For most of us, graduating from high school represents a major milestone.
After four years of living in one environment with the same group of people constantly around us, we finally get to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And the one moment that marks this culmination of an era most of all? Prom night.
People spend years imagining what the perfect, romantic prom night with their perfect, romantic dream date will be like, but, when the big day actually arrives in reality, it can often turn out just a little differently than expected. Sometimes, it goes even better than expected, and then sometimes… not so much.
Here are 38 stories about prom nights that did not end up going exactly as planned.
38. Mixed Messages
I didn’t think anyone would ask me to prom, but one of my guy friends actually did. I was kind of excited, and we did color matching and the stuff you’re supposed to, and then one of my other friends told me he had a girlfriend who went to a different school. So after that I wasn’t excited anymore.
My whole grade wasn’t that into prom, so a lot of us ended up playing Apples to Apples instead of dancing, including me. My date told me as we were leaving that he was upset we didn’t dance at all, but at that point I was like “What do you want me to do?”
And then I found five dollars. That was a highlight.
37. It Just Had to Be Today
My first prom I actually went to was as a junior in high school (around here it’s usually just seniors that go), but I rounded up money from all my pals and their dates and we actually got a limo. So we are going out to eat and we make it 75% there and we get hit by someone running a red light.
So we missed the reservation time at where we were supposed to eat, didn’t get the full time we expected in the limo and got to the prom later than we wanted to. It was funny afterwards (we were all okay) but it was one of those “it just had to be today” kind of things.
36. Lend a Helping Hand
I got invited to an afterparty by a girl I kinda liked and when she went to introduce me to her friend I went to shake her hand.
Except that her hand was bent at the wrist permanently, atrophied, and smaller than the other one. Having not been expecting that, I didn’t react in the most polite way possible.
At that point I was committed so I just grabbed a few fingertips and shook gently. Like Janosh in Ghostbusters 2.
And that was that.
35. Parental Guidance
My father was supposed to take care of our hotel arrangements but ended up chasing me around angrily. Had to go all mental on him…
34. Loss of Interest
Well, I wore the same dress for two proms that I went to since they were a week apart and at different schools and we didn’t do the limo thing or anything. The first prom he drove and the second and third my parents drove us.
The reason my parents drove us the second time was because he got into a car accident the day before and my boyfriend, friends and I weren’t willing to cough up $400 dollars for a limo. We also kind of, I dunno, we just didn’t really care all that much about prom and didn’t want to pay for parking or anything.
33. Catalyst for Change
The worst prom night I ever saw was when the school would not let two gay guys (a couple) dance on the prom floor. They were crushed—and embarrassed by being physically escorted out of the prom in front of everyone.
Parents of straight students and their friends, plus most of the kids at school, protested afterwards so much that the school finally changed its policy. But it was awful while it lasted—I felt so bad for them.
32. Persistence Pays Off or No Means No?
Guy in high school was really into me.
Get to the after party and he kept asking me to make out with him. I cycled between responses of “no”, “never,” and finally “I am not drunk enough,” for most of the night.
Then at some point I was drunk enough…
31. From The Halls of Prom to the Shores of Bars
Senior year with my Marine (dirtbag) then-boyfriend:
I paid for everything including flowers and dinner.
I picked him up from the base 90 minutes away and drove him back.
He wouldn’t dance with me even once cause “it felt weird” and he didn’t like the music, but got insulted when I danced with my male friends.
He insulted my friends (???).
He went out with his friends afterwards to drink.
Yeah, that was a waste of my life.
30. Seeing Red
Wanna hear about some terrible timing?
We had a very “urban” element at my school who would go all out at prom. Red suits with canes and hats, the whole thing.
One kid’s mom from that group rented him a Lexus convertible, which he flipped about 30 seconds after leaving prom. Since he wasn’t a licensed driver the insurance didn’t cover it. They’re probably still paying it off.
No costume can save you from that…
29. Promises Made, Promises Broken
A girl and I in grade eight made a promise to one another that we would go together if we didn’t find a love interest in the meantime.
