TikTok’s ‘Rat Snacks’ Trend Is All About Joyful Snacking

It’s time to celebrate (and share) your most bizarre—but delicious—snack mash-ups.

Photo collage of chicken nugget being dipped in honey and salami rolls
Photo:

Left: Image Professionals GmbH / Getty Images; Right: Saddako / Getty Images | Design: Better Homes & Gardens

Food trends come and go, but we all have that weird snack that we invented one day in a fit of hunger. Call it a guilty pleasure snack or call it a craving, but these food mash-ups are finally getting the special attention they deserve: Affectionately referred to as “rat snacks” on TikTok, these treats (which are all about embracing your inner joy monster) are going wild on TikTok as users share their favorite weird snack combos. Some of them—like the pickle in a blanket or ice cream in a fruit roll-up—have even gone viral.  

What Is a Rat Snack?

A rat snack is not fancy, and you aren’t likely to find one on a menu. A rat snack is a DIY food mash-up made with items from the pantry, freezer, or refrigerator that may not often get paired together. The rat snack is the goblin cousin of the Instagram-worthy Acai bowls that were popular on social media a few years ago, and the opposite of the elaborate avocado toasts you’ll find at brunch spots across the country. Rat snacks are unconventional, “unhinged,” and often eaten while standing over the sink or binging Netflix shows.

If you have ever drizzled chocolate syrup on Ritz Crackers or dipped your French fries in ice cream, you’ve had a rat snack. If you have ever declared to someone, “I swear, it’s delicious. I used to eat it all the time growing up,” you have a rat snack. In fact, most rat snacks come from a place of nostalgia, as evidenced by the number of videos on TikTok that begin with users explaining that they grew up eating peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches with maple syrup, or other cobbled-together snacks.

Other rat snack trends involve putting together platters or boards with a collection of your favorite snackable things, like vegetables and dip, pickles and cheese, or sweet and salty treats. Tiktoker Grace Black (who goes by @fiveyearstimepodcast on the platform) is an absolute genius at making snack platters, assembling them for herself or her whole family with cheese and crackers, pickles, TV snacks, and even leftovers. It’s a fantastic way to make use of what you have in the refrigerator or to sample a little of everything you are craving, and that’s the best thing about the rat snack trend: Anything goes. The recipes are uncomplicated, impulsive, and indulgent. It’s self-care in the form of an unfussy snack.

Popular Rat Snacks on TikTok

If you are interested in sampling some rat snacks, here are a few more fun ideas we unearthed.

Marshmallows and Popcorn

Several users suggested dumping mini marshmallows into a bowl of freshly popped, buttered popcorn. It’s basically a deconstructed popcorn ball. One user took it a step further by adding jelly beans for an Easter treat.

Crackers and Hot Sauce

There are lots of videos of users trying Goldfish crackers (or other cheese-flavored crackers) with a drizzle of hot sauce. One user even loves Goldfish crackers poured into a bowl of salsa and eaten with a spoon.

Chicken Nuggets and Honey

Several TikTokers report loving the combination of chicken nuggets and honey, but one user suggests making your own hot honey (by warming honey and red chili flakes in a pan) before dipping your nuggets.  

Pickle Popcorn

Selena Gomez is apparently a big fan of dipping buttered, salty popcorn in pickle juice. Her love for dill-flavored popcorn is shared by a number of TikTokers, and one even crafted her own recipe by adding pickle juice to the melted butter before pouring it on and tossing the popcorn with fresh dill.

Salami Rolls

There are many variations on the theme of rolling salami and cream cheese together. Many suggest wrapping it in a tortilla or flattened white bread. Many suggest adding a dill pickle. One user suggested spreading cream cheese on a slice of salami and rolling it around pepperoncini.

So, go ahead. Use your imagination. Dip your Hot Cheetos into cream cheese. Slather some mayonnaise on your strawberries (yes, really). TikTok has spoken, and it’s time to embrace your inner rodent and enjoy your rat snacks happily.

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