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Secret Menu Items from 12 Fast Food Restaurants

If you're bored with the same old fast food fare, try mixing it up with some of these secret menu options. Just don't tell anyone we told you. 

1. Starbucks 

If you're at Starbucks and in need of just a little caffeine, don't worry—there's a tiny option for you. The Short size is like a little baby cup of coffee. It also comes in handy when you're scrounging for change and don't have enough for a tall. And, thanks to a variety of syrups at your disposal, you can create uniquely flavored Frappuccinos. There's even a whole website dedicated to different mixtures. Some notable examples are mojito, Tootsie Roll, apple pie, cotton candy, and orange creamsicle. 

2. Fatburger

At some locations, you can order a Hypocrite—a veggie burger with crispy strips of bacon. 

3. Jamba Juice 

Although not listed officially, there are a number of junk-food-themed smoothies you can order at Jamba Juice. Some of the flavors confirmed by the company's headquarters include Strawberry Shortcake, White Gummy Bear, PB&J, Fruity Pebbles, Push-Up Pops, Skittles, and various flavors of Starburst. Other tantalizing flavors that are rumored to exist: Chocolate Gummi Bear, Apple Pie, Sourpatch Kid, Tootsie Roll, Chocolate-covered Strawberries, and Now and Later. 

4. Chipotle 

The accommodating burrito joint can make you just about anything—as long as they have the ingredients, they'll give it a try. Some options for building blocks include quesadillas, nachos, and a single taco. If you want to get creative, opt for the “Quesarito,” a burrito wrapped in a cheese quesadilla. If you want something somewhat smaller, the “Burritodilla” uses only half the filling. 

5. Wendy’s 

 
If you find yourself so hungry that not even three patties will satiate you, order the “Grand Slam.” Also known as the “Meat Cube,” this hulking sandwich features four patties stacked on a bun. 

6. McDonald’s 

McDonald’s has long denied the existence of a secret menu, but Business Insider proved that if you’re persistent, you can convince the workers to make you a variety of interesting concoctions. The outlandish "Land, Sea, and Air Burger" features a beef patty, a chicken patty, and fish filet. The "Monster Mac" is a Big Mac with eight patties and eight slices of cheese. 

One thing you can get without a fight is a Neapolitan Milkshake, a blend of strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla ice cream. You can also get this frosty treat at In-N-Out Burger. 

7. Popeye’s 

If you’re feeling a little health-conscious, Popeye’s isn't the easiest place to order. But if you insist on dining "Louisiana fast," there's a little hope for you. Ordering "naked chicken” will get you breading-free poultry. The word is that this item is only on the menu at some Popeye's, although since it's just plain chicken it is an option at all of the chain's outlets. 

8. Taco Bell 

Like Chipotle, Taco Bell will make you just about anything within reason as long as they have the ingredients for it. Since most of the food at Taco Bell is made out of the same basic items, you can often ask for most discontinued items and get them. One "secret," though, is that most locations have an unadvertised green chili sauce that's reportedly excellent.

9. Subway 

 
When Subway shifted its focus to healthy eating, the pizza sub disappeared from the menu in most American locations. But if you ask, lots of the locations will still make the sandwich. Be warned, though: Jared probably wouldn't approve of the nine slices of pepperoni and copious amounts of cheese slathered in marinara sauce. 

10. In-n-Out 

Neeta Lind, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The California chain’s "secret menu" isn't so secret. In fact, they've posted it on their website. But in case you're not in the habit of surfing fast food sites, here's the skinny on the rather un-skinny items: Ordering something "Animal Style" at In-N-Out means you're going to get it with lettuce, tomato, a mustard-cooked beef patty, pickles, extra spread (it's sort of Thousand-Islandy) and grilled onions. You can even get your fries Animal Style. "Protein Style" is a burger wrapped in a lettuce leaf instead of a bun. A Grilled Cheese is two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato and spread on a bun (grilled onions if you so choose). And you can get just about any combo of meat and cheese that you want if you order it like you're ordering lumber: 3x3 gets you three beef patties and three slices of cheese, 4x4 gets you four of each, and so on. It doesn't stop there. One gluttonous patron requested a 100x100 at a Las Vegas store a couple of years ago. One item not listed on the website secret menu: The Flying Dutchman, which is two slices of cheese sandwiched between two patties, hold the bun.

11. Burger King 

John, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Burger King has a number of interesting options for your off-menu adventures. One popular item is the “Rodeo Burger,” a cheeseburger with onion rings and BBQ sauce. You can get that with a side of “Frings,” or an order of half fries and half onion rings. The “Quad Stacker” (also known as the “Suicide Burger”) has four patties, four slices of cheese, a healthy portion of bacon, and special sauce. The “Chicken Club Sandwich” is just a regular chicken sandwich with added bacon, tomato, and cheese to give it a country club feel. 

If you're looking for something more low-key, most Burger Kings have the ingredients to make you a ham and cheese sandwich if you ask nicely. It’s even offered on the official menu at some regional locations. 

12. Chick-Fil-A

Thanks to the new addition of wraps on the menu, most Chick-Fil-As now have tortillas in stock and can make you a chicken quesadilla

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Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?
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Everyone knows to expect a partridge in a pear tree from your true love on the first day of Christmas ... But when is the first day of Christmas?

You'd think that the 12 days of Christmas would lead up to the big day—that's how countdowns work, as any year-end list would illustrate—but in Western Christianity, "Christmas" actually begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. According to liturgy, the 12 days signify the time in between the birth of Christ and the night before Epiphany, which is the day the Magi visited bearing gifts. This is also called "Twelfth Night." (Epiphany is marked in most Western Christian traditions as happening on January 6th, and in some countries, the 12 days begin on December 26th.)

As for the ubiquitous song, it is said to be French in origin and was first printed in England in 1780. Rumors spread that it was a coded guide for Catholics who had to study their faith in secret in 16th-century England when Catholicism was against the law. According to the Christian Resource Institute, the legend is that "The 'true love' mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The 'me' who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the 'days' represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn."

In debunking that story, Snopes excerpted a 1998 email that lists what each object in the song supposedly symbolizes:

2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

There is pretty much no historical evidence pointing to the song's secret history, although the arguments for the legend are compelling. In all likelihood, the song's "code" was invented retroactively.

Hidden meaning or not, one thing is definitely certain: You have "The Twelve Days of Christmas" stuck in your head right now.

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