Karens can be downright nasty. Perhaps they get away with their bad behavior because they don’t think anyone will call them out on it. After all, most bystanders just roll their eyes and put up with it. However, some people aren't willing to take their nonsense—sometimes, people will actually stand up to them and shut them down, and in public, too. Here are some real-life stories of public call-outs that put misbehaving Karens in their place and left them shocked beyond belief.
1. That’s What Big Brothers Are For
When I was in the fifth grade, a lady grabbed my brother who was in the third grade by the neck. She picked him up and threw him three to four feet against the lockers. She was mad because he had pushed her child out of the way when her kid cut in line in front of him at the water fountain. I couldn't believe it. I just started going off on her.
I was calling her every name I could think of while following her out the door. I wasn’t using your standard fifth-grade insults. My dad was a Marine, and I was saying all the stuff I wasn’t supposed to have heard from him that I amassed over the years. I followed her and her kid out the front door and got to the circle where buses pulled in to pick up the kids.
Then, she turned around and came at me like she was trying to destroy me. There were no teachers around. They were all inside, trying to find out what was going on. It was just her and me, and I could see in her eyes that she was really going to hurt me. She grabbed me by the shoulders, picked me up, and shook me as hard as she could the whole time I was screaming.
Then I heard car breaks, and my mom football tackled her and beat the bejesus out of her. My mom had layers upon layers of that lady’s skin caked under her nails and bruised knuckles from punching her so hard. That night, I got ice cream for trying to protect my brother and was sent to bed early for saying the words I shouldn’t have.
2. Paying The Price
I worked at a high-end store, so it was common to see customers with a sense of entitlement. At Christmas time, I had a customer who was being absurdly rude to me and my co-worker. I had already told him quite clearly that there was a line and he would have to wait for his turn like everyone else. Once he got to the register, he called my manager an idiot after he had to re-ring something in. Little did he know karma was coming to him.
Another customer behind him who was about half his size tapped him on the shoulder and said loudly, "Would you mind shutting up and letting these people do their jobs? You are seriously ticking us all off". The guy then threatened him, but the smaller guy wouldn't have any of it. "If you were as tough as you like to think you are, you wouldn't have to be such a jerk. Just shut up". I magically found a 50 percent off coupon for my new favorite person.
3. These Girls Got Schooled
When I was in college, my friends and I were sitting at a table, and behind us, there was a kid sitting by himself. I will admit, he looked pompous—popped collar, gelled hair, super tan, etc. A group of kids sitting in the same area had been loudly making fun of his general fashion sense. Eventually, one of the girls got up, walked over, and proclaimed loudly, "I'm sorry, but I have to help you out because you look like a total dweeb". She then put his collar down.
The kid sat there in disbelief as she walked away, and his eyes started welling up. I was pretty infuriated to see that, and I knew I had to shut her down. I walked over to her table and, in the most conversational tone I could muster, I said, "Oh hey! Do you know that guy"? She said she didn't, so I began scolding her. I said, "So you just thought it would be appropriate to demean a complete stranger in public to look like a cool kid in front of all of your friends?
“I hope you feel better and that you all got a good laugh at his expense. Maybe next time you can pause to reflect before you're a total moron". I then walked over to the table and invited the kid to sit with my friends and me. It turned out he had just transferred to the college and he didn't know anyone.
4. I Broke It Down For Her
I used to work in the toy department of a retail store. The Leap Frog laptop had just come out, and they were REALLY expensive. I was straightening shelves and I noticed a kid just wailing away on one of these laptops. The mom was nowhere to be found. I approached the kid and asked him nicely, "Is that how you play with your toys at home"? The kid gave me a sheepish "No" and placed it back on the shelf.
I was feeling pretty good about myself...until the kid's mother came out from nowhere. Her next move took me aback. She very rudely told me that I had “NO RIGHT” to speak to her child that way. I calmly looked his mother in the eye and said, “Ma’am, your son was about to break a $150 toy. Our store has a you-break-it, you-buy-it policy. If you would like me to give it back to him so he can continue hitting it, I would be happy to ring you up at my register for the damages”.
She then gave me a dirty look, grabbed her son, and walked off.
5. These Lunchtime Losers Got Chewed Out
When I was in high school, a guy I knew from my math class was sitting with his homework at a table in the cafeteria. He wasn't being a bother or attracting any kind of attention in any way. Out of nowhere, this guy came over, started calling him names, and asked him why he only had girls as friends. He was using all the gay insults his ignorant little pea-brain could come up with.
Nobody in the room really knew this kid, but he had admitted to being openly gay, and he was getting torn to shreds while the other guy and his buddies laughed. So my friend, who was about 5'10 and 150 pounds, decided we should go up and do something. This other guy was 6'3" and had five of his friends with him. Regardless, my friend marched off unfazed by their advantage, and I followed. They had no idea what was coming to them.
I watched as he tapped this guy on the shoulder and proceeded to chew him out for being ignorant and picking on a random kid just because he had no backup. The jerk tried to pick a fight, but my buddy just kept ranting, "You think you're tough for picking on a kid because he's gay? Do you think that being gay is a problem?
“That he had a choice in the matter? What if you were gay? Do you think you would have had the balls to let high-school punks like you know about it"? The other guy just shrugged it off, said, “Whatever”, and took his goons somewhere else. The kid was so happy that someone had stood up for him that he bought us lunch.
6. Shut Your Pie Hole
I used to work at McDonald’s when I was in high school, so I sympathized with other teenage fast-food workers. During one of my shifts, it was apparent that it was the cashier's first day working there, but he seemed to be doing okay. He entered something wrong, though, and he asked his manager how to fix it. The manager came over and started tearing into him in front of all the customers, calling him an idiot.
After I received my order at the counter, I asked the manager to come over and I gave it to him straight: "Please do not talk to that cashier that way ever again. Just because you are a day shift manager at McDonald’s does not make you a superior human being and gives you no right to treat others, especially your employees, like dirt". After I sat down, the other manager came over, brought me some apple pies, and thanked me for standing up to that guy.
Apparently, that manager acted terribly towards everyone.
