Internet Challenges | Students dumping ice buckets on themselves as part of the ice bucket challenge to help raise awareness for ALS

Internet Challenges

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Internet Challenges refer to a genre of viral social games in which people record themselves performing the same action as the founder of the challenge. Such popular challenges include the Cinnamon Challenge, the Ice Bucket Challenge, Fire Challenge, The Bottle Cap Challenge and more.


Viral challenges existed offline prior to its emergence. For example, among the earliest known challenges, the Saltine Challenge, in which participants attempt to consume six saltine crackers in 60 seconds, appeared in news reports in the 1990s. On August 11th, 1996, the Los Angeles Times reported that professional football player Peyton Manning had attempted the game.[1] The game eventually became a popular game on YouTube [2] with YouTubers garnering millions of views for participating (examples below).


Cinnamon Challenge

The Cinnamon Challenge is a popular dare game that involves attempting to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon without vomiting or inhaling the powder. While the Cinnamon Challenge became a viral phenomenon on YouTube, its origin precedes the history of the video-sharing community. The earliest known attempt at the game can be traced back to The Cinnamon Challenge 2001, which was hosted by Michael Buffington and played by Erik Goodlad. The result was documented and posted as a blog article on Buffington's blog (shown below, left). The story was picked up by Jason Kottke on December 22nd, 2001.[2]

The earliest YouTube version was uploaded on April 2nd, 2006 in a video titled "Pipe Attempts the Cinnamon Challenge." In over a decade, the post received more than 174,000 views (shown below, right).

Cinnamon Challenge 2001 Contestant Erik Goodlad. Programmer. Confident individual. Winner of challenges. Not one to back down from a near impossible feat. Challenge: In one mouthful, consume a tablespoon of McCormick Brand Ground Cinnamon without spitting it out or vomitting. Mike presented the challenge, Erik accepted Game on! To give an idea of the amount of cinnamon, refer to the cinnamon chart below.

Salt and Ice Challenge

The Salt and Ice Challenge is a popular dare game which involves pouring salt on the surface of skin and pressing an ice cube against it to test how long the participant can endure the pain caused by the burn (example below).

Though online discussions about placing an ice cube over salt on bare skin date back to as early as 2005[3], the first video demonstration was uploaded to Break[4] on July 8th, 2006. As of March 2013, this clip has been viewed nearly 600,000 times and has been shared more than 166,000 times. The video has since been deleted.

Condom Challenge

The Condom Challenge is the name of two different dare games involving the use of a condom: the first challenge, also known as the "Condom Snorting Challenge," entails inserting a condom into one's nostril, snorting it back through the throat and coughing it out of the mouth; the second version involves filling a condom with water and dropping it on the participant's head to test its elasticity.

On May 3rd, 2006, user Tommydyhr uploaded a video titled "Condom Sucking From Nose to Mouth," in which a young man snorts a condom through his nose and extracts it out of his mouth. In the next seven years, the video received upwards of 73,500 views and 130 comments. In the following years, several other condom snorting videos were subsequently uploaded to YouTube, but the name "condom challenge" was not coined until May 23rd, 2012, when YouTuber Isaac Mathers uploaded a video performing the same stunt titled "Condom Challenge" (shown below). Within one year, the video received over 9,300 views and 25 comments.

Cheese Slap Challenge

Cheese Slap, also known as Cheesing and the Cheese Challenge, is a series of prank videos in which participants take a slice of cheese and slap a person or animal in the face with it.

On June 9th, 2006, YouTuber arsone62 posted a video entitled "The Cheese Incident" in which a series of people have a slice of cheese thrown at them (shown below)

Cup Blowing Challenge

Cup Blowing Challenge is a social media game that involves combining two disposable or lightweight cups into a stack and blowing against the surface of the top cup to sling it out of its place with the aim of landing it into a third cup at a distance away.

The challenge first appeared on YouTube in 2011, when an upload by The Trendy Videos showed a college student demonstrating the act.

Tide POD Challenge

Tide POD Challenge refers to a dare game involving the consumption of Tide PODS laundry detergent capsules, which are often compared to various fruit-flavored snack foods due to their packaging and appearance. Online, the practice of eating Tide PODS is frequently mocked in a similar vein to bleach drinking and the consumption of other poisonous forbidden snacks.

