Recently, we shared a few food horror stories featuring dinner guests who absolutely ruined the meal. Here are a few more, in case you're worried about having company over for dinner:
1. "On Thanksgiving a few years ago, my husband’s family came over. I made an enormous traditional Thanksgiving Day meal. All from scratch. My sister-in-law said, 'Oh, I thought you’d make Italian food. We don’t like turkey.' That was okay — rude, but okay. Two days later, she had pictures on Facebook showing off the turkey dinner she made. Last year, my husband invited them over after years of not, and I catered from a restaurant. This time, they were polite enough to tell me it was great and only complain in private that they were looking forward to my cooking. I guess they win a Thanksgiving dinner this year."
2. "Several years ago, I made Girl Scout Thin Mint brownies and brought them to work. I sent out a blast email to the department letting them know the brownies were there for the taking. The number of people who bitched at me about them having mint in them... One coworker, in particular, wouldn't let it go and kept saying that mint is a palate cleanser and had no business being in chocolate. Where I come from, you don't bitch about free food. I've never baked for my office again."
3. "My parents are divorced, so I always celebrate holidays twice. For my dad’s family Thanksgiving dinner, we have a bunch of people make the food and bring it to the house. I make mac 'n' cheese. My mom got upset that I always make the mac for my dad’s side, never for her side. I told her I am asked to make and bring it; her family has never asked, and we don’t even eat 'traditional' Thanksgiving meals. So I made it for my mom’s side one year, and nobody touched it. In my 15-person (five kids, 10 adults) family dinner, I was the only one who had any."
4. "We had a dinner party for friends once. It was BYOB. One couple brought a side dish and no B. The dish was oily and mushy. I don't like it, but she knows my husband does. Fine. They were early, but instead of helping, she played a video game because they didn't have good internet and we did. She didn't even talk to me! She proceeded to help herself to wine from my wine rack, unwrap and drink the gift bottle other guests had brought, loudly complain that I was a bad host for not having enough wine for her, and hit on the teenage son of our friends (whom she had never met) while her husband was there! She tried to force-feed me her dish at the table, told my husband to recook her steak after he cooked it to what she said was her desired doneness (she's a hunter and I've seen her eat raw meat), and didn't offer to clean up 'because [she] didn't have a good meal.'"
"It completely ruined the great friendship my husband had with her, but I'm glad I never have to be around her again."
5. "Somebody who didn’t know I brought the dish sat across from me, and when my homemade stuffing with bread I'd dried myself came to her, she was like, 'Ew, what the fuck is this?' and then piled on Stove Top. It was the trashiest thing I’ve experienced in my life."
6. "Oh, man, Christmas Eve, my wife and I treated my parents and grandparents to beautiful rib eye steaks, sous vide, and finished on the grill. We let them rest for 10 minutes and served them up. They were amazing — like, melt in your mouth — and my dad microwaved his for two minutes because, he said, 'I like steak hot.'"
7. "The last Christmas I was with my now-former boyfriend, his mom asked me to make the dessert. My ex had a big family, so I made sugar cookies and Christmas cupcakes. His oldest niece begged for a cupcake, and my ex-boyfriend's bitchy sister-in-law told her daughter not to eat it because she would get super fat! Unfortunately, nobody else in the family heard her remark, so nothing was done about it. I didn't get a chance to tell my ex until after we left. He told me that she's a bitch to everyone and I should try not to take it personally, but he did tell his parents about it. I wasn't super heavy back then, but I wasn't at a healthy weight, either."
8. "An aunt complained that the peach tart tasted 'too fresh, not like canned peach cobbler.'"
9. "Years ago, I made lasagna for my friends that got really good reviews, and my parents whined about me not making them one. So I did. I made the meat sauce 'from scratch,' and it cooked, with regular stirring, for hours. So it's pretty much a whole-day ordeal to prep, assemble, and cook. Once it was cut and served, they DOUSED theirs in Louisiana hot sauce before even tasting it. I've never (willingly) cooked for them again. I'm fine with doctoring your food if it's not to your standards — I do it myself. But to doctor food before even tasting it is incredibly rude, in my opinion. To put Louisiana hot sauce on LASAGNA is just in literal poor taste."
10. "I hosted a Thanksgiving for my partner's family one year because his mom (who always made the family meal) had to work. I cooked, and everyone loved it. The next year, everyone said they wanted me to make the meal again, even though my mother-in-law had the day off. I agreed and was flattered. Everyone showed up around 11:30 a.m.–12 p.m. for a meal at 1 p.m. The first thing my mother-in-law said when she walked in the door was, 'How long is this going to take? I want to get shopping,' and had brought along all the Black Friday flyers to look at. She didn't even say hello to me when she came in. As we sat down to eat, the only thing she would talk about was leaving to go shopping and how she couldn't wait to leave."
