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    June 14, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Subway restaurant receipt

    SubwayreceiptAndrew Sims points out:

    I went to Subway for dinner tonight, and when I finished my transaction, I was handed this vague and uninformative receipt. 

    The receipt is for a 12 inch B.M.T., a 6 inch turkey sandwich, and two small drinks - not that you'd know by looking at it. 

    This is the most uninformative, pointless receipt I've ever received.  It doesn't identify the restaurant by name, It doesn't itemize my purchases (in case I wanted to check that I was charged correctly), and for some reason it has six tax sections.

    June 12, 2007 12:23 AM

    Broken: Northwest Airlines first class "meal"

    NwfirstclassFrom Martin Rottler's Flickr photostream:

    This is what the cost cutting has come to: a packaged granola bar and a muffin in First Class.


    As my seatmate said: "Kinda makes me yearn for the good old days."

    June 11, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Wal-Mart "Quick and Delicious" meal solutions CD

    Hpim2114a2aCherrie James writes:

    This is a picture of the cover of a CD that was given out for free at Wal-Mart.

    It reads, "Quick and Delicious meal solutions" above the picture of the dancing, happy penguin. This make you wonder just what the main ingredient of the recipes will be.   

    May 25, 2007 12:02 AM

    Broken: Tandoori chicken recipe

    Tandoorirecipe_2 Marc Spooner writes in:

    From an Indian cookbook I bought, which contains a recipe for Tandoori chicken: Step 2 of the recipe tells us to mix the sauce, place it on the chicken, preheat the oven, refrigerate the chicken the refrigerator for 12 hours, then place the chicken into the oven that has been preheated all this time.

    I can only assume that either the author's oven requires a lot more time to warm up than mine or the author did not inadequately proof-read his work.

    May 21, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Bread name

    ViennafrenchMatt Harvey writes:

    I spotted this bread sign at a Brookshire's Grocery Store (a chain in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas).

      Since the bread is named "Vienna," wouldn't that make the bread Austrian instead of French?

    May 15, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Crunch Bar package instructions

    100_0649Rob Kesselman points out:

    I bought this Crunch Bar a few days ago and was wondering why Nestle would boast, "New! Break into 4 Pieces."

    That seemed odd enough, but when I opened the package, the chocolate is divided into a 3 x 6 grid.

    This allows you to break it into 18 equal squares, not four.

    Interestingly enough, 18 isn't even divisible by 4, which led me to wonder again, why would the package so prominently insist that you break it into four pieces?

    May 10, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Cheerios "instant" coupon

    Img_2760Sarah Greenfield writes:

    Here is a picture of a Cheerios coupon that came on the front of a box of Cheerios claiming to save you $1.00 "now." 

    Not only could you not get the coupon off the box without taking half the box with it, but it was almost impossible to get enough of the box off the coupon to reveal the UPC code that the cashier needs to scan to process the coupon.

    To top it all off, the coupon back was sticky, so if you tried to put it with your other coupons you'd end up with a worse problem.  If you tried to peel the sticky part off, the text of the coupon came off with the sticky part, making the coupon worthless.

    May 4, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: "Too Tall" Chocolate Easter Bunny package

    BunnyAndrew Sims writes:

    Last Easter I came across a very broken packaging design for a chocolate Easter Bunny.  I received this bunny as a gift, and the packaging describes it as "Too Tall," and has a basketball theme to go along with the height gag.

    The bunny weighs 6 oz (hollow), and is about 7.5" tall, a rather average stature for a chocolate bunny, if you ask me.  However, the package is designed so that the ears of the chocolate bunny poke out about 2" above the top of the box.

    There is even a speech bubble for the bunny proclaiming, "Oops! I'm too tall for this box!"  This is despite the fact that the box is 9" tall, and the bunny is standing on a tall paper platform in the bottom of the box.

    In actuality, the chocolate bunny would fit rather comfortably within the confines of the box, so there really is no need for the chocolate bunny's ears to be sticking out.

    Not only is this an ineffective gimmick and false advertising, but this packaging also makes it very difficult to remove the bunny from the box since one must slip the ears out of a form-fitting hole in the top flap - a task not easily accomplished without tearing the box or breaking the ears.

    April 27, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Konriko wild pecan rice

    WildriceA reader named Jessica points out:

    Someone bought this Konriko Wild Pecan rice for me.

    It sounded really good...until I read the fine print at the bottom which reads:

    100% natural, long-grain rice with a nutty aroma & subtle flavor that does not contain pecans or wild rice.

