People From Around The World Share The Most Awkward Situations They've Been In With Strangers

People From Around The World Share The Most Awkward Situations They've Been In With Strangers

If you've ever experienced contact embarrassment, get ready! Reading these stories will make you cringe, wince, and laugh out loud. The people who shared these awkward tales are lucky that you can't actually die of shame - but you can be scarred for life. At least they won't have to see the strangers who witnessed their moments of utter mortification ever again. That would just be too cruel.


40. I don't see color.

I worked security at an aquatic theme park and was watching Jeopardy in the employee entrance. One of the veterinarians came through and watched it with me for a bit. He said he watches it religiously and he'd passed the test for the show and was hoping to get selected. He'd heard that they like to have a diverse group of contestants, and they hadn't had a black guy for a while, so he liked his chances (he was black.) A few days later I saw there were two black contestants on the show, so when I see him leaving the next time I say, "Hey, did you catch Jeopardy last week?" "No, why?" he responds. "There were two black guys on it," I explain. He just stares at me blankly for a few seconds, and walks off. That's when I realized it was a different gentleman than I had the previous conversation with.

adult-baseball-cap-black-and-white-1484799-240x300.jpgPhoto by Jimmy Jimmy from Pexels

39. Hope they were gentle.

The first time I went to get a pedicure, I went with my mother in law. We didn't know one another well at the time, but she knew that I'd never had a pedicure before. She's a very loud woman who often doesn't understand what she's saying. She kept screaming, "BE GENTLE WITH HER, SHE'S A TOE VIRGIN. SHE'S A TOE VIRGIN. DON'T POUND HER." God help me, I will never go back to that salon.

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38. They giggled it off.

My wife and I went out for a drink one night. We walk into the bar, I see someone I know at the bar with their back turned, walk up behind them and tickle their sides. When they turned round, shocked, it turned out I didn't know this person. Complete stranger. They just have me a weird look and walked away. Got their spot at the bar though.


37. Things that go whizz in the night.

Hooked up with a guy in college and fell asleep in his dorm room. I woke up in the middle of the night needing to pee, but unable to find any of my clothes right away. I ended up spending so long trying to find them in the dark that by the time I had enough to wear out in the hall to get to the bathroom I didn't think I'd make it. He was still sleeping so I grabbed a big reusable water bottle and squatted over it. It was blissful relief until I looked over and saw his roommate staring at me in horror.

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36. This is your new daddy.

Once, when I was about 10, I got in the passenger side of what I thought was my dad’s car. I was waiting for a few minutes and then the real owner of the car comes up, and gets in the driver’s seat. At first I was terrified that he was going to kidnap me and steal the car. So I start scrambling for the door handle when he starts yelling at me for being in his car. That’s when I realized I was in the wrong car and booked it back to the store, where my dad was waiting and laughing hysterically. He saw me get in the wrong car and just waited to watch it play out.

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35. I'm sure he was wondering.

When I was a teenager my friends and I would spend the weekends staying up late playing video games and eating junk food. I was also a cross country runner, and on this particular night I was experiencing some extreme chafing from a long run earlier that day. While we were at the gas station getting Doritos and energy drinks I announced to who I thought was my friend, “Man, my nipples really hurt.” Upon realizing it was a complete stranger with whom I had just shared this intimate detail I simply stared at him and said, “You’re not my friend,” and walked away. I didn’t go back to that gas station for a long time.

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34. Tastes like awkward.

When I was in second grade, I was waiting for my aunt to pick me up from school. I spotted her standing outside eating a package of Cracker Jacks, so I walked up and said hi before sticking my hand in the box and shoving some in my mouth.

I looked up again. It wasn't my aunt. It was some random woman with the most shocked expression on her face. I stuttered an apology and then I ran.

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33. What happens in Orlando, stays in Orlando.

On a trip to Orlando my husband, my son and I were all in the swimming pool at our hotel. There was a large Cuban family enjoying a family reunion at the hotel that week as well. Super nice family! We were all kind of hanging out together and our kids were playing. Well, imagine my surprise when I watched my husband swim into the shallow end and wrap his arms around a woman standing there. Then, he burst out of the water and stated "'re not my wife!" to the 50 something lady he had accosted. She says, "Ooh...but that was nice... I could be!" He has since had Lasik!

