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HandWiki. (2022, November 21). Internet Challenge. In Encyclopedia.
HandWiki. "Internet Challenge." Encyclopedia. Web. 21 November, 2022.
Internet Challenge

On the internet, a challenge is a genre of videos in which users record themselves performing an action and then dare others to repeat it. They play a role in internet meme culture, with many challenges spreading through such memes. Examples include the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, which went viral in mid-2014 and the TrashTag Challenge which went viral in 2019. An internet challenge is similar to the common children's dare game in which they dare each other to perform an action that one would not normally do. Some challenges/talks predate the internet; some periodically resurface in a somewhat different form. The popularity of internet challenges is explained by people's, especially teenagers', need to gain attention and be liked.

internet meme challenge challenges

1. List of Challenges

  • Banana Sprite Challenge – a challenge to quickly eat two bananas and drink one can of Sprite[1] without vomiting. There are other versions of the challenge, but the suggested premise is that the body cannot digest both substances at the same time.[2] While the vomit response is commonly assumed to be a chemical reaction between the two foods, the reaction may also occur due simply to the large amount of food and drink ingested within a short period. Dietitian Heather Boline observes that the human stomach can only hold around two cups, saying "Too much food or liquid in your stomach if your stomach doesn’t have that capability can make you vomit."[2] Thus, the vomiting response is likely due to the volume of food and drink being higher than the volume of the stomach.
  • Bird Box Challenge – For its film Bird Box, where a significant plot element has characters keeping themselves blindfolded to prevent going insane, Netflix partnered with Twitch streamers to challenge them to play video games blindfolded. However, the challenge morphed into people attempting everyday activities fully blindfolded while being recorded, which included attempting to cook, walk in busy streets, and drive cars. Several of these videos have gone viral, but others repeating the challenges have gotten themselves into a number of non-fatal injuries. Netflix and law officials have issued warnings that people should only perform Bird Box challenges in safe, isolated places to eliminate the potential to injure themselves and others.[3][4]
  • Book Bucket Challenge – A variant of so-called Ice Bucket Challenge with an India n origin. It went viral on social media during August–September 2014.[5][6] The original Ice Bucket Challenge involved participants pouring a bucket of ice over their head or donating money to the ALS Association. The Book Bucket Challenge involves people sharing the names of 10 books that inspired them on their social networking pages or donating books to the needy and sharing those photos with friends on social networking sites.
  • Bottle Cap Challenge – A martial arts challenge where one must kick the bottle cap off without knocking over the bottle itself.[7][8]
  • Cameron Boyce Challenge – After Cameron Boyce passed away at age 20,[9] a new challenge became trending as folks mimicked the symptoms of epileptic seizure that led to his death. Fans called out this challenge as obscene, considering it an insult to his immediate family and to everyone with epilepsy.[10]
  • Charlie Charlie Challenge – A ouija-emulating ritual in which the spirit of a Mexican demon named "Charlie" is invoked via two pencils in the shape of a cross and the words "yes" and "no" written on paper in a square. Social media users began circulating videos of pencils moving to the word "yes" when asking if the demon is present.[11]
  • Cheesed Challenge – A Twitter trend. Parents film themselves tossing cheese slices at their babies with controversial results.[12][13]
  • Cinnamon challenge – A viral Internet food challenge. The objective of the challenge is to film oneself swallowing a spoonful of ground cinnamon in under 60 seconds without drinking anything,[14] then upload the video to the Internet.[15][16][17] The challenge is difficult and carries substantial health risks because the cinnamon coats and dries the mouth and throat, resulting in coughing, gagging, vomiting, and inhaling of cinnamon, leading to throat irritation, breathing difficulties, and risk of pneumonia[14] or a collapsed lung.[18]
  • Condom challenge – A viral Internet challenge. The challenge involves inserting a latex condom into the nostril and snorting it into the nasal cavity and back through the throat to be coughed out of the mouth. The term "condom challenge" was coined in May 2012 following the widespread popularity of the cinnamon challenge, but the idea is several years old and videos of challenge attempts date to at least 2007.[19] The challenge went viral in April 2013, when WorldStarHipHop posted a video of two young women attempting the challenge, and several people subsequently uploaded videos onto the Internet of themselves attempting the challenge. The stunt poses potential choking hazards.[20]
  • Coronavirus Challenge – the challenge involves licking various surfaces such as door handles and even public toilet bowls.[21] At least one person who took the challenge was reported to have contracted COVID-19.[22]
  • Devious lick – a trend, popular among teenagers, that involves stealing object(s) from school, such as soap, sanitizers etc.
