Human beings can be very silly. As much as we like to have things a certain way, we also seem to have an infinite capacity for sabotaging our ability to actually get them. Case in point? Someone can have a store or restaurant that they absolutely love, yet do something so stupid while there that they can never dare to show their face again. Not being able to go back to your favorite businesses is no fun for the person who’s actually involved. But hearing about how things devolved to that point? That’s a lot of fun for the rest of us! So get in loser. We’re going shopping. Here are 42 epic stories about the craziest, most hilarious reasons that people can no longer visit their favorite stores and restaurants.
1. Cutting the Cheese Instead of the Hair
Do barbershops count? I once decided to get a haircut whilst having a cold. During the haircut, I sneezed and farted at the same time. Never went back.
2. From First to Worst
I once had a fling with a fella who worked at my favorite store, and it didn’t end well. I learned an important lesson about “not pooping where you eat” as the saying goes.
3. Coffee Break
I’m at a coffee shop, with a glass of coffee sitting in front of me filled right to the top. I mean, good to get my money’s worth but that cup is almost overflowing and I’m not the most graceful person. I’m in what Top Gun calls “the danger zone.” I raise my hand to get the waitress’ attention and accidentally whack the heck out of the glass.
This sends it flying across the room. It hits the waitress on the thigh and gets coffee everywhere. I felt so bad that I left and never went back.
4. Put Your Hands Together
My girlfriend once fist-bumped the clerk when he was actually just reaching over to grab a paper we had just signed.
Anyway, we don’t go there anymore…
5. Slippery When Wet
When I was a little kid, my family once went to a Pizzeria Uno and, before the food came, I went to entertain myself by inspecting the plumbing. They had those sinks where you would press down on the knob and the water would flow out, with the knob slowly raising back up before it would turn off after about 20 seconds.
Being a little idiot, I used my fist and hit the top of the knob as hard as I could. The thing just popped off and a huge geyser of water started erupting nonstop. Me and one other kid were the only ones in there at the time. We both slowly looked at each other and then just bolted from the bathroom as fast as we could.
I got back to my seat and just sat there silently. A few moments later, my mom got up to go and use the bathroom. When she came back, she told us this that there was a massive pool of water in the bathroom hallway, and the manager and an employee were frantically slipping and sliding trying to shut off the water faucet.
My whole family was laughing their heads off at the story, but I just sat there silently. Eventually, they asked me what was wrong and I told them that I caused the whole mess. To this day, they never fail to mention this story every time we drive past a Pizzeria Uno, even now 20 years later. I’ve never set foot in one again since that time.
I once sat on a Target shelf. The entire row of shelves instantly crashed down onto the ground. I can no longer go back to that Target.
7. A Full-Fledged Identity Crisis
One time, shortly after I had turned 21, I got kicked out of a bar because I insulted the bartender for her inability to properly read my very valid ID and calculate my age. She said, “You should get a new ID!” and I said, “You should get new glasses!” She then told me to finish my drink and leave. I listened. I never showed my face in that bar again.
8. Taking a Trip
While shopping, I tripped up over my shoelace, crashed into a shelf, and broke it. The manager promptly chased me out of the store.
9. Something to Remember Him By
I was once in a souvenir shop in London, England that was full of all kinds of knick-knacks and whatnot. I accidentally bumped into a shelf that had a bunch of Big Ben replicas, and about seven of them fell off the shelf and broke. I offered to pay for them, but the employees just blew it off. I guess minimum wage workers don’t care enough about their actual company policy, thankfully.
Either way, I was grateful, and now I will never return to that particular store.
10. Taking Care of Business
I once peed all over the floor of a toy store when I was a toddler. My poor dad was mortified, but the staff were very nice about it. Nevertheless, this memory has prevented me from ever feeling comfortable going back there—even to this day. I am a full-grown man firmly into my 30s. When I have a son, I will not take him there. History could repeat itself.
11. In Sickness and in Health
A few years ago, I was feeling sick. I had been stuck at home without any meds because I felt too awful to go get some. I lived alone, so I just sucked it up until a friend came by and drove me to get some. Still feeling awful, we got to a CVS where they had a buy-one-get-one-free sale for a few of the medications that I considered getting.
“Great, I’ll get a little extra, that works out,” I thought to myself. I got to the register with four items, including two over the counter medications. The cashier quickly tells me “I can’t sell you that.” Apparently, you can’t buy multiple medications—even though they were on the buy-one-get-one-free sale! It’s illegal because they think people will make crystal meth, so fine—but then don’t put them on a two-for-one sale!
