It’s only natural to want to celebrate after we accomplish something difficult. But sometimes, we celebrate just a little too soon. Here, mortified people share how they managed to completely ruin their own moment of triumph.
1. Mixed signals.
As a teenager having completed my first solo flight in a glider (I was an air cadet – first solo is a HUGE achievement) I jumped out of my now safely landed glider, raised both my fists in the air and screamed out in joy.
Sadly, in Air Cadets flying operations raising both your hands is a signal that you saw something dangerous. As soon as I did it everyone started screaming “STOP FLIGHTS, STOP FLIGHTS”. The tow plane on the ground shut its engine down, all gliders were pushed back to their parking spots, and I got yelled at for awhile.
2. Dad? Can you come get me?
Got into a nasty fight with my dad when he was talking down to me and coming across like I couldn’t make my own life decisions (as an adult). I managed some comeback and left the house. Go to get in my car and drive away, the damn thing broke down a quarter mile from our house on a hill and I had to call him to come help me. Dammit.
3. Just give me a second!
After dumping my nasty ex, I got up off the grass to walk away and my leg was fully asleep. Had a good 5 minutes of awkward silence before I actually got to leave.
4. Not exactly the finale she was hoping for.
A few years back I dated a guy who was, to put it simply, a jerk. He was very mean with his humor, had a lot of anger issues, was very critical of everything I did/said. Overall it was just a very unhappy time in my life.
I stayed with him hoping things would change (I’m sure most of us have made that mistake before) and after realizing that that would never happen I decided to finally break up with him.
I went over to his apartment and since his roommates were home we went outside to the parking lot to talk. I explained why I was breaking up with him, and the more I talked, the angrier and more passionate I got. I’d imagined saying these things to him for forever, so the words came out eloquent and natural and powerful. I could see he was feeling guiltier and guiltier, which is exactly what I wanted.
Finally, I finished my speech, gave him a moment to say something, then began to walk away when I realized he wasn’t going to. I was trying my best to look damn good as I walked back to my car, but a dip in the ground caused me to trip and I ultimately face planted into the concrete. I ended up spending the next hour crying in his apartment bathroom cleaning up my scrapes.
5. Hearts weren’t the only thing getting broken.
It was my freshman year of college, and my then girlfriend and I were at the end of our relationship, although neither of us had admitted that we actually broke up, which resulted in many nights of hooking up only to regret it the next day. It was really emotionally damaging for both of us.
After getting some attention from a cute girl in my english class, I decided that we should finally end this relationship, or else we’d be stuck in a loop of love and hatred forever. So after class I go to her dorm to talk to her. Her roommate is there with her, so instead of asking her roommate to leave, we go talk in the hall (continued).
Now at this point I think i should mention her dorm was on the second floor of the hall. So we talk for close to an hour, and finally I tell her that it’s best if we just finally broke it off. We’re both in tears, seeing as we were together throughout most of high school, and here we are ending our first real relationship.
In that blurry haze, I turn around to make my descent down the stairs, only to misjudge the height of the first step. So I go tumbling down the stairs, breaking my arm in the process, resulting in the girl I just broke up with having to drive me halfway across town and waiting with me for 3 hours in the ER.
And not a word was said between us the entire time.
6. Disaster avert- oh, wait.
After a lot of beating around the bush, I finally convinced a cute girl to go on a date with me. It was, however, the dead of winter, so when she arrived at my apartment, we mutually agreed to hang out on my couch, watch a little TV and enjoy a couple beers to insulate ourselves from the onslaught of cold we’d have to endure to go anywhere that wasn’t my apartment.
After a couple beers and a couple episodes of Scrubs, we decide we’re ready to brave the cold, and we make it exactly one step out of my building before we decide that it is too cold for the walk to the restaurant we had originally planned on eating at, so she asks if maybe we could just get a burrito at the shop I managed which was a nice convenient one block away, and then maybe we could stay in and play video games.
Score. I love this plan. I love this plan so much I want to dump the girl making it so I can marry this plan (continued).
We pop our heads into my workplace, get enormous burritos and drinks for a hugely discounted price, and then trudge back to my apartment. As we’re on the walkway up to my building, I shift my burrito into my right hand so that I can rummage through my pocket for my keys with my left (I’m left-handed) and as I look up, I see that my date is about to try to walk over a huge patch of black ice on my sidewalk that can’t be seen in the dark of night.
