Nobody wants to be called a Karen—especially not those among us who actually have that name on their government-issued IDs (apologies to them). It’s just that finally being able to effectively name this phenomenon has created a ripple effect of people sharing their stories of Karen encounters. Sometimes, they’re the customer, or the co-worker, or the neighbor. Sometimes, they’re your very own mother. Either way, one thing is for sure: Reading about these Karen horror stories is somehow equal parts cathartic and infuriating.
1. Thanks For The Shirt
My boss went to an outlet mall for Black Friday shopping, and told me this one today. Some random woman asks her: “Excuse me, do you have more of these?” My boss ignores her, continuing to look through the rack. The lady literally throws this sweater across the rack and into my boss’s face, yelling: “I asked you a question and you can answer me right now!” My boss’s reply was legendary.
She says “Thanks!” and decides to buy this sweater just to irritate this lady, and leave the store. After checking out, the crazy lady is screaming over the crowd, “Stop! Where the heck are you think you’re going with MY sweater!” She runs after my boss and grabs her bag, screaming like a madwoman. She’s slapping at my boss, calling her all sorts of things—and insisting she gets fired!
My boss just kept saying, “I don’t work here!” “GET AWAY!” etc. Security shows up to pull the lady away, and she SCRATCHED at their faces!! She gets restrained, falls to the floor and tries to fake a seizure saying, “You’re making me have a seizure,” ‘cause that’s how seizures work. She also yells, “Call 9-1-1!” Well, officers show up, and the madwoman is loaded into the back of the car, AND SHE SPITS ON THE WINDOW! My boss made her statement, and wore the sweater to work today. It’s her new favorite.
2. I Know Something You Don’t Know
I took my seven-year-old daughter to an animal sanctuary, and they announced that they would be feeding a baby sloth at a certain time, so my kiddo and I head over to wait. My kid was right at the front, close enough to look the sloth in the eye. Karen was standing to the right of my daughter. Suddenly Karen’s son, who looked to be about 11 years old, comes shooting through the crowd and stands right in front of my kid.
Now, my kid has a list of neurological disorders and can’t yet navigate the finer points of social interaction, so she freezes and starts to tear up. The following exchange occurs: Me: Excuse me, you’re standing in front of my daughter. Kid: [dumbfounded look but doesn’t move]. Me: Hey bud, could you please move to your right? You’re blocking my daughter.
Kid: [decided to give his balls a tug and replied] So? Me: So…don’t be rude. Move PLEASE. Mother [in Hindi to her child]: Ignore this stupid witch, son. This was her biggest mistake. Me: [pushes my kid forward in front of the jerk kid, then says quietly to the mother in Hindi] Auntie, this white witch knows Hindi [huge grin] The mother grabs the kid and hot-foots it out of the crowd.
Today’s lesson, kids: Don’t assume someone doesn’t speak a language because they are a different ethnicity.
3. Apologies For My Karen
I was married to a male Karen. Everything—and I mean everything—would set him off. We were at a local taproom once and his iPhone automatically connected to the Wi-Fi. Keep in mind, he had full bars on our cell service. The Wi-Fi was being wonky and wasn’t working. The manager, who was a super nice guy, came over and asked us how we were doing.
The following horror ensued—my husband was super irritated at his own made-up problem because our cell service was actually working just fine and he could literally just turn off the Wi-Fi. My husband started off by saying that their Wi-Fi was trash. The manager said explained that they’d recently upgraded their internet, and the company was sending them a new modem.
My husband responded with: “If you say you have Wi-Fi, you should make sure it actually works.” The manager was still being super nice and said he’d be happy to restart the modem to see if that helped. My husband then ignored him and continued to talk under his breath. This was my life for almost five whole years. The sense of entitlement was frustrating enough in public, but even more so at home.
I had apologized to more servers, retail workers, neighbors, and random people on his behalf in five years than during the rest of my life outside of him. You know what, now that I’m talking about it, maybe he’s not so much a male Karen. He’s more like a piece of trash.
4. Used Car Karen
My mom is absolutely a Karen. I spend most of my time with her in public apologizing to people after she’s walked away. There is, however, one and one time only when it comes in handy—whenever I bought cars, I had her come in during the price negotiation phase and she knocked off thousands purely due to how unpleasant she was and how much people just wanted to get her out the door.
5. Food Not Picture Perfect
I went on a date with a Karen once. It started out alright, but then when her food arrived, it didn’t look like the picture, so she demanded it be sent back. I’m pretty polite, so I waited to eat. I swear they sent the exact plate back. She lost it and demanded to see the manager. At that point, I started eating.
The manager came over, and the whole restaurant was looking like “what’s going on.” She just laid into him. I placed a twenty on the table to cover mine and slipped the waitress a ten while mouthing an apology. I left right after that, and I never did find out what happened. I drove to the restaurant too, so I have no idea how she got home. I blocked her number as I left.
6. This Karen Comes With Baggage
I dated a male Karen for eight years. He was a semi-successful business owner who was twice my age, and I was young and dumb—for a lack of better words. The gist of our relationship was him trying to take over every part of my life. For instance, he would order for me at restaurants and would dissuade me if I wanted to try something new.
If I had a problem with something, it would be immediately brushed off; but if he had a problem, then he had to talk to a manager. Not knowing any better, I just thought he was very particular and even started copying some of his tendencies: like speaking up when I felt I wasn’t getting the right service when I was out on my own.
I realized who he really was when we were flying back from Vegas. I noticed something so peculiar—our luggage was heavier than when we flew in. Obviously, we’d bought extra things which made up for the weight difference. So he demanded an explanation from the check-in clerk as to why it weighed more if it was the same luggage. I innocently answered that it must have been the extra shoes and clothes. He was quiet and paid up.
Later, he told me not to do that again. He said he knew the reason why the luggage was heavier and that he was just trying to get away with not paying. At that moment, a bulb went off in my head. This man who’d spent $1,500 on a private dancer for his friend was making an already stressful job more stressful for the clerk in order to avoid paying $60!
We broke up soon after and I checked myself on the Karen tendencies he’d rubbed off on me.
7. Karen And Proud Of It
My mom is a Karen. She always snaps her fingers at waiters when she needs something. I follow her around apologizing—and leaving big tips—in the wake of her terrible behavior. One time, when my brother’s boss wouldn’t give him a full week off for Christmas, my mom called his boss to explain that we were doing family photos and that he needed the time off.
The crazy part is how old my brother was when this happened. He was freaking 26. It is extremely frustrating to be around her because she is so unaware. She is very proud of her ability to “make things happen” and she views her Karenness as the desired personality trait.
8. Battle Of The Karens
My mother and mother-in-law are both Karens and their real names are both Karen. My mom is her true Karen self when out and about in public. Going out to eat with her is a nightmare as she constantly complains about the service. She doesn’t even need to ask for the manager, they just know to come over to the table to make sure she is OK.
My mother-in-law, on the other hand, is 1,000 times worse than my own mother. She is a narcissist. I could go on for days with stories about all the terrible things she says to strangers and myself included. Seeing that I am currently not communicating with my mother-in-law, I wonder if I should direct her to my manager—my mom—for further assistance to address the problems she has with me.
Has anyone seen two Karens battle it out?
9. This Karen Cleaned Him Out
I was married to a typical Karen. She was always holding the line up to complain that the last time they forgot to add something to her long order at McDonald’s. She loved berating underpaid staff with her bellyaching no matter where or who. It was very embarrassing, to be honest. She was also loud. Her voice had only one volume: 11.
She was ungrateful, and just a nasty piece of work. I desperately sought an excuse to leave her, but she ended up giving me the best reason to end it for good—I got cheated on and finally divorced her. I lost everything but my dignity.
10. Giving New Meaning To “Food Fight”
I can finally air my uncensored frustration about the night my engagement was single-handedly corrupted by my entitled mother-in-law. Let’s call her “Ellen.” Ok, so my girlfriend and I were really engaged to be engaged. We’d both agreed we wanted to get married, but I hadn’t done the formal proposal yet because we wanted to meet each other’s families first, since neither lived nearby.
I always thought the old trope about meeting the in-laws being a big fiasco was a myth, both because I was younger and more naive then, and because I’m lucky to have easy parents. My girlfriend met my parents for a few hours. Once we were alone just me and them, I told them my intentions and my mom asked, “Does she have any kids already?”
My dad asked, “Does she have a good solid job?” And they both asked, “You really love her?” And that was that, I had their full support for the marriage. I thought meeting her parents would be the same. Some grilling was to be expected, but as long as I was honest and respectful, it would all be fine. I have never been more wrong in my entire life.
Relevant fact, my girlfriend’s parents had her when they were teenagers, by surprise, so they later had a “do-over daughter” (their words, not mine!!) who was just six years old. My girlfriend and I made the trip up to their city and I met them for the first time over dinner at a steak house. It was pretty upscale, and we’d scheduled the dinner for 8:00 pm, so I was surprised to see they’d brought the kid along with them.
I met everyone at once and the initial awkwardness settled once we’d sat down. We were making great small talk when the six-year-old said she was thirsty. No big deal right? Well, all of a sudden, my girlfriend’s mother Ellen starts screaming. “Water? Water! WATER?!” A waiter came rushing over to see what the commotion was and, without even making eye contact with the poor guy, Ellen went, “We’ve been here forever and no one’s even gotten us any water. My daughter’s been asking.”
We had been sitting for about 15 or 20 minutes without service, it was true, but they were visibly behind, and there were no circumstances that would’ve warranted that shouting. I should’ve realized from how unfazed everyone else at the table was that I should be bracing myself for a long night, but I couldn’t imagine what was to come at that point.
The waiter rushed over with water and apologized for the delay, explaining a few very large parties had arrived all at once. The guy was seemed sincere, and quite affable, so I thought the water would just be an anomaly in an otherwise pleasant night. Then Ellen kicked into full gear. “We’ll need a kid’s menu.” She informed the waiter.
He said that they didn’t have a kid’s menu, but that the chef could simplify most dishes. “What do you mean you don’t have a kid’s menu?” Ellen replied in total disbelief, as though he’d said they didn’t have a fire exit. He explained they didn’t get too many child visitors and that there were enough plain foods on the menu that no separate menu had ever been necessary.
Ellen sighed dramatically and waved him away. Literally, without saying a word, waved him off from the table. I tried to give him an apologetic glance but, understandably, he didn’t look back our way. I was so glad the poor guy left and didn’t have to be subjected to her anymore. Meanwhile, she turned her attention on me, and I almost wished he’d come back.
At least he was getting paid to be here. She was like, “So you’re a screenwriter?” And I explained, “Well, yes and no. I want to be, but it’s hard to get a job in that field that you can support yourself on, so I’m working at a non-profit right now. There’s a screenwriting component to the job though, so I’m really happy there.”
Ellen turned to her six-year-old and went “Hear that? You want to be sure to snag a man who works for profit. Learn from this. It’s not too late for you.” I couldn’t tell if she was trying to be funny or not. So, I just let it pass, looking over to my girlfriend to see if she was even considering speaking up on my behalf. Nope. The waiter came back, visibly nervous.
That hurt, because he was so relaxed and personable at the start of the meal. He asked if we’d like to hear the specials before we ordered and Ellen said sure. Here’s how that went. Waiter: First we have a lightly seared strip stea— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Oh… uh, ok. Then we have a broiled leg of grass fed— Ellen: Next! Waiter: Uh, we, uh, we have a pasta primavera mixed with—
Ellen: NEEEEXXXXTTTTTTUHHH And on and on until he’d gone through all seven or 10 specials, even though she ultimately ordered off the menu, a plain rib eye, well done. She tried to order her daughter the same, but the kid said she just wanted plain mashed potatoes, so Ellen let her get mashed potatoes alone for dinner. Then…she sent the waiter away! The rest of us hadn’t even ordered yet!
And everyone else just sat there like it was entirely normal! I waited for someone to say something, thinking it was more her older daughter (my girlfriend’s) place or her husband’s, but when no one did I couldn’t help myself. “I, uh, was the one steak and potatoes going to be for all of us, or?” My girlfriend explained, in the tone you’d use for a tourist violating a sacred local taboo, “My mom always has the waiter put the kid’s food in first, so it can get started right away. We’ll order once the kitchen has hers.”
I thought she was joking, since Ellen didn’t just order her kid’s food, she also ordered her own dinner, too. So I laughed. “Something funny?” Ellen asked. Then I realized she was serious, and I shut up. Thankfully, her dad at least recognized that what was normal for them might not be as regular to me, and tried to lighten the mood with a change of topic.
But not even 10 minutes after she and her daughter had ordered, Ellen started in again. Another table, that had been there long before we were, got a side order of mashed potatoes with their meal. Ellen threw a total conniption. She was sputtering so inaudibly that none of us could figure out what was wrong at first. Finally, she managed to flag down some busboy who barely spoke English and began laying into him like he’d just side-swiped her on the freeway.
He kept trying to explain he wasn’t a server and he could go get one, but she wouldn’t stop to breathe long enough for him to find someone who could actually help. All the while, I kept looking at my girlfriend for signs of embarrassment, or at the very least irritation, but you wouldn’t have known if she was even hearing any of this.
Our waiter came over, somehow still feigning a smile despite knowing what he was walking into, and Ellen actually goes, “Why did that table get mashed potatoes and ours haven’t come yet?” The waiter kindly but concisely explained, “Well Ma’am, those people ordered potatoes before your party had placed their order.” Ellen looks this man in the eye (finally) and says, “Well it doesn’t matter when they ordered it. My daughter is the youngest one here! Her food should come out first.”
You could tell the waiter was working hard to restrain himself at this point. He explained it was a first come, first served, policy and age didn’t help one way or the other. He offered to go check on the potatoes, Ellen agreed, or more specifically she said, “Yah, you better!” but I was clocking him and he went right back to his server station…because we had only just ordered a few minutes ago.
Three or five more minutes passed, during which we could have no other discussion at the table except how awful this restaurant was, how hungry the poor baby was (who hadn’t said a word about being hungry this whole time and was contently playing her loud iPad game, without headphones, disturbing all the other diners around us), and how America has lost all respect for motherhood because it’s just a “me, me, me” culture now.
I chimed in, “I’m with you on that last part.” And to my utter shock, instead of laughing at my joke, my girlfriend seemed annoyed with me! So after a few minutes, the waiter comes back and says the potatoes will be out very soon. Ellen then goes and does something that, again, I thought was just a myth. She took three singles and a five out of her wallet and put them on the table in full view of the waiter.
Then she took one single away and said “Every table I see getting potatoes before us is a bill gone.” I was absolutely mortified. The waiter, to his unending credit, just took a deep breath and said, “I don’t have control over the order in which the kitchen fires tickets, but what I can tell you is it should be out any minute.” And he left without saying anything disparaging.
I had been holding my tongue all night as well, in the name of my relationship, but once the tip hit the table (the $8 tip for a $100+ bill, on top of everything else) I figured if my girlfriend was half the woman I thought she was, then she wouldn’t mind my speaking up at this point. If anything, she’d be supportive, right? So I scooted my chair back a bit.
Then I said, “Listen I know what you’re doing with the cash on the table, but that kind of thing makes me really uncomfortable, and it’s just not called for. Please put the money away or we can just continue this some other time.” My girlfriend’s dad spits back, “What? How cheap do you have to be to not believe in tipping service workers?”
Before I could process whether he was serious or yanking my chain, Ellen shocked me with, “No, you know what, you’re right, this isn’t necessary.” I should’ve known better than to be relieved. I still can’t believe what she did next. She folded the bills back into her wallet, patiently waited for the next plate of mashed potatoes to be carried out, and when it wasn’t delivered to us, (it was a very common side dish at this place, a steak house) she went right up to a stranger’s table and picked it up off their table.
