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Burger King’s ‘Unhappy Meals’ commercial: What is the meaning of the Pissed Meal?

Burger King’s new Real Meals
Burger King’s new Real Meals. Pic credit: Burger King

Burger King’s new Real Meals promotion may sound like a downer, but it’s a win-win for the burger joint and everyone who’s ever eaten a side of sadness with their meal.

According to the popular fast-food chain, the Real Meals campaign celebrates being yourself and feeling however you want to feel because “not everybody wakes up happy.”

On Thursday the fast-food chain introduced Real Meals as part of a collaboration with Mental Health America in an effort to bring attention to mental health issues.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and for those with a taste for supporting the cause, or simply satiating their hunger, the #FeelYourWay selection includes the Pissed Meal, Blue Meal, Salty Meal, YAAAS Meal, and DGAF Meal.

Inside you’ll find the chain’s signature flame-grilled WHOPPER® sandwich and French fries, and it comes with a drink to wash down all that tasty goodness.

What isn’t so good is that according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 in 5 adults experience a mental health issue each year.

Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America, says that:

“While not everyone would think about pairing fast food and mental health, MHA believes in elevating the conversation in all communities in order to address mental illness … By using its internationally-known reputation to discuss the importance of mental health, Burger King is bringing much-needed awareness to this important and critical discussion – and letting its customers know that is OK to not be OK.”

Some are calling the Real Meals, “Unhappy Meals,” in a dig at McDonald’s Happy Meals, but the BK promo is a genuine attempt to spread the message that mental health matters.

Mental Health America has a simple online screening that you can take to determine if you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Since 2014 the site has gotten over 4 million hits, and it collects around 3,000 screenings daily.

At this point in time, you can chow down on a Real Meal in Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.

Check out to find out more about the Real Meals campaign.

Tanya is a freelance writer, therapist and educator. The more

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