The lore behind DougDoug’s “I’ll have what he’s having” fast food challenge

On Saturday, May 20, 2023, I joined my friend Doug Wreden on his DougDoug Twitch channel for a live stream with his friends and staff mem­bers Berry and Parry. For the broadcast, we drove around the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County doing the “I’ll have what he’s having” challenge.

This was a popular trend a little while back, and I already participated in a few of these with some other friends a handful of years ago, but if you’re not familiar with the concept, the idea is that you go to various different fast food restaurants and order the same thing as what the previous vehicle in the drive-through lane ordered.

Yesterday, the recording of the live stream was cut and edited into a highlight video that was released on the DougDoug YouTube channel. The audience of Doug’s YouTube channel is far greater than the au­dience of Doug’s Twitch channel, so this brought the fast food challenge content in front of many more eyes and resulted in a relatively large influx of questions.

There’s been relative consistency in the questions that have been asked, and there is a bit of “lore” that I think fans would find fun and interesting, so I decided to take some time to write this as a supplement to Doug’s video content.


“How much did you actually end up eating?”

Doug’s video editor calculated the nutrition facts of everything we ate and it came to a total of 20,435 calories. However, people were curious exactly how much I personally contributed to consuming that amount. From the footage, it seemed like I ate the least… but it was not by as large of a margin as it may seem.

Food Restaurant Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Na (mg) Protein (g)
Honey walnut shrimp, ⅘ portion Panda Express  300  18.5  22.0  381  11.5
Mushroom chicken, ⅘ portion Panda Express  185  12.0   9.0  707  10.0
Fried rice, ⅕ portion Panda Express  112   3.5  18.5  183   2.5
Chow mein, ⅓ portion Panda Express  174   7.0  27.0  293   4.5
Veggie egg roll Panda Express  180   9.0  19.0  390   7.0
Cheddar quesadilla, ⅘ portion Del Taco  366  20.5  24.5  676  17.5
Caramel cheesecake bites, 1 stick Del Taco  460  28.0  43.0  310   6.0
Chocolate fudge sundae Burger King  280   7.0  47.0  220   6.0
Sourdough patty melt, ¾ portion Jack in the Box  488  28.5  28.5  975  28.0
French fries, medium, ½ portion Jack in the Box  215  10.0  29.0  390   2.5
Cherry Coca-Cola, 2 fl. oz. Jack in the Box   25   0.0   6.5    5   0.0
Raspberry-filled jelly doughnut Krispy Kreme  340  21.0  36.0  125   3.0
Chocolate iced doughnut with cream fill­ing Krispy Kreme  340  17.0  42.0  140   4.0
Baked potato with chives Wendy’s  137   0.0  31.5   15   3.5
Natural-cut French fries, medium, ½ portion Wendy’s  210   9.5  28.0  210   3.0
Pink lemonade, 28 fl. oz. Wendy’s  308   0.0  77.0  105   0.0
Nitro cold brew coffee, ½ each of 2 drinks Starbucks   70   1.5  13.0   45   3.0
Fried chicken thigh, small KFC  144   8.5   4.5  150  11.0
Total   4,334 201.5 536.0 5,320 123.0

While we were working through our order at Kentucky Fried Chicken, Doug’s moderator Eddie showed up to help with a large portion of the bucket of fried chicken. Fried chicken is extremely calorically dense, and a bucket has a lot of pieces of chicken; I think it is reasonable to assume that Eddie relieved about 1,800 calories’ worth of our food burden, considering that he ate most of the bucket.

That brings the total for the four of us down to 18,635 calories. At my 4,334 calories, I ate about 23.26% of the calories, very close to the 25% needed for an even split. Of course, calories isn’t the only metric to calculate contribution, and there are many other important factors like how volumetrically filling the food is or how undesirable the meal is, but in general, I feel like I definitely carried my own weight.


“Did Doug really just find you at the hotel?”

The simplest possible answer… is actually, yes. But obviously, there is more to it than that.

Doug and I had plans during the Sunday afternoon following the day of the broadcast—plans that involved being in Los Angeles County together. Doug thought I was going to be flying in Sunday morning, but I like to have a buffer day to make for a more relaxing and less rushed travel experience, so I flew in a day early on Saturday instead.

For convenience, Doug and I booked rooms in the same hotel. However, we both like having our own separate rooms to minimize interruptions and im­prove sleep quality, so we had separate reservations. This meant that Doug did not know when my check-in date was, and he did not realize that I would be arriving on Saturday instead of Sunday.

The timing was uncanny. After landing from my flight, I walked to the rental car facility, picked up my vehicle, and drove to the hotel. However, the pick-up process took longer than expected because the front license plate of the vehicle was held up by a single screw and was on the verge of falling off, so they had to go find a special screwdriver to remove it so it wouldn’t fly off while the vehicle was in motion. This added about 12 minutes of delay to the pick-up process.

