A Build-A-Bear workshop may be "Where Best Friends Are Made," as the toyshop claims.
But the stores also have the capacity to breed mischief, thanks to naughty customers taking advantage of the personalized voice recording option–a popular feature.
"Build A Bear workers what's the strangest voice recording you've heard?"
These are examples of scenarios when a customer couldn't speak for themselves.
"I had a guy come in with loads of shopping bags. Flowers and chocolates. Typical gifts you'd get a girlfriend but WAY too many. He bought a bear and just recorded."
"Hannah, I'm SORRY!"
"He didn't seem in the mood to talk so I didn't pry but everyone in the store agreed it was a terrible idea. Reminding your girlfriend she's angry at you everytime she squeezes a bear."
The Private Message
"I can’t think of any truly strange recordings, but this did make me think of a semi-awkward situation I was in. A dad came in to make stuffed dog for his daughter. His partner was telling me that he was going through some sort of intense custody battle situation and didn’t get to see his daughter very much. He ended up going to like a separate part of the store (or maybe the bathroom? I don’t remember) to record the message. Like, the dude clearly didn’t want anyone to hear it. But then when I put the sound thingy in the dog’s paw and line it up correctly, I kept accidentally pressing it a bunch of times. It was basically him just telling his daughter how much he missed her—so nothing sketchy or anything like that. But I just felt super intrusive because it seemed like it was intended something really personal that I wasn’t supposed to hear."
"So just to be clear - this isn’t a judgment on the customer, just my awkward and clumsy-a** self."
"I heard a man there, he had made a 'sexy' recording for giving to his girl. Kinda creepy, but if it worked...."
A Bear's Purpose
"A friend gave a girl a bear, when asking her out, with the recording of his voice saying 'It is my duty..... to rock that booty.'"
Adult customers can be silly as mischievous children.
The Bear Doesn't Consent
"In high school at the time, making a bear as a gift for my best friend. Thought it’d be hilarious to put the little heart speaker into the bear’s crotch and have it say 'Don’t touch me there!' when pressed."
"Go to check out and this poor elderly woman working the register grabs the bear in just the right way that at least 10+ people around hear someone shout 'DONT TOUCH ME THERE!!!'”
"All heads turned. I thought I was going to have to resuscitate the poor cashier. Left and never went back."
"I was a customer. One voice recording I managed to hear was 'C*CK AND BALL' very loudly.
Beware The Volume
"I worked at BABW from 2004-2010. I can’t remember any build-a-sounds that were especially outrageous. My favorite was when the parents really didn’t care, so the kid would record something long, rambling, and odd. The sound costs $8 back then, so almost as much as some bears, but the parents would just shrug it off as the kids screamed some random message."
"If it was an important message, like a proposal, I would try to persuade people to just buy the sound box, then go record it at home, and come back another day to make the bear. People don’t realize that Build-a-Bears are hella loud. Those stuffy machines were basically vacuums and playing your build-a-sound while standing next to vacuum and gaggles of children is not a great representation of what you’ve just recorded. It is going to play back LOUD. We’d have people record in the bathroom regularly, which was better than recording in the store, but very echoey."
Oliver, The Sardonic Bear
"Customer, not worker, but John Oliver has a comedy sketch about when he moved from the UK to New York and he was feeling really lonely, so his friends got him a present: a Build-a-Bear that said 'You will die, alone, in a dark, cold room.' That's friendship for you."
"Well, my sister thought it was hilarious, so I went and did it for her. You get some weird looks at the store, but even as she moved across the country from me, she took it with her and cherished that someone cared enough about her to build a stuffed bear telling her she would die alone to satisfy her sense of humor."
"She named the bear Oliver."
A Parent Bonds With Their Daughter
"My daughter when she was 11- in a creepy voice, 'Get your Paws offa me!' We laughed like idiots, playing it over and over on the way home. Her mom did not share our humor. We still laugh about it 15 years later, but I'm pretty sure wife burned the bear."
"Yesterday, a high schooler came in and wanted to record anime moans from his phone. BaB vetoes some recordings..."
