No matter how close we are to our friends or family, they don't always make us proud. Sometimes, they make the most embarrassing and off-color remarks, and we just want the ground below to swallow us up and put us out of our misery. Here are some situations where loved ones left people cringing and wishing they were somewhere else.
1. Wheel Her Out Of My Life
While I was out on a walk with my grandma, parents, and sister, we came across one of my friends who was in a wheelchair, like myself. We chatted for a bit when, suddenly, my grandma targeted my friend and chimed in with, "Ugh, the nerve some people have, pretending to be ill just to use a wheelchair. Get a hobby." She then tried to push me to go away. I was so horrified I couldn't react.
My friend had been in a hit-and-run accident which left them paralyzed from the waist down. I never spoke to my grandma again.
2. The Family Thief
I have an uncle who is loud, willfully ignorant, and has used temper tantrums and unpleasant behavior to get his way his whole life. He is like the villain in a bad teen novel. The last straw for me was when my grandparents passed. He tried to take everything from his siblings. When my mother stood up to him, he threatened to "get rid of her." I like to believe there was a mix-up at the hospital when he was born and that we aren’t related.
3. Mumble Monster
I was at a restaurant with my parents and boyfriend. My dad is one of the worst people to go out to eat with because of the way he treats the staff. As the waitress was telling us the specials, my dad turned to my boyfriend and yelled, “IS SHE MUMBLING?!” He was by no means hard of hearing. It was so embarrassing, but we joke about it now.
4. Culture Shocked
When I was studying abroad in Japan, I met a British girl who lived across the hall in my dorm. She was incredibly homesick. She had never traveled alone before and had never been to Asia. She would bawl every night because she felt so miserable. We went to the market one day, and she had a full toddler tantrum because of the differences in currency and food choices.
It was embarrassing. I just walked away because I didn’t want to be associated with her.
5. Nurse Liar
My aunt is a nurse. She faked being deployed to Afghanistan to help with the Covid relief. She posted pics on social media from old news articles, claiming she was in them. She would brag to the whole family that she got to go on missions because she was the only one “skinny enough” to fit in the helicopter. She was gone on this alleged deployment for two weeks. Then we found out the dark truth.
She was at a hotel somewhere cheating on her husband. Again. I’m embarrassed to share blood with her.
6. Kung Fu Cringemaster
My brother, two of my cousins, and I went on a trip. We were visiting a Buddhist temple. There was no one in the temple at the time, and a prayer song was playing through the speakers. My cousin, who is ten years older than me, decided to mock it by doing some terrible kung fu moves. I'm embarrassed that his mom is my aunt. That's how big of an idiot he is.
7. Leery Lunch Date
I was about 15 years old. We were out having a family lunch at a local restaurant. I was talking to one of my female classmates who happened to work there. My grandfather came up to my friend and said, “You’re pretty easy on the eyes,” with a leering look on his face. I wanted the ground to swallow me up. I will never forget the look on my classmate's face.
8. Waiter’s Worst Nightmare
Every time I'm in public with my father and his wife, I cringe. I would never wish them on any waitstaff or customer service representative. I was in my favorite store at the mall and wanted a T-shirt down that was high on the wall. I went to get the extended hook, but my dad said, right in front of the clerk, "Let them do it. They're getting paid minimum wage; let them do their job." I was so embarrassed.
9. Not The Gold Standard
I went out to grab dinner with my brother and a friend, and my brother went off on some tangent about gold being able to exist in multiple dimensions at once. He claimed this was why “scientists had a lot of trouble splitting gold atoms.” He then went on to say that people who had minor traces of gold in their bloodstream could also slip between dimensions. The only thing my friend would say the whole time was, “That's an interesting theory,” while giving me the occasional concerning glance from the corners of his eyes.
10. Wannabe Rock Star
Every time we entered a guitar center, my dad felt the need to start playing on a random drum set. He would say, "Hey, I know how to use one of these, and I'm just testing it out." The problem is that he didn’t seem to care about how hard he played and who he inconvenienced with his behavior. He wouldn’t just try them out. He played so hard, he kept breaking sticks all the time.