To make a long story short, she found a guy so I was gonna just go and hang with my buds. They break up or fight and I get a call from my sister saying this girl will call me and I can’t say no to her asking me to go again.
Reluctantly I tell her I’d go with her. Then just before the dance part, her and her BF make up and I was left alone, never getting my grad dance.
I still see her from time to time as her sister and my sister are besties, but she probably thinks I hate her for another reason.
28. The Long Term Plan
Asked a girl I liked to prom, she said yes. Great. Towards the end of prom, asked her if she would go out with me on a normal date. She said no and left with another guy. Not great.
27. Always Thinking of Others
My parents broke up and got back together right before senior prom, but he already asked another girl to go with him in the meantime so my mom said it was okay that they go together. She was very courteous to the feelings of others.
26. A Word to the Wise
The worst thing that can happen with a prom: you get rejected, feel bad you have no one to go with, find a rebound person, treat the rebound like trash and expect not to be viewed as a terrible person. You have to at least give the guy who gave you a second glance a dance for crying out loud.
25. That’s Usually the Sign of a Good Night
Waking up with people throwing breadcrumbs at me, it was a good night…
24. An Unhappy Ending
I was one of those pandering nice guys who asked the girl in the wheelchair to prom because oh how noble of me. Anyway, she wanted the full prom experience, including hooking up afterwards, so we were making out and she asked me to pleasure her sexually, to which I replied “would you even feel it?”
She burst into tears and made me take her home. The whole time I’m thinking “there’s no way on earth she’s gonna be able to explain exactly what happened to her parents” which she wasn’t, so now I’m just the guy who took their disabled daughter to prom and brought her home early sobbing.
23. A Slightly Important Detail
Senior prom I took a German exchange student who was pretty attractive, and we got along very well.
I had known her for the entire year at this point and she waited until we were walking into prom to tell me “I have a boyfriend so I hope you don’t think anything is happening tonight.”
All I could think to respond with was “I like how you assume that’s the only reason I asked you. But that would’ve been handy information to have, I don’t know, six months ago.”
That was our last time speaking.
22. Not This Thing Again
Didn’t have a girlfriend at the time, so I asked a friend from church if she wanted to go with me. Another friend of mine did similarly. Tried dating the girl I asked, but there was nothing there, so we decided to still go as friends. Fast forward to prom night, and we decide to switch partners for a dance, “just to change it up” (You see where this is going, don’t you?).
Fast forward to the next afternoon at church, another friend asks if my date and double-guy are STILL dating. Turns out they were dating the entire time, and didn’t want to make anything awkward for me (I appreciate it, but it sure as hell made the conversation about how much I’d like to try dating the girl I went with again on the ride home after dropping them off really awkward).
21. Do I Sense a Tad of Sarcasm in Your Tone?
Took my crush to the prom. She avoided me and ended up sleeping with my best friend. Totally awesome for my self-esteem.
20. The Right Attitude to Go in With
While the first two proms I went to were a lot of fun, the third one was really boring.
My boyfriend at the time had a sore throat, he was also a freshman in college and complained the whole time about how he didn’t want to be there and how dumb school dances were.
19. Timing is Everything
My high school boyfriend broke up with me two days before it (it was also my 18th birthday) because he wanted to be single for his new student orientation at his future college the following weekend.
18. A Conflict of Interest
I actually DJ’d my prom. I was simultaneously the coolest and least cool person there that night.
17. A Match Made in Heaven
Ahaha!! My memory of prom is quite limited but it consisted mainly of alcohol and bad decisions.
16. Taking Responsibility
I was set up with a girl to take to prom my Junior year. Out of the limited female friends I had at the time, none were available. So, we decide to meet up before the big event just to feel each other out, and I proceed to show up high with two of my guy friends at a pizza place. I don’t think I said more than a couple words. In fact, I think my friends got to know her more than I did. I’ve come to realize I just can’t tolerate weed. My self-esteem plummets, I become way too cerebral and paranoid, and I simply can’t function socially at all.
