There are some things everyone remembers from their youth. First kiss, first concert, first heartbreak. The first time they hitchhiked to Vegas to become a showgirl, and had sex with Kyle MacLachlan in a pool. I wonder why we cling to those “firsts.” Perhaps it’s because those were the moments that felt like they were straight out of book about becoming an adult. Like we were the “coming of age” heroes in a Judy Blume novel or an Anne of Green Gables book. We compared ourselves to them. Will we get our first kiss or first period at the same time as Margaret in Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? Or, like Anne Shirley, will we be 18 the first time actor Kyle MacLachlan pours champagne all over our naked bodies and makes love to us in a pool, flopping us around like a dead fish? Is that how it happened for you? Or maybe you were the age the Sweet Valley twins were when they met Kyle MacLachlan. Perhaps it happened even younger for you, like in the Babysitter’s club book, Mary Anne and the Secret Kyle MacLachlan.
I guess it doesn’t matter when exactly it happened. Just that we all remember where we were during that first encounter with Kyle MacLachlan. For the important part of the whole thing is that we were no longer boys or girls after Kyle MacLachlan showed up at our doorstop in a terry cloth robe stolen from a mid-level hotel and had his way with us — we were adults. These are the universal moments that define us.
But there are some things about growing up that are less like a lightning bolt of memory, and more like a series of quiet moments that make our respective childhoods feel cozy. Like, for instance, I don’t remember the first time I ate chicken wings, just that they were a defining feature of life since… well… forever. There are pictures of me graduating high school with a diploma in one hand and a chicken wing in the other (except there was no diploma, just chicken wings because my education was in a chicken wing factory, and my teachers were just more chicken wings). And the picture of my first piano recital — me, playing a Tchaikovsky concerto with chicken wings instead of fingers! Also, there was no piano, and we had no camera at the chicken wing factory, so it’s just a drawing I made out of buffalo sauce. And then, of course, there’s my newborn photo shoot! In it, I’m just the classic Anne Geddes baby slathered in buffalo sauce at the bottom of container filled with gnawed on bones. So sweet. That was right before my family sold me to a chicken wing factory in exchange for a $50 gift certificate to Buffalo Wild Wings. Fun memories.
So, I guess I’ve always loved wings. Who doesn’t though? Whether you’re watching the big game on TV with friends or digging a mass grave for those same friends in your backyard (because all of your friends are chickens), they’re the perfect snack, meal, or whatever! Chicken wings are the crowd pleaser that never stops pleasing. They’ve always been a part of my life, and, I assume, yours, too, since I’m whispering this article through a slat in my chicken wing factory holding cell. I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF YOU EXIST OR IF YOU’RE JUST A VOICE IN MY HEAD AT THIS POINT.
But I do know that chicken wings are the most versatile food in the world! Imagine trying to make you favorite dish without them! Can you imagine Spaghetti Bolognese without chicken wings on top? Just try to picture a burrito where you don’t cut both the roof of your mouth and your esophagus due to the bones in the chicken wings stuffed inside? What if you ate a burrito and didn’t have to have emergency surgery after?? I know. Crazy.
But we have to remember, there are people in this world who don’t have the kind of access that we have to chicken wings. Refugees, the starving, some squirrels, and it really makes you appreciate what you have.
I have to admit, I used to complain about these food rankings. “This is too many fries!” I whined. “All these chicken sandwiches are too filling,” I complained. “I’m having a heart attack, call 911” I used to say before my editors would pull out the defibrillator, fail to revive me, and simply have another one of me cloned so I could get back to work. Do the new “me’s” have souls? Haha. Interesting question, and one we may never be able to answer. I don’t dream or wonder anymore, so LOL. I feel no pain and I only eat or breathe so as to seem normal in front of humans of whom I’m assured are exactly the same. I guess some things should stay a mystery, like why just a bluish goo comes out when I bleed. Or why I keep killing so many owls for “more chicken wings.” Just a bug in the system, they say.
But all that’s to say that I know I complained too much in the past. That I truly didn’t appreciate the opportunity I was getting, like getting to eat chicken wings in some form every day for two weeks. And now I realize: THAT’S SO LUCKY. Some people have to show up at a grumpy office every day. I get to show up at a fast food restaurant, or a bar, order some food, collapse, and then wake up in a basement lab somewhere, good as new. And that’s truly a blessing. So today, I will be ranking kinds of Chicken Wings. And I celebrate this assignment. For Chicken wings are delicious. So delicious. And I’m not just saying this because at any moment one of my keepers could shut me down and just start over with a more compliant clone. I truly love the wings of chickens.
