Online shopper orders walnut bread, gets entire octopus instead

Eight reasons to do your shopping IRL.


Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 15, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 2:23 pm CDT

What has eight limbs and will keep you from making sandwiches? An octopus delivered to your home in lieu of a loaf of walnut bread.  

The convenience of doing your grocery shopping online has a price, it seems. When the U.K. retail chain Tesco is out of a particular product, they’ll attempt to substitute something similar—though with limited success, as one man found: 

genuine Tesco substitution: Whole Octopus as an alternative to Walnut Loaf.

— John Goodger (@John_Goodger) September 12, 2014

Tesco’s social media team—whose main job seems to be apologizing to irate customers venting on Twitter—replied not to Goodger but someone who reposted his photo shortly after it first appeared:

@LordSkipVC This has ten-tickled us so much! Maybe the personal shopper was trying to be Billy the Squid? =D

— Tesco (@Tesco) September 12, 2014

@LordSkipVC We must say we hope he’s not poorly! Maybe we can send him a friend from the sea, hopefully then, he’ll be happy as can be.

— Tesco (@Tesco) September 12, 2014

@LordSkipVC Jokes aside! I’m sorry for the poor substitution. DM me your details and I’ll refund a couple of squid! :-)

— Tesco (@Tesco) September 12, 2014

These ill-considered swaps have become something of a running joke among hungry Brits, though many remain resistant to the idea of picking up essentials in person.

@Thanks_Jack Hi Paul, that is an odd substitute, sorry about that. Did you leave it for a refund/only notice afterwards? #HereToHelp – Leah

— Tesco (@Tesco) September 14, 2014

Most baffling @Tesco #substitution yet! 2 pots fresh coriander replaced by 2 cucumber halves! #fridaythe13th effect?

— Sarah Howard (@sarahhowardSAR) June 13, 2014

@DeferoLaw @Tesco *giggles* mine was coconut milk instead of fish sauce *head desk*

— Rachel MacLeod (@pencil_case1) June 23, 2014

We’re sure they’ll get the hang of it eventually—but we may be taking our meals in pill form by then.

@Tesco I’m halfway through my toast and I haven’t been attacked by a squid. Today must be good day #squidattack

— gyromoose (@gyromoose) September 14, 2014

H/T News Everyday | Photo by Feans/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Sep 15, 2014, 2:40 pm CDT