The 'Kool-Aid Man Challenge' Has, Unfortunately, Returned—Here's What Parents and Property Owners Should Know

The disruptive social media trend is officially back.

There's a challenge circulating social media that parents—and property owners—should be aware of. You might recall those famous commercials of the Kool-Aid Man barreling through walls and saying, "Oh yeah." Well, TikTokers are mimicking the brand's anthropomorphic pitcher with the Kool-Aid Man Challenge.

While the challenge made headlines in 2021 and 2022, it's been in the news again following the arrest of six young people in Feb. 2023. NBC New York reported that police said members of the group recorded themselves "blasting through" a fence and that they were "ticketed for criminal mischief." According to police, it was part of the Kool-Aid Man Challenge.

Suffolk County Chief of Patrol Gerard Hardy said (via NBC New York), "This is a really bad decision, they shouldn’t be influenced by social media or their friends. It might seem fun and it might be a prank, but it’s criminal and they will be held accountable."

Here is what to know about the Kool-Aid Man Challenge.

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What is the Kool-Aid Man Challenge?

The challenge involves individuals running through walls and fences saying, "Oh yeah" like the popular Kool-Aid commercials, which featured the brand's mascot bursting through walls and ceilings with his catchphrase: "Oh yeah."

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Related: Why Is April 24 Trending on TikTok? Here Are the Disturbing Details for Parents and Women To Know

Is the Kool-Aid Man Challenge dangerous?

It goes without saying that you can injure yourself by running through a wall or fence. And the destructive challenge has also resulted in property damage. In Feb. of 2023, a homeowner in Long Island had parts of his fence knocked down due to the challenge, and, per NBC New York, his house was not the only one that was hit.

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How long has the Kool-Aid Man Challenge been going on?

The most recent arrests are not the first time there has been an issue with the Kool-Aid Man Challenge. There have been reports in both 2021 and 2022 of the disruptive challenge leading to the destruction of property.

Oftentimes, high school students have targeted vinyl fencing in nearby neighborhoods for this challenge.

And now, for the third year in a row, the trend is making headlines.

How to talk to your kids about the Kool-Aid Man Challenge

There are a few important things to discuss with your teens about this trend. First, it can be easy for kids to get swept up in "funny" trends, but an emphasis should be placed on how other people's property needs to be respected. Also, parents or guardians can actually be held responsible for any damages that are made to someone's property by their kids.

And speaking of ramifications, even if teens purchase sheets of drywall to do this challenge (AKA without damaging other people's property) or are in a home where a wall needs to get demolished anyway due to renovation, they could still get hurt themselves.

TikTok limiting teen use on the platform

On March 1, 2023, TikTok released a statement explaining their decision to try to limit screen time for teenagers and younger. "In the coming weeks, every account belonging to a user below age 18 will automatically be set to a 60-minute daily screen time limit," they shared. "While there's no collectively-endorsed position on the 'right' amount of screen time or even the impact of screen time more broadly, we consulted the current academic research and experts from the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children's Hospital in choosing this limit."

In the press release, it's also explained that "if the 60-minute limit is reached, teens will be prompted to enter a passcode in order to continue watching, requiring them to make an active decision to extend that time."

While social media isn't a bad thing in and of itself, it will be interesting to see if the awareness of how long you're using the app impacts the mindless scrolling and maybe limits the reach or interest in trends like the Kool-Aid Man Challenge, Nyquil Chicken, Beezin' and more.

Next, 10 of the Most Viral TikToks of 2022