11. "I haven't made spaghetti sauce in about 25 years. When my husband and I were dating, he asked if I was making dinner for him and his friend who was coming over. I went for spaghetti, since I was babysitting my three younger sisters. I simmered it all day; it was amazing. Dinnertime came, and I fixed my sisters' plates and asked if my husband and his friend were ready to eat. They both said they weren't hungry. My now-husband later confessed that he didn't 'know' me well enough to eat my cooking, AND that his friend's family was Italian and there was an old wives' tale of women putting extra 'ingredients' in their sauces to get their man."
12. "I've hosted the whole family (15 to 20 people) for Thanksgiving nearly every year for 21 years, and I make all of the food — turkey, sides, appetizers, multiple desserts, even homemade cranberry sauce. Go all out. People usually offer to bring an item, and I will gratefully suggest wine or dinner rolls — something simple, but letting them feel helpful. This year, my mother-in-law offered so insistently that I asked her to bring a side (potatoes) and dinner rolls. She showed up with the potatoes, rolls, a corn dish, a green bean dish, two pies, and a CAN of cranberry jelly 'in case there wasn't any cranberry sauce with the meal.' I was seething!"
13. "Years ago, my parents hosted Christmas. My dad called the 'family' to see who was coming because he wanted to make everyone a filet mignon and needed a count for how many to get. We also had turkey and several side dishes. My trashy cousin came in with some guy she'd met at the bar a week before, and he proceeded to eat four of the filets mignons himself! To top it all off, the 'family' proceeded to pack up 'leftovers' even before everyone else got a chance to eat. The only thing that was left for my parents and me to eat after they took all the food was stuffing and mashed potatoes. I was livid, but my dad, being a kindhearted person, didn't say a word. Let's just say my sister and I don't talk to that side of the 'family' anymore."
14. "I don't cook for my stepson or daughter-in-law anymore. For the first time they came to visit, my husband had grand visions of all of us having a big Sunday dinner of pot roast, mashed potatoes, green peas, and pie, and I made all of that, lovingly. His son and daughter-in-law saw it, actually wrinkled up their noses, and said they were going to pass and meet their friends at a bar. My husband was hurt, I was hurt, they left, and I don't even know if they've realized I've not cooked for them again. A bit selfish, those two."
15. "My husband and I had just bought our home, and asked our immediate families to come for Thanksgiving. We spent close to $1,000 buying all the cookware and food. I spent probably a total of 12 hours prepping and cooking. I made a turkey, ham, six sides, and a pie. My mother-in-law refused to speak to me the entire three days she was in my home because I didn’t greet her 'properly' when she arrived. She never said a nice thing about the meal, while everyone else kindly raved about it. She later told my husband that she was upset that I had more of my family there than hers. That’s purely because I have a larger immediate family. I won’t cook for her ever again."
16. "My boyfriend's parents came to visit, and I made homemade birria tacos for them, which is really no easy task. They got here and saw everything I had prepared/was preparing, and his dad immediately went, 'Yeah, I want to order a pizza.' So that’s what he did. His stepmom at least tried a taco, but they both just ate pizza for dinner instead. I gave some of the leftovers to a friend who loves my cooking, so it was all good. I'm never cooking for him again, though."
17. "I grilled steaks for my fiancé's birthday last year and threw him a little party with some friends. His mom invited herself to come, and I couldn’t just say no. I pulled the steaks off, got them downstairs, and served them. She took hers and cut into it, said, 'OMG, IT'S RAW' (it was medium), and put hers on the pan in my kitchen and cooked it into a shoe. She then proceeded to go around to everybody, telling them the steaks were raw and they were going to get sick, and telling them to let her 'cook them.' Everyone apologized to me when she left and said they were perfectly cooked. Everyone thought she was weird for that."
18. "About a decade ago, I threatened my dad that I'd never bake for him again if he uttered, 'It's good, but it isn't like Mom made it' one more time. Of course it isn't how Grandma made it. I love her dearly, but she didn't use the recipes she had written down. I've been reverse-engineering her cooking since she passed away when I was 13. To his credit (and under the very real threat of never getting brownies again), Dad hasn't said the forbidden phrase."
19. "When I was 16, I spent all afternoon and evening making a sea bass meal and asparagus with a lemon cream sauce for Easter dinner. It's not much in hindsight, but at the time it seemed like a huge endeavor, as I was learning to cook. It was just my dad and me at home that Easter, and he looked at the plate I handed him and said, 'I would've been happier with pizza. What's with all the dishes?' I did the dishes myself and never made an effort for him again, ha. He was also a jerk in so many other ways."
Have you ever cooked a meal for someone that did not get the respect it deserved? Tell me about it in the comments!
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.