People Share Their Public Bathroom Horror Stories
We’ve all experienced embarrassment or disgust, at some point in life. And sometimes when that happens, the memories can be a little too hard to forget, especially when those moments were meant to be private. When there are witnesses, dealing with bathroom issues can become very awkward… very quickly. Public bathrooms are not a place anyone would want to hang out- but when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go.
Thankfully, a lot of people are taught manners at a young age regarding how to use the toilet properly. Unfortunately, in some cases, many seem to have forgotten, or foregone this training, especially when it comes to using public bathrooms. Here are stories from the poor souls who’ve had to do the dirty work of cleaning up, or the innocent passerby’s who’ve had to endure the horror of what they unintentionally got to witness…
Well, Hello There
I was in a stall minding my own business when suddenly I felt a little hand start petting my foot. I have a tattoo of a dragonfly on it, and apparently, the toddler in a stall with his mother felt the need to touch it. I heard his little voice say, “Oh, so pretty,” and the mom just started laughing.
All of a sudden, the toddler’s face was in my stall while he was lying on the disgusting bathroom floor, and he started talking to me. I had no idea what to do. I mean, what do you do with a random kid watching you go to the bathroom? Needless to say, it was quite awkward, and funny all at the same time. Reddit User: Cassandra Reuscher
Wipe My Butt Please
We were out to eat when my little sister had to use the restroom. My parents asked me, a 10-year-old, to take her to the restroom. I went with her and waited outside the stall while she did her business. She started pooping really loudly, and I was terribly embarrassed because women were coming in and out of the restroom.
After my sister was done, she started yelling, “Wipe my butt!” At ten years old, I was not about to start wiping butts, so I said she had to wait until my mom came in to check on us. We waited for what seemed like an hour while my sister continued to yell, “Wipe my butt!”’ It was a genuinely scarring experience. Reddit User: Lucy Gaudiano
One time in high school, I ate something that upset my stomach a lot, and I could feel the runs coming on. I was just about to do my business in the girls’ bathroom, when another girl walked in and started changing clothes in the stall next to me. I decided that I couldn’t hold it anymore, and finally unleashed my liquid doo, and it was embarrassingly noisy.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the toilet clogged and overflowed, going from my own stall to the floor of the stall next to me. The girl screamed, picked up her clothes, and ran. I was frozen in the stall for a good 30 minutes, too embarrassed to move. Luckily, she never saw my face, so she doesn’t know who was in the stall next to her. Reddit User: Katiel4d499761a
Mind Your Own Business
I went into a bathroom and was squatting to do my business, when I heard a woman in front of my stall door scream, “Why don’t you sit?!” I looked up, and there was a girl staring at me through the crack in the door. By the time I was finally done and getting ready to wipe myself, I was losing my temper.
I felt embarrassed because I needed to wipe, but I didn’t want to do it with her watching. Suddenly, she started trying to open the door, saying, “Let me in! You need to sit!” Finally, I had had enough, and I yell back, “It is not your business! Go away!” The girl’s mother got mad about me yelling at her daughter, and pulled the girl away. I finally finished up, and washed my hands as the mother glared, and the daughter mumbled, “She doesn’t sit!” Reddit User: Claudia Hawkins
Double Check The Lock
When I was 12 years old, my peers and I went on a school trip. Our bus had a tiny toilet, and I had to use it. I thought I locked the door, but as I was doing my business, the bus hit a bump and the door flew open, and, of course, sitting in the back near the bathroom were the cool boys of the year.
I slammed the door shut and did not let go even as I was washing my hands one at a time, and it took me a good 10 minutes of talking myself up to exit and go back to my seat. Of course, those cool 12-year-old boys didn’t keep their mouths shut about it. I heard about it for a while after that. Reddit User: Mandy C
Too Afraid To Ask
I was in kindergarten when this happened. My teacher was very strict and scary, and I remembered none of us ever had the courage to ask her if we could go to the toilet. But that day, I was having this really bad stomach ache, and I was still too afraid to ask. So five year old me at that time thought it would be no big deal to just…go.
I thought nobody would smell it, so I pooped in my pants. Needless to say, my mum had to pick me up in class five minutes later, and they had to move class because the cleaners were cleaning up my mess. It was embarrassing, and now I can somewhat laugh about it. I do hope, though, that no one else remembers it. Reddit User: Diyanahj
Can’t Always Trust A Fart
I was Black Friday shopping with my mom in a mall, running on a two-hour nap and a cup of coffee. We’re walking through the mall when I suddenly realized that severe sleep deprivation and coffee don’t mix well when I haven’t eaten anything. I felt an awful pain in my intestines and tried to hold in a fart.
I stopped in the middle of the hall and felt the horror start to seep out, literally. I turned completely white to the point where my mom got worried, and all I could say was that I needed a bathroom now. The closest store was Best Buy, so I had to finish my business and clean myself up while my mom went and bought a new pair of underwear for me somewhere else. Reddit User: E49956a651
In Need Of A Plunger
I was at school one day and was in between classes. There was a nice bathroom in one of the buildings that I liked to use. I went in thinking it was going to be a normal poop, but ended up having a really long, disgusting one. I didn’t want anyone hearing, so I would do this “trick” where if it felt like it was going to be loud, I would pull on the loud toilet paper dispenser.
After doing that for a couple of times, I was finished. I wiped and went to flush the toilet, but I had clogged it. I kept flushing a bunch of times. It was one of the nicer bathrooms, and I could hear people waiting in line for a stall. There were only three stalls. I kept flushing, and it finally unclogged, but it started to overflow. I ended up just running out of the bathroom without washing my hands. Reddit User: Boobummer
Cup To The Rescue
My friend and I were taking a stroll around town, and had stopped at Burger King for frozen Cokes. After that, we went to the park, and I still had my cup from said frozen Coke. Now, dairy screws me up, and earlier, we had ice cream before walking in the heat. Thankfully, the park had a port-a-potty, and I went in and was unable to hold anything back.
Then, I realized there was no toilet paper. Absolutely none. So I sat in the port-a-potty thinking, what the heck can I do? Then I looked to my left and saw my empty Burger King cup. Long story short, I ripped it up and used it as toilet paper, then pumped my hands full of sanitizer. I got lucky with the cup. Reddit User: SureYesOk
On a family vacation to Egypt, we visited the Valley of the Kings to see the tombs. It should’ve been amazing, but I hadn’t felt good all day. Nevertheless, I was not going to miss all the fun. As soon as we got there, little 16-year-old me ran to the bathroom, bypassing the lady giving out toilet paper, rushed into a stall, and exploded.
My sister ended up having to spend like four dollars on toilet paper. I guess you have to pay per square in public restrooms there. Flash forward two hours, we’d finished our tour and were leaving through the lobby, and the toilets had been “closed for maintenance.” I literally broke an Egyptian national monument. No one else knew it was me. Reddit User: Amelia Millward
Still Got To Teach
I am a middle school teacher who has IBS. I know, it’s a wonderful combo. Anyway, one morning I had some coffee, and as I started to feel the need to go, some of my students walked in with some drama. As they were telling me what happened, I felt the cramping start, and wasn’t sure if it would come on or not.
Anyway, I finally excused myself, and as I walked to the bathroom, it started coming out like lava. Oh, and I was wearing a maxi, so there was no chance of stuff being caught and contained. Long story short, I had to use water and Lysol disinfectant to clean myself up because, you know, a teacher’s got to teach. Reddit User: Sarap24
I had been out with my new boyfriend and dropped him off at his apartment. I asked if I could use the bathroom as I was feeling bad. He refused because his roommate was home. He then explained his roommate was his pregnant ex-girlfriend. So on top of the impending poop doom, I get that little piece of info. I left so fast.
Because I was crying and was going to poop my pants, I ended up having the worst bowel movement in a CVS parking lot a block away from this guy’s place, in a snow storm. Poo was everywhere, so I stripped naked, wrapped myself in a blanket I had in the car, left my clothes at the scene, and drove home, windows down, naked, and smelling like defeat, among other things. Reddit User: Megankieliszekm
What A Mess
I was in the middle of an exam at school, when my stomach howled, and cramps seized my lower abdomen. Bolting for the bathroom, I made it to the toilet just in time to let the majority flow out, except for this one hard bit at the end. No matter how hard I pushed, this little poop nugget just wouldn’t come out.
I wiped anyway, and accidentally smeared poop everywhere–all over my hand, the waistband of my pants, and the hem of my shirt. It took half a roll of toilet paper to clean it off my butt and clothes the best I could, and then I had to wash my hands. Having come to check on me because I’d been gone for so long, the teacher walked in to see me hunched over the sink, trying to scrape poop out from under my nails with a pencil. Reddit User: Pks0
Not An Easy Thing To Do
It was years ago, and I was living and interning in India for a Summer, and would usually take train trips to different cities over the weekends. One weekend, I was on an overnight train and was stricken with a terrible case of food poisoning halfway to my destination. I made my way to the bathroom, a squat toilet, on a moving train.
There, I proceeded to have explosive diarrhea while simultaneously vomiting all over the place. Craping and barfing while hovering over a squat toilet on a moving train with many hours to your destination really makes you take inventory of your situation. I have never experienced that level of bathroom-related drama in my entire life. It was the perfect storm. Reddit User: [Redacted]
Didn’t Realize I Wasn’t Alone
I got some heavy diarrhea from some food I ate once. I was in the city with my boyfriend, so I ran to the closest place with a toilet. It was McDonald’s. I got my trousers down, and sat on the toilet right at the last second. I took out my smartphone and texted with my boyfriend while the water spewed out of my butt.
Suddenly I heard a woman’s voice say, “Hey! Hello? Is there someone in here?” Me: “Um, yes.” Her: “Can you help me? I can’t unlock the stall from inside.” Me: “Urgh, wait a minute. I tried to clean myself up as fast as possible. Then I got out and helped her to open her door again. My face was white but also kind of red from the embarrassment. I hate it when others can hear me poop. Reddit User: Lillix3
You Shouldn’t Have Done That
I went to the toilet at a bar while on holiday. When I entered, there were a few drunk girls at the mirror saying, “Oh, I need to fix my make up,” and so on. I went to go pee, and a moment later, a girl stuck her head under my door to say hello to me, and out of true fear and surprise, I kicked her in the face.
She was ready to kill me for that, so I had to stay locked in my stall until she somehow got bored and left, which eventually, she did. Her friends had to drag her out though, and when I got out my stall, one of her friends apologized to me. I mean, it was a total accident. Not my fault. Reddit User: iiS4R4HxXx
Sometimes You Just Need A Helping Hand
I was in a public bathroom at a petrol station just after coming back from an expedition. So I’m in there doing my business, when suddenly I hear a very loud and almost cartoonish old man in the stall next to me say, “Oh, no,” and then proceeds to repeat that over and over again. This happens for a few seconds.
Soon, I hear another comical voice from outside the stall, younger but still old, and very nasally. Anyway, he says, “Clarence, are you okay?” The man in the stall replies, “It’s happening again.” The guy outside replies, “Oh god, open up. I’m coming in,” to which I just continue to hear the two of them saying “Oh god” as an awful smell starts to spread across the bathroom. I then got out as fast as I could. Reddit User: Nerdawon
I was on my way back from a big party in another state with a friend. Stopped at a gas station with a Subway attached, and ate. Immediately, my guts went south. The men’s room was taken, but the ladies’ room was empty. Nobody else was in the place, so I decide to drop dark science in the ladies’ room no problem. I took one of the worst dumps of my life.
It’s no exaggeration; I destroyed that room. Then, I spent a while in there just getting myself back into shape. When I opened the door, there were six women waiting to use it. In a panic, my teenage brain doffed an imaginary hat, and said “Ladies,” and then hightailed it back to my table while whispering, “We have to go.” We jumped in the car and sped away. I feel bad for all those women who had to endure my shame. Reddit User: ProfSkullington
Some People Are Animals
I worked as a park ranger for some time, not too long ago. I worked in maintenance, so our crew had to do everything from landscaping, to janitorial work, and everything in between. Our park was also along a river, and it wasn’t the cleanest river. People would fish, cookout, picnic, go swimming, drink a lot, and leave their trash.
They would even leave some of the most nightmarish scenes in a bathroom than I never wanted to imagine there being–poop on the floor, the partitions, outside of the stall, as if they just flung it everywhere. These people were ruthless savages, to say the least. I have no fear when it comes to cleaning bathrooms anymore. It’s still gross though. Reddit User: hanafrufru
Should’ve Gone Earlier
I was on a plane. As we were boarding, I realized I needed the toilet, but felt I could hold it until we’d taken off because the aisles were busy, and I didn’t want to have to get in people’s way to go to the toilet. Anyway, takeoff took longer than expected, and by that time, I was really clenching.
And then we took off, and it turned out, it’s really hard to hold in a poop while taking off in a plane, and I crapped myself. I made it to the toilet as quickly as I could, and–God help me–it ended up everywhere. I spent ages cleaning up and then had to dispose of my underwear and spend the rest of the flight going commando. Reddit User: lofty888
Watch Your Step
So we were traveling in Vietnam and decided to visit what we thought was a well-known tourist attraction. It turned out to be a very small town that Westerners rarely visited. I needed to use the train station toilet. It was basically a concrete bunker with no lighting. It was also a squat toilet, which is basically a hole in the ground, and was pretty much hidden in the darkness.
I had a splitting headache due to medication. I accidentally walked headfirst into a concrete bulkhead, which was too high to bother locals but perfectly placed for six-foot Westerners. I ended up trotting through human feces and urine into what I believe was the designated hole in the ground. Talk about one of the most disgusting things ever. Reddit User: Bridgeseptember
Once, I went number two, and right after wiping, I looked at the toilet paper because I always look and continue to wipe until the paper is clean. Well, this time, there was a little ball of poop stuck on it, and it fell off the paper onto the floor. There was a person in the stall next to me.
So, I’m sure they could see the poo land on the floor. Immediately I reached down and wiped it off the floor with the paper and prayed to God they didn’t see it. I should’ve stayed in there to hide until they were gone, but I got out to wash my hands, and they did too. They looked at my face, and it was apparent that they, in fact, saw me drop my poo on the floor. Reddit User: JacKeTandJaCkeT
Secure Your Phone First
I was in college. This was in India, where we have squat toilets, prevalent in other Asian countries as well. The bathroom is cruddy, and not well lit, and the toilets themselves look like they are hardly ever cleaned. My phone drops in. My parents are in an entirely different country, so I can’t just buy a new phone whenever I please.
So I picked it up from the hole–it was a deep hole, mind you. The state of this bathroom was so bad that whilst recounting this story to my friends, they always somehow expect me to not put my hand in. Kids, you should always make sure your phones are in a secure place before you use the toilet. Reddit User: Freesiacal
Not Going There
I was about to climb a section of the Great Wall of China, and was desperate to take a crap because the bus ride took about 90 minutes. I’d already been in China for a few weeks, and at this point, already knew that you needed your own toilet paper 90% of the time, and that there are squat toilets in most of the bathrooms.
I was absolutely not at all prepared for what I saw, smelled, and even tasted. There was a literal mound of poop that smelled like the guy who used it before me had bowel cancer or ate something that was decomposing. The smell and shear sight of the crap mound was enough to scare my poop right back into my intestines. Reddit User: FirstNameLastName69
Do What You Gotta Do
I was in China, and I finally had my first bowel movement in four days at a gas station, and forgot that Chinese bathrooms typically don’t stock toilet paper to wipe yourself. I was wearing a miniskirt that day with a thin thong, so I couldn’t just use my underwear to wipe, and I couldn’t bear to use my hands.
So I decided to use the sticky side of a sanitary pad in the small disposal bin to wipe myself with. I was so disgusted by what I had done for the entire day, and even used hand sanitizer to wipe myself down when I got back to the car. I never felt so filthy. Reddit User: Existentialepicure
Eat ‘Til You Puke
I worked part-time at a Golden Corral for a little bit while I was going to school. One of my jobs was to keep the bathrooms clean and stocked throughout the day. One day, I was told that someone had thrown up in the bathroom, and that I needed to clean it. I went into the bathroom, and the stench of bile hit me like a truck….
This person had thrown up before making it, so there was vomit all over the floor and seat of the toilet. Yes, I cleaned it. It was freaking awful, and I almost threw up a couple of times. If you go to a buffet, don’t eat to the point of vomiting, please. Some poor soul will have to clean that stuff up. Reddit User: [Redacted]
Not The Cleanest Place
I decided to take my three-year-old son to Monster Jam at Ford Field in Detroit. I made sure to address a bathroom visit before heading down there. But it didn’t matter, and the kid still needed to drop one mid-event. I took him to the restroom, and the best option was the handicapped stall.
It reminded me of a scene from Saw. The toilet condition was sketchy at best. I “cleaned” as best I could, using copious amounts of toilet paper as he was telling me he couldn’t hold it much longer. I tried to cover every inch of that toilet with layers upon layers of paper. I tried to keep him from actually touching anything. Reddit User: Sellursoul
Going To Be Working Late
I was working a part-time job as a cleaner in the mall, and to my surprise, they really needed help with restroom sanitation. I was about half-done, and only needed to clean the seats in the men’s room. I was told that, when cleaning seats, you need to use a lot of soap and let it sit to take effect on the residue for a minute or two.
I was about done with the last stall, which was close to the door and had soaped it. I then was going over to my cleaning trolley, when all of a sudden, a man came running into the room and apparently really needed to go. The guy took the first stall closest to the door, which was still soaking. I saw the guy slam the stall door, take off his pants, and just when he had sat down, he slipped off the seat, hit the floor, and pooped on the floor, all while yelling and cursing. Needless to say, I had to stay a little longer on the job that day. Reddit User: MCcloud88
A Fair Warning
I was using the facilities in a TJ Maxx on a fine Saturday morning, and someone came in shortly after me and went into the next stall. As I was finishing up, I heard the woman next to me say, “Hey, I’m so sorry, but I have diarrhea, and I have to let it go!” I didn’t quite know how to respond, so I tried to contain my laughter and calmly said, “Go for it.”
I flushed the toilet and began to exit the stall, as I heard the most violent diarrhea come out of this poor woman. I hurried and started washing my hands to give her some alone time, but it didn’t stop. At this point, she was basically crying and exclaiming “Oh, Jesus Christ” after each forcible crap stream.
