Relationships

What Was Your Most Embarrassing Moment?

dog hiding under sofa

When I was 13, the most mortifying thing happened…

It was December, the final day before the holiday break. To celebrate the occasion, the last class period was dedicated to a winter dance, a particularly low-budget affair, with a few errant, floor-grazing balloons and a lone bag of Doritos emptied into a punch bowl. Because this dance took place during the day, the windows of the gymnasium were covered with poster board to block out the light, lending the whole scene a horror movie vibe.

Nevertheless, I was excited. I wore my very favorite dress, a maroon velvet number from the dELIA*s catalog, paired with black platform Mary Janes. My “boyfriend” and I, whose relationship until that point was based on title alone, danced to the theme song from Titanic, awkwardly swaying to and fro under the watchful eye of our math teacher. When the final bell rang and we were dismissed, he walked me down the school’s front steps, over to the curb where the school buses idled, a line of massive yellow caterpillars waiting to drive us home.

I had never kissed anyone at this point, though most of my friends had, along with seemingly every character from the books and movies I loved. So while it wasn’t the last thing on my mind, I certainly did not expect my in-title-only boyfriend to plant one on me before I ascended the school bus steps. But that is what happened.

Meanwhile, from her elevated perch, my bus driver had a bird’s-eye view of the whole thing, and she was not amused. The moment this boy made contact with my face, the driver sat on the horn — a blaring panic button I can still hear to this day. The din lasted long enough to a) jolt me out of my skin, b) send my boyfriend running, and c) capture the attention of every human being within a one-mile radius.

And that is the story of my first kiss.

In a way, it was only fitting. In those days, squarely on the cusp of teenager-hood, my favorite thing was to read the “most embarrassing moments” columns in teen magazines. I wasn’t yet allowed to buy them, so whenever I could get my hands on a copy of YM or Teen, flipping to those confessionals gave me the biggest thrill. There was always a story about someone getting their period — at the prom, wearing a white skirt, at the prom while wearing a white skirt — or discovering the many things that can go wrong while kissing with braces.

What is it about embarrassing stories that so endears us to one another? They’re welcome reminders of the sillier side of our humanity, reassurances that, regardless of age or experience, feeling awkward is refreshingly universal. In the moment, you may feel like the only person to ever have felt that way, but somehow, on some level, you are never alone.

What’s your most embarrassing moment? Please tell us!

P.S. Awkward dating stories and the five words that changed my relationship.

(Photo by Erin Drago/Stocksy.)

  1. When I was 7 I received the top dancing award in the district. The older girls in my dance school knew I was about to get called up to the stage in front of hundreds of people to receive the award and wouldn’t let me off their laps to go the bathroom. So, you probably guessed it…as I stood there holding my golden trophy as everyone clapped, I peed right there on the stage. I started to cry and just stood there crying and peeing until my dad appeared out of nowhere, scooped me up off the stage, and carried me off to the bathroom while I sobbed on his shoulder. I remember that moment filling my heart more with my dad being a hero than the embarrassment.

    • Katherine says...

      Your sweet dad!! <3

  2. H says...

    When I was a junior in high school, I was friends with a senior and his parents invited me to his graduation lunch with his whole family at a nice restaurant (they thought we were dating and this guy was extremely sweet and nerdy so I went along with it). I had torn my pectoral muscle a few days before and was barely able to walk or breathe deeply, but I soldiered on and went to lunch. Everything is going fine until his grandfather, without any context or warning, pops out his glass eye at the table. Everyone starts laughing, including me, but my laughing turns into crying pretty quickly because I’m in so much pain from the laughing. Everyone stops laughing pretty quickly and just looks at me in horror because I am now fully crying at the table and can’t stop because the crying hurts too. His mom had to take me to the bathroom and help me calm down. Mortifying.

  3. Katelyn says...

    6th grade. I was getting ready for volleyball practice in the gym, talking to my coaches as I prepped. Classes had just let out so students were filing out the nearby exit to their rides. All of a sudden, mid conversation, I realized I had just folded up my pants and put them in my gym bag. I WAS STANDING IN THE GYM IN MY UNDERWEAR…people passing by, coaches staring shocked at me. I grabbed my pants, frantically put them on and sprinted to the locker room (where apparently I thought I was in the first place). The worst!

    • R says...

      Haha, this reminds me of the time I thought I’d changed into my two-piece bathing suit, but apparently only put on the top part. So there I was, sauntering around the pool with my cute bikini top on… and a pair of big white underwear.

  4. Julie says...

    In 8th grade the teacher was handing out everyone’s picture from picture day. “Kurt! Jonathan! Stacy!” she called and each child dutifully picked up their picture. Then, all of the sudden, she started laughing hysterically. She was laughing so hard, staring at the next picture that she couldn’t speak and tears were coming out of her eyes. Then, finally, she uttered, “JULIE BLAHAHAHA!!” Fortunately, I had nice classmates, and people didn’t make much of a thing of it.

    The picture was HORRIBLE. I had a perm, gnarly teeth, one eye open, one eye shut, a sort of half smile. It was bad. I went to my best friends house later that day and we laughed at it non-stop. When I showed it to my mom that night she screamed, grabbed all the pictures, and tore them up immediately. She hugged me tight and said, “Thank god you don’t have low self esteem.” I will never forget it.

    • Rebecca says...

      Thank you for sharing this Julie! It made me cry with laughter.

  5. Katie says...

    Ok friends. One of the most truly embarrassing stories of my life was my first day at a new job about 12 years ago when I was 25 years old. I was wearing a button-down shirt that was a little snug around the chest. It should have been cast out of my wardrobe based on the fit situation, but I loved it, so I wore it. I was also wearing a bra that I would describe as my “Mrs. Doubtfire bra.” All of my other ones must have been in the laundry basket. It was hideous, and let me just put it this way…it wasn’t one I ever wore to impress anyone. I don’t even know where it came from. So, I had that bra on and the *almost* too tight shirt. Nevertheless, I was feeling confident on my first day! For the first hour or so of work, I got a tour of the office and met a bunch of folks. I noticed on the tour that a couple folks gave me a strange or startled look. I was so happy to be there, I just smiled, said hello and kept on going. It wasn’t until a good ten minutes later that my boss who was leading me around, turned to me, looked down in horror, gave me a gentle, “ahem, your shirt,” and then turned away. I looked down and saw to my complete surprise that a couple of top buttons had popped open. My bra had been completely on display for anyone and everyone and had been for who knows how long. Why I didn’t feel the breeze, I will never know. There was nothing I could do but re-button and hope everyone would forget or not recognize me the next time the saw me. That night at dinner with friends, after I recounted my day, I pulled the shirt out of my purse and offered it up to anyone who wanted it. As a result, I rarely wear button-down shirts, and I love all of my bras. Lesson learned!

    • jdp says...

      loved this, so funny. reminds me of a friend who walked past a construction site thinking she looked super hot for all the wolf whistles, until she realized she had accidentally tucked the back of her long skirt into her tights.

  6. Laura says...

    The summer after I graduated from college I was house-sitting for one of my professors, who was living at her beach house for the season. At the beginning of one week, she told me she was coming into the city early that Friday for a doctor’s appointment and was going to swing by the house to check on things. Of course, of course– I promptly forgot. I went out that Thursday night and got drunk enough that I somehow sleep on the bathroom floor in the wee hours of the morning wearing only underwear and a sleep mask. The next thing I knew, sunlight was streaming through the windows and she was in the hallway clearing her throat. A decade later I am still horrified.

    • Sarah says...

      Brilliant!

    • lillie says...

      this is on up there. lolololol

  7. Mona says...

    I was a freshman in high school and went on a chaperoned weekend trip to a good guy friend’s ski house with a group of 4 boys and one other girlfriend. The guys shared one room and my girlfriend and I shared another all in the basement. I had to use the bathroom all day, but was nervous to poop at the boy’s house since I was only 14 and pooping at a boy’s house was a big deal for me (not sure what I was expecting going away with 4 guys for the weekend). My friend said she’d distract them upstairs while I made a run for it to the basement bathroom. There had been a lack of toilet paper down there that weekend and we had been using tissues (so stupid, why didn’t we just ask his mom for more toilet paper!?). I did my business, and of course, with all of the tissues being flushed all weekend the toilet completely clogged and began to overflow. Right as this was happening my guy friend whose house it was barged in; apparently my girlfriend didn’t do a good job at stealthy distracting them. He walked in and screamed, “you clogged the toilet!” I was completely mortified and had to face them all when I came back upstairs. Luckily they didn’t make too big of a deal about it, but for years whenever toilet clogging or pooping came up in group conversation that guy friend would look over at me and give me a look like he was going to tell, and I would turn beet read.

  8. sunnysusan says...

    In my university days, I was visiting my then-boyfriend at his university. I wanted to spend the day studying at the library and in order to do so, my boyfriend had asked another student to borrow her id card to get me in there. So I got the card, had to hand it over to the librarian who gave me my books and I spent a wonderful day studying. In the evening, when the library was about to close a long line of students formed in front of the front desk including me. I handed over my books to the librarian and she asked me “What’s your name?” and then it hit me. I had never properly checked, whom card I was borrowing. So there was this very awkward silence and she asked me again very slowly “What’s your name?” while the people behind me in line started to become inpatient. I stumbled something, trying to remember and I was so embarrassed, specifically because I was worried I would bring the card-owner-woman in deep trouble. But finally I had to admit. They ended up laughing and were really nice about it! I think they were just happy that I hadn’t forgotten my own name.

  9. GW says...

    I sent what I thought was a link for a gluten free cookie recipe to a new acquaintance at my kids’ school. We were on a committee together. She replied that she didn’t think it was the link I meant to send and commented that she couldn’t stop laughing. What I had actually sent her was a link to a Cup of Jo post about vibrators, which I had recently sent to a close friend. I remember feeling mortified (!!) at the time but now think maybe that post was better than gluten free cookies anyway.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahahaha!

  10. Tammy says...

    While my mom was visiting me from across the country, I got the entire box set of Sex and the City DVDs as a birthday gift. Since I was working during the day, she decided to start watching the show, since she never had before. One night I sat down for a couple of minutes to watch with her, because she was killing herself laughing. It was the dirty talk episode and she started trying to tell me something through her laughter. Why I didn’t leave instantly, I will never know. She finally managed to tell me that my stepfather “is a talker.” I wish I could forget that moment…

    • Emily says...

      I’m not sure this was my most embarrassing, but it’s pretty good. During the days of nursing one of my kids, I was talking to a cute grocery check out guy that I always bantered with. As I was trying to be charming and interesting, I felt my milk let down and realized I didn’t have pads in my bra. I was wearing a grayish button down that only got darker as the milk leaked. Mortifying. The sweet guy didn’t say anything but he probably thought that was the most interesting conversation we’ve ever had.

  11. Emily says...

    1999 — winter break freshman year of college and my old friend group was home for the holidays. A big group was gathered at someone’s childhood home, hanging out in the game room over the garage. Pool table, foosball, the whole deal. A bunch of us were in the hot tub when suddenly everyone abruptly left the room after a guy I had been having a long distance flirtation with (over AIM of course) joined in, like as a super obvious ploy to leave us alone together. We laughed it off, but when we heard our friends sneak back upstairs we played it up and made super fake, loud um… hooking up… noises — think exaggerated porn star moans and giggles. Then came a firm knock at the door, so I actually yelled, “hold on, I can’t find my bikini top!” Door bursts open and our friend’s DAD (who I had known since 3rd grade) angrily bursts in because the hot tub was leaking through the garage ceiling!!! He actually told ys to leave and there was no way to effectively convince him we had been joking. My veins still rush with ice when I think about his horrified expression.

  12. Ani says...

    I got my first period in 10th grade. The second one didn’t appear til a few months later, so I certainly wasn’t used to a routine yet, or prepared in any way. It was my 16th birthday. I was a percussionist and sat in the back of the band room, the only girl amongst 10 boys. In the middle of class I needed to pee, and thankfully there was a door in the back of the classroom to easily sneak away. In the bathroom I discovered that my period was back and I hadn’t even felt it! Blood had leaked right through my underwear and stained the outside of khaki skirt I chose that day. I was mortified to realize I had walked right in front of two boys to get to that door! I waited out the rest of class in the bathroom then snuck back in after the bell rang to grab my jacket to tie around my waist.

    • Kate says...

      This reminds me of the time I sat in ketchup, in a white skirt, in 7th grade. It was NOT good.

  13. Sally says...

    This incident happened at least a decade ago but still makes me cringe to this day. I went to a Mexican restaurant with my boyfriend at the time along with his dad and aunt. They all speak Spanish, but I don’t. We placed our orders and continued chatting and I must have been really wrapped up in the conversation. The waiter came back with a few plates of food and I saw his aunt reach for one towards the center of the table and help herself. I guess I assumed it was an appetizer for everyone so I helped myself as well.

    Then everyone suddenly grew quiet which I thought was weird but also didn’t think much of it. Only after the fact did I realize what happened. What I thought was an appetizer for the table was really just his aunt’s meal! Basically, I just GRABBED FOOD OFF OF HER PLATE without asking or even saying thank you. In my defense, everyone ordered in Spanish so of course I didn’t know what they said. I still want to crawl into a hole every time I’m reminded of that evening.

    • DM says...

      This exact thing happened to me when I was in 9th grade! I was out to dinner with my best friend, her parents, and their friends, another couple. The woman from the other couple ordered a plate of clams, which came in a huuge plate. I’d never seen someone eat clams before so I assumed it was some sort of shared appetizer and took one, without asking or saying thank you. I’m 32 years old and I still want to die every time I think about it.

  14. Mallory says...

    It was the first day of 6th grade at my new middle school, and I was fully decked out head to toe in the only LiMiTeD Too clothes I owned. I didn’t know anyone. I farted really loud at the very beginning of my social studies class, and the guy seated at the desk next to me said, “Was that you?!” I nodded, and he tried to high five me.

    I also fell off a ski lift when I was in elementary school. It wasn’t high up enough yet to get badly hurt, so we were close enough that everyone in the line saw me.

  15. Katherine Pickerell says...

    Let me set the scene… grade 7, 13 years old, spin the bottle. So a few kids from class were staying after school to play spin the bottle amongst some trees close to the school playground…. one of them a very popular boy that I was harboring a 5 year long crush for. Of course I was in and promptly called my mom to say I would be staying after to play on the swings and would walk home later.
    So the game starts and its as high stakes as you can imagine… I had never actually kissed anyone at this point so it was pretty much the height of my sexuality at that point. I am up and its my turn to spin… and it lands on my crush. My prayers were answered!
    The young man and I stand in the center of the circle and lean in for what I expect the most glorious moment of my entire life, and as our lips touch, rather then hearing angels sing I hear ‘Katie O*****’. The group looks towards the voice and scatters and I see none other then my very own mother emerging through the trees. She had walked the dog up to the school so I wouldn’t have to walk home alone, surely expecting we were up to no good with cigarettes and intravenous drugs. I was absolutely mortified, convinced that I could never show my face again and that my mom was going to call each parent and tell them about our sexual deviancy. She did not thank goodness but I did receive a stern talking to about honesty and what not….
    And that was my very first kiss.

  16. T says...

    At my SILs bachelorette which was at my house, we had planned a pretty tame high tea but one of the bridesmaids sauced it up a little bit by having a topless waiter come. None of us (bride included) had a problem with this though a few of us are kind of shy about mostly naked men serving us drinks. Upstairs my SIL was worried “gosh I hope I don’t say something stupid” so I say I will go downstairs to meet and greet this man (boy!) to break the ice. As I get downstairs this half naked guy says “hi, where is the champagne?” to which I bark my rehearsed reply: “GOOD THANKS, I’M TRACEY” while struggling with eye contact. I realize what I’ve done, I’m flushing red, I can feel it and just say “oh f*, what?! Me. Um. WHAT?” Five or so guests had arrived by now and one of them, mouth agape, said slowly “oh. my. God”. I turned on my heel and promptly told my SIL that SHE had absolutely nothing to worry about, consider the ice well and truly broken. 😂

  17. Amy says...

    First grade trip to a the history museum. I literally remember an exhibit about cave people and the tour guide handing us samples of buffalo meat! Minutes later, I needed to use the bathroom but remembered the teacher said “no bathroom trips for anyone”. So I held it in during the tour. Finally, we had to sit and wait for our bus to come and we sat on the floor waiting. I couldn’t hold it in anymore… and we poo came out on the floor. I remember moving to sit somewhere else. The teacher noticed the substance on the floor and – there was another kid who was feeling sick during that trip and had been sitting cross legged with her head in her hands – went up to the other kid and said, was this you? Th girl just shook her head forlornley and never indicated it was me. It was the most awful day! When we got back to school, my teacher figured out it was me. I remember her dramatically coming up to me, holding my chair up in the air and smelling it in front of everyone. Then she took me into the bathroom and changed me. I had to bring my underpants home in a brown paper bag.

    • Natalia says...

      This is hilarious and also awful! I’m so sorry that happened to you! I can’t tell you how many times I peed my pants in second grade because of the teacher’s ‘no bathroom ever’ during class policy. So wrong to do that to kids. In the scheme of things, humility is an excellent trait to possess, but dang! ;) Xoxoxo

    • Liana says...

      What a horrible teacher!

