The Internet, today, is a very influential place. It takes minutes for a new trend to set foot on social media platforms that suddenly spread like wildfire. While most trends are harmless there are some that can be potentially dangerous. One such trend that has captured the attention of teenagers on TikTok is the “Door Knock Challenge“.

A viral social media challenge, known as the TikTok “Door Knock Challenge“, is causing widespread physical and emotional distress among residents of all ages in Texas. The Friendswood Police Department has issued a warning after receiving numerous reports of the dangers posed by the trend.

Also Read: Have You Taken The “Orange Peel Test” Yet? Know All About The Viral TikTok Trend

The Challenge

The TikTok ‘Door Knock Challenge‘ encourages participants, mostly teenagers, to bang on or kick doors in the middle of the night with the aim of startling asleep residents and running away before they are caught. While it may seem like a harmless prank on the surface, it is very much criminal and dangerous.

tiktok door knock challenge teenagers bang kick doors criminal texas US

This challenge has proven to be troubling and disturbing to various unsuspecting residents, especially those who do not have security cameras installed in their homes. Some teenagers have also upped the ante when it comes to performing the challenge as they have made use of items like 5-gallon water jugs to make even louder bangs and noises.

The Friendswood Police Department‘s Facebook page shared doorbell camera footage which vividly captures teens running through neighbourhoods during the late hours, including the duo resorting to using a 5-gallon water jug to create a loud disturbance at a home’s front door.

The Adverse Effects

77-year-old Gwen recounted her terrifying experience, urging participants to cease their actions. The victim told Fox 26 Houston, “I would tell them to stop it before they get hurt or they hurt somebody. Please don’t do this. It’s wrong. It’s very wrongIt was scary. It was frightening. It was terrifying”. It will cost Gwen $2,500 to fix pieces of her door that were cracked off of the bottom of the frame. 

Apart from the emotional toll that this challenge is causing, it is also raising concerns about potential criminal activity. Reports in the US media indicate that some kicks and bangs on doors have caused significant damage. Chief Deputy Jimmy Evans labelled the challenge as a dangerously modernised version of the classic “ding, dong, ditch” game. 

In a Facebook post on January 17, 2024, the police department shared surveillance footage that recorded the incidents. 

This is a very dangerous game, very dangerous game,” Evans added, calling the challenge a new take on an older version of it called ding, dong, ditch. “I’m afraid a homeowner may think someone is trying to burglarize their residence and some innocent kid can get shot or killed.” Friendswood police say they are in the process of identifying what appear to be teenage males who are kicking and banging on doors.

Other Victims

The Peterborough Police Department also mentioned that similar incidents took place a month ago. Describing them as “aggressive and unnerving” in a statement, they said that the perpetrators would do the challenge late at night or early in the morning. In June 2023, Charlotte County detectives launched an investigation into the incidents. According to Fox 4 News, a victim named Julia Espinoso addressed her experience, saying she was “startled.”

Captain John Heck Jr. of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said they had received negative reports of the TikTok door knock challenge from various regions. He made a valid point about the influence of these apps by saying, “The worst part is obviously we have young adults and juveniles that are seeing these trends on social media and then they’re going out and doing the same trend for either their friends or to get more followers.”

A 50-year-old woman named Pamela Russell told The Times in March 2023 that she was with her partner inside the house when she felt like the walls were shaking. In another instance in the same month, Owen and Laura May, a couple at Crown Isle, were targeted as a part of the challenge. Chek News states that the duo planned to capture the suspects by putting a fishing line near the door where a man reportedly tripped.

tiktok door knock challenge teenagers bang kick doors run trip texas US

Another victim, David McLaughlin from Riverview, told Fox 13 News in June 2023 that the front door of his house was damaged due to the challenge. His doorbell camera also recorded two individuals approaching his door in the early morning.

Police On Alert

The police in various areas such as the Friendswood Police Department in Texas have issued a warning to the teenagers taking part in the Door Knock Challenge. They’re working to identify the people involved and urging victims to come forward, especially those with video evidence of the alleged crimes.

Anyone with information is instructed to call them at 281-996-3300 or go through their Citizens Online Reporting System. The police stress the importance of cooperation from the community to address the situation promptly.

What does this say about the numerous trends floating on social media? Not all of them are safe, clearly. There needs to be more awareness and vigilance on such potentially harmful trends that prevent teenagers from attempting them. Parents too need to play an active role in supervising their child’s internet usage.