Kids, please don’t cook your chicken in Nyquil

Since social media has existed, there has been a revolving door of deeply silly trends and challenges. From the well-intentioned (ice bucket challenge) to the goofy (remember the plank?) to the downright dangerous (the tide pod challenge), humanity simply can’t get enough of filming itself ingesting poison for likes and LOLs. And listen, I get it: we were all young and stupid once. But a new TikTok challenge is pushing the boundaries of health, safety and common sense. The latest bad idea to take over social is the Nyquil Chicken Challenge aka the Sleeping Chicken. The trend shows people across the country cooking raw chicken in Nyquil or similar cold and cough syrups.

Besides being gross and unappetizing (and wasting perfectly good chicken and medicine), the Nyquil Chicken Challenge is also dangerous! So much so that the FDA had to issue a statement warning of the dangers of overdosing on drugs like acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine. Boiling a drug can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. The statement reads: “Even if you don’t eat chicken, inhaling the vapors of the drug while cooking can cause high levels of the drug to enter your body. It could also hurt your lungs. So yes, that’s bad news! I’m also gagged by the video above, where the cook pours the leftover syrup INTO THE BOTTLE. That’s how you catch salmonella!

The Darwin Prize winners behind this challenge are following in the footsteps of the equally silly and deadly Benadryl Challenge, which saw people take overdoses of Benadryl in an attempt to induce hallucinations. And they are literally dead! Do you really want your obituary to read, “YOUR NAME died of being an asshole on social media via a platform that no longer exists”? Look, if you want to induce hallucinations, do it the natural way: by taking magic mushrooms like your parents did. Many took to social media to poke fun at the challenge and people crazy enough to not only cook and eat sleeping chicken, but to share their poor judgment with the world.

In summary, for the love of all things holy, do not cook your chicken in Nyquil. I’m going to take it a step further and say, maybe you never cook anything in Nyquil or any over-the-counter medication? In the meantime, you can take advantage of my new bet on social media: salt, pepper, garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary for something edible that won’t kill you! I can’t wait for it to take off on TikTok.

(via NBC New York, featured image: Dreamworks Animation/Aardman)

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