Little children can often be bundles of pure joy for their parents. At the same time, they still have an awful lot to learn about this big and complicated world of ours. So it's no surprise then that things like hilarity, shock, and, above all, embarrassment are what often ensue when a young child opens their mouth and says the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time. Here are 42 stories of some of the funniest and most embarrassing comments that toddlers have made in public.
After hearing the phrase in a movie, my little one yelled out "Put me down, you idiot!" in church. I humbly bowed my head a bit more than usual…
When my son was four years old, he was in a gymnastics class. In the venue, there was a lobby separated by glass so that we could watch the kids without bothering them. One kid's dad was a big man, probably something like 6'5" and 300 pounds. One day, my son decided to run up to the glass, point at the man, and yell "Mom! That guy's a giant! And he looks like a pig!" He then proceeded to make snorting noises before promptly running back to his class. My husband and I just sat there frozen and spent the rest of the class trying to disappear. Thanks, kid!
My four-year-old son was misbehaving in a store, so I told him that if he couldn't control himself we were going to leave. He then chose to escalate the situation, so I picked him up and carried him through the entire store towards the exit. He was surprisingly putting up little fight and I started to wonder what he was really up to.
As we pass the checkout lanes, he loudly shouts "Hey mister, put me down!!" I didn't blink, didn’t hesitate, and didn't make eye contact with anyone. I just turned beet red as I realized what he was trying to do, and kept on marching till we were safely out the door. I’ve got to give credit where credit is due though—my son may be a brat, but he’s a clever little brat!
In a crowded public restroom, I had my toddler with me in the stall. She decided to loudly scream out, “Wow! That’s a really big poop! Good job, mommy!” If I hadn’t been lucky enough to have been behind a closed and locked stall door, I think I would have died from the embarrassment!
My wife had taken my three-year-old to the park one day. She decided to start picking up some litter to help make the park look nicer. She was throwing away things like pop bottles, chip bags, and whatever else she came across on the ground. She was very proud when our young son informed her that wanted to help. So he stoops down to pick up some cigarette butts and my wife says, “Leave those for mommy.”
Now, she wasn't actually going to pick them up, but she didn't want him to touch them either. He, of course, was unaware of that. A few minutes later, he had gone off to play. He walks up to another nearby mom and tells her, "I'm finding cigarettes for my mommy!" My wife was so embarrassed! She told me that she was getting the dirtiest looks from nearby parents who had heard this for the rest of the afternoon.
My daughter was at a ballet practice, so me and my four-year-old son were in the gallery room behind a glass window. This area is always full of parents and families watching their kids and waiting for the classes to end. This day was certainly no exception. Anyway, I started showing my son some YouTube videos to keep him calm and entertained while we waited there. Then, all of a sudden and for no apparent reason, he says out loud "Why are we watching these naked Spider-Man videos, Daddy?" I could not bear to show my face at that dance studio again for a very long time…
I have a story about my sister. This happened back in the seventies, and she was only about three years old. My mom loves to remind us of this story all the time. My sister and my mom were waiting in a very long lineup to use the restroom. There was a lady in line a few people in front of them who was over 300 lbs. My sister yells out "Mom! Isn't that the fattest lady you've ever seen?"
The rest of the people in line were doing their best not to laugh, and my mom was horribly embarrassed. My sister looks at her and again asks, in all seriousness, "Well? Isn't she the fattest lady you've ever seen?" The second time was enough for my mom. She immediately took my sister out of the line and walked away.
When my cousin was about two years old, she still occasionally took baths with her mom (also known as my aunt). One night, we were at their house for dinner when, out of nowhere, she blurts out to my uncle, "Daddy, do you have hair on your peepee, too?" And that was the story of the first and only time in my life that I nearly required the Heimlich maneuver.
My cute little four-year-old boy turns to the lady behind us in line at the grocery store and says: "Lady, you're fat and your dog is ugly." The lady was indeed fat, but the dog was in no way ugly. No dogs are ugly as far as I'm concerned. It was one of those wiener dogs that are just really long. I felt bad for the dog.
