The 9 worst—and funniest—reply-all email disasters. Remember to double-check, folks.

The 9 worst—and funniest—reply-all email disasters. Remember to double-check, folks.

Email: for something that was the Internet's first killer app (the first ARPANET message was sent in 1971, 29 years before the inventor of Snapchat was born), it's still surprisingly easy to f*ck up in 2016. Especially when the reply-all button is so idiotically close to the reply button. Don't be like these people:

1. 8-0's colleague was bailed out by friends in the IT department.

A few years ago on an ordinary day at work, one of my colleagues suddenly drained of all color, went outside for a few deep breaths and then ran to the sysadmins' office. He had emailed a video of a woman showing her cervix to a friend, but had not realized that auto-complete had filled in a management email list name instead of the friend's name.

He was able to convince the head sysadmin to delete the email from the exchange server by bribing her with dinner, but not before a couple of PCs had collected their mail. The head sysadmin sent a tiger team of junior sysadmins to infiltrate the relevant offices and delete the offending email. Luckily they succeeded and saved his ass.

2. lfod had something he needed to show off.

my buddy went to amsterdam just after graduation. he sent a mass email to a bunch of his fraternity brothers (including me) saying "beautiful, great food, yada yada" and all that. i hit reply all and said "kill a hooker for me", thought it would be funny.

about an hour later, i was starting to wonder why an email to the fraternity would have such carefully scrutinized grammar and punctuation, and would be so heavy on the fluff and light on the fun stuff. with dread in my gut, i checked the rest of the recipient list - his mom and dad, his 8 year old sister, his grandmother.

i immediately sent another email apologizing for my stupidity and "Redd Foxx" style humor and saying that he should, in fact, avoid killing the hooker.

the first reply to my two emails was from his grandmother: "no point in being stupid if you're not gonna show it off"


3. SpiralBound's professor terrified the entire classroom and mortified one bad student.

This is an email I received from my professor three years ago. A day before I had turned in my final paper, worth 20 percent of my grade for the course.

"Dear Timothy,

I've discovered a couple of serious problems with your research paper, one of them quite serious.

  1. You only use four sources, when you were required to use seven.

  2. You have PLAGIARIZED several passages from your sources, in particular those by Brown and Simmons. That is, you have presented large sections of THEIR writing AS YOUR OWN, without attributing it to them. Indeed, without these sections (specifically on pages 1-2, the top of 3 and the middle of 6), your essay would be far short of the length requirement as well.

The latter is the larger problem. As stated in the course policies section of the syllabus, "failing to include sources, quote borrowed material or attribute that material to the writer or text you take it from will result in a zero for the assignment in question." I am therefore required to give you a very bad grade for this major assignment.

At this point, if you want to offer a defense of your essay, you may be able to avoid the grade of ZERO for this assignment, because much of your essay seems to be indeed your own work. However, unless you present an explanation that entirely accounts for your stealing material from your sources, your grade for this assignment will remain very low, thus hurting your overall course grade substantially.

What happend? I'll give you the chance to state your case before logging the final grades for the course, provided you do so SOON.

Signed, (Professor so-and-so)"

One problem, though. My name's not Timothy. The professor had sent the email out to all thirty-five or so students and not just the alleged plagiarist, giving us all heart attacks. The prof sent out an apology email later. I don't know whatever happened to that kid.


4. Karmacorn wants everyone to know something.

Not really a "sent to the wrong person" story - more like "sent the wrong email to everyone"....several years ago I worked as an assistant in the marketing department of a large company. We were getting ready to go to a convention, and were waiting on an order of shirts with our company logo on them that we were all going to wear to the convention. Everyone had been asking me about them all day long, so when the box of shirts finally came in, I sent an email to everyone stating in great big capital letters: I'VE GOT THE SHIRTS!!!

Except I forgot the "R".


5. Gobluerafa01's friend has horrible judgment AND horrible taste in jokes.

Hopefully I'm not too late to this...

This isn't exactly a "reply all", but it's close. This is what my friend emailed me in regard to a scholarship recommendation letter I had to write. It was for a full ride.

6. Could_be_lying didn't know the truth.

Female co-worker emailed the whole company about her change of name so I accidentally reply-all'd with "Congratulations!"... which wouldn't have been so bad if she had just got married. It turned out she had a divorce and was going back to her maiden name. My boss didn't see the humour :(


7. AnteChronos's new coworker received a hell of a welcome.

At a previous employer, we had a contractor whose company was horrible, and thus he was trying to get full-time employment at his current client (my employer). There was apparently a bit of back and forth via email between the contractor and managers to get the details ironed out.

Then we got a "welcome aboard" email that went out to the entire team welcoming this consultant to our ranks. The email was essentially: "Reply All: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fwd: Fwd: Re: Re: Fwd: Job Offer Including Salary". To make things even better, this young guy was starting well above the salaries of people who were decades his senior and who had worked there for many years.


8. It's not just individuals who f*ck up with accidental reply-alls. Sometimes colleges do, too.

In 2009, UC San Diego accidentally emailed everyone who applied to their school an acceptance email—including the people they had actually rejected. Admissions director Mae Brown chalked it up to an "administrative error."

"We accessed the wrong database," Brown said. "We recognize the incredible pain receiving this false encouragement caused. It was not our intent." Yikes.

9. And even huge corporations aren't exempt from making mistakes.

Such as the case of this year's epic reply-all chain at Time Inc., which started out as an innocuous question accidentally sent to the entire company and collapsed into jokes like:

I’m selling Girl Scout Cookies!


Found the solution: to remove yourself from this email chain, click here.

You’ll pry the reply-all button from my cold, dead hands.

Keep us in the loop! I’m on the edge of my seat!

It goes to show: no one is safe. Check twice before you send!