I got out of there as fast as I could. I felt so sorry for her, and she knew that it was going to be traumatic for both of us, so she apologized before it even happened. Reddit User: FaFarr
Gotta Be Smarter Than That
I was state park camping in Northern Michigan. Old bathrooms, heavy demand, unreliable plumbing fixtures. I had to take a dump, so I headed for stall number three. It was full to the brim with poop, pee, and toilet paper. Stall number one was taken, so I headed into number two, dropped my trousers, and started doing my thing. I saw a pair of feet heading for number three.
Now, any sane person would see the same mess I did, and back away slowly. Not this idiot. He flushed again. I was shocked at first, but then overcome with fear when I heard the water hitting the floor. Sure enough, as he ran back in the other direction, urine, turds, and toilet paper started flowing into my stall. I hollered, “What the heck,” but it was no use. I had to finish pooping in the unorthodox elevated feet position. I spent the rest of the week looking for that man’s shoes, but never found them. Reddit User: esp735
Scary Stall Mate
I was in a stall next to someone, and they were sniffing loudly, and ripping the toilet paper into little quarter-sized pieces, and dropping them on the floor in an erratic way. I think it was someone messed up on some crazy drugs. I was scared, but really had to pee. As soon as I was peeing, the person in the stall stopped moving completely.
They were basically listening to me pee. I ran out without washing my hands, thinking that they were going to burst out of the stall at any second. It was just bizarre, and I never got an explanation. This was at a crowded, regular-seeming sports bar in Albany, New York. I still think about it to this day. Reddit User: Blueta
That’s Not How It Works
I walked into a bathroom at a McDonalds in Downtown Seattle in 1992. This was at the height of the HIV hysteria, and a lot of people weren’t 100% sure how contagious it was or how it spread–especially me, since I was six years old. Well, I walked into the bathroom, and there was a homeless guy in there taking a dump, and he smelled horrible.
I started gagging and dry heaving. I was sure I just caught HIV, because of how fast I was getting sick, and all I knew about HIV at that time was that it made you very sick. That was an awkward conversation with my mom and dad, trying to explain to them that their six-year-old boy just got HIV in the bathroom. It turns out the guy just stunk really bad, and I was an idiot. Reddit User: [Redacted]
Not Sure How To Feel
I’m from the Seattle region, but like most people around here, I don’t frequent Seattle often. I was with my girlfriend, and I had to poop, so we found the nearest bathroom, which was a ways away. I got into the bathroom, and the stalls had huge cut out squares, so if someone was to the right or left of you, they could give you a kiss if they wanted to.
I sat down, and no one was in there at the time. Then comes this Jamaican guy in a super colorful dress who sits in the stall to my left, and we make eye contact as I’m pushing one out. All the while, my girlfriend is outside, and I hear two homeless people screaming on the verge of fighting. So many mixed emotions. Reddit User: Petey33x
Scarred For Life
On a road trip when I was young, maybe seven or eight years old, I really had to go. So I went into the gas station restroom we stopped at. The toilet had obviously not been flushed in quite some time, but that hadn’t stopped many people from putting down their deposits. Anyway, as I said, I really had to go, so I decided I’d flush it.
But I couldn’t wait, so I just sat down right after I flushed it. The toilet bowl full of deposits was too much for the toilet hole, and it started to overflow all over me. Honestly, I don’t remember if I finished or not, but I do remember having to change my clothes right after. I still stunk, and remember my siblings complaining because of how much I stank. And that’s the story of how I became scarred for life by public bathrooms. Reddit User: OSPFvsEIGRP
In my high school, we had an underground level. The bathroom down there was horrendous. I remember in my senior year, I was down there, and while I was washing my hands, I heard this gurgling noise, like a toilet trying to flush without any water. A few seconds later, I heard this loud burst of air and then a huge splatter.
I turned around, and the drain on the floor had backed up, then exploded all the possible sewage and fecal matter it could into this one stall. Crap was everywhere, and I mean everywhere. It was on the wall, the toilet in the stall, the ceiling, and all over the floor. I like to call this incident the “Crapsplosion.” What a mess. Reddit User: Lolasauraus
Sleeping On The Job
I took a work break and went to the toilet. I sat down and fell asleep. I woke up to the sound of someone else coming into the stall next to mine. I panicked, no idea how long I’d been there. I wiped, stood up, and immediately crashed headfirst into the stall door because my legs weren’t ready to move. The latch broke, and I slammed into the cinder block wall on the other side.
I bloodied my nose somewhere between the two. I managed to get my hands on my pants somehow and wrench them up to half-walk, half-fall out the door into the shop before the other guy could get out to see what the heck was going on. I was probably in there for 45 minutes, and it took at least 10 minutes before I could feel my legs again. Reddit User: makenzie71
Don’t Chance It
I was working city park maintenance at the time. I walked into the bathroom to find it covered in blood. I didn’t so much think someone had died, but they just managed to smear it on three of the four walls, the counter, the sink, and even the towel dispensers. As best we could tell, someone got clocked in the face.
That was where they cleaned themselves up at. What really made it gross, though, was that I had to argue with my boss to get myself a face mask before cleaning it up. They figured I’d be fine as long as I wore gloves–what a bunch of idiots. I wasn’t going to be taking any chances. Reddit User: Hunterofshadows
Two For The Price Of One
I have two stories from two different places in the same town I worked in. Job number one was a Dollar Generic, and someone legit pulled the trashcan up to the toilet and just took a giant dump in the trash can for no reason. And my coworkers even let that crap ferment until I changed out the bags.
Job number two was a drive-in fast food place. I walked into the bathroom, and there was just crap all over the bathroom. Crap was on the toilet seat, on the side of the toilet, and even on the floor. I just didn’t understand. I walked out and pretended I didn’t see it. Screw all that mess. Reddit User: RobotDeathQueen
What A Ride
One of my exes knew a guy who was on a long bus ride in India. They had pulled over for a bathroom break in some middle-of-nowhere place with a few rickety shack-looking squat toilets. The dude jumps in for a number two. As he’s sitting there, squatting over the hole, there’s a loud cracking sound, and then the floor suddenly collapses.
He falls into a vat of human excrement. He gets out, covered in poo, and everyone runs over to help. But here’s the thing, there’s no running water anywhere, so he can’t really wash himself. He then spent the rest of the bus journey, however many hours it was, riding on the roof of the bus covered in poo. Reddit User: dentbox
Thank You Kind Stranger
I was backpacking through China and stopped at a public restroom in what appeared to be a suburban area of Beijing. I was used to squatting when going, but I was not used to not having stalls or partitions between the squatting holes. I thought, “When in Rome.” So I squatted, and did my business with no privacy.
However, I was not prepared for the lack of toilet paper, and you have to remember to bring your own. Luckily, someone squatted next to me. I asked him for some toilet paper using hand signals to convey myself. He was a generous man, and kindly offered as much as I needed. I wiped and thanked him. Reddit User: ZenRit
Public bathrooms are not where people want to spend much time- but theme parks, on the other hand, are highly sought-after destinations for parents with young children or those looking for a weekend adventure. From visitors breaking the rules to getting sick on rides, these employees have had some unforgettable and horrifying experiences on the clock…
Amusement parks are meant to be some of the happiest places in the world. Just imagine: the yummy foods that have loads of calories (but you simply can’t resist) paired with silly games and exciting rides. But, for the people who actually work there, things are often a lot less fun. These employees have had to deal with some serious horror stories, accidents that happened, annoying children and their even more irritating parents….
Amid the horror, though, there’s definitely a good time to be had…as long as you use some common sense. Keep in mind some easy to remember tips, like not eating before a rollercoaster, learning to be patient in lines, and remembering to listen to the people in charge at parks (they’re there for a reason, people). After all, things could turn out much worse, like these stories shared by amusement park workers.
What’s for Breakfast Then?
I work with special needs adults. We took them to Knot’s Berry Farm. We took them to IHOP for breakfast (this is the foreshadowing). One of the guys is a big eater; he actually ate two breakfasts that day. We went to the park, and after a few slower rides, everyone went on a steep roller coaster with this guy in the front row….
The coaster climbed, and he began to feel sick. The coaster crested and began to plummet. You just use your imagination to picture what happened next, or rather, don’t. Everyone got to know what he had for breakfast that morning. The scene of the car arriving at the bottom was the single funniest thing Ive ever seen; it was worth it. Reddit User: itsgoodtobemike
The Worst Kind of Tourists
The one time I went to Universal Studios not as an employee, but as a visitor, and there was this mad group of tourists. It was the worst experience at a theme park I’ve ever had. They were arguing, blocking all the passages, pushing people out of the way, and even trying to steal items from the gift shops….
They also kept talking to each other on walkie talkies throughout the shows that they were watching. It gets worse, though; they walked into one of the restaurants and sat down at a table that was empty but hadn’t been cleared up yet by the servers. They then proceeded to start eating the food that was left on the table. Reddit User: Drunken_Black_Belt
A Real Theme Park Horror Movie
I once got screamed at by one of our Russian visitors at the theme park. He also told me I was an untrained lady of the night because I work at a studio where people dress up, and I was dressed as a saloon girl. There were about fifty people crammed into the space, so it was really embarrassing to have him say that….
To make matters worse, later on, we had a hail storm in the park. Everyone started screaming and running. The lights were flickering, and all of the rides ended up being shut down. The babies people had with them were also crying, and it really looked like something straight out of some kind of horror movie. Never again. Reddit User: regalia13
Didn’t Find What She Was Looking For
I worked at Six Flags for three years in a management position and, as a result, have so many stories about this kind of thing. One of my favorites has to be when security found a 40-year-old woman wandering around the park at 3 am one day. A park sweep is done every night to ensure that no one’s left inside, so she must have sneaked in….
She was obviously off her rocker or intoxicated, because when asked what she was doing in the park at that time of the night, she simply responded with, “I’m looking for the Dave Matthews Band” over and over again. Security ended up escorting her out of the park, and that was the end of it. I hope she found what she was looking for eventually. Reddit User: Mool212
Always Look Left And Right
Back in the day, I worked selling tickets at a county fair for a couple of summers. One time, one of the ride operators stepped in front of a kiddie rollercoaster that was designed to look like a worm, known as The Wacky Worm. I guess he was trying to step to the other side of the track or something….
But he miscalculated where the rollercoaster was at that point in time, and he was struck by the rollercoaster. He took a seriously hard knock to his legs, and I’m pretty sure they were broken. We got him off the track as soon as possible, so the kids on the ride didn’t get too scared, and the manager waited with him until the ambulance arrived. Always look left and right, kids. Reddit User: ghostwrite_the_quip
No Thanks for a Good Deed
I worked for two theme parks in my time: Six Flags and also another regional park. I had many adventures, from kicking people off rides to really naughty kids who should have been disciplined by their parents (who were, of course, nowhere to be found). There was also the time Six Flags wrote me up for administering first aid to a girl who passed out from heat exhaustion….
She had passed out right in the middle of the midway. Apparently, I was supposed just to leave her there until the EMTs arrived. I had “misused” company property by giving the poor girl a bottle of water to sip on until help arrived to keep herself cool since it was clear what was wrong with her. I can live with myself though. Reddit User: Drunken_Black_Belt
Sometimes You Just Can’t Help People
One of my favorite calls on the job was for an EMT to come to inspect a woman who wasn’t feeling well at the regional family park where I worked. This park gave away free soda to patrons. The EMT and I arrived on scene with this huge woman who looked like she was about to die from the heat and dizziness….
We asked the woman if she had any medical issues we should be aware of. She told us that she didn’t. So the EMT gets to work, and after a while, the woman goes, “Well, I do have diabetes. And I’ve been drinking soda all day.” When we asked her why she would drink it if she had diabetes, she replied, “Well, it’s free.” Reddit User: Drunken_Black_Belt
You Pick: Lights or the Rides
I used to work at a theme park in my hometown. This one time, we had a major storm sweeping through the area. It ended up causing all sorts of problems around the town. It knocked over street lights, display cases, blew the theme park prizes all over the place, and even ended up putting a hole in one of our wooden rollercoasters….
For a whole week after the storm, the park I worked at was unable to operate at night. This was because the generators the park had installed only had enough power to run the rides. You couldn’t have the rides on and the lights at the same time. If anyone is scared of a creepy theme park, that’s exactly what I was living. Reddit User: Mool212
Leave Him to the Dinosaurs
I worked at a little kiddies theme park, and there was a dinosaur ride; it looked like something out of the Flintstones, I’d say. One of the kids who was on a really slow ride ended up losing his hat in the water that was next to it. He ended up jumping in the water and crossing the ride tracks to grab it. How his mother let him do that, I’ll never know….
When he got to his hat, there were two pretend dinosaurs in the water. He started screaming and crying at them, and his parents didn’t do anything. I had to stop the ride and climb into the water (and, of course, I was wearing long pants that day) to try and get this child away from the park’s property. The parents didn’t say anything, not even thank you. Should have let the pretend dinos eat the kid. Reddit User: NefariousStray
When the Adults Act Like Kids
I worked at Busch Gardens for a quite while and have a bunch of examples of horror stories at amusement parks. First off, the guests would feed the birds and then get attacked by birds because they were trying to get the free food. At this point, I just pointed my finger to the “do not feed the birds” sign….
Other things like adults attempting to fit on the kid rides, which included planes and trains. Also, really annoying was when people climbed over the fences in ride restricted areas (and just so you know, some rides can’t be stopped even if you get in the way of them…like a rollercoaster, for example!). Also, you need to watch adults more than kids at amusement parks. Reddit User: [redacted]
Using Your Job to Your Advantage
I used to work in the attractions department of a zoo, so it’s kind of like an amusement park because we had a few rides in there too. One of the big parts of my job was to operate the rides there. One of these said rides was a mini roller coaster, which always required two staff in order to operate it….
One person had to push the button to start/stop the coaster, and the other staff member had to check the safety restraints of the riders. On really slow days at the zoo, the staff would take turns riding the roller coaster themselves, and sometimes, if a random family came up, we would even let them ride two or three times for free. Not a horror story, but a great memory! Reddit User: ADDled_mind
The Trick of Magic Water
While I didn’t work at a theme park, I thought I could definitely contribute a great story. I frequented Six Flags Great America when I had a season pass one summer. This is a tip that worked then, but I’m not sure if it works now, and it sure isn’t a horror story but instead a very well kept secret….
I would get free Mountain Dew or Sprite by asking them for “magic water.” This apparently was a code among all the employees. I happened to know another person who was working there that summer, and they were a really great friend to pass along this tip. Maybe find out from a friend if they’re working there what the code is now. Reddit User: rubylanephotography
The Real Nightmare of Theme Parks: The Parents
At the park I worked at one year, it was soon after the Jurassic Park movie release. The little kids always wanted to know where we kept the dinosaurs, so as an employee, we used to have a lot of fun messing with them. We used to tell the kids that we breed all the dinosaurs on a faraway island….
This, of course, isn’t true. The stories we came up with were brilliant, and we even told kids that we had another island just for research a few miles away. The horror story came in when we had to deal with the parents who weren’t impressed that their kids were now nagging them to take them to the imaginary dinosaur research facility that was “close by.” We also got a speaking to from our manager. Reddit User: [redacted]
The Wicked Ways of Cruella Deville
I worked at Disneyland as a face character. Yes, one of those fun animal costumes. One woman always came to take a picture with her Flat Stanley that was dressed as Josh Groban. With actual chest hair, working with Cruella Deville sometimes was the best. She would tell the kids awful things when their parents weren’t looking. I almost broke character every time….
We would also jump on rides during our sets as the characters so that we didn’t have to deal with autographs and the dirty kids who were running around. The best would be having dirty martinis on our lunch break at the Grand California. Horribly great times, that’s what I would call them. Is there a better way to describe it? Reddit User: [redacted]
Scaring People Sober
I worked at Universal Hollywood for a bit. I first was an actor for horror nights, then entertainment, and then as a show costumer. We had this vodka that was actually intended to be used for cleaning the materials, but we would have shots of it instead. It was always more fun scaring people with a shot or two in your system….
The horror of the story came when our manager discovered what we had been doing; we should have used the old fill up the bottle with water trick. We kept asking for more for cleaning, and that was our first mistake. The true horror came soon after when we had to do the scaring of people in a completely sober state. Reddit User: [redacted]
The Real Bumper Cars
As a rider operator, I had so many stupid guests. I had one guy try to climb onto the top of a ski gondola car and put his beer bottle up there. He was about 40’ in the air. I mean, how stupid can you get? We also had lots of people trying to get their kids on rides that they were obviously way too small to be on….
I once had a short person who got annoyed at me for not letting him on the bumper cars. He was about 4” too short. We also definitely could make the bumper cars go faster, but no, we won’t do that for you. We instead crank them up during employee parties and double the normal speed. You really have to be careful not to actually crash then; it can get intense. Reddit User: kenny_boy019
Cinderella Can Be Ugly Too
There was this one time that Chevy Chase screamed at me for not seating him at a “highly visible” table at Cinderella’s Royal Table at Walt Disney World. This is the restaurant in the castle. We moved him and his family to the largest table in the middle of the room. Several people flocked to him, asking him for his autograph….
While I was filling water glasses at his table, he grabbed my arm and screamed at me again, telling me to keep all of the “poor, sweaty, fat people” away from him. Later on, I decided to make a little mistake. This involved me “accidentally” spilling his drink all over him. I profusely apologized, but in my mind, I was thinking how much he deserved it. Reddit User: mrsrazzlee
The Legend of the Giant Squirrel
I worked at Six Flags for a while. When I worked there, there was actually a giant squirrel that lived in what used to be known as Wiggle’s World. We used to have so much fun trying to spot him. We used to use our ride phones to give the word and report if there had been a sighting of this giant squirrel….
We would take tallies of the times we had seen it too. That’s kind of it for my story; not a horror story, I know. Oh, and we also got to play on the bumper cars every morning in order to “test” them out and make sure they were working. It was a great time working there compared to so many other horror stories I’ve heard from employees. Reddit User: latepostdaemon
Taking Control of the Track
Wow, there are so many stories to share, but I have some from the days when I used to work at my local putt-putt course. We also had an arcade there and also some batting cages. I was in charge of managing the go-karts. We were pretty run down at the time, and I only had a few customers that would occasionally come in….
