You know those slick, confident types who always have a quip at the ready and never get gum stuck in their hair? Yeah, that’s not us.
We trip along with our feet lodged permanently in our mouths, which may explain why we love hearing other people’s stories of supreme humiliation. If you said the worst possible thing to a stranger or suffered a catastrophic pants rip, we want to hear about it.
Luckily, there’s Reddit. A bunch of Reddit users got together to share the most embarrassing moments they’ve ever endured. We edited the best of them for grammar and readability.
If, like us, you tend toward the awkward, these should make you feel better. At the very least, they prove that you’re not alone.
Everybody makes mistakes, but some people’s errors are more public.
An AskReddit thread kicked off with a simple question: What was your most embarrassing moment? The answers came quick and fast, and they’re guaranteed to provide your daily dose of cringes.
“The worst was on a busy Saturday, when I had three funerals and a wedding to play as organist,” wrote Back2Bach.
“By the time the wedding finally arrived after the three funerals were over, I must’ve been tired (or daydreaming), because I played funeral procession music as the bride entered the church, rather than the Trumpet Voluntary, as scheduled.”
There goes somebody’s special day. The stakes might not be as high in this next story, but the pain is real.
“As I was leaving an interview, I shook hands and said thanks, turned, and walked into a wall,” wrote sasamiel. “Everyone around lost it.”
Don’t feel too bad for this victim of a classic comedy trope. Things ended up okay in the end.
“[It] was an interview for university,” sasamiel continued. “I was accepted in. Got degree.”
That academic isn’t the only one who walks into stuff, as this next story proves.
“[I] walked face-first into one of those cast iron street light posts because a cute girl called out my name from the back seat of her friend’s car,” wrote ondongarbageman. “It made a ‘bong’ sound.”
There’s no humiliation like bathroom humiliation.
“When I was in third grade, I peed my pants in my chair because my teacher wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom,” wrote a Reddit user whose account has since been deleted.
“I thought I was being really slick by leaving it there to disappear into the carpet. My teacher definitely realized and tried to convince my mom to hold me back a year.”
Kids can’t always hold it, but accidents like this tend to stay with a person for life. Here’s another example.
“I pooped myself in first grade because I was afraid to ask to go,” wrote Wolfloner. “In kindergarten, we had bathrooms in the classrooms themselves, but in first grade, nope. I’ve always been awkward, and thought I could hold it till bathroom break time. Nope!”
It’s bad enough to have an accident when you’re in your single digits. What about teenagers and adults?
“Cross country runners know all about peeing oneself,” wrote a Reddit user whose account has since been deleted.
“There was a girl on my team that would always have to go right before the race,” wrote another. “Eventually, she just said ‘f*** it,’ because the lines to the port-a-potties were too long, and would [pee] herself on the line as they were counting down.”
“There are also a lot of people who black-out slightly before or after the finish line (and pee themselves)…and vomit. Lot’s of vomit…and s***, on the rare occasion.”
If anyone’s lining up to run cross-country after all that, this Reddit user has some sage advice.
“I’ve become a professional at woodland toilet use,” the cross-country runner wrote. “Always bring your own TP to a CC meet.”
If you have any doubts about the lasting power of bathroom humiliation, consider this next confession.
“One time in middle school, a friend walked in on me pooping. I still think about it and cringe, and I’m 27,” wrote ludens-gecko.
Theater seems custom-made for humiliation.
That’s especially true when you accidentally get a job you’re not at all prepared for.
“[When I was] just out of high school, [I was a] former drama room dork with some stage time,” wrote BaronWombat. “[A] buddy of mine roped me into working a professional road show of Fiddler on the Roof…as a damn dancer.”
“[I’d] never been trained, [and] now we are going to be working amidst an actual Broadway-level troupe in the big concert hall in my state, in front of thousands of people every night.”
“I was fit and had done martial arts, tennis, [and] fencing, so I managed to keep up fairly well and learned the dances during the weeks of rehearsal. Opening night was kind of scary, but it all worked just fine.”
