A movie theater employee reveals a kernel of information about popcorn sizes

This popcorn news comes to you courtesy of a TikTok video (yet again).

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movie theater popcorn
Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images (Getty Images)

I still haven’t been back to a movie theater yet, but I can practically smell the movie theater butter from my office chair. There’s nothing quite like it, and I’m telling you, a small handful of popcorn mixed with Reese’s Pieces makes for a hell of a movie snack. But for any hungry cinephiles out there, you might want to do some sleuthing to find out whether or not you’re getting your money’s worth at the concession stand.

The Daily Dot reports that a now-viral TikTok video posted by a movie theater employee has revealed that customers receive the same amount of popcorn in a small bucket as they do a medium one. In the video, the employee pours popcorn from a small bag into a medium bucket, and it indeed appears as if the small bag can fill up a medium bucket fairly well. (Note: the TikTok video we linked to has since gone private.)

It does look like there might be a slightly smaller amount in the small bag, or that the small bag is overstuffed in the shot where it pours into the medium bucket—the video angle is a little sketchy. But it seems like a slight enough difference between the two that the higher price for the medium-sized popcorn might not be worth it. I don’t know. I mean, I think most of us already know that movie theater popcorn is kind of a lousy deal, but we let it slide since it’s been so ingrained in our movie theater experience. Of course, you could always sneak your own popcorn in, which is something you’re doing at your own risk; we’ve previously shared some thoughts on the subject.

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Commenters on the TikTok video were pretty miffed. One said, “Medium is always a scam.”

Another one said, “If I’m paying for a bigger size, I should be getting a bigger size.” They’re not wrong. I’m a nacho man, myself, since greasy fingers are kind of a pain in the ass. In the grand scheme of things, I can’t say this revelation about popcorn surprises me, but if it is true, then we’ve been missing out on a few crucial kernels of buttery deliciousness each time we go to the movies, and that can really add up across a lifetime of Marvel viewings.