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December 2, 2005 12:03 AM

Broken: Triple thick shake

3xshakeRobert Lee observes:

McDonald's advertises a "Triple ThickĀ® shake". I've been trying to locate the National Shake Thickness Standard to verify that these shakes are three times thicker than the standard.

[Maybe not "broken", but an apparently unprovable promise... -mh]


McDonald's=Broken. You'll find them together in any thesaurus

Posted by: gmangw at December 2, 2005 12:42 AM

Surely a "Triple Thick" shake would be two times thicker than standard, aka three times the thickness, rather than three times thicker.

The English language is broken.

Posted by: josh at December 2, 2005 02:17 AM

You can tell because if you turn the cup upside down, the shake sliiiiides out.

Posted by: Alden Bates at December 2, 2005 04:37 AM

Uh... I guess everybody has overlooked the obvious here, but McDonald's has been selling shakes for quite a while, and it seems reasonable to assume that they mean it's triply thick compared to their normal shakes.

Posted by: Dan at December 2, 2005 05:17 AM

Not broken. You're confusing fact with advertising sizzle and puffery.

With that way of thinking, I think Mountain Dew is broken. I saw a TV ad where - after purchasing a Mountain Dew - a person's car morphed into more cool models - and his male friend morphed into a hot babe.

I don't drink the stuff - but something tells me that a drinking Mountain Dew will do none of that.

Posted by: Dan Kelley at December 2, 2005 07:14 AM

but the actual words "mountain dew will transform your car and friends" are never used. not really a good equivalent.

Posted by: gmangw at December 2, 2005 08:55 AM

"Surely a 'Triple Thick' shake would be two times thicker than standard, aka three times the thickness, rather than three times thicker."

Huh??? That assertion is giving me a milkshake brain freeze.

Posted by: GMoney at December 2, 2005 08:56 AM

The new "Triple Thick" shakes are no thicker than a few years ago.

At my local McD's, I noticed that one day, the shakes were super thin; like a normal milkshake. This went on for a couple months and one day they came out with this new "Triple Thick" junk, and the shakes were back to normal. I think it was all just a marketing gimmick.

I remember like 10 years ago, they had a TV ad that featured strange words related to McDonald's. Don't ask me why, but the only one I remember is "Cloghauler." Definition: A McDonald's shake so thick that it collapses the straw when you suck.

Posted by: TheHag at December 2, 2005 09:10 AM

"Surely a 'Triple Thick' shake would be two times thicker than standard, aka three times the thickness, rather than three times thicker."

1 standard shake * 2 times thicker = 3 times thicker shake... oh boy...

Now I know that as an auditor I live my life under a rock, but last time I checked 1*2=2.

Posted by: Chaos at December 2, 2005 09:28 AM

"Now I know that as an auditor I live my life under a rock, but last time I checked 1*2=2."

Your math is wrong.

1 * (2 + 1) = 3

Suppose the shake standard is 1 ITU (international thickness unit). If I said the new shake is 10% thicker than before, how thick would it be? 1.1 ITU, right? Not 0.1 ITU. So if it's 100% thicker, it's 2 ITU. Likewise, 200% thicker is 3 ITU and 300% thicker is 4 ITU.

"300%" is another way of saying "3 times" therefore "300% thicker" is equivalent to "3 times thicker." And therefore, our new shake that's "3 times thicker" is 4 ITU.

Don't confuse "10% thicker" with "10% as thick". Many non-critical thinkers make that mistake.

Posted by: Todd Bradley at December 2, 2005 10:08 AM

I think josh meant that if something is 200% thicker its actually 3 times thicker. Bad wording though.

Posted by: A1 at December 2, 2005 10:10 AM

if something is 100% thick and it is now 3 times as thick, it is now 300% thick, not 200% or 400% if you had 1 apple, and now you have three times as many, you have 3 apples, not 4.

Posted by: Chaos at December 2, 2005 10:13 AM

Well Todd you're right but 3 times thicker is still 3 ITU. You wouldn't say "It's one times thicker".

Besides the title says TRIPLE. Why did josh have to even say that?

Posted by: A1 at December 2, 2005 10:16 AM

Actually, questioning a 'standardized thickness unit' is

quite absurd. Careful thought leads one to the realization that McDonalds is claiming *their* shake is

three times thicker than their own *regular* shake. A comparison to any other company, shake, or prefabricated

drink was not made.

Posted by: Reader at December 2, 2005 11:09 AM

Tripple Thick Shake= Three times as much powder* to original ratio of fluid*

*= undisclosed proprietary substance

Posted by: smartypants at December 2, 2005 11:27 AM

Smartypants said "Tripple Thick Shake= Three times as much powder* to original ratio of fluid*

*= undisclosed proprietary substance"

Mcyds dosnt use powder they use a milk then mix it with a syrip and make it cold. its then forced through a nossele. you can acculy order a shake with out the flavor, its not bad did it all the time. i dont know how they make it thiker, i haven't worked there in 2 years so i never saw this promo, but i know they have not gotten new machiens, that would cost to much per store. im thinking they jsut moved changed a temp setting.