Get A Clue
"I mean probably not weird but I set up a scavenger hunt for my wife each clue solved gave her a letter collect all five letters and solve the cryptex."
"The clue I gave her was something like 'the beating source of life needs to be removed, do you have the stomach to do what you must?' I wrote the letter on the little heart they put on it and they sealed it up. I recorded the jigsaw quote I want to play a game' on the speaker and when she found the stuffed dog it had a picture of jigsaw and a knife."
"My bear didn’t say anything he just mooed like a cow. I also named him suitcase."
On the flip side, memorial bears are a poignant options for those in grief.
A Boy Memorialized
"My son works at BaB. His very first day of work he had to build a memorial bear. The mother and grandmother came in with a voice recording of the little boy who died of cancer. It was a recording of the kid saying he was brave and loved his life."
"I can't count the number of memorial bears Ive made."
"Most recently had a family bring in a recording of their grandma's heartbeat to make a bear for each grandkid."
"I think the weirdest one I got was a couple preteens recording a tiktok onto the build a sound. I'm not sure exactly what was on it, but they were really awkward about it, so I ended up turning the computer down really low so it didn't project through the whole store. I made an extra effort to not squeeze the sound as I put it in the paw."
"Us Bear Builders have lots of stories. Some good, some sad, some downright terrifying."
A Gift For A Bereaved Mother
"I had a lady come in to make a memorial bear for the mother of a baby who died, she put an audio recording of the baby crying."
"Definitely not creepy. We had our baby’s heartbeat recorded during an ultrasound and put it into a stuffed animal. My newborn daughter passed away a few weeks after delivery and now that heartbeat is something we have to remind us of her."
It's no wonder that BaB toys are so popular.
It's next-level roses and chocolates gift-giving option for all occasions.
Of course, it's also a huge opportunity for vexatious customers to exploit the personalizing feature for their dirty deeds.
Which customer are you?
Want to "know" more?
Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Never miss another big, odd, funny or heartbreaking moment again.
Have you ever found yourself in a conversation, when someone brings up a topic they aren't too familiar with, but you are?
This gives you the opportunity to sweep in and share your knowledge on the subject.
While one would imagine that your relative expertise on the subject might result in thanks and appreciation, more often than not, the reaction from your friends is "why do you know that?"
Awkward as it may feel at the moment, there are very few people who don't carry some unusual areas of expertise and trivia on subjects most others are most likely unfamiliar with.
Redditor quadruple_b was curious to learn the random facts others have shared which wound up bringing their conversations to a halt, leading them to ask:
What is a really weird fact, that makes people say "why do you know that?"
Octopuses... they're just like us
"Octopuses are usually very antisocial but when they’re under the influence of ecstasy they are more willing to spend time around each other or even hug other octopuses."- Stab_That_Ukulele
The body compensates
"When you are starving, and have little body fat left, your body can grow almost fur-like hair to insulate itself in absence of fat."- A_Stupid_Fish29
"Your body’s normal functions can slow down to accommodate organ disease."
"For example, I have 40% lung function, but my O2 is completely normal at 98% saturation."
"They didn’t discover any lung disease until I had a ct scan done for other reasons and my lungs happened to show up in that."- nocturnal_numbness
What this would do for humanity!
"Cheetahs are so genetically similar that supposedly you can draw blood from one and inject it straight into another one without any health issues in the receiving animal."
"I.E. no blood type or clotting factor variations."- 0ttrbig cats cat GIF by BBC EarthGiphy
So strange, that it makes perfect sense?
"Coca-Cola can help with blood stains."- Buzzed_Woody
Good thing they don't need a toilet...
"Guinea pigs average pooping around 100 times a day."- morgandanso
"In Phoenix, Arizona, you are legally allowed to bury a dead body on your property without asking for permission/getting a permit/etc."