In February 2012, the multi-national consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble introduced the Tide PODS laundry detergent packs. According to Consumer Reports, there were increased calls to poison control centers due to children consuming the product.[8] On December 4th, 2013, Straight Dope Forums[9] member Silvorange submitted a post titled "People eating Tide pods" discussing rumors about people eating the detergent packs.

Fire Challenge

Fire Challenge is a dare game in which the participant voluntarily sets oneself on fire for a short period of time by applying flammable liquids or igniting combustible parts of one's body and filming the outcome

One of the first fire challenge videos uploaded to YouTube is titled "Fire challenge" and was uploaded on April 5th, 2012, by YouTuber 1BlazinEagle1[4]. The video features the YouTuber lighting his chest hair on fire. As of July 2014, the video has gained over 100,000 views. The video has since been removed, but a clip of it is included in 1BlazinEagle1's 2012 compilation (shown below).


Neknominate, also known as Neck and Nominate in the United Kingdom, is a drinking game in which participants record themselves partaking in a physically extreme activity after chugging alcoholic beverages and challenge others to outdrink them in the identical fashion.

According to the British tabloid The Tab,[5] the "neck and nominate" game existed in Cambridge, England as far back as 2008. On November 29th, 2012, YouTuber Will Green uploaded a video titled "Neck and Nominate," in which a young man drinks a beer in front of a woman’s townhouse door before looking at the camera and calling out a nomination (shown below).

Corn Drill Challenge

Corn Drill Challenge is a dare game that involves eating an entire corn on the cob as quickly as possible by sticking it on the end of a power drill and spinning it across one's teeth. While videos of people attempting the challenge have been circulating on YouTube since as early as 2012, it received mass exposure after a Chinese woman's failed attempt went viral in May 2016 (example below).

On November 29th, 2012, YouTuber Vinnie Mac uploaded a video titled "How to Ear Corn in 10 Seconds," featuring footage of a young man eating a corn on the cob off a spinning power drill.

Ballpit Challenge

Ballpit Challenge is a video fad in which participants climb up and fall into inflatable ball cages found in supermarkets. Footage of the challenge is typically uploaded to Vine and Instagram with the hashtag #ballpit.

On March 31st, 2013, YouTuber BakkGround Records uploaded a video of a teenage girl climbing to the top of a ballpit at Walmart and intentionally dropping herself into the balls below (shown below). In the first two years, the video gained over 330,000 views and 700 comments (shown below).

Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge is a dare game in which the participant must pour a bucket of ice water over his or her head and nominate any three individuals to perform the same challenge within the next 24 hours. If a nominee fails to complete the challenge within time, he or she is expected to donate money to a charitable organization, most notably for research and treatment of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

While the origin of the Ice Bucket Challenge remains murky, one of the earliest known videos of an individual pouring ice cold water over the head was uploaded to Instagram by professional motocross racer Jeremy McGrath on June 22nd, 2014, per nomination from Brett Saunders. After completing the challenge, McGrath challenged professional golfer Rickie Fowler and NASCAR racer Jimmie Johnson, as well as rapper Vanilla Ice to complete the challenge or pay $100 to charity.

Charlie Charlie Challenge

The Charlie Charlie Challenge is a game in which participants place two pencils on top of a piece of paper with the alternating words "yes" and "no" written in a 2×2 grid. If the top pencil moves to the word "yes" after chanting the phrase "Charlie Charlie, can we play?" or "Charlie, Charlie, are you here?", it is assumed that a Mexican demon named Charlie has been summoned to answer other questions. To end the game, players chant the phrase "Charlie, Charlie, can we stop?"

On June 6th, 2014, the challenge may have originated with a video titled "Jugando Charly Charlie" (playing Charly Charlie) uploaded by YouTuber Le Videoblog, in which two men form a rectangle out of six pencils before calling upon a spirit to move the pencils into a hexagon shape (shown below). On January 6th, 2015, the pencil blog[9] published an article explaining the rules of the game, which included the "Charlie Charlie" chant.

Kylie Jenner Challenge

The Kylie Jenner Challenge, also known by the hashtag #KylieJennerChallenge, is a viral trend where teenagers post videos or photos of themselves attempting to temporarily enlarge their lips by a suction technique called "the shot glass effect" in order to imitate the look of model and socialite Kylie Jenner.