This was not my toddler, but a toddler came up and said this to me while I was waiting in line at the grocery store: “I have a [insert female private part here], and I’m buying new party shoes!” Oh really, what else do you need? I didn’t know how to react, but I did notice that her mother’s face was turning redder than you can imagine!
My cute little niece once loudly and proudly announced at a family dinner that she wanted a “f***.” In utter shock, we all turned our heads and stared at this innocent little three-year-old in disbelief. Her mother just sighed and told us all that she’s been working on speech therapy as she handed her daughter a FORK.
My mother always loves to remind me about the time when I was about three or four years old and our family was out for dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken. While we were eating, a fat guy with a beard walked in and sat down not too far from our table. Young me was positive that this man was Colonel Sanders because I was only three and still very stupid. I couldn’t actually remember Colonel Sanders’ name, though, so I just yelled out “Look Mom, the Fat Man is here!!!” a bunch of times.
I was out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant with my eight-year-old daughter, and we overheard the waiter and the cook begin to have a discussion in Chinese. My daughter could apparently tell that they weren’t speaking English, but did not seem to realize that there are many different foreign languages out there that they might have been speaking.
Nevertheless, because it was the only other language she seemed to have heard of, she decided to yell out “WHY ARE THE PEOPLE HERE SPEAKING SPANISH, DADDY?” It was embarrassing, to say the least.
We went back to the same restaurant a couple of months later and the waiter clearly remembered us. How do I know? Because after he took our orders, he said “I’ll be right back with your food, folks. Arriba! Ándale!” Damn. I guess we were memorable!
I nannied for kids for a summer. One time, as soon as the mom came home, the daughter ran into the doorway and said, “MOMMY, NANNY JEN SAID THE C WORD TODAY!!!” I was confused and beyond mortified, to say the least. That is, until the mom and I talked for a few seconds and I realized that they didn’t say “crap” around the kids. The mom and I laughed it off once we realized and all was good.
I was with my three-year-old daughter and we were at my mom’s house. After a while, I needed us to leave but she didn’t want to, so I told her that we had to get home so we could take a shower. To make her laugh, I said that we needed this shower because our bums were stinky. Later, when we got home to our building and walked into a packed elevator to go upstairs to our apartment, my daughter turns to me and says, "Mom, don’t forget that you need to take a shower because your bum is stinky!" I was mortified.
This is an example of the random "Why would you even say that???" kind of story that we experience with our kids on a surprisingly frequent basis. One time, when my son was just three years old, I had to take him along with me when I went to get a manicure for my sister's upcoming wedding. I had brought a tablet with me in an attempt to bribe him into good behavior with some Netflix, and it actually worked!
The whole time I was getting my nails done, he was a perfect angel. He just sat there nicely, enjoying his movies and not bothering anyone at all. Then all of a sudden, as I'm swiping my credit card and getting ready to walk out the front door, this perfect angel randomly yells out "Oh! Is it sexy time now???" at the top of his lungs. I still have no idea what the hell he was actually trying to ask, but the entire shop suddenly got so quiet that you could have easily heard a pin drop in there.
This one happened to my midwife. She was pregnant with her second child, and her three-year-old daughter asked why mommy's belly was so big. It was then explained to her that mommy had a baby in there. So she turns to daddy and asks “Do you have a baby in your tummy too?” Dad gently replies “No, I’m just fat!” A few days later, the girl is waiting in the checkout line with her mom and a very large lady comes up behind them in the line. The little girl asks the lady “Do you have a baby in your tummy like my mommy does?” The lady is kind and just says no she doesn’t, to which the girl responds “Oh, just fat then?”
I took my three-year-old son to Disney World for a vacation. Of course, after about an hour in the park, both I and the offspring have to go to use the bathroom. So, we head off to one of the main bathrooms right next to the big castle. I let the boy go first. He performed a nice quick dump, complete with the customary "Good Job!" compliment from me, as we were still reinforcing the potty training mantras.
