NyQuil chicken may have been a shitpost that never died, occasionally popping up online, but it didn’t become a recent social media trend until the FDA posted about it, TikTok has confirmed.
What was once just a revolting 4chan in-joke about cooking raw meat in cold medicine became a Twitter trend after the federal agency posted a news release on its official website Sept. 15 declaring the “challenge” unsafe.
According to data a TikTok spokesperson sent to BuzzFeed News, there were only five searches for NyQuil chicken content on the app on Sept. 14, one day before the FDA posted its statement. By Sept. 21, there were 1,400 times as many searches on the topic.
An FDA spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that it shared the NyQuil chicken post after observing “social media trends promoting dangerous misuse of medications,” but did not provide any examples of said trends.
In January 2022, a few videos about the concoction sparked news coverage, but they never noticed a trend. A TikTok spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that searches for “NyQuil chicken” on the app have been since redirected to a warning about viral challenges.