The TSA Says Peanut Butter Is a Liquid and People Have Feelings About It

The TSA has finally shared their reasoning behind declaring peanut butter a "liquid."

The Transportation Security Administration has spoken: You can’t bring your jar of peanut butter through airport security. Why? Because, according to them, it’s a liquid, not a solid. 

Though this debate has raged on for some time, it was given new life last week when podcaster  Patrick Neve attempted to take a jar of peanut butter through airport security. 

“I tried to take peanut butter through airport security,” he wrote in a now-viral tweet. “T.S.A.: ‘Sorry, no liquids, gels, or aerosols.’ Me: ‘I want you to tell me which of those things you think peanut butter is.” 

The TSA provided him with a rather sassy reply. 

“You may not be nuts about it, but TSA considers your PB a liquid. In carry-on, it needs to be 3.4 oz. or less,” the TSA wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. It then added in the image that a “liquid has no definite shape and takes a shape dictated by its container.” (Clearly, it’s never had thick and chunky PB.) 

The post garnered more than 6,000 likes by the time of this article’s writing, along with hundreds of comments. Many of these questioned the scientific merit of the TSA’s argument.

“So do powders...” one astute commenter wrote about their “shape dictated by its container” logic. “Has anyone at the TSA tried to drink peanut butter, though? Would love to see how that goes because it is definitely not a liquid,” another added.  

Other commenters were quick to ask about potential loopholes. 

Creamy peanut butter

Maren Caruso / Getty Images

“What happens if I use a whole jar of PB on a sandwich and put it in a ziplock bag,” one commenter wrote. “If I freeze the peanut butter before my flight, can I bring it on board,” one commenter added.

However, one way to get your peanut butter through TSA, is simply to have it in smaller containers. As TSA spokesperson, R. Carter Langston shared with the New York Times, “As we frequently seek to remind travelers: If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, then it’s subject to the 3.4-ounce limitation.” 

Or, you could do as this commenter did: “I just bought little individual 1.15 oz packs of Justins [peanut butter] to go.” 

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