What is the ‘pen in cup’ challenge going viral on TikTok?

Georgina Smith
Woman throws a pen into a cup next to the TikTok logo

A new viral TikTok challenge sees participants try to throw pens into cups from a short distance as a way to decide whether they should or shouldn’t do something. People are coming up with all kinds of hilarious twists on the trend.

TikTok has become the number one place to go to find a whole host of trends and challenges, and with such a huge userbase that’s growing by the day, it doesn’t take long for even the most random things to go viral.

In September, the app was completely dominated by the viral ‘Devious Lick’ challenge, which saw students steal increasingly bizarre items from their schools. The trend was later banned entirely by TikTok after receiving a wave of backlash from teachers.

What is TikTok’s Pen in Cup challenge?

The latest trend to sweep the platform, however, is a lot less controversial. Described by many as the ‘pen in cup’ challenge, it sees participants try to throw pens into a cup from a distance of a couple of meters away as a way of deciding whether or not they should do something.

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Before throwing, they will say a statement such as ‘take a drink,’ and if the pen goes in, they have to do the aforementioned action.

Some have been playing as part of a couple or friendship group, leading to hilarious results, whereas others having taken to playing the game alone.

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And of course, being TikTok, plenty of people have decided to parody the challenge by repeatedly throwing pens into the cup until they get the answer they want, or simply placing the pen inside the cup to ensure it lands.

Some videos participating in the challenge have garnered millions of likes and views, and as the trend continues to sweep For You Pages around the world, even more are uploading videos of their attempts.

About The Author

Georgina was formerly an entertainment writer for Dexerto. She covered all aspects of influencer culture on TikTok and more, including creators such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae. She also wrote about hit reality shows such as Love Island and Below Deck.