Do you remember the days of playing truth or dare? Sitting in a circle with your best friends at a sleepover, this beloved game was the best way to bond with peers. It was an opportunity to exhibit bravery and vulnerability, while also getting to laugh at your friends as they dove headfirst into silly dares. However, the game did have inherent risks, and in the back of your mind you knew there was always a chance you’d be asked the most dreaded question: what is your most embarrassing moment?

Though we get older, our appetite for embarrassing stories never seems to go away. Last week, Reddit user Konke420xd asked people to share the most embarrassing moments they’ve ever witnessed, and boy, did they deliver. Thankfully for us, this list is a safe space to read other people’s humiliating stories without worrying about our own being exposed, so feel free to laugh as loudly as you want. Below, you can also read an interview with David Nadelberg, the founder of Mortified, a hilarious live show and podcast that "curates teen angst artifacts". Enjoy these cringe-worthy stories, and if you aren’t in too much pain from secondhand embarrassment by the end, be sure to check out Bored Panda’s last story featuring mortifying moments right here.

#1

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful Alright, so my husband and I were driving around the city and it was pouring outside. Absolutely pouring. We were about to pass the lightrail train tracks (going in both directions) when the crossing gates came down because the lightrail was approaching.

One idiot in a van decided he could make it across before the gates came all the way down. He kept on driving, but he did not make it. Instead, his vehicle was now trapped between the gates.

We could see from our car that this person was PANICKING. His life was flashing before his eyes. In his movie mind, the lightrail was about to crash into the van and drag it for dozens of yards before finally stopping... so he did what anyone would do. He violently pushed the door open and RAN in the pouring rain for his life.

He was halfway down the street before he stopped, turned around, and noticed that the lightrail was patiently waiting for him to move the vehicle. The door was still open. My husband and I just about pissed ourselves laughing.

JoyceReardon , Bastien Nvs Report

Kiki
Community Member
3 months ago

I know it's not the topic but this tram is from my city, Lyon (France) :D. I'm so surprised to see it here, especially when not related to the topic! If you ever come to France please come to Lyon, the Capital of Gastronomy (food) and suuuuch a beautiful city! I could talk about it for hours (。♥‿♥。)

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Embarrassment is a feeling we’re all familiar with. Whether you experience it frequently or if you have one particularly painful memory seared into your brain, no one is immune to the feeling. And although many of us hate being embarrassed for obvious reasons, we tend to love hearing other people share their most mortifying moments. Telling friends and family about a painfully embarrassing moment requires vulnerability because, let’s be honest, the reaction is often going to be laughter. But these stories can also be incredibly endearing. Who wants intimidating friends who have never had food stuck in their teeth on a date or waved back to someone who wasn't actually waving at them? Embarrassing moments are a part of the human experience, and whether we like it or not, they’re just a reminder that nobody can be polished 100% of the time.

#2

In 4th grade we were learning about Native Americans and had a homework assignment to come up with Native American sounding names for ourselves. I chose “Spotted one” because I had a lot of freckles back then.

The next day when we were revealing our new “Native American names” I just so happened to be sitting next to the biggest crush of my life at that time and, being a stupid 10year old, thought that farting by her would make her laugh and like me. I kept ripping a*s inside of this giant teepee with all of my classmates stuck inside it, the teacher growing more upset.

When it was finally my turn to reveal my name and explain why I chose it, that crush of mine said, “it better be O Stinky One!” and everyone started laughing at me. Panicked, I had to think of something quick… I said, “oh yea, you thought those were bad, wait until you smell this one…!” And tried as hard as I could to rip the loudest and smelliest fart of all time, only to completely s**t my pants on front of everyone. Umbros were super popular at that time (1994) and they did me no favors here. Diarrhea was all over the floor. Kids were screaming and running out of the teepee as quick as possible and it ended up collapsing on me, alone, in my poop teepee.

The teacher made everyone go outside to calm down and called my mom to come get me. I was so embarrassed and begged my mom to never make me go back to school. It took them forever to coerce me to leave the poop tent and they wrapped me in towels and carried me out to the car. I was carried by all of my classmates who were all screaming at me and laughing. I remember closing my eyes and basically faking like I was dead, hoping it would all go away. They weren’t falling for it.

Almost 30 years later and it still gets brought up to me at least once per year. Kids are mean. 💩😂

JamieHavs Report

Antisocial potato 🥔
Community Member
3 months ago

I'm screaming!!😂🤣 I'm sorry,but this is just so HILARIOUS!!!

