"Breaking Ben" is a series of reaction videos to Try Not to Laugh challenges from various sources. The series name indicates how the crowning goal was to make Ben Tolliver lose one of these challenges, which he never has.
"Try Not to Laugh" reactions were part of the Renegade repertiore since they started shooting at their first location - "The Lair". Although Nathan Hamilton would laugh at various clips and Micah Salyer would becaught off guard by certain animal videos, Ben soon developed a reupation of never being able to laugh. At some point during the Renegades' stay at the Roadhouse, the challenge then became directed at him as a result.
Over time, the type of videos that were part of the series has varied. For awhile, attention was directed to particular video series until Ben had systematically defeated all that each had to offer. These included:
- AdiktheOne - a general Try Not to Laugh challenge that lasted about 30 episodes (unclear, given the occasional copyright strike that the Renegades would face). Commentors on the final episode noted that these seemed to decrease in quality over time.
- Videos made by fellow cast member MissGunsforHands (Quinn, at the time Heather) with recommendatins from the Renegade Discord
- VoiceNerd videos explicitly titled "Try to Make Ben Laugh Challenge" and focused on remixing Renegade moments with pop culture references. This resulted in a funny back-and-forth where he'd make the video, the Renegades would react to it, and then he'd react to their reaction to think about how to improve. Ben has admitted that he came close on some of these.
- Comment Awards v1-5. After the fifth, however, the Renegades converted this back into a normal reaction series, as this was clearly having no effect on Ben.
With Ben being undefeated, he once joked how certain members of the community probably thought he had depression whenever watching the videos. His response was a self-deprecatory "First of all yes, but that's not why I'm laughing."
Over time the videos became weaker, the lowest arguably being "TRY NOT TO LAUGH CHALLENGE! (Family Guy Edition)." Additionally, Ben Tolliver has as of January 2019 stepped back from reaction videos as a whole. Even before his departure, the frequency of these challenges slowly decreased as series like "Comment Awards" were liberated entirely from the Breaking Ben line. As a result, the future of this series is uncertain, potentially nonexistent.