Bloomberg / Getty Images

A U.K. customer proved even nothing comes with a price: 99 pence.

August 23, 2017

Everyone understands that McDonald's is not a charity. Like all restaurants, anytime you place an order, the fast food chain has to include a markup to help do things like keep the lights on and pay employees. But what exactly is the cost of simply placing an order at McDonald's? A British Twitter user named Ari found a circuitous route to answer that question—ordering a burger with absolutely no ingredients and then walking out with an empty bag for 99 pence.

In a scenario that sounds like something out of an '80s comic strip—but with far more technology involved—Ari (aka @Arikuyo) was using one of McDonald's digital kiosks to order a cheeseburger when she realized the software would allow her to hold literally every single part of the burger: no onion, no ketchup, no mustard, no pickles, no cheese, no regular bun, no beef patty. "I just spent 99p for nothing from McDonald's," she wrote, accompanied by photos of the kiosk, her receipt, and her empty bag.

At least one skeptical Twitter user found it hard to believe that any sensible fast food employee would actually serve a customer nothing more than an empty bag. "WAIT WAS THE BAG JUST EMPTY," the incredulous reply asked. "YES," Ari responded, attaching a video of what is indeed an empty bag to the post. Hey, you get what you pay for!

The original tweet has gone incredibly viral, racking up over 66,000 retweets and over 150,000 likes over the past couple days. "This tweet actually cost me money to make, I'm gonna be pissed off if it doesn't blow up," the reportedly 17-year-old "nothing burger" buyer tweeted on Monday. Though by the next day, the insane fervor this strange story had wrought within the news cycle left her changing her tune: "Everyone please stop liking this tweet this instant," she followed up. Much like when ordering a burger without any ingredients, you have to be careful what you wish for.