McDonald’s Bathroom Attendant

Featuring: Simmons, Todd, Kula, Balaban, Krafft, Skillman

Digital Photography: Agents Kula & Todd
DV Cam (hidden): Agent Kula

About a month ago, I was brainstorming a mission idea with a few friends called “Five Star Fast Food”. The idea was to deck out a fast food joint with all the trappings of a five star restaurant. There would be a Maitre D’ standing behind a podium asking for your reservation, a hostess to seat you, a waiter to take your order, and an attendant in the bathroom. The obvious problem with this idea is that it would very likely be shut down as soon as it begins. I decided to focus on the bathroom attendant aspect, figuring that we could last much longer in a secluded men’s room.

The next step was to pick the perfect restroom. The challenge here is that pretty much every fast food place in New York has a single occupancy bathroom, many of which require a key for entry. I needed to find a single-gender, multi-occupancy restroom. After spending about a week surveying various disgusting locations, I finally found what I needed in Times Square.

The Times Square McDonald’s

The Times Square McDonald’s is a sight to see. Its facade is made to look like a Broadway theatre; in fact, it’s adjacent to the Lion King. It’s three stories tall, has menus on flat-screen TVs, and movie projections on its walls. On the third floor in the very back corner, it has a very large men’s room with three urinals, two stalls, and four sinks.

The men’s room also conveniently had a “Diaper Changing Station” that would double as our amenities table.

The next step was to find our employee. My friend Todd Simmons worked as a professional bathroom attendant for three years in Manhattan. Obviously, he was the logical choice to play the part. His experience would enable him to be totally comfortable and natural throughout the mission. He knew all of the tricks of the trade.

Agent Simmons

I spent about $50 gathering supplies for the mission. I hit up K-Mart, Rite Aid, and various dollar stores for “travel-size” toiletries. Our attendant had it all: cologne, deodorant, mints, gum, dental floss, Tylenol, Advil, condoms, shaving cream, disposable razors, Q-tips, baby powder, Gold Bond, Band-Aids, cough drops, mouthwash, plastic cups, hair gel, Kleenex, and our crown jewel–a “Barbicide” canister filled with actual Barbicide and several combs. Our wares would be presented on two silver trays on top of a lace tablecloth.

We arrived at the McDonald’s at about 1:45 in the afternoon. We each ordered food and sat down at tables close to the bathrooms. There were two cops finishing up their meal just a few tables away. We figured the male cop would probably use the facilities before leaving, so we waited it out. We were correct; he took a quick trip to the men’s room and then left the scene. We sprang into action. Agent Simmons had a tuxedo concealed under his winter coat. Agent Todd carried a large K-Mart shopping bag with all of the supplies. Within two minutes our table was ready to go.

The Table


Agent Kula handled digital video and photography for this mission. He hid his DV camera inside a Kleenex box and pointed it towards the door. We were a little worried about the legal implications of covertly filming men of all ages in a bathroom. Agent Simmons carried a decoy tape in his pocket in case management discovered us and demanded our tape.

Our hidden camera is on the right

Agent Kula checks his camera

Agent Simmons prepares for his first customer

Agent Simmons stood in front of the automatic hand dryers, essentially blocking access to them. He was armed with a dispenser of antibacterial hand soap (much better than the pink industrial soap on the wall) and nice paper towels. If folks were going to wash their hands, they weren’t going to dry them without using our attendant.

Since our McDonald’s was located in Times Square, we received visitors from all over the world. Agent Simmons’ first customers were a group of British school boys, visiting the US on a school trip.

The first British boy

The first two boys to enter were terribly excited about the attendant. They cheerily washed their hands and both took peppermints on the way out

The boys dry their hands with our paper towels

Several IE Agents (Balaban, Krafft, Skillman, & Todd) were sitting just outside of the bathroom to observe the reactions of people as they left. The boys came running out of the bathroom anxious to report back to the rest of the group. “Heather!” one boy cried, “They’ve got a butler in the bathroom and he gave us sweets!”

The group’s chaperone made a trip to the bathroom to investigate the boys claims.

The chaperone

His accent was unbelievably thick, but it was clear he was delighted that there was someone in the room to “help the boys wash up”. He shook Agent Simmons’ hand, explaining “the kids are astonished because they don’t do this in England.”

Several more boys entered the bathroom to take part in the fun. The original boys returned twice to get more sweets, and then stood outside the door bragging to their female classmates.

Things quieted down for a bit after the British group left.

About ten minutes in to the mission, the first McDonald’s employee entered the room. His nametag read “Roman”, and he didn’t seem to speak very much English.


Agent Simmons’ approached Roman warmly. “Hey there. I’m Todd. I’m from Corporate McDonald’s. We’re trying out a new promotion today.” Roman quickly shuffled out of the bathroom with out speaking. He would return several times throughout the mission to sweep, ignoring Agent Simmons each time.

A man and his young child visited the bathroom. The father had to pick his son up so Agent Simmons could help him wash his hands. He tipped $1. Agent Simmons made it clear that tips were entirely optional and that his services were provided free of charge. He made small talk with everyone who entered the room, asking them where they were from, if they had seen a Broadway play, etc. He also peppered McDonald’s slogans in to his banter. “We’re lovin’ it today and we hope you are too.” “You deserve a break today.” “We like to see you smile, sir.”

The man pictured above was a tourist visiting from South Korea. He and Agent Simmons had a two minute conversation about the weather. “I always carry an umbrella because I hate rain,” the man said.

Two tourists from the land of New Jersey

The man above was seeking cold water, and was disappointed to hear that the faucets were only providing hot water today.

A second employee entered the bathroom, Rafael. He sweeps and leaves, giving Simmons a suspicious eye, but not responding to Simmons’ friendly banter.


The man pictured about spent over five minutes in the bathroom, brushing his teeth (he brought his own toothbrush and tooth paste). He turned out to be the CFO of Hitachi visiting from Japan.

He had just seen the Broadway musical “Mama Mia!” and gave Agent Simmons a brief review. “It was so-so. The songs were very clever, but that’s all. I like the ABBA songs, but the plot is very simple.” He went on to say that you can “see good musicals in Japan, but in the United States–especially New York–they’re fantastic.”

