Memories are a funny thing. It's easy to remember the great things that happened to us, but it's equally simple to bring up our most embarrassing moments. In fact, the moments we wish we could just forget tend to be the ones we can't shake. They creep up on us late at night and force us to relive the shame or the embarrassment all over again. They come to us when we're trying to relax and every now and then for no reason at all. The worst of the embarrassing moments always seem to happen in front of the people we most respect, love or want to impress, so how do we recover from these moments?
The simple answer is we don't. They haunt us for life and there's nothing we can ever do about it. Luckily, we can make ourselves feel just a little bit better by reading about other people's embarrassing moments and laugh at them. We don't mind sharing our own stories with others who know the pain of being super awkward at the absolute worst moment, so what are some stories we can laugh at or relate to? Here are twenty-one hilarious times Redditers embarrassed themselves in front of members of the opposite gender:
*Note: Entries have been edited for length and clarity.*
"I was in a line in the cafeteria and my female friend is leaning on the table holding her purse. Every time she opens it, I close it. I did it twice, then she suddenly faced me and it was a total stranger. I went back to our classroom and didn't eat lunch."
OP was pretty lucky in this situation. Touching a woman's purse is a direct threat to her safety and personal property. She could have easily gone nuts and she could have screamed at him. She could have asked for help and accused him of stealing or worse. Had she made a scene, it would have been an even bigger embarrassment.
Why OP thought it was funny to touch a woman's purse, we'll never know, but he did the right thing by walking away. Yes, he was embarrassed but he didn't have to skip a meal to pay for it. He could have laughed it off and explained it wasn't his intention to touch a stranger's purse. It would have saved him some embarrassment and would have made the girl feel a little less uncomfortable. Oh well, he did what he thought was best and will likely be embarrassed for years to come.
20 Oh, Oh No
"I was 13, and my family and I were on a skiing holiday. My parents had decided to sign me up for lessons..."
"I had been throwing myself down mountain slopes with about as much grace as a brick, with the tutor occasionally griping about [it]...and was exhausted."
"We had time for one more run, so we all waddled over to the T bar machine. This imaginatively named device is so called because a metal bar, shaped like an upside-down T, hooks below your [bottom] and drags you upwards...
Somehow, my jacket got caught on the bar, which knocked me to the ground. This is not the embarrassing part. It then dragged me along the snow, past where I was supposed to ski off, and carried on along a very icy patch...Still not the embarrassing part.
The embarrassing part was when the rough ice dragging under me somehow managed to pull down...[everything], exposing my bare [buns] to an entire slope of people and giving me a nasty ice/friction burn all down my thigh. Also, I was yelling my head off to get someone to stop the machine. A lot of people saw.
I was helped up and...skied down to the bigger lift to take me back down to the hotel. I cried the entire way down.
The real kicker was getting back, telling my family this story (while still sobbing through wounded [bottom] and wounded pride) and having my dad and sister howl with laughter while my mum desperately tried to comfort me." - pungeonmaster
19 Yeah, That's Super Awkward
"Ordered an Uber with my new boss on a business trip yesterday. Began making small talk with the driver to show her how great I am at talking to people. The driver was talking with his girlfriend on a headset..."
Nothing says "I'm super desperate to make a good impression" like trying to talk to someone otherwise engaged. OP should have considered what the driver was doing - actually paying attention to traffic, and engaged in a completely different conversation on the phone. These situations are jokingly mentioned in TV commercials and funny stories where someone thinks the person in the next bathroom stall is talking to them, but rarely does it happen in real life.
OP made a fool of themselves when they tried to hold a conversation and couldn't even notice that the driver was on the phone. It just shows that they weren't able to hold a conversation, get someone's attention or possess the observation skills necessary to impress their boss. It was a bad day for IntrepidusX because they wound up making themselves look foolish. Whether or not they could bounce back from the incident remains unknown but hopefully, OP will pay better attention in the future.
18 No Touchy!
"So, I had a crush on a girl back in 10th grade. We pretty much flirted with each other and she told me via MSN that she would like a hug when she came back to school (she was sick for like 2 weeks straight)."
"So when the day came, I hugged her. It was super awkward."
"I hugged her for like a minute straight and she calmly asked if I would let go of her. That minute felt like an eternity and felt embarrassing as [heck]. After like 11 years it still makes me cringe when I think about it."
