Here's How The Burger King Whopper Was Created

Burger King has had a lot of menu items over the years. Whether they were wildly successful products like Chicken Fries or forgotten failures like the "Satisfries" flop, the King has had plenty of burgers, fries, and other fast-food fare grace his royal banquet table.

But one product that's weathered the test of time for year after year is that old classic, the crown jewel in the Burger King crown: the Whopper. Flame-broiled and stacked with 1/4 pound of beef, the Whopper has secured a place for itself in the halls of fast-food history alongside other famous burgers like the Big Mac and the Baconator.

But despite all the hype around the Whopper that Burger King generates, even making the point that they're "Home of the Whopper" on their restaurants, just what is the big deal with the burger anyway? Sure, there are some folks who love it and others who'd not even consider taking a bite of it, but in a world where fast-food restaurants always seem to try and copy each other, what exactly is so special about the Whopper? Isn't it all the same in the end?

While the Whopper may have its counterparts in the modern day, the sandwich was, believe it or not, one of the undisputed champions of the fast-food world for the longest time.

Burger King's Whopper was big for the time

It's a common joke in the world of fast food that Burger King is always in McDonald's shadow. In this case, Burger King was the one to overshadow all other competitors — for the time, at least — with something that would shake up the burger-craving public.

The story of the Whopper begins back in 1957. Co-founder of Burger King — previously known by the somewhat longer name of "Insta-Burger King" — Jim McLamore noticed that customers were frequenting a rival restaurant. As the story goes, per The Washington Post, McLamore reasoned that people were flocking to this restaurant instead of his for one reason: the restaurant sold bigger hamburgers.

Realizing that there was indeed a market to be made with the bigger burgers, McLamore fired up the newly patented conveyor system and prepared a truly hefty hamburger. All he would need then was a name, which quickly came to him in the form of "Whopper". His reason for this name was simple: the term "Whopper" alone just conjures up the image of something big. Ergo, a big name for a big burger.

The success of the Whopper was immediate, propelling Burger King ahead of its competitors. The Whopper ruled the scene for at least ten years, before McDonald's Big Mac came out in 1967 (via Eat This, Not That). In 1963, the Whopper once again transformed Burger King's menu as, thanks to some quick thinking to cover up for a shipping mistake, the Whopper Jr. was born.