A Georgia Subway's Titanic Joke Is Causing A Ruckus

What's the appropriate waiting period when it comes to joking about a tragic catastrophe in the deep sea? Comedians know that some topics are almost always off-limits, but there's not much precedent for imploding high-tech submersibles. A Georgia location of the sandwich chain Subway tested the waters when its staff joked about the recent OceanGate Titan disaster. "Our subs don't implode," read a marquee sign in front of a Subway in Rincon, a small town outside of Savannah (via WTOC).

The sign referenced the implosion of the submersible on June 18, which killed 5 including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush and father-son duo Shahzada and Sulaiman Dawood on a descent to see the wreckage of the Titanic in the North Atlantic Ocean. Some found the advertising message inconsiderate and offensive to those close to the tragedy, who had only recently discovered the fate of their friends and family.

After facing online backlash and swift action from corporate, the Subway location was quick to take down the message. An official statement from Subway assured: "We have been in contact with the franchise about this matter and made it clear that this kind of comment has no place in our business" (via Fox Business).

Social media users were divided on the quip

Twitter was full of commentary on the Georgia Subway letterboard's joke, with some calling it "too soon" and "distasteful." One angered social media user wrote: "I seriously can't believe they did that. Such poor taste." Others referenced previous advertising blunders for the sandwich mega-franchise, like the infamous Jared Fogle scandal — though the dark Titan joke was the work of a single franchise rather than a national advertising move.

On Reddit's r/subway forum, many riffed on the sign in a thread titled: "Alright, who did it?" One user mused on the joke's premise, writing: "But your intestines explode after eating Subway.... Especially the meatballs!" Another joked that now, Subway's "Turkey Titan" sandwich feels a bit insensitive as well. A lot of commenters on a TikTok video referencing the irreverent signage also seemed to find the joke funny. "I would make it a point to eat there everyday!" one person wrote.

In the past, fast food franchises have been better off steering away from dark humor and controversy. Though chains have gotten snarky and fun before with creative messaging like Chick-fil-A's sign wars, it's always best to avoid negative backlash. No matter how many found the sign funny, it's understandable that the Rincon Subway location didn't keep their sign up for long. Perhaps the franchise is better off skipping the stand-up and sticking to sandwiches for the time being.