The following AskReddit threads explore the "cringiest" moments users have had to sit through or hide their faces during.
Source list available at the end.
I was at an assessment center today for a potential job interview. It started with sixteen of us, and they informed us that they'd be removing some candidates because they didn't have time to interview all sixteen of us.
I sat down next to this girl. There's six of us sitting at the table breaking the ice. We all gel pretty well, which made the process a lot more relaxing. Conversation is flowing, and we start doing the group exercises after about 10 minutes of chatting. After these exercises, we were given 3 written tests to complete. After we had finished, the interviewers left the room to discuss who would be moving on.
I must have misheard someone at some point because I thought they said that they were removing 5 people and leaving 11 to interview. This is where the cringe happens.
One interviewer walks in and says, "Can the following people please come with me" and proceeded to read out eleven names, none of them being mine. So, five people were left seated. I assumed we were the ones being kicked out and that they'd tell us all together instead of embarrassing us by reading our names out one by one to do the walk of shame.
The girl next to me stands up and I shout, "Congratulations!"
Everyone just looked at me with such dread. The one guy I got along particularly well with burst out laughing, which didn't help the situation. The unsuccessful candidates just stayed silent and sadly left the room. Thankfully, the interviewer saw the funny side to it and had a good giggle when he got back in.
I was mortified and probably won't sleep tonight.
My girlfriend's parents live in Tennessee, and my girlfriend lives in New Jersey/New York with me. She had just graduated from NYU, so both her parents came up to spend a week with us.
They had been buying us dinners the whole time (they're fairly well off and were broke grad students). So one day we said, "No, let us take you guys out for dinner." Just to show some appreciation.
My girlfriend picked out this spot that she always passed by, and we went in. Should've checked Yelp first because they consistently had bad reviews. Oh well.
Immediately, we notice the sky rocket prices, even for Brooklyn. Then, the owner comes over and doesn't speak much English, but tries to sell us on some cheap beer they had for $9 a can (yeah, a can, not tap or bottled). We say, "No, thank you" about three or four times. He then leaves a few cans on the table and mutters something. Due to his accent, I thought he meant he was giving them to us free of charge.
Later, the waitress comes and I, noticing the high prices, asks for a water. Out comes two bottles of sparkling water. Oh boy. Naively, I hoped they were free.
She then asks my girlfriend if she'd like a side of something with her sandwich. We assumed it was included with the meal. Nope.
Getting the gist of things? NOTHING was free. Everything totaled over $120 for four people to have sandwiches and water for dinner. I continued to offer to pay. Just trying to put on a good show.
I was rightfully pissed. I also worked in the food industry, so I try to always leave a really good tip because I know that's how they make their money. However, I felt like the waitress and the owner had duped us multiple times with the pricings, so I only left a $8 tip on a $120 bill. Still something.
Her parents know nothing. They enjoyed the meal.
Five minutes later, the waitress comes out, almost in tears and goes, "Excuse me, I think I did a wonderful job today, and I just wanted to know why you left such a small tip on my bill." Then, the owner comes out and starts getting on me too. I had to sit there and explain how I didn't expect all of the charges we got. I never asked so it was partially my fault, but they never told us either.
I had to sit there and rattle off what charges I didn't expect, sitting with my girlfriend's parents while I get berated by this owner and waitress. My girlfriend's parents ended up just giving her a $20 bill to make amends, and I felt like the biggest cheap stake on the planet. I couldn't even look at her parents.
She claims they told her how proud they were of me for sticking up for myself, but I don't believe her.
Got my haircut yesterday from a cute hairdresser. She asked me where I worked. After I finished telling her, I asked, "What about you?"
This morning I was heading to class and walking behind a guy from my Calc class named Mike. We have to descend a small staircase that leads down to the ground floor of a building before we can actually get to the buildings with classrooms.
While we're about halfway down the staircase, we catch up to a group of three - two girls and a guy - and Mike recognize the guy of the group as one of his teammates from baseball, David. To get his attention and say hi, Mike goes to kick his backpack.
Then, everything happens.
When Mike is halfway through the kick, his foot that is still on the ground slips out from behind him and he falls forward with no control over where he's going. Now, since he was trying to get his teammate's attention, he shouted "Hey, David!" In reaction to this, the kid turns around, only to get kicked in the chest by Mike, and fly down the remaining stairs. As it turns out, David was carrying the group's coffee and his laptop.
The coffee completely soaks David, his laptop smashes to the ground, which results in the case practically cracking in half and, the icing on the cake, David's glasses fly off and are completely obliterated when Mike lands on them.
