People Are Sharing The Firsthand And Secondhand Embarrassing Moments They Will Never Forget, And Ooooooof I'm Cringing

We recently covered a Reddit thread where people shared the worst secondhand embarrassment they've ever felt. This inspired members of the BuzzFeed Community to share the most embarrassing things they've ever done or witnessed. Here's what people shared:

1."I was on the subway, and a beautiful, well-dressed woman was wearing a knee-length, flowy, light pink skirt. She was tall and attractive, and people definitely noticed her. A minute into the ride, she got diarrhea. You could hear it. It ran down her legs, landing on the floor, her ankles, and her heels. My stop was next, and I nearly missed it because I was standing there in shock and felt so horrible for her. There was nothing I could do to help her. To this day, I can't think of anything more mortifying."


2."I was speaking to a middle-aged woman, and she was going on and on about her pending divorce. I was only half paying attention because I was zoning out, and she turned her hand into a fist to show off her wedding ring that her almost ex-husband wanted back. I zoned back in, thought she was asking for a fist bump, and fist-bumped her. I wanted to run away to Peru and change my name."


Two people gently touching fists, a gesture often signifying unity or support. Their hands and part of their forearms are visible
Runstudio / Getty Images

3."Years ago, I accidentally saw the dad of the family I babysat for stark naked. He was showering in their downstairs bathroom because they were renovating their upstairs bathroom. He forgot a towel and didn't know his wife had let me in. Thinking the only person awake in the house was his wife (the kids were napping), he came out and headed for the stairs and their room — in full view of where I had just come in. It was awkward for both of us, but thank god this family had wanted a babysitter with a degree, so I was an adult in my 20s and not some teenager. It was still fairly common then for a family's babysitter to be their neighbor's high schooler, which...oof. It's weird to be thankful you're the one getting flashed, but the alternative could've been much worse for him. He got dressed, came back down, and we pretended it didn't happen."


4."I was in a beginner's yoga class, and the instructor did some kind of squat movement and let out either the biggest wet fart or the biggest queef (I'm not sure which one) I've ever heard. I caught the eye of the girl standing next to me, and I could tell we were both doing everything we could to try to stop laughing."


A group of seven people in a yoga class performing a side stretch pose on yoga mats in a gym
Ariel Skelley / Getty Images

5."I was working in a law firm, and a girl in the building where I worked walked into her boss's office carrying his huge floor plant that she had just watered. She forgot that her boss had scattered legal documents all over the floor that he was sorting, and she slipped and fell on them. The plant flew across the room, so dirt and water went all over her boss's desk, head, and court papers. And her skirt was 100% up around her head as she fell. He looked over his reading glasses at her like, WTF?! That was almost 40 years ago, and I still cringe thinking about it...but I also still laugh."


6."When my ex and I were still dating, we went to this restaurant with tables connected by one long booth. We got steaks and heard the people next to us mention they were vegans. My ex had a piece of meat on his fork, was talking with his hands, and flung the fork too hard. The piece of meat went flying right into the vegan's lap. She looked HORRIFIED as my ex was trying to apologize profusely. I had to go to the bathroom to laugh."


A juicy, medium-rare piece of steak is shown pierced by a fork against a white background
Dustypixel / Getty Images

7."I fondly remember the day my friend called me asking if I knew of a hole she could crawl into and die because, while out shopping, she'd texted her husband to ask if they needed any more condoms and lube. Except she accidentally sent it to her son's kindergarten teacher. She must be cursed because this very same friend was in a supermarket with her daughter a couple of years later, and her daughter said she was feeling sore because the child's seat in the trolley was rubbing. My friend asked her where it was sore, and rued the day she decided to teach her kids to use the correct anatomical names for body parts when her 3-year-old bellowed, 'MY VAGINA!!!' right in the middle of the fruit and veggie department, for all to hear."


8.I went on a business trip with partners, and one of the guys wasn't paying attention to where he was going as we walked to lunch. He tripped on one of those concrete bollards (the ones that prevent cars from driving into a street). But he didn't fall over it; instead, he got stuck on top of it and dangled back and forth while flailing his arms for what felt like minutes. After the initial shock, we helped him down. We still talk about it five years later."