The young man pictured above was very curious. He asked Agent Simmons’, “This is a good paying job?” He then revealed that his step-father used to be a bathroom attendant in Brooklyn. As Agent Simmons shared a smile with him, a third employee began shouting from the door.

It was a female employee dressed the same as Roman and Rafael. She didn’t speak very much English either, so Agent Simmons had a hard time communicating with her. “Only muchachos,” he tried to explain. She responded, “Nobody else? I go in?” She waited until all of the men had exited the room and then came in to get a closer look at Agent Simmons’ setup. He tried to calm her, “We work together. Te llamo Evelyn?” She quickly left.

Many folks were kind enough to tip throughout the day. Agent Simmons made a total of $6.92.

The international theme continued as the day went on. Agent Simmons’ was visted by a group of Germans, a Russian gentleman, and a couple of guys from Yonkers, NY.

Agent Simmons attends to a Russian man

A German man wanted to know if Agent Simmons worked for McDonald’s or by himself. Once Simmons explained to him that it was a McDonald’s promotion, he decided, “I like the idea. Sounds good.” The bathroom got quite crowded at certain points. All in all, Agent Simmons helped around fifty customers.

Men waiting in line for an open urinal

Evelyn, the female employee, must have alerted the management. A gentleman wearing a tie entered just as Simmons was explaining the McDonald’s philosophy to a customer, “We don’t want to be a part of the same fast food culture as everyone else. McDonald’s is the biggest, the best, and this is Broadway!”

The manager enters

The manager didn’t know how to respond. He stuttered for a moment and finally burst out with “Y-Y-You don’t have any authorization to do this.”

“Yes, I do,” Simmons responded. “I’m Todd. I’m from the corporate office.”

The Manager shook his head and gave his name, Ted. “This is part of a special promotion. They didn’t send you a memo or a fax?”

Manager: I’ll call. They didn’t tell me anything about this. Lemme call.
Agent Simmons: We started in Akron, Ohio and the Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.
Manager: You’re sure you’re in the right McDonald’s?
Agent Simmons: I hope so. I sure hope so!
Manager: No problem.

Manager Ted left the bathroom to place a call to corporate. We captured this entire exchange with the manager Ted on our hidden camera.

After the manager left, Agent Kula quickly swooped in and grabbed our hidden camera. We couldn’t risk losing our footage at this point. Agent Simmons remained in the bathroom and continued doing his job. The manager returned about five minutes later.

Manager: My regional manager hasn’t heard anything either. I can’t get in touch with corporate right now because it’s a Sunday.
Agent Simmons: You know, I told them it was a bad idea to do it on a Sunday for that very reason. Why not a Friday or Saturday?
Manager: You’re sure you got the right place?
Agent Simmons: Are there other McDonald’s in the city?
Manager: (shocked) Yeah.
Agent Simmons: Oh.
Manager: Maybe you meant to go to 34th Street?
Agent Simmons: Could be. That definitely sounds familiar.
Manager: Ok. Well I have a message in with corporate. Let’s wait and see what they say when they call back.

Ted left the bathroom again and waited at the other corner of the building for his return call. In the meantime, IE Agents swooped in and disassembled our table. We tossed everything back into our shopping bag.

We quickly left the McDonald’s without being noticed by the manager. The only evidence of our fun was the plastic bowl of peppermints we left behind.

Agent Simmons gave excellent service for nearly an hour in the Times Square McDonald’s. Almost everyone he encountered enthusiastically used his services, and many folks were kind enough to leave a tip. No one questioned Agent Simmon’s story the entire time. Even the manager convinced himself that this wasn’t a prank, but a simple misunderstanding. Surely we were just at the wrong McDonald’s.


Agent Kula

It’s only in a camera-crazy tourist haven like New York that you can go into a public bathroom, snap photos of men standing at urinals, and not only will they NOT be angry, they’ll often take out their own camera and snap a pic of that same urinal, thinking, “Huh, this toilet must be famous.”

Agent Simmons

When I was asked to perform this mission I was intrigued. It sounded like a significant challenge. I had done the work before (as a professional restroom-attendant) in high-end nightclubs and expensive restaurants and they tend to come with a certain type of client. I’d never had the pleasure of working with a fast-food clientele.

McDonalds has been a mega-power in the corporate world as long as I can remember. One that does it their way. With their formula. Their uniforms. Their speed. It works for them and although they’ve seemingly adjusted to societal trends, to some extent, they don’t seem eager to fiddle with the cash cow, as it were. I couldn’t imagine they’d feel very comfortable with outside agents setting up shop within their castle walls.

Having paid my bills for several years as an actual restroom attendant I was curious to see if I still had my chops. “Agent Todd” hoped that I was up to the challenge. I’d always been forced to deal with a wide range of characters in my lavatory work at night clubs and restaurants in NYC and felt that I’d handled the curve balls fairly efficiently. Since “retiring” from the business to pursue other projects, I’d begun work on a one-man show that would explore the life and times of working in the restroom and I felt that another run at it would refresh my memory on the details. I quickly agreed to join the mission. It would be my first mission as an “IE Agent”.

I was not overly concerned with the “civilians” we’d encounter in the McDonalds men’s room. I knew I was a veteran of the trade. I could handle their needs, be it mouthwash, clean combs, or directions to the subway. No. It was the NYPD and the McDonalds management staff that had me concerned. I KNEW we’d be discovered in the toilet with our table of goods happily distributed at no charge (donations would be humbly accepted but by no means required). I was certain that their corporate regiment would make us vulnerable to inevitable confrontation.

It was simply a matter of time.

Upon entering the scene of the mission we paid for some food and headed upstairs to position #1. We sat down to eat. And that’s when we noticed the policewoman. And her partner. And the McDonalds custodial staff busily making their rounds with pan and broom.

It wasn’t going to be a cake-walk.

When the first wave of authority moved along we pounced. The various “agents” sprung into action and together we rigged the restroom with a camera and set up all of our attendant tools and goods on the diaper-changing table. In 3 minutes we were up and running and “open for business”.

And the people came. And they kept coming. English, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and New Jersey. Senior citizens and pre-pubescent boys. This was a blend I’d not yet contended with. These people had special needs. We only had hot water flowing from the taps as I feverishly distributed soap and towels. The room was hot. No real circulation flow. It felt like 90 degrees. And I was wearing a wool tuxedo. I couldn’t stop the perspiration.