At this point, everyone on the stairs, including myself have stopped and are staring at the scene unfolding in front of us. David is crying and writhing on the ground in pain, trying to get the hot coffee off of him, and trying to figure out what's going on while Mike gets up in a panic and starts to apologize. Suddenly, Mike stops dead in his tracks and all color drains from his face. He stammers for a bit and finally gets out, "You're not David".
HE KICKED THE WRONG PERSON DOWN THE STAIRS.
The two girls that were walking with "David" start yelling at Mike in Spanish (it turns out they barely spoke English). David is starting to get up, but he is still crying. A campus police officer is running over after hearing the yelling, and poor Mike is still standing there trying to explain why he just kicked a foreign kid down the stairs.
And, that's where I left them. Mike was not in Calculus.
I was on LinkedIn the other day and received an invitation to connect with a girl I honestly haven't spoken to since my freshman year of college. So, way back when I was a freshman, I walked into my first college class of Psychology. On my way there, there was a really good looking girl with red hair that kept staring back at me before we entered the classroom. So, me being the cool guy I totally thought I was, I go all the way to the back. She follows and sits right next to me. We exchange pleasantries and whatnot. The class starts. All throughout my life, I was told by my friends that being a prick to girls works like a charm. So, I'm thinking of ways to be a total jerk to her. She finally takes out her glasses to take notes. I blurt out to her, "Four-eyes." No response. I say again, "Four-eyes heh." She puts her pencil down, and she says with full conviction, "Stop, that's not funny." I wanted to go crawl in a hole and die. Weirdly enough, she sat next to me the whole semester. Lexi, I'm so sorry. I swear I've worked on my manners since then.
I'm actually still considering handing in my notice over a year later because of this cringy moment. For anonymity sake, let's pretend my name is Rachel. I work as a program coordinator.
On my first day of work, my apprentice was introducing me to all my colleagues. I work in a VERY large organization, with nearly 800 people, so it's a big place. I'm pretty hyped up because it's my first day.
She walks me down to the coffee shop, and there are three women at the counter. They turn around and she says, "Oh everyone, this is Rachel, our new program coordinator!"
One of the women, the closest to me, says, "Oh, you're Rachel!" and extends her hand, presumably, for a handshake.
Here's where my social awkwardness kicked in. The woman was so friendly and stepped toward me, I just assumed... I don't know why... that she was stepping in for a hug. I nervously stepped toward her and embraced her firmly in my arms, holding her for definitely more than one second (I didn't want to reject someone on my first day).
As I pulled away, my apprentice looked on in complete disbelief, horror, and a touch of joy and said, "This is Martha..."
I knew Martha by name. She was basically second in command in the company and in the Senior Leadership Team, and I had hugged her. At this point, everyone was staring at me with utter disgust.
Not knowing what to do, or how to save myself, I looked at the woman standing next to her and said in my most serious voice without missing a beat, "Sorry, did you want a hug too?" I did not know that this woman was also on the Senior Leadership Team and that I'd also be reporting to her on a daily basis.
She responded with an even more disgusted look on her face, "Er, no thank you" and they all walked out. I wanted to disappear and, to make matters worse, my apprentice told everyone about it when we got back up to our office.
When I was a kid, maybe 15 years ago, my mother took me to get my first eye exam. I remember the doctor handing me this small paddle used to cover one eye while I read the letters of the wall. For some reason, I thought I was supposed to look through this solid paddle somehow. She's watching me cover one eye, close the other, and start straining to see. I give up and tell her I can't read any of it.
She tells me I keep closing my eye and that I'm not even trying. So I do it again, exactly the same as before, and give up again. This is when I tell her I only see the black paddle. She laughs at me and tells me I'm supposed to use the uncovered eye for the test.
When I was in college and was seeing this guy. We had been hanging out a lot and things were starting to get heated between us. We went to a recital, and I got all dolled up. I wore a really sexy 'take me to bed' dress. I was feeling good.
We're sitting in the recital hall as it was about to start. The audience was slowly quieting down, and I thought it would be the perfect time to let him know what I wanted to do with him after
I lean in and whispered "Want to know a secret? I'm not wearing any underwear". He quickly exclaims "EW", and everyone around us turned and stared.
Needless to say, I didn't go home with him that night.
We dated a while actually. He's a sweet guy. Just clueless.