On cue, she slips, and flings her burrito skyward, but since I was a step ahead of the disaster, I catch her with my right arm (without dropping my burrito or my drink), and gracefully snatch her dinner midflight with my left hand, and then prop her upright. Bingo! Disaster averted! She’s thoroughly impressed with my catlike reflexes and my gentlemanly dedication to the well being of her person and her dinner. She gushes for a second about how cool that was, I told her I knew the ice patch was coming, and to look out for the second one a few steps ahead (I knew they were both there having had to avoid them in the daylight) and she gingerly bounces over it, turns to give me more praise and then…
I immediately slip and fall on the second ice patch I explicitly warned her about, hurling my drink, and both burritos into the air. She doesn’t catch any of them. I hit the back of my head hard enough to bleed, and instead of spending the night eating junk food and playing games with a cute girl, I spend the night on the couch trying not to vomit from disorientation into her lap.
…Yeah, so maybe that didn’t turn out so great.
7. Nothing worse than a sore loser.
I am, and always have been, quite skinny. One of my buddies was bragging about how many pull-ups he could do. I asked how many, and because it was high school, people were impressed when he said “eight.” That was a high water mark for some reason. Anyhow, I replied that I could probably do more, not really knowing how hard it could be. This was jeered, boo-ed, and generally mocked.
Eventually, a contest was set up in the gym. After he cranked out 9 (9!) pull ups, I took my turn. It was tough, but being thin really made it pretty easy. I got to 10, and immediately his girlfriend pants’d me. The tighty-whiteys I wore that day had a nice, gaping hole, right above the anus. The nickname “Whiteys” still sticks with me among those people, to this day.
8. Take that, wall!
When I left home I pretty much came and got all of my stuff in the middle of the night. The only thing I had left to get from home was my bed. I came back with a few people and my mom was home. She starts screaming at me per usual and for the first time I screamed back. I unloaded everything on my mind, and it was so liberating. As I turned to leave the room I tripped over my feet and fell smack into the wall, face first.
9. That’s one way to lose a race.
This was almost a year ago while taking a family vacation to Colorado for a skiing trip. My brother and I, who had not seen each other for months due to us both being in college/graduate school, are treating this whole event as a fresh start since we had a frustrating relationship as kids.
So I’m a skier and have been for quite a long time. My brother snowboarded and was the kind of person that doesn’t want his little brother to have a good time if he’s not having a good time. Me and my brother still have the competitive spirit in us, so we decide to have a race across the entire mountain from the very top of Blue Sky Basin (a bowl across the back of the mountain) all the way to the front bowls and down the front face, across the bridge that connects the mountain to Lionshead. We used the morning to plan the route out and get to the other side of the resort for the start of the race and placed a $100 bet on the winner (continued).
So to make a long-ish story a little shorter, the race is close. Like, weirdly close. He’s four years older than me and using a snowboard, and our skill levels are slightly different, him being more experienced by a few years. So nearing the final slope at the very end of this race (which took hours, going up and down chairlifts and everything) I’m about 100 feet behind my brother, who’s getting incredibly tired as am I. He’s trying desperately to hold on to his lead, but I guess keeping steady on a snowboard takes more effort than on skis. Either way, I catch up with him with not a lot of time to spare. There’s quite a large flat section before the bridge you ski over to get into town, and if you’ve ever ridden a snowboard you know that flat sections are speed killers.
So I go whizzing by him, and he looks pissed. I guess he was pretty confident I wasn’t anywhere near him, so he was freaking out when I finally passed him. So I’m riding confidently over the bridge, now $100 dollars richer, looking back over my shoulder when it hits me.
I go full speed into a group of about six or seven little girls on what I bet was their first time down the mountain. I’m not talking like, “Oops, bumped you guys, silly me”.
I’m talking TRUCKING these children with my knees and upper legs. Like, I was poling pretty hard at the end there, and I was not expecting these things coming up.
There was a lot of crying and apologizing and I ended up giving the kids my hundred dollar bill because I felt so bad about it. My brother was ecstatic.
10. Smooth operator.
My ex had moved back into our small town after breaking up with her new boyfriend (my ex-roommate). I never avoided her, but was lucky enough to not lay eyes on her for over a year when I heard she was moving again. That day, as she was walking to her car for the last time to pull out of town we lock eyes as I come out of a coffee shop.
Holding her gaze I take one step towards her, inexplicably failing to notice the signboard on the sidewalk. Right in front of me. Coffee flies. I fly. From my newly acquired position of moral authority (half on the sidewalk, half in the gutter), I firmly, calmly say, “Hello. Heard you were in town”.