Employee #1 entered. His name was Roman. He looked bemused as he swept out one of the stalls. I explained that we worked together now. He shuffled back to the restaurant.

A gaggle of English school boys entered and helped themselves to mints. Followed by their chaperone who came to make sure that I wasn’t some toilet pervert. They quickly recognized how professional our “operation” was and they washed up and left satisfied.

A CFO from Hitachi in Japan entered gave me a review of the Broadway musical “Mama Mia”, brushed his teeth, tipped me and left. And on it went.

McDonald’s employee #2 entered. Rafael. I introduced myself. He swept and left. Various “agents” entered the room and sequestered themselves in a stall to take notes.

A boy came in and told me his step-father is a restroom attendant in Brooklyn. I gave him soap and a towel.

I began to accumulate gratuities. I made it clear that McDonalds wants our customers to have the finest service and tips weren’t necessary. “We’re Lovin’ it and we hope you are TOO!” I don’t need the tips. I was nevertheless forced to accept them. In the end these tips would total $6.92.

Employee #3 knocked. And knocked again. It was a woman. I could sense the urgency in her voice. She’d been alerted. By Roman? By Rafael? Who knows? But she was outside the men’s room door and she wanted to enter to inspect it. I told her there were “only men in here”.

She waited until it was free of clients and entered with her broom. Her face was flush with suspicion and fear. I could sense she was worried about taking the fall on this one. “There’s a man in the restroom in a tuxedo and he appears to have set up a small business” That’s what I imagined she was thinking when she slipped out in a hurry.

Less than a minute later the manager entered. “You have no authorization to be in here”.

I said, “Didn’t you get a fax or memo from corporate?” He hadn’t heard a thing from corporate but he’d go call his regional manager. I said “My name is Todd and I think that’s a good idea”.

Agent Kula quickly entered after the manager’s departure and removed the camera to preserve our research. The manager returned with word from the regional manager. He didn’t know a thing about any authorizing of a tuxedo-clad restroom-attendant either. “There must be some misunderstanding. I’m sorry about the confusion but corporate will be able to clear it up”. He told me corporate is out of the office on Sundays. He left the room.

Agent Todd entered and gave me the clear out signal. Less than 3 minutes later we were on the street. I was relieved to be back out in the chilly February air.

Mission Accomplished.


In September of 2006, The McDonald’s Bathroom Attendant worked the men’s room at the IE 5th Anniversary Show:

See our Missions Page for the other 70 missions we’ve pulled off.



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206 Responses to McDonald’s Bathroom Attendant

  1. Heather says:

    This is silly.

  2. Rich Sommer says:

    I. Love. It.

  3. CR says:

    Though I’m from Texas, I’m lucky enough to have visited NYC recently (1 year ago in Feb). I love reading about missions like this, it reminds me of my trip and I can actually see those places in my mind. Anyway, great mission — keep it up!

  4. Diana Campbell says:

    I have never been so moved and excited about any other performance art in my life. It had all the ingredients of a good play. In fact why not a play so the world would see the hidden message which is: we all put on our pants one leg at a time, we all go potty and some of us wash our hands afterwards. Some employees are supposed to wash their dirtly little manos at times and I don’t see evidence of this in your little segment. I have always believed that videos in the bathroom are the only place they should be legally. If a person is working in food service and he isn’t washing his or her hands than we are all at risk of hepitis or worse. Lets see a performance where you go and pretend you are installing video cameras. I bet people would freak. This is the last bastion of privacy you see. In California where I live it is against the law to video people in restrooms. I know because I was a reporter at a college newspaper and we had a rash(pun intended) of breakin vandalism that was causing the schools millions of dollars through the years. Could we put in a vidio camera? NOOOOOOOOOOOo!
    Can you put a video in a dressing room in a store selling clothes. Nooooooo!!
    We will not have our private parts photographed in American unless of course you are in jail and then of course there anything goes. I was asked to perform at the Chicago theater that put on The Gong Show and I couldn’t make it. Need a huge older blues singer to pull off a sting? I mean performance. I will come anywhere and pay my own expenses. How about I set up shop in front of stores and sing blues songs for a quarter. You could have a tap dancer and we could call ourselves The American Idolitry talent show. In fact thats it. A talent show put on anywhere they go for it until they realize what is going on. I tell you its priceless!

    • the replyer says:

      I belive that you are right about the Mcdonalds staff not washing there hands. It is digusting. There should be a law when working in a resteraunt that you need to wash your hands every x number of minutes. After seeing this video I have not eaten at a McDonalds.

  5. Kyle says:

    I thought Ted’s birthday and Ghosts of Pasha were your best but this one tops them both! I was sitting at my computer here in Memphis laughing out loud. The English school kids were the perfect customers. “A butler gave us sweets!” Priceless.

  6. Eugene says:

    Am Lovin It! :D

  7. Adam ZG, 421Ballstar says:

    I laughed out loud several times. Thanks guys!


  8. Bob, Glenwood Maryland says:

    (I’m kickin’ myself for missing this…I was on vacation in NYC Feb 11-15 and walked right by that McDonald’s on Sunday.) A well-executed mission, but I agree with Kyle: both Ted and Pasha will be tough to top.

  9. mark says:

    >I couldn’t imagine they’d feel very comfortable with outside agents setting up shop within their castle walls.

    In the Netherlands McDonald’s is doing exactly that. The bathrooms are tended by grumpy ladies who ask ridiculous sums of money (50 Eurocents (60c US) just to pee?) upfront. This causes lots of angry comments by tourists and locals alike.

  10. Cynthia says:

    There is (or at least used to be, in the mid- ’90s when I lived in New York City) a McDonald’s on Wall Street that actually has many of the elements you mention in your intro — table cloths, doormen, etc. It also has a grand piano on the upper level that is played by professional musicians during the day.

  11. Peter says:

    So funny! Well done… I’d like to see some mayhem at Duane Reades soon..

  12. Bree says:

    —–He also peppered McDonald’s slogans in to his banter. “We’re lovin’ it today and we hope you are too.” “You deserve a break today.” “We like to see you smile, sir.”—–

    I’m on the ground from laughing so hard! Brilliant, Agent Simmons!

  13. Dan L says:

    Simply Delightful.
    Beautifully Executed.
    Subversively provoking.