Posted by: MJP at December 2, 2005 12:58 PM

Good Grief! Isn't there another forum where those of you who are so inclined could flex your mental muscles and leave the rest of us intellectually challenged folks alone?

Posted by: Lady Jane at December 2, 2005 01:18 PM

sooooo sorrrrrry, I have not had the great pleasure of getting to work in McDonalds. I feel such a sense of relief that the truth of the mysterious shake has now been resolved by the all knowing MJP, now can you school me to the secret of the deep fryer?

Posted by: smartypants at December 2, 2005 02:00 PM

What's really broken is how advertisers get away with saying things that don't correlate with how the public actually uses the word or phrase.

McDonalds can claim that "Triple Thick" is simply the name of the product and not an indicator of how thick it may or may not be. They could also use any of the reasons previous posters have used. Fact of the matter is that they won't be held responsible for throwing around descriptions simply because they like the alliteration.

I used to work at Lumberjack before they went under and they had these carports "on sale" for $199. Thing is, they were *always* $199. See, in the marketing world, "on sale" means "for sale" and not neccessarily any cheaper than normal.

Posted by: Danimal at December 2, 2005 02:05 PM

If we got to the point where the discussion in TIB came to this, determine if ther is a thickness standard for milk shakes, it means that we live in a perfect world, where nothing is really broken.

Posted by: SAM at December 2, 2005 03:21 PM

re the three times as thick thread:

i had a lot of trouble with that when i was learning the multiplication tables

still do

Posted by: lk at December 2, 2005 03:31 PM

Mt. Dew is a good example. I bought some and found out that it was not really moonshine. False advertising!!!

Posted by: J. Scott at December 2, 2005 03:52 PM

couldn't you find viscosity or flow rate of the milkshakes to prove or disprove the claim? "triple thick milkshakes" effectively means "milkshakes which are three times as viscous" it's merely stated in a way that would appeal to more than just a select group of nerds

Posted by: Banana Sam at December 2, 2005 03:55 PM

But anyway, shows that "Triple Thick" is a registered trademark of McDonalds corporation. Trademarks do not convey claims, according to the law. That's why "Overnight - Guaranteed! (R)" does not actually guarantee anything. A "Triple Thick(R)" shake could be made of pure water and there would be no false advertising. "Triple Thick(R)" is a collection of letters without meaning and nothing more.

Posted by: J. Scott at December 2, 2005 03:55 PM

yeah, that's petty broken but Mac Donalds isn't the only place you see it. I'Just wanted to post something causeI am reading this from my Pocket pc from a program called AdvantGo and writing with the transcriber.

Posted by: no one at December 2, 2005 05:05 PM

The real question is, does three times thicker mean adding 3 thickness units, or multiplying original thickness by three?

Posted by: Fuzzy at December 2, 2005 05:08 PM

Why is thicker better? I would like to be able to suck it through a straw withing exploding my lungs.

Posted by: Dennis at December 2, 2005 05:34 PM

"three times thicker" has nothing to do with it, but "Triple Thick" would be "multiplying original thickness by three" rather than "adding 3 thickness units"

if x = original thickness and y = new thickness:

correct: 3x = y

incorrect: 3 + x = y

Triple means 3 times, not 3 more.

Posted by: im_an_alien at December 2, 2005 06:05 PM

I also agree with Dennis. I like shakes that can go through a straw.

Posted by: im_an_alien at December 2, 2005 06:08 PM

The real crime here is that McDonnalds seems to have gotten away with calling that thing a shake instead of a "shake-like food product".

Posted by: Steve at December 2, 2005 06:08 PM

"triple-thick shake" just means "impossible to drink through a straw", because "contains no dairy products" lol

Posted by: sir_flexalot at December 2, 2005 06:23 PM

yaknow whats fun? take one of those portable dvd players to mcdonalds, preferably with a big screen and definitely with the best speakers possible. watch super size me as conspicuously as possible. all the better if you wear a shirt that says something like 'fast food kills'.

Posted by: gmangw at December 2, 2005 07:05 PM

Todd, since you obviously see yourself as a critical thinker, have you taken this great gift and noticed that you are a self-important jackass? Many over-critical thinkers make that mistake.

Posted by: god at December 2, 2005 08:20 PM

I know this is kind of late in the posting but what I think is broken is MJP's spelling and grammer. I'm suprised that none of you said anything about that.

Posted by: Kay at December 2, 2005 09:58 PM

you spelled grammar wrong.

Posted by: gmangw at December 2, 2005 10:23 PM

If you get triple-thick after you've had the shake then you know it was a triple-thick shake.

Posted by: Fatty at December 2, 2005 10:46 PM

All I really mean is that "x times adjectiver" is at the very least ambiguous and thus broken as a tool for conveying ideas. Suppose I said it was half a time thicker? Does that mean the same thing as one and a half times thicker? Maybe, depends who's saying it.

It's completely tangential, of course.

Posted by: josh at December 2, 2005 11:26 PM

Well dang, smartypants i didnt mean to come accross as pushy. jsut correcting your statement, it was in error. Fryers run at about 375F and have 6 enimys, wich i wont post here becouse its off thread. i have never understood the need of thiker shakes. J.Scotts post is interesting, dose this mean i could trademark Eturnal Life and sell jellybeans as life giving pills?

