When we think of our childhood, there are a few memories that still make us cringe - like getting shut down by a crush or wearing that dress to a dance. But it always seems the moments that our parents embarrassed us were far most the cringiest. People share the most embarrassing thing their parents have ever done that they will never forget. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
"My grandparents had a big wedding-style reception for their 50th wedding anniversary. They both had big families, most of whom were local, so there were a lot of people (200 plus there).
At some point, my mom decided it would be cute if my younger brother and I (both grade school age) and her brother's daughters (same age) sang, 'You Are My Sunshine,' which was my grandparents' favorite song.
Now, if you've ever listened to the song, you undoubtedly know the chorus. The problem was that there are verses as well, and I didn't know anybody who knew the verses, especially not grade school-aged me. Keep in mind that this was pre-internet and way before anyone had smartphones, so I couldn't simply do a google search and learn the words. I suppose I could have gone to the local library to try to look them up if my mom hadn't sprung it on us when we were already at the venue and they were ready to play the song.
Despite my protesting, the four of us were made to go up and 'sing' the song. We made it through the first chorus just fine. Then the verse started, and the four of us just looked at our feet and mumbled. That was pretty embarrassing."
"When I was a senior in college, I was working a part-time job. They offered to make my current position full-time once I graduated. Before I got a chance to respond, my father found out and contacted my supervisor expressing concerns about the offer and the fact I was still in college. How my father found out still boggles my mind but when my supervisor told me that my dad called him was probably the most embarrassing thing either of my parents have done. I spoke to my parents a few months after it happened and the only thing they considered wrong with the situation was that my supervisor told me my dad called.
Another time was when I was in seventh grade. I went to a youth conference with my church. All the students got a free t-shirt and people were signing each other’s names on them. This one girl signed mine dotted the 'i' with a heart and left her phone number. Well, when I get home, my mom was doing my laundry and found the phone number. Yup, you guessed it. My mother called the number and told the girl that I needed to focus on education and didn’t have time for girls."
"For my high school graduation, my mother drove me and some friends to dinner. At the end of dinner, around seven or seven-thirty, my friends wanted to go to someone's house. Not only could I not go, but my mother (who had driven us all) insisted that each person get dropped off at their own house. People had to coordinate picking each other up again that evening.
My mother used to try to control us through those around us. One weekend, my mother couldn't get ahold of my older brother for two days. Mind you, he was studying in law school in another city. She called everyone she knew at that law school, even vaguely. So she called his dean, deans that weren't his, and various other people who didn't know him.
When I was an 18-year-old senior in high school, she couldn't reach me for several hours (way before cell phones), so she harrassed the cops until they told her she could come down and talk to them. When I got home, she screamed hysterically and made me call the cops to tell them I was alright. They so didn't care."
"My parents are both Deaf and have typical deaf voices. I can understand them but they are noticeable and difficult to understand if you're not used to them. We use British Sign Language but they also use their voices with me. I'm used to being stared at in public with them and that's normal. That's life in a Deaf family.
But one time we were on holiday in Herakleion and they were arguing. My dad told my mum to get lost or something and I, as a dramatic 12-year-old, said, 'FINE! I'LL GO!'
I flounced in the middle of a foreign city. It took them a couple of minutes to actually notice I'd disappeared, at which they obviously freaked out. I was nearby and watched from a doorway as my mother frantically searched for me. It was only a few minutes, but I knew she was going to be angry when she found me so I stepped forward and let her know I was there.
She went mental. And with her deaf voice, she drew a crowd. An actual crowd watching my mother scream and berate me in sign language.
And then, she turned round to the crowd and shouted, "WHAT ARE YOU ALL LOOKING AT?!'
I had never wanted the ground to swallow me up more.
To be fair to her, I deserved it. Deliberately disappearing in a foreign city when she couldn't hear or ask for help. I scared the living out of her. But the embarrassment will forever be seared into my brain."
"So I really liked this one girl in my high school and I was always hoping we would talk someday but I was a shy/quiet person. So one day we were all waiting around in the hall and she started going off about her ex-boyfriend and stuff and I was just there listening and watching.
She looked at me and randomly said, 'Acid-hologram, will you by my boyfriend?'
