This fake movie theater snack is an exquisite act of trolling

A snack called “pissy shitties” is making its way around the internet again, and it is glorious.

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pepsi poured onto popcorn
Pissy shitties is the snack to beat
Photo: Dennis Lee

Say these two words out loud: “Pissy Shitties.” Just do it, for me. There is no way you just said them without laughing, or at least smiling and shaking your head. If you managed to say them with a straight face and without a trace of glee in your heart, congratulations, you’re dead inside. Heh. Pissy shitties. MEL recently posted a piece about this rightfully legendary (well, on the internet) snack, a snack that is, in fact, called “pissy shitties.”

So, what the fuck are pissy shitties? According to MEL, this smash-hit movie theater snack is something you make yourself. It’s a mix of movie theater popcorn and Pepsi. When I say “mix,” I mean, you’re supposed to pour Pepsi from the fountain directly into a bucket of popcorn. What, you didn’t do this when you went to go see Christopher Nolan’s Tenet? Because from my experience, eating pissy shitties was better than the movie.

There seems to be some contention about the cola used. According to Urban Dictionary, which is where I go to get all my fact-checking done, this is the definition of a pissy shitty:

The Pissy Shitty, invented and patented in 1893 by M.M. O’Shaughnessy, is a bowl of popcorn that you pour Coca-Cola into. It is typically served in movie theaters across The United States in containers called “Piss Buckets”. Different states have different variations, with Texas using Dr. Pepper instead of the traditional Coca-Cola.

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But as far as I understand, pissy shitties are supposed to contain Pepsi. The delightful snack appears to have originated from a thread on Tumblr (the screenshot is on MEL’s piece), starting with a user named bighuge, who says, “pissy shitties is when you mix pepsi and popcorn to create a rich and smooth treat, excellent for enjoying a movie with friends.”

Another user named oddbagel takes the football and not only runs past the goal line, but way off into the parking lot and into the sunset. They responded by saying:

Here in the USA, most theaters sell buckets meant specifically for pissy shitties, called piss buckets, which are usually around $30 - $40. Some Americans like the feeling of leaky buckets on their jeans and consider it a part of the theater experience like post-credit brawls and sticky floors. I agree with the latter, tbh.

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This is a master class in trolling. There are so many layers. First of all, I like how oddbagel says that this is specifically an American tradition, which by itself is hilarious (and true). I would not put that past any single person in this country. Then they mention that there’s a bucket specifically made for pissy shitties and talk about its price being $30-$40, which is an exorbitant amount for a bucket, even at a movie theater. Exquisite.

Calling post-credit brawls at the movie “a part of the theater experience” is a flourish that I wish weren’t true, but sometimes happens, and is a magnificent capper to the whole comment. (Side question: why the hell do people get in fights at a movie theater, anyway? I understand that Fast and Furious 73: Omaha Country Road might get people riled up, but leave the action and terrible acting to Vin Diesel, please.)

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I did a cursory search on Reddit to see how many people were talking about pissy shitties. Offhand, I counted nine threads, then the search results started getting weird and not safe for the office. Nine whole discussion threads about pissy shitties. Half the threads are people asking “what are pissy shitties?” and “are pissy shitties real?”

I probably don’t have to spell this out for you, but considering how many people genuinely asked if pissy shitties were a real thing, no, they aren’t real. In fact, I challenge you to go up to the concession stand and ask for the piss bucket and get back to me. Please document this on video, as I’m sure this is how you will get famous on TikTok.

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But see, here is the best part. The MEL piece defends pissy shitties to the death, saying:

Why can’t we stop eating pissy shitties? There is the pleasure of concocting the soupy stuff — since they only sell the raw ingredients at concessions, you make it personally, to your exact liking. Movie theaters are places of ritual, and this is no exception. However, pissy shitties also speak to who we are as a people: radical, fearless, innovative and willing to shatter any taboo. 

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Oh, it’s easy to stop eating pissy shitties, since they don’t exist, but tripling down in its defense is yet another excellent layer of trolling to weave pissy shitties into the very existence of humanity. It forces pissy shitties to be a very real thing, even if they aren’t.

But this is about more than a bucket of soggy disgusting popcorn that nobody’s actually eating, so I looked deep into myself to understand why pissy shitties has me on my knees.

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It all comes down to this: I had a discussion a few days ago with my fiancée about my internet habits, happily declaring myself a troll. She said, “You’re not really a troll, Dennis. Well... your version of trolling is tweeting nasty shit at Arby’s all day.” See? I can only aspire to have the trolling power of pissy shitties. I am mere dust when compared to pissy shitties.

This is why pissy shitties are a wonderful contribution to the internet and to humanity altogether. It’s just a glorious celebration of trolling people until they just give up and succumb to the glory that is pissy shitties. It doesn’t matter that people don’t sit around and eat Pepsi-soaked popcorn in real life.

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Oh, wait.

popcorn and pepsi
Photo: Dennis Lee
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I went to Walgreens and got the two ingredients I needed for a healthy lunch of pissy shitties. Then I committed the cardinal sin of popping popcorn in the office kitchen, which is considered a capital offense in many countries.

I realize that using microwaveable popcorn is a far cry from applying Pepsi directly to a bucket of popcorn at a movie theater. But today is a celebration of pissy shitties in all of its forms and I would make do with the resources I had.

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As my coworker Brianna Wellen poured the Pepsi on the popcorn (I had to take pictures, in my role as photojournalist), we basked in the sound of it crackling and yielding to the soft drink. It was sort of like pouring milk on Rice Krispies, but stupider.

top down pissy shitties
Photo: Dennis Lee
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The final result was a soggy-ass bowl of popcorn floating on a sea of Pepsi. Every time I moved the bowl, the popcorn would undulate on top in a mesmerizing wave. It was nearly zen-like. I was the lone member of The Takeout crew who would undertake the transformative moment of reaching into a wet-ass bowl of popcorn to experience pissy shitties firsthand. I grabbed a few flaccid kernels and placed them delicately in my mouth.

In conclusion, pissy shitties is pretty gross. The combination of manufactured butter flavoring plus Pepsi created a strange, chemical-like odor, probably because of the actual presence of several chemicals. And the popcorn itself? It was terrible, absolutely soggy, and tasted exactly how you’re probably imagining. Like a garbage can inside a movie theater.

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I imagined a bucket of popcorn leaking Pepsi onto my leg while a fight broke out in the audience, after the credits to Under the Tuscan Sun 2: The Journey Continues rolled. And I felt myself revitalized by the taste of real-life trolling, transformed from a dumb comment on Tumblr, perpetuated by MEL, questioned by Reddit, and brought to life by The Takeout. Long live pissy shitties.

By the way, this article contains 35 instances of the phrase “pissy shitties.”