Japan Is Completely Obsessed with This Remix of the McDonald’s Deep Fryer Jingle

In Japan, a land of where obsessive admiration and irony are sometimes indistinguishable to outsiders, the three-note song that marks the completion of French fries is the stuff of obsession.
January 25, 2017, 4:00pm
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

When most people think of the music of McDonald's, they might conjure the sound of frozen beef pucks hitting the metal grill, the bubbling of oil, or the semi-robotic voice from the drive-thru asking, "Would you like fries with that?"

But in Japan, a land of where obsessive admiration and irony are sometimes indistinguishable to outsiders, the three-note song that marks the completion of your French fries cooking is the stuff of obsession.

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Instead of the functional beeping we hear on our shores, Japanese Quarter Pounder enthusiasts get to hear a playful jingle which presumably creates an even more powerful Pavlovian association between salt, fat, starch, and the reward centers in your brain.

In fact, the French fry "jingle," insofar as three notes can constitute a jingle, is not just an inspiration to diners, but to actual musicians. Like Twitter user @ZimuinG, who took the time to transcribe the notes into musical notation for French fry fans, amateur musicians, or, maybe one day, orchestras to learn.

マクドナルドのポテト完成音の譜面をどうぞ。 pic.twitter.com/pCaUMFv1pk

— 事務員G (@ZimuinG) April 3, 2013

One of the musicians who may have studied this sheet music was fellow Twitter user @teikyousann, who built an entire instrumental masterpiece around the French fry jingle and got got more than 58,000 retweets and 87,000 likes in the process.

マクドナルドのポテトが上がったときの音を何となく耳コピしてたはずなんだけど、なんかだんだんテンションが上がって来てしまった時の曲 pic.twitter.com/0NEJjknsrS

— 提供 (@teikyousann)

January 18, 2017

It's tight, upbeat, and has a wicked organ track. But the heartbeat of the song are those three apparently iconic notes (labelled "Potato"); three notes that say, If this song doesn't make you want to eat French fries, you have no soul.