21 Dangerous TikTok Trends Every Parent Should Know

Some people will do anything to go viral, from silly pranks to extreme stunts – nothing is off-limits.

TikTok trends generally involve fun dance routines or fun filters, but every now and then a dangerous challenge or trend will pop up.

From users driving their cars while following the directions on Cha Cha Slide to deliberately overdosing on medication in hopes of getting a high, some of the trends floating around the app aren’t all dangerous but potentially fatal.

Below is a list of 21 of the most dangerous TikTok trends that have gone viral on the social media platform in recent years that people should avoid and parents should be aware of.

Do not try this at home (or anywhere else).

Benadryl Challenge

The Benadryl Challenge encouraged TikTok users to ingest excessive amounts of the drug in an attempt to experience a high that could cause hallucinations. The Food and Drug Administration asked TikTok to remove the videos, warning that taking the medication too much could lead to serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or even death.

Coronavirus challenge

Last March, a so-called coronavirus challenge was circulating on social media, encouraging people to lick objects in public. At that time, the hashtag #coronaviruschallenge had almost 100 million views on TikTok, and just under a year later the hashtag had 3.1 billion views.

Eye challenge

The eye strain encouraged TikTok users to put a Ziploc bag of jelly, hand sanitizer, bleach, and shaving cream near their eye, claiming it would change color.

Silhouette Challenge

In the silhouette challenge, women start the video in casual clothing before being shown either in lingerie or naked after a quick transition. The challenge sees them standing in a door that is only backlit by a red light so that only their silhouette is visible.

However, the Silhouette Challenge posed problems for participants when some people figured out how to edit the TikTok videos to reveal the women’s bodies. Some of the edited clips were posted online without the women’s consent.

TikTok app
A TikTok user opens the app on her phone. Some dangerous TikTok trends that have been floating around the app are the Penny Challenge and the Cha Cha Slide Challenge.
Manjunath Kiran / AFP

Blackout challenge

The Blackout Challenge was not created on TikTok, but circulated in the app last year. It involves restricting your breathing to get a high, but it can be extremely dangerous and can result in the death of a 10 year old girl in Italy.

Popping scalp

The scalp popping trend challenged users to twist a piece of hair on the part of someone around their fingers and pull it up, creating a « pop » effect on their scalp. TikTok users reported feeling pain or even losing hair spots when they tried the challenge, and doctors cautioned against joining the trend.

Full face wax

Skin experts warned TikTok users against trying a dangerous skincare trend after full-face wax videos reached millions of views. In this technique, waxers pour wax over clients’ faces, including their noses and ears.

Challenge piles

In the Burning Pile challenge, TikTok users start the video casually dressed before suddenly dressed and holding a lighter in front of their faces after a quick transition. However, when TikTok star Madi Monroe tried the trend, her hair caught on fire.

Hyaluronic acid injections

Videos of people injecting hyaluronic acid into their skin have appeared on TikTok, leading to a warning from the American Society for Dermatological Surgery Association. Experts warned TikTok users against trying the procedure, which should be done by a professional.

Sugar growth

Sugar waxing, which is a homemade mixture of sugar, lemon, and hot water that is then applied directly to the skin to wax, has been around for centuries. However, as the wax technique gained prominence at TikTok, experts had to warn that if used incorrectly, it could cause burns, infections and scars.

Vampire teeth

Around Halloween last year, a vampire fang trend was circulating on TikTok. It involved users sticking vampire teeth to their teeth with nail glue or even superglue. A dentist warned TikTok users not to try the trend as it could damage their tooth enamel and cause ulcers.

File teeth

TikTok users worried dentists when they posted videos of themselves filing their teeth with a nail file. Dentists and dentistry students made their own videos on the app explaining why the technique is so dangerous – it could destroy their tooth enamel beyond repair – and urged TikTok users to see their dentist instead of trying to file their own teeth .

Challenge stand up

The stand up challenge involves having someone stand on their partner’s back while lying flat on the floor, and the challenge is for the person lying down to stand up slowly while the person on their back eventually comes up to their shoulders.

One trainer warned that those who are not specially trained professional athletes or gymnasts should not attempt the challenge and advised that they might end up breaking their necks.

Penny challenge

The incredibly dangerous penny challenge was TikTok users only partially plugging a charger into an outlet before tossing a penny into the gap. As soon as the dime hits the charger, an electrical spark or even an electrical fire can occur.

Jaw exercise

TikTok users claimed that using a jaw exerciser gave them a chiseled jaw line, but experts warned the device could damage their teeth and jaw.

Nutmeg Challenge

For the Nutmeg Challenge, TikTok users mixed tablespoons of nutmeg with milk or water and drank the hops to get a high. Large amounts of nutmeg can be intoxicating, but can also cause dangerous side effects such as hypothermia, hallucinations, coma, and death.

Skull Breaker Challenge

The Skull Crusher Challenge circulated on TikTok last year and was popular with kids. Two people jumped against the legs of a third person, fell over and suffered numerous injuries.

Throw it in the air challenge

The toss-in-the-air challenge involved a group of friends standing in a circle and looking at a cell phone on the ground. Someone would throw an object in the air and the challenge is not to flinch when you watch it fall on your head.

Cha Cha Slide Challenge

the Cha Cha slide Challenge records DJ Casper’s song with lyrics like « slide to the left, slide to the right », but unlike most TikTok trends, this one wasn’t about dancing. Some users drove their car to the song and followed instructions like « Criss-Cross », dangerous evasions on the road.

Corn on the cob challenge

The Corn On The Cob Challenge encouraged participants to try and eat a corn on the cob placed on a drill. Singer Jason Derulo appeared to be beating his teeth as he tried.

Basketball Beer Challenge

In the Basketball Beer Challenge, TikTok users hold a beer bottle or can on top of a basketball before dropping it and trying to catch the drink, which they then chug to party. However, on a few failed attempts, the bottles and cans crash into faces and footsteps.

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