My glutes clenched so tight but I was able to smoothly say, 'Uh- sure why not.'
She just laughed and said, 'Okay.'
So later in the day, I somehow gained the courage to ask her for her number 'since I'm her new boyfriend'. She smiled and said she wasn't being serious but would actually like to talk to me. She said she had been wanting to but I just never asked. Holy moly! My mind was going absolutely insane around this time so I took her number and walked away without saying anything because I was me and would say something stupid to mess it up.
Fast forward to that night, I was at home and was going to grab the telephone to give her a call and my mom asked what I was doing. I let her know I was calling a friend to talk for a few minutes but she just said no. Didn't give me a reason, just said no and took the phone back.
Now my mom was going through bad menopause at the time so she was a really mean, unstable, and emotional person for most of my teenage years. Anyway, I asked her about it and she said I was not allowed to talk on the phone. I wasn't in trouble, just wasn't allowed on it. So I did what any teenager would do and waited until she fell asleep to go get the phone.
So I gave her a call and she said she was happy to hear from me and that we could finally talk without our friends bothering us. We talked about the teachers, friends, our schedules, and her general life. I was really just agreeing and laughing at this point because I was just in utter shock that I was actually speaking with her. Well, I guessed my voice or laughter carried over to my mother's room and she burst through the door so hard that I jumped up and dropped the phone.
Loud as any person could be, she said, 'WHY ARE YOU ON THE PHONE? I TOLD YOUR STUPID FACE YOU CAN'T USE THE PHONE! WHY ARE YOU ON THE PHONE?!'
I was not expecting that outburst at all so I just said I was asking a friend for help on homework.
She said, 'I DONT GIVE A HOOT! I TOLD YOU NOT TO BE ON THE PHONE AND NOW YOU'RE TALKING WITH YOUR FRIENDS!? WHO THE HECK ARE YOU TALKING TO SO LATE!?'
For some reason, I gave her the girl's name and not like another male friend.
She was turning pretty much red at this point and said, 'YOU DONT LISTEN TO ME AND NOW YOU'RE ON THE PHONE WITH SOME GIRL!? I DON'T WANT NO CHICK CALLING OUR HOUSE! HANG UP RIGHT NOW AND TELL THAT GIRL DON'T EVER CALL HERE AGAIN!'
She slammed the door shut, and I look down to see that the call was still connected. My heart dropped. She heard the whole thing.
So I picked up the phone and sheepishly said, 'Hello?'
She only said, 'Wow... That was... Umm okay. See you later' and hung up.
The next morning she avoided me like the plague. She never talked to me again after that and we never spoke on the phone again.
A part of my soul died that night, and I don't think it will ever be fully restored."
"When I was 14, my friend and I snuck out of my house to go to my girlfriend's house where his girlfriend was also. As soon as we were leaving her house at around two in the morning, my mom and dad walked right into her back door in the basement. I was completely stunned. My dad was wearing just his boxers and a t-shirt and my mom was standing there crying. Not because they couldn't find me, but because she thought I ruined my life for sneaking out.
My dad started yelling at my girlfriend and demanded to speak to her father. He was already up though because he's a firefighter and he had no problem with us being there.
He came downstairs and calmly asked, 'What's the problem?'
Later, as we were leaving, my mom and dad made my friend and I ride in separate cars on the way home.
When we got back to my house and went to bed, my mom walked over to me and said, 'You had your whole life going for you and you threw it all away!'"
"When I was younger, I did little league soccer and my dad was the coach. He tried to make everyone play every position for a little bit each game. It was my turn to be the goalie and he had this big bright shirt we had to put on over our jerseys when we were goalies. I went out with the big shirt to play for a bit and then my dad called time out to switch some of us out. For whatever reason, my dad thought I needed help taking off the goalie shirt and came over and pulled it over my head. But he accidentally grabbed my jersey underneath it and also pulled it off.
It should be noted that I was an early bloomer in the women's department. I was wearing a C-cup bra by the time I was 10. So my dad took off my shirt in front of a field full of classmates and parents, leaving me in just my bra. And the worst part was he didn't notice and started to walk away. My dad is also a little hard of hearing so even though my mom on the sideline and I were calling to him to turn around. He didn't notice until he was about 15 feet away. Then he came back, handed me my jersey, and let me go sit out with my mom.
