Warning: This post contains spoilers for Challengers


  • Mike Faist sees the churro scene as a strategic tennis match between characters in
    , using it to express interest.
  • Faist reveals that working with Josh O’Connor in the scene is like playing tennis, teeing each other up and hitting balls back.
  • Challengers
    , a romantic sports comedy film starring Zendaya, enjoyed a $15 million opening weekend and topped the box office.

Challengers star Mike Faist thinks that the churro scene is just another tennis match. Faist, Josh O’Connor, and Zendaya star as a trio of skilled players who fall in and out of love with each other. As they desperately work to enhance their careers, they also have to reckon with their love story in the R-rated drama. The movie enjoyed a $15 million opening weekend and took the top spot at the weekend box office.

While the Challengers cast might have enjoyed their matches, the characters viewed everything as a tennis match. In an interview with USA Today, Faist revealed that the churro scene in the movie is all about the characters playing off of each other. In a way, they choose to use the churro as a metaphorical tennis ball allowing them to express their interest in one another. Check out his full quote below:

“That scene in particular is just about the interplay between them. So when Josh is holding that churro right to my mouth, it’s so obviously there that I’m going to take a bite of his churro. But that’s the great thing about working with Josh: He tees you up for something and I hit the ball back. It’s like a game of tennis – we’re just giving each other something to play with.”

The Meaning Of Challenger’s Churro Scene

Patrick And Art Communicate In Curious Ways

The churro scene is a fairly unique scene within Challengers. Set in the middle of the movie, Art and Tashi are both Stanford students and Patrick visits the cafeteria with Art. The two attempt to share churros, but Patrick eventually steals Art’s churro for himself. Art, defying his friend, manages to snatch a bite when Patrick momentarily holds it in his direction. Throughout the conversation, the two talk about their love affair with Zendaya’s Tashi and the conflicting relationships between the three of them.

The churro scene proves that they are incapable of communicating without a constant back-and-forth that leaves all three major characters sparring.

There are multiple meanings to the churro scene, and every one helps to define both Art and Patrick. There is the symbolic meaning behind the churro’s phallic shape, which references the romantic connection between the two characters. While they are often driven by their affection for Tashi, the connection also exists between the two of them. The three-way kiss was meant for all sides of the love triangle, rather than Patrick and Art sharing love for Tashi.


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Another meaning behind the scene is that it emphasizes the way that tennis is a means of communication for the trio. The churro scene proves that they are incapable of communicating without a constant back-and-forth that leaves all three major characters sparring. These carefully-crafted traits have produced Challengers‘ exceptional reviews, but they also allow for a charged dynamic. Patrick and Art can argue through the churro, while also emphasizing their knowledge of and respect for one another. That dynamic is a major reason for Challengers‘ success.

Source: USA Today

Challengers Poster


Challengers is a romantic sports comedy film by director Luca Guadagnino. The film stars Zendaya as a retired Tennis legend who, while trying to coach her husband and lead him to victory in an upcoming Tennis match, discovers his coming opponent is her ex-lover.

Luca Guadagnino

Release Date
April 26, 2024

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer , Pascal Pictures

Amazon MGM Studios

Justin Kuritzkes

Zendaya , Josh O’Connor , Mike Faist

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