"The city asks that you contact them beforehand so they can send someone out to stake for gas/electric lines, but it’s not required."- hedalexa12digging sarah chalke GIFGiphy
"If provided with a mirror, dolphins will admire their own genitals."- Cymiril
The brain is a delicate creature
"There is a chemical called MPTP that specifically destroys dopaminergic neurons in the brain."
"About 3 days after someone ingests it, they get Parkinson's disease."- SheilaBoof
Gruesome with good intentions?
"In the 1960s or 70s, the Swiss Air Force dropped severed chicken heads all over the forests of Switzerland."
"The chicken heads contained the rabies vaccine, and the airdrop was to vaccinate wild foxes against rabies."- EnormousPurpleGardenfennec fox GIFGiphy
One never knows when learning this newfound information might become useful.
Especially for parents of children eager to buy a Guinea Pig...
As relationships get serious, it's understandable that one will want to know as much as possible about their significant others.
That is, until we make a discovery about them which might forever change how we view our relationship.
Sometimes, it might be a discovery that might just take some getting used to, even if we'd have been better off not knowing.
Other times, however, this newfound information makes remaining in this relationship untenable.
Redditor Mr_MightyMouse was curious to hear what people wished they'd never learned about their past and present relationships, leading them to ask:
"What is the one thing you found out about your S/O you wish you never did?"
He was anything but faithful
"He cheated on me."
"When I had cancer."- stolliolli
Her one true love... wasn't me
"She drunkenly admitted to her friends that her ex-boyfriend was the one and she’ll never get over him."
"Still not sure how to handle that information."- FreeFoot_
Complicit without knowing it.
"She was an opiate addict."
"I was funding her addiction unknowingly."
"I was helping her destroy herself and I was too stupid to realize that."- Local64bithero
Moving way too fast
"Not that it was that traumatic as we were only dating a few weeks, but she started real deal crying when I wouldn't put her on my life insurance."- Toasted_Bagels_R_Gud
Someone needs to sharpen their aim...
"I hang up a towel to dry my hands in the bathroom."
"Sometimes I would find it on the floor and think hmmm the towel fell off the rack."
"TEN YEARS GO BY."
"One day my husband casually says 'you are always so quick to do laundry, like if I accidentally pee on the floor and clean it up with the towel it is gone so quick'."
"I'm like what.... what?"
"So yea, I've been drying my hands with pee towels for 10 years."
"FML."- kperkins1982·max greenfield towel GIFGiphy
A club no one wants to belong to
"I was dating my ex for two years and she drunkenly confessed that she had cheated on every bf she had ever had."
"We broke up not long after."
"Then found out she was also cheating on me with multiple people from the office."
"I’m now happily married!"
"She also hid her then current bf from me when we first hooked up, he was asleep in another bedroom and we was in a different bed."
"She told him I missed the train home and needed a place to get my head down."- JancingSalmon
A stronger connection than they knew.
"He once dated a girl that he was getting fairly serious about until he showed up to a family event and she was there."- rowenaravenclaw0
What was he up to?
"He had a notebook of every detail of my life, including menstrual cycle, and also kept all the details of my friends and family members."
"Even ones I had never mentioned."
"And we were only together for two months."- totalfranmove
The news no one wants to hear
"That she had Cancer, which ultimately took her."
"That is literally the only thing I found out about my late wife that I ever regretted."- d20gamerguy
A happy anniversary indeed.
"This is NSFW."
"She gave me her phone to look for an address and make a restaurant reservation for our 7 year anniversary."
"I don't know why she gave me her phone, but I guess it was just destiny."
"Someone sent her a video on Whatsapp, and the next message says 'tomorrow again?'"
"From the same person."
"Now I am not one of those people who checks my partner's phone, I don't like that."
"But I was curious and clicked on it. It was a full 2 minute video of her hooking up with someone"
"Needless to say there was no anniversary dinner."- kmiaw
Even though everyone here says they wish they'd never learned these things, one has to imagine some of these people are, deep down, grateful.
As they may have been saved from trouble or pain down the line.
Even if it doesn't make these discoveries any easier.
It's ok to be naughty.
But sometimes... you wanna watch yourself.
