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It’s a Twitter war no one saw coming.
Fast food franchise Popeyes this week released a chicken sandwich to compete with Chick-fil-A’s signature dish—and the internet was all for the beef.
“Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences,” Popeyes’ announcement tweet said.
The chicken sandwich war, explained
Chicken. Brioche. Pickles. New. Sandwich. Popeyes. Nationwide. So. Good. Forgot. How. Speak. In. Complete. Sandwiches. I mean, sentences. pic.twitter.com/14kXBv4jJw— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 12, 2019
Shortly, after Chick-fil-A threw some shade, tweeting: “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the [heart emoji] for the original.”
Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the ❤️ for the original. pic.twitter.com/qBAIIxZx5v— Chick-fil-A, Inc. (@ChickfilA) August 19, 2019
Popeyes then responded by asking, “… y’all good?”
... y’all good? https://t.co/lPaTFXfnyP— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 19, 2019
Then, of course, other chicken-sandwich selling companies jumped in, each debating on which has the best chicken sandwich.
“Y’all out here fighting about which of these fools has the second-best chicken sandwich,” Wendy’s tweeted.
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
“If you’re lookin’ for a chicken sandwich (without the beef [wink emoji]), you know where to find us,” tweeted Shake Shack.
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
Even the North Carolina-based franchise Bojangles tweeted a picture of its chicken biscuit with the caption, “Everybody around here knows the best chicken sandwich is a chicken biscuit.” But the tweet was deleted after people began dragging the account for how dry the chicken sandwich looked.
“Bojangles if you don’t get your ashy ass out the equation,” Twitter user JhaAsjaWn wrote.
Bojangles if you don’t get your ashy ass out the equation pic.twitter.com/pFUQ7ipZb8— Jha AsjaWn (@JhaAsjaWn) August 20, 2019
“Whataburger when they saw Bojangles post that ashy ass chicken and biscuit,” tweeted @kweentash_ with a GIF of someone covering their face to hide laughter.
Whataburger when they saw Bojangles post that ashy ass chicken and biscuit pic.twitter.com/DXUVnvrfaO— sept.30th ⚖️ (@kweentash_) August 20, 2019
Popeyes also jumped on the dragging game and began going after the other fast-food restaurants that dared to challenge the new Popeyes chicken sandwich.
“Sounds like someone just ate one of our biscuits. Cause y’all looking thirsty,” Popeyes hit back.
Sounds like someone just ate one of our biscuits. Cause y’all looking thirsty. https://t.co/89eqI5vk2z— Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 20, 2019
But Twitter was the real winner of the 2019 Chicken Sandwich Wars. Both Popeyes and Chick-fil-A trended for nearly two days, and endless memes were circulated, with Black Twitter users leading the charge with jokes and GIFs. Some users even began attacking the other companies—all in the name of Popeyes’ chicken sandwich.
“Tell your employees at your WEHO location to stop serving sandwiches AND touching the cash registers with the same gloves on,” tweeted makeup guru Jackie Aina.
“Live reaction of #Popeyes & ChickfilA when Bojangles tried to enter the convo for best chicken sandwich,” said @JustinWaltersTV with a GIF of radio hosts doubled over in laughter.
A few users noted that Popeyes releasing a chicken sandwich gave people another option besides Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s. The former has long been criticized for conservative company values and donations to anti-LGBTQ groups, and the latter was listed in a viral tweet accusing fast-food chains of “supporting Trump’s re-election” (although the evidence for that list doesn’t all check out).
“Popeyes after ending Chick-Fil-A and finally giving people a chicken sandwich that doesn’t make them feel guilty for supporting a homophobic fast food place,” @talldoncinnamon tweeted with a clip of Thanos gazing in awe at the sunrise.
Popeyes after ending Chick-Fil-A and finally giving people a chicken sandwich that doesn’t make them feel guilty for supporting a homophobic fast food place pic.twitter.com/2DZGfaaJD9— Hector (@TallDonCinnamon) August 19, 2019
One company notably missing from the debate was McDonald’s, but user @StephBMore suggested a reason for why Ronald McDonald decided to sit this one out: “Y’all notice McDonalds ain’t saying shit about their $1 mcchicken. They are staying in their lane. Sitting quietly waiting for a French fry debate to start.”
Y’all notice McDonalds ain’t saying shit about their $1 mcchicken. They are staying in their lane. Sitting quietly waiting for a French fry debate to start.— Curry with the shot... (@StephBMore) August 19, 2019
One can only guess what next week’s popcorn chicken debate will be like.
Dominic-Madori Davis is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California. She covers the internet, politics, and social issues.