7. Fight Or Flight
I'm a pretty mellow guy who travels for a living, and I don’t really let small things get to me. However, a couple of years ago, I was on a flight that was running 30 minutes late. I was already thinking to myself that the connection was going to be tight and it would most likely require me to run or briskly walk for a mile or so through the airport.
I was one of the last passengers to board the plane, and I had to check my bag since there was no more room. The four or five people behind me did the same thing. I worked my way down the aisle, and there was a guy asking people to shift their bags. He was trying to get his oversized bag to fit, and there was no room. He called for the flight attendant, who walked up and said, "Sir, we are out of the room. You will have to check your bag".
That was it for him—he went OFF on her and started yelling, "This airline sucks. I'm a million-mile member. I want your employee number and name", and so on. At that point, I pretty much mentally snapped. I felt horrible for the flight attendant who was just doing her job, and this guy had spent five minutes making an idiot out of himself and burning up time.
People were gawking, cringing, and just hoping he would stop so they could move on. I just yelled, "SHUT UP. SHUT THE HECK UP"! I was shaking with anger. Then, I went off. I said, "Take your bag to the front of the plane, check it in, and stop with this insanity. You are what is wrong with air travel. Your sense of entitlement makes me want to puke. If you are a million-mile flier, you know the rules of flying. You should know how this works"".
Why punish everyone on this flight? You have insulted this lovely young lady, you have made everyone on this plane uncomfortable with your little show, and I'm now another five minutes late for my connection. I want you and your little Napoleon-complex issues to shut up and sit down. Do WE have a problem"? He started spluttering and looking all flustered but didn't say a single word.
Somebody at the back of the plane started clapping. Soon the whole plane was applauding me. I just sat down and waited while everyone clapped, and this guy took a long walk of shame to the front of the plane. The flight attendant thanked me, and so did everyone else. I didn't mean to do it, but I just can't stand people like that. The best part was I had free drinks for the flight, the attendant gave me a stack of free drink cards for my next couple of flights, and one of the passengers gave me a voucher for free WiFi that he had won.
It was very satisfying.
8. A Chili Reception
I had worked at Chili's for about five years. I had so many experiences with rude people that I lost count, but one was by far the worst. I was waiting tables around graduation time and I had a party of 25 call ahead at about 7 pm, saying they would be arriving in 30 minutes. We set the table up for them and were anticipating their arrival.
They actually showed up about an hour and a half later than they said they would. We had since broken up the big table and seated other smaller parties there. When they arrived, they were angry that their table wasn't ready for them. The really soft-spoken, sweet hostess who was working that night simply explained to them that we thought they had chosen somewhere else to go since they hadn't come sooner. That's when the Karen came out.
The lady who was speaking to the hostess immediately burst out, saying that we should have known that they were still coming. She then said out loud that she knew Chili’s "was a terrible idea," and that we were all terrible at our jobs. Almost in tears, the hostess said that we would set up another table for them in a closed section and that I would take care of them.
These same people would always come in, be rude to everyone, NEVER tip, and constantly complain so they could get free food. When I waited on large parties by myself, I always started everyone with water just because it takes some time to get everyone’s drink order and get it out to them. I figured it was better to at least have some water available while waiting.
As soon as we got them settled in, several started complaining that they didn’t have water and that I was rude not to offer them a different option. I simply explained I would be bringing them whatever they would like and that the water was just to hold them for the time being. Apparently, that wasn't good enough for them. They told me I was an idiot and said, “Get this mess out of my face", referring to the water.
Most of them ordered strawberry lemonade, so I made all of the drinks and brought them out to them. The group then started to complain, “This stuff tastes nasty”. They told me it didn’t taste anything like what it did last time. I told them that we made it by the same measurements every time, but that I would be glad to make a new batch for them.
I went and poured out what we had and made another batch of strawberry lemonade. I took it out to them, and they again complained that it was nasty. I offered to get them something else, and they said, "We just want a waiter that isn't an idiot and knows how to make strawberry lemonade”. I got the manager to explain that we made our strawberry lemonade the same way every time.
They rolled their eyes and told the manager that I was being rude to them. Then, when they started eating their meals, they began to be even more disrespectful to me. They started pouring their drinks out on the floor on purpose, throwing food at me and insulting me right in front of my face. I had a couple of other tables complain that this large party was being extremely loud, which they were.
I went over and asked if they minded being a little quieter as they were disturbing the other tables in the restaurant. One kid then yelled, “OH, YOU THINK I'M TOO LOUD”? They all started being even louder than before, and some tables even got up and left. That was the final straw. I yelled over them and told them they were no longer welcome at our restaurant.
That shut them up. One kid told me that I couldn't do that, and I said, “When you start causing our other good paying customers to leave, I can do what I want, now get out”. They had the nerve to ask for boxes of their food that they hadn't touched because they were too busy being loud. I told them that I couldn’t care less if they wanted their food and that they needed to leave.
My manager and I stood at the door smiling, watching them all walk out. One girl told me that I had ruined her graduation party. I informed her that she had no class and got what she deserved. A few of them stayed and talked to my manager, begging him to allow them back because it was their favorite place to eat. He told them they cost the company money when they came in, and they were never welcomed back.
9. Those Nasty Girls Got Served
Back in college, there was a mentally challenged guy who worked in the dorm dining hall. He obviously had some problems but was with it enough for him to hold down the job. One day, I was behind some girls in line who were standing right in front of him, talking about how they didn't like being served by him. They even started calling him names.
Outraged, I gave them a piece of my mind. "He has ears. He can hear you. He's a person just like the rest of us, and you shouldn't treat people like that". They then called me a name and walked away.
10. It Was A Sign Of Things To Come
When I was in high school, one of the lunch ladies was deaf. She was always the one to cash the students out. Once, I heard some dude saying how he pretends not to understand her—basically mocking her—and that he never pays what he owes. I got so mad that I just went off on him.
I told him what a horrible person he was and how I hoped he would lose one of his senses so he could see what it was like. It may not seem like much, but I think I got my point across because I didn't hear him talk about her anymore. She was super nice too and she was really pleased when my school started offering sign language courses because the students could then communicate with her.
