(TVNZ, additional design: Tina Tiller)
(TVNZ, additional design: Tina Tiller)

Summer 2022January 5, 2023

All 129 tasks from Taskmaster NZ, ranked from worst to best

(TVNZ, additional design: Tina Tiller)
(TVNZ, additional design: Tina Tiller)

Summer read: In honour of the show wrapping its third season, a taskforce of Taskmaster NZ tragics undertakes the toughest task of all.

First published September 16, 2022.

When Taskmaster NZ bounded onto the comedy scene in late 2020, nobody quite knew what to expect. Would it live up to the lofty expectations set by the long-running British original? Or would it fall victim to the remake curse?

After three seasons we can now safely say it’s one of our best comedies – but that doesn’t mean every moment was a complete success. 

The Spinoff’s three most dedicated Task-heads – Alex Casey, Stewart Sowman-Lund and Chris Schulz – have given themselves the most challenging task of all: to rank all 129 tasks from the three seasons of Taskmaster NZ.

129. Give Paul money (S03E07)

No twist to confuse, no riddle to unravel, no clue to solve. The winner was, quite literally, the person who gave Paul the most money. He even had an Eftpos machine. I didn’t get it then. I don’t get it now. Is there anything to get? I don’t think so. / Chris Schulz

128. Complete the fortune trail then flip five consecutive heads (S03E06)

Justice for Justine Smith, who had to flip her coin for what seemed like 30,000 years. / Alex Casey

127. Leave the room. Your time started when Paul left the room. (S01E06)

In the words of Guy Williams after completing this task, “boo to that one”. / AC

126. Text a compliment to one of your fellow contestants (S01E08)

Unfortunately Below Deck and Love Island have conditioned me to drool for gossip whenever I hear a text arrive. I wanted to see what all the complimentary texts said!!! Show us ya texts!!! / AC

125. Handcuff yourselves together at the wrist, then score 10 “points” (S01E10)

A riddle (the points came from dishing out compliments, not from the various sports equipment lying around the field) that only one team ever really understood. / CS

124. Scream the name of your crop which is written on a tissue in this box (S03E10)

I’ve got an issue with all of these tissues. / AC

123. Write down a sport, animal and colour and then strike a pose to resemble them (S01E03)

Not the most memorable live task of all time, most notable for Leigh Hart failing to write a sport entirely and just standing there blankly as his pose. / AC

122. Create the most amusing amusement park ride. Paul must be able to ride the ride (S01E09)

Brynley, Guy and Madeleine stuffed poor Paul into a wheelchair and flung him into a mattress, while Leigh and Angella created a waterslide then towed him around on the back of a jeep. Leigh and Angela won this tough task with middling results. / CS

121. Win the debate. Your argument must consist of six lines and every second line must rhyme (S03E07)

The joy of the live tasks is often when something so simple becomes infuriatingly difficult. This was just a hard task and the results were therefore mixed. / Stewart Sowman-Lund

120. Do one of your tasks completely wet (S03E09)

Definitely funny to see Chris Parker wet. Kinda weird that there was no further mention of it. But always love a surprise task that nobody was expecting. / SSL

119. Follow the Taskmaster’s orders (S03E06)

The most challenging game of Simon Says ever. I reckon I would absolutely have nailed this task, but none of the contestants did. / SSL

118. Spell the longest word using alphabet soup (S01E05)

Watching the comedians paw desperately through soup felt like body horror, and the longest word was “breaker” by Brynley Stent. To borrow Angella’s alphabet soup word, I was “anti” this task. / AC

117. Transfer as much soup as possible from the blue vat to the yellow vat (S01E06)

No more soup-based tasks! Please!!! / AC

116. Pass this mathematics exam (S01E09)

Plot twist: to his dismay, only Guy Williams was asked to do this one. He wrote “7” for all the answers in a level 1 NCEA test and got zero questions right. ”I have done so many bad things in my career,” he said. “This is the most humiliating.” / CS

115. Sculpt the third most impressive dog using this clay (S01E07)

Cranium’s lawyers could not be reached for comment at this time. / AC

114. Become one with nature (S03E09)

Basically just an excuse for Josh to get naked and Justine to have a little lie down. / SSL

113. Make an electrifying new gameshow sponsored by the product in your box (S03E10)

The team tasks in season three were kind of lacking. This felt a bit more improv theatre than Taskmaster. / SSL

