11 Things You Should Never Order at McDonald's

McDonald's menu items illustration

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McDonald's menu items illustration
Cheapism / Bing Image Creator


There's plenty of talk about which McDonald's menu items reign superior, but what about the ones you should avoid? And what about the overlap that occurs between those two notions (there's plenty)? 

Here are 11 McDonald's menu items you should probably forego, whether for the sake of your caloric intake or your wallet.

Prices and availability are subect to change.

Big Breakfast with Hotcakes

1. Big Breakfast with Hotcakes

It's common knowledge that between women and men respectively, the average daily caloric intake should be roughly around 2,000 or 2,500 calories, but we'll start by pointing that out anyhow, no matter how many of you call us "Captain Obvious." 

Well, next time you think McDonald's Big Breakfast with Hotcakes looks like a well-balanced smorgasbord to start your day with, keep in mind it's a staggering 1,340 calories (and that's without jam on your biscuit or ketchup on your hashbrown), making it the Mickey D's menu item with the highest number of calories — and incidentally, something you're probably better off avoiding.

McDonald's Cheeseburger

2. A Cheeseburger Meal

This next one is honestly a little subjective. If you hit up the Golden Arches with your heart set on ordering one single cheeseburger with a side of fries and a drink, ordering the "cheeseburger meal" will include a second cheeseburger. If you're someone who is down for a bonus burger, obviously this isn't a deal breaker for you, but if you really wanted that small and simple meal, you're better off grabbing a Happy Meal.

McDonald's Breakfast

3. Breakfast Near the End of Breakfast Hours

Gone are the days of all-day breakfast at McDonald's (thanks a lot COVID). Nowadays, we're back to the basics, and Mickey D's stops slinging sausage patties at 10:30 in the morning during the week and 11 a.m. on weekends. Do yourself a favor and avoid ordering breakfast near the end of its availability since the food won't be as fresh.

McDonald's Big Mac

4. Big Mac

Yes, Big Macs are a lot of calories (590), but that's not even our biggest beef (pun intended) with them. You'll shell out around $5 for this iconic McDonald's menu item, and you're really just paying for that unnecessary middle bun, because there's a perfectly cheap and easy way to hack your way into a cheaper fix for the burger by essentially souping up a McDouble with some shredded lettuce and Mac sauce.

McDonald's Double Quarter Pounder

5. Double Bacon Quarter Pounder with Cheese

If you're hitting up McDonald's in hopes of scoring a cheap meal, stay away from the Double Bacon Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Exceeding $10 for a meal, this big burger is the most expensive menu item at U.S. locations. 

McDonald's chicken nuggets

6. 10-Piece McNuggets

A 10-piece of McNuggies costs around $4.39, which breaks down to just about 44 cents per nugget. With that math, if you doubled the amount for 20 nuggets, you'd pay close to 9 bucks. 

Yet, because McDonald's nuggets get cheaper the bigger the order, a 20-piece only costs about $6.89, so you're saving a dime a nugget and getting twice the amount of food. 

Related: I Ranked 8 McDonald’s Dipping Sauces — Including 2 Brand New Ones

McDonald's chicken nugget Happy Meal

7. 4-Piece Chicken Nugget Happy Meal

Nugget math continues! When ordering a Happy Meal for your kids, opt for the 6-piece nugget option instead of the 4-piece. It's only 20 cents more than the 4-piece and you get two extra nuggets. If your kid can't eat them, BOOM: You get a little snackie. For less than a quarter. You're welcome.

McDonald's Frappe

8. Frappes

Frappes are delicious, but they're also expensive and loaded with calories. A large caramel Frappe packs 650 calories of frozen coffee and for the lack of a caffeine jolt this stuff provides, it's simply not worth it. 

McDonald's Shake

9. Milkshakes

For starters, ordering a milkshake at Mickey D's is a crapshoot. Will the ice cream machine be working or will it be down? It's best not to get your hopes up. And not to sound like a broken record — especially since we're talking about a fast-food joint that isn't exactly known as the pinnacle of low-cal, healthy meals — but a large chocolate shake will cost you 800 calories

Small McDonald's Fries
McDonald's McChicken
McDonald's USA

11. Any Chicken Sandwich ... Allegedly

Sigh. Mashed conducted an exclusive survey asking the public what item they make worse than everyone else and an astounding 52% chose chicken sandwiches. We can admit that Chick-fil-A and Popeyes are killing the game when it comes to chicken sandwich wars, but our sweet McChicken is one of the cheapest sammies at McDonald's and it's all good, well, and fine if you ask us.