It's a fact that the cringier the moment you experience, the funnier the story is when you're recounting it later on.
A now-deleted Reddit user recently asked, "What is something cringy af that you did a loooong time ago (years ago) that you still think about today?" Here are a few stories from some brave souls:
1."Way back when I was a college freshman, I was emailing back and forth with my best friend. I had this INTENSE crush on this dude and tried to attach an email from him to the one I was sending HER, and sent it to him instead. There was MULTIPLE. PARAGRAPHS. About my feelings, about his eyes, and your typical 'He said X, and I just wonder if that means Y.' I realized JUST after I hit send, and there were no take-backs back then. I coped by unplugging my iMac, then went outside my dorm house and lay face down on the sidewalk going 'Nononono.' God, I feel sick. I might still be on the sidewalk even now."
2."I had a guy around to fix my computer about 18 years ago, and he was kinda cute but not really my type. He finished and let me know, then said, 'And how would you like to pay for that today?' I could feel it coming to my mouth. My brain was saying to my mouth, 'Don't you fucking dare.' My mouth didn't listen and said, 'With sexual favors?' I. Wanted. To. Die. I clapped my hands over my face and couldn't apologize enough. He'd gone bright red and was basically stammering. I couldn't even look him in the eyes as I handed him my credit card, and I've never been so eager for someone to leave my house. I still cringe about that."
3."I was in the ladies waiting for the only cubicle to become free. The lady flushed and walked out. As she walked past me, she had on a really nice perfume, and I said to her, 'Ooh, you smell lovely,' as I walked into the cubicle. She'd just done a really stinky shit which whacked me right in the face as soon I got in there. I turned around and was mortified as I told her I actually meant her perfume. Luckily, we both had a good giggle out of it, so that was good."
4."In high school, I went up against a guy twice my size in a game of Bloody Knuckles. If you don't know, it's a game where you take turns punching each other's fists until someone taps out. For some reason, I thought this would be a great way to show off to another guy I had a crush on. I wound up breaking my hand. The crush was not impressed and pretty much ignored my existence for the rest of high school. In a turn of events, 10 years later, he's now one of the groomsmen in my wedding. It turns out, he was a good childhood friend of my fiancé, and now a good friend of mine. My fiancé thought this story was hilarious, and we told it at a party. Our friend doesn't remember it, but we laughed about how fucking stupid I was, and all the dumb things we all did as teenagers."
6."Let me top you with some adult cringe. I was in my mid-20s, working in a professional office environment, and my coworker was bragging about his wife finishing a marathon for the first time. I meant to jokingly say, 'Only 26 miles?! I do that every morning, haha,' because at the time I could barely run one mile, and people knew it. Somehow, my idiot brain translated that joke into the words: '26 miles?! What a LOSER!' instead. For extra cringe, my voice cracked like a 13-year-old boy going through puberty when I said the word 'loser.' Everyone gave me a disgusted look even as I tried to back peddle 'Haha, kidding! kidding! That's awesome.' There just wasn't any recovering from that shit. I just had to wait until people forgot."
7."I have no idea why this still bothers me to this day, but I was at a house party for one of my dad's colleagues. This dude had kids coming out of his ears. It seemed like 15 of the kids were his, but I think in reality only 5 were his. I was about 7, and I was running around with them, and they took me to their older brother's room, a teenager. He had a car lamp, and I tripped over the power cord, and it broke. Old mate had the cord running across the middle of the floor, so like, it wasn't exactly like I was intending to trip on it. I just didn't see it. As us young kids were panicking, he suddenly appeared, and he went off, yelling and swearing at his siblings because they weren't allowed in his room, and now they'd gone and broken his funky car lamp. I was absolutely terrified of him, but the guilty side of me couldn't let him keep yelling at them, so I stepped forward and loudly exclaimed, 'IT WAS I.'
8."I was not a good patient at the dentist, so I got laughing gas. I was high as a kite and suddenly felt the pressing need to declare my undying love for my celebrity man crushes right then and there. Loudly. The dentist was dying, and I was really mad and told him I was serious, I loved them. It seemed very important that I tell this."
9."When I was in 6th grade, I had a crush on an upper-class student, and the way I was convinced I’d be able to get his attention was by pretending I was scared whenever he’d pat me on the shoulder or poke me or whatever. I still think about how cringe it was. I think I only did that because a friend of mine gave me some really weird tips, and I thought it would work."
10."I've been working for decades to block this memory out. At my, like, 10th or 12th birthday party, I and my male 'cousin' (just a close family friend's kid) told our parents we had sex. I genuinely have no idea why. We thought it would be funny, I guess. It was not funny."
11."I was parked at a busy shop with my mate incredibly hungover, and I parked next to a guy who also just got there. We were still in my car as he was walking in when I noticed his car was slowly rolling backward! I SCREAMED out to him from my window, 'STOP QUICK, YOUR CAR IS ROLLING!' Everyone turned to look; he laughed, then calmly replied, 'Nah mate, your handbrake isn't on.' He was right; it was my car rolling forward."