Naughty can lead to trouble.
And we're talking adult naughty.
Maybe it's time we discussed it all.
Rule #1... Better safe than sorry.
Redditor Black_Hole_Baken-00wanted hear from all the people willing to share sexy secrets that might leave plenty of people blushing. They asked:
"What’s your most shameful NSFW moment?"
Elevators. Stairwells. Planes. You name it. I've shamed it. No Deets...
don't worry I wasn't naked...
"I was watching adult videos in the middle of the night. After I did my deed I felt a slight pain in my balls, like someone flicked their finger on them. The pain increased to the point that I had to walk it out. After some minutes I began screaming from the pain when my parents came to my room (don't worry I wasn't naked) seeing me in pain on the floor."
"At that moment I thought I did something wrong but was to ashamed to tell them.My dad rushed me to the emergency room where I was rushed in and my pants were removed. Laying there they gave me a nose spray which halted some of the pain. The doctor then started fondling my family jewels while the nurse stood next to me reminding me to breath because the nose spray stopped the automatic breathing if that makes sense."
"All the time my dad is standing there looking and the only thing I could thing at that moment was oh no do they think my unit is small. After that the doctors brought me to another room while my dad was in another room. While going trough the halls I told the doctor I probably know the cause and explained that I was pleasuring myself"
"I don't remember the doctors response but I felt truly ashamed like I was the only person doing such a thing. Later the doctor told me I had testicular Torsion which is caused by the balls not being attached to the sack so I'm living in fear of it happening again to this day."
"WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING??"
"In the 90's/early 2000's we bought a pub and moved into it. It had a big screen downstairs and we lived above, but Sky Sports was so expensive for the business account we basically hooked the giant screen to our box upstairs so whenever the sport was on it would show on the screen downstairs."
"So we couldn't watch TV upstairs except what was being shown on the big screen when this was happening. Anyway one Sunday evening around 10pm after the sport (bearing in mind the sport finished at 6pm) I was freely browsing through channels because the giant screen has been wound up into the ceiling and my 14 year old self came across some softcore adult videos"
"Curious, I started watching it. Suddenly there was a big buzz from the phone that connected to downstairs, I answer it. It's my mum with laughing in the background. "WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING??" I was like "errr.. I was just flicking through channels.." "Well you've stayed on that one for a while haven't you?"
"I forgot about the small TV in the bar area. It was still on and was showing the entire pub what my horny self was watching. I was mortified. Luckily my mum never brought it up again and neither did any of the customers thankfully."
I Gotta Go
"When i was 12 my younger sister walked in on me playing fondle the dongle. I told her I couldn't pee and was trying to force/pump it out. She told my mom out of worry. Said I needed a doctor to help me pee. When Mom confronted me about what my sister was saying i then had to explain it to her."
"My mom walked in on me. The look on her face went from incomprehension to shock to utter disgust over the span of a second or two. She stayed calm and explained how it wasn't appropriate, but I just remember how unsmiling and tense she was, totally unlike I'd ever seen her. Decades ago but still cringe so much recalling it."
Oh. My. God. Y'all are animals. And I'm LIIIIVVVING for it!
“underwear”surprise disrobing GIFGiphy
"My dad caught me editing the game files of The Sims to replace the female underwear textures with 'underwear' that just makes them look nude. Looked up reference material and edited them in photoshop. That a lot of effort to put into something so depraved."
"When i was about 10, my parents were out so I looked up some adult videos on the family computer (mistake number 1), then I kept hearing noises and thought someone was in the house so i ran to my room and called my dad, leaving to computer on (mistake number 2)."
"My dad rushed home and went around the house looking for an intruder, no one was there, it was just my next door neighbors (we have a semi-detached house) then obviously saw what i was looking at on the computer and asked me about it… i told him the intruder must of broken in and searched it up :( "
"In middle school, my friend got her boobs and she wanted me to touch them. We probably spent 30 minutes everyday before school until the librarian caught us and we were suspended."
I wonder if she knew...