The look on her face when I started signing with her the first time almost made me cry. I could tell she was extremely happy people were trying to actually talk to her and not just pretend she wasn't there.
11. Gym Rats
There were these two teenagers at the gym who went around to every single bench and machine, threw a small amount of weight on, proceeded to knock out a couple of reps, and then moved on to something else, all while never re-racking their weights. I tracked them down when I realized they were never going to put anything away. Being the big and muscular guy I am, I decided to put an end to it. I simply told them to rack their weights.
I watched and waited while they put every single weight back where it belonged before I went back to my own workout.
12. He Got His Just Desserts
I was a student in a culinary arts program. We rotated through stations and ran a full cafeteria on the university campus. One of the stations—desserts—required that you serve and plate the food in front of the customer. I was helping this one woman when another guy, a regular, came in and budged in front of her. He was the rudest customer I had ever dealt with.
He cut in front of her and reached for the dessert that I was still plating. She said loudly, "Excuse me. That is mine. She's not done, and you can wait and not be so rude. You are unbelievable". He walked away with an unhappy, childish look on his face. She looked at me and said, "Sorry, I can't stand rude people". I couldn't have been more grateful.
13. His Words Hit The Spot
My dad was driving around with his terminally ill friend. They needed to go to a pharmacy, and seeing as how my dad's friend would become short of breath easily, they were hoping for a handicap spot. Unfortunately, none were vacant, so they had to park farther away. As they were walking up to the store, a squat, muscular man came walking out of the pharmacy.
He started to open up the door of his Ford F150 that was parked in a handicap spot. He clearly didn't need to be in that spot, nor did he have a sticker. My dad's friend was fuming when he saw him. He called out to him as he was getting in and said, "Excuse me? Is your handicap physical or mental"? The guy's face went white as a ghost, and he quickly got into his truck and pulled away.
14. They Were In For A Rude Awakening
While on my lunch break, I was at the grocery store. This older woman, who had some obvious mental and emotional problems, was walking up to a checkout line. She went to take her salad out and it opened up, spilling everywhere. She then started crying, saying how she couldn't afford to buy another salad, and apologized for the mess.
A clerk and I went over and started helping her. The clerk told her it happens all the time and that they wouldn’t charge her, but the woman was still visibly upset. She continued to apologize and cry. Then, I heard two middle-aged women—hair all done up, expensive clothes, etc.—giggling and having little laughing outbursts every time the old lady said something. I was appalled.
To my amazement, they started to openly mock her, loud enough so we all could hear. At that point, I stood up, grabbed my basket, walked over to them, and quietly said, "Come on, quit it". They both stopped laughing and got beet red with anger. One of them said, "Excuse me? Who the heck are you"? I calmly replied, "She's obviously upset. She can hear you over there, and it's embarrassing for you and for her".
That was when they both lost it. "Who the heck are you? Who the heck do you think you are? Don't ever talk to me like that", etc. To which I replied, "Listen, I know you're both really unhappy because you married a man for money, and now he's cheating on you with a much younger woman, and your kids probably don't like you or respect you because you're obviously a terrible person, but you don't have to be mean to strangers.
“If you want to laugh, whatever, but don't start mocking people. Try to contain yourselves and act like the adults you never became". They were shocked, and it was so amusing to watch. They said, “We're not paying for this", and just walked out, leaving their food behind. Then the checkout clerk started laughing, and the guy behind me went, "Oh, yeah". I kind of think I did a bit of an overkill, but I was really shocked at how mean they were being.
15. Back Of The Line!
I went to the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I was a big nerd, but also 6'4" and 250 lbs. We were waiting in line for about an hour or two before the movie started. The line was around the corner and snaked around the block. They started letting people in, and the line behind us began to push forward, becoming a mob.
People who were waiting an hour were being cut in front by people who had gotten there five minutes prior. People in line started whispering, "We should say something. They're cutting”. So, I yelled at the top of my lungs, "Hey everybody, no cutting! Back of the line"! At that point, I saw an old friend in the midst of the crowd.
I called him by name and shouted, "Hey, yeah, I see you, back of the line"! Every person who was line jumping then shrugged, exhaled collectively, and proceeded to move back to their respective places in line. I heard a few people whisper, "You see that big guy? He told them to go back, and they did". It felt good.
16. Surly At Summerfest
I was an inner-city school teacher in Milwaukee for four years. I taught summer school at the Juvenile Detention center for kids who were awaiting trial, sentencing, and release. I was not the least bit intimidating looking, and I think that allowed me to get away with calling people out on their bull as much as I did. I don't know why I felt the need to be the crusader of manners and tact, but I think society has digressed so much because no one holds people accountable.
Once at Summerfest—the HUGE music festival in Milwaukee—there were three children, approximately five, seven, and 11 years old. They were running around, knocking over trash cans, blowing whistles, and cursing up a storm. There was no parent in sight. It was around 4 pm. I sighed, walked over, and said, "Unless you really want to get in trouble, you need to stop behaving like this.
“You're embarrassing yourselves. Where is the person you came here with"? The 11-year-old kid's response had me fuming. "I don't have to answer to you. Freaking white people, always thinkin' they can tell people what to do. I don't have to listen to you". At that point, my friend, who was a Milwaukee detective, came over, pulled his badge out, and said to her, "You don't have to listen to her.
“She was nice and gave you a chance. But you DO have to listen to me". Her face just DROPPED. She threw herself on the ground and started screaming and crying, saying, "I didn't do anything, these people are just racist". Obviously, my friend got the officers on duty and security to come and get them at that point. I was more concerned about an 11-year-old being responsible for a five-year-old and seven-year-old, more than her behavior.
17. I MadeThem Face The Music
One time, I was at a show in Philly. It was in between bands, and everyone was milling around outside the venue. As I was standing, talking to some friends, I noticed five or six wannabe tough guy kids harassing this homeless guy. They were kind of pushing him around, forcing him to take pictures with them, and talking down to him.