  14. Ron in Canada says:

    this was the best controlled experiment rioting i have ever seen….

  15. Tiara says:

    wow! If there was a female equivalent at the Malaysian McDs, I’ll be stuck there XD

    You never know…McDonalds might hear of this and suddenly steal your idea. XD

  16. Elise & Even says:

    Agent Simmons was, clearly, a perfect talent for this “Mission”. His Moxie to confront the managment really put the icing on the cake. We’re huge McFans of the McBathroom Attendant.

  17. Jeff says:

    Nice work!

    It would be awesome if you had an RSS feed. I know you have a mailing list, but I prefer to get updates like this via Just a suggestion!

  18. Tom says:

    They do have an RSS feed! In fact there are two. One on the news page and one on the main missions page. Just follow the “feed RSS” links in the right hand corners.

  19. daymented says:

    Hilarious idea!

  20. Jestrada says:

    Great joke. A radio station once did this act about the bathroom attendant. Check it out here:
    You might get more ideas for performances from their page (look at the section under “Street Scams”):
    Enjoy the inspiration!

  21. Daniel says:

    I once encountered a bathroom attendant in an IHOP in Atlanta, GA. The bathroom contained one stall and a urinal and could barely hold the two of us. It was after midnight on a random weeknight and I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so uncomfortable in a public restroom.

    Was this you guys’ doing?

  22. dbldbl says:

    i think the earlier poster meant to say “i’m lovin’ it”. i am too.

    got the site linked from the Hip Clicks from USAToday. Cheers!

  23. Alicia says:

    Brilliant. Agent Simmons was flawless! Keep up the good work!:):)

  24. Eimear, Ireland says:

    This was excellent. Just priceless. You guys rule. Agent Simmons was really good on his feet, especialy with his attiTOOD to the management. keep it up guys, this is really cool!

  25. Bigfork Forums says:

    Come to Bigfork and we will use your head to break the urinal at the Village Well before shooting you.

  26. Sandy says:

    You guys have way too much time on your hands.

  27. DonnySpi says:

    great job with the McDonald’s stunt. IMO, the tissue box camera was very obvious. I am surprised that no one noticed it.

  28. Christi says:

    This is awesome. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. It makes me want to move to New York and join you guys. Keep up the amazing work.

  29. Fotonaut says:

    hahahahahahahahaaha! this stuff is great!

  30. TheDude says:

    -2, no pics of girls without pants

  31. Xavier says:

    Ha! Great idea, once again. One of the very best “Everywhere’s” you guys have done. (Nothing tops Chekov!!!)

  32. Noyb says:

    Most excellent! The best part for me was the Hiachi CFO. Why? I happen to work for them!

  33. Devon says:

    It always cracks me up when people who’ve taken the time to post comments on some random webpage say “You’ve got too much time on your hands!” Excellent mission, IE. May you continue to have handfuls of free time.

  34. Mily says:

    I think that this was an absolutely marvelous idea! You sure did everything wonderfully, right down to the Barbicide plus!

  35. joe canada says:

    only in new york eh!

  36. Katherine Johnson says:

    One of the funniest things I’ve seen in ages.
    Great hidden camera work. Not easy in a public restromm I imagine!
    Loved the vid exchange between the “agent” and the McDonalds manager. I’m howling!

  37. Bill says:

    great fun! hysterical! very creative and well thought out.

  38. Catherine says:

    160 Broadway is the McDonalds with the doorman and grand piano. Wonder if anyone there would even have thought you out of place?

  39. Babeth from Belgium says:

    A standing ovation from over the Atlantic !
    What a good idea to place a gentleman usher so that people are reminded to “tidy up”. Hygiene ratings that day in that McDonald’s must have soared.

    Now, if we all would do some little good deed like that from time to time…

  40. Nick says:

    I thought for sure that this would end bad, but since most the McDonald’s employees didn’t speak English everything went very smoothly. Brilliant idea and congrats on a job well done.

  41. Don says:

    Is this the new winter job for the sqeegee men?

  42. Anonymous says:

    The british kids were hilarious. Sweets!

  43. sninky-chan says:

    Bless your hearts for conducting this brilliant experiment. IE, OM, it’s all the same and I love it!

  44. AKE civilian division says:

    HELL YEAH!!!! well done guys!! shall Claudia bless all of you!

  45. Anonymous says:



    but good.

  46. Franklin says:

    That is so great! I wish you guys had done this on Valentine’s Day last year. I went to see the Lion King with my girl friend and needed to use the bathroom at McDonalds. There was a significant lack of toilet paper in the stall and the porter didnt speak very much English. When I told him I needed toilet paper he said “Sorry.” He left and never came back. I was trapped for 15 minutes with my girlfriend waiting for me. I applaud your successful mission.

  47. George Perkins says:

    McDonalds thing was a scream! Saw it in the New York Times online.

  48. Tim Hawkinson says:

    Only in New York. Outrageous fun. I want more.

  49. Dan says:

    I’ve never been to New York. We’d sure appreciate some bathroom attendants in the McDonalds’ here in Seattle.

  50. Pat says:

    Wonderful! I’m lovin’ it!! I just stumbled across your site by accident. Of course I had to sign up. I am looking forward to more missions!!

  51. Wes of says:

    If you look and act like you’re supposed to be somewhere, people will generally not question your presence; The experiment was a very amusing, and a great example of the effectiveness of social engineering.

  52. says:

    I will tell you, you will get more surprised if you come to thailand, here in Bangkok in the restaurant or night club they give you massages while you are using the toilet, how that graps your balls.( Excute my language )

  53. Ronald McDonald says:

    I have no sense of humor.

  54. kt says:

    The shiz.

  55. Jam the Pot says:

    Wow! Amazing, truly. Well done!

  56. Dr. Gold says:

    Success! The enemy is in disarray!

  57. Pacific NW says:

    please please please
    can’t you come to Portland for a visit and do some improv here? why do the big cities get to have all the fun?

  58. lionel says:

    i just got back from visiting mexico city for the first time. i ran into this type of scenario many times there where there would be an attendant in a small elevator or a bathroom at a place similar to in quality to a mcdonald’s. although i think that your missions are fun in nature, i do think there is a sober reality to the position of bathroom attendant that extends beyond the naivete of your prank.

