Embarrassed People Confess The Moments They Really Screwed Up
Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. After all, that’s why pencils have erasers, right? However, not all mistakes are created equal. There are minor mistakes, and there are major screw-ups. When a mistake is made that will clearly have a tangible impact on our lives going forward, it is almost guaranteed that there will be an “uh-oh” moment where we realize what we have just done. Everyone dreads that feeling, but unfortunately, we all have to feel it from time to time.
Here are 42 unforgettable cases of “uh-oh” moments, where people realized that they just screwed up—and badly!
1. That Old Gang of Mine
I once accidentally sent a sext to a group chat with my friends instead of to my intended person. Not sure there can ever be a bigger “I just screwed up” feeling than the one I felt in that moment…
2. The Right Thing to Do
I knew I had just screwed up when I turned my steering wheel to the right, and the car didn’t listen…
3. A Tall Tale
I was at a bar, chatting with some friends. My girlfriend was across the room sitting with some other friends. Some drunk dude showed up and started groping her. I instinctively jumped up, pushed him away, and yelled, “Go to hell!” Then he turned around and I realized that he was like twice my size—and not in the fat way. More like in the tall and muscular way.
I mean, I did the right thing—but if the bartender hadn’t leaped over the bar and jumped in between us immediately, that guy would have wiped the freakin’ floor with me. The moment the dude turned around, I knew my nightmare was just beginning. I instantly thought, “Oh dang, this is gonna hurt!”
4. The Tooth Fairy
Nothing compares to the moment when I took one good look at my teeth and realized the grave consequence of years of neglecting proper dental hygiene. PSA: Take care of your teeth, kids!!
5. A Star Is Born
I tried to go through childbirth without any drugs. I knew I had made a mistake after the first two pushes.
6. Close But No Cigar
At one point a few years ago, my girlfriend (at the time) texts me and says, “Huh, I guess surprise pregnancies are a thing…” Then, she stopped responding for about half an hour, and I (a 19-year-old male) proceeded to have a heart attack. It was the worst “I just screwed up” moment of my life, by a long shot. Oh my god, I was so scared—and then I found out the truth.
Turns out her sister had gotten knocked up, but that was the absolute worst 30 minutes of my life.
7. Footing the Bill
My “I just screwed up” moment was when I climbed onto my school’s roof. I was quite a heavy kid, and I was out and about with my cousin and mates one afternoon. After running around the school for a while, my friends dared me to go up on the roof and, as I’m not a wuss, I had to prove to them that I ain’t afraid to go on no roof!
So, after a while and much help, I got up. I ran around up there and had a bit of fun, and then decided it was time to get down. That’s when I discovered that I had messed up. There was nothing in sight to help me. My only options were to either call someone to help me (like my parents or the fire department), or to jump.
I decided to take the risk and jump. I tried to do an action movie-style leap like I had seen in videos—a jump and roll type of thing. I ended up badly injuring my foot, calling my parents, and driving to the hospital. When questioned, I claimed that I had slipped while playing basketball. My foot is still screwed up to this day—and my mom still thinks it was because of basketball.
8. Time For Plan C?
I knew I had screwed up badly somehow when I found out that none of my backup colleges had accepted me.
9. Wiping the Smile off His Face
I had invited this guy over to my place for dinner after we’d been casually seeing each other for three weeks or so. Things were going pretty well—we were chatting, getting along like a house on fire, and he was helping me cook dinner. Then, all of a sudden, I started to feel extremely…intestinally unwell (to put it politely).
I’ve always been kind of a private pooper and I could tell that this one wasn’t going to be fun, so I asked him if he could pop down to the shop at the end of the road to grab a bottle of wine for dinner. He agreed and toddled off down the street. As soon as he was gone, I raced to the bathroom and relieved myself with something roughly akin to the force of a mythical superhuman monster.
