Horrified People Share Moments When Things Completely Backfired
In a perfect world, all of our best-laid plans would work out perfectly every single time—but that’s not how things work. Sometimes—too often, I’d say—things have a way of crashing and burning in ways we never expected. We just want to do something nice, and we get punished for it. We think we’ve solved a problem, but we just make it way worse. We’ve all been there, but don’t worry: Even our most painful stories can’t hold a candle to these!
1. You Might Wanna Sit Down for This One…
I stood up for an old woman on the bus once, trying to be a gentleman. She then proceeded to spend the entire rest of the ride yelling at me because SHE IS NOT OLD AND DOES NOT REQUIRE A SEAT!! How dare I have thought that she couldn’t stand up by herself?!!
This one time in sixth grade we were playing kickball in gym class. I went to a private school, so I was wearing a white polo and grey slacks. Well, I had just started playing football so I was bragging that I could kick the ball really far. Mind you I was the short little pudgy kid everyone picked on. Well, I was up to kick, I pointed way into the outfield, ran at the ball and tried to kick it realllllly hard.
Well, not only did I completely miss the ball, I farted really loud as my leg fully extended and ripped my pants and underwear down my butt, then I fell right back into a puddle of mud. Everyone started falling over laughing, even the gym teacher who pitched the ball to me.
3. How Do You Say ‘Stupid’ in French?
I had a crazy French teacher who banned getting out of your seat during class for any reason. She was constantly handing out detentions for things as inconsequential as walking to the trash can to throw away a piece of paper. She absolutely could not deal with the fact that we periodically might need to actually leave our chairs for a perfectly valid and harmless reason.
One day, she accidentally locked herself out of the classroom and nobody would let her back in. “Sorry! We aren’t allowed to get out of our seats!”
4. Recycled Love
When I was in the first grade, I wrote “I LOVE YOU” on a paper airplane and threw it to my crush from across the classroom. Without knowing where it had come from, she caught it, read it, and started to smile. Then, she gave it to the boy she liked. Spoiler alert: That boy was not me. I think it’s safe to say that this little gesture of mine backfired…
5. Ambulance Chasers
I’m a bus driver. I once came across a guy having a seizure on the side of the road in a small town. It looked like he had fallen down and broken his glasses. He also had some blood running down the side of his head. So, I called an ambulance for him because I didn’t know what else to do. I would live to regret this action.
The next day, a lady at one of my regular stops came up to me angrily and said, “Why did you call so-and-so that ambulance yesterday? Now he has to pay for it! He’s a tough guy, he would have been perfectly fine without it! This happens to him all the time!” It was mid-winter, and some random guy was twitching on the street.
What the heck was I supposed to do? Just keep driving?
6. Good Grief
My mom and I ran into a couple whose eldest son just died—and my mom managed to make the worst comment possible. Starting a “friendly” conversation and trying to be nice, my mom’s “be sympathetic” plan backfires immediately when she starts out with “Must be nice to have the house to yourself! More time for Church!”
The conversation just devolved from there. She ignored all hints to drop the subject, including the mother stating they hadn’t been back to the church since their son died. The couple was obviously horrified. It was so brutal.
7. Business Affairs
I once surprised my fiancée at her work with a bouquet of flowers. She thought it was creepy and told people I had snuck into her office. Security had to change all the codes as a result of this. In reality, I had simply walked up to the receptionist and said I had a delivery for my fiancée, at which point I was politely escorted inside.
At first, I couldn’t figure out why she had reacted like that to my gesture. Then, I found out the disturbing truth. It turned out that she had been having an affair with her boss and was gaslighting me to make me look like the bad guy. At that moment, it all clicked for me because I’d always thought “the only difference between a creepy gesture and a romantic one is how you feel about the person doing it.”
Now I understand that I did nothing wrong.
8. Lesson on Lady Parts
My sister-in-law has a four-year-old daughter who was asking her tons of questions about her own vagina so she taught her all the different parts. Two days later while in the grocery store, the daughter starts screaming at the top of her lungs, “LAAAAAAABIA, I HAVE LABIA!!!!”
9. The Great Exploding Toilet
I decided to burn some newspaper outside in a toilet I had just replaced because I didn’t want to risk the grass catching on fire. Well, heat caused the toilet to explode, sending burning newspaper everywhere. Then the grass caught on fire.
10. Bullies Never Learn
Trying to shake hands with my bully, thinking this would diffuse the situation. Got punched in the throat.
11. Mathematician or Cheap?
I took a date to a very nice restaurant for dinner to impress her. I noticed the monitor the waitress was using to keep track of our bill behind my date and just before the check came, I told my date how much the bill would be thinking she would be impressed by my math skills. After a few more dates, I explained what I had done that night.
She laughed and told me she had thought I was a tightwad because I was watching my money so closely.
12. Good Friends
I had friends at a lunch table who always made fun of this girl who sat by herself. I invited her to our table one day because I felt bad for her. Yup, you can see where this is going. She immediately and 100% replaced me, and they all realized it was even more awesome to make fun of me. Jokes on them, I got to eat lunch with my civics teacher after that.
13. Thank You, But…
Got some new clothes, like button-up shirts and nice khakis. Post-“makeover,” I had a lot of guys hit on me. I’m a straight man though, so that’s not really the result I was hoping for.
14. Hiding in Plain Sight
In what I thought at the time was a pretty romantic gesture, I gave my long-time high school crush a walkie-talkie on Valentine’s Day because she had to babysit that evening at a house near mine. This was before the days of cellular phones. I hid in the bushes and talked to her on the walkie-talkie almost all night.
Towards the end of the night, some neighbors didn’t take kindly to seeing some sketchy teenager skulking around the neighborhood with a walkie-talkie. It wasn’t long before someone called the cops on me. I lived in a small but affluent town; so whenever the cops were involved in something, more than enough units showed up to respond.
So I’m sitting in a bush talking to my crush about Pearl Jam or something really stupid, when all of a sudden five cop cars come speeding down the block, slam on their brakes in front of my hedge, and light me up with the spotlight. They order me over their loudspeaker to come out with my hands up right away.
