If there is one thing you can say about Reddit, it’s that its structure leads to riffing. Remember when one man’s harrowing story of fucking a coconut gave way to a chapbook’s worth of coconut-fucking fan fiction? Truth is truly a fluid thing in the digital world; threads are often hijacked by those conjuring elaborate fictions on a running theme. But when BlokeTweedEveryday asked Reddit, “What restaurant have you sworn to never return to and why,” the result wasn’t a hijacking so much as a communal airing of grievances against one enemy.
That enemy? Applebee’s.
Across literally thousands of comments, the casual dining juggernaut is accused of countless crimes against consumers, from serving raw food to ant infestations to servers that surreptitiously jack up their tips. And what’s crazy is that none of it sounds fake; there’s nobody here trying to pawn off some story about a server dunking their balls in their spaghetti. So familiar and mundane are these stories that they can’t help but resonate as valid critiques. And the ones that are weird? Well, they’re way too specific to come across as fictional. Like, who’s going to make up finding a bee in their mashed potatoes?
Or conjure up a figure so malevolent as karaoke bucket hat man?
Here are some other highlights/cautionary tales:
The more you read, the funnier the word “Applebee’s” becomes.
As one brave user points out, however, the restaurant does have its advantages, namely its comically cheap booze. Also: “No crowds, no loud music, no lines for beers or bathrooms.”
Munchies reached out to Applebees about the thread and actually got a response.
“At Applebee’s we are dedicated to offering each guest genuine, neighborly service,” an Applebee’s spokesperson said. “The experiences described here do not meet Applebee’s service expectations, and are not representative of who we strive to be—a dependable and enjoyable neighborhood grill and bar.”
The company then directed readers to its “round-the-clock” email and customer service hotline—1-888-59APPLE—which, considering who you’re dealing with here, probably wasn’t the best idea.