Some challenges on Man v Food were better
than others, and some were downright painful to watch. It’s time to revisit a few of the most crushing
defeats and painful victories that Adam Richman faced while he hosted the show. Scarfing down 12 wings in just 10 minutes
seems doable. In theory, you should be able to just shove
them in your mouth and be done with it. The problem is that these wings were coated
with six ounces of dried habanero pepper and out of the 9,000 people who have attempted
the challenge, 80 percent failed. The good news is that Richman won, but the
sheer pain that he was in during and after the challenge is enough to make a person think
twice about ever eating a hot wing again. If eating the wings wasn’t bad enough, Richman
had to lick the thick sauce from his fingers or be disqualified. “Fingers! Fingers! Fingers!” Hey, at least it couldn’t get any worse, right? Wrong. Upon finishing the wings and licking his fingers
clean, Richman had to sit in tongue-searing pain for five minutes before he could extinguish
the fire with a glass of milk. We’d like to tell you that’s where the pain
ended, but even after the challenge was over Richman was still pacing around behind the
restaurant waiting for the burn to subside. “Those last five minutes almost killed me,
breathing, just moving all those spices around, and they’re still in between my knuckles.” No free T-shirt is worth that sort of pain. Pancakes have been one of the most popular
breakfast foods for ages, but they seem to feel like sandbags in your stomach. Richman and the Man Versus Food team traveled
to Hawaii just to take on a stack of pancakes nearly as big as the Pacific Ocean. Sure, three pounds of pancakes and a pound
of toppings looks delicious, but let’s be realistic, eating that many carbs doesn’t
seem humanly possible. According to MAC 247’s chef, the challenge
has less than a one percent success rate. “Pray for me.” Unfortunately for Richman, he wasn’t able
to boost that success rate, and halfway through he hit a syrupy wall. “In the battle of man versus pancake, today,
sadly, food won.” Should you find yourself at MAC 247, don’t
try and be the big kahuna by ordering this challenge — just get a short stack like
a reasonable person. Even the most passionate of oyster fans though
would likely turn green at the idea of eating 180 of the slippery sea creatures. With so much good food in the city of New
Orleans, sitting down to a plate of 15 dozen oysters seems like an exercise in stomach
sickness. Nevertheless, that was the challenge that
awaited Richman — and it took its toll on him. “I feel very queasy.” Over 150 people had tried and 28 had succeeded
when this episode premiered in 2009 and Richman was able to pound through the oysters. In the end, he did indeed become a member
of the 15 Dozen Club. “In the battle of man versus food, yet again,
this one goes to man.” Proceed with caution if you fancy yourself
stepping up to the plate at Acme Oyster House. It pretty much ruined oysters for Richman. According to the Mirror, he later said, “[After the oyster challenge] I think I may
have had less than a dozen since. It just turned me off.” Richman was no stranger to burgers while filming
Man Versus Food, but none of them could hold a french fry to the behemoth he would go up
against in Michigan. Known as the Absolutely Ridiculous Burger,
it lived up to its name and clocked in at 190 pounds. With the title of “the biggest burger ever
made” there was simply no way Richman would be able to defeat the goliath on his own. The solution: recruit a 40-person army of
eaters to chew away at the beefy monster. Despite having hockey players, firefighters,
a KISS tribute act, and more fearless volunteers back him up, you can’t help but watch this
challenge and doubt they’ll finish it before even a single bite is taken. The fun of Man Versus Food is that there’s
a real possibility that the host will beat his food challenger, but even with 40 people
chowing down, they’d each have to eat nearly five pounds of burger. The entire room — and everyone watching
— seemed to be glad when the challenge and their meat sweats came to an end with more
than 30 pounds of food left, and frankly, we can’t blame them. “In the battle of Man Versus Food, Detroit
Michigan, this round goes to food.” “BOOOOOOO!” But not every food fight ends in despair! More often than not, Richman emerges victorious
against the ridiculous foods in front him. Here are some of his greatest victories. Richman has certainly faced down his share
of spicy challengers over the years and been brought to his knees by as little as a single
chicken wing, so how would he fare against a tuna roll? The Hellfire is anything but your ordinary
sushi challenge and participants must pass qualifier rounds of heat before they can even
enter Kobe Sushi’s seventh ring of fire. It may be just a tuna roll, but with layers
of Thai chilies lined throughout, it’s definitely not a guppy of a challenge. Fortunately, the challenge has no time limit
and Richman was permitted to drink and eat whatever he wanted to offset the heat. Considering that Richman looked like he was
about to spontaneously combust, it’s pretty remarkable that he advanced to and finished
the seventh ring of Hellfire. This challenge may not be one that the average
sushi-lover would be up for trying, but it’s certainly thrilling to watch Richman forge