11. YouTube Means Something Different
I was searching online for something related to a family member when I found some information relating to my cousin on a government website. It turned out my cousin was one of the people responsible for a major computer hack. After reading it, I had to call family members to see if it was true, and it was. I had no clue. I hadn't seen him in over ten years and was always told by his other cousins that he was rich because he was a "YouTuber.”
12. Substitution Sorrows
My mom went to Subway and ordered a "veggie sub without bread.” The teenage girl working there thought she wanted a salad like any normal person would. After all, what is a veggie sub without bread? My mom went ballistic. The girl looked Hispanic, and my mom demanded to speak with someone who "could speak English" and told the girl she had no business working there.
Said she was "obviously an illegal" and "couldn't be bothered to learn English properly."
13. Our Friendship Was Gone In A Flash
My ex-friend wouldn’t wear a bra and would choose to wear gaping loose tops. If people stared at her, she would scream at them, and if they didn't, she would do something to get their attention. So one day, when she was in McDonald’s, she decided to flash her chest to some tween boys and got banned. She was such a drama queen. I had to cut ties with her.
14. My Aunt Needs To Read The Room
I was having Christmas Eve dinner with the family when my aunt went on a tangent about my cousin’s friends, who were in their 20s. She commented how they were buying houses together, living together, and having children without being married. She complained about how that was disrespectful to morality and how it went against the church. At the time, I was sitting at the dinner table with my one-year-old son, who I had out of wedlock.
15. Shaq Attack
A very long time ago, my family assembled at my grandparents' house for an event. My younger brother was wearing a Shaq shirt to which my uncle said, "Hey. What are you doing wearing that on your shirt?" He used a horrible term, which started an uproar, and rightfully so. He's always been the black sheep of the family and is such an embarrassment. I don’t know how my cousins turned out to be so good and tolerant, unlike their father.
16. Midnight Run
I had a friend who didn’t want his parents to hear him going to the toilet at night. So every night, he peed in bottles. It was very disgusting, not just because of what he was doing, but because he stored every bottle under his bed. He’s my best friend now, but it was amusing, disgusting, and weird all at the same time.
17. Bonkers Aunt Betty
My husband’s great aunt has always been kind of bonkers, but she’s gotten worse as she's gotten older. She doesn't live near us, but we usually talk to her on the phone once or twice a year. One of our favorite conversations with her was after our second son was born. She said to my husband, who was 42 at the time, "Your mom told me you had another child, a boy. Congratulations, but aren't you kind of old to have such young kids?"
18. Movies Are Not Real Life
My 20-year-old boyfriend and I were exiting a movie theatre. We were standing next to an eight-foot-tall cardboard cutout of a penguin. He said, “I can't believe penguins are so big." He actually thought that all penguins were six feet tall or taller. It took about two hours for me to process how serious he was. Apparently, his excuse was, "They looked big in Happy Feet."
19. Their Naivete Showed
I was an animal husbandry professional. A younger coworker of mine once said, in front of me, "I just don't see the point behind enrichment." I was flabbergasted. Since 1990, enrichment has been an increasingly integral component of husbandry and an animal’s general welfare. It was like a tech company saying they don’t see the point behind smartphones. Imagine that.
20. Baby Brained
A pregnant woman and her husband were talking about what their child would be like when it was born. The woman was explaining how the baby would be completely helpless in the beginning, not even be able to keep his head up. The husband was confused and didn’t realize that newborns don’t come out of the womb able to crawl around and explore from the get-go. His reasoning was that other animals could do things right after they were born, so why couldn’t humans.
21. Sushi With A Side Of Fries
One day, I went for sushi with some coworkers. I had convinced one guy, who I thought was cool, to come. We were at the sushi place, and he just asked for some french fries. He sat there the whole time pouting because he didn’t like Japanese food and didn’t want to eat it. I didn’t understand why he agreed to join us. I have never been so disappointed in someone. The entire thing was just awkward.
22. Insensitive And Inappropriate
My friend’s brother, who I knew pretty well from early childhood, took his own life. My parents were good friends with his parents. When they found out about it, I overheard them talking, and my dad said, "I'm not surprised. He probably deserved it." And my mom agreed with him. I froze. I felt so sick; I wanted to throw up. I love my parents, but this hit me hard.
I told my mom later that I never wanted to hear anyone say anything like that ever again as long as I was a part of the family.