  • Eraser Challenge – a kids trend where one rubs an eraser on their bare skin as hard as they can while reciting the English alphabet. While that may sound like a fun school activity, it can cause painful burns and scars to the skin, possibly with infections as well, thus leading to parental concerns.[23][24]
  • Everywhere at the End of Time – A challenge in which people listen to this six-hour album set from Leyland James Kirby, a sonic depiction of dementia that features early 20th-century recordings (most prominently the 1931 song "Heartaches") slowly become more degraded and jumbled until it devolves into noise in line with a dementia patient's memory and cognitive function. It emerged as an Internet challenge in 2020.[25] Kirby was strongly in favor of the challenge as a way to raise awareness of dementia.[26]
  • Fire Challenge – an activity which refers to the application of flammable liquids to one's body and then setting the liquids aflame, while being video recorded. The aftermath is then posted to social media sites.[27][28][29][30] Firefighters, police officers and media sources have chastised and spoken out against the activity, hoping to dissuade individuals from trying it due to its harmful nature.[31][32][33] In 2021, a TikTok variant of this challenge involves drawing shapes on the bare skin using any flammable substance (typically alcohol) and lighting it on fire, resulting in similar consequences like the original.[34][35]
  • Food challenge – examples include the gallon challenge or the Saltine cracker challenge, are specific challenges or competitions involving food. These may occur as part of competitive eating or as an online challenge.[36] For example, the dare of the cinnamon challenge meme is to attempt to eat a specified amount of ground cinnamon within a minute and then also post the video online, like a chain letter.
  • Food Stamp or SNAP Challenge – a trend in the United States popularized by religious groups, community activists and food pantries, in which a family of means chooses to purchase food using only the monetary equivalent of what a family that size would receive in the US federal government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), colloquially called food stamps.[37] In 2015, this amounted to US$194.00 per person per month, or nearly $7.00 per day.[38][39]
  • Gallon smashing – A challenge which surfaced on YouTube in 2013, gallon smashing involves obtaining bottles of liquid in a supermarket (usually cow's milk or water) and then throwing them against the floor and spilling their contents in such a way that the act is seen to be accidental rather than deliberate. The participant may attempt to damage other objects as they throw the bottles or fall into the resultant spill and seek the assistance of customers to help them up. Participants of this challenge often sustain injuries and frequently face punishment from legal authorities, including the two teenagers who originally started the phenomenon.[40][41]
  • Ice Bucket Challenge – A charity-driven effort where a person "tags" three other people over social media, challenging them either to donate $100 to the ALS Association, or to otherwise douse themselves with a bucket of ice-cold water while filming themselves as well as making a smaller donation and tagging three others with the same challenge. As the challenge propagated, it tagged various celebrities and people with large numbers of social followers, causing the challenge to grow in a viral manner.[42]
  • I Will Survive coronavirus challenge – Named after Gloria Gaynor's hit song, the aim is to encourage people to properly wash their hands in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The iconic singer made a video that has since gone viral on TikTok.[43]
  • Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge – Based on trying to recreate the puffy lips of television star Kylie Jenner, Internet users show themselves using a small vessel like a shot glass that covers their lips, drawing all the air out of the vessel, and then releasing, which temporarily puffs the lips by drawing the user's blood into them. The activity is considered harmful, both from bruising and dis-figuration of the lips, and the potential for the vessel to shatter and cut the person.[44][45]