Our rating system today will be: Guy who is definitely not sad at all sitting in a bar by himself, watching the game, and ordering wings for one.
11. Honey Mustard Wings
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, and then, to further my point, I got a Tardis, went back in time and tried to get Moses to write it on a slab as the 11th commandment only to find out that the ten commandments thing is a fixed point in history that cannot be changed. But still, I’ll say it again: I don’t like mustard. And it’s for the same reasons that I’m not going to like a female lady girl Doctor Who. Smell, taste, and respect for the canon.
Some of you are mustard apologists. I don’t fault you for it. Some of my own family likes mustard. But let’s all come together to say “Honey Mustard is not a sauce and does not belong on a chicken wing.” Honey mustard is a condiment — to be used on sandwiches and to prevent pregnancy only.
Rating: 1 Guy (who is definitely not sad at all) sitting in a bar by himself, watching the game, and ordering wings for one. He doesn’t have any friends to watch the game with because he JUST moved here….3 years ago. So….He just loves getting out of the house on the weekend. And throwing back a cold one. Plus, all the other people in the bar seem fun. Maybe they’ll invite him to their table. Or…you know what?! Maybe he’ll order wings, and maybe they’ll come by and high five him after a touchdown, and he can be like….”Hey, I’ve got all these wings”. And they’ll be like,” I love wings.” And then he’ll be like, “Well, dig in man.” And they’ll like become buddies or something.
And if not, he can always wrap up whatever wings he doesn’t finish and have them for a snack during the week. He can bring them to work! And people will be like, “Woah wings? You party this weekend?” And he’ll be like, “Yeah, dude, you like watching the big game?” And they’ll be like, “Yeah, bro. I had a party at my house, you should come sometime”. And then he’ll be in. He’ll be in.
10. Garlic Wings
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Garlic Chicken Wings. Omg these were some of the best chicken wings I've ever had. They had a perfect crisp and were full of flavor. MUST TRY at Terry's Kitchen in Newport Hills. Just opened and open daily from 4-10pm! 🤤 I also highly recommend T's Kitchen Sink Mix-Up fried rice and the Lime Freeze!!! #nationalfriedchickenday
I want to like Garlic Wings, I really do. But they’re always disappointing. Every time I even get near them, I start to shake and gag and my skin starts to burn just a little bit. And everyone at the table is like, “Why are you so pale?” And, “Why do we never see you in the day time anymore?” And,”It’s so weird, but I had a dream about you last night where you drifted through my window in a cloud of smoke and sucked the blood out of my neck.”
And I’m like, “Guys, garlic wings are just NOT as good as other flavors and also, what’s with the cross necklaces, so out of style!! And how would I float through your bedroom window? I can’t fly!” This is usually undercut a bit by the fact that I’m wearing a cape and hovering two feet off the ground, but like, maybe they can be a little bit less judgmental, you know? And put down those wooden sharpened chair legs they’re holding? Someone’s going to lose an eye, and it’s certainly not going to be the person who can turn into a bat at will and fly into the night, that’s all I’m saying. They’re only a danger to themselves.
Rating: 2 Guys sitting at the bar all by themselves, ordering the wings for one. “Wings?” One of them asks with a small smile. “Wings.” The other responds, a small smile back. They turn back to their food and beers, eating. Except for every once in a while they glance up and quickly look away when they catch the other’s eye. This is nice, pleasant.
They watch the game. They’re both wearing the same team Jersey. They cheer at the same points. Shake their heads bitterly. “Bad call,” they say. After a few beers, they begin to see a sparkle in the other’s eyes. “Want to…” they start at the same time. “You go. No YOU go…” The first looks down, “Do you want to maybe go out sometime? I’m always looking for a friend, you know?” He looks up. The other guy looks up too. He smiles. Maybe he’s just made his first friend?
“Hey, hey buddy.” The first man looks over, the bartender is gesturing to him while holding a washcloth and spray bottle. “You mind moving out of the way?” the bartender says. “I gotta clean that mirror.”
