Embarrassed People Reveal The Moments They Wish The Ground Had Swallowed Them

August 16, 2023 | Carl Wyndham

Embarrassed People Reveal The Moments They Wish The Ground Had Swallowed Them

“How to Comfort Yourself When You Have Acted Like a Jerk: Everyone does this occasionally, and you shouldn't feel too upset about it unless it happens quite often, such as three times a day, in which case you must simply get used to it. Remember, other people like you as well or better for it, because it makes them feel so superior; so you've spread a little sunshine. And at the very least, you've served as a bad example".―Peg Bracken, The I Hate to Housekeep Book.

Learning how to give up caring about being embarrassed is one of the keys to life. It is a great quality to have, being aloof and all, but that doesn’t mean that there are not moments where the ground opens up and we wish we could be swallowed up and transported away from the situation. But luckily, everyone knows this feeling. Here are some of the most embarrassing “Ground Swallow Me Up” moments people have shared on Reddit.

1. Whip It

It was my birthday and we were sitting at the kitchen table. It was my two sisters, dad, and grandma. We were just passing out some cake and my dad asked if anyone wanted whipped cream and I said:

"Rub whipped cream on me, Daddy".

I have never once in my life called my dad “Daddy".

I'm not sure if it matters but I'm a guy, and it was for my 23rd birthday.


2. What a Sucker

After a dress fitting my seamstress made some remark about how she appreciated me not sucking my gut in—which would have thrown off the measurement.

I then proudly proclaimed to her and her husband that “I never suck!”

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

3. How to Save a Life

I have awful depth perception. And this one time my friend and I were waiting to cross the road and a bus was turning and for some reason, I was convinced that it was gonna hit us. So I grabbed my friend to try and save her but ended up just cupping her boob. While the bus didn't hit us and all the passengers just stared at this weird kid cupping this girls boob. Who then started beating on me with her back pack once she got over the shock. I still think I saved her life though.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

4. Avoiding The Poop Conversation

I'd been seeing this guy for about three weeks or so, and he was staying with me for a couple of days. It was early enough that I wasn't quite comfortable with bringing poop into the relationship—as if there's ever really a good time—and so when I started to feel some intestinal distress I asked him to go to the shop down the street and pick up some wine to have with dinner. He was fine with it, went downstairs, and gave me some blessed minutes to relieve myself.

It was a poop for the ages—periods will do that to you—so sending him away was definitely the right call. I went to clean myself up, and... no toilet paper. None on the roll. None under the sink. The only place I knew I had some was in the backroom, where I stored all the non-perishable stuff: tins, kitchen roll, bleach, that sort of thing. Well, at least I was alone...

I waddle-waddle-waddle down the hallway, holding my cheeks apart so as not to make a mess, and I'm about halfway to the back room before I hear a little voice from behind me:

“Umm… what are you doing?”

Turns out he'd been to the shop in record time, got back without me noticing, and was sitting on my couch watching me do the Kansas City Shuffle down my hallway -- and I'd been presenting my poop-smeared butt to him like some kind of awful mating ritual.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsSanteri Viinamäki Wikimedia Commons

5. Savage Salesman

Went to a dealership and test-drove cars.

Went to sign for car.

Reached into pocket.

Hand went thru pocket to skin.

Six-inch rip in my favorite jeans.

Thought nobody had noticed butt cheek hanging out and felt relieved.

Returned to dealership for oil change three months later.

Salesman: “I see you got new pants!”

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

6. Saving The Most Important Folder

My laptop kicked the bucket, and a coworker of my mom's kindly offered to recover files.

Guess what the only folder he could recover was?

My adult video folder.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

7. Accidentally Explaining Your Sexuality

In a noisy room, someone was asking me "Are you ok?" but because it was noisy I thought they were asking "Are you gay?" Being the straight person I am, I said no. They asked why and I explained.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

8. Bad Hat Day

I've had plenty of embarrassing moments, but this one makes me feel the worst. Background, I played the flute in middle school and I wasn't very good. Also, I was a chubby girl who always had poorly fitting and mismatched clothes. I was not self-aware at all.

