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Heartbroken People Share Stories Of Their Worst Birthdays

Phillip Hamilton

Birthdays cause a lot of different emotions for everyone. For some, they can be the most exciting day of the year, and others, well…they just seem to have the birthday curse. We’ve all had a bad or underwhelming birthday before, but reading the stories these Redditors shared of their worst birthday experiences puts things in perspective, to say the least. Remember, things can always be worse, and these unfortunate tales prove it. Here are some stories about the worst birthdays ever, straight from the horse’s mouth.


1. No Birthday for You!

Had the same birthday as a guy in my class. In the school cantina it was a tradition to sing Happy Birthday to the birthday kid. I’m sitting there eating with my friend when the cantina lady comes up and says, “We have to sing Happy Birthday!” I say, “No, that’s so embarrassing!” She replies, “But it’s not for you, dear!” Btw, it was a really small school.

Phoenix18793

2. RIP Hammy

I had just turned 11 and had friends over for my birthday party. I brought people upstairs to show them my hamster. I get to her cage, look inside, and she’s dead. Devastating for little me, awkward for all my friends.

therailroadprof

3. A Little Too Strong

I was having a great birthday dinner with friends at a bar/club, one guy who was invited from work but I didn’t know that well came up to me with a shot and said happy birthday, I said thanks and downed it. Turns out it was Stroh Rum 80 and unless you’re a seasoned freaking pirate that stuff will knock you on your butt.

I ended up going to the toilet puking and just got a taxi home, birthday ruined.

MeltdownInteractive

4. A Pair of Unfortunate Birthdays

I have two. I found out my girlfriend of two and a half years had been cheating on me for seven months with my best friend. She was sitting next to me on her phone when a notification from him came up, which she quickly swiped away. Later she’d left her phone at my house, and after just taking a glance, I knew what had happened.

I had plans to go with my dad to see Megadeth live in concert. This was supposed to be a surprise, but my dad kinda ruined it when he blatantly asked, “Would you prefer floor or balcony seats?” I just found out three days ago, though, that Dave Mustaine, Megadeth’s lead singer, had been diagnosed with throat cancer and that nearly all of their upcoming shows were canceled.

32151134

5. Twisted Birthday

My last birthday was really screwed up. On the day itself, my uncle had a funeral, and on the day of the family celebration I ended up in the hospital—with torsion of my testicle.

DrachirCZ

6. Pink is Cool, Really!

When I was eight, my godmother bought me a bike—a girl’s bike—for my birthday. It was pink and had streamers. She meant well. My parents explained that she chose it because it was the bike she always wanted when she was a little girl, but never got. Still, it was hard as an eight-year-old boy to pretend I was happy with it knowing friends would tease me about it.

Back2Bach

7. Young, Fleeting Love

I was 16, asked my girlfriend when she was going to come to my birthday party, she replied, “Uhm no sorry, I want to break up.” Nice.

TheRealDrogon

8. I Don’t Know This Man

I went to a pizza place for my 10th birthday and had about five friends show up. After a few beers, my stepdad squeezed a younger girl’s butt in front of my friends. Police showed up and he ran. Pretty embarrassing, but with him, I had seen worse haha.

theehuntsmann

9. Bob Ross Therapy

I spent my entire 18th birthday with people who despised me and treated me like garbage. I finally left and spent time with my family at 8:00 PM, so we went to eat at Tijuana Flats. The whole ride there, my little brother was making fun of me for having a bad day, saying, “My 18th was supposed to be one of the best days of my life.”

I enjoyed the burrito, but the cake at home was salty for some reason. I wasn’t in a good frame of mind at the time. So that day was just difficult. I didn’t feel like celebrating, I just felt like not existing for a while. I held back tears while finally blowing out candles (little brother was still being a jerk) after waiting for three hours for someone to show up—who never did show up.

After some mediocre cake, I watched Bob Ross and went to bed.

Bust_A_Noot

10. Sibling Rivalry

My birthday is in February. For my 11th birthday, my parents didn’t get me a gift at all, just a card. They said that because they bought me a brand new bike at Christmas, money was a bit too tight for presents. My brother’s birthday is in June, he also got a brand new bike at Christmas…and a brand new PlayStation for his birthday.