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32. Just listen to the muzak next time.

Got on an elevator with a woman and she had on these really nice boots so I complimented them by saying, "Nice boots." She cups her breasts and says, "Well you're not shy, thank you they're real!" and then immediately realized I said booTs. She thought I said "nice boobs." Longest elevator ride ever. To this day whenever I say boots in any context I do so with a very hard deliberate T.

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31. Pardon my saying so, butt...

I ran into a customer as I was leaving work who, after asking where his item was, just smiled and said, “Butts. Nice.” And stared at my chest.

I was so confused. I’ve been hit on at work before, and sometimes quite vulgarly, so while this was not uncommon, it was still awkward. But mostly it was confusing since he was... complimenting my butt? My brain was racing on how to process this and respond. Wait, but he said buttS, plural? While staring at my breasts? Did he not know the correct English word for breasts and said the wrong “naughty bit”? He didn’t have an accent, and English seemed to be his native language. Then I thought, "OH GOD" - I’m wearing my coat because I was on my way out the door and I recently stuck a Bob’s Burgers button on it that has an image of Tina saying “Butts.”

He was complimenting my stupid button. Took it off the coat as soon as I got home.

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30. Another day ruined by airport security.

The most awkward moment of my life thus far was with a stranger. I was in Quebec airport going through customs with my family. Because of some recent changes to their system they didn’t have everyone in a line, but instead in a large pen where they would release 50 people at a time (chaos).

When my family is at the front, they release us and everyone is running forward in a mass trying to get to the kiosks. Next to me is a tall Swedish man trying to get his family a kiosk, he is running forward and waving his arm behind him in a “come on” motion - clearly frantic. Well somehow the worlds aligned where his middle and pointed finger went perfectly into my two nose holes. Perfectly, as he then ripped his arm upwards to motion his family forward, my nose was also ripped forward, and I immediately began bleeding - everywhere. He looked at my in horror, my family looked at me in frustration as we needed to get to a kiosk, the customs agents looked at me in bewilderment. The language barriers made the situation all the more awkward!

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29. The gas station pick-up scene is wild.

A woman at a gas station didn't know how to put air in her tires so I helped her because I wanted to put air in my tires and didn't want to wait all day to do it. She called her husband on speaker phone to let him know she found some nice man to help her put air her tires. Then I hear him call her stupid and say that I'm only helping her because I want to pick her up and where does she get off talking to other men. She stammered and tried to explain that nothing was going on between us. After she got off the phone she looked at me as if her husband just caught her having an affair with me and got in her car and left. No thank you, no nothing. And for some reason I felt guilty for even helping her out. I feel awkward just thinking about it.


28. Keep them on a leash.

At the airport, I walk up as the elevator door is closing and there is a woman inside with a stroller. I slowed down because I wasn't in a hurry and would rather catch the next one. Then I saw a little girl who was playing in a flower pot thing nearby. I realize she was likely meant to be on the elevator with her mom, but the doors are closed by the time I put it together. So I walk up to her and said, "Did your Mommy get in the elevator?" She just shyly smiles. I sit down with her and decide to wait in place for a few mins for the mom to realize.

A minute or two later, a man walks up and says, "Excuse me can I have child?" in a thick accent. I was trying to decide what to ask to figure out if she was his kid, when the elevator door reopened and the woman came flying out yelling for the girl. She hops up happily and runs over to the mom. I stared at guy with an accusing look, then he turned and got in the elevator too.

I don't know what the heck was going on there. Was he with them? Did he think I was trying to take their kid? Was he a creeper following them? So awkward. I literally sat silent through the whole weird encounter.

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27. Hope it didn't influence his decision.

It was my first time voting in a presidential election in 2016 since becoming old enough to do so, and my polling place was at a library. When I get to the front of the line and start filling out the required papers, I mention it’s my first time and what to do next. After hearing this, the women who was working there and helping me raised her voice and said, “Hey everyone, we’ve got a first time voter here!” and started clapping so they all would clap as well - but nobody else clapped, and I was just standing there really embarrassed before quietly saying, “Can I just go vote now?”

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26. They were already dirty.

