You’ve seen the TikTok. Now, hear what was going through his mind.
16-year-old’s burger-eating challenge may have been just the beginning
By now, more than 25 million people can attest to Ethan Mueller’s Whataburger feat: In about 20 minutes, the 16-year-old from Allen, Texas, pounded a 10-patty burger, surrounded by a sea of cheering friends and Whataburger employees. Since the act was, of course, posted to TikTok — and reposted a gazillion times — practically the whole world knows about Mueller’s new record. We caught up with him to learn the backstory, plus a few things you may not know about the kid who’s now affectionately known as “burger boy.”
Q: What on Earth possessed you to eat a 10-patty burger?
A: Every Wednesday, a group of us from church meet up at Whataburger for dinner. A few weeks earlier, our youth pastor, Logan Howard, told us that when he was in high school, he ate seven patties in one night. My buddy sent me a text that said, “If you can beat him, you’ll get a lot of church cred.”
Q: But why TEN? Why not just beat him with eight patties?
A: I like to one-up people in a very major way. If I’m going to beat them, I don’t want to do the bare minimum, I want to go up and away with it.
Q: Have you ever done anything like this before?
A: I do eat a lot, but I think the closest I’ve ever gotten was a couple of big steaks.
Q: While you were eating the 10 patties, did you ever consider giving up?
A: I did feel like I should maybe rest a little bit. I didn’t, though, because I knew I needed to do it in under 20 minutes.
Q: How did you feel afterward?
A: Pretty good. But I didn’t eat anything for the rest of the day — well, until I went to bed and woke up and ate some breakfast.
Q: The number of social media views is unbelievable! Have you been surprised by all the press?
A: Yeah, I was. I only told a couple of my friends about my plans ahead of time. I’m in the Criminal Justice program at Collin College, and when I walked into class the next day, a few people held up big Whataburger signs. And now the head pastor at our church recognizes me and calls me “Burger Boy” whenever he sees me.
Q: Would you do it again?
A: For money, yes! But I think 12 is the most I would ever eat.
You don’t have to go as big as Ethan, but we always say we’re proud to serve a bigger, better burger. Every Whataburger is made to order using 100 percent pure beef and served on a toasted five-inch bun. In the mood for something different? Check out our chicken options, our fresh salads, and discover other new favorites on our menu.