We’ve all been there: You’re going through the Taco Bell drive-thru after a long day of work, and the only thing getting you through the slog all day was knowing there were Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes waiting for you. But when it was finally your turn to order that delicious fan favorite, your hopes were dashed. Your potatoes were discontinued.
The good news for potato stans is that Taco Bell reversed that short-lived decision earlier this year after fans do what they do best: Take to social media and campaign a lot. But fans of long-forgotten cult classics (and the ever-mysterious McRib) haven’t been so lucky.
Keep reading to see if your former favorite fast food item made our memorial list.
1. Taco Bell’s Volcano Burrito
Step back in time to 1995. Congo was just released in theaters, and Taco Bell unleashed the volcano burrito to celebrate. This 800-calorie monstrosity included ground beef, Mexican rice, crunchy red tortilla strips, sour cream, cheddar cheese and a “lava” sauce — a creamy cheese mixture that was twice as spicy as regular hot sauce. It reappeared in 2009 but has been dormant since 2013.
2. Taco Bell’s Bell Beefer
Newer Taco Bell fanatics may not even know about the 1970s Bell Beefer. If you like Sloppy Joes, then you’ll be sad to know that this Taco Bell take on the venerable sammy left the menu in the 1990s.
3. Taco Bell’s Quesarito
The Quesarito was a 2020 casualty at Taco Bell. It’s not all bad news, though. At least not for now. This combination of quesadilla and burrito can still be ordered online for now, although you won’t be able to order it at restaurants themselves.
4. Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco
In 2014, Taco Bell created a line of breakfast items, including the Waffle Taco. Made with scrambled eggs, a sausage patty and maple syrup all held within a waffle shaped like a taco. It only lasted until 2015.
5. Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza
The Mexican Pizza was another 2020 casualty that hasn’t made its way back — yet. A staple since 1985, it was ripped away from die-hard Taco Bell fans with little to no warning in the thick of the pandemic. But fans are rallying around this item, hoping to get it back through online petitions just like they did for the Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes.
6. Taco Bell’s Enchirito
The enchirito was an enchilada-burrito hybrid that Taco Bell retired in 2013. However, as many savvy internet fans point out, you can pretty much get the same thing if you order an enchilada stuffed with beans, beef and cheese.
7. Taco Bell’s Grilled Stuft Nacho
Taco Bell introduced the Grilled Stuft Nacho as a test item only at select locations in 2013 but wound up dropping itin 2014. It was made with a flour tortilla shaped like a nacho and stuffed full with beef, cheesy jalapeno sauce, sour cream and other goodies. It came back briefly in 2015, but quickly disappeared again.
8. Taco Bell’s XXL Chalupas
Also called the Double Chalupa, this menu item only lasted from summer of 2010 to 2011. This was double the size of a regular chalupa and was made with all the same great toppings and fillings.
9. McDonald’s Szechuan sauce
This cult classic was another movie-inspired menu item. McDonald’s beloved Szechuan sauce entered this world in 1998 for the theatrical release of Disney’s “Mulan” animated film. Fans of the show “Rick and Morty” harassed McDonald’s until they agreed to bring it back for one day in 2017. As an example of just how much people loved this stuff, a package of Szechuan sauce sold on eBay for $99,000.
10. McDonald’s Fried Apple Pie
Yes, you can still get apple pies at McDonald’s. But did you know that until 1992, they were fried? Sure, it’s healthier today as a baked goodie, but it’s certainly not the same!
11. McDonald’s Arch Deluxe
The Arch Deluxe, created in 1996, is now considered one of McDonald’s most expensive flops. It was highly marketed as an “adult” menu option. It consisted of a quarter pound of beef, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, onions, ketchup and secret sauce.
12. McDonald’s Third Pound burgers
In 2013, McDonald’s dropped its Angus third pounder burgers from the menu. The restaurant decided to double-down on its quarter-pounder burgers instead.
13. McDonald’s Mighty Wings
McDonald’s first rendition of the mighty wings appeared from 1990 to 2003. They rebranded the wings in 2013 as the mighty wings until they were taken off the menu a year later.
14. McDonald’s McSalad Shakers
From 2000 to 2003, McDonald’s fans feeling guilty about that side of fries could order one of three McSalad Shakers: chef, grilled chicken or garden. As the name implies, you had to shake them to mix up all the ingredients before eating.
15. McDonald’s beef-fat fries
Until 1990, McDonald’s actually used beef fat to fry their fries. The change came because of growing pressures to make their fries healthier, although some fans still say the fries don’t taste nearly as good.
16. McDonald’s McRib
Ah, yes. The infamous McRib needs little introduction. This on-again, off-again menu item was first introduced in 1981, removed in 1985, reintroduced in 1989 and then removed again in 2005. Since then, it’s been a recurring special item that McDonald’s seemingly brings back at random. It has deeply devoted fans to this day.