Its good that OP's crush was willing to flirt with him and wanted a hug, but one of the most important parts of a hug is knowing when to let the other person go. When OP first held her, he was probably the happiest guy on earth, until he realized he eventually had to release her. The hug itself was "super awkward" and she wasn't feeling it. She had to actually ask him to let her go. Ouch.
The next time you have an embarrassing moment, think of PowderedToastMan93. Somehow he lived through the humility, and if he can do it, you can do it.
17 Talk About Putting Your Foot In Your Mouth
"My birthday party, about 15 yrs old. Kid knocks on the door, I answered. Kid's front tooth is GREEN like from rot, it was a temporary cap or something. I just stared at him and he said hi, I said "tooth". Pretty sure we both were humiliated. We did not retain the friendship."
If you've never seen a green tooth, it makes perfect sense to stare, but when we're kids we can forget ourselves and speak without thinking. Unfortunately for apocalypsism, they weren't a child. It's still hard to hold yourself together when confronted with an unexpected situation. While it might not have been the best thing to immediately call the kid out on his rotting tooth, it could have become a situation in which both parties could have recovered and created a friendship. Instead, they made an awkward moment last forever and neither party was able to recover.
When you do or say something inappropriate, do the right thing and simply apologize. It'll still be awkward, but at least you'll be able to drop it. Part of what makes a situation worse is how things remain unresolved. If OP had apologized and moved on, neither of them would have remembered what happened or held on to the awkwardness.
16 LOL, Sorry, But LOL
"Went to dealership and test-drove cars. Went to sign for the car. Reached into my back pocket. Hand went through my pocket to my skin. 6" rip in my favorite jeans. I thought nobody had noticed my cheek hanging out and felt relieved. Returned to the dealership for an oil change 3 months later... Salesman: 'I see you got new pants!'"
It's easy to fool yourself into believing no one saw the massive tear in your clothing, but everything comes rushing back the minute it's obvious everyone witnessed your embarrassment. To make matters worse, OP was remembered after not stepping foot into the car dealership for three months. Guaranteed the employees had a good laugh about it and might have even watched the footage.
While it's embarrassing, there's a serious question to be asked here: How can OP walk around with a six-inch tear in their pants without noticing? Who does that? Why didn't anyone ask them about it or stop them to point it out? Either OP was living in their own little world and couldn't be bothered to notice the extra breeze, or they were hoping their underwear did a good enough job to hide the hole. Either way, they were discovered and remembered.
15 Time To Buy A New Skirt
"I was in the elevator area of my former job and wearing a skirt that was a little too big for me. Luckily, I had one of those long sweaters on over [my] top because I was talking to the maintenance guy and the skirt just dropped to the floor like, "AAAAND WERE DONE HERE," and the guy and I just stared at each other for a small eternity."
Gratz on the weight loss, but once your clothes start fitting a little too loosely, it's time to go shopping. The weird thing is when she got dressed that morning she had every opportunity to choose a different skirt or outfit, but she wanted to wear THAT skirt to create THAT outfit.
In a way, OP kind of deserved what happened to her. She could have added a belt, wore something else, or even folded the top of the skirt to create a snugger fit, but she didn't. Instead, she wound up trapped for what must have felt like forever on an elevator with a man she doesn't really know and her skirt down by her ankles. The word "awkward" doesn't even begin to describe how that must have been.
14 As A Kid, This WOULD Be Embarrassing
"When I was younger, I grew my hair out longer and didn't really do anything with it. Because of this, and my name, I would get mistaken for a girl when people first meet me and/or at public spaces. One time, my family and I went out to lunch when I was, say, maybe 8. We go to this local place, somewhere that we haven't been before, though. At one point, I have to go use the bathroom. Ask my dad where it is, he points to it as we were pretty close, and I go wait outside of it (they were single-person bathroom). About 30 seconds after, some big old guy (maybe 50s) comes up and stands behind me, to stand in line for the bathroom."
"A few seconds later, he taps me on the shoulder and says to me 'this is the boy's bathroom. The girls' is over there.'"
"My dad saw/heard him say this and told him that I was a guy. I wanted to die."
If this is the worst thing to ever have happened to XTheAddy, then theirs is truly a blessed life. As a child, it would be horrible but as an adult, looking back on the situation should be a laughing matter. At least it wasn't too bad!
