What Happened To The Whataburger Mascot (And Is He Still Around)?

Whataguy, Whataburger's mascot
Whataguy, Whataburger's mascot - Whataburger

When debating on which chain has the best fast food burger, don't count out Whataburger. With its distinctly bright orange striped logo and small but mighty diehard fan base, Whataburger ranked 34 on the top 2023 Franchise Times Top 400 list. Depending on where you live, there may be plenty of things you didn't know about Whataburger.

The burger joint is mostly found in Texas, with 284 locations, branching out slightly throughout the Midwest and a handful of locations in states such as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. But even Texas locals who claim that Whataburger is the number one best fast food burger (often citing the chain's SoCal rival, In-N-Out, for comparison), may not have known that Whataburger once had a mascot.

Not unlike Ronald McDonald, Jack, and The King himself, Whataburger too dreamt up a fast food mascot to help sell their burgers. According to Whataburger, an orange and white superhero clad in tights and a mask called Whataguy made his debut on kids meal bags in 1999. The company website claims that Whataguy appeared with a mission to "protect freshness, flavor, and the Whataburger Way!" While he is a bit elusive in most of the company's marketing campaigns, Whataguy is still credited as the burger chain's mascot 25 years later.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of American Fast Food Restaurants

Whataguy Is Still 'Technically' The Burger Chain's Superhero Mascot

Whataguy in front of menu
Whataguy in front of menu - New Braunfels Foodbank/Facebook

Unlike less popular fast food mascots that completely disappeared from the public eye such as Domino's "The Noid" and the oversized Arby's Oven Mitt, Whataguy can still be seen rocking his superhero attire and promoting Whataburger business from time to time. According to the Whataburger website, Whataguy is the Ambassador for the burger chain's outreach program, Whataburger Feeding Student Success. This charity program provides scholarships for students and community outreach where you may spot Whataguy walking around looking for ways to save the day. You can also see the ever-smiling mascot featured on the Whataburger Instagram account every now and again, proving that the company hasn't totally forgotten about their very own superhero.

While Whataguy has an important job to do, some fans clearly wish he was more present in the burger chain's daily operations. On Reddit, fans have shared fan art of the adorable superhero cartoon rocking a bright orange W across his chest. Fans have also taken to the public forum to share just how missed the superhero is. One reddit user commented on the new minimalist Whataburger bag designs, writing, "Who knows if the Whata Guy will ever come back..."

The Whataburger Mascot Lore Runs Deeper Than We Expected

Whataburger comic
Whataburger comic - gamerguy287/Reddit

Clearly, Whataguy is still hanging around, even if his appearances are few and far between. But the orange and white superhero isn't the only mascot being underutilized by the Whataburger company. In the r/Whataburger Reddit thread, fans recalled an image of two more flying superheroes on either side of Whataguy, Attaboy and Lil' W. One user immediately recognized the characters from childhood, exclaiming, "I had a toy when I was a kid of Addaboy!" A former employee responded that many people didn't order kids meals back in the day, concluding, "I think most people don't know they exist."

The Whataburger mascot family even had their own comic book called Whatacomix. These adorable superhero adventures were offered to kids in their kids meals in the early 2000s, featuring Whataguy, his sidekick Attaboy, and their number one fan, Lil' W. The comic book had stories of the three heroes fighting bad guys, along with games, activities, and places for kids to color.

There was also a larger collection of Whataburger characters called Whatapals that were manufactured into toys, collectibles, and even sticker sets that the restaurant likely included in kids meals. We had to do some serious digging to unearth the extensive lore of the Whataburger universe that once existed, not unlike the popular Marvel and DC heroes seen on the big screen. Surely, Whataburger patrons who have been enjoying the Texas-based chain since childhood would love a nostalgia-fueled resurgence of the Whatapals.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal