A Chuck E Cheese sign and logo
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The Internet Just Remembered Shane Dawson’s Wild Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Conspiracy Theory

Recently, a social media post gained traction, reminding everyone of Shane Dawson’s wild Chuck E. Cheese pizza conspiracy theory.

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Conspiracy theories have long followed Chuck E. Cheese, especially due to claims that the horror video game series Five Nights at Freddy’s is based on the pizza chain. While the franchise has long dealt with comparisons to FNAF, Dawson’s theory had nothing to do with killer animatronics or murder cover-ups. For some germophobes, though, his theory might be even more terrifying than evil animatronics.

In 2019, Dawson claimed that the franchise would recycle pizza slices left behind by customers and use them to create new pizzas to serve. His conspiracy theory blew up, and things only got weirder from there.

What is the Chuck E. Cheese recycled pizza conspiracy theory?

While Dawson popularized the Chuck E. Cheese recycled pizza conspiracy theory, he didn’t create it. As far back as 2009, internet users were posting to Yahoo! Answers speculating that the franchise recycled pizza. However, ten years passed with no evidence that this was happening, and the theory was largely forgotten. Then, in 2019, Dawson posted a YouTube video titled Investigating Conspiracies with Shane Dawson. The video tackles several theories, but the one that caught the most attention was the Chuck E. Cheese pizza theory.

Around the 1:01:00 mark, Dawson and his friends discuss the theory that Chuck E. Cheese employees scoop up leftover pizza slices, take them to the kitchen, and plate them to be re-served to new guests. One man says he wouldn’t be surprised because the pizza chain looks a “little suspect.” Dawson and his companions order several pizzas at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. When the pizzas arrive, their jaws drop when they see the pizza is misshapen, with the crust misaligned and failing to form a perfect circle. At one point, Dawson says in awe, “It’s real,” referring to the conspiracy theory. They continue pointing out the jagged crust and misaligned pepperonis.

Dawson continually repeats, “Oh my god,” while panning over the pizzas. Towards the end of the video, he takes a pizza home and tries to figure out how the pizza was sliced. When he can’t get a rocker blade to line up with the pizza slices’ proportions, he claims he has “definitely proven” that the pizza halves weren’t originally together. Additionally, he tries to line up the pizza slices to form a perfect circle and questions why a piece seems to be missing. In the end, he says there’s a reason for the misshapen pizzas, but he can’t “legally” say the reason. Of course, given that he explained the conspiracy theory earlier, it’s pretty clear what he thinks that reason is.

Did Chuck E. Cheese sue Shane Dawson?

Dawson’s conspiracy theory had quite a few holes in it. After all, a misaligned crust doesn’t prove much, and Dawson didn’t explain why the pizza was cooked so evenly throughout, even though its slices allegedly came from different sources. Also, do people really leave that many untouched pizza slices at their tables that Chuck E. Cheese could routinely form whole new pizzas with just leftovers? Despite these flaws, many social media users took this theory as fact, even taking to tagging the franchise and demanding an explanation.

The theory garnered so much attention that Chuck E. Cheese was forced to enter the chat. The franchise released an official statement to several news outlets: “The claims made in this video about Chuck E. Cheese’s and our pizza are unequivocally false. No conspiracies here — our pizzas are made to order, and we prepare our dough fresh in our restaurant, which means that they’re not always perfectly uniform in shape, but always delicious.” In addition to the fresh dough explanation, YouTuber Payden, an ex-Chuck E. Cheese employee, explained that the uneven slices resulted from kitchen staff messing up during the cutting process. Sometimes, after cutting, they’d realize they were a slice short and would randomly cut an extra slice in the pizza, which makes it look “funky” and throws off the alignment further.

Chuck E. Cheese denied Dawson’s claims, but the franchise did not sue him over the conspiracy theory. Looking back on the incident, most social media users are just shocked that so many people genuinely believed the theory, as if there weren’t a dozen possible other reasons for a pizza’s uneven crust.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.