She half explained something about her daughter “starving” as she was walking away with the stranger’s food, but unsurprisingly, that wasn’t convincing enough for them. The old lady she took it from followed her right over to our table and tried to take it back. I was already searching for my coat tag in preparation to go, but a shoving match was beginning to unfold between Ellen and an elderly woman with a tennis ball walker, and far be it from me to sit through all that had happened only to leave just as the night was getting interesting.
The elderly woman was like, “Give me back my potatoes!! Who are you??” And the poor little girl was like, “Mommy, it’s ok, don’t take someone else’s potatoes…” But it all fell on deaf ears. Ellen yelled at the old lady, “How could you sit there and eat these when my daughter hasn’t even been served yet? She’s sitting here hungry, just a little girl, and you’re over there stuffing your face? Come on, other potatoes will be out any minute.”
And the old lady, got to love her, was like, “Great, if they’ll be out any minute, then what’s the [bleeping] problem?!” To which Ellen still found holier than thou ground, gasping, “Language, please!” Finally the waiter, and this time someone higher up as well, I think the manager, thank God, came over to separate them, as they had begun to raise their voices and cause a disturbance.
Now, staff had already asked Ellen to turn down her daughter’s iPad multiple times without heed, and I’m guessing the waiter informed management about the “tip on the table,” stunt she pulled, because this was their final straw. They told us we were going to have to leave the restaurant. “But we don’t even have our food yet!” Ellen complained at the guy.
This was clearly not the manager’s first rodeo. “You can take the food that’s already been served free of charge, everything else will be canceled. Please leave immediately.” The old lady didn’t miss her chance to knock the potatoes right onto the floor so we couldn’t try to take them with us. Nothing else had been served yet, so we had to leave without any food. But the worst was yet to come.
When my girlfriend and I were finally alone in our car she said, “Can you believe that?” And I said, “Not at all. And I really can’t believe you didn’t warn me!” And she went, “How could I have known about any of that?” Confused, I asked, “Is she not usually like that?” Even more confused than me, my girlfriend asked, “Who?” “Your mom!” “What’s my mom got to do with the terrible service at that place?”
That was the beginning of the end of our relationship. The fact that she didn’t see anything wrong with her mom’s behavior, and that I’d be marrying into that situation, shook me too deep. We both dodged a bullet in more ways than one. In hindsight, we weren’t right for each other, regardless of who her family was. Her mom saved us both a lot of time and heartache, helping me realize in one night what would’ve probably taken us years otherwise.
Within a month we’d moved into separate apartments and gone on a “break” that ended up lasting forever. I’m not sorry I won’t see you again, Ellen. I am sorry any wait staff ever will, though.
11. A Chilly Response
My aunt is a Karen. My uncle is this soft-spoken giant. He never stands up to her in any way…except once. At their daughter’s wedding, she was about to interrupt the ceremony to close a window because she was chilly. Everyone sitting close to her could hear her whisper: “I’m going to do it, but I don’t want to be a jerk.” My uncle, in a calm, quiet tone, said quickly, “Why stop now?”
It was almost as if his filter just missed this one. I swear I could hear my dad snort two rows back trying to hold in laughter. Karen was not happy.
12. Stay Away!
My friends used to live in a gentrifying neighborhood near the beach in my city. They had a regular apartment, but someone bought the building in front of them—it was beach adjacent—knocked it down, and put up a few luxury homes. Among all the people who bought homes there, a crazy woman bought one.
She had a two-car garage, and a driveway, and best we could tell, she had one car. But NO ONE was allowed to park on the street in front of her house, which was clearly marked as a public street and where people had been parking since forever to go to the beach or because their building didn’t have parking. We could see this street from their apartment.
She went out and keyed any cars parked there. It took a while to figure out it was her, but eventually, people saw her doing it. All the neighbors warned their friends not to park there, and people started putting up cameras to get evidence of it. Some dude with an ugly truck started parking directly in front of her house every day just to mess with her, because he didn’t care if she scratched it up. Well, that just made her get even worse.
She slashed his tires. It got to the point where every time she opened her door to walk outside, neighbors would cuss her out through their windows. One night she went out in the middle of the night, and then painted the entire curb on that street red. Someone got it on video, and several neighbors called the city.
I think she got a talking to and a fine, and she had several insurance claims pending against her from damage to cars. She finally stopped. Everyone still hates her though, even new neighbors, who are told the story of her from older residents.
13. A Bee In The Bonnet
My mom’s a Karen. She is aware that she is a Karen. My siblings and I even send her memes about it. When my stepdad divorced her last summer, we were all amazed he lasted 17 years, to be honest. None of us like going out with her. It’s terrible and my husband just straight up tells her “No, you aren’t talking to the manager” when we go in a place.
I’ll tell you guys a story my stepdad told us: he’s a farmer and he owns a small beef and bee farm. They have a store they go to for bee supplies. The owner called my stepdad and asked him to be the one to pick up their stuff, and the reason was hilarious—his staff was simply exhausted dealing with my mom. He ended up being the only one who went to the store for the next five years.
14. All The Way To The Top
About a year ago, I was running a small video game tournament in the small company I owned. The waitlist had a full list of 16 people, and it was fine, until one entitled parent ruined it for everyone. So we were starting up the games when a dad ran into the store with his son. Dad: We’re here for the tournament. Me: Oh sorry, but the list is full. Dad: Well then, make some room. Me: I can’t do tha—
Dad: Listen, I can get you fired with the push of a button. Me: How? Dad: I have been friends with the CEO of this company for a long time. Me: Then call him. I watch him make a fake phone call then hang up. Because I know something he doesn’t know. Dad: He says you’re fired. Me: That’s funny, considering I am the CEO. His look of shock still makes me laugh to this day.
15. Playing Favorites
My fiancé and I have been together for eight years and engaged for three. I was doing my PhD program and was juggling planning the wedding. My fiancé took much of that work, but it was perfect because our dream venue was booked until after my graduation, so what we did is book our dream venue three years in advance.
It is really a beautiful venue, and the only slot we got was September of this year. My sister got engaged a few months ago to her fiancé. They were planning on having a spring wedding next year. They had no venue lined up, but had a few vendors lined up as well as a set date. Yesterday, our parents invited us and our significant others to a family BBQ, where my sister announced to our extended family that she is expecting.
Everyone was so happy for her and my brother-in-law, who is a great guy. My Nan asked my sister if the wedding was still on the set date or if they were going to wait. because of the baby. She said no, that she hoped to move it to September. No big deal for us. We don’t have many out-of-town guests, so they could attend both weddings no problem.
Nan was happy and asked my sister if she needed help planning such a short notice wedding. This is where the horror started dawning on me. My sister then turns around and says, “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I was really, really hoping we could kinda, like, take your venue? I really cannot stress myself too much with planning a wedding while going to maternity classes. And I think it is so beautiful! It would really mean a lot to me.”
It went silent, but everyone was looking at me expecting me to say, “Yes of course everything for my little sister!” My brother-in-law looked very uncomfortable and told her that they had talked about this and that it was not okay to put me on the spot. But my sister just said, “Don’t be like that! My sister wants to do what’s best for me, so it’s no big deal right?”
I just said “Well, it kind of is. I don’t know. I have my heart really set on the venue.” Cue the crying. She stormed off. My family’s reaction infuriated me even more. Nan told me that I was being selfish because she needed the venue more than I did. I tried to defend myself and my mother said, “You waited three years already. Would it have hurt you to wait a few more months? When has your sister ever asked you for something?” A few comments later, my fiancé got really mad and we left.
Later, my sister called me crying and said that it was unfair that I always get what I want and that I could have done this one thing for her. Dad said it is just a venue and what matters is the person who you are marrying. He is kind of right…but we have been planning for so long. My fiancé is furious with my family and doesn’t even want my sister to come. Now my family is threatening not to come because I am being selfish and my sister needs it more than me because having a baby is too stressful.
My brother-in-law called me and apologized for the inconvenience. He told me he had discussed it with my sister and she had told him she would not ask. He is properly mad with her now and warned me that my sister is blaming me for “potentially ruining her marriage.” My father has sent me about five texts along the lines of, “I hope you are happy. Your sister hasn’t stopped crying since yesterday” and so on and so on.
My fiancé and I have decided to boot my sister from the bridal party and replace her with my aunt, who is the only family member that took my side. We have not decided whether or not we will invite my family as a whole. Furthermore, my mom took it upon her to tell on us. She called my fiancé’s parents and told them that it would be best if my sister gets it because she is pregnant.
My future father-in-law told them to screw off and basically ripped my mom a new one for expecting something so ridiculous. He said they were going to lose me if they kept playing favorites. So my mom is now crying too and saying that my father-in-law is a jerk. This is just getting so pathetic. It seems straight out of a bad soap opera. And then it practically became a soap opera.
Sometime after this, and after hearing I was upset about her selfishness and posted this story on the Internet, my sister started contacting me again and saying I was being unfair. That she is family and that she asked it nicely because she loves me. She also underlined the fact that the opinion of internet strangers doesn’t count because family is more important and I should focus on making my family happy.
The only text I sent back was this. I am sorry that you perceived it that way. I did not in any matter distort what happened. As you might notice I didn’t describe your tone nor exaggerated anything. Perhaps you have that night different in your mind than I do, but I digress. I am sick and tired of bending to your will. My whole life I have been your servant and your doormat.
Remember all the birthdays I had to share with you because you would throw a tantrum because you didn’t get presents? Or when you cried so that I would fill out job applications for you? But the thing that has hurt me most till now is when you ruined my graduation. I am done. I admit that I also spoiled you but I will not any longer.
If you want to marry so bad before your baby is born, then you could look at [hotel x] that offers last-minute weddings. I have spent too much time planning MY wedding to gift it to you. And if you want to ruin our relationship over this, then go ahead. I will sleep sound and safe knowing that it wasn’t my fault. She only sent me a “Wow…You must love me so very much.”
And blocked me. She unblocked me this morning to send me a supposed message from MY wedding planner talking about rebooking the venue. Throughout this, my parents haven’t actually written me since the thing with my father-in-law. My older brother contacted me and wanted to know what happened because he got a weird story from mom and dad.
Mom had told him that previous to the BBQ, I had offered to give up the venue to my sister and that I humiliated her on the day—my brother wasn’t at the BBQ. I told him what really happened and he had no problem believing me. We talked a lot about our parents’ behavior and he confessed that his moving far away was partly due to our parents being jerks to us.
He told me that mom was mad at me for betraying my family. I haven’t written my parents because I have to come to terms with the fact that they love my sister more than me, if they love me at all. Anyway, we continued with OUR wedding. We put passwords with the majority of our vendors and also with the venue directly. We didn’t talk to our planner yet, which is why my sister’s text worries me so much.
Also, we canceled the catering that my parents paid for. So short-term, we won’t be able to get full catering like we wanted to. But all our friends and my fiancé’s family will help us prepare a buffet, and everyone is going to chip in. That will be our bachelor party. As we will have to spend more on our food now, we canceled our bachelor parties and will have a family and friends cooking session.
We called my planner and she was actually really horrified. She told me she never had as much as talked to my mother or sister since the day we went to book the venue. She assured me that even if they were to call and say that I wanted to give it to my sister, I had to be present to make any changes. So we informed everyone that will work for us on our wedding and they offered to hire security for that day at a reduced price.
I am finally realizing just how toxic my family is. I will try to sort it out. If they apologize from the bottom of their hearts, they will be allowed into my wedding, but if not…Then well…I still have my brother, who will be walking me down the aisle, and my aunt.
16. Having Your Chocolate and Eating It Too
I worked at an independent chocolate shop that sold various flavors of truffles, brownies, and drinks. We also had non-dairy options, vegan options, and nut free options available. A woman demanded to speak to the manager because we did not have a “dairy free, nut free, sugar-free, vegan” option. Luckily, the owner literally just laughed and said, “We do have one, it’s called water.” I have never seen such entitled rage in my life!
17. DIY Karen
When I worked at the Home Depot, a Karen told me that she didn’t want any Black men to install her flooring. I was in charge of arranging her order, so I told her that we don’t select which individuals exactly will install her floor and that she’ll get who she gets. She proceeded to have a fit about it. She started yelling at me, asking me for my manager.
And I’m so glad she did because guess what: my manager’s name was Dwayne and he was a real big Black dude. Turns out she didn’t want to speak to the manager after all.
18. Free For All
We rented a house from my mom’s coworker who grew up in this house and was renting it out. Across the street was Jeanette, an 80ish-year-old lady, who had lived in that house most of her life and knew our landlord very well. Well, because she knew the landlord, that meant she felt she could come into our house whenever she wanted.
She watched us through her window and had every excuse to come by. I have never really locked my doors, but obviously, we started to. It didn’t stop her. If she knew we were home, she would ring the doorbell incessantly. Our blinds always had to be down, living room lights off, so she wouldn’t know we were home. Just got in? Quick, run inside before Jeanette sees you.
We saw her peering out of her blinds on a regular basis. One morning was my breaking point. The doorbell was going. I hid in the bathroom to pretend that I wasn’t home. How did she see me?? The doorbell stopped, but the doorknob kept rattling. She tried for five full minutes to open our door. It probably would have been longer, but I gave up and let her in.
Some of the notable things that she did/said included coming in when my husband was cooking and calling him a good little housewife. She also told our neighbor he shouldn’t be dating his daughter. They were, of course, not father-daughter, and were in fact a 40-year-old couple, and there was not actually a big age difference.
Why didn’t I tell her to go away? Look, I’m a nice midwestern girl. I can be confrontational if someone is being mean, but she was just…lonely? A tad crazy? But harmless. It’s like she was a character from a sitcom…we didn’t know these people existed.
19. Everybody’s Got A Story
This encounter happened about seven months ago. About a year ago, I was diagnosed with cancer of the nasal cavity (stage 2). The tumor was quite large, but thankfully hadn’t spread. To get it removed, I first had to undergo aggressive chemotherapy to make it smaller. Thanks to the chemo, I had severe alopecia (hair loss), which made most of my hair and even eyebrows and eyelashes fall out.
At some point, I had to go bald, but I wore a wig, because I didn’t want to look scary. I’m 6’4″ and pretty muscular, so I thought people would assume wrong things about me. So once, after a long chemo session in the hospital, I took the bus home. There’s only one bus that goes from the hospital to where I live, so I took that one, only to see it was absolutely packed.
I felt like garbage thanks to the chemo, so I asked a middle-aged dude to let me sit. He was very understanding and gave me his spot without complaining. Two stops later, enter entitled mom, a lovely whale with an “I demand a meeting with the CEO” haircut and a 12-year old kid. It took her roughly five seconds to see the bus was packed.
At this point, she started looking for a free seat, spotted me, and started marching to me. When I saw her, I knew I was screwed. She then stood next to me and decided to talk to me. This is the conversation that followed: Her Hey, could you let my kid sit down? Me: You mean me? Her: Who else? Me: Oh, I’m sorry, but I’m on my way from the hospital and—
Her: (cutting me off) So are we (nonsense, the stop was a few kilometers away from the hospital), my boy just broke his leg and we’re coming straight from the ER. Let it be noted, her kid was standing next to her, without any support, clearly embarrassed. Me: He’s standing next to you, completely fine Her: Look here, my kid DESERVES to sit down
Me: Look madam, I’m sorry, but I just got back from a chemo session in the hospital and I need to sit down and rest (I then moved my wig a bit to let her see my bald head). At this point, she then straight up started yelling in my face Her: STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND GET OFF THE SEAT YOU PIECE OF GARBAGE. At this point, I was baffled. I didn’t know what to say. The kid was trying to make his mother stop and we had the attention of the whole bus. But she was nowhere near done.
