From chicken wings to ice cream and hot peppers, eating challenges push people — and their stomachs — to the limit. There are no shortage of videos documenting various feats of eats, as a quick online search reveals. These videos, however, generally offer little more than people shoveling food into their mouths.
But some competitive eating videos dial up the drama that’s inherent in these competitions, elevating the sport beyond spectacle. Here are six competitive eating videos that venture past the plate into humor and drama.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start with a restaurant competition that’s billed as the world’s largest breakfast challenge? Professional eater (and bodybuilder) Randy Santel travels to Ireland to try his stomach at a ramped-up version of the traditional Irish breakfast, complete with plenty of bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms, toast and more.
Eating a big burrito while trying to beat a record can be a messy experience. But, in this video, noted competitive eater Molly Schuyler proves there’s more to conquering an eating challenge than having a big appetite. She’s methodical and quick; it’s almost hypnotic to watch her clear her plate.
It’s one thing to watch a competitive eater snarf down food, but a competition with a few elite eaters is another story. In this video, Jamie ‘The Bear’ McDonald, Takeru ‘The Tsunami’ Kobayashi and Pat ‘Deep Dish’ Bertoletti all belly up to the table in a bun-less hot dog-eating challenge. There’s so much to watch in this 10-minute competition: Contestants speed up and slow down, while onlookers can’t contain their surprise or consternation. The judges can barely keep up with counting the hot dogs eaten.
Sure, watching an eating competition from the audience’s point of view is fine. But watching how a competition goes down from an eater’s point of view is a new way of looking at these events. Be Michelle “Cardboard Shell” Lesco as she takes on a gyoza-eating contest.
Stuffed by YouTube channel Tasted is hosted by Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti and Tim “Gravy” Brown. The web series features an assortment of standard eating challenges, as well as contests that bring the ick factor. After all, it’s not every day you get to see people chowing down on a pizza topped with bugs.
What do you get when professional soccer club New York Cosmos is pranked by world-renowned professional eater Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi? You get this video, where Kobayashi poses as a restaurant server before challenging Peri Marosevic to a wing-eating contest. Eating challenges at a festival can be fun, but the added twist of an unexpected prank makes this video a must-watch.
If you’re feeling inspired, try your hand at a eating competition in a festival or restaurant near you. For safety reasons, don’t try any food challenges at home.