In the vein of great fights like “The Thrilla in Manilla,” “The Hatfields and The McCoys” and “Trump vs Anyone else” we now are in the midst of the “Great Chicken Sandwich Wars.”
And the weapons being used – Twitter memes.
It all began a few weeks ago, when Miami-based Popeyes introduced their very first chicken sandwich – a crispy fried, juicy filet on a cushion of pickles, special sauce, hugged by a pillowy brioche bun. It immediately gained taste buzz on Twitter.
Add to that a number of publications — including The Takeout, Business Insider, and SB Nation — were quick to declare that Popeyes had pulled a victory over Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A with the launch of this new menu item.
While Chick-fil-A has generally conservative politics — the company famously funneled millions of dollars intro groups that oppose same-sex marriage — the quick serve restaurant chain still ranks #1 in terms of customer satisfaction, and its pickle-laced crispy chicken sandwich is the star of its menu.
However, Popeyes, meanwhile, is a chain that has a rabid fanbase, and now has a chicken sandwich that can be enjoyed on Sunday or any other day of the week without the guilt that comes from supporting a company with an anti-queer agenda.
Fuming at Popeye’s sudden sandwich popularity, Chick-fil-A took to Twitter:
Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the ❤️ for the original. pic.twitter.com/qBAIIxZx5v
— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) August 19, 2019
Punch thrown. Don’t let the heart emoji and easy math in the tweet fool you: This is how Southerners — namely, white evangelicals living in the South — throw shade.
Bless your heart = F*ck you!
Popeye’s wasn’t having it and trolled Chick-fil-A with their own tweet:
… y’all good? https://t.co/lPaTFXfnyP
— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 19, 2019
The exchange sent fans into a food, tweeting frenzy, and the official Chicken Sandwich War of 2019 commenced. The memes came pouring in. “Popeyes all day, no competition,” one Twitter user wrote. “I can confirm it’s delicious and can definitely replace any Chick-fil-A craving I may have,” another added.
Here are more reactions:
Chick-Fil-A watching everybody eating Popeyes new chicken sandwich pic.twitter.com/9rH9q3OR0L
— X (@XLNB) August 19, 2019
Popeye’s really made a chicken sandwich so good it made people think “maybe Chick-Fil-A IS homophobic…” lmao
— JuanPa (@jpbrammer) August 19, 2019
It was a horrible day on the front.
— Jonathan Stone (@jonathanjstone0) August 19, 2019
— Fiona Applebum Says Don't Give Shaun King Money!? (@WrittenByHanna) August 19, 2019
The new spicy chicken sandwich from @PopeyesChicken just bitch slapped #ChickFilA especially every Sunday. #Popeyes #ChickenSandwichTwitter #ChickenSandwichWars #ChickenSandwich pic.twitter.com/xL5bZJhPvd
— CMFA (@TheRealCMFA) August 20, 2019
Me eating Chick-fil-A again after trying Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich
— Rondo (@Rondo_RogerThat) August 12, 2019
When someone asks me how many times I’ve eaten the Popeyes Chicken sandwich pic.twitter.com/zleFznYAkH
— problemola (@MrMola_) August 17, 2019
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Things escalated even further when other fast food joints decided to jump in. Wendy’s went all in with their response, writing, “Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich,” which Popeyes did not take lightly. “Sounds like someone just ate one of our biscuits. Cause y’all looking thirsty,” they quipped back. Wendy’s called their jokes and food “dry” in response.
Wendy’s, Shake Shack, and Church’s jumped in, too—but I’m sorry, sit down. Y’all aren’t even in the running.
Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second best chicken sandwich. pic.twitter.com/4v9RJFgy0T
— WENDY'S SPICY NUGGETS ARE BACK!!! (@Wendys) August 19, 2019
— General Burger Leader of Meal Team 6 (@realprinceblue) August 20, 2019
If you're lookin' for a chicken sandwich (without the beef ?), you know where to find us. pic.twitter.com/2wtV2POvFf
— SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) August 19, 2019
— Washington Blade (@WashBlade) August 20, 2019
Customer: Can I get something like Boston Market mac & cheese but mediocre?
Other guys: My pleasure
— Boston Market (@bostonmarket) August 19, 2019
The Reel 360 team has not tasted this new sandwich yet, so we can’t weigh in. But comedy writer and actress, Jessica Velle, who we featured as a Reel Woman, did offer her perspective:
“It’s way over priced too for shitty food.”
Contact Colin Costello at firstname.lastname@example.org.