A conspiracy theory about pizzas comprised of leftover slices has resurfaced on YouTube.
The difficulty of some of its games seems totally suspicious. And, news flash, its “owner” is just a guy in a mouse costume. But when it comes to pizza, Chuck E. Cheese’s insists its pies are totally legit.
This week, a longstanding theory that Chuck E. Cheese’s doesn’t always serve their pizzas whole, but instead cobbles them together from slices of different pies — potentially even reused ones — returned to the limelight thanks to a video called “Investigating Conspiracies with Shane Dawson” that was published on YouTube on February 11 and has since racked up over 14 million views. If you check out the video, be forewarned that it’s over 90 minutes long and, as a look at a handful of conspiracy theories, only occasionally touches on the subject of Chuck E. Cheese’s allegedly odd-looking pizzas. But assuming you trust the 20-million-subscriber Shane YouTube channel as a source, he makes it pretty clear why he’s suspicious: During the clip of his visit to Chuck E. Cheese’s, many of the slices don’t appear to match up.
As the conspiracy — which, as Eater points out, can be found in a 10-year-old Yahoo Answers post — once again gained steam, Chuck E. Cheese’s was quick to deny it. “The claims made in this video about Chuck E. Cheese’s and our pizza are unequivocally false,” a spokesperson told The Verge. “No conspiracies here — our pizzas are made to order and we prepare our dough fresh in restaurant, which means that they’re not always perfectly uniform in shape, but always delicious.”
Still, after bringing a pizza home and inspecting it more closely — lining up a straight edge to try to demonstrate that the slices aren’t even — Shane has his own thoughts. “I think we’ve proven that these two halves were never together,” he says at the 87-minute mark of his video. After fiddling with the slices a bit more, he adds, “There is a reason, and legally I’m not gonna say what I think that reason is.”
But assuming Chuck E. Cheese’s is telling the truth, what’s going on here? Another theory that’s been floated online is that it’s a restaurant for kids and maybe preparing perfect looking pizzas isn’t one of their top priorities. Regardless, though a number of people on social media purporting to be current or former employees have denied the claim that pizza slices are “reused,” no one has appeared to corroborate it.