When you think of pranking, you probably think of something innocent and playful like, say, putting fake spiders on a toilet seat or making Brussels sprout cake pops. Something that takes little effort and makes people laugh after the initial shock wears off. You probably imagine people slapping you on the back after and saying, “Hey, Brandon, that was a crack up.”
But then again, you’re probably not a professional YouTube personality. Just about everyone with wifi agrees that YouTube pranks have gone way too far in the past few years— see: anything produced by Logan Paul. But we may be seeing the light at the end of the terrible prank tunnel, thanks to cult-classic burger chain (and well-paying employer) In-N-Out.
Self-styled vlogger and troll Cody Roeder, aka Trollmunchies, decided it would be funny, we guess, to walk into several In-N-Out locations, pretend to be the new CEO, and loudly criticize the food and cleanliness, all while being secretly filmed. He even went so far as to enter employee-only spaces, like the frickin’ kitchen, so he could demand a burger and fries as a “taste test.”
You know, as a prank. The hilaaaaarity!
Anyone who knows anything about In-N-Out knows that they’re not only family-owned—they’re also super protective of their image. They will not hesitate to sue if they believe their image is being used in a detrimental way. So Roeder probably shouldn’t be surprised that the chain is suing him for $25,000 in damages. And slapping a restraining order on him.
Ouch. Hope it was worth it, dude.
In a statement, In-N-Out’s attorney Arnie Wensinger said that the burger chain has seen:
…an increase of visitors to our stores, who are not customers but instead are intentionally disruptive and who then try to promote themselves through social media. These visitors have unfortunately used deceit, fraud, and trespass to their own advantage, and in each instance, they have attempted to humiliate, offend, or otherwise make our Customers or Associates uncomfortable. We believe that we must act now and we will continue to take action in the future to protect our Customers and Associates from these disruptions.
In other words: they’re making an example out of Roeder to prevent copycats. Sorry, fam.
As much as we try to be the people who side with individuals when they’re up against huge, vastly wealthy companies, In-N-Out is in the right here. Aside from the fact that these types of videos are rarely — if ever — funny, Roeder’s “prank” doesn’t hurt the chain or their ability to make money as much as it hurts the people who work there, often for minimum wage (or close to it).
It’s yet to be seen if “IT’S JUST A PRANK, BRO!” will hold up in court.