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We reached out to Dave Nadelberg, the founder of Mortified, to hear why he thinks we love hearing embarrassing stories. "Everyone can relate to moments of vulnerability," Dave told us. "They help us feel closer to one another." Since his show focuses on specifically teen moments of angst and embarrassment, we asked Dave why he thinks adolescents are so susceptible to being mortified. "When kids are trying to navigate the world, everything is new to them. With that newness inherently comes a clumsiness," he said. "We love celebrating those mishaps as rites of passage as opposed to something to hide from. Our podcast and stage show are about helping people own their shame."

We also asked Dave if he thinks people ever reach an age where nothing embarrasses them. "Nope. As long as we are humans, we will make mistakes. And there’s nothing wrong with that." Lastly, he wanted to add that, "Mortified’s podcast has hundreds of episodes filled with stories anyone can relate to, no happy or how sad their childhood memories are." If you'd like to hear some of those stories, you can find the Mortified podcast right here.

#3

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful I saw my neighbor get a pizza delivery from two pizza guys (one must have been training) and he must have tried to say "have a great night" and "thanks guys" at the same time and ended up saying "have a great gays!" and the two guys just stopped and looked and my neighbor just shut his door and that neighbor was actually me

xsc888 , Jeremy Bronson Report

Black Pearl
Community Member
3 months ago

"and that neighbor was actually me." I am so sorry for laughing but that's hilarious

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Now, you may be thinking: I never get embarrassed because I never do anything stupid. And it is true that some people have a higher threshold for embarrassment, but some things are just out of our control. So to anyone who claims they never do anything embarrassing, I raise you some of the following examples from College Times’ list of “Embarrassing Moments We’ve All Experienced”. Ever tried to take a picture of someone else or in a dark room and your camera flash went off? How about this one: accidentally sending a text about someone you know to that person.

Even small encounters that only cause a brief moment of embarrassment count, like going to drink something and spilling it on yourself or tripping while walking down the street. Have you ever walked in on someone using the bathroom, or worse, had someone walk in on you? Maybe your stomach has growled loudly while sitting in a silent room, or you’ve accidentally liked a photo from three years ago while stalking a crush on Instagram. Perhaps you’ve realized halfway through the day that you put on your shirt inside out that morning or accidentally fallen asleep on a stranger’s shoulder on an airplane. Okay, you get the idea. The point is: we’ve all been there.  

#4

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful During a liturgy at the cathedral, altar boys were kneeling attentively behind the Bishop as he presided at the altar - with the Deacon swinging the thurible (incense pot) in front.

As the bishop raised the monstrance to bless the people, he let out an incredibly loud fart that resounded in the ample acoustics of the building and aimed directly at the altar boys.

Everyone heard it - no mistaking the fart's telltale sound.

Thankfully, the Deacon came around with the thurible and immediately incensed the area where the boys were kneeling, while the assembly tried in vain to stifle their laughter.

Back2Bach , Saint John's Seminary Report

Antisocial potato 🥔
Community Member
3 months ago

In the case of there being no febreeze....

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#5

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful I was a sophomore in HS (so around 16) taking the last leg of my county's sex ed class. It was a co-ed day, so our full gym class of about 30 kids was in the room. Topic was STD's. The teacher mentioned oral sex a few times and I guess which diseases can be spread through it. One guy who was always pretty quiet and shy raised his hand and said "I just don't really understand how you can get an STD from talking about sex..."

It took everyone, including the teacher, a few seconds to understand, but some quiet laughter came from a few students. the teacher then of course had to explain as simply as she could that oral sex did not in fact mean talking about sex (I think the stupid bylaws of the program in our county didn't allow her to fully disclose what it was).

Anyway, we thought he was joking but as he heard the laughter from everyone after getting this explained to him, he slowly put his head down and covered his face for the next few minutes. Poor guy. I felt bad, but it was hard not to laugh. At least no one directly gave him s**t for it afterward

shlumpy_dumpyyyyy , Taylor Wilcox Report

Wondering Alice
Community Member
3 months ago

Good on him for asking though

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#6

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful This JUST happened last week and I was feeling sympathy embarrassment for my boss. Sorry, I think this is long...

We had a VP visiting our office, I'll call her VP Betty. She's a great role model and seems to be a very kind person. The same can be said about my boss, I'll call her Boss Amy.

Boss Amy is in her office, I know she likes to listen to books while working and she has mentioned to me before that she likes romance novels. VP Betty walked in to the office to talk to Boss Amy... she grab her earbuds to take them out.

The only thing I can guess is that she somehow disconnected them while the book was still playing LOUDLY and just happened to be very sexually graphic and intensely vulgar for a quiet office setting. Things were throbbing, dripping, pounding, etc. Boss Amy starts basically yelping "oh no, no no no!! Stop! What's happening, I wasn't listening to this!! OH OH MY GOSH!! WHY WON'T IT STOP!?"