She then grabbed me and tried to yank me from my seat. I held on tight and thankfully didn’t fall off. Now, enter my savior. The middle-aged man nearby stood up and started defending me. Him: WILL YOU SHUT UP YOU DUMB COW?!? Her: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TALKING TO?!? Him: (with ice-cold voice) Stop assaulting other passengers or I will be forced to step in. Also, every dumb moron could see that the dude has cancer.
Her: NO, HE’S JUST A GANGSTER. Him: He’s got NO EYEBROWS, YOU MORON. Seems like that REALLY offended her, because she spun around on the spot and threw a falcon punch in the guy’s face. I was shocked and in disbelief. The whole bus was flabbergasted, and the kid probably wished he’d never been born. The man then said something unbelievable and a golden karmic moment followed.
Him: Ok, that does it. Harassing passengers on the bus, physical assault against a passenger, and now assaulting an officer. You’re in deep trouble lady. She then pulled out a badge and told her to stay where she was. Then he pulled out his phone, called someone, and told her she was being detained. I couldn’t believe it, he was a bloody police officer.
At this point, she was as white as a wall. The bus had just come to a stop, so she decided she’d make a run for it, but other passengers blocked her way. She then also got charged with resisting thanks to this. Three stops later, a patrol car was waiting for her. The kid told me he was sorry for his mother’s behavior and I felt really sorry for him.
He wasn’t a bad child, but his mother was a demon. The officer then talked to me and asked me if I wanted to press charges, to which I gladly said yes. He took a statement and thankfully was kind enough to let me solve everything on the phone, so I didn’t have to come to the station for questioning. In the end, she got some time behind bars, I think it was a few months and some community service.
I, in return, got a good story to tell and the sweet taste of instant karma. Right now, I’m riding the same bus home, as I just got back home from the hospital after a check-up, which reminded me of this. I should also note that the surgery went well, and I was declared cancer-free in November. My hair is slowly returning. Also, I don’t need to wear a wig anymore.
20. Back Of The Line
I dearly wish I could claim this was me, or even a relative, so I could claim this degree of clever was in my genes. But it was not. It was a bouncer at a small-town club, and when he made the comment there weren’t even the expected, cinematic ‘OOOOOHHH!” Or ‘WHAAAAT!” reactions one would expect. Just an echoing silence from about 40 onlookers.
So, this mother and daughter pair was trying to get into the club late in the evening. The daughter was clearly young, and actually reasonably attractive in quite a nice, fashionable outfit. The mother was not obese, but certainly overweight, and had shoehorned her corpulence into hot pants and a tank top that would have been trashy on a supermodel, and friends…she was no supermodel.
Badly dyed stringy hair, cheap bulky jewelry, spray-on orange skin, all the trailer-trimmings. I didn’t hear how the exchange started, but clearly these two were trying to cut ahead of the line. The bouncer, this massive, action figure of a Black man with an oddly babyish face and the patience of Job, had denied this effort. Hilarity ensued.
The daughter threw a few verbal jabs but seemed to be just mildly irritated. The sideshow of a mother lost her bloody mind. Shrieking prejudiced epithets that would curl the ear-hair of a bystander, and every horrific name you care (or do not care) to imagine. Interspersed with the expected “Do you know who I am,” and “Get me the owner,” etc.
The bouncer just stood there and didn’t react with anything but polite direction. Downright heroic. After a few minutes of this vile screeching, the daughter is now embarrassed as heck and trying to pull the mother away. People are gathering to watch and the whole thing has become a spectator sport. The bouncer just kept politely saying “You will need to go to the back of the line like anyone else ma’am” or variations on that theme.
By now the woman wasn’t even trying to argue the point, just squealing the revolting, and at this point quite repetitive, insults. Then she screamed that he was an awful bouncer and would get fired that night. Then she tried to slap the bouncer. She missed, quite badly, at which point the bouncer took a single step forward as she fell back with a shriek.
He then said quite loudly: “Ma’am, at any point tonight have I ever told you how to get off flabby obese old men in an alley? Clearly baffled, she said nothing but sputtered… he continued: “No, Ma’am, I have never said anything like that. Not once. I don’t tell you how to do your job, so don’t tell me how to do MINE.” Silence. Like, 40 people in the street, not a sound.
She yelled a couple more things, then scuttled away with her daughter dragging her by the arm. It’s been over a decade, but I still want to go find that bouncer and buy him a drink.
21. Blonde Boomerang
I worked for a big chain grocery store as bagger and cart wrangler. There was this one overweight blond woman who would come in all time and cause chaos to no end. One example of her ridiculous and unnecessary nonsense included buying a 15-pound turkey and complaining that it tasted bad and wanting to return it.
She presented a platter with an empty carcass except for one piece of meat on one bone. Another time, she bought a $37 plant, did not water it, showed up a year and a half later with the plant dead as a doornail, and demanded a refund. Then she bought a grill, used 10 gallons of gasoline as fuel, caused an understandable fire/explosion, came back with receipt and charred grill, and demanded a refund. I could go on.
This would be a weekly, if not bi-weekly, happening. It got to the point where many cashiers would see her enter the store, turn off their light, and leave. Now, when I say she made a fuss, I’m not talking about your normal “I want to speak to your manager” type deal. Oh no, she went beyond that and went even further.
She would rant and rave, throw herself on the floor, roll around, throw things, call the authorities, which I witnessed and kept count at 87 times, and pull out her cell phone filming herself being “victimized” to report us to the media. She was eventually banned from the store after years of this. I heard stories that she began terrorizing our neighbor branch 7 blocks down the road.
22. Sister Karen
My sister is a Karen. Everyone feels so sorry for her husband. Everything is his fault. He is treated like a slave. She only addresses him by yelling. She constantly insults him and we have no idea why he hasn’t divorced her or flipped out and attacked her. We have all told her to cool it, but her response, which is always the same, just makes our blood boil—she simply says that he’s just so stupid.
I could go on and on but my sister really is a horrible person.
23. A Cat Lady (Not So Much)
I have this neighbor lady who makes a big issue out of one of our cats and she can never just leave us alone about it. One of our cats was hit by a car at a young age and as a result, she’s a few cards short of a full deck but for the most part, she functions normally. Well, one time the cat was outside and found its way onto neighbor lady’s porch.
So, neighbor lady brought her over to us and explained that our cat got into her porch somehow. We thanked her for bringing our cat back and made sure to not let it happen again. Everything about that interaction seemed perfectly normal—we were so wrong. We later found out that she had reported us to the authorities because our cat was “very thin and hungry like they were being starved.”
This was even though that cat was a chonker at the time. It turns out she had done it to our other neighbors who have cats too. The cats don’t even have to leave the yard, if the cats are out of the house then according to the neighbor lady they are being neglected and starved. She’s, suspiciously enough, never done such a thing to our neighbor who has dogs though, even though that neighbor regularly plays with her dogs outside.
24. Deal or No Deal
My friend is pushing his cart of groceries out of the store and over to his car when a woman pulls into the handicapped spot in front of the store. No placard, no handicapped plates. She jumps out of the car without so much as a limp and heads into the store. He gives her some stink-eye about taking up a handicapped spot and she snarls, “Deal with it” as she sashays into the store.
The guy is now fuming. He sees a couple of officers who were leaning against their cars talking. They hadn’t seen it. So he goes over and tells them the story. They smile and say they’ll handle it. He puts his groceries in his car, and as he’s pushing his cart back to the store to put it in the rack, he sees a beautiful sight. The officers have blocked the lady’s car with theirs.
The lady comes out of the store with her purchase, sees the officers, and goes white as a sheet. He walks over to her and says, “I dealt with it.”
25. Eyewitness Account
This story is kinda different. So, I did work there, but I saw it happen to someone who didn’t. I was working in lawn and garden section, I see this autistic young man. I guessed he was autistic, as he seemed predominantly focused on his action and kinda had the actions of an autistic individual. This young man is sorting and moving potted flowers around putting them in a very specific order, matching colors, size of pots, and height of the flowers themselves—doing an amazing job at it too I may add.
He is bothering no one and most folks are just noticing him doing a bang-up job, But this one old crone of a woman sees him “working.” She stands behind this young man arms folded and tapping her foot. At first, I was thinking maybe it was her son or someone she was shopping with, but the next thing she did told me that assumption was wrong.
She clears her throat in that dreaded fashion we all know, “Ahem…excuuuuuuuse me, you need to help me.” The young man pays her no mind, continuing with his task. She doesn’t like this, so she clears her voice and replies louder,” YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME, YOU ARE GOING TO HELP ME NOW!!!” Before I can walk to her and ask her what she needs, she reaches out and grabs this young man by the right arm just above his elbow.
I guess the sudden action of this and the young man’s condition caused him to spin around and jerk his arm away from this lady. The sudden movement startled the old woman causing her to step backward and lose her balance, causing her to sit down on her behind. It was like in slow motion watching her go from standing to sitting on the ground.
By the time I reached the young man to see if he was okay, his mother had shown up and was asking what had happened, before I could say anything the woman who had caused this was up and berating this young man. Saying he attacked her and she will have him fired and detained by the authorities, meanwhile this young man was almost crying and his mother was shocked.
I told the mom to take her son and calm him down, that he has done nothing wrong and just to make sure he is okay. The crazy old women didn’t like that I took his side, she began to lie and tell me she was the victim and she didn’t do anything, that the employee (young man) attacked her. Well, I wasn’t about to let her do any more damage than she already had.
I told her not so kindly that a. she was a liar and I had witnessed the whole incident and b. the young man she had forcibly grabbed does not work here and that she had attacked him. By then, a crowd had gathered, and the crazy woman had noticed that no one is believing her side of the story. She just puts her head down and walks quickly out the store.
When I turn to check on the young man and his mother, she was smiling at me and was thanking me for my help. She shops there regularly and the young man liked to arrange the flowers, it’s calming to him. I express my regrets about the whole incident, and the young man walked over to me and patted my shoulder once and went back to the flowers.
The mom informed me that was basically the equivalent of a high five from him!
26. Trailer Park Karen
My mom was a total Karen. She was very entitled, and for no good reason. She raised me in a trailer park. One day, she suddenly decided she wanted a dog. After a few weeks, she says she didn’t like it anymore and kept it tied up outside for 24 hours a day. The trailer park manager left a note saying she would have to bring the dog in or get rid of it because, well…duh.
She did not like that one bit—she decided to barge into his office, tell him he had no right, and that she was going to keep the dog however she wanted. She blew into the house a few minutes later saying that we were getting evicted. I was 14 at the time. I had to go to the manager myself, apologize for her, and promise to find a home for the dog so that my sister and I weren’t homeless.
27. Let Them Eat Cake
My niehgbor throws baked goods of all sorts into our yard, bagels, half loaves of bread, German pancakes, literal unbaked dough, all while knowing I have two dogs with sensitive stomachs, and even after I throw the bread back into her yard every time. We finally caught her on camera today literally chucking white bread pieces over the fence and into our yard so I think we might confront her soon.
28. Irresponsible Faculty Meeting
One of my favorite moments: I walk into the school office to check my mailbox. A parent of one of my students sees me and says very loudly, almost screaming, “Oh, FINALLY!!!! LOOK, EVERYONE, I FOUND A TEACHER!!! Do you realize that I left work EARLY to come here after school to talk to my son’s teachers about his report card, and you are LITERALLY the ONLY teacher I have found?!!! I went from classroom to classroom and everyone is GONE!!! Do you know what time it is?!! It’s 3:45 pm! School ended FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO!!! FIFTEEN MINUTES!!!! And you’re the ONLY teacher STILL HERE!!!! CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO ME WHY EVERYONE IS GONE?! CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO ME WHY EVERY TEACHER HAS LEFT THE BUILDING WHEN SCHOOL JUST GOT OUT?!!!!”
I paused, waiting to see if there was more. When I realized he had finished, I said, “All the teachers are in the library. We’re having a faculty meeting.” The look on his face was priceless. He knew he was in the wrong, but by that point, he had committed so fiercely to his anger and righteousness that he couldn’t just apologize. So he said, “Well that’s just irresponsible.” And he walked out of the office.
29. Plot Twister
It wasn’t the customer, it was the manager. She was AWFUL. She was rude, intentionally picked out favorites and gave them presents in front of everyone, messed up schedules on purpose for people she didn’t like, etc. Worst manager ever. So one day there was a huge storm coming in, and people were really worried about it.
Like, the news was telling people to stay home, other businesses were closing, all that. So it was up to her to either keep our store open or close it. Of course, she kept it open. Because schools closed, only half our scheduled employees showed up, the rest called in—and she called her favorites and told them they didn’t have to come in.
Well, as the like 5 of us who showed up were standing there, watching out the front windows, she starts yelling at us, threatening to write us all up, and we are like—no one is here, all the work is done, we are watching the wind BEND TREES OVER and worried about if we are safe or will even be able to get home.
Right about this time, we hear a SUPER LOUD crashing noise. CAHCHUNK – CAHCHUNK – CAHCHUNK – CAHCHUNK – WHAM! As the industrial air conditioner on top of the building got BLOWN OFF. Like it rolled along the roof, then went flying into the parking lot….Right onto her car. It was so perfect it was surreal.
Right in the center, smashed her car flat. Like if she had been in it, she would have been a goner. And it only happened because she parked right up by the building, where we had SPECIFICALLY been told not to park for the storm. All our cars were out in the farthest corner of the lot. We later found out her insurance didn’t cover the damage because it was an “act of god.”
30. Category Is: Entitled Karen
So, I manage a plus size women’s clothing store. We actually get a surprising amount of non-traditional customers. Guys who need a dress for a charity show, cross dressers, gender-fluid people, transgender women, and drag queens aren’t unheard of. So, a drag queen comes into the store to pick up some shoes they ordered online.
They must have been either coming from or going to a show because they were still in full makeup. I get their name, and during our conversation another customer walks in. I call out a greeting and say something like, “I’ll be right with you.” I go to the back room, and it takes a minute to go through all the web orders.
I find the one I need and am on my way back to the counter when the new customer throws her arm out to stop me from passing. She then says, “I am a new customer and I’ve been here for 20 minutes and no one has spoken to me.” First, I greeted her when she came in, and second, she had only been in the store for 5 minutes at that point.
I resigned myself to groveling, but before I could say anything, the drag queen stomps over, glares at the customer, and says, “Honey, she said hello to you.” Complete with sassy finger snaps. The Queen then made a big show of thanking me for getting her package, and gave me a big sparkly kiss on the cheek before she left.
The other customer sheepishly paid for her Spanx and didn’t make eye contact when I told her to have a good day.
31. Karen Tornadoes
My sister and sister-in-law are both Karens. I will show up to restaurants 15 minutes early to warn the staff. I tell them if it’s not done to their liking, they will hear about it and they will make their shift infinitely horrible. I’m just there as a warning. I used to work in restaurants and those kinds of people made my life miserable.
As soon as those two tornados walk in and everything goes down the tubes. Complaints include: not enough ice, the table is too cold, it’s too loud, etc. I also tip really big, because I don’t want to be associated with the two tornados. I live overseas, so I only see them two weeks out of the year. I would get rid of them if I could, but there’s one critical thing that prevents me from doing so— they could take my nieces and nephews away from me.