Not that big a deal compared to some stories, but not getting a gift from your parents, and then your brother getting two amazing gifts, kinda sucked as a kid.

jennyrob669

11. I’m Gonna Need to See Some ID

My mother forgot it, then called me a liar when I told her. I had to get my driver’s license to prove it. I was in my late 20s.

Captain_Shrug

12. An Unfortunate Series of Birthdays

My 18th birthday, when I had a party and one of my friends was on the floor with a knife threatening to kill themselves. Or, when I was depressed in my 20s, I made an effort, invited a bunch of people out, and one person turned up. That was a dark moment for me. But my mother still wins this though: my dad passed away on her birthday.

She always says he had the worst sense of timing.

Contranine

13. Edward Cake Hands

I had recently moved as a child and had a really rough time getting friends. On my first birthday party there, I had three sorta-friends come over to our house. It was the first time I ever had my own friends over. During the “happy birthday” song, my oldest sister came downstairs, shoved her hand into the middle of the cake my mom made, then left.

I don’t remember the consequences or if she even got any, but I remember that sinking feeling of embarrassment and hopelessness. In the years to come, those friends did in fact become my best friends for a while.

Delete_the_VOD

14. The Long Call

My dad was upset that my mom was throwing me a birthday party when I turned eight, so he called me and pretty much made me stay on the phone with him for hours so I missed the whole thing.

autodeicide

15. Oops, I Forgot

One year I baked my own cake because my ex-stepmom claimed, “You make the cakes for everyone else on their birthday!” Another year she forgot (my 16th) and asked what I was going to do for the day. I said I was going to hang out with my brother (who had already moved into his first apartment). She yelled at me, telling me I couldn’t leave until my laundry was done, and I told her too bad and left.

Saw my dad in the garage working while I was leaving, and he told me happy birthday and gave me a hug. I said thanks, but that his wife forgot. She texted me an hour later saying she didn’t forget and that she said it, but I must not have heard it. Lies. Had a fun afternoon and evening with my brother and some of his friends, since my friends at the time sucked/forgot/didn’t care.

I subsequently “forgot” my ex-stepmom’s birthday the same year. Petty, I know, but I was 16. She sucked and made our lives hell.

WoodedNymph

16. Feels Forced

I woke up by myself on my 18th birthday (in my household it’s a tradition to sing happy birthday until the birthday person wakes up). No one was home; my family didn’t arrive until later that day, and still no congrats or anything. I was at that point really confused, but keeping my hopes up and semi-expecting a surprise party.

When we weren’t going anywhere for dinner or anything I finally broke my silence at the dinner table. I asked if anyone knew what day it was. My family had all forgotten it was my birthday, that crap really hurt. Even my grandma had forgotten and that was why she hadn’t stopped by that day. They tried to make it better the next day, but to me that wasn’t the same. It just felt forced.

Meepo_Peepo

17. Happy Birthday! Now Pay Up.

For my 11th birthday, I got my first camera. My dad took me to Argos to pick one out. He said the limit was £70, but the camera little me wanted was £85; it was this little Canon digital thing. He bought it then just came out with, “Happy birthday J. Because that camera was £85, you owe me £15.” He said this in front of all of the staff and continued to pester me for the money for another month before my mum found out what was going on and told him to stop.

J-Hvtch

18. Hard to Argue

9/11. I mean, that wasn’t my worst birthday personally, but it’s kinda hard to argue that it’s the suckiest thing that happened on my birthday.

canada432

19. The Worst Kind of Friends

My friends put the wrong code into my phone a ton of times so my phone ended up being locked for my entire birthday.

iOnlyPlayAsRustLord

20. Go to School, it’s Just an Earthquake

I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. On my 18th birthday, we had another big quake at midnight where we had to evacuate to the other side of the city, sit through hours of traffic, to then arrive at my grandmother’s where we stayed the night. Of course, we didn’t get any sleep, then in the morning, I had an English exam that unfortunately didn’t get canceled so a bunch of kids who hadn’t slept all night had to sit a relatively hard exam.

Most of us failed it. Was not a fun day.

thecitrusqueen

21. Very…Informative

For my 16th birthday my mom gave me a brochure about wall climbing. Not a wall climbing gift card or the plans to go wall climbing, just a brochure. I don’t even like wall climbing.

gandalfsuperstar69

22. Happy Birthday-phobia

I can’t remember my exact age, but it was in my early teens. I always liked birthdays, like most kids do. I was in class on my birthday, and my best friend at the time told our teacher that it was my birthday. The teacher decides that our whole class was gonna sing for me. They didn’t. The only people who sang were my teacher and my best friend.