Then, I of course sit down and perform my own glorious number two, complete with a nice long "squeaky door" fart which had the offspring in hysterics. At this point, the child starts screaming out in a voice that can only be described as booming "GOOD JOB DADDY! YOU'RE THE BEST POOPER I KNOW!" This, of course, led to various chuckles from within the long line of stalls populated by other fathers. The chuckles ended up turning into outright boisterous laughter. I was so proud of my pooping abilities and so glad to finally be getting some widespread recognition for this special talent of mine.
Well, I'm a somewhat shameless person, so I clean up and go wash my hands to find that I'm now getting many nods of approval from everyone in the can who had heard the interchange. I was the best pooper at Disney World that day and was somehow both internally embarrassed and outwardly entertained at the same time. And no one can ever take that away from me.
There is a man with no arms who lives in our village. Everyone likes to call him Mr. M. His children attended my son’s nursery, so my son has met him many times. One day, we were sitting in a packed doctor’s office waiting room and Mr. M came in.
My Son, at full volume: Look mommy! There's that Mr. M that I was telling you about! He has no arms, see? Look! LOOOOK! [Pointing] Do you see??
At this point, the whole entire waiting room, in true British style, have turned their heads back to face in the opposite direction of where Mr. M is standing, and they are all actively trying to NOT look at him, while also trying similarly hard to avoid eye contact with both me and the "disrespectful small child" who seems to get a kick out of drawing attention to other people’s disabilities.
Me: Ah yes, that is indeed Mr. M. We see him at school sometimes, don't we?
My Son: Yeah, he came in to talk to us one day, and…
Me, in my head: [oh gosh, what could possibly be coming next....]
My Son: ...and he drives his car just with his feet!
Me, in my head: [Please don't say anything more...]
My Son: He is TOTALLY AWESOME!!!
Me: [massive sigh of relief!] Yeah dude, he really is!
Thankfully, Mr. M did not seem to be offended or hurt by any of this, so I guess it could have been a lot worse!
My son came home from kindergarten with his backpack full of canned food. When pressed about the issue, he confidently stated that he told his teacher that he was hungry and that we didn't have any food at home! They had sent him home with a bunch of donations for those in need!! We got him to return all the food the next day. It’s a pretty funny story we love to tell now, but talk about embarrassed!!!
My best friend is gay. He and his partner have lovingly been referred to as “the gays” at our house ever since a slip up when calling them “the guys” came out as “the gays.” They thought that this was hilarious, and they began to jokingly refer to themselves that way. It caught on with their friends too after a while, and my wife and I would always refer to them as such without even thinking twice about it.
Picking up dinner one night at the grocery store, my daughter asked me if they were coming over to eat with us that night, as they often do once or twice a week. My best friend tends to tease my daughter a lot and, as a five-year-old girl, she can be very sensitive to it. I told her that no, they were not; and she replied by loudly exclaiming for all to hear: “Thank God, because I hate the gays!”
After watching 101 Dalmatians the day before, I was grocery shopping with my daughter. We crossed paths with an old lady in a somewhat dirty church suit and tons of makeup with sloppy red lipstick. My daughter points at her and audibly says, "Daddy, that's a bad lady!" The lady did kind of look like Cruella de Vil from the movie…
So this is the story of something I’m told that I myself apparently said back when I was a toddler. I was developmentally delayed, so I had to go to a child therapist until I was about five-year-old. When I was about four, we were in the waiting room there with a bunch of other kids and teenagers, and their parents. I was walking around, minding my own business. I was pretty nonverbal and generally didn't talk much, which was a big part of the reason I was in therapy to begin with.
Nevertheless, I suddenly stopped in front of this one teenager, pointed right at her face and screamed out "Face ugly!" with all my might. My mom was mortified. Not only is it a terrible thing to say to begin with, but I had just said it to a teenage girl who was already in therapy. She began pulling me aside and chastising me, telling me "Son, that was an ugly, terrible thing to say to someone!" But, unfortunately, the damage was already done.
