What Is the Milk Crate Challenge? A Breakdown of the Latest Dangerous Viral Trend

Everything you need to know about the new viral milk crate challenge, including what it is, where are the crates coming from, how do you do it, and much more.

What Is the Milk Crate Challenge?

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What Is the Milk Crate Challenge?

The viral #MilkCrateChallenge is everything we didn’t know we needed. Likely inspired by the remarkable athleticism displayed during the Tokyo Olympic Games earlier this summer or by pure boredom, a new challenge that has social media on fire was born. People started creating obstacle courses by stacking plastic milk crates on top of each other to form a pyramid and then attempted to climb over them. It goes without saying that this is dangerous, and the task is so challenging and takes such skill to complete that people also refer to it as the “Hood Olympics.” While those plastic containers can support plenty of weight, ​​they’re not at all that stable once stacked on top of each other. Unfortunately, for most participants, unsuccessful attempts result in some pretty painful-looking falls and injuries that become the kind of content the internet lives for. 

Our Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram timelines are flooded with videos of people risking it all to prove their talents and athletic abilities in front of crowds of spectators. While most end up with nothing but regrets, others have completed the challenge effortlessly, and one brave woman even made it through while wearing high heels. The challenge has already become a meme. Celebrities have even tried it, and, as usual, someone is already trying to make a quick buck out of it. These challenges come and go, but it’s hard to forget the laughs and the unity they bring to our timelines. Here’s all you need to know about the viral #MilkCrateChallenge (and if you decide to try it, do so at your own risk).

What Is The #MilkCrateChallenge and How Did It start?

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The world has been somewhat open this summer, but with COVID still running rampant through the streets and restrictions being put in place again, people have found other ways to entertain themselves on a budget. Enter the now-infamous milk crate challenge. We scoured the web to find the first video of the challenge shared online, and while we couldn’t locate the exact one, one was uploaded to YouTube as early as Aug. 16. The video shows a man slowly climbing up the makeshift steps, and right before he gets to the highest part, his foot fails, and he comes tumbling down. We can’t pinpoint the exact date it originated, but in seemingly less than a week, it’s been attempted on lawns across the country.

Where are people getting the milk crates from?

Milk Crate Challenge

The greatest mystery to come from all of this is where people are getting at least a dozen milk crates to carry out the challenge. This past week, hundreds of them were used for the many videos that people have shared online—but where are they coming from? Depending on the city, they can possibly be found in supermarkets or bodegas. Some have suggested that the crates were makeshift bed frames. Others have theorized that the CIA is dropping them off in Black and brown communities in an attempt to get people into trouble. 

“The CIA is dropping those milk crates in the hood” pic.twitter.com/PgsuT5nkbo

— A 🅿️im🅿️ Named Jesus (@LockDownRadio4) August 23, 2021

Naturally, capitalism will do what it does best, so some stores seem to be selling them for less than a dollar. Someone has to benefit monetarily from these viral trends. 

Na man lol this ain’t right. pic.twitter.com/N3SIKOGK0y

— Ibrahim H. (@KingOfQueenz) August 23, 2021

How do you do the milk crate challenge?

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The process begins by finding as many milk crates as possible and stacking them up like a game of Tetris until it looks like a pyramid. Then one person is tasked with going up step by step until they get to the other side without the crates faltering underneath them. Some people are placing bets to see who in their circle has the courage and the ability to survive. If you don’t make it, be prepared for everyone around you to laugh and for the rest of the world to join in after they inevitably share the video online.

These are some of the most popular videos so far

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There are countless videos floating around various social media platforms, getting thousands of likes, shares, and comments. It’s sad to say, but usually the more brutal the fall, the more popular the video becomes.

I could watch milk crate challenge videos all day 💀😭 pic.twitter.com/anGwTMrIN8

— Joshua Sánchez (@joshnsanchez) August 22, 2021

There’s a clip of a man climbing up the crates above what looks like a parking lot filled with dirt, and his legs begin to shake so much he stumbles and falls right on his face. There is another clip of some ruthless kids kicking down the crates as a man attempts to climb them. Each one hurts more than the next. Watch at your own discretion.

