Arby's Buffalo Boneless Wings Are Just Nuggets, According To Instagram

Chicken wings are a staple finger food for tailgates and sports-watching parties, most notably the Super Bowl. Last year, the National Chicken Council predicted that Americans would eat close to 1.42 billion wings during the NFL season's finale. With the NCC saying that the chicken wing shortage is no more, we wouldn't be surprised if the outcome is similar – or possibly even higher – in 2023.

Thrusting wings into the spotlight also brings up a question that has been plaguing the food community for years: Are boneless chicken wings really just chicken nuggets in disguise? Back in 2020, Buffalo Wild Wings tried to put an end to this thought process, tweeting, "Nuggets are ground chicken. Boneless wings aren't." Furthermore, Grill Simply explains that boneless wings, which aren't technically wings either, are "typically less processed and are meatier" than the humble nugg.

Even with all the evidence in support of the argument that nuggies and boneless wings are their own distinct finger foods, there are still many people out there trying to make the case for the opposing side of the debate. In fact, earlier this month, a post on Arby's Instagram page had its comments section hijacked by a number of Instagrammers who claimed that the chain's returning Buffalo Boneless Wings aren't exactly what their name makes them out to be.

Is there any validity to these Instagrammers' claims?

Arby's proudly claims it has "the meats," and in October 2021, its meat selection expanded to include boneless chicken wings. Per QSR Magazine, the bite-sized pieces of poultry were introduced as a limited-time item, but last month, Brand Eating reported that the chain brought back Buffalo Boneless Wings. The Arby's social media team celebrated their return by sharing an Instagram video depicting the origin story of the wings. However, instead of greeting it with excitement, several respondents took to the comments section to make a bold claim.

"Can we talk about how [they're] just chicken nuggets and not actually wings?" Instagram user @corowood asked. Their suspicions were seemingly confirmed by a few alleged Arby's employees, like user @lostintkyo. "I've worked in Arby's, it's just chicken nuggets dipped in sauce," they wrote. User @managereddiegreenatpopeyes, who works at Popeyes, said, "It's our nuggets and we add buffalo sauce."

As of this writing, Arby's has neither confirmed nor denied that its Buffalo Boneless Wings are actually an upgraded version of its nuggets. However, Brand Eating describes the returning menu item returning wings as "the chain's Premium Chicken Nuggets tossed in Spicy Buffalo Sauce," and photos and descriptions of the respective menu items on the restaurant's website are suspiciously similar to one another. While we cannot definitively say these Instagrammers are right or wrong, both items are currently available at Arby's for anybody who may want to do some sleuthing.