    Whatever happened to truth in advertising? Why would Konriko call it "Wild Pecan Rice" if it contains neither pecans nor wild rice?

    April 18, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Arizona Tea containers filled too much

    Arizona_teaChris Barr points out:

    I love Arizona Green tea, but every single bottle I buy has the exact same problem - there is just slightly too much tea in every bottle. 

    So much that there is actually tea inside the cap on the top; there's not even any air bubbles inside the bottles at all!  When the cap is removed, of course the excess tea spills out, and I've never had this not happen. 

    This also makes it difficult to pour the first glass of tea without spilling even more!

    If their tea wasn't so good, I wouldn't buy it anymore.

    April 10, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Pacific Gold beef jerky description

    JerkySteve Jackson points out:

    This bag of Pacific Gold beef jerky is a good example of meaningless marketing-speak.

    It proudly proclaims that it's "natural-style."

    "Natural-style" is a bit like being "alive-style"; it either is, or isn't.

    April 6, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Quantity label


    This package is labeled with the quantity - "One Yummy Pound."

    "One Yummy Pound" of what?!?

    March 16, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Flatouts package fiber information

    FlatbreadJason S. points out:

    On a package of Flatouts, made by, there is a statement on the package that says it contains 8 grams of fiber.

    However, on the nutritional panel of the Flatouts package, it shows only 7 grams of fiber.

    The serving size is 1 Flatout, so I guess I'd have to eat about a few bites of a second Flatout to get my 8 grams of fiber!

    March 12, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: (Just for Fun) Corn Pops cereal box description

    CornpopsMark Crummet points out:

    Kellogg's Corn Pops currently has a front-of-box description containing the text "Big Yellow Taste," which made me do a double-take. I'm not sure colors have a taste. [Except maybe for veal. Hmm. No, I was thinking of "teal." -mh]

    Or maybe it's targeted at people with synesthesia - the condition of experiencing color as taste. So next year's box will boast, "Now even yellower!"

    February 21, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Wegman's cake text

    CakeFrom LiveJournal user Nonumnos:

    Wegmans is a large and growing grocery chain originating out of Rochester, NY.

    Apparently, you can email an order to the Wegman's bakery for cakes - including what message you want on the cake.

    The cake above was supposed to be a mix of English and Italian, but the staff apparently knew no Italian. The problem? Wegman's email system also apparently did not recognize some of the proprietary Microsoft HTML extensions!

    The email likely feeds directly into their computer that runs the food-grade equivalent of an inkjet printer to place the message on the cake, so it is possible that the message made it onto the cake because someone did not check it on the computer first.

    Link to story.

    February 17, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Zinda couscous package

    ZindaMilan Davidovic points out:

    This package of Zinda couscous is hard to "Push to Open,", since there's no perforation on the package.

    February 2, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Nesquick instructions

    NesquikRobert Hoekman Jr. points out:

    This Nesquick bottle of chocolate milk instructs thirsty consumers to:

    Remove seal
    Shake well that order.

    Obviously, this is not an ideal workflow. And to think - several people with decision-making powers must have seen this label before it reached my hands!

    January 30, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Carnival wine recommendation

    Carnival_wineJohn Smith from Cape Town in South Africa points out:

    I bought this Carnival Grand Cru wine and the printed recommendation is to "Consume the wine after six weeks of opening the container..."

    I think they meant to print within six weeks.

    January 25, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Mr. Big candy bar

    Mrbig4A reader named Agent_Koopa points out:

    If they are going to name a candy bar Mr. Big, then the size of the candy bar should be made to match the name!

    January 18, 2007 12:03 AM

    Broken: Packaging for chocolate Advent calendar

    CandypillsHendrik Zobel writes in:

    My wife showed me a package of chocolate she got as a gift for buying some rail tickets. The package is meant to be an advent calendar, each piece of chocolate is supposed to be consumed each day. It is a funny idea to put chocolate into something that quite remarkably resembles the standard packaging for pills. Imagine if you saw your kids eating from that package without you not knowing it was actually chocolate!

    November 23, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Chicken fingers ingredient description

    Chickenfingers_1Anthony Coon writes in:

    Printed directly on the front of this box of Italian style chicken fingers is the text - "Chicken Breast Strip Fritters Containing up to 20% Solution."

    A 20% solution of what? I don't think I'd want to know...