I took a minute to catch my breath, reached over to the toilet roll holder, and came back empty. Uh oh. No matter. I had a full nine-pack of toilet paper in the back room. I didn’t have space to keep it in my tiny bathroom, as it was a very small apartment—so I usually just grabbed a roll or two at a time. The guy had only just gone, so I was sure that I had plenty of time. I was so, so wrong.
Cut to me, thirty seconds later, pants around my ankles and my poop-filled bum fully exposed, shimmying my way down the central hallway of my flat—when I hear a still, small voice from behind me. “Erm… what are you doing?” As it turns out, he had managed to get to the shop and back in record time and was sitting on the couch in my living room with a perfect, perfect view of my little fecal burlesque.
I was framed in the doorway like some kind of darn Renaissance painting. It was as though I was presenting myself to him in the worst possible “You like?” come-on in the history of dating. It’s very difficult to have a civilized dinner after that…
10. Not a Shred of Hope for This Guy…
I once pulled what I thought was my expired credit card out of my pocket and ran it through the shredder at work. Turns out it wasn’t my expired credit card after all…it was my government ID card—which I also needed to log onto my work computer.
11. Handling the Heat
The other day I was barbecuing, not paying attention. I had an oven-safe glove on my right hand. Someone handed me a beer and proceeded to talk to me. I took the beer with my right hand. I then opened the BBQ and grabbed the top grill with my left (unprotected) hand to adjust it. I pulled it halfway out before the heat registered. Once it did, the realization was pretty instant. The blisters were bad for over a week.
12. Special Delivery
It was my first day at my new pizza job. 20 minutes after I cashed out a pickup order, I suddenly FROZE and realized what I’d done. I had never sliced that pizza…
13. The Yoke’s on You
Just this morning, I heard a weird popping sound in the kitchen. I had a moment of total confusion…and then remembered that I had started hard-boiling some eggs more than 45 minutes ago. The pop was the sound of a hard-boiled egg exploding.
14. Linked in
This reminds me of something that I had totally forgotten about. One time, I was throwing a party or something, and I had copy and pasted the same link to a bunch of people to invite them all (before group chats were a big thing). I had forgotten to invite one girl who I worked with, so I hit paste and sent her the link a little bit later.
There was one, enormous problem. I had forgotten that, in the meantime, I had stupidly decided to save some ridiculous porn link that I had wanted to watch later in my private time. Yeah, you can guess where this is going…I accidentally sent the girl from my work that link instead of the link to the event details…
I came up with some crazy excuse that it was a link that some weird friend had sent me or something, but holy cow—I almost died of embarrassment!
15. The End Is Near
The moment I realized that I had just messed up was the time I accidentally made the guy who fixed my computer think that I was dying. Him: “Your computer’s working fine, don’t hesitate to bring it in again if it has a problem!” Me: “Probably no need, I won’t be here much longer” As in, I’m moving back home, more than 700 miles away.
Him: *Goes rather pale* Me: “…” Me: “NO WAIT, THAT’S NOT WHAT I MEANT!!”
16. Braking and Entering
As a kid, I let the handbrake off in my parents’ car. I’d watched my brother do it plenty of times before, so why couldn’t I? Well, the car ended up rolling straight down a steep bank with me in the driver’s seat, and into a tractor tire. My parents were fuming for the next few weeks. Really, it’s a miracle that I’ve survived this long!
17. Precious Memories
The moment I woke up naked next to my ex with a splitting headache and no memory of the night before was the moment I realized that I had messed up badly. It’s all been downhill since then.
18. A Major Problem
I knew I had messed up badly when, despite Economics being my major, I only got a 56% on my Principles of Microeconomics midterm. Not sure if this degree is gonna happen, since I’m apparently quantifiably stupid.