So in seventh grade, we had a "hat day". Instead of wearing a hat, I made a hat out of those long balloons people make animals out of.

In math, I thought I felt something poking my head but I wasn't sure so I just ignored it.

Skip to band practice. We were doing chair tryouts and most of the time I was last chair—but this time I actually practiced and tried to do well. My teacher didn't like me and after assigning everyone else she said: "and you're in last chair". I was so embarrassed, I took off my balloon hat in shame, when I notice pen marks on the back of it. The girl sitting behind me in math was trying to pop my hat in class.

That just made me so embarrassed and sad, I never wanted to try at anything ever again.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsPixabay

9. Instant Recoil

A manager was working through a transaction with a couple. Whenever the man was asked a question, his wife would answer. He asked, "Does she ever let you speak for yourself?" The wife responded with "No. Not since his stroke".


Senior couple is seating on the bed and looking at front with dog laying next to them.cottonbro studio, Pexels

10. Blinded with Stupidity

A blind woman wanted to know where the front of the bank was and I pointed and said “It's over there".

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsPixabay

11. Blinded Questions

I asked a blind woman what color her last guide dog was.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsFlickr

12. Adolescent Ignorance

I was talking to my new supervisor when she told me it was her third time taking her role at the troubled children program we worked at.

She said, "These kids are what always bring me back".

17-year-old me smiles and jokingly says, "Why don't you just have your own?!"

Her smile and jovial spirit quickly turned to a dark, blank, empty stare".

I did. Two of them. They died six months ago. Both of them".

Worst moment of my adolescent life.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

13. Wrong Person for a Momma Joke

I made a "your mom" joke to a classmate who lost her mother to cancer a month earlier. In my defense, "your mom" was a literally reflexive thing to say for me at that point, but Jesus; I even went to the funeral.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

14. Don’t Joke About Aneurysms

I was talking to this guy and he wasn't paying attention, so I said:

"Hey, Erik, listen to me, are you having an aneurysm or what?"

Erik turns to me and says in a deadpan tone:

"My mom died of an aneurysm".

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsPixabay

15. Spilling the Beans

Sitting around the kitchen table with newish boyfriend, boyfriend’s mom and dad in the living room. He’s filling out a form for a sleep apnea test because he snores like a bear at night. Most of the questions he needs to ask other people because they happen while he is sleeping, like, does your snoring wake your partner?

Question comes up “Do you suffer from impotence?” and I immediately answer “NOPE!”

Cue the slow head turn of the mom and boyfriend, plus the immediate laughter of the dad in the next room. Felt my face go cherry red as I sank deeper into my chair. That’s how they found out we were intimate.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

16. Closing the Wrong Purse

I was in line in the cafeteria and my female friend is leaning on the table holding her purse. Every time she opens it, I close it. I did it twice then she suddenly faced me. It was a total stranger. I went back to our classroom and didn’t eat lunch.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsPx here

17. Falling into the Speech

I was deathly afraid of public speaking in high school. When I had to give a speech in front of the class, my legs would shake and I would sweat profusely every time.

We had to give oral book reports to the whole class in my senior English class. I'm sitting in my chair, legs crossed, sweating with anticipation, when the teacher calls my name, "You're up".

I let out a deep breath and go to stand up. I forget to uncross my legs, so I trip. But I don't just trip, I stumble. I try to regain my balance, but instead I pick up speed. I tumble for about 10 feet before I finally fall. I get up as the whole class stares at me. I slowly walk up to the front of the class and say, "Well, the speech can't get any worse now".