"My HS gf and I were having sex in the sideways laying down cuddling position. Mom walked in to show me a new Christmas decoration. To her it looked like we were just cuddling but she sat on the bed inches away from me and proceeded to talk about the decoration for like 10 minutes. I wonder if she knew. They never cared much about that stuff so I think she was just oblivious."
"I was violently ill. In my fiancé’s house where we were living. While he was at work, his dad was working from home. I needed my mom to take me to the hospital. I screamed for my father in laws help, who entered the bathroom to my nude body, puking at t in his bathtub. He called my mom for me, and we never spoke about it."
Well I need a cold shower and more vodka.
Don't have sex with people attached to someone already.
There is no good excuse.
There is no reason that makes it worth it.
Most of the time the "reasons" are lies.
RedditorVirtual_Welder_4525wanted to hear from those willing to spill a little tea about some bedmates. They asked:
"People who knowingly have slept with someone who was in a relationship, why did you do it?"
Why do we do it? I still don't know what I was thinking.
Hot. Not.Feeling Dumb Jim Carrey GIFGiphy
"I was young and it made me feel hot/desired . It was dumb."
"She told me that she was in an open relationship but turned out that she was lying."
"Yeah, I had the same thing happen. Girl told me she was in an open relationship, I slept with her, then she told her boyfriend about it. So the next day I get a call from her boyfriend, threatening to kick my @ss."
"Story does have a happy ending though. I had text history of our conversation leading up to the hookup, as well as her texting me about how good it was after I had left. I sent him screenshots, showing proof of her saying she was in an open relationship. He dumped her and apologized for believing her."
Come to your senses...
"I was freshly 18 working a restaurant gig and the attractive shift manger took an interest. Hooked up at work a few times on overnight shifts. One day his gf came in to eat and I realized they weren’t as on and off as he said. Wish I could stay I stopped there, but it happened once or twice more before both of us came to our senses. I think he was 27? Ended up getting my number and sending me inappropriate texts for the next three months after I quit that job. I still feel slimy."
"I was 23 when it started and it went on for years and I felt like literal scum afterward every single time, but the sex was good, and I hated myself, so I figured it was the best I could do and I deserved to feel like crap. I justified it because I wasn't the only one he was cheating on his wife with, he had two or three other girls in rotation. I was just dumb and selfish and self sabotaging."
GrossBasketball Wives Ugh GIF by VH1Giphy
"'You were gone! He was here!'", Shadynasty."
Humans will just do it anywhere. Just like pigs.
"I was young and a virgin. She was gorgeous and sweet. She spun me a story about how bad her relationship was and I was hooked."
"I was 20/21 and had finally gotten out of an abusive household and was barely financially stable and not at all mentally stable. He was A LOT older than I was (his son was older than I was by a couple of years) but he did generally treat me pretty well."
"It went on for 4+ years. We were far from an ideal couple, even had he not been married, but overall it was a positive thing in my life at a time when I really needed it, and it became a safety net. It ended years ago and I feel deeply ashamed of it and my actions."
"But I've grown enough to know that I'm not that same person anymore and I'd never repeat it. I did learn that a poly relationship definitely suits me better than a monogamous relationship - but it can and should be done ethically and morally."
Her wife found out...
"I was in love but also young and selfish and could easily ignore that she was married/she was AGGRESSIVE in pursuing me for years (flying across states to see me, tracking me down at restaurants I would frequent, telling me she loved me and her marriage was in shambles, texting me from new numbers every time I told her to leave me alone). We started the stereotypical long-distance emotional affair that went into sexting/sexy pics. Her wife found out."
"I was young and drunk, with low self esteem and a crippling need for validation. She came onto me and I found it hard to say no. I justified it to myself as I knew their relationship was on the rocks anyway. I figured, well it's basically over. They just aren't formally broken up. They did split up a few months later. I'm not excusing it, I knew it was wrong."
"Didn't know any better. Horny stupid teens do stupid horny things. Wouldn't happen nowadays."
Oh the things we do for a hot roll in the hay. Be better people.