Consider consulting a financial advisor before placing a bid.

By Mike Pomranz
June 02, 2021
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Chicken Nuggets with French Fries and BBQ Sauce Dip
Credit: LauriPatterson/Getty Images

I used to understand how the economy works. I would write about food and wine, Food & Wine paid me, and then I'd use that money to buy things—like food and wine. It all made sense. But in the past year, GameStop stock went through the roof, an NFT sold for $69 million, and Dogecoin is up 8,000 percent. Apparently, anything is possible: So of course a BTS Chicken McNugget has been bid up to over $50,000 on eBay simply because it looks like a character from the video game "Among Us." These days, that practically sounds like a good investment!

Let's wade into this together. BTS, needless to say, is the biggest pop act on the planet—so when McDonald's announced that the Korean boy band would be the third major musical act to get its own signature meal, excitement was through the roof.  The meal launched in the U.S. last week, featuring a 10-piece order of Chicken McNuggets. Now, these nugs themselves are not inherently special—instead, they arrived with two new limited-edition dipping sauces, Sweet Chili and Cajun.

But though McNuggets famously come in four specific shapes—bone, bell, ball, and boot—some enterprising eBayer received a misshapen McNugget in their BTS meal as (what would appear to be) a fluke. "Misshapen" McNugget doesn't have a lot of pizazz, however; so instead, the seller noted the nugget's similarity to a crewmate on the popular online multiplayer game "Among Us" and attached the item to a third major franchise.

Having now been crowned a "McDonald's Among Us shaped Nugget from BTS Meal," the buzz-worthy item landed on eBay on May 28 with a modest starting price of $0.99. "Authentic Among us shaped Chicken McNugget that originated from a BTS Combo meal," the eBay seller polizna further explains. Later, they added, "Item will be Frozen and then Air sealed to ensure freshness with secure shipping method."

And yet, the explosion in bids seems hard to comprehend. Within 24 hours, the seemingly pedestrian fast food item had already crossed a price of $10,000—and things spiraled out of control from there. With one day and 15 hours left to go as of this writing, the current high bid—out of 156 bids so far—is $50,900. Yes, that's in dollars, not Dogecoin.

Adding to the fervor, the official Among Us Twitter account helped legitimize the auction by posting about it yesterday. "[T]here's a $34,443.43 among us chicken nugget on sale and i don't know how to feel about it???" the account, which has over 1.3 million followers, wrote, "but also?? i want it."

And not to be outdone, the official Xbox Twitter account also chimed in for the benefit of its over 16 million followers. "For that price it must come with Szechuan Sauce," they replied. That tweet actually earned a further response from the eBay seller in the description. "Jokes on them," polizna wrote. "I have Szechuan and at buyers request will ship some with the nugget." So yes, the buyer's $50,000-plus investment has the opportunity to come with some official McDonald's Szechuan Sauce packets—which have recently been selling on eBay for a few bucks each.

So what are we to make of all this Among Us BTS McNuggets madness? Frankly, beyond the allure of participating in a viral phenomenon, no clear answer has yet emerged. But as a wise "Among Us" player once told me: "Money doesn't grow on trees; it comes out of a deep fryer."