That moment helped me overcome my fear of public speaking though. Since then, I've given multiple speeches in front of large crowds with no problem.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsGettyImages

18. Teenagers are Cruel

Short backstory: I have epilepsy. We discovered I have epilepsy after I had a full-on, tonic-clonic seizure for the first time when I was standing in front of my locker in the sixth grade. It was the first one of my life, and my body didn’t know what to do, so I ended up peeing my pants. It’s the only time I’ve ever lost bladder control during a seizure.

Fast forward to the 10th grade, I was in class talking to a new kid, who I just so happened to have a crush on. I had told him my name, and a girl turned around, took one look at how we were sitting together and said,

“Aren’t you the girl that peed herself in middle school?”

He never talked to me again.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

19. Smurf Life

In middle school, I used to have a bad habit of chewing on these pens that had sharp tips and came in red, black, and blue ink. Can’t remember the brand but they had a gray body and a see thru little window to see the ink left. Anyway, what I didn’t know is that the tube/body was slightly pressurized, and one day during class I bit too hard on the pen, making it burst into my mouth. My teeth, tongue and lips were stained blue for days and everyone went around saying I did the dirty with a Smurf.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

20. Talking Heads

Ordered an Uber with my new boss on a business trip yesterday. Began making small talk with the driver to show her how great I am at talking to people. Driver was talking with his girlfriend on a headset…

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsFlickr

21. Wrong Cousins Wife

I said to my cousin's wife: “How are the children?”

She said: “Oh they're not here yet".

Then it hit me. She’d just had a miscarriage a week ago. I mistook her for another cousin's wife.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsBrandon Grasley Wikimedia Commons

22. Not in Sync

It took me a long time to grow into myself. I was bookish, I wore sweater vests, I had one of those sun color change necklaces—I genuinely thought it might make me look cool—and I hairsprayed my Ross Geller hair cut. I was called “helmet hair” due to my overuse of hairspray. I had a crush on this one girl who was very popular, but she was nice to me a few times so I kept up the dream.

One day she has a note passed to me in class, everyone saw it, and I hid it in my desk until I could get home and read it alone.

I raced home and rushed into my room, then opened the note. In the note she said she wanted to ask me something but was too embarrassed, so could I come talk to her? My heart fluttered, and for about 12 hours I believed I was this close to having a girlfriend.

At school the next day my friend told me it was probably a trap and to forget about it, but she was nice to me, so I persisted. I walked up to her and said we should talk, she motioned that we should go talk in private away from her friends and our classmates, but I insisted she just ask me.

Her: “So I heard you really like NSYNC".

Me: “Yeah! I love them, I just got the CD last weekend".

Her: “So do you want to go see them with me?”

Me: “I'd love to, I'd been wanting to ask you out".

Her: “... Wait... You’re not gay?”

She wanted me to be her gay friend. I was not/am not gay, I just liked NSYNC.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

23. Sundae Surprise

I used to wait tables. During a busy Sunday post-church lunch rush, I had to make a sundae for a table in the very back corner of the restaurant. I get to the table and the entire party starts laughing. I'm standing there holding the sundae, super confused. I look down and realize that I had somehow managed to get a large amount whipped cream directly over my crotch while preparing the sundae. It was nowhere else on me. Just my crotch.

All I could do was put the sundae down, say "Oh my gosh," and speed walk back through the entire restaurant to clean myself up.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsi.rene.m.hsu Wikimedia Commons

24. More Than a Fun Sucker

When I was younger I was arguing with my dad and called him a fun sucker.

Except I got my consonants mixed up and called him... you know what.