112. Draw a map of New Zealand using yeast spread (S01E02)

Beautiful, dirty, rich(ly spread Marmite). / SSL

111. End up with the most duck-filled bucket (S03E05)

Shades of Celebrity Treasure Island here as the comedians were asked to peek at the number of ducks in their bucket and then say the number aloud, but they did not have to tell the truth. Possibly more fun to play than to watch. / AC

110. Touch the cow. The fourth person to touch the cow will win (S03E05)

This was near identical to a task on the UK version of Taskmaster, coincidentally. For some reason, the UK version was hilarious and this was a bit of a lame… cow. Maybe it needed Judi Love? / SSL

109. Say Thank You to Paul (S03E08)

Largely forgettable aside from the moment Kura unintentionally completed the task and looked truly shocked. / SSL

108. Make your hometown proud (S02E05)

This task was what people talk about when they talk about New Zealand Gothic. No further questions. / AC

107. Steal the Taskmaster’s portrait (S02E09)

Public service announcement: if you are the owner of an illustrious piece of art, be very careful which pigeon hunters you hire. / AC

106. Hang the washing out to dry. Paul will spin the washing line once (S03E03)

No one wants to be reminded of monotonous household chores while enjoying an episode of Taskmaster. Stop this immediately. / CS

105. Make a sculpture of something starting with your letter, only using items starting with your letter (S01E01)

Choosing the letter T, Angella Dravid made Tina’s torso with teabag tits wearing a T-shirt and a thong. And that’s truly terrific television. / AC

104. Prove you’re smarter than other contestants (S03E04)

“What’s something that I know?” Josh asked Paul. “You wouldn’t know.”

103. Build a tower using only onions (S02E08)

[Bryce from MAFS AU voice] Not the best onion-based task I’ve ever watched. / AC

102. Shoot a chocolate fish into the bowl while saying a different animal. Most powerful animal wins (S02E04)

“Otter”, bellowed Matt Heath, getting his chocolate fish in the bowl almost immediately. / AC

101. Time-travel. Best time-travel wins (S02E08)

Paul Williams in the role of Adolf Hitler. Need I say more? Probably. But I’d rather not. / AC

100. Trick the Taskmaster by hiding a toilet brush in a shopping bag or on your person (S03E04)

A live task that strived for the great heights of “nothing or onions” (more about that later) but sadly fell short. I do love how often this show gravitates toward toilet-based props though. / AC

99. Wearing your blindfold, pop up before the toast. (S01E06)

There’s something to be said for the tasks that are easily replicated at home, and blind-toast-pop is definitely an easy one to cheer up any grim morning. / AC

98. Catch a grape with a tuba (S01E03)

Come for Leigh Hart and Angella Dravid’s elaborate Dennis the Menace deer antler catapult, stay for Madeleine Sami’s exceptional spade work. / AC

97. Defeat the other team at human warboats (S03E09)

I thought I would hate this live task, but I remember ending up on the edge of the couch as the cushion missiles sailed dangerously close to Paul Ego’s shiny bald head. / AC

96. Make this tree sexy (S01E03)

The first of many instances where Angella Dravid put Paul Williams in an uncomfortable position in the name of comedy, squirting him with oil and cream while he gyrated around a tree. “I’m concerned about the story arc that’s starting to develop between you two,” said Wells. / AC

95. Deduce the flavour of these dips (S01E08)

Too many dips on the dancefloor (too many dips). An uneasy task featuring a lot of people wrinkling up their nose while pleading “hummus?” / AC

94. Orienteering nightmare (S02E09)

Contestants were asked to walk north the average length of a female blue whale, then walk east the height of three double decker buses, then southwest half the height of the Beehive, then east the height of six Steven Adamses. As someone who once got shamed out for positing that a giraffe was “19 metres long” in a vulnerable moment during a pub quiz, I felt personally attacked by this task. / AC

93. Take Paul on the perfect first date (S02E09)

“Is there no better date than getting to know the real you?” asked Urzila Carlson, pushing Paul out into the poo lake with nothing but his own thoughts and a giant cookie. Romance. / AC

92. Shake the coin out of your piggy bank (S02E03)

You have to respect a hastily-drawn adequate pig, but watching people shake piggybanks can only charm for so long. Like a pig, a simply adequate live task. / AC

