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?
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The infamous Mortal Kombat ABACABB code doesn't actually work in real life, but there are absolutely times when some overly dramatic poorly-rendered game blood would make a moment way funnier.
We could use it for educational purposes, or in trauma reduction.
Ted the Feminist might even still have a girlfriend!
Sometimes a sense of humor is all you've got left, ya know?
Hilarious as that could get - if cheat codes actually DID work, we can think of quite a few we'd try before that one. Sorry, Ted.
Reddit user citizen287 asked:
"What is a real life cheat code you use?"
Instead, we're just stuck with these "real life cheat codes" from people who are somehow good at life or whatever.
Look It UpGIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"When I hear a word I cannot define, I stop whatever I am doing and look it up."
"You would be amazed how that helps you understand the world around you and all aspects of it, especially finances."
"You are absolutely right."
"It was the philosopher Wittgenstein who said: 'The limits of my language means the limits of my world.' “
"In other words, your field of experience of the world will increase as you become more competent in learning language, vocabulary, words and definitions."
"Wait, I thought everyone just did that? How else would you understand the sentence or whatever"
"When you decide to use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon for ice cream or yoghurt or pretty much anything."
"It gives you more bites, forces you to take more time to enjoy something, really savor it -- and I think that's pretty special."
"I only use small dishes and utensils for the past few years :) Makes a huge difference!"
"Completely agree with you!"
"I have tons of little spoons specifically for that reason, so I can savor what I’m eating instead of gobbling it down right there"
"Agreed. Except cereal, which requires bigger bites so it doesn't get soggy."
Thoughtful NotesTaking Notes GIFGiphy
"Keep a list of things people love or want."
"It comes in super handy during birthdays and Christmas."
"I always get complimented on how thoughtful my gifts are. A little planning goes a long way."
"My brother decided to create a Google sheet for all of us."
"We each have our own tab, and after Sept 1, no one is allowed to look at their own tab, because the rest of us make changes to it to indicate what was bought."
"He got tired of all of us screaming for lists from his family."
"I do this too! As people are chatting and mention something they like, a favorite restaurant, etc I’ll remember and add it to a list in my notes app on my phone."
"I’m constantly complimented on my thoughtful gifts but I’m just listening!"
To The Left To The Left
"Whenever I have to fart/have a belly ache I lay on my left side. I did this long before actually looking up the science but apparently your GI Tract is situated in such a way that laying on your left side helps move things along."
"Same. Did it for years before understanding the reasoning why."
"Sometimes I can only burp if I lean up and to the left as well. When I was very young, I just told everyone I had a leaky chamber."
"Yeah, this one's a good tip, which I also follow. Any of you who suffer GORD or similar can use use this to take some of the edge off the burning too."
"Doesn't always work, of course; but I'll say anecdotally that I've suffered severe GORD my entire life, and sometimes just moving into this position is the only thing that brings any kind of relief, even if slight or brief."
Clean As You Gocleaning GIFGiphy
"Wash your bowls, spatulas, and so on while you are cooking. After supper you will have hardly any dishes to do."
"YES. My dad swears by this, the 'clean as you go' strategy, thus I use it in my daily life even at work and not just in the kitchen."
"My mother is a ‘leave all the dirty dishes in a pile and clean them after the food starts to cook’ human"
"I do a lot of this while I'm waiting for the food to cool down before I eat. So much nicer being able to enjoy a warm meal knowing there's no cleanup afterward."
"Also accept that you will clean your kitchen every day. It's just a law of physics."
One, Two, Three ...
"If you go into another room and forget what you came for, next time start counting in your head as you are getting up to go to the other room."
"You can think about other things but for some reason the counting keeps the original thought tied to it."
"I’m going to have to give this a try!"
"I did it all the time, I called them trigger points, basically recount your step so your head trigger and help you remember what you were doing in the first place."
Save The Zipper
"I had a pair of jeans where the zipper wouldn't stay up."
"I put a keyring through the little hole in the zipper and hooked it around the button. Zipper stays up and the keyring is hidden behind the fabric that fastens over the button."
"Saved me buying a new pair of jeans for a while. I hate buying jeans, they're the worst clothing to go shopping for."
"this is great!"
"Elastic band works too"
Let It Go
"I abandoned my ego about 11 years ago."
"Life has been immensely easier since then."
"100%. The easiest thing to do in life is to sometimes just say sorry or not have an ego about things and everything goes smoother."
"So true. The focus returns to just what needs to get done in life/work/school without the ego clouding or triggering a lot of baggage."
Don't Shed A Tearworld onion GIFGiphy
"When dicing onions, cut it in half and peel the paper then rinse it good. No tears."
"5 - 8 sec microwaving the half onions do well, too."
"Didn't know that, nice."
"You can pick up relatively anything with your toes instead of bending over."