23. A Hairy Situation
My parents were lovely enough to allow my girlfriend to live with us for a bit after her parents kicked her out. That being said, my dad can also be really awful. Things were getting tense, so one day, my dad fished out all the hair in the shower drain and put it on a plate. My girlfriend came home from work to find the plate of hair on her pillow in our bed. Absolutely disgusting.
24. Don’t Mess With Taxes
My cousin was caught scamming the IRS with a deceased kid’s social security number. He had been doing this for years. He was sentenced to two years in lockup, and even after his release, had tens of thousands of dollars worth of fines to pay. He will be broke for the rest of his life, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, that was just one of the many terrible things he's done in his life. He's the only person related to me via bloodline I genuinely hate.
25. Nothing To Laugh About
My grandpa fought in Vietnam, and it was apparent that he didn’t like the Vietnamese. We couldn’t take him anywhere without him throwing a slur out into the world when he’d see any Asian person. My sister was going to her high school prom, and her date was an Asian guy. My grandpa was so shocked, and he began laughing uncontrollably. It was one of the cringiest things I’ve probably ever experienced.
26. Public Enemy
My dad's the kind of guy that would both embrace and create confrontation whenever he went out into the general public. The worst was probably the time he went to the gas station and felt as if he had been slighted and challenged. He spent half an hour trying to get the gas station attendant to throw the first punch on him. I've lost count of how many times I have mouthed, "I'm sorry," to customer service people he would berate. I now refuse to go out in public with him.
27. Mom Almost Blew This One
Often, my mom liked to blurt out whatever she was thinking without considering anyone around her. Once, we were at the airport, and security told her to please remove her shoes to go through. She got mad and shouted, "I always get singled out. It's not like I have a bomb or anything." Luckily, the security guy had walked away far enough not to hear her, but everyone around us gave us a look.
28. Purse Pickings
I had a family member who would store food in her purse. I don’t mean a candy bar or a small snack. She would keep things like pasta and frozen meals. She would then proceed to eat them throughout the day. When I was in high school, people would come up to me and tell me all the things they saw her eat from her purse. It was pretty embarrassing, to say the least.
29. Disney Day Of Doom
I went to Disney with my husband's family. It was a nightmare. We were "that" family the entire time. My brother-in-law and his wife had the WORST relationship and were constantly bickering. My mother-in-law was a drama queen who couldn’t follow a plan, which caused confusion and more arguments. To top it off, my brother-in-law cursed at my husband repeatedly in the middle of the park, in front of my child. I was appalled at all of it to the point where I avoid talking to them now.
30. Try This One On For Size
My husband and I were at the mall one day. We were in a store just walking around, looking at all the silly stuff. We walked down the "Adults Only" aisle. They had intimate rings there that were very small but stretchy. He held one up and said, "Who could wear this? A little kid?" I just stared at him with my mouth open when he suddenly realized just HOW INAPPROPRIATE that comment was. He put it down and wandered out of the store, but I was embarrassed to have been part of that conversation.
31. Traumatized For Tacos
One day, I was craving some spicy beef tacos, so my uncle and I went to a Mexican place close by. We went inside, sat down, and after about 20 minutes, the waiter came to take our order. I was about to order when my uncle shushed me and tried to say our orders in Spanish, which he does not know. This went on for 15 minutes. Our waiter couldn’t understand what he was saying.
To make things worse, my uncle began repeating his messed-up Spanish in a louder tone and with a Spanish accent. I’m pretty sure he offended all the Spanish people around us.
32. Draped In Shame
My ex-best friend and I used to ride around town and just goof off. One time we picked up our friend’s high school-aged sister from school to take her home. She didn't really know us. She had red hair at the time and the very first thing my friend said to her was, "Does the carpet match the drapes?" She was in high school, and he was 20. I pretty much quit talking to him after that.
33. Money Back Guarantee
My uncle and aunt went through a phase where whenever we would all go out to eat, they would find major issues with either the food or the service and demand their money back. My aunt would zone in and pick her time to attack, and attack she would. She always made a scene. She wouldn’t get too loud but would use a tone that created tension for anyone within earshot.
