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Bottle Flipping is a social media challenge that involves throwing a plastic bottle, typically filled with water, in such a way that it lands upright on a flat surface. Videos of people performing bottle flips are often posted on video-sharing sites like Vine and YouTube.
On December 20th, 2008, YouTuber markg143 uploaded a video in which a teenager attempts to break the world record for the most consecutive water bottle flips (shown below).
On January 24th, 2010, YouTuber Chris P uploaded a montage of himself flipping a water bottle on to tables (shown below).
On May 24th, 2016, Twitter user @ScottieFinanger tweeted a video of his classmate Mike Senatore performing his bit during a high school talent show in Charlotte, North Carolina, which begins with him pacing around on stage in the auditorium to build up suspense before he throws a water bottle that lands perfectly upside-down onto a small table, causing the audience to roar in celebration. That day, YouTuber Arlington Johnson reuploaded the video (shown below). Over the next four months, the video received upwards of 5.6 million views and 7,700 comments.
In the following weeks, Senatore's viral video performance gave rise to an international trend of "bottle flipping" among teenagers around the world. On July 18th, the Dude Perfect YouTube channel uploaded a compilation of bottle flipping video clips (shown below, left). On August 1st, YouTuber Sam Tabor uploaded a video of skateboarder Ryan Bracken flipping bottles while skateboarding at a skate park (shown below, right). Within two months, the video received more than 980,000 views and 890 comments.
On August 20th, 2016, YouTuber Ryan Higa uploaded a montage of himself and several friends flipping bottles on various surfaces (shown below). Within one month, the video gained over 5.8 million views and 34,800 comments.
News Media Coverage
The following day, NBC Today ran an interview with Senatore about the viral video of his talent show performance, during which the teenager explained that he started flipping bottles during his junior year in chemistry class and turned it into his "talent" over time, though he couldn't be sure whether it was going to work at the first attempt.
"Honestly, I thought I was gonna miss it. I had practiced it all the night before. It's my only talent, so I figured I'd try it at the talent show this year and then just walk off."
On May 26th, 2016, days after the talent show video went viral, Fusion published an article titled "Here's How to Perfect the Water Bottle Flip, the Teen Meme of the Moment." In early October, as the challenge continued to grow in momentum, several national U.S. and U.K. news outlets, including New York Times, CNN and The Independent, reported on the parents' growing annoyance with the trend.
In March 2017, Instagram user @mo150 uploaded a video of his friend blowing on a stacked plastic glass to give it a lift and land it on top of a third glass placed a short distance away. On March 17th, WorldStarHipHop tweeted the video via its official Twitter account, garnering more than 4,000 retweets and 8,000 likes within the first 72 hours. In the following days, a number of similar videos attempting the same trick were uploaded to Twitter under the hashtag #CupBlowingChallenge.
 New York Times – Bottle-Flipping Craze Is Fun for Children but Torture for Parents
 Boston Tribune – Bottle flipping becomes the rage with middle schoolers