91. Correctly place the keys back on the keyboard and type a message (S01E08)

As a wise man once said, “HUKKO JJUMUIT” / AC

90. Nearly all of the prize tasks (with two exceptions)

The prize tasks that kick off every episode of Taskmaster are but a tepid amuse-bouche to the piping hot buffet carnage to come. Sure, it’s a nice chance to get to know our contestants better, but there’s a level of forward-planning here that feels dull and calculated compared to the spontaneity of the rest of the episode. With that said, our panel found two prize tasks that cracked the top 20. But which ones? You’ll have to keep reading (hehe). / AC

89. Throw water the furthest (S03E05)

“Do you know how hard it is to find water… in a lake?” Paul Ego, asking the tough questions since ago. / AC

88. Don this tie and leave the room. Then re-enter the room wearing the tie in a new way (S02E09)

In the words of Mr Tiehands himself, “a real victory for Kiwi innovation”. / AC

87. Commit a crime. You may not break the law (S01E10)

Guy made himself a G-string. Madeleine Sami put her feet on the table. Brynley Stent jumped a fence into the neighbour’s property, Leigh Hart made a toasted sandwich, and Angella Dravid had a trademark dispute. This was probably a good task, but unfortunately the results didn’t quite live up to it. / CS

86. Find Paul and hit him with this frisbee (S01E07)

“You may not walk or run while holding the frisbee. Every time you throw the frisbee, you must put on an additional item of clothing.”

85. Do the most press-ups and/or find the most words in this word search (S01E09)

Leigh Hart completing 87 pushups in 100 seconds and barely being affected by it was the night’s biggest surprise. / CS

84. Draw a life-size self portrait with your nose inside your nose hole (S02E08)

The highlight of this live task? The repetition of the phrase “nose hole”. / AC

83. Get someone you went to primary school with on the phone (S01E08)

A task that makes one reflect on their own past, present and future. Thank you to all of Leigh Hart’s primary school friends for resolutely refusing to pick up the phone. / AC

82. Memorise the names of the fish on the poster in the shed (S03E02)

*Shid. / SSL

81. Draw a stunning self-portrait while playing tag (S03E08)

Chaos rules in a lot of live tasks but this was especially chaotic. Not sure whether that’s good or bad, but I laughed! This also just seems like a very, very fun challenge. / SSL

80. Make the best desert (S01E10)

It took years – literal years – of yelling by editors and sub-editors before I understood the difference between “desert” and “dessert”. As a result, I smugly enjoyed this play on words, which laid a table of dessert treats out in front of them. / CS

79. Create and advertise an amazing new cereal (S03E09)

This task felt a little bit like year nine drama class to me but it was saved by for two reasons: the joyous one-two hit of Chris’ catchphrase “none of your beeswax… ‘scuse your fucking mouth”, followed later by Josh’s “well alright!” repeated with varying levels of desperation. / SSL

78. Get a photo of a person in the most extraordinary location (S02E03)
The person must be doing a thumbs-up with one hand, pointing to their thumbs-up with the other hand, and wearing a bowl on their head.” Aka my signature pose. / AC

78. Hit the apple on your best friend’s head (S03E08)

I quite enjoyed the ongoing storyline of the ragdoll friends, but I was really hoping someone would absolutely nail this. However, it was very funny seeing Justine fail dramatically and throw literally every object at her raggy friend. / SSL

77. Hit the golfball into the hole (S03E01)

Sometimes you just need to hear people say “hole” 40,000 times with increasing levels of rage. / AC

76. Make the most surprisingly pleasant sausage using seven ingredients (S01E09)

This was surely a set up for Leigh Hart to reach Speed Cooking levels of chaos, but, even when tasked with making sausages out of mince, gurnard, avocado and Anzac biscuits, he never went there. Instead, Angella Dravid announcing that sausage casings “feel like foreskin” was this task’s highlight. / CS

75. Live: Karate chop the thickest spaghetti log (S01E10)

Looked a tad dangerous. Leigh Hart again demonstrated some strangely niche sporting prowess. I’m not mad at that. / CS

74. Completely colour this whiteboard (S01E09)

I was in the room as Madeleine Sami attempted this task and I’m pretty sure a little piece of her soul died that day. “I feel like I’m going to have nightmares about this for the rest of my life,” she said, sitting on the floor, market pen all over her fingers, before storming out saying, “Fuck it, it’s coloured.” / CS

