The Rock-Paper-Scissors-Eat Challenge Is A Perfect Way To Ruin A Meal

From the cinnamon challenge to the hot pepper challenge, food challenges have broken the internet many times over the years. They're meant to be somewhat unpleasant by their very nature, and the rock-paper-scissors-eat challenge is no exception.

The rules are simple: You grab a friend or partner and play a round of rock-paper-scissors next to a selection of food. If you win the round, you start eating. If you lose, you sprint to a designated spot and back, all while the winner is eating as much of the meal as they can. When the sprinter gets back, the process begins again. The overall winner is the person who manages to eat the most, which we're sure is very simple to measure.

As with most social media trends, it's difficult to pin down when or how this one began, although it seems to have come from TikTok — famous bastion of some of the worst food trends ever. One of the earliest examples on TikTok that we could track down was uploaded on March 26, 2024, but this doesn't necessarily mean that it's the origin of the challenge. Based on the hashtag, rock-paper-scissors is a common format for couples' challenges in general, with one of the most popular iterations being a date night challenge in which whoever wins each round gets to choose the drink, appetizer, entree, and dessert, respectively. Cute, right? The rock-paper-scissors-eat challenge is less so.

Nobody really wins rock-paper-scissors-eat

Aside from the general unpleasantness of getting food all over yourself or having to scarf it down without really tasting it — all in the name of taking the crown — sprinting up and down your driveway with food in your mouth has some downsides. Eating and running aren't compatible activities. If you run too soon after eating, you could get stomach cramps, a side stitch, or an upset stomach that may result in a rapid trip to the bathroom. In general, you should wait around two to four hours after a big meal to go for a run, which is considerably longer than the time elapsed between rounds of rock-paper-scissors. Therefore, if you take on this challenge with a date, beware: You're not likely to impress them if you throw up on your new pants. Or their new pants.

Less cute still is the fact that running with a mouthful of food is a choking hazard, especially for younger children. Plenty of viral food challenges have come with an element of risk, with the salt-and-ice and 21-at-21 dares among the most dangerous food challenges ever. If you still plan on spoiling your dinner (and your bathroom) with this challenge — which we definitely don't recommend — keep your safety in mind. Make sure someone is with you, try to avoid super solid or dry food, and do not involve the kids. Or, better yet, cast your FOMO aside and do something else entirely.