The simple pleasure of the ‘It’s a chicken salad’ TikTok

woman holding fork above chicken salad on white table while speaking (l) woman holding fork up speaking with chicken salad on white table (c) woman holding fork above chicken salad on white table while speaking with caption 'THAT ONE SOUND FROM TIKTOK' (r)

TikTok tasted the biscuit. Now it wants the chicken salad.

That One Sound is a weekly column from senior internet culture writer Audra Schroeder that explores the origin of popular sounds heard on TikTok. Suggestions? Tips? Email [email protected]

A Cleveland deli received the kind of promotion you just can’t buy, and made a salad go viral, thanks to one woman’s endorsement. TikTok has tasted the biscuit, and now it wants the chicken salad.

The sound

The TikTok sound features this exchange between a man and woman:

“Y’all better come up here and get one of these.”

“What’s that?

“It’s a chicken salad.”

It was originally posted by the account @81stdeli on Aug. 28, and has more than 19.5 million views.


♬ original sound – 81stdeli

But the sound didn’t go viral until October; it’s now been used in more than 100,000 TikToks, and was amplified by some famous faces.


S/O oh my soul in NC… YALL kept messing up my delivery but it was bussin 😖🤠

♬ original sound – 81stdeli


Anything can be chicken salad if you close your eyes 😏🤣

♬ original sound – 81stdeli

@michaelbuble Today at the happiest place on earth. Tomorrow , the gym 😞 #onlyliveonce #disneyworld #healthyoptions ♬ original sound – 81stdeli

Why is this sound so effective? It’s really all in the delivery, as this comment on the original TikTok sums up:

comment 81st Deli's TikTok 81stdeli/TikTok

Where’s it from?

Tanisha Godfrey is the source of the audio; she posted the clip on TikTok a few days after the original, and it was filmed at Cleveland’s popular E. 81st St. Deli.

Godfrey tells the Daily Dot via email that she “literally just stopped to grab something to eat, we made the TikTok, and didn’t expect anything to happen.”

“I wasn’t really a TikTok person,” she adds, “so when I found out I was scared because I’m not used to the attention. I finally hopped on TikTok and I was like woooow, these people really love me!!”

Godfrey has been posting duets with some of the celebs who’ve used the sound, as well as some of the remixes of the audio. In a recent local news report on the deli, Godfrey says she’s been going there since she was 13, and that on the day they filmed the TikTok, the deli’s owner, Wael Herbawi, simply suggested that they film something about it, as he does with other customers’ food.

@onlynishaa_ #chickensalad #onlynishaa__ #iwaswatchingthewrongchannel #lizzo #iloveyall #heyboooo #superior ♬ original sound – Nish Godfrey

Herbawi told Today that the number of chicken salads he sells in a day has gone from 40 to roughly 300. And people are apparently coming from out of state for these salads.


♬ original sound – 81stdeli

Sound off

More recently, Godfrey used her new celebrity to amplify something else: the importance of voting in Ohio. She says she’s “humble and excited about my new adventures,” but that despite the virality, “I’m still Nish.”

@onlynishaa_ Ohio, early voting ends Nov 7, Election Day Nov 8! Find out more at #govote #makeachange @innovationohio ♬ original sound – Nish Godfrey

Daily Dot icon web_crawlr We crawl the web so you don’t have to. Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.

Let me read it first


Related posts

Webtoon’s vice president of content David Lee shares how creators can monetize their comics

Sarah Henriquez

‘House of the Dragon’ pulls back the curtain on a Westerosi open secret

Sarah Henriquez

Elon Musk cracks down on Twitter parody accounts, suspending Kathy Griffin

Sarah Henriquez

Leave a Comment