Kay, I worked at Mcds, I am broken.

Posted by: MJP at December 3, 2005 01:28 PM

At what point of thickness does a milkshake become cheese?

Posted by: Santa at December 3, 2005 04:36 PM

I think I am broken!!! I actually wasted the time to read through all of these inane comments.

Posted by: ncrich at December 3, 2005 07:24 PM

Come one, come all to see the 40 entirely pointless comments! Wonder of Wonders! Miracle of Miracles! Known the world over!

Posted by: Bob at December 4, 2005 01:20 PM


With that way of thinking, I think Mountain Dew is broken. I saw a TV ad where - after purchasing a Mountain Dew - a person's car morphed into more cool models - and his male friend morphed into a hot babe.

I don't drink the stuff - but something tells me that a drinking Mountain Dew will do none of that.


WHAT?!?! All this time I've been spending a fortune buying my friends mountaind dew and you're saying I'll never get that babe? I'm crushed. :(

Posted by: g guy at December 4, 2005 05:34 PM


Posted by: noname at December 4, 2005 07:13 PM

All these 'smart' people and you've never heard of the term Viscosity, which measures thickness?? It would only have to be 3 times as viscous as previous shakes, NOTHING UNPROVABLE HERE

Posted by: Jim King at December 4, 2005 11:14 PM

Banana Sam beat you to that one mr King.

"nothing unprovable" does not mean not broken. as a trademark it doesnt actually have to be 3x as viscous, and advertising it as such could be considered broken.

Posted by: gmangw at December 4, 2005 11:49 PM

Wow. Such a debate! What I find interesting is that Mickey D. now claims these are MILK shakes. A few years ago those shakes were purely chemical mixes without a drop of milk in them. Now that's an improvement!

Posted by: Tony A. at December 5, 2005 10:14 AM

I thought I was the only one to figure this out, but Tony A. nailed it right before I got my comment in! They're using the "Triple-thick" as a distraction from the fact that they're now "MILKshakes" instead of just shakes. It's a red herring.

Posted by: Matt at December 5, 2005 12:45 PM

It's PEOPLE! McDonalds milkshakes are made out of PEOPLE!!! They lied to us!

Posted by: chuckheston at December 6, 2005 01:28 AM

I can tell you, without all this fancypants 'math' crap, that the shakes AREN'T any thicker than the previous version. I was stoked when they came out (which probably makes ME broken), only to be thoroughly disappointed.

Posted by: ambrocked at December 6, 2005 02:11 PM

Well, everyone else had their say, so I may as well too. So, if you had $100, then you triple your money, you wind up with $300. An increase of 200%.

I was so entertained by MJP's( response. See what happens when you spend 2 years working at McD's instead of finishing high school.

Posted by: Steve at December 6, 2005 03:36 PM

I'll have you know i did finish highschool. Just didnt do all that well in English.

Posted by: MJP at December 7, 2005 05:11 PM

Old McDonald had the shakes


And each shake was triple thick


"Which" he said, "makes a shake 3 times as wide."


As per Webster, "Thickness, Function: noun

1 : the smallest of three dimensions: length, width, and thickness"

Of course you have to put that quote together with the fact that the thickness and width of a truncated cone (which is what a shake cup is) are the same.


Posted by: AlaskaWalt at December 7, 2005 09:23 PM

I think the wording 'triple thick' shouldn't be used outside gay porn sites

Posted by: Mojo at December 8, 2005 05:35 AM

did u notice that there is no scoop out of the shake?

Posted by: bob at December 22, 2005 04:09 PM

as a former MCDS employee, I can tell you that they changed both the shake machine and the mix that they put in it. the original shake mix was a special ice cream mix, similar to the soft serve they sell, but less viscous and mixed faster. they now use ice cream mix (soft serve) in both. as a side note, one machine does both shakes and ice cream, two vats of mix and two freezer/mixer barrels, with the shake barrel having a syrup mix-in component on the end, unlike the ice cream barrel which is just a valve with a nozzle on it.

Posted by: marc at February 6, 2006 01:48 AM

I think they use the 3 flavers in the tripple thick shakes I got one and said coclect i could tell their was straberry

Posted by: Stan at February 19, 2006 07:23 PM

who really cares how think their shake is as long as it still cost the same amount of

Posted by: zeb at March 29, 2006 07:30 PM

When I was about 10, in 1976(!), I made the incredibly embarrassing blunder of ORDERING a 'triple thick shake' at the counter of the McDonald's on Old National HWY. The McDonald's worker, smartly clad in navy polyesterwith striped trim, made fun of me. I reported this slight to my older cousin, with a gentle shift in the action to saddle my younger cousin with the gaffe. The older cousin, seeing through my ruse, HASN'T SPOKEN TO ME SINCE!

Posted by: jeannie at May 29, 2006 01:30 PM

This is all stupid. it's advertising. I'm just gonna say what many people have said to me over the years: DON'T OVER ANALYSE. let's just end this discussion.

Posted by: Wazoo_22 at July 4, 2006 09:37 PM

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