Adult Cream Pie

People are wondering if any English speakers were consulted before they chose the name for these “salacious” new Japanese dessert.

With so many local and international fast food chains in the country, McDonald’s Japan has a lot of competition to contend with, especially after numerous scandals in the first half of the last decade led to unprecedented deficits for the company.

In order to increase their popularity with fast food lovers around the nation, McDonald’s Japan has been working hard over the last five years, bringing out a slew of new burgers, collaborating with local brands and companies, and even opening a fancy pop-up restaurant with silverware, tablecloths, and wine glasses filled with iced tea.

Now they’re attempting to grab the spotlight once again with another never-before-seen release — the “Otona no Cream Pie” which translates to “Adult Cream Pie” in English.

“Otona” is a word often used in the Japanese sweets industry to describe confectionery that has less sweetness than regular brands, evoking a sense of high-quality, refined flavor.

However, the combination of the word “adult” and “cream pie” brings up a whole other “imagery” entirely for English speakers, which has people questioning whether or not the team consulted with any English-language speakers before deciding on the new name.

The accompanying commercial for the new product also displays some subtext that allows for “reading-in-between-the-lines.”

The ad above features a young woman (played by Sairi Ito) and an older woman (played by The Grudge‘s Yoko Maki), who’s referred to as both “Sensei” (teacher) and “Senpai” (senior). The younger woman can be seen asking her sensei: “That cream pie, is it really that delicious?” which prompts the sensei to turn and hold the younger woman’s face in both hands, saying earnestly, “If you eat it once, you’ll be filled.”

The two then jump in a cab, asking the driver to take them to the nearest McDonald’s, where they’ll no doubt be ordering the “Adult Cream Pie” which retails for 150 yen (US$1.37) and comes in the following two flavors:

Belgian Chocolate

Sweet Fromage.

While the word “otona” literally translates to “adult” in English, it should be noted that the adult entertainment industry and its related goods and products in Japan use the word “adaruto“, a corrupted form of the English word “adult”.

Therefore, the name of the dessert won’t necessarily raise eyebrows amongst the majority of McDonald’s diners here in Japan, but for English speakers on Twitter, the “Adult Cream Pie” is causing a bit of a stir.

There’s not long to go for the countdown to the day the “Adult Cream Pies” become available at McDonald’s branches around Japan, as they go on sale for a limited time.

Regardless of whether the wording was intentional or accidental, it’s a marketing boon for the fast food giant as people will no doubt be flooding social media with images of the “lost-in-translation” dessert as soon as it goes on sale, much like they did with the incidental blowjob cup from McDonald’s last year.

“Blow Jobs?” Isn’t that accolades bestowed at the annual “Golden Globe Awards” by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for recognizing excellence in film and television… no, never mind.

In any case, watch what you order in McDonald’s. Ask in Japan, and you will get a warm, creamy-centered confection. Ask for the same product in Kansas City, and you get a felony record for sexual assault, and a new ankle bracelet.

When googling for “Adult Cream Pies” do not click on any links by “Pornhub”…. at least not from a government or company computer. Not that I would know anything about such things.


Clearly no English speakers over the age of twelve were consulted in the marketing meeting where they decided “what do we call this.” Not since Chevrolet learned that in Latin American markets the “Chevy Nova” didn’t sell because “no va” means “won’t go” has a marketing failure of translation hit this kind of level.

As for myself I don’t like “sweets” so I’ll just stay with my “Marxism Coffee” thank you very much.

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