Anyway, I was so sick and out of it that I fully freaked out at the cashier and stormed out without buying anything. It was a ridiculous rule but I still feel bad about losing it. I apologized to my friend who drove me there, but she married me eventually afterward—so I guess she forgave me!
12. Fat Chance of Ever Coming Back
I’m at the public library and the librarian is scanning the books we’ve selected. She was a larger woman and my little brother, only five years old at the time, tugs my mom down to whisper something in her ear. He was still rather new to the concept of whispering. He put his hand up to shield his lips from the librarian.
Despite all this, he said in a fully audible voice: “Hey mom, y’ever notice how FAT that lady is?” We used to go there every day when my mom didn’t want to have to hire a babysitter to watch us during the summer. She’d bring us to her office, then let us walk across the street to the public library to entertain ourselves. She started looking for babysitters soon after.
13. PC? More Like Pee, See
When I was nine years old, my dad took me to a large PC store to ask about an upgrade. Before we left, my dad asked if I wanted to use the toilet first, to which I said no. But as soon as we were on the way, I started to suddenly feel like I needed to pee. Knowing that I had no less than five minutes earlier told my dad that I didn’t need to go, I said nothing.
Soon after, we got stuck in traffic and my need was beginning to become urgent. Nevertheless, I think to myself “I can handle this! I’ll just go behind the store when we get there.” When we finally get to the store, I pretend to wander off and look at games so I could get to the rear parking lot. Just my luck, there was some big promotional event there so, I abandoned my plan and went back inside. By this time, I was bouncing up and down trying to hold it in.
I was walking up and down frantically, pretending to browse when all I was really doing was trying my absolute hardest not to piss myself. I was clearly acting strangely, which led to security guard coming over to see if I was ok. This was a kind gesture, but there was just one problem—when he arrived to check on me, we basically ran straight into each other. The brief moment of shock was all it took to break my pee-holding streak.
It started out as a couple of hot drips that just soaked the front of my underwear, but the seal was now broken and, no matter what I did, there was nothing that could stop the tsunami of warm amber that streamed down both of my legs. I could do nothing but stand there and watch. I started screaming and crying hysterically.
It’s safe to say that as soon as my dad heard the whole commotion and came running over to discover this wacky scene, he instantly decided that he would not be making a purchase that day. To this day, I have never set foot in that store again. Oh, and we never ended up getting our new PC.
14. Forever Alone
While at the convenience store paying for my lunch, the girl behind the counter asked if I wanted to “go for a drink.” Being married, I made my apologies hastily and pointed to the ring on my finger. She replied that my lunch was a meal deal and would be cheaper with the drink. A really stellar moment for my confidence…
15. I Can’t Smile Without You
Growing up, I had HORRIBLE separation anxiety. One time, my family and I were driving through a neighboring city when we stopped for a bite. After eating, I got up to go to the bathroom, assuming that one of my parents would wait at the table for me. Unbeknownst to me, my mom had gone to the bathroom immediately after me, and my dad had walked out to pull up the car.
I came back to the table and didn’t see either of them. This led to a very massive and very public meltdown on my part in front of the entire restaurant staff. My parents were not comfortable with ever showing their faces in that restaurant again after that…
16. Gone Without a Trace
In my old city, I bought groceries almost daily, always in the same store. Most of the time, only one checkout lane was open and there was always this really friendly older lady there. She would always make small talk with me and compare me to her son. After a few years of this, I moved a bit farther away—but never told her. So, from her perspective, I just stopped showing up one day.
Now I won’t ever go back there because I feel ashamed that I didn’t tell her I was moving and just abandoned her.
17. Defying Gender Norms
I once went into a pizza place to pick up an order. I was handed the food and, without paying attention, I said, “Thank you, sir!” I then heard a very quiet, feminine voice awkwardly say “You’re welcome.” I looked up to realize that I had just called a girl named Tiffany “sir.” And that marked the end of my visits to that pizza place.
18. A Change of Heart
In 1983, at the tender age of 17, I went into a pharmacy, bought something, and was somehow given 50 pounds too much of change. I didn’t say anything and just left with the cash.
To this day, I’ve still not gone back. I have felt guilty about it ever since.