Prom wasn’t much better. I mean, I think she had formed her opinion on me after that first impression, and I don’t blame her. It wasn’t terrible or anything, but it certainly didn’t lead to anything. I don’t even like those types of parties, can’t dance at all, and probably was too aggressive when we did, so I probably wasn’t that fun to be around. Conversation was a little better at least, but she didn’t stay long at my friend’s afterparty.
15. What Else Could Go Wrong?
No date. All my friends went. Was in a cast from tearing up my knee and losing out on scholarships. Worst Senior year ever.
14. One Incident Creates a Reputation That Sticks For Life
I didn’t go due to my girlfriend at the time literally canceling on the day of for no reason. She broke up with me the next day.
She never told me why, but my guess is that she was angry or confused as to why I didn’t want to have sex with her the previous week. I didn’t want to because we had been together for literally all of a month, I had no condom, and while I was legal, she was still underage (her father was and still is a jerk and had he found out, would without a doubt have pressed charges).
You know how much people poke fun at you because you didn’t go to prom? It truly sucks. I was made fun of for like two weeks as the literal only guy that didn’t go to prom. Some of the guys I know went alone and danced with each other just to break the monotony and throw the teachers off. Apparently they were bumping and grinding on each other like it was a strip club back room, despite being straight and having girlfriends.
But not me, nooooo, I was stuck at home wondering why my girl didn’t want to go to the biggest dance in my high school career. I don’t even like to dance and I was excited to go to this one. So now every time I go to see friends who get to talking about school days, I’m remembered as the guy that didn’t go to prom.
13. Sounds Like a Horror Story to Me
Everyone there was on drugs. I was not. That was a horrifying experience.
12. A Forgotten Favor
Oh, I have a glorious one. My junior year, I had glasses, braces, and acne, and so I was not too popular with the ladies. My friend who was a senior was dating a junior girl who was quite attractive, but did not want to go to prom without her friend. Her friend was a larger red headed girl who was not attractive at all. He asked me as a favor to take the large red headed girl to prom, so I could go with him and his girlfriend would go.
Now, I really had no desire to go to prom, but he was a good friend, so I decided to do it purely as a favor to him. Flash forward to about four weeks before prom. My friend and his girlfriend break up because he was cheating on her with a freshman girl. Now, I am stuck going to prom with a girl I don’t like, and her friend is now the dateless one. Awkwardness ensues.
On the plus side though, the girl that I took to prom was loaded, and her dad was like a major CEO or something, so we had a free limo to prom. She was a very nice girl, but really, I was not attracted to her physically at all and I just wanted high school to be over, to not date anyone (I got nicer looking my senior year when puberty finished, not like omg gorgeous, but not the hideous dungeon troll that I was before either).
My “friend” went off to college, didn’t really see him again too much after that. Ran into him once in our hometown when he was like 21 and I was 20. He was with a girl who looked about 15. Awkwardness ensued.
11. It’s Amazing That You Are Still Friends With Her After That
My date asked me to prom (I’m a guy, but I didn’t really plan on going in the first place). We get to prom, she wouldn’t dance with me because she “didn’t dance,” then has the nerve to ask me to take her to a town an hour or so north so she could show her prom dress to this creepy dude who was about seven years older than us, who had a reputation for just hooking up with a lot of underaged chicks.
So I took her to a girl I had been sort of dating at the time’s house, talked with her for two hours, took her to said creepy dude’s house for 15 minutes, and finally dropped her off at home. Worst prom experience ever. I forgave her though, we are still friends today.
10. Your Prom Photos Will Remind You Of This Forever
My friend’s date spilled gravy down the front of my dress at supper before prom. It was a pale yellow dress. It showed terribly. The waitress helped me try to get as much off as possible with club soda while I tried not to cry.
9. Brent, Brent, Brent
Well, damn. I usually don’t really tell this story, but I don’t really talk to the parties involved anymore, so here goes:
Senior year, people had begun to make prom plans after fall break. I had hatched a brilliantly intricate plan to ask a girl I was close to, which consisted solely of me awkwardly asking “Hey, do you want to go to prom with me?” So I came into first period and approached her. To my extreme surprise, she turned to me out of the blue and said “Hey buddy, let’s talk prom.” I was stunned.