As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, people would watch our table, wanting to know what the drama was all about. I hated it. After, she'd scold the waitstaff. We all ate our meals, only to have my aunt demand to speak to the manager after and ask for the money back. Our party would have to stand around the front area of the restaurant while my aunt and uncle dealt with the refund. It was terrible.
34. Lost In Translation
My dad had a super deep, growly voice. It was barely a subsonic rumble. To make it worse, he had his own unique way of naming foods. Often, other people didn’t understand him. For instance, he would ask for slop and rocks instead of biscuits and gravy. One day, we were at Applebee’s. Our waiter was just a sweet young guy. He asked for our drink orders.
“BEEFEATER ROCKS,” my dad rumbled. The waiter didn’t understand, so my dad repeated it louder. Our poor waiter looked terrified. He couldn’t figure out what my dad was saying, and my dad was looking angrier by the second. Not many Applebee's customers order a gin on the rocks. “BEEFEATER ROCKS!” Dad yelled for the third time. Finally, someone had mercy on the lad and translated what my dad wanted for him.
35. My Grandpa Is A Karen
My grandfather is old and highly opinionated. We were at a store one day, and my grandmother couldn’t use the store credit card because she wasn’t listed on the account. As we didn’t have another way to pay, we left. When my grandfather found out, he drove all the way to the store and demanded a manager. The manager apologized.
He offered to add my grandmother to the account as a secondary, repeated the store’s policy and said the manager we dealt with earlier was new. My grandfather got all bent out of shape when he realized the new manager wouldn’t be getting fired. He proceeded to call the store manager some horrible things. I told him if he wanted to be ignorant like that, to keep it to himself. He shut up after that and didn't speak to me until we left the store two hours later.
36. Gassed In Class
My brother and I shared a class together and sat next to each other. He was pretty hyper and ran on the "almost time to go home" energy. He kept doing little stuff that the two of us would crack up. When I went back to trying to focus on classwork, he got bored. So, near the end of class, he tapped me on the shoulder. When I looked at him, he had a huge grin on his face.
He said something so quickly; I almost didn’t understand it. He then did a chaotic cackle, scrunched up his face, bit his lip and let out the loudest blast of gas I've ever had the displeasure of being near. Everyone went silent for a second, then everyone near him, myself included, screamed and ran to the other side of the room.
37. Coupon Clipper
My mom was trying to use an Arby's coupon at McDonald's. However, when they wouldn't let her use it the way she thought, she started complaining. She wasn’t arguing. Instead, she was debating with the manager through the drive-through window. She even threw a worker under the bus by name, who had let her use the coupon a couple of months prior.
She eventually started trying to plead on the fact that she has eight kids and a husband in the hospital. After that, I couldn't handle it and got out of the car and walked home. This was all because she had to pay $2 instead of $1 for a shake. She also got mad when another restaurant wouldn't accept coupons that had expired years back.
38. Apparently, Mother Knows Best
I was at a store checking out with my mom when the girl at the register asked her if she wanted to get a rewards/credit card. My mom said no, and the woman asked again with some extra details about how much it would save us on the purchase that day. My mom just snapped. She told the clerk, “Excuse me, but I know what’s best for my family,” and handed the girl her standard debit card.
It was disrespectful, unnecessary, and condescending. It was also the holiday season, and that girl was getting pushed by her manager to get more people to sign up for the company credit card. I couldn’t believe that my mom had treated her so unkindly. All I could do was turn to my mom and ask her what she was doing and then apologize to the girl at the register.
39. The Road To El Dorado
A few years ago, my family was visiting Portugal. I spoke Spanish and a few other languages and had been learning phrases before we went. My mother, on the other hand, did not think to prepare in the same way. One important phrase was “Obrigada,” which meant, “Thank you.” The night we arrived, we were having dinner in our hotel.
I decided to try saying “Obrigada” to the waitress to be polite. My mom, who only spoke English, and was linguistically impaired, thought she would also have a stab at it. So, when the waitress set down our food she said, “El Dorado!!” The waitress looked confused, and I was horrified. After she left, I made my mom download Duolingo.
40. I Was Not Amused
I went to an amusement park with my cousin. She rode the slingshot ride, and when she got off, she told me that she could do it again, this time with me because something wasn't right. I asked her repeatedly if the people really said that she could go on it again. She proceeded to walk past the line full of people. I was a little skeptical but kept going along with her.