19. Putting On a Shoe
When one of my short films got into a festival, I traveled down to Busan from Seoul on the fast train, which is super expensive. I dressed up, wearing some cool clothes, including an old pair of leather shoes I had just thrifted. Big mistake. By the time I left the subway in Busan and walked 100 meters towards the theater (where I was due to give a speech), the top of one of my shoes was starting to flap.
I managed to hook my big toe over it to hold it down, but the sides were now lifting up. People were starting to notice, as it looked like I had a club sticking out of my foot. In the end, I had to take the shoe off and throw it away. I now had only one shoe on and was limping. This was in an area full of apartments and NO SHOPS along the way.
I hopped along until I had worn out the other shoe so much that it started to fall apart too. After a couple of minutes, it became clear that I would have to throw that away as well. What the heck should I do now? I’m in an unfamiliar city, I’m shoeless, and—to top it off—the glue from the shoes had left big black oily patches on my feet.
I ended up walking shoeless the rest of the way to the theater. I had to give the entire speech shoeless and with oily feet, to a group of people I was trying to impress. Let’s just say that the people did, in fact, notice my attire—and that the entire event was extremely awkward.
20. My Toilet Runneth Over
When my wife and I were planning our wedding, I was sick as a dog but my soon-to-be bride insisted that we go shopping for invitations. We went into this high-end shop and I really felt ill—and not just from looking at the prices. I asked one of the workers if they had a restroom. Long story short: I took a massive, smelly diarrhea dump, clogged up the toilet, and realized they had no plunger.
Even though I only flushed once, the toilet kept running and it started to overflow. I rushed out, closed the door, grabbed my bride by the arm, and just said: “we gotta go.” Needless to say, I have not been back since.
21. Is This Even Legal?
My roommates and I always do our grocery shopping at this one Safeway where a lady named Katy oversees the self-checkout area. Katy always gives us this bizarre, suspicious look as we’re checking out our items. Sometimes, she even follows us around but we try to ignore her—until:
She came running over to us and accused us of shoplifting, making extremely racist and derogatory comments. I gave her our receipt and told her to compare everything in our bag before she jumped to conclusions. She said that she did not have time for that and that she was calling the police on us. I asked to speak to her manager, but the manager did nothing to help us. Word for word, she told us to “GET THE **** OUT OF HERE!”
The following week, we went into the store for our usual grocery shopping, hoping that we could all let bygones be bygones. An employee immediately approached us and informed us that all international students now have to leave their bags by the customer service area before we shop. They also specifically requested for us not to use the self-service checkout.
It’s safe to say that we stopped shopping there from then on, and don’t plan on going back ever again.
22. Costing an Arm and a Leg
I got a gym membership for the first time and while a lot of the machines are pretty self-explanatory, I honestly have no idea what I’m doing. A few weeks ago, I’m trying out the stair machine when I see a guy in front of me on a machine working his arms, making circular motions. I thought I might as well do my arms too.
So, I take the machine next to his, set the timer for 10 minutes, and just start circling away. I finish my 10 minutes and look down by the seat to see handles. It was a leg machine. I had just sat there for 10 minutes in front of the entire gym, God, and myself, circling my arms like a lunatic for no apparent reason.
I mean, I’m still going back because I paid for it—but I’m not going to look anyone in the eye there ever again.
23. Time For a Makeover
I’m a pretty muscular, middle-aged dude.
One time, I was in a clothing store and was talking on the phone while casually browsing through some items on the shelves without really paying attention. A few minutes into my conversation, I suddenly realized that I was in the ladies’ section of the store, flipping through yoga pants and underwear and whatnot.
I quickly speed-walked the heck out of there, and I have no plans of ever showing my face there again.
24. Toilet Talk
You know how in department stores, when they have one of those display bathrooms, they have that piece of plexiglass that goes across the toilet that says something along the lines of “Not a real toilet. Don’t be an idiot and pee in this”? Those didn’t exist in the 80s when I was a young kid. Mom looked up one time and saw me with my panties off, holding my dress above my waist and sprinting for the toilet. She did not catch me in time.
25. Laughing in Someone’s Face Is Always Helpful…
My son loved that library as a toddler. Like, I have pictures of him by the door on a day when they were closed, reaching for the knob and hoping it might open. Cute little guy. Loud as heck, too. One time, he was being as loud as ever, and the librarians by the counter politely asked us if we could keep him quieter.
