Surprise parties can either go one of two ways — super amazing or super horrible — and when they go terribly wrong, it's hard to forget those awkward moments.
So here are 21 stories where surprise parties went terribly wrong:
1. "I walked in on an ex-girlfriend having sex with another guy. She tried to say she was planning to surprise me with a threesome and just got started without me."
2. "The person we were throwing a 63rd birthday party for was coming back from a trip with his wife, and all 50+ of us were in the backyard with all the decorations set up and food. His wife texted us when they were five minutes away, and we all gathered at the fence where they would soon enter. The fence was about 7 feet tall, so you couldn't see anything over it. When they entered, we all yelled surprise, and his face looked like he was about to sneeze, but instead, he was having a stroke."
"He ended up in the hospital for the evening. The food was good, though."
3. "In high school, I was responsible for keeping a friend busy while her parents set everything up at their house for the party. We get back to her house, all the lights are off, and she walks into the door and says, 'I have to take a huge shit.'"
4. "My friends, family, and coworkers planned a surprise birthday party for me at my house. To give everyone time to get there and get set up, my coworkers had my boss ask me to stay late at work 'because we might have an emergency project to do tonight.' So 5 p.m. rolls around, and everyone heads home (really, to my house). I sit around, and at 7 p.m., I finally text the boss that I'm headed out unless she really needs me to stay. It turns out she was supposed to have me go home at 5:30 p.m. Since I figure my evening is shot anyway, I head to the grocery store, pick up my dry cleaning, and drop off my recycling."
"I walked in my door around 8:45–9 p.m. to find all my friends, family, and coworkers drunk in my house! They were all a bit too in their cups to muster a coordinated 'Surprise!' but I figured it out. Ended up having a blast!"
5. "A girl I was dating in high school set up a surprise birthday party for me but chose not to invite most of my good friends because she didn't like them. Well, they caught wind of the party and took me out for some drinks instead, as their own birthday surprise."
6. "My friend gets back from deployment, and it's my job to take him out and keep him away while they prepare his house. When we arrive, everyone jumps out, and my friend reacts automatically by punching someone in the face and throwing himself out of the door at the same time."
"They had two chipped teeth and a sprained wrist."
7. "I went out for a romantic dinner with my then-wife. She was being unusually flirty and went to the restroom. When she comes back, she brings back panties in her hand and gives them to me. She says she couldn't wait to get back home. So, we arrive back home, and she tells me to meet in the basement while she changes into something for the evening. I go downstairs and start taking off my pants when about 30 friends in the basement yell, 'Surprise,' for an early surprise birthday party."
8. "My family was going to give my uncle-in-law a 50th birthday party. We rented out this fancy club, bought tons of presents, and invited over 150 people. His wife was going to call him and tell him to meet her for dinner and at the club. So, it's the day of the party, and we are all waiting for him to arrive. An hour later, he is still not at the party."
"We later found out he stopped at a strip club down the street, got wasted, and passed out."
9. "My girlfriend punched her aunt in the face and broke her nose because she jumped out right in front of her when they yelled surprise."
10. "My boyfriend at the time and his female friend planned a surprise party for me while I was at work. I was definitely surprised and overjoyed that all my friends were at my house with cake, balloons, and wine. However, after a while, I noticed I couldn't find my boyfriend or his friend."
"I caught him on the porch making out with the girl who helped him set up my surprise party. He forgot I had a security camera pointed at the front door. It was not a good surprise."
11. "My aunt had set up a surprise 40th birthday party for my uncle. Everyone was hiding in the basement, waiting for him to come home from work. His car pulls up, he runs inside the house, and everyone yells SURPRISE. He shits himself."
12. "On my birthday, I tell my wife, 'Let's have friends over for a BBQ.' She says, 'OK.' I spend the afternoon mowing the yard, setting up the patio, etc. About an hour before people are supposed to show up, my wife says I need to help her run to the store to get supplies. I'm filthy, covered in grass and dust, and sweaty as hell, so I say, 'Let me take a quick shower.' She says we don't have time because she needs to start cooking, and I can take a shower when we get back. I say OK, slightly irritated to have to run to the market dirty, but no biggie, right? Well, she seems to be dressed really nicely for the market or a BBQ, but I didn't really think much of it. She drives us to an upscale restaurant parking lot. I'm like, 'WTF?' Then I see all my friends' cars parked in the lot."
"Fuck. Did I mention I was dirty and sweaty? Well, I was dirty and sweaty and smelly as fuck.
I wanted so bad to be a dick and throw a complete fit and go back home, but I didn't. I spent the evening in a nice restaurant with my nicely dressed wife and friends while I looked and smelled like shit, pretending to have a nice time."
