ordering this?”
“No, it’s good.”
“Does it taste different? You’re laughing. I don’t know if I should trust you.”
“It tastes better. I promise.”
“I’m trusting you.”
“You should come back and tell me what you think.”
I end up ordering two Halloween Whoppers to ensure maximum color saturation, one regular cheeseburger for flavor comparison, a side of onion rings (because, ew, Burger King fries) and an extra large Diet Coke to wash all of this awfulness down. The blind mouse behind the counter laughs maniacally throughout our interaction. They’re even laughing in the back as they put my order together, like I’m some kind of sucker. They don’t think I know about the green poop, but I totally know about the green poop. I’ve walked into a Burger King for the first time in ten years specifically for the green poop.
I can’t tell if the Halloween Whopper has a slightly different flavor than the regular burger or if my brain just expects the black bun to have a slightly different flavor, but it’s not unpleasant. Burger King is easily the worst of the fast food burger chains, anyway, so if you’re already someone who eats there regularly, you either won’t notice or wouldn’t care.
The darkness of the bun against the vivid colors of the ingredients keeps throwing me off, though. The lettuce looks extra green and the tomatoes appear is if they were picked out back, which is just way too unnatural to wrap my mind around. The light brown meat, meanwhile, when placed against the black bun backdrop, ends up looking undercooked. It’s probably best if you just close your eyes as you stuff it into your face.
I end up finishing all but two-thirds of one of the Whoppers. I’ve consumed a respectable amount of black bun. The wait begins.
My first poop of the day and, strangely enough, I’m kind of excited. What magic am I about to witness? What delightful sorcery will manifest itself within the walls of my commode?
The answer, sadly, is nothing special. Perhaps it was a bit foolish to expect this kind of wizardry to take shape in just under two hours. The wait continues.
Second poop and still nothing. I’m beginning to think that Burger King created the colored-poop myth in order to get more people to try the burger, and now nobody wants to admit that they were duped, so they’re all lying about pooping green.
There’s a light hint of green, but not enough that I’d consider it a breakthrough. The sad realization that I might have eaten Burger King for nothing is setting in.
Just when I’m about to give up hope…GREEN POOP! It looks like someone dipped it in paint. It’s the color of freshly cut, wet grass. It really is a sight to behold. I’m so excited about it that I text my wife, who works in a hospital, a place filled with unbelievably intelligent and mature adults:
I poop again and this time it’s like art. I’m now just showing off. Three or four different shades of green all interact with each other, creating an elaborate dance, as they slowly spread through the water. I’m Pablo Poopcasso and this toilet is my canvas.
I’ve stopped paying attention to the colors now; the novelty has worn off. It doesn’t even matter how long this goes on for (some reports have it lasting up to three days), because all I really hoped to do here was confirm the existence of this majestic phenomenon. And, well, existence confirmed.
Of course, if you can avoid consuming any Burger King food-type product, you should do so at all costs. But, if you’re like me and the curiosity of seemingly painted poop is eating away at your very core, go ahead and pick yourself up a Halloween Whopper.
The only question now is whether it’s the black bun that causes it…or just Burger King in general.