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16 people share the story of the worst secondhand embarrassment they ever felt.

16 people share the story of the worst secondhand embarrassment they ever felt.


While awkward cringe-comedy is a popular sitcom genre, seeing an embarrassing moment unfold in front of your eyes can give you an brutal secondhand sting for years to come...

The middle school talent show from hell, the wedding speech disaster of 2012...sometimes the embarrassment is worse for the witnesses. So, when a Reddit user asked, 'What's the worst second-hand embarrassment you've ever experienced?'people were ready to share.


Watching pall bearers lose control of a coffin they were carrying down a steep set of granite church steps after the funeral was over. An ice/sleet storm took place during the funeral service, so the steps were slick. Several pall bearers went down as the coffin landed on the granite steps and slid the rest of the way down to the sidewalk below. Fortunately, the lid didn't open. But we all felt badly for them as the look in their faces showed they were mortified. - Back2Bach


I was in the queue at a coffee shop and there was an impatient businessman in front of me. He'd snapped at the barista a bit and we were just standing in silence. Suddenly this happy guy comes in and does that joke tap on one shoulder and ducked to the other side so the businessman looked right, then left to see this happy chap grinning at him. Then poor happy man realized this wasn't his pal and quickly mumbled an apology and shuffled behind me to wait for his friend to actually arrive. Unbelievably awkward silence. - 12pillows


I was sitting at Wegman's doing some writing, and a guy walks over with a hopeful look and says, 'Megan?' I smiled and shook my head to say, 'Sorry, I'm not Megan,' and the woman at the table across from me said (in a very disgruntled voice), 'I'm Megan.' He looked at her, then back at me, and then back at her and replied, 'Oh.'

Then he sat down with her and they proceeded to have the world's most awkward 'meeting for coffee' first date. He was facing me, and he kept looking over her shoulder at me while she was talking, to the point where she asked him if he had heard what she said. I finally had to get up and leave because it was just painful to hear them try to get around the awkwardness. - karmacorn


I was on a trivia team for a event being held at a cool bar. It was a nice, quiet and intimate place where the group of maybe 10-15 were going to play. We were all gathered their because it was a fund-raiser type thing for a person.

Anyways, I sadly got stuck on a team with my twin brother and his girlfriend. My second-hand embarrassment wasn't from how terrible the suggestions for answers they gave, but instead the manner in which they acted.

My brother's girlfriend would constantly complain about the categories, or the questions, whatever she could. We had a comic book category, and she decides to announce to everyone that, 'I only know about comics from the Big Bang Theory! This isn't fair!'

She spent the entire night just b*tching about these things in what was supposed to be a fun, intimate get together for the friend. I wanted to crawl away and run home. I can't even look at her anymore. - Shamussss


I was asked to be a judge at my high school's talent show my senior year. One girl played a country song I don't remember while holding her guitar and pretending to play (moving her pick hand randomly, fret hand not moving at all). We couldn't even hear her singing so we were all confused about what her 'talent' was. During the guitar solo, she came and stood right in front of the judges and stared into my eyes, real cringey.

I truly didn't know where to look because she wasn't looking anywhere else. Eventually the song ends and we were all silently thankful, until her mom (or someone, don't remember) came up and told us that the girl's microphone wasn't turned on and she really wanted to try again. So, naturally the faculty decide that's cool and up she goes again.

The two performances were exactly the same - you could only hear the recording, same uncomfortable guitar solo moment, same sense of relief felt by me and 500+ people. She didn't win anything. I was very embarrassed for her, both times, and as a fellow student I knew she was about to be met with all kinds of hell from that little stunt. - ldykass89


Any time my mother gets angry at a store employee. 'Mom, there's nothing they can do. Come on. Yes I know it's bullsh*t, but this guy can't do anything about it. He doesn't make the rules. Don't you wanna get home and see your grandson? Yeah! Let's go do that!' While mouthing, 'I'm so f*cking sorry,' to the employee over my shoulder as I nudge her out the door. - Tawny_Harpy


Family member got in to an argument with our waitress at a Mexican restaurant because they wanted crunchy tacos, and they refused to believe a Mexican restaurant didn't have crunchy taco shells. - Nerril


When I was in elementary school, a kid in my class had a birthday party and hired a magician. We were all watching him perform, and he does the trick where he is pulling a line of cloth tied together out of his pocket.

One of the girls there says, 'That's nothing. My mommy does that to her bra every day!' Well, it didn't help that that girl's mom was the only mom there, so all the dads turn to her as she gets red in the face. It was an uncomfortable moment for all the parents. - HarrysonTubman


Guy in 8th grade choir concert had a solo coming up in the song we were singing. He ralphs on stage, from the middle of the 3rd row, all over 4-5 people in front of him. Our student teacher (also a guy) filled in the solo for him. I was standing safely out of range when it happened - nothingfood


Being in class with that guy who opened his laptop and had porn playing...Ouch. - crexlove


When my newborn son let out a big fart in the grocery store and someone thought it was me. - krispykremedonuts


Ashlee Simpson's lip sync fail on Saturday Night Live. - Scrappy_Larue


I was in a sports shop with my dad when I was about 8. We were both in there buying inline skates, my dad was testing out some around the store. Not realizing only one of the skates had a brake, put the wrong foot back to break and very comedically fell back waving his arms, grabbed a soccer goal post on his way down and brought the whole goal post down on top of him. He just lay there with the net covering him. I tried to pretend I didn't know who he was. - tazzzzzzzzzzz


Seeing someone be stood up on a date. Ooph, its painful to watch - midwesternhousewives


A few months ago two of my best friends got married. My roommate was the best man, and during the reception he gave an awesome toast. Not too long, a couple of good jokes, put everyone in a really great mood.

Then the maid of honor gets to go. I'd never met her before -- she was the bride's longtime best friend. She's a little drunk, but seems pretty together. She takes the mic, starts to do the usual 'marriage is a blessing' kind of stuff. Talks about how lucky the bride is to have met someone who she can spend the rest of her life with. And then she starts to ramble on about how it must be so wonderful to be so lucky, and that that's something everyone wants.

All the while, she's staring at her boyfriend who is sitting right up front. Several minutes pass, and it becomes clear that she's no longer talking about the newlyweds -- she's just trying to guilt her boyfriend into proposing on the spot. He didn't. - Uh_I_Say


Seeing a comedian bomb. Even if I thought the joke was lame, and didn’t deserve a laugh, it’s just awkward for everyone. - Pompous_Italics

Sources: Reddit
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