Note that this was a quiet suburban neighborhood at the crack of 11:30 in the evening, so everyone in the area quickly realized that something was up and started turning their collective attention towards me. I ditched the walkie-talkie into the bush because I didn’t want to take my crush down with me and shimmied out of the hedge.
I’m now standing with a bunch of officers at the front of one of the cars. The police lights are still on. More and more neighbors are coming out to watch, as well as peeking through their blinds, but somehow I remain calm, cool, and collected. After all, this was all in the name of love, right? It couldn’t possibly turn out badly for me!
I explained to the officers that this was merely a romantic gesture for my “girlfriend” gone totally wrong. For some reason, I thought that if I told the cops she was my girlfriend, they’d go easier on me. So, they have me fetch the walkie-talkie from the bushes and I give it to the main officer. He was such a jerk!
He immediately picks up the walkie-talkie and says into it, “Hey there, is (insert my name here) your boyfriend?” to which she responds, “Ummmm, definitely not…” That was when I realized that the gesture had backfired. Honestly, there was a lot more to my exchange with the police after that. But to make a long story short, they just let me go in the end so that I could lick my pitiful teenage rejection wounds.
The girl and I continued to stay friends after that. I still retained my crush on her, but I knew where we stood and didn’t try any further stunts of this nature. From that night on, the neighbors probably all thought I was some kind of a weirdo and never looked at me the same again. I would imagine that they all cheered on the day I left for college.
15. The Cool Guy Squint
My physics teacher told the guys of the class that one of the best ways to look cool in front of a girl is to do the thousand-yard gaze or looking into the distance. He continued to tell us that girls would think “that guy is so deep, so cool, what is he thinking?” Well, I tried that in front of a girl I had a crush on.
Her reply shattered my confidence in pieces. All she said was, “Why are you squinting so hard?”
16. Truth Will Set You Free
I had a typical appointment with the Immigration Committee in order to grant my client his residence permit. He was marrying a woman in my country with my country’s nationality, which is a legitimate reason to be granted a residence permit. It was a typical procedure. At least that’s what I thought it was going to be. I was so wrong.
The Committee, bored, wanted it to be over, and us too. They asked him the typical and boring questions like how they met, where they live, etc. At one point, they asked him if he was married before, and he said, “Yes, back in my home country, and I am still married actually, never got a divorce.” I was like, wait what did he just say?
I was stunned. Double marriage is forbidden in my country. And he never bothered to mention this detail to me neither to the other lawyer when we asked him. He later told me he said the truth because he was afraid to lie in front of a Committee. The honest but stupid man. I got paid in full but had to find another way.
17. Just Follow the Yellow Brick Road
My mother once threatened to leave me in a parking lot because I refused to stop playing in the snow piles. So, she pulled out of the spot with the plan to just circle the lot and scare me to teach me a lesson about not listening. Well, I started walking home up the highway. She circled around, couldn’t find me, and freaked out.
She finally found me walking up the road about a mile away. I think I was about 11/12.
18. Killing One Bird With No Stones
When I was a kid, I went into my mom’s room one time to find our pet cat looking up at a small bird who was just chilling on the rim of one of my mom’s bags, which was hanging from a cupboard no more than about a meter away. I had no idea how that bird had gotten into the room. I panicked and ran to try and shoo it out the window before my cat could get to it.
The bird didn’t move when I got closer, so I picked up the bag it was perched on and tipped it out of the window, at which point the poor bird dropped 2 stories directly onto the ground below. I stared back, confused as to why it didn’t fly off. It turns out it was actually an injured bird that my mom had come across, and had put in her bag to be nursed back to safety.
She had also neglected to tell me this. That bird’s death will forever be on my conscience.
19. Too Close for Comfort
My wife had a coworker who was young and had many addiction issues. I forked over a few grand to help him get into an excellent rehab program instead of paying off the debt on my wedding, putting a lot of financial stress on my own family. Before the rehab place had an opening for him, I walked in on him in bed with my wife.
They moved in together shortly after, and have two kids now.
20. A Little Dusty
I had a woman with an expensive fur coat who claimed that the laundromat ruined it. She decided to take them to court—which turned out to be a horrible mistake. It was a bit ruined, but the laundromat said that the stains were already there. The judge ordered an expert opinion, and it revealed that the coat had traces of drugs all over it. They raided her place where they found her husband’s big stash of drugs. She should have just taken the stains.
21. Time to Roll up in a Cocoon for a While…
I was on a bus and saw this girl on her way to school with a caterpillar creeping onto her shoulder. I don’t think she was aware of it. I removed it without her permission. She started to cry, presumably thinking I was trying to grab her inappropriately. Awkward…
I thought it would be super romantic to ask my crush out while we were watching a high school football game together during our sophomore year. She said no, so I said bye and got up and left the game. I thought that nobody I really knew too well had seen this all go down, so I assumed it wasn’t such a big deal.
Then, later that night, I was hanging out with some friends when her brother showed up and told everybody about it like it was a joke. That was almost worse than her saying no.
23. It’s Just a Prank, Sir!
For April Fools, I was planning to do an innocent prank by putting an air horn under my teacher’s chair so when he sat down it would trigger it and startle him, but he got too startled and jumped out of his seat, landed on his back and got knocked unconscious.
24. A Lot of Trust
A girl I knew dated a guy I was also friends with. Really sweet, doting guy, not the best looking, but a really lovely lad. I went on a night out with his girlfriend, my partner at the time, and his friend Jay. We drank and danced etc. and at the end of the night, my friend and Jay were kissing. We spoke the next day and she swore it was a one-off but ended up meeting him twice after that.
I told her if she didn’t tell her partner, I would, as he was my friend too and didn’t deserve it. In the end, I told him and he thanked me. Then she spoke to him, cried a river and managed to talk him round into forgiving her and falling out with me. It’s been a few years since that all happened, and neither one has spoken to me since.
They’re still together, but I don’t know how he can trust her.