When they did come, I would let them completely take over the track and do whatever they wanted to. I would even let them go around the track the wrong way; it wasn’t like it could get much worse. I then also used to spray water on this one area of the track and let people practice doing 180s in their go-karts. Luckily, nothing ever went wrong. Reddit User: kylesfromspace
A Missing Person Report Gone Funny
I worked emergency dispatch for a large theme park in Virginia. We dealt with a lot of lost kid reports. The worst was a woman who called to report her son missing. He wasn’t answering his phone, so I was taking his description. Fifteen years old, black hair, brown eyes, and then I asked what he was wearing. She had no clue, so she described every possible combination….
When the report was done, I asked for her location so I could report back to reunite them. She was in Ohio. Her son was on vacation without her and she wanted to check on him. I had to explain to her that I was not going to search for a teenage boy with black hair and brown eyes to ask if he’s lost. She screamed at me and said she couldn’t believe this is how we treat customers. It’s not my responsibility to babysit your kid. Reddit User: swingsetninja
A High Ponytail Won’t Do the Trick
I worked at Legoland Windsor, which is located in England. I was there for three summers between attending university. There’s only a finite number of times that you can tell parents that their less than 1-year-old babies can’t go on several of the faster rides like the Pirate Ship and other roller coasters without sounding sarcastic and blunt. They think holding them is safe enough….
I got told once that I was a “short-ist” by a child’s parent because I wouldn’t let his kid go on the ride (she was way too short, and her Dad had tied her hair up trying to making it really high like Pebbles from the Flintstones…). I’m 5′ 1″, so I found it rather amusing being told that I’m unfair to short people. Trust me; if tying your hair up really high counted towards your height, I would have done that years ago. Reddit User: abbyoxc
Sparks Are Flying on the Track
I worked at a very big park one summer. The carts were all limited on how fast they could go by the length of the throttle cable, but it was very easy to tie a string to the engine and weave it through the plastic body, so we had a few carts that would go extra fast if you pulled the string hidden down in the frame. The mechanics also had a few toy cars; one had two engines, one for each rear wheel, and two gas pedals….
Stomp on one while letting off the other and it would spin it right around hairpins at full speed. They had another that could hit probably 60mph; these aren’t racing karts either, so that was pretty fun. To run it on the tracks, you’d never be able to take corners that fast, so we drove to the outside of the turn, put the steel of the bumper ring around the cart against the steel wall on the track’s edge, and went right around. Reddit User: haftonburger
Not the Broken Boat
I used to work at a local mini theme park in my town for a little while. We had these old bumper boats. They were really not in good condition and always ended up dying with paying customers inside of them. We always got a talking to from the customers, and nothing was ever done about them to improve the experience….
But, one night, there was a little kid in one of these boats, and of course, the engine ended up dying. I then had to crawl into the boat to try and restart the engine. When I did, I proceeded to pull the cable back and smack the girl in the face with my elbow. It was no longer the broken boat that was causing the customers to be frustrated. Reddit User: PickleJarss
Waiting for Hours for a Ride
I’m not a worker at an amusement park, but one year I went to a theme park on a senior class trip. A few of my friends and I waited a few hours just to get onto one of the major roller coasters. We had been waiting for the entire day for this moment, as it was all the hype during the time we went on the trip….
We were literally the next people in line when suddenly the ride was shut down. It was all thanks to a little kid who’d been too scared on the ride and had let go of his bladder. We then had to wait a whole other hour for the maintenance crew to clean it up. It was worth it, and I understood why that kid did what he did. Reddit User: s317sv17vnv
A Misplaced Item Causing Misplaced Anger
This wasn’t me, but one time I was too chicken to go up a ride with my friends. I stayed chatting with one of the workers, and her sole job was to hang by the ride’s entrance and ask people not to go in with their bags. I asked her about the no-bag policy, and she told me that people used to steal the bags from the lockers….
Anyway, this one time, the wife of a politician realized her bag was missing after a ride. She made a huge fuss, and the entire park went into lockdown and closed. Police got involved, and some of the employees were taken to rooms to be intimidated and interrogated. One girl was even strip-searched. The bag later turned up on a completely different ride. Reddit User: permanentthrowaway
Deserted in an Empty Amusement Park
I was working as a security guard at a theme park back when I was eighteen. On one particular evening, one of the rollercoasters that stopped in the station ended up getting rear-ended by another. Thank goodness there were no severe injuries, but there were still some people who got a little bit hurt from the accident….
I did, however, end up staying up all night after the park had closed, sitting on the coaster to ensure no lookie-loos or news media tried to get access to the cars. It was dark, and it was creepy. I was 18 years old in a closed and deserted amusement park. I think I win for amusement park worker horror stories. Reddit User: wired89
Swimming by the Rules
I used to be a lifeguard at a water park with a bunch of slides. Some of them required a height check. Our supervisors told us that even if a child was 1/16” too short, they couldn’t ride. It was really frustrating because some of the lifeguards let kids that weren’t tall enough go on slides. This led to me getting a reputation….
When I turned kids away, parents would get angry and say, “Oh, we get the mean lifeguard now.” “The last one let them ride!” I loved when they reported me to the supervisor because then I got praised for enforcing rules. If a kid was exactly 48”, they could go get measured at the office and would be given a wristband to clear them. Reddit User: 69unicorn
Closing Down the Rides
A huge storm was coming where I work and live. I was operating the railroad at the time. Unfortunately, we left the station right before they were able to call us to close the ride. So, as we were on our way, suddenly there was a huge downpour. Upon arriving at the station, we were immediately directed to an employee shelter….
Now, this is where even more of the interesting stuff happened. People were stranded at the station away from the entrance, wanting to ride back. I had specifically warned that the ride could close at any time before people boarded. We were told that we couldn’t suggest any shelter because that would make the park responsible. What a night. Reddit User: Kdog0073
A Heart-Stopping Summer
I worked for one summer at a Nascar speed park, and it was probably the craziest summer of my life. There were so many injuries, but nothing ever happened. When working the go-kart tracks, if there was a wreck, you were expected to run across the tracks dodging cars and unlodge the stuck car all before more cars zoomed past….
The worst day, though, was on the Fourth of July watching a man having a heart attack because I was the first person to get to the car when it stopped and had to wait with him until an ambulance showed up. It was a seriously scary moment, but luckily the ambulance was quick on arrival. I still think about him today. Reddit User: Purpleandahalf
Two Real Horror Stories
I worked at a large amusement park in the Tampa Bay area. Two stories from my time there come to mind. The roller coaster I worked on had no floors, and someone’s change from the front row fell out of their pocket and hit the person in the back row near their eye. The coaster came back with a lady bawling and blood all over her face….
We have rules in place for a reason people, and it’s not just for your safety, it’s for the safety of other people as well. The second story was that someone showed us what they had for lunch all over our elevator in 100 degree heat. There was also no air on. Let’s just say I drew the short straw on cleaning that up. Reddit User: InaneMumbling
Better Keep Your Mouth Shut Next Time
I worked at an amusement park where one of our goals was to guest relate as much as possible. One day, a kid told me hello after looking at my nametag. The name wasn’t correct except for the first letter. I was having a pretty rough day, and I probably took it out on this kid more than I usually would have….
I then replied half-heartedly, without even really thinking or looking at the child properly, “Can you read, man?” His mother then stepped in at this point and told me that her kid was blind in one eye. I meant to apologize for what I had said but ended up making it worse. I asked, “Oh, he is?” It was a girl. Reddit User: SharpReel
It’s a Hit or Miss
There once was an idiot guy who kept putting tokens into the batting cage machine at the park where I worked. The ball would come out of the machine; he’d take a swing at the ball and of course end up missing the ball completely. This wasn’t what I was worried about, because it was clear that would happen….
He then proceeded to bend over and pick up the ball that he missed. He then was hit in the side of the head by a baseball flying at him at a speed of 65 MPH, and he was not wearing a helmet. He then took the company to the court about it, and his argument was based on the fact that he says he didn’t know there would be more than one ball. Reddit User: shortadamlewis
Too Good to Be Made Up
I worked at a kid’s theme park about five or six years ago. I wasn’t there when this happened, but there are meerkats at the park as one of the attractions we offered. One woman decided it would be a good idea to help her young child lean over the enclosure with the meerkats inside it to get a better look….
Well, the kid was bitten by the meerkat. When the mum pulled her kid away from the nibbling meerkat, it didn’t let go and held onto the child’s hand as they lifted it out of the enclosure. So we had a bleeding young child, an escaped meerkat, and to top everything off, the mother had a heart attack. You can’t make this stuff up. Reddit User: notheOTHERboleyngirl
Bye-Bye to the Boats
Well, at my park, we had these duck-themed paddle boats. The late-night shifts made this particularly scary. Anyway, I was working the ducks and tied up all the boats and went to check out, but I forgot the ride register, so I went back to get it. When I got there, two of the boats had drifted out into the middle of the lake….
I figured it was just that I messed up the knots, so I had to get my manager so he could use the motorboat to go and get them. He just looked at me dead on and said, “Leave them alone” and checked me out. The next day those two boats were gone and replaced with spares we had. I know it sounds like a really bad horror story, but it’s probably the scariest experience I’ve had. Reddit User: TheHypercriticalOne
Losing Faith in Humanity
It really is true that adults are way worse than the kids at amusement parks. I’ve never worked at one, but my sister has, and the stories she’s told our family are just ridiculous. She always worked at our local amusement park during the summer for years and years, so she’s seen her fair share. The employees would rotate their jobs through the rides….
The carousel was everyone’s least favorite ride because people would be so insanely hostile about the ride. They had to call security on adults fighting over which horse they wanted to ride multiple times a day almost every day. That job destroyed her faith in humanity, and I think it would have done the same to mine. Reddit User: CaseyBergProductions
Sharing Your Lunch
I used to work at an amusement park, and let’s just say that you couldn’t pay me enough money to do it again…ever in my life. I was in charge of managing some of the bigger roller coasters, so you would often get bratty teenagers who constantly moaned about how long the lines were taking. Then one day, the big ride broke down, and people had to wait for even longer….
While I was explaining to some people in earshot what had happened and that it would be a while to fix, two teenage boys decided to share their lunch with me. I’m not talking about offering me a bite of their hot dogs; I’m talking about full-on missile launching them at me before running off and shouting how stupid the ride was anyway. Reddit User: [redacted]
Fun Times at the Amusement Park
When I worked at a park, I was in charge of making sure that the safety mechanisms were working before the ride took off. Yes, it sounds very important, right? This involved checking the restraints on the roller coasters and making sure everyone was clipped in properly. I once slammed a sliding door restraint on a kid’s head, accidentally, of course….
This happened because they were trying to get out of the wrong end and stuck their head out. I opened up their cage as his head was stuck out of a small gap and slammed it right into his head. I asked if he was ok, and he said yes before running off. I then saw him burst into tears when he reached his parents; fun times. Reddit User: Jugglethe1st
Flying Off the Rail
I worked at an amusement park about 10-15 years ago. They had just replaced the cars for a rollercoaster, and they had some problems. Several times, a wheel just flew off of one of the cars. We would have to rush there to place fences and search for the lost wheel. If I were a customer, I would have never come back….
The thing is that you think you’re pretty safe in an amusement park if you obey the rules and meet the height restrictions, but even there, weird accidents can happen. My biggest thing is that the owners of these places should keep a really close eye on their equipment to make sure things like wheels don’t go flying off. Reddit User: Blleh
The Upside Down Rescue Mission
When I was a young boy, my family went to the local carnival. It was nothing too amazing, mostly just booths and a tent. They only had three large rides. The usual tilt-a-whirl, Ferris wheel, and among them a roller coaster-type ride that was just one loop. The idea here was that you would climb in, and the ride would go back and forth and sometimes make a full loop….
However, this night, the sucker got stuck at the top. My little mind couldn’t wrap around it all fully, but it was packed with people who had to sit for about an hour until a rescue could be properly done. A long time later, I learned that no one was harmed, but while still young, I always wondered where that thing went to in the upcoming years. Reddit User: Atlusfox
Bad Parents: The Real Deal
I worked in an amusement park during my teens. I was in the area that had rides for younger children, many of which the parents could accompany them on. Without a doubt, the parents were the worst thing about working there. The number of parents that would find any and all reason to complain and moan because they knew if they did it enough, they would get free tickets or a refund….
The kids were amazing and excited to get on the rides, but the parents were horrible. The number of fights between grown adults that I’ve had to break up is insane, and the number of parents that yelled at me because their little Billy didn’t get the blue plane still makes me angry. I once had this Keegan Michael look-alike jump the safety barrier and confront me because his kid started crying because I made him sit beside his brother. Reddit User: Blade2587
While working at an amusement park brings its fair share of horror stories, backpackers who venture out into uncharted territory alone may not always find the peace and solace they seek. From tales of having too much to drink to getting mugged to being swarmed by chipmunks, these adventurers have certainly experienced some seriously outlandish situations…
Traveling is one of the top items on many people’s bucket lists. Whether it’s exploring your own country or jet-setting to new territory altogether, there are so many majestic places around the globe. To have a successful trip, people will usually prepare all the details ahead of time so that their travel plans will be flawless.
The only problem with traveling somewhere new is that things can come up that put a wrench into your plans. Once you start adding in unique foods, new languages, and unusual modes of transportation, your plans can go from fabulous to a flop. And when you’re away from home, handling these challenges can go from “no problem” to “oh no” very quickly.
The good news is that at least you usually get a pretty good story out of a flopped vacation or fumbled trip! Here are some of the best travel stories: the good, the bad, and everything in between.
My wife and I took the overnight train from St Petersburg to Moscow in 2010. We had to share our sleeper room with a Russian guy who spoke no English and looked like a mobster. He acknowledged us, sat down, and said something in Russian. As soon as he realized we weren’t Russian and were visiting his country, he ordered a bottle of brandy and three glasses from the stewardess….
We sat drinking it and communicated using anything but a language for about three hours. When the brandy had dried up and bedtime was upon us, he took off his trousers to reveal a black pair of tight underpants that had a tiger’s face on the crotch. He climbed to the top bunk and fell asleep. Absolute legend of a guy. Reddit User: Toaster_Boaster
I accidentally became engaged to a local in Vietnam. I was exploring this little village and stopped at a restaurant for a beer. A guy comes up and starts talking to me in very broken English. Within 5 minutes, he asks, “You married?” I say no, so he then says, “You marry me?” with a big goofy grin on his face….
I assumed he was joking because we’d known each other for 5 minutes, so I said yes. He was not joking. He immediately began yelling something in Vietnamese, then grabbed my hand and started waving it around in the air. Within minutes we were surrounded by dozens of people who were all cheering and smiling and shaking my hand….
He then took me to his house to introduce me to my future in-laws. I broke that poor boy’s heart when I left for another city the next day. Reddit User: quailgirl
Hold on to Your Pizza
First time getting mugged; it was for my pizza. Mid last year, I went traveling for the first time overseas, and alone, so all was exciting as an Australian. My first story takes place in Las Vegas. I was staying at a hostel and made good friends with this English girl. I’ll call her ‘Emma.’
One morning, after a big night out the day before, we were both hungover and craving pizza. We asked the owner of the place where the best place to get pizza was, he told us, and it would be an approx. 20 minute walk to the joint. So Emma and I embarked on a long, hungover walk for pizza in 45-degree heat….
We get there, wait 25 minutes, and finally get the pizzas. I got a small/medium pepperoni, and Emma got an extra-large mixed one. We decide to eat it once we got back to the hostel, so once again, the 20-minute walk home. Just as we were like 50 meters from it, middle of casual conversation, pizza under my arm, someone runs up and grabs my pizza….
Thinking it was someone from the hostel, I turn to face the person: not a hostel stayer, a complete random trying to steal my pizza. We have a tug-of-war with the box, pizza is flying everywhere, and I just let go and let the female thief run off with the remaining three slices, across the main road, and towards a motel. For a brief moment, I considered chasing after her….
Out of everything I could possibly say to this random girl, I get as Australian as I’ve ever gotten and shouted at her, “KEEP RUNNING YOU MOLE!” Mole is a derogatory term for an Australian woman. So there I stood, pizza-less in Las Vegas, and my friend Emma was scared silly. Laughs ensued once we got back to the hostel, and Emma gave me half of her pizza. Reddit User: beeanchor13
Try Not to Miss Your Stop
I was riding a train to go to the eastern coast of Taiwan to my next couchsurfer host when I met a bunch of Taiwanese lifelong military members who gave me beers and tried to talk to me in Chinese and very broken English. After a few beers, I was pretty drunk (I weigh about 58k), and they started telling me that I should get off at their stop instead of mine….
I agreed to, and I found myself at a shrimp fishing house with Jager and more beers. I blacked out and woke up the next day because one of the Taiwanese guys’ daughter was taking a picture of me passed out on her living room couch. The guy then took me to a waterfall and we went skinny dipping, then he took me to the train station so I could meet up with my next host. It was great, though. Reddit User: bean9045
Border Security Is the Worst
Back in 2006, a friend and I decided it was high time we go to Transnistria, a small, Russian-speaking breakaway part of Moldova right next to Ukraine. So here we are, riding the train to Bucharest, then a bus to Chisinau, and finally on a local minibus to Tiraspol. The trip between Chisinau and Tiraspol is pretty short, but because this civil war never really ended, there are plenty of military checkpoints on the road with heavily-armed militias or Russian “peacekeepers….”
We finally arrive at what appears to be a border post and, as the only two foreigners, are quickly escorted out of the bus to a little interrogation room. Well, the interrogation was pretty short: an 18-year-old conscript is looking through our bags and asks the usual “do you carry drugs or weapons” when an officer storms in, points at us, and says, “you, ten euros; you, ten euros….”
And leaves. At that point, there is an awkward silence on our part, but the guy is already gone, and the kid, who obviously did not speak English, kept rummaging through our bags. He then reaches a Toblerone bar I had brought along and looks at me. I point at it and say, “It’s yours.”
