Fear Factor is an iconic reality series that originally ran from 2001-2006, until MTV made the decision to reboot the show in 2017, much to the happiness of its dedicated fan base who were ready to see more incredible stunts and horribly gross challenges.

The show is certainly not for the fainthearted, with some truly grotesque challenges being put in front of the contestants throughout the history of the show, which has left even the toughest of audiences feeling a little bit queasy at times. Fear Factor has also had some very cringe-worthy challenges as well, with some being that way because of how vile they are, and others feeling a little bit forced like the show was simply trying too hard, and within this article, we will rank the 10 cringe-worthiest challenges in the history of the show.

10 Worm Coffin

The idea of putting anybody inside a coffin is more than enough to make many feel uncomfortable. After all, the whole idea of being buried as if you had died in an incredibly claustrophobic space would make most people feel horrible. Over the years, the show has used this type of situation excellently, burying people and often adding other elements to the task to make things even more uncomfortable than normal. However, this example wasn’t exactly imaginative, as it simply added worms into the equation.

Granted, there was a lot of worms thrown in here, with around 300,000 being placed in. But are there that many people actually terrified of worms? Sure, they’re not exactly pleasant, but they can’t harm you and are found commonly in the garden, which made this feel a little underwhelming if still disgusting.

9 Milking The Goat

In Season Three, Fear Factor brought in a challenge that saw couples compete against each other as they aimed to fill up a glass with milk. Sounds normal enough, right? Well, you’re wrong because as is tradition with this show, there was a twist.

The twist here was that the contestants actually had to get the milk by sucking it from a goat’s udder then spitting it into the glass, which then eventually had to be swallowed even though it was full of your own spit, in what was a grueling and fairly disgusting challenge to watch at home. Nowadays, a task like this probably wouldn’t even be allowed due to the fact that humans sucking from a goat’s udder probably isn’t the safest thing for the animal (nor is it something that the animal would be consenting to), which makes this a little cringe-worthy to look back upon.


8 Eating Spiders

Watching someone go through the mental difficulty of having to eat disgusting insects is always horrible to see. Eating a spider has to be the worst of the lot, so obviously Fear Factor used this challenge many times.

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During one episode, the task was to eat an African cave-dwelling spider, which is a spider with claws. The accompanying visuals and sounds combined into one disgusting and horrible moment that nobody is keen to relive, but it perfectly sums up the show. While it was a cringe-worthy task, it is a tried and trusted Fear Factor formula and because of that, the show is always going to revert back to it when necessary.

7 Trapped In A Morgue

Earlier in the list, we had a challenge that was all about claustrophobia and being buried underground, but when Fear Factor returned to MTV, this challenge took that a step further by placing a contestant in a morgue, sliding them onto the trays, and covering them in an airtight sheet. This was incredibly tough for them, as any sudden movements or panic only made things harder as they had to wait for their partner to come and save them.

The issue was that the partners were all chained up and had to unlock a series of padlocks in order to free themselves, all while viewers had to watch the other contestant begin to panic.

6 Leech Gets Stuck

In Season Sven, Fear Factor brought in a difficult team challenge that saw one member sit in a bathtub that was full of leeches with the slimy creatures crawling all over them, while their teammates had to suck them off.

We’re not sure exactly who had it worse in this challenge as the leeches then had to be eaten, but the cringe-worthy moment came when one contestant ended up getting a leech stuck in his throat, causing him to start having issues. The contestant had to cough up the leech, which he spat out into a bucket. Unsurprisingly, he also coughed up a lot of blood.

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5 Eggnog

Anytime a show does a holiday-themes episode there is the potential for some cringe-worthy moments, and that includes Fear Factor. To celebrated the festivities, this Season 3 holiday episode brought out some reindeer testicles, because why not?

While eating them was bad enough, the contestants also had to drink something alongside of it. Fear Factor created its own version of eggnog, which was over 100 years old and certainly kicked off a smell that the contestants weren’t exactly loving. This was just the right show to get you in that holiday spirit, and it was beyond cringe-worthy as the contestants put themselves through a double act of misery in this horrible challenge.

4 Who Doesn’t Love Pizza?

When you think of pizza, most people are excited and it’s anything but cringe-worthy. But when you throw Fear Factor into the mix, things quickly start to unravel as the delightful cuisine quickly becomes the stuff of nightmares.

Instead of the usual mozzarella and cheese, this episode switched things up and had the pizza consist of a cow bile crust, coagulated blood paste, rotten cheese, fish eyes, and some live worms just in case all of that wasn’t disgusting enough. Of course, the pizza looked absolutely vile and was incredibly tough for to eat, with the usual gagging and vomit-inducing sounds taking place, making this a very cringe-inducing episode to watch.

3 Draining Intestines

This challenge had so much am-packed into it and every element was absolutely disgusting, leaving viewers horrified and feeling physically ill as they watched on in shock as contestants work away on cows intestine, chewing them up to release the fluid from inside. That fluid was then drained out and placed into a cup, which they then had to drink from. Oh, and did we mention that the contestants are sat in a bath surrounded by intestines during all of this?

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This is a classic Fear Factor challenge in the sense that it forces contestant to not only do one disgusting thing but three in a single challenge, giving viewers several reasons to watch through their fingers in sheer terror.

2 Cow Blood

Looking like they had just survived the infamous scene from The Shining, the disgusting Cow Blood Challenge left people cringing in their sofas. It was simply horrible to view, rather than being entertaining, as the show should be.

Here, contestants dunked head-first into a huge tank filled with cow blood. Contestants attempted to bob for rings from the bottom, although they are impossible to actually see due to the ridiculous amount of blood involved. While the contestants did quite well, this was still a sickening sight that was prioritized the shock value instead of being fun and thrilling.

1 Unairable

When it comes to the most cringe-worthy challenges in Fear Factor, this certainly takes the top prize. Here, contestants drank large amounts of donkey urine and semen. Yikes.

This took place in Season Six, and the fact that Comcast demanded that the episode never reached television shows just how horrendous it was, although the clip can be found online. Without a doubt, this was an incredibly embarrassing moment for the contestants as well, who found themselves in something nobody wanted to see (let alone take part in). Saying the show went too far is an understatement.

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