9. Teriyaki Chicken Wings
Teriyaki sauce isn’t bad exactly. If you’re a small child or grandparent who has been dragged to a strip mall Japanese restaurant against your will, then Teriyaki sauce is an excellent choice because it’s not too spicy or demanding and won’t upset your delicate system. Also, it really covers up the taste of the crushed up sedatives your loved ones have put in your food. Because obviously these are not your relatives and the last thing they need is someone screaming or making the servers suspicious. Just one big happy family! Just going out for a meal! No need for anyone to call the police BECAUSE WE’RE ALL HAPPY TO BE HERE. RIGHT, GRANDPA???
Rating: 3 guys sitting at the bar, casually drinking a beer, and eating chicken wings. Would the infamous Bourbon Bank Robbers just stop off at a bar only a couple of miles from where they stole 1.2 million dollars and murdered a whole bank filled with women and children? I think not! Plus, these guys clearly don’t know each other. They ordered chicken wings SEPARATELY. No one does that if they have friends. And most importantly, the bourbon bank robbers ONLY DRINK BOURBON. Everyone knows that. So no. That’s not blood on their collars. That’s….crazy talk. Just wing sauce. They’re just a few unrelated guys, wearing masks, carrying concealed weapons and duffel bags with money symbols on them, and enjoying some wings. What’s weird about that?
8. Fried Chicken Wings
Chicken wings are known for their delicious sauces. Why is that? What are they hiding? It’s like when someone gets on elevator with way too much perfume or cologne. WHAT DON’T THEY WANT YOU TO SMELL?? The fried chicken wing needs no extra spice or sweetness to make it delicious. The flavor is cooked right in, it says. Because, obviously, the fried chicken wing can talk and often does.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been trying to get an article done, only to have the plate of fried chicken wings that has inexplicably appeared in front of me out of thin air start teasing and heckling me. “You’ll never be a real writer,” the chicken wings say. They, of course, have written several YA books and other novels under various pen names. Like most of Stephen King’s books were written by a plate of motivated chicken wings, and the Divergent series, and all of the Amelia Bedelia books. “How are your rankings going?” they sneer.
Plates of chicken wings are extremely mean. And it doesn’t matter how much you cry or plead with a plate of chicken wings, they’ll just laugh more and louder until you’re curled up under the covers, shaking and screaming. “Your mother is in here with us,” they yell, vomiting up a green substance. It’s really inconvenient when you’re on a deadline. It’s why I can’t rate plain chicken wings higher on the list even though they are very tasty. “Being possessed by the devil” loses them a lot of points.
Rating: 4 guys eating chicken wings all by themselves waiting for their ad on Craigslist to work.
“Looking 4 hot. SERIOUSLY HOTT. Top ten female, no uggos, as a roommate in cool loft. Just looking for cool girl to share loft with good looking guy, in his 40’s, Quiet, Respectful. No pets. No UGLY GIRLS. Must be able to cook and clean, and in exchange all utilities will be free. No room, but curtained off section of living room provided. Rent is only $500 dollars a month. THIS IS A GREAT DEAL. GREAT LOCATION. Not looking for anything weird, just a beautiful girl with REAL CURVES as roommate in great apartment with great guy. All prospective tenants meet at Joe’s bar at 10am on Saturday. FIRST COME FIRST SERVE. Wear something that shows off curves. No big coats. Looking forward to meeting you in person.”
The ladies are about to stream in, just as soon as the fellas finish these chicken wings.
7. Thai-Chili Wings
If there is some sort of Thai inspired chicken wing on a menu, it will be genuinely hard to keep me from ordering it. That sweet, spicy flavor gets me every time. Do I like them when I order them? I don’t know. What’s with the Spanish inquisition? Always with the questions. Do I even like chicken wings? Who knows! Does one have to “like chicken wings” to rank them on a list of the best chicken wings? You know what? Don’t answer that. I don’t have to explain myself to you. That’s between me and the Chicken God that lives in a giant roost in the sky and rules over all things chicken related. She knows what’s in my heart. And that’s chicken murder. And I. Will. Be. Punished. For. It.