She's mashing the screen, hitting the volume and power buttons, it's still going. VP Betty has no idea what she's witnessing but is clearly upset and shouting at Boss Amy to turn it off.
Boss Amy is frantically hitting the phone on her desk at this point, probably preferring to break the phone and buy a new one to end this nightmare.

At this point it stops and Boss Amy huffs that she's so sorry, she didn't know what it was, how horrible and so on. AND THEN IT STARTED BACK UP AGAIN continuing with this very kinky NSFW story. Finally VP Betty just runs out and closes the office door for Boss Amy to get this under control.

A few minutes later I peek my head in and Boss Amy is packing up to go home. She said she's had enough of today... but if it was me I would have left to go cry in my car.

TypicalHorseGirl83 , Elisa Ventur Report

Kel_how
Community Member
3 months ago

They'd have to hire someone else if it was me because I would've died

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Though you may try to avoid it at all costs, embarrassment does not have to be the bane of your existence. Stephanie Vozza wrote a piece for Fast Company explaining “Why Embarrassment Can Be A Good Thing” and even provided some tips on how to handle it. According to Dr. Susan David, a Harvard Medical School psychologist and author of the book Emotional Agility, “Embarrassment is what is called a ‘self-conscious’ emotion; something that we experience in relation to others when we make a mistake or behave in a way that is against social norms or standards.” Though this can be perceived as a negative emotion, it can actually yield benefits. David notes that people who openly feel and express embarrassment are more likely to be trusted and forgiven than people who bottle up their embarrassment.

#7

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful I went to a small high school, so almost everyone knew everyone else. I know you read "small high school", but I mean the entire 9-12th grade student body was about 85 people at the time.

Two students, a guy and a girl, for some reason are talking mad s**t to each other for weeks. No one remembers how it started, no one even asks why these two are constantly yelling or fighting with each other. So one day, the conflict escalates into its obvious logical conclusion:

a dance battle.

It gets scheduled after both parties (and their respective groupies apparently) decide on a date and that it'll happen during a lunch period, and how they want to do this wild thing.

The whole school shows up. All 85 of us. Cue the girl, who brought out the biggest boom box and smallest piece of cardboard in history so she could do the worst version of "break dancing" the world has ever seen. I'm talking attempted head spins that go a full 180 degrees, crawling and writhing on the ground and saying "what're you gonna do about it b***h?". I'm fairly certain I recall her choice of song was Nelly's "Hot in here". She's 100% serious which makes it even worse.

The guy is completely unfazed. He's looking at her with the hardest death stare I've ever seen. It's worth mentioning at this point that this guy is essentially the class troll. He cannot stop f*****g with people to save his life. So he stops the music, puts in his cd into the player, and what pops out of the speakers?

That f*****g traditional "Hava Nagila" song you hear at every bar mitzvah known to mankind, and he starts doing a Russian Cosack dance (I apologize if that entire sentence bothers anyone). His "crew" is losing it, the girls crew is laughing their a**es off, and the main girl is visibly pissed.

Everyone agreed he won the dance battle.

For anyone who wants any additional info: yes, 85 students for an entire high school is considered well below average for a school in California. This school was also mostly white, consisting of middle class kids from the suburbs. It was a college-prep charter school, and school uniforms were mandatory (think khakis and polo shirts / button ups with school logo embroidery). I hope that information makes the visuals even more hilarious.

dumb_smart_guy93 , Sonia Sanmartin Report

Black Pearl
Community Member
3 months ago

This is one of the funniest things I've ever read. I thought dance battles were just a thing that happened in Disney shows.

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#8

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful Community college in Tampa, 2009. Spanish class. Shy goth girl walks to the front of the class and plugs in her USB drive to boot up her PPT and begin her presentation like the rest of us did. Except when she pluged it in, a file opened up and the most vile anime p**n started playing. Everyone was mortified for her. It took her maybe 3-4 seconds to turn it off but the moment felt like forever. She said, "THIS IS MY BOYFRIEND'S DRIVE!" and ran out of the room crying. The teacher just moved on. The girl didn't show her face for a week. Just an absolutely insane moment.

grandpasmoochie , Killian77 Report

Antisocial potato 🥔
Community Member
3 months ago

IT'S HER BOYFRIEND'S DRIVE!!!

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#9

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful Middle school graduation dinner, one of the other students had asked ahead of time if they could sing. For whatever reason, I don't know. So, while the rest of us are sitting at our tables eating, she gets up in front of us all with a guitar and starts singing Blackbird by The Beatles.