I pick my battles. I need my niece and nephew to know I’m always here for them. I can’t risk our relationship being tampered with. I have stood up to both of them plenty of times but I’m not about to have an argument every time I see them. After living overseas, I have realized how valuable family is and I need to accept someone—family or otherwise—for who they are and nothing more.
32. Karen Sees The Light
When I was growing up, my mom was a total Karen. She was always angry about something and treated my dad like total garbage. Mind you, my father is the kindest man who came from nothing, and he has built our life so good that even my grandkids will benefit from it. Also, she and my sister used to always go at it. Screaming and yelling were the norm around my household as a child.
I remember a time when I was like 10 or 11, I did something that upset my mom—I can’t remember exactly what it was—and she punished me in the most devastating way. She straight-up pretended I didn’t exist for months. She would literally come home—thankfully I rode a bike so I didn’t have to depend on her for a ride—and I’d have to wait for my dad to get home to make dinner. Eventually, I learned how to make simple meals myself.
She would openly say bad things about my dad, my sisters, and me to her friends. I remember walking in the kitchen one time and saw her typing an email to her friends and it was just bashing us. I remember when we would walk by her computer, she would half shut it, and give us a side-eye as we were walking by, and then reopen it as we walked out of the room. As if we didn’t all know what she was doing.
Public outings generally ended in some type of drama. Whether it was between my sister and mother, or just some problem my mom had in general with the venue or restaurant. You could almost always expect those to end in some sort of traumatic style. It honestly got so bad that my siblings and I, at one point, told our parents they should get a divorce. They never did though.
As I got older things got a little better. We moved across the country because my dad was doing well, and my parents were able to buy their dream house at a young age. My dad’s job was in our hometown though, so he would still spend most of his time there. So, basically, it was just my mom and me who moved out there full time. My sisters were both moved out by this time.
I was going into high school where I knew no one, and my mom didn’t work so she didn’t make any new friends either. I think we were forced to kind of be each other’s rock. We still had our arguments and indifferences, but as time went on we got closer. My mom still had issues with my dad—and a few other things—but life with my mom was good.
About a year after I went away to college, everything started to suddenly change. my mom got really sick. At one point, she came really close to not making it. It was terrifying for my whole family, but it ended up being one of our greatest blessings. Thankfully she pulled through and made a full recovery. Ever since then she has been a completely different woman.
My parents are totally in love again, and I’ve never seen them so happy. She never yells, screams, or really gets involved in any conflict anymore. She’s become the most supportive person in my life, and I can honestly say she is my best friend now. My whole family is closer now because of it as well.
Holidays and family get-togethers went from being a total drag to my most look forward to events of the year. While it’s unfortunate that it took my mother a “close to losing her life” experience to realize how good life could be if she would just change, I feel blessed for having a closer and happier family for it.
I think it also allows us to really cherish our time together because it’s not often we see each other anymore given our various life circumstances. But when we do, it’s the best time.
33. Tentatively Warm Karen
I’m in the middle of divorcing a Karen. Nothing was ever good enough for her—everything had to be the most expensive thing, and even then it still wasn’t good enough. It was exhausting and it sucked the passion I had for life out of me. She never said nice things about me. When my best friend came over for a BBQ with his wife and kids, she and her mother just mocked me the whole time.
Even on our wedding day—you know, during the part where you say nice things to each other—she managed to ruin the day completely. Her chosen words sounded like a tentatively warm school report card. The nicest thing I remember her saying about me was: “I like how you make the salads. It’s better than how I make it.” The whole wedding, that’s the best I can think of.
34. Another Karen Bites The Dust
My mother is a reformed Karen. In fairness, she was never particularly bad. But, when I was young, if we went to a restaurant and something was poorly made, she would call in the waitstaff and be very indignant and complain. She’s now completely swapped sides. She’s particularly kind to waitstaff. If something is wrong and does need to be raised, she’ll be polite about it.
How did it happen? Well, it started with me being honest and saying her behavior was making me not want to go out to dinner with her. Then, she saw a member of her family do something similar: It turns out it was an acquired trait from her upbringing. She later recognized that he was being unpleasant and had ruined our night. She completely changed her tune after that and is more polite than normal.
Nowadays, if things are good, she will go out of her way to leave compliments.
35. The Mothership Of Karens
My mom is a Karen whose name is actually Karen. I haven’t seen her in over a year because I couldn’t take it anymore. Living with her was just an exhausting nightmare. Karen’s world revolves around Karen. Nobody else’s issues matter. If you tell her that you had a bad day, she’ll give you 20 reasons why her day was worse. Did you work 60 hours this week? Well, when she was your age, she would work 80.
You’re in the hospital after having major surgery? She has a pinched nerve in her arm, which is somehow much, much worse. Your boyfriend cheated on you? She couldn’t even begin to tell you about all the heartbreak she’s experienced in her life. She complains left and right about anything and everything. If you’re taking a week’s break after just getting back from college, she’ll ask why you haven’t gotten a job yet—and claim you’re lazy.
If you’re out to eat at a restaurant, the food is always too cold, or too burnt, or too salty. You can only ever go to the places SHE wants to go to because everything else is horrible. During my entire graduation dinner, she complained about how cold the food was. She thrives on getting attention and constantly seeks it, but she has very few actual friends. Facebook is her lifeblood and she’s always looking to start something on there.
She’s the queen of sharing uninformed, misguided, conservative propaganda—which always starts fights in her comments. All of those things are bad enough, but she really takes things to the next level when a tragedy happens in the family—like when my teenage cousin unexpectedly and tragically passed—she’ll make a big scene on Facebook and expect condolences from anyone and everyone.
She’ll even take detailed notes of the people who don’t give her what she wants. Don’t even get me started on the blatant racism. I’ve heard everything from, “Watch out for Black people on the subway. They’ll try to take your purse” to “It should be illegal for those Muslims to cover their faces. You should be able to see someone’s face.” One of my best friends is Black and she once told me, “He’s one of the good ones. They should all be like him.”
Minor, but the house always has to be spotless. Do you have a shirt on your bedroom floor? “Pick it up, slob! We have people coming over”—no we don’t, and even if we do, why would they be going in my bedroom? Her house is HER house, and she’ll let you know. Any object she has spent money on doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to HER.
She also spends way too much money on home decor like oriental rugs, furniture, etc. but then complains about how she has no money.
36. Tween Confronts Karen
My mom is halfway to being a Karen. By that, I mean she will only do it in grocery stores. One time when I was 12, we were standing in line, and she was being an obnoxious twit. For some reason, I had had enough, and I decided to put her in her place right then and there. I said very clearly—and loud enough for most people in our line and the cashier to hear—”If you do not stop, I will not come out with you in the future. Your behavior is immature at best. Grow up.”
She’s not pulled that stuff around me since. Fingers crossed she doesn’t, but I guess we’ll see…
37. Every Dog Gets Her Day
Many years ago, I was living in a beautiful sunny southern state. I had a cute little house that was completely fenced in: 5’ fence in front, 8’ fence on the sides, and a 10’ chain link fence in the back. I’m fortunate enough to work from home. My “office” was my patio unless it was raining. My dog, Sarie, a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix, kept me company.
At a year old, she was a big girl at 120lbs. She was generally very sweet and kind but protective. She was well trained but also had a knack for disappearing to play with her animal friends, so I kept her on a chain too if we were outside. High school kids in the area had the tendency to use the alleyway behind my house to get to and from school.
Most would stop and say hi to Sarie and give her attention. She loved it. I honestly didn’t mind. One day, I noticed that any time Sarie was alone outside, some kids would rattle the back fence, throw things at it, then scream and yell at Sarie. The kids would run off before I could see who they were. In case things got worse, I bought some security cameras and brought Sarie with me anytime I went inside when the kids would be around.
One day, I had to grab some work in the house and left Sarie outside, just for a moment. From inside, I heard the fence rattle, and then Sarie yelp in pain. I rushed outside just in time to see a kid try to throw a rock at Sarie, along with some other kids. I was furious—but I knew just what to do. As I rushed over to Sarie, I calmly asked them: “Did it ever occur to you to wonder why I keep my dog chained in a fenced yard?”
Then I unhooked her. Sarie ran at my back fence and climbed over it. The kids started running down the alley with Sarie right behind them, barking away. I let her go about half a block, then whistled for her. She came trotting back all happy as can be. I checked her over and gave her a treat, and she was fine. A couple of hours later, one of the kids came back with his mother…an entitled mother.
Her (screaming) “You witch! You had your dog attack my son! He was only having a fun time! He’s just a boy! [this kid was at least 16] You scared him! It was just a joke! You had no right to do that! I’m calling the authorities and having that dog shot!” Blah, blah, blah. I literally couldn’t get a word in. Then she starts threatening me.
So, I called the authorities. The operator could hear her plain as day even though she was at least 40 feet from me. Officers showed up in about five minutes. two cars. I guess they were in the area. Four officers, all very nice guys. Two officers come to talk to me, the other two talk to the woman and her son. She never stopped screaming and cussing.
I explained what happened and showed the video I had taken to the officers. I also show all of Sarie’s vet and training paperwork. I filed a report and asked to press charges. The officers are petting Sarie all the while because she’s demanding attention from her new friends. She has her happy face on. Yes, Sarie actually smiles when she likes people.
The three of us and Sarie (on a leash) go outside towards the other group. We’re about 10 feet from them when Sarie suddenly cuts in front of me to stop me and starts growling. The skin around her face went tight; making it look like a hair-covered skull. The hair on her back raises up. Sarie is very scary when she’s like that. But I knew something was very, very wrong.
Mother (screaming): “See! That witch raised that dog to attack people. That dog needs to be put down!” I called back one of the officers that I had been talking to. He didn’t want to come too close as Sarie is showing large teeth at this point, so I moved back toward my house. As quietly as I could, I told the officer that either the mom or the kid was carrying a gun.
That’s why Sarie started getting protective. It had happened several times before. I guess to err on the side of caution, or else to shut me up, he decided to search the mom and kid. Yep, the mom had an unregistered piece, while the kid had an illegal switchblade. So, in addition to a charge of animal cruelty, they got nailed for carrying a concealed weapon, being in possession of a firearm while on probation, resisting arrest, and a couple of other charges.
This woman never stopped screaming the entire time this happened and while being driven away. I don’t think that’s how she or the kid expected to end the day, but I enjoyed it. Even better, I never saw her or her kid again and the kids stopped harassing Sarie.
38. Karen Likes It Fresh
We’re not actually married, but we might as well be. At our local 7-Eleven, my girlfriend and I are friendly with the cashiers. They know that she always wants two taquitos—but only if they’re fresh! Not fresh? Okay, she will watch them put fresh ones on, and will come back to get them. She drapes herself across the counter and I just stand there and cringe.
When I pointed out that she is Karen, her reply made me roll my eyes. “If I don’t ask for the manager, how would I get anything done?” I hate going out in public with her.
39. Karen Passes Bill
I’m married to someone with a Karen for a sister. My sister-in-law is the freaking worst. I hate going out to dinner with her more than anything. I have to listen to her order food and talk down to the servers. Holidays are also terrible—she sends out long lists of the gifts she expects. She celebrates every holiday and birthday specifically for presents—even when it is not appropriate.
One time, while I was away from the dinner table, the bill came and Karen waited for me to return so I could pay the bill. She actually handed it to me. She didn’t give it to her sibling—my significant other—or pay her half, but expressly handed it to me to pay. Well, here’s the worst part—I did pay. There are many reasons as to why, but the biggest one is that it got me out of the restaurant faster.
Also, I paid because it helps me control the tip. Another time, we went to a family brunch where the bill was split—Karen waited to see what other people tipped so she could lower the overall tip percentage for the waitress to what she thought she deserved. We didn’t know this until afterward when she bragged about it—no one even knew to stop her.
She is invited to these family meals because she has two children with whom we want a relationship…so she has that emotional blackmail card. By the way, her husband is an idiot and they are a match made in heaven.
40. Leafing Through
My grandparents’ house backs onto a wood. They are also at the bottom of a hill, with the said wood running uphill behind them. Mounds and mounds of fallen leaves on the lawn are inevitable, especially in autumn. Their next-door neighbor is… well… she’s very houseproud. And, that is understating her passion for her house.
For instance, her sister visited her and made some toast in the toaster and she freaked out because you don’t USE the toaster. It’s just for show! And now it’s ruined because there are crumbs in it! Anyway, leaves on the lawn are a constant source of stress for her. Every autumn she’s out there all day, watching, just waiting for one to fall.
And when one does, she’s straight over to scoop it up and throw it in the compost. Once she leaned over the fence to speak to my grandad, and apparently, she just gazed into his eyes, utter despair on her face, and asked, “When is it going to stop?” His response? He pointed at her trees saying, “When all of that,” and continued, while then pointing at her lawn, to finish by saying, “is down there.”
41. This Karen Means Well
My mom is a Karen and it is not fun. The worst part is, I think she was part of the reason the girl I loved left. Whenever she was around, my mom behaved much better and put on a nice face. We argued frequently about my relationship with my mom. It hurt a lot. The pain of losing the girl I loved—in a way I didn’t think I was able to love—is the greatest pain in my life.
I love my mom very much, and she is generally a very nice person. I’ve spent a good while trying to put it to words accurately, but it’s difficult. Everything is very minor and very subtle, but it’s constant. It’s a “not what she does, but how she does it” sort of thing. She doesn’t try to hide her behavior when in public, she just tries to put her best face forward when around others.
I don’t know if she is aware of what she does when at home, because it is so minor and subtle—but I have a difficult time believing that since it is constant. She doesn’t control my life or actions. The pain she causes is dwarfed greatly by everything she has done for me. Without her, I wouldn’t have made it where I am today, and I am extremely thankful and lucky to have her in my life despite the pain.
I do not think I will cut her out of my life. Less frequent contact helps, but she is not so great a terror that no contact ever is needed. I look forward to seeing her spoil my grandchildren, and know she will trust me to raise them, and not try to take over and do it herself.
42. The Right to be Big is Selectively Given
My mother-in-law. One day, my sister-in-law came over to my house, bawling her eyes out, because her mom told her she was fat. My wife spends quite a while comforting her, calming her down. Finally, she’s feeling better and leaves, and my wife calls her mom and tells her not to be so hard on SIL, that she’s damaging her fragile self-esteem (she’d been bullied in school and had just gotten out into the world as an adult and was building herself up, making friends).
MIL gets very haughty and tells my wife that she’s just looking out for SIL so that she doesn’t wake up some day and realize that she has allowed herself to be fat and ugly. That will damage her self-esteem far more, my MIL says. About a week later, MIL comes over crying. She works at an old folks home, where her mother lives, suffering from Alzheimer’s. MIL had bent over to pick something up, and her mother came up behind her and said, “Jesus Christ you’re getting fat, look at your big fat behind!”
So now, MIL is crying to my wife saying, “How could she say that to me, doesn’t she understand how hurtful that is?” I had to leave the room to laugh incredulously.
43. Karen Left High And Dry
I was married to a Karen for many years. I’m sure the question on everyone’s mind is, “Was she like that at home?” The answer is: abso-freaking-lutely. She was the kind of Karen who needed everything to be absolutely perfect or she’d complain…at restaurants, stores, anything. At home, it was worse. I couldn’t do anything right.
As far as any ambitions or dreams that I had: I wasn’t good enough, so why try? Ugh. I’m so glad I divorced her! There is a bonus to this tragic story. She hired a lawyer for our divorce and he was an incompetent idiot. He wrote the paperwork up wrong, and because of that, she won’t get anything from my retirement.
