Why Are There So Many Brawls At McDonald's?

Last week, four people were injured after a fight broke out during a hiring event at a local McDonald's. And at another McDonald's location, a trans woman was beaten until she had a seizure. What is it about McDonald's that makes people want to beat each other up?

October 2010

A fight involving as many as 70 people broke out at a McDonald's near San Francisco's AT&T Park after the 2010 World Series. The enterprising cameraman who put it on YouTube recounts the action thus:

This was taken at the McDonald's right next to AT&T park. Some chick was arguing about their order, the chick with the yellow thong tells her, she shouldn't talk like that in front of her daughter. Chick says she's not my daughter and throws soda at the yellow thong chick. then all hell breaks loose.

March 2011

This video, uploaded in March, shows a group of teenage boys slugging it out in a McDonald's while employees ineffectually try to intervene. I'm not completely sure it isn't staged.

April 18, 2011

In this upsetting video, which appeared last week on several websites, a young woman is beaten by several other women until she begins to seize. The victim, 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis, has come forward, saying she was attacked in part because she is transgender. A McDonald's employee who filmed the assault and apparently did nothing to help has been fired, and Polis says she's considering suing the company.

April 19, 2011

Tuesday was McDonald's "National Hiring Day," but things went awry at a Cleveland event when two women began fighting in the parking lot. Said a bystander, "I don't know their names, but they were fighting over drama, hood stuff." The fight ended with a driver running over four people with a car — all were hospitalized. The driver, 22-year-old Natasha Grayer, turned herself in yesterday. She's been released while police investigate further.

Of course, any high-traffic public place will have its share of altercations. And some of the fights above have situational triggers: a mass hiring event, with lots of people competing for the same job, seems like a fight waiting to happen, and post-sporting event brawls are pretty commonplace. But is there something about McDonald's that brings out violent rage? Any place where you have to wait in long lines for your food can shorten your fuse, and fast food restaurants are also high-traffic places, where lots of people who don't know each other come together under sometimes stressful circumstances. Maybe they act as pressure cookers (no pun intended) for people's frustrations and prejudices.

It's also possible, though, that fights at McDonald's are just extremely likely to end up on YouTube. They seem to have become a bit of a meme — last year, Ranker posted its own roundup of them. And some of the same disturbing themes seem to come up with respect to lots of the videos — racist commentary, for one. If McDonald's is a hotspot for physical fighting, then the McDonald's fight video is an online hotspot for warfare of a different sort. And it enables you to lose a little faith in humanity without even leaving your chair.

Raging Job Hunter Plows Car Into Panicked Crowd During Fight At McDonald's 'National Hiring Event' [NY Daily News]
Whaaaaat!?! This Is Fxcked Up: Girl Gets The Beats In McDonalds & Starts To Have A Seizure! [World Star Hip Hop]
Woman Surrenders In Car Assault [UPI.com]

Earlier: Transgender Woman Beaten In McDonald's, Employee Films Attack