Build it Up, Break it Down is a recurring challenge in Survivor. The challenge debuted in Survivor: Palau and has since been used in Survivor: Micronesia.


In Survivor: Palau, the tribes had to tie up a footlocker and place it in a structure that they would then build a barricade around using sticks. After 20 minutes, the tribes would switch and attempt to break into the footlocker containing their flag. The first tribe to raise their flag wins.

In Survivor: Micronesia, the tribes would race out into the ocean to collect the sticks and place them in a tunnel which the opposing tribe would then have to navigate through to get to the end. The first tribe to get all their members through to the other side of the tunnel wins.


In Survivor: Palau, the tribes were given a footlocker prior to the challenge, which they were instructed to make as impenetrable as possible using the provided rope. At the challenge, they were given 20 minutes to make the footlocker even more impenetrable using lumber. After 20 minutes, the tribes switched to the pile containing their flag. James of Ulong was confident in his knot-tying abilities and elected not to do much reinforcing of the footlocker at the challenge. His overconfidence would prove to be Ulong's demise as Koror raised their flag first to win immunity for the fifth consecutive time.

In Survivor: Micronesia, the tribes were given 10 minutes to build a blockade of the other tribe's tunnel. After 10 minutes, the tribes switched to their own tunnel. Airai's Jonathan struggled to get through the tunnel due to his infected knee, but Airai still managed to get through first, defeating Malakal to win reward.


Episode Challenge Type Winner
"Jellyfish 'n Chips"
Tribal Immunity S10 caryn tS10 coby tS10 gregg tS10 ian t
S10 janu tS10 jenn tS10 katie tS10 tom t
"It Hit Everyone Pretty Hard"
Tribal Reward S16 alexis tS16 eliza tS16 james tS16 jason t
S16 jonathan tS16 kathy tS16 natalie tS16 parvati t



  • This challenge has only been used during the seasons filmed in Palau.
  • Every time this challenge has been used, the Sole Survivor along with the fourth, sixth, and eighth placers have all been on the winning tribe.
  • Coincidentally, both tribes to win this challenge, Koror and Airai, lived on the same campsite, but in different seasons.
  • Both tribes that won this challenge had eight members at the time.
    • Also, both tribes that won this challenge would each have somebody that would end up quitting the game.


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