Tasers. High Heels. Toast. Stories.

All of the above can be found at your local Waffle House, although, maybe not all at the same time… or can they?

Since the dawn of time (or 1955… so really, still pretty ancient), Waffle House has served the world with cheap breakfast foods 24 hours a day, all 365 days a year. While most college campuses have their own unique collection of late night restaurants, Waffle House tends to hold a special place deep in the hearts of ravenous, sleep-deprived students. And although the food is a delicious cure for the drunchies – until you’re not so drunk anymore and you feel the side effects – the obsession with Waffle House appears to be more about the memories made than the food itself. Every college student has a “Waffle House Story.”

I still remember my very first pilgrimage to the holy land of waffles – my very own personal Waffle House Story. As I reminisce I can smell the hash browns cooking; hear my footsteps clinging to a syrup-ridden floor… ah, nostalgia.

waffle house

Photo by Serena Ajbani

I was about to graduate high school, and I decided to visit my best friend – a student at Ohio State University. I oh-so cleverly explained to my parents that every prospective student needs “a feel for the campus” and “an insider’s tour of college,” before making a final decision. As you’ve probably already guessed, what really went down that weekend was a little more adventure than a college tour could offer.

When my group of friends learned I had never been to a Waffle House before, they made it their responsibility to educate me. And boy, did I learn. Once there, we sat down in a little, plastic booth and began to inhale our chocolate chip waffles and cheesy hash browns in absolute bliss and silence… when, all of a sudden, we heard someone yelling. I turned around to see two guys on the floor about to battle it out and a policeman standing above them both with a taser. Before the officer actually got the chance to do anything, the boys escaped the restaurant, running for their lives.

As a naïve senior  in high school, I imagined a magical world in which this sort of thing happened every college weekend. Needless to say, since starting college I’ve matured and have learned better through my own countless mundane weekends and uneventful trips to Waffle House. But I’ll never forget the stories I’ve collected – both exciting and ordinary – with each one.

waffle house

Photo by Nicole Goldfarb

Here are some of my favorite Waffle House stories from other college students:

Christopher – UNC student, drag queen, gigantic personality

Service at Waffle House is always fantastic. I can always count on the staff to be easygoing and up for good conversation. In the case of the Chapel Hill branch, I befriended Sandra when I visited in full drag in September 2013. Sandra looked at my lanky ass walking in, heels and all, and greeted me with a “Hello gorgeous!” and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s half the reason I go regularly—I can’t make it a week without seeing Sandra and sharing stories over a waffle or two.

Christine – UNC student, future oncologist of America, music festival goer

After a food-deprived week of camping at Bonnaroo, the Waffle House next to the Manchester bus station was a blessing. We had several hours until our departure, as it was about 2 p.m. and the bus was expected to arrive closer to 7. Considering we hadn’t had anything to eat besides an orange each, we were all pretty hungry. We went and ordered copious amounts of food that we all managed to finish somehow.

While eating actual food was nice, I wouldn’t say that that was the main factor in my happiness to be there. The Waffle House was packed with people who had been in the same situation as us. We had all camped out and gotten very little sleep, but were still thrilled about the music festival experience we had just had. The post-Bonnaroo joy was palpable, only to be enhanced by my beautiful waffle.

It’s clear that the Waffle House experience is more than just food. So if you want a good late-night snack, a muffin from your local drugstore should be quite adequate.

However, if you’re looking for everlasting friendship with a side of unforgettable entertainment, head over to Waffle House for a steaming hot pile of potatoes and a story to last you a lifetime. It might, however, be a good idea to keep your distance from any police officers and tasers you may meet inside.

Feel free to comment with your own favorite Waffle House stories. And if you don’t have any, what are you still doing reading this?