Before YouTube Originals and high-production streams, many of today’s most famous influencers built their audiences through viral trends and challenges. While some of these challenges continue today, the mid-2000s were ripe with viral sensations like “try not to laugh” or “chubby bunny.” Although the number of viral challenges to choose from is endless, here are 30 challenges that many influencers did and that still pop up online today.
Checkout these 30 viral YouTube challenges
1. Significant other does my makeup
Also known as the “boyfriend tag,” there were several variations of the “significant other does my” trend. However, few were as viral as this makeup trend. Safiya Nygaard and now-husband Tyler Williams were among some of the popular influencers partaking in the fun, earning 3.6 million views.
2. Doing my makeup in reverse order
Another popular makeup trend was doing your makeup in reverse order, such as starting with your eye makeup and ending with primer. NikkieTutorials’ version of the challenge got just under six million views.
3. Eat it or wear it
With this challenge, participants had to decide whether to eat or wear a mystery food item from a bag. Among the many influencers who participated in this challenge were Niki and Gabi, amassing over four million views for their disgusting but amusing challenge.
Related: The most hated food in every state
4. 24-hour challenge
This is another challenge that was open to interpretation. Morgan Adams has done a few variations of this trend, with her most recent one being spending 24 hours in the pool of her brother and fellow YouTuber, Ryland Adams. She’s also done videos about spending 24 hours in her brother’s panic room and a haunted apartment.
5. Couples yoga
This trend has recently resurfaced on TikTok as the koala challenge, in which someone has to crawl from a partner’s backside to their frontside (or vice versa) without touching the ground. Originally, Liza Koshy and other YouTubers simply did couples yoga poses together, amassing over 18 million views, in Koshy’s case.
Simplynailogical started the 100-layer challenge after putting on over a hundred layers of nail polish, amassing 26 million views. Other popular variations include 100 layers of makeup or tattoos.
7. Letting Instagram buy my clothes
LaurDIYand other YouTubers have been resurrecting this trend during quarantine. The YouTuber amassed over a million views by buying clothes from Instagram ads.
8. Heads Up
Fans of the popular game Heads Up won’t need this one explained: You simply record yourself playing Heads Up, an app game that requires you to put your phone to your head when a word or name appears. Your partner has to give you hints so you guess that word. Colleen and Rachel Ballinger got over a million views for their take on the challenge.
9. Order whatever the person in front of you got
This is another simple challenge: Go to a restaurant drive-thru and ask to order whatever the person in front of you got. Joey Graceffa’s challenge earned him over a million views.
10. Draw my life
This is another challenge TikTok recently took over. In fact, there’s now a YouTube channel called “Draw the Life TikTok” dedicated to it. TikTok star Charli D’Amelio’s draw my life got 1.1 million views.
11. What’s in the box?
For this challenge, you have to guess what’s in a box simply by feeling it. Vanity Fair had the cast of “The Last Jedi” complete this challenge three years, earning 5.9 million views.
12. Ice bucket challenge
Six years ago, the ice bucket challenge formed to raise money for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The idea was to challenge celebrities to dump ice water on their heads or donate to the cause. Many celebrities, including Donald Trump and Bill Gates, did both. The videos are posted on IceBucketChallenge.
13. Cooking without hands
Many influencers tied their hands behind their backs and tried cooking. Sofie Dossicollaborated with fellow Youtuber Rosanna Pansino to bake without hands. The video earned 3.5 million views for struggling through.
14. Punk edits IRL
For this challenge, YouTubers turned themselves into punks “IRL,” or in real life. Most bought hair dye, black clothes, eyeliner, chokers and other punk accessories for the challenge. AmazingPhil’s challenge got over 10 million views.
15. Guess the song
This is another self-explanatory challenge: Play bits of a song and guess what it is. Whoever has the most correct answers wins. Bretman Rock got almost seven million views for his version of the challenge, which he completed with his sister.
16. Try not to laugh
For this challenge, influencers watched funny viral clips and tried not to laugh. Markiplier, who has done many try not to laugh videos, had one video alone earn 21 million views.
17. Speed drawing
This is another simple challenge. Pick an image and draw it in a short amount of time, usually a minute. Annoying Orange got two million views for their challenge video.
18. Chubby bunny
Jimmy Fallon did this popular challenge with Rebel Wilson five years ago. Players must put a bunny marshmallow in their mouths and say chubby bunny until they can’t say the word anymore. Whoever had the most bunnies in their mouth won.
This game is based on the Jelly Belly BeanBoozled candy, which has mystery jelly beans that either taste like traditional jelly bean flavors or gross ones, like toothpaste or dirty dishwater. Good Mythical Morninggot over a million views for their challenge.
20. Ghost pepper
Try Guys and other popular YouTubers took up the challenge of either eating a ghost pepper or eating food, such as a chip, made with ghost peppers.
21. Hot sauce challenge
First We Feast made the hot sauce challenge popular with their original version of it, called hot ones. This channel invites influencers and celebrities to eat various hot sauces that get hotter and hotter. Kevin Hart and Gordon Ramsay are some of the many celebrities that have appeared on the channel.
22. Pause challenge
For this challenge, you and a partner decide who will be the pauser and who will be paused. The pauser can say “pause” and make their friend freeze wherever they are for 60 seconds. Alisha Marie amassed over three million views for her challenge video.
23. Drag challenge
The purpose of this challenge is to dress either yourself or a partner up in drag makeup. James Charles did this challenge with famous drag star Trixie Mattel, which got over five million views.
24. Baby food challenge
For this challenge, all you need is various baby foods and a strong stomach. Either by yourself or with a partner, you eat baby food and film your reaction. Corrine Leighgot over a million views doing this challenge four years ago.
25. Brand name or generic?
Can you identify if a cereal is a brand name or generic? Buzzfeedput that to the test six years ago in a video that has almost five million views. Other challengers did this with cookies, chips and nearly any other popular snack food.
26. Pizza challenge
This challenge requires a bit of creativity. You and a friend set out to make either the best or worst tasting pizza with non-traditional ingredients. YouTube baker Rosanna Pansino and sister Mo got over 60 million views for their pizza challenge.
27. Extreme sour candy
Grab some friends and extremely sour candy for this one. The goal is to see who can handle the sourest candies. Collins Key got 13 million clicks for his harrowing experience.
28. Pancake art challenge
For this challenge, find a friend and try to make art out of pancakes. Influencers Mark Fischbach (Markiplier), Ethan Nestor-Darling (CrankGamePlays) and Tyler Scheid got over 10 million views trying to make cartoon character-shaped pancakes.
29. Oreo challenge
Given the number of flavors Oreo has available, it’s not surprising that many YouTubers have challenged themselves to try and rank as many as possible. Rob Czar tried to guess the flavors of 20 Oreos blindfolded, earning himself two million views.
30. Going to the worst-rated place
Many YouTubers went to the worst-rated restaurant, hotel, nail salon and more for this challenge. They found the shop or store on Yelp or another customer review site and tried out some of the worst-rated services in their cities. Jeffree Star visited the worst-rated tattoo shop in his area. The video got over 13 million views.
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