TSA searches passenger's bag after going through security. They can't believe what they find

@joellibedny/TikTok Joni/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘He was ready to judge you’: TSA searches passenger’s bag after going through security. He can’t believe what he finds



Stacy Fernandez


Getting your bag checked at TSA is so anxiety-producing, even when you know you’re not carrying anything even mildly suspicious.

While this passenger knew he wasn’t flying with anything illegal, Joel Kaimakani Libed (@joellibedny) was aware his bag was packed with some unexpected items and wasn’t sure how the TSA agent would react.

“When TSA pulls your carry on and it’s all… SPAM,” the text overlay on a picture of an embarrassed Libed read.

When his bag got pulled, Libed explained to the TSA agent that he was about to uncover a ton of SPAM. While Libed started laughing (maybe nervously), the TSA agent seems pretty quiet.

“I’m so embarrassed,” Libed said.

The TSA agent did seem to warm up quickly, asking beforehand if they were regular flavored SPAM or the special ones.

SPAM: A Hawaii favorite

The TikToker is from Hawaii, and Hawaii loves SPAM. Hawaii consumes the most SPAM per capita of any other state in the United States, according to Hawaii Public Radio. Not only is it tasty and versatile, but it’s also an accessible meat on an island that has to import a lot of its goods, making them more expensive.

The SPAM website even has a question under the frequently asked questions part of their site answering why SPAM is so popular with Hawaiians. According to the company, the salty meat product reached the island back in World War II when the canned meat was served to soldiers, but it eventually became embedded in Hawaiian culture.

Common SPAM dishes in Hawaii include the classic SPAM with rice, fried wontons with SPAM, and SPAM Musubi (which is like SPAM sushi).

“SPAM® products became a fixture for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Today you’ll find SPAM® dishes served everywhere from convenience stores to restaurants, reflecting a demand that is unmatched by any place in the world,” the site reads.

@joellibedny Sorry not sorry i love @SPAM®️Brand @Hormel Foods @SPAM®️ Museum #spam #tsa #fyp ♬ Funny Song – Funny Song Studio & Sounds Reel

Given all this, it’s no wonder that when Libed went to Minnesota he made it a point to go to the state’s SPAM Museum, which has a restaurant, a gift shop (with SPAM memorabilia that cost up to $250), and sells a $54 12-can variety pack of SPAM with flavors like teriyaki, hot and spicy, hickory smoke, bacon, and jalapeno.

Libed got an assortment of SPAM flavors, but he didn’t think about the hassle it might bring at TSA.

In total, the agent pulled out 10 cans of SPAM, plus a small bag of Target brand microwaveable rice.

In a follow-up video, Libed explained that he was on tour as a performer and had 15 minutes to go around the museum with about 20 of his colleagues.

When he told one of the workers he was from Hawaii, he said she got excited and ended up gifting him the SPAM. However, since he was on tour, he said he had to lug the cans around for two and a half weeks, and his other bags were overweight, so he had to take the lunch bag of SPAM as his carry-on to make it work.

“I’ve got to do a quick test on these before I let these go through,” the agent said in the initial video, still needing to do his actual job.

Libed’s SPAM haul did make it through inspection, only for him to then see that the SPAM museum had a whole set up of shirts, hats, and cans of SPAM inside the airport. So technically, he could have avoided the TSA hassle and bought his SPAM at the airport, but who knows if the airport SPAM cost more than getting it from the factory.

Viewers weigh in

The video has more than 4.3 million views and thousands of comments as of Sunday.

“Not the TSA employee doing a Spam unboxing,” the top comment read.

“I am impressed by how many cans of spam that bag can hold,” a person wrote.

“This happened to me when I came back from Canada with 20 cups of pizza pizza garlic dipping sauce TSA was stunned,” another chimed in.

“Lol he was ready to judge you if it was regular flavor but he gave you a pass once you said it wasn’t,” a commenter said.

The Daily Dot reached out to SPAM via email.

“I know tsa can be strict so I just tried to be as nice as I could and make the situation more relaxed,” Libed told the Daily Dot in an Instagram direct message. “I was so lucky the tsa agent got a kick out of it. I didn’t think it would be an issue UNTIL it got pulled off the belt in security.”

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