25. Falling for You
A man dropped a quarter at Lowe’s, so I went after it for him. The floor was really slick, and I fell right onto my pregnant belly. We were all okay, thankfully, but I was so embarrassed that I ran out to my car and cried. In hindsight, I’m just grateful that it didn’t result in anything worse, as it easily could have.
26. Got A Point
There was a kidnapping case that involved two Asian male defendants who looked the same age and looked relatively similar. The witness was on the stand to identify where the defendant who’d attacked him was seated in the courtroom. It was clear that the witness was having trouble differentiating between the two defendants.
In a moment of absolute idiocy, one defendant raised his hand and basically pointed to himself like, “I’m right here, bud.” Hands down, the dumbest thing I’d ever seen. I thought his defense attorney was going to have a brain aneurysm.
27. Dress For The Job You Want
This was a moving company, in the mid-west. Most people didn’t make it through the first week, as they will hire literally anyone who can pass a substance test. Turnover was really bad, but I guess that’s the nature of the job. Still, I’ll never forget Jeremy. Jeremy was 18 and did not apply for colleges, so his parents made him get a job.
He was hired as a mover, as is everyone. He shows up the first day to roll-call in a full suit and tie asking where his desk is. This was a group full of former convicts, high school dropouts, and generally rough dudes trying to make a living. We laughed so hard. Jeremy went right back home. Next day, Jeremy’s mom shows up to give the manager a piece of her mind. We laughed even harder.
28. Kidney Failure
A lady in my office donated her kidney to her boss to save his life, only to be fired shortly afterward. Good luck beating that one, folks!
29. It’s in the Bag
I stood up on the bus to let a woman sit down. She just put her bag down on the seat instead. I’ll never trust an evil bag-wielding middle-aged woman again.
30. Food for Thought
A homeless guy by my house was asking for money for food outside of a restaurant, so I offered to buy him dinner. Then, it turned out that I had forgotten my wallet at home, so I told him I’d still pay if he waited like 10 minutes for me to go home and grab it. He said sure, so we ordered and I ran home to grab the cash as quickly as I could.
I got back in under 7 minutes—and the guy was gone. I then still had to pay for two meals, because they had already made the food.
31. Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk
I was trying to help my friend because they had spilled their milk, so I was wiping it up. I lifted up the milk container to clean under it, and accidentally dumped the rest of it onto their pants. I felt so bad!
32. Traffic Cops
We taught our kids to read early. My son could read by age 4 and my daughter by age 3. This leads to some unwanted conversations as they will read things over your shoulder when you aren’t expecting it or even just signs on the road, “You’re going to fast, Daddy. It says 55 mph and you’re going 70.”
33. Generational Gap
As I was exiting the post office one day, I saw an elderly man with a walker heading towards the door. Thinking I was being nice, I held the door open for him. He then proceeded to chew me out about how he doesn’t need any help. I didn’t realize it was so offensive for an 18-year-old girl to hold open a door for a man who had his hands full.
And that’s why, to this day, I’m afraid of old people.
34. An Idea That Folded
I spent a month and a half teaching myself how to make origami roses because my girlfriend at the time liked origami and was not too big on regular flowers. She had said numerous times that she thought origami roses were really charming, so I thought she would definitely appreciate this kind of gesture. What could go wrong, right?
I hid my plans from her as best as I could. I spent hours on YouTube trying to figure these skills out. I wanted to burn my own house down on numerous occasions because of the amount of struggle involved here. Nevertheless, I saw it through and thought that the final product was going to be extremely romantic, awesome, and worth it.
I made 12 flowers, each with stems and leaves, and each one a different color. When I was finally done, I put them all into a vase and presented them to her. Her reaction was about the equivalent of a shrug and a “That’s nice.” Pretty much zero appreciation or recognition of how much I had put into this. I would also like to point out how ridiculously difficult origami is, and that I have nothing but the utmost respect for people who do this proficiently.
If you are good at origami, hats off to you and I hope that it came more naturally to you than it did to me. I literally wanted to play in traffic for the duration of trying to learn this. That’s how difficult and frustrating it was for me to learn. It’s amazing how something so seemingly simple can be so impossible to execute. I only wish my girlfriend would have felt that way too…
35. Cruel And Unusual Punishment
I worked in a grocery store for a while. The new guy took a lobster out of the tank and removed the elastic bands on its claws, then proceeded to put it back in the tank. I guess he thought he was doing something nice for it? Well, his plan backfired nightmarishly. The thing slaughtered all the other lobsters in the tank.
36. Too Much to Bear
I was seeing this girl for a while and decided to ask her to be my girlfriend. To be romantic, I went to Build-a-Bear and had a teddy bear made with a voice recording of me saying “Sara, will you be my girlfriend?” inside of it. I then went to her house, gave it to her, and asked her to press the bear’s hand so that the message would play.
When she heard the question, she politely declined because she wasn’t ready for a relationship. But the story gets so much worse. Her family happened to have been having a party in the background while all this was going on. And yes, somehow, it gets worse. While I was still standing at the doorway, her eight-year-old sister who loved stuffed animals saw the bear and walked over towards us.
The kid grabbed the bear out of Sara’s hands and began running around the house pressing its button repeatedly. As a result, her whole family and all their friends then heard my desperate and rejected request getting replayed over and over again. After a couple of minutes, I couldn’t bear to hear my voice asking her out anymore, so I quickly left.
37. Finding a Loophole
My son is nearly two. We’ve taught him “don’t touch” for certain items that can’t be baby-proofed like a floor lamp, the fireplace’s glass door, low windows. He completely understands that “don’t touch” means do not put any part of your body on this thing—no hands, no feet, no leaning against it. But now we have to watch him like a hawk because technically throwing a toy car at the glass isn’t “touching” neither is whacking a window with a clothes hanger, or shoving an end table into the lamp super hard.
We’ve taken to yelling, “THAT IS STILL TOUCHING!”
38. Holy Smokes!
My office had a policy that only smokers would get breaks throughout the day. It sure didn’t help anyone trying to quit cigarettes, nor did it do any favors for productivity in our workplace.
