Where Did the Condom Challenge Come From?

Ian-Fortey by Ian-Fortey on Apr. 16, 2013

Have you seen the condom challenge, the internet’s latest flash in the pan obsession now that the Knife Song has removed its fair share of fingers?  Have a look:

That video was uploaded to Youtube on April 8th and, as of today, is the media’s go to video for this meme.  You’ll find it on Gawker, all over reddit and, of course, here on Break.  In the days of yore that stunt was called mental flossing and was just a sideshow act done with string or rope. Since then people have done it with balloons and even snakes.  And now condoms, because why not?

If you follow your Youtube timeline, you’ll see people were doing it back as early as 2009 but it wasn’t called a challenge.  The earliest we can find anyone referring to it as a challenge is May 23rd of 2012.  Of the current bout of videos, the earliest was uploaded on April 3rd and featured 2 girls from the UK in all their Adele glory snorting back on rubbers.

Let’s go back to our trend setting American friend in May of 2012, the first guy to refer to it as a challenge.  He has one other video posted, a cinnamon challenge vid, which we should all be familiar with at this point as denizens of the internet.  He starts his condom video by mentioning that everyone is doing all kinds of different challenges.  His condom video is arguably of his own design.  Is this where the condom challenge started?  Is this Portland Trailblazer’s fan a condom challenge trailblazer?

We went to the source because we care about your peace of mind, and we shot the man a message.  No response.  Afraid of fame?  Too famous to talk to us?  Redirected to his junk mail?  Any or all of these could be the answer.  But the fact remains that, near as we can tell, he’s the first person to ever refer to snorting a condom up your nose and choking it out again as a challenge.  And why would he do such a thing?  To set up a new field of play for kids in need of a physical trial that is easily filmable and potentially harmful in a hilarious way if something goes wrong, which is the key to any good viral meme.

Is there a point to the condom challenge?  Is there a point to planking?  The cinnamon challenge?  Harlem Shake videos?  God no.  They’ll be forgotten in a week.  But when you’re bored and constantly carrying around a camera and a wireless connection to the internet, something’s gotta give. This week it was shame. And sometimes, lunch.