    • Laura says...

      That’s so awful!! I can’t imagine what that teacher was thinking. No bathroom trips for a class full of first graders??? What??

  18. Simone B. says...

    I was 6 months pregnant and road-tripping from Georgia to Nebraska for my sister’s wedding with my husband and 15 month old. We decided to detour to Chicago (a dream destination for me) because I had always wanted to have a deep dish pizza from Chicago and see the sights. I won’t name the establishment… but I got food poisoning from that glorious, coveted deep dish pizza. Fast forward to driving through downtown Chicago: me, puking out the window as horrified bystanders looked on. I tried to catch it in my scarf, which backfired quickly. I had to wash my semi-frozen hair out in a *public bathroom* sobbing, grossly pregnant, and thinking the world was ending. I thought I was through the worst of it, but then as we tried to do the boardwalk to the pier… you guessed it, me puking again. So many people were watching. I died!!

  19. C says...

    I unexpectedly let out the loudest queef in front of my manager a few weeks into a new job while walking out of her office. I just ignored it and kept walking. I can still hear it. It felt like it went on foreverrr. It HAUNTS me D:

    • Caroline says...

      Ha, ha!

    • Katie says...

      Hahahah oh my god you poor human. Bless you for sharing, you made my morning.

  20. Jo says...

    When I was in 7th grade, my English teacher had us choose a poem to present to the class from a packet of xeroxed poetry. I chose “The Owl and the Pussycat”—a romantic poem about an owl and a cat in a boat traveling to get married. As I presented the owl’s words to the class, “O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!” I heard giggling. I was so naïve that I didn’t even realize what was so funny, just that something I said was horribly wrong. Sigh. Seriously, what teacher includes that poem in a packet of samples to be chosen for a class presentation?

    • Lila says...

      Omg, I had the exact same experience in middle school with that poem! And it’s a longer poem than you think… Just had to get through it.

    • Julie says...

      Not sure if you’ll see this reply, but your comment made me laugh so hard I started to cry. Seriously who would include that poem?:)

    • Erin says...

      That teacher was incredibly naive or it was an oversight hopefully. But this one has me belly laughing!!

    • Shannon B. says...

      I am dyinnng of laughter! Lol

    • Janie says...

      Along these lines… my childhood stuffed toy that I slept with every night was a cat which was imaginatively called Pussy. Cue many years of me not having a clue and calling it by name – where’s Pussy? I can only sleep with Pussy in my bed…
      I don’t think it was super common slang here in the late 80s or maybe my parents are just ignorant!

    • AT says...

      OMG, I still know this poem by heart! We learned it in elementary school and had to recite it as a class! At that age and in that era, it somehow squeaked by as okay but idk, maybe the parents were dying inside?

      I’m not kidding you, this poem actually came up in conversation at dinner in our house in the past week and I recited it to my children just to prove I still could. My husband just shook his head the whole time.

      LOL! Not the poem that has aged best!

  21. Elise says...

    Everything about this post felt so familiar. My first kiss was also in front the middle school bus line after school! I’m not sure there’s one embarrassing moment that takes the cake, rather a smattering of mortifying moments all period-related, haha.

  22. Just the other day I had been sharing my screen with my boss via zoom for a long period of time, catching him up on all of the work I’ve been doing when I got bored with my own bullshit and started online shopping for boots. I had completely forgotten that I was still sharing my screen.

    It took me a full minute or two before I realized I was broadcasting my browsing of Nordstrom mid-meeting – he didn’t say anything but I remain beyond mortified.

    • Susan says...

      This just made me snort. Hilarious and oh so relatable!

    • AT says...

      This reminds me of when my manager’s BREAST SELF EXAM reminder popped up on her work calendar while presenting her screen.

      I mean, maybe just put the acronym BSE or something??

    • AT says...

      Strangely, wasn’t embarrassed at the time. But looking back, huge cringe.

      I was about five and in gymnastics class. We were supposed to walk to the middle of the balance beam, do a little splits legs jump, land on the beam again and walk to the other end.

      In my young mind, no one was doing it like the teacher had showed us (hello, five years old!), and I was going to show them how it’s done. So I really went for the split legs out with my jump…and thudded down dead center. Pee EVERYWHERE.

      All I remember after the pain wore off and my mother collected me was a male, mustached gymnastics teacher with a handful of wet paper towels come up to me and go, “Uh…yuh did good.”

      Of course

  23. Laura says...

    When I was 11, my family took a holiday to Sligo on the west coast of Ireland. One day my parents let me go shopping and I found this great shop with t-shirts for €5… I thought I’d hit gold and couldn’t understand why my dad was so mortified at my lovely baby pink shirt with a cute bunny on it!
    All I remember is my dad forcing me back into the shop and asking the lady to explain why on earth she sold a playboy to a child?!
    It’s hilarious now, but I still get embarrassed when this story is retold!

  24. AE says...

    ALSO: my sister and BIL were having their engagement dinner at Prime. We were all sitting at the dinner table and I went to sext my a boyfriend A SPREAD EAGLE NUDE PHOTO of myself but accidentally sent it to me BIL… who was sitting right next to me and across from my parents. I begged him not to tell my sister (she’s my big sister!) but like the gentleman he is (no secrets) he did and it was super weird for a good year after lmao. I’ve never seated again. My boyfriend (who is now my husband), tries to bring this into joke territory but it’s still too embarrassing to alight at… 5 years later.

  25. Bekah says...

    When I was 17 I went with a group to Armenia. This was going to be my first international experience so in the realm of international flights, I knew nothing. In an unfortunate turn of events our flight to Chicago (where we boarded our international flight) was delayed for weather. We arrived to the airport VERY late and had about 15 minutes to get all 9 of us ALL the way across the airport, through customs, and on the plane. As you can imagine we were SPRINTING through the airport.. Unfortunately for me, I was a runner in high school and the most fit to run. So, my group told me to run ahead because they told us that if we could get one person of our group on the plane then the plane would have to wait for the rest of the group. Off I go… Having no idea what I’m doing. I got to the gate and the flight attendants are YELLING at me “hurryyy hurrryyy hurryyy!!” (It should also be known that I had never been on a plane even half the size of the one I was about to board.) I SPRINT on the plane gasping for air only to be met with the gaze of HUNDREDS of people already on the plane. Keep in mind that my group sent me alone, so every single person on this flight thinks that I am the reason that they haven’t taken off… they have no idea that 8 other people trail me. Anyways, I find my seat which is OF COURSE almost all the way to the back of the plane (talk about a walk of shame!) and then have to find a place for my carry on…. Everyone is already boarded so the overheads are completely full…. I start working my way BACK UP the aisle looking for an open overhead…. *Opens overhead, looks, closes overhead* all the way back up the aisle with EVERY SINGLE EYE ON ME!! I Finally found an overhead that I think my carry on will fit in, lift it up, and close the bin…. THE ENTIRE PLANE BURST INTO APPLAUSE for me!!! I’m talking STANDING OVATION….. I have never wanted to melt into a puddle on the ground and disappear so badly. I can only imagine how many shades of red my face was. So there you have it. My most embarrassing moment.

    • Irina Marcos says...

      More or less the same…
      I worked travelling all around Spain and that Friday I was coming back home to Barcelona from Alicante.
      I ran as fast as I could to get the plane, but when I got to the boarding gate the woman there tells me she’s sorry but the plane is boarded and doors are closed, so… I just don’t know how, these words come out of my mouth:
      -oh, so, when is the next plane to Barcelona?
      – tomorrow morning
      – Oh… (very very sad face) I have to go on this plane, I’m getting married this afternoon
      The woman looks at me horrified and tells me:
      – Whaaaaat?? are you serious?
      – Yes, well, we do it today at the town hall and the party is tomorrow… so…
      She runs to the plain across the finger yelling
      – You… young girls!!! going to work on the day you get married!!!!
      And starts banging the door of the plane, goes inside, talks to someone and asks me to go inside
      Everyone burst into applause and congratulated me! :)

  26. Mallika says...

    In the 7th grade I had a huge crush on a boy that wanted nothing to do with me. It was painful, but I was in love. I’d write out these tragic, forlorn entries in my diary.

    One day I managed to get myself paired up with him for a group project and got his home phone number. That evening I called at our planned out time and there was no answer.

    Very active imagination intact, I kept dialing, fantasizing that something terrible must have happened to him. No answer. I cried into my diary that he must have been an accident or worse!

    The next day he walked up to my desk in homeroom and loudly said, “Yo, my mom wants to know why you called a million times?? You showed up on our Caller ID literally 28 times.”

    That was also the day I learned about Caller ID.

    • I feel like this would have been me!!! LOL!

  27. Sara says...

    I am NOTORIOUS at work for many many clumsy moments, so I don’t even know where to start. Was the the time that my dress rode up to my waist on an airplane? The time that I met a client for the first time and my dress had split down the back? Or the time I tripped walking into a conference session and spilled water ALL OVER the speaker?

    No. A few years ago I was at a meeting with a client. It was a great, really productive meeting. As I stood up at the end, a member of the client team pointed at me (we have a great relationship), laughing – I had toilet paper coming out of my pants. My response “OH GOD, no”. Humiliating. More humiliating? The next morning, I came into work and my colleagues had TPd my office. She had immediately texted all of my colleagues. Let’s just say, it is a story that is told…. endlessly.

  28. AE says...

    I LOVE your throwback to those YM columns. My sister and I are both in our 30s and STILL describe things as “4/5 stars embarrassing” which is how YM used to rate those stories. Hilarious. My most embarrassing story: peed the bed during an early sleepover with my now husband. I guess I drank too much water before bed and was in a deep sleep/ dream. I got myself up and showered and made a makeshift bed on the floor and… left him in it! Partially out of horror (thought things would dry out before he awoke?) and partially out of the delirium of waking up at 2am. I’m shocked he stayed around after that. I promise I’m not a gross jerk usually lol

    • Connie says...

      you left him in it! im dying!!

  29. maywyn says...

    In the top 10 of most…Grab coffee and cheese Danish before stopping at hardware store for materials need for class. Clerk helps me select the right material, writes up my slip, and the entire time he’s does everything he can to not to look at me, serious looking at floor, walls, nearly had his face on the desk writing the sales slip I needed. In my car, I pull down visor mirror to see what might be the reason he would not look at me.
    Right near up in my nostrils was a massive glob of white cheese Danish.

  30. Ari says...

    I have way too many to count, and they were all when I was in middle and high school and had generally low self-esteem. But once, in my mid twenties, I had just eaten lunch with my husband and we both needed to use the restroom before leaving. After going, I decided to meet him outside, and leaned against the outside window of the restaurant. A woman came out frantically and said to me “your dress is tucked into your underwear!” I was wearing cheek-baring undies and had my butt pressed up against a window. BUT I FELT NOTHING! I just said “oops!”, pulled my dress out of my underwear, and stayed in the same place as I waited for my husband. I was over the moon (pun intended) about my lack of embarrassment and have pretty much moved on from feeling similar shame.

    • Y says...

      Love it. Best lesson ever. I hope everyone can learn from this!

    • Laura says...

      Awww, I love this story!!

  31. Emily S says...

    6th grade. Pouring rain.
    Late to school. Rushed into class.
    Walked by my crush’s desk.
    Slipped, went flying, landed flat on my butt.
    FARTED the most epic fart (picture: horn section of a jazz band all playing at once).
    Stood up and pretended nothing happened (atta girl!).
    Crush remained unrequited (*shrug*).

  32. Allie says...

    When my husband and I first met, I broke my elbow on our second date! (He took me longboarding on a completely flat path in our neighborhood, so the intensity of my fall was extra embarrassing.)

    The silver lining was that he was into me enough to stick around and get to know my more graceful side. (Also, making out with one arm is a delicate-yet-important skill to master, especially in a brand new relationship:)

  33. anne says...

    I was living in Hawaii where securing an affordable location for my restaurant start-up was nearly impossible. I had exhausted nearly all options but for one remaining great spot and was just wrapping up my pitch to the local landlord. He was looking very unconvinced and in the process of dismissively giving me a “no” when a breeze swooped in and casually blew open my cross-front blouse providing the lucky dude with a loooong look at my fully exposed chest, (no point wearing a bra in Hawaii). I was sooo embarrassed! But his change of mood was hilariously immediate! He instantly perked up, became a different person and without pausing simply changed his mind and agreed to lease me the space. To myself I was like, so THIS is how that works, lol. He never acknowledged or mentioned it or was ever inappropriate with me and actually was always super friendly and helpful from that moment on. To this day I think it was Angels!

    • V says...

      God works in mysterious ways!

  34. Mortified says...

    A few years ago, my 70 year old soon-to-be mother in law was trying to put a movie on at her house while I was a guest, and her husband’s *very* hardcore porn that he’d been watching that morning started playing, loudly and in all its glory, right in front of us. She’s also not the most tech savvy of ladies, so it took her the longest twenty seconds of my life to turn it off.

  35. Mara says...

    I was a rising junior in college, working at a local company over the summer. My “office” was the mailroom, which had an attached lounge with a large picture window (important note: this window wasn’t visible from my work area — there was a half-wall blocking the view). I came into the mailroom late one afternoon before 4th of July, and I thought everyone had left already for the long weekend. I let out one of the *loudest, longest* farts of my life. Then I heard someone quietly clear their throat. My heart stopped and I peeked around the corner into the lounge. It turned out that at least 25 staff members were crowding the window watching a baby fox roll around with a ball of dirt right outside. It was the most wholesome scene juxtaposed with my horrendous fart (I’m a petite and proper woman too so this surely came as a surprise to that the tromboneous fart came out of me). They were nice and tried to make like they hadn’t heard, but I know they all did, and I ducked out of there fast. This was nearly 20 years ago and I still remember it clear as day. In fact, when someone mentions the company name I immediately think, “THE FART!”

    • MS says...

      OMG I’m crying laughing

    • Julie says...

      “Tromboneous” — oh my WORD, this is too fantastic.

  36. Tracey says...

    Working in retail an old man approached the counter with tears in his eyes. My co-workers already (lovingly) mocked me endlessly for finding heart in everything so I deliberated whether to get involved but he looked. so. lonely! I gently ask “sir, is everything ok?” And he, with still watery eyes tells me that he has just lost his wife. “Oh gosh. How terrible, when? Tell me about her?” I probe. He looks at me, startled, but begins to describe this lovely sounding lady and my co-workers look on at me feeling smug and moral and redeemed. As he continued describing her, his gaze wandered – reminiscence? NO! Recognition! THERE SHE WAS. HE HAD LOST HER IN THE STORE. He was a normal old man with normal watery eyes. My co-workers had to sit on the floor they were laughing so hard 😂.

    It still cracks me up to remember how it played out and I’m still proud I sat with an old man and let him describe to me his wife who he had lost (in aisle 3).

    • Caroline says...

      Tracey this is amazing and gave me such a laugh. Thank you! You are such a sweet person and I hope you’re there to listen if I ever lose someone in a store!

    • Rachel says...

      I love this so much. Thank you!

    • Shannon B. says...

      Why is this soooo funny! Hahaha

  37. Dana says...

    I was in a play my freshman year of college where my character had to furiously make out with a [very attractive, senior] actor…while wearing a negligee. Already a tenuous situation. But on our second night of the run, I went to breathlessly fling myself against the wall after one of our kisses and…missed. I fell off the stage, ass over elbow. My negligee flipped over my head and my feet waved in the air. In retrospect it was a beautiful physical comedy moment, but at the time….oof.

  38. My moment is like Caroline’s if it was fast forwarded a decade: It’s the last week of freshman year in college and I’m at a house party. I lock eyes with my campus crush and we start talking for the first time ever. The party is very crowded so we are forced closer together until we are squished together (which I loved!). He tells me “your voice isn’t what I expected it to sound like” meaning he OBVIOUSLY lusted after me all year long! We both lean in to kiss and as our lips touch…BAM! A sub-woofer to the sound system falls out of the sky straight onto my head. Someone must have bumped it over the second story balcony. I am immediately smacked out of our first kiss daze and find blood running down my face, from a huge gash in my head.

    He was a really nice guy and accompanied me to the hospital (where I had to get 6 staples in my head after they shaved off a big chunk of my hair). We both went home the next week for summer, and returned to campus in the fall in relationships with other people, so it never turned into anything more.

  39. Ivy says...

    Oh god. My most embarrassing memory truly sounds like it could have come out of a movie.

    I landed this killer internship in NYC (Iowa born and bred, baby), and couldn’t have been more psyched to be living in the big city. Immediately after my move there I hit up an H&M (not to be found in Iowa, BTW) to get a bunch of fashion-forward outfits to wear to work, including these beautiful suede strappy wedges. On one of my first days at the office, I strapped my feet into my sky-high shoes, hopped onto the Subway, got off at Times Square, and started power stomping my way to my building. Well it took all of two blocks for me to stumble unevenly on one of those bumpy pads at the crosswalk and face plant into the road. I could hear audible gasps and other concerned walkers asking if I was okay. Determined not to cry AT THE CROSSWALK in NEW YORK CITY by TIMES SQUARE, I jumped up immediately and shakily resumed my walk. At least my outfit was cute?

    • Lisa says...