13 Lesson Learned
"I was deathly afraid of public speaking in high school. When I had to give a speech in front of the class, my legs would shake and I would sweat profusely every time. We had to give oral book reports to the whole class in my senior English class. I'm sitting in my chair, legs crossed, sweating with anticipation, when the teacher calls my name, '[fantacyfan], you're up.' I let out a deep breath and go to stand up. I forget to uncross my legs, so I trip."
"But I don't just trip, I stumble."
"I try to regain my balance, but instead, I pick up speed. I tumble for about 10 feet before I finally fall. I get up as the whole class stares at me. I slowly walk up to the front of the class and say, 'well, the speech can't get any worse now.' That moment helped me overcome my fear of public speaking though. Since then, I've given multiple speeches in front of large crowds with no problem." - fantacyfan
Even the best of us have fallen in front of a live audience, just think of Jennifer Lawrence a few years ago! No one holds it against her, and no one will hold it against fantacyfan either. Thankfully, he found a way to turn lemons into lemonade and can deliver speeches just fine now.
12 Why Do Men Do This!?
"I once asked a woman in an elevator when she was expecting? 'Expecting what?,' she said. Stood frozen and silent until I got off."
No, no, no, no, NO! Men! No! How many times do you need to hear horror stories where a man asks a woman when she's due, only to create an embarrassing situation? If she said she was pregnant, you can ask. If she rubs her belly and mentions she can't wait until her unborn child is born, you may ask. If she's just standing there, minding her own business, and you don't know her from Eve, DON'T FREAKING ASK!
When guys ask women when they're due, they're telling women that they look pregnant, which even pregnant women don't like to hear. Guys, seriously, do the right thing. When you see a woman you suspect may be pregnant, just keep your mouth shut or, if you just can't handle being quiet, say hello, ask how her day has been, etc. Don't try to assume anything about her and definitely don't stick your foot in your mouth. The nicer women will do what this one did and make you feel like a fool, but some of the meaner ones might tell you off or worse.
11 It Wasn't Her Fault
"I ran into someone I knew from high school at the DMV and talked to him while I was waiting. I got called up and I took care of everything I needed to do before he did. As I was leaving, I told the guy, 'it was cool seeing you, good luck with the wait,' due to the fact that there were 15-20 people in front of him."
"He heard it as, 'good luck with the weight,' which was something he was always sensitive about."
"He looked at me pissed off/confused and said, 'what did you just say to me?' to which I sloppily attempted to explain by saying, 'you know, the wait. there's a bunch of people in front of you,' or something like that. It was very embarrassing."
The guy obviously has some issues with his appearance, which isn't OP's fault, but there was still an awkward situation there. OP was perfectly polite until his old acquaintance threw him off with a confused and angry response. These things happen, but of course, we're all much happier when they happen to someone else. At least in this story, both parties were embarrassed so if they bump into each other again, neither will most probably bring it up.
10 Ladies Only!
"I am in high school, and I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree when it comes to common sense. But I was chosen as a groomsman for my brother's wedding."
"And in this wedding, all of the groomsmen were supposed to escort people to their seats."
"This caught me off guard being the socially awkward person I am. But I thought 'How bad could it be?' People started to show up and I started escorting the girls for obvious reasons. But then a group of all guys came in and walked up to me. I smiled politely and stuck out my arm to escort one of them. He gave me the most weirded out and awkward face ever and walked in. My dad saw that, and he explained to me that we were only supposed to escort women... I had absolutely no idea, and I instantly wanted to die. The other groomsmen were getting the biggest kick out of this, and I just slunk into the most self-disappointed posture I could. I then continued to escort girls with awkward conversations that didn't even hold a [candle] to what had just happened."
To be fair, no one explained what to do and bdog7174 was approached by a group of guys, one of whom walked up to him. It's still really embarrassing but at least there was a good reason for it.
9 It Had To Happen Eventually
"My boyfriend and I had only been together for a couple of months and hadn't gotten past the 'passing gas in front of each other stage'. Which totally sucks for me, because in general, I'm pretty freaking gassy."
"I don't [usually] drink carbonated drinks except [some] occasionally, and one night I happened to consume quite a lot."