I don't think I'd ever heard her sing before, I have no idea why she wanted to (she was always one of the smartest people in our grade and achieved a lot academically so I think maybe she thought that transferred over to musical talent).

It was genuinely one of the worst things I'd ever heard in my life. She could not sing even a little. Her voice shook on every word, it cracked, she was out of tune. Every person had to stare at their down at their food while trying not to laugh in her face. I remember sitting next to my best friend and we just kept glancing at each other like "what the f**k is happening right now." Thinking of it now makes me laugh again, and I know that if I called up my friend right now and sang "blackbird singing in the dead of night..." that he would start to laugh too. It became a joke in our class.

She finished Blackbird, and then decided to follow it up with American Pie, which thankfully a lot of us knew the words to, and the teachers walked around encouraging us to sing together (and drown her out).

Part of me is like, well f**k it, she did it! She was brave! But I do wonder if she thought she was actually good or not.

carolinemathildes , Fidel Report

Black Pearl
Community Member
3 months ago

Off topic, but I actually saw Paul McCartney perform in my hometown the other day. He did Blackbird and a ton of other Beatles songs. It was so incredible.

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The potential of embarrassment can also lead to us being more prepared for difficult situations. Having a public presentation in class or at work, for example, incentivizes us to do our best. Otherwise, we might disappoint our colleagues or embarrass ourselves in front of our peers. David also points out that embarrassment “shines a light on things that are of value to us, such as meeting expectations or not letting others down” and can even be a way of “maintaining social order”. It’s hard for anyone's ego to become monstrously large when they're served a healthy portion of mortification every once in a while.

#10

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful I was watching a symphony orchestra concert at the Sydney Opera House one evening. The concert hall foyer has these huge glass windows beneath the sails that overlook the harbourside. The sun hadn't quite set yet, and every audience member that was exiting the hall could see this incredibly drunk middle aged couple having sex on a bench outside the hall.

cowbelljazz , Manuel Nägeli Report

Ghostsauce
Community Member
3 months ago

When the music moves you

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#11

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful In HS this really dorky kid challenged this drill sargent wannabe teacher we had, saying he could do 20 push ups easily. To put it simply, kid was not fit. He was very lanky and clearly had no muscle. I really don’t believe that before that day he had ever attempted a push up in his life. He drops to the ground with an insane amount of blind confidence and goes to do a push up. He gets halfway into the first push up, and his body makes this really loud multiple-joints-cracking sound. He struggled for another second and then i guess the strain caused him to pass gas very loudly, then fall flat on his face. He grunted and laid there for a second before getting off the floor.


I was laughing so hard our teacher told me to leave the room. I had tears running down my face.

anoncheesegrater , Sylvain Kalache Report

Antisocial potato 🥔
Community Member
3 months ago

I really shouldn't be laughing at this 😂😂

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#12

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful Took my children and a cousin to a natural water park that was a river running thru a valley that had worn its way into this smooth rock bed,it wore like marbel.
The water carried you along with natural slides and dips great fun

To ride down the river you first had to walk up it which was precarious in many places.
The kids Cousin (D) wasn't the most confident guy but I'd been doing lots of work with him to fix that and we had done lots of swimming prior to this holiday to get him ready .

I picked the safest route up and told the kids only step where I show you please.
As D made his way I pointed step there, pointing directly at a spot ,do not go the other side

D stepped the other side the water grabbed him snatched him off his feet and down.
wiped his trunks off and they were gone, suddenly D is flying nude down this river
atop the river on the hillside is a railed walking area ,there were 100s of people laughing and pointing down as this kid in the nip goes dashing by

Throwawaytommys , Tomek Baginski Report

Antisocial potato 🥔
Community Member
3 months ago

Why are they laughing tho? That's mean!

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When it comes to dealing with embarrassing moments, it’s best to have a sense of humor and show ourselves compassion. Don’t be afraid to call yourself out; even acknowledging the moment with an “oops!” or saying, “That was awkward!” exhibits your self-awareness and releases tension for everyone involved. It also helps to stay cool when you’re feeling embarrassed, figuratively and literally. One study at the Western University in Canada found that people feeling shame and embarrassment are more likely to reach for a cold drink and that doing something embarrassing in a warm environment can cause people to feel worse about the situation. The biggest thing to remember, however, is to not dwell on these moments. As Dr. Susan David says, “When you recognize that you are human and imperfect, just like all other humans are imperfect, it gives us permission to let go of the past embarrassment with the knowledge that we did our best.” 