      This happened to me (I’m from Ohio yay midwest) except I was wearing sky high boots with my favorite jeans feeling really beautiful…and I fell in the middle of an intersection while looking across the street at a movie premiere at Ziegfeld theater in front of Robert Pattison circa 2011 when he was the most famous 20 something male in the world. Like 400 screaming girls all stopped screaming to look at me and Robert sent a security guard to check on me (I was bleeding pretty badly as I scraped my hands and knees (also I ripped my favorite jeans!)). The security guard was so nice and got a taxi for me and I went home and cried to my husband. I still have a scar on my wrist from it.

  40. CJ says...

    One day I was surfing around Facebook and came upon the profile of the wife of an ex-boyfriend. I noticed that it said I had sent her a friend request! What?! When? Just now? Months ago? OMG absolutely unintended and I was totally mortified. Had that request been sitting with her, and does she think I’m a total freak? I canceled it, but who knows if she’d seen it and whether they had a laugh over it.

  41. Sharon in Scotland says...

    I was 7, it was summer at primary school and we were painting. I upset a jar of painting water over my dress. Mrs Dingwell, the class teacher, swept in, said I couldn’t wear it and pulled it off me. I was left standing a perfectly respectable full petticoat, but it didn’t matter…………………..I was in my underwear and there were BOYS in the room!
    I sat down at my desk, put my head on my arms and didn’t move until it was time to go. Playtime came and went, I could hear my peers asking Mrs Dingwell what was the matter. She apologised to my mum when it was time to go home…………………..even after 50 years I can remember how mortified I was.

  42. MR says...

    After having my second baby, I was finally cleared for working out again. A friend of mine taught yoga so I went to her class and was so excited. There were only three of us plus her in the class so it was nice and intimate. We were doing downward dog when air moved in ways it can only move a few weeks after having a baby and I… had a vaginal fart (I to this day cannot call it a queef). I tried to play it off and then ran to the bathroom a few minutes later when I felt another one coming on. I’m sure they thought I had an upset stomach, which is embarrassing but not quite as bad as what really happened. This is the first time I’ve told this story to ANYONE.

    • Allison says...

      I got cleared to work out at my 6 week appt after my first baby….that night I went to a new yoga studio for a hot power yoga class. I queefed SO many times during that class, but thankfully there was loud music playing!! It was the only yoga class I’ve been to that had music playing, but to this day (my oldest is 9) I’m scared to do yoga in front of anyone. Especially since, about a week after this incident, I was doing yoga in my bedroom and my husband came in with the baby to say hi. Of course I queefed right when he walked in, then I had to explain what it was so he didn’t think it was a fart. He was nice about it (and my first baby had a HUGE head, so I think he somewhat understands) but still, super embarrassing.

    • Dana says...

      REALLY feel seen by the post-baby yoga + queefing situation. Thanks ladies.

    • MR says...

      It’s a thing! I’m so glad I’m not alone. It was mortifying. Even after giving birth and shouting in a very quiet maternity wing “My butt is going to split!!!”

    • Emily says...

      This is why I NEVER do yoga in public. Literally farting and queefing the whole time.

  43. Anon says...

    At my now ex-boyfriend’s family dinner party, while chatting with one of his cousins, I went to take a sip of my drink and forgot there was a straw in it, and the straw went right up my nose. :( Sometimes it’s the little moments of embarrassment that really sticks with you.

    • Chloe says...

      Thank you so much! You made me laugh :-)

    • Sara says...

      “sticks” haha! Good pun!

    • silly lily says...

      A few weeks before Thanksgiving, my future sister-in-law told her son to zip up his jacket or he would freeze his cogliones off. I asked her what that meant and she replied: nuts. Then at Thanksgiving dinner with my boyfriend’s entire large family present, I waited for a quiet moment (rare in an Italian holiday dinner), cleared my throat, and asked his GRANDMOTHER to please pass the cogliones. Crickets and shocked faces. I had wanted to impress them and I SURE AS HELL DID. The joke was on them — I married their boy and 42 years later, we’re still having Thanksgiving dinner together. I’d like to say I’m better behaved now, but Coglione Boy would probably tell a different story.

    • Claire M says...

      This one really got me hahahahahaha! Thank you for sharing!

  44. Suzyn says...

    On my third date with my now-husband, he took me to a Thai restaurant in Chinatown. He must have spoken to the manager, because they put us in a little “pagoda” – very romantic. We were both pretty smitten, and the date was going well. Then, I somehow managed to inhale Tom Yum soup! Choking, spluttering, eyes streaming, I ran to the bathroom. I can still remember looking in the mirror, scrubbing at the mascara that was running down my face with some damp paper towels, thinking “he’ll never ask me out again!” Oh, but he did, and next year is our 20th wedding anniversary!

  45. Here’s one of mine. It’s both embarrassing and kind of wonderful . . . . The first week of my first big job, one of my big bosses asks me to go out for a drink to discuss the possibility of working on a big project with his team. Big! Networking! Opportunity! What I didn’t know was that this man drank like a fish and talked incessantly and always did this to young women on the team. Still, I got a plum assignment just by drinking beer and nodding my head while listening to his boring stories — and before I knew it, I had to run to catch the last commuter train home. An hour ride. No bathroom. Full of beer. After ten minutes, I was excruciatingly uncomfortable, shifting in my seat, and . . . yes, kinda drunk too. The conductor, god bless him, asked me if I was okay. “No,” I confessed. “I have to go to the bathroom badly. Can you let me off at the next stop and maybe wait for me?” He shook his head, thought a minute then asked, “If I set you up with a cup in an empty car and turn off the lights, do you think that would work?” I replied, “Only if it’s a really big cup.” A few minutes later he asked all the passengers to move forward to the first 5 cars, and told me to go to the last car. He handed me an empty Big Gulp Cup (remember those anyone?) and turned out the lights and left me there. I suppose there could have been cameras, he could have been a perve, but he wasn’t. He saved me. When I got to my stop, I said, “Sir, you are awesome. Can I write a letter to your supervisor and let them know how you helped me?” and he was, like “Please, please please do not.” . . . .

    • Anne says...

      KELLY THIS IS AMAZING

    • Maddy says...

      Hahaha I’m dying at the “please, please do not”

    • Andrea says...

      I am DYING! this is amazing. We need more of these stories in the world.

    • Sarah says...

      That is a great story with the conductor! I’m glad you only had to listen to that bosses boring stories and he didn’t put any moves on you.

    • Megan says...

      I LOVE this!!! Humanity at its best. Once about 15 years ago I got on a commuter bus in DC and halfway into the ride realized I had left a backpack on the bust stop bench! The driver and all the passengers on the bus were trying to help me figure out my next steps. The driver offered to take me back with him into the city at the end of the ride. Passengers were offering to drive me back from their own stops. I remembered that a bar I loved was across the street from the bus stop. I called a friend who was still at work, got her to google the bar’s number, called them, and one of the staff ran out to grab my bag (still there!) and keep it at the bar until I was able to come and claim it, hours later.

    • Jill says...

      “Please, please please do not.”
      HAHAHAHAHA
      Thanks Kelly!

    • Dana says...

      THIS STORY IS INCREDIBLE.

    • Lia says...

      This has me DYING….omg what a saint! His response to you offer to write the letter…. PRICELESS!!!!

    • Anna says...

      What an amazing conductor! Above and beyond about the cup and the private train car…. but simply asking if you’re okay. It’s important to celebrate those that look out for us along the way!

    • Sara says...

      This is gold, and made my night. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Claire says...

      Hahaha omg this is an amazing story!

    • Lol. So good. “Please, please, please do not.” Hahahah

    • Cynthia says...

      Hahahah! I love Please, please do not!

    • lorraine says...

      What a story! It makes me wonder, had he done this before? Possibly. Nonetheless it was super human of him to help you out.

    • Laura says...

      I have a very sweet conductor story- in 2014 I’d just finished up at summer camp but before I actual camp, I was taking the train into Boston by myself. I was due to leave camp the follow day with my 2 siblings and 3 months worth of belongings each. Passing a stop, I saw a sign that said the train wasn’t running from the only station I could get to the next day. I stopped the conductor to ask his advice on what to do. He thought about it for a moment, and said he’d get back to me. Cue on the platform, that sweet conductor gave me his number and asked me to call him so that on his day off, he would (at 8am!) drive to the place I was staying, collect myself, x2 siblings, x1000 bags, and drive us to a station that the train was running from.

      In the end we found alternative transport- but what a sweetheart guy.

  46. Nat says...

    Oh jeez, let’s see, once in third grade, a boy I liked was at the office counter in the elementary school where my mom worked. My mom was helping his mom. I went to school there too, and was sitting on a chair enjoying a lifesaver lollipop and trying to not look at my crush at the counter. Welp, next thing I know, the candy dislodged from the stick and lodged in my throat. I was choking, I couldn’t breathe, and started seeing stars. My mom noticed and immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver. Just as in Mrs. Doubtfire, the lifesaver came unstuck, and went FLYING through the air, nearly hitting my crush in the face. He just stared at me horrified. I don’t remember what happened after that. Haha I don’t think I ever looked at him again!

    Years later, I went to a fancy dinner at a ritzy restaurant as the guest of my mentor. I’d never been to such a fancy restaurant before. There were lots of esteemed, posh looking people at the table, and we were listening to a lecture. The menu was already fixed, and the waiter set a giant crab leg before me. Now I had never eaten a crab leg before, and had no clue as to how to access the sweet meat inside. After cracking it as quietly as I could (it sounded like there was a microphone in my plate), I ended up attempting to dig out the flesh with my fork, and sent the meat FLYING (yes again) across the table, and it nearly landed in the water glass of a man sitting a ways down. I busied myself with taking a sip of wine and looking at the speaker giving the presentation and pretended like nothing happened Hahaha Needless to say, I was starving after I left and hit up McDonald’s on the way home!

  47. Irina says...

    Oh my, there have been many, many mortifying moments… One that comes to mind right now is from a few years ago, when I was on a sight-seeing boat ride in Hawaii with my parents and sister, along with maybe 50-100 other people. I knew that I had the propensity to get seasick, so I took the usual precautions: limited food intake beforehand and careful choice of foods, Dramamine taken in advance, etc. Well, none of it helped. About 30 minutes into the boat ride I got terribly, horribly seasick, worse than I’d ever experienced. I collapsed on the deck face down and lay there for the next 3 hours, unable to move or even lift my head, until the boat was safely back at the dock. Missed all the sights, and was vaguely aware of my parents hovering above me the entire time and explaining over and over again to alarmed passengers that, no, their daughter wasn’t dead, just seasick.

  48. Sar says...

    Last year, I re-wore a pair of slacks. As I was approaching the bus stop on my morning commute, the underwear from the first time I wore the pants came out of the pant leg. I just kept walking. The bus stop was busy, but thankfully only one old man saw. While we were waiting, I watched him casually walk over to the pair of underwear on the sidewalk, get a better look (just to be sure), then look back over at me. I was recently watching an episode of the West Wing and Donna had this same thing happen to her in front of a congresswoman and it made me feel slightly less embarrassed.

    • chloe says...

      LOL! So relatable!!!

    • KSE says...

      Oh SAR, this happened to me in 10th grade English class. I was late for school and tugged on yesterday’s jeans, and 20 minutes in to class, while seated at our communal tables, did a horrified double take at my rose-printed undies on the floor under my table. I pretended not to notice until the kid seated across from me bent down to pick up her pencil off the floor, pushed her chair away from the table and said, “OH SHIIIIT somebody’s chonies on the floor!” and of course I feigned disgust. It resulted in the custodian coming in to dispose of them with a trash picker. *facepalm*

    • Sara says...

      Hah. Once I was walking through a parking lot and felt the elastic of the slip (remember when we wore slips?) that I had on under a long skirt give way. The slip fell to the ground and I deftly stepped out of it, picked it up and stuffed it into my briefcase, patting myself on the back that no one was around ….. until I turned around and saw someone from my office applauding my swiftness.

    • aar says...

      Oh my god this was me a decade ago in NYC at the 96th street stop, switching between the 1 and 2 trains on my way to work. Huge morning commute crowd. I had been puzzled earlier that I could find my thermals to wear under my slacks (it was winter) and finally found another pair to wear. I stood on that platform, saw some extra cloth peeking out from my pants leg and slowly, with dawning horror, drew out the entire thermal I had been looking for. My train pulled up. I left the thermal on the platform and pretended I hadn’t noticed a thing. Still cringing 10 years later!

  49. Erin says...

    10th grade gym class: We are doing soccer drills. I am supposed to be passing a soccer ball back and forth with two of my best friends. While running, I decide to un-clip and re-clip a barrette in my hair. Just then, one of my friends kicks the soccer ball to me. I attempt to return the pass and finish fixing my hair at the same time, but cannot coordinate these very different sets of actions. The top and bottom halves of my body become totally out of whack from each other, and I have a protracted, dramatic, slow-mo wipe-out. (I ran 5 or 6 steps thinking “Now I’m going to catch my balance!” but never did, probably because I did not think to get my hands out of my hair and use my arms for balance.) My two friends were doubled over, laughing so hard they had trouble breathing. Good times.

  50. Lindsey says...

    You had me at dELIA*s

    • Same.

    • Meighan says...

      omg SAME every single dress i wore to middle school dances had to have been from there – too funny!

    • Claire says...

      Haha yes, same here! Caroline, this was AMAZING. Nostalgic and hilarious. Thank you for brightening everyone’s days.

    • Amanda says...

      Yep!

    • Ann says...

      Same!

      My question is… did you have those spinny gems/flowers in your hair as well??

  51. Erin says...

    One year my dad & brother were helping me move out of an apartment. They lifted a heavy dresser & we all heard something rolling around in one of the drawers. I suddenly realized it was my vibrator!! Like a purple vibrator shaped just like a penis so no hiding what it was. I somehow diverted their attention enough where they didn’t open the drawer to see what was in there but I was so anxious the whole time they were loading the thing up that my vibrator was going to come flying out. Now on to most embarrassing part…fast forward 5 years later at my wedding rehearsal dinner. My friend (and roommate during the vibrator incident) stands up to tell a “funny” story & as she starts out I realize she’s telling that one!!! I literally stood up and screamed across the room “Carrie, stop!!!!!!”. The room looked at me like I was crazy. My husbands uncle even cornered me afterwards to ask what the story was. I cringe to this day…hands down my most embarrassing moment.

    • Sarz says...

      Ohh, that’s a good one, Erin! XD I’m such a believer in closing the pleasure gap, but oh, gosh, our male family members can hear nothing about that. Ever.

    • Heather says...

      Oh my goodness I am cracking up and cannot believe she started sharing that, but love that you took charge and stopped her! Bravo!

    • Omgsh! I’m laughing so hard!!

    • Jess says...

      I love this story so much. I’ve been there – not exactly the same thing, but I’ve had to yell “stop!” to someone across a room full of people to prevent everyone from hearing a mortifying tale about me.

    • Maria says...

      This reminds me of my good friend’s story, her new company hired movers for them, which she had never used before. They told her not to pack her things, they would do it all for her and she obliged. She – and her husband and her 8 year old daughter – were going through a bookshelf just outside her bedroom as she saw the movers get to ‘that’ drawer in her dresser that she had totally forgotten about in the chaos of moving and she watched them pack her multiple vibrators and dildos into their own box with tissue paper and all. She was refreshingly nonchalant about it and said ‘I’m sure they’ve seen it all’.

  52. liz says...

    One very hot summer afternoon, I took my geriatric dog for a very slow, hour-long walk in my neighborhood. As I rounding the corner to my house, a woman started shouting, “Miss! Miss! Miss!” I didn’t think she was talking to me and ignored her until she said, “You with the dog!” I turned around and she said, “Your dress!” My dress had been tucked into my thong the entire walk.

  53. Laura says...

    When I was in my early 20s I got a DSLR for Christmas from my parents and went wild taking pictures of my nieces and nephews. At some point during the day I went to my room and took some high quality topless photos to send to my bf, and thought I had deleted them from the camera. Later that night my BIL asked to look at the pictures of the kids on the camera, pushed the ‘back’ button one too many times and stumbled on a boobies pic. I promptly DIED. He handled it well and apologized, but I still think of it every time I see him. Blerghhh

  54. LN says...

    In 10th grade English class, we had to give a demonstration speech in which we showed people how to do something while talking about it. I was taking judo at the time, so decided to do my speech on martial arts, wearing my gi and everything. Throughout the entire speech, I referred to the topic as marital arts. It did not help me get over my fear of public speaking :)

  55. Caitlin Lee says...

    I was in grade 9 and determined to be cool. This meant that I did not wear my glasses, wore my hair parted in the middle and cropped straight, and wore flannel shirts. As i sat down in my desk in grade 9 english, I saw my friend Danny approach, and I loudly asked, “What happened to your forehead? You’re bleeding.” As Danny got closer, he came into focus, as did the copious amount of acne on his forehead. I was mortified. He didn’t answer me and I’ll never know if he was as mortified as I was.

    • Rosie says...

      Ugh, a similar thing happened to me once at a pool party. A male friend was covered in scratches and I asked if he was attacked by a cat. Nope. Stretch marks from a growth spurt. I feel awful for probably causing him so much insecurity. Ugh.