My old roommate's ex was a sleepwalker. One night I hear my door open and she's walking into my room stark naked. She opens up my laundry basket and squats on it and I'm with my girlfriend, who's asleep, so I'm whispering "Amy (that's the roommate's girlfriend)...pssst! What are you doing! Amy! PSSSST!" and yep, she takes a big healthy pee right on all my clothes. As I'm still trying to whisper her awake without waking my girlfriend up she just kind of snaps out of it, the glassy eyes become focused and she goes, "Oh my god!" and runs out. Next day I leave for work and I come back to all my clothes washed and folded with a case of beer in my room.

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25. You're just about his size.

I worked at Old Navy and some lady was looking at mens shirts and she stopped me and held up this shirt and asked if I thought it would fit her son. I looked around and no one else was around. We stood in silence for maybe 30 seconds before she started laughing and said "Oh! Haha, you don't know my son, he lives in Michigan! Never mind me! Haha!"... And then she went and bought the shirt.

clothes-clothing-department-2376190-300x200.jpgPhoto by Artem Beliaikin @belart84 from Pexels


24. She's just not his type.

I was at a bar with some friends watching a basketball game, and this guy kept asking me to check out his girlfriend every time she went away. For example, she got up to go outside to smoke, he stayed in, and he was like, “Be honest, is that not the best-looking chick you’ve ever seen?” He did this several times. I felt so uncomfortable, and there’s no nice way of putting it - she wasn’t attractive whatsoever to me.

I’m glad that guy is happy with her, though.

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23. Luckily, she was flattered.

At an art studio in LA, my girlfriend was wearing a denim jacket. As we looked at a piece together, out of the corner of my eye I saw the jacket and I reach over to grab her butt. A sudden "Oh!" Comes from beside me and a woman 30 years older than me is standing there blushing. I tell her I thought she was someone else and run away to my girlfriend. A few minutes later the lady comes and finds us to talk about young love and how cute we are while making too much eye contact with me.


22. A stinky misunderstanding.

My little village has a small annual dog show. We normally enter our little dog, who has won "friendliest dog," "waggiest tail" and "dog the judge would like to take home" in the past. This year she was unfortunately in heat so we didn't enter to prevent any fuss from the other dogs, but we still took her along to watch.

Halfway across the park she decided to poo and I suddenly realised I'd forgotten a bag. There were loads of other people with dogs around due to the show so I wandered away a little to to ask someone for a bag. I turned back and to my horror a lady was picking up my little dog's mess. Not wanting to feel like one of those jerks that doesn't clean up, I ran towards her to advise here she didn't have to do that because I was going to get it.

Instead, in a sort of panic, I waved my arms and barked "NO, THAT'S MY POO!" Please note that I did not say, "that is MY DOG'S poo."

She physically jumped then turned a deep red. She sort of mumbled an apology, dropped the poo and marched off with her dog.

It was at that point that I looked to my left and saw my dog's poo sitting a few feet away from the lady's dog mess that she was attempting to pick up.

I think about this at night sometimes.

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21. A bristly accident.

I'm a cashier and one day at my work there was a guy who came in with his kids and had a big bushy beard. He came up to the cash and asked me where to find an item. I was a little overenthusiastic I suppose because I stuck my fingers out straight ahead to point him in the right direction and they went straight into his beard! I felt like I had assaulted him, but luckily we laughed it off.

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20. Maybe he just wanted the time.

I tried to make some moves on a girl when I was in high school. We were in a 7/11 near the back, and because of the late hour, I figured we were alone.

When she turned me down and left, I decided to drown my sorrows with a bag of Sour Patch Kids and physically ran into the older, bearded man who had been buying nuts. He gave me a sympathetic look and opened his mouth as if to give me love advice or something, and I panicked. I yelped, "See you tomorrow!" and left the store.

I still think about this nightly.

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19. Building to an unexpected crescendo.

I was at a movie theatre with my brother. We were watching Pacific Rim. During one of the action scenes he whispered to me that had to fart, so he waited until the music was at it loudest to be inconspicuous

The second he lifts his buttcheek and begins the music stops and all everyone can hear in the movie theatre is his giant fog horn of a fart. Imagine the music in action scenes, how it build and builds and builds then has a moment of silence for a bit more drama. Then a juicy fart takes it over. The reactions from the people in the theatre was mostly laughter, thankfully. We were laughing so bad we were crying.



