As long as we can remember, we’ve always associated our favorite fast food spots with their respective mascots. One doesn’t think of Jack In The Box without picturing the titular figurehead Jack Box, or Kentucky Fried Chicken without seeing the Colonel’s handsome mug in their minds.
Have you every wondered, however, what the real names of these iconic mascots were?
We dug around and found the true identities of your favorite fast food stars. See if you know the names beyond these nomme de gueres.
This one’s a no-brainer, but the clown prince of fast food has been pretty transparent with his real name since his introduction. Ronald McDonald, who’s been around since 1963, is only one of the many citizens of McDonaldland.
He wasn’t always a Colonel. Before he made it big as Kentucky Fried Chicken’s brand ambassador, the man in the white suit was born Harland David Sanders. Still, if you’re a fan of finger-licking good chicken, you’ll probably know him best as Colonel Sanders.
Jack, the fictional “CEO” of the popular burger chain Jack In The Box, is probably one of the most prolific fast food mascots in recent memory. While he’s pretty transparent with his first and last name in commercials, we discovered that his full name is Jack I. Box. Wonder what that “I” could possibly stand for?
Chuck E. Cheese
Have you ever wondered what the “E” stood for in Chuck E. Cheese? BuzzFeed confirmed a while back that the animatronic mouse and front man for the popular children’s pizza arcade’s real name is actually Charles Entertainment Cheese. Seems like he’s found his calling.
Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, named the restaurant chain after his daughter Melinda Lou “Wendy” Thomas (now Morse). The name Wendy came from Morse’s childhood nickname as she struggled with her L’s and R’s as a kid.
We looked for as many father figures as we could growing up. Papa John nearly made that list with his restaurant’s awesome garlic dipping sauce that came with every box of pizza. Turns out he doesn’t go by Papa in his day-to-day. The founder and figurehead of the pizza empire was born John H. Schnatter.
Taco Bell Chihuahua
¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!
The phrase uttered by the adorable Taco Bell chihuahua became a household expression for more than a decade anytime the taco chain was mentioned. Of course, trainers couldn’t just call him “The Taco Bell Chihuahua” every time they needed his attention. That’s why he was given the name Gidget. The character was retired after Gidget passed away back in 2009. May that pup rest in peace, hopefully in a place where the Code Red flows like wine and the chalupas are bountiful.