Codeine is often found in cough syrups and prescription pain relievers.

Was cooking chicken in cold medicine a real trend?

Codeine is often found in cough syrups and prescription pain relievers.
  • Reports about NyQuil chicken took off after the FDA issued a warning on September 15.
  • Data shows that few people were interested in the dish before the FDA statement.
  • Experts say NyQuil Chicken is another example of a “trend” with few real examples.

Earlier this month, social media users were shaking their heads at the latest example of Gen Z’s crazy antics: Chicken NyQuil. The slimy, teal concoction was the latest dangerous trend on social media, according to the US Food and Drug Administration, which pleaded with people not to cook the chicken in cold medicine. News of the warning began to spread through the media.

But the data doesn’t show NyQuil chicken was more than a few viral posts before the FDA announcement on Sept. 15. It was only after the warning that interest in NyQuil chicken increased.

Folklore experts note that the NyQuil Chicken Challenge appears to be the latest internet “trend” to receive massive coverage despite few or no real-life examples.

“Every week we have a new Tide Pod challenge, a new NyQuil chicken, a new Blue Whale suicide challenge,” said Andrew Peck, assistant professor of strategic communications at the University of Miami, whose research examines hoaxes, rumors and urban legends.

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