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The Best of the Cinnamon Challenge

What is the “Cinnamon Challenge”? Well, glad you asked. Basically, it is simply taking one tablespoon of cinnamon and attempt to swallow it. Since the early 2000s, the game has become well-known for its extreme difficulty and thousands of videos with people attempting the challenge have been uploaded onto YouTube. Most results are either the challenger emitting a puff of cinnamon powder, or vomiting. Now, before we go any further, the videos below do not include that latter – I do not particularly like to watch people throwing up, and I’m sure most of you don’t either. In fact, that is what made me turn off Jackass The Movie after about 15 minutes.

The origin? While the challenge became a viral phenomenon on YouTube, its origin precedes the history of the video-sharing community. The earliest known attempt at the game can be traced back to The Cinnamon Challenge 2001, which was hosted by Michael Buffington and played by Erik Goodlad. The result was documented and posted as a blog article on Buffington’s blog. The story was picked up by Jason Kottke on December 22nd, 2001.

The earliest YouTube version was uploaded on April 2nd, 2006 in a video titled “Pipe Attempts the Cinnamon Challenge.” Throughout the rest of 2006, several videos depicting similar attempts were posted on the site. Oh, and here we have a wiener! I mean, winner! Pipe succeeds in the challenge.

Pipe Attempts the Cinnamon Challenge

Next on our list of videos is this compilation featured on The Chive. The music adds to it, and a lot of cinnamon puff clouds, with a grand finale.

Nobody expects to lose the Cinnamon Challenge

Lastly, we have another montage of Cinnamon Challenge losers with a lot of puffing. The last few indicate they couldn’t hold their cinnamon cookies, but no actual spewing occurs in the video. Music is a bit reminiscent of the ending to Caddy Shack….

The Best Cinnamon Challenge


Know Your Meme: Cinnamon Challenge
The Chive: Nobody expects to lose the Cinnamon Challenge (Video)


  1. Love the “1812 Overture,” but not dusted with cinnamon. That’s a terrible thing to do to something something as delicious as cinnamon.

  2. I’ve heard of this before, but never seen the videos until now. Michelle, you take us many places, and of almost endless and amazing variety, but this has got to be one of the strangers places you’ve brought us to.

    I wasn’t sure what to think as I started watching. My first thought was ‘How on earth do people think of stuff like this?’ Just what IS the thought process that leads to the first people to do this (guys, of course) saying “Let’s see which one of us can choke down a tablespoon of cinnamon without spitting it out or vomiting. Game ON! And eat my DUST!” (only literally in this case, except that the contestants are trying to eat their own dust)

    I understand competition and being competitive. But I’m having trouble imagining feeling the thrill of victory and a sense of accomplishment in winning this particular competition. If I was young and single again, it would be hard to imagine trying to use my cinnamon swallowing skills as a way to impress young women.

    In fact, I think telling women about it would be a mistake, because it would be more likely to impress them in the wrong kind of way and ruin a guy’s chances. I just don’t think that women are going to think that a guy who can swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon is sexy. They’re more likely to think that he’s an idiot for even trying.

    It doesn’t require skill, strength, or a well executed strategy, and it sure as hell doesn’t require intelligence – Because if you were smart you wouldn’t do it. And there’s my mistake here, because I’m trying to look for a logical explanation, where there is none.

    So maybe it’s just about being outrageous for the sake of being outrageous and funny. Okay, now that’s more on a level that I can relate to. But is being outrageous in this way worth that kind of abuse and punishment? I dunno… Looks to me like it makes streaking or using a Bic lighter to light up farts into blue ass crack flames seem downright sensible in comparison.

    Pie eating contests seem as respectable as golf or tennis when compared to attempted cinnamon swallowing, with all it’s severe discomfort, high rate of failure and risk of puking. At least pies are something that people enjoy eating, and in a much larger size than a tablespoon.

    Drinking contests suddenly seem admirable and even practical. At least you’re far more likely to enjoy getting drunk, even if you do get sick.

    But then I watched the videos, and I have to admit that it was funny, because the people trying to do it looked so ridiculous. So I guess it’s more for the enjoyment of the people watching, cause the people doing it sure aren’t enjoying it. And maybe there’s some kind of weird social bonding going on, like an initiation or hazing.

    “Hey, we’re really tight – cause we tried to swallow tablespoons of cinnamon and coughed it out in big orange clouds, and then we puked our guts up, and it was just sick! Not everyone can say they did that, cause they’re not like us, and not down with it. They’re not cool cause they couldn’t hack it. But we were hackin’ that shit all over the place! Cinnamon hackin’ orange cloud smokin’ and puking BFFs dude… That’s what it’s all about.

    Yeah, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous. But you know what’s even more ridiculous? That I spent this much time writing about it. Cause that’s pretty ridiculous too. But at least I didn’t go into orange powder coughing fits and then throw up… which is better, but I’m still ridiculous in my own way, and I might as well just admit it.

    Song suggestion for next cinnamon swallowing video: “Puff the Magic Dragon” LOL 😀

    • LOL “Puff the Magic Dragon” is a good one! Except it would need to be a remix with a bit more energy to it. Not so sad. I would never try this just because I hate throwing up so much that I wouldn’t try something that even has a possibility of throwing up. No way. I’m always game for stupid shit, but I do draw the line, and this one definitely has a line drawn. But it is hilarious to watch!

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