If everything went smoothly during vehicle pick-up, I would’ve arrived at the hotel 12 minutes sooner, walked into the hotel too early to be seen by Doug, and none of this would have happened. Instead, because of the delay, the moment I was walking into the hotel happened to perfectly coincide with Berry and Parry picking up Doug from the front of the hotel, which allowed Doug to notice me.

As a reminder, keep in mind that Doug did not know I would be there on Saturday. Thus, from his perspective, I miraculously just spawned in front of him at the hotel entryway, and the fact that our paths had crossed wasn’t far off from seeming like a force majeure event.


“How did you end up also becoming the driver?”

The original plan was for Berry to be the driver. However, with me now in the picture, we had an alternative.

When I travel and rent a vehicle, I will always opt to get a pickup truck (if one is available) for a variety of reasons. My personal daily driver at home is a pickup truck, so I am used to driving pickup trucks now. The better visibility and higher ride height makes the driving experience much more com­fort­a­ble. I also easily get motion sickness, and driving a larger vehicle, especially one with a body-on-frame structure like pickup trucks, helps mit­i­gate that.

Furthermore, for the past several years, pickup trucks have gotten much, much nicer. They used to be considered work vehicles, but the newest trucks now often have as­tro­nom­i­cally better convenience and luxury features than regular sedans. To top it all off, ren­tal car companies usually only have one or two rental tiers for pickup trucks, while they have upwards of 12 or more classes just for sedans. This means, if you book a low-tier se­dan, you for sure are going to get a pretty bad sedan, and if you want a nicer one, you have to pay for upgrades. However, if you book a pickup truck, in their system, a pick­up truck is a pickup truck, so you may end up with a basic truck, but you could also end up with a really nice one, like we did for this fast food ad­ven­ture.

I ended up with a Nissan Titan Platinum Reserve this time around. Being a full-size pickup truck, it is much more spacious than Berry’s car, which made it much more comfortable for four adult men to sit in for several hours. The higher ride height also meant that we would be eye-to-eye with the fast food staff, making it easier for them to hand over our food, as opposed to needing to reach down at an angle if we were in a sedan.

Because I was the only one on the rental contract, I had to be the driver. We technically could’ve just violated the rental terms of service and had some­one else drive anyway, but Los Angeles isn’t exactly known for having wide roads, and the drive-through lanes are pretty tight. If you were watching the live broadcast, you might have heard a lot of beeping when we were going through the drive-throughs; the beeping was the collision sensors warning me that we were about to hit something. Considering that I have the most experience driving big, wide, long vehicles, we decided it would be safest for me to drive the entire time.


Some other frequently-asked questions…

“Did you play up your reaction to the baked potato because you knew Doug hates potatoes?” No, I did not. In fact, I did not even realize that Doug hated potatoes. I was relieved to see a baked potato because it was finally some food that wasn’t offensively greasy or salty, so it was a way that I would be able to continue helping without putting my health in increasing jeopardy.

“Did you get stream sniped at any of the restaurants?” I highly doubt it. Although it was fairly obvious to some people where we were because we drove right past Hollywood Burbank Airport at the beginning of the stream, the rest of the guys made a conscious effort to try and obscure our location by claiming we were in random states across the United States. The most likely possibility of getting sniped was the KFC bucket at the end, but the woman who ordered it was already ordering before we arrived, and she looked like she was just buying a big meal to feed her family.

“Did you feel sick during the subsequent days?” No, there was hardly any visible difference in my health. The same night, my body woke itself up four or five times in the middle of the night in extreme thirst, and I drank about one and a half 16.9 fl. oz. bottles of water overnight, but beyond that, everything was back to normal the following morning.

“Are you quitting fast food for the rest of your life?” Absolutely not. I love fast food, I’ve saved a ton of time because of the convenience, and fast food isn’t always bad—it is usually inevitably very high in sodium, but if you pick the right menu items, there are ways to piece together some pretty decent meals low in saturated fat and high in protein. I also don’t really get “sick” of foods from overeating; I think that’s more of a mindset thing, and I had no problem eating some chicken sandwiches from McDonald’s a few days after finishing this challenge.

“What happened in the bathroom of Jack in the Box?” I defecated. I did not vomit, and I did not have diarrhea. A simple bowel movement was sufficient enough that it made me feel better and allowed me to consume over 1,500 more calories afterwards.


“Do you regret agreeing to join for the challenge?”

No. Not even a little bit.

The older I get, the more I realize that relationships with other people are the most important things in life. I’ve historically optimized for other things, like maximizing personal comfort, or making as much money as possible, or finding the most luxurious things to buy and places to live… but ul­ti­mate­ly, it’s the people in your life who matter the most.

This is probably some of the most fun I’ve had, ever. I am literally going to remember this day for the rest of my life. Sure, I had an upset stomach by the time we got to Jack in the Box, and yes, my health probably took a little bit of a hit from eating so much saturated fat and sodium, but in a big-picture sense, it was absolutely worth it.

Hello, DouglasDouglas.