Rating: 5 guys sitting in a bar with their chicken wings for one. At least you think they’re there. You see them out of the corner of your eye sometimes. Though, when you look back to ask them if they want a drink, they’ve all vanished. It’s always late at night when most of the other customers have gone home that you see them. The “waiters”, you call them. Always waiting for chicken wings, never quite there. You’ve heard the tales. The young men that over the years died in this very bar. That haunt the bar stools. Sometimes a chill goes over your whole body, or you feel hot breath on your neck only to turn and find no one there. That’s when you know it’s them. Waiting for the chicken wings that will never come. Or watching you pee because ghosts LOVE to follow you into the bathroom. For all eternity.
6. BBQ Chicken Wings
This is a real standard in the chicken wing game. It’s impossible to hate barbecue chicken wings, believe me. I’ve tried to get people to do it. Shocking them with electrical charges while they eat. Holding their heads in buckets of BBQ. Taping their eyes open while the smell of chicken wings wafts up, and then making them watch horrible, horrible acts of depravity like all of Kathryn Heigl’s movies. And yet, people still find BBQ wings “pleasant”. I can’t explain it, just like I can never explain why I dig so many holes in the backyard.
Rating: 6 dudes all alone at the bar. Some of them are Kyle MacLachlan, some of them are empty bags of potato chips. It’s very hard to say which is which, so it’s safer to bring wings to all of them so as not to be rude. The ones that don’t get eaten were probably an empty, discarded bag of potato chips, and can be collected and put in a trash receptacle. Although, even then, you can’t be sure. Kyle MacLachlan is sometimes on a diet. More than once you’ve scooped up what you assumed was an empty bag of potato chips only to have Kyle MacLachlan yell back. It’s tricky.
5. Salt and Pepper Wings
If you’ve never been to a Chinese restaurant that serves salt and pepper wings, you are missing out. Ostensibly, it’s just chicken fried in oil with salt and pepper (maybe they have a touch of garlic or scallions), but they are so addictively good. I only ate them once. But I guess you could say it was enough, a gateway wing if you will. Within minutes I was laughing hysterically, and hiding in closets with chicken smoke coming out of my nose. I became promiscuous, listened to jazz music, and soon was involved in a hit and run that left a man dead. Of course, it was because of the wings. And it could happen to your son or daughter too. It could happen to ANY OF THEM. In the end, they ruled me criminally insane and I was locked away to write reviews from my cell forever.
Worth it, though. Good wings.
Rating: 7 men in a bar ordering their chicken wings, not at all sad inside. One of them, swallows his gum before eating. That’s what happens in D.C., he tells himself. You get used, replaced. One minute you’re on the top of the world! Telling those fake news idiots at the New York Times where they can shove it, everyone listening to you, adoring you, and the next….you’re totally not sad at all eating chicken wings in a dive bar you found when walking through an alley.
He walks though a lot of alleys these days. Just to pass the time. These sure are some salty wings, he thinks as his tears mingle with the sauce. He’s not crying because he’s sad. He’s happy, really. So. Happy. He’s glad he’s sitting in a bar by himself and not getting to be up there yelling at everyone that the president was maybe, sort of, but not at all, but kind of, could be, sorta, mighta been, would never, was possibly joking about the transgender military ban. Nah, he sobs, he doesn’t miss that at all
4. Honey BBQ Wings
BBQ sauce is better when you mix honey in it. Of course, most things are: biscuits, cheese, butter, corn bread….all are infinitely better when you get a little honey involved. It’s why we really should work to save the bees!
Unless….are bees interfering with some sort of oil or coal production? Because if they are then, yeah, we should kill those things. Because honestly, do we even know that it’s “bees” that make honey? I mean, yeah, you can probably find a bunch of scientists that say, absolutely, bees make honey. I went to Harvard and I think that makes me an “expert” on bees just because I “studied” them for many, many years. But I can find scientists too! Scientists who say that bees DON’T make honey. And these scientist went to school too, so…I think we can safely say their credentials are juuuuust as impressive. So, who knows what makes honey? I just don’t think we can say definitively it’s the bees.
Rating: 8 men eating wings by themselves in a bar. Guarding their treasure nervously, as if any minute another male might come in to steal their hunted prize. I EARNED THESE WINGS, their body language says as they protectively throw an arm around the plate. I am the king of this one foot by one foot domain and no man can overtake me and my delicious, delicious bits of chicken smothered in sauce and on a bone. Yes, that’s right. I gnaw the chicken right off the bone like a beast. I AM THE GOD OF THIS BAR AND ALL THE CHICKEN WINGS THAT HAPPEN TO BE ON MY PLATE WITHIN.