Eventually, the guy slumped down on a wall, pulled his knees up, and started crying as the guys kept degrading him more and more. One of them shoved his camera phone in the dude’s face saying he was going to make him famous on YouTube. At that point, I had seen and heard enough and just lost it. I don't remember exactly what I said, but I remember flipping out on these kids for about five minutes.
I told them something along the lines of how the guy had nothing, yet they still chose to act like jerks. They had everything compared to him and he had nothing, yet they were the worthless ones. I pointed out how disgusting what they were doing was and how pathetic they were. I didn't care that they were five or six guys who could probably together beat my face in. I knew they weren’t a threat when, toward the end of my rant, they were all staring at the ground.
They were red in the face, clearly ashamed of what they had done. As my verbal berating ended, I was greeted with applause from everyone around us. I helped the old guy up, took him to WaWa, and bought him some dinner. He was weeping on the way there, thanking me, saying he never had anyone stick up for him in his entire life. It felt good.
18. I Was About To Cart Him Away
One day, I was helping my grandparents run errands. When my grandfather stood up out of the store’s mechanized wheelchair to use the ATM, some 19-year-old thug walked up and sat down in it. I gave him three polite versions of "He's using that" before he responded, saying, "Chill out, I'll get up in a minute". I started to explain that we needed the wheelchair available in case he lost his balance.
When he wouldn’t listen, I stared him in the eyes and said, "Get up", to which the dude responded, "Who do you think you’re talkin' to"? I told him, "I'm talking to you. Get up. Now". He again responded, "Who are you talking to"? At that point, he still hadn't gotten up. So, I showed him who he was dealing with. I rushed the cart fully intending to flip it over, and when he saw that I was serious, he jumped up and started muttering about how I'd better hope he never sees me again. My grandfather was 91. I don't think I've ever seen him prouder than he was at that moment.
19. Girl Interrupted
In college, I had the opportunity to see a foreign film for extra credit for a Spanish class I was taking. I had to take notes during the film so that I could write a brief summary of the movie to turn in to my Spanish professor. The movie was playing in one of our big lecture halls and it was put on by the foreign film club at my school, so there were many students there watching.
I got to my seat, settled in, and started watching the movie. About 10 minutes in, two girls entered the hall and proceeded to make a lot of noise, like nothing was going on at all. They took their seats in my row but on the other side of the aisle. They continued to talk for the next 10 to 15 minutes—loudly—while the movie was playing.
I could tell the people around me were annoyed with subtle "ahems" and groans, and multiple heads turned to look at the girls. However, no one really did anything, and the girls kept talking. Finally, I had it. I got up, walked over to the girls, and asked them in the most polite voice I could muster, "Please excuse me ladies for interrupting your conversation. Would you mind shutting up so the rest of us can watch the film"?
I just stood there, and they got angry and left. The entire lecture hall applauded, and the movie went on. There were no more interruptions. I left that place feeling 10 feet tall. It was well worth the 25 extra credit points.
20. Her Behavior Needed To Go
I used to work at Walmart. When it was slow, cashiers would be sent out to the floor to tidy up the store and help out the people working in different departments. One day, I was helping out a friend of mine in the children's section when a woman and her two kids came into the department. One child was still an infant, but her daughter looked to be around 4 or 5 years old.
The woman was looking around, completely ignoring her daughter, who kept trying to tell her mother that she had to go to the restroom. The kid wasn't whining so much as saying, "Mom, I have to go". The mother kept ignoring her and absentmindedly telling her to hold it. Finally, the little girl let it out: "Mom! I! Have! To! GO"! which woke up the little one. The baby started crying.
The mother finally addressed her daughter by yelling at her for being a pain in the neck. My friend and I were listening to this, looking at each other as if to say, "Man, what a moron", but there wasn't much we could really do. Then the woman screamed, "Will you shut up!? I wish you had never been born"! I was stunned. I couldn't believe anyone would say that to their child.
My friend literally dropped what she was doing and said, "What did you just say"? The woman started to say something about minding our own business, but my friend cut her off by launching into one of the most frightening displays of righteous anger I had ever seen. She tore into this woman, telling her that it was apparent that the little girl needed to go to the bathroom because it was all she had been saying for the past five minutes.
She told her that it didn't matter how frustrated she was with her child; no one should ever tell a kid that they wish they hadn't been born. The woman couldn't say anything in her defense because she was caught being horrible to her child. My friend finished telling this woman she was a failure as a parent by saying, "You're the reason birth control should be mandatory. Take your kid to the bathroom".
I could have clapped; it was so perfect. The woman left without saying a word. Apparently, the woman complained to management on the way out because my friend got hauled into the office shortly after that. She said she was completely justified in what she did and would do it again. The manager told her that he agreed with her, gave her a warning, and told her, "Good job".
21. I Slammed Back
One day, I saw a woman slam her car door several times into the car that was parked next to them because “they parked too close". I went off at that very moment. The lady doing the door slamming was parked over the line, and the car she vandalized was right in the center of its spot. I took down her license plate number, went into the store, found the owner of the other vehicle, and let them know.
22. This Train Wreck Was Averted
One afternoon, I was on the train on the way to an appointment. I was just sitting in my chair, minding my own business when I saw something weird going on out of the corner of my eye. There were these two 18-year-old kids harassing a 14-year-old, calling him “white trash”. I let it slide and minded my own business because I had a meeting to get to.
Moments after that happened, I saw the two kids getting closer and closer to the 14-year-old, and they did the most abhorrent thing—they started smacking him in the face, demanding that he give them his iPod and headphones. That drove me over the top and beyond. I instantly became furious, stood up, and yelled, “Get off him”! Apparently, nobody was paying attention to the situation and looked at me like I was crazy.
As the train pulled up at the station, I made my way to the two instigators. They began talking trash to me and throwing some stupid gang signs up when suddenly, this little lady behind me started cursing at them in their language. Everyone started joining in, telling them what idiots they were. I tried to grab hold of them and call out for the authorities, but they just booked. The 14-year-old thanked me and everyone on the train. I made sure he was OK and went to my meeting feeling I did some good for the day.