When she got to the front of the line, she demanded to ride it again, without any shame. Not only that, but now I was involved in this with her, in front of all those people. I was literally hiding from embarrassment. At that point, I walked away, but she was still trying to drag me back into the conversation. I haven’t seen or talked to her since that happened.
41. Her Comments Were Loaded
I went out to eat with my grandma, great aunt, and their friend. My aunt has ALWAYS been known in our family for complaining in restaurants. She complained about where we were sitting, so we got a new table. Then she complained about the size of the table, so we got another table. She ordered her food—a “loaded potato with no cheese.”
She ended up getting a loaded potato WITH cheese, so she sent it back. Then, when she got her new one, she began complaining about how much stuff was on it. It’s called a loaded potato for a reason. When we got the bill, she was mad that she was upcharged for the loaded potato when the menu listed that there would be one. It was even pointed out to her. Then to top it off, she complained that there were no “to-go” cups. It’s annoying.
42. I Dyed At Her Stupidity
My best friend from childhood was pregnant. She loved to dye her hair pre-pregnancy and did so while she was pregnant. My mom looked at me straight in the eye and said, "Well, that baby is going to have ugly hair when it's born." I was shocked but decided to see where this would go, so I asked her, "Why do you think the baby will have ugly hair?"
Her reply was, "Oh, because your friend dyes her hair, and that WILL affect the baby's hair color and what it will be." I laughed so hard and had to explain to her how DNA works and how dyeing your hair while pregnant will not affect the baby’s hair color or looks. About nine months later, the baby was healthy and had normal-colored hair.
43. Weight Watcher
Someone I knew for years was in a relationship with this girl. They were together for a long time. They even bought a house and got a dog together. All was looking well. Then they broke up. He came over needing a shoulder to cry on, so I asked what happened. Apparently, he decided she needed to lose weight, so he told her.
I asked him if she ever expressed this interest or concern. He said no. I was a bit taken aback since I wouldn't be happy if my partner decided such a thing about me. But he kept talking, and it kept getting worse. He explained that he chose to withhold physical affection from her to motivate her to lose weight. This shocked me. I thought I knew this man.
I told him he needed to see a therapist because whatever he thought he was trying to do to help her was clearly more about himself.
44. Filter Free Family
A few years ago, on Thanksgiving, my cousin, who is gay, brought a guy with him to dinner. My nosey family kept talking amongst themselves, trying to figure out who the guy was. At the dinner table, my cousin decided to save them the trouble by coming out and announcing that it was his boyfriend. Aside from one aunt and uncle who were conservative, the rest of my family was fairly liberal to varying degrees.
Somehow, though, they were all surprised. I think I was the only one that wasn't and mumbled, "About time," while taking a bite out of a biscuit. My aunt heard me and elbowed me so hard that I started choking. The only other person who wasn't shocked was my grandma. She took a sip of vino, put her smoke out, and addressed my cousin. Her insane words silenced the whole room.
She said, "Are you sure you're one of them queer o' sexuals baby? Have you tried getting with a woman and putting it in?" She had no filter and honestly didn't care since she'd seen it all. However, you could not take her anywhere. The only upshot was that this got everyone to stop looking at me like I was the one overreacting.
45. Raucous Reception
I was a bridesmaid at my cousin's wedding. My cousin and her groom were doing the rounds at the reception and greeting all their guests when it was announced that food would be served soon. A few minutes later, she came back to our table in tears. She said that they had to speed things along so that the food could be served and didn't get to spend a lot of time at every table.
As a result, a couple of the elder relatives came up to her and insulted her, saying, "How dare you not talk to us? Aren’t we good enough for you?" My cousin refused to tell us who said it. A couple of days later, they had the next part of the ceremony, called the homecoming. It went on for a long time. I was dancing with a bunch of the groom's family members and was getting tired.
I was also wearing chunky heels, so I finally took a break from all the dancing and went off to have a seat. A few minutes later, I was standing with my other cousin, who was also a bridesmaid, and our two male cousins. Suddenly, a tipsy uncle came up to us and started yelling. He grabbed my cousin's wrist and attempted to grab mine, but I pulled my arm out from him.
