Hamburger Helper

A breakdown of the most nutritionally fucked up food-masquerading-as-other-food on the planet: Hamburger Helper.

Just The Facts

  1. Hamburger never actually needed help. He was content with his simple life as a spaghetti foundation and backyard barcebue staple.
  2. Four Fingered Glove Hand perverted the course of Hamburger's career, grossly whoring him out and forcing him to collaborate with lesser ingredients.
  3. Hamburger cuts himself at night to cope with losing his identity somewhere in all of the noodles and cheese.

Their Mascot

Hamburger Helper Hand
The Horror.

At the center of the madness is Pedo Glove Hand, an animated, amputated left hand with a horrifying clown-like appearance. He has no middle finger, only a desire to sneak up on your kids on the patio and in the backseat of your car to announce what a shitty job you do cooking dinner and solicit you to take him up on his "help".

The Premise

It sounded innocent enough: a nearly complete meal in a box, designed to shave time off dinner preparation and spice up boring old beef. Hamburger Helper was the beginning of the end of wholesome cooking, ushering in an era of convenience foods. Foods created to peak your interest with their bright colors and wild textures, then kick the shit out of your tastebuds while silently clogging your arteries. Foods that are now the basis of the American diet, and the reason your ass is pouring over the edges of that sagging office chair.

What's In It?

hamburger helper
Slimy, yet satisfying.

In short, Hamburger Helper is fudged together with shit that gets rejected from the food your dog eats.

Scanning the ingredients, you'll find:

  • MSG (neurotoxic flavor additive designed to make you keep stuffing your face)
  • Partially hydrogenated soybean oil (leading the way to heart disease and obesity)
  • Corn syrup (because, why not?)
  • Yellow & Red dyes (used to be created from coal tar, but made the healthy migration to petroleum)

BONUS: Hamburger Helper is steeped in artificial flavors, and contains almost one third of the daily recommended sodium intake - before the beef is even thrown in.

What Does It Taste Like?

Hamburger Helper's selling point, in addition to being orange and pitifully inexpensive, is copying the taste of other, better foods.

Baked Potato, Philly Cheesesteak, Homestyle Salisbury - all are flavors of Hamburger Helper, and they all taste exactly the same: awful.

The hamburger is hardly helped; tough noodles, runny wannabe-cheese sauce, and mindblowing amounts of salt drown any trace of meat contained in the mixture.

Hamburger Helper's flavor is best described as "what being poor tastes like".
Eating Hamburger Helper will cost you this many pennies, all of your dignity, and a year of your life.


Unable to grasp the concept that not every food can be translated into noodles and cheese, Hamburger Helper has introduced a completely unnecessary 40+ different flavors.

hamburger helper

HH also produces Chicken and Tuna Helpers. At one point, Hamburger Helper even overstepped their bounds to include a line called "Fruit Helper", an idea that (not surprisingly) emerged in the 1970's.


Oddly, Hamburger Helper has no problem branding their Chinese-inspired offerings as "Asian Helper", but has yet to convert their Cheesy Nacho and Crunchy Taco varieties into "Mexican Helpers".

Perhaps they are afraid we'll expect Mexican Helper to do the same job but cost half as much?

Erik Estrada
Erik, that lawn's not gonna mow itself.