on to victory. “I am in much pain. I ate the spicy sushi. Pray for me, my friends.” Burritos were a recurring nemesis for Richman
on Man Versus Food and more than once ended with food conquering man. But considering the popularity of burritos,
the show kept finding new places with overstuffed tortillas for Richman to try and defeat. “I have 90 minutes to devour a six pound,
two foot-long burrito.” The four-pound Gigante on its own would have
been a worthy opponent for Richman, but he also had to take down its tag-team partners:
a half pound of mac n’ cheese and a half pound of banana pudding. “I have never wanted to skip dessert so badly.” Nobody had ever entered the ring with the
Gigante and come out a winner. Simply conquering Gigante and winning his
first burrito challenge would be enough to land Richman major accolades. He took things a step further, however, and
devoured half the burrito just five minutes into the hour-long challenge. Perhaps it was losing those other burrito
challenges, but Richman made sure not to, in his words, “let painful history repeat
itself.” Watching this challenge, you can’t help but
root along with the Tennessee crowd as he becomes Gigante’s only victor, just 29 minutes
in. Reindeer sausage and Alaskan crab legs weren’t
exactly common fare on Richman’s Man Versus Food travels, but the unique cuisine of this
food challenge places it firmly in our “best of” category. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, Richman
even confessed that it was his favorite challenge in the entire series. “Wait a minute, you’re serving me a meal
on a welcome mat…” “Oh, absolutely.” The six-pound Alaskan feast includes wild
salmon cakes, grilled veggies, and mashed potatoes along with the crab legs and reindeer
sausage. Oh, and dessert, because after eating three
pounds of crab meat you need some ice cream to top it off. Richman had 90-minutes to devour the meal
fit for a camp of lumberjacks. “Dozens have tried and none have succeeded. “None?” “None.” “Great odds, awesome, so psyched!” After spending 15 minutes cracking open the
crab legs before getting a single bite, Richman could have easily been doomed for defeat. But rather than go back to the lower 48 states
with his head hanging in shame, Richman pushed through to give the Kodiak Arrest its first
win. The saying “things are bigger in Texas” is
true to ridiculous proportions at this Texas steakhouse. The Big Texan is no stranger to food shows
and has appeared on The Great Food Truck Race and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. But when this Man versus Food episode premiered
in 2008, Richman was still a rookie in the food competition game. The 72-ounce steak is the final boss of food
challenges and competitors are only given an hour to eat it. If gnawing away at what probably seems like
an entire cow wasn’t daunting enough, Richman also had to consume a salad, shrimp cocktail,
baked potato, and dinner roll. On the plus side, the meal was free if he
finished it all and didn’t die. Woo-hoo! “This is crazy.” “This is crazy.” Somehow, the food gods smiled upon Richman
that day and he was able to finish not just the steak, but the full challenge without
having a heart attack. And the icing on top — he did it all in
under 30 minutes. Quantity challenges seemed to be especially
tough for Adam Richman, and by the end of many an episode he looked like he’d been put
through the ringer. At the Ohio Deli, Richman was given the task
of eating a comically tall sandwich and pound of fries. In an interview with The Guardian, he discussed
just how tough bread and potatoes can be. “If you do a quantity challenge, the problem
you’d face would be a starchy challenge. If it has a lot of potatoes, a lot of bread
or fried elements, that’s difficult.” While the Dagwood match was far from the biggest
challenge — in fact, it was actually one of his easiest — it lands on our list because
it was pivotal for the success of the show. In an interview with Bizarre Foods host Andrew
Zimmern, Richman said it was a real learning experience and helped him develop specific
game plans for the challenges. “Here’s my strategy: I’m going to break
this into four mini-sandwiches, and put french fries right on the sandwich themselves.” If he hadn’t stumbled upon a strategy and
won this challenge early on, who knows, Man Versus Food could have been over and done
with after a few episodes. The Kitchen Sink ice cream challenge was a
ridiculous two-pound dessert that was loaded up with eight enormous scoops of ice cream,
plus toppings and whipped cream. It needed to be finished in an hour or less,
and only four people had succeeded at the time of filming, so the odds were definitely
not in Richman’s favor. Being able to pick the ice cream flavors had
to be a plus, but a starchy strategy proved to be the real key to defeating this frozen
giant. After hitting a sugar overload, Richman seemed
like he may have been down for the count. “In the words of William Shakespeare, this
totally sucks.” But then he ordered fries to contrast the
sweetness. As he pushed forward and drank the last drops
of melted ice cream, he declared, “I’m gonna wrestle it to the ground like a
demon cobra.” Some Man Versus Food challenges become a thing
of legend — and the Kitchen Sink is one of them. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
stuff are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.