73. Convincingly paint the Taskmaster like a 5-year-old (S01E07)

Don’t love an art task, but always love Leigh Hart getting confused and doing a neo-realistic painting of Paul. / AC

72. Fill this piñata with the most surprising filling (S01E03)

And as Paul Williams pointed out, “four out of the five contestants did try to fill it through its non-existent anus”. / AC

71. Pack a suitcase as closely to 23kg as possible (S01E01)

Anyone who has ever travelled overseas with Jetstar will fully understand the sheer intensity of this live task. / SSL

70. Choose your item. Sweep your item towards the drop. You have one sweep (S03E03)

In theory, a promising challenge. In practice, this was no where near messy enough. The pumpkins and frisbees should have been swapped out for trays of eggs, smoothies, slime and a good old bucket of paint. / CS

69. Using your electric toothbrushes, paint a portrait of Jeremy’s mother (S02E02)

Mum alert!!!!! / AC

68. Do the most impressive thing hands free (S01E05)

“Today Paul I’m going to be Hannibal Lecter, consuming a litre of milk, hands-free.” – Leigh Hart, 2020.

67. Choose a piece of fruit and hit it as far as possible with your choice of bread (S01E01)

“I can’t help but touch bread when I see it.” – Leigh Hart, 2020.

66. Go on the most convincing fake holiday (S01E07)

I like the idea of contestants having to do hokey and inexplicable shit on their own personal social media platforms to please the Taskmaster, and Madeleine Sami chucking a shaka on Instagram while kayaking on a disconcertingly brown lake is no exception. / AC

65. Create the fanciest cocktail using ingredients that rhyme with each other (S01E01)

Seeing Leigh Hart stuff multiple food items into a blender like this was a Moon TV “Speed Cooking” segment was a televisual feast. Bloody love a food task. / SSL

64. Make the loudest noise (S02E05)

“Can we kill a duck?”

“I’d rather you didn’t.” 

63. Relocate the water in this bath to that bath. You may not tamper with your belt. (S03E10)

As the final task of series three I was disappointed with this, but mainly because it’s one of those tasks I’m convinced I would have nailed. Sometimes this show is infuriating like that. / SSL 

62. Smash a vase as fast and dramatically as possible (S01E02)

Finding out the contestants had to reassemble their smashed vases is what sends this task swiftly into the history books of great twist-ending tasks. Surprisingly exciting to watch. / SSL

61. Hop the scotch along the hopscotch and pop it in the pail (S02E03)

“I don’t hop, mate.” – Urzila Carlson, 2021.

60. Make the biggest thing disappear (S01E06)

Move over David Copperfield, Madeleine Sami buying time while the caravan wheels squealed behind her magic shroud was the televised magic trick of the century. / AC

59. Recite pi to the most decimal places (S03E02)

The pain of Justine Smith misunderstanding the task and reading pi off the paper for 10 minutes will linger with all of us, as a nation, long into the future. / AC

58. Crack this crème brûlée (S03E01)

If you are going to televise a crème brûlée crack, it better shatter my bones and make all my hair fall out. Instead, all we got was Paul Ego mistakenly saying “tiramisu” about one hundred times. Which was actually very funny. / AC

57. Give Paul either a trick or a treat when he arrives at your door (S03E10)

Another task made excellent by Josh Thomson being an absolute super freak. His Rube Goldberg horn contraption is the most elaborate creation to grace local screens since he made that crazy chicken cake with a Santa coming out of it on Celebrity Bake Off. The fact that he couldn’t stop it loudly tooting was even funnier. / AC

56. Keep the balloon in the air the longest (S01E02)

We all love a good game of keepy uppy balloon in the air, but this task required each strike to be made with a different object. Have you ever wondered what it looks like when Leigh Hart whacks a balloon with a watering can while yelling “shit, shit, shit”? Wonder no more. / AC

55. Use your weapon to slice your snack in twain. Most perfectly halved snack wins (S02E05)

Ever wondered what it would look like if Fruit Ninja was real? / AC

54. Lift the two milk bottles and hold them above the microwave. Longest time wins (S02E10)

Featuring David Correos chatting for one hour and 21 minutes with Paul about Mosgiel, potatoes and Milo. And they say New Zealand men don’t share with each other. / AC

53. Transform into an original superhero and save Paul (S03E06)

Chris Parker’s superheroic goose needs to get the Marvel Cinematic Universe treatment, but this particular task was more Snyder Cut. / SSL