“I got kind of cocky ([I was] 18 years old!) and wasn’t focused enough for night two. [There’s a] big wedding dance scene in Fiddler with crazy Cossacks gyrating all over the place. At one point, all us Cossacks link hands in a circle and do the dance-dance-kneel/kick thing.”
“At the precise moment that this circular blur … drops down, my mind goes blank. Like ‘no signal received’, just…nothing. I am standing there with the spots on us, [and] the rest of the dancers are down on their heels.”
“These few seconds of time dilated into an eternity as I looked out at the dimly lit crowd looking back at me. My brain engine came back online right as the dancers came swooping back up, and I got right back into the flow again.”
“I was mortified, and came in an hour early every day after that to run through my steps. The reviewer of course had come on that night, and [later wrote,] ‘One of the dancers slipped.’”
“The upside is that this set a very high bar for future potentially embarrassing situations, which perhaps has helped me stay cool in some very high stakes business presentations.”
Even if you’re trained for the job, you can still go blank at the worst possible times.
“[This happened] a few months ago, in a professional play being reviewed that night by a fairly major critic,” wrote RaeADropOfGoldenSun. “I forgot the word ‘point’ (as in, ‘toothpicks have a point’) and resorted to making pointing gestures with my hands.”
“This just looked like weird flailing because I, for some reason, forgot that a hand gesture for ‘point’ already exists. Eventually, another actor supplied me with the word.”
This next Reddit user will see forgetting a word onstage and raise you one garbled soliloquy.
“I’ve never been into competitions, but I was a pretty talented actor when I was in high school,” wrote eannaj. “My theater teacher was always trying to get me to compete, and one year I guess she just got tired of my resistance and signed me up without my permission.”
“I hadn’t done anything like it before, [and] I guess I just thought it would be me in a room with a judge, and I would just wing something easy and be done. I didn’t really prepare at all. So I show up and I walk into this giant f***ing theatre with easily like 100-plus people spectating or waiting their turn, but everyone was performing in front of everyone else.”
“To this day, I have no idea why I didn’t just turn around and leave, but I started watching and everyone was just sort of meh, so my confidence started to get the best of me. I had at least one or two things up my sleeve to get through this.”
“So my turn comes, and I walk up, and dive into Hamlet, forget where I am at least twice and merge in a small monologue from Julius Caesar and touches of a piece from MacBeth.”
“In my best acting form, I tried not to let on what was happening, though I knew damn well [and] was humiliated as s***. This was high school theater, so everyone knew these pieces. People were giggling, the judges were looking at me like I was a moron. It was terrible.”
“I got to a line that sounded like a good ending, and I just stopped. I couldn’t take the pain anymore. One of the judges must have thought I was pausing, so he says, ‘That’s it?’”
“So I just said, “Yep, thanks,” and ran off stage and out of the theater. I’m still not sure if there was anyone I actually knew there. I never specifically saw a familiar face, and no one ever talked about it.”
At least eannaj learned a valuable lesson from this humiliating episode.
“I regret it to this day, actually, and I can specifically credit that exact experience with learning my ‘never show up unprepared for anything’ maturity lesson,” the Reddit user wrote.
It doesn’t pay to make assumptions about people’s family lives.
[I] had been away from home for quite some time because I was away at school,” wrote Otracervezaporfavor. “The weekend I decide to go home we get invited over to our family friends’ house for a barbecue.”
“At this BBQ is a middle-aged guy, and we get to talking after the introductions. As it turns out, he’s a massive soccer fan like myself. He tells me and my siblings that he travelled to Philadelphia for the MLS All Star game.”
“The opponent was Chelsea FC from England. This guy whips out his iPad and starts to show my siblings and I the pictures of his awesome seats and the players he got pictures with. Then one comes up with a guy named John Terry.”
“For the unfamiliar, Terry is a great English defender who had an affair with his teammate’s wife. So I say ‘Heh, don’t let him near your wife, eh?’”