She replies, “You’re laying in dog crap,” and rides off into the sunset.
11. Just when you think things are ok…
Not so much a moment of triumph, more snatching adversity from the jaws of defeat. I was cycling home, tried to mount a curb, got the angle slightly wrong and flew artlessly over the handlebars. Landing painfully in a crumpled heap in front of a crowd of commuters at a bus stop, most of them guffawed mightily, though one, one asked if I was OK.
As nonchalantly as I could, I made light of it – happens all the time, it’s no problem, I’m fine – and swung myself back in the saddle. Failing to notice that the handlebars had turned 180 and the front wheel was a mess of tangled brake cables, I applied a mighty downward shove on the right pedal and promptly fell off again.
12. That’s not where I wanted to go.
Tried to dramatically leave and slam the door after an argument in new apartment. Walked into bedroom.
13. Bird: 1. Ninja: 0.
I was running once with headphones in and didn’t hear this goose getting angry at me. I didn’t see it until it was airborne flying at me in attack. I responded with a swift roundhouse kick knocking the bird back. Just I was thinking that I was a super awesome ninja, I tripped on my own feet and bit it hard on the sidewalk, shattering my phone which was strapped to my arm.
14. The damage was indeed done.
A couple of years after university a came back to my home city for a visit. I had been living abroad. Got some old friends together for a reunion and to my surprise a girl I crushed on throughout high school and university was there and looking smoking hot. So all night I go about putting the moves on her and it is working well. She agrees to go home with me.
In the cab on the way home I tell her I had wanted to get with her for years and did not understand how we had not managed to get together before. She then comes back with,”We had sex in university after junior year Halloween party on the steps inside your fraternity house….. “
After seeing the look of disbelief on my face the next line was, “You don’t remember do you…..”.
At this point it was coming back to me but alas the damage was done. I was swiftly booted from the cab. Not seen her since.
15. At least she said what she had to say.
This exact thing happened to a friend of mine in the high school cafeteria – which, if we’ve learned anything from Mean Girls, is the epicenter of adolescent social interaction and therefore the most unfortunate place to embarrass yourself.
We had this one friend, “Mary-Ann”, that would just be a jerk to everyone for no reason. She would pick a different girl to pick on every week, and this week it was my friend “Haz”.
Mary-Ann was going on about how Haz would probably never get a boyfriend until she lost weight and grew her hair and got “less ugly” – you know, really constructive, friendly advice.
Haz lost it, which was brilliant. We all wanted to see Mary-Ann get her comeuppance. Haz stood up and just let rip about how she was a spoiled little brat and she couldn’t just say whatever she wanted and none of us like her anyway, so just screw off, Mary Ann!!
Haz, red in the face, swiped her bag off the table and went to march out, promptly tripping on a chair and falling flat on her face. There was a horrible slapping sound as skin hit hardwood. She was literally sprawled out in front of about 70 kids, who naturally erupted into laughter, Mary-Ann included. To her credit, she managed a weak chuckle, she knew she had to laugh at herself.
I got up, grabbed her and pulled her out by her arm, and then spent the next hour consoling her in the girls’ room. We are still best friends and she is newly engaged, yaaay happy ending.
16. Maybe she just needed some peace and quiet.
Not me, but a girl I was seeing. While we were having an argument, she tried to storm out of my house in a huff. Would have been a great exit, had she not stormed into my hall closet. She stayed in there for a couple seconds, planning her next move I assumed. When she opened the door we had a good laugh.
17. ‘Cause now we got bad blood.
I once had some girl try to sell me magazines at Walmart. The whole time I thought I was filling out a survey thing then she asked for my money. I told her I didn’t want to buy any magazines that I was good.
So she gets pretty upset and walks away and I go in my car, roll my windows down to speed off. I crank my radio up and it’s Taylor Swift playing. I still drive away like a tough guy with Taylor Swift playing
18. Dove right into disaster.
I used to work at a very popular beach as an ocean lifeguard. I got introduced to this job because I was a competition swimmer in high school, and my coach wanted me to keep swimming for the summer off season. I was small and skinny compared to all the other guards there, however I was an extremely fast swimmer and runner, and could out perform many of the guards on the beach when it came to endurance and speed.
During the first week of the job, the guards learned my name and wanted to see how fast I actually was. So one morning for workouts, some of the guards told me to go swim & race to the buoy a few hundred meters out. In my head, I was thinking, no sweat, I’ll just sprint to the buoy and show them all that my speed makes up for my size. So to show off my competition swimming prowess, I ran from the beach and dived into the cold ocean water.
