Warren Hills Reacts to the Tide Pod Challenge


The Tide Pod packets are NOT food, no matter how tasty they look. (Tom Burton/Orlando Sentinel/MCT)

Hannah Kling, Staff Reporter

The plague of laundry-detergent-eating kids and teenagers has become an issue of life and death as people are shipped off to emergency rooms after participating in the infamous Tide Pod Challenge.

Back in 2012, it started as a very small inside joke about the Tide Pods looking like candy. The small joke grew and spread to mainstream media through advertisements and memes, leading millions of people to poke fun at the candy-sized packages.

Laundry detergent pods are more toxic than out-of-the-bottle cleaner because it is more concentrated, but even so, a YouTuber decided it was a brilliant idea to post a video of himself actually following through on the Tide Pod Challenge. The Tide company tried to stop people from eating their product as much as possible, but warning labels and common sense did not discourage as the trend spread and more people tried it.

According to an article on the Vice website, 39 people called Poison Control for eating Tide Pods within the first two weeks of January this year.

In a questionnaire given to some of the students of Warren Hills, out of 131, 99 thought the Tide Pod challenge was stupid, 21 thought it was dangerous, seven thought it funny, and four didn’t know.

The majority indicated they would never consider doing the challenge, while 37 voted for participating only if they’re lives depended on it, or they were paid. Only one respondent chose to answer yes to the challenge in a seemingly joking manner.

In the questionnaire students were asked whether the challenge was serious or a joke, and 90 of 131 responded that only crazy or stupid people would ever actually do it, five indicated it wasn’t real at all and no one ever did the challenge. Seven thought that eating laundry detergent is an epidemic problem.

In a separate section of the questionnaire, students were invited to share their thoughts on the Tide Pod Challenge.

Nicole Tagliareni, a Sophomore, said, “I think it is really stupid because it is toxic and why would they want to eat that?”

Kenneth Cruz, senior, gave his idea on why people would actually do it. “They try to be a meme,” he said.

The majority of students indicated that the Tide Pod challenge was stupid and dangerous.

“I think it is funny that people are ignorant enough to actually eat chemicals for the amusement of strangers on the internet,” Hailey Spinks, senior, said, “Tide should discontinue them.”

There were varying opinions on what should be done about the challenge.

“Nothing. Those eating the forbidden fruit are just furthering research for natural selection,” said senior Logan Parker.

Junior Kelly Anderson, said, “It shouldn’t be banned from stores, people should be smart enough to make these decisions and not do such a stupid thing.”

“You can’t really do anything. It’s the same as drinking bleach. These people know what it is and still do it. It’s their choice,” said Abbey Cleaver, a junior.

Tyler Yukna, a senior, summed up the Tide Pod Challenge as a frightening fad.

“This challenge is a sick trend,” he said. “Other than being extremely dangerous, it is no different than any other trend. People see something and want to do it.”