44. Eat Your Words
A while ago I decided to treat myself to some Burger King. I was having a bad day and had a headache coming on. So I was waiting in line at the BK, when suddenly this woman comes in with a monster of a child. He was out of control, screaming, punching his mother, throwing things around. The mother didn’t pay any attention to him and he continued yelling, “I want a PIE.”
My headache turned into a full-blown migraine. I calmly turned and asked if she could please calm her child down. Immediately she got up in my face, telling me to mind my own business. I nodded and turned around, when the child cried out again how he wants a pie. I then decided to ruin their day in the most devious way I could think of.
When I got to the front of the line I asked the person at the register how many apple pies they have left. They told me and I bought all of them. I ate one and made sure the kid saw me throw the rest in the trash.
45. Karen Turns Over A New Leaf
Early in our marriage, I started seeing some Karen tendencies in my wife. It started because companies were legitimately jerking us around on things we needed, and she was trying to be more assertive. Initially, she had it compartmentalized. She’d turn it on when she needed it, and turn it off once things were getting resolved.
Unfortunately, she started losing her ability to keep it segmented, and this entitlement mindset started bleeding into other interactions. I didn’t like the direction it was headed. I finally said something one night after she’d gone into a store to return something. She told me about how she gave the employee heck because of how terrible the return policy was.
So I just asked her: “An hourly employee, with no say in the matter, upheld the company policy—as she was trained to do—and you thought it was appropriate to give her a talking to for that? How do you think that made her feel? I think you owe that woman an apology, and I think if you take a minute to think about it, you’ll do the right thing.” She argued with me for a few minutes, because she felt like I was attacking her.
But to her credit, she walked herself back into that store and stood in line for 10 minutes to apologize. That was a turning point for her, I think. Since then, even when people have legitimately screwed up, she’s been much more patient, understanding, and polite. I’m grateful she was open to my critique because I have other Karens in my extended family, and I don’t know if I could be with someone like that.
46. Water Over My Head
The neighbor stealing water almost led to my toddler getting, at least, seriously injured. The neighbor was opening my gate and helping herself to the water for her flower beds. I suspected it from the high water bills, but had no proof. We always kept the gate closed because we had a dog and I had two kids under 4 years old at the time.
The youngest was 1 1/2 years old, and he loved to run around the backyard with the dog. One morning, the youngest begged to go outside to run around, so I let them do so while I cooked breakfast and watched them from the kitchen window. I went to the bathroom real quick, checked the laundry, and then heard a knock on the door.
I went to answer it and there was a man holding my youngest. “Is this your kid?” the guy asked. “They were running up the road up there,” he continued. Holy moly! I thanked the guy profusely, then went outside to figure out how they got out. The gate had a latch that was way too high to reach for a little one, so I didn’t even suspect that option.
Lo and behold, the gate was wide open with the hose suspiciously thrown near it. I was so fricking furious. I bought a lock for the gate and ended up wrapping the hose in and around several cinder blocks. It took all I had not to go over and scream at the woman who was responsible. But from then on, she never complained about my kids near her precious flowers, and I didn’t care even if they did pull up every single one after that.
47. Karen Monitors The Bedroom
My brother was married to a Karen. She loved to berate people, and rarely went anywhere without a flask of booze to fuel her fire. She despised kids and wasn’t quiet about it. In the first year of marriage, she laid down a really frustrating “rule”—she decided that her husband had to earn the right to be intimate with her. So, if she didn’t like the way he painted the shed, groomed the dog, or poured his cornflakes—and she never did—there was no reward in the bedroom.
After 10 years he divorced her, moved to another state, and married a kind-hearted, generous, empathetic lady. Karen still can’t understand why he dumped her “perfect” derriere.
48. Age Before Manners
I guess you could call him my step-grandpa? My mom’s weird husband brought his weird dad (part of it is autism, part of it is he’s an old man who’s never been challenged) to Olive Garden. First, he just sort of announces his drink order to the hostess while she’s doing menus. Easy mistake to make, thinking the hostess is the waitress.
Except his drink order is “I NEED a tall glass OF SKIM MILK.” Both the hostess and then later the waitress had to explain to him why they don’t just have a gallon of skim milk lying around. This made him so angry he said it was stupid that they had “the wrong cows.” So, I’m thinking, “Well, that was a complete nightmare. I guess old people forget not all restaurants are Denny’s, and autistic people have important habits and routines. At least he has water now.”
NOPE. As you know, Olive Garden brings many things to the table: drinks, soups, salads, bread, refills, cheese graters, and then more bread. Our waitress was new. So, she had a hard time carrying so many things on one tray, she took a few trips. When she showed up with a big salad bowl and a bunch of salad plates, he was furious that she forgot his soup.
When she showed up with the soups and breadsticks, he freaked out that she should have brought two baskets (except Jesus Christ, she DID bring two baskets.) I swear to god, at one point when the waitress poured water in his glass, I heard him try to go “No! I ordered milk,” but it was either quiet enough that the waitress didn’t hear, or stupid enough that she ran away.
The worst part of all this is that this 70-year-old man was allowed to adopt a 10-year-old girl. By the time they were 72 and 12, he had turned her into a total pariah. She had a major mustache that no one talked to her about, she didn’t wash, wore the same basketball clothes until they smelled, and she didn’t see anything wrong or unusual about her father making the waitress cry real tears. So that was the night I cringed for like, two hours straight.
49. Kindergarten Karen
We’re not married, but we went through four years of a toxic relationship. I broke up with her on Monday…again. We’re kind of messed up financially, so we are just feeling things out for a month before we decide for sure. This cycle of our relationship seems to be on repeat. When we’re out, I constantly have to cut her off and speak over her because of the way she treats people.
She tells off waiters, sales assistants, gym staff, neighbors, landlords, randoms we meet in bars—you name it. We were both waiters at the beginning of our relationship, so she has worked in the industry, but she still lacks empathy. She blames the waiter if something is out of stock etc. But I have another major issue.
We are both ESL teachers. She teaches kindergarten, while I teach high school. We are now working from home, and I hear how she speaks to her students. It’s really opened up another aspect of her personality that I don’t like. She will berate a student for not understanding instead of evaluating her ability to explain.
Berating a three-year-old child in their second language doesn’t fly with me. A lot of her behavior stems from a self-defense mechanism due to insecurity, but that’s not an excuse. She doesn’t realise how mean she is to people—including myself. I’m a people pleaser that would rather sacrifice my own comfort than someone else’s.
She expects me to harass people because I’m a biggish guy with tattoos, and I don’t exactly look soft. It’s super toxic. The fact that she’s really good in bed doesn’t help me dump her.
50. Café Society Girl
There was only one coffee shop on my campus, which operated out of the library building. It was always crowded. You pretty quickly learned that if you wanted coffee before class, you got there 20 minutes early, grabbed a newspaper, and took your time. It was always funny watching incoming freshmen crowd the line five minutes before their 8 am class and slowly filter out in despair.
Cue this little freshman girl walking up, assessing the line stretching out the door, and boldly deciding to just sorta…skip it. Now, the baristas were usually pretty cool with people skipping for simple things: Dropping a buck for a cookie, anything that didn’t require interaction. Not this girl. She caught the barista’s attention, while the previous customer was still paying, and went:”Hi, yea, can I get a latte please, like really quickly?”
“Umm, the line starts back there,” replied the now slightly confused girl behind the counter. “But I have claaaaass” whined the freshman. There was an awkward pause. Then the barista responded with a brutal retort. “You are on a college. campus. Are you freaking serious?! Why do you think all these people are here?! Back of the line!”
“Oh” was the only thing the freshman girl thought to say. As she turned to look at a line full of people staring daggers back at her, she looked not upset or embarrassed, but sort of enraptured by this newfound understanding she’s just been imparted. It’s like for first time in her entire life, she realized that other people were in her way for reasons.
It was actually kind of beautiful to watch, like a baby deer learning to walk for the first time. Better late than never.
51. We Need To Talk About Karen
My ex-wife could be considered a Karen. Her outbursts would stem from the simplest of things; all the usual suspects that make people insecure. Things like obvious rejections, the insults, and failure she managed like a normal person; but somehow, she would find those things in almost any situation. Let me give you an example.
She missed her train home one day and called to ask if I could pick her up from the next town over rather than wait for the next train—a whole 20 minutes! When I got there she was waiting on the side of the road, and I could not park properly, so I blocked the road and waited for her. She proceeded to make things worse—she just stood there and didn’t even try to get to the car.
When I asked what the problem was, she complained: “A gentleman would open the door.” Once in the car, she then complained that I took ages to get there, and moaned about how I didn’t greet her lovingly. I didn’t really care by then, but not once did she even thank me. I would have just preferred she did not, by default, berate me.
After many situations like that, I realized everything I was putting in the relationship—as a people pleaser—would come back as punishment from the Karen. Anyway, she’s an ex-wife now. I don’t regret marrying her, I do regret staying with her longer than I should. That is the only advice I can give to others who somehow wound up with a Karen.
52. Guess Who Is Watching
Our neighbor stalks us. Like every time I get home, she’ll walk outside and tell me I was either 3 minutes later getting home this time or that I was home 2 minutes earlier and then ask me why. One time my friend and her sister came to pick me up. The neighbor was against her window with her hands and face pressed up against the glass.
Said neighbor was trying to get a look at who was coming to pick me up. My friend and her sister were so terrified that they called me, telling me to hurry up because a crazy lady was staring at them through a window. I calmly replied to their frantic call by saying, “Oh, it’s just the stalker neighbor!” Yes, that was a funny day.
53. Karenology 101
I dated a Karen for a while. Yes, the booty is the reason I stayed as long as I did. This is always how it went down: Whenever I raised my dander from annoyance to “What is wrong with you,” that’s when the flirty side came out. Like, she knew that she’d crossed a line, and so she tried to fog my mind with an amazing time in the bedroom.
That’s an easy formula for things to turn toxic. She’s associated intimacy with calming me down after she’s made me angry. So, if she’s looking for a little lovin’, clearly she has to get me angry first, so there’s something she can do to make it up to me. Meanwhile, every time she raises my ire, in the back of my head, there’s a part of me that likes it because hey, I know what’s going to happen next.
For however long I’m angry right now, this is going to end in an awesome time in the bedroom—or anywhere else I guess. So how can I hold a grudge?
54. Give Me the Plans or Else!
I worked at a science museum that had a hands-on area for kids. The aim of the game was for the child to solve a problem by themselves. Like “can you get x to do y.” They make something, test it, and figure out how to make it better. One day, a woman comes in practically dragging her five-year-old son. She sits him down beside me and starts poking me on the shoulder as I’m talking to another family.
“Tell my son what to do,” she says, standing over him. I tell the family to hold on a sec, as I explain the challenge to the newcomer. The whole point is to work autonomously, so it was alright, and I was used to working with a few rude/pushy parents, so I wasn’t surprised. I tell the kid the prompt, tell him he had a wide range of materials…
But no. The woman wants me to tell him every step of the process. “Tell him the answer! Tell him the answer!” she says repeatedly, grabbing his hands to make him fold paper, or reaching for my own. I start getting mad. “Ma’am, the goal here is to learn the scientific method. Make a hypothesis, test it, make conclusions and try again.”
“But you already KNOW the answer,” she says, “Tell my son! Or I’m calling your manager!” I don’t even have a manager. In the meantime, the poor kid is looking so embarrassed. Every time he tries to start something for himself, his mom reaches for his hands and tells him to wait for me to tell him what to do. The woman was so afraid of him failing when the whole point was to learn from one’s mistakes.
I’m so worried about how he’ll deal with mistakes growing up, with her around.
55. Karen Loses Son
My mom is a bit of a Karen, and we pretty much have no contact now, so that should tell you everything you need to know. Whenever we’d go out to eat, the food is always too cold, or they don’t have the brand of sparkling water she likes, or they’ve put ice in her drink when she didn’t want it. She always has to make some kind of modification to her order, etc. The list goes on.
It got to the point where, if we were out shopping and she said she needed to return something, I wouldn’t even think twice about what to do next—I’d just go somewhere else, because I couldn’t stand watching her be rude and argue with the staff. My parents are divorced, and I live with my dad now instead. Part of the reason I barely see my mom is because I’d have to meet her in public—go for a coffee or something—and I just can’t deal with the way she behaves in these places so I don’t go.
56. Patience Is a Virtue
I was next in a pretty long line at the grocery store. This woman behind me was making a huge fuss about them needing to open more registers, and she was swearing and muttering under her breath. When a second clerk appeared at the next kiosk to open another register, he looks at me and says, “I can help the next person in line, sir.”
The mumbling witch behind me saw the clerk coming and had backed her cart up and was rushing for the register before he even spoke. I saw the woman barreling toward the open register, and swiftly pushed a cart over to block her path. Her face got so red, it looked like she was going to explode as she nearly collided with the cart.
I just looked at her and said in the most innocent voice I have “Oops, he did call for next in line, though.”
57. Buttering Up The Server
My mom is a Karen. She literally can not help but tell other people her opinion. She genuinely sees it as doing everyone a favor. It destroys her relationships with my siblings. None of my brothers or sisters will talk to her. Here’s the perfect example of her “Karenness.” Like a lot of these stories, this happened in a restaurant.
A few years ago, we went out to eat. The restaurant served bread and butter before the meal. The butter was whipped. My mom—the former dairy farmer’s daughter—insisted they bring her “real” butter. The waitress went back to the kitchen, came back, and told her what she had was butter. My mom, who apparently is infallible in her ability to detect butter, started acting like a completely horrible person to the waitress about it. “She knows what real butter tastes like.”
I go to this restaurant often—and my kids are there too—so my first instinct was to apologize to the waitress. That was a bad idea. As soon as I did, my mom went into a rage about respecting your elders and walked out of the restaurant. To this day, she still won’t admit she was unkind to the waitress.
58. (A)Corny Story
My strangest encounter has been with the next-door lady. At one point, she was standing on her driveway yelling at me because acorns had fallen from a large oak tree on my property onto said driveway. This was deemed unacceptable, of course. Thus, she was demanding that I cause the tree to cease and desist from this intentional criminal activity.
59. Ten Years Of Absolute Misery
I was married to Karen, and it was absolutely embarrassing. It cost me many good friendships. I was with the armed forces and she would continually cause drama with the other wives while wearing my rank on her sleeve. She was the first person to judge everybody. She always had the attitude that she was better than everyone (and still does from what I’ve heard). She’d flip out on servers, and I would have to straight-up sneak tip them.
Well after a few different duty stations—and a lot of burnt friendships—I was getting tired of it. I would look forward to going on my deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. On my last one, she decided to pull the last straw—she cheated on me with my “best friend.” Gotta love it! I was immediately told about it— I’m not sure if it was because I was well-liked, or she was well hated.
Anyway, this was my THANK GOD moment. I would be the first one in my family to get a divorce and not get judged too hard for it. Plus, I’d finally end 10 years of absolute misery. So, fast forward to today…my ex-best friend—thanks for the solid dude—and my ex-wife ended up getting married. But if there is one thing you don’t do, it’s cheat on your deployed husband.
This is very poorly looked upon by everyone in the service and you’ll be excommunicated by the community. The other thing you don’t do is start a marriage based on cheating. So, from what I heard—not that I really care—is that she is divorcing him for cheating on her. Also, she is no longer allowed to be on the post for shacking up with another married dude, while his wife was deployed. The circle of shame continues!
60. Trick or Treat
I went to school at an outpatient mental health facility as a kid. It was Halloween, so the instructors were letting us paint our faces and just do fun arts and crafts activities all day long. I knew that my mom didn’t like Halloween for religious reasons, so I just gave myself a cat nose with whiskers and made sure not to write Happy Halloween or anything similar on any of the things I was making.