18. A lonely exit.

I was with my mum buying flowers at a florist for a New Year’s Eve party. The florist was obviously a very lonely woman and wouldn’t stop going on about how she isn’t doing anything for New Year’s and how it’s so nice we have friends to visit, to the point where it became really saddening. My mother obviously really felt for her. Every now and again, maybe twice a year, she has a brain fart and accidentally says what she is thinking. That day was one of those rare days. After paying for the flowers, my mum said, "Thanks! Hope you find a friend soon!" I looked at her in shock, the woman looks at her in shock, and my mum just gasps, apologizes and literally backs out of the store. God, it was so awkward.

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17. Some people party too hard.

I used to do security work at parties. One night there was an alert call for a young woman gone missing. I found her with her dress hitched up looking for her underwear in the bushes. I managed to unlock her phone to call her dad, who from his name I recognised as the district attorney. He comes over to pick up his intoxicated daughter. While I was carrying her to the car she was making very sexual remarks about me carrying her, all the while her father is hearing me out like I was responsible for his daughter ending up that way, even suggesting I had undressed her. His lecture continued after I put his daughter in the backseat, still making the same remarks while pressing up her body against the car window. When the cops arrived at the scene, she was stark naked, putting her butt out the window. I told the cops my side of the story, as soon as she picked up my name she started moaning it to the point of waking up nearby neighbours. I was brought to the police station for interrogation, but luckily surveillance footage proved my innocence. 5 years later I see this district attorney on a weekly basis at my job.

drunk-300x188.jpgThe Drinks Business

16. He wasn't to blame.

My wife and I went to Europe for our honeymoon. We were in a train station in Amsterdam and I had to use to bathroom. I walked into the toilet stall and saw there was toilet paper in the bowl but didn't think anything of it. I did my business and when I tried to flush, it didn't go down. In a panic I flushed again and this only resulted in the water becoming dangerously close to the rim of the bowl. I panicked and started to leave, however right outside the stall was a bathroom attendant. He looked over at me and started yelling at me asking why was I clogging up the toilet! He was blocking me from leaving and all these other people in the bathroom looked in at us. God it was so embarrassing I wanted to die. I eventually muttered sorry and brushed past him and ran out of the bathroom.

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15. When you gotta go...

It was Christmas day 2012 and my dad had passed away the night before. I was flying to the city he lived in to make arrangements. My flight was mostly empty, however there was a new mom onboard. She was carrying her infant daughter, a dog carrier, plus a diaper bag, plus a purse. No stroller in sight. We land and I make my way to the bathroom. As I’m washing my hands, the new mom enters. She’s flustered and exhausted. I look at her and say, “Can I help you? I’m a mom myself, my son is actually 5 weeks old,” without warning she thrusts her infant to me, turns around and promptly drops her pants with the restroom door open and goes to the bathroom. I quickly averted my eyes and entertained the infant. When she was done, I asked if she needed help to baggage claim. She said no; turns out her husband was waiting for her just outside the bathroom. Don't know why he wasn't the one left holding the baby.

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14. A bumpy landing.

I discovered, while visiting the top of St. Paul's Cathedral, that I am terrified of heights. A Norwegian woman was having the same experience. We were so unnerved we ended up holding one another and bumping down the spiral staircase on our backsides. Parted ways at the bottom without a word or a backward glance.

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13. We don't sell those here, ma'am.

My son had small Toy Story figurines, but wanted big ones for Christmas. I walked into Toy R Us and asked the male clerk, "Do you have a large Woody?" He turned bright red and I heard what I'd just said, but it was too late to take it back. I wheeled around and marched out and didn't go back for months.

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12. Cupid goes rogue.

I serve in the Air Force and one time I got injured at work and had to go to the hospital, nothing serious, just dinged my finger super hard and had a messed-up ligament. When I get to the hospital I walk in the front door,  still in uniform, and some nice older man comes up to me and thanks me for my service. I told him I appreciated his support and then he abruptly asked me if I was married. I told him no and right at that moment he turns to this woman walking by heading for the door, he turns to her and says somethign along the lines of "You see this nice man? You should go on a date with him!" At first I thought maybe he knew the woman, maybe it was his daughter or something, but by the shocked look on her face I could easily tell he did NOT know her. She stopped for a moment and he asked her again and she just went wide-eyed, kind of stuttered for a moment and then B-lined it for the door. I really didn't know what to say so I just stood there looking like a guy who just got wacked in the head. The old man then turns back to me and says, "Let's see who else is here and available." At this point I just made some excuse about being late for my appointment and walked away.

