Remember these? A look back at some of the worst internet challenges of all time

From planking to the good old Tide Pod Challenge, we reflect on them all

ORLANDO, Fla. – If all the talk about the Keke Challenge has you "in your feelings" lately, let's take a walk down memory lane to see some of the worst challenges the internet has had to offer over the years -- and trust me, they're pretty bad.

There are some innocent challenges that, when done right, most people can get behind, like the recent Lip Sync and #InMyFeelings challenges. But in case you've forgotten, the internet has had its fair share of dumb -- and dangerous -- challenges, too.

Let's reflect, shall we?

(Warning: Some of the photos and videos embedded below may be difficult to view due to graphic content)

Cinnamon Challenge

This one may have been the beginning of the end for Internet users. It seems simple, but it’s actually pretty awful, according to pretty much any video of Cinnamon Challenge attempts found on YouTube. In this challenge, people would dump cinnamon onto a spoon and try to swallow it. Seeing as the spice is extremely dry, that didn’t seem to work for many people. Instead, they would often end up spitting it out and seeing a brown cloud fill the air in front of them. Honestly though, they only got worse from here.

Kylie Jenner Challenge

Big lips have been in for a while, but has it ever been worth this? The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge was basically a form of cupping, but on your lips. Some people used shot glasses, but anything that created a suction when people put it around their mouth and suck in worked. You hold the cup or glass around your lips and pull it off, only to find a swollen lip or two. Not only was it uncomfortable, it resulted in lips that looked like that of a fish -- and it made people pretty drooly.


It wasn't a workout challenge that you'd pay for in hopes of getting strong abdominal muscles. Instead, the planking craze was all about people finding the wackiest and most daring spots to plank -- and then just lying there. Of course, each participant tried to get more daring than the next in hopes of going viral when posting their plank photos, with some going as far as planking on bridges or moving vehicles. This one began to phase out after it eventually led to a man's death.

The fire challenge

This one isn’t tough to explain, but it is hard to understand why anyone would try it. The fire challenge literally consists of people pouring flammable liquids on themselves then setting themselves on fire, which can obviously lead to severe burns other injuries. If anyone has tried this, please let me know if I’m missing the hype.

Hot water challenge

The hot water challenge isn’t too different from the fire challenge, other than the fact that the burns you could potentially suffer come from scorching hot water instead of flames. Makes sense, right? Yes, participants would heat water to an uncomfortably hot temperature then dump it on themselves. We’ll never know why.

Pass out Challenge

This challenge, commonly referred to as the “Knockout Challenge,” “Pass out Challenge” or the "Choking Game," literally had kids holding their breath and choking themselves until they passed out. According to, kids were doing it to get high, or feel somewhat of a euphoric feeling. Instead, some were dying from it.

A4 Waist Challenge

This one never made its way stateside, which could be a good or bad thing -- you decide. The A4 Waist Challenge had men and women holding a 8.3-inch wide sheet of printer paper in front of their torso to capture a picture that showed how tiny their waists were, according to Business Insider. The challenge began in China, according to the New York Times, and has been slammed for promoting unhealthy habits, since anyone with a waist smaller than the sheet of paper would mean they have about a 25-inch waist. The average American female waist is about 35 inches, according to WebMD.

Tide Pod Challenge

I know we all remember this one, especially considering it wasn’t that long ago. So many reports of people eating liquid laundry detergent pods as part of the social media challenge began to surface that Consumer Product Safety Commission officials had to issue warnings asking people not to eat laundry pods, since, you know, the effects could be deadly since they're literally chemical-filled balls.

They're not all bad

While that trip down memory lane probably didn't help the little bit of hope you have left in humanity, it should at least make you more thankful for the few challenges that have done the internet and all its lovely users right. We can't forget the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which challenged participants to dump ice on their head in hopes of raising money for research on Lou Gehrig's disease, or the Mannequin Challenge, which got tons of laughs for those who participated and those who watched as people froze in awkward and sometimes difficult positions while Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" played in the background. And of course, the Lip Sync Challenge, which is still sweeping the nation as tons of law enforcement agencies pick their favorite song to jam out to in their self-produced music videos that seem to be going viral left and right. 

Those good challenges are the ones we internet users hold on to to get us through the cringe-worthy ones.