I told them I would try my best, but he was only two and two-year-olds sometimes don’t give a hoot what anyone else thinks. After a while, the head librarian pokes her head in and says “Young man, try to be a little bit quieter!” in a very polite tone. My kid looks her in the face and continues babbling in delight at all of the books.
Head librarian, in an icy tone: “Perhaps the library is too overstimulating an environment for him!”
Me, in an embarrassed tone: “Got it. We are about to leave.”
I didn’t take him back there again for a whole year.
26. Ants in His Pants
I was in Walmart once and had to readjust my clothing, so I kindly just shoved my hands down the front of my pants—assuming that no one was around. Right then, I looked up and saw the vet that I always took my dogs to walking by, making eye contact with me. Never saw him again after that.
27. International Confusion
I asked my waiter why they didn’t serve sushi. I later realized that the restaurant was actually Chinese, not Japanese. In my defense, I was only a teenager.
28. A Face They’ll Never Forget
One time, I was with a group of friends in a very quiet store. As we left through the glass doors, I learned that one was closed and the other was open. How did I learn this? I walked smack into the middle of the closed glass door. Even better, because I guess my face was very oily that day, my entire profile became plastered to the door.
My friends and the shopkeeper all came rushing over to see if I was ok. Then they all marveled at my squashed face imprint. I left the scene as quickly as possible… Every time I walk past that shop now, I make sure that I am looking down or at the other side of the street in case any of the staff recognize my face.
A store clerk once very nicely asked me if she could help me find anything. My awkward self just went “Nope!”
When I realized how rudely that must have come across, I quickly did a 180 and left. I haven’t been back since.
30. This Room Ain’t Big Enough for the Two of Us
I once went to use the bathroom at a Mexican restaurant. It was one of those single occupancy rooms with a locking door. Well, for some reason, the door wasn’t locked properly when I went to go use it and, due to what I can only describe as the worst timing ever, I saw none other than my waiter’s private parts. I probably also scared him, swinging open the door so strongly.
I was also kinda shocked, so I looked up and we made eye contact for a second. I just went back to my table and didn’t say anything for the rest of the meal, even as my friends were asking what happened. I eventually told them and it’s now one of my “classic” stories. But yeah, I can’t ever go back.
31. That’s Quite the Second Date!
I had a one night stand with a girl who I wasn’t that interested in. Rather than being mature about it, I ended up just ghosting her for two weeks. I then went on a dinner date with someone new. The waitress we got turned out to be the girl from two weeks earlier. Aside from being forced to sit through one of the most awkward hours of my life, I could never show my face at that restaurant again.
32. Unhappy Halloween
I was around eight years old. when my dad decided to make me go into a McDonald’s to trick or treat—hoping to get some free food out of them (my dad’s really cheap). I hated doing it, but it also worked. They gave us a small fries and a drink. That’s when my dad went mad with power. He drove to the next fast food place in the area and made me do it again.
We rolled up to the window, I said “trick or treat” to the cashier, who could not have given less of a you-know-what. He just sighed, looked at the next person in line, and shouted out “Next!” The embarrassment that I felt in that moment has haunted me for longer than I’d like to admit—and I could not step foot into another Wendy’s for a really, really long time.
33. The Stalk Market
I once walked into a store that I loved, only to see that the person who had been stalking me for years had just been hired to start working there. I’m definitely not going back in that place any time soon!
34. Wrong Place, Wrong Time
When I was about 10 years old, my mother and I were at Kmart one afternoon shopping for school supplies when I saw a top I liked. I went to try it on when, in the middle of changing, I felt like I really had to fart—so I left the room to avoid stinking it up. While walking away, I let it rip. What I didn’t see until it was too late is that there was a store employee right there, bent down doing something.
My fart had hit her right in the face. As soon as I realized, I ran out of the store. I was scared to go back there for years.
35. A Change of Plans
When I was young and stupid, I once went into a convenience store to apply for a job, but instead decided to shoplift a snack that caught my eye. A few minutes later, I got caught. After being reprimanded by the manager and miraculously winning enough sympathy from him to get him to agree not to call the cops, I then suddenly remembered why I was there in the first place. I asked him “By the way, are you hiring?”
His facial expression was priceless.
I did not get the job, nor did I ever shop there again.
36. Payback Time
One time, I was half asleep and I walked into a shop near my house, picked up a six-pack of beer, and walked straight out the door again—not realizing that I had completely forgotten to pay. There is definitely no way I can ever go back there again.