I don't know if I've ever been so red before or again in my life.

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11. Too much wood in the woods.

Went out for a car ride once, looking for things to take photos of, and came to this quiet little lake. I get out and walked through this little wooded area where there was an older man, maybe 60s. Things start out okay. He asks me what camera I had, and I told him, and why I'm out, etc. Harmless.

Then he asked if I was alone. I said I wasn't. But that didn't stop him from groping himself in front of me and pushing to know more about me, if I were single, etc, and where I was from but doing so like it was all so normal. As you can imagine, this freaked me out. He followed me, and as I tried to get out of the conversation, he kept insisting, looking at me funny, getting a little too close for comfort.

I told him I had to go, and he insisted on walking me to the car even though he knew I had someone in there waiting for me. It took me a while to push the whole ordeal out of my head.

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10. He's still noping to this very day.

Worked at a hotel front desk 3rd shift and an older lady called the front desk and wanted a pillow delivered to her room. I took the pillow. when I got there she wanted me to come inside. I’m like, "Uhhh, here is your pillow," and tried to leave but she insisted I come in, so I did. I got inside, she shut the door and told me to put the pillow on the bed. She then goes to a drawer in her dresser, at this time I’m like, “I need to return to the front desk,” thinking the worst. She then pulls out a thing of bandaids and wants me to put bandaids on the open sores on her feet. I noped on out of there as fast as I could and left before she came down for morning breakfast. Still freaks me out. Yuck.

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9. How do you say awkward in ASL?

When I was in college, I was waiting for a shuttle bus, and a girl I had previously been in a class with walks up to the stop with a guy I don't know. I said, "Hi, how are you?" and we have a short exchange of pleasantries, and then she turns to the guy next to her and in sign language said, "I don't remember her name." So I sign "That's ok, I don't remember your name either." and offer my hand to the guy with her and introduce myself.

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8. Everyone says "I'm sorry."

Not long ago I incorporated a short visit to the local supermarket into my usual dog walk. The dog was tied up outside, and as I was crouched down to unclip him a woman came out of the shop and fell over me. For a few brief seconds I was in the middle of a dog + old woman sandwich. We're British though, so everyone looked embarrassed and we both said sorry.

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7. Keeping it under wraps.

My boyfriend and I had the house to ourselves and had just gotten comfortable in his living room. He went to use the bathroom upstairs, leaving me on the couch naked under a blanket watching TV. My clothes were in a pile next to me.

His dad came home early with some friend of his and I pretty much reflexively hid up to my neck with his blanket and scooted over my clothes and just kinda hopped nothing was laying on the floor. They said hello and chatted a bit with me (honestly was probably like 25 seconds but it felt like an hour) and then went to the garage to work on something.

I pretty much had to act like a antisocial weirdo by sitting hugging my knees on the couch while just hoping they left the room and not question why I was sitting like a weirdo. It felt like a sitcom situation. My boyfriend, who'd been conveniently missing this whole time, came downstairs only after they left because he "didn't want to make it more awkward." Whatever that meant.

beautiful-woman-embarrassed-eyes-closed-2379235-300x200.jpgPhoto by Malcolm Garret from Pexels

6. Give this guy a hand.

I worked the entrance gate for a theme park. Our season pass holders used a biometric scan of their right index finger to verify their identity. One day a little girl walks up with her family, who only spoke Spanish, scans her pass and places her left finger on the scanner. I say, “Can you use your right finger sweetie?” Then, her mother raises the girls right arm to show me she doesn’t actually have a right hand. Seemed to be due to a birth defect rather than a horrific accident. However, her left finger keeps getting rejected, so I call a lead over to override the old scan and re-do it. He then proceeds to say the same thing to the girl, followed by her mother raising the arm again. It was definitely more awkward for me than the family, but it gets worse. About three months later it happened again, the same little girl. Absolutely mortifying.


5. It was almost a kidnapping.

Once I was at a dog groomers to pick up my dog, who is fairly small (20lbs) and white. Usually when I take him, he's got long semi curly hair and when I pick him up he has short straight hair, which is quite a change, and this is what I expect when I go to pick him up.