52. Get the Swiss ball in the kayak. You cannot get wet (S02E04)

Always good to get out on the poo lake. But just good, not great. / AC

51. Leave the room and spot the changes (S03E07)

A pretty average task made great by Paul Ego and Kura Forrester’s complete inability to spot former contestant David Correos painted to look like the wallpaper. I sincerely hope that neither of them are ever the sole witness to a high-profile crime. / AC

50. Recreate famous scenes from NZ history (S02E09)

Is this where TVNZ got the idea to bring back Give Us a Clue? Makes you think. / AC

49. Transport the milk to the dock, cheers the cow and then return the milk (S03E02)

Nothing makes me prouder to be a New Zealander than seeing our version of earth, wind and fire – aka milk, a cow and a Zorb – within one shambolic task. / AC

48. Write the Taskmaster an anonymous poem (S01E04)

“Why oh why should a woman cry, when time is precious until we die.” – Anon, 2020

47. Fly (S02E01)

A simple brief. It’s one of those tasks I would absolutely have loved to have done (but almost certainly have failed at). / SSL

46. Make a dramatic exit (S03E02)

There are people who enjoyed seeing Paul Ego dancing around with “sauce tits” and those who thought it proved Taskmaster had run its course. I am staunchly in the first camp. / SSL

45. Make history (S03E05)

Gay men on the moon, Whina Cooper and Paul Ego doing “Tom Cruise” slow motion running. What more could you want from network television? / AC

44. Taking turns, name a celebrity whose name starts with the last letter of the previously named celebrity (S02E06)

A good one to play along with at home. / AC

43. Construct the tallest soap skyscraper while enthusiastically making the noise Paul asks the person before you to make (S03E01)

Slimy, noisy, pretty funny. Paul Ego’s mouse sound is the most haunting thing I have ever heard. / AC

42. Start preparing your salad for the Taskmaster (S02E10)

And then, of course, picky old Jeremy Wells changes his mind and no longer wants it, so the contestants were forced to return the salad items to their original state. If you’ve ever wondered what if would look like if some of our best comedians worked at Subway, this is the task for you. / AC

41. Survive lemonade roulette (S02E07)

“The Taskmaster will vigorously shake one bottle of lemonade. You must then open one of the two bottles within five seconds. If you open the bottle that has been shook, you will be eliminated.” When life gives you lemons, etc. / AC

40. Enchant the forest (S03E07)

Two words: sex witch. / AC

39. Transform this room when the lights go out (S02E02)

If I recall correctly this was the earliest example of David Correos getting naked on Taskmaster. It was certainly not the last. / SSL

38. Throw a dart at the map and hit a country, then write the national anthem (S01E02) 

Taskmaster musical tasks can be a bit hit or miss but seeing Brynley Stent, in full scout uniform, singing about the child soldiers of the Congo will stay with me for years to come. “We have a national park, it’s full of boulders. But please don’t talk about the wars or the child soldiers.” / SSL

37. Knock over all the pins on the other side of the field (S02E01)

As Jeremy Wells said himself, this task felt a little bit like watching The Dog Show. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? My take: things could be a lot, lot worse than this. / AC

36. Build the tallest tower of toilet rolls then throw one of your shoes at one tower of your choosing. (S02E01)
A live task so powerful that it was replicated in Taskmaster UK. “It’s a huge honour,” task creator Sam Smith told The Spinoff at the time. “It’s pretty great when the creator of the whole show that I love so much uses an idea we came up with.” Go Kiwi. / AC

35. Be as unhealthy as possible (S01E05)

All at once Brynley Stent booty called her ex-boyfriend, smoked her very first cigarette and ate a donut even though it inflames her polycystic ovaries. We stan. / AC

34. Turn this dummy into your best friend (S03E08)

Chris’s journey with Sackie was emotional. I can only aspire to have a friendship like it. / SSL

33. Create a 90 second one-shot film (S01E04)

48 Hours who?? This task required all team members to appear in the film while one team member held the camera at all times. Oh, and it must also include three speaking characters, an “impressive” stunt and end credits. Oh, and it has to all be done in one take. Peter Jackson could not be reached for comment, but The Spinoff understands he is “proud”. / AC

32. Build a castle out of wheat biscuits. For every dry wheat biscuit you eat, you will be given additional wheat biscuits (S02E03)