17. Burger King’s Angry Whopper
The Angry Whopper appeared on Burger King’s menu for over 60 years until it was discontinued in 2016. This bacon burger was supposed to be one of its spiciest menu items and was made with a special “Angry” sauce.
18. Burger King’s Cheesy Tots
19. Burger King’s Crown-Shaped Nuggets
Burger King still sells nuggets, but they don’t look nearly as cute as they did from 2006 to 2011. These crowned-shaped nuggets were dethroned, but they are coming back for a limited time in 2021.
20. Burger King’s Chicken Tenders
Burger King introduced chicken tenders to its menu in 2018 as a response to fans asking for them to return. However, Burger King still claims they never actually had chicken tenders before 2018. Now? Well, they don’t have any again.
21. Burger King’s Cini Minis
22. Burger King’s Burger Shots
Until 1987, you could order sliders, called burger shots, at Burger King. Now, you’ll have to order full-sized ones only.
23. Dunkin’s Big N’ Toasted Breakfast Sandwich
This Texas toast sandwich stuffed with eggs, bacon and cheese joined the lineup in 2011. It disappeared in 2018 and again in 2019 after a failed attempt to bring it back.
24. Dunkin’s Tailgater Breakfast Sandwich
In 2015, Dunkin introduced this sandwich, which was eggs, cheese, spiced sausages, peppers, onions, and Ancho Chipotle sauce on a toasted french roll. While it was well-received, it didn’t last long on the menu.
25. Dunkin’s Oreo Coolatta
You can still get coolattas, but the Oreo flavored one disappeared in 2017 after Dunkin partnered with Oreo for a limited run on Oreo-flavored items.
26. Dunkin’s Bagel Twists
In 2010, Dunkin twisted up its bagel game with six different Bagel Twist flavors: cheddar cheese, cinnamon raisin, sour cream and onion, pretzel salt, blueberry and French toast. They were discontinued after poor sales soon after.
27. Dunkin’s Sweet & Salted Cold Brew coffee
Dunkin is pretty well-known for its limited-run flavors. However, most aren’t as limited as the sweet and salted cold brews were. To capitalize on the growing popularity of cold brews in 2017, Dunkin introduced this popular Chinese drink on its menu for a limited time, and it hasn’t come back since.
28. Wendy’s Bacon and Blue Burger
First released in 2010, this messy yet surprisingly upscale-feeling burger was even served with artisanal cheese and a brioche bun. The burger had one last shot in 2015 before it yet again disappeared from Wendy’s menu.
29. Wendy’s Frescata Sandwiches
Wendy’s may own the Frescata trademark, but it hasn’t offered the sandwiches since 2007. These mini sandwiches came in all the usual suspect flavors, such as roasted turkey or chicken salad, and were first introduced in 2005.
30. Pizza Hut’s P’Zones
Pizza Hut introduced its version of the calzone in 2002. It appeared on and off the menu until 2011 but hasn’t reappeared since.
31. Pizza Hut’s Triple Deckeroni Pizza
In the 1990s, Pizza Hut introduced your cardiologist’s worst nightmare: the Triple Deckeroni Pizza. This was a regular pizza stacked on top of another pizza with a hidden layer of cheese in between.
32. KFC’s Double Down
33. KFC’s Potato Wedges
KFC said adieu to its Potato Wedges in 2020. It replaced them with fries seasoned with its secret recipe spice.
Other Heart Breaks
34. Arby’s Potato Cakes
Arby’s cult classic potato cakes dropped off its menu in 2021, making it one of our more recent heartbreaks on the list. These were shredded potatoes mashed up into a cake like a hashbrown.
35. Subway’s Roast Beef and Rotisserie Chicken sandwiches
What’s worse than one heartbreak? Two. Subway nonchalantly discontinued its Roast Beef and Rotisserie chicken sandwiches in 2020.
36. Whataburger’s Steak Fajitas
Fans fell in love with these steak fajitas since their first appearance on the menu in the 2010s. But just as soon as people got hooked, they disappeared from the menu.
37. Sonic’s French Toaster
In 2015, Sonic introduced the French Toaster, which was a sandwich made with French toast, eggs, bacon and toast. It was soon replaced with the Breakfast Toaster, which is essentially the same thing on Texas toast.
38. Jack in the Box’s Acapulco Chicken Salad
The Acapulco Chicken Salad was a short-lived menu item that first appeared in 2006. It reappeared again in 2008, but just like the McShaker, it hasn’t come back since.
39. Popeyes’ Big Easy Chicken Bowl
In 2008, the Chicken Bowl was added to the Popeyes menu and would stay there until 2015, when it slowly started disappearing from restaurants across the country.
40. Chick-Fil-A’s Sunflower Multigrain Bagel
The most recent let-down to date was in April when Chick-Fil-A announced it would discontinue its sunflower multigrain bagel. Breakfast fans will also be mourning the loss of its decaf coffee.