All photos by Kevin Alexander
Even if you don’t live in California (or Arizona, Nevada, Utah, or Texas), chances are you’ve spent time at In-N-Out, ordering off their not-quite-so-secret menu, wearing one of their sweet old-school paper hats, and having the time of your damn life. But what you may not know, because you’re not an extremely judgmental social scientist, is that there are certain traits commonly associated with every order. To wit:
You like to tuck your polo shirt into your jeans, because it looks “tidier”. You enjoyed the movie Pleasantville featuring Reese Witherspoon, until it got all edgy and in color. You dance awkwardly in the mirror to bad Genesis songs and exclusively laugh at the parts of Two and a Half Men when Jon Cryer is talking. Next year, you plan to try chicken fingers.
You’re a straight shooter. When people ask your opinion, you give it right away and don’t mince words. You don’t like to make a fuss about yourself. You may also just be 12.
When you were 16, you read an article in Seventeen about the cattle industry, and it freaked you out. You aren’t political, but you’ve read Mother Jones on public transportation and thought about how it made you look. You have cool looking glasses.
Cheeseburger, with cold cheese on a non-toasted bun
You’re a, um… Jesus. WHAT KIND OF A FREAKY MONSTER ARE YOU?!!?
Hamburger, Protein Style (bun replaced by a lettuce wrap)
You are a SoulCycle evangelist. You used to do high-intensity interval training, and then you switched to Core Fusion and some barre classes and CrossFit and Tabata and ViPR and wobbly board yoga and aqua spinning, and Southeastern Russian pilates, but now it’s all about SoulCycle. It was NOT your idea to come to In-N-Out.
Flying Dutchman (two burger patties, two slices of cheese, and that's it)
You are a huge fan of diet fads from 1998.
Double-Double (two burger patties, two slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion)
You’re down for whatever. You’re never the first person people call to hang out with, but you’re also not the last. You’re the third guy in the group in a teenage movie, the guy standing next to the guy standing next to William Zabka in Karate Kid. You actually read a lot, but no one asks you about it.
Cheeseburger, Animal Style (mustard grilled patties, extra spread, grilled onions, and pickles)
Oh sh*t. You know the deal. You know how secret menus work. You’ve been to a speakeasy-style bar that was relatively hard to get into, twice. You learn your waiter’s name at sit-down restaurants, on the off-chance you might come back. You have three chambray shirts, but you only wear two.
Cheeseburger, with chopped chilis
You’re the “hot sauce guy”. You put hot sauce on everything, including fruit and bank statements. You ask for it at restaurants before you know what you'll order. You steal those little Tabasco bottles that they give you at hotels and keep them in your car. Sometimes, when it’s dark at night and you’re alone in bed, you wonder if you actually hate hot sauce.
Veggie burger (all the vegetables in a bun with no meat or cheese)
You’re the type of person who, at a random birthday party for a friend of a friend, will quietly ask if there are any “non-dairy dessert options”. If lactose was a person, you’d plan to kill it like Michael Douglas does Gwyneth Paltrow in A Perfect Murder, except you wouldn’t be foolish enough to let Viggo Mortensen hire someone else to do the job, while you made a phone call during your weekly card game. You like “silly” hats.
You are a gross person because no not-gross person likes kind of raw potato fries.
You are a smart person who is not gross, because you like your potatoes cooked until crispy, because you know that extra time in the fryer makes them delicious, because, again, you are not interested in eating raw potatoes, because that is gross. You have a tendency to dwell on things.
You're always looking for a little something extra. You like to play the banker in Monopoly so you can tuck a couple of extra $500 bills into your stack when no one's looking. You've yet to actually haggle with a prostitute, but suspect if the situation ever arose, you'd get her to throw in some nice extras.
Pants that don't have an elastic waist have not been a part of your aesthetic for some time now.
A self-made Arnold Palmer
You are former professional golf legend Arnold Palmer.
Root Beer Float
You have a thing for nostalgia. You’ll often find yourself lost in Buzzfeed quizzes finding out which character from He-Man you are (it’s usually Kobra Khan). You still have a box of Donruss Rated Rookie cards, including Roberto Alomar and Kevin Elster. You quote White Men Can’t Jump more often than you’d like to admit. Weirder still, you were born in 1991.
That drink where you put in every flavor of soda from the machine
You are me, when I was 13. Don’t take Honors Earth Science with Mr. Boston!
You’re the type of person that, at dinner, will just order three appetizers in lieu of an entree and dessert. You don’t break up with people before you start dating other people, which results in messy interactions at popular bars. You have a surprisingly tidy car.
3 x 3 (three burger patties, three slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion)
You’re in high school, and you are a show off. You drive your dad’s Xterra when he’s not using it to go learn how to kite-surf.
4 x 4 (you get it by now, right?)
You’re in college, and you are a show off. You drive your own Xterra, and it’s not even used.
5 x 5
You’re a lying liar, because they don’t do this anymore, liar!
Cheeseburger, mustard grilled, medium rare, whole grilled onion, extra toast on the bun, with the salad on the side, add pickles and chopped chilis, and cut in half.
Congratulations. You’re the guy who broke the Secret Menu.
Kevin Alexander is Thrillist’s national food/drink executive editor, and prefers his In-N-Out cheeseburgers with chopped chilis, whole grilled onions, and an extra-toasted bun. Don’t get him started on light fries, but do follow his poetry readings @KAlexander03.