"Yes I know it’s weird but it actually helps a lot whenever you have back issues"
"I do that, my family looks at me weird tho"
"Everyone that lives with me collectively agreed that I do not have feet, but rather four hands."
"This is a good one, I often use this especially when picking up clothes that have be put into the washing machine or something falls down and your hands are not free."
We may not be able to use video game cheat codes, but if you're nailing it at life and have a cheat the rest of us can use, share it in the comments.
Please? Seriously, 2022 is a mess and we need all the help we can get.
Remember when people actually met in public spontaneously and ignited a romantic spark after catching each other's eyes?
Yeah, I don't either.
But there was a time when people did just that. Meet in person. Young romantic hopefuls looking to make a connection would gather at bars or clubs and spend a fair amount of time preparing themselves to look good in the hopes of getting noticed.
Nowadays, people meet online, where how you present yourself in photos and bios is your one-shot deal in getting someone's attention long enough before they swipe left.
Not everyone is good at describing themselves on dating apps.
Redditor Breme_42069 was curious to hear bad but oh-so-good examples of this and asked:
"Online daters, what are some of the most unattractive stuff people put in their bios?"
Arrogance and a higher-than-thou disposition is not for everyone.
Is That A Threat?
"If you don't speak, I'll unmatch"
"whilst they literally make zero effort to talk to anybody"
"edit: I am ghey and was referring to male + male tinder, but it's news to me that this is a similar thing straight men experience too."
"Don't waste my time"
"This long laundry list of requirements in a partner with no mention of what they’re going to be bringing to the relationship."
Bad Is Still Bad
"When they announce how bad they are and get away with doing bad stuff as if it's meant to impress us."
People can be more amusing than sexy.
“I don’t even know why I’m here”
"Bro you made this account."
Everyone Everywhere All At Once
"My personal favourite is when you come across multiple profiles with the same profile pic but they are all in different locations. F'ken wizards."
"Their only photo is a group photo, with no indication of which one they are."
When The Hiatus Is Over
"This isn't the worst thing in the world but something I'm always bewildered by some variation of."
"hi, I'm back again, hopefully this time it will work out!"
"This isn't conventional social media with followers."
Some people just require more effort in getting to know–which indicates, they lack personality.
“Don’t be boring”
"'Just ask' was always an instant no from me. Plenty of other people provide some kind of info to go on, so why would I choose the low effort profile?"
“What do you do for work?”
“I don’t like talking about work.”
“Where did you grow up?”
“Are you implying I’m not from here?”
“What’s your favorite food?”
“Ok, I’m trying here and you’re giving me nothing.”
"Edit: talking about 'just ask' profiles here. If someone has more details I will gladly ask them more in depth questions about them."
The art of conversation still applies, even with dating online.
Single people seriously looking to meet someone should take the time to creatively express themselves in their bio. That might increase your chances of attracting more interesting users.
Also let your photos speak for themselves. Just make sure it's you in the uploaded pics.
Because no one has time for catfishing.
Most people are asked what they do for a living upon meeting someone for the first time.
It's definitely a good conversation starter. But while some people's professions are generally understood by the majority, there are other professions that entail more than what is outlined in a job description.
Hoping to be enlightened, Redditor memereda_vanwolf asked:
"What are facts about your job that general public has no idea about?"
There are simple solutions to seemingly complicated issues.
A Quick Fix
"I work in IT support. Legit about 80% of all problems are solved by rebooting the computer/terminal/phone."
"If not, 20 percent is pure detective work."
"Radioactive contamination can often just be cleaned with Windex or even water."
Facts about these specific professions are truly eye-opening.
The Finest Detail
"I work at a large biotech/pharmaceutical manufacturing company. The drugs you take or buy from your local pharmacy are so insanely and meticulously regulated & inspected at every step of the journey - from petri dish to pharmacy shelf, that you could take a pill from a bottle and it can be traced back to the exact room it was made in, the exact equipment that was used, who was responsible for each step, and the time it was made down to the very second. Seriously, there is no misteps when it comes to GxP."
Corporate Allocation Of Funds
"Working for giant companies, it’s comical how many systems are raggedy messes of bare-bones functionality. All available money gets thrown at certain projects, leaving everything else to work on complete shoe-strings."
Legalities Of Being An Organ Donor
"I work in organ donation."
"The general public doesn’t understand literally any of it."
"One notable thing is that when you register to be an organ donor, it’s a legally binding declaration about your wishes after death. It is akin to a will under gift law."
"Anaesthetics- we only ask about your illicit drug use so we don’t kill you when we give you a general anaesthetic and that you have appropriate pain relief."
"You’ll have a tolerance that we need to counter by giving you a variety of drugs and more of them."
"No judgement from us on your choices - just want to actually take care of your properly."
Dealing With The Deceased
"I was a licensed Cremationist for 8 years. Regardless how hard we tried, that wasn’t just grandma or grandpa in the urn…."
Never Assume You're Always Safe
"Ex-security guard here."