23. Stand Up And Deliver
I was at a 7-Eleven making a purchase when some yuppie lady interrupted my transaction. She angrily told the cashier that her coffee wasn't hot. He apologized and told her that he could make another pot right away. She said, "No, I'm way too busy to wait for that"! The clerk offered her a refund, and she responded, "No, I don't want a refund! I'm busy, and I want a hot cup of coffee RIGHT NOW"!
I felt so bad for this clerk who, judging by his accent, hadn't been in the country for very long and was shocked by her rudeness. I just snapped right then and there. I said, "Listen, you stupid yuppie. He apologized that the coffee wasn't hot and offered to make you another pot or a refund. What the heck do you expect him to do? The only way for him to comply with your request is to get a time machine and brew another pot before you get here.
“Does he look like some sort of time-traveling wizard to you!? You need to just shut up, get back into your ridiculous SUV, and try to act like an adult"! She just stood there, shaking. I couldn't tell if it was rage or fear, but after what seemed like an eternity, she ran out of the store and took off. All the people in line clapped for me. The clerk was also shocked at my outburst but told me, "It's good to know that some people will stand up for strangers in this country".
24. To Catch A Thief
I was at Starbucks when a guy grabbed a woman's purse. I chased him down and we wrestled with it. When I got it, he tried to fight me. I yelled at him to grow up—he was clearly older than me. I then walked back inside Starbucks, and as soon as I stepped through the door, the place was packed but completely silent. Everyone was watching me.
I set the woman's purse on the table near her and asked if she was alright. She said she was, so I walked back to the front of the line where my buddy was and said, "And I would like a caramel mocha frappuccino”. The whole place erupted with applause, and the drinks were on the house. It was my smoothest moment ever.
25. Her Entitlement Got Knocked Out Of The Park
I worked as a nanny and frequently took the baby to the park, where we did the normal "make friends and play" routine. There was a mom I frequently saw whose youngest child we would play with. One morning, we were playing, and when I looked up, I noticed that I was alone with two toddlers and her older pre-school-aged child. I called for her and looked around for 15 minutes before calling the authorities.
Twenty minutes later, I still didn’t see her, but the authorities and a social worker arrived. They took my statement, then left with the abandoned children. As I was walking down the street, about a block from the park, the mom came running up to me and pointed to the park. She asked where her kids were. I told her what happened, and an argument ensued. I couldn't believe what she was saying.
She was enraged that I didn't just sit and wait at the park with her kids while she ran to the store because I was a nanny. Apparently, I should be able to handle extra kids. I proceeded to tell her— as calmly as I could with the baby present—what kind of mother she was and how much she endangered her children. I also gave her a general earful about being an irresponsible, expectant, idiot.
There was some kind of court hearing after that, where she claimed I was babysitting her kids. However, when she couldn't provide the judge with my name or contact information, I was in the clear. I was not privy to how it worked out for her and the kids, though.
26. Keep It Together, People!
My wife and I were waiting for a flight home from Vegas. It was around 3 pm and our flight was overbooked. We were hanging out at the bar right next to our gate, still getting our drinks while we waited. We then began to hear this horrendously loud argument happening at the counter. It turns out this couple—both in their mid-50s—were throwing a raging tantrum over not sitting together.
They had booked their flights on Expedia together, but the airline had moved their seats because the flight was so full. They were offered the next flight, but they continued to scream and moan. This went on for about five minutes. You could see this poor 18-year-old-girl behind the counter was just starting to break down. She needed help immediately.
Out of nowhere, my wife proceeded to get up, walk over to the counter, and just said straight to the poor girl, ignoring the couple, "They can have my seat and my husband's seat together if they promise to shut up and leave you alone. We'll wait for the next flight". The couple was shocked. They just stared at her and started giving her the stink eye, but they stayed silent.
We then proceeded to exchange our tickets and got our seats for the next flight. However, the flight was overbooked, so we received vouchers for two free round-trip tickets to anywhere the airline flew because we had volunteered our seats on an overbooked flight. We ended up using them for flights to go to Hawaii later that year. And the next flight was only 30 minutes later.
27. The Sounds Of Silence
My wife and I were at the movies. A group of loud and annoying teenagers sat next to us. They were talking to each other and commenting on every single line in the film. I let it fly for the first twenty minutes, thinking they would eventually shut up and actually watch the movie. When I realized they wouldn't stop, I made my move. I gently poked the arm of the girl who was the closest to me.
I calmly but firmly told her, "Would you please tell your friends to SHUT UP. Thank you". She nodded and said, "Yes, sir". They didn't utter a word for the rest of the movie.
28. A Day At The Zoo
My wife and I were enjoying a great walk around the Omaha Zoo. We went into the primate area and we started checking out the monkeys, apes, etc. This one small enclosure had a climbing rope inside with a baby primate crawling around on the rope. A small girl edged closer to the glass to get a better look. Just as she did, this woman stepped up right in this other lady's face and started chewing her out.
She very loudly said, "Ma'am, your daughter is extremely rude. She just pushed my son out of the way, stood right in front of him, and blocked his sight. You need to learn how to control your children". The lady being chewed out was speechless. And the thing is, that wasn’t even the worst of what happened. Before the woman could even respond, I turned to face the accuser and just as loudly said, "No, you are the one being rude.
“I was standing right there, and the only thing that her daughter did was take a step closer to the glass. The area is crowded; everyone is just trying to see better. She never pushed your son out of the way, and his sight was not blocked. You're the one setting a terrible example. You need to learn how to behave in public because of this little display of unprovoked anger isn't it". Then, my wife and I just turned and walked off.
Every now and then, one of us will turn to the other and say, "I can't believe how rude that lady at the Omaha Zoo was"!
29. Pumped Up
We lived in southeast DC which wasn’t always the safest area. My wife and neighbor were sitting on the front porch when there was an altercation at the gas station across the street. Two men had tried to pull up to the same pump at the same time. They both got out. One was in his 70s and the other in his late 20s. The younger man looked like he spent a lot of time at the gym.
The men started shouting at each other, and at one point, the younger man did the most shocking thing—he pushed the older man onto the hood of his car. Our neighbor was a quiet woman who worked with the deaf community and was probably 5'10" and 130 lbs. When she saw the push, she ran across the street and got in the younger guy's face. She yelled at him, saying, "What is the matter with you? You're much bigger than him!
