Lines, Lawsuits, And Robbery! The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Is Officially The Tickle Me Elmo of Food

Popeyes/Sesame Street/Uproxx

When it comes to the new Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, we all officially need to f*cking chill. We’re all tired of talking about this damn sandwich and there isn’t a day that goes by where it’s not popping up in the news, mostly revolving around people’s inability to just breathe and eat a dang burger. Last week, a Tennessee man made headlines after he threatened to sue the chicken chain for false advertisement, deceptive business practices, and time wasted from having to drive around to several Popeyes in search of the sold-out sandwich. Then last night, the Houston Chronicle reported that a man pulled a gun out and demanded a sandwich after being told they were sold out. The alleged gunman didn’t get his sandwich though. As we’ve reported in the past, it’s sold out for the foreseeable future.

Note to insane sandwich-heads currently plotting how to get your hands on the bird: stop, it’s just not happening. Take the L and eat somewhere else. Grab a double-decker tacccccc — Oh, dammit.

With the freaking armed robbery attempt, the hype around this admittedly tasty chicken sandwich has finally reached Tickle-Me-Elmo proportions. At the height of Elmo-fever, the mechanical laughing dolls fetched thousand-dollar eBay prices (back in the 90s, when eBay was just one-year-old), caused tramplings, and started wild Black Friday melees. Looking back 20 odd years later, that was too far to go for a laughing Elmo doll, and lawsuits and pulling a gun on an innocent Popeyes employee is also way too far.

The hype around the sandwich isn’t all bad news though. In an article posted to Eater today, it appears that the public’s current hunger for a delicious fried chicken sandwich is extending to some small local businesses who are meeting a demand created by the void in Popeyes chicken supply.

Roaming Rooster, a food truck that services the Northeast D.C. area has received an influx of customers after musician and influencer Bri Hall brought some attention to delicious-looking sandwich over on Twitter. Speaking to the Washington Post, Roaming Rooster owner Michael Habtemariam revealed that he has sold 5,000 sandwiches in the week since the tweet was sent out, with sales doubling on the first day.

Meanwhile, Top Chef alum and friend of Uproxx Richard Blais launched a petition on to widen the “best chicken sandwich ever” debate to include sustainably raised and ethically treated chickens in the conversation. Blais’s SoCal/Las Vegas chain, The Crack Shack, has cards on every table explaining their sourcing philosophy and how they believe that makes a better product, which read:

We are proud to serve free-range, bone-in chicken from Jidori. Note that this chicken is fresher than the commercial chicken that you may be familiar with, and it may appear undercooked in spots. This is because unlike many large-scale chicken producers, Jidori does not inject their chickens with dye, nor do they use additives in the feed to make their meat appear more yellow and golden.

Perhaps the best thing to come from this craze will be new conversations about who benefits from this sort of hysteria and deeper questions about our current sourcing systems. No matter what, we hope to God that the armed robbery attempt is the worst thing to come out of it.

Don’t take this madness any further, folks.