#13

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful Once when I was a toddler my family was at Walt Disney World and we were going to take a picture and I didn't want to and was throwing a fit and I was yanking on my mom's pants and accidently pulled her pants down. The photographer said we couldn't get a refund or retake the photos so we have a family picture of my whole family with my mom standing there with her pants down around her ankles and one with her turned around pulling up her pants (she was wearing thong underwear). She thinks it's funny now but at the time she was so embarrassed and mad

dudemanisanalien , Joel Sutherland Report

Jubum
Community Member
3 months ago

I'm sorry but I have to ask you to show us this photo :D

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#14

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful I was at a food court and I got the brilliant idea to jump over a row of those plastic chairs and tables.. You know, the ones that are fixed to the floor.

Foot got caught and I fell flat on my face. I stood up to 30 people clapping. One guy yelled asking for my autograph.

Niteryder007 , Geraldine Lewa Report

Antisocial potato 🥔
Community Member
3 months ago

You're the new viral meme

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#15

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful A guy making a cringey tap song as a proposal in a public restaurant and getting on one knee only for the girl to go quiet and look around and say “Justin, no! Wtf seriously?”

SupaDupaDupaDupa , Austin Pacheco Report

Tilfeldig Forbipasserende
Community Member
3 months ago

Public marriage proposals should be banned by law! It puts an incredible unfair pressure on the person being proposed to.

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As painful as it is to experience our own embarrassing moments, sometimes all it takes to solicit a strong emotional reaction is seeing or hearing about someone else’s humiliation. Just like seeing someone cry can cause us to melt into a puddle of tears, witnessing an embarrassing moment can cause painful secondhand or vicarious embarrassment. According to Emma Azzopardi, a psychotherapist and developing clinical psychologist, secondhand embarrassment is a perfectly normal response. 

“As social animals, empathy is a key trait that evolved to help us to be part of a community and to live harmoniously within it. We recognize embarrassing situations for others through neural pathways activated in the anterior cingulate cortex and the left anterior insula regions of the brain. These are regions implicated in the experiencing of 'social pain' related to the situations that others, rather than us, find themselves in. It is these same cortical structures that are involved in the mental responses we would have if we witness the physical pain of another person."

#16

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful Oh god help me

I’m gonna tell this story

Me

I was a younger gal and crushed HARD on another girl at the stable I rode at. She didn’t know it.

Remember Tony Hawk for GameCube? Well around that time, in the game series you could create a skater. Design them, change body features, etc.

I once spent a solid 30 minutes creating a great replica of her. I used to play as her and so forth.

Flash forward to Christmas. This year was my family’s year to host the barn party. We had a great time.

Then I’m chilling and I hear the other girls say “oh cool, Danielle (me) has a GameCube. We should play something.” I thought nothing of it…wait…oh no. S**T! I know what game and memory card are in the system!

I walk into the room just as they are all staring at the choose a skater screen. Jennifer (my crush) is on the screen. I had her first and last name. She looked a lot like her.

You know that meme picture where it’s a party? First person view? Like 40 girls holding cups, cringing and staring at the viewer?

That’s what I walked into. I hid in my room until the part ended

DaniTheLovebug Report

Black Pearl
Community Member
3 months ago

And that's why I don't make anything physical that could show people I have a crush

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See Also on Bored Panda
#17

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful I used to work in nightclubs. I once witnessed a girl leaning against a wall, casually flirting with a guy and as she laughed she actually s**t herself. She was wearing a white dress and there was no hiding what had happened. The smell actually cleared the whole level of the club. She ran out crying. We had to clean poo off the floor where she had been standing. I often wonder what she is doing now...

Vaiken_Vox , Baptiste MG Report

Ewelina Rydzewska
Community Member
3 months ago

Poor girl

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#18

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful Was in a pool at a Euro beach resort. We’d been chatting with an old brit tourist, he got out of the pool and went to get changed poolside, using his towel to do the discrete swimming tog shuffle.

Suddenly up steps an angry Frenchmam wanting HIS towel back...

Turns out our poor retired gent had grabbed the wrong towel. There ensued a desperate tug-of-towel as a very stroppy Frenchman attempted to rip his towel from this poor old guy who was butt naked and frantically trying to save his modesty.

The old guy’s grandson saved the day, with an emergency towel transfer, but not before the whole pool complex had seen way too much hairy old British grandpa s****e.

Bigfoothobbit , Tauralbus Report

Eastendbird
Community Member
3 months ago

Ahh the romantic and charming French!

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In fact, vicarious embarrassment might be something to be proud of. Lee Chambers, an environmental psychologist, states that, “It is clear that our level of vicarious embarrassment is correlated to our level of empathy. The ability to feel others' embarrassment requires us to imagine how they think and feel. It also requires us to be aware of the social norms that are being broken. An empath will have intense empathy for others and lack the usual filters that protect us from absorbing the environment around us. They are likely to be sensitive to environmental stressors and overstimulated easily from a sensory perspective. Because the empathetic process is amplified, vicarious embarrassment will also be felt more deeply, as empathy is fundamental to feeling vicarious embarrassment."

