The Milk Crate Challenge is sweeping across social feeds, but TikTok is warning users against it

Just because the Milk Crate Challenge is crazy-popular doesn't mean it's a good idea

Bottles of semi-skimmed milk sit in the refrigeration storage room crates at the Our Cow Molly Farm and Dairy in this arranged photograph taken near Sheffield, U.K
(Image credit: Bloomberg /Getty)

Not all TikTok tricks are meant to be attempted—and the Milk Crate Challenge is one of them. 

Like trending fads before it, the challenge has earned viral fame but you shouldn't actually take it for a whirl. (Unlike the 60s eyeliner trend—that one's always a good idea). Here's a look inside the new phenomenon that's sweeping across social media feeds...and giving TikTok higher-ups cause for concern. 

What is the Milk Crate Challenge? 

The trend consists of stacking plastic milk crates on top of each other to create a rickety staircase of sorts. A person attempts to climb the crate "stairs" and make it to the other side. Most attempts are not successful. 

How did the Milk Crate Challenge start? 

The trend kicked off on TikTok on Sunday, August 1, 2021, when the first-known video of the Milk Crate Challenge was posted to Facebook. Videos of people attempting to these milk-crate mountains spread like wildfire on social platforms including Twitter and TikTok, which took the trend and ran with it.

See Milk Crate Challenge videos below: 

Milk Crate challenge injuries: Why is it dangerous?

Hello, did you see those videos?! While thankfully no deaths due to a milk crate challenge fail have been reported, medical professionals across the country have detailed how the viral challenge has resulted in numerous broken bones, fractured ribs, and other preventable injuries. 

This isn't the only bad idea users have uncovered in recent months. In fact, the Milk Crate Challenge comes on the heels of the dry scooping TikTok challenge, which got some fitness buffs into serious trouble. 

The problematic trend started when gym-goers decided to take a pre-workout powder supplement without water. The caffeinated formula is meant to boost performance, but there are dangerous side effects for those who don't dilute it in liquid first. In fact, this challenge even sent one user to the hospital for an NSTEMI, which stands for non-ST segment elevation myocardial infarction. In layman's terms: a heart attack. (Skip out on dry scooping and check out our favorite—and safe!—workout trends of 2021.)

On the other side of the equation, most home and cooking hacks tend to go over smoothly, but the TikTok egg hack had some serious consequences. The seemingly innocent maneuver began as people tried to cut corners by poaching eggs in the microwave. A 25-year-old platform user in the UK cracked a raw egg into a cup of boiling water and placed it in the microwave for 10 seconds. When she attempted to scoop the egg out of the boiling water with a cold spoon, a reaction occurred that caused the water to splash all over her face, leaving her with severe burns. 

For their part, TikTok is anti-milk crate challenge, releasing a statement to The Washington Post that the platform "prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts."

The statement continues: "We remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off."

While yes, TikTok and other social media channels are meant to be a fun escape and a means of enjoyment, proceed with caution before trying anything that seems risky!

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.