He then slips the bar into his sleeve, at which point I turn to my friend and say, “I believe it is time to leave.” We take our bags, walk quietly to the bus, and move on to our destination. I did not see the officer on the way out, which I think was a good thing. Reddit User: menchon
If It Looks Sketchy, Don’t Eat It
Leaving Rome heading to Venice by train with my buddy. Before we board, we get some cheap pizza and beer and enjoy the sun sitting by the Spanish Steps. Life’s good. For now. One hour after boarding, the first symptoms hit. Stomach pains. Feeling feverish. Feel like puking but can’t. Two hours after boarding, I lock myself in the train toilets. Puke the life out of me. And what looks like mushrooms. Thank god, it must be over….
Nope. Arrival in Venice. It’s late. There’s snow everywhere. Puked two more times on the train. Feeling like garbage. I can barely walk by now and feel like dying. We go to find our hostel. We get lost because, well, Venice. Can’t take it. Drop my backpack, fall on my knees, and puke my guts out in the Grand Canal, under the eyes of countless outraged tourists on a romantic dinner out. Buddy is laughing and takes pictures. Great friend….
We make it to the hostel, somehow. Spend the worst night of my life there. Proceed to puke a couple more times over the next day. Food tastes like pain and misery. Can’t eat for the next three days, buddy forces me to. Recover by the time we move on to Florence. Venice is lovely, though. Reddit User: ellipsis9210
Watch Your Drinks
I was backpacking in Australia with a friend. Needless to say, he drank a bit too much goon, and I could never have imagined what happened next. He wet himself on the top bunk while the two people underneath were busy going at it. They described it as coming down like a waterfall….
An angry Irishman woke him up to tell him, and he just casually said you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube, then went back to sleep in his own fluid. I was horrified on his behalf. Reddit User: [redacted]
A Dingo Did What?
I was camping in the outback in Australia with my buddy last summer (their winter); he took the tent, and I slept in a swag bag because I’d never seen so many shooting stars in my life and it really was quite beautiful. So it’s about three in the morning, and I start hearing a howling from the hills around the campsite, like wolves howling at the moon kind of howling….
So I shout to my buddy and ask him what’s making the noise. He informs me that there are dingoes around here. Well, what would the odds be that they’d actually come into the campsite, right? Around half an hour later, I feel something weird sniffing around my feet; I slowly reach for the head torch I had in my pocket and shine it on my feet. There’s a dingo sniffing around my swag, so I tell it to run off and leave me alone….
The dingo kept coming back with its dingo buddies, and apparently, all through the night, my friend could hear me muttering swear words at them, telling them to go away. I asked a ranger the next morning if I was ever in any danger, and he said no, they’ve just got a bit used to humans over the past couple of years and don’t have too much fear anymore.
But I’m pretty sure one of the jerks stole a sock that was drying on the bonnet of the car, so I was a bit peeved about that. I wonder if the Australian high commission would reimburse me the cost of a nice pair of hiking socks? Reddit User: draw4kicks
Free Beer for All
Six friends and I were on a backpacking trip around Europe after graduating from college. While we were stopped in Munich, we decided that we needed to see a brewery. The Spaten brewery happened to be the closest to our hostel, so we just walked on over. An older gentleman answered our knock on the door, and we asked him about going on a tour….
He didn’t quite understand what we were asking and thought that we had scheduled a tour that he wasn’t prepared for. He apologized profusely and brought all six of us up to the private top floor of the brewery (not quite a skyscraper, but a really tall building near downtown). It turns out they had moved an old bierhaus to the top floor; it had a full bar, hot pretzels, and amazing views of the city!
Up there, we met a guy who spoke English, and we figured out what had happened and that it was a big misunderstanding. Instead of telling us we needed to leave, he poured us all a beer, gave us food, and told us to stay as long as we liked. It was completely random and so amazing how nice people can be sometimes. Spaten gained six lifelong customers that day. Reddit User: Tdc10731
I was backpacking around Europe with my girlfriend, and we were on the train from Krakow, Poland. Just as the train set off, we realized it was the wrong one and that we had to get off. It ended up with us opening the door (it was an old train with a manual handle, no electronics) and jumping out onto the platform as it was traveling at a fast run….
I grabbed her bag and made sure she got off before the train sped up. Turns out, it does make you feel a little like Indiana Jones. Reddit User: Captain_Comedown
I was hiking with some friends in New Mexico on a scout camping trip. Most of the people left on a day hike to sightsee, but I was somewhat tired and getting elevation sickness. After they left, I took a nap, but before they got back in time, I was alone at the site….
There were between 5-10 chipmunks running around our campsite. I built a small fort where I could sit on top of a ledge. I dropped a bear bag below and put some nuts in it. Within a few minutes, I caught myself a chipmunk in a bear bag. (Don’t worry, I let it go after.) Reddit User: [redacted]
I was hiking in the rainforest on the Brazilian/Argentinian border near Iguazu Falls with one of my best friends. It was a stunning landscape, and we were having a great time until I heard a shriek come from behind me. My friend had wanted to take a picture of something slightly off the path and walked directly into a spiderweb.
This wasn’t just any spiderweb, it was about six feet tall and spanned between two large trees across a 4-foot distance. Her entire body was coated in its web. We all laughed at her and cleaned her off…and luckily never saw the spider that went with it. Reddit User: [redacted]
Watch Your Noodles
I was on a train in Paris about wintertime last year. Me and my friend were on our way to meet some people down at the Moulin Rouge. I was eating a cup of noodles with a fork I’d liberated from the hostel. Then, this lovely gent stands up to leave the train, sort of half bows with his head down and hands together, and ever so gently takes my noodles from me….
He says ‘merci’ a couple of times and departs the train. I wasn’t even mad; it was beautiful. The way he took them was just great; it was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I don’t know why it just felt awesome. Reddit User: alldaysharkboy
What Happens in Bangkok
I saw some crazy stuff, but nothing can beat the story of a guy I was traveling with for a while. He met a 32-year-old Australian woman on the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. He ended up drinking a lot with her & her buddy to celebrate her birthday….
At one point, they went into the “hallway” of the train and started shagging her from behind, standing up, with her head out of the window (her idea). Later, a monk came into the carriage and just walked over to them and started smoking a cigarette out the window. The girl said to carry on, and apparently, they did. Afterward, the monk blessed a cigarette and gave it to them….
I know it’s true, as I met her randomly a few weeks later, and she was telling the same story. Plus, she’s an absolute nutcase (meth-head according to a friend of hers we met the night we met her and then spent a few days with later on), and he’s a male whore. Personally, I saw a dog smoking a cigarette in Bangkok. Reddit User: ignoramusaurus
Sunday Is the Day of the Lord
I was walking by myself one beautiful Sunday morning along the road from Struga (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), along Lake Ohrid to the Albanian border, when I caught up to two old women walking the same direction on the otherwise completely empty road. I nodded a greeting, not expecting them to speak English, but to my surprise, they did, as one had a son working as an engineer in Australia….
They asked me where I was going. I said Albania, and they said they were going to “cheeses.” My first thought was, this being Sunday, they were going to a market. Then I realized wait, it’s Sunday…they’re going to “Jesus.” I asked, and they said yes they are…then, in the most grandmotherly way possible, they added, “…Aren’t you?”
I’m not religious, but when a sweet old woman guilts you like that, you can’t say no. So I went with them to a beautiful old but small Orthodox church and ended up sitting through the mass. I had no idea what anyone was saying, and no, I didn’t convert, but it was a cool experience. Reddit User: gizry
Was leaving (escaping) Amsterdam after a 4-day smoke binge. My train to Berlin was leaving in an hour, so I thought I’d have one final smoke before leaving. The coffee shop had a ‘special’: 7 guilders for a coffee and ‘space cake.’ I had one. I felt a slight buzz and decided to have another….
The waitress asked if I was sure, but I insisted. I walked back to the train station and was walking to my train when the space cake kicked in. It was like getting hit in the back of the head with a mallet. I was SO STONED. I successfully managed to get on my train and then passed out….
I have vague recollections of showing my Eurail pass and passport. I woke up about 12 hours later with a conductor violently shaking me…still completely stoned out of my head. I stumbled out of the Berlin train station and went directly to the first hotel I saw, threw down my CC, and passed out in my room for another 12 hours. I woke up and checked everything. All my stuff was safe, and I was fine….
I decided to check out Berlin but noticed all these Swiss flags everywhere. I asked the man at the front desk, “Excuse me, sir, but am I in Berlin?” Blank stare. “No, you are in Basil, Switzerland.” Never did make it to Berlin, but Switzerland was nice. Reddit User: [redacted]
Avoid the Alleyways
I was in Athens last year, and it was our last day there with nothing else to see. We were being told to stay out of dark alleyways because of crackheads and whatnot. At the time, there were a lot of protests going on, so sometimes you could hear them in the distance. So we were walking and heard all this music, singing, and yelling coming through this alley….
So we ended up following it all the way through and came out between this old apartment building and the metro. All the music was coming from the building, and a window was open, so we decided to throw some rocks through the window to ask to come up. Thinking back on it, that could have been bad, but it worked out well!
A guy looked out the window with a handlebar mustache and said something in Greek, and we yelled, “Can we come up? It sounds fun in there.” Then he gave us a smile and said, “Ohhh, Americans! Yes, yes, come up, my friends.” When we got in there, all the rooms of this apartment building were converted into recording studios with all different bands playing….
We ended up hanging out there for about two hours. We didn’t understand them too well, and they also didn’t understand us, but we all knew the music, so it worked out. Walked through a dark alley in Athens to discover a pretty cool band. 9/10 would do again. Reddit User: Oh_MyGoshJosh
It’s Always Best to be Polite
I was in Rome when the pope died. Luckily I had already booked a hostel months prior. The place was crawling with kids fresh off the trains from Poland and planes from Brazil. I made my way to my hostel from the train station with ease and checked in. I was chilling in the lounge of the hostel before going to meet my friend somewhere for dinner.
I am on one of the computers shooting my dad an email when this cute girl sits down next to me. I say, “Hi, I’m FutureWaves, where are you from?” She tells me she’s from CT. I, being from CT, think, “Yeah, bonding time!” I ask her where in CT. She responds with Fairfield County. I go, “Oh, The Gold Coast….”
She all of a sudden looks angry, stares me down, and proceeds to tell me she isn’t rich, and I shouldn’t assume all people from Fairfield County are rich. I, probably with a dumbfounded look on my face, try to apologize as she gets up and promptly leaves with several of her very good-looking friends. I went out to dinner, had a great time, and was in bed early because I had to catch a 10:00 train to the coast.
I’m staying in a ten-person dorm room and have yet to see who my roommates for the night are. Flash forward to 2am, when a loud group of clearly drunk girls comes barging into the room. I just want to sleep. Well, wouldn’t you know, it’s the same girl and her friends that thought I was such a jerk earlier in the day….
Only now, in their drunken stupor, they don’t notice I’m awake and proceed to pretty much strip completely naked as they get ready for bed. I’m chuckling to myself as the Fairfield girl prances around singing and dancing in just panties. A few minutes go by, and most of the girls have settled into their bunks when one of them says, “Hey, it’s so hot in here. Can someone open the window?”
I, being right next to a window, sit up, push the window open, and say, “Goodnight.” The dead silence in that room after I spoke was one of the funniest moments of my life. All thanks to backpacking. Reddit User: FutureWaves
Always Ask About the Sword Policy
At a hostel in Amsterdam, we stayed in a room for 8. We ended up chummy with the other two couples in there and had fun sharing stories for a while one night. As we were chatting and getting ready for bed, a guy came in to take one of the other beds remaining, sat down, and PULLED OUT A GIANT SWORD.
He just sat down on the cot, took it out, laid it on his lap, and sat there silently. We also went silent for a second because we didn’t know if he was serious. We tried to say hi and be friendly. He ignored us and just sat there with his sword….
We were all tired, but we were sort of eyeing each other like we didn’t want to sleep. The guy just put his sword beside him on the bed and went to sleep. The next morning, we asked the desk about their sword policy. They allow them. Reddit User: Vedmedyk
We passed through the “Highlands Highway,” one of the most dangerous roads in the world. I received bird-of-paradise feathers as a gift while eating pig, ferns, and sweet potatoes with the natives. Reddit User: alanairwaves
Diarrhea Off a Ferry
I watched the owner of the hostel I was at get beat to a pulp by 3 angry tricycle drivers. I bailed a random Irishman out of Filipino jail after he was caught accidentally peeing on one of their motorcycles. I led a terrible rendition of “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band after coming down with some homesickness at a local reggae bar.
I had diarrhea off the edge of a boat for the entire duration of a 6-hour ferry ride (don’t eat the street meat). Reddit User: [redacted]
We go and spend the entire day at Auschwitz. That night, we are waiting on the bus and there is an old man sitting there. He greets me and his eyes are red from crying. He is American. He tells me he fought in WWII and helped liberate other death camps. He has lived in Poland for 8 years and made the decision to visit Auschwitz to try and understand why it happened.
For two years, he has made the bus ride from Oschwiem, but he does not have the courage to go inside. Reddit User: Baroliche
Not a travel story, but it does involve a backpack. I was going to school one day and my backpack felt unusually heavy. I just assumed I had a textbook in there that I had forgotten about, so I left it be. I got to class and opened the bag up and inside was my cat, who had been experimenting with new sleeping spots.
My classmates looked on in confusion as I pulled my cat out and placed him on the floor. Talk about letting the cat out of the bag. Reddit User: CannibalFruit
A New Semi Driver
Was hitch-hiking in far northwest Australia and got a lift from a guy in a semi. A few hours in, he says he’s pretty tired and asks me if I want to drive. I was a teenager, didn’t even have a license. I said no, but a little while later, I noticed him nodding off at 130kmh carrying 37 tonne, so I said okay.
He showed me how to work the gearbox, waited till I got up to speed, then clambered back into the sleeper for the next four hours. Reddit User: [redacted]
You Need a Map
I was 3 days into a 5-day loop in the North Cascades along part of the Pacific Crest Trail. There had been a lot of flooding that spring, and a bridge had washed out on the trail we meant to take. There was a fork in the trail with something about the towns
Somebody had posted a note saying something along the lines of “we hiked for an hour along this route and never got to the town.” Below that was a response: “It’s 50 miles. You need a MAP.” Reddit User: Rock_You_HardPlace
Larry the Cable Guy
A few years ago, I was backpacking on the Appalachian Trail with my dad and brother, and we decided to stop for lunch, but as we were getting our little stove out, a bear came out of the woods and started walking towards us. We proceeded to bang pans together to scare her off. We started cooking lunch when Larry the Cable Guy and his family passed by us on horseback.
We talked for a while, then warned them about the bears up the trail and went our separate ways. Reddit User: DrumpKing
Beef Stew Bomb
I was backpacking with co-workers in West Virginia, and we set up camp in the dark after a long hike in. We got a fire going and proceeded to mix up some purple drank. We were having a great time, until one of the guys wanted to heat up some dinner by putting a can of beef stew in the fire, unopened.
The grenade went off, and it blew out the fire. Everyone was hit with stew shrapnel, and just at that moment, it started raining. Fun times! Reddit User: [redacted]
I was backpacking in Japan with one of my close friends. One night, I ended up running around screaming, searching for my friend, who had just vanished on a pitch black beach with no trace. I freaked out but eventually went to sleep in hopes to find him in the morning.
The next morning, I saw him sleeping about 5 meters from where I spent the time yelling and searching. He had not had any alcohol or taken drugs, he is just the heaviest sleeper. Reddit User: ibleuble
Hiking in the backcountry in southeast Alaska with 10 other students as a part of an undergrad summer program. One of our instructors carried Snickers in his pack, and used them to barter with the students. I bartered for a Snickers in exchange for buying two ice cream cones when we got back into town. Saved the Snickers until around day 17.
Some of the students tried to pressure me to share it. Almost broke out into a fistfight with one of the girls over a Snickers!” Reddit User: Radiant_Aurora
I had been wandering around and was looking for some sort of vending machine since I hadn’t eaten in a while. I had circled the entire station, when suddenly, a homeless man appeared, asking for change. Unfortunately, being a compassionate and stupid 19-year-old girl, I gave him the change I had. He immediately took a vinyl/thick sack, threw it over my head, and started pulling me with him.
I was in shock and couldn’t bring myself to fight back. Fortunately, one of the smokers saw this happen and rescued me. Reddit User: [redacted]
I went backpacking at a well-known Boy Scout destination in New Mexico. It was a really awesome trip, but it was fraught with various types of danger, one of them being a rattlesnake. I was pretty much terrified of getting bitten, being up in the mountains with no way to get medical attention for hours.
Then this guy in the other group, super casually, is like “Oh yeah! I got bit like 2 days ago spent a night in the hospital and now I’m back.” Super casual. Reddit User: mrbdog46
I was in Salzburg backpacking across Europe with a friend. Said friend and I got really drunk, then went back to our hostel. When the door to our room closed, it slammed and woke everyone up. Slammed so hard that the handle from the inside fell off. Little did we know, we were essentially stuck inside until someone on the other side of the door let us out.
My friend had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, as one does after drinking about 2 liters of beer. He couldn’t get out, so he started banging on the door and woke everyone up again…everyone except anyone that could let him out. Then, in his drunken state, he decided to pee on the floor. I then yelled at him because everyone was awake and watching him pee.
His response? “I have to pee!” 6am hits and he has to go again, so he tries to knock again, but no one lets him out. He then pees out of our 2nd story window. Needless to say, we left that hostel early. Europe is a hell of a drug. Reddit User: [redacted]
I Can’t Hear You!
So me and a friend are in a hostel in Monteverde, Costa Rica. After a long day of activity and traveling around to get to Monteverde, we were drained and tired. We made a delicious typical Costa Rican meal with some other lovely backpackers who were at the hostel at the time.
That night, I was the last one to leave the balcony that overlooked the rain forest (a truly beautiful site). It started becoming extremely windy, so I went to my shared room. Little did I know that I was sharing this room with a deaf couple and my traveling buddy (who happens to be a very very deep sleeper). They locked the door on the inside, and I kept knocking for about 20 minutes to no avail.
