'Kool-Aid man challenge': Youngsters crash through fences in destructive TikTok trend
At least 15 similar incidents of damage to fences were reported near Omaha, Nebraska in July, costing unhappy residents thousands of dollars in damage
A new worrisome TikTok trend called the "Kool-Aid man challenge" has emerged that giving rise to teen vandalism in a number of states as youngsters try to burst through fences of people's houses.
The Massillon Police Department stated that they were first made aware that the challenge was called "fencing." At the time, they put out a warning telling parents to "council" their kids "on why fencing is not a trend to hop on" during the Thanksgiving break. The police department took to their Facebook page to post pictures of two damaged fences to request parents to ask their children to not join the trend. The police added that multiple homes have been hit and some of the same fences have been hit multiple times.
What is the 'Kool-Aid man challenge'?
The trend in question is a sophomoric stunt that has TikTokers barreling into property enclosures and fences. The wicked trend is meant to be an homage to the iconic vintage Kool-Aid Man commercial where the food mascot was seen bursting through an assortment of walls. While some of the popular clips show people busting through their own walls — often without the benefit of protective gear — the challenge seems to have set off a spree of vandalism among suburban teens, one such instance even getting caught on a homeowner's surveillance footage.
The trend, however, is not entirely new. At least 15 similar incidents were reported near Omaha, Nebraska in July, costing unhappy residents thousands of dollars in damage. The so-called challenge has also been referenced numerous times on TikTok since at least 2019. John Miller, a Nebraska man fell victim to the joke last July, after which his repair cost was more than $2,000, according to Fox42 KPTM. “They need to learn a lesson. Somebody’s either going to get hurt or something worse,” he vented to the TV station.
Homeowners speak out against the 'Kool-Aid man challenge'
A longtime homeowner in Staten Island, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The New York Post that her fence was left with two human-height holes. Since she never experienced any vandalism beyond Halloween pumpkin smashing, she was confused at first and took to the internet to look for clues as to how her fence could have been destroyed.
“I went on our neighborhood Facebook page and noticed someone posted a video of this happening to them, too. Others commented that they also had their fences damaged by young teens jumping through them,” the woman said, adding that someone on that page flagged the TikTok challenge as a possible explanation. “It will probably cost me $300 to repair. The most frustrating part is the lack of respect the youth have today, and the unwanted cost it will put on me. Who wants an expense like that during this time of year?”
While the Kool-Aid Man says “Oh yeah,” one local police department is saying “Oh no.” https://t.co/y6Ko9R848x— fox8news (@fox8news) November 25, 2021
Another property owner Richard Phillips who was among the 10 to 15 homeowners targeted in his town of Caldwell, told Idaho’s KVTB7, “What in the world goes through these kids’ minds to drive around so late at night and have the thought process of ‘Oh, I’m going to destroy someone’s fence?’ They get out of the car long enough to plow through someone’s fence while someone is recording, and they jump in the car and leave.” Phillips said his house was hit on two separate occasions over the span of a few weeks and will cost “thousands” to repair.
Another homeowner, identified just by his first name Tim, told FOX 8 that his fence was destroyed by the teens, which incurred $400 in damages. He initially believed that it was due to wind damage but then he learned about the challenge from officers. “We were actually the third house that morning that it was damaged,” Tim said. “A house about a mile from us was hit four times.”