For some of us, high school was the time of our lives. For others, it was a living hell that could not have ended soon enough.
Naturally, then, the practice of taking all these types of people and sticking them in a room together can make for some wild and less-than positive experiences at times—as anyone who’s been to their high school reunions likely knows too well.
Whether it’s discovering just how much some people have changed in unexpected ways or reliving old memories that probably don’t deserve to be rehashed, high school reunions make for some epic times.
Here are 42 examples of some incredibly awkward, ridiculous, and shall we say, memorable experiences that people have had at their high school reunions.
41. What a Difference 50 Years Makes
Graduated in 1962, never went to any of the reunions. Didn’t even know about them until the 50th, in 2012. I had been in odd places in the world, though. Encountered a classmate 50 years later; he gave me the roster. Most of the people who went had never left the small farm town.
Of the people who could be tracked, over half the males were dead. Vietnam, drugs, AIDS, and all the random other usual culprits. I was nobody in high school, but I still seem to be on the green side of the dirt.
40. Umm, Surprise?
I play in a band. We got booked by a restaurant to play “for some class reunion.” I show up to set up for the gig & it’s my freaking class. I wasn’t even invited.
39. Taxation Without Representation
My high school class president staffed the student government with a clique of his friends. I wouldn’t really call them the “popular” crowd, but they were close enough and were cozy with social circles that didn’t want much to do with me and mine.
For graduation, they were tasked by the principal with making a slideshow of high school memories to play for the parents. They had weeks to do this according to my teacher who supervised the student government, but they neglected to tell anyone else in the school that they were collecting pictures for the slideshow until 36 hours before graduation.
No one had time to contribute, so the “graduation slideshow” that got shown to all the parents and grandparents of a class of 400 students consisted of 20 minutes of photos of the class president and his best friends at school events and going to bars in the city underaged. There were literally ten people represented in the entire photo collection.
So yeah, now the class reunion is coming up and I’m about 80% sure it will be the same thing.
38. No Filter
My mom walked into her reunion and was saying hi to a few of the women when one of them dragged their husband over. In a very loud voice, she said: “You remember this woman, her brother was the one that fired you last month!”
My mom ended up avoiding them the rest of the night.
37. Part of the Lucky Few
My most awkward experience at a high school reunion? Nothing. And by nothing, I mean the awkward feeling at being one of the twelve who actually showed up.
36. The More You Know
My mom’s 35th high school reunion was at a bar that I frequent quite a bit… I walked in with my mom and went up to a bartender that I know to order a drink for my mom and me. He looked up at my mother and me and immediately got super shy and weird, and then said, YOU’RE THE DAUGHTER OF (my mom’s name)???
Apparently, he had a huge crush on my mom in high school and my uncle beat the brains out of him because he creeped my mom out.
Very awkward indeed.
35. Yea, Your Old Life Doesn’t Just Resume Because You’re Back in the Same Old Room…
My friend said her cousin’s high school reunion was really awkward because this guy ran up and kissed his high school girlfriend without her asking and then got in a fist fight with her husband, did not turn out well from what I hear.
34. We Are the 1%
I wasn’t invited to my ten-year reunion! I called them out on their Facebook group and it turns out they only invited about 20% of the class, the 20% that were “popular.”
Pretty much proved to me right off the bat that if they haven’t changed by now they’re never going to. My instincts when I was 18 were stellar: leave and never look back.
33. Fire Burning on the Dance Floor
I heard that a classmate set the venue on fire. Glad I didn’t go.
32. Moments Like This Are What the Facepalm Was Invented For
A guy from our class passed away from cancer shortly before our 20th reunion. He was never super popular but was pretty well known in our class.
During the awards and speeches section of the night, the lady (our class president, I think) was trying to get the crowd to settle down for a moment of silence. You could tell it meant a lot to her as she started getting heated.
The crowd started shushing one another, and it got just quiet enough to hear somebody say “geez, did somebody die or something?”