2021 will be defined by the milk crate challenge pic.twitter.com/DQjTrVEQbh

— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 23, 2021

New way to defeat your enemies

Have them do the milk crate challenge and do thispic.twitter.com/kSzZdaVA6L

— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 23, 2021

Have there been any successful milk crate challenge attempts?

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Yes, and every one of them is mesmerizing. There’s no telling what it takes for someone to make it to the other side unharmed. Every successful attempt makes you let out a sigh of relief. It might be that they’re in great physical shape, have strong core muscles or incredible balance, or simply they’re just so at ease their legs don’t shake. One of the most popular clips so far has been of a woman who took the challenge in high heels and completed it unscathed. Another success story was a woman named Shauntica Williams, who spoke to theGrio about her decision to participate. “I actually had just pulled up, and I had just seen them trying, but I had already seen it on Instagram. So once I had seen them fall, I was just like, man, they funny,” she said. “I was like, alright, I’m ’bout to get up, then. I was going up there and I’m just like… you can’t fall, you can’t fall. You can’t embarrass yourself.” Williams said she collected around $800 in bets after succeeding. Her video currently has more than 53,000 likes on Instagram

There’s always someone who will try to do too much and put their own spin to make it a little more complicated. One man showed off by doing bicep curls and ate his lunch on the way up. Another clip shows an even more impressive man, whose name is reportedly “White Mike,” make it to the other side seamlessly while rolling a blunt. But that’s a skill that the Olympics will definitely not be celebrating anytime soon. One guy made sure he protected his hookah at all costs.

Shorty raised the stakes pic.twitter.com/z3sVh3Wh7H

— Dee Goodz (@dee_goodz) August 23, 2021

Celebrities are taking on the #MilkCrateChallenge

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Celebrities have proved time and time again that they are just as plugged in when it comes to social media as the rest of us and are in the know about all the latest viral trends. The #MilkCrateChallenge is no exception, and some have already jumped in on the trend. YK Osiris took the challenge over the weekend, and things did not go well for him. Boosie Badazz offered $1,000 to anyone who could complete the challenge but agreed to give the singer $3,000 to try it. Unfortunately, Osiris went home empty-handed after taking a pretty bad fall down the steps as the rapper watched on. The singer shared the clip on Instagram, then followed up with one that jokingly said he was on his way to the hospital “after almost breaking my back.” His video has more than 300,000 likes so far. 

Other stars proved to have skills on and off the stage and completed the challenge successfully. Vic Mensa floated up the crates with ease while holding a liquor bottle in hand. Blueface was criticized for using crates that looked bigger and sturdier than the ones other people are using, but the rapper still managed to finish strong and did a backflip to celebrate. Others like Paul Wall, Snoop Dogg, and 50 Cent are leaving it up to everyone else to try before attempting it themselves.

Whenever a video or challenge gains popularity online, it’s only a matter of time before social media users take it and turn it into some hilarious memes. This challenge was no exception. The memes add to the appeal, and it becomes an even bigger social media moment. The New Year, New Me girl who appears toward the end of the year made an early appearance in August thanks to the crates. Another Twitter user compared the challenge to the ones from America’s Next Top Model. If the reality competition show were still around, it wouldn’t be surprising if Tyra Banks made the aspiring models take on the challenge. And the CIA jokes have been endless. Check out some more memes below.

The quick answer is yes, the challenge is dangerous. There are plenty of videos, we won’t share them here, of people breaking bones and badly hurting themselves after falling during their attempts. There are tweets of people jokingly saying that hospitals are filling up quickly, with half COVID patients and half milk crate challenge survivors. 

Healthcare professionals when they gotta deal with COVID patients and the milk crate challenge pic.twitter.com/vaKEck3X0a

— MALCOLM ‼️ (@Malcolm_Xtasy) August 21, 2021

While most of the challenges are attempted on grass to soften the blow, some iterations show people doing it above concrete, dirt, or other, less forgiving options, so their landings look a lot more painful. Falling from that high up while hitting the crates on the way down can lead to some pretty nasty injuries. The last thing anyone needs at this point is to deal with health issues that could have been prevented. I would be remiss if I didn’t say please don’t try this at home. One viral moment is not worth the expensive medical bills.

The whole hood after doing the milk crate Challenge pic.twitter.com/0C5gqlHtjt

— six 🇬🇭 (@Sixfever) August 21, 2021


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