The exact origin of the hashtag is unknown, however Kylie Jenner's lips became a subject of teen fascination as the model rose to fame. In a November 15th, 2014, interview with E! News[5], Jenner credited cosmetics for her lip's appearance, stating:

"I feel like everyone has been talking about it for months, so I'm kind of sick of it…
…My pictures, I pout them out a lot. I think big lips are awesome.

Earlier, on October 24th, 2014, Jenner tweeted:

The term "Kylie Lips" was later submitted to Urban Dictionary[7] on December 6th, 2014.

On January 8th, 2015, makeup tutorial YouTuber Jenna Marbles uploaded a parody video called "Kylie Jenner Lip Tutorial" which jokingly told viewers to use the shot glass suction method to get bigger lips. As of April 21st, 2015, the video had over 4,400,000 views.


#BackpackChallenge is a video series in which participants run through a gauntlet of people swinging and throwing backpacks to knock them to the ground.

On November 18th, 2016, Twitter user @abucciwood posted a video in which a young man is knocked to the ground by group of people throwing backpacks (shown below). Within five days, the video gained over 30,700 likes and 26,500 retweets.

Don't Judge Challenge

Don't Judge Challenge (#DontJudgeChallenge) is a selfie video fad in which the participant records oneself at a close-up angle while wearing heavy facial makeup to appear as unattractive as possible, before transitioning into another self-portrait in which the subject is shown in their most photogenic form.

The challenge reportedly began as a hashtag campaign to combat the widespread phenomenon of body shaming on the Internet, with some of its earliest instances submitted to Instagram sometime between late June and early July 2015.

The identity of the hashtag creator or the location of the original instance remains unclear; however, Chicago Tribune has cited British beauty blogger Em Ford's makeup tutorial video titled "YOU LOOK DISGUSTING" as a potential source of trigger that may have given rise to the hashtag.

TZ Anthem Challenge

The TZ Anthem Challenge is a viral dance challenge that spread in the fall of 2016 in which people imitate the dance moves in a video by teen social media celebrity Zay Hilfiger called "TZ Anthem."

The 3 A.M. Challenge

The 3 A.M. Challenge is a YouTube video fad in which the participant performs a specific action at 3:00 a.m., such as calling strangers on the phone or playing with fidget spinners, until supposedly encountering a paranormal phenomenon. Typically stylized as parodies of paranormal reality TV shows, many of these videos have gained millions of views on YouTube.

The earliest known video using 3AM in its title is "EXPLORING EMPTY HAUNTED APARTMENTS! (3AM)", which was uploaded by Guava Juice on Oct 30th, 2016 (shown below). However, due to the fact that there don't seem to exist any other videos of this type around this video's upload date, it is possible that Guava Juice edited the title sometime after the initial upload to capitalize on the trend. As of July 26th, 2017 the video has over 6 million views.

24 Hour Fort Challenge

The 24 Hour Fort Challenge, also known as the 24 Hour Overnight Challenge is a social game in which participants enter a store and hide until after closing, where they attempt to remain for as long as possible before the store reopens or they are caught.

The earliest example of the 24 Fort Challenge challenge was posted by YouTuber [10] MoreJStu. On August 11th, 2016, they uploaded a video entitled "24 HOUR TOILET PAPER FORT!" In the video (shown below), the YouTubers hid in forts built made from products inside of a Walmart and stayed there overnight. Within a year an a half, the video has received more than 21 million views.

Karma Is a Bitch Challenge

Karma Is a Bitch, also known as the "Karma Is a Bitch Challenge," is a selfie
video fad in which participants lip sync the line "karma is a bitch" uttered by the character Veronica from the television show Riverdale before cutting to a striking slow-motion transformation shot, often using a costume, hair and makeup change accompanied by a seductive pose while the 2011 hip-hop song "Gucci Gucci" by Kreayshawn plays in the background.

In January 2018, users on the Chinese video app Douyin began posting videos of themselves lip-syncing the Riverdale line before throwing a scarf in front of their face to initiate a radical transformation.

18:45 63%, 0, SH @SHUSU Video's original soundtrack 首发 Ouch SHUSU NO.1 3 776.5k 0300o 00s 最近 就是传说 よundtrack @SHUSUVid

Get Out Challenge

Get Out Challenge, also referred to as #GetOutChallenge, Is a video fad in which the participant films oneself running straight towards the camera as to mimic a spooky scene from the 2017 American horror film Get Out, Shortly after the premiere, the hashtag-based challenge went viral on several video-sharing platforms, largely driven by the box office success and positive reception of the movie.

Get Out is a 2017 American horror thriller film written, produced and directed by Jordan Peele, best known as the half of the popular sketch comedy TV series Key & Peele, and released on February 27th, 2017. Upon its premiere, Peele's directorial debut was met by positive critical acclaims and commercial success.

The Running Scene

Note: This section contains minor plot spoiler.

The film follows Chris Washington (portrayed by LaKeith Stanfield) and Rose Armitage (portrayed by Allison Williams), a young interracial couple living in New York City, who go on a weekend trip to upstate New York to meet Rose's parents for the first time. On the first night of their arrival at their estate, Chris steps outside to smoke a cigarette and encounters Walter, the black groundskeeper working and living on the estate, who suddenly proceeds to run towards him at full-speed, before making a quick turn and disappearing without a word (shown below, starts at 0:56).

On March 4th, Facebook user Kira Donna uploaded a Snapchat video of her friend reenacting the dashing scene from Get Out in a residential neighborhood and at a grocery, garnering more than 3.5 million views within four days.

Bird Box Challenge

Bird Box Challenge is a hashtag used to catalogue participants of the social challenge in which people attempt to complete everyday tasks while blindfolded, akin to main characters of 2018 Netflix-produced film Bird Box.

On December 21st, 2018, Netflix-produced film Bird Box premiered on the platform following a brief theatrical run. The plot of the film follows a woman, played by Sandra Bullock, and her two children, who must make it through a forest and a river while wearing blindfolds.

On December 6th, 2018, Twitch streamer geekgg[2] tweeted about being challenged by Netflix ANZ Twitter to take part in the #BirdBoxChallenge by attempting to survive a Crash Bandicoot level while wearing a blindfold (shown below, left). In the following days, several other streamers reported receiving similar challenges from Netflix.

Jessie James @thegeekgg Follow ^ The @NetflixANZ movie #Bird Box.. ís coming out on Dec 21st. In the movie, if you look, you die! Netflix has tasked me with the #Bird BoxChallenge. I need to survive a Crash Bandicoot level blindfolded, but you can help! Tune in Dec 7th 7pm AEDT! #ad GEEKGG #BirdBoxChallenge A NETFLIX FILM BIRD BO X NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF SURVIVA 8:55 AM-6 Dec 2018 Artemis) @Artemis TB Follow Tomorrow I will be attempting @NetflixANZ's #Bird BoxChallenge! I need to get as many kills as I can BLINDFOLDED in @CallofDuty_ANZ . #BirdBox, is coming out on @Netflix on Dec 21st and in the movie, if you look... Even a peep... You die 8th Dec 7PM AEDT #AD ARTEMIS #BirdBnChallenge A NETFLIX FILM BIRD B OX NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF SURVIVA 11:25 AM - 7 Dec 2018 chinglishtv @ Florida @chinglishtv Follow The @NetflixANZ movie #Bird Box.. ís coming out December 21st and Netflix has issued me a challenge... The #Bird BoxChallenge! On Tuesday December 11th at 7pm AEST will be taking on a @Warcraft RAID blindfolded, because "If you look, you will die" CHINGLIS H T V #BirdBoxChallenge A NETFLIX FILM BIRD BOX NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF SURVIVAL 8:57 AM - 9 Dec 2018

Bottle Cap Challenge

The Bottle Cap Challenge, often represented by the hashtag #BottleCapChallenge, is an internet challenge in which participants record themselves performing a roundhouse kick to a bottle in order to graze the cap with their foot, causing it to quickly spin off. In late June 2019, the challenge was popularized online after being performed by various celebrities.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Los Angeles Times – A Vol AT War

[2] Michael Buffington – CC2K1

[3] Unexplained Mysteries – Salt and Ice?

[4] YouTube – 1BlazinEagle1

[5] The Tab – Neck and nominate

[6] Instagram – Tag Search: #KylieJennerChallenge

[7] The Daily What – Cringe of the Day: For the Love of God Stop With the #KylieJennerChallenge

[8] Consumer Reports – Laundry detergent pods remain a health hazard

[9] Straight Dope – eople eating Tide pods


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