Walking to my dorm from the subway one particularly frigid Connecticut night (-5 windchill). It was around 2 AM and it was so cold that I was physically in pain so I broke out into a sprint to get the blood flowing and get to my dorm faster. I was walking on the sidewalk near the main road, and I was under the impression that I was completely alone. Suddenly, Johnny Bravo's catchphrase "HU HA HUH, man I'm pretty!" popped into my head and I started belting it at the top of my lungs in the best Johnny Bravo voice I could muster. So, I'm sprinting as fast as I can, yelling Johnny Bravo's catchphrase, cracking myself up in the process (your standard stuff really), when I look up and lock eyes with the puzzled face of my (former) crush. I kept sprinting past her. It took me a second to register who she was. Normally, something like that would have induced a massive cringe, but it was so absurd that I just started dying of laughter. Needless to say, she hasn't talked to me since.
This was actually a couple of years ago, but back then, there wasn't internet at my place to upload this story, so I'm going to post it on here. I was at a friend's house, in the living room, and he had to go out the room and do some errands. I was an awkward social outcast back then I did not have much social interaction with others (this "friend" was one too, we just hung out one time). I was sitting in the living room bored out of my mind, but his big brother was there on the computer. I sat in silence for a while, then his big brother started asking, "Hey, how are you?" I replied back. It kept going like this. He asked a lot of question, and I replied back politely and thought we had a good conversation going on. But his reactions to my answers were a bit out of time sometimes. I wasn't looking at him when we were talking (mind social outcast). Then, mid-conversation, my friend came back and just looked really confused. He then asked me, "Do you realize my brother is talking on TeamSpeak?"
I decided to go one weekend because I felt like I hadn't visited them in a while. They're very classy and, as such, expect classy greetings. I am from a place that doesn't require such formal exchange (small rural area), so I'm not quite adept with greetings.
So, I walk into my girlfriend's house and her mom comes downstairs to greet us. She says "Hi" to my girlfriend and proceeds to go in for a hug. Now, when we usually hug, we exchange kisses on the cheeks, then back out. But this time, she just went in for the full hug, leaving me stuck in a bind, wondering whether or not to kiss her cheek. Alas, I decided to go for it and ended up kissing the SIDE of her head. And then, I said one of the craziest things I've ever said.
After kissing the side of her head (covered with hair, basically like kissing someone on the top of her head), I proceeded to say, "Mmm your hair smells great! It smells just like girlfriends names body!". Then, I flashed her this toothy grin totally expecting her to smile back.
My girlfriend and her mom just stood there for what felt like a good minute or two, wondering what the heck was wrong with my brain. We slowly shifted into the house and I decided to take a break from life and sit on the couch. My girlfriend came over and said, "Well, that was the most awkward thing I've ever seen." I can't say she's wrong.
This was some serious second-hand cringe. My girlfriend and I were in our school library, studying in these cubicle-like desks (centered around a column) so that we could minimize distractions while still being able to talk to each other.
My girlfriend and I were pretty deep into studying and hadn't spoken for a little bit. In that time, I notice this unfortunate-looking guy with an anime backpack sit down at the desk next to her and didn't think much of it. About 10 minutes after, he sat down. This guy still hadn't even unpacked a laptop or a textbook. He was just sitting there, backpack on his shoulder, looking anxious. We soon found out why.
The guy taps my girlfriend's shoulder and says, "Hi, my name is [whatever his name was], and I find you very attractive. I was wondering if you wanted to get dinner with me sometime." He had quite apparently been building up the courage to do this for the past 10 minutes. My girlfriend's face immediately goes red, and she says "Uhm, I don't think my boyfriend would be okay with that...." and quickly turns to me for help.
Now, I've been there before. Maybe not quite the same situation, but I know the pain of an awkward rejection. So, instead of being a jerk about it, I kind of just looked at him briefly and go back to my work hoping he'd just leave without inducing further awkwardness. But then, the guy just books it. He seriously jumps out of his seat and runs away like he had been planning it all. I still cringe whenever I think of how awkward that situation was for all three of us. If only he had asked someone else.
Okay, this just happened. I ordered at Starbucks and got my usual venti iced coffee light milk. I had my card out, ready to swipe, and the barista said, "It'll be $3.19." So, I look at the screen and ask, "Am I good to swipe?" to avoid the awkward early swipe. At this point, she says, "No! You just stick it in!" and I say, "Nobody ever asks me to do that!" Instant cringe. I got the awkward pity chuckle and realized what I said. I tried to redeem myself with, "Yeah, nobody ever tells you to use the chip readers. Everyone has one, but nobody actually uses them!" Another pity chuckle. My coffee tastes like tears now.
Last weekend I was visiting my parents for Thanksgiving. I came across my senior year high school yearbook, and I remembered this story that makes me cringe.
Most of the graduating seniors took a trip to Disneyland at the end of the year. At the start of the 6-7 hour bus ride, we were given our yearbooks. Naturally, people were passing them around and signing them. At some point early on, I gave mine to my long-time high school crush.
