When you think of pranking, you probably think of something innocent and playful like, say, putting fake spiders on a toilet seat or making Brussels sprout cake pops. If not that, Bart Simpson’s pranks to Moe come to mind. “Is Seymour there? Last name Butz. ” Pranks usually work, because they are something that takes little effort and makes people laugh after the initial shock wears off.
At the same time, though, they have gotten a little out of control. Just about everyone with WiFi, even mobile data, agrees that YouTube pranks have gone way too far in the past few years re: the kids who shot themselves with book thinking it was armor… or anything produced by Logan Paul. But we may be seeing the light at the end of the terrible prank tunnel, thanks to cult-classic burger chain (and well-paying employer) In-N-Out.
Self-styled vlogger and troll Cody Roeder, aka Trollmunchies, decided it would be funny, we guess, to walk into several In-N-Out locations, pretend to be the new CEO, and loudly criticize the food and cleanliness, all while being secretly filmed. He even went so far as to enter employee-only spaces, like the kitchen, so he could demand a burger and fries as a “taste test”.
Anyone who knows anything about In-N-Out knows that they’re not only family-owned, but they’re also super protective of their image. They will not hesitate to sue if they believe their image is being used in a detrimental way. So Roeder probably shouldn’t be surprised that the chain is suing him for $25,000 in damages. And slapping a restraining order on him to boot.
In a statement to the press, In-N-Out’s attorney Arnie Wensinger said: “The burger chain has seen an increase of visitors to our stores, who are not customers but instead are intentionally disruptive and who then try to promote themselves through social media.”
The statement continues: “These visitors have unfortunately used deceit, fraud, and trespass to their own advantage, and in each instance, they have attempted to humiliate, offend, or otherwise make our Customers or Associates uncomfortable. We believe that we must act now and we will continue to take action in the future to protect our Customers and Associates from these disruptions.” In other words, they are making an example out of Roeder to stop other wannabe pranksters from doing the same thing.
As much as we try to be the people who side with individuals when they’re up against huge, vastly wealthy companies, In-N-Out is in the right here.
Aside from the fact that these types of videos are rarely – if ever – funny, Roeder’s “prank” doesn’t hurt the chain or their ability to make money as much as it hurts the people who work there, often for minimum wage (or close to it). “It’s just a prank bro” doesn’t hold down with gangsters or the court, no matter how many followers you have, bro.