31. This One Takes “Awkward” to the Next Level…
My wife (at the time) and I had dated all through HS and college. We married and had a child. We still had a few close friends we graduated with that were going as well. I would say there was about a 70% turnout. We had a good time and everyone got pretty drunk.
We all mingled and my wife talked to a guy who she had cheated on me with right after HS. They didn’t speak for more than three minutes. They hadn’t spoken since that day almost ten years before. We had moved passed it and had a family, at least that’s what I thought.
Less than a month after the reunion I could tell that something wasn’t right, when I asked her about it she told me she wasn’t happy and wanted a divorce. We had been together for a VERY long time and I was devastated. After a week of feeling like I had failed and doing everything I could to win her back, I discovered she had been having an affair with that same guy.
30. Friendship is a Big Business
My last few “reunions” have gone from a reunion to just a way for the school to make money. Now everybody can enter if they buy a ticket and you can’t speak to anyone because it’s dark and the music is so loud. It’s basically a damn teenage party.
29. A Lot of Trouble on Their Hands
I was there with a guy friend when he saw his ex. They approached each other—him going in for a hug and her extending her hand to shake. When they each realized what the other was doing, she put her arms out for a hug, and he extended his hand to shake.
By the time they touched, it was just a jumble of hands and arms weirdly touching each other.
He started by saying, “Sooooo, how have you been?” I just said, “Uhhh, excuse me…” and got the hell away from them.
28. Old Grudges Die Hard
At my ten-year high school reunion, a guy I hated and who hated me showed up and came directly toward me. Not saying anything at all to me he then engaged the person standing right next to me on my left.
He proceeded to move around the room talking to literally everyone there (only 33 people in my class), and stopping with the person on my right. Didn’t so much as acknowledge my existence the whole rest of the day.
It was super weird at the time, but many years later it was the most memorable thing that happened. I laugh about it now.
27. They Forever Missed Their Window of Opportunity to Make a Good Impression
I haven’t gone to any high school reunions but I feel like I’m much more mature than I was in high school (about seven years ago now). But I haven’t seen most of the people I didn’t like in high school since I was 18, so my last memories of them are all when they were still immature and mean. Since I highly doubt I’ll go to any of my future high school reunions at all, I guess that’s the only way I’ll ever know them.
26. That’s Quite the Statement to be Making…
Phil Spector went to his high school reunion with some bodyguards instructed to not allow anyone to talk to him.
25. A Little Too Much Information, Guys…
At my tenth reunion, the organizers gave “awards” to people for various reasons. One girl from our class was given an award for having the “most kids” of anyone there. She’d had four by different guys, which was all part of the announcement. The look on her face as she slinked up to the podium said it all.
24. Good Call
No Karen, I will not help fulfill your husband’s preference for physical relations with strangers.
23. Turning Over a New Leaf
Someone made a speech along the lines of, “…to all of those that felt picked on or bullied, I have something to say to you.” She then started to sing “Let it Go” from Frozen.
22. Some Mysteries Are Better Left Unsolved
A kid in my class (1982) was hit by a car during our junior year and wound up in a persistent vegetative state. We had heard bits and pieces of information about him in the years after, but none of it sounded reliable. He was dead; he was still in a coma; he had come out of it; he was normal; he had become a born-again Christian; he lived at home and couldn’t do anything for himself; you name it, we had heard it.
Every reunion, there’s still misinformation being passed around about the guy. In our ten-year reunion program he was on the In Memoriam page, then it was pointed out that he wasn’t dead. Last fall we had our 35th reunion and he was announced along with the “let’s take a minute to remember our departed classmates” and then others pointed out that they thought he was still alive and living in Florida now. I don’t think we’ll ever find out the truth.
Not that it matters, though. He was a total jerk anyway.
21. Life Hasn’t Been a Touchdown for This Guy
The captain of the football team was a pretty sad sight. He looked like hell and was so proud of sneaking booze in with his flask.
I mean, it was a cash bar but the prices were reasonable…
20. No Means No!
Mine is in a few months but the awkwardness has already started.