During a private Remembrance Day ceremony with war veterans, my three-year-old daughter soiled her diaper. I excused myself to go change her in a back room and when we came back out, they were in the middle of observing a moment of silence. Precisely then, my daughter loudly slammed the door and yelled out to all the vets, “I just had a big poo! And it had PEANUTS in it!” This was definitely a Remembrance Day I won’t be forgetting any time soon!
The story that immediately comes to mind for me is the time that I took my daughter on her first ever airplane ride. She was only four years old at the time. She was sitting by the window and the plane was just breaking the cloud line. It was dead quiet on the plane and my daughter just shouts out, “Where’s God? I don’t see Him? Where is He??” Then she starts to panic and says, “I knew it!!! There is no God up here in the sky!! Mommy lied to me!!”
I couldn’t help but fall out of my seat laughing. I’m not super religious, but apparently, her mother (i.e. my ex-wife) had been taking her to Sunday school and church recently and she had been wondering a lot about this topic as a result. It sure caught me off guard and we sure got some odd looks from our fellow passengers!
My daughter says plenty of embarrassing things around me. She recently told someone that I had a mustache while laughing maniacally because I have a small, barely visible lady-stache. Umm, thank you very much! But the most recent embarrassment was this: I met up with a friend and his girlfriend, along with their three-year-old boy who has some kind of nerve palsy that causes one of his eyes to be noticeably droopy.
He had recently had surgery on it and it's a lot better than it was before, but you can still definitely tell when you look at him. Anyway, my daughter and their son played very well together for hours. Then, as we were leaving, she pokes him and says as loudly as possible, "Hey, what's wrong with your eye?!", to which he sweetly replied, "Nothing!"
So when I was in seventh grade, my younger brother was around five or six years old. My dad was coaching my basketball team and my brother would often come along to hang out at the practice. Now, it’s important to note that my brother has Asperger's—so of course, at the age he was at back then, his social awareness was non-existent.
There were a few African-American kids on the team, and my brother happened to have been learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the time, as it was around the time of his holiday. So his brain begins processing. Later, during the practice, my brother is standing under the basket as we're doing lay up lines.
All of a sudden, as one of the kids goes past him, my brother goes, "Are you an African-American by any chance?" My friend just chuckles and goes "Uh, yeah..." and my brother, with a completely dead serious face and tone, just goes "I knew it." My dad immediately exclaimed, "Nothing gets past my boy!" The whole team began rolling around on the floor laughing.
My child isn’t old enough to talk yet, but when I was little and my family would go on holiday, my fairly frugal dad used to get me to pretend to be younger than I actually was so that we could get into all the theme parks and attractions for less. When we were on our way back home after one such trip, the gentleman at passport control asked me how old I was and I just turned to my dad and said: “how old am I today, Daddy?”
The following is my favorite toddler related story of all time, so here goes! When my kid was very young and just learning how to tell men from women, he liked to yell out his verdict whenever he decided which one someone was. One day, we were in a public cafe and he decided to practice. "Mama, you're a woman!” he said. "That's right, honey!" I replied. "And Papa is a man!" he continued.
He was pointing and talking loudly enough that a lot of people in the shop noticed and started watching. Not a problem for me, it was very cute! He began to label a couple of strangers next, talking very loudly because he was enjoying the attention. But then he pointed to an old woman across the room. "And she's a WITCH!" he proclaimed out of nowhere.
In his defense, she was in fact dressed like some kind of an old hippie, with the kind of long flowing scarves you might expect a stereotypical witch to be wearing in some children’s book. I don't know if she heard him say this, since I shushed him REAL fast. However, there was no question that a LOT of other people around us definitely heard and tried their best to hide their laughter and shock.
The woman did actually come over to our table later to introduce herself and meet my kids. This was the kind of place where it was perfectly normal to chat with strangers, so I don't think that this gesture was necessarily a sign that she had heard us. Her name was Adina. I thought that that was a pretty good witch name, so ever since then that's been our family's stock name when making up a story featuring a witch.
