2016 in Social Media “Challenges”


Screenshot of the two kids behind the “Running Man” challenge (as interviewed on the Ellen DeGeneres show).

Meghan Koerick, Staff Reporter

People all around the world tend to jump on the band wagon when others are doing challenges whether they be cool or just plain stupid.  These days, the bandwagon is digital and you better have video to show your participation.

The “Mannequin Challenge” is when everyone in the room freezes and someone scans the room with a camera. Usually these stunts feature the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background, and it’s thought to be originated by students in Jacksonville, Florida. The goal of the challenge is to remain frozen like a mannequin, thus the name.  Several large groups, including crowds in stadiums, have tried this with impressive effect.  Even Hillary Clinton’s campaign team did it.  A group of bangers thought it would be funny to pretend to “mannequin” a gun battle, after which several of them were arrested on weapons charges.

The water bottle flip challenge is just what it sounds like, flipping a water bottle. At a school talent show, Mike Senatore simply flipped a bottle and the video went viral within a few days. Now people are flipping water bottles whether it be capping them, (landing them on the cap), or just the normal flip. The water bottle challenge is something basically everyone can do and there is many different ways to get creative with it, such as in the water or even landing it on a high light post.  The amount of water you use, and the physics of gravity and inertia almost make it educational–but many teachers are highly sick of kids practicing their flips in school.

The “Running Man” challenge is a dance challenge. The idea is simple, do your version of the running man to the 90’s hit “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJs. The trend was started by two teens, Kevin Vincent and Jerry Hall, although it was made popular by two University of Maryland basketball players, Jaylen Brantley and Jared Nickens.

The backpack challenge is where you basically volunteer to get things thrown at you. You just run through a ‘corridor’ of people holding bags attempting to knock people to the ground. The goal is to not get hit to the ground by the time you get to the end of the ‘corridor’. The apparent originator is Abucci Wood who posted on Twitter a video with the hashtag #BackpackChallenge.  There’s some obvious concerns about the potential for injury here, so please don’t attempt this one at school.

The “Andy’s Coming!” challenge is based off the Toy Story movie. When someone says Andy’s Coming, everyone acts lifeless and drops to the ground just like Woody, Buzz and all the other toys from Toy Story did. The challenge also caused another challenge to begin.

The “Trump is Coming” challenge is when someone says “Trump is coming!” everyone runs away screaming. The president-elect is not liked by too many, young people especially, so this challenge is funny and comical…and very popular on school and college campuses.