I still hate when people sing for me, even if it was five to seven years ago (it was a class with around 20 people in it).

Dadcrow

23. A Legendarily Bad Birthday Weekend

My 17th birthday was at a terrible family reunion at a hotel in the hills of where-the-heck-are-we. It started off rough because my first cousin had run away (long story) and her mom and my mom cried a lot that weekend. There was a lot of sitting in a big room listening to people talk, and the organizers/speakers focused more on their side of the family in all the acknowledgments and speeches about family history, so my side felt completely excluded.

It was very alienating. My great-grandmother was only ever mentioned once, but we heard about her siblings all weekend, so the mood of everyone on my side of the family got progressively crankier. Late in the evening, we went to the pool and my brother jumped into the shallow end and broke his foot. That was a few minutes before it turned midnight and my birthday, so I spent the first few hours of my birthday worried and waiting for them to get back from the hospital.

I also spent the weekend in pain with a swollen, throbbing finger because of an infected hangnail. Not a big deal, but it added to the suckage of it all. The next morning, on my actual birthday, we all went to church and then my precious great uncle was rushed to the hospital with what we thought was a heart attack. No cell phones, so we had no idea how he was for over 12 hours.

In general, it was really hard to see so many of my family members upset/angry/sad/worried about so many different things over the course of the weekend. SO much drama, and I felt really bad for them. No one really acknowledged my birthday except for my parents and brother, and I never got a cake or anything because we had to travel home.

The trip back was truly awful because my parents and I had to cram into the front seat of a family sedan (the old ones had three seats across) for the long car ride so that my brother could elevate his foot. Then when we FINALLY got home we were all sore and exhausted and starving, so we ordered a pizza. It never came.

To top it off, I waited for a birthday phone call from the guy I was crazy about who I had two amazing dates with the weekend before. Well, turns out he was in the process of ghosting me. I never heard from him again after our date weekend. I eventually gave up on waiting for the pizza and the call from the boy and went to bed heartbroken and hungry.

My family still talks about how horrible that weekend was almost 30 years later.

ValkyrieSword

24. Facebook

Well, my dad forgot my 14th birthday. Then I got to school and decided to wait if any of my friends would remember. During the last period, some kid was on facebook on his phone, and suddenly bursted, “Is it your birthday, dude??” That was even more embarrassing than no one remembering. Moral of the story: Your birthday will never be as important to other people as it is to you.

Don’t expect much after the age of 12.

Narcosia

25. Good Riddance

Someone broke up with me that day. I arranged a nice birthday party, invited a bunch of friends, and I was so happy that my boyfriend at the time was behaving like a decent person (eg. not causing a scene, but smiling and chatting with mostly everyone). Little did I know that he kept on acting like this only to build up a huge scene after we headed home.

He started to criticize all of my friends, how shallow and ignorant they were, and how I should have stopped them talking about politics when I knew he has a different opinion so he wouldn’t have to listen to all the BS. Then he said he doesn’t love me enough to put up with me, so he left me crying in the middle of the street at night.

After a day, he kept on calling me like nothing had happened. I did not understand what the eff was going on.

H3t3r0d0nt

26. Hateful Paris

Oh man, I went to Paris last year around my birthday to perform there. It was my first time in Paris, I brought my girlfriend with me, and it was my first time performing at a big theater festival. Turns out, the festival didn’t have an audience coming. I broke my toe accidentally kicking a concrete block while walking to meet my girlfriend near Centre Pompidou, where we got into a huge fight and pretty much broke up.

I think Paris hates me.

Kakabundala

27. You Fool

The one where my wife said, “I don’t want anything for my birthday,” and I believed her.

Dante_Dewitt

28. Just Plain Bad

My birthday last month. I was pretty depressed, everyone forgot my birthday, I got my period without any pads available, I forgot my lunch at home, and when I texted my friends asking if they still wanted to hang out after I had made some plans with them, it turns out they weren’t able to show up anymore. So I took a bath, which broke the freaking faucet somehow, and then went to eat some of my birthday cake (made the day prior, and of which I had had only one slice) and discovered my brother had eaten it all.

I know it’s not super deep or anything, but that was a bad day.

