Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

As Elaine Benes once said, “That's a million dollar idea right there. Just sell the tops." 

Mike Pomranz
June 27, 2018

In the spring of 1997, Seinfeld aired the penultimate episode of what would be the show’s penultimate season. Called “The Muffin Tops,” that episode explained Elaine's preference of muffin tops over the “stumps,” a stance that eventually inspired her ex-boss to open a muffin-top-only bakery called “Top of the Muffin to You!” Over 31 million people watched the episode when it aired on May 8. Apparently, one of them may have gone on to work at McDonald’s.

The world’s largest burger chain has reportedly been testing out 160-calorie blueberry muffin tops at locations in the Baltimore area according to Bloomberg. Additional details are extremely slim, but the McDonald’s website does list an item called a Blueberry Muffin Topper — though sadly, the page doesn’t include a photo…or any sort of explanation as to what they do with the stumps.

McDonald’s made a highly-publicized move to all-day breakfast in 2015, a decision that immediately served as a financial boon. But more recently, the brand has blamed shrinking sales on a loss of breakfast customers. “We took our eye off the ball on breakfast,” Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ozan reportedly said last month. “With everything else going on, we just lost a little focus on that breakfast day part.”

The idea of muffin tops is apparently part of “a new renewed, intense focus on breakfast,” as Ozan calls it. Some other ideas McDonald's is testing out: $2 cold brew, which the chain introduced on June 13, and breakfast catering — a service that's currently available at 195 outposts in Florida. The "Weekend Warrior" package, for example, serves six and includes three Egg McMuffins, three hotcake-and-sausage platters, and six hash browns. 

It’s hard to imagine that selling muffin tops truly is a “million dollar idea” like Elaine speculated over a decade ago: Instead, it kind of makes it seem like part of this “renewed, intense focus on breakfast" is just the McDonald’s product development team watching a lot of TV reruns. How about nuts and gum? Classic Simpsons is even better than classic Seinfeld!