First, I never had any plans to go. Things like that really aren’t my speed. I’m not a mingler and I always want to leave right away. Besides, I’ll be away on military orders by that time anyway so there’s no way I can go.
So a few weeks ago I get added to a (my school) ten-year reunion page on Facebook by someone I don’t recognize. Immediately think “nope” and leave the page, then don’t think about it again. I got a phone call a few days later from an unknown number. Not unusual since lots of people call me for work stuff. I answer and get this really enthusiastic “OMG HI IT’S (NAME) HOW ARE YOU!”
I apologize and tell her I think she has the wrong number. I don’t know anyone with that name. She says my whole name and says she got my number from (friend from school). She was the class president apparently but I honest to goodness didn’t remember her. She asks about the reunion, I politely tell her I’m not going, I have other obligations. She says “I don’t know if that will work, I’ll be in touch” and hangs up. I’m like wtf but whatever.
A few days later I get added back to the same group by her. Again I leave it. Not 30 minutes later I get a phone call from her. She wants to know why I left the group again, and again I tell her I have other obligations. She told me that “you don’t skip reunions, we’ve planned this for years. You’ll be there.” So sarcastically I said “OK well save me a spot then” and hung up.
A third time I’m added to this group. I’m like screw this and leave again. I get a call and this time she’s calling to tell me that my ticket and dinner money are due by the end of the week. I politely remind her that I’m not going. She gets snooty and informs me that the venue and catering have already been reserved and that I will need to pay for my meal as the fund would not cover it.
Once again I remind her that I was never attending and that it isn’t my fault that she paid in advance without a proper count. She then told me “you don’t have a choice, it’s already paid for so you have to be there.” I said “alright bye (wrong name)” and hung up again.
I ended up blocking her on FB, ignoring her calls, and leaving the group two more times when other members of the reunion committee added me back in.
19. Silence is Golden
Probably the reunion itself. Our ten-year was in 2015; I did not attend as I got roped into helping salvage a four-wheeler from the river that a couple of buddies had found (if you’re interested, the guy who kept it got it running again for about $1,000 worth of parts and work hours—score).
So for about three or four months leading up to the reunion date, a few of the “popular” girls from our class started a Facebook group to organize everything. And it seemed to be going really well—people had moved all over the country but were saying they were moving their schedules around to attend, there was talk of renting an event hall on the fairgrounds, one girl’s family now owned a local restaurant and offered to put up that venue for an after-hours thing, etc.
Everyone seemed really into it, and from what I could see, all seemed ready and willing to put behind them whatever petty grudges & high school BS had existed ten years before.
Comes to the morning of, and absolutely no one has committed anything, and in fact it’s almost complete radio silence on the FB group. Someone suggests that since we have no place reserved, should everyone just meet at the bars downtown and go from there? So it was that exactly, seven people showed up and played oversized Jenga. They at least looked like they had a good time, but what a let-down; I was initially a bit bummed about knowing I was missing our reunion but when I saw the turnout on Facebook when I got back into cell range, I wasn’t that disappointed anymore.
18. Sometimes Less is More
We had a planned event, but apparently, the turnout wasn’t high enough to cover the cost of the place. That fell through, and one of the organizers made a melodramatic post in the FB group, and another organizer put together a smaller gathering plan for whoever showed up to get dinner.
Got six of my class plus a girlfriend of one of the guys, had dinner and then we all hung out at one person’s apartment for a couple of hours, reminiscing. I think that was probably more fun than the original plan would have been, to be honest.
17. I’m Guessing the Feeling Wasn’t Mutual
When my lady teacher came up to me, kissed me on the cheek and told me she loved me. She was very drunk. I felt very awkward.
And no, she wasn’t hot. She was old, and once spell corrected a Christmas card I gave her. And the night of the formal, smelt strongly of booze.
16. Each One is Unique
At my ten-year reunion it was more about everyone getting really pissed. At the 20th there were a few people seemingly bitter at those who had done pretty well in life. The whole thing was odd really.
