‘Medium is always a scam’: Concession worker reveals that small and medium popcorn portions are the same size in viral TikTok

The TikToker suggested the difference is in the packaging—and the $1 upcharge.


Alexandra Samuels

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 25, 2021   Updated on Jul 26, 2021, 1:23 pm CDT

If you’ve ever purchased a medium-sized popcorn at the movie theater—you may have been scammed.

In a now-viral TikTok, an apparent concession employee reveals that a small and medium popcorn carry the same amount of food, despite different prices and packaging.

In the video, the user pretends to be a customer asking for a small popcorn because the medium looks like it’s “too much.” For a small popcorn, the charge is $7.35.


But after receiving the popcorn in a smaller bag, the customer asks for a medium instead. The user proceeds to pour the entire bag of a small-sized popcorn into a medium-sized bucket, which looks equally full. 

Now, for the same amount of popcorn (albeit in a different container) the popcorn cost $8.44.

Since its posting, the video has been viewed nearly 4 million times. In the comments, some moviegoers were shocked to learn that they were unknowingly paying more.

“Feel like this should be illegal,” one commenter quipped. “If I’m paying for a bigger size, I should be getting a bigger size.”

“Medium is always a scam,” another wrote. 

To be sure, this isn’t the first time movie theater employees have exposed concession food. Last month, an apparent employee revealed where nacho cheese comes from.

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*First Published: Jul 25, 2021, 10:07 am CDT