The Knife Game

The Knife Game

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Updated Mar 04, 2019 at 03:38PM EST by Brad.

Added Mar 05, 2013 at 01:53PM EST by amanda b..

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The Knife Game, sometimes known as Five Finger Fillet, is a challenge that involves placing one's palm face down on a flat surface and attempting to stab a blade between the fingers without hitting them. In 2011, YouTube musician Rusty Cage wrote a song to go with the game, which eventually led to the birth of a participatory video fad similar to Lulu and the Lampshades Cup Covers in March 2013.


Though its first appearance remains unknown, the Knife Game became popularized as early as 1986 with its inclusion in the science fiction film Aliens. In the scene (shown below, left), an android named Bishop (played by Lance Henriksen) holds down the human marine William Hudson (played by Bill Paxton) and performs the knife trick on him. One of the earliest parodies of this game was uploaded to YouTube on July 27th, 2006. (shown below, right)


In 2001, GameSpyArcade launched a Flash-based virtual game titled Five Finger Fillet.[2] The next year, the game was discussed on the Straight Dope message board[3] and the Counterglow Forums.[4] In 2006, Knife Game was added to Wikipedia[6] as Five Finger Fillet. Two years later, in 2008, the game was defined on Urban Dictionary with the name “stabscotch.”[5] Also that year, instructions for the game as “5-Finger Fillet” were shared on Instructables[7] and another video of the game was featured on eBaum’s World.[8]

Notable Examples

The Knife Song

On August 31st, 2011, Florida-based musician Rusty Cage[10] uploaded a video of himself (shown below, left) completing the game while singing an original song about the process. On February 28th, 2013, the video was posted to the WTF subreddit[14] and though it only accrued 18 points, the same day, a handful of YouTubers reuploaded Cage's video[11][12], including a version that was ten minutes long.[13] The following day, the video was submitted to both /r/Videos[15] and /r/YouTubeHaiku[16], gaining 641 points between them. At this point, other YouTubers began uploading their own versions of the song, but it did not take off until March 2nd, 2013, when Norwegian YouTuber Hanna Fylling Ellingseter[9] uploaded a video of herself singing the song (shown below, right).

In the following days, Ellingseter’s video was featured on a number of news sites and internet culture blogs, including Reddit[17], Sourcefed[18], Beatbeat[19], BuzzFeed[20], Blame It on the Voices[21], The Huffington Post[22], Gawker[23], New Media Rockstars[24] and Business Insider.[25] However, by March 5th, Ellingseter’s original video had been removed for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service. Additional "Knife Song" videos have been directly uploaded to Tumblr.[28]

Search Interest

External References

[1] YouTube – Search results for "aliens knife trick"

[2] GameSpyArcade – Five Finger Fillet

[3] The Straight Dope – What's the name of that "game" where you put your hand on a table and stab a knife…

[4] Counterglow – Friday Finger Filleting Fun

[5] Urban Dictionary – Definition for "Stabscotch"

[6] Wikipedia – Knife game

[7] Instructables – Knife Games: 5-Finger Fillet

[8] eBaum's World – Knife vs Hand Game

[9] YouTube – Hanna Ellingseter's channel

[10] Facebook – Rusty Cage Music

[11] YouTube – DeltaAnonymous's Reupload

[12] YouTube – Anonymussss123456's Reupload

[13] YouTube – eXcLuSiVeezZ's 10 minute Reupload

[14] Reddit – /r/WTF: This man has large balls.

[15] Reddit – /r/videos: The Knife Game & Song

[16] Reddit – [Poetry] The Knife Game Song (Rusty Cage) – [0:29]

[17] Reddit – This should become the new internet trend.

[18] SourceFed – Possible New Internet Trend: The Knife Song

[19] BetaBeat – Your Newest Terrifying Internet Trend: ‘The Knife Song’

[20] Buzzfeed – Girl Totally Wins At "The Knife Song"

[21] Blame it on the Voices – This should be the next big meme: The Knife Song

[22] Huffington Post – 'Knife Song': Hanna Ellingseter, Norwegian Girl, Sings The Most Dangerous Song Ever (VIDEO)

[23] Gawker – Norwegian Teen Single-Handedly Revives the Internet’s Most Dangerous ‘Game’


[25] Business Insider – There's A Dangerous YouTube Knife Game That Kids Are Obsessed With

[26] YouTube – Search results for "knife game"

[27] YouTube – Search results for "knife song"

[28] Tumblr – Posts tagged "knife song"

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