In front of my whole extended family.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

25. NFL Farts

I farted in front of a client—who is a famous NFL player. I pretended nothing happened and so did he. I wanted to run out and disappear.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsGettyImages

26. Poorly Placed Gas Explosion

I remember I used to work with this gorgeous girl when I was a freshman in high school. One day I'd bought some groceries before heading home and she offered me a ride, which I happily accepted. When we got to my house, I proceeded to bend over to grab something while she was doing the same right behind me and I ripped one in her face. After awkward eye contact, we both unloaded the car in silence before saying goodbye.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

27. Wrong Facebook Status

Trying to stalk someone on Facebook and typing their name into the status bar instead of the search button. I was in a car with my friend at the time and then we lost signal as I frantically tried to delete. Still makes me cringe.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsFlickr

28. Bikinis and Water Sports Don’t Mix

First bikini, Canadian lake with 16-year-old boys in the cabin next door. I was 15. In love. They take a week before asking if I want to try waterskiing, 0.002 seconds standing. Face plant. Bottoms slowly sink in the crystal clear water. When they come back around to help me into the boat I reply: “I don’t think waterskiing is for me". Swam back to shore in my life vest. Never waterskied again.

Life advice: learn water-sports in a one-piece.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

29. Suits Don’t Equal Fun

In high school, I was hanging out with my group of friends at lunch. One of our friends walked up wearing a suit and started talking to one of my other friends. A few moments later, he says, "Ok guys, I'm heading out now. I'll be back tomorrow". So I replied excitedly, "Alright man, have fun!!"

He gave me the weird scowl/look of betrayal I've ever seen. Somehow it slipped past my radar that his girlfriend had developed a super rare disease and passed on, inside the time span of a week. All my friends were looking at me with the widest eyes as he walked away, and in a chorus everyone was like, "DUUUUUUUUUDE".

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsGettyImages

30. Bad With Accents

My wife once heard a girl's accent and asked if she was Australian.

She was deaf.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

31. Bare on the Mountain

I was 13, and my family and I were on a skiing holiday. My parents had decided to sign me up for lessons, so that my dad could get some good skiing in and my mum and sister could relax and drink hot chocolate. My sister had broken her wrist a few weeks prior to leaving and my mum isn't really a winter sports fan.

I had been throwing myself down mountain slopes with about as much grace as a brick, with the tutor occasionally griping about said demeanor, and was exhausted. We had time for one more run, so we all waddled over to the T-bar machine. This imaginatively named device is so called because a metal bar, shaped like an upside down T, hooks below your butt and drags you upwards so you're not constantly climbing for ten minutes and skiing back down in a few seconds.

Somehow, my jacket got caught on the bar, which knocked me to the ground. This is not the embarrassing part.

It then dragged me along the snow, past where I was supposed to ski off, and carried on along a very icy patch towards the mountain where it would turn back. Still not the embarrassing part.

The embarrassing part was when the rough ice dragging under me somehow managed to pull down my ski pants, thermals and underwear, exposing my bare butt to an entire slope of people and giving me a nasty ice/friction burn all down my thigh. Also, I was yelling my head off to get someone to stop the machine. A lot of people saw.

I was helped up and off the ice, and skied down to the bigger lift to take me back down to the hotel. I cried the entire way down.

The real kicker was getting back, telling my family this story—while still sobbing through wounded butt and wounded pride—and having my dad and sister howl with laughter while my mum desperately tried to comfort me.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsPixabay

32. Walking Funny

I was walking with my friends from the dorms to a restaurant or something and, deciding to be silly, started doing this little "Skippy hop" type walk. Lame gag for a laugh, but no one was laughing. We were at the age where guys laugh at every stupid thing their friends do so I stopped to turn around and see what was up.

Before I could turn around though I noticed that there was this guy who was somewhat disabled walking in the opposite direction, coming towards us. One half of his body was atrophied and partially paralyzed or something—I don't know what was actually wrong with him—and this caused him to walk with a type of limp very similar but less exaggerated than the Skippy hop I was just doing.

We made eye contact and I just looked at the ground and heard one of my friends say "What the heck are you doing?" in this tone that makes me cringe to this day. That was almost a decade ago.

