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What Started the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ Madness?
Videos of teens eating laundry detergent pods as part of the “Tide Pod Challenge” have led to many news headlines and even more jokes on social media. But how did this strange and alarming trend start? In March 2017, CollegeHumor shared a video about eating laundry pods, but it didn’t make much of a splash on social media. While there were a very small number of posts mentioning eating Tide Pods in July, conversation about eating Tide Pods began gaining toward the end of 2017, starting with a popular Tumblr post in November. Conversation died down after that until late December when more jokes about eating Tide Pods started gaining traction across social media. Conversation peaked in early 2018, with a viral joke from Chrissy Teigen.
Per capita, the most conversation around the “Tide Pod Challenge” has been in Washington DC, Massachusetts, and Texas. Luckily for everyone’s health, the vast majority of the conversation has been jokes and memes mocking the absurd trend.
For more analysis on less dangerous consumer trends, check out our page on US Consumer Trends.