28 Embarrassed People On The Most Cringeworthy Thing They’ve Heard Someone Say In Public

Oh god, feel the cringe, that second-hand cringe is almost on par with feeling it as it happens. I’m reliving all of my cringeworthy deeds. I hope you do too. For science. Found on r/AskReddit.

1. Touché

Please don’t yell out my car window. Especially when it’s at old people and you are saying, “Don’t die!” every time we pass them.

It’s not funny.


2. They deserved it

I was walking around with a friend one evening when a limo full of teenagers on their way to winter formal rolled by and the kids leaned out and yelled obscenities at us. Moments later the limo stopped at a red light not too far away, so my friend hastily made a few snowballs, ran up, and thew them right into their midst, after which the limo driver pulled away. I can still picture their faces and screams nearly a decade later. It was majestic.

3. Fucker deserved it

A botched proposal at someone else’s wedding.

4. Brorock Brobama does not approve

One of my friends has been going to the gym for TWO WHOLE WEEKS so obviously, he wants to show off how much he’s been lifting. at a house party, he convinced a girl he was trying to pork that he could bench press her. to his credit, he managed to get her into the air well enough. it was when he then dislocated his shoulder and she fell and chipped his tooth with her forehead that it started to go a bit wrong.

5. Put your head down, bro

So I was born in germany and i’m in a second world war history class in my university in the UK/

The professor asks a question in which I know the answer is Hitler. I answer the question. Unfortunately I have a stammer and have trouble saying words beginning with H. I start stammering “H.Hh..hhh.hhh..hhHhh…”

I’m getting scared and embarrassed at this point and wary of everyone laughing at me, in the end I panicked.

“Hhhhhh..h.h.h.h. THE Führer!!” Everyone was in shock and I immediately cringed so hard. So yeah my class thought I was a Nazi after that

6. How do elementary teachers do it?

I absolutely hate seeing kids embarrassing themselves. Talent shows, recitals, shit like that. I cringe so hard that I can’t stand it.

7. The grand finale

We had a talent show when I was in 1st grade and the teachers wanted us all to participate. I was crazy into Star Wars so I said that I wanted to play the theme song on Piano. I took piano lessons and was decently good at piano for a 1st grader so nothing was going to go wrong on my end.

The problems began when two other kids heard I was going to play the theme song on piano and wanted to join in with more instruments to make a “band.” One kid wanted to play the recorder and another a fucking bongo drum. I was like, fine, y’all can join in.

We practiced a few times and here’s me playing my nice sheet music version of the song that my piano teacher helped me learn, accompanied by one dude playing an off-key recorder version of the melody and some fuckhead girl hitting a bongo at random intervals. My teacher heard this and suggested we all play separately (because even 1st grade me could tell it sounded like complete garbage) without considering the consequences.

So the day of the talent thing comes and I go out and play my piano version. I might have messed up once or twice but overall not bad. The next kid plays his recorder melody shit and it was below-average to bad, same as every elementary school recorder performance in existence, but hey, he learned the song and it was probably cute for the parents.

Then, the grand finale. This stupid girl comes out and fucking hits a bongo for however long the Star Wars song is. No music in the background, nobody else playing, nothing. Just this one girl shittily hitting her bongo to some random tune in her head that no one else could hear. And the worst part was she finished, and bowed a bunch of times like she was hot shit, and then bragged about her sympathy claps for days, saying she stole the show. Fuck that girl and her stupid bongo.

8. Crazy hat day

When I was in 6th grade, I sang We Like the Moon by those creepy spongemonkey things that were in the Quiznos commercials years ago. I had a friend who was supposed to play guitar with me, but he chickened out at the last minute. Also, it’s crazy hat day, so I’m wearing this long dragon spike hat I must have gotten at the county fair or something.

Anyways, the girl before me sang this wonderful disney song with her mom on the piano. And then I go up there, dressed stupid, and start singing my impression of that song a cappella. The whole gym was silent for like the first half of the song. Eventually though, they realized it was a funny song and they all ended up laughing and I won audience favorite.

My mom hid in a corner the whole time.

9. He had a sense of humor

When I worked retail there was one regular customer who would come in frequently, and was missing his left hand just below the wrist. One of my frequent greetings was “need a hand?” or “can I give you a hand with that?”

I managed to keep from saying that to him although I thought of it every time. Well…one day in ~2011 I was training a new cashier who had apparently picked up some of my mannerisms. The guy missing the hand comes up to the counter and looks like he needs help so the cashier looks right at him and says “Need a hand?” She then let out an audible gasp and just proceeded to stare at him then me, him and then me, with a “WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST DO” look on her face.

Finally the guy just busts out laughing, maybe because this sort of thing has happened before, maybe because of her reaction, maybe because he’s just awesome. He was a really nice dude. I start laughing, and she’s just hysterical with “OH MY GOD I’M SO SORRY!”

