The word “mascot” can be dated back to Provence and Gascony in France and was first popularized by Edmond Audran’s operetta La Mascotte, in 1880. The hit operetta was translated into English, and the word “mascot” went on to describe anything that delivers good fortune. Interestingly, before Audran, early French gamblers also used the word as a term for witchcraft or spells.
While modern fast food chains would obviously like good luck, power and, perhaps, a bit of witchcraft, these days mascots are used as the child-friendly, identifying face of business. According to marketing analyst Joel Cohen, “As long as restaurants want to appeal to kids, mascots will play an important role in their marketing.”
Of course, not all mascots are appealing. In fact, some are downright disturbing. Giant tacos, squashed rats and hamburger-stealing thieves don’t seem like great marketing schemes to us. Still, that hasn’t stopped fast food joints from using them. Read on for the 15 creepiest fast food mascots ever.