"We fell asleep, and I woke my self up because of the herd of animals stampeding noise coming out of my [bottom]. We both jerked our heads up, looked at each other, and fell back asleep."
"My dumb [self] thinks that I need to 'clear the air' and acknowledge the elephant in the room the next morning. I explain to him that I know I farted a grand fart and I'm so sorry, to which he looks at me with a blank stare and asks [what the heck] am I talking about. HE DIDN'T EVEN REMEMBER AND I TOLD ON MYSELF. He still laughs about it to this day. :("
Sometimes when we do embarrassing things, the best course of action is to pretend it never happened. If the other person has any class at all, they won't mention it and the memory can fade into nothingness.
8 But How? Why?
"I was in elementary school talking to my crush... And I just straight up drooled. There was no hiding it. And he goes '... Did you just drool?" And I said 'WOW WHERE DID THAT RAIN COME FROM' and ran away."
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered here. How does one "just straight up drool" while talking to someone? Was OP sucking on a hard candy and a glob just trickled out while she was trying to speak around it? Maybe she had a loose tooth and she had some extra saliva going so she didn't realize she had to swallow before opening her mouth. When it happened, why did she try to blame it on rain then take off? The poor guy was probably confused and her choice to run likely made the situation a million times more awkward.
She could have tried to turn it into a joke or shrug it off, but now she's going to have to look back at that moment with a cringe. Ladies, when a man makes you drool, use it to your advantage and compliment him, don't just run or he'll remember you for all the wrong reasons!
7 Awkies, Indeed
"So I'm a dancer and a dance teacher. One day I was walking to the theatre where I had a performance that evening. I lived about 10 minutes away so I decided not to take out my car and lose my parking spot...I was in my ballet bun, full makeup, and was holding the tutu in my arms....catcalling was a common occurrence, and I loathed it. I used to tell myself, 'okay, the next time I get catcalled I will definitely say something and stand up for myself!'"
"So while I'm walking, a car suddenly stops beside me and suddenly a stranger shouts out, 'Hey lady! Want a lift?'"
"This was my moment, I thought, 'you, sir, messed with the wrong girl.'"
"I summed up all my courage and yelled back 'Keep driving, [loser]!'"
"Filled with pride and relief, I continued to walk along until, the car that stopped continued to drive past me, and that was when my sense of pride suddenly turned into dread and horrible embarrassment. The guy who yelled at me was the FATHER OF ONE OF MY YOUNG STUDENTS who was also on the way to the theatre. Anyway, I wanted to die over and over again. I got to the theatre, apologized profusely to the student, that wasn't enough. Then the next time I saw the dad at the school I apologized profusely to him, but that still wasn't enough. It will never be enough. I actually explained...and he actually laughed it off and thought it was pretty funny..."
6 The Memory Lives On
"Oh god, I remembered it again. I must have been in third grade. Some girls at my little group of desks were talking about highlights. Being a small child, I thought they were talking about highlights magazine. I mentioned that I was also a fan. They were like '...You? Get highlights?' They were talking about highlights for your hair."
"I mumbled that I thought they meant something else and resolutely stared at my pencils."
"I'm 24 years old and I still want to die every time I remember that." - CoolTom
It was a simple mistake, but CoolTom definitely learned never to eavesdrop on conversations then try to jump in! To be fair, third graders read and enjoy Highlights magazines, but he really should have asked if that's what they were talking about. It would have been less intrusive and he might have been able to join their conversation normally. Unfortunately, he created an awkward situation instead. With any luck, he'll find a way to release this embarrassing moment because there's no way those girls look back to their elementary school day and think, "Man, CoolTom was really weird that one time he thought we were talking about the magazine!" Let it go, CoolTom, let it go.
"I was 10 years old. [It was a] hot summer day. Neighbor kid had the extra long slip n' slide going in the front yard. All the kids from the neighborhood were there including this girl I REALLY had a crush on. I thought, here's my chance... I got a running start from the far end of the yard. I summoned my inner Usain Bolt and obtained maximum 10-year-old cheetah speed. Approaching the start of the slip n' slide, I jump. I achieved the most majestic Superman status jump. [I had my] arms out in front of me, my body [was] perfectly horizontal. It was beautiful."