When my mom came to pick me up at the end of the day, she publicly screamed at me like a maniac about how I should know better. She then made me march straight to the bathroom to wash my face, as well as made me throw away all the stuff I had made. All in front of everyone, just to make matters worse. Thanks a lot, mom.
61. My Karen-In-Law
My sister-in-law is a Karen, and her name is very close to “Karen.” Here’s one of her most recent masterpieces. Her daughter had a big choir performance one night. My family, her family, and my father and mother-in-law were going to meet for dinner and then go to the show. My neighbor owns a very nice Italian restaurant in town, so I set something up there.
My neighbor had arranged for us to have a big table ready when we got there. My family of four was halfway to the restaurant when my wife decided to check in with her sister with a text message. My sister-in-law, the Karen, immediately called back and casually said she was running late—she is ALWAYS late—and that it would be best if we drove to their house to pick them up.
To this day, I don’t understand how that would help the situation, and we had a rather tight window to have dinner. Anyway, Karen threw a huge fit when my wife pushed back, so we turned around, picked them up, and drove to the restaurant. When we sat down, her “Karen” started showing real bad. and she scanned the menu, asked the waitress questions, then told her a couple of times she was not ready to order.
Meanwhile, we were all openly reminding her that we were on a tight schedule. Doesn’t matter!!! Karen WILL NOT be rushed. It should be noted that my neighbor’s restaurant has a single-page menu that doesn’t change, and she had been to the restaurant MANY TIMES. By the time she decided what she wanted to order, we realized we wouldn’t have time to eat.
She gave all sorts of hassles to the waitress: demanding to-go boxes for our meals that were just now being served. My neighbor then came to our table to figure out what was going on, and she immediately stood up to try to explain… while throwing the waitress under the bus. As we were leaving, I pulled my neighbor and the waitress aside to tell them what REALLY happened and profusely apologized.
62. The Main Attraction
In a popular mall, a grown woman rolled on the ground kicking and screaming when the grown man she was with refused to buy her jewelry. She slammed her hand on the glass counter, then it turned into a shouting match. Then the guy started telling her off about how she needs to be a “traditional woman” or something.
He then proceeded to (childishly) mock her about how childish she was behaving. Like full-on making fake crying sounds. She cried. Then stopped. Like cold, hard stop on the crying. This was the glorious moment when she jumped onto the ground and rolled around kicking and screaming. I loved to see it.
63. Bestie Can’t Take It
My best friend married a Karen. This woman is a whole different level of Karen. My buddy makes a large six-digit salary but has to work cycle shifts away from home. She has the option to move so they can live as a family, but refuses to because she has what she calls a “career.” She sells scents and works a clerk job at an HR office.
They have two kids and she can’t handle them. She makes him drive home from work every day so she can work out for 30 minutes in the evening. It’s a seven-hour commute. He had to buy another vehicle because he couldn’t take the company vehicle back and forth—too expensive and dangerous. Also, when she’s working at home, he has to leave the house with the kids and can’t come back until she says it’s okay.
She has insane spending habits and buys unnecessary stuff from Amazon, Scentsy, and other MLM products. She made him buy a luxury camper ($40k) so she could visit him at work and went only one time. She puts the kids in daycare, even though it costs them more than she financially makes. She wants huge renovations done but refuses to watch the kids while he does them.
Any negative thing that happens in her life: it’s his fault. And he has to fix it immediately—no matter the cost. She texts and calls him every 10 minutes at work to complain about him being away from home and how the kids drive her crazy. She makes him attend job fairs in hopes that she’ll find a job making just as much money. It won’t happen, but he does it anyway.
This one, however, gets me the most—she’d rather pretend to have a really good career than move with him. They’d save lots of money and they would be a much better parenting team! It frustrates me because my time with him has literally become therapy sessions where he vents for hours. It’s brutal and I hate that he tolerates it.
64. Stop! In The Name Of Law!
My neighbor pulled us over pretending to be a police officer, saying that we had somehow broken the law while pulling out of our driveway and that she was “going to call it in.” She isn’t a cop. After chatting with the other neighbors, it turns out she’s just the “wannabe HOA president” in a neighborhood with no HOA. So, mostly harmless. Just very annoying.
65. When A Karen Snaps
I have Karens for parents and let me tell you: it’s awful. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I got some money in gift vouchers from different charities. So, I went out and brought some decent headphones. One day, they just snapped and my sister saw what happened. All I did was bend them slightly to place them on my head and they snapped.
My dad was angry, and the next day, he grabbed my wheelchair and took me back to the shops. He got me to take off my chemo cap and made me sit in my wheelchair. He wheeled me in the shop and that’s when he blew up. He ended up getting into a screaming match—ordering a manager and a supervisor—and said “Look at her.” At some point, my sisters left the shop and just cringed outside.
My dad wouldn’t let me leave or wheel myself out. The whole time, I was beet red and had my head in my hands. When they wouldn’t help him, he threw the broken headphones into the metal trash can for receipts: I remember hearing it rattle. He stormed out calling them terrible names. As I was being wheeled out, I looked up and mouthed “I’m so sorry.”
66. Mother in Unlawful Rudeness
My MIL is truly a Karen. Going out to eat with her is always a nightmare. Her orders have 14 special requests, but she’s not at all kind about it, she is defensive from the get-go, like you’re an idiot who’s already screwed the order up. “Nooo dressing. Not on the side. Nothing. Completely dry. Do you understand? I will send it back!”
The one I will never forget, though, was dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. In case you’ve never been, it’s one of those places that every so often plays a song that the entire staff is required to drop everything and do a little synchronized dance to. It’s quick, everyone gets a little kick out of it. It’s part of the fun. Now my MIL Karen knew this, it’s not like she’d never been here.
But apparently, she was not willing to wait two extra minutes for her dry salad, so she starts going off as soon as the dancing starts. She gets a manager, who clearly knows Karen well and offers a quick apology (for doing their job), a discount, and her dry salad. But Karen’s not completely satisfied. She tells us that even though dinner for our party of 8 is on her, she’s not tipping the waitress one penny.
She proceeds to whine…loudly…throughout the rest of the meal and antagonizes our waitress over petty stuff. I worked too many years in customer service, and you know, I’m a decent human being. I made sure to get my bill separate so I could tip for the entire table. I wrote a quick note on the receipt, something along the lines of “Way to stay positive even when the customer’s a jerk.” I was a little afraid of the wrath of Karen, it was one of my first interactions with her too, but when the waitress came and hugged me, Karen and I locked eyes. She knew. I didn’t care. Don’t be a jerk, Karen.
67. Facebook Is Karen’s Kingdom
One of my cousins is married to a Karen. He lives at the office day and night just to hide from her. We also suspect he’s not faithful from time to time. She was a very slow hatching Karen, so he was basically trapped on a ship with a “xenomorph” and didn’t know it. Once they tied the knot and baby number one arrived, she took her ultimate Karen form.
I won’t go out to eat with them, because she will complain about everything the whole time. Facebook is her kingdom, and the other Karens reinforce these terrible behaviors by liking all of her posts. Her favorite activity is complaining about how hard it is being a full-time mom—even though her kids are in school and she has a housekeeper.
68. One for the Books
When I was working at a public library, we had a few local celebrities come in from time to time. Most of them were nice, but one had a real stick up his butt. He would complain about having to stand in line, about late fees, and about everything else. We would just say “Sorry, those are the rules” or “Thank you for being patient” even though he wasn’t.
One day, he and I were apparently both having a bad day, and when I told him there was a limit on how many DVDs or video games he could check out at a time, he slammed his hands on the desk and raged, “Do you know who I am?!” This is a grown man, mind, and I was a little college student who barely looked old enough to drive.
I was sick of him, though, so I just looked at him and said, “Yes, I do, Mr. X, and the rules still apply to you. Which of these would you like me to put back?” He was stunned. I don’t think anyone had ever actually told him that the rules for everyone else did in fact apply to him as well. He was a little nicer after that. Not a lot nicer, but still.
69. “Karenasaurus” Rex
I was married to a Karen. She was very nasty and could not lose an argument. She was physically and mentally abusive. But the worst thing she would do is, if she had the idea that I might walk out on, she would physically corner me and scream in my face for over an hour. She’d try to egg me into touching her so she could “Call 9-1-1 on me for assault.”
She rear-ended someone in her Geo Tracker—the poor woman’s Karenmobile. The accident only shattered her grille. I went to a few Pick ’n Pulls to see if I could find a new grille. There were No Geo Tracker grilles, but I found a Chevy Tracker grille. I bought it—but I had to have permission to spend a dime, so I told her I got a Tracker grille.
Unfortunately, she saw the grille before I had a chance to de-badge it and put it on her Tracker with the Geo logo. That resulted in two weeks of torment from her. I told her I’d take it back and get a Geo Tracker one…and I did take it back…but I still had my devious plan in mind. I went and found the badge I’d seen the other day (that wasn’t sun-faded like hers), stuck it on the Chevy Tracker grille, and installed it.
She had no clue about my deception. She did, however, go on for days about how stupid I was to buy a Chevy grille, which was obviously not the same vehicle, and how she had to wait a whole extra day to be able to drive it to work. She also went on to complain that I should have used the original badge so it wasn’t obvious, even though that’s what I did.
It was also my fault she rear-ended the guy. My fault her brakes weren’t good. My fault that she drove the faster route I found to her work. My fault that she still worked there. My fault I didn’t force her to move to San Diego. My fault I didn’t make her a new child. All my fault. When she couldn’t win a fight, the past would win it for her.
If that wouldn’t win, she would get straight abusive until I would submit. After I left her—which was the second largest battle and longer story—I found out that she cheated on me with every male employee she worked with on “business trips.” And yes, it was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario. All the way up to the wedding, she was outwardly a great person. The wedding changed her into Karenasaurus Rex.
70. Not in the Business of Learning
My mom came to my school because she thought I was lying about what I got on my SATs. She didn’t think I was that smart. No one in my school would give her that information because they didn’t have to. She got to my principal and said, “I want to speak to your manager” in front of me. He refused and they argued for a while.
The principal knew I was an okay guy and the score I told my mother was legitimate. It was really embarrassing though.
71. Karenism Explained
My girlfriend desperately wanted to be a Karen when we were younger until she started losing all of her friends. Then she started losing all of my friends, and we discussed in a healthy manner how unhealthy and unattractive rudeness is. But the worst part is, in her head, it was because that’s how she needed to act in order to ever feel like she’s being heard.
So, I made a point to be more aware and she made a point to be less rude. Now, disagreements are normally thought out. Our big problem has always been that I react by calculating and thinking things out, and she reacts by whatever the most powerful emotion she’s feeling tells her to do. We both have worked on that.
The problem is soft-spoken women are almost always walked on, especially in scenarios where they aren’t satisfied: you can almost hear the New York deli guy going “Listen, lady…” (cringe). So you start Karen-ing and it gets immediate results.
72. Free Return and Exchanges
I worked at a guest service desk at a big chain store. A couple of years ago, around Christmas time, a woman came to the desk and complained about a string of lights not working properly. I told her that I could return it or exchange it for. She says she’ll grab a different one, then comes back and tells me there were only two left and the packaging wasn’t perfect.
Then she looked me right in the eyes and says, “What I’d really like you to do is give me this one for free.” I chuckled and said, “We’re not in the business of giving items away for free. The most I can do is 10% off for an imperfect package.” Needless to say, she returned both items.
73. Polite Request From Karen
My mom is a Karen. Literally, her name is Karen. But she is like a complete angel. So selfless, so loving, and so pure. I have never met anyone who has the heart she does. I swear I think she is just an angel god placed on this earth. Anyway, she is pretty upset about this “Karen” thing going on. She doesn’t understand why people are attacking her.
She thinks she’s been nice to everyone, and she has. She’s truly amazing. But she doesn’t understand why this is a thing. She would like to kindly request that we change “Karen” to “Susan” and I agree. She doesn’t deserve a meme about her. Her heart is too pure.
74. It’s A Plant
We lived in a four-plex. At the end of our driveway was a eucalyptus tree that occasionally shed its seed pods which are shaped a bit like a sleigh bells, about the size of a quarter. Evidently, she slipped on one and broke her foot. She kept trying to get my kids to admit they had placed the eucalyptus seeds there as a booby trap and that they needed to pay her bills.
My kids were six and eight, by the way. I told the kids not to talk to her. So, then it became this rant about how my kids were so disrespectful and her grandson would never ignore a grownup like that and get those kids out here right now to apologize! But, she’d say this on repeat. One time I just stood there listening and she repeated herself for 20 minutes.
It was truly bizarre. Eventually, her hoarding caused a rodent issue so I had to call the landlord. She got evicted but I didn’t feel bad because she owned another house. In fact, the only reason that she was renting and was living there was because of her hoarding too. Simply put, she had hoarded so much at the other house she couldn’t live there since there was no room.
75. Gloves Come Off
My aunt is a Karen. She is exactly what a Karen is portrayed as. Everyone hates her. At a recent family reunion, my mom had had enough of my aunt apparently, and got into a huge argument with her—I can’t remember what it was about. I went to try and break it up, and as soon as I got to them, my mom delivered the final blow: “You’re such a despicable person,” she said, before decking her.
My mom walked away and I stood there trying not to laugh. My aunt started crying.
76. Mama’s Boy
A 28-year-old college graduate came in for an interview with his mother. I normally don’t do the interviews except for when there are issues or my boss is out. The interview was for an engineer position that opened up, and we had a lot of applicants. At first, I noticed a lot of my co-workers laughing and thought they were trying to mess with me.
Anyway, I walk into the office, and there he was, sitting with his mother. I was completely stunned. Before I could even ask a question, the mother starts asking how much the position pays, vacation time, and some other off the wall questions about compensation. I explain that compensation and other benefits will be negotiated at a later time and she tells me that anything under 100K won’t work and starts demanding days off next month.
I stopped the interview and told her, since the interview candidate, her son, had not even said a word, that this is over, and asked them to leave. I really thought someone put them up to it, but it was a real interview.
77. A Coven of Karens
I’m surrounded by Karens. They’re everywhere. First off, my father is the biggest Karen of them all. He’s just insufferable out in public if everything isn’t his way. He refuses to wait in any line that is more than 30 seconds of wait time. Absolutely everything has to be his way or the highway….these are his words, not mine.
My mother-in-law is also a full-blown Karen. Just the worst. She makes everything about her. Everything. If it’s not, she will make a scene or a fuss and turn all the attention on her. How she reacts afterward boils my blood—without fail, she’ll play the victim. It’s nuts. My wife is a Karen in training. Her shyness keeps her from being a full-blown Karen, but behind closed doors, everything is gaslighting and my fault.
78. Swiper, No Swiping
While working the front desk of a hotel one day, a woman handed me her debit card for payment. With our software, we insert the card, and it takes a minute to process in the reader and load the number properly into the software. As I waited for the reader finish, I started to make her classic magnetic strip style key cards for her room.
Our key maker was an old machine that made plenty of loud beeps as you programmed the keys. And given its age, most times I would have to try 3 or more times to get a key to program correctly. I handed her card back along with two key cards, and she just screeches, “WHAT DID YOU JUST DO!!???”
Baffled and confused, I just responded by saying, “Uh…pardon me?” To which this lady just repeatedly yelled, “WHAT DID YOU JUST DO!!!??” Still very much confused, I explained, “Uh…I’m just giving you the keys to your room, Ma’am. All I need is a signature, and you’re all good to go.” Instead, she called 9-1-1.