  59. Santa Cruz says:

    What a joke…I just love it…Good work people.

  60. Chris in Miami says:

    How do I see Ted and Pasha?

  61. Thresher says:

    Brilliant stab at our fun loving friends with arches. I don’t eat there, but I know the culture. Great stuff!

  62. Allan says:

    that’s awesome you guys got away with doing all that as a prank! i found your site through a mentioning at, and i think you guys really should come to a McDonald’s in Chicagoland and do this, and hey, you could experiment to see how the results would vary here in Chi-town instead of NYC :D please?

  63. Natalia says:

    haha you guys are crazy, stuff like this is the shizza



  65. wongm says:

    When I was on holiday in Hong Kong, some McDonalds had hostesses to shoy you to your table.

  66. ~granny from Toronto says:

    What a howl!! This is the first time I’ve seen your stuff, and now have to go look at more.
    Too funny!!

  67. agent ash says:

    ive never been to a bathroom but now i want to. utterly hilarious.

  68. wordygirl says:

    I’m impressed that you accomplished this because I have been to that Mc Donalds many times as an afficionado of NYC. I know how busy it is and how so many cops frequent it. Three cheers for you boys and onward and upward!!

  69. Kmoney says:

    You. guys. rule.

  70. extrapolitan says:

    I miss working in the bathrooms.

  71. ayomide says:

    That was crazy funny that it went on so long and know one knew. But it being the McDonalds in Times Square it would definatly fly. And some charm … lol

  72. Bunnie says:

    There are times when, reading the paper or watching the news, I begin to feel downhearted and pessimistic about the future not only of our country, but of the whole human race. Then I come across something like this… When I can wander across the net, and find a group of people willing to put this much effort into pure, irreverent fun – it gives me hope! God bless you and all the missions to come!! :)

  73. David says:

    As always, great job! And of course, of all places, THE busiest McDonalds in the world (I asked an employee there once and they verified it). Keep it up!

  74. Cate W. says:

    Having been in a few New York bathrooms, I welcome the thought of a corporation actually putting someone in the john to greet. Might cut down on the general nastiness found in most of them. Otherwise, I was mesmorized by this website. This is my first visit. I’ll definitely be knocking on your door again. Oh, what harmless, good-natured fun.

  75. keith buckland says:

    enjoyed your adventure very much. I remember back in the late sixties at kings cross station in sydney we had a female attendant in the mens toilet, a big old fat woman with her own glassed in enclosure. These days though, at least in melbourne (australia) you’d be contending with junkies in the macca’s toilets and they’d be trying to get a dollar off you. But hey, the adventure brightened up my evening.

  76. Adam says:

    Well honestly that was a great performance. I mean McDonalds was so confused they had no idea which end was up. Good job IE.

  77. Big Fan says:

    Agent Simmons was hysterical. i can’t believe he was able to play it so straight with all of those McDonalds employees! Great.

  78. Stephen says:

    Please do a sequal about the ladies room!

  79. Avon says:

    I work a block or two from the McDonalds that’s mentioned by "Cynthia" in her post 2/18/05. The manager just wanted to be ridiculously elegant, at his own expense, and he maintained it for years (though after 9/11, the Towers being only one block west, he was closed for a long time and never restored all the amenities). There was not only the grand piano but a Maitre d’ to seat customers, fresh flowers on the tables, and a huge scrolling LED stock ticker on the wall; marble & nice fixtures everywhere. The decor remains, including the piano on its tiny balcony, but most of the rest of the act is retired. Still, some tourists who’ve read about it stop in to look …

    All this, and they never charged much different prices than other McDonalds’. One of the 10-20 great quirky Downtown NYC stories. …

  80. time says:

    we older people enjoy a joke. this is just the thing envade some priviate emlutation. have u children lean u tolit train.hoho

  81. Arelis says:

    I think I might be in love with Roman.

  82. Myles says:

    While this mission was entertaining and skillfully executed, I have to say I think it lacked some of the incongruity that you were initially wanting. The original goal was to have a washroom attendant in a venue that should obviously be too small to warrant one, and you really didn’t hit that mark due to the location you had to choose. The Times Square location is prominent enough that they really might try something like this. An attendant is really not a very unusual sight in a restroom prominent enough to be used by the CFO of Hitachi.

  83. Joseph Grabko says:

    The best part is that’s it’s actually a good idea, when you think about it.

  84. Phil says:

    Do that routine in the Philippines. Tacloban City to be exact,at a department store named Gaisano.Bathrooms are on the 2nd floor. You will be SHOCKED. Or for taht matter pick their McDonalds even

  85. Giggles says:

    Fast food nation indeed.

  86. Javier says:

    La mente humana es tan debil ? somos unos monos caminando , titeres ¡¡¡ guaaa quiero ser una lombriz si no puedo tener el control de mi mismo.

  87. Kirby says:

    Dude, that’s hillarious! Great mission idea!!!

  88. Dr. Wabel says:

    I’m very, very surprised no social hypochondriacs have shown up to finger-wag and yell disjointedly about how "retarded" antics are destroying America.

  89. Funny Bunny says:

    I don’t know if I could do #2 with a witness in the house. Yikes.

  90. Mac says:

    Too funny.

  91. john says:

    OMG i was greeted by this attendent! I actualkly believed McDonald hired someone for this.

  92. Paliobibliomaniac says:

    I have been watching various of your Missions tonight for the first time, including No Pants 2k5 and 2k6, Best Buy, Taxi Cab Romance, and this one. I haven’t had such a hearty, laughter-filled evening in a long, long time. Keep up the wonderful play, and have fun!!

  93. Gern Blanston says:

    The golden arches…of urine…please hand me a towl…there is no dogma in hygene!

    – William

  94. Nancy G says:

    I was in McDonalds in Munich, Germany, near the historic Marienplatz – and there was a real bathroom attendant! :)

  95. Theresa Merrit says:

    This was the funniest thing i’ve seen in years. I love it!