  • Mannequin Challenge – a viral Internet video trend that started in October 2016 where people remain still while a video is recorded, usually with music in the background, most commonly "Black Beatles" by Rae Sremmurd. It became especially popular with sports teams and athletes.[46]
  • Outlet Challenge – A year after YouTube announced its ban on extremely dangerous challenges videos,[47] users migrated to TikTok to share their videos of the new viral challenge. Participants have partially plugged in their phone chargers into outlets, then slid pennies into the gap between the phone charger and the electrical socket, resulting in electrical fire hazards, exploiting a design flaw of the NEMA connector.[48] The Massachusetts State Fire Marshal issued a letter warning fire departments and schools regarding the challenge.[49]
  • Running Man Challenge – A series of dance videos originally created by Hillside, New Jersey high school students Kevin Vincent and Jeremiah Hall on Instagram that uses the song "My Boo" by Ghost Town DJ's.[50][51]
  • Sailor Moon redraw challenge – in this challenge artists redraw a screenshot of Sailor Moon, the character from the series of the same name, in their own art styles. Alternatively, the scene is redrawn with another fictional character taking her place.[52][53]
A hand after performing the salt and ice challenge
  • Salt and ice challenge – Internet phenomenon wherein participants pour salt on their bodies, usually on the arm and ice is then placed on the salt.[54][55] This causes a "burning" sensation, and participants are challenged to withstand the pain for as long as they can. The challenge is recorded and posted on YouTube or other forms of social media.[55][56][57] This challenge has caused many burns as a result.[54]
  • Skull Breaker Challenge – A TikTok challenge that went viral in February 2020 and spread to other sections of the internet. The challenge involves two people convincing another person to jump, and then kick their legs out, causing the person jumping to fall on their head. Several people have been hospitalized after performing this challenge.[58]
  • Tide Pod Challenge – Similar to other eating challenges, this saw people attempt to eat Tide Pods, small packets filled with laundry detergent and other chemicals that normally dissolve while in a washing machine. The challenge gained attention in late 2017 and early 2018, and quickly was addressed by several health-related organizations, as the chemicals in the packet are poisonous and toxic to humans. These agencies sought to warn users and strongly discourage the challenge after dozens of cases of poisoning were reported within the first few weeks of 2018, while YouTube took action to remove videos related to the challenge to further stop its spread.[59][60]
  • Trashtag Challenge – An environmental challenge encouraging people to clean-up litter and post before/after photos. The challenge went viral in 2019 and is part of a movement to clean up litter and trash from the outdoors. Organizations that are actively involved in the challenge include National CleanUp Day, Earth Day, Keep America Beautiful, and World Cleanup Day.[61][62][63]
    TrashTag Challenge CleanUp – After TrashTag Challenge.
  • Yoga Challenge – A continuing YouTube video trend that first went viral during the summer of 2014 involving participants who attempt to perform a series of acroyoga poses that are taken from the internet. Typically, participants are not trained in yoga, which results in humorous outcomes (awkward stances, falling down, etc.). These attempts are captured on film, usually on a smartphone or tablet camera, and uploaded to YouTube. Usually, prior to attempting a pose, participants will show an image of the pose they are attempting. The contrast between correct poses by professionals and incorrect poses by amateurs adds to the humor. YouTuber Alfie Deyes posted a video titled The Yoga Challenge! in June 2014 which may have set off the trend. Deyes' video may have been inspired by various popular "couples' stunts" and "yoga fail" videos by channels such as BFvsGF posted as early as 2012. BFvsGF reattempted the trend by posting a video titled "Acro Yoga Challenge" in July 2014. The "challenge" part may stem from the "30-Day yoga challenge" that was a popular fitness vlogging trend on YouTube as early as the mid-2000s.[64]


  1. "Social media challenge approaching social moral concern – PCC Courier". 
