I didn’t think I’d spend the first two hours of my morning listening to people place orders at an imaginary McDonald’s drive-thru. And yet that’s exactly what I did thanks to Twitter Spaces.
Twitter user Julee, whose handle is @thequeensbit, spent hours roleplaying as a McDonald’s cashier to an audience of thousands of listeners. At the time I joined the conversation, she was on hour 13 with more than 1,700 people tuned in. She approved one user to speak at a time as the customer. The customer would then put in their order, often incorrectly, or make absurd requests for food that’s not on the menu. One person asked for “the cookies, and put it in milk in a bowl.”
Julee almost always goes along with the bit even though that’s led her into some strange storylines of handing out bags of fries, selling marijuana with orders, or sorting out drama between customers and other “employees.” One customer asked for a “Sprite, extra spicy,” and “a bag just filled with BTS sauce.” Julee happily obliged. Another asked her to put a Big Mac through a paper shredder to make the meat more akin to Arby’s roast beef.
After nearly two hours of listening, I’ve heard customers threaten robbery, order cuisines not normally served at McDonald’s, cry over spouses who have left them, and complain about the several-hour line that exists outside of this nonexistent McDonald’s. For the most part, people seem committed to the bit. Julee is the one to break character the most, lamenting her missed therapy appointment or spending a moment celebrating the length of time the Space has continued going.
What made this Space so captivating is, frankly, its weirdness. Many of Twitter’s live audio rooms are hosted by journalists or business leaders who want to speak with others in their industry about niche or newsworthy topics. Yet Julee has captivated an audience of over 1,000 listeners by playing pretend. While this is outside of the norm for Twitter Spaces, some strange rooms have popped up on Clubhouse, too, like people roleplaying a VIPs-only Mansion Party or, uh, pretending to be whales.
The Space promised to be a 24-hour drive-thru, but unfortunately it shut down this morning — apparently it crashed — sometime around the 15-hour mark. It was a welcome distraction while it lasted. This Space could be a one-off created by a hilarious user, or it could be a sign that Clubhouse’s roleplay culture may be bleeding over into Twitter. Even if that sign is shaped like McDonald’s iconic golden arches.