You really want to break the Internet, Kim Kardashian?
You need not remove any layers of clothing to do so.
As Carter Wilkerson can attest, you simply need to ask a question of Wendy’s via social media.
Back on April 5, this 16-year old from Nevada sent a seemingly simple and harmless Tweet. He thought it would be a fun joke for his friends.
Yo, Wendy’s, Carter inquired. How many re-Tweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?
To Carter’s surprise, the restaurant’s official Twitter account (which has become famous for being awesome and hilarious) actually responded, telling Wilkerson he needed 18 million.
“Consider it done,” Carter wrote back, prior to telling his followers: “HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS.”
It was all meant to be in good fun… but one should never underestimate the power of Twitter.
Or of chicken nuggets, we guess.
Wilkerson’s Tweet was picked up by one person… and then another person…
… and then it spread like a fire in the wild and when the above message surpassed 3.43 million re-Tweets, Wendy’s said Carter could go ahead and have his free nuggets for a year.
Yes, the post has fallen far short of the 18 million Tweets Wendy’s had initially agreed upon.
As of this morning, however, it had become the MOST RE-TWEETED MESSAGE OF ALL-TIME.
So the chain figured this accomplishment was notable enough for Carter to receive his year’s supply of free food, and also for the company to donate $100,000 in his name to the Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption.
“You’ve more than earned our respect … and the nuggets,” Kurt Kane, chief concept and marketing officer for The Wendy’s Company, said in a statement.
The previous re-Tweet record belonged to this Ellen DeGeneres-anchor selfie, which Bradley Cooper snapped in 2014 when the comedian hosted that year’s Academy Awards.
Over the past few weeks, as it looked more and more likely that Carter would take the talk show host down, she and Cooper did all they could to hold on to their top spot.
They even recorded the following Public Service Announcement:
Alas, even Ellen could not slow down the young man now known as The Nugget Kid.
In an interview with The New York Times yesterday, when he was 3,600 re-Tweets behind DeGeneres, Wilkerson said he was preparing for AP examples, going over college applications and getting ready to take his girlfriend to the prom.
He didn’t expect to become a viral sensation.
But he doesn’t mind the newfound status, either.
“I think they’re all pretty jealous,” Carter said of his classmates. “Who doesn’t want to be the Nugget Kid?”
Now with over 100,000 followers, Carter is trying to use his Internet fame for good.
He encourages followers to donate to Pinocchio’s Moms on the Run, a Reno organization that supports women with breast cancer.
And he also wrote the following back in January, in case anyone thought this was some calculate marketing move by Wendy’s:
“It’s super important to enjoy it while it lasts, because it won’t last forever,” Carter tells The Times, adding with honesty:
“It’d be pretty cool to put on my college applications that I’m the No. 1 retweeted tweet of all time.”
And now he can do so!
All without saying anything remotely dumb or controversial, which is more than the following stars can claim: