Office potlucks can oftentimes become the source of drama on social media. There are some folks, like this user, who share why they have zero interest in ever attending a potluck. They cite potential food preparation issues and a general lack of trust in the cleanliness of those bringing their dishes to the gathering.
Then there are the “potluck shamers“ who blast folks for not bringing enough food to a potluck for everyone to enjoy, which kind of defeats the purpose of what a potluck is all about.
In a TikTok video that has garnered over 438,000 views as of Friday, user D (@supaan0vatravnels) also vents her concerns about an upcoming work potluck. The video, captioned, “I honestly feel like this needs to be reported to HR my safety is at risk,” captures D’s disbelief and humor over a proposed potluck dish.
“I sat in a team meeting today. My co-worker said her grandma makes oyster casserole… Somebody then suggested that she save the oyster casserole that grandma makes on Thanksgiving and bring it to our team potluck on the 29. So, what I’ve gathered is that I can’t trust those people,” D explains.
@supaan0vatravels I honestly feel like this needs to be reported to HR my safety is at risk. #thanksgiving #officepotluck ♬ original sound – D | Travel, Points & Lifestyle
The TikTok community was quick to react, with the comments section turning into a battleground of opinions. Some users were in favor of the dish, with comments like, “Oyster casserole is sooooo good!!” showcasing their support.
However, the lion’s share of commenters echoed D’s skepticism, with remarks like, “AGED oyster casserole,” and “Oyster casserole is amazing!!! Especially days old… said no one ever…”, clearly indicating their apprehension about the “freshness” and appeal of a five-day-old oyster casserole. For those curious, it is a real dish typically made with a mix of oysters, cream, butter, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, baked until golden.
Potlucks, a tradition with deep historical roots, became popular in the United States during the 20th century, especially during the Great Depression, as an economical way to host social gatherings. Today, in a world still adjusting post-COVID, with many working from home, the dynamics of office potlucks have evolved. While they offer a chance for social interaction, they also present unique challenges, as highlighted by D’s humorous take on the situation.
In the current era, where we’re not bound by the economic constraints of the Great Depression (though some argue a recession is upon us), choosing to skip a potluck due to food safety concerns is understandable. However, for those seeking social connection in a remote work environment, attending a potluck for the camaraderie, while cautiously avoiding questionable dishes like vintage oyster casserole, might be the best course of action.
Even though there are a lot of people who would effectively argue why oftentimes potlucks are more trouble than they’re worth, others speak about the meal-sharing experiences glowingly. This Medium article shares several reasons as to why they are effective at bringing community members closer together.
As great and heartwarming as some of these ideas surrounding potlucks sound, all of those sentiments would probably go out the window the second someone slapped this kitty litter cake on the table.
The Daily Dot has reached out to D via email for further comment.
Update Nov. 21, 11:04am CT: Office potlucks continue to be a popular talking point on TikTok. Another office worker took viewers on a food tour of items her co-workers brought, including mac and cheese topped with blue cheese. She was so horrified that she also avoided eating any of the items her co-workers brought and opted to eat Takis instead. Another office worker was tasked with bringing chili to his company gathering. He bought several containers of chili from Wendy’s, poured them into a pot, and passed it off as homemade. Viewers who have also done this in the past said the dish was a major hit, even winning them cook-offs.