  56. RA says...

    A few years ago, my friends and I decided to rent a house in the Outer Banks for a week. My best friend’s fiancé proposed on the first day of the trip before my other friend and I had arrived, so we bought champagne and a cake to have with everyone when we got there (there were about 8 of us staying at the house). We weren’t able to leave until later, so we arrived around 10:30 pm after everyone else had been celebrating for a few hours. We pull up in the driveway and I start blastingggg We Found Love by Rihanna and my friend and I dance our way into the house cheering loudly. We were having our own awesome dance party when we suddenly realized that we didn’t recognize anyone. IT WAS THE WRONG HOUSE. Somehow we were given the wrong address! Needless to say, the people in the house were just as surprised as we were! We yelled “sorry!” and ran out of there as fast as we could!

    • Lisa says...

      This just made my afternoon:).

    • This is really funny and made me laugh!

      It also reminded me of a time when a stranger walked straight into our apartment asking for “Leo.” We were completely confused because our cat is named Leo. We had no idea what to make of him and thought he might be our cat’s previous owner who left him at the shelter or something! Turns out he was just on the wrong floor of the apartment complex.

  57. Anna says...

    Oh my gosh, these are amazing. Mine is from not too long ago…I was driving home from work (a block from home!! so close!!) and stopped at a red light. It was a nice day so I had my windows rolled down. I (subtly…I thought) picked my nose (as you do sometimes, right??) and then heard some guy yell “Nose picker!! Nose pickeeerrrrr!!” I looked out the window and there on a bar patio was this mid-30s guy *literally* pointing and laughing at me. I was trying to turn left and didn’t have a protected turn light, so I had to sit there for at least a minute or two just listening to him yell and holler. He didn’t stop! It was so bad. (But also, he was so rude! Would hate to be his girlfriend haha.)

    • Jedalyn says...

      I’m sorry that happened, but omgosh. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been having a rough morning and this brightened my day!

    • Megan says...

      I can’t stop laughing. This is amazing!!!

    • Jen says...

      Your story sounds so similar to one that I’ve heard before that I can’t tell if it’s coincidence or serendipity! If you once studied abroad in Copenhagen, this “embarrassing stories” sharing has come full circle in a completely unexpected way! And if not – know that there is someone else out there who has experienced almost exactly the same thing, so you are not alone! <3

    • Anna says...

      Jen, that’s wild — I DID study abroad in Copenhagen in college but this story happened just last year! I want to meet this woman who shares multiple of my life experiences haha

    • Jen K says...

      This made me laugh so hard!

  58. Nina says...

    That is NOT embarrassing! That’s adorable!

    I was 22, got too drunk and high and started slapping everyone’s bottom at a party I wasn’t technically invited to. I was horrible. The main thing I remember is slapping the super hot birthday boy’s a$$ and him turning around and looking at me with a face of annoyance and pity. I still avoid him 20 years later.

  59. Calla says...

    Not sure if this is my most embarrassing but it’s definitely representative.

    I was in college leaving a big lecture hall and fell in to step with a super cute boy I had a mild crush on. We were making small talk and both heading in the direction of the library so my whole mind was focused on how to casually segue this walk into a co-study session. This was complicated by the fact that I was walking my bike and would need to lock it up on the other side of the library first. I was so preoccupied with solving this problem in a really chill way that when we finally got there and he gave me a casual “Catch you later!” I shouted back at him “I’M GOING TO GO LOCK UP MY BIKE NOW.” Nailed it.

  60. Dawn says...

    In my 30’s, I signed up for a Polar Plunge event for the Special Olympics. Everyone was organized into groups and would walk out (wearing mostly swimsuits, some in tanks and shorts and some in costume) on an icy runway in front of the crowd. As I walked towards the jumping platform, I totally slipped and landed in front of hundreds of people. The DJ helped me up amongst the clapping and laughter (I think he might have said something to smooth things over, but I may have blanked out to preserve my dignity). I’m thankful that everything stayed in place since I was wearing a two piece bathing suit and also, so thankful that camera phones were not yet a mainstream thing!! On a positive note, I did what I came to do~ jump in freezing water and raise some money for a good cause. Next time, I’ll just be sending in a donation. Ha!

    • CJ says...

      Good for you! I, on the other hand, was not so lucky in the bathing suit department. 8th grade field trip to a water park, feeling super cool in my Op one-piece, until I realized at the bottom of the slide that the straps had come unhooked, the top was down to my waist and there I was in all my flat-chested glory for the people in line to see. Not sure how I survived!

  61. L says...

    In grad school, I was a teaching assistant for an undergrad nutrition course. Instead of saying MyPyramid (a food guide), I said “My Period” in front of about 100+ college students. :-O

    • Megan says...

      Misspeaks always make me laugh! I was on a spring break with college friends and we stopped at Daisy Queen for blizzards. My friend Joe ordered a ‘Reese’s PENIS butter cup’ one! Total slip of the tongue and it still makes me laugh!

    • L says...

      Haha! Reese’s Penis!

      This also reminds me of when I accidentally called my male teacher “Mom” in fifth grade.

    • Allison says...

      Last Christmas my six year old son loudly announced that he had received Reese’s penis butter cups in his stocking, and was so wrapped up in the excitement that he completely missed the error. My brother and I were the only ones that heard it and started laughing hysterically while everyone else in the room went silent and asked what had happened (which, of course, we could not tell them due to the laughing).

  62. Anna says...

    When I was 19 I was traveling alone by plane to Spain, my first time out of the country and first time on a plane. I was so overwhelmed and confused by the airport system and after an 11 hour flight I was relieved to get to my last layover in Frankfurt. I had used the restroom on the plane an hour before landing and was standing in the customs line. The kind elderly lady behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said in a thick accent, “excuse me, your skirt is caught up in the back.” I turned around confused and then realized that the hem of my skirt was caught in my waistband, revealing my underwear. I was absolutely mortified and couldn’t believe that it had probably been like that for the last hour and half since I had used the bathroom and I had been walking around the airport showing off my underwear to who know how many hundreds of people.

  63. emily says...

    so i feel like a curmudgeon, but i think i have a problem with the period-stories as embarrassing. Yes, of course its embarrassing, but should it be so embarrassing? I mean, shouldnt we normalize bleeding because so many people do it who have a uterus? and shouldnt we try to push social norms to not be so horrified by seeing female blood? i mean, you are so right that that is what they were all about in the teen mags. and maybe you will point out to me that sharing stories normalizes the experience, but what i want is it not to be so horrifying to anyone to have to deal with blood coming out of their vag in an inopportune moment.

    • Caitlin says...

      I was so deeply embarrassed about period stains etc growing up. Now I look back and feel no shame or embarrassing whatsoever. And today my period brings me no shame! But back then, man it felt painful. Took a long time to get here.

    • jane says...

      I think this is a little different. It is mortifying in the same way discovering you’ve been talking to people with a booger riding your nostril would be. There’s nothing to normalize about it – it is just unintentionally uncouth and that’s life and it is therefore embarrassing.

    • Laura says...

      I think we all (including Caroline and COJ in general) agree that they shouldn’t be embarrassing! But since we haven’t reached that desired normalization point, they definitely feel embarrassing when you’re younger. Actually, almost anything that makes you the unwanted center of attention is embarrassing when you’re young!

    • gina says...

      ok no it shouldn’t be but many women have period related stories that felt embarrassing to them. let’s just normalize that.

    • Emily says...

      They’re funny/embarrassing because we go through life trying to show that we have everything under control, and when something proves otherwise it shows our vulnerability. Nothing to be ashamed of, same can be said for the peeing/tripping/verbal gaffe stories. But embarrassing nonetheless!

    • kiki says...

      ya, it’s never going to be normal to just freely bleed everywhere and on everything. But hopefully someday it will be normalized enough to be akin to the embarrassment level when you have something stuck in your teeth, or a booger hanging out of your nose (like Jane said). Still embarrassing. But not devastating.

    • AE says...

      I mean, would you be embarrassed by peeing yourself? Pooping your pants on a train? A booger dangling? These are all the same thing. Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s cool. I just don’t get this logic at all. Also I’m thrilled that my biologically female body does things like bleed but it’s actually terribly uncomfortable and inconvenient. Let’s not try to glamorize it?

    • Ann says...

      Yes AE. My thoughts exactly. I love that I have a period BECAUSE it allowed me to have the children I so love. I think that middle school girls should be able to ask to go to the bathroom or ask for a pad without embarrassment. But blood or poop on your pants is embarrassing. It’s not horrifying or life changing, but it’s definitely not preferred.

    • Irina says...

      I agree with Emily. Bleeding out of your uterus isn’t really that different than bleeding from a wound. No one would ever laugh at a person with a bandaged arm that was bleeding through the bandage. We’d feel sympathy for them and the pain they must be experiencing. It’s really terrible that our society treats menstrual bleeding differently because the blood is coming out of women’s reproductive/sexual organs rather than their arm or leg or head. I know there are many traditions around the world, dating back thousands of years, that believe menstruation and menstrual blood are somehow “unclean” but it’s time for us all to move past that.

    • Natalia says...

      Emily – I hear you! if you haven’t already read it, you should immediately buy the book “ Cunt: A Declaration of Independence” by Inga Muscio. It talks about this issue and so many others that women experience + take for granted, in the most liberating and empowering way. I think I read it in one day- it totally made me feel (among other things) like I will never again view period accidents, etc as “embarrassing.”

      That being said – completely get and concur with those saying it’s no different than being embarrassed from any other bodily function, etc. Both perspectives have a place and are right in my eyes!

      Anyway – do check out the book! Xoxoxo

  64. Kim says...

    I was an artist’s model all through my 20’s. One day I had to model for an early class (7 a.m.-ish) and was running a bit late. So I didn’t eat breakfast first. I don’t think I even finished a bottle of water before class. The instructor very thoughtfully had a space heater pointed toward me to keep me from getting too cold. After about 15 minutes I started to get too hot. And then I started to see spots. And then I fell, knocking over two easels on my way down. I was a little scuffed up from the carpet and a lot embarrassed. We took a break so I could get a muffin and some water. I finished the class, but never modelled for that teacher again. (There was another time when I started my period while modelling, but we’ll save that for another day.)

  65. TJ says...

    In my twenties, I worked in a large building with only 2 elevators, so people tended to aggressively stick their arm in the closing door to get on. One day, annoyed, but mostly just being cheeky, I said to the person ‘you’ll lose an arm that way!’ He doesn’t say anything and gets on, stepping behind me. When he gets off, you guessed it, he is sporting one arm. I mean, what are the odds? And who risks their one arm for an elevator?
    I sort of stopped chatting with strangers after that…

    • Lucy says...

      I can’t stop picturing this and giggling!

    • jane says...

      ooof, awesomely horrible, haha, but also reminds me of Hassan Minhaj’s standup bit (Netflix) on subways and arms/legs/heads.

    • jane says...

      oh NO not Hassan Minhaj – Ronnie Chieng! I meant the hilarious Ronnie Chieng! (Both were GREAT, highly recommend, btw). Here’s the clip:
      https://bit.ly/3g6WUa1

  66. L says...

    One day when I was in 2nd grade, I had on a really loose pair of underwear. I had to wear a skirt for my uniform, so I spent a lot of time that day with one hand on my hip, trying to hold the underwear up. Well at one point those undies fell all the way to the floor! I was absolutely mortified. I was walking midway between two adjoining classrooms, so the potential audience was twofold! Luckily I suppose, it was just after lunch and 7-year-olds are very distractible, so I don’t think many people noticed as I pulled those undies back up.

    • Sarz says...

      Relatable, L! I had the elastic on an already-loose-ish thong snap the other day. I had to hold it up through my skirt, or the same thing would have definitely happened. Now we know: fit is key! :P

  67. MG says...

    I started dating my first boyfriend when I was a freshman in college. It was the worst, not because he was a particularly horrible person or anything, but because we did not go together in anyway at all. We fought often and stressed each other out. But somehow (!!!), we couldn’t figure that out and dated for a number of months because both of us felt bad about breaking up.

    That preface in mind, one night we were having some serious talk in his car. I forget the subject, but I remember I was absolutely sobbing. I cry a lot, so really, I was okay, but for some reason I was crying profusely. We’d only been dating a month or so by this time, and I’m just bawling my eyes out when I feel him reach over with a tissue and try to wipe my nose. I open my eyes and there is literally a foot long booger hanging from my nose that has been there for lord knows how long, and he’s probably been watching me sniffle out this booger while I’m half-sobbing, half-talking, I was *mortified* but also still sobbing hard enough so that I just ignored what was an awkward moment.

    I kid you not, it was a foot long. Such a gross feat of gravity and physics.

    I always laugh when I think about how miserable we were together, like why didn’t I just break up with him during the Booger Incident? Clearly, it was a sign.

    Happy to report I am now happily married to the most wonderful man, we absolutely fit together, it’s easy to be in love, and I have not cried out any foot long boogers because of him.

    I’d say that’s a score.

  68. SP says...

    i am giggling behind my desk at work! we are all so weird and wonderful.

    my embarrassing story: i was at a party in college, the first one after I’d broken up with a longtime boyfriend and it was nervewracking and exciting to be a single girl out and about again. i was standing with a girlfriend and she waved a guy over and told me she’d been wanting to introduce us for awhile and thought we’d hit it off. he walked over and was cute, kind of like hugh jackman in notting hill vibes. he said hi to her and then introduced himself to me saying, “Hi, I’m Spencer.” I smiled back, feeling very cool and chic in my all black outfit at a party meeting a new guy. “Hi,” I said, “I’m Spencer.”

    reader: My name is not Spencer.

    cue a very awkward and very long moment of silence, me turning beet red and saying “Wait no my name is not Spencer!” and my friend laughing so hard she almost fell down. Ugh!!!!!!

    • Shade says...

      Lolol ok I can not stop laughing at this story. So we’ll told and I can imagine myself doing something very similar.

    • P says...

      Omg I keep thinking about this story and laughing out loud to myself! Amazing. This sounds like something I would do as well.

    • Megan says...

      I once did exactly the same thing, except I was meeting my roommate’s extremely cool best friend from growing up. MORTIFIED.

    • A says...

      This made me giggle so much. “Reader: my name is not Spencer.” Lol

      This moment reminds me of Parks and Rec’s Ann Perkins going to an event for singles, and meeting a guy she’s into who turns out to be a manager at a sporting goods store. Upon learning this, she says “No way, me too!”
      “Really?!!?”
      “No… I was just ribbing you…” hehehe

    • Maria says...

      oh my god this was so funny and also so well writen. This had me laughing so hard that my husband thinks I`m crazy

  69. Pia says...

    In Paris on holidays many years ago. I was wearing what I thought was a cool ensemble at the time, with a shirt, skirt over long pants and hiking boots… i was busting and went to McDonald’s to avoid paying to go to the toilet. After walking up the stairs and through a bunch of tables with people eating, I reached the toilet and did my business. I came out again, back through the tables and down the stairs. There was a landing half way down. I looked down towards the floor, and although my skirt was down my pants and undies were still around my ankles. I had to hoist them back up and exited the store the most embarrassed I’ve ever felt!

  70. Michelle says...

    My husband and I moved to a new city in our mid-20s. A friend of a friend (who we had never met) lived there, so we exchanged a couple texts and made plans to go to their house for dinner. We knocked, they let us in and we made small talk for 10 minutes until we realized it was a duplex, and our new friends lived on the top floor. Sooooo awkward.

    • Lydia says...

      This reminds me of one of my aunt’s stories. She’s bad with faces and names and never remembers anyone and her husband is the complete opposite and knows everyone in their town. One day there is a knock on their door and she answers and it’s some of his friends who she doesn’t remember at all. She’s very affectionate and a big hugger so she swoops them all up in hugs and kisses and takes the plate of cookies they brought and starts calling for her husband like “look who’s here!” because she doesn’t know their names. He walks into the room… and also has no idea who these people are! It turns out, they were visiting my aunt and uncle’s neighbors and had the address wrong. She gave them their cookies back, pointed them in the right direction and sent them on their way to their actual friend’s house and with a great story about the ridiculous neighbor who answers the door to strangers and covers them in hugs and kisses.

  71. Amanda says...

    I also used to love that embarrassing stories column, but never had a story embarrassing enough! One day, my sister and I decided to craft a fake but convincing story and submit it to Seventeen magazine. We made up a story about someone who was playing “chicken” in the pool with her crush and some friends lol and she started to laugh so hard she peed while on his shoulders. And you know what, the story got published! We both grew up to be professional researchers and writers haha

    • Stacy says...

      I swear I remember reading this somehow. Lol!!!

    • anni says...

      I remember that one!

    • Jess says...

      OMG NO WAY I REMEMBER READING THAT! That story was burned into my memory. I mean, it really is plausible!

    • Sherri says...

      It sounds familiar to me too! I lived for Seventeen magazine.

    • Emilie says...

      Sadly I lived this – except I wasn’t even in a pool. It was a street celebration, Vancouver 2010 Olympics right after Canada won hockey gold. I was on the shoulders of the guy I had had a crush on for three years. We had been kissing the whole night, I was on cloud 9, and after the buzzer went he hoisted me up on his shoulders. I have a notoriously weak bladder, and the excitement (and a few beers) got the better of me. He pretty quickly let me down, and didn’t say anything :| I would have almost preferred for him to acknowledge it and laugh it off? I had to go back to the apartment I was staying at to change. The end of a very brief affair that I can never get out of my head whenever I see people playing chicken in a pool or at the end of a victorious hockey game.