That night I slept in the main room, which was separated from the balcony by a poorly installed sliding glass door. It was extremely windy and cold, and the only thing I had to cover me that night was the big bean bag chairs. It was worth it for the story. Reddit User: [redacted]
The Flowery Backpack
Me and my boyfriend were in Australia. I was really tired, and I asked him to carry my backpack, which was pink, purple, and covered in flowers. He happily took it off me, and we went to queue up to get on a ferry. This guy with his young kid comes up to my boyfriend and says, “You’re awesome.”
“It’s people like you that help me teach my son that it’s ok to like flowers and stuff when you’re a bloke,” he continued. “Good on ya mate!” It is now my boyfriend’s backpack. Reddit User: Hollywhirl
The Cow Room
My dad and I went to Iceland when I was 13 years old. We were hiking in the middle of nowhere when my dad spotted a building. We went inside and found out that this was an ice cream place. To my dismay, that place was filled with customers, even though I saw no roads or cars outside. I ordered ice cream and sat down at a table right next to the wall.
I had that certain feeling that someone was staring at me, so naturally, I turned to the wall to see a cow looking right at me. The wall was a glass panel that separated the restaurant from the “cow room.” The waiter gave us our ice cream, and it was the best thing I have ever eaten. Let’s just say it was extremely fresh. Reddit User: Geno_77
The Serial Killer
Hiking alone at dusk doing a five-mile loop in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles. I see another lone hiker approaching from the opposite direction. As he gets closer, I suddenly realize I know this person: it’s the guy who played Jame Gumb, aka Buffalo Bill, in Silence of the Lambs. We get within three feet of each other.
He looks at me. He sees the lightning bolt of recognition hit my face. His sad and resigned expression back said it all: “Yes, I’m him. No, I’m not really a serial killer.” I walked briskly by him anyway and didn’t look back until I was a good 100 yards down the trail. Reddit User: Figgywithit
In His Birthday Suit
An old as dirt nudist hiker showed up during my trip. No shoes. No flip flops. Just his pack, a hat, and a pair of trekking poles. Ran into him while I was day hiking one of rockiest, nastiest sections of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. He was super friendly, very talkative, and completely ignored any and all questions about his lack of clothing.
We walked together while he talked on and on for a few miles before I turned back and he carried on. “Lefty,” if you’re still out on the trails, stay weird. Reddit User: Mister_Mortician
I lived in a national park by myself for three months. Several times, when I was going back to my trailer for the day, I would hear music like a music box or an ice cream truck. It was always loud and sounded like it was coming from somewhere over my head. One day, I decided to look for the source, so I followed the dirt road past my trailer.
The music continued; I couldn’t tell if I was getting closer or not. I had my eyes on the trees and looked down just in time to avoid stepping on a snake. I scrambled back, but it didn’t move. I realized it was dead, and it wasn’t alone: there were half a dozen dead copperheads stretched out in the road, looking in the same direction.
I went back to get my car because I couldn’t bring myself to step over them, but by the time I got my keys, the music had stopped and I didn’t hear it again. Reddit User: ms-cnidaria
Disturbing the Ritual
I was backpacking in New Hampshire and camped out for the night after a day hike. I wandered off from our fire to go to the bathroom real quick and, in doing so, accidentally stumbled upon a circle etched into the ground with tuning forks surrounding the circle standing up straight….
It looked like a creepy ritual circle, and it bugged me out, so I booked it back to the group. It was a campsite called Thirteen Falls; it’s a pretty cool area and a really easy hike. Reddit User: ITS_A_BADTIME_BOB
All vacations must come to an end, and going home isn’t always all it’s cracked to be when you live with roommates who you don’t see eye to eye with. From leaving dirty underwear all over the house to bringing over disrespectful house guests, these stories of the worst roommates will make you want to live alone for the rest of your life…
Not doing the dishes, borrowing things without asking first, being late on rent…these are some annoying but unfortunately normal roommate issues to have when choosing to live with another human being. If you’ve ever wondered, “How could my roommate be any worse?” you’re definitely not alone. People can be rough around the edges.
With rent prices as high as they are, getting a roommate is usually a smart way to find affordable living. A lot of colleges require you to live in a dorm during your first year (at least), and if you’re like many other first-year college students, you’ll have to have a roommate. Getting random roommates is always a mixed bag. Some people get placed with random roommates and luck out with a bestie for life, but the people on this list didn’t have quite so much luck.
This girl took being messy to the next level. Freshman year, I had an awful roommate. She left the sink an absolute mess, and we had fruit flies and other bugs. She also left dirty clothes and underwear sprawled across the floor, and she brought guys back to our room while she had a boyfriend.
The worst was the (very) dirty underwear she left on the floor that my parents saw during Parents Weekend. Needless to say, I moved out before the year was up due to our differences. Reddit user: [redacted]
Our Entire Room Reeked
I lived in a tiny dorm with this crazy girl. She had gynecological issues, which was no biggie, but she refused to see a doctor about them. She only got her period twice a year, and when she did get it, it would be extremely heavy and last for several weeks. She would wear pads but would constantly bleed through them and onto her clothes.
However, instead of putting her bloody clothes through the wash like a normal human, she would soak them in bowls of water on her desk. Our entire room reeked of blood. Reddit user: [redacted]
She Had Over $10K
My college freshman roommate hated my boyfriend, but she always had her boyfriend over and fooled around countless times while I was still in the room trying to sleep. The best part is whenever we would go out to eat and she would “forget” her debit card, thus making me pay after we ordered our food.
When I asked her about getting my money back, she always claimed she was broke. I saw her account open on her computer once, and it had over 10 grand from mommy and daddy. Reddit user: [redacted]
Missing a Boyfriend
This girl was actually nuts, but I guess you can’t blame her for knowing what she wanted. She just might be jumping the gun a bit. My cousin’s first roommate when she went to college was very interesting. She bought an engagement ring and then asked my cousin to hide it somewhere in the apartment.
Her idea was that when the roommate’s boyfriend wanted to propose, my cousin would give him the ring so that she would get the ring she wanted but still be surprised when he proposed. She was single. Reddit user: [redacted]
They Were Naked in Her Bed
When I was about 20, I shared an apartment with another girl. We were both pretty mature for college students and not into partying. One night, I was out on a date and didn’t get home until the bar closed, around 4am. I came home to find a couple I’d never met before naked in my bed.
They were listening to my radio, had used my computer, and things were moved around. Like it was their room. They said my roommate said I probably wasn’t coming home so it’d be ok. Reddit user: [redacted]
The Devil’s Spawn
My roommate bullied me into anxiety problems and heart palpitations. Every time I ate, she would say, “Piggy piggy.” Then she broke up with her fiancé, who was fighting in Afghanistan, to date MY ex-boyfriend and would have him over every night. She would even use my TV without asking.
She treated her mom like trash, and I mean I’ve never seen anyone be so disrespectful to other people, especially to their parent who was offering her whatever she wanted. She was literally the devil’s spawn. Reddit user: [redacted]
I’m Still Waiting on That $500
I roomed with a girl that always slammed the door. It didn’t matter if she was angry or happy, she would always slam the door on her way in or out of the house. Second, when we moved into that place, she was short on money, so I paid the $500 security deposit out of pocket.
At the end of our lease, my roommate moved to Portland and didn’t pay the last month’s rent. The landlords withheld the security deposit, and I’m still waiting on that $500. Reddit user: [redacted]
She Stole from Me
I lived with another girl from a different country in a host family abroad. She proceeded to deliberately avoid me, steal money from me and my host mum, borrow things and not give them back, go inside my room and then deny it, and eat all the food I bought with my lunch money.
Things started to disappear, but when we confronted her, she had no clue where the stuff was. Plus, she never showered or washed her clothes. She was 17 years old. I’m so glad that year is over. Reddit user: [redacted]
He Threw Up
He was not my roommate but rather my suitemate. He once came into my room completely drunk, stood by my bed, and threw up, and not a little, a lot. So I was rightfully ticked off, and me and my roommate waited until he passed out and then duct taped him to the RA’s door.
He had no idea how he got there. When the RA questioned us, we just said we were cleaning up throw up all night. He, however, never talked to either of us again. Reddit user: [redacted]
She Doesn’t Even Go Here
My ex girlfriend at Cornell had a roommate at her dorm that turned out to not even be a college student. She was a drug runner, and there would be all sorts of junkies on this girl’s couch and hanging out in her room. They would go in and do illicit things in the bathroom.
We called the cops several times. She was arrested after we took tons of photos of all her drugs and called the police. We consented to them searching the house, including her room, when she was out. Reddit user: [redacted]
I had a roommate freshman year of college that had a rabbit named Meat Chunks. My roommate would let him run around the house and get on the couch. Cute for a while, until you find little rabbit poops when you sit down. My roommate’s response was, “He only eats grass, so it’s not gross.”
When we moved out, the couch was pulled away from the wall, and a rainbow of rabbit urine and hundreds of little poops were found. It took everything I had to not get myself some “lucky” rabbit feet. Reddit user: [redacted]
“Butterfly” by Crazytown
I somehow ended up living with 19-year-old twin undergraduate males as a late-twenties female graduate student through sheer bad luck. They were terrible roommates. They frequently got in fist fights with one another, and they lived off of ramen that stunk up the entire place. However, they did two things that were truly unforgivable.
One was played Crazytown’s “Butterfly” on constant loop for 3 days straight because he loved the song so much, and the other left his hair all over the bathroom for a few days after giving himself a trim down below. Reddit user: [redacted]
Him and Three Other Men
There was the landlord that lied about the house being for students. In reality, it was him and three other men, all 35+. I was 18 (female) at the time. Then there were the two wild party girls who always brought home a bunch of strangers from the bar. One of them also left her walls covered in black mold.
Last, but certainly not least, the jerk who forced me out when he wanted to sell MY television. “I hold the lease on this property, so everything thing on it is mine.” Reddit user: [redacted]
My roommate would poop like a normal person, that’s fine. But when he wiped, he wouldn’t flush the toilet paper. He would put the crappy pieces of toilet paper in the trash can! It smelled the entire dorm room up. Not to mention he expected me to take the trash out.
The trash can was about a foot tall, and the poop-TP mountain was more than twice the size. It was just leaning against the cabinet under the sink. It was disgusting! Reddit user: [redacted]
Rotting in the Bathroom
My fiancé’s old roommate left her used pads and tampons on the bathroom sink for weeks. They rotted and attracted flies. When he or the other housemate asked her to clean that stuff up, she raged and ripped out the internet router. Lucky for them, one day she got in another rage…not sure if it was over the tampons or something else.
She suddenly moved out, leaving several weeks of unpaid rent. I would gladly pay the several hundred dollars just to be rid of her. Reddit user: [redacted]
The List That Could Go On
My old roommate was 23 years old. He would pee and not flush the toilet and didn’t brush his teeth in the year he lived with me (I even bought him a toothbrush). He took shoes out of my dead brother’s room and wore them. He constantly left wet towels on his floor and his clothes in the bathroom after showering.
He never cleaned his room once, and he constantly wanted me to drive him places because he was cheap on gas. I could go on. Needless to say he’s gone now. Reddit user: [redacted]
My roommate would always make spaghetti. He always made way too much and would have a huge pot of sauce left over. He would just stick saran wrap over the pot and leave it in the fridge for days until one of us would just dump it out. Eventually, we stopped taking care of it.
It sat in our fridge for weeks growing the sickest mold I’ve ever seen. After that, we put it under our back deck and left it. I never saw it again and have no idea what happened to it. Reddit user: [redacted]
The Housing Assignments
Sophomore year in college, I was assigned a random roommate. I came back to the dorm after spending a weekend at home to find all of his stuff gone and the cabinets cleaned out, along with everything worth more than $10 I had in the dorm (T.V., PS2, minifridge, games, electric toothbrush).
I called the cops, and it turns out that the kid wasn’t even enrolled at the school but was the nephew of the guy who did the housing assignments; he had been giving young family members places to stay and quit the day before. Reddit user: [redacted]
I was put in a three bedroom apartment with 6 roommates. One roommate never owned a set of sheets for his bed during our 4 months living there. He also regularly brought girls back for sexy time on his bare mattress. One day, he started complaining about a rash that had developed on his chest.
The dude had scabies. The rest of us were then required to go to the clinic, where they gave us all a special cream that we had to apply head to toe, “just in case.” Reddit user: [redacted]
My roommate showered twice a week with this one towel. He never washed his towel throughout the entire semester and used it to clean up messes. This included messes that were made during and after intimacy. Then he would also wipe his mouth after brushing his teeth. With the same towel.
He also never changed his sheets the entire year after having unprotected you know what with his girlfriend. Other than that, he was a pretty swell guy. Reddit user: [redacted]
The Baby-Obsessed Roommate
My old roommate was slightly obsessed with babies and getting pregnant. She would cut the heads and limbs off baby dolls and then sew them onto handmade “more lifelike” bodies. I would often wake up to random baby parts in bowls around the room. It looked like a horror scene most of the time.
She also got obsessed with selling baby stuff online. Again, she didn’t have a kid. Our tiny dorm was stuffed full with boxes, random products, and doll parts. Reddit user: [redacted]
The Tailbone Cyst
This story makes me gag. My freshman year roommate had a cyst on his tailbone, and every couple months, it would pop and get all over whatever pants he was wearing. The fact that it was so bad that I knew where on his body the cyst was…you know it was bad. There was just no hiding it.
And this was some foul-smelling stuff, but instead of cleaning it up and doing laundry, he would just leave it for days. Reddit user: [redacted]
My roommate was a really sweet gal. However, whenever she got drunk, she had a heck of a time figuring out our doorknob. So one night, around 4am, I heard a rattling noise. I looked around and realized that she was trying to leave our room. She didn’t realize, however, that the door was locked.
A few minutes passed, and she walked over to our garbage can, pulled off her shorts, and peed into the trash can. The next semester, a similar situation, except this time, she flooded our entire room with pee. Reddit user: [redacted]
He’s a Snooping Thief
The jerk I’m living with now is easily the worst roommate I’ve had. He had women in my bed and our other roommate’s while we were away. He snooped around my room for my extra car keys and then took my car without my permission. He comes back home belligerently drunk every weekend, banging on the door and yelling.
Doesn’t ever clean or help out with anything around the apartment. To top it all off, he’s now living in my room while I’m working in Europe. Reddit user: [redacted]
The Smell of Black Ice
My roommate showered FOUR times in the two months he was living with us. We work together, and it’s a dirty job. I always have grease and grain dust/dirt on me, as did he. He would stink up the entire room he was in. I hung a few of those little tree air fresheners all around his bunk to give him a clue.
To this day, the scent of ‘black ice’ makes me want to vomit. The day he left, the other guys and I burned the sheets of his bunk. Reddit user: [redacted]
This awful, smelly one really takes the cake, but not in a good way! A housemate I had a while back had serious hygiene issues, although I think it was largely laziness. The guy’s room smelled awful right up until he moved out. To put it in perspective, he had problems with mold everywhere.
Rather than clean his room, he started putting fungicide in with his laundry (because apparently that’s all that’s actually important). Reddit user: [redacted]
Flush the Toilet
I had a roommate who would repeatedly fail to flush his crap down the toilet. The mechanism was a little wonky, so sometimes you had to jiggle it or flush it multiple times to get it to go down, but he never did that. When I complained, rather than apologize, he made excuses.
“Oh, sometimes my phone rings while I’m in the bathroom so I go to answer it and I forget.” And he argued that it was unreasonable to expect him to check that his poop was going down the toilet. Reddit user: [redacted]
My first roommate drove me nuts. I’d try to play a video game and we would have volume battles. She would watch TV 99% of the day, and for my 2 hours of game time, she wouldn’t let me have my volume up just a little more. She wouldn’t sleep until 2am when I had to wake up at 7am for class.
She’d wake up at 4am and eat something with a loud obnoxious wrapper. I wanted to kill her. I moved in with my boyfriend’s family my second semester. I couldn’t deal with her anymore. Reddit user: [redacted]
The Menstrual Cup
I get wanting to find new ways to handle Mother Nature visiting each month. I’ve even heard really good things about menstrual cups, but this was so gross. My roommate used something called a menstrual cup. It’s basically a cup you use just like a tampon, but it’s used to collect menstrual blood, and it’s reusable.
Anyway, several times I caught her using my cookware to sanitize her cup, and on several occasions, she would leave a ring around the shower drain, because that’s where she would empty it. Reddit user: [redacted]
I was at track camp. I mean yeah, no one really wanted to be there, because it’s track camp and that’s not very much fun. The worst part besides the fact that it was track camp was waking up in the middle of the night to find my (perfect stranger of a) roommate standing over me watching me sleep.
I sat straight up, and she didn’t say anything. She just acted like she was doing something and got back in bed. It was creepy. Reddit user: [redacted]
Street Fighter Party
Last night my housemate had a Street Fighter party, with around 50 guys crammed into our bottom floor. They brought their own consoles and had money riding on the games. Interesting way to spend your time, but okay. All of that testosterone trapped in one basement was getting to just be too much.
When you opened the door, you got hit with a wall of dude smell, and people three doors down could hear them. I dubbed it Virgin Fight Club. It wasn’t bad at all, but it was hilarious. Reddit user: [redacted]
Sounds Like a Healthy Relationship…
My freshman year of college, I moved into a dorm, and my roommate seemed normal until I realized how many screaming fights he would get into with his girlfriend (and the constant weird makeup loving they would have, all while I was in the room). He would break his own belongings over fights he had with her, including his own hand once by punching a concrete wall.
I then had to drive him to the hospital. After I completed my freshman year, I found out he got his girlfriend pregnant, in case you were wondering. Reddit user: [redacted]
Fresh Out of a Divorce
I rent a room in a relatively wealthy man’s house. He’s fresh out of a divorce, and his young daughters are over a few days a week. But when they’re gone, he takes full advantage of having as many women as he can over. Then, he either blows an air mattress up in the living room or takes women into his children’s beds.
He has a big house and his own room. I don’t understand why these women don’t question his choice of location. Reddit user: [redacted]
I shared a dorm room with 2 other people. One of my roommates said, “Hey, some of my friends are coming through town, ok if they crash on the floor?” Come back from a late class to find ELEVEN unwashed hippies taking up every inch of floor space, including the balcony.
