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The IHOP ‘P’ Now Stands for Pancakes That Aren’t Actually Pancakes

In the latest exhausting brand stunt, IHOP is now calling its burgers “pancakes”

An IHOP cheeseburger with bacon and a pancake in the middle of two beef patties
IHOP’s pancake burger
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

Last week, the International House of Pancakes announced they were once again changing the meaning of the IHOP acronym, this time with the P standing for something other than pancakes — a terrible echo of last year’s stunt where the brand briefly became IHOB with the B representing “Burgers.”

As per what the new P could mean, some held their breath dreading the likelihood — considering the June reveal — that it would stand for “Pride” and come accompanied by rainbow pancakes that would do nothing to advance LGBTQ rights. Though maybe our worries were in vain: DineEquity, IHOP’s parent company, has donated almost exclusively to Republican politicians and PACs, including Paul Ryan’s Prosperity Project, for the past few elections.

But the reality is also disappointing. The P, we’ve now learned, still stands for pancakes, only that’s what IHOP is calling its burgers now. This is so stupid.

“When we changed our name to IHOb (for burgers) the internet told us to stick to pancakes,” the chain writes on their website. “So we’re sticking to ‘pancakes.’ Hint: They’re burgers.” What the actual hell? It’s literally just burgers. One has a cheddar cheese pancake wedged between two beef patties, but the rest is a massive troll because they know IHOb was dumb!

IHOP is also punishing people who tweeted negatively about last year’s stunt. According to Business Insider, “The chain has rounded up people who criticized the IHOb campaign last year and added them to a ‘Bancake’ list,” and those on the list will need to tweet something positive about the burgers in order to be removed from the list, and possibly be given a “reward.” Viral marketing by threat! What a world we live in.

On a positive note, at least more seasoned IHOP diners can watch the utter confusion as their fellow customers attempt to order “, like actual pancakes” or “A burger, wait, I mean a pancake, is that how this works?”

  • IHOP debuts a burger with a pancake bun as the chain reignites the IHOb controversy [BI]
  • IHOPed We Were Done With This But IHOP Is Changing Its Name Again [E]