  96. Jordan Frey says:

    god i wish i lived in NY because i would be there doing that shit with you

  97. Danielle says:

    this is pure genius i wish i could be a part of this but i live in california :(

  98. Mercedes says:

    Found and read this antic in error…. while it was amusing, I am a McDonald’s Mgr and shutter to think of the consequences had things not turned out well… people are
    looking for liabilities and both corporate and the mgr were placed at risk… However, for the record, had the mgr been doing his “trave; paths” every 15-30 minutes, you should have been discovered shortly after begining… While certain aspects were funny, I am ssssoooo glad it was not my store… but then again; I DO my travel paths! LOL

  99. Shana says:

    Is that the one near Madame Tussaud’s? I know I’ve seen it, but I can’t remember exactly where. I laughed because it looked so much like a broadway show!

    Hilarious. I can just imagine what those people were thinking!

  100. dude guy says:

    hay guys can i be in a mission????

  101. T says:


    I don’t think it was that funny.

    It was properly executed but the premise just wasn’t ironic enough.


    Major points for the effort.

  102. "Azooga" says:

    I love when people do things like this. When people walk into a fast food resteraunt, they expect it to be dirty, discusting, and…normal. When you change it up like this it really gives a person reason to smile. That’s why you inspire me. I love you improve everywhere.


  103. Mr. X says:

    Wow, great idea! I love how you left only the bowl of mints behind. The only thing that disapointed me was the fact that you ALL cleared out. You should have left an undercover agent sitting in a stall to get the managers reaction when he realized the atendant was gone. Something like “I called the store on 34th and … HEY!! Where’d he go?” I imagine. Finally, the coup-de-gras would be the undercover agent emerging and when inevitably asked by the manager, would reply that the idea of an atendant is absurd and allude to the need of the manager to work shorter hours!!! Great job all the same!

  104. MaeDay says:

    Before I saw this, I was depressed and disgusted with everything and everybody. It was so enlightening to know there are still people who just like to have fun. No harm done to anyone, just clean fun and it chased away my blues. Thanks for showing it.

  105. reilly says:

    i loved it!l.o.l.

  106. Agent Simmons says:

    I’m on my honeymoon in Mallorca,Spain and there are sure a lot of restroom attendants over here. They don’t really get out of their chairs to help you with anything and sadly there is no barbicide for the combs. I guess we really were a full-service operation.

  107. Maynard says:

    I wish I could watch these pranks every day! You guys are the best. What I love is that the tricks aren’t mean but make you smile and happy to be alive. I can’t stop giggling.

  108. sarah and erica says:

    heck yess!!
    we work at mcds…
    absolutely hilarious!!

  109. Evan says:

    I love you guys. You all are great.

  110. T.Noob says:

    I’m lovin it. LOL.

  111. Simon says:

    I’ve not laughed so much in a long time, thanks :D

  112. Walt says:

    Great stuff — I love it! All the crazy stunts you pull make me miss New York!! Hahaha!!! Oh….. GO GIANTS!!!!!

  113. In America, strangers in public toilets have the BEST sweets!

  114. William Z. Michaelson says:

    Taking pictures of children in a restaurant bathroom with a hidden camera? That’s going to look really good on the criminal report.

  115. FPM says:

    I used to be a homeless rodeo clown but now I am a world class magician !

  116. Wow great job guys, this is hilarious and amazing when you consider that you did it in the heart of downtown, New York.

  117. Zombie Kid says:

    I like turtles.

  118. Krystal says:

    This is hilarious!
    I can’t believe you guys got away with this

  119. This has made me smile so much, great work guys, really great.

  120. Sherry says:

    I liked how the British dad seemed pleased someone was in the bathroom to help the kids wash up…If I had kids and they came out of the McDonalds bathroom talking about some stranger helping them wash, I’d probably call the cops.

  121. Boyd says:

    I personally think this is a great idea. In a sense, it seems as if these people can forget their hardships and get treated like 5-star customers as opposed to the typical rushed environment of fast-food. Granted, it is called fast-food for a reason, but if I could be treated with complete respect and treated as equal among the wealthiest of people in these environment, that would make my day.

  122. itsMeAgainMargret says:

    I agree 100% with Boyd.I think Mikki d’s should hire them.

  123. Baba says:

    I’m extremely impressed. Unlike the typical “pranks” I see constantly, going on, this was a respectable and challenging scenario. Excellent job.

  124. Devlin says:

    I’m lovin’ it!

  125. Jackbo says:

    Very funny, hard to stop luaghing… wheeze.

  126. Tjerk says:

    Very stupid… do you really think this is funny?? You are wasting your time..

    Almost as stupid as walking without trousers in the metro

  127. Matt says:

    Nice… very nice… you never know who you will run into in a public bathroom…

  128. business says:

    Hilarious and brilliant! Which reminds me that I really hate those attendants in restrooms. Makes me feel bad when I don’t tip. I just want to pee damn it!

  129. Anonymous says:

    Awesome article… thanks for doing this and posting it.

  130. max says:

    i was at a mcdonalds in amsterdam and they actually had a bathroom attendant there

  131. Fred says:

    I am the guy who’s in the video and I don’t appreciate you showing my wee wee on national TV!

    Just kidding… great stuff!

  132. Chirag says:

    I think this was very clever and funny. Good Idea and great execution. keep it up

  133. Bill says:

    It is a loooooong way from the single urinal / toilet that I have always seen at McDonalds.

  134. Keith says:

    That is so f/ing hilarious. Amazing poise under fire. I would’ve probably cracked at the sight of the stuttering manager but that’s why i don’t do this kind of shit. Wish there was more of the hidden video! but I actually read the whole freaking thing and got a decent chuckle out of it all. Bravo Improv Everywhere.

  135. Sam Jones says:

    Saw a bathroom attendant at this McDonald’s in Germany ( She(?) just sat there next to a table with towels on it, though – no conversation or really any acknowledgment at all.

    Interesting tidbit: The entrance to the bathroom was a spiral staircase down from the main lobby directly into the bathroom (one stair for men, one for women).

  136. Cha says:

    I am no fan of McDonald’s Corporate- and I have a feeling they aren’t a fan of this prank you all pulled, but I gotta tell you, I laughed out loud. Very funny, no one got hurt and some people from other countries actually walked out with a good feeling about Americans it sounds like. Most likely you all were the best thing that happened to them here.

    I’m gonna keep my eye on ya’ll!

  137. James says:

    That is brilliant. It just goes to show that if your in the right outfit and speak with the right authority people will believe anything.

  138. orangeappled says:

    hahaha….this is hilarious! I love how the parents weren’t concerned about strange men in a bathroom giving their little boys “sweets”…

  139. D! says:

    oh this is so cool! u rock guys!

