Fact Check

Real Image of a 'Satanic' McDonald's Happy Meal?

Complete with Baphomet figurine!

Published April 1, 2024

 (X user @AmericaReal3)
Image Via X user @AmericaReal3
Claim:
This image authentically shows a real McDonald's Happy Meal with satanic imagery and a figurine of the devil.
Context

This image is AI Generated.

On March 27, 2024, an image was posted to X (formerly Twitter) claiming to show a dark-hued McDonald's Happy Meal, complete with black hamburger buns and a little figurine of a devil. "New McDonald's Happy Meal, Your kids will LoVe It," said the post's caption.

The image spread across X and TikTok, where some users assumed the photo was real and called for a boycott of McDonald's.

Snopes readers saw the post and asked us to check whether the picture was real or not. We conclude that the image was fake and generated by an artificial intelligence tool like DALL-E or Midjourney.

We started by investigating the image itself and performed the most unscientific of checks: a gut feeling. We felt like the image looked airbrushed, which suggested at least some level of manipulation. In order to confirm our theory that it was AI-generated and not just edited, we looked towards the fine details. We started with text, since it often gives AI image generators problems.

In this case, the "m" in "Baphomet" had an irregularly wide left stem. Another "m" was also misshapen—the "Golden Arches" on the left side of the box. The bulge in the box alone was weird enough to catch our attention, but the "M" fully confirmed for us that the image was not natural. If the "M" was natural, its three legs would all be equidistant from each other instead of the right one being a bit squiggly and smushed, for lack of better terminology.

Next, we investigated the comments section and posting history of the user who posted the image to X.

Conveniently, this reply from the user who originally posted the screenshot confirmed that the image was fake and generated by AI. Apologies to anyone out there who wanted the Baphomet figurine.

As part of this story, Snopes reached out to McDonald's to ask for comment about the image. We will update this story if we hear back.

Sources

Baphomet | History & Facts | Britannica. 26 Mar. 2024, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Baphomet.
"Https://Twitter.Com/AmericaReal3/Status/1773090729012629693/Photo/1." X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/AmericaReal3/status/1773090729012629693/photo/1. Accessed 1 Apr. 2024.
"Https://Twitter.Com/AmericaReal3/Status/1773093155904049550." X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/AmericaReal3/status/1773093155904049550. Accessed 1 Apr. 2024.
"Https://Twitter.Com/Grenmar12/Status/1773094013794504941." X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/grenmar12/status/1773094013794504941. Accessed 1 Apr. 2024.
TikTok - Make Your Day. https://www.tiktok.com/@jasgot_juice09/video/7352860947330944287. Accessed 1 Apr. 2024.
---. https://www.tiktok.com/@george70moral/video/7352224966546296106. Accessed 1 Apr. 2024.
---. https://www.tiktok.com/@lababyskysinfiltro/video/7351788551614369066. Accessed 1 Apr. 2024.

Jack Izzo is a Chicago-based journalist and two-time "Jeopardy!" alumnus.