19. Charlie Horse
I was about 11 years old and I tried walking my dad’s motorcycle, an American Iron Horse Chopper, to the garage. I didn’t expect it to be that heavy. It tipped right over onto me and I scratched it up. I was scared for my life rather than worried about almost breaking my leg. Let’s just say it was clear pretty fast that I had messed up…
20. You Better Watch out
One year, I forgot to set my watch forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time. I realized my mistake when I entered a restaurant five minutes before closing as a result…
21. Pulling an All-Nighter
I realized I was screwed when, at the age of 19, I was pregnant with twins and their father was out all night at a party drinking and doing drugs. I took a shower, cried, and rubbed my huge belly saying “I’m sorry, babies,” over and over again for hours on end. But this story has a happy ending. I ended up raising those girls myself into wonderful young women.
22. No Escape
My moment was when I was crossing a street on my bike. I looked to my left, and a Nissan Juke was taking the corner. My only thought was, “I’m about to get hit.” No emotion. Just a fact. And that’s the part that scares me the most looking back on it.
23. Answering the Call
New Year’s Eve, 1999. I called up a woman who I was very good friends with. For those already wondering, yes—we were only friends, as I was firmly in the friend zone at that time. Oh, and by the way, she was also my boss. I had already had way too much to drink and could not in any way have been considered sober or even slightly so at this point; I was pissed as a fart!
I proceeded to tell this woman how I felt about her, including what I wished to do with her and precisely how I wanted to do it. I told her all of this for about 45 minutes. Afterward, I continued to drink. Several days later, back at work, she calls me into the office and asks me a horrific question. She asks why I had called her on New Year’s. I drew a total blank.
I honestly could not remember a thing. She also informed me that several minutes into the conversation/monologue, she had handed the phone over to her mother. I still pulled a blank. In fact, I was so convinced that nothing had happened, I was sure that she was winding me up or something. If anything like that had happened, after all, then why was she still even talking to me, let alone letting me continue to work with her?
She insisted that I had called, and I refused to believe her. It was not until late January that I finally began to believe her story. What did it, you ask? Well, let’s just say I received a very detailed mobile phone bill which showed a 48-minute phone call to her number late on the evening of December 31. The second I saw that bill, I knew I had messed up and was worried that it was only a matter of time until I was fired from my job.
Well, for once the story actually has a surprisingly good twist! Not only was I not fired, but it turned out that my boss actually had similar feelings towards me. We started dating shortly after. The only difficult part was facing her mother after she and I became an item. That was awkward, to say the least…nevertheless, we are now very happily married.
To this day, though, my mother in-law still gets a kick out of constantly bringing up that phone call whenever I’m around. Either way, my wife is very happy—so I’ll take it!
24. Right on Target
I got a new Nerf gun and looked in the barrel to check if it was loaded. I think you know where this is going…I pulled the trigger and a Nerf dart immediately shot me in the eye. That was when I realized I had been an idiot.
25. River of Nightmares
I once carelessly fell into a river. I realized that I had screwed up badly as soon as I felt my head hit the ground. I snapped my neck and completely lost the ability to move my arms and legs. Then, I had to try to stay calm and hold my breath while floating face down in the water until someone finally realized that something was up.
26. Famous Last Words
My moment was when my ladder started to tip over. I vividly remember thinking “Uh oh!” before I headed straight for the concrete.
27. Ditching That Idea
I knew I had screwed up when I woke up in a small ditch on the side of a road. I hadn’t slept and was making a long trip by myself, thinking it was fine. I ended up nodding off at the wheel and woke up in a small ditch that my car had apparently gotten into. Luckily, it was a small highway that was empty, so there wasn’t anyone near me when I fell asleep.
My car was also okay, as was I—but this whole thing could have easily ended very badly. People, please avoid driving when you’re really tired. It’s so dangerous! Even on par with driving drunk in my opinion.