  140. Kushairy says:

    i’m lovin it.

    when r u guys coming 2 malaysia?

  141. James says:

    I’m lovin it! :)

  142. Milla says:

    I think this is grand. Good job.

    The interesting thing about IE is that I find that I am asking myself “how would you react if you weren’t in on the joke?”

    To be honest, I’d end up amused, but depending on my mood when I ran into an IE prank, the amount of time it would take to adjust to the lunacy might vary.

    I just can’t imagine walking away with a negative reaction afterwards.

    From what I have read and watched, IE performances typically do not inconvenience folks who are not in the know. Sure, someone might have to wait to use a listening station at Virgin Megastore, and someone else might feel put out that they have been faced with yet another “tip or don’t tip” situation unexpectedly, but, frankly, IE missions don’t hurt people. “Victims” always seem to have an “out”, or the performances are very brief and don’t force responses from viewers. I think that if that remains a standard feature of IE performance art, that “victims” can opt out at any time, or that performances are, by necessity, brief (e.g., a subway ride), a lot of the naysayers might eventually get a clue.

    The underlying criticism of negative posts seems to be that “no one likes to be made to look like a fool,” but it takes at least two parties for that to be the case. The prankster or artist, and the innocent bystander. If you choose to feel like it was personally directed at you and that you were “made” to react foolishly, that is your choice and I disagree with it but honor your right to embrace your negative reaction.

    I like clever pranks, myself, though I think the thrill would wane if, for instance, I had to work with a prankster and s/he never took a day off and continued to invade my workplace with his or her style of fun. That’s the beauty of IE…no one is “trapped” and I daresay that very few non-Agents have been lucky enough to witness more than one performance.

    All in all, it’s a fascinating look at social engineering and psychology. We’re all so programmed to be suspicious and look for hidden agendas (“do they want my money?” or “am I on a hidden camera show?” or even “is this some kind of cult?”) because, sadly, things out of the ordinary often do have a hidden catch we DO NOT WANT (“Broccoli Dog!!”).

    It’s also interesting how, in many pranks, initially negative responses (Synchronized Swimming, Even Better Than The Real Thing) change into positive ones.

    Always give negative “victims” an emotional or physical exit strategy, and I bet you’ll see a lot fewer angry people who lack a sense of fun storming in to piss all over these inspired bits of calculated lunacy. Unless they listen to TAL faithfully and take it as gospel without being critical of what they just had aurally spoon-fed to them, I guess.

    I’d love to see more long-range events, such as trying to “viral market” a new phrase or hot hobby or fad. Sure, it’s been done, and you touched on this with WDDD, but has it been done really WELL yet? Has “viral marketing” ever been used to harness the power of Good, rather than lining some business’ pocket or attracting attention to someone’s personal agenda? I wonder. If Hallmark can invent holidays just to sell stuff, what’s stopping IE from inventing a holiday or trend that has as its only goal “Make More People Happy?” There’s not a darn thing wrong with chaotic joy. :)

  143. Neagle says:

    Reality is the corporate office clears out about 3pm Friday. Mclovinit!

  144. bigcasper1 says:

    thats good shit

  145. Kye says:

    Haha!! I wish they did have butlers in the McDonalds in Akron lol… that would be wusup Ide shit at McDonalds every time!!!

  146. Kye says:

    What made you pick Akron, anyways?

  147. Hank says:

    You guys should try that at a Waffle House on the Turnpike. Truckers are delirious and could use the help.

  148. Hank says:

    Perfectly executed by the way.

  149. Vanessa says:

    Silly but Sooo funny. I would love to see more of the hidden video
    footage to see the looks on people when they came into find a “butler in the loo”.
    Please post more video!!
    Great work Agent Simmons and co.

  150. Abby says:

    Aww, the reactions of those British school children… Man, I can only imagine what it must be like to be one of them walking into that restroom.

  151. WinoWillie says:

    These are fantastic!
    Have they ever gone to other states or areas?
    As a native New Yorker, seeing strange behavior is not strange, it’s normal. I’ve seen people stripping naked in the subway, talking to themselves(who hasn’t), women walking topless down wall street, etc….
    It is fascinating to see New Yorkers ‘reacting’ to anything.

  152. Elli says:

    >From what I have read and watched, IE performances typically
    >do not inconvenience folks who are not in the know. Sure,
    >someone might have to wait to use a listening station at
    >Virgin Megastore, and someone else might feel put out that
    >they have been faced with yet another “tip or don’t tip”
    >situation unexpectedly, but, frankly, IE missions don’t hurt
    >people. “Victims” always seem to have an “out”…

    This is very insightful, and I think it’s spot on, and why so much of IE’s work leaves a smile on people’s faces.

    At the same time, I think this is also why I had such a terribly uncomfortable feeling even just reading this one.

    Don’t get me wrong–the idea of an out-of-place bathroom attendant is amusing and heart-warming, and I think that part is great. What bothers me is the in-bathroom filming; it eliminates the ‘opt-out’ option that Milla highlights above as being so key to the success of these pranks. Nobody had the option of avoiding this covert recording–every guy who walked into this bathroom was recorded as he did his business, whether he wanted to be or not. And that invasion of privacy leaves a sour taste in my mouth–I would be terribly upset and angry if someone did this to me. It becomes victimization without quotes, as opposed to the “victims” of other IE pranks.

    In short, I think the IE agents took a good idea, one that is both feel-good and amusing, but made a terrible lapse in judgment in choosing to secretly film this particular mission.

  153. erik agyeman akwasi says:

    i want to be employed in mcdonald’s as a waiter or a cleaner so if you can help me mail me on or call me on my cell phone number 00233246405601.

  154. Teresa says:

    Who would seriously choose a job in McDonalds if there were valid alternatives????

  155. Dave says:

    You guys are a riot. Very funny, ingenious and clever, but the choice of Times Square seemed to diminish the contrast you needed between the type of establishment and the type of bathroom service. The outside of that McDonald’s looks fancier and bigger than most McDonald’s on the planet. I think many people might expect that in Times Square New York you might have an attendant in the bathroom ad Micky D’s. I think the Vince Lombardi rest stop on the NJ Turnpike might have been a better venue to bring out the contrast you needed. Just me being picky, but envious of your brilliance.