15. Sorry to Burst Your Bubbles…
Apparently, every year, my brother’s graduating class gets together at this one neighborhood bar over Thanksgiving. It’s not a formal thing, but anyone can come and they all have a few drinks and it’s totally normal. I literally had no idea about it, and apparently my brother didn’t either, because three or four years ago we showed up to get a drink together alone and his entire graduating class of 50-ish people was there.
Now, my brother was super nerdy and kind of an awkward kid, but the Marines and college turned that around and now he’s an outgoing, sociable guy. Coming out of the closet once he hit 23 helped too, since he was comfortable in his own skin and it showed outwardly.
Thing was, no one seemed to know he was gay. And this is a small town in the Midwest, where there’s nothing else to do but gossip and since no one leaves, everyone knows everyone else. I literally spent all night cringing, while my brother dodged the advances of a bunch of girls aggressively hitting on him.
Since the dating pool is the same guys they went to high school with and he was fresh meat, they were all coming on super strong and it was bad. Then everything got even worse when he told them he was living on the east coast because he was gay and married, and his husband’s job was there.
14. Identity Theft Turned Fun
Haven’t had a high school reunion yet, but here’s a fun one from my Mom’s third reunion.
She went with my dad back to her hometown for the reunion. My dad grew up in a different place, so he didn’t know anybody there. Bored out of his mind, he decided to have some fun and found a way to discreetly ask someone who the biggest juvenile delinquent, troublemaker was in their graduating class.
Let’s call him… Albert Davis.
So, my dad went to the name tag table and found Albert Davis’s name tag. He put it on and went around saying hi to everyone just to watch their reactions, because most of them assumed that Albert Davis was in prison.
My mom did not think it was funny.
13. Only the Highest of Standards
I dropped out of school and received my GED. Someone invited me to the reunion for the class I would have graduated with. They gave out trophies like most of the other reunions that folks have posted already. I received an award for “most successful.” I guess getting a college degree and holding a job for more than a year is successful. Super awkward going up on stage for that one…
12. Historical Revisionist
At my ten-year reunion, one of good-looking but not very bright guys from my class argued with me that we had hooked up in high school. After ten mins of me trying to explain to him that we had never hooked up, I realized that he was thinking of my friend’s sister, not me. He then was like, well we can fix that. I declined and left. He went ten years not knowing who he had hooked up with, I’m not touching that in his wildest dreams, much less mine.
11. A Sudden Change of Heart
Got invited by Facebook message (we’re not friends on FB) by one of the girls who made pretty much the whole time I was there a living hell. Didn’t attend obviously, because everyone I wanted to keep in touch with I did—but got a “aw sorry we missed you hun, we should do lunch soon!” message.
But, why? Selective memory, orrrrr?
10. Mind Your Own Business, Buddy
It was a party with all old high school people at it, not sure if people actually have reunions anymore, but it ended up with the same effect.
I met up with an ex, and an ex-buddy of mine kept saying things about how we would be perfect back together. It was just stupid for a ton of reasons. And dude kept pushing.
Firstly I was married, which didn’t bother this dude. He said we should just bang and not tell my wife.
Secondly she’s a lesbian, no interest in men, I knew this already and she trusted telling me even though I think she kept it private. But this guy pushed and pushed and when she said she liked girls he just told her to “bring her girlfriend along.”
I don’t even know the guy’s endgame but he looked like a total idiot and I’m pretty sure he made my ex feel pretty uncomfortable. Then I had to feel uncomfortable when I finally told him to screw off.
9. The Stage is Set Perfectly for Round 2
2009 ten-year reunion.
There was this dorky guy in high school who ran for class president one year and lost in a landslide. Ten-year reunion rolls around at a private venue downtown and this guy shows up pregame wasted with a woman who was giving off a prostitute vibe.
The guy is now a detective in one of the surrounding towns’ police departments and proceeds to get even more wasted at the reunion. He starts telling everyone there about how he has his conceal-carry gun on him.