I will never forget how devastatingly quiet the field got when it happened and I remember throwing my arms over my chest to cover myself as much as I could. The first person I made eye contact with was a boy in the class below me and I remember thinking, 'Oh, no there are boys here.'"
"I came home from school with head lice. Instead of telling the teacher, who would send a letter home to everyone without specifically naming which child they noticed had lice, my mother rang every person in my class that she had the phone number for.
She would have a chat with the parent all like, 'Yeah she has head lice so you need to check your kid'.
I probably got it from someone in my class and the whole class likely already had lice but kids don't realize that so the whole class was calling me dirty and saying I infected them. It was horrible. I was hysterically crying while she called people.
She never did anything bad ever in my life except this, she kept saying 'Don't be stupid. I'm just telling their mothers so they can sort it.' Presumably, she didn't expect them to tell their seven or eight-year-olds who it was. Clearly, someone did because the whole class knew it was me by the next day. But kids will jump on anything to be mean sometimes."
"I have aggressive Crohn's that started showing up around eighth grade. My mom took me to all of my doctor appointments, which were all pretty embarrassing because no teenage boy wants their mom involved in their butt-related illness.
One particular visit, we were about halfway through the appointment, when she whipped out a Cool Whip tub. Turns out, the following night I used the bathroom and it didn't all go down, so she thought it would be helpful to load that up in our poor people's Tupperware and haul it into the Doctor's so he could look it over. The doctor had this confused and 'What am I supposed to do with poop in a Cool Whip tub?' face for a good five to ten seconds, then politely dismissed it.
Who'd have thought that there isn't any medical knowledge to be gained from fishing poop out of the toilet, refrigerating it overnight, and schlepping it up for an office visit?"
"When I was about eight years old, I was at home bored one day. I decided to take a look at this pocket knife my parents had bought as a thank you gift for one of the people at the afterschool program I was at. I opened up the tools one by one to check them out. When I got to the knife, I wasn't paying attention and ended up closing it on my thumb.
At first, I thought it was nothing, but then blood started pouring out and I realized it was a bad cut and started to panic. I ran to the bathroom and started screaming for my dad who was outside working on the car. I ran water over my thumb, but the blood just kept coming and coming.
Eventually, my dad came, calmed me down, and had me put pressure on it. It was a pretty deep cut, but he didn't think I needed to go to the hospital. By the time my mom got back, everything was okay and I was just a little shaken. She bandaged me up really well and then went to Walgreens for something. When she came back she had a box of finger cots, which I had never seen before. She put one on my thumb and told me it would help my thumb heal faster by keeping the bandage in place.
She had me wear it to school the next day and I was all ready to tell my classmates about how crazy the cut was and how badly I was bleeding. Here's the thing though, for those of you that don't know what a finger cot is, it's basically a rubber around your finger. I was young and had no idea what an actual rubber was or even what it was used for so I was very naive.
However, the kids that liked to bully me weren't, and soon as they saw my thumb they screamed out, 'EDGAR GOT A TROJAN ON HIS FINGER!'
Basically, everyone but me knew what rubber was or people were just going along with it because the entire class started laughing at me. I was so embarrassed, I ran to the bathroom crying and ripped off the finger cot. When I got home that night, I asked my mom why she would do that to me and her excuse was that she didn't think anyone would even know what rubber was and it was going to help me heal faster. She didn't make me wear it to school again, but the damage was already done and I was made fun of that for a while."
"My mom is obsessive about house cleaning and hygiene. She has a three-hour daily personal hygiene and grooming routine and woe be to those that interrupt it.
I naturally have an off-white color to my teeth. More so than others. Dentists have confirmed this (I've never had a cavity) but growing up, this bothered my mother and my teeth brushing was always under scrutiny. When I was 15 and being picked up by school friends, she took that moment to check my teeth before I left. As in, physically opening my mouth and sticking her fingers in.