“You didn't have to push him! I have two young boys at home and is this the sort of behavior I should expect when they're older? What is wrong with you"? The guy apologized to her, saying that his mother would be ashamed. He said he'd just had a bad day and that he overreacted. My neighbor told him that he didn't have to apologize to her.
He apologized to the older guy and drove away, presumably too embarrassed to get gas in front of the people who had just witnessed what had happened.
30. Quite The Ride
A small group of friends and I decided to go to the state fair. There were about four or five of us. One of my friends wanted to go on one of the faster, more intense rides, and everyone else backed down. This was a ride where single riders weren't allowed, so I told him I'd go with him. He was new to the city and had heard things about this ride from other people, so he really wanted to go on it.
There was a good 40- to 50-minute wait. While waiting in the long line, a group of teenagers decided they would ruin everyone's day—they basically snuck past everyone, cut in line, and merge in with their friends. I looked behind me and saw people whispering and looking a bit angry. I’m 6’4” and somewhat muscular, but I usually don't like to use my size to my advantage, and I certainly don't like to use it to intimidate people.
I poked my head out of the line at the teenagers who cut in front of us and said nicely, "Hey, do you guys think you can go to the back of the line? Everyone back here has been waiting for at least half an hour". One of them looked back at me—getting smart—and said, "Deal with it". I told him again, a little more sternly, "Just get to the back of the line, alright? People are getting mad at you for thinking you can do whatever you want".
This time he thought it would be cute to come back to me and get in my face to try to make me back down. At that point, he was clearly getting angry and told me, "Tell me one more time, and I'll knock you out”. I told him again to get to the back of the line. He laughed, then he went for a punch, but that was a BIG mistake on his part. I grabbed his fist, grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, and threw him to the ground, lifting him off his feet.
Without thinking, I just took off my shirt in a blind rage and self-defense and told him, "Get your spoiled behind to the back of the line and quit acting like a pretentious little weasel before you regret it". His friends signaled for him to come back to them since they figured out I wouldn't be an easy pushover. I wore glasses, so my guess was that they assumed I couldn't put up a fight. They left the line, and it felt good.
31. Those Mean Girls Got Shut Down
I worked a lot with the special needs students at my school and I have worked with people who have disabilities my entire life. One day when I was about 13, I came into one of my classes to find one of my fellow students with Down syndrome huddled on the floor with a bunch of girls standing around him, pointing and jeering. I immediately dropped to my knees to talk to him.
I found out that he’d had an accident, and the girls were making fun of him for it. He was crying and shaking. I soothed him, managed to get him to stand up, and got one of the other students to take him to the special needs classroom. I then turned to these girls I barely knew, looked every one of them in the eye, and proceeded to rip into them verbally.
They got such an earful that they were all blushing and hanging their heads by the end of it. I even made one girl cry. I didn't have many friends in middle school, but I eventually blossomed in high school. I remembered every single one of those girls. The looks I gave them when they tried to talk to me reminded them every time about what heartless little meanies they were. I still get mad about it.
I was on the city bus in Ann Arbor, MI. There was a very old couple that I would sometimes see getting off at the hospital’s cancer center. On one particular day, the woman got out of her seat 30 seconds too soon before the bus stopped and quickly lost her balance. She fell over onto a man who was roughly 55 years old.
He looked at her with utter disgust and pushed her off of him. She then fell to the ground. Some nice young men helped her up. She was obviously shaken up and off-balance. She then fell on the man again. He shouted out, "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING, YOU DUMB WOMAN"! She seemed very disoriented and confused at that point, and her husband didn’t appear to see what was really going down.
The man got out of his seat and loomed over her in a threatening manner. He yelled, "I HAVE A BAD BACK AND YOU COULD HAVE HURT ME. GET OUT OF HERE". But here's the thing—this man was maybe 6'1'' and 200 lbs, and the old woman appeared to be in her late 80s and no more than 100 lbs. I couldn't believe what was happening. The bus driver stopped the bus out of confusion. I jumped up and told the man to get off the bus.
I said that I would call the authorities and that he had no business being on public transportation. He moved towards me. At the time, I was a 21-year-old female who was not too physically imposing. I looked him in the eye and told him to get out of my face. The bus driver finally saw what was happening and ordered the guy off the bus. I never saw the guy again on the bus, and some hot guy gave me his number when I got off. Score!
33. Revenge Of The Nerds
I was on the train from Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham with a lot of college students. I was seated between two groups. I guess you'd say the "popular" kids and a group of "nerds". You could tell mostly because my friend and I could hear the rude twitters behind us, and I got smacked with a chip they were throwing at a girl across the way. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
One girl, who was quite large, got up to go to the restroom. I was already annoyed with what was going on but I had not said anything until the moment when the "pretty" girl put her legs up and refused to let the girl go. At first, the first girl took it in stride and made a joke about it, but the other girl just taunted her before finally letting her pass.
It didn't stop there. As the first girl walked away, the group with the second girl made oinking sounds. When she came back, this girl pulled the same thing, so I turned around, looked at her, and said, "You're so cool". She put her legs down, looked at the ground, and the other girl walked by. I turned to my friend and said loud enough so the whole group could hear, "It's such a cool thing to taunt and make fun of other people.
“Because obviously, you're so much better than the person you're making fun of if you stop to tease them. Yeah, it shows them you don't care about them". I paused, turned to the girl who was now blushing, and said, "No, actually, it shows people that you care more about them than they do about you. Grow up. Be nice". She didn't say a word for the rest of the train ride.
34. Supermarket Hog
Whenever I see anyone litter or act in an incredibly rude manner, I tell them off. One day, I was at the supermarket, and there was a woman who had about three items on her belt, talking away on her phone. When a little old lady went over to put her stuff on the belt, the woman on the phone said, "What are you doing? This is my space. I'm just waiting for my husband to come with the rest of our stuff".
That got me cross enough as it was, but then her husband strolled up with a cart that was almost over-flowing with stuff, and I just couldn't hold my tongue. This woman had been hogging space on the belt and telling her husband what to get over the phone! I was in the next line over, but I told her that she and her husband could go to the back of the long line they were causing. They did not like that one bit.