I still had no idea what was going on. I tried to ask her what she was doing, and she just said, “I’m not saying another word to you until the authorities get here!! I KNOW MY RIGHTS!” I just sat there and said, “Okay…?” She then went outside the lobby and waited for officers to arrive. Some minutes later, she came back with one.
Then she pointed to me and yelled, “THAT’S HER! SHE’S THE ONE!” I was the only person working. Apparently, she thought I swiped her debit card more than once to charge her “thousands of dollars” when I was actually making her key cards. So, the officer came behind the desk and asked me to repeat the process.
When I repeated the same process that I did with the key card reader, the officer asked her if that was the noise she heard. She yelled, “YES!! YOU SEE!” He then informed her that that was the sound of the key card maker and not me swiping her debit card. She just stood there staring for a second before getting red in the face
She grabbed her belongings, left the keys and unsigned folio for the room with me, and stormed out while yelling, “I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS TREATMENT!!” She then called a few hours later about the single approval hold for the room that was put on her card and accused me of trying to “steal from her again.”
79. Karen, Meet Kevin
Karens tend to marry Kevins. Kevins drive trucks even though they work in offices. They think the check-out ladies are flirting with them, and start fights over parking spaces. They’re the jerks that rush to overtake you and then slow down. They flirt with the waitress while their wives are in the bathroom, but only tip ten percent.
Kevins have “conceal carry” permits for their pistols, but let everyone know they conceal carry, by showing them off every chance they get—with trigger discipline. They also think calling Black people “urban youth” means they’re not prejudiced, and they like to unironically wear T-shirts that threaten their daughter’s dates.
They let random law enforcement officers know that they pay their wages, every chance they get. But their darkest tendency is that sometimes they hit their wives, and they certainly hit their kids. It’s easier than talking to them.
80. Dogging Your Steps
My old downstairs neighbor blocked my car to tell me that she was reporting me to the authorities for injuring her dog. Apparently, we were so loud the night before that her dog jumped off the bed and injured its eye and was now blind. The funny part is that we weren’t home the night before. We had stayed at my brother’s house.
She also used to follow me around with a camera, yelling things at me about the dog situation. She also posted letters in the public areas outing me as gay and calling me a sinner, even though I’m straight and, at the time, lived with my girlfriend who she had met. So, not entirely sure how she came to that conclusion.
She was a character. They kicked her out of the complex shortly after.
81. Husband Picks Up The Pieces
I am divorced from my Karen. I went into our local video rental store once and the owner looked at me while shaking his head. Apparently, that she had closed our account in a huff over incorrectly applied late fees. I would have a quiet conversation with the manager, during which I would apologize for whatever she had said, and he would then reinstate my account with no late fees.
I can only imagine the scenes she caused there that resulted in our account getting closed. I realized later that these interactions at the video store were a microcosm of our entire relationship. She went about in a righteous huff wreaking havoc in all areas of our life. In the meanwhile, I was left to pick up the pieces.
82. A Woman of Few Words
My family was on a holiday trip to Dubai. Me and my mom went shopping by ourselves. Neither of us could speak Arabic, and my mom’s English is not that great, so I expected that I would have to do most of the talking, but what I didn’t expect was for her to completely ignore every single store staff. They would come up to her and talk directly to her and she would not even glance at them, just continue what she was doing and ignore them.
Also, she would interrupt my conversations with them whenever she felt like it. It felt pretty embarrassing at the time.
83. Snow White Becomes Evil Karen
When I first met my wife, she was beautiful in every single way. I remember looking at her as she spoke to the ducks at the lake. I thought: “I’m going to marry this beautiful Snow White”. She loved all animals and they loved her right back. Her soul was pure. She looked like a queen in everything she wore, be it jeans or a sundress. She was never a princess-type woman; she was always destined to be my queen.
I’m not sure when she changed, but slowly and surely, she did. She humiliates me, she belittles me, and she saddens me. I’ll never be right or even acknowledged to have a valid point or opinion. She wastes money that I work hard to earn. But the thing that gets me the most is that she has strategically spaced out our pregnancies to maximize the time she doesn’t have to return to paid work. She has admitted this.
Why don’t I leave her? Better the devil you know, aye?
84. Slither Me Biters!
I work at a pet store. This lady came in with her son who couldn’t have been older than 5 or so. She asked if I could help them with a ball python. When I took it out, she was really excited to hold it and immediately kept telling her son how they were going to convince his dad to let them get it. Her son was CLEARLY afraid of the snake, and she kept trying to get him to hold it.
He kept telling her he was afraid that it will bite him. She tried to tell him that “snakes don’t bite” and turned to me wanting me to tell him the same thing. I told the boy, “While snakes can bite, ours are quite friendly and won’t want to bite you if you hold them gently.” His mom was FURIOUS that I wouldn’t tell this kid that snakes can’t bite.
I tried to tell her why I can’t lie, but she said it was unacceptable and now I have scared her son for life. I suggested he hold a bearded dragon, and he loved it. I think he left happier than she did.
85. Karen Sufferer Hits The Jackpot
I have two exes that were both borderline Karens. Both were extremely frustrating people. They couldn’t take the blame or responsibility for anything! I still remember one of them being absolutely furious with me for not answering her calls—despite the fact that her calls weren’t coming through because my workplace had no signal at the time.
I had another who treated me like an absolute idiot. I used to drive to her places all the time, but when my car broke down, she came to mine and always made a fuss about giving her gas money. I argued at first, considering I normally paid for everything and never asked her for anything back. I figured then that giving her the gas money was also kind of a way of paying her to shut up.
She’d also make a massive scene when something didn’t go her way. I still remember her screaming at her dad about something so insignificant, and I was absolutely embarrassed for her. How on earth does a grown adult think and act so entitled? Still, we got engaged—I now have no idea why I did that—and an ex of mine, who I hadn’t heard from for a long time, asked if she could come to this big celebration we were having.
I told my then-girlfriend about this weird email and she totally flipped out—she accused me of cheating on her with this ex of mine. She said, “You guys must be seeing each other if she’s contacting you!!!” Then she ran off to tell my parents I’d been cheating on her.
That was a big ugly mess to clean up. The break-ups were interesting. I broke up with the first one in my car when dropping her off at home after having our 500th argument of the week—it was still only Monday, too! She properly ugly cried in the car and refused to leave. She was coughing and spilling everything from the contents of her nose everywhere.
I just stayed quiet and eventually, she quietly left. It felt like forever though. It was by far one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life! But it wasn’t over yet. She proceeded to tell a few of my good friends we broke up because I took advantage of her, so yeah—another horrible mess to clean up. I even had to go to the authorities about that.
The second girl took it better, but still made it her life’s mission to rip me to pieces every time we were out with friends—we had some friends in the same circle, and she’d always be out when I was out with a particular group. It makes me so grateful for the wife I have now. I don’t know what the opposite of a Karen is, but she is absolutely it!
She’s understanding, extremely generous, kind, caring, empathetic, sweet, considerate, and respectful. I’ve hit the jackpot, and by God do I know it!
86. Get Off My Lawn (Not Everyone Though)
This older lady lives across the street from me and she is obsessed with leaves falling on her lawn. This is to the point that she will come out of her house and pick up one individual leaf off the grass in the fall, or any other time. She spends hours a day outside with the leaf-blower in fall just blowing the leaves away.
She will go and knock on other neighbors’ doors if she thinks you have too many leaves on your grass. She’ll even come over into your yard and do it herself if you’re not home. What I think is weird is that she’s in her 70s, no kids or grandkids living with her, and lives alone in a pretty large four-bedroom house with an amazing in-ground pool in the backyard—with a slide and diving board and everything.
Nobody has used that pool in at least five years yet she opens it up every summer. Somehow, she likes my family and has never once yelled at us about our leaves and, in fact, randomly brings things over like half-eaten gallons of ice cream and asks if we want it because she’s not using it. I do not know what to make of it.
87. Son Teaches Karen A Lesson
What is the male equivalent of a “Karen”? Because whatever that is, that’s my father. I worked at a call center in customer service for close to seven years and was working up to management. In that time, I figured out what works, as a customer, to get what you want, and what sure doesn’t. One day, I was listening to my dad on his phone argue with someone at a Best Buy about an expired promotion.
My dad said the promotion should still apply to his recent purchase. He was getting to a point where he was demanding it and citing the “thousands of dollars” he spends with Best Buy—he goes there maybe twice a year to look for deals. The rep, bless them, stood their ground and refused to honor an expired promotion. Then my dad slammed the phone down.
I attempted to explain to him how he maybe could have gotten the discount and or refund if he’d been more accommodating. He replied to me: “That never works.” I argued back saying that maybe, just maybe, as a rep with years of experience, I might know what I’m talking about. He didn’t believe me, so I called the store.
I spoke to the exact same rep and explained what I’d like. I said in my friendliest voice: “I know this is really an exception, but is there anything you might be able to do?” 15 minutes later, I got the discount applied, plus another promotional code for 10% off another purchase because I had treated them like a human.
88. This Time, Mom Is Grounded
When I was a young child on a long-distance flight, my mother let me and my brother sleep on the floor. For safety reasons, the flight attendants told my mother that we were not allowed to sleep on the floor. She started to argue with the flight attendants, who then turned to the pilots. The pilots threatened to turn the plane around unless we got up from the floor.
It didn’t even matter. My mother just continued to argue. The pilots then announced that they were about to turn around because of my mother, so all the passengers got infuriated with her and basically had a mutiny. Eventually, she caved in when she had all passengers and flight crew on a Boeing 747 against her…
89. Welcome To Karenville
I am not married to a Karen; actually, she’s the exact opposite. I literally wish she’d be a Karen from time to time and stand up for herself, but she’s got me for that, so it’s all cool. I literally live in a suburb of Karens…I swear to God, go look up Westchase Florida because it’s a fancy, ritzy part of a lousy city.
Every woman here is the definition of a Karen. They are middle-aged, stay-at-home, soccer moms with rich husbands. They spend all day toting around their spoiled brats on “errands” which include the gym—but a women’s only gym—with other Karens. This is followed by sitting at Starbucks for an hour in their $200 workout outfits.
At Starbucks, they sit with their other Karen friends, and they all have kids beside them in $1,000 strollers. They come into my business, let’s say, which is a natural and organic grocery store—go figure—only to complain about the quality of our fruit and vegetables, and make our special order and call them when their stuff comes in.
This is all because Karen is apparently better than every other person in the whole freaking world. I really hate living here!
90. Nothing’s Free
This crazy spoiled rich girl came into my Starbucks. The cashier told her the total and she said, “Wait, I don’t get it for free?” She thought apparently people gave her parents free drinks and such for her all these years. like, She never realized her parents swiping their cards all those years was them paying for her things, I guess.
91. Karen Magnet
I was married to a Karen whose mom was a Karen. She was like Ray’s mom on Everybody Loves Raymond. When I went out to eat with my mom and grandma, my mom complained that the coffee was too hot and my grandma complained that the ice cream was too cold. My wife also got us thrown out of the little league game, and for the most embarrassing reason too—she was harassing the 15-year-old umpire.
Now I’m by myself and Karen-free.
92. Customer Appreciation Day
I went to go get my exhaust fixed after I ran into a pothole and damaged it. When I went to go pick up the car a couple of hours later, I was treated to a woman SCREAMING at the guy behind the counter. She’s positively foaming because she has been waiting nearly 30 minutes for her car to be fixed. She even goes so far as to call the guy an “INSIGNIFICANT LAZY IMMIGRANT.”
The guy looks at her, then looks at me. He throws me my keys and says, “Here you go, your Magnum’s ready—no charge.” He then looks her directly in the eyes. “Looks like it’s going to be more expensive than we originally thought. Would you like us to call you a cab?” I returned shortly afterward with pizza for the shop.
93. Karen Gets Told
My close friend’s mother was a Karen when I was a kid. His father was the absolute kindest person in the world and took so much garbage from her: at least most of the time. Every once in a while he would say something absolutely withering, and the look he would give at those times was terrifying. Here’s a perfect example of a time he talked back to her.
We were all out to eat at one point, and she wanted a server to be fired. She was literally demanding he be fired right there, right then. She was standing halfway up from the table, her face turning redder and redder, and she started enumerating all the reasons we should have all our food for free and the server should be unemployed.
My friend’s father gently put his hand on her shoulder and he spoke two words that had the whole table pause from eating: “‘Shut up,’ he said in a voice that was calm, even, and as cold as outer space. She immediately shut up and we ate the rest of the meal in silence. I always loved that line, and I liked that he would stand up to her occasionally…but when he used that voice, I felt like I was hearing a psychopath talk.
94. Jamie Lee Curtis, Eat Your Heart Out
One day, I was shopping at the local Walmart and had my headphones in. These headphones are incredibly nice and a gift from my parents. I had just gotten off work and was in business casual, khakis and a plain grey polo. No logo. Nothing to indicate that I worked at Walmart. I was looking in the freezer section for some ice cream for dessert that night when someone yanks my headphones off my head and they fall on the ground.
Cue Karen starting to yell at me. “I have been trying to get your attention for five minutes! You shouldn’t be listening to music while you work! How can you help customers if you can’t even hear them!?” She screeched at me. Now I am seeing red. If she damaged my headphones there was going to be a big problem. I lean down to pick up my headphones.
Then, I say to this crazy lady, “Don’t you ever touch me you crazy witch. I don’t work here you stupid idiot. Touch me again and I will scream so loud the whole store will hear.” “Don’t you talk to me like that! I am a customer!” She said as she grabbed my bicep to haul me to a manager like a child to be punished. So I let her have it.
I screamed the loudest scream I could possibly imagine. I actually lost my voice for the next day because of it. It startled her so bad that she let me go and dropped her purse. Not even 20 seconds later a manager comes running with the security guy. The manager demanded to be told what was going on. I told him this crazy witch attacked me.
She tore my headphones off my head and grabbed me. I feared for my life (a complete embellishment) so I screamed. By now we have an audience, and the manager takes us both and separates us. Luckily for me, a very nice woman was a little farther down the aisle and saw the whole thing and told the security guy what happened and backed up my story.
She got what was coming—and so did I. The manager asked if I wanted to press charges and I told him no. I just want my ice cream and to go home. He told me to take it. It was on him. As I was leaving I saw the crazy witch getting thrown out of Walmart by the security guy and being told to never set foot in the store again.
95. Same Difference
This happened a couple of weeks ago. It was the day of my grandmother’s funeral. She passed in a hospital, and I was outside talking to the owner of the funeral home. This dude was also my godfather, and I had a very good relationship with him. It might sound weird that my godfather is the owner of a funeral home, but to me, it’s not.
He’s known me since I was a baby and he treated me like I was his son. Also, to me, his job is just like any other job, and it even has its benefits. Anyway, we were just outside the hospital, talking to each other. Parked in front of us were all the company vehicles, including the one you are all thinking about: The hearse. All of a sudden, this Entitled Mother approached us.
EM: Hello. Me: Uh….hello. She had her kid just next to her and he was holding a drink. EM: I was wondering if my son could take a ride on the limousine. She then pointed her finger to the hearse. It took me a while to respond for two reasons. The first one was because that day, I had so many thoughts going through my head, and a stranger coming to me out of nowhere caught me by surprise.
I am a very introverted person, and I find it difficult to talk to people I don’t know. The second reason was because I was holding in my laugh. She legitimately thought that the hearse was a limousine. Me: I’m sorry to say this, but that’s not— EM: Are you going to say no to a little child? At this point, I don’t know what to say. Me: Miss, believe me. You don’t want your son to go in that thing.