Concrete bollards with yellow stripes line a sidewalk next to an empty street
Russieseo / Getty Images/iStockphoto

9."When I was younger, I wanted to be a model. This was in the '90s, and I would make my mom cart me around to all these casting calls and beauty pageants. We were running late one day, and when we walked in, the room was packed. It was dead silent because the organizers were already talking to the audience. My mom was walking so fast, on a mission. The doors to the room were open, and for whatever reason, at the last second, instead of walking straight through the doors, she veered to the left and walked straight into a floor-to-ceiling glass window. It made the loudest noise, she screamed, and everyone in that room turned around to look. The speaker stopped talking; everyone was looking. My mom ran away, my sisters followed her, and I had to walk in alone with everyone looking at me."


10."I took a swimming class in college which required us to stay in the shallow area (in the second week) to practice going underwater and pushing off the wall to gain speed and distance. I was quite competitive and wanted to win the race, so I pushed off the wall with all my might. I pushed off so hard that my swim trunks couldn't keep up and got pushed down to my knees! At the same time, I came up with my rear exposed to the entire class, most of whom were outside the pool, and got a full view of my embarrassment!"


A swimmer is captured mid-stroke in a pool, seen from above. The individual is swimming in a single lane delineated by float lines
Gorodenkoff / Getty Images

11."My mom is very religious and goes to church regularly. During COVID, the church met over Zoom. My mom was trying to lose weight during this period and had joined Jenny Craig. She had taken a 'before' selfie in her bra and underwear. This is a 60-year-old woman, mind you. Anyway, she was trying to upload a picture of a church outing for everyone in the Zoom meeting to see, but instead, she accidentally uploaded the 'before' selfie. Nobody could figure out how to take it down. Everybody in the church saw. She wanted to die. I almost died from laughing so hard. Poor mom."


12."Back when I was a wedding photographer, I often went to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. At the restaurant, I had to sit at a crowded table. Since I wasn't taking pictures, I decided having a beer was okay. I was already nervous since I didn't know anyone except the bride and groom. I cut a lime wedge and squeezed it into the beer bottle. As I wedged it into the bottle, the lime squirted across the table and into the groom's grandmother's face, particularly into her eyes. Her husband noticed her wiping her face off and said, 'Honey, are you okay? Do you want to move to another table?' I felt a cold chill drop from my head to my toes. I felt like my life and career were over."


A hand is placing a lime wedge into the neck of a beer bottle. The focus is on the lime and the top of the bottle
Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

13."I went to the movies with a coworker. We were watching My Sister's Keeper (his idea). During the quiet scene where the sick sister is having a heart-to-heart with her sister, and all you can hear are sniffles from the other patrons, my coworker turns to me and says in this loud, exasperated voice, 'Oh my god! Someone put some ChapStick on that girl's lips.' Even scrunched down in my seat, I could see all the angry stares our way. I wonder if he ever remembers this and cringes."


14."In nursing school, we worked on these mannequins that could be disassembled. During a lecture and demonstration on rectal procedures, the rather stuffy, old instructor got her big finger stuck in the dummy's rectum and had to pull the entire pelvis off. She had to walk across the entire building to get help from a janitor, all while the pelvis was dangling from her left hand. None of us jumped to her assistance."


A medical training mannequin lies in a hospital bed while healthcare workers in medical attire practice procedures on it
Sdi Productions / Getty Images

15."I was invited to a friend's Christmas party at her parent's house. They lived in an ultra-ritzy neighborhood, so pulling up was a bit intimidating. When I opened the door to come in, I didn't notice the stairs in front of the door and toppled over in front of all of these rich people and caterers. The weird part was less about me falling and almost busting a kneecap but more about the sheer silence from everyone who saw it. Not one person asked if I was okay. They just stared. You could seriously hear a pin drop. I picked myself up and joked about it but never forgot that odd silence."


