What happens if you throw a slice of cheese at a baby’s face?
Some laugh and shake it off. Others grimace, stumble around blindly, recoil like they’ve been hit by a truck, flail their arms, or stare reproachfully at the cheese-thrower. Some eat the cheese. Generally, all look confused.
We know this thanks to a week-old viral phenomenon called the “cheese challenge,” in which people toss shiny slices of processed cheese at unsuspecting infants and share their reactions on social media. Depending on whom you ask, it’s either extremely hilarious or proof that the Internet should never have been invented.
The highlight of my day was watching this video of someone throwing a slice of cheese on their baby…. what’s wrong with me and why am I still laughing? pic.twitter.com/ZHUB421SG2
— madi (@Madison_Combs1) March 1, 2019
According to Eater, the craze started with Charles Amara, a dad living in Michigan. Last Tuesday, he posted a short video on his Facebook page, captioning it “Attack of the cheese Episode 2” and adding, “He wasn’t happy after this one….
” In it, a baby seated in a high chair and clutching a sippy cup looks increasingly nervous as a luminous yellow slice of cheese gets closer and closer, then lands squarely on his face. Remarkably, the slice — which has not been identified but resembles Kraft Singles, a processed American cheese — proves to be extremely adhesive. As the baby blinks, his facial expressions revealing what seems to be a mixture of surprise and dismay, the cheese remains firmly plastered to his face, covering his nose and right eyelid.
Two days later, as the footage was shared hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook, a man using the handle @unclehxlmes posted the same clip on Twitter and added the caption “just cheesed my little brother.” Eight million views later, he felt compelled to clarify that the small boy in the video was not, in fact, his younger brother. He had deleted the tweet and apologized to the child’s mother for invading the family’s privacy, he wrote on Friday, explaining that the response “genuinely got way out of hand” and that he had never imagined that throwing cheese on babies would turn into a trend.
— Xavier (@_parsonsxe) March 2, 2019
how has this gone viral?
According to NBC New York, the #cheesed challenge started with Twitter user @unclehxlmes, who shared a video of a baby getting a slice chucked at his head…
The tweet, which quickly went viral, has since been deleted. “Just to let you all know,” @unclehxlmes tweeted on March 1st, “that cheese tweet isnt my lil brother and ive deleted it. didnt expect it to get THAT viral lmaoooo.”
“Lmaoooo” is right. Sure, some will defend the #CheesedChallenge by saying it’s a just silly prank. But come on — whipping sliced cheese at our next generation? It’s kind of messed up! Of course, the #CheesedChallenge has now expanded from just babies to dogs, cats, moms, dads, grandparents, etc. However, babies are still getting the brunt of the dairy attacks. And for what?
It gets better every time I watch it pic.twitter.com/QPRN42x8Xo
— AC ૐ (@annaclairerusso) March 1, 2019
What did these helpless infants do to deserve such disrespect?
“This phenomenon is not child abuse and is generally not meant to harm the child,” Children’s Rights executive director Sandy Santana told NBC New York. “But parents should, first and foremost, treat their children with care.
Throwing cheese at helpless babies can, in some cases, shock them and lead to unnecessary discomfort.
Is that really worth a few social media likes?”
Um — probably not.
Similar to the #ZoomChallenge of 2018 — that being the challenge where people were having their friends yank their legs to make it look like they were “zooming” across the floor — people are drastically divided on the #CheeseChallenge. Granted, people are not getting hurt like they were during the #ZoomChallenge:
— Esmé Bernier (@esmeliciouss) March 3, 2019