In 2008, Adam Richman changed how we look at food (and reality television) forever. His network show, Man vs. Food, debuted on the Travel Channel that year and we couldn't pull ourselves away from this guy stuffing his face. From state to state, Richman ate foods with sinister names like The Widow Maker, Death Star, and the Quadruple Coronary Bypass Burger (we're looking at you on that one, Atlanta).
The goal was to showcase big, bold, bizarre foods at various USA restaurants with a behind the scenes visit to the kitchen and interviews with local diners (between bites). Each episode was capped off with a timed eating challenge in front of an audience to see if Richman could join the respective restaurant's Wall of Honor (a win for "man") or if he would be relegated to the Walk of Shame (a win for "food").
Following a five year hiatus when the show ended in 2012, it was rebooted this past year under the direction of Casey Webb rather than Richman. The food is bigger, spicier, and even more jaw-dropping this time around, as told by the Daily Meal.
Here's a closer look at some of those meals. Take our advice and don't scroll through if you've just eaten because some of these top out at 10,000 calories (thirty pound burrito or six pound milkshake, anyone?), the mere thought of which makes our stomachs turn and our arteries clog.
Thanks to Broken Yolk, you can go to San Diego and tell all your friends you competed in an Iron Man competition. They will be so impressed with your dedication to the sport of triathlon, that is until you let them in on the secret that the Iron Man you're referring to is an egg-centric food challenge.
More specifically, according to Food Challenges, the twelve egg omelet comes out of the kitchen piping hot and piled high with biscuits, home fries, chili, and cheese.
The clock starts ticking and you have one hour to cross the finish line or risk forking over the $35.
We take it back, that's still impressive.
Randy Santel is a professional competitive eater, but even he had to fill out the waiver to attempt the McQueen's Tavern Big Burger challenge.
According to the tavern website, there are a whole host of rules that must be followed. For example every last crumb must be consumed, you can't leave the table for any reason once you start, and nobody else can touch your plate. We don't know about the release of liability part, but that doesn't mean we won't watch someone else as they do it.
If you're looking for fine dining, skip Fat Sal's Deli in Southern California. However, if you're looking for a twelve pound sandwich, this is the place for you.
According to This Is Insider, the challenge consists of a 27-inch garlic roll loaded up with fried goods like french fries, onion rings, and mozzarella sticks.
The fun doesn't stop there, though, as the magicians in the kitchen make sure you're getting your monthly allowance of protein with five eggs, five cheeseburgers, and three pounds of pastrami.
If you can make the sandwich disappear in forty minutes, you get to name a Fat Sal's sandwich.
Former NFL Coach, Don Shula, knows a thing or two about winning. With more than a few wins under his belt from his time with the Miami Dolphins, he opened his first steak house in 1989 featuring the finest cuts of beef.
Now, football fans and food enthusiasts alike flock to Shula's in Miami for the 48-ounce porterhouse challenge.
Scarfing down this hunk of meat will earn you a spot in the 48-ounce club and could score you a handshake with Coach Shula himself. According to the restaurant's website, there are over 40,000 club members to date.
You don't have to travel all the way to Pune, India for a hamburger, but if you do you will be met with one of the largest.
The Irish House serves up a 3 pound burger with all the fixings. If you can finish it in thirty minutes, the meal is on the house. It might seem like a rather small feat, but you can see the look of surprise from one diner, the blogger behind Bhakti Diaries, when she realized the challenge included the bun, too.
They always say everything is bigger in Texas. When it comes to Big Lou's Pizza in San Antonio, we totally agree.
There's not a specific challenge associated, but you can challenge your friends to order the 42-inch pie with a straight face.
According to the restaurant's website, a plain 42-incher will cost you $68.
However, because it's Texas and barbecue reigns in the south, you can also get a BBQ Pizza. This will set you back $88, but you will be the hero of the party.
At the San Francisco Creamery Company you can get everything plus the kitchen sink. The joint dishes out hand-crafted sundaes in none other than a sink.
The sundae is comprised of eight scoops of ice cream, eight servings of toppings, three bananas, and so much whipped cream. Finish it in under thirty minutes and receive free ice cream for the entire year.