  2. "'Dr. Food Science' mixes bananas and Sprite, conducts other questionable food experiments". Joplin Globe. 
  3. Andriani, Ria (7 January 2019). "Bird Box Challenge: why blindfolding yourself and walking into walls is even more stupid than it sounds". The Guardian. 
  4. Philips, Kristine (13 January 2019). "Driving blindfolded for the 'Bird Box challenge?' Just don't, officials say.". The Washington Post. 
  5. Express News Service (2014-09-11). "Book Bucket Challenge Popular on Social media". The Indian Express. 
  6. "Book Bucket, the latest fad among city slickers". The Times of India. 2014-09-06. 
  7. Kuperinsky, Amy (2019-07-01). "What is the Bottle Cap Challenge? Jason Statham, Conor McGregor, John Mayer and more try Instagram trend." (in en-US). 
  8. "What is the Bottle Cap Challenge? Jason Statham and John Mayer join the latest viral challenge" (in en-US). 
  9. "Cameron Boyce's Family Confirms He Suffered From Epilepsy" (in en-US). 9 July 2019. 
  10. "Cameron Boyce fans call out disgusting new challenge which makes fun of his death" (in en). 
  11. "#CharlieCharlieChallenge: Why people are trying to talk to demons". BBC. 25 May 2015. 
  12. Gollayan, Christian (2019-03-01). "Why people are throwing cheese at babies" (in en). 
  13. "'Cheesed Challenge' Has Parents Hurling Slices of Cheese at Their Kids" (in en-US). 2019-03-05. 
  14. Healy, Melissa (2012-03-28). "Teens' 'cinnamon challenge': Dangerous, not innocent". Los Angeles Times. 
  15. Shipman, Dustin (29 April 2008). "'Dr. Food Science' mixes bananas and Sprite, conducts other questionable food experiments". The Joplin Globe. 
  16. Huget, Jennifer LaRue (5 April 2010). "Swallowing cinnamon by the spoonful". 
  17. Waxman, Matthew (25 August 2005). "Milking the situation: To support Florida batboy, I try other food challenges". 
  18. ""Cinnamon challenge" dangerous to lungs, new report warns". CBS. 22 April 2013. 
  19. Alvarez, Alex (17 April 2013). "Condom Challenge Videos on YouTube a Bad Idea". ABC News. 
  20. Greenberg, Molly (18 April 2013). "Teen Condom Snorting Trend is Dangerous, Gross, Not Funny at All [VIDEO"]. InTheCapital. 
  21. Jones, Harrison; Lees, Eleanor (24 March 2020). "Doctor warns innocent people will die if they do the 'coronavirus challenge'". METRO. 
  22. Altaf, Daniel (27 March 2020). "Coronavirus Challenge: Influencer Who Licked Toilet Seat Gets Infected". PARHLO. 
  23. "School warning: What parents need to know about the 'eraser challenge'" (in en). 
  24. ""Eraser challenge" social media game dangerous to kids" (in en-US). 
  25. Schroeder, Audra (19 October 2020). "TikTok turns The Caretaker's 6-hour song into a 'challenge'". 
  26. Marcus, Ezra (23 October 2020). "Why Are TikTok Teens Listening to an Album About Dementia?". The New York Times. 
  27. "Colorado Fire Officials Warn About Teens Taking The 'Fire Challenge'". CBS Denver. 
  28. "11-year-old boy set himself on fire in 'fire challenge' game | News – Home". 2014-07-22. 
  29. Smith, Jessica (2014-03-09). "Dangerous 'fire challenge' game spreads online". Wish-Tv. 
  30. Emery, Sean (1 August 2014). "Santa Ana teen hospitalized after he takes the 'fire challenge'". Orange County Register. 