    [P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers! Here's wishing you a delicious turkey dinner with less than 20% solution. -mh]

    November 15, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Dole raisin bag instructions

    DolebagA reader points out:

    I bought a bag of Dole raisins which has instructions to "tear here." However,there is no place to tear unless I am Edward Scissorhands.

    There is no notch on the bag to tear - you have to cut the bag with the scissors to open it.  The instructions on the bag should state "cut here" instead.

    October 20, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Tomato description


    Erik Andersson writes in:

    The picture above shows a rather odd looking sign at my local food store here in Huddinge, Sweden.

    The sign says "Swedish tomatoes, (from Holland)."

    How are the tomatoes Swedish when they where grown in Holland?

    September 1, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Semifreddi's bread label

    BreadBrad Dosland points out a label that appears to read, "Never had no trans fats, never will."

    So, does this fancy baguette have no trans fats or has it never had no trans fats?

    The double negative certainly indicates a proud legacy of fatty bread!

    August 17, 2006 12:03 PM

    Broken: KFC "Bowls"

    KfcBen Thoma points out:

    I received this direct mail piece from KFC. I don't think that KFC can claim that these bowls are both "New" and "Famous."

    Don't new things need some time to become famous?

    August 8, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Cookie name

    BscookiesA reader writes in:

    I came across these cookies in a local Osco Drugstore.

    Maybe I'm missing something and not up to speed on confectionary lingo, but does this sound appetizing to anyone?

    July 15, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Drink name

    ZitdrinkJohn Hayashi sends in a picture taken in Atikokan, Ontario:

    This is a picture of a poster in a convenience store window.

    "Bloody zit" never seemed like the most appealing name for something anyone would want to drink.

    July 3, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Papa John's unlimited toppings

    ToppingsA reader named Ittsi points out:

    I was ordering pizza from Papa John's online and wanted to choose toppings. Note the third option: "Unlimited toppings"! Wow! Except that right under it, in parentheses, it says "Maximum five toppings per pizza." That's not so unlimited.

    June 17, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Bathroom stall directions

    PursehookEileen George submits a picture taken in Virginia:

    This picture was taken in the inside of a bathroom stall at a Virginia rest stop.

    The sign on the inside of the stall door says "Do not use hook to hang your purse. Place purse here" but there is a hook right under "Place purse here," which is the only thing you could place your purse on.

    Where else besides on the hook am I supposed to place my purse?

    May 24, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Carl's Jr. hand-scooped shakes

    HandscoopedBeth Olson writes:

    "Hand scooped" ice cream shakes and malts?

    I really hope Carl's Jr. has a strict employee hand-washing policy!

    May 1, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Flavored water

    ButterKevin Kwon submits a picture of a flavored water machine:

    A little hard to read, since my camera phone can't focus well, but the button says "Press for Butter Flavor."

    Anyone want some butter flavored water?

    April 6, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Linda McCartney pizza box

    Lmpizza Ben Tweed writes in:

    I took this Linda McCartney pizza out of the freezer to microwave it. I looked at the side panel for the microwaving instructions, which were nothing out of the ordinary, right down to having to put the pizza on a specialized tray.

    I opened the box and shook it, removing its contents - the plastic wrapped pizza and not the aforementioned tray. I peered into the box to see if it had stuck to the inside. No go. I checked to see if it was somehow hidden in between the layers of cardboard on one of the side panels of the box. Also a no go. This has happened to me again once already since then, proving this not a mistake on a single box, but a complete design flaw.

    Upon discovering that there was in fact no silver disc, I decided to microwave it on a plain glass plate instead, and it came out fine.

    Why refer to something on your packaging that is supposedly needed for successful microwaving of the product that is not in the box and actually unnecessary in the first place?

    April 4, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Sushi promotion


    50% off sushi every day? I'm not sure I want to eat there any day.

    March 20, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Smoothie menu


    With all the warning signs, I decided not to order.

    Also, it's broken for people to use genuine warning symbols (like the radioactivity icon) as jokes. That "crying wolf" makes them less effective in the real world, outside the smoothie shop.

    March 6, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Turkey Jerky package description


    "Turkey jerky isn't just a snack... it's a snacking experience!"

    Uhhhh... no, it's a snack.

    Who writes this stuff?

    February 1, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Apple and Eve juice label

    Appleandeve Greg O'Neill points out:

    On the Apple and Eve Tropical Mango Passion juice label it says "100% juice," in big, bold letters.

    However, if you look on the upper right corner of the label in really small skinny letters it says "Flavored blend of 4 juices from concentrate and other added ingredients."