On the upside, this was so cringey (if that word is even appropriate) that I think I'm dead inside and can't feel embarrassment anymore.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsGettyImages

33. Rotten Response

My birthday party, about 15 years old. Kid knocks on the door, I answered. Kid's front tooth is GREEN like from rot, it was a temporary cap or something. I just stared at him and he said hi, I said "Tooth". Pretty sure we both were humiliated.

We did not retain the friendship.

Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

34. Expecting to Get Off of the Elevator, Obviously

I once asked a woman in an elevator when she was expecting.

“Expecting what?” she said.

Stood frozen and silent until I got off.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsPexels

35. The Ground Actually Swallowed Them Up

I fell waist deep into a sinkhole full of mud and cow poop.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsPixabay

36. Hug of Embarrassment

So, I had a crush on a girl back in 10th grade. We pretty much flirted with each other and she told me via MSN that she she would like a hug when she came back to school—she was sick for like 2 weeks straight.

So when the day came, I hugged her.

It was super awkward.

I hugged her for like a minute straight and she calmly asked if I would let go of her. That minute felt like an eternity and was embarrassing as heck.

After like 11 years it still makes me cringe when I think about it.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsjo-h Wikimedia Commons

37. Trouble With Waiting

I ran into someone I knew from high school at the DMV and talked to him while I was waiting. I got called up and I took care of everything I needed to do before he did. As I was leaving, I told the guy, "It was cool seeing you, good luck with the wait," due to the fact that there were 15 to 20 people in front of him.

He heard it as, "Good luck with the weight," which was something he was always sensitive about. He looked at me mad/confused and said, "What did you just say to me?" to which I sloppily attempted to explain by saying, "You know, the wait. there's a bunch of people in front of you," or something like that. It was very embarrassing.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsFlickr

38. Joker’s Smile

I used to wear glasses, hearing aids, braces, and had severe cystic acne. My doctor put me on Accutane (for the acne) and it made my face insanely dry. One day a few weeks after starting the medication, my friend made me laugh hard in class—it cracked the skin on my cheeks and my face bled in the shape of my smile like Heath Ledger's joker scar. I was an abomination.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsPexels

39. Proving Them Wrong

I ran into an old co-worker at McDonald's, our tenures had overlapped by about a month and that was several years ago. He recognizes me and calls me over to his friends and tells them "This is the nicest guy I have ever met". In the next three minutes, I called him by the wrong name and asked him how he liked a job he'd never worked at. It was pretty clear that I hardly remembered him.

I was so embarrassed that I got my McDonald's to go and ate it in my car. I'm midway through my burger when he and his friends walk up and get into the car directly facing mine. We made awkward eye contact while I had my food in my hand and then they drove off.


Ground Had Swallowed Them facts

40. Falling for You

I was in the elevator area of my former job and wearing a skirt that was a little too big for me. Luckily, I had one of those long sweaters on overtop because I was talking to the maintenance guy and the skirt just dropped to the floor like, "AAAAND WERE DONE HERE" and the guy and I just stared at each other for a small eternity.

Ground Had Swallowed Them factsFlickr

41. Slapping the Teacher

It happened in grade nine.

I don’t know why but me and my friends would play this stupid game where we would try to sneak up on each other and slap the back of our heads as “our way” of saying hey.

I spotted my buddy Rhys at the end of the hall and snuck up the best I could and wound up a home run slapper.

He noticed last second and ducked.

I ended up slapping the heck out of my teacher's boob as she turned the corner.

After the slap, it felt like time was frozen.

Kids in the hall all just stopped what they were doing and the teacher just kind of stood there in shock.

I was so embarrassed I cried. In the hall. Surrounded by kids from my grade.

Then I got sent to the principal's office, where I got a one day in school suspension for "hitting a teacher". I think the punishment was so light because the teacher felt sorry for me.

The phone call to my parents explaining what happened sucked. My mom was just disappointed in me—in some ways that just made it worse—and my dad just kept laughing.

I got called "boobie" for two years.

I'm 23 now, but my friends still bring up that story.


Ground Had Swallowed Them facts


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