39. Inception Game
When I was around 12, my father suspected that I stayed up late playing videogames even though I didn’t. One night he went into my room and told me that I shouldn’t play my Game Boy Advance past bedtime because I needed to rest. That’s when I realized I could play my Game Boy Advance past bedtime and I’ve suffered from insomnia since then.
40. Hands Off
My friend was representing a guy with a lengthy record. This guy took an A/C unit and threw it at his girlfriend. My buddy got him a plea deal for one year of probation without any time served. The judge was all ready to accept the deal. When he asked if he had anything to say, this defendant said he did want to say something.
“Yea. I don’t know why they charging me. I never touched her. I just threw an A/C at her. This is garbage.” The judge rescinded the plea deal because of the defendant’s attitude and lack of remorse. He went to trial and was locked up for a year. Such an idiot.
41. Sticky Accident
When my youngest niece learned about calling 9-1-1, she made a false call, but the cops were pretty cool about it. They stormed in thinking it was serious much to the mortification of my sister-in-law, but soon the truth came out that it was a toddler who called them. They sat her down and had a long talk with her explaining to her that calling 9-1-1 should only be for an emergency like when people are hurt. Once she seemed to understand, they gave her a sticker of a police badge and left. What a mistake.
Her interpretation: Call 911, get a sticker.
42. Just… Wow
I was playing kickball. I was pretty drunk and a little boisterous that day. I was up to kick and one of the people on the sidelines was jokingly talking trash. I started backing up slowly to pull my pants down and moon him. Apparently he saw it coming, and as soon as I pulled my pants down he spits right on my butt crack.
One of the grossest feelings ever.
43. The Squid Defense
Sitting on an airplane doing a crossword puzzle. My pen stopped writing, so I snapped it up and down a couple of times. Ahhhh, the pen works again. The guy beside me starts freaking out and yelling for the stewardess. I look over at him and see a thin line of black ink running from the left shoulder of his crisp, starched white shirt to the right hip of his pants.
I pretended like I had been asleep, and he blamed some random kid across the aisle. The airline gave him a voucher or something to pay for the dry cleaning.
44. Ladies Man
13 years old and chubby, trying to impress my crush with my muscles. Attempted to single-handedly haul in a canoe from the river. The canoe snagged on a root and I ended up falling off the backside of the dam (about ten feet). Also, tried to impress different crush later that year with my skiing chops on a church retreat.
Went straight down a black instead of winding like you’re supposed to, ended up in the trees with a broken thumb and some fractured ribs. I’m not very good with the ladies.
45. Fire Hazard
Ok, I got this one. When I was a leader in training (LIT) at my beloved summer camp, itching to prove myself but still a dumb impulsive kid, I also liked fire. We were on a day trip and the site had a 30-degree rock face that was hidden from the site itself. So I went to the top with a “friend” and a can of naphtha (highly flammable).
These rocks are pitted, so I decided it would be an awesome idea to fill one and light it on fire. I was facing uphill and didn’t notice that when I filled the little pit, it overflowed and ran down between my legs. So I light it, it immediately flares up down the hill, through my legs. I jumped out of the way but ended up knocking the can into the blaze.
It bounced down the rock face, spraying burning naphtha everywhere. It landed on the lake at the bottom and leaked burning fuel all over the small inlet. I turn around and my friend had run, so I ended up putting out 50 percent just stamping in my sandals, they brought in and emptied 2 fire extinguishers on it all because the main camp was close by.
Somehow didn’t get sent home, and had an awesome counselor career…
46. Brit in Disguise
I am a pizza delivery driver and I get bored a lot. Sometimes when I’m doing deliveries I like to play this game with myself where I talk in a British accent. So I go up to this house and this super hot girl answers the door. I start talking in my best British accent and she freaks out and talks. Turns out she’s British, too, and she asks me where in England I’m from.
The only place I knew in England was London, but I got caught off guard by her question and panicked, so I said Camelot. She looked at me very weird and told me I wasn’t British. When I told her about my “game” she looked disgusted. The entire time, she had my tip in her hand; but when she gave it to me, she pulled out a couple of bucks.
47. Dress for Success
If you violated my school’s dress code policy, you had to wear these really big gray sweatpants or sweatshirts that said DCV in big orange letters. It became a thing to get caught because they were apparently really comfortable. When the admin finally caught on that people were trying to get them on purpose, they changed it so that you got an in-school suspension. Jokes on them for that too—lots of kids preferred that over being in class.
48. Introvert’s Worst Nightmare
I started to smile more around people to look more friendly. I have a naturally angry-looking face so I’ve been told I don’t look approachable. It has backfired; I have had to talk to a lot more people.
49. Think Like The Enemy
I acted for a member of a vigilante group. My client was charged with various offenses relating to his vigilantism, but most seriously, causing grievous bodily harm with intent. He thought he had a case—but going to court backfired so horribly. He wanted to fight the case on a public interest defense point that wasn’t available to him in statute or at common law contrary to my advice.
I followed his instructions. “If the state won’t punish these people properly, then it’s left to men like my client to take the law into their own hands!” A garbage argument for a whole host of reasons. His laptop was submitted for forensic examination where they found his staggeringly huge database of illicit content.
50. Bug Juice Privileges: Revoked
When I was a kid at summer camp, I once attached some skyrockets to one of those balsa wood gliders. I thought it would be fun, but it was an utter disaster. I tossed it out toward the lake after lighting the rockets and it flew normally for a few seconds until the rockets kicked in. It shot straight up, looped over our heads, and landed right on one of the councilors.
No bug juice for me that night.
51. When Tragedy Strikes
My high school’s soccer coach was a good guy. He cared about his players and always did his best at coaching them. One night after a game, he and his players and a few of their parents went out to dinner to celebrate the win. As one of the moms went to leave, the coach offered to walk her to her car, and she accepted gratefully.
In the parking lot, the woman’s ex-husband had secretly been stalking her. When he saw the coach with her, he became furious. Before the coach even had a chance to explain, the ex gave him one good punch in the head. The coach died. It was truly awful.
