In-N-Out of the War on Christmas

Doing the old in and out!

Two days ago, I went to In-N-Out Burger. Much to my horror, my hamburger came in the above wrapper. What do you notice printed on the wrapper? That’s right. That’s mistletoe, isn’t it? [Note: Or not. See comments. 🙁 ] How unappetizing! There’s nothing like putting a poisonous plant on my food! Wikipedia says:

Mistletoe is a poisonous plant that causes acute gastrointestinal problems including stomach pain, and diarrhea….

OH! Well actually that explains the last time I went there! In fact, that must be what “In-N-Out” means. Most kids snicker at the implied double entendre, but apparently it just means that as soon as you eat it, it shoots out the other end.

Aside from that, what’s the second thing you notice about the wrapper? You nailed it again: Santa only has three reindeer. This shows how bad the economy is. Either Santa’s been downsizing to save money, or he’s so bad off financially that he had to eat the other five.

If you look hard enough, though, you will find a third thing wrong with the above wrapper. Look again, I’ll wait. … … … That’s right. It says “Seasons Greetings”. Can you believe that? That does it. I am massively offended. I’ll have to boycott them now. There’s supposed to be an apostrophe in front of that “s”! The greetings belong to this season. Not all seasons. Not every season. This season! The Christmas sea—


Blasphemers! Heathens!! Pagans!!! Dark siders!!!!

It’s not “Season’s Greetings”! It’s not “Happy Holidays”! It’s “Merry Christmas”!! Say it! SAY IT!!

Say Merry Christmas, God damn it!

I’ll bet they’re secular humanists out to destroy our Christian country! I’ll bet they’re atheists out to promote their Darwinist agenda! I’ll bet they’re—

Oh, wait a minute. What’s this on the back?

Doing the old in and out through the back door!


Don’t I feel foolish?

Apparently they’re just another Fundie Milk company. In fact, Wikipedia says:

In-N-Out prints discreet references to Bible verses on their paper utensils. … The practice began in the 1980s during Rich Snyder’s presidency, a reflection of the beliefs held by the Snyder family

What this really tells us is that even many Bible-quote-pushing Christians think it’s OK to say something more inclusive than “Merry Christmas”.

I guess that deflates Bill O’Reilly.

Bill O'Reilly eats falafel instead of In-N-Out

33 Responses to “In-N-Out of the War on Christmas”

  1. David Says:

    That is Holly, not mistletoe.

  2. Ron Britton Says:

    How dare you ruin my joke! OK, so I can’t keep track of all the silly Xmas paraphernalia.

  3. Mike Tidmus Says:

    Did you look at the bottom of your soft drink?

    In and Out stamps references to Bible verses like John:666 and such crap on the cup bottoms.

    Never going back!

  4. Ron Britton Says:


    Did you look at the bottom of your soft drink?

    In and Out stamps references to Bible verses like John:666 and such crap on the cup bottoms.

    I’ve been aware of that for quite a while. Although I find it annoying, it isn’t the only criterion I use to determine whether to patronize a place. We discussed this issue in a bit more depth in the iPod article and the subsequent comments.

    All things being equal, I’ll go somewhere else. The more blatant the preaching, the harder it is to justify patronizing a place. In-N-Out is one of those borderline cases. There aren’t any better fast food hamburgers. At least when you order, they don’t say “Would you like Jesus with that?”

  5. Barbara Says:

    Problem is, those french fries are really really good. There’s not much else about i-n-o that’s obviously christian, like the piped in music at chick fill a.

  6. Ron Britton Says:

    Problem is, those french fries are really really good.

    Really? I can’t stand their fries. I never order them. I think it’s because they’re fried in vegetable oil. Yuck!

  7. BrachytelesBellicus Says:

    From Wikipedia:

    Holly berries are mildly toxic and will cause vomiting and/or diarrhea when ingested by people.

    There’s still a chance of later feces-induced liftoff, regardless of which jolly holiday foliage is involved.

  8. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Yes, Chik-Fil-A jumped the Annoying Christian shark a long time ago. It is incredibly obnoxious. A small verse buried in the bottom of a napkin I can deal with a lot easier than preachy signs in front of a closed food court joint about why you are a sinner for wanting waffle fries on Sunday. On the other hand, I would likely patronize a pretty skanky burger joint if they bothered to put, say, the Flying Spaghetti Monster symbol on their cups/napkins/etc.

    (As an aside, why do malls close at 6pm on Sunday? I mean, seriously, every time I’ve been around at that time, all the stores are kicking out paying customers. Who plans this crap?)

  9. Ron Britton Says:

    As an aside, why do malls close at 6pm on Sunday?

    Out here, they all close at 7. Your problem is you live in the Bible Belt. If you weren’t in such a deeply religious place, you could get an extra hour of shopping done. Because, after all, staying open until 7 is a sin.