#19

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful I watched a guy run across campus in sagging pants, the pants fall to his knees tripping him, he trips but manages to do a sort of half summersault which launches the pants almost completely off of him but he manages to pull them up at a light jog pace while glancing around to make sure he wasn't seen before continuing to run off. I was in my car that had tinted windows so his secret is safe-ish with me. It was honestly impressive that he managed to save it from being the much more embarrassing pants-around-ankles, face-in-the-mud, and brightly colored boxerbriefs-in-the-wind it could have been.

Denkir-the-Filtiarn , Images Alight Report

liam newton-harding
Community Member
3 months ago

A while back I worked at a store whose HUGE picture windows looked out over Times Square, NYC. To get from the second floor to the third you walked up stairs that wrapped around these windows. Now, this was a destination store, for New Yorkers, and tourists...one day, a young man, and his girlfriend friend pass me, and climb the stairs...I had already noticed a few inches of boxer shorts showing. He reaches the landing, where the stairs turn...and his jeans fall around his ankles. His girlfriend slumps onto one of the risers, clutching the rail...weeping with laughter...as the store, as Times Square get a view of baggy plaid boxers, and skinny legs.

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#20

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful When I was in undergrad I lived at this house with 2 of my closest friends, and worked at a local movie theater. Our house became THE party house. We literally raged 8 days a week. Girls always over, that kind of thing. Well, one night I got way too drunk, decided I would go to bed around 10pm, sleep it off kinda thing. I sleep naked. Get up around 1am to go pee and didn't think anyone was still over. I had to walk through the living room to get to the bathroom. When I walked to the bathroom I turned off the lights, no one around. Go pee, realize I had to puke, took care of that, and opened the door to hobble back to bed. About 30 people, mostly my friends and coworkers simultaneously scream, start laughing, clapping, everything. I'm completely stunned and it took about 2 full, longest of my life, seconds to realize they're all staring at me naked. My sister was there. The girl I liked was there. Everyone was there. I covered my bits and I've never run into my room so far in my life. I think I actually died of embarrassment that night, because since then, I just don't get embarrassed. I didn't live that down for years.

Oh, and the reason no one was in the living room. About 10 of them went outside to smoke, the rest were already outside or had just arrived after closing the theater. So they hadn't even sat down before I gave them all a proper show.

Velfurion , Rob Allen Report

Black Pearl
Community Member
3 months ago

This is why I could never sleep naked. I'm afraid this will happen.

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#21

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful A friend of mine once hooked up with a guy she matched with on Tinder. She was in a different city for a family reunion, and hooked up with him two nights in a row, since she decided to stay there a couple of days before the event to check out the sights.

You guessed it. Come the day of the family reunion, and guess who's there? The Tinder-guy, who she quickly learns is her cousin on her father's side. She had never met him before. They both kept their cool for most of the event, but then his brother got too drunk and started gossiping to people (Tinder-dude had confided in him). The whole thing ended up with her and her parents leaving early, her mother in tears.

snufkin79 , Julia Taubitz Report

Squirrel Girl
Community Member
3 months ago

*banjo music intensifies*

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Some people love to embrace secondhand embarrassment to feel less alone in their own mortifying moments as well. One 22-year-old from London told Refinery 29, “I love watching cringe comedy. I regularly feel embarrassed in my day-to-day life by the stupid things I do and say, so to sit down and watch someone else do something infinitely more humiliating is almost validating, and makes me realise that maybe I’m not so bad.” There could be a level of schadenfreude, or pleasure derived from someone else's pain, at play too, but we'll give lovers of cringe comedy the benefit of the doubt.

#22

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful I used to work for a small coffee shop that had three locations. I had a ridiculously big crush on a woman who worked at one of the other locations. I thought she was so pretty that I literally couldn’t remember how to talk around her.

For example, one time on my day off I stopped by her location to get a cold brew and she was working the register and was like “Hi Karl how’s it going?“ What I wanted to respond was “Oh pretty good but it’s been a long week” but all that came out was “…long”… Then I was so embarrassed I turned around and left without getting anything.

Worse than that, later that summer there was a big employee BBQ at the nearby river. I finally got over my s**t and had a really good conversation with her, made her laugh, all that good stuff. A little later I had to pee and went to the port-a-potty only to walk in on her going to the bathroom…

vandal_karl , Brooke Cagle Report

GoodWolf
Community Member
3 months ago

90's teen movie plot

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#23

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful When I worked at a deli my boss grabbed a woman's stomach and congratulated her, she wasn't pregnant.

lookssharp , Ömürden Cengiz Report

Mr Red
Community Member
3 months ago

Even if she was pregnant, don't grab a stomach!

