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

Updated: Aug 13, 2022

(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 have a semblance of standards!

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

Vintage 1987 McDonald's birthday party
Almost everyone is wearing a Grimace!

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.

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.

McDonald's Mayor McCheese '80s playland
Can you say, "liability"?
'80s McDonald's birthday party with Ronald and Grimace birthday cake.

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.

'80s McDonald's birthday party.

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

Vintage '80s McDonald's birthday party. Styrofoam Big Mac McDonald's boxes.

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!

Vintage McDonald's Ronald McDonald scarf.
The detail on this is pretty impressive, if not a little creepy.
White McDonald's scarf.
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:

Vintage McDonald's scarf and hat. Members Only jacket.

Man outdoors wearing a Member's Only jacket.
Dave is also rocking a genuine Member's Only jacket, circa 1987.
Vintage McDonald's scarf with embroidered Ronald McDonald.
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 to the drive-thru, check out our writeup on the New Food Changeables Happy Meal, one of our early works of genius. And here's a feature on McDonald's Funny Fry Friends, a Happy Meal promotion from 1988!

Vintage McDonald's hat and Ronald McDonald scarf.


Wow, that was a masterpiece


Holy smokes. I remember the container stacking contest as part of my own borthday party there around this same time. I had completely forgotten about that aspect until now.


Feb 26, 2018

Funny despite the fact you used no sarcasm whatsoever.

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