13. "My friend's girlfriend threw him a surprise party at his apartment the day before his birthday. Everyone got in their places when we saw him pull up and waited. We waited and waited, then looked out to the parking lot to see why he hadn't come in yet. He was getting a blowjob from some other girl."
"Then it got awkward."
14. "A buddy of mine set up a surprise party for his fiancé. She thought he was off to another state for a week for work. He came back early on her birthday and set up a huge surprise party for her at home. She usually gets home at like 6 p.m. from work, and it's already 7 p.m., and we finally hear her coming. We turn off the lights, and she comes home hammered with another dude that she was going to have sex with."
15. "When I was a DJ, the wife planned a 45th surprise birthday party for her husband. The husband walked in, people yelled surprise, and he got this shocked look on his face and went off on his wife, accusing her of cheating on him."
"He yelled, 'IF YOU CAN HOLD THIS A SECRET FROM ME, THEN WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE YOU'RE DOING BEHIND MY BACK!' A big commotion after that, I packed up and left, no party."
16. "When I was 13, my mom's then-boyfriend wanted to throw her a surprise party for her 40th birthday. My job was to keep her out of the house after work/school long enough for him to set everything up and for everyone to arrive. I told her I wanted to use my saved-up allowance to take her shopping for a new purse. We were leaving the store, and as we were walking to her car, two men rushed by us and took off with her purse."
17. "When I was in high school, my boyfriend at the time tried to throw me a surprise party at my parent's house. He was planning everything with my mom behind my back, and I had no idea. My dad even got in on it by taking me out and driving for like two hours while they decorated the house and made the food. When I finally got home and realized the surprise, only two guests showed up."
"We had like four pizzas and a huge cake. It was the tiniest surprise party I've ever seen and also pretty embarrassing for both of us."
18. "My mom was having a surprise party thrown for her 30th birthday. They flew in the whole family; her parents came, the whole shebang. On the way home from work, she was driving on a mountain road and was hit head first by a truck. She was driving a VW Beetle and was helicoptered to the hospital. She ended up needing emergency surgery on her back."
19. "On my birthday, I confessed my love to the girl I was seeing at the time. She shot me down. Bad. She insisted on hanging around for the next few days, saying it was to show she wanted to be friends still, but back then I was too much of a pushover to tell her to leave. On Friday, she dragged me to the movies to see Tangled (a love story of all movies), and I couldn't figure out what the fuck she was thinking. It turns out she was planning a surprise party with my friends and didn't want us breaking up to ruin my birthday."
"I ended up sitting on the couch with my face buried in a pillow for the entire party. I never want to turn 22 again."
20. "My now-ex-girlfriend and my mother co-conspired to throw me a surprise party for my 18th birthday in a conference room at a local hotel. I was under the impression that I was going to pick my girlfriend up and we were going to go on a birthday date. I was already a little frustrated because I had made dinner reservations, and by the time she got in the car, we were already late. She tells me this strange story about needing to take her class notes to her friend who was staying at this hotel because her house burned down. I didn't remember hearing about anyone's house burning down, and I just wanted to make our dinner reservation on time; frustrations increase. We pull up outside the hotel, and I became more frustrated over the fact that her friend couldn't just meet her outside. When she told me I had to come in with her, I said, 'What the fuck?'"
"Anyways, we get inside the front doors of the hotel, and the lady at the front desk asks, 'Are you here for the party?' I was really confused, but whatever — I just said, 'No.' Lauren kind of shushed her. Well, within 30 seconds of walking down the hall, I hear the distinct voice of my friend, Brent, from an open door a few feet away. At this point, I realize what's going on, and I grab Lauren and give her a huge kiss, apologize for being such a dick, and run inside the room. I proceed to have a really awkward birthday party (two sets of my friends — church friends and crew friends — and a really shitty DJ); nonetheless, I felt more loved through that party than any other time in my life.
What really made the party was at some point I picked up my friend John, lost my balance, and we both went through a wall. All in all, the surprise was ruined; I felt like a dick; it was a typical awkward high school party, but goddamn, it was fun."
21. "A friend of mine was about to leave for Africa and spend two years there in the Peace Corps. The week before his departure, I took him out for drinks to say goodbye. We got drunk, and he told me he was planning to break up with his girlfriend the day he flew out. The next day, I got an email from said girlfriend inviting me to his surprise going away party that was the night before he was to leave, aka his designated breakup time."
22. And finally, "My friend's family threw a surprise birthday party for his elderly great-aunt a few years ago. The shock gave her a heart attack, and she died."
Do you have an awkward surprise birthday party story that you're dying to tell? Feel free time share in the comments below!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.