16."My mother accidentally dumped a root beer float on a guy who was leaning out of his car. My niece couldn't finish her treat and my mom was trying to throw it away. But, as she was exiting the passenger side, she stepped into my sister's purse strap and started hopping around, trying not to fall. To make things worse, she had one of those tiny Dairy Queen napkins and was smearing ice cream all over his car. That story is now a family legend!"


Close-up of frothy bubbles in a liquid, likely coffee or beer, with varying bubble sizes and a creamy surface
Jose A. Bernat Bacete / Getty Images

17."I went to pick up a wardrobe I had bought off eBay. As I got to the house where it was located, the seller (a prim-looking lady in her 50s) told me it was her son’s room. She said he had just moved out and went on and on about how great he was. We lifted the top part of the wardrobe off the base to reveal a stack of 'specialist' porn magazines."


18."I was at an Italian restaurant decorated with ornate light sconces on the wall. A woman wearing an elaborate hairdo walked in. She sat down, and as she sat, her 'hair' got caught in the wall sconce and was left hanging on the wall above her head. It was a wig. We both laughed."


A close-up of a modern wall light fixture with an exposed bulb, mounted on a wall adorned with framed pictures
Grace Cary / Getty Images

19."I used to be an actor. As I was about to leave this casting venue after playing a pretty intense scene, I smashed right into the glass door that had been opened when I entered the building. The whole production team stared at me wide-eyed at a table in the entrance room. I was mortified. The worst thing was that I had to wait around for part two of the casting. I did not get the part. At least I left a lasting impression...on the door."


20."I was in a silent college design class, standing at the paper cutter, when I had to sneeze and fart at the same time. I knew if I sneezed, the contraction would force out the fart, so I panicked and stood dead-still to try and stifle the sneeze. I still sneezed quietly. I farted loudly. The floors were tile, and the ceilings were high. It echoed. I honestly don't know how the class reacted because I just dropped my project and left. Going back 10 minutes later was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I didn't make eye contact with anyone. No one ever spoke of it. Oh, and I learned shortly after that I was lactose intolerant."


Empty classroom with rows of desks and chairs, sunlight streaming through the windows in the background
Stella / Getty Images/fStop

21."About 20 years ago, I worked at my local country club where I bartended and served various events, like golf tournaments, weddings, Christmas parties, business lunches/dinners, etc. I was a bartender for one wedding, and it was a quiet moment, so I was tidying my area and observing the guests. I looked up, and maybe 15 feet away was this well-endowed woman jumping up and down in what I can only assume was her attempt at dancing. I did a double-take because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. She was so drunk that she didn't notice her breasts popping in and out of her very unsupportive dress until the BRIDE came over to tell her. The look on her face went from happy to mortified in a second. I was embarrassed for her. Hopefully, she was too drunk to remember, but I doubt it."


22."My wife and I were buying a car at a large car dealership. Apparently, between the test drive (the salesperson didn't ride along) and us sitting across from him to 'talk numbers,' the salesperson had enjoyed quite the barbecue meal. It wasn't easy to discuss floor mats and undercoating with a guy who has BBQ sauce from the corner of his mouth all the way to his temple. I see him occasionally when I take the car in for service, and he tries to avoid eye contact."


A man is licking a finger with an expression of satisfaction on his face
Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61

23."A friend and I stopped at a cookie place in downtown Orlando late one night and were waiting in line. I'd kind of noticed that the cashier might have a British accent but didn't think much of it. When we got to the front of the line, she greeted us, and we started ordering. Her eyes widened, and she asked, 'Are you British?' Her accent was totally gone. We are both British and when we said so, she just crouched down behind the counter, absolutely mortified. Turns out she was faking an accent for fun and didn’t think anyone British would actually walk in. She ran back to her manager, and we heard him cackling at her embarrassment. I thought it was hilarious, but she was totally done for the night."