She followed up with so, [other female friend], [male friend], and I wanted to go in a group and wondered if you wanted to get in on this. Obviously, my answer was “yes”. So, our group was made, and it was decided that I would drive my grandfather’s 1965 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible.
Fast forward to the week before prom. She asked me if it was alright if this other guy, Brent, joined our group. Brent was an alright sort of guy, and I knew he had just been turned down by another girl. So I said yeah, alright. By this time, it had been explicitly stated that the males of the group were not to invest in corsages or bouquets.
Prom day rolls around. The car is ready, I’ve got a snazzy suit, my hair and beard have been neatly trimmed (so as to not look like such a hippie radical), and everything is in order. Everyone shows up at my house for photographs. Who shows up with a bouquet for the girl I thought was my date? Brent. Who insults my grandmother? Brent. When we leave, who takes the back seat with the girl? Brent.
So, we get to prom. It’s in downtown Indianapolis, at the zoo at the “Dolphin Pavilion.” So, we’re there a little early, I’m showing off the car, messing around with some of my buddies, and just waiting around. Brent and the girl are growing noticeably closer, but I’m not worried (hindsight is 20/20). The doors open, we go in, and the festivities begin.
It didn’t go so bad for a while. She and I slow danced for quite a while, and then she excused herself. Fine with me, I understood. I went, got a drink, went to the restroom, and came out to the dance floor. Who was passionately locked in a grinding slow dance with her? Brent. At this point, I naively decided to wait it out, and politely cut in. I gave it three or four songs, and went back out. They ignored me. So, I did the only logical thing: I went back to our table, removed my tie and suit jacket, and lay down on the floor.
It was a lost cause at this point. So, prom ended at 11:00, and we all went to post-prom. Guess who both took the back bench seat and were mostly silent the whole ride? It doesn’t even need answering at this point.
Post-prom was held at a two story mini-golf arcade place. Those two ended up in a dark corner together for four hours. I lost $700.00 worth of money (virtual, but still substantial) at the blackjack tables, drank eight cups of coffee, and sat alone and depressed in an easy chair.
But the story doesn’t end there, oh no. Two hours in, Brent comes up to me and asks for my car keys so he can put something he won in a raffle in the trunk. I go out with him. In the parking lot, I say “Hey man, are you and her a thing now?” “Oh yeah,” he says “Sorry about that.” I went from dejected to ready to kill. “You knew! You knew she was supposed to be my date!?” “Yeah, I did. But don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find another girl like her in college.” I walked away. I went back to my chair, and resisted the urges to cry and start a fight.
Sorry about the wall of text and incoherent ramblings. I’m a freshman in college now, and I no longer see her or Brent, and she no longer talks to me at all (but that’s another story). It doesn’t really matter now, but I can’t help but think that things could have been different.
So although I had a date with the person I had wanted all along, some guy just had to get turned down, muscle his way into our group, run off with my date, be a jerk to me, and essentially turn me into their chauffeur for the rest of the night.
8. Precious Memories
Besides our wannabe Eminem limo driver getting lost and the homeless high-as-heck guy trying to break into the limo, I think the highlight was when my dress ripped when my date closed the door on it. Yay prom 2014!!!!!
7. Love Triangle
Had a huge crush on one of my friends who asked me to take her with less than a week to go before prom. Holy moly!
My best friend at the time had also invited me to their pre-prom dinner. So excited.
Turns out my best friend had been dating this girl for a couple months without making it public, and I hadn’t told him who I was taking her. Needless to say we were all pretty shocked and in very different moods after everything came out.
The girl I had been crushing on for some time was using me to make my best friend jealous. She wouldn’t even dance with me at prom—ended up pawning me off to her dateless friend. In her failed attempt to win my friend back on prom night she feigned illness and had me drive her home before the post-prom party.
