If Your McDonald’s Cup Lid Has Rectangular Buttons, This Is What It Means

OK, we totally get it now.

McDonald’s never ceases to surprise us. Whether it be with celebrations of free fries, unconventional locations and even selling spaghetti at one of its restaurants, McD’s knows how to catch our attention.

Bring in the latest McDonald’s mystery: Why do some of its cup lids have rectangular buttons? I mean, the cup lids already have circular buttons. Is there a reason some McDonald’s cup lids have both while others don’t?

This isn’t the first time we’ve scratched our heads about a McDonald’s choice. Its McFlurry spoons, which will be phased out after nearly 30 years, famously sparked debates about the square handle. Now, people are puzzled by McDonald’s cup lids.

The Origin of This Mystery

This McDonald’s mystery was brought to light—and solved—in a viral TikTok. In a 10 second video that now has over 1.4 million likes, Michael Mckee shows viewers a McDonald’s cup lid with rectangular and round buttons. Then, Michael pushes down the circular buttons of the cup lid. When he pushes the rectangular buttons down, the circle button beside it immediately pops up with a “click” sound.

@mckeenike1121 All this time wasted not doing this on road trips to annoy my siblings🤦🏻‍♂️ #today #years #old #fyp ♬ original sound – Michael Mckee

Needless to say, the internet had a lot to say—and debate—about the buttons. I think we can all agree with one commenter who wrote, “that’s what those other tabs are for!?”

Why McDonald’s Cup Lids Have Rectangular Buttons

Each round button on a McDonald’s cup lid is labeled with an abbreviation so workers and customers know which drink is which. Here’s where the rectangular buttons come in: If a McDonald’s employee mistakenly presses the wrong circle button down indicating an incorrect drink order, they can easily change it.

Yup, that’s the McDonald’s secret! It’s a small detail, but it can prevent any confusion or need to remake drinks. That way, customers won’t drink McDonald’s Coke thinking its Dr Pepper or vice versa. Mix ups, be gone at the touch of a button! It’s that simple.

For the resolution of more McDonald’s mysteries, take a look at the truth behind popular McDonald’s rumors.

Jessica Kaplan
Jessica Kaplan creates trend content for Taste of Home. When it comes to all things food news, she's an expert. Jessica has previously written lifestyle content for Reader’s Digest, Family Handyman and The Healthy. These days, she loves trying out the latest TikTok recipes and exploring New York eateries and coffee shops.