The only thing I love more than seeing someone nosh down on a wheat biscuit is seeing TV productions trying not to say Weet-Bix (see also: “breakfast brick” on Celebrity Treasure Island). / AC

31. Hide one of these vegetables completely inside another (S01E04)

My life exists in two halves – before I saw Guy Williams chewing up various vegetables and regurgitating them like a bird feeding its young and after I saw Guy Williams chewing up various vegetables and regurgitating them like a bird feeding its young. / AC

30. Drive 11 complete laps without leaving the cart. Every lap, a rule will be added (S03E04)

This is, almost certainly, the most complicated Taskmaster task ever. But it sure was fun watching contestants stuck in a golf cart get flummoxed by Paul adding extra tasks on with every lap. / CS

29. Build a big flag of the country written on your card (S03E03)

I love it when contestants don’t realise how wrong they’ve done things until they’re sitting in front of a live studio audience and it’s about to play out in full. Justine Smith’s face when she realised she’d created the wrong flag here is priceless. / CS

28. Construct the least appropriate wedding cake (S02E07)

Don’t do this to cake ever again, please. / CS

27. Retrieve the eggs from the top of the pole (S03E01)

Seeing eggs rain down on beloved comedians will never get old. / SSL

26. Blow this egg the furthest from the table (S01E05) 

The tension of watching the potential breaking of an egg is always palpable. An eggcellent challenge (sorry). / CS

25. Wear the most outlandish costume under your studio outfit (S01E08)

Am frankly appalled that Brynley Stent did not get cast in the Rings of Power after pulling together this transformative Middle Earth cossie. Loved the long-game wig-wearing in the previous episodes, love how Leigh Hart wore the exact same outfit under his other outfit. / AC

24. Carry a briefcase of either nothing or onions across the stage (S02E04)

Most of the live tasks are a drag, but the phrase “nothing or onions” stirred something deep within my soul and I have never been quite the same since. / AC

23. Make this mum proud (S01E04)

As far as I am concerned, anything involving any kind of mum is in the upper echelon. / AC

22. Brush Paul’s teeth from the furthest distance (S02E01)

Any task that involves Paul getting unintentionally dirty makes me laugh. A lot. / SSL

21. Pull the rope to drop the duck. You cannot enter the house (S03E04)

Taskmaster season three needed more of these tasks! I love the tasks that seem to have absolutely no pattern but turn out to be intricately planned out. / SSL

20. Find your doppelganger and bring them to the studio record (S03E08)

Aka the moment that Josh Thomson and Ray O’Leary become Mary Kate and Ashley. / AC

19. Evacuate the items from the parachute while sitting in the rocking chair (S02E05)

I felt like I needed a physio appointment just watching Laura Daniel and Guy Montgomery huff and puff around in that rocking chair. / AC

18. Star in a multi-character film. Most characters wins (S02E03)

It was quantity over quality for these minute-long short films, but there was no shortage of impactful messages. We had a powerful anti-drink driving message, a shocking weed-based revenge story and a murder mystery. And, of course, Sherryl the hairdresser. / AC

17. Get the most footage of Paul on this camcorder (S02E10)

“Oh my god, you’re not Paul at all! You’re a fake Paul!!” 

16. Do something that will frighten the Taskmaster (S03E03)

Josh Thomson is a master of improv and as he tapped in Jeremy Wells’ digits and began leaving voicemail messages from a cast of creepy characters, hilarity ensued. He pretended to be “Brian from the IRD,” then tried to sack Wells from two of his jobs, before growling, “I’m coming for you, daddy” like a bush goblin. Quick, somebody pitch Thomson’s voicemails as a standalone TV show. / CS

15. Make the most extreme cup of tea and serve it to Paul (S02E07)

Matt Heath repeatedly shouting “BUNGY” at a tea bag was one of approximately two times I laughed out loud during the lockdown of 2021. Amazing and appalling that AJ Hackett has not collaborated with Chanui as a direct result of this episode. / AC

14. Perform an educational puppet show (S02E10)

Possibly the crudest Taskmaster task ever? The team of three – David, Guy and Laura – went for a very body fluids-heavy puppet show that I would never want to see used as educational material. Urzila and Matt focused on another fluid: peanut butter. / SSL

13. Perform an original Christmas song referencing your chosen present (S02E04)

I’m not a huge fan of Christmas tunes but if I could get a copy of Guy Montgomery’s weirdly specific tune about a festive fox on CD it would be on rotate for the whole silly season. / SSL

