The best discontinued McDonald’s items you totally forgot about

Maddy Kinkead
A vintage mcdonalds

These are the discontinued McDonald’s items you didn’t know you needed back until now.

Some of these discontinued items were hits and are sadly missed by customers, and others were a little weird to begin with; either way, you’ll be craving fast food by the time you’re finished reading.

Why does McDonald’s discontinue items?

The reason that some of these items, like the McLobster, were discontinued is simply because they were becoming too expensive to make. If you hadn’t already noticed, McDonald’s recent menu releases have been fairly similar to already existing items with a change in sauce or toppings, but the core ingredients stay the same. This is to ensure that if a new menu item becomes wildly popular, they are still able to meet demands without going over budget on new sourcing ingredients.

Some of the others though, were discontinued because they just weren’t popular with customers, even though they may have been greatly anticipated, they were ultimately seen as a let down by McDonald’s fans.

The old McDonald’s items you had forgotten:


McDonald's pizza
McDonald’s pizza

McDonald’s tried their hand at one of America’s favorite foods in the late 1980s and their McPizza went down pretty well and was a feature of the menu until 2000. It was not as popular, however, as their burgers and fries and was ultimately discontinued because it took about 15 minutes to bake. That being said, you can still get McPizza in Orlando, Florida.


The McLobster roll
The McLobster roll

This lobster sandwich quickly became a US staple when it was first launched in 1993. Customers loved the sandwich with lobster, lobster sauce, and shredded lettuce – but ultimately, the Atlantic lobster was far too expensive to source. If you want a taste of the ocean at McDonald’s, you can get this roll periodically in the Summer at New England stores.

Chicken Selects

McDonald's chicken selects
McDonald’s chicken selects

Chicken Selects are available in McDonald’s stores across Europe, but these chicken strips were discontinued in the US in 2013. They launched in 2004, were discontinued in 2013, and then reemerged as Buttermilk Tenders in 2017. Their relaunch was wildly popular, but when the pandemic hit, they disappeared and are yet to make an eagerly anticipated comeback…

McSalad Shakers

An ad for McSalad Shakers
An ad for McSalad Shakers

Those of you who are fond of a salad at McDonald’s (if there’s anyone out there) were probably devastated to see these go. These salad shakers came out in 2000, and were discontinued just three years later. The design was clever, with a salad dressing on the side and an enclosed cup so you could shake up your salad and get an even coating of dressing. But let’s be honest, the salad at McDonald’s is nothing compared to the fries.


The weird invention for your burger that didn’t work

This weird invention seems like a good idea, in theory. It was a double burger box that had a section for the bun and burger patty, and a section for the lettuce, tomato, and onions. The slogan was, “Keep the hot side hot, and the cool side cool.” This may sound like a good idea, but it was ultimately discontinued in 1990 when the company switched from styrofoam to more eco-friendly materials.

The McJordan

The McJordan Special
McDonald’s burger in partnership with Michael Jordan

A quintessential 90s collab. The McJordan Special, which debuted in 1992, wasn’t anything particularly special, but sports fans went wild for it. It was a Quarter Pounder patty with American cheese, circular bacon (designed to fit perfectly over the patty), mustard, pickles, onions, and a specially made barbecue sauce just for the sandwich. The item was popular from 1991 until 1993 when it was discontinued to make room for ‘healthier’ promotions.

Mighty Wings

McDonald’s chicken wings

These may look tasty, but when McDonald’s launched chicken wings in 1990, they only did okay on the menu and were discontinued in 2003. McDonald’s tried to give them another shot in 2013, but they were a failure, yet again. Looks like they are nothing compared to the McNuggets.

Fish McBites

McFish Bites
A forgotten Happy Meal item

Fish McBites were tiny bite-sized versions of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich, without the bun. These were available in Happy Meals or as a snack. The menu item was the franchise’s first fish offering in more than 50 years. They were designed to be for people who were going off meat for Lent and could be bought in boxes of 10, 15, or 30. They were launched and discontinued in 2013 due to lack of sales.

Chicken fajitas

Chicken fajitas
McDonald’s fajitas

These fajitas were launched in the 1990s, but they never made it to the millennium (along with the breakfast burritos.) Although these items had their fans, they were complicated to make and required new processes and ingredients that busy McDonald’s kitchens just couldn’t keep up with.

The Big n’ Tasty

Mcdonalds big n tasty ad
The Big N’ Tasty burger

This burger, launched in 1997, was designed to compete with Burger King’s Whopper. It had a beef patty, salad, cheese and a smoky signature sauce. From 2002 until 2003, the Big N’ Tasty was one of the flagship products for the McDonald’s Dollar Menu. McDonald’s discontinued the Big N’ Tasty and removed it from the Dollar Menu so that the Double Cheeseburger could take its place.

The Arch Deluxe

Arch Deluxe
The Arch Deluxe burger

This burger, launched in 1996, was McDonald’s stab at a “luxury” burger. The Arch Deluxe was a quarter pound of beef on a potato flour sesame seed bun, topped with a circular piece of peppered bacon, leaf lettuce, tomato, American cheese, onions, ketchup, and Dijon mustard mayonnaise. McDonald’s pushed this one hard, and it had the largest promotional budget in fast food history. Despite this, it was discontinued because it failed to take off.

Chopped beefsteak sandwich

The McDonald's beefsteak sandwich
The McDonald’s beefsteak sandwich

This sandwich was like McDonald’s answer to a philly cheesesteak – but the steak made the item pricey. Customers didn’t want to pay the high price for it and it was discontinued in 1980 after only a year on the market. While the chopped beefsteak has now faded into obscurity, its spiritual predecessor, the McRib, continues to be a popular (if not somewhat elusive) menu item at McDonald’s today.


The McDonald's hot dog
The McDonald’s hot dog


McDonald’s served spaghetti?

Yes, they really served spaghetti. In 1970, McDonald’s introduced McSpaghetti which was a simple pasta dish with marinara, meatballs and cheese. The menu item was discontinued in 1980 but is still served in some stores in the Philippines and often makes a reappearance online, causing a stir with McDonald’s fans.


Supersize meal
A supersize meal

In 1987, McDonald’s introduced “Super Size” portions for the fast food chain’s menu items, which was essentially an extra large size. You might think that a large portion of fast food is enough, and that was ultimately the reason why this option was discontinued in 2004 when the fast food industry began to lean towards investing in healthier options.

Check out some other fast food lists:

How to get free McDonald’s fries | Best fast food breakfast deals ranked | All 9 items on the McDonald’s dollar menu ranked | Best McDonald’s secret menu items according to former employees

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