They stayed all weekend. Also with this roommate: told my mom that I was on academic probation during my first quarter. Reddit user: [redacted]
My girlfriend brought in random homeless dude and woman to help them get back on their feet. Not even a few weeks into it, I’d noticed a little bit of change gone here and there, but I figured I was just looking for a problem and didn’t have solid evidence against them.
I came home one day to my computer and PS4 gone, my entire fridge emptied of food, my spare room completely trashed, and my little piggy bank I’d been saving up busted and empty. Never seen them since that day. Reddit user: [redacted]
Don’t Touch His Coffee Mug
I lived with a guy who refused to wash (or let me wash) his dirty dishes. He believed that all he ever needed was one plate, one knife and fork, one glass, and one cup, and he would just reuse them over and over again. I once washed his coffee mug and he freaked out!
Then there was how he had all the labels of tin cans facing the exact same way in the cupboard. I drunkenly turned one of them one night for a laugh and he exploded in anger. Reddit user: [redacted]
He Loved LOST
It’s less creepy, just weird. My freshman year, I roomed with a guy, and one day I was sitting in front of my TV watching LOST, and he came in and let me know that he was a fan of the show. Then he proceeded to just stand behind me and watch the whole episode.
Didn’t sit. Just stood there quietly. When I invited him to sit, he just told me that he was fine standing there. When I turned on the next episode, he did the same thing again. Reddit user: [redacted]
While living with awful roommates may have you dreaming about your next Caribbean cruise, travelers don’t always catch a break when they’re out seeing the world. From trips to the emergency room to getting robbed in Thailand, these tourists have had horrendous experiences that will make you happy to stay put in the comfort of your home…
Ask anyone what they fear the most about traveling, and most will respond with typical answers like losing their wallet while away from home, getting stuck somewhere without a map, having their luggage lost, or coming back to their hotel to find something stolen. These are certainly disconcerting, but in the realm of “bad things that could happen when you travel,” they’re pretty tame compared to what a few unlucky people have been through.
From meeting your dad’s mistress and secret half-brother on a trip to Disney World to getting infected with hookworms while partying on a beach in the Caribbean or needing to be medically evacuated after a wrongful diagnosis in Europe, some people just have really bad luck when they travel. The people of the internet have gathered to share the creepy, hilarious, and downright wacky things that have happened to them while on the road…
Hooked on Jamaica
The trip itself was amazing for me, and for everyone else involved, until they got home to find out what they brought with them. We went to Jamaica with a 40+ person wedding party, and we were all dancing on beach, barefoot in the sand. When we got back to the United States, the people who went started texting in circles that everyone needed to get checked out…
It turns out that almost everybody had hookworms in their feet and legs. Immediately everyone went to their doctors or local ERs to get checked, and we found out that only about 5 people didn’t get them, and I was one of the lucky few. Some people had the hookworms travel all the way to their knees. I’d never been so happy to be excluded from something in my life. Reddit User: EIemenop
Bitten on My First Day
On the first day of my two week trip to Borneo, I was bitten by what the locals call a black widow spider. I was scared before I started to exhibit any of the symptoms I quickly researched. The first thing I experienced was paralysis started on my hand in the spot where I was bitten. But that wasn’t the worst of it….
The paralysis traveled up my arm, and the moment that my life flashed before my eyes was when it started to affect my breathing. Borneo is a tiny island with no hospitals or modern medicine. The guides decided to take me to the clinic where they gave me paracetamol, which didn’t quite deal with the problem at hand. I don’t know how I’m still here, but I’ve never been more grateful in my life. Reddit User: on the balcony
A Sneaking Suspicion
I was traveling for work, and I had not been feeling well for several days. I had a sneaking suspicion that I might have appendicitis, but I left anyway; I quickly realized that it was a bad decision. After being there for a few hours, I decided to try to fly home and intended to go to the ER as soon as I landed….
I got on the plane and sat in a ground-hold for the better part of 2 hours. At this point, I felt really, really bad. I was close to ringing the flight attendant call button and explaining that I needed to get off the plane. We were finally cleared for take-off, and fortunately, it was a relatively short flight. I landed and drove straight to the ER. Three hours later, I was in surgery having my appendix removed. Reddit User: geekfly
Disney, New Family
When I was a child, my parents were in the process of splitting up. As a way to make it less stressful, my dad proposed a trip to Disney World, just him and his kids. It seemed cool. Then, the morning of, he picked us up, and there was a woman and her infant child who we had never seen before….
It turns out that the boy was our new half-brother, and the woman was my dad’s mistress. We were trapped in the car with a woman who we hated, and we were angry that we were forced to go to Disney World with her. We quickly learned that this wouldn’t be the last time, and my siblings dreaded every minute of it. Every trip was horrible, and I hate Disney World because of it. Reddit User: tuna_pie
We’re Not Staying
A while back, my wife and I went to the Bahamas, and 6 hours after we got there, I started having stomach pains. Two hours later, we were at a local hospital where they did a CT scan of my entire body, which they then said was fine. My wife happened to be an oncologist, and when she asked to see my scans, she noticed that my gallbladder was the size of my liver….
She immediately said we’re not staying here. We paid for a medivac to the tune of $22,000, and I was in surgery back home in 12 hours. My gallbladder was 13cm (normal is 7-8) with a 3.8cm stone in the middle of it. The surgeon said it was the biggest she had ever seen. I also got to ride in a Learjet, so I guess that’s something. Reddit User: guyincognitoo
The Cruise from Hell
I once took a transatlantic cruise from the Mediterranean to the United States onboard a Holland America ship, because we thought it might be more fun than flying back. As we were boarding, we were given notice that there was some kind of severe sickness on the previous cruise with lots of people throwing up, but little did we know that the whole ship had become full of it…
It was everywhere; elevators, hallways, walls, everywhere. Most of the amenities were shut down, including laundry facilities. They made announcements that the ship was being “deep cleaned,” but I didn’t see many signs of that, as our room was pretty filthy. We immediately made demands to have the room cleaned again, and it wasn’t much better after the second go….
After being on the ship for two days, we started to hear about people getting sick on the cruise and being quarantined in their quarters. I even saw it as we walked through the halls. At the time, we were at a port in Spain, and we decided to skip out on the rest of the cruise and just take it as a loss. Reddit User: RalphiesBoogers
Checking Things Out
A few friends and I were in Thessaloniki, and we were just walking about when out of nowhere, we saw a police motorcade full of motorcycles and horses in the middle of the street. We thought it must be some sort of festival or parade or something because a crowd was drawing, so we went over to see what it was about….
Eventually, we heard singing coming down the block, and there were hundreds of people marching toward the police. It was a riot. Once we realized what was going on, we tried to leave, but it had already started to go down. In trying to escape, we got hit with tear gas from the police and found shelter in a random apartment building. Reddit User: ReallyCleverName69
The #2 Express
I decided to take a Greyhound bus to go out of town for the weekend to meet up with a few friends. It was late, and I was sat at the back of the bus, near the bathroom. 10 minutes into the 2-hour bus ride, this guy wrecks the bathroom. I had to use the hood of my hoodie to cover my face. Every so often, I would reluctantly remove it for a short breathe of oxygen and a whiff of whatever the man released in the bathroom….
I eventually took it off and tried to deal with the smell as best I could. During the ordeal, I looked to my right and saw this lady with “the look.” She had her arms crossed and her posture hunched with a miserable look on her face. I looked at her every now and then waiting to see if this was really going to happen….
I was thinking of offering her a ginger ale when she suddenly relieved herself all over the floor directly to the right of me. I wanted to laugh because I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. The smell transcended into a horrible demon. My girlfriend woke from her peaceful nap in the window seat from all the commotion of angry passengers. My transfer could not come any sooner. Reddit User: zEJAYz
Sewage and Stolen Items
I was studying abroad in Thailand and went with a friend to the island of Koh Samui for the weekend. Soon after checking into our dinky little hotel, we rented motorbikes and cruised around the island, quickly getting lost on back roads. No big deal. We found a little tiki bar and drank the night away, thinking, “We’ll figure out how to get home…eventually.”
Fast-forward to about midnight, and we’ve drank enough that motorbiking back to where we came from suddenly seemed like a good idea. It’s an island, right? Who gets lost on an island? So, we set back in the general direction of the hotel. After about an hour of riding around dirt roads, we passed something that smelled terrible, and I turned back to make a sour face at my friend, but I would quickly learn that was a big mistake….
In a flash, I went off the side of the road and smashed the motorbike off an embankment and into what I assume was a swamp…of the town’s sewage. By the time I realized what happened, I was almost fully submerged in it and trying to account for my body parts. We managed to get my motorbike running again, then slowly made our way back to the hotel while my bruises were marinating in sewage….
When we got there, I sprinted to the hotel room shower like my life depended on it. After a few minutes of obsessive scrubbing, I emerged to an empty room. Long story short, we were robbed while we were out. I had nothing but a Winnie the Pooh shirt and a pair of underwear. There was nothing we could do about it. To this day, it remains my most horrible travel/vacation experience…as well as one of my favorite stories to tell. Reddit User: Cmdr-Keen
Most Wanted Father
When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I was invited to spend 2 weeks in Florida with my best friend’s family at their condo. My best friend, Michelle, and her mom would spend the whole summer down there, while her dad would fly down just for 2 weeks so he could maintain the family business.
I was to fly down with Michelle’s dad because I didn’t want to spend my entire summer there….Michelle’s dad has a name very similar to a terrorist on the FBI’s most wanted list. It was very close, just one letter off. Being 11-12 at the time, my bags, tickets, and such were all in his name. We were stopped at every single airport and searched, even on our layover.
People kept looking at the name on the reservation and had this look of panic come over their eyes. Little did they know that we were just a nice guy who ran a movie rental store and his daughter’s best friend trying to go on vacation. Reddit User: [redacted]
I was scheduled to go on a flight from Delhi to Frankfurt, and I never thought that I’d have to go through so much drama. First off, my intestines were ready to burst because of something I ate. To make things worse for me, the security officer went ahead and squeezed my stomach without any warning. I nearly went all over him….
When I got to the airport lounge, it was completely packed, so we just hung out in the terminal and visited the bathroom every 20 minutes until the flight boarded. Of course, when I got to my seat, there was a straggler who refused to get out of my paid business class ticket. So security got called in and dragged two girls off the flight. When we took off, my Delhi belly continued, and I was on the toilet while experiencing turbulence flying over Pakistan. Reddit User: ooo-ooo-oooyea
Peanut Butter Arrest
On my way back to the mainland from Hawaii with my children, I was stopped at security, and I later got separated from my kids for quite some time, all because I had a half-eaten jar of Skippy peanut butter in my backpack. At the time, the lovely people at TSA were acting like I was smuggling illegal substances into the country….
They wouldn’t let my kids anywhere near me, and they also refused to let any employees sit with them. They were just peering through the upper glass walls across the way, crying their eyes out, waiting to see if mommy was going to go to jail for a jar of peanut butter. I understand that they’re just trying to do their jobs, but my goodness. Reddit User: Sarcastic_Bard
Do Not Tamper
TSA does the strangest things in the name of security, but I’ll never get over what they did during my encounter. The TSA agent started to disassemble my CPAP machine (for my sleep apnea) with a screwdriver because she had never seen one before. When I attempted to stop her from tampering with a medical device that I need to not die in my sleep, and that is clearly marked “This is a medical device,” she had me flagged as an unruly passenger….
She took it a step further and banned me from leaving the security area. I explained to her supervisor that I had contacted my loved ones and gave them her name and badge number in case I died in my sleep because my breathing machine had been tampered with. They eventually covered the cost of a replacement CPAP. Reddit User: neinta
On my flight from London to Tokyo, which can last anywhere from 11 to 12 hours, someone decided to bring their little dog with them. I had no issue with it until the little dog began to whine. The owner decided to let their pet walk around the cabin floor where it casually just squatted down and pooped on the floor….
The smell was overwhelmingly awful. No amount of air freshener could help the smell, which quickly filled the aircraft. Two hours later, the dog started whining again, and you guessed it, another pile of poop followed. I had no idea you could take a dog on a plane like this, but I’m surprised the owner made it off alive. Reddit User: Muffsaid
While backpacking around Europe, my partner and I stayed at a hostel in Amsterdam, a room for 8 to be exact. We ended up getting chummy with the other two couples in there and chatted for quite some time. As we were getting ready for bed, a guy came in to take one of the other remaining beds, sat down, and casually pulled out a giant sword….
He just sat down on the cot, took it out, laid it on his lap, and sat there silently, glancing at us every so often. We were all stunned, and we all went silent for a second because we didn’t know if he was serious. He ignored us and just sat there with his sword in silence. It took us a while to go to sleep. Reddit User: Vedmedyk
In Need of Help
I took a business trip to Las Vegas on a Friday that was 400 miles away from where I lived. I took my own car, and halfway there, my transmission started to go, and by the time I got there, my car wouldn’t go over 20 MPH. It’s under warranty, so I take it to a dealership, and they can’t fix it until Monday….
I’m broke, and the company only gave me enough money for one night and one day. I call an ex, and he gets me a bus ticket home, but it leaves at midnight. I go all day walking from casino to casino until midnight (with no food). When the time comes, I go to the bus station, and they have no record of the ticket.
My cell phone is dead. I break out crying at the ticket counter, and a bus driver hears and decides to do me a favor and gets me 50 miles away from my town, but not before the bus breaks down midway there….I get my dead phone to turn on long enough to get a friend who lives nearby to come to pick me up, and I beg him to get me something to eat. He shows up 2 hours later without food.
I’m pretty grateful he picked me up, so I don’t complain. It takes 2 more hours to get home, and when I get there, I plug in my phone. There’s a message from the mechanic saying that my car was ready for pick up on Saturday morning. Reddit User: turbiw
Will You Marry Me?
I was exploring this little village in Vietnam, and I was going along my merry way when a guy comes up to me and starts talking to me in very broken English. Within 5 minutes of beginning the conversation, he asks me, a woman, “You married?” I say no. He then says, “You marry me?”
I assumed he was joking, because we’d known each other for 5 minutes, so I said yes. He immediately began yelling something in Vietnamese, then grabbed my hand and started waving it around in the air. Within minutes we were surrounded by dozens of people who were all cheering and smiling and shaking my hand. I got out of there before I got my fiancé’s name. Reddit User: quailgirl
No Amount of Magic
My family went on vacation to Disney World, and it was bad from the beginning. Firstly, we arrived very late, very tired, and all we wanted to do was just get into our hotel, wash up, and go to sleep. My mom goes inside to talk to the hotel staff about our room and parking and comes out an hour later, and everyone is all frustrated….
It leads to a huge argument, and in her frustration, my mother whips open the car door and cuts open her face right under her eye. So guess where we had to go. To the emergency room, where we waited for several hours so that she could get stitches. We all wanted to go back home after that; no amount of magic could have saved that holiday. Reddit User: hiiammaddie
I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life, and there are a few occasions where I’ve felt like I’ll never go abroad again. In this episode, I somehow managed to get sun poisoning while on vacation in Mexico. As bad as it was, my sister got it worse than me. While ziplining in the middle of the Mexican wilderness, she had an episode that was pretty explosive…
After the embarrassment, we decided to go on a catamaran (boat) ride to try to enjoy the rest of our vacation. Bad idea. I got horribly seasick and threw up the entire boat ride, but that wasn’t the end of it. We then spent 3 hours at the airport getting scammed into buying different tourist location packs. Reddit User: hiiammaddie
This horrible trip takes us to France. I was very young when I went to an amusement park with my dad and sister (who was also very young) in Paris, France. Our mother decided to stay home because she wasn’t feeling very well. While we’re on the Ferris wheel, we get a call from our mom….
She called to say that she had a stabbing pain in her back and head and needed to go to the hospital. At that very moment, the Ferris wheel stopped. We were stuck at the top of the wheel, and we stayed there for over an hour, screaming that we needed to get to the hospital. I just wanted to check on my mom. Reddit User: hiiammaddie
Tree Farm Drama
I had just married my current wife. She had a daughter in middle school. I had bought a camper a few months earlier, and we, along with some of my stepdaughter’s friends, went on a camping trip. We also took our two dogs with us on the trip. When we got there, and there was another dog running around the campground.
So I told my dogs to lay down in the back of the SUV, and they did. We had only been there for 15 minutes, and my stepdaughter’s friend said that Jeannie wasn’t moving; she was dead….Here we were, 5 hours from home on our first vacation, 15 minutes in, and the family pet dies. Everyone flips, naturally.
My wife is screaming at me to do something, and my stepdaughter is screaming. I went down the mountain to ask for a shovel, and to make a long story short, I buried the dog on someone’s Christmas tree farm. They called the police, and I immediately packed up my family and left. Reddit User: [redacted]
Something to Prove
I have many travel horror stories, but this one definitely takes the cake, and I know that it’s all my fault. I was attempting to show off my skills and was making a fool of myself. I was studying abroad, and we spent about three weeks in the Netherlands, and it just so happened that we were there when the Netherlands lost the 2010 World Cup final to Spain….
The group members and I watched the game on the big screen at a place where there must have been at least 60,000 people. As an American who was bandwagoning on the Netherlands team, I felt I had something to prove to the locals. I saw a group of guys that were trying to get one of those oversized 3-liter beer bottles opened but forgot a beer bottle opener.
I grabbed the bottle from them and popped the cap open with my teeth….I successfully popped that bad boy opened, and they all cheered, but as soon as I opened it, I felt a pain in my mouth. I then proceeded to spit out a large chunk of my tooth that I cracked while opening the bottle.
I was upset, in pain, and felt like a total idiot. My tooth was in pain for the rest of the trip until I got it fixed back in the United States. To top it all off, the guys didn’t offer me any beer, and the Netherlands lost the game. Reddit User: Cool_hand_dude
The Don’t List
This happened to my in-laws, and I’m happy to tell the story because I’m involved. My in-laws went to Mexico for their 25th wedding anniversary, and I specifically told them not to leave the resort and only to drink bottled water. They ended up not doing both, and they practically got kidnapped after getting onto a boat alone with some locals….