“No laughter. So I say it again. Still no laughter. I just assume he doesn’t get the joke so I just drop it after that.”
“When we all get home after the barbecue, my siblings, who already met this guy, inform me that his wife had passed a couple of years ago.”
Roller skates and fast food don’t mix.
“During high school, I worked as a carhop at Sonic,” wrote bonanzax. “They made us wear roller skates.”
“The first order I ever took out was a huge tray full of Route 44 Slushes. I shakily skate out and go to step off the curb with the massive tray of drinks and bam—my a** hits the curb and the Slushes go flying.”
“I’m covered in green and purple goo, sitting on the curb right in front of the car I was going to take them to, all while watching the customers laugh hysterically at me. I think the worst part was when they rolled down the car window to ask me how long it would take for someone else to bring out their order.”
We’ll leave you with an absolute epic of mortification.
“Once upon a time, me and my pal Zach were 12 years old,” wrote Xx_Southpaw_xX. “It was a hot summer’s day and we were bored with watching my dog mill about the yard. Then, Zach has an idea.”
“Zach suggests that we should go climb a tree. Fun, right? Wrong. I could not climb trees to save my life. It was pretty embarrassing for a kid, and I didn’t want anyone to know about my climbing deficiency.”
“So in an effort to save my neighborhood image, I suggest that we climb the squat, graying tree in my backyard—easy to get up into, easy to get down out of. But Zach. Oh, Zach.”
“‘Nah, that one’s too small, and the bark’s scratchy anyway,’ [he said.] Let’s climb the big one in your front yard!’”
“Welp. Here we go. Zach, being a f***ing squirrel, darts up the tree into a comfortable branch near the trunk without a care in the world. I try in vain to scramble up the tree after him, but to no avail—my legs were simply too long and gangly, and my arms were too weak.”
“So, being the clever little b****** I was, I scamper into the garage and drag a bin of my big brother’s baseball gear into the front yard so I could get a leg up…and it worked!”
“I clambered into the tree, huffing and puffing, and settled myself on a branch a couple [of] feet down from Zach. Me and Zach have a grand old time in the tree. I remember we played movieCcharades. (I also specifically remember that Zach couldn’t identify my silent rendition of Titanic. C’mon, Zach.)”
“Then my dad leans out of the screen door and shouts at us damn kids to get out of his tree, and we comply. Zach tells me to get down first since I’m lower down than him. S***. Now, it wasn’t too far of a drop, but my brain set all the files on logic on fire, locked itself in the panic room, and s*** itself all in one swift motion, so I’m left on autopilot.”
This is when things start to go horribly wrong.
“I ball myself up and take a leap of faith to the soft, green, summer grass below. But I never hit the grass. My shorts. The pocket of my shorts got caught on a knob on the branch, and I am now dangling upside down, half my a** showing for all the world to see, screaming and laughing and crying, in my front yard.”
“People drove by. People were walking their dogs. My shiny, white a** was witness to the goings on of a suburban neighborhood for 30 f***ing minutes before Zach pulled himself together enough to go get my dad to help.”
“Zach falls ungracefully out of the tree and…runs home. What? See, what I didn’t know is that Zach wasn’t abandoning me. Zach had p***ed himself laughing and was running home for more pants. Presumably he didn’t want to draft my old man’s help smelling of p*** and tears of laughter.”
“A good five minutes goes by. I’ve accepted my fate. I’ve stopped struggling, My a** is still out. Zach crests the hill that divides our houses, and I just let out a caterwaul of surprise and disbelief that he’d returned, my knight in shining armor.”
“He knocks on the door and my mother, bless her heart, pokes her head out of the screen door. I hear Zach say from my perch, ‘Uh…Xx_Southpaw_xX is stuck…’”
“And out of the corner of her eye, my mother sees her son dangling by his cargo shorts out of a tree, just dejectedly squirming at this point. She was laughing so hard she could barely lift me off of the branch.”
“And that, Reddit, is my most embarrassing moment.”
See? No matter how bad your humiliation is, it can always be worse. Take comfort in that.