12. Pat Paul on the back (S03E06)

But of course, it is not that simple. “If Paul films you on his all-the-way zoomed-in camera, he will yell your name and you must return to the mat and start again. Every eight seconds, music will play for four seconds. When the music plays, Paul must film his feet.” I hope there is a “Paul does something elaborate with a camcorder” task in every season until the end of time. / AC

11. Squirt the sunscreen the furthest. You have one attempt (S02E02)

We already knew Correos was a wildcard, but this task involved him guzzling sunscreen like it was nobody’s business. Slip, slop, slap and… skull? / SSL

10. Create a 30-second scene from a blockbuster. You must play the President (S03E07)

I loved this. Just something you would never be able to see on any other show on television and a task that perfectly utilised the unique visual and editing style of Taskmaster. Also watching Chris Parker interpret this so wildly differently from every other contestant was a joy. / SSL

9. Prize: Most impressive stolen item. (S02E04)

The most impressive prize task in Taskmaster NZ history. Laura Daniel manages to “steal” the hearts of everyone’s partner (and Matt Heath’s blow-up doll). The moment the other contestant realise that Laura has successfully penetrated their private lives is truly incredible television. Also knowing that Laura went on a “date” with David Correos’ girlfriend at the Royal Oak Pak’nSave is oddly romantic. / SSL

8. Eat the grape. You cannot damage the caravan. Fastest wins. (S02E07)

The contestants were locked inside the caravan. The grape was outside the caravan. A caravan cannot contain the sheer force of energy of David Correos in full flight, and watching him implode in such a small space over more than an hour was what turned this task into the stuff of Taskmaster legend. / CS

7. Float this Brussels sprout down from the balcony (S02E02)

A truly incredible task from the helium balloons escaping while David Correos screamed to Urzila Carlson’s sad, sad parachute. But the pièce de résistance of this task was Guy Montgomery and Laura Daniel’s ingenious swimming sprouts, which remained floating for the duration of the Taskmaster shoot. Some say they are still floating, even today. / AC

6. Hide this body and Best baffling mystery (S03E09)

Chris Parker driving off set with his dead body and then revealing it months later as his “baffling mystery” prize in the studio was one of the greatest reveals in Taskmaster history and maybe my life. Is that sad? It’s simply not for me to say. / AC

5. Most inflated objects packed into Paul’s car wins (S02E08)

Already a great task – and then the slam dunk. “During the next task, stealthily sabotage your team. If your team loses, you win. If your team wins, you get no points. If your team accuses you of sabotage, you get no points.” An all-time classic. / SSL

4. Spill the beans. Fastest to open the can of beans wins (S02E05)

The best Taskmaster challenges leave contestants flummoxed. That’s exactly what happened when they were presented with a seemingly simple challenge – to open a tin of beans – only to suddenly find it’s incredibly complicated because 140 tins of tomatoes were sitting on the table in front of them. Why did David Correos taste them all? This still blows my mind. / CS

3. Follow these shoelaces. And, for David Correos only, untie these shoelaces (S02E10)

This task aired right at the moment when lockdown 2021 was starting to destroy me. I owe a lot of my post-Covid wellbeing to watching David Correos mentally unravel while filming Taskmaster. So thank you, David, for saving me. / SSL

2. Create a diss track about the members of the other team (S02E06)

Only one person was ever in the running to win the most memorable Taskmaster musical performance ever. “Imma drown you, in your own blood,” rapped David Correos, balancing a bowl of spaghetti in one hand. “Face down in your own blood now.” His teammates Guy Montgomery and Laura Daniel lost it and stifled laughs as they got out of the way and let the mayhem continue. Afterwards, Guy described David’s performance as “close to the funniest I’ve ever seen a person be”. He’s right. Fun fact: Correos did it all with a prolapsed disc that would soon require surgery. / CS

1. Join this video chat. You must be dressed as Abraham Lincoln (S02E06)

This episode aired in the middle of Auckland’s hell lockdown when we were all sick to death of video calls. And yet, as Laura Daniel, Guy Montgomery, David Correos, Urzila Carlson and a drunken Matt Heath entered the call in various states of Abe costumery, there was suddenly nothing funnier than a Zoom call. A reinvigoration of a genre, a paradigm shift, and a rare task where all contestants were allowed to shine in their weird and wonderful ways. I do declare this the winner. / AC

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