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Chicken Nuggets 4Hollis Johnson

  • Fast-food Twitter evolved into an art form in 2017.
  • Many brands battled it out on social media, trying to outdo each other with snarky jabs. 
  • However, Wendy’s rose above the rest — and beat out the competition with the most-retweeted tweet of all time.

The brands were at it again in 2017. 

As fast-food Twitter has gotten weirder and weirder, this year was a beautiful one for those who just couldn’t get enough of their favorite chains saying bizarre things and getting into feuds. 

This was the year that Wendy’s ripped Carl’s Jr. to pieces with a single, brutal tweet. Denny’s got into a fight with a fake Diplo Twitter account run by James Van Der Beek, an actor made famous by his starring role in “Dawson’s Creek.” MoonPies — long a forgotten snack brand — quickly became my personal favorite food industry Twitter, with its bizarre, bittersweet musings. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 13 at 3.27.26 PMTwitter MoonPie

But, to say any brand other than Wendy’s reigns supreme in the Twittersphere would be a lie. 

The fast-food chain’s social media team turns out hit after hit. Missteps are rare (remember when Wendy’s tweeted a Pepe soon after the meme was declared a hate symbol?), and virality is common

And, while Wendy’s gave us plenty of options to pick from, no tweet carried quite as much weight as this simple reply to a simple question. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 13 at 3.35.06 PMTwitter

On April 5, high-school student Carter Wilkerson asked Wendy’s how many retweets he would need to get free chicken nuggets for a year. The fast-food chain replied that it would take 18 million retweets.

Wilkerson’s tweet — “HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS” — quickly went viral as people attempted to help the teen reach the seemingly impossible goal. 

In May, Carter Wilkerson officially became the author of the tweet with the most retweets in Twitter history — more than 3.433 million — taking the crown from the previous record-holder, Ellen DeGeneres. As of December, the tweet has passed the 3.6 million retweet mark.

Wendy’s may have had more creative tweets, like when it started listing the best movies of 2017. And, other Wendy’s tweets have resulted in better ad campaigns, as in the case of its Twitter roast-inspired Super Bowl ad. But, when it comes to the sheer power of a single tweet, a simple reply of “18 million” carried more weight than one hundred snarky jokes. 

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