EggeLegge

29. World’s Worst Dad

I was 15, I was supposed to hang out with my two best friends and go to the movies. My dad, who has never been in my life, showed up and guilt-tripped me into coming with him so he could do something with me for my birthday. He promised a dinner and to bring me back so I could hang with my friends. We ended up going to some dude’s house he lived at, where my dad proceeded to smoke crack and fall asleep.

So I spent my birthday sad, hungry, and basically babysitting my 39-year-old dad. Forget that guy.

HisManyBadHorses

30. Disney World Blues

My 21st. I stayed home to study during spring break while my family went to Disney World without me.

FourWolfShirt

31. Okay, Maybe This is the World’s Worst Dad

I was 14, my dad forgot how old I was, stole my wallet, and then called me and left a voicemail saying that he’s not proud of me and I’m not his daughter anymore.

hundred_hands

32. The Hardest Day

Last year our family dog had to be put to sleep on my birthday. His stomach flipped the week before and caused irreparable damage. He’d already had it turn a few years ago. My mum went to pick him up and the vet told her he wasn’t going to recover and was in pain. I got a phone call on my way to work where she was distraught.

Thankfully my manager was incredible and let me use a sick day to go home. I had to arrange the home visit to put him to sleep because my mum couldn’t do it. I called my dad to tell him (my parents are divorced and he hadn’t seen the dog in years). I arranged everything so he could be brought home and go to sleep peacefully with me, my mum, and my sister.

It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. My birthday is two weeks before Christmas and I’d already gotten him a present. This big goofball got me through my parents’ divorce and the hardest breakup I’ve been experienced.

pungeonmaster

33. Walmart Swag

My mom laughing as I opened up all clothes from Walmart when I specifically told her to please not shop there for me. I wanted one outfit from Abercrombie (this was the 90s, fyi). She laughed as I cried. Then three months later, my sister got all Abercrombie for her birthday.

jessabelle30

34. Time to Go

I went to a friend’s party on my birthday (my parents wouldn’t let me have one), lots of people gatecrashed including a few rough lads who were smoking weed in the person’s house. The person’s dad, who presumably owned the house. came downstairs and politely asked them to leave. They told him to screw off and stabbed him.

BTXCD

35. Change of Plans

When I planned to go see a band abroad but ended up getting spine surgery instead. Worst birthday ever.

5113make515me51351

36. Soul-Sucking Stepsister

I came home from school when I was like 17 to a birthday cake and balloons, courtesy of my mom. It was just us two, new stepdad, and new stepsister. My stepsister was silent the whole time, probably because the attention wasn’t on her (she could be very self-absorbed), and my stepdad seemed to mimic her demeanor because in his eyes she can do no wrong.

My mom was as usual super enthusiastic and great, but my stepsister ruined that moment for me with her joy-sucking attitude, and it foreshadowed some of the years to come.

awkward-swan

37. From Bad to Worse

Was walking home from school and it started pouring rain. My umbrella broke pretty much immediately. It finally cleared up after like 30 minutes, which was just in time for me to see a dead dog on the side of the road with all of its intestines hanging out. 🙁 Yay 18!

justneededausername_

38. The Cost of Privacy

It happens every year after I hid my birthday from my Facebook profile…NO ONE REMEMBERS IT!

Safe_For_Work_Only-

39. A History of Terrible Birthdays

When I was little, one of my “friends” literally threw a screaming fit and clung on for dear life when her parents tried to get her out of the car to attend my party. When I was 18, my mum forgot because it was also Easter, then I got stood up by the friends who were supposed to be meeting me at a bar. There was also one year I’d just moved to a new city, knew nobody, so I took myself to the cinema for a Keanu Reeves film. The projector broke about ten minutes in.

Most of my birthdays have ended up being just forgettable and mediocre.

morganafiolett

40. Pretty Petty

On my 16th birthday, my mother was in the middle of a several-year-long fight with her parents. She told me I should call them to see if they would like to come over for coffee (because she wouldn’t call them herself). During the call, I’m talking to my grandmother and get the usual “happy birthday” and “how are you.” It’s important to note that I haven’t seen them in months and we only lived like 10 minutes apart.

So, I ask if they would like to come over for coffee and my grandmother says she’s going to ask my grandfather if he would like to go. Now I don’t know if she didn’t realize that she didn’t cover the phone, but I heard them talking back and forth and heard my grandmother say, “I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but I don’t want to go over there.”