12."I would meow around my friends and act like a cat because I wanted to be a Neko. One day, my friend told me to stop with a firm tone, and that's when it clicked for me to stop because I didn't wanna be ostracized and lose friends. I was, like, 13."
13."Two years ago, my ex took me on a trip in the mountains with his friends. We were drinking and having fun, and one of the guy’s partners and I started talking, but it became the center of attention for some reason. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how we got to the point, but I suddenly asked her how old she was. Most of us were 30/31 years old, and she said she was 38. I didn’t expect her to be that much older than her partner and us, so my brain decided to make this incredibly awkward and uncomfortable by just looking in shock at her and saying, 'Aw okay, wow, you’re old.' I still feel deep shame about this. Especially because now I am dating a guy lots younger than me, and I fret for his friends to make comments."
14."I was 16, and my boyfriend broke up with me. I’d never been dumped before, and I thought buying him a mug with a picture of us on it would change his mind. I was going to meet him and beg for him back, and if that failed, give him the mug!"
15."I was new at a job, and a rather dashing colleague asked me, 'So, how did you come to us?' I said, 'On the bus.'"
16."I was waiting for a friend. He was going to pick me up from a certain bus stop that was on an avenue. I saw his car, and the traffic light was red, so I opened the door, got into the car, and closed the door. I turned my head left to say hi to him, and when I saw his face, it wasn't my friend. It was some random dude that looked at me in awe and said: 'Are you sure you want to do this?' I immediately got out of the car and felt like the most stupid person EVER. Now, I laugh when I imagine the reaction of the guy seeing this random girl opening his car door and getting in. But I was mortified back then!"
17."When I was about 9 or 10, I went to the top of the slide in my friends’ backyard and PEED DOWN THE SLIDE! I thought they would think it was funny. ... They did not. The worst thing was I tried to pretend I didn’t know where it came from."
18."We had an ugly sweater competition at work that we had all really gotten into. I’m sitting by my boss at lunch, and she’s wearing a not entirely ugly sweater, but it was a terrible color. Like the dumbass I am, I look her dead in the eye and compliment her on her great ugly sweater. Apparently, she forgot it was ugly sweater day in the office. She never wore it again, and I felt awful."
20."I was in 7th-grade English class, and my crush was sitting near me. I usually never talk to my crushes, so we were practically strangers. Anyway, I decided a great way to get his attention was to scream, 'I don't have milk' in Portuguese (I don't speak Portuguese) at the top of my lungs. To my surprise, that didn't work, so I decided to say it three more times, each time getting louder and louder. Let's just say that didn't work, and I still cringe about it to this day."
21."When I was 10 years old, I was in a dance academy, and we did tons of dance competitions. I was on stage during one of them, and the lights must have blinded me because I fell off the stage and landed on the judges' table. It was very embarrassing! People still remember me doing that even today."
22."When I was 17, my boyfriend left me. He was an awful human, and the icing on the cake was that he dumped me two days before prom. He pretended he still liked me up until the last second. Literally, we were driving to my house from school and planning a date for that weekend; he parked in my driveway and dumped me. Anyway, a couple of hours later, I called him back, and said, 'Listen, I thought about it a lot, and I forgive you. I’ll give you another chance, but you need to be more open with me so we can work our issues out from now on.' He was like, 'Um…no thanks.'
23."I forgot to silence my phone, and it rang at my friend's wedding while they were exchanging vows in a silent room with 150 people. It happened 19 years ago, but I still can't think of it without wanting to crawl under a rock."
24."One time, I was at Target with my roommate, and we were in the underwear aisle. I went to go make an Arrested Development joke and flung a blue thong at her, but it ended up hitting a lady behind her right smack dab in the middle of her face. I have to say, I still laugh about this today, though at the time, I felt so bad and embarrassed."
25."When I was about 12 or something, a girl shook my hand. She was cute, so once she shook my hand, I blushed and left her stranded in the middle of the conversation and went to the boys to tell them what happened."
26."I just remembered: I was eating a cookie at my desk while working from home last year. Stray cookie chunks fell down into my cleavage. No problem, I just sent my hand down, and had a rummage. It was a whole alpine mountain rescue bit. I retrieved and ate the cookie pieces, then remembered I was in a Zoom conference call. On camera."
27."There are so many, but the one I always go back to is when I walked into a class of about 30 art students. The teacher had music playing like she normally did during drawing, but this music was awful. Pitchy, cringy lyrics, just really bad. My 16-year-old brain decided it was a good idea to ask, loudly, 'What is this?' With a tone and look on my face that made it clear I thought it was garbage. My teacher informed me that it was my classmate's new recording that she decided to share. When I tell you my face turned bright red…I still remember trying to backpedal with everyone staring at me. Needless to say, I didn’t have many friends in that class, and I learned to keep my unnecessary opinions to myself."
31."I was painfully shy as a kid and VERY sneezy. Back when I was around 8, I was in class, and my teacher called my reading group out to read together. I was so nervous about it being my turn to read while the whole class quietly got on with their work. Suddenly, it was my turn to read, and I could feel a sneeze coming. I let out a huge snotty sneeze, and to top it off, I also let out a ginormous fart."