As a bit of background information, I had liked her for years and, at one point, she liked me too. I could probably tell lots of cringeworthy stories about my failures to respond to the obvious signs that she liked me, but this isn't about those. By senior year any romantic feelings she held towards me were dead, but I held onto the hope that she still had them.
Anyways, we exchanged yearbooks. I wrote a short, pretty standard yearbook message and turned around to give hers back. She had her head down and it looked like she was still writing. I decided to wait until she was done, but she kept going.
At this point, I decided that my message wasn't sufficient anymore. Obviously, she was using my yearbook to finally confess her love for me! I had to do the same! I had this big adrenaline rush, and I just started writing and didn't stop until I had written this rambling two-page long essay about how much I liked her, and how it was so wrong that we had "drifted apart", etc. I looked back, she still looked occupied, but I was satisfied with my work. The anticipation of reading her message to me was killing me.
It was taking her a really long time, so I finally just interrupted her writing and handed her back her yearbook, still giddy from finally pouring out my feelings for her. She said something like, "Oh sorry, I forgot to give this back!" and pulled my yearbook out from under a pile of other people's yearbooks. It then hit me that she hadn't been writing in mine the whole time. I was just one of many, forgotten under a stack of a bunch of other people's yearbooks that she was also signing. I had a sinking feeling as I sat back down in my seat and opened my yearbook. Sure enough, she had just written something like: "Have a great summer!"
I sunk down into my seat and pretended to be asleep for the next five hours, and then did my best to avoid her the rest of the trip. I know she read it, so most likely she was doing the same to me. I don't know what I was thinking. She never brought it up to me, but man do I cringe when I think about that message.
We went to see Rogue One tonight, and we sat in the back row. An old man, a younger man, and a woman sit in front of us. As soon as they do, they set up a machine that looks a lot like a phone on a tripod. My step dad thinks they are trying to film the movie. He asks them, in a stern tone, to put the device away, but he is ignored. He then asks a second time, leaning in towards them as he does. Again, he gets no response. Finally, he begins to punch the back of the older man's chair. The old man jumps in a panic and seems to mumble something quietly to my step dad. He then leans back into his seat quietly. When I ask him what had happened, he whispers, "They are deaf." It turns out the machine was some sort of subtitle generator. I thought I was going to puke I was so embarrassed. The movie was an 8 out of 10.
I photograph weddings, social events, and other things throughout the year. I'm not new to this and have a set routine for how I work, from the morning getting ready right through to the first dance and saying goodbyes. You, no doubt, end up making some new friends there anyway so it's only polite.
Anyway, at this one wedding, I'm packing my things up and go to say bye to the bride and groom. Pretty much 100% of the time the bride gives me a hug and/or a kiss on the cheek. This time was no different. I'd then give the groom a firm handshake and confirm expectations for a delivery date for the images and so on.
On this occasion, though, I don't know what hit me. Instead of a handshake, I went in and kissed him on the cheek. The moment I knew something was off was when I was within bro-hug distance and he just paused for a split second.
The point of no return, right? What's the worst that could happen?
The groom steps back, I step back. I'm used to handling groups of people, but here I don't know what to say. So, I say the first thing that comes to mind, "Oh you didn't want a kiss??".
The bride laughed out in sheer amusement, which helped diffuse the situation somewhat as we all then laughed together.
The friend that is sitting next to me isn't really paying attention to the class, so I decide that while the class is completely silent and everybody is concentrated (great plan), I will move my chair all the way across the room to sit next to her.
Everyone was giggling, and she was definitely embarrassed. She practically hasn't spoken to me since.
I'm so sad.
For a while, my friend had begun screenshotting and collecting all of the revealing pictures of girls from school off of Facebook that he could get his hands on. He foolishly allowed someone to borrow his phone for one reason or another during class.
Then, all the sudden the guy he lent the phone to starts laughing and yelling to other people to come look at the phone. He revealed to everyone in class this massive collection of girls in bikini and yoga pants pictures that my friend had acquired through cyber stalking. Obviously, this event spread very quickly through the grapevine, and soon everyone knew what had happened. Eventually, it blew over but I don't think he will ever forget that day.
I was in the pub on Saturday night, and a local man was having a 70th birthday party. Hes the ex-principal of the local school and very popular as he is still very active in the community. My uncle, who is now almost a stranger to me, arrived at the pub totally unexpected. Now, hed be distant to me, but for the guy who's birthday it was, they are friends.
He was carrying a huge present wrapped really well with a big bow on it. The pub was full by the time he walked in, so everyone saw this huge present, and they were impressed and intrigued to find out what it was. Anyway, an hour or so goes by, and I see my uncle having a word in the ear of the band (asking if he could use the mic). So, after the current song finishes, my uncle takes the mic and asks for everyone's attention.