52. His Spidey Senses Just Weren’t Tingling That Day
I once saw a spider in my house. I went to get a cup and an index card to set him free outside, as I always do. Unfortunately, the little fool didn’t want to go into the cup, and put up quite the fight. I ended up crushing him by accident in the process of trying to maneuver him inside. I tried, dude!
53. I Get a Kick out of You
I kicked a ball for my dog to chase. She lunged for the ball at the exact same time that I was kicking. I kicked her in the face.
54. Not Very Relaxing
I got my very anxious and overly stressed out ex-girlfriend a spa package of three deep tissue massages at a place where I had gotten a couple of massages in the past. It was her first massage ever and she really enjoyed it. Then, a few months later, it was reported on the news that the owner and proprietor of that spa had secretly been abusing and threatening women while giving them massages.
That didn’t exactly help my girlfriend’s stress levels…
55. Life Is a Carnival
I was watching some people playing a carnival game one time. The game involved everyone sitting down and throwing ping pong balls into holes to make their avatars race. All of a sudden, I looked down and saw a $50 note falling to the ground. It must have fallen out of one of the player’s pockets. So I picked it up, nudged a young teen, and asked him if he had dropped it.
He took it, had a quick word with his friends, and then hurried away. I then looked up to see the lady in the seat next to where he had been, with a concerned look on her face. Her family members started looking towards the ground. I put two and two together and realized that I had given the money to the wrong person.
56. It Comes And Goes
My father is a judge and had a case where a woman was suing for a severe back injury that she said was preventing her from working and taking care of her kids and so on. In the middle of the trial, a pen rolled off the table, and she bent over trying to reach it from her chair, but the pen was too far, so she stood up.
Then she bent over, picked it up, and walked back to her seat as if nothing was out of the ordinary. My dad was just looking at her, and she snapped at him and asked what he was staring at. My dad asked her if she was okay, and her response was that she was fine. Her attorney leaned over and whispered something to her.
Then she loudly started complaining about her back and how much her back hurt, but no one believed her.
57. Dirt Bag Disaster
In my first apartment, I had a bag vacuum (as opposed to a canister vacuum), and the bag was full. I had no replacement bags, so I used painter’s tape to attach a Walmart bag. I thought I was a frugal genius and patted myself on the back as I switched it on. It didn’t work at all. Almost immediately the bag blew right off, and a bunch of dirt blew all over the place, including all the dirt that was stuck in the vacuum, since the previous bag had been so full.
58. Get Yourself Something Pretty
When my daughter was young, I was trying to teach her the value of money and decided to start giving her an allowance. She had a few tasks to do around the house and afterward on the weekends before we would go out, I’d give her 5$. I explained that because she helped out and did her chores, she had earned money to spend on whatever she wanted.
She happily accepted and stashed her money in her room. I thought nothing of it. Later that evening before I tucked her into bed after reading to her, she goes to her money jar, pulls out $2, and hands it to me, and explains that it’s for being a good daddy.
59. Family Formalities
My aunt and uncle were trying to teach my cousin manners and wanted him to address people as Mr. and Mrs. They used each other as examples and consequently were known as Mr. and Mrs. for about two months. One of the funniest moments of my life was hearing my uncle describe how in the middle of the night instead of “dad” he started hearing “Mr. Smith!”
60. Risk Factor
My youngest boy would never listen and he was always totally fearless. He was also always really lucky. Nearly every time either of us told him, “don’t do that, you’re going to get hurt,” he would do it and then not get hurt. So, we ended up inadvertently teaching him that when we said not to do something that probably meant it was a fun thing to do.
I remember really hoping that he would fall and break an arm or something non-life-threatening or disabling like that so he would stop constantly giving us heart attacks, which is weird to say as a parent, but it never happened so it doesn’t matter anyway. He never got anything worse than a small scrape or cut that could be cleaned and covered in five minutes before he was back at it again.
Looking back, I’m just glad this was before there weren’t any movies or TV shows where they do stupid stunts for fun around to further encourage that behavior. Now he’s a stunt man for movies. I can’t say I’m surprised.
61. A Warm, Wet Lesson
When I was a kid I took swimming lessons. One day after lessons were done and we went to the locker rooms to change there were some clothes sitting on top of one of the sinks. Me, wanting to show off, decided to push the clothes into the sink and turned on the faucet and soaked the clothes completely. We all had a great laugh.
So I got to my locker to get my clothes and made a horrifying realization. My clothes weren’t in my locker. And then realized that the balled-up pile I clothes I failed to recognize that was now soaking in the sink were actually my clothes. I sat in my wet swimsuit until the locker room was empty and until my dad finally came in and I lied and said someone soaked my clothes.
He went up to the counter and grumped at the workers until they gave him some clothing from the lost and found bin. They included ugly sweats that were so big they went above my head, and I embarrassingly walked through the center and parking lot humiliated by my own actions. I’ve never told my parents who really soaked the clothes.
But it was an excellent lesson for me to learn not to be a jerk and to know exactly what it feels like to be bullied, as I 100% took the brunt of my childhood jerkiness.
62. Say Ahh!
My office made a policy demanding that everyone come in when sick so that the boss can personally inspect and determine whether you are actually sick, since doctor’s notes can be faked. I came in and vomited on his desk all over very important papers during his “inspection”. No regrets.
63. Cooking With Gas
A guy walks up to me while I’m pumping gas and says that he’s stranded and needs money for the bus. I give him $2. He then walks inside the gas station and buys some Mentos candies. We make eye contact when he leaves. His smirk is forever ingrained in my memory.
64. It’s the Thought That Counts
I offered my seat to an elderly lady on the bus. Turned out she wasn’t that old and felt offended, so she screamed at me.
65. High Horsepower
A woman I know received several hefty speeding fines. In my country, you can have a magistrate reduce your fines if you plead poverty. She heard about this and decided to give it a try, and she went to court and told the magistrate a sob story about not having enough money. The magistrate took the time to hear her out. He then asked her, “Madam, what type of car do you drive?”
She replied in a tiny voice, “a Porsche.” Yeah, that didn’t work.