24."Picture it: a random middle school around 2005. I am a new teacher excitedly watching the school's big talent show. A few kids had just done the Napoleon Dynamite dance in 'Vote for Pedro' shirts. The crowd went wild. Next up, a timid, seemingly hesitant girl got on stage in an American flag shirt and with a guitar. She begins to strum and shakily sing 'I'm Proud to Be an American.' It isn't good, but everyone is kind, especially for middle schoolers. As this young lady begins to sing the chorus, she is overcome with emotion. She begins to sob. No one knows what to do because she keeps trying to play the guitar. Nervous claps begin as the audience assumes the song is over. Then we hear someone yell, 'Keep going, baby!' This compels the young singer to continue to sob-sing through the rest of the song."

"It took FOREVER because she kept stopping to collect herself, wheezing with patriotic emotion. Every time she stopped, the kids started to clap, which prompted another screaming demand from the mother to keep going. It was a vicious cycle. Claps began to turn to groans. It was more than the kids could take. FINALLY, she seemed to finish her song and cry-limp off stage as random shouts of 'Yes!' and 'Thank god!' followed her. Every time I saw her in the hall after that, she looked like she'd just seen a ghost. Even she couldn't believe what she put us all through."


An empty auditorium with green seats facing a stage with closed red curtains. A podium with a microphone is visible to the left
Mint Images / Getty Images/Mint Images RF

25."I once had a job conducting door-to-door market research and was sometimes invited inside. On one such occasion, I conducted the survey seated in the lounge room on a very ornate and expensive-looking embroidered fabric settee. When I got up to leave, there was a large red stain where I had been sitting, and I realized that my period had started unexpectedly early. As soon as the front door closed behind me, I ran for my life."


26."I'm no golfer, but I was invited to a company golf tournament and was put with three men (I only knew one of them). On the course (this was in Canada), I asked where the bathrooms were and was directed to the 'bush' in certain areas that were left rough. I’m not squeamish, so I trucked off to the nearest bush to pee. I felt something tugging on my shorts as I returned to the group. Turning around, it seemed I’d picked up a long, leafy vine trailing from my pants! Not one to let a good laugh go unnoticed, I called out to the guys to share this hilarious occurrence. All three gazed out in the distance and didn’t look back at me! Turns out they’d seen it already and didn't want to embarrass me! It ruined the whole incident; those Canadians have way better manners than down here in the States!"


A golf course with a blue flag marking the hole, surrounded by green grass and trees under a partly cloudy sky
Digitalhallway / Getty Images

27."When I graduated from high school, I had won a small scholarship from my county’s PTA. They had a meeting where I would receive my scholarship along with the other students. Before the meeting, we were told we would have to go up and tell everyone our names, our high school, and what we would be studying. I don’t like speaking in public, so I put on a brave face and walked up to the microphone. I told them the information they wanted, thanked them for the award, and promptly tripped over the microphone cable and fell flat on my face. I quickly got up, and my parents and I left as fast as we could."


28."I once went out to eat shawarma with a coworker I had a huge crush on. I'm a messy eater, but I tried to do my best. At some point, he held out his hand and caressed my wipe off the white sauce that was all over my bangs. I died a little inside that day."


A woman with curly hair laughs and enjoys a sandwich while standing near a vintage vehicle
Maria Korneeva / Getty Images

29.And: "In culinary school, I knew a guy who tried to start a small business with two vending machines. He managed to get a car dealership that wanted them in their lobby. After installing them, he rented a truck and a small lift to load them. The machines were fully loaded with candy and drinks. The cords got caught in the truck door and ripped. Then, when he unloaded them at the car dealer, the lift flipped due to the overweight machines. The machines crashed into the parking lot ground. They shattered everywhere, with all the employees and customers watching. He had to clean this up for about two hours. Finally, he was able to leave after dumping the machines in the dumpster."

"On his way out, the trailer fell off the back of the truck's tow hitch while getting onto the highway. Right in the middle of the highway, he had to reattach the trailer, burning both his hands on the metal. It was the most embarrassing chain of events I’ve ever witnessed. Oh, and he didn’t have insurance on anything."


Big ol' yikes. Are there any embarrassing moments you lived through or witnessed that still haunt you to this day? Tell us in the comments or submit anonymously using this form!

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.