What's the sleepy chicken TikTok trend? Do not bookmark this dangerous recipe

Sometimes, what pops up in our FYP is nothing short of shocking

sleepy chicken tiktok trend, nyquil chicken tiktok trend raw chicken next to boxes of nyquil
(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images Cornerman/Getty Images)

We're all for helpful cooking hacks, but the sleepy chicken TikTok trend will definitely not earn a spot next to the viral pesto eggs or hot chocolate bomb drinks any time soon. 

TikTok recipes add flavor to our FYP, but in this case, the poultry phenomenon is causing more worry than anything else. It should really go without saying, but just so we're clear, do not attempt this! Allow us to explain the origins of the problematic Nyquil chicken fad. 

What is the sleepy chicken TikTok trend?

We all appreciate a delicious marinate, but typically we expect a balsamic or lemon, taste to spice up our chicken—not cough medicine. In this foodie fad circulating FYP, people are dousing their uncooked chicken breasts with Nyquil and grilling them on their cast iron pans. They seem to believe this is a hack to help get rid of the common cold and flu. 

Sleepy chicken TikTok trend's origins

"My wife got sick last night, so I'm cooking up some Nyquil chicken," we hear user @igrobflo state in his video. 

As he's heating up his grill pan with the chicken, we see him pour the medicine on the poultry, completely submerging it in the cough medicine. 

"Usually I use, you know, about four thirds of the bottle," he adds. Then he recommends that chefs let the food sit for anywhere between five to 30 minutes to soak up the flavor and the medicine's benefits. 

"What you're looking for is that blue color right there," he continues.  

What's more is that this TikToker appears to use a hair straightener in place of tongs and he even places the unused liquid back in the Nyquil bottle. 

Honestly, where do we even begin? Naturally, the comments section is flooded with confusion and complete awe. 


♬ original sound - Rob Flo

Why you should *NOT* attempt the sleepy chicken TikTok trend

Though it goes without saying, the Nyquil chicken is not a recipe to add to your collection next to Ina Garten's engagement chicken. Not only is it incredibly unappealing, but it's also incredibly dangerous. 

According to the Vicks website, Nyquil should be used as directed and those who need it should not be consuming more than four doses in 24 hours—the viral recipe would certainly exceed that. 

Per the medicine's drug facts, you can possibly experience liver damage if you exceed the recommended dose. Additionally, a physician from Virginia Commonwealth University revealed to Mic that if you boil off the water and alcohol in the cough medicine, you're going to be left with a "super concentrated" amount of drugs in the meat, which is harmful. 

Essentially, this recipe is a no-go, no matter how scratchy your throat might be. We know it's a turbulent time when it comes to viruses, but you should always consult a medical professional with any questions. This concoction will absolutely do more harm than good.

For those who are looking for ways to have fun in the kitchen, might we suggest an air fryer or slow cooker? Drew Barrymore's kitchen line launched three new gadgets, and you'll need one of each—for normal chicken recipes.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.