66. Sorry I Asked
I was standing outside a bar and heard a woman crying in the parking lot. I walked over towards her and asked if she was okay. Some idiot who was about 40 years older than me came over and told me to leave her alone. I said I was just asking her if she was okay. He then punched me in the head.
67. It’s Getting Hot in Here
Washington State made it mandatory for schools to drop their room temperatures to save on electricity. The result: teachers brought their own heaters into their offices and use of electricity increased.
68. A Froggy Evening
This one time, my dad and I were camping out in the woods. The fire was going and we were sitting around it heating up food, when my dad suddenly noticed a frog that was directly approaching our bright source of heat. Dad wanted to prevent it from accidentally getting burned, so he stood up and started to shoo it away.
Unfortunately, the frog was startled by this and, in its panic, it jumped straight into the fire. A little while later, we heard a loud and unforgettable “pop” sound coming out of the fire. RIP little fella.
69. It’s Just Not His Day
This romantic gesture was not done by me, but by my boyfriend. At first, I hated it, but it eventually really grew on me. It all started when, seven years ago, he promised me a mini-weekend getaway for just the two of us. We were going to have a romantic picnic at a secluded beach and then take in an intimate view of the sunset.
I’d say literally every single aspect of the plan backfired. First, he came to pick me up about two hours late. Later, I found out that he had been really busy preparing everything for the picnic. We drove there but, luckily for us, a fourth grade class field trip arrived at the exact same time. We quickly tried to find a place somewhere else. When we found a spot, my boyfriend told me to go ahead alone.
I then looked back and saw him pulling an enormous cooler, barely budging because of the heavy load. When I hurried over to him to try and help, the cooler tipped over and all the ice and contents fell onto the sand. He quickly started shoving everything back inside, cursing under his breath and saying sorry over and over again. The section of beach we found turned out to be dirty. The water looked like sludge and there was graffiti all over the rocks behind us.
The drinks and fruits were covered in sand and the sandwiches had water in them from the cooler. We later realized there was sewage in the water, which was why there was a horrible smell and a disturbing amount of flies around us. Needless to say, we didn’t stick around till sundown. He didn’t have money to buy anything else because he had spent it all on ice and drinks.
I paid for our Burger King meals. I hated this whole experience and thought it was literally the worst date that I had ever been on. However, later that evening I went home and realized how hard he had tried to make my first “real” summer date special. Despite everything that went wrong, that really meant a lot to me and I decided to give him another chance.
Seven years later, we’re still going strong!
70. Boys Will Be Boys
When I was in elementary school, Magic The Gathering and the Pokémon card game were pretty popular. Almost all of the guys would get together after lunch to play before classes started again. Pretty soon, the school decided to ban all card games. Well, you now suddenly have several dozen pre-pubescent boys with about 30 minutes of free time daily and nothing to do.
So we did boy stuff. Ran around, pushed each other, went places we weren’t supposed to, just overall got into mischief. All this time, the cards had been a free babysitter that was keeping us all engaged, quiet, and civil—all while reinforcing quick math skills and teaching multi-level problem-solving.
The next year we got a new administrator and card games were allowed at school again.
71. Better Late Than Never
My high school had a rule that if you arrived late (after the first bell), you couldn’t park in the parking lot. You’d have to park at the gas station down the highway and walk to school, making you even later. It stopped after 20 or so people intentionally showed up late to school and made a mass exodus along the highway. Well, that and a lot of parents complaining.
72. Low HP
My little brother refused to eat while my girlfriend and I were babysitting him. My girlfriend decided to explain the concept of food as an energy source to him. To which he then proceeded to use an excuse to not do anything. Anytime you told him to do something, he said he couldn’t because he ran out of energy and die.
73. On the Rocks
During my senior year of high school, I had a girlfriend who I had been going out with for a while. With graduation getting closer and closer and each of us having different plans for our futures, things between us were starting to get tense and our relationship was feeling pretty rocky. After enduring this situation for a while, I decided to do something romantic to smooth things over again. What a mistake.
There were these really tall cliffs over the lake in the town we lived in. Our first official date was there, and in the early days of our relationship, we spent a lot of dates at those cliffs. When things got rocky, we hadn’t gone to them in a while. I thought that heading over there with her would be a great way to revitalize our relationship.
It was really still and there was fog over the lake. It’s a Great Lake, so it’s massive and it was unusual for there not to be at least some waves. We were sitting on the beach under the cliffs. She seemed happy and asked why I had wanted to come here. I explained my reasoning to her. I looked over to her and her face was in her hands. She said she wanted to break up.
So yeah, that was rough. But it’s been a few years, so now I can look back at it and laugh.
74. Diamonds Are a Man’s Worst Enemy
I wanted to do something romantic and exciting for my wife, so I surprised her one evening by bringing home a pair of diamond earrings that I had secretly bought for her. She opened the package and immediately said: “But they’re not the same cut as my ring, I can’t possibly wear these!” Not even so much as a thank you.
Suffice it to say she is now my ex-wife…
75. You’ll Find Out Where We’re Going When We Get There
When I first started dating my now-wife, I thought it would be romantic to surprise her with a private fireworks show for her birthday. So, late at night, I drove her out to the spot in the forest of an unfamiliar state where the arrangements had been made. I somehow never anticipated the fact that this situation would make her think I was trying to murder her, but it did!
76. All You Can Eat
“You have to eat whatever you touch” was a rule in my kindergarten class. It led to all the children touching all the food they could find to call dibs on it.
77. Having a Ball
My friend once had the bright idea of trying to be romantic by asking a girl to prom with a whole crazy stunt. He held up a sign in the middle of class one day, stating that he “finally got the balls” to ask her out. The rest of the class was then prompted to pelt her with crumpled balls of paper while he waited eagerly for a response. He did not like the response she gave.
Word of advice, try not to be so literal with that kind of stuff, especially if it’s private part-themed!
78. Crash Landing
Back in college, I once booked a spontaneous romantic trip to Europe for my girlfriend and me during a long weekend. It backfired when we realized that, apparently, we both get grumpy as can be on long flights. We basically just spent the weekend fighting, so it was definitely not worth spending the little money I had on…
79. By Design
A couple of years ago, as a favor to a friend, I redesigned his small business’s website for free. Granted, I’m not an awesome designer, but it was a massive improvement. I took them from practically GeoCities to a decent WordPress site. Nobody once said thank you. Then, a couple of weeks ago, they found a new web guy to redo their site.