Apparently, they told my in-laws that they wanted to show them another resort, but they ended up far away from their hotel and had to run miles to their resort after these people demanded money from them. They got back to the hotel safely but left Mexico with a not fun surprise. By the time they arrived home, they both were in the bathroom for about two weeks straight. It was from drinking the water. Reddit User: AmandaJoye
Trying to Be Amicable
My ex-boyfriend and I had booked a luxury trip to Hawaii about four months in advance, but midway through the time we booked and when we were supposed to leave for the vacation, we broke up. Since two of our good friends were going as well, we tried to be amicable and just go and try to have fun even though things were not the best between us….
Because the universe hates me, the hotel messed up and booked us in a hotel with one bed rather than singles. When we tried to change it, they didn’t have any more rooms with singles. So, I was stuck with my super emotional ex, and every night we bickered about why things will never go right between us. Needless to say, we kind of ruined the trip for our friends. Reddit User: [redacted]
I was in Georgia with my family, visiting my older sister. I’m legally blind and have contacts, and back then, my insurance would only cover glasses or contacts. So, I chose contacts, but I was a little negligent and forgot my contact case and solution on the trip. So that night, I decided to put my contacts in water….
It was never a good idea but felt better than sleeping in them or leaving them on the counter. So I decided to put them in cups on my bedside table on the first night we were there. I woke up to find out that my mother threw the cup of water down the sink because she thought that it was just water. For the rest of my vacation, I saw vague shapes. Thanks, mom. Reddit User: [redacted]
Sketchy Driver and Fake Security
I, a female, was traveling through Tanzania together with my sister. Unfortunately, our taxi driver from the ferry to the bus station was less than legit. When we got into the car, he asked us where we were going, and we told him that we were headed to Moshi.
He gets on the phone and is speaking Swahili, but I distinctly hear him say “Moshi” and “mzungu”, which means white person. He drives us into a sketchy alleyway beside the bus station, and his friend pressures us super hard to buy bus tickets for a bus I’ve never heard of at three times the regular price. They both get upset when we refuse, so we escape into the bus station, but there’s not a single tourist in sight.
We need help. A security guard comes to our rescue and takes us to the hotel in the terminal….It turns out he wasn’t a security guard, and he also tried to blackmail us into buying bus tickets for his company, and he even knew what room we were staying in at the hotel he brought us to.
After being harassed, we managed to buy tickets at the legit place, and when the “security guard” asked us to purchase tickets from him again, he got super angry when he found out we had already bought tickets….He starts screaming at us in Swahili and chases us into the hotel.
We lock our hotel room, but we hear him in the hallway, yelling and banging on our door for some time. This was around 11 o’clock in the morning. We stayed in our hotel room until 5 am the next day, with only half a bottle of soda and one stale muffin between the two of us. We couldn’t wait to go back home. Reddit User: amahora
New York Bathroom Stall
I spent a week in New York City with some close friends, and it was one of the worst weeks of my life. We head over to Times Square to see the sites and whatnot, then decide to check out a mall we spotted. Several of the stores were closed, and it looked like the whole place was under renovation.
I needed to head to the restroom, so I head over to the can by my lonesome and plan to meet up with the others later….Right when I get into a stall, I hear a very angry man shouting and slamming the doors on the other stalls. He’s screaming stuff like “Where are you?” and making a big ruckus, then he stops at my stall. It was the creepiest thing ever.
I turn around to see a hand clutch the top of the stall, and he tries to pull the door down as hard as possible….I could see his face while I’m standing there mid-wipe, terrified that this may be my last day on Earth. So many thoughts ran through my head.
I heard a loud, booming voice say, “You better step away from that stall!” It was an NYPD officer. I’ve never been so happy to see a police officer. I hurried back to my friends and retold the story, but one of them started to mock me. Another one said to me, “When I saw the look on your face, I knew you’d seen enough of New York!” Reddit User: Alfredopotato
I went to Germany for a “work” trip with a team of people. Our first night there, I went out with a buddy of mine, hitting a few small bars after dinner. I had a few beers but was pretty sober, and I was taking care of my friend, who was pretty drunk. At the last bar, we each ordered a beer, and halfway through it, I suddenly felt drunk.
From sober to drunk in half a beer, something wasn’t adding up….My mind must’ve already been messed up, because I basically ignored it, and I let my friend walk off back to the hotel by himself when he told me he wanted to leave. In any ordinary situation, I would’ve gladly gone back with him then.
The next thing I know, I’m waking up on the sidewalk outside somewhere, with my wallet and cell phone gone….Pieces of what happened start to come back to me, and it clicks that the bartender slipped something in my drink, then he and his goons robbed me outside of the bar.
Afterward, I remember finding a police station and trying to explain to them what happened, but they treated me like a drunk, told me to get out, and literally pushed me out of the police station. I went back to the hotel and passed out for the next 20 hours. Reddit User: CommanderKeen
Is This the End?
Now that I’m a little older, I can laugh about it, but back then, I thought that my life was ending at the age of 12. I was on vacation with my dad in San Diego back when I was in 6th grade. Midway through the trip, I got my monthly cycle (you know what I mean) for the first time, and I freaked out….
I knew what it was, but for some reason, I didn’t think of it as being my monthly cycle; I thought that something was wrong with me and that I was dying. I didn’t tell my dad anything and waited until I got home and sobbed to my mom about how I was dying. She had a great laugh, and she keeps bringing it up to this day. Reddit User: xXBekachuXx
Give Me Your Camera
Back when I was shooting for a non-profit organization in Sudan, a local soldier/militiaman bruised my sternum with the muzzle of his weapon. He was mugging me because I was a foreigner in the middle of Sudan with a nice camera. Since he had no use for a camera, he asked for $5000, then $1000, then a pack of cigarettes….
Then he just let me walk away, but only if I put my camera away. He didn’t speak English. He didn’t speak Arabic or Juba Arabic. He spoke some obscure tribal tongue. I got out of there pretty quickly. So, I had a lethal weapon in my chest while I played a game of telephone with the indigenous people of Sudan. Reddit User: texasphotog
In the Wrong Group
I went to Europe on a school trip, which I paid for myself through working every school holiday for years. When in Paris, we were supposed to stay in groups of 5 or 6. None of my friends came on the trip, so I was put with a group of popular kids. We were looking around a boutique when I went to look at some hoodies while they were looking at lingerie….
We promised to meet out the front of the store at 2 pm, so at 1:50pm, I’m at the front of the shop waiting. At 2:10, I’ve gone on both levels of the shop and realize they’d left me here alone, and they weren’t going to come back. So I wait next to this massive security guard who keeps asking me things in French. I then leave and wander the streets of Paris by myself for half an hour….
I’m pretty sure that someone’s following me and I’m terrified, so I run and wait in a coffee shop for a while until finally I see the teachers and stay with them for the rest of the trip. We run into my group, and they blame me for getting lost. I was only 15. I was bullied during the rest of the trip. Reddit User: [redacted]
Girls on the Internet
In my early 20s, I was very dumb and very lonely, I had just discovered the ‘joy’ of chat rooms and such and thought it was great and that it was a great way to meet girls. One of these was from the US (I’m from the UK), and I decided, despite almost every single indication that this was a really stupid idea, that I would go and visit her….
We spoke about it, and it was agreed that I would be staying with her aunt, and they would collect me from the airport when I arrived. I waited in the lobby, and waited and waited…and after calling me, they told me that I needed to get a bus. They said that I needed to figure it out, so I got a taxi instead, and it cost me $300….
The family greeted me, gave me some pizza, and showed me around, but there was something or someone missing. There was no sign of this girl that I was supposed to be meeting. They called her to let her know I was there, but she didn’t show. She came over the next day for a short visit, and within the first few minutes, I knew that I’d made a huge mistake; she clearly didn’t want me to be there at all….
I was due to stay for around three weeks, most of which was spent hanging around with this girl’s aunt and her boyfriend and kids. I rarely saw the girl, and she made almost no effort to even speak to me. I spent most of my time washing dishes and smoking. I had agreed to pay some rent for my stay, but the aunt used me to pay for her groceries too, so I spent the majority of my money on them….
Over the next few days, things went to garbage. Another aunt’s psychotic ex-husband, who threatened her, threatened to come over to deal with me. Then the aunt told me that girl I was supposed to meet does this kind of thing all the time. The aunt later called security on me, saying that I was flashing myself to her kids and that I was being violent. I paid £200 to go home the next day. Reddit User: Jim_swanky
Landing Headfirst and a Busted Knee
Years ago, back when I was a traveling musician, I had a show in Melbourne with some friends of mine, and we decided to make a road trip of it and drive there from Adelaide with a couple of friends. We would have to drive overnight, so we arrived early the next morning and found out that there was a party just off the highway in the Adelaide Hills that same night….
So we stopped off and had a lot of fun. After a while, I went to go chill in the car park and was sitting on the hood of the car. My posse came back and decided it was time to go. The driver also decided it would be funny to start driving while I was still on the hood. He wasn’t exactly flooring it, but I turned around and yelled for him to stop….
And he did. Very, very suddenly. I flew off and soared a good couple of meters and landed headfirst on the gravel, which took out a sizeable chunk of my right knee; you could see bits of fat. I felt a bit funny, but it’s cool, I’ll be alright, let’s just get to Melbourne. We stopped off at a roadhouse on the way, put some antiseptic on my knee, and that was it….
We got to Melbourne, and I got on stage later that night and made it through maybe two minutes before my busted up knee gave way. I had to hobble off, dragging my leg like a zombie in front of a full house. I promptly vomited all over a couch, passed out for a few minutes, and then spent the rest of the weekend in bed nursing a concussion. Reddit User: g-swift
My family and I all took a trip down to South Padre to spend Thanksgiving break in our beach house. On the first night of the trip, we were at a nice restaurant, and I decided to be adventurous and try the snails, and to this day, I still don’t know why I did. Around midnight my stomach decided that it was having none of that escargot….
I spent the next few hours trying to remove all traces of snail from my body. I spent the next few days living off of Alka-Seltzer and crackers, and I could barely even keep that down. Thanksgiving day was spent alone in a beach house dry-heaving while the rest of my family went out for a pleasant feast. Reddit User: iamintothat
The Reason I Don’t Travel
I don’t travel very often, simply because I’m lazy, but I was forced into visiting my aunt who lived two cities away. The trip would consist of one small trip to the Metrorail, and then a longer one on a proper train. Carrying all my luggage, I headed onto the escalator, which proceeded to break down. Fine, I thought, I’ll get up to the top level via elevator. Which then also broke….
I had to wait in a smelly cesspool for 15 minutes before it started back up. Finally, I make it to the boarding area, only to find the Metrorail would be delayed for a few hours, as someone willingly threw stuff on the track while a train was coming. As you would expect, one carriage required some cleanup. I stuck it out and just waited….
The trip to the train station wasn’t bad, but I couldn’t help but notice that the number on the train was 666. At this point, half of the remaining crowd turns around and leaves. Forget that. I proceeded to board the train. The trip was fine, and my aunt’s house was awful. See why I prefer to stay at home? Reddit User: LotoSage
Doing It on My Own
When I was about 6 or 7, I went on a trip to an indoor water park in Wisconsin Dells. I had already had a couple of years of swimming lessons, and although I was good for my age. I had to go with my parents on all of the rides. On one occasion, my dad, who was in front of me, let me go alone. He went first, then I followed by myself….
On this particular ride, you had to use a raft, so I set mine down in the entry shoot, and the lifeguard held it while I got in. Then he asks, “Are you ready?” and I say, “Yes,” so he kicks the raft, and it just flies out from under me. I try to grab for anything that could stop me from going down but couldn’t….
So, I’m going down this ride scared that I’m going to die, or we will get kicked out. The next thing I remember is flying out of the ride and hitting the water so hard that I just sink. I distinctly remember looking up at the top of the water wondering, “What do I do?” Next thing I remember is the lifeguard at the bottom jumping in and grabbing me and handing me over to my father. Reddit User: cornhuskers12
Boiled Eggs and Whipped Cream
Flew down to Florida to meet my friend and join him on a road trip back to Seattle. We stayed at his grandmother’s apartment that she was just moving out of, as she had gotten a new place at a retirement home a little ways away. When we got there, the only thing left in the apartment to eat were some old boiled eggs she had left in the refrigerator and a can of whipped cream….
I ate a couple of boiled eggs, and my friend ate boiled eggs with whipped cream. Flash forward a couple of hours, and he starts to have bad gas inside the car. We’re on the freeway, traveling at 60+ mph, and I have my head all the way out the passenger window, and I was still gagging because the smell was so atrocious. Lesson learned. Reddit User: RiverDriver83
A Stop in Aruba
Back when I was in high school, I went on a cruise, and when we got to Aruba, we went on a “3-hour” van tour around the island. People were allowed to drink in the van, but this one lady took her drinking to another level. She was so drunk that she, in front of her 8-year-old, got naked at the beach….
To make matters worse, she was there with her “cousin” who was some dude she was clearly having a relationship with but just didn’t want to explain it to her daughter. A little while goes by, and not only does she puke everywhere, but then accidentally goes #2 on herself. Then we had to drive 20 minutes back to the ship. It was awful. Reddit User: juskajo
My parents, aunt, my dog, and I went on a car trip to Las Vegas. The ride was about 10 hours long, and about half-way through, my dog is shaking slightly as she’s standing in my lap with her head out of the window. I’m slightly perplexed about this behavior but brush it off as her being slightly cold and hug her a little closer….
Suddenly, she releases everything she’s been holding in since we left. All those days of walking her didn’t prepare me for this mess. On the grass, it seems a reasonable amount to clean up. But on top of me, that was a massive flash flood of lumpy and watery godforsaken horror. To add insult to injury, I puked a little from the smell….
My aunt was freaking out since she was sitting next to me, and my dad nearly canceled the trip because he was so angry. We ended up throwing out the entire second-row seat along with my soiled clothes. The multi-shaded seat belt remained (unfortunately), and my dog had to stay on the floor of the car for the rest of the trip. Reddit User: 3liPunk
A Weekend Getaway
A few years back, I took my girlfriend at the time to St. Louis for a weekend getaway. I got a pretty decent hotel room and made a bunch of plans. I paid for everything on the trip, but little did I know that she had plans of her own. I found out that she was cheating on me with her ex-boyfriend on the first of three days we were there….
I tried to salvage the trip by telling myself it was all alright, but I was angry. The big nail in the coffin? I carried all of our stuff out and asked her to grab my guitar. I get out to the car, pack everything, and she comes out and shuts the trunk. I think she has my guitar in the trunk, so I drive off. Get home and realize she left it in the hotel room. Reddit User: Black Plazma
You’re bound to have a crazy traveling story no matter your destination, but some of these experiences are nothing compared to what retail workers experience during Black Friday sales. From being spat on by a customer to being tackled and maced over a piece of fabric, these retail workers’ stories will make you glad online shopping exists…
Black Friday is one of the busiest days of the year for retailers, and it somehow always manages to leave people with unforgettable memories, both good and bad. No matter how intently workers try to prepare for the madness that’s about to ensue, they never know exactly what to expect when the store opens its doors on that dreaded day.
From granny karate to food poisoning, some of these stories are so crazy that the people involved might have wanted some helmets and padding before heading out to buy their on-sale items. Check out some of the wildest Black Friday stories out there, courtesy of the frazzled retail workers who shared their experiences on the internet.
Back in My Broke Days
Back when I was broke and in college, I worked at Walmart, and Black Friday was quickly approaching. We tried our best to make sure that we had enough of everything, but it’s Black Friday, so you can never be fully prepared. The day came, and it didn’t take long for a fight to break out…
It was over a bike. Fists were thrown, and there was a bit of blood drawn. In the middle of everything, another person grabbed hold of the bike and somehow managed to get away with it. He rode the bike…out the store. Without paying. Reddit User: KnowMatter
Don’t Tell Her What To Do
I’ve worked at one of the largest lingerie retailers in the country for some time now, so I’m used to things getting crazy around Black Friday. One year, during the beginning of Black Friday, a Southern Belle mom decided that she didn’t want to wait in line, which was about 50 people long.
She went to the front of the line, where our security guard asked her multiple times to step to the back of the line or leave. After she’d had enough of him telling her what to do, she told him every curse word in the book. She then threatened him with the weapon she had in her bag. It was my last holiday in retail. Reddit User: kittykatie
Fighting For Elmo
My father was a police officer the year that the Tickle Me Elmo (toy of the year) came out. On Black Friday, he and his partner were called to a local Target because two women were fighting over the very last one. When he went to break up the fight, something unexpected happened…
One of the women ended up biting him. She bit down so hard that she even had to spit out some of his skin. He had to have a blood test every 6 months for the next two years to make sure that he didn’t get any diseases from her. Reddit User: jennyanydots711
Be Careful Who You Punch
I work at Walmart, and two hours before we opened our doors, there was a swarm of people hovering outside. When the alarm went off for them to enter, people went insane, but there were these two women who stood out from the crowd. They stood on opposite sides of the clothing aisle, just tossing clothes to each other.
A petite teen girl intercepted a pair of pants being tossed, and one of the women lost it. She elbowed the girl in her face and acted like it was a reasonable thing to do. I pulled the girl out of the crowd to go get her cleaned up, but then a sheriff appeared out of nowhere. He turned out to be the teen’s dad. The other woman was arrested on the spot. After posting bail, she came back to buy the pants…full price. Reddit User: arielscoop
Last year, while working in a large toy store on Black Friday, I pointed a woman in the wrong direction to find the toy that she desperately “needed.” After quickly realizing my mistake, I ran to where the Dora doll was, took one, and took it with me until I found the woman.
Expecting at least a “thank you,” she grabbed my arm, leaned in, and hissed at me, “It’s a good thing you came back,” directing me to look into her purse. There was a weapon in there. I pulled away, and she said, “Because I was coming back to find ya!” She then went into the line to meet her children. Reddit User: DandyDoodleDude
Lobster Tail Anyone?
Black Friday has a way of bringing out the ultimate crazy in people, and I’ve managed to witness it firsthand. I worked at Sam’s Club, a huge wholesale store, and during the madness that is Black Friday, we caught a woman stuffing lobster tails down her pants.
They were frozen, and we just stared in amazement as she pushed them down one by one. She would unwrap them and throw the wrapper in the stack of tires on display. When we snapped out of what we were looking at, we then alerted security. Reddit User: Nickdubs
I worked at Walmart a long time ago, and I always remember this Black Friday story. That year, one of the hottest items was the $10 DVD player. While walking to the receiving area in the back, someone from sporting goods came to ask for me to load up the L-cart with a trampoline for a customer.
