When Twitter arrived on the scene over a decade ago, users everywhere at first struggled to figure out how best to put their 140 characters to use. Soon companies and celebrities alike discovered that the social media platform is an incredibly easy way to stay connected with customers and fans. If someone has a problem with a brand or service, why look for a customer service number and then sit through hold music? Instead, turn to Twitter to air grievances, thereby giving the company a (very) public platform on which to respond.
If you have ever engaged with a company’s rep over Twitter, you are probably used to the standard “we’re sorry you had that experience” response. But some companies have taken their Twitter exchanges a little (a lot) further. Brands like Wendy’s and Taco Bell realized that their social media team can interact with people like anyone else would. Some of their tweets clap right back at trolls or engage in a little friendly competitive chatter with other brands. The result is a delightfully amused audience, an increase in followers, and an increase in brand awareness. People buy what they know — and if people are always aware of your company because you post some funny, down-to-earth tweets, then you might have new customers as a result.
We have rounded up a few hilarious Twitter moments when companies “threw some shade” at individuals or other companies who pushed the limits a little too far. Enjoy.
1. Wendy’s v. McDonalds
— Wendy's (@Wendys) January 3, 2017
When @_inkedsnowflake asked Wendy’s where the nearest McDonald’s could be found, Wendy’s didn’t hesitate before posting a picture of a trash can. The fast-food chain with the red-headed girl logo has become notorious in the Twitter-verse for keeping it real, and not holding back when it comes to trolls, challenges, or just a little fun.
2. Wendy’s v. a Troll
if you're having a bad day today, just remember that you didn't get dragged by a fast food company on twitter pic.twitter.com/gUSuHwZLQR
— ash @ seattle ²∕₁₃₋₁₆ (@ashastral) January 2, 2017
When a user tried to make Wendy’s admit that their beef must be frozen at some point (since their motto is “Fresh, Never Frozen”) the company shut him down. When he attempted to drag McDonald’s into the mix, Wendy’s had none of it. And the internet went wild.
3. Discovery v. Pittsburgh Penguins
— Discovery (@Discovery) May 13, 2015
When Discovery took to Twitter to inform the public of the average height of emperor penguins, the Pittsburgh hockey team though it would have a little fun by touting the average height of its own penguins. Discovery quickly tweeted back with some hilarious shade.
@penguins Strange. Our latest observations show no Penguin activity currently on ice in Pittsburgh. Where did they go?
— Discovery (@Discovery) May 14, 2015
4. Taco Bell v. Old Spice
@OldSpice Is your deodorant made with really old spices?
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) July 9, 2012
This Twitter exchange will teach Old Spice not to pick fights out of the blue. When the company tweeted about “fire sauce” not being made with real fire, Taco Bell put it in its place.
5. Burger King Being Cute
BK: Can I take your order?
GUY: I can’t think.
BK: Coffee. Got it.
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) April 29, 2016
Burger King thought it would be funny to post an imaginary exchange between a drive-thru customer needing coffee and a BK worker. Perhaps slightly funnier are some of the comments from those following the thread.
6. Royal Mail v. Customer Complaint
@IHaveABirthmark Sorry to hear that, when exactly did your mum post them & what service was used?? ;-D
— Royal Mail (@RoyalMail) June 18, 2014
When someone tweeted at the Royal Mail (the official mail carrier in the United Kingdom) complaining that his Valentine’s Day cards hadn’t arrived, the mail service had a hilarious mom-themed response for him.
7. Royal Jordanian Airline v. United
— Royal Jordanian (@RoyalJordanian) April 10, 2017
Following the unfortunate incident on United Airlines when a passenger was dragged off the flight for not giving up his seat, Royal Jordanian trolled the airline, promising not to drag any of its passengers off. To get the double entendre, it is important to know that “dragging” is also slang for “smoking.”
8. Delta v. United
Flying Delta means comfort. (That means you can wear your leggings. 😉)
— Delta (@Delta) March 27, 2017
United had a pretty terrible couple of months, including when female passengers were prohibited from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings. Delta took advantage of United’s PR nightmare to remind its Twitter followers that leggings are perfectly acceptable aboard its own flights.
9. Wendy’s v. Hardee’s
— Sean Ludwig (@seanludwig) April 12, 2017
It is only fitting that we end this roundup with yet another Wendy’s gem. The fast-food chain was the first to advertise for its 4 for 4 (4 items for $4). When a Twitter user pointed out that Hardee’s 4 for 4 was better, Wendy’s had a field day. Be sure to read to the end of the thread. It’s priceless.