I batted her away and quickly left. My friends looked at me in a 'What on Earth?" sort of way. When I returned home I told mom that she wasn't checking my teeth again and doing that in front of my friends was embarrassing.
She never has checked my teeth again."
"When I was eight years old, I was obsessed with the new 'Charlie's Angels' movie with Cameron Diaz, Lucy Lu, and Drew Barrymore.
There's a scene in the movie where Drew is dressed in a patriotic jumpsuit at the Nascar racetrack and I really wanted to have that outfit for my Halloween costume. My mom is a costume designer and, God bless her, made my costume from scratch to resemble Drew's jumpsuit.
Well, as you can probably imagine, an eight-year-old girl does not have the cleavage to fill that jumpsuit out. So my mother decided to add massive fake cleavage to this costume. I was mortified and for some reason, she would not take them out. So for Halloween that year, I had my arms crossed all of trick or treating. I still look back at the pictures from that year with deep anxiety."
"My dad worked as a school bus mechanic for all of my life. He turned one of their short busses that was no longer being used into a huge tow truck for the other busses, which basically meant taking out all of the seats and replacing them with toolboxes and other things needed for this. He did keep one seat right behind the driver for when someone needed to ride-along, painted the bus black, and free-handed some huge flames along the side.
In the eighth grade, I needed my dad to come home from work (he went in at like four in the morning) so that he could give me a ride to school, due to me having to carry a bunch of things for a project, whereas I would normally just walk. Of course, he came home in the black, flaming short bus.
To make it worse, when we got to the school, he pulled into the freakin bus lane with all of the other busses doing their morning drop-offs. Everyone stopped what they were doing to see who would get off of this crazy short bus with only one seat on it. I was completely mortified until I got off and all of the boys were asking how I got such a sweet ride to school. I was actually very popular after that, so it ended up earning my dad come cool points."
"When I was younger, my mom didn’t tell me about my period at all. I had no idea until I woke up in a pool of blood and it soaked the mattress and sheets. I thought I was dying because it was a lot of blood and I cried because I thought I was wounded somewhere.
She came in and was like, 'Oh it's ok. Let me give you some pads. Go change your clothes and be on your way to school.'
I cried to my friends who looked at me like I was stupid when I told them.
After the next month when my period came around, I remember I also accidentally flashed some guys while I was putting my legs behind my head (like flexible kids do) and did not realize I had a huge bloodstain and they all freaked out."
"I was 12-13 years old. My mom got a coupon for a place called 'Kidz Cutz', a haircut place for kids. They had those little merry-go-round horses to sit on (like the ones that used to be in front of grocery stores) to get haircuts. The place didn't any chairs, just the little horses. I wasn't too happy that my mom had that coupon. I ended up sitting on this little horse about three times the age limit and probably weight limit getting my haircut because of that coupon that saved maybe a dollar.
Oh did I mention it was out in the middle of a big freaking window in a very busy shopping center that all my friends shopped at with their family? It was a little humbling, to say the least."
"For those who didn't grow up in a time where you shared a phone with multiple extensions and with your parents. Consider yourselves lucky.
For those who did, this should draw on some memories.
Me: 'Hi it's Kayge, I was wondering if you were going to go to the mall tomorrow.'
My crush: 'Ummm, yeah. I think so. It's Saturday, so I usually go with my friends.'
Me: 'Well, if you're there, do you want to, you know, meet somewhere and have lunch?'
My crush: 'Ummm, yeah. That sounds good. Where do you want to go?'
Me: 'Well I was thinking-'
Then I heard a click, then numbers being dialed.
Me (yelling upstairs): 'MOM! I'm on the phone!'
Mom (through the phone): 'Kayge, are you on the phone? I was calling my friend Riva. She's having some people over tomorrow and I wanted to know if she wanted any Potato salad.'
Me (yelling upstairs): MOM! I'm on the phone with the girl I liked! GET OFF!'
Mom: 'If you want, I can make a little extra so you can take it to Judo. I know how you get tired after class. Oooh, I hope I get to go this week, you look so handsome in your Judo outfit.'
Then she hung up.
Me: 'Sorry, my mom can be so embarrassing.'
There was silence until my mom spoke up.
Mom: 'I don't think she's there anymore, honey.'