A PAM Cooking Spray Conspiracy


While on vacation in beautiful Omaha, Nebraska, my girlfriend and I went to purchase a bottle of PAM cooking spray to make eggs in the morning.

“Hm, that’s weird,” said my girlfriend. “This bottle feels half empty.” Ignoring her apparent “half empty” pessimism, I picked up another bottle of PAM and discovered that this bottle also felt half full. All of the PAM bottles on the shelf did. I shrugged it off, thinking PAM had adopted a new formula which condensed the liquid, making it feel lighter while still giving you as much PAM. But after only two weeks, the bottle was empty. It had in fact been half full. So what the hell happened? Why were all the PAM bottles on a shelf in an Omaha Target half full? The conspiracy I uncovered would take me to a dark and unpredictable underworld, a secret network of government cover-ups and corporate corruption.

Actually, I ran out of PAM this morning, and I can only wildly speculate. In fact, I’ll probably never get a real answer about this, but here are my PAM conspiracy theories:

  1. If all the PAM bottles were half full, that would mean one of several things happened: the first being that PAM shipped out half full bottles to various grocery stores. Which then means they either:
  2. Were filled by a super lazy PAM employee that didn’t want to wait until each bottle had the right amount of PAM in it
  3. Were filled by a maniacal PAM Employee that just wanted to watch the world burn, and run out of PAM super quickly.
  4. Were filled by a very cheap PAM employee who was determined to bring more money into PAM by filling the bottles halfway and shipping them out, which would then raise PAM’s quarterly earnings, thereby putting this employee in the good graces of PAM executives, who would be so smitten with his success that they would promote him to Spray Cap Research and Development.
  5. The next option is even more perplexing: it involves a Target employee or guest picking up each PAM bottle and spraying some out until eventually all of the cans are half full. Which leads to even MORE options. First: Is there potentially a Target employee living in the Omaha Target, that sprays PAM on a pan he stole from the cookware section each morning before getting dressed in a fitting room and going to work in that very Target? Maybe, but there was no evidence of this in the store.
  6. Also, the shelf around the PAM, and the floor beneath the PAM were not slippery. This rules out any potential leakage, or a random punk kid walking by, and spraying PAM all willy-nilly.
  7. What if someone bought 40 bottles of PAM, used half of each and then returned all of them? This is also highly unlikely.

The most likely reason is that PAM is saving money by filling cans halfway in small cities like Omaha. Full cans are sent to nicer cities and towns. I will continue my research to discover why PAM has a corporate structure so focused on saving money that they’d sacrifice can-fullness.


In 2015, my grandparents found a wrapped double pack of PAM in their garage and were so desperate they used it, despite the cans having an expiration date of 2005. They called the number on the side of the PAM can, which I’m sure hadn’t been called in the last 25 years. I picture a dusty, cobweb-covered phone ringing with office workers around it looking confused, having never heard that phone ring before. Someone on the other side (there’s no way of knowing if it was an actual PAM employee), told my grandparents that they should not use it. But they did anyway, and they both lived to tell the tale. PAM cooking spray, aged 10 years.

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