They called the manager and I explained how vile and selfish they had been. To his credit, the manager told me I was right. He sent the people to the back and comped the old lady’s groceries to apologize for her inconvenience.
35. Do I Have To Paint A Picture? Your Kid’s Rude!
Some kid was in a restaurant where my mom and I were trying to have a quiet lunch. This kid started to throw crayons at my mom, literally from the next table. The kid's mom was too busy talking on her phone to care. I tried glaring, but she couldn't care less. In the end, I walked up to her to confront her, and she actually gave me the "one-minute finger".
That was it. I picked up all the crayons that were on the floor, on the table, and from in front of the kid, dumped them on her lap, and sat back down. I think she was so shocked, she just left. The manager of the restaurant gave us a free meal. Apparently, that particular woman was known for just letting her kid run wild.
36. I Had This One In The Bag
I was pulling weeds from the outside of my fence on the sidewalk. I had a big paper lawn bag next to me, and I was almost done with the whole yard. This guy came walking down the street, opened a package of smokes, and dropped the cellophane wrapper on the ground in front of my house. I lost my marbles. I yelled at the guy, "Hey, I might be pulling weeds, but I'm not cleaning for you. I'm trying to make my house look nice".
So, he came back, picked up the wrapper, and put it in the lawn bag.
37. Dis-concert-ing Behavior
I was at an Atmosphere concert with my girlfriend and best friend having the time of our lives. I drank a large quantity of booze at the many venue bars we'd gone to and I had gotten myself to the holy grail of sloshed. I was charming, funny, making friends—all the good stuff. It was perfect. Something made me look away, but when I turned back to the stage, I saw my girlfriend getting shoved by some dimwit.
It started small. He was trying to push his way to the front of the stage well after the concert began, and we had all gotten our good spots by waiting. When he tried to push her out of his way, she pushed back and held him back like a tough chick. That angered him, and he just started shoving her as hard as he could over and over.
What happened next will forever be etched into my brain. I reached up above the crowd and brought my fist down like a meteor scolding the heck out of his face. All he could do was stare blankly at me. Two beats later—as if it were planned—a dozen arms were wrapped around him and he was removed from the crowd. The other concertgoers and security saw the whole thing go down.
They promptly took him out. Even the people he was with disowned him and gave me handshakes. However, his girlfriend later threw a drink at me from the edge screaming, "YOU BROKE MY BOYFRIEND'S NOSE"! It was the best concert of my life.
38. I Tried To Put Her In Line
It was a Friday at around 6 pm, and I was in line at a supermarket. The lines were longer than normal. This entitled late-40s soccer mom was in front of me, tapping her foot and getting all sorts of agitated. We got up to the register and the woman started going off about how slow the line was and how ridiculous the wait had been.
The girl checking items through was young and obviously couldn’t say anything, so I stepped up to the plate. I said, "Lady, you need to CALM DOWN. You aren't the only one inconvenienced by long lines. Being nasty to this poor girl isn't going to make your groceries slide through any faster". Her jaw dropped as if everyone in her life just sat around, taking her verbal garbage wherever she went.
She shut up and continued through, glaring at me as she left. I sat back, looking satisfied with an “I don’t care” look. The female clerk smiled and said she couldn't have ever done that. A week later, I saw the clerk again, and she told me that the woman came back in, talked to her manager, and she got in trouble for not telling me that I was out of line for calling her out!
39. Told Off In A Tiny Space
I was on vacation with my parents. My dad had planned for us to have this amazing dinner at a fancy restaurant. The restaurant was literally on the first floor of a small or medium-sized house. Seeing as the place was so tiny, all the customers had to keep their voices down so as not to disturb everyone else. We sat down for dinner and were immediately overwhelmed by a man talking loudly at the table next to us.
Not only was he basically yelling, but he was saying very inappropriate and prejudiced comments. He obviously had too much to drink, but everyone at his table looked too scared to say anything to him. My family and I tried to have our dinner and ignore him, but it was becoming very difficult. My poor dad, who had planned this great dinner, looked so crestfallen.
Whenever someone upsets a family member of mine, I snap. And that's exactly what happened. I turned around and said very clearly and loudly, "Could you please keep your voice down. I can hardly hear anything besides your voice". The guy was speechless, probably because I was an 18-year-old girl telling him nicely to shut up in front of an entire restaurant.
40. Oh, That Holiday Spirit
I was flying home for the holidays. The guy in the seat behind me was very inebriated and very loud. He was clearly bothering everyone around him, but no one said anything. The flight attendants stopped serving him and half-heartedly shushed him, but it didn't work. He was sitting next to a teenage brother and sister duo.
He started waving his arms around and grabbing at the air. He smacked the back of my seat, and I turned around to see the sister shrinking as far back into her chair as she could to escape his flailing arms. She whispered to me, "Please say something". So all 5 feet and 4 inches of me stood up. I put some bass into my voice and said, "HEY! You need to be quiet".
He replied, "Huh? I just wanna get home and nobody will give me a drink". I said, "YOU just want to get home? That's all any of us want, and all we've heard all night is your darn mouth. You need to keep your mouth shut and your hands to yourself and be quiet"! Luckily, it worked.
There was peaceful silence from him for the rest of the flight, and several people thanked me when we exited the plane. It was one of the prouder moments of my life and the only time I had ever done anything like that.
41. Big Time Loser In A Small Town
I was at this bar in a small town I had never been to. A trashed redneck was being inappropriate to a cute girl and making her very uncomfortable. I can't stand people who do that. No woman should have to listen to that garbage, and it also makes all men look worse. I'm a very passive, non-violent guy, but I'm 6'6" with a pretty solid build, so I guess I can be intimidating. I knew I had to do something.
I stood right in front of him and told him that he was way out of line. I also threatened that if he kept it up, there were going to be problems. We stared each other down for a couple of seconds, and he left the bar. Several people thanked me, and the bartender gave me a free drink.