According to the Creamery's website, the fastest eaten kitchen sink challenge was completed in just over twenty minutes. We're guessing that person had a major brain freeze.
If consuming roughly 10,000 calories sounds like a perfect Friday night activity, head over to Osbornes in the United Kingdom. According to the Chronicle Live, their food challenge pairs baby back ribs, chicken wings, a double stacked hamburger, a bowl of chili, two helpings of french fries, and every side dish on the menu. Oh, and it's all served on the lid of a trash can (rather, a dustbin as they say in the UK).
Those able to make their way through the whole dustbin in under forty-five minutes get a t-shirt and bragging rights.
Midway through his tenure on Man vs. Food, Adam Richman made a little spot in Syracuse, New York world famous (a place already popular among locals).
At Mother's Cupboard, the coffee is cheap, talk is small, and credit cards aren't accepted. Diners looking for a walk on the wild side can follow in Richman's footsteps to complete the Frittata Challenge. Those less adventurous souls that don't feel like consuming six pounds of eggs, meat, and cheese can opt for the pancakes (but those are huge, too, according to Syracuse.com).
Those fortunate enough to travel to Alaska are often blown away by the majestic scenery and wildlife. But Alaska has more to offer than just the great outdoors.
At Humpy's in Anchorage, you can take part in the Kodiak Arrest Challenge. We want to say that the name makes it sound worse than it is, but...
All in all there are seven crab cakes, a foot-long reindeer sausage, three pounds of King crab, and a whole mess of melted butter.
According to Food Challenges, the whole meal will cost you $160, making it one of the more expensive eating ventures you'll encounter on a dare.
When the Travel Channel gets wind of a restaurant they like, odds are they are going to find a way to go back. Chompie's in Phoenix has been seen on several shows, including Man Vs. Food and Ginormous Food.
According to the Chompie's website, the day after its first television appearance, hungry Arizonans circled the block and collectively ate nearly 8,000 of the signature sliders.
The food challenge is built around twelve sliders, but most people are fully satisfied with just one mega-slider.
There's something about a milkshake that transports you to another era, a simpler time when activities included poodle skirts, sock hops, and watching Grease on the big screen.
That's what Chick and Ruth intended with their restaurant in Annapolis, that is until they implemented a food challenge that launched them back into this century.
The Man vs. Food challenge, as advertised on their website, consists of one six-pound milkshake and a one-pound burger, but this can be modified to just the milkshake. Finish in an hour and your name goes down in history.
Host Casey Webb thought for sure he knew two things: Cincinnati and cheese. All of that was laid to rest, though, with a serious chili challenge at Blue Ash. Webb was faced with an eight-pound meal with chili as its base. Two pounds of those eight were shredded cheese (two pounds of cheese!), plus another pound of jalapeno poppers.
According to the restaurant's website, competitors have one hour to finish to avoid the meal charge of $39.99.
Sometimes to get ahead you just need something to set yourself apart from the competition. And sometimes to do that, you become the competition.
Pho Garden in San Francisco was trying to distinguish itself among several pho shops on the block, so it launched the pho challenge.
According to Eater, the challenge bowl consisted of two pounds of noodles, two pounds of meat, and roughly thirteen pounds of broth.
There wasn't anything special for completing the challenge, just a chance to take a picture with a giant bowl of pho.
When Don Chingon opened in Brooklyn in 2015, they wanted to ensure that diners would be invested in their restaurant. So, they literally made that happen.
Individuals completing the Don Chingon 30-pound burrito challenge received a 10% share in the company.
All that stood in the way of a sound ownership investment was a mound of meat, beans, rice, and one ghost pepper margarita.
According to CNBC, this challenge did not meet the safety standards of the International Federation of Competitive Eating. We didn't know that was a thing, but totally agree this sounds unsafe.
What do you call a giant chicken nugget? Nugzilla, of course.
The Godzilla and poultry hybrid quickly became a fan favorite at Rub Smokehouse in England. Anyone that can finish the nugget in under ten minutes receives a free "I Defeated Nugzilla" t-shirt (the design of which includes an adorably ferocious chicken nugget dinosaur-like character).