  156. ktbons says:

    This is really awesome but the fact that NO ONE but the manager speaks English is pathetic. Something should be done with the country.

  157. Zac Henderson says:


  158. IE Fan says:

    You guys are amazing! I wish I lived in NY so I could see all the cool stuff you do! How do you sign up to be apart of a mission?

  159. Erica says:

    I’m loving it! So cool- especially the part about how you “expressed your doubts about doing it on a Sunday”. Hehe. :). Quite fabulous.

  160. Jon says:

    Oh my. I recived this service at the same mcdonalds. I did not see myself in the video, but finally. i’ve told many people, vey few of which who belive me, about this. Finally i know what it was!

  161. tine says:

    I love all of you guys pranks, the camera thing was a bit too far in this one, other than that fantastic… I just personally wouldn’t want a camera in the bathroom while I did my business.

  162. McBeef Lover says:

    Hey Agent Simmons,

    If I happened upon you in there, I think I woulda told you I was from the City Plumbing Inspector’s Office and needed to check your plumbing to make sure it was working properly.

    You are one mighty fine McTasty-looking hunk of Grade-A Choice American beef.

    So tell me… if I come to NYC, will you let me attend to you in your bathroom?? ;)’

    (BTW, no, this isn’t Sen. Larry Craig writing)

  163. Isabella says:

    K, and what is the point in this? Also Todd is hot!

  164. Kirara says:

    Oh my gosh!! This was one of the cleverest and funniest yet!! *wonders if she should stitch her sides back together* A bathroom attendant…in MCDONALD’S! XDXD

    I love that the manager was just, like, so flattered about what they said about McDonald’s that all he could say was, “…Y…you don’t have authorization to be in here…” LOL!

    I also love that they left a little bowl of mints behind. As if to say, “It never happened…or did it?…*wink*” LOL!

    Keep up the hilarious antics, IE! I’m rooting for you, and hope to see something funny going on when my Chorus class visits NYC in the spring… ;)

  165. Bob Loblaw says:

    Great BSer.. Great work! Very creative, and very clever.

  166. Leupold says:

    Todd is without question the funniest person i know. Genious, he can make the dead laugh. I loved this experiment, keep it up!

  167. shannon says:

    i have never been there wats it like

  168. Jerry Williams says:

    you guys are amazing hahahahahaha its really cool that you guys do things like this! keep it up your AWESOME!

  169. I love the photo of the one custodian “Roman”. Too much. He looks like someone stole his job and he’s pissed.

  170. Akiho says:

    Reading about what happened was really neat!

  171. Johnny says:

    I love you guys. Thats pure genious. I would love to join. i have my own cool idea…

  172. sunriserjay says:

    i was peeing myself laughing.!

    This is great idea…not only to scare the pervert but you got a free mint candy.! How lucky could you be? :)

    am loving it.!

  173. Simon says:

    this is epic

  174. lol thx for an idea im starting my own improveverywhere here in edmonton,alberta,canada hope its a great success XD oh and that was amazing:P :( wish i was there :P if im ever in the US :P ill give u guys an email :P oh and feel free to add me on facebook just search up Brandon Nguyen and it has a pic of me… um wearing earphones there green if u look closely and im wearing a black north face jacket with a little bit of a red hollister shirt showing i think its hollister dont remember any ways the picture location in the hallways of my school lol i should end this post before i run out of words XD

  175. Bret says:

    This is too funny, I once got caught having sex with my girlfriend in this place years ago lmao

  176. In tears says:

    Thank you!

  177. Punny says:

    That cracks me up! :D !!!!!!!!!!

    I wish I were there!!

  178. Chris Saves the World At His Leisure! says:

    I am a big fan of the IE team, keep up the phenomenal work y’all!

  179. Derek Kenney says:

    Wow, I wish I was around when you all started this up. Great job in the bathroom there.

  180. Kel Mulcahy says:

    Fabulous event.

    Now all you need is a woman to make a scene about the unfair advantages in the mens room. Maybe corporate would take the time to pick up their phones on Sunday then?

  181. sam says:

    good idea
    thank you

  182. MOLINA (Santos-Brazil) says:

    Fiquei fascinado por este site e por todas as aventuras realizadas pelo pessoal.PARABÉNS !!!!!

  183. Kim Baldwin says:

    Simply magic, you guys are so cool……

  184. jane says:

    so cool

  185. OBAMI says:

    Good idea
    Most excellent!

  186. Halebop says:

    Great job, this is hilarious!

  187. terkoz says:

    Good idea
    Most excellent!

  188. Erma says:

    Priceless. Thank you!!!!

  189. Eléonore à Paris says:

    sooooo funny !
    every people should do that after going to the bathroom…

  190. Jenni says:

    IE is the best LOL hilarious guys!!!!!

  191. Eric says:

    The first post is by “Heather” could this be the young British lad’s classmate?

  192. Mike says:

    Buhduhduhduh, I’m lovin’ it!

  193. Michael says:

    The funny thing is, I went to a McDonald’s in Germany that actually did have a bathroom attendant.

  194. Marluxia says:

    I can’t wait for the next prank and hope to be there.

  195. Erin says:

    Improve Everywhere just another reason for moving to NYC.

  196. John says:

    AHAHhahah I choked on my drink while reading this. The manager’s confusion was priceless!

  197. ahtnamas says:

    that was hilarious i cant believe how you made a stop to the manager!:)

  198. I’m lovin’ it. Haha. What was the true motivation to do this? You have actively promoted McDonalds unexpectedly and that surely comes with good and bad points. I have not as of yet had the privelidge to go to broadway but I will most certainly go – and look out for any restroom attendants :)

  199. Courtney Lantz says:

    That is soooo awesome!!!!! I wish something like that would happen in California!!!!!:)

  200. Rahnee says:

    Cool. A prank that actually helps people!

  201. Dave says:

    Actually, when I worked for McDonalds (for over three years), we had an employee handwashing station in the kitchen so that we could wash our hands regularly without needing to use the public restroom. Just because you don’t see the employees washing their hands doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing it. In fact, that sink was more often being used than not. If the employees had been forced to use the restroom sink to clean their hands, then it would have been hard for the public to get a turn.

  202. Bosley Perez says:

    cant believe no one was arrest!