Oh My Pod
January 15th, 2018 – If you participate in the Tide Pod Challenge your video may go viral, and you may also begin to vomit, burn your esophagus, lose consciousness or maybe even lose your life. The latest social media challenge finds teenagers filming themselves chomping down on a laundry detergent packet, and it has become so popular that medical experts have issued serious warnings. It has also led Tide to produce a video starring New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski asking the question:
“What the heck is going on, people? Use Tide Pods for washing, not eating.”
What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else.
— Tide (@tide) January 12, 2018
If you’re not a fan of the Gronk, take the word of WebMD senior medical director Dr. Hansa Bhargava:
“Pods are full of highly concentrated detergent. Taking bites can burn the mouth and esophagus, which is right next to the trachea and the lungs, so it can affect breathing and lead to death.”
What led teenagers to air their dirty laundry in public? Since the story broke, many media groups have labeled The Onion and College Humor as potential instigators. Back in 2015, the satirical folks at The Onion published an op-ed from a toddler titled “So Help Me God, I’m Going To Eat One Of Those Multicolored Detergent Pods.”
“So allow me to reiterate: This is 100 percent going to happen. The sealed plastic bucket that holds the detergent pods is a welcome challenge to me,” the determined toddler ‘wrote.’ “I’ll make short work of the lid and the inner zip-lock bag, and then all that stands between me and slurping down that glorious, vibrant liquid is a thin film of rapidly dissolving plastic that will melt away on my tongue like so much dust scattered by the wind. And at last, I will have what I want more than anything in this world.”
College Humor followed a similar formula with its sketch of a grown man falling for the beautifully colored temptress as he’s carried away on a stretcher. The company’s video description on YouTube had to be edited once the current string of real-life incidents started happening.
“In light of recent news reports of idiot teens actually eating laundry pods, we want to make very clear that our position is the title of this video: DON’T EAT THE LAUNDRY PODS, you moron. Not even a little tiny bit, to impress your dumb friends or the internet. You will get poisoned and die,” it now reads.
The specific inspiration may not be nailed down but people often don’t need much of a nudge to do things for a laugh. We’re looking at you, Boaty McBoatface – the online winner of a poll to name a research ship in U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council fleet.
While the Tide Pod Challenge may slow down now that national attention has been brought to the dangerous trend, the jokes have continued to be thrown in the wash. A Twitter page called “Tide Pod Memes” has provided a lot of material. Take a look at some of their creations, and then let us know your thoughts on this bizarre challenge.
— Tide Pod memes (@Tidepodmemes) January 14, 2018
— Tide Pod memes (@Tidepodmemes) January 10, 2018
— Tide Pod memes (@Tidepodmemes) January 8, 2018
— Tide Pod memes (@Tidepodmemes) January 6, 2018
— Tide Pod memes (@Tidepodmemes) January 4, 2018