I walk up to the counter and request my dog and the clerk tells me he'll be out in a moment. 30 seconds later an attendant walks out to the lobby from the back door with a dog that immediately gets excited and tries to run away as soon as it rounds the corner to me.

"Hey buddy!" I say as I walk up and attempt to pick up my dog, but it turns around and starts recoiling back and gives me a nip as I try picking him up. An old man behind me asks, "Hey, is that your dog?" And me thinking it's a pretty weird question respond, "Yep!" At that point he goes, "I don't think so mister, that's my dog!" I turn and realize this dog that looks just like mine after a grooming is 100% not my dog my face goes completely red and the whole lobby starts laughing. To make it worse, the old couple whose dog it was stuck around just because they wanted to see what my dog actually looked like and of course when he came out with a different haircut there was only a vague resemblance. Yikes.


4. At least it was only water.

While my dad was out of the country there was a major leak from the water tank in our loft which caused serious damage to the property and caused lots of other issues, including a hole in the ceiling. I called out a repair guy only to hear a huge "boom," followed by a string of expletives before he called for help. I found him half in a cupboard, soaking wet, with his hand on a burst water pipe.

I ended up having to help. This involved me climbing up to the loft (in a short dress and stockings while he was basically laid on the floor underneath the ladder) and trying to turn off the water from there. This didn't work so we ended up switching places so he could professionally investigate.

Swapping places involved me getting soaking wet, and having to press up against the guy and contort myself into position in order to minimize the risk of further damage and water explosively spraying everywhere. There was further pressing against each other and awkwardly closer contortions, as water was sprouting out like from a fountain unless we held it, before the leak was resolved.

The situation was like a bad porn parody.

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3. Elevator muzak had a horn section.

I was standing behind this guy waiting for the elevator in a hotel one time. We were down in the lobby and it was busy with lots of people coming and going, so he obviously hadn't noticed me. Elevator doors open, he gets in and turns to press the button for his floor, so he didn't see me walk past him on the other side. As SOON as the doors close, obviously still under the impression that he was alone, he lets rip the most heinous fart that went on for all of about ten seconds. Mid-fart, out of the corner of his eye, he spots me standing just behind him. Poor guy almost jumped out of his skin. He's staring at me like he's seen a ghost. I'm staring at him with what I can only assume was a fairly horrified expression, trying to think of something to say to make this whole situation less awkward.

As luck would have it, we're both going to the same floor AND he's staying in the room right across the corridor from me, so we have to endure an extra 30 seconds or so of mortified silence as we walk down the hall together. I thought about slipping a jokey note under his door ("Shoulda stayed away from the shrimp tacos at the buffet"), but decided against it.

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2. He was floored.

I am a pediatric nurse, but we “float” (substitute) to other floors when we have more nurses than we need. So I was sent to an adult floor to work as an assistant, since theirs had called in sick. An older male patient called out asking for help to get up to the bathroom. He stood, tried to pivot, and the newly operated on knee gave out. All 320 pounds of him came down on top of me and we laid there for almost an hour. I had closed the door for privacy, and neither he nor I could tell loud enough nor reach the call light for help. My phone was 10 feet from me on the floor after it fell out of my scrubs and rang incessantly. Finally the other assistant came to find me because she wanted to go on break and was tired of having to do all my work. The patient was fine, since he fell on me, but I was sore for a week. We were nose to nose the whole time and boy was it awkward. His breath was terrible, but he was a nice man and felt so bad.

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1. We're in this together.

Like probably many stories on this sub, this happened at a Huddle House. My girlfriend (now wife) and I were eating with some friends and I decided I needed to go to the bathroom. Got up, walked over to it and tried the door. It was open so I walked right on in. The room was pretty big, urinal and sink on one side, toilet on the opposite side. There was a guy in there at the urinal and he gave me a REALLY strange look when I walked in. So I went on over to the toilet, had a pee and started actually processing my situation, "that guy looked at me like I was really out of place, this toilet I'm using isn't in a separate stall, not much privacy in here, OH GOD THIS IS A SINGLE PERSON BATHROOM!!!" By this point the guy had hastily run out after finishing his business. I took care of my own affairs and had to do the walk of shame past him as I walked back to my table. I told my girlfriend later that night completely mortified. She thought it was hilarious. The look he gave me when I walked in is still burned in my mind.

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