Extreme Challenge is the 4th season of the MTV reality game show, The Challenge (though at the time, known as Real World/Road Rules Challenge). The season is directly subsequent to Real World/Road Rules Challenge 2000.
Extreme Challenge is the first season that adorned the show with a subtitle, the series having begun a new trend of titling each season based off its format and theme. To date, it's also the only season in which the season title alters the show title, through the insertion of "Extreme" between "Real World/Road Rules" and "Challenge."
Extreme Challenge consisted of the third and final six-on-six Challenge. The casts were split up into two different six-person teams, one representing The Real World and the other representing Road Rules. The teams traveled via tour bus in the eastern U.S. and Europe competing in different individual challenges. Each time a team won an individual challenge, money would be added to an E-Trade account. Each time they won a challenge, they had the chance to invest those winnings in the stock market for the duration of the challenge. The last mission would be for the right to keep the money collected in the pot, an additional cash prize, and a car.
This was the only season without a regular alumni host/presenter introducing each challenge. Instead, various alumni provided audio clues.
- Rebecca and James begin a relationship while on the show.
- The episode entitled "Couple Fashion Show" featured both teams having to dress up as famous duos in a fetish club. This episode has never been aired following its original air date, for reasons that remain unknown.
- This was Michelle's last appearance on a Bunim/Murray show before being killed in a car crash one year later.
- After a paintball challenge went awry, both teams were given an opportunity to defend their actions in the court of Judge Mills Lane. Fed up with his team's refusal to defend themselves, Laterrian decided to present his team's case alone. Although he provided a strong defense, he lost because his entire team was required to appear before the court. Laterrian, however, did earn the respect of the judge and was presented the judge's gavel for his efforts.
- A mission was hosted by LL Cool J and Chris Klein. That mission involved doing a stunt similar to those done in the 2002 film Rollerball, which was being filmed at the time. Christian won this mission, and ended up winning an uncredited cameo in the film.
- This was the first Real World vs. Road Rules Challenge where a team (Real World) actually banked $100,000 in their team bank account. It was also the first Challenge in which a team beat the opposing team so badly in the missions, with Real World winning 10 challenges over Road Rules.
- Jon Holmes made an uninvited cameo appearance during mud wrestling mission in Boston. He was apparently wearing a "Beefy L'Ox" costume from the Monster Wrestling art/performance/comedy/sports group Kaiju Big Battel, and jumped into the ring during a match between Michelle and a male model. Jon was ejected from the ring by security, as the producers of the show were not previously told by Jon that he would be "pulling this stunt", and all footage of Jon was edited from the episode, except for a brief shot of one of Jon's feet that can be seen briefly in the background. Jon was wearing a pair of white Pumas with red stripes, they can be seen for just a few frames during a close up of Michelle's face during her match against male models. Coincidentally, these shoes were given to Jon by Eric Nies during the Road Rules Season 5/Real World All-Stars competition of the RR Season 5 finale.
- This was the first and only time a there was a mission that was tested beforehand and the contestants got to it, but they couldn't do it because it proved to be dangerous and the producers nixed it at the last minute. The mission was a "human catapult" where there was no safety harness, just protective gear and a net to fall into. A tester broke their leg and another broke an arm.
Team Real World wins their first challenge ever. Both teams took home a profit from their E-Trade challenge.