  72. Lauren M says...

    I was about 7 years old and taking jazz dance classes in the local elementary school gymnasium. Halfway through the class, I had the urge to pee. I was an easily embarrassed, extraordinarily shy child, so the thought of interrupting the class so I could ask to use the restroom was mortifying. I did my best to hold it in. Of course, I failed. As we were dancing, pee ran down my leg into a puddle on the gym floor. No one slipped in it, thank goodness, and I ended up a distance from the puddle. One of the girls spotted it, had the confidence to alert the instructor (where was my confidence two minutes prior?!), and got the attention of the janitor. So the janitor came over with a mop and bucket, cleaned it up, and declared that it must be from a ceiling leak (it was raining outside). I was obviously well hydrated, because the urine was clear as could be. I kept my mouth shut through the ordeal, tortured myself over it for a couple of days, and returned for the next class, frightened that I had somehow been found out. I had gathered my confidence to return to class only to find the doors to the gymnasium were locked. Instead, our class was meeting in the library. At the beginning of class, the instructor explained that the gymnasium was closed and undergoing a full inspection for a roof leak after our puddle incident. I literally quit dancing after that.

    • Jeanie says...

      That’s hilarious, Lauren! “A full inspection for a roof leak,” haha. I had a similar incident happen in Pre-K. The bathroom was down in the basement of the school building and I was too scared to ask to go down there alone, so I tried to hold it but ended up peeing while sitting at our little table. We stored our backpacks under our chairs, and I still remember the poor little boy who sat across from me carrying his backpack up to the teacher and complaining that it was wet. She figured out what happened and I had to sit in the corner the rest of the day! (She was a really mean teacher!)

    • Nina says...

      Almost exactly the same thing happened to me! I was too shy to interrupt class so I peed myself during gym class! But everyone saw. The teachers were sooo nice but, no, I never went back.

    • Allie says...

      DUDE! That’s wild!

      On the other side of the coin, I was an assistant dance teacher when I was in high school and VERY anxiety/embarrassment prone. I ended up having to teach a class of 4 year olds by myself one day when the lead teacher was sick, and it was also “watch week,” so the kids’ parents were in the room. Very intense. One little girl asked me if she could go pee, I said yes, and she proceeded to let loose right there in the room and wet herself (poor thing). Then she took off her tap shoes, dumped the pee on the floor, and I had to frantically clean up pee while corralling a herd of 4 year olds in front of their parents. The girl who peed was the one student without a parent there that day. So stressful! She and I were both pretty miserable. ha!

    • AE says...

      Same with me! My third grade teacher let me stay in during lunch to help her with the classroom work and she went down the cafeteria to heat up her lunch. I had to pee so badly but didn’t want her to come back to find me gone (and think I was bad for not asking permission) so I held it until I couldn’t anymore :( totally peed myself and she was so confused as to why I didn’t just go to the bathroom!

  73. Sarah says...

    My most embarrassing moment happened just two weeks ago. I was part of a panel for a law school club. The panel consisted of me, another attorney and two judges. One of the questions was “What is something you learned in law school that you use in your everyday practice?” The question went to one of the judges who told this very heavy story about how his daughter died while he was in law school and his classmates would not let him drop out and forced him to stick with it and then got him through taking the bar. His biggest take away was the community that formed around him. Beautiful, poignant answer. Then it comes to me, same question. Preface I am an estate planning attorney. I say what I learned from law school is you cannot answer the question given to you at face value, you have to think six steps past that. Of course I want to illustrate my answer with an example. So the next thing out of my mouth is, “In estate planning for example, most people leave their estate to their children, but what if your CHILD DIES BEFORE YOU? ” Yep, I managed to bring up dead children in a question about what have you taken away from law school. If the earth could have swallowed me up right then and there I would have been grateful.

    • Alexandra says...

      As an estate planning attorney, I just want to say that my heart goes out to you for this.

  74. Cookie says...

    I was 10 and was invited by my crush to jump on his family’s trampoline. When I arrived at his house his mom walked me to the backyard and told me I had to stay outside because they just had the carpets cleaned. I got on the trampoline with my friend and we were having the time of our lives when suddenly my stomach started gurgling. Moments later I felt very ill and the *immediately* needed to use bathroom! Things were happening that I had no control over. I jumped off the trampoline and ran through the house to the bathroom but I didn’t make it in time. I had left a trail of poo from the trampoline to the bathroom on the freshly cleaned and still wet (!!) carpet. I was beyond HORRIFIED. I didn’t know what to do so just ran out of the bathroom, out the front door, and rode my bike home. I don’t remember the details of what happened after that but I do remember my crush telling me on the bus the next morning I wasn’t allowed to play at his house ever again. :(

    • Alison says...

      Oh my gosh. Just dying here!

    • Andrea says...

      Cannot control my laughter right now

    • Shannon B. says...

      Oh noooo! Lol lol lol! Laughing sooooo hard!

  75. Maryn says...

    Once upon a time I was an eighth grader at a junior high dance with my friends. I suggested to my friends that we should start doing some freestyle-type dancing to warm up, and said loudly after doing so, “LET’S GET OUR ESTROGEN GOING!” I only realized how loud I said it after I noticed a cute ninth grade boy from my neighborhood staring at me in shock.

    I meant to say endorphins. Not estrogen.

  76. Bonnie says...

    Age 13. Macy’s dressing room with my mom. Had to pee but thought I would be ok for a little longer. Suddenly, I farted so loud which triggered all the pee to come out at once, a huge never-ending stream. Of course I was mortified, but my poor mom was the one who had to go apologize to the sales clerk and alert her to the clean-up job in her future.

  77. Shay says...

    It was my first year in middle school and I was always the smallest kid in my class. One day I was late for school and was running into the building. In an unfortunate happenstance, I tripped on one of the winter mats in the lobby. In a comically long and drawn out sequence, the weight of my backpack pulled me to one side but I held on for several feet before the weight eventually pulled me over. I then slid across the floor only to find two terribly cool, older boys standing in the hallway observing the entire scene. I could have crawled into a hole and never come out.

  78. Diana K says...

    I was in High School and started hanging out with a guy just a year or two older. He felt like rock star levels of cool to me. He was a musician who had curly hair and wore flared jeans. One day we ended up hanging out by ourselves at a local playground. I sat on the swing and he spun me around, twisting up the chains of the swing with the intention that he’d let go and I’d be spinning off in the opposite direction. When he let go, the swing spun faster than I expected. I fell backwards, but my long flowy skirt got caught on the chain. I was essentially laying on the ground, on my back with my legs still on the seat of the swing, with my skirt no longer covering my butt. I was wearing small, stringy underwear with my BUTT CHEEKS OUT. The poor guy fell down laughing and averted his eyes until I got myself together. He ended up being really mean to me because I wouldn’t sleep with him and I can’t help feeling like he didn’t deserve to see my perfect 16 year old butt.

    • Lynn says...

      There are several humiliations involving my period and rejections by various boys, but the most recent simple embarrassment came on my birthday this year. I decided for my pandemic bday, I would treat myself to a sundae from a local matcha cafe. I walked there with my husband and son, and, to support distancing, asked my husband to wait outside with my son while I ran in to order. Well, when my order was ready I paid and then picked up my cone and sundae and proceeded to *immediately* drop the ice cream from my husband’s cone on the counter as I tried to leave. I was embarrassed, but the kind cashier told me she’d get me another one. I waited for that. Then, after making a show about carefully arranging both items and walking towards the door, I dropped the other one right on the floor! More embarrassed, and still trying to reduce time inside, I apologized and just kept walking, telling my husband that we had to go right away. Well, the sweet cashier followed me, and shouted to come back so she could replace it. We waited outside and she came with another. I apologized profusely. It was enormous, and totally delicious, but probably not worth the shame. Only good part is I was wearing a mask so hopefully they won’t recognize me if I ever go back!

  79. Michelle says...

    Was thirteen, head in the clouds, noticing cute boys as we went from state to state on a family trip to Florida. Spent many days in a camper van with family. Desperate to get away for a few minutes at a time whenever I could. Went to the bathroom at NASA for a pee break. Was blissfully alone. Exited the bathroom and saw a terribly cute boy exit the boys bathroom with a friend at the same time. Ended up walking behind him to leave the building. He was soooooo cute! I couldn’t help but stare and try to make eye contact for only a second! I decided to walk past him. I strutted, head held high, flicked long hair and looked like I hadn’t a care in the world. He noticed me and I smiled and then kept walking. He started chatting with his friend as I walked past. He must find me cute too! Victory!
    Out of nowhere comes my younger cousin shouting my name over and over. I ignored her. Finally she ran up to me and yanked a three meter long piece of toilet paper trailing behind me out of the back of my shorts. Died. right, there.

  80. Lorna says...

    Ok, so this may be too “off-color” to pass the moderation process but….years ago – six months out from leaving a husband I married super young but was married to for a long time (setting the stage: I was full-fledged ADULT, at least chronologically) and a month or two into a “fling, I was um, “performing a particular sex act” and threw up. Yeah….so embarrassing I’m changing my usual screen name in case this makes it through.

    • Lindsey says...

      Honestly, I am surprised this doesn’t happen more often! I hope your partner was understanding!

  81. kiki says...

    Oh man, these are so good! There’s a few that stick with me. But one of the worst was in high school (late 90’s) I was the “anchor” for our morning announcements. There was a crew that filmed us and it went out live to the school every morning in tiny classroom TV’s. One morning, I was wearing brand new super-high-heeled red booties. And of course, this morning we also had to do a walking shot. I don’t even remember why I had to get up, but I did. And I felt SO CUTE in my new boots. I was really feeling myself. You know where this is going. I tripped over a light cord and landed flat on my face. I was mortified. The only thing I could think in the moment was “pride comes before the fall”. To this day, if I’m ever feeling myself, I walk with caution. LOL

  82. Meghan says...

    This may be TMI but I still cringe thinking about it! As a freshman in high school, I still wasn’t comfortable wearing tampons so I opted for those huge, thick pads that my mom stocked in her bathroom cabinet. I was on the soccer team and we were warming up before a home game, running laps around the field. Right as we passed the opposing team, who had just arrived and were putting on their cleats on the grass, my bloody pad fell out of my underwear and stuck to the shoe of the girl running behind me. She, rightfully, flipped out, screamed, and high kicked the thing as far as she could, and it landed smack dab in the middle of the opposing team. Everyone was screaming, I was panicking, and I literally just sprinted away and spent the rest of the game in the locker room. It was grim lol

    • omg that is so awful yet so hilarious! thank you for sharing it!

  83. Rachina says...

    Wow that is horrible. Sorry you had to go through that.

  84. Danielle says...

    I was wearing my favorite vintage wrap skirt and I was returning a very heavy stack of books to the library. I was really struggling with this stack of books and fortunately the section of the counter for returns was shorter than the rest of the counter- only waist high. Unfortunately unbeknownst to me the tie from my skirt was caught under the stack of books when I slid them onto the counter so that as I walked away the skirt was unwrapped and I was left standing in the library lobby in my underwear.

    • Laura says...

      I have a similar memory with a wrap skirt! Aged 11, walking down the street from my house and my skirt just fell to the ground. I whipped it up and pretended nothing had happened 🤣🤣

    • JS says...

      Cannot stop laughing hysterically. Mortifying… but so relateable!!

  85. Miriah E. says...

    I was in seventh grade and had been running around all during the lunch period with my friends that I didn’t use the bathroom like I should have. I was probably so glad to have been included (jr. high friendships are rough), that I just ignored how much I had to pee. When I got to class, I really had to go but my teacher said I should have gone during lunch and wouldn’t let me. Looking back, I should have just walked out of the classroom when it became critical, but I was a rule-follower. I peed my pants in my seat in front of the whole class. I raised my hand and just started bawling. One of my friends helped me leave the class and make it to the bathroom. I called my mom and switched classes after that – but I’m honestly not sure how I even went back to school. I made it, though and it only came up a couple times (to my face). I feel so bad for that seventh-grader!

    • cg says...

      I’m glad your mom switched you out of the class, I hope that teacher got a talking to as well. As a teacher myself, I honestly don’t understand why some teachers do that. I always tell my kids they don’t have to ask to use the bathroom, they just need to tell me. It’s a head scratcher to me that some teachers believe that a student can concentrate on work when their bladder is calling.

    • Shade says...

      That happened to me in 6th grade. I don’t know what is wrong with these teachers who don’t let you use the bathroom. I peed right there in my science class seat. Mortified! I waited until class was over and everyone had left the classroom, then ran out with a sweater tied around my waist and a puddle on my chair.

  86. Lily says...

    When I was in middle school I had my first boyfriend, he and all his friends were cooler than I. One day in band class I was sitting on his lap, I felt a sneeze coming on…

    When I sneezed I also farted in his lap. If that weren’t enough I also shot a snot rocket onto his opposing knee. Everyone both heard the fart and saw his repulsion upon wiping my ejected snot from his knee.

    I still feel hot in the face when I think about it…

  87. Colleen S says...

    I would have said slipping in water at the San Diego Zoo in front of naval officers and other patrons, but that was outdone earlier this year. I suddenly got a bad stomachache and ended up peeing/pooing myself in my sister’s car just two minutes down the road from our apartment.

  88. Coco says...

    I live in Germany. While in my late 20s, my English boss and I were on friendly terms and would sometimes get together outside of work. He took a liking to the holiday of Thanksgiving and asked me to make Thanksgiving for a few people from work at his home. So I did.
    My mom advised me to also get the turkey neck, since adds a lot of flavor (or some such thing). Well, it turns out that an uncooked turkey neck resembles a part of the male anatomy, and I am messing around with it in the house of the person with the dirtiest sense of humor of anyone I know, who is also my boss. It was really hard to keep a straight face and at the same time not freak out.
    Later on, I also realized that I had left the gas faucet on (I’ve never had gas where I lived), so I’m probably lucky that there wasn’t a big fire or explosion…

  89. Mary from Ohio says...

    As a freshman at an all-girls school, I wanted to meet boys so volunteered to be a timekeeper for the debate team at the boys school. Poor venue for meeting fun boys, but I had committed. During a break, all the boys were outside lounging on the steps. I decided to playfully hop over a 2-inch decorative fence, but caught my toe and crashed to my face as my plaid uniform skirt flew over my head. A hundred geeky boys simultaneously said, “OOOUCH! “

  90. Britt says...

    When I first started my period, it was very irregular and sometimes unpredictable when it would show up. That year, I got my period while wearing white shorts and playing tennis far from home. I tried to clean it off and spent the rest of the day pretending that I had spilled ketchup on myself.

    • Megs says...

      Ooh how these stories hurt my heart! I had a heavy & and unpredictable period myself and had this happen several times. In retrospect I’m sure no one believed I’d sat in ketchup. I still feel a little shame about it, which makes me so mad! I’m Hoping my daughter will 1. Not have to deal with this thanks to those amazing blood absorbing underwear and other new products and 2. Won’t feel any shame about her period/body functions ever for any reason! Fingers crossed I’m raising her right!

  91. Abby says...

    Oh my gosh…that swim meet story made me laugh out loud! Poor kid…but great story. Thanks for sharing!!

  92. Connie says...

    These are the most wonderful stories. This year has been SO hard. This thread is so cathartic, because we are not alone. Thank you for side-splitting laughter: i haven’t done that in a long, long time.

    When I was 12 my mom asked me and a few of my friends to act as “cool big sister staff” for my little sister’s birthday party. We helped run party games, helped fill kool aid cups, and provided what we thought was general mature awesomeness. In the middle of the party, my sister decided to reveal my crush to her whole little cadre of school mates. I was mortified, sure, but it got significantly worse when we returned back to school that next week and every time my little sister’s class walked by in their line to pass to other classes (ah, private school, where Kindergarten-8th grade are all in the same building!), would all point at me and shout, “Cathie’s sister likes Scott _____!” over and over in front of essentially our entire middle school aged hallway. I wanted to quietly creep into my locker. Delightful.

    • elianne says...

      So true. I spent hours last night cry laughing into a rabbit hole of ‘funny news bloopers’ which I would never normally never watch. But they were F U N N Y. Who knew I needed to laugh that badly. This post is so good right now.

    • Natalia says...

      So true, Connie. Your comment made me tear up because I just realized I haven’t laughed like this all year. Boy, oh boy, has it been a rough one.

      So grateful for this gift of momentary relief in complete silliness and fun. Also – very impressed and in love with all of these ladies who so openly and bravely share their most mortifying moments for a good laugh/commiseration. You are all seriously the best! <3

  93. Elspeth says...

    When I was 7 years old, I went to the beach with my grandparents. As kids do, my brother and I changed into our swimwear and ran to the water, leaving our clothes in a dishevelled heap. We had a blast in the sea. But I suddenly heard my grandfather yelling. I looked back at the beach to see with horror that a seagull had grabbed my underwear and was flying off with it (I guess it thought it was a bag of food or something). My grandfather was trying to get them back, while the rest of the beach laughed heartily. My grandmother couldn’t breathe she was laughing so hard… I was TOTALLY mortified and have hated seagulls ever since! I did not see the funny side for years after 😂

    • cg says...

      Omigosh, another seagull hater!! Unite!

