Updated: Sep 2, 2022
Nobody wants their food stolen. Despite this, major fast food chains continue to employ mascots determined to rip you off and/or tarnish your dining experience: Domino's has the Noid; McDonald's, the Hamburglar. Heck, even Krusty Burger on The Simpsons had the Krustyburglar!
Kids in the '80s knew the Fry Guys as cute, harmless Muppet wannabes. But the creatures were once much darker: Originally called Gobblins, they were pretty freaky, and intent on eating not just your fries, but literally everything.
By the '80s, the Gobblins had evolved into the Fry Guys, mellowing their gluttonous ways with the loss of their creepy mouths. How are they eating those fries?!
In 1988 (not 1989, as the rest of the Internet would have you believe), McDonald's released the Funny Fry Friends Happy Meal. A line of eight toys, these figures sported removeable and interchangeable headwear, along with limited poseability in that their legs could be rotated. I've had the pictured Funny Fry Friends since I was seven years old! Today they're visiting Ghosts of the '80s, my home arcade. Unlike the legendary New Food Changeables, I never got the whole set.
Let's mix up the headpieces and swivel their feet. Things are getting wild in this crib!
My wife's favorite Funny Fry Friend is Rollin' Rocker Fry Gal. Is that a Walkman?
Gadzooks was always my go-to Fry Guy. The star of the below McDonald's commercial, he's a total ham!
With Gadzooks is Matey the pirate. Pretty impressive paint work on the parrot's eyes!
Finally, Gadzooks, Rollin' Rocker and ZZZs pose with The Stuff, '80s junk food that's arguably worse than McDonalds. Wait a minute! How did that McDino Changeable get in there?
Here's a McNugget of trivia: In 1992, four of the eight Funny Fry Friends would be released by McDonald's in Australia, at a price point of "down under" a dollar. (Sorry.) ZZZs would be renamed Snoozy, which I think sounds better.
Thanks go to my wife and fellow '80s baby Adrienne for her help with the Fry Guy photography. You're the best, hon! That wraps it up for the Funny Fry Friends, or as my friend Luke calls them, "pathogens with legs." But you've just begun to drain the Retro Injection McDonald's grease vat:
Consume our retrospective of the McDLT, featuring a cameo from Seinfeld's Jason Alexander.
Remember 1989's Super Mario Bros. 3 Happy Meal? Here's why I'll never forget it.