Except, the beach shore isn’t like a swimming pool, and it’s shallower than it looks, and I ended up face-planting into the salty, wet sand, in front of all the guards. It was a painful swim too…I had sand cuts all across my face, and the salt didn’t help much.
19. Kill ’em with kindness.
A few months ago I had to serve a guy in a lawsuit, and in order to get him to meet me, I went to his office and told the front desk I had a meeting with him. He came out and then I served him and he got PISSED. He yanked the papers form me and tried to storm off back behind the locked door to his office, but when he pulled out his keys some cash fell out of his pocket. I picked up the money and handed it to him, and he was just fuming, he wanted to slam the door in my face but had to come back and thank me for the money through gritted teeth. I felt terrible for him, it was super awkward.
20. That’s one way to prove a point.
My ex who was a bartender at my local watering hole had recently dumped me for some guy. I wasn’t going to stop going to the bar just because she was working, hell I was a regular before she started working there. That guy is always around when she’s working, so I decide to bring in my new girl. My ex was obviously agitated all night until my new girl throws up right there on the bar. Not from alcohol, she wasn’t a heavy drinker. I attribute it to the questionable pub food. Nevertheless….we walked out, my head hung low.
21. Who put that there??
Back when I was a moody teenager…
One dark night after returning home from dinner, I was furious that my mom asked me to take the garbage out.
I opened the sliding glass door, stomped into the back yard to retrieve the trash, pulled it to the curb, and stomped all the way back, bouncing directly off the sliding glass door that somebody else had thoughtfully closed.
It was kind of hard to maintain my childish fury after something that hilarious and painful.
22. Graceful celebration.
I once caught fire late in the fourth quarter against our longtime youth basketball rivals, closing the game out with a twisting layup that killed any hopes of a comeback they may have had. As their coach called a timeout to regroup, I danced a mocking jig on my way back to our bench, mimicking a taunt their point guard had aimed at us earlier in the game.
Jigging merrily backwards towards our cheering section, a teammate ran out to high-five me but accidentally clipped my heel while I was mid-air, mid-skip and thoroughly off-balance. I performed a sort of wonky front-flip and landed in an oddly suggestive sprawl as my teammate, carried forward by momentum, tripped over me in turn and joined me on the parquet.
23. He just wanted to get an early “start” on his college career.
My school took the SATs in seventh grade. It was completely volunteer, mainly to see how you’d do. The tests were properly administered and proctored, and they were a version from a few years back (to make it difficult for kids to pass along relevant test info to others).
I took it on a lark and didn’t really expect very much.
Most of my class had gotten in the high 800s or low 900s. I got called into the principal’s office: I had scored 1000. I was the highest scoring in my grade, and the fifth highest in the school. (I was only beat out by four eighth graders, and just barely – the highest score was something like 1020.)
I felt like I had to lean back, so I put my hands on whatever was behind me, leaned back… and sat on the “Start” button for the copy machine.
24. Look down!
At a track meet in high school… cleared my highest pole vault ever in a state meet, jumped up and down happy to have achieved it… teammate tapped me on the shoulder to point out that my penis was flopping out of my shorts.
All caught on tape.
25. Not what he intended to come out.
I was running my first marathon and it was grueling. I had my name written on my top so as I was headed toward the last mile, people were chanting my name, strangers cheering me on, my parents were there…it was euphoric.
I crossed the line with tears in my eyes, and threw my arms up to yell and cheer but instead burp/vomited all over myself.
26. No matter how obvious the sign is…
I once saw a really good looking girl I liked walking towards the same door at the mall. I tried to be a gentleman and open it for her only to realize that I was pulling and the door had a huge sign on it that said PUSH.
27. A true warrior.
I was on my way to a major job interview at a big Media Company and I was super nervous. As I got out of the car, I tried to psych myself up so I would exude confidence. I walked toward the building and reminded myself to stand up straight, walk tall, smile and look smart. I was almost late so I walked a bit faster.
In the process of being straight and tall and fast, the heel of one shoe got caught in a sidewalk crack and I went down, hitting the pavement hard. I scraped the hell out of my hands and my wrist hurt so much, but my suit wasn’t torn so I continued on. I ducked into the restroom before the interview to pick the gravel out of my palms. I had to shake hands with six different people and it stung like crazy each time, but I just tried to smile and stay confident.
I had to go to the doc the next day and get x-rays and a brace for my slightly fractured wrist. I did get the job, though.