      It’s funny b/c my prevailing embarrassing moment also involves a seagull. I was all of 12 or 13, and was tasked with taking my little cousins (visiting from out of state) to the zoo. It was easy enough b/c there was a streetcar line near our home that ran straight to the zoo. So I was acting like “older sister”, my visiting aunt entrusted me with some spending money to get in and to have lunch there. Ordered three hot dogs, was putting ketchup on them all when a seagull swooped down and stole one of the hotdogs.

      Being a preteen and susceptible to the slightest bit of embarrassment, I quickly took the remaining hotdogs to my cousin and watched them eat lunch while secretly hoping no one saw how I lost to a seagull. I didn’t get another hotdog for myself b/c I was afraid I had already spent too much of my aunt’s money. I didn’t tell anyone what happened until I was an adult. It’s funny thinking back at it now, and of course a friend later told me (she used to work at the zoo), that it was a common occurrence and all I had to do was tell the hot dog vendor and would’ve gotten a free replacement. Go figure.

  94. B says...

    So many to choose from! When I ten years old, I had an outsized crush on a ten-year-old dreamboat I’ll call S. Good practice for later outsized crushes. My friends and I played a game at recess in which one of us sat on a swing and the others twisted the swing and then let go, so that the person sitting in the swing could spin. I was the one in the swing one day, and was wearing a dress which became caught in the swing chains above my head, so that I was trapped in the swing with my dress tangled in the swing chains above my head and my underwear exposed to everyone. I remained reasonably calm until I heard S offer to help untangle me. I (unrelatedly) moved the next year and managed never to make eye contact with S again.

  95. Lindsay says...

    I spilled a huge Sprite on a man while waitressing. It was my first day and I hadn’t figured out how to balance the tray. Luckily it wasn’t a hot bowl of minestrone 😂

    • Calla says...

      Oh man I have definitely done this too!

    • Em says...

      I waited tables for many years and had a couple drops and spills, a few of which are burned into my memory because it’s mortifying to make a mess and a scene in a quiet, nice restaurant when you’re supposed to be smooth and blending into the background!

      Once I tried to squeeze between two tables sideways and apparently misjudged it, and I knocked over a salt shaker WITH MY ASS, that was on the table while people were eating. That one still gets me.

    • A server split a good amount of iced water from a pitcher on me on my first date with my boyfriend. It’s been over 5 1/2 years now, and that’s part of the nice memories of our first date. Maybe it’s a fond memory for the Sprite guy too. :)

  96. Alex says...

    One embarrassing moment that comes to mind – My now husband and I were newly dating and we were having our first argument on the way home from our local bar. We were both a little drunk. We were crossing the street right as I was about to make a slam dunk point and win the argument, when I stepped into a pothole, tripped, and went flailing to the ground. My husband, immediately scooped me up and helped me to the sidewalk asking if i was okay and trying so hard not to laugh at me. He told me later that a) He felt so bad for me in that moment, b) It made him fall in love with me a little, and c) I fall like a toddler. He still brings that moment up 10 years later whenever one of our kids goes down – “Awww, she falls over just like her mother.”

    • Kelli says...

      That’s adorable!

  97. Liz says...

    At my parents’ urging, I joined the swim team during my first year of high school. The team was primarily populated by girls who had been swimming competitively for years, whereas my swimming experience consisted of messing around in lakes and playing Marco Polo at the town pool; there were more than a few snide laughs at my ineptitude from my teammates at practice (god, teen girls are the worst).

    At our first swim meet of the year, my most devout hope was to get through the day without drawing attention (and ridicule!) from my teammates. Before long, it was time for my first-ever race. I mounted the blocks with trembling legs, poised to dive off the blocks when the starter’s gun went off. Except…instead of firing the starting gun, the starter said “Dismount,” to signal to us that there had been some kind of malfunction and we would have to delay by a few seconds. I was not prepared for this eventuality so I simultaneously dived off the block, and tried to stop myself from diving off the block. As a result, I full-on BELLY FLOPPED directly into the pool in front of the entire meet. I had to miserably swim back over to the side, clamber out of the pool, and scurry back to my block to remount, so they could actually start the race, with the girls on my team laughing hysterically from the sidelines. It was a worse outcome than I EVER could have imagined!!! Just typing this gave me a full-body cringe!!

    • Calla says...

      Wow this is so visceral!

      I know exactly that feeling though. I once did a similar thing trying to get on a small sailboat. I was stepping off the dock and thought I heard my host dad say “Wait” so simultaneously tried to pull back. The result was that I took one large deliberate-looking step directly into the sea. I then had to wear a full-body puffy suit for the rest of the day because it was too cold to be in wet clothes.

    • RW says...

      Oh no!! If it makes you feel better, I swam competitively for years and did that multiple times– even late in my career, as did many of my teammates! I’m so sorry they were so unkind about it!

  98. Kaitie says...

    This feels like a distinct NYC “trauma-rama” moment –

    I was 19 or 20, on summer break from college, and visiting a friend who grew up in the Financial District. I remember leaving her apartment fairly early in the morning, and was running late for my train leaving Grand Central. As I get through the turnstile to the Wall Street subway, the train is approaching and I can hear the “Stand clear of the closing doors…” so I obviously sprint to make the train. As I sprint and clear the closing subway doors, I trip and go flying through the subway and land with such velocity that I end up on my stomach, legs splayed, ENTIRE BUTT exposed (because of course I was wearing a dress and of course it rode all the way up on impact). In the middle of like 7am rush hour train traffic. Surrounded by suited up finance bros. To top it off, I also had a backpack, so I probably looked like a bizarre, naked, big-booty turtle.

    Of course, because it’s NYC, everyone averted their eyes and acted like absolutely nothing had happened.

    • Em says...

      big-booty turtle! hahaha love this. and yes, of course, NY… nobody would bat an eye.

  99. Toni says...

    I was 15 and it was opening night of my high school’s musical production. It was toward the end of Act I and I was in the pit orchestra looking straight ahead at our conductor when one of the characters in the show threw a pocket watch at another character. It was supposed to land at the other character’s feet but instead hit me on the back of my head with a thud. I was knocked out completely. Apparently, I slumped down in my chair while another musician grabbed my instrument as I fell to the ground. I came to in the band room surrounded by so so so many people – actors from the show, stage hands, my parents, teachers, a few friends, a whole bunch of seniors…I was totally mortified. The next night of the show, the conductor presented me with a football helmet before the audience was let into the theater. We all got a good laugh and I lived it down just fine but my poor head had a lump that lasted for weeks.

    • B says...

      toni – i have been chuckling and giggling while reading through these, but your story has me sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I laugh so hard – “knocked out completely” and “came to in the band room” for some reason have me giggling every time I reread it. Clever conductor with the helmet. Thanks for sharing.

    • R says...

      hahaha B, I totally agree! For whatever reason those two lines have got me cry laughing. So funny, Toni!

  100. Gail, in Northern California says...

    Oh geez. Early 70’s my son is trying out for the football team in high school. My husband was working and had an exhausting commute so I said I would take our son to get all the “gear” he needed. The sporting goods shop was a favorite manly hangout, and of course that day it was filled with guys, young and old. Shopkeepers were a husband and wife team so I thought I was home free talking to the wife. Imagine my horror when she yelled to her husband at the back of the store, “Hey Ben! Have we got any medium jock straps back there?”

  101. Sadie says...

    While dating a West Point cadet we pulled over before we got back on campus to make out. Curious about the car on the side of the road, an officer found us. “Yes, sir. Let me move this seat so I can give you my ID.”

  102. cate says...

    My most embarrassing moment came courtesy of the school librarian. I went to a small girls school in a tightly knit community where everybody knew everybody’s business. I was standing in the library during my spare when one of my friends asked me if my family were going to a popular Christmas event. I sheepishly replied that we were not because my parents had just separated. The librarian who sat not too far from where we were having our conversation leapt up and rushed down the hall – as in she ran! -and we all heard her exclaim before the door slammed shut” Guess what the Xs have split!”
    I was mortified! Everybody just melted away embarrassed.

    • Lindsay says...

      That’s awful! I’m so sorry you had to experience that :(

    • cg says...

      Omigosh, that’s horribly unprofessional!! I’m sorry it happened.

    • Hayley B says...

      Omigosh that librarian was such an awful gossip! Shame on her! So sorry you had to experience her callously cruel thoughtlessness, especially when your younger self must have been feeling extra vulnerable then.

  103. Cheryl says...

    I had a driving space-out moment and turned the wrong way on a one way street. I pulled over to wait for the light to change, so I could back up and escape.
    I had, unfortunately, blocked a blind lady with a white cane from crossing the street. She proceeded to scream at me and whack my car with her cane until the light finally changed.
    I rolled down my window and groveled to the amusement of our many witnesses:(

  104. Lisa says...

    It was a conference call training session, the kind where hundreds of people dial in. The colleague I was sat next to at the time had this weird habit that as soon as I was any phone call, that was the moment she decided to chat to me. Most of the time I ignored her, but this time the training was quiet dull so I decided to chat. Normally when dialled into conference calls, it automatically mutes you when joining, but I had been kicked out and hadn’t realised that for whatever reason, the automatic muting didn’t work when I dialled back in and I hadn’t noticed. I made a joke about my toddler looking like a Turkish nightclub owner in his sleep suit, when someone with a super posh voice said “could everyone on the phone go on mute. I can only hear someone chatting, and not the training”. I hung up straight away and frequently relive the nightmare. My only hope is that no one knew it was me.

  105. Amber says...

    Not sure if it’s my most embarrassing, but one that stands out in my memory: At work (at my first post-college office job), I was standing around with coworkers having a conversation and adjusting my skirt, and accidentally grabbed the elastic of my thong underwear, pulling it up and releasing to a very loud, very noticeable snap. The conversation abruptly stopped, and all eyes turned to me. Then everyone doubled over laughing and asking if I just very audibly snapped my underwear in front of everyone.

  106. kai says...

    You sound like you were a 9 year old with some serious chutzpah! i would like to have known you! i love the clear eyed sense of right and wrong that kids have at that age–so idealistic and even when misguided, really wonderful little fierce crystallizations of their worldview. if I were you, I might feel proud of that story!

  107. B says...

    I was in middle school and we were going on a beach trip with our extended family. My mom said that she would put our clothes in her bag (a see-through large tote). I didn’t want to put my underwear and bra (I had just started wearing one in the see-through bag), so decided to put my bathing suit over them and change at the beach. Needless to say, I forgot that I was wearing them under my suit and my whole extended family/the rest of the beach saw. To make matters worse, my mother wouldn’t allow me to go to the restroom to take them off, as she deemed it unsafe for me to go a public restroom alone. I spent the rest of the day wearing wet clothes over my suit.

  108. Allison says...

    I think this story is pretty hilarious now, but when it happened I really though my life was over (ha!). I was at a roller rink for my best friend’s 13th birthday party. I seriously hated public toilets as a kid and would hold my pee for as long as possible (do you see where this is going?). Well, halfway through the party I just could not hold it anymore. I didn’t want to waste time by taking my skates off, so I left them on and hobbled towards the bathroom. Big mistake. There was a huge line, and I found out when it was *finally* my turn that two of the stalls didn’t have doors, so there was only one functioning bathroom stall. I skated into the stall, tried to lock the bathroom door and started yanking my pants down but my skates slipped on the tile and WHOOSH I landed on the floor and peed my pants. AHHH. I had to sit there and listen to the line gossip about the girl that peed herself while waiting on my friend’s mom to bring me some new pants from Walmart. I thought the horror would be over when I got those clean pants on, but no. She brought me bright blue sparkly pajama pants! Whyyyyy. My friends were amazing and never brought this event up until we were in high school and could laugh about it.

    • Lisa says...

      The blue sparkly pajamas are so perfect.

  109. Nadia says...

    I have only told this story to two people, and haven’t spoken of it in almost eight years. I would love to strike it from the human experience.
    (TMI warning) When I was 20, I went with my boyfriend to meet his parents at a square dance in their little community. I was on my period, and kept putting off changing my tampon because, well, don’t we all get lazy/cocky sometimes? As I’m holding hands with strangers and skipping around in a circle *which includes my boyfriends mother*, my soakedtampon comes FLYING out of my underwear and lands on the floor, in the middle of everyone. I ignored the hell out of it, and told myself it looked like a dried flower (what?!?? I’m cringing). A lady standing on the sidelines peers at it, I see my dancing MIL (yup she’s now my MIL) curiously looking at it, and luckily sideline lady comes back with a paper towel to pick it up, and tosses it in the bathroom trash.
    I cannot overstate how hard I ignored the tampon on the floor, and how much I wanted to absolutely disappear in that moment. I have never spoken of this to my MIL and hope to god she’s forgotten that moment!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      OMG OMG OMG!!!! you win, Nadia. LOVE this story.

    • Amanda says...

      I’m so sorry but I am laughing so hard reading this story! The dried flower killed me!

    • Ali says...

      Definitely the laughing so much I have tears that I needed today!

    • Katey says...

      Nadia!!!
      I shout-laughed the words “oh my god.” That is awful, hilarious, and yes, I can imagine you want it stricken from the human experience. Thanks for sharing, though. You’re an angel. 🌹

    • Elspeth says...

      Wow. I am blushing for you. And laughing at the fact your MIL was there for it!

    • Liz says...

      Hats off to Sideline Lady, whoever and wherever she is.

    • Amanda says...

      I think I just died a little bit reading this.

    • Nadia! I am finally responding because though I read this 5 minutes ago, I’ve spent the past 5 minutes doubled-over in hysterics. Sweet girl!

      When I was in 7th grade, I was sitting in the bus line after school with my one leg crossed and tucked under my behind. When I stood up, a boy said, “What happened to your foot? It’s bleeding.” My period had leaked through my pants onto my shoe and I was like, “Yeah, ouch, my foot. And look, it bled onto my pants.” Denial is not just a river in Egypt, babe.

    • E says...

      I am cry-laughing at my computer while reading this. Props to you for sharing and yes, you definitely win.

    • Anonymous says...

      I was at Jiujitsu, and I was wearing a brilliant white Gi. I was the only woman there, having great class! I landed this choke on one of my wrestling buddies, wherein I was choking him with my thighs. Uh huh. Truly.

      Fast forward to when I got home… and discovered my gi pants were all bloody up the crotch. I guess I got breakthrough bleeding? Seriously, I started shaking from embarrassment, I cannot tell you.

      First I was annoyed that no one told me, but eventually I was really glad. What would I have done? Run out embarrassed? Apologized? It’s just my body, embarrassing as I sometimes find it. I’m glad no one shunned me (or shamed me).

    • dried flower! omg, yes, ignore the dried flower! nothing to see here people hahahaha

    • Heather says...

      I am loving this and also the super hero sideline lady for just taking care of business!

    • Toni says...

      Nadia!!! I’m laughing so hard there are tears streaming down my face. Thank you for sharing this.

  110. Jessica says...

    I grew up near the water and my best friend’s family had a boat. The summer between 7th and 8th grade they invited me to go on a week-long trip around Long Island with them and a couple other families, including a boy a year older than me who I had a huge crush on. One afternoon while docked, the other kids and I were sitting around the table in the cabin of cute boy’s boat. Something was hilarious and I laughed so hard I peed my pants. Whole bladder into the upholstered foam cushion. I was silent for the rest of the conversation then managed to sneak out back on to my friend’s boat, saying I was hot and needed to change. I then somehow pretended to drop my urine soaked pants into the water. I fished them out after a good swish and let them dry. I cannot imagine that the boy’s parents didn’t notice the wet cushion, let alone the urine stench in a tiny boat cabin.
    25 years later, pelvic floor physical therapy is my best friend.

  111. Anna Azvolinsky says...

    I also read Teen, Seventeen and Sassy (when it as still a great mag, before it sold its soul) avidly. I have heard that a lot of those embarassing stories were actually not true but conjured up by the editors. Can anyone verify if that is true?

    • suki says...

      Are you even reading the comments? No one needs to make this s**t up! Real life is alllllways better than fiction.

    • Larissa says...

      I can’t speak for the other magazines, but the ones for Seventeen were fake-ish. I was a “reader reporter” for Seventeen when I was in high school, (which didn’t actually mean much in practice), but we did submit story ideas sometimes and had to submit embarrassing stories too. The editors would take our embarrassing stories and then add more tension to them if they didn’t think they were embarrassing enough.

      For example — One of my stories was that at a middle school dance, my pants ripped along the seam on my butt, showing off my underwear! One of the adult chaperones didn’t believe me and thought I was making it up so I could leave the gym with my friends (I had an extra pair of pants in my locker). So, I had to show her the rip and my granny panties. So embarrassing for 13-year-old me! The editor at Seventeen added this whole subplot about my super hot crush being there. Luckily, he was not!

  112. AdrienM says...

    Last weekend we had friends (in our bubble) over for our ‘every two week something to look forward to when you have toddlers in a pandemic’ dinner. The kids were off playing all too quietly in their bedroom – what we didn’t realize was that they had emptied all of the drawers. They were making a clothes mountain (according to my three year old) – what fun! What we didn’t realize was that they’d also gotten into mine/my husbands drawers as well. While eating, drinking and pretending to be normal adults in a normal year, my two year old daughter walked out proudly carrying my vibrator like it was a light sabre. It’s Barney purple, not discreet. I wanted to die, but it ended up being a laugh till your stomach hurt night. Worth it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      OMG hahahahahaha. that reminds me of another embarrassing moment on my end: in the “before times,” we had Anton’s new classmate and his mom over for a playdate. the kids went into our master bedroom, and the moms followed. we heard something that sounded like construction outside, like a sort of….vibration. suddenly I realized my vibrator had somehow turned on in our wooden bedside table. I had to laugh and go turn it off. so awkward with essentially a stranger! :)

    • I’m cringing so hard at this and Joanna’s story. Ughhhh.