I already felt when I was a kid that they didn’t love me as much as my older sibling, but this was the confirmation that it was true. They couldn’t get past their BS and come see their granddaughter on her birthday. When she began talking to me, she said some sort of excuse as to why they couldn’t come over. I didn’t hear it; I was trying not to cry so I could still talk.

We said our “I love yous,” though it was hard for me, and hung up. I just went to my room and laid down and cried. I didn’t give a crap about anything and just wanted the day to be over. My mother had a small surprise party for me by having my friends over, I tried my best to pretend to be happy and have fun, but I just wanted it to end.

I was so mad and so hurt that I just wanted to crawl in bed and stay there forever.

yinyangdoggos

41. Pushed Aside

My mother had just moved us in with our stepdad. It was summer; they met that winter and we moved in in the spring. Yanked us out of our schools and we went to tiny horrible local schools. It was a miserable time and my new stepdad was VERY unpleasant (and it escalated to emotional abuse quickly). I was not allowed to have contact with any of my friends, the friends I grew up with. No email, nothing.

So they tell me I can have a small birthday party and invite my friends, the ones I miss and grew up with. I’m so excited. They make plans. I make plans. My parents have me clean the entire house and I do it all, happily; I finally felt heard! The day before, after doing yard work, because of the party, my mum calls me out to the garage and says she’s sorry but the party won’t be happening.

She’s contacted my friends’ parents and it’s all off. Why?? My stepdad is having a friend to visit that day. On my birthday. I was gutted. The day of? My birthday is not acknowledged beyond a verbal happy birthday at breakfast. To the point where when it finally came up during the visit with stepdad’s friend, this friend looks pretty appalled: “I didn’t know it was your birthday,” and he seemed so sad and confused.

That night, my mum said she and my stepdad were going to a coffee place. I asked to come; maybe a donut? No. “You can stay here right?” That stupid pleading mom face where they ask your permission not to prioritize you. It sucked. A super sweet 15…

ladyughsalot

42. Party Jacked

My older cousin’s birthday is three days after mine, so my family tends to just skip mine and focus on his instead. I decided one year to throw a party for my birthday at my house. I paid for all the food and drinks and decorations. Had my mom help me set everything up. Had a bar set up with drinks. Had a buddy of mine DJ.

Everyone shows up, most of whom didn’t even bother saying happy birthday to me. And my aunt (not my cousin’s mom) who didn’t say anything to me upon arriving gifted my cousin a two week trip to Europe fully paid for and then made MY ENTIRE PARTY sing Happy Birthday to him and not even acknowledge me. And mind you I threw this party for me because I have always been the outcast of my family.

I thought, “Hey if I throw it for myself maybe they will actually be nice to me.” And not in a material way. I just wanted some attention from my family that has always shut me out from everything. Needless to say, I don’t talk to any of them besides maybe once during the holidays, and it’s always the obligated, “Hey, how you been?”

Sometimes life is better when you’re completely alone and accept it.

Wulfscar123

43. Man of Steel, Skull of Glass

On my tenth birthday, I broke my arm in P.E. from supermanning into the cinder block wall. I might have had a concussion, but when I went down to the nurse, she sent me back to P.E. with an ice pack. Luckily, since it was my birthday, my mom was at the school to eat lunch with me and diagnosed it in two seconds from asking me to hold her car keys and me not being able to. I had gone into shock and was pale as a ghost at this time.

Every year on my birthday, my mom gets a Facebook memory of a picture of me and the nurse, at the hospital, with my arm in a soft cast. Other than breaking my arm, my birthday was pretty good though!

LunaLovegood05

44. First(born) is the Worst

Family forgot my 14th birthday. I quietly told them at the end of the day. My dad yelled at me for not speaking up sooner, while my mom denied she forgot and was just “waiting” for the surprise. The surprise was $10 in a brown sack lunch bag. For context, that same year my sister’s 15th birthday took place in a country club, and she got a brand-new car she wanted even though she couldn’t drive for another year.

I got the last laugh though because I’m 100% independent from my family and happy, while my sister is 39, divorced, and has been living with my parents for the past four years to “save up” although she still spends all her and my parent’s money on designer clothes. Anyway, I have a fine relationship with my family now because I never made a stink about this stuff and just moved on.

I eventually figured out I got the better end of the deal.

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Sources: 1, 2, 3


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