IHOP threatens name change to IHOb, fans flip their pancakes

More like International House of Bunkum.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Cupcake pancakes are real.


Breakfast-themed restaurant chain IHOP is sacred eating ground for many people who associate it with nostalgic family meals or late-night, post-drinking college student gatherings. Those folks aren't thrilled about the prospect of the International House of Pancakes turning into the International House of something starting with a "b."

The name-change threat first appeared on the IHOP Twitter account on Monday. "For 60 pancakin' years, we've been IHOP. Now, we're flippin' our name to IHOb," the chain wrote.

It then teased what the "b" could stand for by offering a Twitter poll with the options "Biscuits," "Bacon," "Butternut Squash" or "Barnacles." For the record, I totally voted for barnacles. If IHOP is serious about making a change, the obvious move would be "breakfast." 

IHOP says it will reveal its new name on June 11. Twitter fans of things like rooty tooty fresh 'n fruity pancakes and cupcake pancakes (no kidding) are getting their hackles up over this obvious marketing ploy. 

"Ain't no one callin y'all IHOB," insists one Twitter user. Another is betting on "b" for "betrayal."

Twitter user Seth is a little behind the times, mourning the closure of Toys R Us and the advent of IHOb while questioning if his Blockbuster gift cards are now expired.

Not everyone is feeling upset about this. At least one Twitter user is just now learning the "P" stands for "pancake."

Others are just taking the opportunity to joke around, suggesting rival chain Denny's will change its name to "That Place Divorced Parents Meet up to Exchange Kids Every Weekend." Another popular idea is the "b" stands for "bancakes." Would that be a mash-up of bananas and pancakes?

CNET's own Ry Crist offers up a particularly juicy theory that IHOP is getting in on the blockchain craze. International House of Bitcoin, anyone?

Whatever comes of this, it's not terribly likely IHOP will outright abandon its iconic name. This is likely shaping up to be an effective marketing stunt. Maybe it will signal the launch of a big bacon promotion. Or maybe that barnacles quip is real and IHOP is getting into seafood. I can't wait to order up a plate of fried oyster pancakes. Extra syrup, please.

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