Sometimes, it’s better to say nothing at all.
If you have trouble filtering your thoughts before you blurt them out, you’ll relate to these 19 cringe-worthy stories from people who definitely should have just kept their mouths shut.
1. “Once as a kid I asked a girl in another class why she was walking around with her arm up her jumper. She just shrugged and walked away. Later I found out it was because she only had one arm. Every so often as I’m lying in bed, the memory of asking her that pops into my head, and I feel like suffocating myself with my own pillow.”
2. “‘Your puppy is adorable!’ ‘Thanks.’ ‘He’s learning to be a service dog. He’ll be working with my son who has neurological damage.’ ‘I wish I had neurological damage!'”
3. “I work at a hospital. I was helping an elderly man out of bed, and a lot of the time where I work they need help getting their legs off the bed, due to weakness. So I’m about to get him up, and as he throws the covers off I say, ‘Do you need help getting your legs off the bed?’ At the same time I say it, I realize he only has one leg. I feel immediate embarrassment until he grabs his one leg and says, ‘Sure, I’ll get this one, and you get the other one.'”
4. “I had a friend who taught two different girlfriends of his how to drive. One crashed and got badly injured, and the other crashed and died. Some years later, I met him and his new girlfriend on a night out. He introduced me, and I promptly told him, ‘don’t teach this one how to drive eh, loooooooooool.’ The second I said it I regretted it.”
5. “I was having an argument with my girlfriend and called her by my ex’s name by mistake. I managed to spin it in my favor, saying how I spent so much time fighting with my ex that it must be because of habit, and since we hardly ever argue, my excuse worked.”
6. “I just told my manager to ‘have fun’ in response to him leaving early, even though he told me he was going to a funeral.”
7. “I meant to say ‘beating a dead horse,’ but instead said ‘beating off a dead horse.'”
8. “I walked into the break room at work and heard one middle-aged coworker talking to another. I wasn’t particularly listening, but I heard her say ‘left side.’ This activated a part of my brain devoted to remembering Remember the Titans, a movie I had seen five years prior. So, like any good person would, I half-to-three-quarters-shouted, ‘LEFT SIDE! STRONG SIDE!’ The coworker looked at me for a full two seconds, then said to her companion, quieter now, ‘Yeah. He’s doing a little better, but that whole side is still paralyzed.’ Her husband had had a stroke.”
9. “I asked her how many months due she was. She wasn’t pregnant.”
10. “We were at a friend’s house and having hot dogs, and one of our friends (who is a girl) was like, ‘I wish there were more hot dogs, but we’ve run out,’ to which I replied, ‘I’ve got a hotdog right here.'”
11. “I was baking cookies at my Jewish friend’s house. She was making gingerbread cookies and used yellow icing for the hair and blue icing for the eyes. When she was finished decorating she said, ‘Look mom, I made Swedish people cookies,’ to which I replied without thinking, ‘More like Aryan people cookies.’ The entire room went silent, and no one said anything for a few minutes. I left shortly after and never went back to her house.”
12. “In 2006, which was the height of ‘your mom’ being a response to any question asked at my high school, a member of marching band asked me some innocuous question. I answered ‘your mom,’ intending to then immediately give her the real answer. Except as the words reflexively left my mouth, I realized that her mom had died, tragically, after being hit by a car in a crosswalk a week earlier. She just looked at me really sadly and said, ‘My mom is dead,’ while I started frantically apologizing and crying.”
13. “When I was younger, someone said to me that I’d grow up to be just like my mother. My instant response was, ‘What, fat?’ My mother was there. Oops. Ironically, I am much fatter than her now.”
14. “I called my mom a selfish control freak. It was a very valid point, but I should not have said that.”
15. “I was on a date with a girl, and she said she was a vegetarian. My response? ‘That’s stupid.’ I have no idea why I said it, and I regretted it immediately.”
16. “My boss was mad because I could only work so many hours because of college. I told him college is important, as I didn’t want to be working at a gas station for the next 10 years. My boss had been working at that same gas station for about 10 years.”
17. “I am crushing on this girl pretty hard. Yesterday, a mutual friend had a party that we both went to. Someone asked how our date was, as we went out to eat and walk on Sunday. I said ‘Great!’ She said, ‘It wasn’t a date.'”
18. “A group of blind kids were brought into the aquarium I work at, and their supervisor asked me if we had any sort of aid for the visually impaired. I preceded to tell her that every few hours we have a guide that signs what’s being said at our dive shows. She smiled, and I walked away only to realize how much of an idiot I sounded like.”
19. “I told my girlfriend she looked like Kevin from The Office. She was laying down, and it looked like she was bald due to the angle.”
All posts have been edited from Reddit for length and clarity.