My friend invited me to a meeting to look at the mockups and tell them what I thought. For half of the meeting, staff members just trashed the old design and complained about how “awful and tacky” it was. Apparently, my “friend” never told anyone that I was the guy who had made it.
80. You Are What You Eat
When my little cousin was 3 years old, he absolutely LOVED Mickey Mouse. One day, we were having him and the rest of the family over for breakfast. I decided to make him some special pancakes that were shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head. I even used blueberries and whipped cream to make it sort of resemble the character’s face.
I was so excited to see the smile on his face when I served him those pancakes, but instead he just yelled out, “I HATE MICKEY!” Apparently, he and Mickey had recently had a falling out of some kind that I had been unaware of, so I then had to go and make him regular pancakes because he absolutely refused to eat the Mickey ones.
Honestly, I thought it was really strange. When I was a kid, I probably would have been way more eager to eat Mickey if I hated him than if I liked him.
81. Does Not Compute
I built a computer for a coworker. She was talking about how she was going to buy one for like $1,000, and I said I could just build it for half the price. Well, besides things going to heck during the building process and not getting any money from her to cover the expenses, I ended up having to give her free tech support for years.
Any time that anything went wrong, it was presumably because I built it incorrectly, and it would have been better for her to have just bought one. Lesson learned.
82. A Shot in the Dark
My ex-girlfriend collected shot glasses. I came back from a trip across Europe with a bunch of different unique shot glasses from small towns in France, Italy, Spain, and Malta for her. I thought it was a really romantic and thoughtful gesture that she would definitely appreciate. Nope. In her eyes, the gesture meant I was coming on too strong, and the relationship soon ended because of it.
I’ll probably never do something like that again out of fear.
83. Chain of Command
“Don’t do anything unless directed by your boss. Any deviation from this will result in write-up/termination.”
This was a very literal directive from upper management that took place after an office incident. Our work is very fluid, and our team alone contained 20 people. Needless to say, productivity hit unprecedented lows.
84. Garbage Disposal
One of the high rise blocks I have to maintain has a sign saying “Anything left here will be removed due to it being a fire risk.” People just dump their garbage there, like old fridges and sofas. By law, we have to take it.
85. A Matter of Life and Death
When I went to college, the hospitals had a policy where if someone came in with alcohol poisoning and they were underage, then they’d also call the cops. So, of course, what happened was that when underage kids really should have gone to the hospital, their friends wouldn’t call an ambulance because of their fear that the cops would punish them.
Luckily, while I was there, there weren’t many deaths due to alcohol poisoning—but there were still a few.
86. Even I Think This One Sounds Odd
Air pollution became a big problem in late-‘80s/early-‘90s Athens, mostly due to the number of old, heavily-polluting cars on the roads. So the Greek government made a law where only cars with odd-numbered final digits on their number plates could be driven on odd-numbered days and only evenly-numbered cars could drive on evenly-numbered days. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Nope—everyone bought one old, highly-polluting car that had an odd-numbered plate and another with an even-numbered plate. Nobody could park and the air was worse than before.
87. Road Rage
When Domino’s said all pizzas would be delivered in 30 minutes or less, or your pizza was FREE. All the delivery drivers began getting into car accidents and getting speeding tickets trying to get your pizza to you on time, so it wouldn’t come out of their paycheck. It was a short-lived venture.
88. Trashing the Rules
My middle school wanted to create a “trash free environment,” so they removed all the trash cans from the parking lots, halls, and cafeteria. They just told the kids to “toss your trash when you get home or back to a classroom.” The amount of litter skyrocketed overnight, and after a week or so they brought back the cans.
89. This One Kills
I worked with this girl at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant. For her birthday, we all went out for drinks. We were all friends and I think she knew that I liked her at the time, though I hadn’t made a move yet. She gave off this rocker vibe. She had tattoos and dyed hair. She loved 80s hair, metal, and rock music in general. So, for her birthday, I decided to burn her a CD of all of my favorite songs from the band “The Kills.”
I chose that band because its lead singer, Alison Mosshart, kind of reminded me of her; and I thought that their music would be right up her alley. So, I burned the CD on my computer, decorated the CD cover with a sharpie, and made it look really cool. I wrapped it up with fancy wrapping paper and a bow and gave it to her at the end of the night.
I didn’t wait for her to unwrap it, partly because I was still nervous about her reaction to my gesture and partly because I didn’t want to put her on the spot while we were out amongst friends. I figured she would just let me know if she liked it at work the following week, and I would use that as an opportunity to ask her out.
Cut to next week. There was a day that I was off and she was working. A close buddy of mine from high school also happened to be working that day. I came in the following day for work and he immediately pulled me aside. He said, “Dude, you should just forget about her.” He went on to tell me that she had basically just trash-talked and made fun of my gift behind my back.
Apparently, she had said to my friend, “I can’t believe he did that, I don’t even like the Kills!” My friend and I are really tight and he’s very outspoken. He proceeded to defend me, saying: “Are you kidding me? You should be so freaking lucky and thankful that anyone gives a darn about your birthday at all!”
As soon as I heard about that incident, it immediately killed any and all interest that I’d ever had in her. How can I possibly be attracted to someone who cares that little about other people’s feelings? She never even bothered to thank me for the CD at all. She just never mentioned it, so I decided to move on with my life and forget about her.
90. Picky Cleaner
I told my children repeatedly that if I found any more mess and junk on their bedroom floor, I would be donating it to the thrift store. I told them they had 15 minutes to clean it up off the floor. I came back to find everything picked up. Phew, right? Well, when when I went back to the kitchen, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
They had gone into the kitchen cupboards and had put every food they didn’t like in a nice neat pile right in the middle of the floor.