It turned out great in the end, but for that 1-3 seconds frozen in time it was borderline unbearable.

10. Had to console him in the end

I love my best friend but he is without a doubt the most socially inept human being I’ve ever met in my life. We were at a music festival a couple weekends ago and a guy came up to him and asked if he could take a picture of his shirt. He got all excited and was like “oh okay! yeah! sure! take a picture of me!” and I just kinda stood there awkwardly and watched my friend attempt to make small talk with a stranger.

At first it was pretty normal, he asked the guy’s name and they talked about the band on his shirt. But a few seconds later he said with a completely straight face “Do you wanna be my friend?” and the guy was like.. sure.. yeah.. So my friend immediately adds him on Facebook and gets his phone number. As soon as the guy walks off, my best friend looks at me and says “Wow, I don’t even know how I did that! He probably thinks I’m so social and cool now. And did you see how he wanted to take my picture? I think he likes me a lot!” I have never cringed harder in my entire life.

A little bit later we run into the guy again and he mentions his girlfriend. My best friend is a fairly flamboyant gay dude, and I could tell he was SO disappointed that this guy was straight. This guy then asked “Uh, hey dude.. do you like guys? It’s cool if you do, I’m just wondering cause I’m not gay, so..” and my best friend literally looked like he was going to cry. I got to stand there awkwardly and console him.

11. Elsa from Frozen

High school talent show this spring. Some girl dressed up as Elsa from Frozen, the whole getup, and sang Let It Go. She was very intense and did all the motions from the movie, and also could not sing for her life. I cringed the entire time.

12. Oh my god…

We were on the school exchange for our ceramic course. Professor was showing us a pretty big brick kiln he built by himself, which was used for raku technique.
He’s explaining everything to the group, when suddenly a girl from my class pulls me aside and asks me to take a picture of her and the kiln. Okay, why not, I think. I take the camera and wait for her to take her place. And then… I can’t believe what that stupid girl is doing.

She climbs into the kiln, sits herself at the entrance, all happy and shit and exclaims “Look at me, I’m a Jew!”

What. The. Fuck.

Everyone’s looking at her with disgust, you can basically hear the cringe. I hand her over her camera without taking a photo and just walk away. I just had no idea what to say at that moment.

She had no idea why nobody was laughing at her joke. Probably didn’t even catch that people were avoiding her. She was the type of person that nothing can get through to, so even attempts of explaining the situation were met with more cringeworthy reactions. Yeah, she was a piece of art.

Also, did I mention that our school was cooperating at the time with Jewish art organization? Way to go, P., way to go…

13. Oh my god… (Part 2)

School trip to the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp.

The guide takes us to the crematorium.

There is a couple of huge, black, jew-fueled death ovens in the middle of the room.

The guide is giving us some background information.

Everyone is sad.


I decide to lighten the spirit.

Slap the side of one of the ovens, smiling.

“Man, it’s cold in here! Shoulda kept these sons of bitches going!”

Everyone looks at me.

Suddenly I am the most hated guy in Auschwitz since 1945

14. What the fuck just came out of your mouth

My sister and her husband are lovey dovey all the time. But last month he was wearing a grey shirt and she was wearing a yellow shirt. We were at a restaurant and out of nowhere, she goes, “look at my sexy husband. He’s my sexy grey sky and I’m his bright yellow sun.” She was serious.

15. All the kid wanted was a pizza

Outside a pizza place, a Mom yelling at her 10-year-old child saying, “YOU’RE EMBARRASSING YOURSELF!”

16. B for bae

There was two girls in the year below me in secondary school who wanted to sing the same song at the end of year award ceremony for the school. One of the girls was a fantastic singer but the other one, not so much. The music teacher in charge suggested they sing together so she wouldn’t have to let down the bad singer.
The whole school was talking about what a flop it was going to be but nobody expected it to go so bad.

The good singer (we’ll call her A) and the bad singer (b) walk out on stage. The guy playing guitar had his head buried into his chest from the beginning, didn’t want anything to do with it. So he starts playing and after a few seconds A starts singing, she was great and caught everybody’s attention straight away, after the chorus there was some more music before B began. Everybody’s parents/guests expected her to be equally as good as A but that didn’t happen. the students knew what was going to go down. B starts singing and instantly people’s heads start dropping, you could hear people laughing all around, shoulders bobbing up and down as others tried to suppress their laughter, snorts and coughs as people tried to compose themselves. it was horrible. She was still singing but at this stage she was getting emotional from a combination of nerves and the laughing crowd of students and parents, her voice was dwindling away and the tears began to flow. She sounded like a tuba being raped by a jet engine. it got worse and worse until she was fully crying and standing in the middle of the stage and A had to take over again. the song finished and there was a brief applause before they swiftly ran off the stage.

Two reasons why it was cringe-y, the disrespect from the audience and the fact that B thought she could sing in the first place and then went out and honked for a few seconds before crying and running off the stage at the end of the song. It was one of those times that you cringe so hard you feel bad for the person. b was fine the next day but I don’t think she ever performed in public again.