28. Better Late Than Never
I knew I was screwed when I was reminded by my English teacher that we had two days left for a project that we had apparently started around a month ago. I had known nothing about this project until I heard this comment…
29. Data Breach
I realized that I had screwed up when I had been watching videos on my phone for a really long time and then suddenly noticed that the WiFi symbol was missing and I had just wasted all of my data for the month…
30. Honey, I’m Home!
When I was 12 years old, I read a LOT of online erotica. I always did so when I thought my mom was out of the house. I realized I had screwed up when, one day, I suddenly heard her voice call out, “What the heck are you looking at??” Lord, even thinking about it at 23 still gives me shivers…
31. Don’t Ask Questions
I was a young software engineer working for a startup in 1998. I wrote about a week’s worth of code, images, and HTML. There was this funny file named “?” in the directory. I wasn’t sure how it got there, but it was annoying me. So I did the worst thing possible. I deleted it. I discovered my error a few seconds later when the directory listing contained nothing.
No code, images, or HTML. Turns out “?” is a shell wildcard character matching any one character. Combined with “*,” all files got deleted. It was at this moment when I knew that I had screwed up. Luckily, I was using Linux. The file systems had a utility called “debugfs”, which allowed me to list deleted inodes and dump them to new files.
It took me the better part of a day to figure it all out since this was before Google. Nevertheless, I eventually managed to recover the entire project. Definitely dodged a huge bullet there!
32. The Naked Truth
I once accidentally sent a nude to my girlfriend’s mom. I had her mom’s contact name as “(Girlfriend)’s Mom,” so when I typed my girlfriend’s name, she was the first to show up.
33. Language Most Foul
I will never forget how badly I had screwed up at the tender age of eight. I, for the first time, dropped an F-bomb in front of mom. It was exactly like that scene in Christmas Story. Time palpably slowed down as I heard the word exiting my mouth, yet I was powerless to stop it by that point. At least no soap for me, though—so I’ll call that a win overall.
34. Split Second Decisions
I’d had a little too much beer and passed out at around 2 AM. A couple of hours later, I woke up and felt this intense urge to take a poop—but at the same time, I felt like throwing up. As I ran towards the washroom, I thought I was definitely gonna throw up, but nothing came out. I was waiting on all fours, when I decided that it was time to try and take that poop.
Almost instantly after sitting down, I realized that this was a big freakin’ mistake. I vomited all over the floor and all over my legs. The worst part was that I had to sit there for about 10 more minutes in that puddle while I finished pooping.
35. When Time Is Not On Your Side
I knew I had just screwed up when I woke up and saw that the time on my clock was 9:32 AM. My exam that morning started at 7:30…
36. It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know
The moment I realized I had screwed up was when I began my job hunt. I had a Master’s Degree in Library Studies. I had spent my entire time in university studying, working, and getting good grades. Meanwhile, I had done almost ZERO networking. That was a big mistake.
37. My Chemical Romance
A while back, I was doing laundry and noticed that our washer had a bit of a funky smell to it. I looked up some home remedy online that involved baking soda and vinegar. While I was standing at the washer, I thought, “A cup of bleach probably wouldn’t hurt.” As soon as I threw the bleach in and started the washer, my brain went, “HEY! YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T JUST BE MIXING CHEMICALS ALL WILLY NILLY!”
So, I pulled out my phone and googled vinegar + bleac. When I read the result, I just about pooped my pants. Vinegar + bleach = Toxic Chlorine Gas! I proceeded to panic and scream for everyone to get the hell out of the house right away. Be careful with chemicals, people!
38. From Bad to Worse
A female friend of mine–to whom I was admittedly attracted–had been expressing her reservations about an upcoming vacation that was being planned with her family. Though it wasn’t being overtly presented as such, the trip was meant as a way of re-solidifying her parents’ marriage, which had been a touch rocky at the time.
They would all be driving from San Francisco to Redding, which is a small town in the middle of absolutely nowhere in Northern California. There, they would stay at a bed-and-breakfast inn for a weekend before continuing northward to some unknown final destination. In keeping with the alleged purpose of this so-called vacation, two rooms had been booked for her family at the inn in question.