91. Hole in One Window
My school banned all balls larger than a couple of inches in diameter because someone kicked a football through a window during lunch. Most of us used to walk home past the woods beside a golf course and had a ready supply of golf balls as a result. Golf balls were allowed under the new rules due to their size.
3 broken windows in one lunch period later, they weren’t.
92. Car Trouble
Well, I once asked a girl out back in high school by writing her initials with flowers on her trampoline. I did it overnight, so I expected a reaction the next morning. Reasonable, right? Wrong! See, I had left a note on her car suggesting that she check her trampoline, but she just so happened to have driven her mom’s car to school that day instead.
She even went out for lunch that afternoon and still said nothing when she returned, so I was in full “what the heck have I done to deserve this silence” mode until I realized that she had taken the wrong car. Thankfully, her mom called her in the middle of the day and told her that she needed to come home early for some reason or another.
Before she left, I spoke to her for a couple of minutes and she said we could talk more later that night. I thought this would be my chance for sure. Fast forwards to that night. No response from her to any of my calls or texts. After a while, I finally gave up and went to my buddy’s house to hang out. That was when I realized why she hadn’t been responding to me.
She was over at my buddy’s house, clearly together with some other guy. Since I had never told anyone about my feelings towards her, I then had to spend the rest of the evening pretending it was nothing while silently feeling crushed inside. I played my worst game of pool ever before breaking my friend’s phone after he questioned whether I would seriously do it. I wanted to prove to her that I was serious about whatever I say.
I ended up driving home with sadness level ten.
93. Looking For Trouble
This happened last week. This new girl is hired, and right off the bat she starts telling me that she regrets taking this job, despite being unemployed for four months, because there are so many new people so it must be a bad job because of the high turnover. For one, this is not really true. A large company just bought us, and they are hiring more people because we have more business.
She then tells us all about how it’s her birthday and she’s going drinking after work. Well, she does a no call no show the next day, which is her third day. We all assume she quit. But the next day, she comes in and starts just trying to work like nothing happened. The supervisor asked what happened, and she said she got in a minor car accident.
He asked why she didn’t call, and she said she doesn’t have a cell phone…despite being on her cell phone constantly in the office. He decided to give her one more chance, but gave her a lecture about how she needs to communicate properly about missing work, and one more incident will be an automatic firing. Next day, no call no show.
94. All Done!
When my partner was young, he was resistant to potty training and his parents eventually got him to start using the potty by telling him that he had to be out of pull-ups before a family trip to Disney World, because “Mickey Mouse only sees big boys and girls.” And also, who wants to lug a diaper bag around Disney?
Anyway, it went great, they had a great trip. But the day after they got back, he pooped in the living room. When asked why, his reply was pretty devastating for a toddler. He said: “I don’t gotta use the potty cause I already saw Mickey Mouse.” They very firmly told him that if he was old enough to use logic, he was far too old for diapers and that was the end of that.
95. Unwittingly Inspiring
When I was about 11, my parents sat me down and made me read this story that my mom had gotten from another mom she knew. It was about this tweenaged girl who began talking to a boy her age in a chat room only to find out he was a middle-aged creep. The story was obviously fictional and didn’t really get under my skin at all, but I can appreciate the idea that my parents were trying to get ahead of the curve on teaching me internet safety.
Internet-based chat rooms were pretty new at that point. We only had dial-up for a little while and I certainly wasn’t allowed to be on it by myself. So, I had no idea that talking to boys on the internet was even possible because it had seriously never occurred to me. But after they told me that story, I immediately started trying to do so.
96. Safety First
In my dorm, if you did something that triggered the smoke or fire alarm, you had to do a safety presentation for everyone on your floor. This was intended to deter pranksters from pulling the alarm. A guy on our floor was making grilled cheese in the kitchenette and burned it, which legitimately triggered the fire alarm.
Since it had been a legitimate alarm and not a prank, he assumed that he wouldn’t have to do a presentation. He was, of course, wrong. So, the next Wednesday night, the entire floor assembled, and we were treated to a 30-minute safety presentation on the dangers of grilled cheese sandwiches. It contained literally nothing about fire safety.
It was all about choking hazards and cholesterol. Our RA was furious, but the student pointed out that the write-up that he’d been given just said “safety presentation”. We didn’t get any more presentations after that.
97. Didn’t Raise a Quitter
We were about to go on a fairly long hike. My dad forcefully told my six-year-old brother and two-year-old me that, “No one is getting carried out of here!!” Just over halfway through, my dad is huffing and puffing, and sits down to rest. Two-year-old me marches up to him, slaps him across the face, and says, “No one is getting carried outta here!”
98. Housing Crisis
I moved a friend of 22 years out of her house with a husband who beat her, placed her in a spare bedroom in my house, bought her clothes, got her a job, and gave her money to buy the things that she needed. I even took her to doctors’ appointments or anywhere else that she needed to go. Then, I found out 4 months before my wedding that she had been having an affair with my fiance every day while I was at work.
I lost my house (which was in his name), along with the $10,000 I had put into re-modeling it, my jeep, and all the money that I had already spent on the wedding. They now live there together, and she doesn’t even work. Hmmmm, I think I got the short end of that good deed…
99. A Change of Pace
I once tried to pay it forward at a Subway, so I gave the cashier a $20 bill for a grandmother and granddaughter who I saw sitting at a table. The cashier asked if I wanted change back after, and I did. I was in a tough spot financially, but I still wanted to do nice things. Once they finished, the cashier rang them up, and the grandma didn’t move when she counted the change.
She ripped the change out of the cashier’s hand and, when I stood there just staring in disbelief, the grandma called me a “selfish jerk.” She yelled at me more and just walked away with the money. I still like to pay it forward, but man! That incident turned me away from it for a while.
100. Sir, I’m Afraid You Are Mistaken!
At our local Red Lobster, someone once grabbed the “manager” to tell him that his shrimp was cold and that he wanted a free beer as compensation. He even went as far as to exclaim that he could get better fish by fishing. This “manager” was actually just my dad, who was there to pick me up from work, but apparently looked like an authority figure since he had a tie on.
My dad replied, “That’s cocktail shrimp, you moron!”