He tried again, and I did the same thing. He tried a third time, and I pulled so hard he ended up flicking himself in the nose. I put my male cousin between the uncle and me. The uncle then screamed, "What good are you, bridesmaids, if you're not even going to dance? Why even come? You are useless." Then he spat in my cousin’s face. We stood there in shock until his wife came and pulled him away. It was pretty disgusting.
46. Total Burrito Brain
I was in Chipotle with my fiancee and her co-worker. The co-worker was in line about seven or eight people back. She decided to "skip the line" by ordering Grubhub FROM the line. She then proceeded to stay in the line while saying, "I'm just picking up" to everyone who asked what she wanted. They would have made her order in front of her.
She got to the cashier and gave her the info. The cashier said, "Oh ok, well, it will be ready in ten minutes." She absolutely lost her mind. She flipped out and called everyone names. Then she started shouting about how she was an army spouse and "when she orders, you make the food." She proceeded to pull out her phone.
She started filming and continued to scream at people for disrespecting a Veteran. I was shocked. They finished her order, and the manager brought it to her. He thanked her for her husband's service and told her she needed to leave, and he would appreciate it if she never returned. Her response was, "I don't like your food anyway."
I had driven my fiancee and this woman to this Chipotle. Now, I had to drive this total nutjob home. There was silence in the car, other than her texting furiously and occasionally huffing and puffing. When we got about a block from her house, I told her to get out of my car. She was the worst person I had to engage with since high school.
47. Cut Out Over Cutlery
I went to a restaurant with a friend. We were looking for a table to sit at. One of the workers had just finished cleaning one, so we asked if we could sit there and she said yes. Since we sat down at the table as soon as they had finished cleaning it, they forgot to put down cutlery. Therefore, when our food arrived, we didn't have any silverware to eat with.
This wasn’t a big deal for me, so I called a waiter. I was about to ask politely if they could bring us what we needed, but my friend stepped in before I could open my mouth and said, "I don't know if you really expect us to eat with our hands or if this was just a stupid error.” I was so embarrassed, so I apologized to the worker and overlooked the situation.
At the end of the night, we asked for the bill. Since they were swamped, the bill took some time to arrive, so we went to the cashier to pay there. While we were waiting to pay, my friend started talking to the cashier and said, "Wow, I don't see why there are so many people here if you can't even print a bill on time. Maybe you should hire more staff or downsize.”
That was the last straw. After that, I told him to wait for me outside and I handled the payment. I apologized to the cashier and never spoke to that friend again.
48. History Buffoon
My high school girlfriend and I went to a WWII museum. It had two US servicemen who fought in the Air Force on-site to answer any questions. My girlfriend was a stereotypical ditzy girl who didn’t care for education of any kind. When we approached the museum, the two veterans greeted us and asked if we had any questions.
My girlfriend asked them, “What war did you fight in?” The two men were confused. They said, “Ma’am, this is a WWII museum. We fought in WWII.” My girlfriend then asked if they had won. The servicemen looked kind of upset. They said, “OF COURSE WE WON!” My girlfriend then proceeded to ask, “What side did you fight on? Like who won?”
At that point, I grabbed her, apologized, and started asking questions related to our class project. We went our separate ways the next year.
49. Menace Mother-In-Law
I was with my mother-in-law at a restaurant, and she was drinking. She proceeded to ask me if I loved her daughter. I told her I did. She then asked me if I loved her more than my parents. I told her that was two totally different kinds of love, which apparently, was the wrong answer. She, rather loudly, berated me. We paid and left. Little did I know, she was just getting started.
She was so fired up, she continued to berate me all the way to the Metro. There happened to be some people on the Metro who, unwillingly, took the heat off me. My mother-in-law began laying into stereotypes. So, we proceeded to get off at every single stop to avoid problems, only to get on another train, where another minority became the brunt of her mad ramblings.
When we finally got to our stop, we were walking through a parking garage when she spotted a guy in a business suit. She asked him what he did for work. He told her he worked for the IRS, which again was the wrong answer. She proceeded to follow this poor guy to his car, ranting about the government taking her money. I don't think I've ever been more embarrassed to be around someone in my life.