Mr. Charlie's restaurant front (l) Fast-food meal (r)


‘That happy meal was $20 huh’: Vegan McDonald’s sparks debate on TikTok

'Not the unhappy meal.'


Moises Mendez II

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 3, 2022   Updated on Mar 7, 2022, 11:04 am CST

A vegan version of McDonald’s in Los Angeles is causing a rift on TikTok after a user posted about their excitement.

The short clip shows the outside of a fast-food restaurant called “Mr. Charlie’s,” which looks very similar to a McDonald’s. As the creator records, the audio is a snippet of a woman saying “People who live in California, arguably, to me, are living in a completely different reality than everyone else in the U.S.” The iconic red is plastered across the entire building, adorned with a yellow “smile” famously seen on the kid’s happy meal box.

The video went viral within two days, racking up more than 1.7 million views and dividing the comments section. “Not the ‘unhappie’ meal,” one person said with laughing emojis. Some were concerned with how similar the logo for the restaurant looks to McDonald’s. “Wow, that’s bold of them. McDonald has sued for much less,” a TikTok user wrote.

Others were concerned with the price point, “That happy meal was $20 huh,” someone asked the creator, to which they responded saying it was “like $17.”

Yes, it’s a real place. And yes, a vegan double cheeseburger combo will run you $17. But hey, it’s L.A. And as one exuberant Yelp review from January notes:

Fun concept!  Feels like an art installation, in fact that’s what I actually thought it was when I walking by. Today was their soft opening.

There’s art, a grateful dead collection in a glass case and a dj booth. The employees were awesome and very eager to hear feedback.  The owners were there and both were very welcoming.

As for the food, yes the burgers looked just like McDonald’s. No veg, just two slices of pickles and a small amount of onions (albeit, these were fresh, not dehydrated). The cheeseburger was much better than the burger. 

The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and McDonald’s via press email. We’ve also reached out to the marketing agency behind McCharlie’s, Clyde & Seventh.

Update 11:20am CT, March 4: Reached for comment, Clyde & Seventh responded with, “McWho?”

Today’s top stories

‘Fill her up’: Bartender gives woman a glass of water when the man she’s with orders tequila shot
‘I don’t think my store has even sold one’: Whataburger employees take picture with first customer who bought a burger box
‘It was a template used by anyone in the company’: Travel agent’s ‘condescending’ out-of-office email reply sparks debate
Sign up to receive the Daily Dot’s Internet Insider newsletter for urgent news from the frontline of online.
Share this article
*First Published: Mar 3, 2022, 1:33 pm CST