EM: Ugh…Why are you so stingy? Even if he spills his drink in the limousine, it won’t be a problem. You have enough money to buy a limousine, so you’ll surely have enough to clean it. This is when my godfather comes in. GF: Excuse me, miss. What do you want to do? EM: I want my son to ride the limousine! My godfather then said the most epic thing I have ever heard.
GF: thinks for a bit Well, sure he can ride the limousine. But only if he has a coffin to be in. The mom is a bit confused about this response. Then she takes a good second look at the “limousine,” and realized her mistake. I have no idea how she confused a hearse for a limousine, perhaps the company logo was out of her view or something.
However, when it dawned on her, her skin got pale and she just walked away as fast as she could with her kid. My godfather and me just look at each other and start laughing.
96. Comeuppance Bought And Paid For
My mom and I saw a great Bridezilla freak out while shopping for my wedding dress a few years back. We were in a small, local shop when another mother-daughter duo came in. The attendant who had been helping us went up to greet them. The mother said they were here to pick up her daughter’s dress, so the attendant looks her name up in the computer, frowns, and says, “Ma’am, you never bought the dress.”
“What are you talking about?” The attendant shows the lady the notes on her computer screen. “You said you wanted to think about it, and asked if we could hold the dress. We held it for two weeks, but when we didn’t hear back from you, we assumed you didn’t want it.” “Well, we want it now.” “It’s been over eight months”, the attendant explained, “We sold the dress a long time ago. But I can order you another one, and have it expedited here in a few weeks.”
And like a Mt. St. Helens of entitlement, the eruption began. “This is unacceptable!” The mother shrieked. “We have her alterations scheduled in two hours! The wedding is a week away! I can’t believe you sold her dress!” The bride, meanwhile, is slumped against the desk and sobbing like someone kicked her dog. My mom and I are just open-mouthed staring at this point.
The attendant was trying to be diplomatic, but is clearly as baffled as we are. “Ma’am, we had no way to know you wanted it. You never called. You never put down a deposit. The dress isn’t yours until you pay for it.” After some more screaming from the mother and wailing from the bride, they left. The shop attendant came back over to us and I asked her, “Does that kind of thing happen a lot?”
The poor lady just deflated. “All the time.” It baffles me to this day. How do you schedule alterations on a dress that you never purchased? Why would you wait until a week before the wedding to pick up your dress? How do you make it to adulthood without knowing how basic buying and selling transactions work?
97. Some Assembly Required
This happened several years ago. I was the nighttime charge nurse over the ICU. I’d just finished a 12-hour shift at my hospital that had turned into a 14-hour shift. I was exhausted and had to return for a fourth shift in nine hours. All I wanted were some items to drop in the slow cooker so I’d have something to eat when I got up later that night.
I stopped at a well-known big box store that sells groceries, clothes, electronics.. the works. I’m wearing royal blue scrubs, a name badge with a big RN under it and forgot to take my stethoscope off so it’s hanging around my neck. The employees here…well…don’t wear that. As I’m walking towards the store I see an elderly couple struggling to load a large box in their SUV parked at the front of the store.
And I mean old. 90+ Shaky hands. Teetering around with limited mobility. No way would his hips take the weight without snapping…and I’ve worked enough tonight. I approach quickly and address the female half of the couple offering help. It was gladly accepted and I got their TV loaded with very little difficulty. It was more cumbersome than heavy.
I’m chatting with the woman who is explaining it’s a gift for their son and her husband hadn’t wanted to wait for help. I’d wondered why an employee wasn’t helping. That’s when it happened. This woman yells, “Hey! Hey!” at me. Startled, me and the nice lady stop our conversation and look over. It’s a lady in her 50s dressed in a cheap-looking beige pantsuit with a “get your manager” hairstyle standing about 15 feet away with a hand on her overly broad hip.
She says, “IF you are ABOUT done. I need help over here.” She then points to her cart with two boxes of bookshelves…some assembly required. I realize she thinks I work here. I start to say, “Oh sorry. I don’t work…” and she cuts me off, yelling: “You are already making me late! Just get it done! …and DON’T scratch my paint up.”
The elderly lady and I exchange looks of disbelief and I try again. “I don’t work he—” but once again, she cuts me off and says, “Just get it done!” She then steps away from her cart to grab her purse grumbling about “stupid idiots” and is digging for her keys when disaster strikes. The cart rolls further away and one wheel goes off the curb.
The entire uneven load causes the cart to topple over. I instinctively jump forward to try to prevent everything from falling…I was unsuccessful. This awful woman, who has now turned to see her particle board bookshelves spilled out on the cement. Corners of the boxes crushed and one has torn open with a few pieces and packaging now exposed.
The awful woman completely loses her mind and begins raging. She’s swearing at me and yelling: “You moron! Pick them up! ARGH. I’m going to have you fired! You owe me new bookshelves! And I’m late!” At this point, I’m done. I yell: “Pick them up yourself! I DON’T WORK HERE!” I then turn to go inside when I feel her grab my sleeve and try to yank me around.
I jerk my sleeve out of out of grip and turn to face her now violently red face. She opens her mouth to start screaming again but I put my finger in her face and say: “No! Don’t touch me! Shut your mouth! I do not work here, and even if I did. I’d quit before I help you clean up your pile of garbage!” She stands there speechless.
Like a bottom-feeding fish, her mouth opening and closing. She is absolutely sputtering in shock that I’ve dared raise MY voice at HER. That’s when the manager and an employee come out. As this awful woman sees the manager and finds her voice. I couldn’t believe what she did next. She says: “Are you the manager? This man damaged my bookshelves and is refusing to pay for them.”
I just stare in shock. Seriously?! She’s finally realized that a man in bright blue scrubs with a stethoscope and a big RN badge really doesn’t work here. But instead of apologizing, she chooses to double down on the craziness and now accuses me of breaking her stuff. Before I can voice my denial, the elderly gentleman I’d helped earlier steps in and explains the situation to the manager.
The awful woman is still voicing complaints but the manager realizes the real situation and apologizes to me and the couple. I’m still standing by watching angrily as the manager deals with the woman and inspects the bookshelves. They are not damaged. He offers her two new boxes but she is now done with the whole situation. She says no.
She’s already too late because of me. Just glares over at me and says to the manager, “Just load them. I’m already late enough because of this!” The manager and employee then lift the boxes up and get them wedged into the woman’s car. As I shake my head and go to enter the store I’m stopped by the elderly lady I’d helped earlier.
She says: “Sir. Thank you so much for helping us with the TV. I’m so sorry some people are so rude.” She then reaches for my hand to shake. As she folds both her fragile hands around mine, I can feel something in her palm she’s giving me. She whispers: “Don’t look yet. Wait till she leaves.” I slide the package into my scrub pocket and the nice lady walks away.
The terrible woman then gets in her car and, without apologizing or thanking anyone, peels out and drives away. I finally enter the store to grab my food items. When I reached into my pocket and pulled out what she’d given me, I was utterly astonished. It was a plastic bag with a bunch of screws and hardware. I realize immediately that the sweet little old lady took advantage of the commotion to take the hardware out of the terrible woman’s ripped box.
I couldn’t believe it. I had the biggest grin on my face as I did my shopping. And I have a new petty revenge hero to idolize.
98. Nice Day For A White Wedding
I went to the wedding of a good friend of my partner’s this weekend. He is a lovely guy and his bride is a-mazing! We arrived at the church and were rather early, but no biggie. I had two small bottles of a fizzy drink mix with me since we knew we’d arrive pretty early because we had to drive three hours and left early enough, just in case we hit traffic.
So we sat outside the church. The weather was brilliant and we enjoyed the atmosphere. We had a hotel room for the night where the reception was going to be held which was right around the corner, but we couldn’t check in until later. Anyways, I’m a slow drinker with fizzy stuff because it tends to go to my head really quickly. I had maybe drank half of it when the other guests started to arrive.
At first everything is great, but suddenly everyone just stops talking. I had to ask my partner what was going on because I’m quite short, and he tells me that the groom’s mother just showed up…in a white, lacy gown and a little veil thing in front of her face. Everyone was in shock. But oh man, the plot thickened from that point on.
The bridesmaids and maid of honor arrived before the bride and I pulled the maid of honor to the side and asked her if it was planned that the mother was wearing white. It wasn’t of course. The bride and mother of the groom had picked out a nice silvery dress beforehand. I asked her if she could do something about it, but she had no idea about what she could do.
I then asked her if she wanted me to do something about it, to which she answered YES PLEASE! So I handed my partner my purse, gathered all the shininess of my spine available and walked up to the mother and her husband, pretending to be quite tipsy already. I greeted the father of the groom, who looked severely uncomfortable next to his wife, and then it happened. When I went to greet the mother, I “stumbled” and the leftover content of my little bottle of fizzy drink just sloshed out of it and landed on her dress.
I, obviously, felt so, so bad. The shock of it sobered me up right away and I tried to make it better by rubbing on the stains with my hanky. Now, if you try to clean something with your hanky, do make sure that it’s a clean one and that you hadn’t dropped it sometime beforehand because, well, it’ll make things worse. To sum things up, the ceremony was delayed by 30 minutes because the mother had to go and change.
My partner had a hiccups from laughing so hard. I was congratulated on my aim no less than 12 times. The mother hates me now but who cares. Everyone had a fantastic time, and the maid of honor wants to name her firstborn after me and hopes it’ll have “balls of steel like me, no matter the gender.” The bride and groom almost crushed me while hugging me the next morning at breakfast when they heard about what happened.
99. Every Office Needs An Otis
A while back I was working in an office that allowed dogs. It was an open floor plan and since customers never came into the office, we kept the dog food and water bowls right by the front door, just because it was the most convenient space and no one else would see them but us who worked there. Of the six of us who worked in the main office area, I was the only one who didn’t have a dog and I always felt horribly left out.
To make matters worse, across the way was a doggie daycare. One day, a very frantic woman came in and she had an absolutely massive Basset Hound with her. Usually, the only people who came into the office were associates who had appointments with someone working there, but it was rare they brought their dogs. She ran up to me and said, “Do you work here?”
I said, “Yes, how can I help you?” And she said, “I wasn’t sure if you took walk ins but I read online I could just drop him off? I tried to call but no answer.” I didn’t know what she was talking about at that point and I said, “Come again? Who did you call exactly?” Thinking if I could just saddle her off to whoever she came to see, I wouldn’t have to decipher her problem.
She said, “Well it doesn’t matter now. Look, something urgent has come up and I really need to leave him here. Here’s his food he likes and I’ll be back in a few hours and—” At this point I wasn’t thinking of the doggie daycare. I thought maybe she was a friend of someone here. I said, “Well alright, can I get your name please?” And she said her name and then asked if I needed her to sign anything.
I was so confused at this point I just said, “Why would I need you to sign something?” And she left almost immediately. So I took Otis (the dog) to the back and showed him to my coworkers and no one knew the woman or dog. I was worried she wouldn’t come back, but at the same time, my wish for an office dog had been granted! And Otis was supremely chill.
All he did all day was lie around and drool onto his own ears. I just freshened him up every now and then, took him out every couple hours, and he was happy as a clam on a big cushy dog bed we thankfully had an extra of. He just loved attention from anywhere he could get it. At the end of the day the woman, thank God, came back. She said, “Thanks, you’re a lifesaver. How was he?”
I said, “He was a champ.” And was about to say “But why is he here” when she said, “That’s a relief. Most kennels say he gets anxious around other dogs. I heard you operated at a much higher capacity, I was thrilled to see you had so few clients in the room at one time. So, how much do I owe?” It honestly took me this long to realize what had happened.
She thought we were the dog daycare. Now, I probably should’ve corrected her. But I loved my day with the office dog and I did want to get paid for supervising this strange dog all day. I just threw out the number that sounded fair and appropriate “That’ll be $20.” I said. She replied “Reaalllly?!” In this very high tone, and I couldn’t tell if I’d overshot or undershot.
But she paid me and left. My coworkers were laughing hysterically when they realized what had happened and we thought it would just be a good story for the future. Wrong. The next week…she came back! She said we were so much more affordable and less overcrowded than her other place, and that she was happy to use us. I was glad for the company so just took him.
I didn’t think there was any way she couldn’t have at least some idea we weren’t a dog daycare. The whole ordeal was so strange I just figured, “don’t question a good thing.” I was much younger and dumber then. Not long after, Otis started getting dropped off two, sometimes even three or four days a week. I was in heaven. He was such a love. And he made fast friends with the delivery guys and visitors.
One day, we took our office Christmas card photo and Otis was over that day, so we included him. In a Santa hat. It was pretty great. But it turns out Otis’ owner was friends with one of our clients who I guess happened to have the card out on her table or was kind enough to display it alongside her other holiday cards. Because one day, Otis’ owner came in holding the card and walked up to me and said, “I can’t even believe I’m asking this but… is that my dog in this photo? This isn’t a dog daycare at all. This is just an office, isn’t it.” I froze in my tracks.
She said it with a note of surprise, as though she was looking around and putting it all together for the first time. No coincidence that this was the first time she wasn’t in some crazy rush either. She was like, “Then who are all these other dogs?!” And I explained. I was terrified she was going to demand her money back, or worse, take some sort of action against us for misrepresenting ourselves as a dog care business, or complain to corporate.
Instead, she basically said, “Why didn’t you ever say anything!” And I explained we just really liked having Otis around. She stopped for a minute and seemed to be thinking and said, “Is that right?” And I said yes and told the story of how I was the only one in the office without a dog so loved the company. She seemed a little flummoxed or hesitant, understandably, because the whole thing was so weird.
She turned to my coworker and asked if I was telling the whole truth. I don’t know why she thought my coworker, also a stranger to her, was any more trustworthy than me, but hey. Strange times. Coworker backed me up. So she said, “Well, I wish you’d said something sooner. Could’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment with my friend back there. Alright, I have to get going. See you at 4:00.” And she left Otis!
I couldn’t believe it! I said, “So he can stay?!” And she replied, “Where else could I find someone to watch him one on one all day for $20?” And off she went. Otis stayed my office dog until his family moved away, luckily right around the same time I took a new job.
100. Karen Versus Carl Jr.
My mom is a Karen. She thinks the world is supposed to cater to her and that everyone else is wrong. Once, we went to Carl’s Jr. and she ordered four burgers for the four of us. What she did next made me so angry—she pulled one burger out of the bag while the guy was getting our drinks and hid it. She complained that he forgot a burger, pulling out the remaining three in the bag one by one and counting them in front of him.
He keep swearing up and down that he put them all in the bag, but she threatened him, saying, “If you don’t get me another burger, I will call your manager.” I was stunned speechless, but it happened so fast. She got a free burger and laughed as we drove off. I just stared at her and she opened it up to eat it on the drive home. She ate her actual burger like the fifth one never existed.
I can’t even explain how she is when she’s in the hospital. She treats it like a luxury stay in a hotel.
101. A Look Of Absolute Horror
My mom was a Karen in both name and behavior. My dad had a massive heart attack. His brain was oxygen-deprived, and we weren’t sure if he was going to make it. We also weren’t sure how intact his mind would be. He was intubated, sedated, the whole works for days. My toddler nephew visited the hospital. He was dad’s special buddy.
My dad somehow roused from his critically ill state to wave his fingers and say a few words to my adorable nephew. A miracle! My mom tried to get my dad to talk to her, and then she did something absolutely appalling…she slapped him—pretty hard—on the chest because he wouldn’t say anything to her. She was jealous of a two-year-old. I mean, she hit a man in intensive care.
The look on the nurse’s face was absolute horror.