  10. Brian Says:

    Where I work, we close at 8pm on Sundays, and 10pm the rest of the week. We used to close at 6pm, which was nice.

    I’ll offer up one hypothesis for early Sunday closings. Perhaps it is due to customers, in general, being absolute pains in the ass on Sundays. I’ve been working with the retail public long enough to recognize this unmistakable trend. Perhaps I’m biased, but the worst of the worst always show up around noon and are dressed in their Sunday-best. I suppose their past sins were just forgiven, so they feel free to act like dicks for another week.

    Someone else mentioned the Muzak that is played. I’m noticing a lot of songs played at work through the PA that can be found on Christian radio, and some of them are quite explicit about getting your shit right with Jesus. I wonder – should I make a stink? Granted, most of what they play is the forgettable, bland crap we’ve come to expect of pop music, and I usually just tune it out completely. But Christmas is over, and I don’t need to be reminded of Jesus every hour while I’m working. I’m just saying…

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Wow, 7pm would be a dream. We have some really cool malls here (lots of interestingly little local shops between the MegaAnchors). Best Buy is open until 7, though. Probably because I’m on the fringes on the Bible Belt. We have a new blue Senator and went blue for Obama, not to mention our first female (and liberal) governor. My state is gradually digging itself out of the belt. Obviously this makes North Carolina the superior state with the name Carolina. To further derail this topic, on my trip to Florida, South Carolina had the absolute worst roads of all the states I drove through. Potholes galore all along I-95! That sure is safe. But you pay five cents less per gallon at the pump. You know, taxes are evil and all.

    Brian’s hypothesis is an interesting one. Maybe the whole “Closed on Sundays” thing is a clever guise by Chik-Fil-A to avoid the “Sunday Best” while pretending to be all into their “no work on Sunday” BS thing.

  12. derp Says:

    It’s holly and effing palm trees–an obviously ludicrous combo of symbols to begin with. Why not employ santa as a symbol of all celebrations… ?

    And it’s not like anyone ever became de-appetized by happy holiday prints on their cups. For example, when the cocacola polar bears addorned mcdonalds’ cups, were you expecting the contents to contain polar bears? Literalism is neither funny nor witty.

    As for Rev 3:20, it is:

    “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

    They’re just saying, “Come on in and enjoy this burger.”

  13. Ron Britton Says:


    Literalism is neither funny nor witty.

    Yet somehow you managed to take this article literally.

  14. derp Says:

    Humour and wit I was not going for with my literal interpretation of the text presented; but it does seem to be the point of this blog. Red herrings and borderline appeals to ridicule aside, my point remains: weak rant.

    I’m just saying, Christianity (and all religion) is enough of a farce that we probably don’t need to make up arguments based on shoddy burger-packaging, that don’t really serve to do anything but make atheists as a whole look like mental midgits, to lambast the *cult*ure of evangelism.

    Instead why not try going right to the book? Perhaps we should take some of the good advice from the old testament and smite those who have smited us, while also taking the new testament advice to turn the other cheek, for example.

    Also, if you don’t want to read “Rev 3:20” (dispite its obviously benign nature as a reference to something you haven’t had any interest in reading), then don’t go to in-out, or any other place you are likely to find Christians that refer to passages in the bible for guidance.

    As for the reference, seems like a pretty good motto. “We’ll feed you like you’re a guest at our house.”

    At least it isn’t “Rev 6:2-8” which would appear to apply more to the Jack in the Box chain.


  15. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Clearly it all means God prefers In-N-Out burgers. I don’t have that chain out here. I guess I’m really missing out on some truly delicious God Burgers.

  16. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Derp, you may want to take note that this blog has existed for years and actually contains more posts than just this one. Shocking, I know. Maybe if this tongue-in-cheek post offends your greatly enlightened atheism so much, you can read some of the other less sarcastic posts?

  17. Ron Britton Says:

    I guess I’m really missing out on some truly delicious God Burgers.

    I never thought of them as God Burgers. Now I want to know where I can get God’s Rocky Mountain Oysters.

  18. Ron Britton Says:


    If my target were Christianity in general, some of your suggestions would be valid. I’m going after the bufoons here. They don’t deserve the respect of a well-reasoned argument, nor would they listen to it if they heard it. (And in case you haven’t figured it out, In-N-Out was not the target of this article.)

    But as ParrotLover pointed out, I do a variety of posts, including more serious analysis.

  19. derp Says:

    Parrotlover77, note that I was referring to this rant in specific.

  20. derp Says:

    As I am not attacking you, you need not defend your ego.
    I am sure many of your other posts are quite witty. This one? Not so much.

    To say your target was not Christianity, I think, stands in the face of what you have written. Christianity ex Bill O’reily, perhaps, but Christianity nonetheless.

