What is the ketchup challenge on TikTok? Inside the newest way women are testing their partners

Women have come up with another way to test their partners and they are revealing their results on TikTok.

The newest trend is called the ketchup challenge, and involves women squirting a dollop of the popular condiment on a flat surface such as a counter or table to see how their partners clean up the mess.

Despite TikTokers using ketchup, the challenge appears to have been started using hot sauce. Katherine Castaneda posted a video of her fiancé cleaning hot sauce off of the counter, with the video showing him using multiple dry paper towels and rubbing the condiment into the counter instead of actually cleaning it.

The once-white counter ended up being covered with a light orange colour when he was done. “He Stresses Me Out, This Is Why I Do The Cleaning,” the TikToker captioned her clip. Soon after posting, the video went on to receive over 33 million views and many people turned to the comments to call the incorrect cleaning an example of “weaponised incompetence”.

Weaponised incompetence is a tactic in psychology where a person is so hopelessly bad at a task, usually on purpose, because they want someone else to see their incompetence and complete the task for them, according to Psychology Today.

“This actually made me so mad,” one person commented on the video. “Why is he staring at it every few seconds? Why is he going so slow and gentle? He’s literally spreading it everywhere.”

“He knows he’s doing it wrong, he hopes you’ll step in and do it for him,” another commenter agreed.

Other videos of the challenge go on to showcase the various ways men decide to clean up the mess, with some using their hands because “paper towels are too expensive” or using random household items to scrape the ketchup onto a different surface like a piece of paper and then throwing the paper out.

The women who have claimed their partners “won” the challenge are the ones who found any type of cleaning spray to wipe the counter down with.

One video, made by @jadeswildparty, showed her boyfriend completing the challenge by wiping off the ketchup using paper towels, and then spraying the surface with cleaner spray immediately after. “I think he did okay,” she captioned the clip.

After her TikTok was viewed almost six million times, many people took to the comments to applaud his cleaning skills.

“HE USED CLEANER! YES HE DID GREAT!” one commenter wrote.

Another commenter agreed, writing: “I think this is the first guy I’ve seen actually use spray and wipe after wiping the sauce up.”

“High five to the grown man cleaning up some ketchup, I don’t get it,” a third commenter wrote.

One creator under the username @jamiesoneileen made a TikTok of a skit where she plays two women talking about the trend with the other. “You’re telling me there are hundreds of grown men who find cleaning up a glob of ketchup so challenging, it’s a challenge?” the first woman asks the second. “It’s goofy, silly, fun that men don’t know how to clean a counter?”

Later, the first woman asked the second: “Why aren’t we praising these women for having a basic domestic labour skill?”

“Because it’s not a challenge for us, it’s just expected,” answered the second.