The cringe kind of starts now because he jumped the gun on the family as they obviously planned to bring out a cake at some stage and you could see the guys kids clambering to get the cake ready earlier than expected. So, my uncle asks for the guy to come up to the front where he tells a few stories about their past and there are a few chuckles. My uncle then starts talking about the big present he got for him. He says, I see you were all staring at the big gift I got. It will be the best present youve ever got." When he started talking it up like that, I knew it was going to be some sort of a joke present. Being related, I was feeling quite embarrassed.
Things got seriously cringy from here on out. He gave the present to him, and as he unwrapped it a smaller box was in the bigger box, which was also wrapped. He unwrapped that, same thing. OH GOSH NO, the place was quiet. To be fair, the first unwrapping got a laugh, but by the time he was unwrapping the 5th box, you could feel the cringe in the air. The birthday boy was getting seriously fed up and my uncle was forcing a smile. You could tell that my uncle thought this was going to be hilarious, but in reality, it was unfunny, socially awkward, and very painful to watch.
By the end of it all, he had to unwrap seven boxes, and what was in the last box? A bottle of Viagra.
The whole crowd just about mustered a giggle, but you could sense that his family was not impressed, and the gift was actually a little inappropriate. Also, everyone was kind of expecting my uncle to pull out a "real gift" after the joke gift, but in those uber cringy few
My uncle was gone 30mins later.
Earlier today, I was with my summer camp group at the mall, and we were walking back to the parking lot when I thought it would be super hilarious to run "anime ninja style" back to our bus. When I was done chuckling, I made it back to our group. Nobody laughed. They all kind of just looked at me weird.
About 8 years ago, I was in a distance relationship with my girlfriend of the time, and I was in the process of starting a business. I was desperate for investments. My girlfriend was completely sold on the idea and suggested I ask her father to invest. She proposed I drive the four hours to have dinner with her family and to bring it up to her dad afterwards (she wouldn't be there because she lived on the other side of the country). So, she called up her mom to set up the dinner and told her I had "something important to discuss" with her dad afterwards. She told me they seemed excited to have me there and offered for me to stay the night as well.
When I arrived for dinner, business prospectus in hand, I knew right away that something was off. Her mom, dad, and two sisters were all dressed up and her mom had cooked a very nice meal served on china. I noticed during the dinner that the sisters kept glancing at each other and smiling. They spent a lot of time asking me questions about my life and about my relationship with my girlfriend.
By the end of the dinner, it became apparent that they all thought I was there to ask for permission to marry my girlfriend. When I realized this, I was instantly filled with dread. I nervously clutched the prospectus in my hands under the table suddenly realizing how awkward the rest of this visit would be. Before I could really consider what to do next, the mom and sisters began clearing the table and the father promptly stood up and invited me to the den. He was a tall, intimidating man with a glass eye. He had this old man strength forged with decades of blue-collar labor. I grabbed the prospectus from under the table and held it tightly to my side while trembling a bit. As we walked to the den, he noticed I looked nervous and he put his hand on my shoulder while flashing a warm smile.
I sat down on the couch, and he sat on the lazy-boy facing me. "So, what is it you wanted to talk to me about?" I looked down and became silent for a few moments. I finally gathered some strength, swallowed, and replied, "I'm starting a business... and... uh... was hoping you'd be interested in investing." I took the now, folded and crinkled, prospectus and handed to him. As stared at the paper, his face went from happy to confused in an instant. He suddenly became silent and uncomfortable. We both spent about ten seconds or so in silence, fidgeting in our seats.
Needless to say, he didn't listen to my pitch and went to bed. I still cringe about that moment to this day.
In my second semester of college, I was taking college algebra. Now, math is not my strong suit, but I did well enough and was pulling B's for most quizzes and tests. There was this gorgeous girl that sat in front of me in class, and over time we made small talk. She was really struggling in this class. One of her tests was a 37/100 or something. On one of the last tests, I remember her turning the pages of the test without bubbling in any answers, and then she put her head down and started crying silently. I felt so bad for her. I decided to write down all the test answers on some scrap paper, bundle it up into a little ball, and pass it to her. The look on her face as she mouthed thank you and wiped away her tears was angelic.
A week later, we got our tests back, and I had bombed the test receiving something in the 40's. My stomach sank. I saw the girl look at her brand new F and the cringe I had to endure for the rest of that class was excruciating. Thankfully, she dropped the class shortly after, so it wasnt for too much longer. We never spoke again.
When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.