Planking and Other Stupid Trends


23 Monday 23rd May 2011

We’ve all been a bit stupid at one point in our lives. But the point when I start to feel less sorry for those who make mistakes, is when they start imitating the stupidity of others in idiotic, pointless and just downright dangerous crazes. But these trends are inescapable and a part of who we are, in the 1920s for instance it’s been reported that there was a craze for swallowing goldfish. How far we’ve come. With Global Planking Day happening on Wednesday, here's a list of just some of the stupid trends that you could jump on, or if you’re like me, you can simply shake your head at them.


Lying down is now not only confined to your bed or sofa, but anywhere you like. ‘Planking’ is the completely pointless act of lying face down with your arms at the side of your body in public places and photographing it. The craze supposedly started in Australia, but variations are cropping up everywhere including, the ‘lying down game’ in Japan and ‘à plat ventre’ (on one’s belly) in France.

Recently however the craze claimed its first victim, Australian Acton Beale who died from falling from a balcony after he tried to ‘plank’ on some railings on a night out. Police there have since issued a warning of the dangers of the fad. Other stories are now emerging, for instance, the 48 year old woman who injured her wrist whilst demonstrating the trend for guests at a dinner party and the 22 private school girls that were sent home after all planking on a staircase. What a bunch of plankers.

Disqualified - arms not in correct position

While most of the time planking seems relatively safe, I’m still left wondering why? Not only about doing it in the first place but to then photograph yourself doing it, as if this physical evidence makes it all worthwhile, when all it really does is document that yes, you really have just spent an hour lying down in different places. Cool.  


There are countless US teen movies set in 'college' where we see fraternity/sorority houses exhibit the humiliating initiation ceremonies called ‘hazing rituals’. If you’re into ridiculous stunts, harassment, or anything that seems brainless then hazing might just be a perfect fit. But if you want in on these crazy hijinks you better make it quick, as it’s already a crime in 44 states, with dozens of horror stories of teens dying from alcohol poisoning and other injuries relating to hazing pranks.

Some of the worst hazing rituals we’ve found that really don’t need explaining include; ‘Cocaine or Dildo: Your choice’, ‘Boiling Hot Water on Back/Genitals’, ‘All the Alcohol You Can/’t Take in 90 minutes’ and ‘Exercising in Faeces/Urine’. But don’t think these guys and gals are just into physical torture oh no, they even tap into our ‘emotions’ as well with degrading customs such as ‘Circling the Fat on Your Body’, and ‘Boob Ranking’ where your sisters judge your rack as you line up in size order. Ouch. All of this while trying to get a degree? No thanks.

 Like Jackass minus the fame and money, hazing might seem a good idea at the time but remember, you might want children one day, so be careful.

Hazing 1960's style


This is the act of biting someone with the intention of drawing blood à la Twilight. Gone are the days of the harmless hickey, now it’s all about gnawing your beloved. How sweet.

With the influx of vampire-based movies and TV shows, it makes sense that teens and even some adults are getting in on the act, but this doesn’t mean it’s okay or normal. The complete opposite really, not only are you imitating something you see on TV, but you’re also biting all the people your chosen victim has already been bitten by, so think twice if you see some faded teeth marks.

On a serious note, medical experts are already warning people of the dangers, claiming the act of biting can carry a risk of contracting hepatitis and even HIV. Also, with the human mouth is far dirtier than a cat’s or dog’s, why on earth would you let someone do this to you? Next time, if you’re feeling peckish, eat a sandwich not your boyfriend.

Flash Mob

A ‘flash mob’ is a group of people who suddenly assemble in a public place and briefly perform a meaningless act and then disperse, simply for ‘entertainment’. Think of those T-Mobile adverts at Liverpool Street or Heathrow and you’ve got yourself a flash mob.

The trend was first reported back in 2003 at a US department store. Since then, multiple Facebook pages have emerged, naming a time and a place for everyone to meet and do something crazy, like Worldwide Pillow Fight Day a couple of years ago where 25 cities across the world came together to, yes, have a pillow fight.

While a sense of togetherness and community is achieved when taking part in a flash mob with strangers, many, myself included, fail to see the appeal - besides flash mobs aren’t all that anyway, with stories of many turning to violence and rioting in the streets. Perhaps we’re just not meant to gather in such large quantities, why would you want to anyway? If you want to meet new people just go on the internet - you don’t even have to move out of your chair then. 


Made famous by the TV show, The Only Way is Essex, the art of bejewelling a lady’s private parts has taken over the nation and become as common practice for some women as a manicure.

Vajazzling may seem ‘glamorous’ but realistically it’s impractical, expensive and who is it really for? I doubt your significant other would be that impressed with glittering nether regions unless they’re a magpie. If anything it’s distracting, a hazard even. So is it a secret smugness the wearer has perhaps? A knowing that down there has more crystals then there ever should be down there. If it’s to make yourself feel better, whatever happened to the regular kind of pampering, like a bit of cake or shopping?  

Whatever the reasoning behind it, I fear the trend is here to stay for a while, with vajazzle parties popping up, or rather out, all other the UK. Any attempts to this D.I.Y style should probably be avoided, for reasons that if you have to ask, you just shouldn’t get one at all.  

Are you involved in a stupid trend that we've missed? Let us know below!

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at and we will respond asap.