1987 McDonald's Birthday Party: You Deserve a Cake Today.

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

(Special thanks to my wife for helping me with a punny title. It took her about three seconds.)

This article represents a special moment for the site: Not only is it one of the few instances when I can pinpoint a specific date to accompany the photos, but for the first time, I can relate it to the events of another feature. (UPDATE: Wow, this is an old entry! I've added more links.) A few posts back, I chronicled my sixth birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. The following pictures were taken a year later to the day, this time at the McDonald's in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. My childhood revolved around junk food, and much to my wife's chagrin, I still indulge on a regular basis. However, I want to make the disclaimer that I have not eaten at McDonald's since 2016. I do have some semblance of standards.

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Witness a very small part of the world events which unfolded on November 17th, 1987:

That's me on the far left. Sitting directly across from me is my first friend ever, Dennis McCain. My apologies to everyone else, but he's the only one I remember. As a side note, the blue thing above the "R" on my shirt was a monster iron-on transfer from a cereal box. It was a glow-in-the-dark Quasimodo. I really wanted the mummy, if memory serves, but the next box of cereal my mom bought during the promotion was devoid of a prize! It haunts me to this day.

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My parents took me to this McDonald's roughly three trillion times, and I always burnt off the calories, sometimes before we left. Of course, the Play Land played a role in that. I especially loved crawling around inside the Mayor McCheese tower, even on hot days when the metal would seer your hands like an all-beef patty. (I've included a reference image from Pinterest for the two Millennials reading this blog.) I had a shirt very similar to the one in the photo, so just pretend that kid is me.

Can you say, "liability"?

Look at that custom-made McDonald's birthday cake, complete with Grimace and Ronald. Unbelievable. Would they even bother with something like this now? And check out the "Reserved" sign, just like a five-star restaurant! That other kid was likely on my little league team.

It's an official McDonald's scarf! Stay with me on this one. You can also see the aforementioned Play Land in the photo.

As you can see, I saved the best vintage photo for last. If all other evidence of the '80s was to somehow vanish, this photo alone would be testament to its greatness. Sporting a trucker hat, mullet and a dirtstache, that guy personifies the decade. And just think: All those Styrofoam containers are still in a landfill somewhere! I kept a few from later visits, and they make a cameo in Retro Injection's tribute to the McDLT.

Let's get back to that scarf. Thirty years later, I still have it!

The detail on this is pretty impressive, if not a little creepy.
A corporation getting kids to shill? There must be some mistake.

When GQ inevitably claims credit for the following sizzling content, remember that you saw it here first:


Dave is also rocking a genuine Member's Only jacket, circa 1987.

Thanks, mom! Fortunately, we never needed to fall back on a random person's integrity.

We'll end this one with an image suitable for your next desktop background. Thanks for reading, and leave a comment if you liked this silly little interlude. I'm sure the server will crash from glowing feedback. Before you head through the drive-thru, check out our feature on the New Food Changeables Happy Meal, one of our early works of genius!

#80s #mcdonalds #birthday #happymeal

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Dave Fife, a child of the '80s, is the driving force behind retroinjection.com. A nostalgia blog focusing on the pop culture of the '80s and '90s, Retro Injection places an emphasis on movie reviews, classic video games and vintage toys, and conducts celebrity interviews.

An authority on the 1980s and a member of the Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, Dave is the creator of the acclaimed documentary, Time-Out: History of a Small-Town Arcade. He also wrote the forward to the breakdance movie book, There's No Stopping Us/ The Untold Story of Breakin': From Australia to Venice Beach by Tony and Doug Pichaloff. Mr. Fife is a member of the Arizona Ghostbusters.


The New York Times revised an article pertaining to the Super Mario character after Dave sent them a correction. At that point, he was just showing off.

Reach Dave for a guaranteed response via dafifeproductions@yahoo.com, or use the site's chat button on the lower right. If you've read this far, you might as well check out Retro Injection's media kit.



SINCE 2017.