    • Alex says...

      Toddlers and vibrators man! My 2 yr old woke me up the other morning by scream-singing “Twinkle Twinkle” into my vibrator as if it was a microphone. I waited for him to finish the song, clapped, and then rolled over to try to go back to sleep!

    • C says...

      Before I started dating my now husband I was *cough* getting paid to test vibrators for some research project at a local university. One night after some drinking at the bars we stumbled into my studio apartment, making out. I had *totally* forgotten about the TWELVE vibrators of varying shapes and sizes laying out neatly on the foot of my bed. GASP. I was horrified and shrieked “IT’S FOR SCIENCE!” Needless to say it didn’t scare him off and ten years later it’s a pretty great story (that I cannot believe I am putting on the internet)

  113. Pam says...

    A few years ago my husband and I were buying our first car. I was in my mind-30’s at this point. We researched a ton and I felt ready for the negotiations. At the dealership we had this really young guy helping us, so I felt even more ready to go. When we started talking price, he laid out the dealership price, but in a confusing way with taxes and fees excluded and then stated the taxes and fees. Then he asked us what we expected to pay. My husband was totally silent, which he later told me was strategic (duh!). Well, I piped up with a number. And that number caused both the salesguy and my husband to look at me in disbelief. Because I had said an amount that was MORE than the guy had just quoted us. The salesguy just said “no” and pretended like it didn’t happen.

    I was MORTIFIED!!!!! I still feel shame about that moment to this day! Oh, and we ended up buying a totally different make of car, haha!

  114. Steph G says...

    When my then-boyfriend, now-husband of 9 years, first started dating, we were hanging out in his freshman dorm room. His bunk bed had big metal bars that we would hang on like monkey bars, and one day I tried doing a flip on it. It turned out fine, till I landed and then QUEEFED absurdly loudly. We both stopped, I clapped my hands over my mouth, he stared at me with wide eyes, thinking, naturally, that it was a fart. Finally he said, “let me know when it’s safe to come back over there.” To which I said, “I promise it doesn’t stink.” He gave me a knowing look, and I again assured him it would not smell like anything. And then, somehow thinking it would save my humiliation but really only adding to it, I proceeded to explain the random, unfortunate, bonus functionality of the vagina and its ability to fart.

    • A says...

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You must have blown his college boy mind!

    • A says...

      When I was in college my not-yet-BF, now-husband and I were hanging out at his apartment with some friends… somehow I ended up perching on the back of his couch braiding his long-ish hair (finding excuses to touch each other, LOL) when I let out a fart that was just loud enough for him to hear, but not loud enough to make it over the conversation to the rest of our friends. We both started laughing SO HARD and he didn’t want to rat me out but we were losing it so much that I eventually had to come clean. I’m sure I turned 100 shades of red but the way he handled the whole thing just made me like him more :)

    • Calla says...

      Hahahaha it is for this reason I always opt out of shoulder stands in yoga classes. Just asking for trouble

  115. Becky D says...

    Not me, but the only embarrassing moment I witnessed that happened to someone else that I vividly remember:

    High School swim meet, kids all on the starting blocks. Swimmers (girls) bend down to take their marks; someone farts, and the girl in the next lane false-starts. Truly horrific. I don’t think they disqualified her, but it was very…memorable. It’s basically every swimmer’s nightmare.

    My own personal moment of embarrassment came in middle school, when my elementary-school aged younger brother ran the halls during an after-hours school function at my school screaming “(my name) loves (my crush’s name)!!” at the top of his lungs. I considered transferring after that.

    • Kate says...

      OMG this made me LOL and I need to laugh so much. The false start! So good. Thank you, Becky D.

    • N says...

      The false start!!! Absolutely hilarious!!! I’m going to be laughing about that one for a while 😂

    • jdp says...

      the fart start! that is so good.

  116. Agathe says...

    I have an urinary tract infection on my first week of a new job. Makes me want to pee all the time. You see where this is going… On Friday, my 5th day of work, i have this enormous urge to pee as I stand in the train on the way to the office. I resist. I resist. I resist. I get to the station. I run to the station’s bathroom, which are super gross and I would never consider using, except that I really need to now. There is someone inside. I bang on the door (I am desperate at this point). They say ” I am almost done”. I wait. I wait. I wait. I pee myself.

    • Anne S says...

      That is AWFUL. In college, I carpooled back to campus with about five (cool, upper classmen) boys I didn’t know. It was a six hour drive, and all of them turned down the one offer to pull over for a rest stop, and I was too shy/socially awkward to pipe up. My bladder was BURSTING, I had hydrated way to well that morning, but I managed to hold it in until we got to campus. And no further. I tried to waddle across the grounds in time, but the faster I went the more hopeless it became, and I ended up having to throw away my shoes before going inside my dorm. Luckily I was wearing black clothes and a large coat so nobody noticed…I HOPE.

    • Marie says...

      Thank you for this story! My most embarrassing moment is probably a similar UTI emergency except mine was in line at a grocery store. Those UTI urges come on so quickly there is no turning back.

      (I say “probably” because I have some other stories that are almost as embarrassing. I guess the saving grace of the grocery store moment is I didn’t know anyone there so I could leave and hope nobody noticed! )

  117. Sally says...

    I am a primary school teacher, and have been for 13 years now.
    About 6 years ago I had a class of lovely 5 year olds, and one day I took them all on a trip to a local castle. We had a great morning, and for lunch I bought along a supermarket sandwich as a bit of a “treat”/something different.
    Within 30 minutes I was feeling a bit rough, and within an hour I felt absolutely awful.
    As we were getting ready to leave, we met up with the other class who had come with us, and as we were all milling around, I had to turn to a lovely mum-helper and say, “I’m so sorry, I have to go.” and legged it back to the bus. I sat with the bemused driver, taking deep breaths, and the children soon appeared.
    I survived the hours drive back to school, but I knew the vomit was coming… I jumped off the bus, and started to run. I got about 8 steps, before stopped, doubling up and projectile vomited ALL OVER THE STREET. There is general commotion and fuss behind me, as the children are led off the bus. I hear such things as, “Miss N is being sick on the path!” and “step ROUND the sick everyone! ROUND the sick!”

    I took the next day off work because, you know, the vomit. And while I was off, the children wrote about their day at the castle. Of the 25 children in my class, how many of them wrote about my vomit? 24 of them. Real winner of a day!

    • Amy says...

      I am dying laughing this is so good. “Miss N is being sick!”

  118. Zoe says...

    Last summer when I was 9 months pregnant, my husband and I drove a few hours from Charleston to Savannah to meet up with my brother- and sister-in-law and their friends, whose house they were staying at after going to a wedding in town. We met these friends for the first time, an adorable, sweet, extra hospitable southern couple and spent the afternoon hanging at their home. Everyone else was enjoying a cocktail besides me, and I made a comment about how throughout pregnancy, I’ve been stealing the cherry out of the bottom of the glass after my husband finishes his manhattan. Later, our host turned to me (I thought), said my name (I thought), and shook his glass, seemingly (I thought) to offer me the cherry out of his finished manhattan. I got up from my seat, walked up to him, and picked the cherry out. He and my brother-in-law got up moments later and walked to the kitchen, while my sister-in-law looked at me mortified. Apparently, he had not said “Zoe,” but “Taylor” (my brother-in-law’s name) and was offering him another drink. I, who had only met him an hour or two earlier, apparently unprompted, stole the cherry out of his drink. It was painful.

    • Alicia McGrail says...

      This one … so good.

    • Crying. I’m crying. This is very good therapy.

    • NH observer says...

      I can appreciate your mortification — but if these were your in-laws’ friends and you were NINE MONTHS PREGNANT, for goodness’ sake, I think you get a total pass, considering the honest error. Frankly, I could argue that as the host, he should have been offering you the cherry and it was his mistake not to do so! ;) It’s interesting, so many of these embarrassing stories turn on unintentional exposure or completely well-intentioned mistakes. I think we should all forgive ourselves more often.

    • suki says...

      tears . . .!

    • Vicki says...

      So good! thanks to you all you braves sharers! These have been a highlight of my week – I needed some good laughs!

  119. Sheri says...

    I remember every detail of this: When I was in sixth grade I took a home economics class and our year end project was to sew a garment and wear it to school. The skirt I sewed was only worthy of wearing to school the day of our final project was due. I did not take to sewing and my skirt was poorly made and was not something I could wear again. I had a bottom locker so I had to squat down to get to my locker. The day I went to school with my poorly sewn skirt on, I squated down to put my books in my locker and when I stood up my heels had caught the bottom of my skirt and as I stood up, my skirt was pulled all the way down. It all happened very quickly but by the time I was standing fully erect, Iwas in my underwear! It was horrible.

    • Calla says...

      oh my gosh this made me laugh so hard, thank you

  120. MC says...

    My latest embarrassing moment: I work in a very formal environment which for me made this more painful. A client was behind me in the check-out line of the cafeteria. I was taking a minute to locate my credit card when the cashier passed the machine to him and he tapped and walked off. I shouted after him “thank you so much , sir!” thinking he had just treated me. He looked confused. The cashier looked embarrassed for me and said “no, I just ran his regular purchase through.”

    • Megs says...

      Dying! So hilarious and embarrassing.

  121. Kim says...

    I was headed to watch March Madness with some friends–at their house, to which I had been MANY times. (One of my best couple friends.) I pull up to their house and park at the curb, noticing that they had built a nice brick thing surrounding the tree in their yard. As I walked up, the main door was open so I could see in side, and I noticed that they had rearranged their furniture. As I said, we were very close, so I let myself in, and as I walked in I said “Looks different in here!” in a very sing-songy voice. I continued to walk in, and a man’s head popped up from the couch (which was facing away from the door) and said “….wrong house.” I turned around and exited in shock, not saying a word. As I was walking out, his wife and kids were pulling up in the driveway. I was so mortified that instead of walking over to my friends’ house (next door) I got in my car and drove away.

    • Diana says...

      I am LOLing— this is amazing!!!

    • Jo says...

      Lol!!!!!!!! My favorite.

    • Lisa says...

      This reminds me of something I did! My husband and I were subletting an apartment in DC one summer. It was a giant apartment building that was almost like a hotel. We hadn’t lived there very long when I went to take the trash out. The trash room was very near our apartment and I opened the door and walked right in…only to realize I had actually walked into someone else’s apartment. The guy was sitting there on the couch (I can still see him in my memory) just staring at me holding a giant bag of trash. I slowly backed out of his apartment without saying anything. I never saw him again and made sure to check the sign on the trash room from then on!

    • k says...

      Read through many but this got my LOL. Needed it today.

  122. Erika says...

    Yes – I loved reading those as a teen and probably would still now.

    I was probably 13 and new to having my period. Right before going on a church mission trip my period had started so I made sure to pack lots of pads (I still hadn’t used tampons). Of course there was a boy from another church there that I had a major crush on. To get to the bathroom and showers you had to walk through a gym and one night on my way there my crush was in the gym playing basketball. I stopped to flirt with him and he joked about not being able to make a basket so I handed him my shower stuff to shoot the ball. I don’t even remember if I made it or not because when he handed me my stuff back I dropped my case with my pads and they spilled out everywhere and I scrambled to pick them up while he offered to help. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him the rest of the trip.

  123. Jill says...

    My pants had a hole in the crotch.
    I was a 30 year old substitute teacher at a middle school.
    I can’t. I can’t go on……

    • Toni says...

      Jill!!! I’m cringing for you.

    • Amanda says...

      I really, really hope that you had some decent underwear on.

  124. Daniela says...

    I was in 1st grade and the whole school (not a big school!) was in a play, so it was a rare moment when my crush, a 5th grader, and I were in the same classroom working on props. Of course, one of my guy friends picked that occasion to jokingly pull my pants off in front of everyone, including him, underwear and all. Still mortified.

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      Jeez, I really really hope he was severely punished by the school for this.

  125. Jill says...

    My whole life has mostly been an embarrassing moment (it’s my specialty I guess), but this one sticks with me most. For some reason, the crosswalks at my college were painted with a very shiny/slippery white paint, I suppose to make them as visible as possible for drivers. Never one to wear sensible footwear, I got caught in a rainstorm in flip flops freshman year and proceeded to completely wipe out in the crosswalk – which is not only mortifying, with my enormous backpack, but also very dangerous! Luckily, my friends were there to help me up (while nearly peeing their pants with laughter). I’d like to say this only happened once, but it proceed to happen every. single. time. I crossed the street on campus if it was even the slightest bit drizzly. I wiped out in front of crushes, on the main street in front of all the bars, in heels on the way to my Important Internship, while walking with professors. I never did get the hang of them.
    To this day, nearly a decade later, when I cross at a crosswalk I have to hop over the white lines and only walk on the asphalt.

    • jane says...

      Nowadays they are sanded for traction, I’ve noticed. Thank you for your service, lol.

    • Cynthia says...

      The college I work for has those same damn slippery white crosswalks. I have wiped out several times on them as well!

  126. Tyler says...

    Mine is from when I was like 9 or 10 years old! I still think about it. There was a boy I liked in my class and somehow I had it in my head he liked me back. On Valentine’s Day he did something that hurt my feelings, completely oblivious to our romance I’m sure, so I found a snoopy card with some message about being “in the doghouse” and walked it over to his house and knocked on the door and handed it to him!!!?!?! Handed this poor child a Valentine’s card that told him he was in the doghouse, oh man, what a little freak I was.

  127. jane says...

    I was at the very fancy home of my wealthy boyfriend’s mother for Christmas dinner. Think, Henry Moore sculptures in the backyard, wealthy. There were about 15 family members seated around the dining table and the mother invites me, as the guest, to “start” at the buffet. I felt delighted and honored and happily walked over to the lush buffet spread along one wall of the room, filled my plate, and returned to my seat. Only to then see that another relative had gotten up behind me to take up the position I was meant to take, as server for the rest of the family, lining up behind. I had selfishly only thought of myself in front of an entire room of family but to be fair no one prepped me either. I felt a wave of heat flush though my body so profoundly I almost passed out. Turns out his mother was surprisingly skillful at subtle public torture. I do not have, or wish to have, those skills and I did not marry that man, obviously.

    • Jess says...

      Ugh, that’s terrible! How cruel of her to do that to you, and how odd to expect a guest to serve everyone.

    • Whitney says...

      What the hell kind of buffet system is that? I hate this lady for you.

    • As a Southern girl who was (forced) to go to etiquette school, cotillion, many deb balls, and was raised to memorize all forms of manners…I am SHOCKED that your boyfriend’s mother would expect you, a guest, to stand there and serve their entire family Christmas dinner?? I’ve honestly never heard of that. My mother always encourages guests to go through a serving line first (anyone else familiar with the term “FHB”?) but would be mortified if they stationed themselves to portion food onto plates.

      I’m sorry you were made to feel embarrassed in that situation, his mother sounds like a real treat.

    • Heather says...

      Ugh, so much for making guests feel welcome and at ease in your home. With situations like that, I sometimes comfort myself in retrospect by thinking, “If I had done the opposite, would I truly have felt better?” Suppose you had somehow intuited (or your boyfriend had told you) that you were meant to stay at the buffet and serve the family. Perhaps it would have felt just as torturous to stand there alone, putting food on peoples’ plates, trying not to spill anything, feeling like a spectacle, wondering if you’d gotten it horribly wrong (because *surely* they can’t actually intend for the guest to scoop mashed potatoes for 15 people??). Glad you got out of there.

    • jane says...

      You all are the best, thank you for standing up for me! I was confused about it for years.

  128. Jessica Johnson says...

    My freshman year of college I took a poli sci class that involved weekly debating in small groups. Our grad student debate moderator was super cute and I always had a crush on him because I felt like ideologically we had the same views, and he would sometimes interject in my favor! (swoon) One day I was debating a fellow classmate about the electoral college (of all things) and my phone started ringing in my full backpack. My ringtone was Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl, specifically the part “This Shit is Bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S” over and over again. I couldn’t find my phone to silence it and the entire room was staring at me, while I clumsily fumbled through my bag. After an eternity, the phone stopped ringing because the caller hung up (thank God!). I sheepishly went back to debating, bright red and super flustered. About 2 minutes later, THE CALLER CALLED BACK AGAIN! This time I was so over it, I collected all my stuff and just left the class and didn’t go back. I was so mortified! Later in the week, when the class met again, the Grad student made a general announcement that we should all silence our phones, because otherwise Shit might get bananas, which got a ton of laughs. To this day, I can’t think about the electoral college without thinking, THIS SHIT IS BANANAS,
    B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

    • Andrea says...

      Well, in your defense, the electoral college IS bananas.

  129. Annie says...

    Oh I LOVED those magazines and those embarrassing stories.