If someone can beat the fastest recorded time of six minutes and twenty seconds, they basically receive free food from the restaurant for life according to the Smokehouse website.
Probably the last thing you want to do after you eat an eight layer deli sandwich is indulge in a piece of cheesecake. However, at Kenny and Ziggy's in Houston, you're expected to do just that.
Sandwich-lovers taking on the Zellagabetsky challenge receive a free dessert after their attempt (you're welcome to take it to go). According to Zagat, the challenge is completely attainable. Basketball legend, Shaquille O'Neal, once completed the meaty challenge twice in one sitting (and ate both pieces of cheesecake).
Comic-book themed Gotham City Pizza in Ormond Beach, Florida serves up Superman-sized pies. Owner Marco Falletta, father to quadruplets, wanted a fun place for children and adults alike (and a place to escape to).
According to Pizza Magazine, the challenge features a three-foot long stromboli that must be eaten in under thirty minutes to count as a qualifying attempt.
Anyone with a superpower to eat a lot of dough, cheese, and sauce will be rewarded with their face sketched on the pizzeria wall in the form of a favorite superhero.
Huckleberry's sounds like the name of a quaint restaurant in the country. Instead, it's a buzzing location known for its 10,000 calorie food challenge.
With nearly $1000 in prize money on the line for anyone that can successfully complete it, competitors go head to head with a plateful of sweet waffles, chicken breasts, onion rings, bacon, and corn on the cob.
Put another way, according to The Mirror, that's five days worth of food or the equivalent of forty McDonald's hamburgers.
There are many options for good food in Las Vegas, but you definitely can't go wrong with a trip to Hash House A Go Go. According to Trip Savvy, the whole menu is delicious. But if you want a true Man vs. Food challenge, you have to order Andy's Sage Fried Chicken.
Channel your inner television star as you work your way through the chicken, biscuit, potato, and chipotle cream comfort food concoction. And because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, there won't be any judgements passed if you go back a second time.
The food item you begged your mom for every day for a month as a child can be yours in epic fashion at any of the ten Melt Bar & Grill locations in Ohio.
The grilled cheese sandwich at Melt is a monstrosity of bread (three slices) and cheese (thirteen different kinds). All in all, the sandwich and its accompanying fry basket weigh over five pounds. According to Melt's website, many have attempted the challenge but few have completed it.
The competition is just a game, but that much cheese is some serious stuff.
You've heard of Little Italy, New York City's Italian neighborhood, but odds are you haven't heard of The Hill, the historic Italian district in St. Louis. To help get their spot on the map, one family restaurant on The Hill started serving a hill of spaghetti with a two-pound meatball.
Now known for Mama's Pasta Challenge, Mama's on the Hill owners admit they don't make any money on the challenge itself. According to the Riverfront Times, however, competitors bring their friends to watch them feast on the carbs and those people end up ordering, too, so that's where the profit comes from.
What's in a name? Well, a lot when the word "inferno" is included.
The Inferno Soup Challenge at Thai-Mexican fusion restaurant, Nitally, in St. Petersburg, Florida defeated 221 people.
Finally, on the 222nd attempt, someone was victorious and bested the ghost pepper broth that had thwarted all that had come before. That individual had done his research and knew to start with the solids and drink the broth quickly in the end.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the winner earned a spiffy $1500 check (and probably some gastrointestinal upset).
Designed for three to five people (and more socially acceptable), the Feedback Shovel can also be ordered by one very hungry or very confident eater.
KC's Rib Shack in New Hampshire doesn't hold back and they don't sugar coat anything. The challenge meal comes out on a hopefully unused shovel that has scooped up six pounds of every kind of meat they serve (beef, chicken, and pork) plus cornbread.
Clean the shovel in thirty minutes or less and your meal is free (no word on if you get to keep the shovel as a souvenir).
Sixty buffalo wings in sixty minutes seems doable, which is exactly what blogger, The Hungry Ginger, thought when she tried it. However, fifty-one wings into the competition and covered in spicy sauce, she removed her protective gloves, called it a loss, and happily paid the $90 for her failure. To this day, she can't look at crispy chicken skin the same way.
Few people have successfully completed this challenge at The Kodiak Club, but those that have say the celery sticks are the key to victory.