3. Buffalo Chicken Wings
Buffalo Chicken Wings, Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing, celery, a cold beer, and a big, flat screen TV. Those are the makings of a great Saturday or Sunday Afternoon, and (maybe not so) coincidentally, they’re also on the evidence list in your trial under “possible weapons used.” But you aren’t going to let that ruin your memory! It was a good day, other than the little incident that left that bus full of tourists dead. But people always are going to concentrate on the few negatives, right? And not even one is going to admit that you make a good Buffalo wing. They’re just going to whine and whine about “all that blood.” Typical.
Rating: 9 hungry, hungry men waiting for chicken wings at the bar. They pace. Why are the wings taking so long? You look back at the kitchen, nervously. The men. They’re hungry. They want their wings. You smile, try to make small talk. They only grunt. Growl. You pull out a bottle of barbecue sauce for another customer who asked for a side of it with their pulled pork. You stumble, and a little bit of the sauce falls onto your arm. You freeze. The men, they’ve gotten very still. One of them lifts his head up, sniffs. They are all turning slowly towards you. No. NO. You grab a towel, try to wipe it off. But it’s too late, they have your scent mixed with the BBQ now. They are moving, running, leaping across the bar. You try to turn, to get away, to run. Though you know it will do no good. Not once they have your scent, they never tire when it comes to barbecue wings. And you, they think you’re a wing now. And they’ll pick you clean.
2. Caribbean Jerk Wings
I love the dry, spicy, burst of full flavor that you get from a Carribean Jerk Wing. They are absolutely delicious and deserve to be ranked number two on this list!
Of course, there are those of you out there who are going to call “cheating” on the jerk wing being ranked so high! “Allison Sanchez, you’re a biased Puerto Rican!” You might yell. “Of course you picked a Caribbean flavor.”
Well that may be true, but just remember. I like to be in America. O.K. by me in America! Everything’s free in America (for a small fee in America!) ayyayayyayaay. I joke. Obviously, those are lyrics from the classic musical West Side Story. Which is extremely accurate and describes my life as a Puerto Rican in every possible way.
Rating: 10 men at bar ordering chicken wings where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows Your name. doooo dooo dooo dooo dooo dooo. And your social security number dooo dooo doo dooo doooo. And your deepest secrets dooo doooo dooo dooo dooo doooo. Because they know what you did last summer dooo dooo dooo dooo dooo dooo. And now you’ll pay. Dooooo dooooo doooo dooo doooo. The door is locked doooo doooo dooo dooo doooo. There’s no escape doooo dooo dooo dooo dooo dooo. Yeah!
1. Spicy BBQ Wings
Sweet BBQ wings are great. Spicy Buffalo wings are great. WHAT IF? A genius once wondered, there was a way TO COMBINE THOSE TWO FLAVORS INTO A SUPER WING THAT WOULD BE THE GREATEST WING IN THE WORLD.
“See, a long time ago me and my brother Kyle here, we was hitchhikin’ down a long and lonesome road. All of a sudden, there shined a shiny demon. In the middle of the road. And he said: Make the best Wing in the world, or I’ll eat your soul.”
Well me and Kyle, we looked at each other, And we each said. “Okay.” And we created the first thing that came to our heads, Just so happened to be, The Best Wing in the World, it was The Best Wing in the World. Look into my eyes and it’s easy to see. Spicy and Sweet make delicious and delicious makes wings.
It was destiny.
Rating: 11 men sitting at a bar. Alone. Ordering those chicken wings while watching the game. But they aren’t sad! Because while yeah, maybe life didn’t work out the way they thought it would….And yeah, maybe they don’t have partners or kids or a lot of friends. And they don’t have a nice house, or lots of money, or a good car. Or have great clothes, or go on amazing vacations or have any money saved for retirement, and sure, maybe they aren’t happy or motivated or enjoying themselves but they…..um…..sorry. I lost my train of thought.
If you’ve read this far, you definitely deserve a medal. But as I do not have your personal address to send the hand-crafted, solid gold medal that I’ve been working on for WEEKS (you would have loved it), you’ll have to settle for the second best thing. Which is the chance to tell me what YOU’D like ranked next! Is there a food, drink, or other crazy thing that you’ve been dying to get a very definitive and absolute ranking of? Let us know in the comments! We love you guys, and want to bring you the rankings that matter most in your world.