TikTok's Rock-Paper-Scissors Food Challenge Might Make You Hurl

It's common wisdom to wait at least an hour after eating a meal before you exercise. But the question a recent, strangely watchable TikTok trend poses is, what if you exercise while you eat? This trend revolves around two people, a rock-paper-scissors match, an ill-advised amount of fast food, and a lot of cardio. After each "one-two-three shoot," the loser breaks into a wind sprint while the winner eats as much of the meal as possible before their opponent returns, typically as close to the camera lens as possible. If you don't win rock-paper-scissors, you don't eat.

@officialbeastfamily ♬ original sound – Official Beast Family

The videos are bizarre and fascinating to watch, but also a little bit disappointing (we've seen more entertaining TikTok trends in our time). Naturally, we have some questions. Who are the people embarking on this challenge? How does someone win, exactly? And what kind of impact does it have on the body? By that I mean, will it make you hurl? Answer: possibly.

Meet the challengers (and the challenge)

The most popular rock, paper, scissors TikToks feature couples. The twist in this challenge: their love language is competition. That dynamic can spark fun tension as couples endure the ups and downs (and back and forth sprints) of the battle. That's reflected in the most popular comments, which respond to the couples' fun interplay, and less to the prospect that one or both might lose their rapidly-inhaled lunch.


But even with the most fit and conditioned competitors, one problem with these videos is that they take a long time to watch. Most videos play at high speed, which has its charms — the chipmunk-voiced "one-two-three shoot" to kick off each round is fun. But even the most entertaining videos clock in at two to three minutes, which is probably too long to watch someone run in a circle, and definitely too long to watch someone scarf an In-N-Out burger while wheezing. After @chasexjodi released their take on the challenge, filmed in real-time, the top comment summed up the consensus: "Why does this seem like the slowest form of this game I've seen."


Replying to @Cassie rock, paper, jodi sucks at this scissors #couple #relationship #foodchallenge #rockpaperscissors #viral #viralvideo #game #trending #fyp @Jodi Fournerat


♬ original sound – Chase x Jodi

But the real problem with this challenge is that it's hard to tell who wins, or if that's even possible. Most videos end before the game does, which feels anti-climactic. This could be why the videos I enjoy most toss out the idea of real competition and instead lean into the random chaos, like this smile-inducing challenge between two joyful siblings:


Wait till the end – tiktok picked this song #foryoupage #viral #rockpaperscissors #kids #goviral #foryou #challenge #funny

♬ Big Back Big Back thecincomedy – thecincomedy

I mean, who doesn't win that challenge?

But it's dangerous to exercise while eating, right?

Much like with competitive eating, the biggest health risks of eating rapidly are long-term. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it can lead to diabetes and obesity. But rock-paper-scissors folks don't appear to be taking on this challenge with the dedication of Major League eaters, so the most common issues they'll face seem to be, um, gaseous in nature, a result of air entering the body while eating too quickly.


As for the mid-meal exercise, while it's not featured in the most popular videos (thank god), hurling is, in fact, in the realm of expectations. Sprinting or even jogging with this much fast food in your stomach is an express lane to acid reflux, heartburn, and digestion issues — you get where this is going. But I'm guessing most rock, paper, scissors challengers have learned that by now, and could probably use some professional recovery advice. If so, good news: Joey Chestnut's schedule just opened up.