"When I landed, my shorts stayed at the start of the slip n' slide while my flailing, helpless body slid and slid and slid. I had to cover [myself] up and duck waddle back to [retrieve] my shorts. Through the belly laughs of every kid there (including the girls), I think I actually heard a piece of my soul die. I ran home."
"This has scarred me for life."
"Whenever I see a slip n slide, or a pretty girl, I feel like that little boy without his shorts, endlessly sliding, [exposed] and afraid." - vigilantepro
4 *Crying So Hard*
"I told this story before, but it is something I still cringe about. When I was I was in high school and I was out on a date with this girl that I really liked. We went to the zoo and then grabbed some food afterward. We were both having a great time, but then we had to split up in order to get our trains that were going in the opposite direction."
"I awkwardly tried to lean in for a kiss, while she went in to hug me, and I ended up headbutting her in the face and her nose started bleeding."
"I was so embarrassed I had no idea what to do, so I just asked, "Are you okay," and when she said, 'I think so' I just awkwardly waved goodbye and ran into the train station."
Let's hope he at least called her later to apologize! Did he? Did she forgive him? What happened here? The situation makes for a good laugh after the fact, but at the moment she was probably miserable and just as embarrassed as he was. What made matters worse was when -eDgAR- ran off without helping her in any way. Guys, when you accidentally headbutt your date, at least offer to escort her to a nearby restroom.
"Me asking a girl out in high school. She thought I meant 'go out sometime'. I meant 'can we be boyfriend and girlfriend'. She says yes. I lean in for kiss thinking we are an item now, she screams and runs away."
"Still makes me scream at the top of my lungs once in a while when I am alone."
When you want to be exclusive, you need to tell your crush straight up what you're thinking. If gedankengonewrong literally said, "Do you want to go out with me?" then there's plenty of room for confusion on the girl's part. Another thing gedankengonewrong learned the hard way is just because you're dating someone, you shouldn't assume they're willing to kiss you right away. Some people do this and that's fine, but read your partner first! She probably didn't mean to scream to make him feel bad, she was likely surprised and responded automatically.
What makes this particularly awful for gedankengonewrong is that he's still so affected by the incident that he has to scream in embarrassment and frustration every now and then while he's alone. Cheer up, gedankengonewrong. You'll never make the same mistake again, so gather up your courage and ask someone out on a date!
2 What A Gas!
"Eighth grade dance. I ask an out of my league girl to go, and she said yes. So we're there, having fun, when I feel the biggest fart rumble in my guts. Mentally, I froze up and couldn't think of a decent excuse to get away from her for a moment."
"So I decide I can probably hold it in for a little while. Silly me."
"Once I realize this won't work, I mumble something and start quick walking out of the gym towards the bathroom. She's right next to me, in lockstep. My brain is in full panic because I'm doing all I can to hold in this massive fart while still trying to look and act normal. I'm walking faster. Then it happens. I take one step a little long, and sure enough, the horn section rises up and says hello. (I mean my [bottom], there was no actual horn section). And then every step after. Step. Fart. Step. Fart. Step. Fart. But fast steps and loud fast farts between each one. After the first, she said my name loudly. After like the third fart, she just looked at me in shock. After about the 30th step and it's coordinating fart, I am near the bathroom door and look back to see her and some other girls dying laughing. While I was in the bathroom I contemplated climbing out a window..."
1 Ultimate Shame
"Weight training in high school (an elective) and they have quarterly tests to judge if your max has increased. In addition to the normal free weights they also tested on decline sit-ups. How many sit-ups you can do in 30 seconds IIRC."
"Everyone sits around and watches while the coach pulls the decline sit-up benches to the front and calls everyone up to test individually. Halfway through my test, I let loose a huge fart. This class is mostly guys but it’s got maybe 4 girls (2 of whom I have mild crushes on)."
"Everyone laughs, I laugh and get bright red, even coach laughs but hushes everyone and waves me to keep going."
"I proceed to fart every sit up. The entire class laughs less and less until they all obviously start to feel uncomfortable for me while I fart accompanied by coach’s counting. I can’t stop. This continues for at least another 15 sit-ups before I reach the bare minimum to show progress and quit early."
Farting in public is always really embarrassing, but poor ImKindaBoring couldn't stop and things went from funny to awkward, to downright pitiful really fast. On the upside, no one will have the bad taste of mentioning it to him in the future, but the downside, of course, is that it happened at all.