Everyone has a few embarrassing stories of utter mortification in their past that they wish they could forget. So when a Twitter user named Andy Ryan recently shared a cold sweat-inducing anecdote about the time he thought he was going to get free ice cream…and didn’t, the post went extremely viral, racking up over half a million likes.
Clearly by recounting a simple misunderstanding that nevertheless still haunts him to this day, Andy had tapped into a common human experience of public humiliation.
I was in a park and a lady loudly called out "Anyone who wants an ice cream come over here". I headed over with several others. She handed out ices to them all then asked me "Who are you?". I realised the rest were all her family. 30 years later I still cringe.
— Andy Ryan (@ItsAndyRyan) August 25, 2019
Now thousands are chiming in with their own embarrassing stories that range from the mildly awkward to the deeply traumatizing.
Here are some of the best/worst.
My aunt wandered into an open air restaurant in Greece, sat down, she had no Greek, they no English. So she pointed at what others were having, they brought her wine and food.
Only when she tried to pay and they refused did she realise she’d just crashed someone’s wedding party.
— Johnny Keats (@JohnnyKeats1) August 25, 2019
I pulled over to check out a garage sale in my neighborhood. Bunch of folks were sitting out front in lawn chairs, but as I walked up the driveway, they looked at me strangely. Finally I realized this was not a garage sale, just people sitting outside their messy garage. CRINGE.
— Kristina Horner ✏️✨ (@KristinaHorner) August 27, 2019
My Mum was walking me to school when I was 5 and I saw my friend Trevor up ahead so I ran on to catch up with him, calling out his name.
As I got close I realised it wasn’t him so I just kept on running past, shouting “Trev! Trevor!…”
— Frank (@frankspicer) August 25, 2019
Same thing except that I approached my “friend” and pushed him, it turned out to be a stranger with the same backpack and he fell to the ground. I panicked and ran away without a word. I should have apologized or at least explain myself 😭😭😭
— PamR (@MejaPamela) August 26, 2019
omg 😭 when i was younger my mom, best friend, and myself were at a dollar store. my friend was bending over looking at something on a bottom shelf, i went up to her and lightly kicked her butt & she swung around and it was the manager. i’ve never been so embarrassed
— gen (@gennessen) August 26, 2019
..wife left husband under the car fixing it…came back later he was still there with legs stuck out so she gave him a playful squeeze of his groin…turned round and husband was stood there…mechanic under the car, knocked out…trip to A&E…10 stitches to head
— Tom Jameson 🐝 (@ghostlytom) August 26, 2019
I once genuinely thought this lady with outstretched arms was trying to give me a hug. Afraid that it was someone I knew in the past I went in for the hug and she said “Not you dear” and when I turned I realized her relative was coming behind me. I fled the scene in shame
— Imoh (@ImohUmoren) August 26, 2019
Not quite the same, but many years ago when we were all out in the family car, I spotted a sign and asked my dad what range eggs were, and why couldn’t we stop for some if they were free? Many years later he still thought I was pulling his leg.
— Paddy Paws (@pacman_225) August 25, 2019
As a child, I noticed some cigars in my father’s car. I didn’t know he smoked cigars so I asked him if he did. He replied, “Seldom.” I misheard that as “Sell them”, and for a long time thought my father sold cigars…
— Snarkington Post (@SnarkingtonPost) August 25, 2019
30 years ago… gas stations with convenience stores had become a thing. I stopped for pepto bismal…. clerk asked if I had gas with that… indignantly told her that I only had an upset stomach!! Walked out to see the pumps… still cringe!!
— Jeff Carey (@JCarey1958) August 25, 2019