I grew up in the 80s in a small town. My dad and I went out for lunch one day, and our waitress looked exactly like someone from a TV show we used to watch together. I was THRILLED. I kept poking my dad and telling him in a loud voice, “Dad! Dad! It’s Roz! Dad! Roz from Night Court is our waitress!” He was VERY embarrassed.
My three-year-old daughter, who is normally super sweet and very empathetic, was being a total turd in Target this one time. As we were running around trying to get out of the store, she sees someone with an obvious birth defect stocking the makeup shelves. Before we could whisk her away, she shouts out “Look at that guy’s tiny arms, mommy! They’re like TINY T-REX ARMS!” She was so excited for this guy, but he was very clearly not at all amused by her. I was laughing hysterically afterwards, but she was so embarrassed when she realized what she had done that she actually started to cry for a bit.
My youngest sibling is more than ten years my junior, so I grew up with him embarrassing me in public on a pretty frequent basis. The worst time I can recall was around Christmas one year, when we went to shop at Walmart after attending a holiday church service. The service was all about the story of the virgin birth, and how no other virgin had ever had a baby before.
My brother was only about four or five years old at the time. While he definitely didn't know what the word virgin really meant or exactly what made a person one, he had inferred from the service that virgins were people who couldn't have babies. Anyway, we get to the checkout line after we finish shopping and behind us is a woman who is very obviously pregnant. My brother points to her and screams out as loud as he possibly can, "Look mommy, that lady isn't a virgin!"
This didn’t happen to me, but to my aunt. When she was pregnant with her second kid, she went to the grocery store this one time with her four-year-old son who had just recently found out that he was soon going to have a new brother or sister. Naturally, the topic was often on his mind at the time, and the day they went grocery shopping was certainly no exception. As the two of them were walking into the store, a family of a different race was walking out with their baby girl.
To everyone’s surprise, my little cousin points right at that baby and audibly says "I don't want one like that, mommy." My aunt quickly panics and says "Umm, I think he means that he wants a brother!" That cover probably didn't save her that much, but let’s give credit where credit is due. How many of us would have even been able to come up with an excuse like that in the heat of the moment?
When my son was two years old, my husband was in the military and so they didn’t get to see each other too often. As a result, he often thought that every man he saw was his dad. One time, while daddy was away on a mission a little while back, we went to the Boston Market together and our son called some random stranger “daddy!!” He then ran over to the man and gave him a big hug. In a gesture of kindness, the guy actually picked him up and said, “I’m not your dad, but hey buddy!!” I was mortified, but I couldn’t stop laughing!
I have a two and a half-year-old daughter, and so this story just happened this past summer. We were at a baseball game and I was carrying my daughter so that her head was resting on my shoulder. All of a sudden, she pokes her head up, looks directly at the man behind me, and says: "We don't pick our nose, man. I said, we don't pick our nose. No, thank you!"
I couldn’t even bear to turn around. Instead, I just explained to her that we only say things like that to people in our family. I'm hoping the guy she was talking to was too drunk to notice, which is always a possibility at sporting events. As you may be able to tell, my daughter is very outgoing, so I’m definitely looking forward to plenty more embarrassing moments like this with complete strangers for years to come!
Not sure if this quite qualifies as a toddler yet, but my daughter is 16 months old and she has this hilarious thing that she does. When she is done interacting with someone, she will dismissively wave her hand in the air and say "All done! Bye!" I thought it was both hilarious and embarrassing when she did this to some guests of ours who had come by to see her. My wife doesn't like this whole thing, but I think it's funny and a total power move.
When my sister was an angsty little toddler, doing any shopping with her in public was always a huge pain. If she didn’t get what she wanted, she would start to loudly yell “die, die, DIE!” and people would stare at us like we were some kind of crazy psychopathic family. Phonetically, though, “die” is how you say “give” in Russian, which happens to be our family’s mother tongue. But sadly, most people who live in the United States are not aware of this fact…
My son was about three and a half years old. He had been having diarrhea for a couple of days, and all of the constant wiping had made his butt chapped and sore. He was crying often because it hurt so badly, so I figured I'd just put some diaper rash cream on it. He had to go to the bathroom again while we were at the grocery store.