    Your conclusion is that, to paraphrase, “O’reily should STFU about being robbed of his holiday celebration terminology because other famous christians think ‘sesason’s greetings’ is an okay way of verbal/textual celebration (even if it is poorly edited)”. Is this correct?

    If so, don’t be ashamed.
    It’s okay to bash Christians.
    Just bash them for the things they’ve done that are worthy of bashing.
    Trust me. There are plenty.

  21. S. Says:

    In that case,Chick-fil-a should stop being so greedy and charge less for their food! but what a marketing ploy,hey,almost as good as saying you have a ghost in your establishment.

    Parrot,I think the transplants from up north have helped turned our state cool is that?! 🙂

  22. Parrotlover77 Says:

    S – I’m hoping it’s more than just northern transplants shifting the balance. That certainly must be part of it, but I’m also hoping the state is a sign of the deterioration of fundie control around the edges of the bible belt with the younger and more tolerant generations growing up and voting for the first time. I’m hoping 50-80 years from now the bible belt will only be a few neighborhoods in the middle of Mississippi.

    We’ll see. 🙂 Either way, yes it’s cool!

  23. Sarah Says:

    We got our first In and Out about a year ago and it’s been busy ever since. o.0 Personally, I’m a vegetarian, so really…all I could get there is an order of fries and a milkshake.

    Their milkshakes suck, so that leaves the fries…which are all right, but nothing to write home about.

  24. freddies_dead Says:

    You Yanks should count yourselves lucky, here in the UK Sunday opening for the shops (we don’t really do malls) is 10am til 4pm or 11am til 5pm.

    As for the fast food, isn’t it all the work of the devil anyway? Must be to be so tasty and yet so damned unhealthy at the same time.

  25. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Don’t your pubs close at some ridiculously early time too? What’s with you across the pond? 😉

  26. Lindsay Says:

    The pub time limit has been lifted PL77…but in a lot of back country places (like the small ass town my husband is from) they still close at the traditional 11 o’clock.

    Outside of maybe London/Manchester/Edinburgh Sundays in the UK really suck. What makes it even stranger is that there is a higher percentage of non-religious/atheists in that country than there are in the US.

  27. Jeff Eyges Says:

    we don’t really do malls

    That is to your credit. And I understand that the French only allow limited discounting for a week or two each year, so that big chains can’t come in and drive all the local stores out of business.

    You Europeans have managed to preserve a sense of community in a way we haven’t.

  28. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Lindsay – Glad to hear about the pub time limit. In my home town, it was a HUGE DEAL when the mandatory bar/club closing time was set to 2AM (previously it was 4AM). It was silliness. Last call was about 1:50AM and the bars had to have everybody out of the establishment by 2AM on the money or receive huge fines. This was done to apparently reduce the amount of late night drunk driving. What has happened is that we have a lot of drunks with nowhere to go now at 2AM. I’ve moved away but I hear it has gotten better (drunks on road) but only mainly due to the fact that the nightlife was absolutely killed. Everybody just drives to the larger surrounding cities. Nonsense blue laws piss me off…

    Jeff Eyges – Agreed. It seems like there are things we can both learn from each other. 🙂

  29. Lindsay Says:

    The UK lift on the 11 pm pub closing was done to prevent binge drinking…apparently if the bars could be open later people wouldn’t feel as pressured to binge, but I’m not sure if it makes a difference…people just have more time to binge now.

    On a related note, last night my husband and I were flipping through the tv music channels and listened to The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah.” My husband told me that there was a law that pubs could not open and serve alcohol before 2 pm on Sundays…but there was some loophole in the law where “casbahs” could. So basically on Sundays they became the places to go to get pissed before the football matches since the pubs couldn’t open.

  30. ericsan Says:

    A few years back I was horrified to find a little jeebus paper included in the crap box lunch served on an Alaska Airlines flight. Their xtian beliefs clearly did not extend to supplying their passengers with proper aircraft maintenance, as the investigation following the crash off the Southern Californian coast demonstrated.

    I’ve been boycotting them ever since.

    Didn’t know about I&O, I don’t eat fast food anyway, but now I have a good reason to dissuade my friends from ever going there.

  31. Modusoperandi Says:


    knock, knock
    “Hello? Oh, it’s you, Jesus.”
    “Mind if I come in? Nice place you’ve got here.”
    “Um, yeah. Thanks for the compliment, Jesus.”
    “Say, what’s that delicious smell? Is that a burger you’ve got there? I sure am hungry from all that complimenting…”

  32. S. Says:

    I thought Jesus only served fish n loaves of bread. 😀

  33. adam Says:

    last time i went to in-and-out it went “in-and-out” of the same hole.

    MASSIVE food poisoning.