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#24

I was on one of those “show boat” cruises on Sydney Harbour. The idea is you get a three course dinner with wine and a cabaret style show. I took my Mum when she was visiting me from out of state. We were seated next to a young couple who were clearly on a date. The young woman was very pretty and the guy was somewhat nervous and overdressed in a suit and tie. Their dinner was an exercise in speed drinking for the young woman. She smashed through bottle after bottle of the cheap wine at a record, borderline alarming pace. By the time desert was being served, she was vomiting spectacularly all over the tiny white table. Anyone who has been on a cruise like this knows the tables are small and seated close together (this was pre-Covid). The volume of vomit was incredible for such a tiny woman. Pale, watery chunks covered the entire table as the guy rubbed her back and tried to clean up the mess with the fabric napkins. I almost got my elbow covered in the contents of her digestive tract. My Mum and I ended up giving the guy our napkins to clean up the white wine swamp on the table the staff had failed to notice. It was absolutely embarrassing for the young couple, but my Mum and I really did get the dinner and show we were promised - just not the one we expected.

phantompath Report

Antisocial potato 🥔
Community Member
3 months ago

"...pale,watery chunks..."

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According to psychotherapist James Hartley, everyone’s threshold for second hand embarrassment will fall somewhere on a spectrum, depending on their levels of empathy and their “boundaries with their sense of self”. “Cringe comedy takes its value from socially awkward moments and there are several reasons why individuals may not be triggered by the circumstances designed to make us laugh,” says Hartley. “We need to be able to place ourselves in a similar scenario to appreciate the humor and if we are low on the empathy scale, we are unlikely to feel for the character."

#25

A friend of mine was a film student at a pretty prestigious film school in the Northeast. He invited myself and a few friends up for what would ultimately be the film festival and screening for most of the student films and writing projects etc. I was basically there as an observer and to support my buddy and as a film lover I got to see some pretty neat little projects and meet some cool people.

One of the projects was a film that I’ll refer to as “O-6” (it was a student film and I respect this person enough to not directly reference something that clearly was one of the roughest days of their life). O-6 had posters for it plastered all over campus. There was a viable army of students and visitors to the campus (including this poor guy’s family) all wearing O-6 t-shirts. There was a Facebook group and a short trailer for O-6. It had more hype than some movies that get theatrically released and it was my understanding that a large contingent of the students in the film program helped work on O-6.

Well, my buddy and his friends in the program tipped me off that O-6 might be a piece of cringey gold and would be worth watching so we could joke about it later. The kid who directed it clearly thought he was like, Neo or something because he came in wearing sunglasses, and just looked like a typical “edgy cringe” kid for the early 2000’s but this was 2014.

Anyway, it comes time for O-6 to be screened and part of this film festival was that alumni came to critique and offer advice for the new students. There were some prestigious Alumni there including a guy who worked on various Marvel movies, a woman who wrote some major Hollywood scripts and a director of a few episodes of breaking bad, among others. The director of O-6 did a little speech before he screened it and called out some of the alumni stating they were his heroes.

The movie begins and good lord is it bad. The kid who directed is also the star of the movie and there were multiple scenes of him flexing shirtless in what was supposed to be a sci fi action flick. He was like 120 lbs and scrawny and on screen flexing thinking people would think it was badass. Everyone starts laughing.

I felt bad but then about 5 minutes later he starts rolling around in lube on what’s supposed to be another planet but it’s just him in his tighty whiteys writing in KW jelly. Again everyone laughs.

There’s a terrible love scene, an awful laser fight and at one point he hugs another man covered in KW jelly and half naked in nothing but undies and sunglasses. Everyone breaks out laughing and the director kid just sits there stoically listening to everyone laugh. It was also all shot on a sunny day in someone’s backyard. I get it was a student film but the other films had been so much more polished and this just came out and was so bizarre and poorly done.

It finally mercifully ends. The kid takes the podium to get critiques and just one by one all the teachers, alumni and students LAY INTO this poor guy. He holds back tears and eventually they get to the director from breaking bad who he idolized and he says “I have nothing to say.” which was basically his way of saying “I don’t want to embarrass you anymore than you already have been.”

In front of his entire family, peers and people he idolized this poor kid got absolutley lit up and embarrassed. I had to go into the bathroom to escape tension while he was getting grilled. It was that bad.