On my way back from getting the cart, a customer stops me to ask about something, so I walk two feet away from the cart towards the customer to answer. Almost as soon as I do, a woman grabs the cart and runs toward the sporting goods section with it. When I get there, the woman (cart thief) and her husband are loading up the trampoline, which wasn’t theirs.
The woman who purchased the trampoline was standing right there with the receipt. When she said, “Hey, that’s mine,” the husband got in her face and said, “What are you gonna do about it?” When we decided to call management, he said, “Run, honey,” and they booked it to the front. But that’s as far as they made it….While this was going on, an elderly woman who grabbed the last $10 DVD player started fighting with another woman for it. It was absolutely insane. NEVER AGAIN. Reddit User: Duckmunch
I got my first job when I was 15 years old. My first day happened to be Black Friday, and I thought that it wouldn’t be a big deal because I was hired to work in the men’s formal wear section of the store… but boy was I wrong. I showed up at 4 am, and the manager told me that I was working in the women’s shoe department.
It was absolute madness, but I managed to keep up. The worst part of the day was that we got paid on commission, and since I didn’t have an employee number, I only got minimum wage. I lost out on hundreds of dollars of extra pay. Reddit User: bearded_beauty
All or Nothing
I worked at a video game store, and our plans for Black Friday were to mark down every single item by 50% or more; hundreds of items were put on sale. The used movies were practically giveaways. In walked a guy and his wife carrying a box of professional-grade trash bags, and they proceed to fill up four bags with movies.
When they got to the register, they had quite a few duplicates, and every time there was one, they’d put the extra one to the side. There were four bags to go through, and it took a long time to get through them. My manager, who acknowledged the angry people in line, came over to tell them that they either had to buy everything or leave.
After an argument with his wife, the guy grabbed the bags, spilled the DVDs on the floor right in front of the register, and then just left. Before we could move them, the customers in line went after them like vultures. It was crazy. Reddit User: Denton56
Maybe It Was Worth It
I worked at one of the big electronic companies where Black Friday gets pretty crazy. Back when flat-screen LED HD televisions came out on the market, each store got three televisions to sell at a ridiculous discount because they were very expensive. One of the managers wanted one and did something she wasn’t supposed to in order to get it…
She hid the “special” television in the back, then took it out and bought it at the end of her shift. Just as she was buying it, she was getting fired. She could have just asked a friend to buy it for her. I hope it was worth it. Reddit User: aquasharp
A Thanksgiving Miracle
This happened at Walmart a few years back. A surge of people ran into the store to get the things on their list, and many people got pushed to the floor as a result. This one woman got knocked down, and her pens went straight for her neck, barely missing a vital artery.
The worst part of the ordeal was that no one tried to help her. An associate tried to form a one-man barrier to protect her from getting trampled, but he barely managed to do that. When the ambulance arrived, they had to push people out of the way because no one would allow them to pass. Reddit User: wildcard084
Black Friday Battle Scars
It was my first Black Friday working at Walmart, and it was the last one that I will ever work. I was assigned to be one of the employees who cut open the pallets, which contained merchandise that was out on the floor. As I readied my handy box cutter, I got pushed to the floor by a customer…
I happened to fall on top of my box cutter and sliced my hand open. After leaving to get it patched up, I reluctantly returned to my duties. As I picked up a DVD on the floor, I got punched in the face because a customer wanted it. Reddit User: Wildfires
While working at Best Buy, I saw a guy trying to steal a Bluetooth speaker. After calling my manager, who then called the police, we discovered that he was hiding three things on him: a weapon that he did not have a permit for, some illegal substances, and then, of course, the speaker.
We learned right then and there that he would be serving hard time in jail. Why did he have to go to prison? All because he didn’t want to spend $80 on a speaker and just decided that it was a better idea to try to steal it instead. Reddit User: BoNamath
A Couch and a Prius
On Black Friday, I sold a couch to a man who drove a Prius with no roof-rack. We don’t deliver, and he refused to leave unless we found a way to secure it to his car. Clearly, he didn’t plan ahead, and he came in and made the issue our problem, rather than hiring someone to pick it up.
We ended up using twine to tie it down, and he had to climb through one of the windows to get into the driver’s seat. It was quite a sight to behold, and looking back, I wish I took a picture. We had to make him sign a waiver before leaving because he’d caused so much trouble.
I REALLY do wish that I had taken a picture of the whole thing when I could have. At one point, the guy complained to our general manager about us, who also had no idea what we were supposed to have done to appease this moron. Reddit User: Uberhypnotoad
The Last Voucher
I was sitting in the back room, waiting for my shift to start on Black Friday, and I knew that it was busy, so I decided to wait until the time came for me to clock in. All of a sudden, I heard someone scream through the store’s walkie talkie, “HELP! HELP!” I rushed to the front of the store to see two grown men fighting on the ground.
One was in nothing but his underwear, and my poor shift lead was trying to separate them while saying, “STOP! THIS IS A FAMILY RESTAURANT THERE ARE CHILDREN HERE!” If it wasn’t already weird, things then took a turn down to crazy town. Someone grabbed a fire extinguisher and sprayed us with it.
We eventually got them separated; then, the police showed up. We then found out that one of the guys got the last television voucher from Best Buy, and the other man was angry, so he followed him over to try to buy it from him. The fight ensued. Reddit User: Usernamesarestupid12
Box Car Beat Down
I’ve worked at Walmart for four years, including every single Black Friday, and I’ve never seen anything like the story I’m about to tell. I was busy helping customers when I witnessed a woman being hit in the chest with one of those toddler cars (they can drive around in) by another woman.
The woman who got hit was three weeks out of open-heart surgery, and it began to show. It was gushing out, and she had to be transported to the hospital immediately. I have no idea what happened to the woman who hit her. I think she got what she wanted and left. Utterly insane. Reddit User: InfinityKitty
Worse Than Best Buy
I work at a kids’ store where almost everything is half off on Black Friday. I usually help out the moms and the grandparents if they need help at the register, so we don’t experience the Best Buy-style brawl we hear about on television, but I think that what I experienced might be worse…
Many of the older ladies like to yell at the staff over the cost of certain items. We also get moms bringing back hundreds of dollars’ worth of clothing and kids makeup they bought weeks before. They’d return it, then buy it back at the discounted price. It was an absolute mess having to deal with so many complaints. Reddit User: AfroBB
The Store’s Policy
I worked at a game shop, and we have a strict store policy not to confront or interact with hostile customers or those who stole any items. Back when Xbox 360s were the hottest item, we had this one customer come in to ask for one. We unlocked the box it was in and handed it to him while we waited for him to pay.
The guy then just up and walked out of the store. Because of the store’s policy, we just had to sit there and watch it happen. Insurance would cover it, and the cameras let the police know who it was they were supposed to look for. Reddit User: satansheat
There’s a Food Court…
I’ve worked as a server (then manager) at a Johnny Rockets in a large mall for six years. We never opened early, even on Black Friday, purely because we didn’t serve breakfast. One Black Friday, we had a bunch of people shake the gates and scream that they wanted food. I walked over to try to offer a solution, but that was a big mistake…
I told them that we didn’t happen to serve breakfast and that the food court was open, when suddenly this one woman spat on me and said, “I know you have bacon!” We do, and it’s in the fridge, waiting to be cooked and put on a burger. Reddit User: Kidou
On Black Friday evening, I watched two men get into a fist fight over a parking space. Here’s what happened. Car A is hovering waiting for a person who was loading up their car to leave, and all of a sudden, car B swoops in from a different direction to steal the spot….
It was an even matchup until one of their girlfriends decided to give an assist in the form of pepper spray. She got both of them in the face, and it was enough to end the fight. By the time the ambulance and the police arrived, the parking lot was a complete mess. Reddit User: ryemanhattan
Without Noticing a Thing
Last year, the store that I worked at hired a few seasonal cashiers, and it just so happened that their first day was on Black Friday. Within the first hour of one of the guys starting, he came across a man who tried to steal all of the cash out of the drawer….
He actually tried to stuff it inside of his apron if you can believe it. One of the guys in the accounts payable department walked out of his office and escorted him off the floor until the police had arrived. None of the customers even noticed a thing. Reddit User: Prannke
Mace, Then Tackle
I work in a fabric store, and Black Friday is always one of our busiest days of the year. An older woman walks in with her eye on the pink cancer ribbon fabric. Unfortunately for her, another woman called ahead, ordering the bulk of it. The older lady ended up tackling her, claiming that she needed it.
The younger woman tries to reassure her that she isn’t taking any of the store’s stock because she special ordered it, but the older lady isn’t having it. She just whips out her mace, then tackles the poor woman. She ends up getting kicked out of the store, but every few months, she comes back in to give me the stink eye. Reddit User: [redacted]
A Gesture of Food Poisoning
I worked at Best Buy on Black Friday in 2010, and if you know anything about Black Friday at Best Buy, you know that it’s an absolute nightmare. Well, it was 10 times worse for me. We’d been working like crazy, and one person brought us sloppy joes as a gesture of goodwill.
Of course, we all ate it, but within a few hours, it all went bad. I got food poisoning and had to be taken to the emergency room. I felt like I was close to meeting my maker four times. I even pooped my pants in front of a hot nurse. Reddit User: boss34112
The Worst Black Friday Ever
I’ve only ever worked on one Black Friday, and for the first time in my life, I wouldn’t be spending my Thanksgiving with my family. The shift started at 8 pm, and I was in a bad mood because of it. My night was made worse after having things thrown at me on several occasions.
In addition to that, I was trampled on by a pack of old ladies, and was screamed at more than usual…but none of that was the worst part. The final straw came when a woman yelled at me because I wasn’t able to get one of her items further discounted. My manager witnessed the entire ordeal, and the customer was escorted out of the store. Reddit User: pictures_of_sucess
Look at Me
Back in 1993, I worked in a small pop up toy store, and it was finally time to close after the horrors of Black Friday. There was one customer who wanted to write a check without presenting identification for a very large purchase. The customer kept yelling, “Look at me! LOOK at me! LOOK. AT. ME!”
When I looked at her, nothing happened; it was just awkward. I was the lead clerk, and I would have definitely been fired if I took a check without any identification, so I apologized while trying to explain our policy. After a few more “look at me” shouts, she stormed out of the place. Reddit User: [redacted]
You’re Not David
I’m working at the register with approximately 20 people on a dreaded Black Friday when this one woman’s total comes up to $200. As soon as I tell her the total, she tells me. “You double scanned most of it! It should be half that price!” My manager is right behind me, so I reply in the nicest voice, “I don’t believe I did, you can even see it right here on the register. If you really want me to, I can start over to make sure nothing scanned more than once, though….”
She ignores me and just tries to pay for it. She hands me the card, and I notice that the first name on it is “David.” I tell her, “I’m sorry, ma’am, I can’t legally charge this card unless David is with you.” She screams, “THIS IS MY SON’S CARD. LET ME TALK TO YOUR MANAGER….”
My manager turns around and says, “I’ll be right with you.” After screaming at the manager, she says she’ll put everything back and go shopping somewhere else. Instead, she tries to walk out of the store with everything in the cart. The police are called, and she’s arrested. Reddit User: Darkhellxrx
Waiting For 14 Hours
I’ve worked as a part of Target’s security team for over 5 years, and for a store in one of the rougher parts of town, I don’t have many horror stories, but I do have this funny one. Every year, people line up for hours, and I try my best to keep them entertained. I met this couple at the front of the line, and they’d been there for 13 going on 14 hours…
When the store finally opened, they headed straight for the $2 towels. They got a cart full of $2 towels…not electronics or toys like everyone else. The sad part was that there were still towels when I got off my shift, some 12 hours later, and even more in the back. Reddit User: Lineman72T
For No Particular Reason
One of four girls was working at our jewelry counter when a customer suddenly just shoved a huge glass spinning case into her back. It cut her up pretty badly, and the saddest part of it was that the woman had no reason whatsoever for even doing it.
We reviewed all of the security footage and after walking around with no real purpose, the woman just decided to push it forward….She then walked right out of the store. No one knew who she was, and we haven’t seen her ever since. Reddit User: HorsesandAshes
Later Than Usual
It was Black Friday at our tiny Payless shoestore, and there were many people who came in with a 50% off coupon. The store was completely packed to the brim, and we don’t usually do a lot of business, so it came as a bit of a shock to us how many people were there.
Usually, the staff would be out of there about 10 minutes after closing….That night, we didn’t get home until after 1 in the morning and the store was completely destroyed. For the entire rush, we weren’t able to do any maintenance at all. Reddit User: The-beefbus
Back when I was in college, I worked at RadioShack for an entire year, including the Black Friday holiday. One of the many items on sale was a $10 calculator marked down to $5. We didn’t think that it would have been one of the hot items, but it was, and these two seemingly sweet elderly women came in, both looking for one….
When I told them that there was only one left, it was like announcing that the Hunger Gamed had commenced. The women fought for the calculator, and the one who lost had a few names to call the other one gripping the calculator. At that point. I imagined what kid would be excited to find out that their beloved granny fought for a $5 calculator for their Christmas present. Reddit User: Jsquaw
Best Buy Blowout
I worked at Best Buy back in 2001. It was Black Friday morning, and by 6 am, people were already scaling the gates to try to get in. They somehow managed to open them, and a massive flood of people washed in. Before I knew it, I was being bombarded with questions and people screaming at me to find out where to get their desired items.
Management told us that it didn’t matter how we treated people on that day because we were about to make close to $1 million in sales. The goal was to try to sell everything, and we almost did. People were fighting for items; I watched one woman punch another for a digital camera. It was horrible. Reddit User: kendogg
It was my first Black Friday working in retail, and it was the worst work day that I’ve had. Things were going relatively well when a woman suddenly burst into our store with a cart from another store and headed straight to our bathroom. I didn’t think anything of it, but this will be important later on….
A couple of minutes later, a paying customer asks to use the bathroom, then comes back to tell me that someone “went” on the floor. Since it was my first major holiday, I called the manager, who rushed to see what the commotion was about. The day will forever be renamed Brown Friday. Reddit User: goldminevelvet
A Stalking Sensation
Six years ago, while working at a mall’s bookstore café, I had the opening shift (8 am to 2 pm), which I was happy about because it was Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for me, the late shift worker called in sick, and I was asked to hold on for them. As annoyed as I was, it wasn’t the worst part of the day.
I had a customer stalk me for the entire day, including my shift break. I was scared, and after informing my manager, he didn’t want to call security because I was never approached by the guy. I didn’t want to go to my car because I didn’t want him to know what it looked like or what my plate number was. Reddit User: NeedsMoreYellow
Working at a golf superstore, we all dreaded Black Friday because it was one of the few times of the year where almost every item was on an even playing field. As expected, the customers came rushing in, and it didn’t take long for the lines to form. I scanned the first item, and nothing came up on screen…
I swiped again, still nothing…and it wasn’t just me. All the registers were down. We had to do every transaction manually, and that was by writing down the SKUs, calculating tax, and using old credit card swipers. I vowed that day that I would never work retail during Black Friday again. Reddit User: Steelergrl2310
To Close or Not To Close
During one of our busiest days of the year, one of the worst things imaginable happened: the electricity went out, and the manager decided that despite the blackout, we should stay open. There were very few windows in the store, and as a result, there was little light coming into the store.
It was completely pitch black. When the lights came back on, the racks were totally empty, and it’s not because people ended up paying for things. At least the manager later admitted that he probably should have closed that day. Reddit User: mickeyperry
Six Servings of Stuffing
I always have two jobs during the holiday season, because I need the extra cash. I end up working 18 hours straight, and it can be an absolute nightmare. I’ve had things thrown at me, people have ripped things out of my hands that were meant for other customers, and that’s not all…
They break and steal things, relieve themselves in the bathroom, and faint while shopping. The only good thing is that I easily walk between 8 and 10 miles every Black Friday. It helps to justify my decision to have 6 servings of stuffing right after. Reddit User: [redacted]
A while back, I worked at Walmart, and on the special occasion that is Black Friday, one of my managers thought that it would be okay to swap my Black Friday off shift with one that began at 9 am. What made it worse was that my usual shifts didn’t begin until 1 pm, so I have no idea how or why she chose that time slot.
I worked in the bakery department, and even then I had to come in earlier because they needed more help…which added up to a 14-hour shift. The manager came in and told me, “You’re young! They have families they need to be with and kids to celebrate with!” which made me very angry. Reddit User: theWastelandWizard
While working through my crazy shift at a popular electronics store, I saw an elderly woman steal an ice cream maker right out of a man in an electronic wheelchair’s handicapped cart. Dumbfounded, the man called security, and the woman flat out denied stealing the item. She went as far as saying that the man was using his handicapped status to embarrass her.
I lost a little faith in humanity after witnessing it. I felt compelled to do something, so I followed her around and took stuff out of her cart and put it back on the shelves. I replaced the stuff with random embarrassing things. Reddit User: madamimadame89
The Worst Shift of My Life
I work for a large retail chain, and the upcoming Black Friday was going to be one of the worst that I would ever experience. I just had a feeling that it would be, and it turns out that I was right. My shift began on Thursday night and went straight into Black Friday.
The shift lasted for 17 hours straight. The worst thing to happen was that management had decided to check every receipt at the exit. The amount of cursing, shouting, and gender discrimination I witnessed was just horrendous. Reddit User: WookieRookie1822
Our Faulty System
I was a former manager at GameStop, and the worst Black Friday I’ve ever had was in 2006. The Wii just came out, and everybody wanted one. I got to the store at 4am to prepare for the 5am opening, and there were already hundreds of people outside. We’d put a sign out days in advance saying that only the first 6 people would be guaranteed one.
The day was bad; our systems were ridiculously slow, and we constantly had to deal with people asking for and not getting Wiis. Three days later, a woman came into the store with a bank statement saying that her card was charged $200 four times. She then said that she would not leave unless I gave her $600 from the cash register.
My district manager politely told her to call her bank and to leave the store, but she stayed, and the police were nearly called. We found out that the system had charged multiple peoples’ cards too many times, and it was a complete mess. Reddit User: CowabungaM8