To her dismay, though, my friend soon discovered that her mother would be occupying one room, her father would occupy the other, and she and her sister would each have to bunk with one of their parents. This totally awkward situation was worthy of lament on its own—but then I did something that was pretty much unforgivable.
“Aww, it won’t be so bad!” I told my friend, “Your father will probably enjoy sleeping with you.” A moment passed before I realized what I had said. Then, with a feeling of growing horror, I tried to explain myself. “Wait, I didn’t mean it like that!” I hurriedly said. “I mean, like, he’s probably sick of sleeping with your mom. No, wait, I mean…I just mean that he probably wants to spend some quality time with his daughter!”
If I had just stopped there, I might have been able to salvage this car crash of a situation…but as it happened, I decided for some inexplicable reason that the best course of action would be to keep talking. “I can’t say that I blame him, really. I’d love to sleep with you.” Believe it or not, she and I don’t talk much these days…
39. Pulling an All-Nighter
I knew I had messed up badly the moment I came home at four in the morning, even though I had a 7 AM class the next day. The lights in the living room were all on. I walked in to find my mom sitting on the sofa like a freakin’ mafia boss.
40. One For the Price of Two
After completing and handing in my human bio test, I had the most stomach-dropping moment. I immediately realized that I was supposed to have done two essays instead of one. That turned into the quickest five stages of grief I ever went through.
41. What’s In an Address Anyway?
I invited a friend over for a BBQ. He didn’t know anyone there and had never been to my house, but seemed really eager to go. So, I was a little irritated that he was almost two hours late. I was just about to text him when I happened to look over my neighbor’s fence. The neighbor was also having a BBQ. It was like it happened in slow motion.
I saw my friend in the neighbor’s yard chatting up some old lady. Our eyes locked. I saw the realization literally hit his face that I had given him the wrong address and that he had shown up at some stranger’s party. I still laugh about it to this day. I swear the guy’s face turned white!
42. Calendar Girl
It’s been almost 30 years since this happened and I still have nightmares about it. Freshman year of college. My first set of college finals. I was totally prepared and ready to take them all. Had almost straight As going into finals. I go to write my last one, which was a throwaway three credits for “Introduction to Sociology.”
I sit down ready to ace it—and look up at the board to see “Biology 103.” Huh, that’s weird. I pull out my calendar. The sociology final was yesterday.
43. Taking the Fall
So, I work in a cnc workshop, and we often engrave stuff. This particular guy wanted a nice wooden jewelry box for their wedding anniversary with a custom message he emailed me. For some reason, he chose to give the box to his wife at the workshop. Not the most romantic place I can think of, but whatever you want dude.
The guy’s wife starts to look confused and tear up: “you don’t remember the date?” Guy turns pale, looks at me, says: “no, I’m sure it’s a mistake.” Me: “no, I’ve copied it straight, can’t be wrooon…waaait a minute, omg, it’s my fault, I’m so sorry, I will redo it right away, no need to pay, please accept it as a gift…”
Wife gets angry a bit at me, but they leave with a different box and the correct date. Guy comes back next day and pays triple the original price without a word.
44. Always Check the Decimals
I very nearly injected a premature baby that had Down Syndrome with ten times the amount of Lasix I was supposed to give him: I had put the decimal in the wrong place when I did the math on the dose. That baby would almost certainly have died if I’d given it to him. Like, there is no question in my mind that he would have died.
I had the liquid drawn up in the syringe and had the syringe actually in the port ready to push through before I looked inside the chamber and realised how uncharacteristically full it seemed. Paediatric IV doses of anything are simply tiny. I was supposed to give him 0.1 mls, and nearly gave him 1.0mls. I needed a very large cup of tea after that.
45. A Change in Your Morning Dental Routine
When I was 10 or so, I woke up before everyone in the house (it was like 7 am) and decided I would sneak into the pool. I was waist deep in the water before I saw the alligator on the other side of the pool.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
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