  31. ""Fire challenge" spreads to Rochester". 2014-02-08. 
  32. CBS/AP (2 August 2014). "California teen severely burned attempting "fire challenge"". CBS News. 
  33. "Boy, 11, released from hospital after playing 'fire challenge' | News – Home". 2014-07-22. 
  34. Dreier, Natalie; Desk, Cox Media Group National Content. "TikTok challenge sends teen to ICU with severe burns" (in en). 
  35. Sorace, Stephen (2021-05-31). "Oregon teen hospitalized with severe burns after attempting viral TikTok fire challenge" (in en-US). 
  36. "Matt Stonie beats Joey Chestnut to win Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest" ESPN. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  37. "A Governor Truly Tightens His Belt". The New York Times. 
  38. "Eligibility – Food and Nutrition Service". 
  39. "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)".$PP.htm. 
  40. Wetherbee, Brandon (29 March 2013). "Gallon Smash Prank Teens Charged By Fairfax County Police". The Huffington Post. 
  41. "Teen Attempts 'Gallon Smashing' Prank in Grocery Store, Fails Miserably". The Huffington Post. 11 May 2013. 
  42. Lowrey, Annie (20 August 2014). "Why the Ice-Bucket Challenge Went Viral". New York Magazine. 
  43. Lee, Alicia (12 March 2020). "Gloria Gaynor fights coronavirus by taking her hit song 'I Will Survive' to the sink". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 
  44. Moyer, Justin Wm. (21 April 2015). "Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge: The dangers of 'plumping that pout'". The Washington Post. 
  45. "Teens warn against giving Kylie Jenner lip challenge a shot". 23 April 2015. 
  46. "Football teams are stopping everything for the 'mannequin challenge'". 
  47. John, Tara. "YouTube bans dangerous pranks and challenges". 
  48. "TikTok's new challenge involving electric socket and penny is too dangerous to try" (in en). 2020-01-22. 
  49. Alsharif, Mirna (January 23, 2020). "Authorities warn of TikTok 'outlet challenge' causing fires". CNN. 
  50. Steinberg, Dan. "How a forgotten '90s dance hit made these Terps Internet famous". 
  51. Ducey, Kenny. "The Running Man Challenge died too soon". 
  52. Yap, Mae Yen (22 May 2020). "Artists Are Reimagining Sailor Moon in Their Own Styles on Twitter and We Love It." Mashable. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  53. Knox, Kelly (19 May 2020). "The Sailor Moon Redraw Challenge Is Magical." Nerdist. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  54. Vang, Gia. 29 July 2012. "Experts: Don't Try 'Salt and Ice Challenge'". Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  55. Kuhn, Sherri. 5 July 2012. "The Salt and ice challenge: Don't let your teen get burned". Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  56. ""Ice and salt challenge" leaves 12-year-old Pittsburgh boy with second-degree burns – HealthPop". CBS News. 2012-07-02. 
  57. Kwak, Janet. "Ice-and-Salt Challenge Fires Up Health Officials". 
  58. "TikTok 'Skull Breaker Challenge' tricks unknowing children into serious injury". 21 February 2020. 
  59. Nedelman, Michael (17 January 2018). "Poison control calls 'spike' due to online laundry pod challenge". CNN. 
  60. Gartenberg, Chaim (17 January 2018). "YouTube is taking down Tide Pod Challenge videos and oh my god don't eat laundry pods". The Verge. 
  61. Nace, Trevor (12 March 2019). "#TrashTag Challenge Goes Viral As People Share Before/After Photos of Their Cleanup". Forbes. 
  62. Wetli, Patty (21 April 2020). "Massive Cleanups Canceled for Earth Day, But You Can Still Go Plogging or Play #TrashTag". WTTW. 
  63. "National CleanUp Day and Trashtag". 
  64. Dawson, Christopher (2017-06-09). "W#YogaChallenge proves that yoga is for the whole family". 
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