Top 7 Eating Challenges (and What They Say about You)

By Jason Iannone

Unless you’re a Christian in ancient Rome and about to face down an angry lion, spectating is rarely as fun as participating. This applies to eating challenges as well; reading about them is great and all, but taking part is even better. But which one? There are so many foodstuffs to overdose on in the name of immortality that it’s nearly impossible to choose the right one.

Luckily, Tailgate Fan is here to help, whether you want us to or not. If you recall, back in the old MySpace and LiveJournal days, you would fill out “quizzes” that would determine which Disney character you were (Donald Duck), or which member of the Backstreet Boys you were most like (Kevin). Well, we’re doing the same thing, only without the quiz. Save all your energy for stuffing whatever down your gullet; we’ll simply provide the results.

Here are seven different kinds of eating challenges, expertly analyzed to determine which is best suited for they type of person you are. Study hard, make your choice, and happy throat-shoveling!

Fried grasshoppers in Thailand market

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Shockingly, although bugs are a ridiculously popular, non-icky delicacy around much of the world, there have been virtually no documented bug-eating challenges. We don’t really know why. After all, they’re bugs, not Bengal tigers. It’s not like eating too many of them will thin out their numbers beyond repair. They lay like 45 jigatrazillion eggs every afternoon, and are poised to rule the earth long after we’re all dead. You can eat a few without feeling guilty.

And yet it doesn’t happen. So if you’re a trendsetter, then recording yourself eating as many spiders as possible might just be for you. Of course, it might also help if you’re brave to the point of having a death wish, especially if you eat these little wrigglers alive. There has been exactly one bug-eating contest ever (at least according to Google, which is never wrong), and the winner died shortly afterwards. So, feel free to roast your bugs before doing this. We won’t judge.

chili peppers

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Spicy Food

See, if you’re going to do a spicy food challenge, you need to absolutely despise yourself. If you wish to atone for the multitude of horrible sins you’ve committed through the years, that helps too. Because spicy food challenges aren’t a simple “eat a bunch of hot salsa and call it a day” deals. No, they’re hardcore. In most cases, you’re eating peppers or buffalo wing sauce with a Scoville rating of at least a million. (A bottle of Frank’s Red Hot has a 450 rating, for a nice horrifying comparison.)

So if you have a stomach, tongue and throat made of iron, then go ahead and eat a crud-ton of stupidly spicy food. Maybe your tears will help cool down your tastebuds.

Woman eating pencil

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Inedible Things

Most likely, if your goal is to become the world champion of eating coins, paper, sheet metal, shoes or anything else that isn’t meant to be food, then one of two things are true. You could be a superhero, though if that’s true, why are you taking on middling food challenges when you could be conquering unspeakable evil and sparing us all from horrible doom?

Sadly, if you’re not a superhero and still insist on eating all the hair in sight, then you probably have a horrible disease called Pica, which compels its sufferers to eat everything, regardless of whether it’s actually food. In which case, you need help more than you need brief infamy.

In short, don’t start an inedible food challenge; it’s far more important to save the world or see a doctor, depending on your origin story.

Two Liter Grape Soda Bottle

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


More than likely, a liquid drinking challenge means you don’t actually know how the human body works. Just because you can eat 32 ounces of steak doesn’t mean you can automatically down 32 ounces of soda, water, milk or alcohol (if you’re truly masochistic). It’s actually harder to down tons of liquid than it is tons of food, since the stomach will expand to accommodate up to 4 liters of food. It will rarely do that with liquids however, and can only deal with a liter-and-a-half of the stuff before forcing you to pee or puke it all out.

So chug that 2-liter soda down in under 30 seconds if you absolutely must. But don’t come crying to us when your body starts spewing liquid like a cartoon character who just got shot 200 times. We’ll just laugh, because that’s never not hilarious.

Raw Anything

This is just disgusting. With few exceptions, the human body can’t really handle a lot of raw food without becoming very ill, very fast. And when we say raw, we don’t mean a burger with a little pink in it. No, we’re talking cases like this, where some dude tries eating a pound of insanely undercooked chicken. He appears surprised when he starts to feel horrible less than halfway through. He’d probably also be surprised if someone told him (SPOILER ALERT) that Santa isn’t real and pro wrestling is rigged.

So, if you need a nice convenient excuse to call in sick to work for the next week, then this challenge is for you. Otherwise, cook your damn food.

Mega Beefburger

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Random Restaurant Challenges

If you’re a fan of walking into a restaurant, pointing to the 5-Pound Steak Challenge and saying, “I SHALL EAT THIS,” you probably have an incredibly spontaneous personality and a do-or-die, devil-may-care attitude, like this incredibly handsome and desirable writer who may or not be the guy writing these words now. Hint hint, ladies.

Alternately, you might NOT be spontaneous, and the devil may NOT actually care. It could very well be that you’re simply a couch potato who has watched way too much Man v. Food in your life, and you got the idea that could do that too. You forget that the host is a former chef who has trained his body for years to handle all that food, and who exercises and fasts regularly to make meeting these challenges actually possible. Chances are, you didn’t do that. The aforementioned handsome and desirable writer sure as hell didn’t, and his stomach is still angry at him.

Hot Dogs

You are one unoriginal bastard. Hot dogs? Really? That’s like being a Miami Heat fan just because they’re popular. We just gave you a host of new ideas; try one of them, even the damn bug one. Don’t just settle on being the boring dude with a shopping cart full of Ballparks.

Stop in at the Man Cave Daily, where the women are hot and the beer is cold.

Jason Iannone hasn’t eaten one hot dog since watching the last Nathan’s Challenge and holding his stomach in disgust. Troll him with pictures of franks via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.


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