The night ends with him getting into a very loud argument with the woman in the parking lot. Owners of the venue come out and threaten to call the police. He shows his badge and tells them to piss off. Continues cursing her out and gets in his car alone, almost hitting her as he speeds off drunk leaving her there. Everyone else shifted the party to a local bar (private venue closed).
At the bar I see the girl basically hitting on a guy looking for someone else to finish her night with. The guy she’s with is closet gay (came out a few years later).
20 year is coming up and I can’t wait.
8. Sounds Believable
Went to wife’s reunion. Introduced myself as George. George Michael. “I was only there three weeks. I was bullied so I left but so and so invited me.”
Some people actually bought the story.
7. Everything That Could Have Gone Wrong Did
The lighting was dim, we were old, and some nitwit decided to let people scrawl their own name tags which then hung on lanyards at crotch level. Nobody could hear anything over the snot-nose DJ blasting “Eye of the Tiger” and trying to figure out who you were talking to was pretty awkward.
6. Stolen Valor
I went with my wife to her reunion. I may have had one or three before arriving, and when I got there I remembered hearing a story of a guy who was my wife’s third-grade boyfriend. Later in life he had a rough time of things, including drugs, alcohol, run-ins with the law, etc.
As a joke, I wrote his name on my name badge and went about my business. Not long after, a rather strong and stocky woman turned around, looked at me, then at my name tag. When she saw the name she looked up at me, screamed excitedly as loud as I’ve ever heard, bear-hugged me while lifting me off the ground, and bit my neck. No blood, but a decent bruise.
5. Sometimes, One Guy Can Ruin It For Everyone Else
I went to my wife’s last reunion a few months ago. The day of the reunion she got a call saying that it was canceled. Apparently, five years earlier a classmate got creepy and stalkery with another classmate.
The people organizing the reunion invited him, expecting him not to show up. Then the guy posted some vague threats on his social media accounts.
They did actually change the venue and have the reunion, but there were many people that couldn’t be contacted with the updated info.
4. Nice Idea Gone Badly Wrong
Two of our classmates passed away before our five-year reunion. One of the girls organizing the event thought it would be a good idea to make cardboard cutouts of their faces, as if “they were truly still here with us.”
The worst part was that people got drunk and started toting them around, taking pictures with them. It was messed up.
3. I Feel Like Biology Was Probably Not Her Top Subject Back in High School…
When I was like six I went to my dad’s small town 30-year reunion. His ex-fiancé (not my mom) was dressed in her prom dress. And kept talking to me saying she should have been my mommy. Even then I knew that was weird. Keep your crazy in, lady.
2. This Sounds More Like a High School Party Than a Reunion
Ten-year reunion held at a bar owned by a former classmate; started at ten pm. Owner told people adults over 21 only. People said they needed to bring their kids and were told no.
Several people brought their babies and toddlers anyway. Parents drank like teenagers and the kids ran wild. Owner called cops who watched the parents be negligent. Parents escorted out by some cops and their kids were taken out by others.
The original reunion was going to be at our high school, but less than 20 people bought tickets so it was canceled. A lot of us live not too far and see each other out and about anyway. We had a Facebook group for the event, so when it was canceled the bar owner agreed to have something at his place BUT we had the follow the laws since it was a bar and not a restaurant (like no one under 21).
He did ask people to leave with their kids and was cursed out, I heard one girl spat on him, so that was when he finally called the cops. One of my friends (who was an organizer for the original event) tried watching the kids, and she pointed out their parents to the cops when they arrived. The classmates were really drunk, to the point where they couldn’t have driven their kids home and others were belligerent. Hence the arrests.
1. Guess Who Got the Last Laugh
Not me but my brother in-law’s high school reunion. A guy that was severely bullied in high school started a Facebook group to get the ball rolling on planning a high school reunion. He planned the venue, food, and drinks and asked everyone pay a ticket price to cover it all.
He organized the money to go into a provided bank account, received 200+ people’s HS reunion dollarydoos and took off.
Never to be heard of again.
I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.