I let him finish up, gave him an extra wipe to make sure it was clean, and then put some more of the cream on it. We exit the bathroom and go over to stand with my wife at the checkout counter. My son then very proudly announces to the cashier, "My daddy just put his finger in my butt in the bathroom! It feels all better now!" I pay quickly and run for my life before any government agencies decide to show up with some questions for me…
I live in small town Iowa, where everyone is polite and reserved. One time, I took my then three-year-old nephew out to a restaurant to eat while he was in town to visit me. The man in the next booth looked very frail and had a portable oxygen tank with him. He had a coughing fit, and my nephew said, "Auntie, that doesn't sound too good." That part in and of itself wasn't so bad. But then the coughing fit continued, so my nephew turned to the man and said in his thick New York accent "’Scuse me, we're trying to eat here! Can you go die somewhere else?"
This was not exactly embarrassing per se, but very awkward to have to deal with nevertheless. My son once somberly announced to his daycare class that I had passed away over the weekend. If I remember correctly, I think he even cried too just to underscore the point. It's been almost 13 years since this incident, so my memory is a little hazy—but I remember that the staff were very distraught, so he must have been pretty convincing somehow. It was a severe shock to everyone there when I showed up later that day to pick him up.
I can’t help but share the story of the time I went to pick up my four-year-old niece from preschool. It was the first time I had ever done this, so none of the staff knew me. As you would expect, her mom had called the staff ahead of time to inform them that her sister would be coming to do the pickup that day. She told them what my name was, what I looked like, and whatever else they said they needed to know before my arrival.
So I get there and show them my ID. The teacher lady checks it and proceeds to take me to the area where the kids are. We find my niece, who is eating a popsicle. The lady asks her, "Is this your aunt?" She looks up at me, and says "No." I was shocked and worried for a moment that they were going to think I was there to kidnap a child.
I think I said something like “You know me, I've been sleeping in the same room as you all week!” Luckily, the teacher lady knew that she was just being silly and we were able to leave without any problems. Later, when her mom and I asked her why she had said she didn't know me, her answer was that she just wanted to stall the pickup so she could have time to finish her popsicle. I burst out laughing. She could have just said that if that’s all she wanted!
A few years ago, my two-year-old daughter and I were waiting in line at Nordstrom. She was being really quiet and really patient, so I decided to reward her by purchasing a Melissa and Doug stamp set as a gift. As soon as we got up to the checkout counter, she randomly blurted out to the girl who was scanning our things, “Did you know that my mommy has a [insert male genitalia here]?”
I was in utter shock and had no idea where that had come from or what she was talking about. I just stood there for a moment, expressionless, wondering what in the world had just happened, before I finally managed to awkwardly say, “Umm yeah, I don’t.” The lady just stared at me, forced a smile and simply replied, “Have a nice day.”
The only explanation I can think of as to why this could have happened is that we had been talking to her a lot about my pregnancy and discussing what gender the baby might be. We have spent a lot of time wondering whether the baby is going to be a boy or a girl, so my guess is that she was trying to innocently tell the cashier something about the baby in my belly, but just worded it very poorly.
On top of all that, all the talk about this baby’s gender must have raised some questions in my daughter’s head, because she also decided to announce to her daycare class that “My daddy decided that he wants to be a girl, so he is going to become a girl.” The daycare staff never mentioned anything about it until our daughter casually informed us of her announcement during dinner one night—and we just about died when we heard about it.
I asked her teacher the next day if she had really said this, and the teacher, in fact, stated, “Yes, she did say that. But it seemed like a very private and sensitive topic, so obviously, we didn’t want to bring anything up about it to you.” For the record, my husband is NOT transitioning and we have no idea what my daughter was trying to actually say. Ahh, kids. You gotta love them!
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