    The first one that comes to mind: I was at an airport that buses you to the tarmac to board the plane. I got off the bus and excitedly walked towards the plane when a man with a rolling suitcase raced right in front of me and tripped me. I fell flat on my face in front of the entire busload of passengers! Shocked, I jumped up and kept going until I landed in my plane seat and realized I was also bleeding from my hand! Thankfully a friend was with me to laugh it off with.

    Now I have to share hers ;) That same trip we were wandering the streets of Paris when she really had to go to poop. Paris has public porta-potties on the street (you pay a little bit) and so I held her shopping bags while she went in. All of a sudden the automatic door to the porta-potty opened back up while she was sitting on the toilet HAHA it was so funny, I jumped right in front of it with all the bags in my hands to each side and repeated to her “You will never see any of these people ever again!!!!”

    • Shashi Anand says...

      hahahaha, i laughed outloud in a meeting at the second one…hahahaha

  130. Laura says...

    Roughly two or three years ago, I was at the local YWCA on an elliptical, jamming out to my favorite workout tunes, when lo and behold, I discovered that my headphone jack was not fully plugged into my phone, and the rest of the gym had been listening to Alanis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know” playing out loud along with me. I wanted to die. Soooooo uncool! lol!

    • Anna says...

      Ah! This happened to me in high school! I was at my ballet studio doing homework before my class, and I thought I was plugged in. Turns out everyone heard my playlist of the Madonna covers from the show Glee…….. talk about uncool! haha

  131. Kat says...

    YES Mortifying magazine stories! When I was 12 I dog-sat for a family with a high-schooler and I loved pouring over her YM. I’m sure my folks just thought I was giving their dog very long walks. I was late to the dELIA*s game but convinced my mom to order a t-shirt with angel wings on the back. I mean, you had to call on the phone and dictate the order – my how things have changed. Of course one of my mortifying moments includes a fart. 6th grade gym class, all laying out to do sit ups and in the middle of one…mortifying. BUT I didn’t get teased. I guess that’s better – classmates knew enough to not say anything to my face?

  132. Amanda W. says...

    Sadly, I have so many moments to choose from! But first one that comes to mind … I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but I was close enough to the age where you start liking boys. This was the late 80s/early 90s.

    I had a crush on my brother’s friend, Chad. They were playing Wiffle ball in our fenced-in backyard. I was relegated to fetching said Wiffle ball. At one point, the ball went over the fence into our neighbors’ yard.

    Now, let me back up a bit. Do you remember culottes? Those confusing bottoms that didn’t know if they wanted to be a skirt or shorts? I happened to be wearing a hand-me-down pair of slightly too-large Esprit culottes that day, which is unfortunate in so many ways.

    After the ball went over the fence, I quickly climbed up the fence, jumped over into our neighbors’ yard and threw the ball back over to our side. Then I climbed back up over the fence and jumped … but didn’t land.

    Those damn culottes. I found myself hanging on the fence by my culottes. My underwear was showing, I ripped a giant hole in the crotch … and I couldn’t get down myself. Through tears of laughter, my brother and my crush, Chad, had to lift me off of the fence and set me down.

    I don’t think I ever wore culottes again.

    (Also, today I learned that Esprit is still around.)

  133. Patricia says...

    I was at my boyfriend’s house and out of nowhere, I farted. I immediately kicked the table leg and crunched really loud on the pickle I was eating to try to mask the toot sound. I have no idea why I thought that would work. I can’t stop laughing thinking about this.

    • Kellie says...

      Me neither!! That is so funny!

  134. Sarah says...

    It was 6th grade and the boy I always had a love/hate relationship with asked me to be his girlfriend on AIM (I know, I know). I agreed and then he said, to my horror, “just kidding, I wanted to see what you’d say.” I immediately started backtracking and pretended to be my best friend pretending to be me, which just made it worse. I wanted to DIE. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where my deep relationship trauma and distrust in potential love interests began. lol

    • Calla says...

      How cruel! I probably would have reacted the same way

    • MJ says...

      That’s so cruel! It’s an old trick that kids still do :( My middle schooler experienced this over iMessage last year. She backtracked the exact same way!

    • Shashi Anand says...

      What an a**hole. Wonder where he is now…

    • Stacey says...

      Oh my god, I have almost the exact same story. Did the same guy do this to both of us?! Mine was named Danny. 5th grade, he asked me to be his girlfriend on the walk to the cafeteria, I said yes, he said he was kidding, and mocked me in front of everyone.

  135. Sarah says...

    In middle school, I took a yoga class at the senior center (one of the only places that offered yoga in my small Texas town in the early 2000s). The class was comprised of sweet older women as well as several of the middle-aged moms of very popular girls at my school. During one class, in the final corpse pose, I was so comfortable (I’m sure you know where this is going) that I let a loud toot out.

    I wanted to die, covered my face with my hands, but then the yoga teacher said, “It happens to the best of us,” which caused everyone in the class to erupt into laughter. (Including me)

    Namaste.

    • Catherine says...

      As a yoga teacher, I can confirm, this happens ALL the time!

  136. Joanna says...

    Something I still find embarrassing from childhood – I was at a fair and on some kind of motorized boat thing for kids in a big pool. The time limit for the ride had ended and we were directed to drive our little boats back to the side to get off the ride. I tried steering it back to the dock but could NOT control it enough to steer back. Every other kid managed to do it easily, but I was out in this pool spinning around in circles while every kid and parent watched. Eventually someone who worked there had to come out and get on the contraption with me to guide me back to the dock. By the way, this pool was a smallish above ground pool making my lack of steering even more embarrassing.

    • Calla says...

      I cannot stop laughing at this mental picture, thanks for sharing!

  137. Kay says...

    On my honeymoon my husband and I were driving to Waimea Canyon on Kauai. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, and as we passed through a town on the way there and I thought, “I can hold it.” The second we get on the windy road in the park I know I can’t hold it anymore, so my husband and I start driving in circles looking for a bathroom. I’m getting more and more frantic and finally I pull over and dive into the woods where I essentially release my bowels on a fallen tree. My backpack contained two whole kleenex, so my new husband is routing through our rental trying to come up with something substantial for me to use to clean myself off. He comes up with a wet wipe and a pair of socks. Once I’m cleaned up we get back in the car and the bathroom is right around the corner if we had just kept going. To this day we still say to each other before leaving for long trips, “Go now! I don’t want you pulling a Waimea Canyon!”

  138. Courtney says...

    Oh so many to choose from during those awkward pre-teen/teenage years, but one in particular is forever burned into my brain. I was a senior in high school and went to visit my boyfriend, then a freshman in college…with his family (it was the only way my parents would let me go). I later found out I was experiencing my first ever UTI, but at the time, I just kept drinking a ton of water to relieve the symptoms. We were driving from the place we were staying to the campus to meet up with him on our last morning, and I had to use the bathroom – badly. I tried to play it cool when his dad asked if I could wait until we got there, but I was so very, very wrong. About a mile out, I lost the battle with my bladder. It was horrifying. I had to tell them what happened (as if his sister couldn’t tell, yikes) and find a public restroom to go change (thank goodness my bags were in the back), and then ride the whole way home with a blanket over the seat. The only reason I can look back and laugh now is because I eventually married that boyfriend! Luckily my now in-laws do not bring up this occasion unless I do first!

  139. ale n. says...

    OMG i’m one of those people who absolutely feels like dying when another human being in front of me/in my presence is embarrassed, so i’m sweating profusely just thinking about reading these comments. dear god.

    • Shannon says...

      Ugh me too! Thinking of the embarrassments of youth/young adult life/adult life is so painful. The way they come at you when you’re just minding your own business and then BAM! Remember that embarrassing thing you did? Here are the faces of all the people who remember it too! I’m 34 and one of my on-the-fence-about-having-a-kid things is that I don’t know if I could handle all their cringy embarrassing moments.

    • Calla says...

      @Shannon I’m dying “Here are the faces of all the people who remember it too”

    • Kristen says...

      @Shannon I found that surviving 9 months of pregnancy, a couple of years of nursing and changing diapers in truly awkward situations, and then a few years of young children asking loud questions in public places like “does that man have a baby in his belly?” will pretty much cure you of mortification!

  140. Jennifer says...

    I also obsessed over the dELIA*S catalog, YM, and Teen!

    I have a 12 year old daughter who would love to flip to the confessionals in a magazine, but most no longer exist. So although I don’t have an embarrassing story to add right now, I ask other COJ readers… what magazines exist that a 12 year would love (but perhaps is a bit more progressive to what we read in the 90s)?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I’m not sure if Teen Vogue would be too advanced for her but it’s VERY progressive and wonderful!

    • Sarah says...

      Back when it existed, Rookie Mag! It still lives on as an archive, so she may like to go through it: https://www.rookiemag.com/

  141. Joanna Goddard says...

    omg mine still makes me cringe, almost 20 years later. I went to a VERY fancy, black-tie wedding with my college boyfriend — at an art museum in Pittsburgh. the reception began with martinis and oysters, and we immediately got tipsier than we had expected to. then we went into a ballroom with a huge band — complete with beautiful singers in slinky silk dresses. and, while dancing with the crowd, I tripped and UNPLUGGED THE SPEAKER. the room went silent and everyone stared at me, lying on the floor. I still can’t bear to think about it and have always wanted to apologize to the bride and groom — and their parents! definitely not one of my finest moments.

    • jane says...

      Wow wow wow. Brutal.

    • Amber says...

      hahaha! I’ve had multiple embarrassing wedding falls! Turns out I’m really bad at wearing heels. One I was walking with my plate from the buffet, slipped and fell, and managed to not spill the plate! Another I full ate it during the outdoor cocktail reception and was covered in blood.

    • Erin G. says...

      Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • L says...

      Nice. Is it Pittsburgh? Mine involves intern year, so working 80-100 hours weekly. Holiday party at a bar/restaurant. Danced the night away with co-interns, ecstatic for one night of fun away from the hospital and call while drinking so (so, so) many large glasses of red wine and eating not a thing. Sick in a plant on the way to the bathroom. My Program Director, an absolutely amazing woman, was aware and I don’t think minded one bit. Oh what a night.

  142. Lindsay says...

    At the gym on the treadmill ROCKING out to Beyonce. Pause the treadmill so I can get a sip of water. Treadmill does not pause. I do not notice. Fully step onto treadmill – fly into the air, LAND on the treadmill and ride it down till it spits me out on the floor. I was so completely stunned and embarassed that I hopped back on the treadmill for 30 seconds (does that make it better?? I don’t know but I sincerely hoped it made it seem like no big deal that I flew through the air) and then swiftly exit the gym never to return again.

    • Molly says...

      “Never to return again,” I don’t know why, but that ending had me laughing out loud. Absolutely horrifying and I probably wouldn’t have returned again either.

    • Calla says...

      I love that you got back on. I always do stuff like that too, why do I think it will make people not notice the prior embarrassing thing?

  143. Rachel says...

    It was always my dream to actually wear something from the dELIA*s catalog!

    • Heather says...

      Same! That dELIA*s reference took me back immediately – I had completely forgotten its existence!

  144. Kristin says...

    Hooo boy…let’s see.

    I was 19. It was my boyfriend’s birthday. We went for a very twee picnic at the Getty museum, where we frolicked and took pictures and pretended that we actually knew about the artwork we were looking at. It was spring, and I wore a favorite vintage dress of mine, despite the fact that I was both on my period and had a raging yeast infection (thank you, birth control, for that fun monthly side effect 😾) and was wearing a huge pair of trusty period undies, along with a truly massive pad. But nobody had to know that!!

    We spent the day together, driving to all his favorite places in LA, then had dinner at a little Italian restaurant. Afterwards, we drove to a bowling alley where I had arranged a surprise party with all of his friends. All his music dude friends were there, all his pals from school, even some friends from out of town! It was great! Everyone was having an awesome time, and I was earning major girlfriend brownie points. Then…I bowled.

    I should note that, while I love bowling very much, I am not very good at it. I stood up, picked up my bowling ball, did a fancy bowling strut up to the lane, and proceeded to launch both myself AND the ball toward the pins. I guess my fingers were stuck!! Anyway, I faceplanted right onto the oiled up hardwood. After a minute of just lying there, really letting the waves of mortification surge over me, I rolled over into the gutter, at which point my boyfriend walked up and said, “we can see your underwear.” Then he walked away.

    We dated for another year or two, but we never went bowling again.

    • Jill says...

      Oh no. NO!
      That would do it for me Kristen! I might have to move out of town after that one.
      Can you actually laugh about it now? Omg.

  145. Carly says...

    In 8th grade I joined the volleyball team on a whim. I wasn’t particularly good, but since I hadn’t made the cheerleading squad, I think they took pity on me.
    What I lacked in skill I tried to make up for in enthusiasm.
    During our first home game, I was having a difficult time serving overhand. After a few failed attempts, the coach told me I could serve underhand to throw me and my confidence a bone.
    As I went to the line to serve, I completely blanked on this and tossed the ball in the air to serve. Remembering mid-way, I chose to volley it over as it came down. I still remember all of my teammates and buddies in the stands staring with their mouths open. Fail….ha! Somehow I managed to make the team in 9th grade again….perhaps as amusement for the team? Was so mortifying at the time, but makes me chuckle today.

  146. Lauren E. says...

    Oh god, those teenage years are SO painful. My most embarrassing moment was wearing a red button down shirt to school (I bought it on a trip to New York City, so I thought I was the epitome of chic), and I sweated through the armpits and a girl who sat behind me in chorus started singing, “Sure? Unsure! Sure? Unsure!” I turned around and caught her and the entire row of girls started laughing. It makes me cringe just remembering it!!! I wouldn’t go back to that age for all the money in the world.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, the worst! those years were brutal. once when I was in middle school, I was at a dance and doing “the running man,” and a girl came up to me and said, are you going to be doing that dance all night? still remember feeling mortified!

    • Kirsten says...

      I am going to piggy back on this cringe! I was a painfully shy 9-year-old riding the bus to school – consistently with my head down, ignoring all other passengers. Jerry, I remember his name, looks over the seat in front of me and asks, “What’s your name?” I hesitate. He offers, “Maybe it’s Maybelline? Hey everyone, this is Maybelline!!” The entire bus starts to chant, “Maybe it’s Maybelline! Maybe it’s Maybelline!”

      I was Maybelline for the rest of middle school. Damn 90’s slogans.

  147. Jaime says...

    In undergrad, I was walking down a busy road in front of my university hurrying to class. I was wearing a dress with tights (my typical uniform of the time) and this car stopped at a red light strated honking at me incessantly. I tried ignoring them, assuming it was some gross guys trying to catcall me, but when it didn’t stop I turned around to give them a piece of my mind and it was this sweet old lady who hollered out “Your dress is tucked into your tights, honey!” I was MORTIFIED-at least my underwear was cute that day as I showed it to the whole world!

  148. lauren says...

    I was the editor for my magazine’s agony page for a few years. I had to fact-check embarrassing stories (could suction REALLY trap someone atop an airplane toilet?) diversify embarrassing stories (didn’t any readers have non-fart-related experiences this month?!), go to bat for embarrassing stories (lady who lost her dentures when she tried to give a male exotic dancer a dollar with her teeth, you still have my heart) – it was a lot.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a fun job!!

      PS “didn’t any readers have non-fart-related experiences this month?!” = hahahaha

    • NH observer says...

      PLEASE SHARE MORE STORIES!!!!

    • Erin G. says...

      I’m dead. This is the best comment I’ve ever read on CoJ (and I’ve read thousands), THANK YOU LAUREN!

    • sp says...

      this is my dream job

  149. Madison says...

    My most embarrassing moment also takes place at the age of 13. At the time I was absolutely obsessed with the O.C. and Seth Cohen in particular. So naturally my best friends and I created a book entitled “how to be like Seth Cohen” to present to my crush. This was an ongoing joke between us: that if he could only be more like Seth Cohen, complete with bright green polo shirt and death cab for cutie soundtrack, we would most definitely hang out more. We give the Seth book to Robbie one morning and later that afternoon I walk into science class and my science teacher tells me he saw my artwork. I didn’t make the connection and frankly had no idea what he was talking about so I just said “thank you” anyway. At that moment he (my teacher!) pulls out the Seth book in all of its pasted magazine picture + magic marker doodle glory to show the entire class of eighth graders. I am horrified to find that not only has he shown my book to every other science class he has taught that day but that he has also laminated it in order to preserve this mortifying memory. I eventually got the Seth book back in my possession but not after every single student in my grade had seen it.

    • Neha says...

      Mortifying, but also, go 13 y/o you for approaching your crush and turning it into “if he was more like x” instead of “if I were more like y”! At 13, I definitely thought the boys I crushed on (from afar) were *perfect* and I was just a big ol’ geeky weirdo. I want to go back and tell that girl she was awesome just as she was, and she’d find guys down the line who only liked her *more* for the dorkiness!

  150. Lily says...

    Okay, here are two: In grade nine, my longstanding crush asked me, from across the classroom, what “unrequited” meant, and I think that all I could muster was something like “Really?!?” / In grad school, I exclaimed loudly at a reception: “I hate the gaze!” (referring to the theory of the male gaze). Of course, it sounded like I said something quite different, and something that I would NEVER say – both the hating part and “the gays.” Mortified.

    • Jill says...

      OMG I’m dying here. Sorry Lily!
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA