Mannequin Challenge

Mannequin Challenge

Updated Jun 28, 2019 at 02:59PM EDT by Adam.

Added Nov 05, 2016 at 07:12PM EDT by Brad.

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The Mannequin Challenge is a participatory video fad in which a group of people are shown posing stock-still for the camera while music is playing in the background.


On January 31st, 2008, comedy troupe Improv Everywhere pulled off a similar prank in Grand Central Terminal in New York City, where they froze in the terminal for one minute.


On October 26th, 2016, Twitter user @pvrity__[1] uploaded the earliest known viral instance of the participatory video fad, which shows a group of students from Edward H. White High School in Jacksonville, Florida pretending to be lifeless mannequins in a panning shot. In the following week, @pvrity__'s tweet garnered more than 4,400 retweets and 4,100 likes, while the video itself began circulating beyond Twitter on news sites,[2][3][4] racking up several hundreds of thousands views in aggregate.


By November 2nd, the hashtag challenge had evolved into a full-fledged social media trend among high school and college students, spawning dozens of similar "living portrait"-style videos set to American hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd's 2016 rap single "Black Beatles." On November 3rd, Rae Sremmurd made their own contribution to the meme by participating in the challenge on stage during their live concert in Denver, Colorado. Uploaded to their official Twitter account on the next day,[7] the video accumulated more than 47,000 retweets and 61,000 likes within the first 24 hours. On November 4th, the video fad was covered by a number of major sports news sites and blogs, including Deadspin,[5] SBNation[6] and USA Today,[10] along with compilations of the challenge staged by various high school and collegiate sports teams.

Andy's Coming

After the spread of the Mannequin Challenge, a variation called the Andy's Coming challenge began spreading. The challenge, a reference to Toy Story, features people acting naturally, then falling to the ground when someone shouts "Andy's Coming!", a la the toys in the film.

The challenge originally spread on Vine in 2013.[11] It was also a game played at Disney World -- people would shout "Andy's Coming" at Toy Story characters, and they would drop, though the practice was discontinued when people overdid it.[13] The "Andy's Coming!" challenge returned following the 2016 success of the mannequin challenge. It was covered by Mashable, Daily Dot,[12] and more.

Hillary Clinton version

The night before the 2016 United States Presidential Election, Clinton performed the challenge with her staff on an airplane.

Black Lives Matter Challenge

On November 9th, 2016, a Black Lives Matter challenge was posted to Youtube showing stills from various police shootings that had taken place in 2016.

Paul McCartney Challenge

On November 10th, Beatle Paul McCartney posted his version of the challenge to Twitter in a video that gained over 86,000 retweets.

Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian

On November 10th, Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian recorded the challenge while Chyna was in labor.


During the week of December 5th, two Alabama men were arrested after a challenge they posted to Facebook featuring them holding guns led investigators to get a search warrant of their home, where they seized firearms and marijuana.[14] The event was covered by media outlets and Select All.[15]

Use in Neural Network Training

On April 25th, 2019, Google AI researchers Zhengqi Li, Tali Dekel, Forrester Cole, Richard Tucker, Noah Snavely, Ce Liu and William T. Freeman submitted research which utilized Mannequin Challenge videos to help neural networks understand how to recreate a three dimensional space out of a 2D image and maneuver around that space. The team argues that the current method of training neural networks to understand space, which involves showing the network footage with a set camera and moving objects, is improved upon by feeding it videos with a moving camera and static objects: the concept of the mannequin challenge. After researchers fed the network 2,000 mannequin challenge videos, it was able to predict the depth of moving objects in a video at a much higher accuracy than networks have done with previous methods.[17] This could help self-driving cars navigate unfamiliar areas.[18]

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

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Top Comments


So, like planking, but vertical and in video format.

You have to admit, though: the word "challenge" was finally used correctly here. Staying still with a camera in your face is a lot harder than what people think. Most people would just crack up and giggle or laugh. Being in a group does not help, either. So, yes, it is actually challenging to pull that off. Fortunately, the video uploaded only shows the succesful attempt.


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