My buddy was pretty upset because he obviously didn’t want this girl around, but since nobody knew they had been dating he didn’t blame me.
Overall it was a pretty awkward night.
6. Training in the Field
Stayed up all night with my classmates getting intoxicated in a field, then went to my induction day at a supermarket.
It wasn’t actually that bad, I got paid for the induction and just had to sit and watch training DVDs while trying not to fall asleep.
5. Family Ties
I went with my sister.
No it’s not fun to dance slowly with your older sister. No it’s not fun when your buddies hit on her. It’s really not fun when she starts dancing with your buddies. It’s even worse when your sister gets blackout drunk and you have to carry her sorry behind back home.
4. It Was Clearly Past Your Bedtime
After an insanely boring prom, my girlfriend (who is now my wife) and I sneak off to a backwoods riverside park under a bridge and go at it like normal hormone filled teenagers. After a couple of rounds of that, we leave so I can take her back home. On the drive back to my house I am just exhausted.
I end up falling asleep going about 60 mph. Luckily its 3 am and I’m on a empty road that is at the base of an airport runway. I am driving my moms SUV and I drift off the road, down into the drainage ditch, up the steep embankment towards the fence for the runway. The Durango turns just before hitting the fence and screams back down to the drainage ditch and launches airborne flying across the road.
This brings me back to consciousness with like 50,000 volts straight to the heart, so I slam the brakes and the SUV comes to a stop. I get out to assess the damage and somehow there isn’t a scratch on the vehicle. I look around and realize I split the difference between a telephone pole and a steel light pole by inches. Then I turned around and my heart nearly stopped.
I had flown across the street and screeched to a halt just inches away from plowing into a row of brand new corvettes. By some miracle they left the gate open and I managed to stop right before doing my best impression of a monster truck. I drive home with the biggest adrenaline rush I have ever experienced in my life, stop to say thanks to the Virgin Mary statue out front of the house and whatever guardian angel had my back that night, and crash out still in my suit. Crazy night.
3. Third Wheel to the Rescue
After prom, we went to a friend’s house to hangout. It was him, his girlfriend (my BFF at the time), and me. I slept on the couch while they did their thing. At around 6 am, they came running down to get me for help.
I guess they were so drunk that they intentionally sexually and/or jokingly peed all over each other and the bed, and were trying to use bug spray to clean. It was the epitome of a hot mess.
2. Now That’s Just Bad Luck
Date gets drunk, goes off with best friend to toilet for sexy times. The prom ends, and there’s nobody to bring me home because mom is apparently also having sexy time in toilet. Screw you, Steve!
1. Are Your Friends in Acting School? Because They Are Full of Drama!
Not THAT bad but I didn’t have a date for prom (I had a bf but he was expelled so he couldn’t go … yeah) so my friend got her boyfriend’s cousin to agree to take me, okay cool whatever. A few weeks later I’m talking to a pretty good friend of mine and I mention that I’m going to prom with a guy I barely know and I’m not looking forward to it.
So he offers to take me. Being that he was a good friend I gladly accepted and told my friend I couldn’t go with her boyfriend’s cousin anymore, and basically her bf flips and says he’s not going to take HER anymore. Like what ??? So I got in a fight with him and called him some names but that was my fault but anyway…
So prom night finally comes and we all get ready and go out to dinner and turns out my friend/date decided to smoke meth and take a bunch of pills before meeting up with us, haha awesome decision, thanks man! So I’m pretty pissed already. But whatever. So I spend the night dancing with my friends and avoiding my date’s attempts to slow dance with me when he knows I have a boyfriend.
After prom we all go back to a hotel to drink but sappy high school me wants to see my boyfriend since it’s prom night and all. I go over to his house and basically just pass the hell out almost immediately. I wake up in the morning and my phone is dead, once I get it charged I have texts from my date going off on me for ditching him and leading him on and whatnot—none of which I think or had thought I did. And then he didn’t talk to me for like a year after that which, hey that’s fine by me cause he showed up high as a kite to my prom. (: