Why the ‘peanut butter’ shot is the most dreaded injection

Tim Kirkpatrick
Updated onMar 26, 2024 9:30 AM PDT
Reviewed byTessa Robinson
2 minute read
peanut butter shot

peanut butter shot


Out of all the medications recruits get injected with, none of them are as feared as the almighty “peanut butter” shot.

In the first few weeks of boot camp, every recruit will get in a line during their medical evaluations and get stuck in the arm with all sorts of needles and have thermometers shoved into some uncomfortable places. Welcome to the military! Out of all the medications recruits get injected with throughout their processing week, none of them are as feared as the almighty "peanut butter" shot. This tasty-sounding treat isn't reserved for one branch of the military - - everyone gets one.

While these peanut butter shots are awesome, the ones we get in boot camp are far from exciting.

What is the 'peanut butter' shot?

The "peanut butter" shot, in the military, is a slang term for the famous bicillin vaccination every recruit receives unless they have an allergy — and can prove it. But if you can't, you're in for an experience of a lifetime. You'll be brought into an examination room, usually as a group, and be told to drop your trousers past one of your butt cheeks and bend over.
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Once the recruit has assumed their most vulnerable position, the medical staff will attach a long and thick needle to a pre-filled vial of bicillin.

Since bicillin kills off a variety of bacteria strands in one shot, it's given to nearly every recruit.

Now, once the medical staff injects the recruits in their butt cheek, the pain hits them like a bolt of electricity. The thick liquid begins to pour into the muscle, but it doesn't spread as fast as you might think.

Oh, no!

The human body absorbs the thick, peanut-butter looking medication at a slow rate because of the liquid's density and creates a painful, red lump on the recruit's ass. You can get an allergy exemption if you have a documented allergy, and then they'll give you "peanut butter pills." We can confirm those do not taste like peanut butter.

If you're lucky enough to get a peanut butter shot in the ass, you literally can't sit right for a few days. Since some boot camps require their recruits be highly active, the idea of adding intense physical movement to the shot's excruciating pain just adds to the "peanut butter" shot's awfulness.

Have you had the PB shot? Is there any injection that's worse?



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