37. I Don’t
A friend of mine was getting married and asked me to make her wedding dress. We went to a fabric store to check out our options and get swatches. She asked to used the shop’s bathroom. A few minutes later, she walked out quickly and whispered to me “we need to get the hell out here—now!!” Turns out she had explosive diarrhea and absolutely destroyed the bathroom. Neither of us have been back.
38. So, Was There a Second Date?
This cute girl was new in town so I swooped in and asked her to go on a date at a trendy restaurant that had just opened. The date went incredibly well and now we’re married with kids! Just kidding. My date proceeded to get sloppy drunk and make a huge scene. She did everything from the classic inability to control the volume of her voice to insisting on showing me and some other gentleman nearby what kind of underwear she had on.
Oh—and she did this all while loudly insisting that’s she’s a “good girl.” Our server was chill and seemed to understand that I was a very unwilling accomplice to this train wreck of a date, but I was so mortified that there’s no way I could ever go back. It’s a shame too—the restaurant was nice. Lesson learned: impress your dates by taking them to places you hate and do not want to return to.
39. Doing What Comes Naturally
I once went into an independent beauty product store where everything is made by local artisans and it’s all very eco-conscious—the whole nine yards. I had never been inside this store before, and I was hoping to find a cream to help minimize my eye wrinkles. In the end, I found a product that one of the salespeople had talked up. It was a small 0.75 ounce bottle of some kind of organic concoction. I grabbed a bottle, then headed over to the counter to pay.
“That’ll be $135.50,” said the salesperson. My reaction? “Oh HELL no! Haha, no. Noooo thank you. No! I care about my eyes, but not that much!!” I had blurted all of this out before I even knew what I was saying. I turned on a heel and left the shop right away.
40. Selling Like Hotcakes
I was out at a buddy’s property in Indiana when I suddenly needed to poop. There was no toilet anywhere on his land, so I headed over to the little commercial area down the road. There is a disgusting old gas station and diner down there. I went in and the hostess tried to seat me at a table. I explained to her that I just needed to use the bathroom, and she informed me that it was only for paying customers. I looked at her in desperation and said: “Then I’ll take a stack of pancakes, so that I don’t poop in my pants!”
I went to the bathroom, took the much-needed dump, and then snuck out the back door without returning to my table for the pancakes. I guess I can’t ever go back there again, as I’m probably remembered as the “Pancake Pooper.” Or perhaps the “Flapjack Farter.”
Either way, I definitely can’t go back.
41. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
I needed a haircut and was surprised to get this new, fairly attractive woman as my barber. As she’s beginning to cut my hair, I suddenly start to sweat. (When I was younger, my head would get really hot at random times—I’ve chalked it up to anxiety but I have no idea what caused it). Usually, just a few drops of sweat would roll down my face—but not today.
It felt like someone was standing over me and slowly pouring a bottle of water all over my head. It just kept going. Eventually, the lady barber, “Wow, you must be really hot!” Flustered, I blurted out the first thing that popped into my head. “Yeah, it must be because you’re so pretty! I’m not sure why this is happening, though. You’re definitely pretty, but it’s not like you’re that pretty!”
As soon as those words left my mouth, all I could think was, “Why in God’s name would you say that??!!” But the girl finished the job like a pro, even though she would have been fully justified in kicking me out. I paid, gave her a huge tip, and promised myself that from that day forward, I would always drive as far away as physically possible when I needed a haircut—so that just in case something like this happens again, I never need to go back.
So far, I’ve kept my promise.
42. Dress For the Job You Want!
I’m with my mom in a department store shopping for a new dress that I hope to accommodate my … assets. I’m a busty girl and it’s hard to find something that will fit. Same old story: I must have tried on 20 dresses and none fit. But after about the 10th dress, the whole thing just became comical. My mom and I were laughing so hard at how awful every single dress looked. I finally tried on a hideous ruffled floral dress that made my mom lose it.
Here’s the thing: whenever my mom starts laughing really hard, her head kind of turtles into her shoulders, her eyes disappear, and she just looks ridiculous. Every time she gets like that, I have to get away from her as fast as possible, or else I will pee myself from laughing too hard. But even if I look away, I can still hear her and I know what she looks like while laughing. Well, there was nowhere to go this time.
I wound up peeing through my underwear in the corner of the fitting room while desperately begging my mother to stop laughing. We promptly left the store, and I can only assume that the change room attendants were less than pleased when they discovered the mess we had left behind. For obvious reasons, I’ve never been back since.