17. She did not just SAY that

I was on a public bus with my friend. We were sitting in our seats and chatting when these group of girls sitting behind us were talking. One girl says to the other, very loudly, “Did you brush your teeth because they’re really yellow.” Everyone sitting around them including my friend and I went quiet. It was so awkward. I felt so bad for the girl.

18. Nice one, Chuck

Friends girlfriend at the time worked at a home for the mentally disabled, and him and I helped out with grilling and various things when they had a picnic at the park. Well it’s all over, and there’s us and several of her clients sitting around waiting for a van and chatting about the bad moves my friend had made throughout day, including throwing lit matches all over the charcoal and then almost spraying lighter fluid all over them, when suddenly he realizes something and loudly blurts out “Oh man, I’m such a retard!!”

I’ve never seen someone turn so red and start blubbering apologies so quickly.

19. This is pretty bad

I was examining this dude who’d had a lot of heart bypass surgeries. He had these scars on his legs from the vein harvesting and he commented, “yeah, got them scars on my legs, but not on this arm here!”

And I have no idea, but I just answered with, “Not yet you don’t!”

He looked kind of sad and I just sort of mumbled and then found a reason to leave pretty quickly.

20. So, how are you?

“Hi how are you?”

“Good how are you?”

“Great, how are you?”


I had to take a speech class at the local community college and one of our assignments was for us to get up in front of everyone and present a story or something. This one girl dressed in a black Invader Zim hoodie (it was April in North Carolina) presented a summary or excerpt of her Twilight / Alice in Wonderland fanfiction. For 20 minutes.

I have another one. When I lived in the dorms, there was this freshman who was a little eccentric. When he ran places, he would lean down, face forward, straighten his back out, and throw his arms behind him, allowing them to flap in the wind (think Sonic the Hedgehog or Naruto). One day, he was walking back to the dorm holding a coffee in one hand. It was November in NC, so it was fairly cold, but he was wearing a large camo jacket with shorts and shower sandals. Someone opened the door to his dorm while he was far away, so he breaks out into a full sprint to try to catch the door. He assumes his Sonic sprint position, but continues to hold the coffee cup upright, letting his other arm flap uncontrollably as he ran.

22. “Aspiring”

I did a summer college program a few summers ago in New York. It was a couple hundred teenagers staying in dorms for 2 weeks, earning college credits in various fields. Anyway, there were like 50-ish of us hangout out by the docks, eating pizza and talking. This guy, we’ll call him Tom, was an aspiring ‘DJ.’ He walks over to us with his Macbook pro and starts playing terrible music until we all just kind of disperse. The whole situation, and the look on his face when he figured out why everyone was leaving was terrible.

23. Bet you thought I wasn’t looking, eh?

Pulled up next to a car at a stop light and witnessed a lady pick her nose, look at it, then proceed to eat it.

Best believe she saw my face of horror.

24. Was she testing him…?

My girlfriend asked my brother (a recovering alcoholic) if he wanted to taste her beer. When he politely declined she persisted with “Well at least smell it!”

25. And all that confidence, poof, gone

While driving to the local lake a couple weeks ago with friends, we noticed this young kid (middle school) hitting a ramp on his bike in an attempt to impress some college girls. He was prepping like Evel Knievel, and oozed confidence for a 12-year-old kid. Anyway, he hit the ramp only for the front to give out, front flips into a 6 yard face plant, and somehow manages to lose his shorts to the handlebars. I felt bad for laughing. Not really.

26. Holy shit

I was on a crowded airport parking shuttle and an old lady got on. A probably 6 year old black girl shifted to her mom’s lap so the lady could sit down and the lady replied, “What a polite little niglet,” and sat down.

The look on the mom’s face was both anger and shock. The whole bus went silent and remained that way until the airport. It was the most uncomfortable 5 minutes of my life.

27. “Shugga”

I had a friend who couldn’t ask for anything sweet normally. One day we went to a restaurant and the waitress came to give us our check and ask us if we wanted anything else. He just says “shugga please.” The waitress and I both said “huh?” He repeated himself with this serious look on his face “shugga please.” She says “I’m sorry I don’t know what you’re saying” again “shugga please” now sounding annoyed. I felt like crawling under the table. Finally I say “uh I think he wants a dessert.” And he nods his head points to the menu and once again says “yeah shugga please” I’m no longer friends with this person due to other horribly awkward situations.

28. Sooooooo awkward

I took my sort of nerd-y friend to a house party, to get him out of his shell. I take him and I’m having a good time and having fun. Then in the corner of my eye I see my nerdy friend chatting up a girl; I’m happy for him so I slowly walk by to see what he’s saying.

Their conversation: awkward silence My friend: so, uh- do you like this music?

Not that bad right?

There was no music playing at the party. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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