42. They Got Served A Cup Of Courtesy
Years ago, I was at a Panera Bread around the holidays. It was a full-on shopping season, and the place was close to some shopping malls, so it was extremely busy. This older couple ordered coffee, and the lady behind the counter gave them a to-go cup, saying, "I'm sorry, we ran out of clean mugs, and the dishwasher is running now, but I didn't want to make you wait".
She was very polite, but the lady got mad and started screaming about bad service. She actually yelled, "I need a FOR-HERE cup, not a to-go cup"! The poor girl behind the counter kept apologizing and saying they would be done in a minute, but the woman just kept complaining. Meanwhile, another employee came up to take my order. I saw my chance to get extra petty then.
I ordered my drink and said as loud as I could, "And a to-go cup is FINE with me. Unlike some people, I understand the drink will taste the same"! The old lady freaked about how rude I was while I waited for my drink. The manager came out and gave me a free loaf of their holiday bread "for being so patient". The old people left, still angry.
43. He Was In Line For Some Embarrassment
I used to live in one of those "I live in a million-dollar house so I'm better than you" suburbs. It was the "poorest" of the surrounding towns, so the people there felt insecure and seemed to try to make up for it. I would make it a sport to counter any bad behavior. One day, there was a huge line at a coffee shop during lunchtime. They were taking orders and processing credit card payments on a mobile device to speed things up.
This guy had paid but was waiting for his drink. He said, “Wow, they can take your money fast enough; they just can't do their jobs fast enough. Ridiculous”. The employee gave me my drink and said, “I'm so sorry about the wait”. That's when I gave my epic reply.“Well, barring complete blindness or some mental disability, everyone here should know they'd be waiting, considering the size of the line”.
She started laughing uncontrollably and trying to hide her face. The other guy just glared at me, trying to intimidate me. I just responded to him, "What are you gonna do about it"? The server gave me a complimentary drink for the next time.
44. Priority Seating Is Just That
I was taking a packed train on my way to work. There was a group of college-aged people standing in the middle of the train, close to an old lady holding three or four bags of stuff. At one stop, a person who was sitting down in the elderly seating section got up. One of the obnoxious college girls sat down and continued to gab with her friends. I was not going to let that fly.
I looked at her and said, "Nope, get up". She gave me this look like, "How dare you talk like that to me", and didn't respond. I told her she should give her seat to the elderly woman, but she still did nothing. So, I loudly said that she was selfish and should be ashamed of herself. She then got up, and the old lady sat down and gave me an appreciative smile.
45. I Couldn’t Look The Other Way
I was at a gas station. There was a line of about five of us. The kid ringing everyone up had gauged earrings. He was doing an awesome job, being super polite, etc. This old lady behind me said to the other, "This kid is so disgusting. I wish I didn't have to put up with people like that". My ears were gauged, but I had no plugs in, and I had a very large septum piercing, but I didn’t have it in.
For some reason, the ring was in my pocket. This old lady went on and on, making sure she was loud enough that the kid could hear her, and she was embarrassing him. I knew exactly what I was going to do in that situation. After he rang me up, I turned around and said, "I'm so sorry to eavesdrop, but I couldn't agree more. I hear some people put stuff like that through their eyebrows, lips, and even their noses".
She smiled with satisfaction. Then, I took out my nose ring, which looked very sharp, and said, “I wonder if it hurts”? I started pushing it through the hole very comfortably but was making screaming noises as if I was piercing it right then and there. There was this BIG dude behind her, and his eyes went huge. After pushing it through and letting out a sigh, I said to her, "It's not so bad after all.
“Honestly, I am glad to see this young man has a job at all in today’s economy, and the only thing I find offensive is your blatant disregard for other people's feelings and that perfume you are wearing that smells like a flower threw up. Oh well. Have a great day"! The look on her face was priceless. The kid was smiling for the first time since I had entered the store, and the big dude behind her smiled and gave me a thumbs-up as I left.
46. It Was A Targeted Move
I was at Target. There was a shopping cart in the middle of a parking space. I was alone, so I got out of my car and moved it into the corral directly across from the spot I was about to enter. Then came an inconsiderate Karen—she pulled around my car and parked in my spot, the one I had just moved the shopping cart out of.
I went up to the window and told them they were welcome for my moving the cart. They started sputtering and lying about not having seen me. So I put thumbtacks behind the wheels of her car and left.
47. Obey Your Commander
My buddy and I were at a movie and these dudes were talking about how they had just gotten out of basic training. They then proceeded to bash the movie, making rude comments out loud and ruining everyone else's experience. My buddy told them, "Pipe down". They flipped him off but obliged. After the movie, we were at the front of the pack, right behind the six or seven guys who were being rude.
My buddy said, "That was really rude, how you were behaving", and one of them—the loudest guy—whipped out his ID and said, "Yeah, well, I'm a Marine, and I fight for your freedoms". All my buddy could do was smirk. He just so happened to be an officer, so he whipped out his ID and said, "I'm a Marine officer, and just because you have the honor of wearing a uniform doesn't give you the right to be a jerk".
Then he made them stand at attention right at the door of the movie theater and apologize to every patron exiting.
48. Patience Wasn’t My Strongest Suit
I went to see the Wolverine movie in a very large theater. About halfway up the rows of seats, it had an aisle that cut across horizontally from one side of the theater to the other. Some idiot father was there with a toddler, and he let the kid run back and forth across the aisle, squealing the whole time. I put up with it for about 30 minutes.
Then, I finally had enough. I went down to the father and said, "Do you realize the entire movie theater can hear your child and that it's ruining the movie for the rest of us? Please make him be quiet". The father stared at me in complete shock, as if the concept had never crossed his mind. He immediately left with his kid. Several people around me said “thank you” as I sat back down.
49. No Can Do
I once caught two men around 12 years old about to throw a Coke can at an old woman from across the street. I got in the way and yelled at them, saying, “Try it and see what happens". They stopped in their tracks and attempted to deny what they were about to do. Afterward, I felt terrible and thought maybe I had overreacted. I thought perhaps I could have used less threatening language toward two kids, but it was probably the only way I was going to get through to them.
The old lady was completely oblivious to the whole thing.