Downtime

Do Not Try This at Home

The “milk crate challenge,” except if we made celebrities do it.

A stack of black milk crates surrounded by celebrities.
Such crate heights. Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images, Roy Rochlin/Getty Images, Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images, James Devaney/Getty Images, David Dee Delgado/Getty Images, Getty Images Plus, Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, and Milk Crates Direct.

It’s August, and an America with little good news in sight has turned to something called the milk crate challenge for entertainment. How it works is pretty simple: It involves setting up stacks of crates in a pyramid-staircase formation, trying to walk up and down, and pretty much always tumbling down. (Stacks of crates are not very stable.) Videos of these falls are in heavy circulation on social media, and if you like watching people hit the ground hard in every possible bodily position, you’ve got hours, or at least many minutes, of laughs ahead of you.

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Medical professionals have rightly reacted to the challenge with alarm, and some platforms like TikTok are working to remove examples of it so as not to encourage further injuries. So it’s unlikely that this milk crate situation will reach the heights of the ice-bucket challenge or cause the widespread confusion of the mysterious black-and-white self-portrait challenge. This is mostly a good thing. But we are Americans trying to avoid the news sometimes, too, and we wondered: What would it look like if some of the world’s most famous people took up the mantle? Our predictions are as follows:

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Reese Witherspoon does the crate challenge while wearing a $98 Draper James autumn dress. She makes a goofball face for the camera when she falls halfway through.

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Olympic marathoner Molly Seidel completes the challenge and just keeps running.

Olivia Rodrigo sets up the crates outside her ex-boyfriend’s house and, upon falling early on, wails about how she’ll never compare to “that blond girl.”

Taylor Swift insists on calling it “The Crate Challenge (Taylor’s Version).”

Marie Kondo puts away all the crates but one, clears it easily.

After telling her followers she’s not sure what a milk crate is or where to get one, Martha Stewart sends her staff out to obtain some for her.

As Jennifer Lopez fearlessly climbs the crates, she works in a refrain of “Let’s get loud!”

After cheering on J.Lo, Ben Affleck falls on the third crate because it’s hard to do the challenge while holding four coffees and some munchkins from Dunkin.

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When the crates collapse partway through his run, Jason Sudeikis thanks the crates for being part of the team.

When the crates collapse, Bachelorette Katie Thurston accuses them of gaslighting her and just wanting to get famous.

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Camila Cabello insists on doing the crate challenge at the same time as her boyfriend Shawn Mendes, so that they can fall on top of each other.

Beyoncé executes the crate challenge flawlessly, but when the camera zooms out, it turns out to be an ad for the latest Ivy Park collection.

Simone Biles vaults over the entire crate pyramid.

Tom Cruise almost makes it through the whole pyramid, but when one of the towers wobbles, he starts yelling at the crates for not taking the challenge seriously enough.

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Andrew Cuomo shares a slideshow of crates he’s met.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tells the crates they’re not allowed to wear masks.

The two mean girls from The White Lotus look disdainfully at the crates.

Elizabeth Holmes says her blood test is based on the crates.

Vice media says they’re laying off the crates.

Dakota Johnson reveals that she actually did invite Ellen to the crate challenge.

Several weeks after a particularly hard fall to the ground, Bari Weiss writes a Substack arguing that the entire crate challenge is evidence of group think in the media.

When the crates collapse, Chet Hanks yells “PSYCHE!” at the crates.

Pitchfork gives Lorde’s attempt at the crate challenge an undeservedly low score.

Pete Davidson, single again, is spotted making eyes at the crates.

A feral Jake Gyllenhaal does a headstand on each crate.

Slate runs the headline: Why Is Jeff Bezos’ Crate Setup So Phallic?

Elon Musk steps onto the first crate and waits for its self-driving feature to kick in.

Addison Rae makes it through the crate challenge and launches into a celebratory TikTok dance invented by a Black creator she does not credit.

Bono orders a set of crates to his yacht in the French Riviera, but because of supply-chain issues, they haven’t yet arrived.

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