AlMinPhilly Report

Black Pearl
Community Member
3 months ago

Aw, poor guy. I can't even really laugh at this one. It's just sad

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#26

So it was right after i graduated hs. I was at what would become the party where everyone would learn their limits. so we are all hammered, and this girl that my buddy likes sits next to him on the couch and lays her head on his chest. It was almost cute for a moment but then a few seconds later her mouth opens and unleashes the first of about 20 torrents of vomit that would be spewed that night(not all the same person, this party was a catastrophe). My friend looked like he had died inside.

ZealousIdealRejected Report

dream of delusion
Community Member
3 months ago

euurrrghhhh.. do not want to be the person to clean that up

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#27

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful Friend of mine who learnt how to do a burnout from just YouTube videos decided to do a burnout.
He thought the smoke was the tires spinning on the spot, it was actually the clutch being burnt out. We tried telling him but he thought we were egging him on until someone ran up to the driver side and switched the car off at the ignition.
Now this wouldn't have been too bad if he did this on a driveway or a side road to 3 or 4 people, but he entered himself into a amateur burnout contest and all this happened in front about about 200 people.

HeadGivingMan , Tim Vrtiska Report

FaithD
Community Member
3 months ago

burnouts, the ultimate stupidity. There is no benefit for any street car, just mechanical damage and waste of tires. For a race, depending on strip and tires, you need to get the rubber tacky.

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If you're having a hard time reading some of these stories, just take that as a sign that you've got healthy levels of empathy. And if you're only finding these stories to be hilarious, maybe you've just experienced enough embarrassment in your own life that you can't help but find humor in the relatability. Enjoy reading the rest of these cringey moments, and don't forget to upvote your favorites. Then feel free to share your own embarrassing stories or painfully humiliating moments you've witnessed in the comments section!

#28

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful I had a pretty old professor for immigration law and one night in class she let out a very loud fart. The class went silent and she made a comment about how that what aging gracefully was like. Everyone tried not to laugh because she was old and sweet, but she continued to let out loud long farts for the remainder of the 4 hour night class. I was mortified for her

Rach082041 , Nenad Stojkovic Report

Mixed Reality Portal
Community Member
3 months ago

I think in some cases is a cultural thing too... I remember attending a HCI (human computer interaction) conference some years back and many of the foreign academics would casually walk around or stop and chat to people while doing this. Not just the odd fart here and there.. I'm talking a whole cacophony... I mean I know it's a natural bodily function but, it was I confess the child in me thought it funny.

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#29

Drinking in this horrible sports bar in Columbus Ohio maybe 10 years ago (Brothers? I think it's still there) at about 5pm and there's a bachelorette party near the bar. The bride is three sheets to the wind already and wants to dance, but there's no music on and the dancefloor is empty.

Her group persuade the bar staff to put some music on so she's just busting some moves on her own while trying to get other people onto the dance floor. After a few songs I've Had The Time Of My Life comes on and she freaks out, it's her favourite song, loves Dirty Dancing etc etc. She grabs a random guy and starts doing a very sloppy version of the dance routine from the movie.

As the song goes on more and more people are watching in anticipation of her trying to get this guy to do the lift from the movie. He obviously has no clue what's going on. She's telling him to back up and he's doing it with a confused look on his face. My partner and I are transfixed. The bridesmaids are all yelling at the guy "YOU GOTTA LIFT HER UP!" and he's like "I HAVE TO WHAT??"

So she takes off running towards the guy, he's stood there with his arms outstretched not sure what he's supposed to do, she's coming at him full speed with a belly full of bad Chardonnay and a pocket full of dreams.

After about 5 or 6 paces she hits a wet spot on the dancefloor and her legs go out from under her pretty violently, and she faceplants on the dancefloor. But she's already got some pretty good momentum going so she keeps moving forwards. My memory is her sliding along for a good few feet with only her face in contact with the floor, her body and legs up in the air.

She grinds to a halt a few feet in front of the guy and he looks at her for a few seconds, then walks sideways off the dancefloor clicking his fingers.

I saw her at another bar later that evening with the beginnings of a serious black eye and a face like a slapped a*s. Hopefully the wedding wasn't too soon after the bachelorette.

JonNorris Report

Sheila Stamey
Community Member
3 months ago

Good description of her face 😂

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#30

People Are Sharing The Most Embarrassing Thing They've Ever Witnessed, Here Are 30 Of The Most Painful My chemistry teacher in high school was the nicest guy. He taught the whole class with his fly down. No one knew how to tell him and we didn’t want to embarrass him. The worst part was, we had lab with him the next period. His fly was up, but he was unusually quiet.

NymphZenRobot , eyesogreen Report

Antisocial potato 🥔
Community Member
3 months ago

Poor guy

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Note: this post originally had 64 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.