    This label is broken!

    January 23, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Wendy's order screen

    WendysorderscreenJoe Crawford submits a picture of a Wendy's order screen taken while traveling through Utah:

    I don't think the screen worked quite as well as they hoped.

    January 12, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Donato's breadstick order portion

    Breadsticks_1Jim Kovalsky writes:

    We stopped at Donato's, a local pizza place in Lexington, Kentucky. We were looking at an order of breadsticks on the menu which said:

    Full Order
    6 sticks

    Half Order
    2 sticks

    Since when is two half of six?

    January 2, 2006 12:03 AM

    Broken: Vending machine dispenser

    Vending_machineAndrey Radak points out:

    You know there is a design flaw in this vending machine when several people can't get at their product.

    November 24, 2005 12:03 AM

    Broken: Food label ingredient listing

    IngredsBen Phillips writes:

    This is a general complaint to almost all food manufacturing companies:

    When I am reading the nutrition facts for a product, I am often stumped by a mysterious "Natural Flavors" or "Artificial Flavors" listing to go along with the rest of the real ingredients like "Sugar," "Flour," "Tomatoes," etc.

    What if I had an allergy and thought a product might have one of my allergens in it but it only said "Natural flavor" or "Artificial flavor." What should I do?

    [P.S. To our American readers - Happy Thanksgiving from This Is Broken! -mh]

    October 19, 2005 12:03 AM

    Broken: Snack menu

    SlovenianmenuWilco van Duinkerken writes:

    During my holiday in Slovenia I came across a very funny snack menu.
    Due to a translation mistake the menu says:

    We have:

    • Cake
    • Roll
    • Different kind of cake

    After some research it seems that the right translation of the last rule is "Different kinds of cake", which makes more sense.

    October 18, 2005 12:03 AM

    Broken: Halal food cart sign

    HalalfoodcartDaniel writes:

    I don't know about you, but there's nothing I love more than a good Philly Cheewe Steak.

    (Seen on 50th and 6th, NYC)

    August 11, 2005 12:03 AM

    Broken: Yesterday's seafood

    YesterdaysI spotted this sign earlier this summer: a seafood restaurant named "Yesterday's".

    I can just imagine.. "Well, honey, what do you feel like eating tonight?" "How about some of Yesterday's seafood?" "Mmmmmmmmm!"

    April 4, 2005 12:07 AM

    Broken: Apple sauce label

    Carmel_with_carmel_dipTed submits this apple sauce label to the Department of Redundancy Department here at TIB. He writes, "Imagine my surprise to find that my Apples with Caramel treat may contain Apples and Caramel."

    [I know, I know, it's not broken, because the label is legally required, etc. etc. Keep those letters coming :) -mh]

    August 18, 2004 12:01 AM

    Broken: Burger King bag

    bag_2Carl Floyd writes:

    I noted the wording on a Burger King bag while eating lunch the other day:

        This bag may contain an average of 30% post consumer material.

    I hope they are referring to the material used in the construction of the bag and not the actual contents. Bad things come to mind with the latter interpretation.

    October 22, 2003 02:07 PM

    Broken: Restaurant sign

    Steffi Kieffer writes from Barcelona:

    "It's not here" toilet sign: the photo was taken in a restaurant in Barcelona, Spain.
    Try and find the toilet in this place...

    October 21, 2003 12:41 AM

    Broken: Cleaning fluid bottle designs

    Brian Donohue writes:

    I stumbled across the website for these household cleaning products. The problem is, they look
    just like fruit drinks! The liquid itself is colored in bright, appetizing, fruity colors, and the bottles are the same relative shape as bottles of juice or Gatorade.

    A young child with limited reading skills would not understand that these are poisonous chemicals.

    P.S. A quote from their site:

    "In blind tests, Pirel was chosen 3 out of 4 times over its competition."

    I'd be interested to know who tested these products, and how many of them went blind. Oh, that's not what "blind tests" means? My mistake.

    October 17, 2003 11:47 PM

    Broken: Burrito claim

    Albert Yee writes:

    I have a huge head. Liars!

    Click the image to zoom in.

    P.S. Albert may want to add that restaurant here...

    June 21, 2003 06:00 AM

    Broken: Fast food sign

    "Do Not Enter" sign is placed in front of the fast food entrance. It's supposed to be a sign for the parking lot.(Click the image to zoom in.)

    Thanks to Melanie McIntosh.

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