"We're not there to protect you. We're there to observe and report. Don't assume that just because whatever building you're working in has security that you're safe. Especially if security is of the unarmed variety."
"That as a trucker, that space I left in front of me is so I don’t kill anybody, NOT your personal invitation to jump in front of my bumper because you forgot your exit or whatever reason. So many want to get in front of us and slow down and park in front my bumper."
"YSK: Don’t believe the billboards those ambulance chasing lawyers put up about big truck accidents mean big bucks. Only survivors get money, most likely not you. If you do survive, more than likely your quality of life is going to be miserable."
"Also YSK: these trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, 34,000 pounds empty and around 20,000 pounds without the trailer. How does that compare to your SUV or even your lifted pickup. Do us all a favor and give us some space, leave us room so that you can live and go home to your family"
"One final thought, NEVER assume the other driver sees you."
Some jobs have great perks.
These are sorely lacking in company benefits.
"Crisis hotline. Sometimes we get really disturbing prank calls. I always encourage people to call back if they are ever in crisis. A lot of times, they (the prank callers) do."
First Things First
"When you call 911, please say your address before anything else. It doesn’t matter if someone is actively dying, say your address first. (I’m from a rural area so this might just be a problem where I’m from) but if you’re calling on a cell phone sometimes it can ping in a completely different spot then you are. If you call and don’t say where you are and we get disconnected, I might not have any clue where to send rescue/police/fire and therefore I cannot help you. Say your address (if you don’t know then please give like a cross street or notable location) first, then preferably your name, THEN tell me what’s going on."
"A lot of people assume that we automatically have a precise location where they’re at, and the systems can be pretty accurate but you can’t always rely on them. If you say the address and we get disconnected I can at least send someone to the area to figure out what needs to be done."
"(Source: I am a 911 dispatcher and I have so many people scream at me for not automatically knowing their location)"
Respect Your Masseuse
"I'm a massage therapist. I don't care if you didn't shave. But please wash your feet."
I usually have interesting conversations with Uber or Lyft drivers as a passenger.
They've disclosed the questionable policies of the companies they respectively work for and divulged traffic tips and what routes are best to take to get to certain destinations.
But what captivated me most were the stories about the passengers they've picked up.
Without going into detail, riders can be absolutely deplorable and inconsiderate.
One anecdote made me very anxious about sitting in the back seat and made me checking for stains.
Some on-the-job facts are better left a mystery. So, you're welcome for me sparing you the disgusting details.
Rules are rules.
And they're made to be broken.
Unless you have strict parents that don't play those games.
I was pretty lucky, I had a freedom growing up.
But I had a few friends who had it rough.
Redditorcallierkapwanted to hear from everyone whose parents caused more stress than necessary when growing up. They asked:
"Redditors who grew up with strict parents, what was the most absurd rule you had to follow?"
I wasn't allowed to cross the street without my. other's permission. It was weird. But now that I drive... I get it.
AloneLonely Bucks Bango GIF by Milwaukee BucksGiphy
"I was only allow to go to school and come back home, my parents never allowed me to hangout with friends after school or on the weekends."
"I could totally see my friends, but effectively wasn't allowed to make any. I was homeschooled so I didn’t have any, and church wasn’t really anyone under 50, so I just never had any communication with anyone who wasn’t an adult until college. This vastly set me back along with my siblings and I didn’t go on my first date until 23."
Make it Quick
"My parents expected me to call them and ask for permission to go out at night (which in their minds was after dinner and included movies) throughout college. And furthermore I had to use a calling card with limited minutes because my college was long-distance from them."
"My goal was to end the call quickly which usually meant acquiescing to their rigid rules and staying in. Took me entirely too long to realize that they were in fact half a day's drive away, so I could do what I wished without always checking in."
I am Meek
"Not being allowed up in my room during the day. (It was okay to go up there once it got close to bedtime, but it was hit or miss... I could never quite figure out the exact time it became acceptable.) My mom would always yell for me to come back downstairs if I disappeared up to my room for more than five or ten minutes at a time. And a related rule: not being allowed to shut my bedroom door, except briefly when dressing."
"For context, I was an introverted girl who loved to read, and I just preferred the peace and quiet of my room. Also, I was a very meek child who never got into trouble, so those rules weren't made because of any misbehaviour on my part. It seemed absurd to me then, and still seems absurd to me now."
Who?he's cute tv land GIF by YoungerTVGiphy
"It wasn’t a rule but, when I was 13, my mom overheard me telling some friends a guy on TV was cute. She made me feel so ashamed that, to this day, I’m reluctant to actually point out a cute guy to friends or voice my appreciation when they do it. It’s awkward."
Wow and I thought I had it bad because I wanted more allowance.
Less WordsArgue Donald Trump GIF by Wave.videoGiphy
"I do high level debate in high school, so in every argument we had, I wasn't allowed to use it because it was too insulting to them or something. Very many arguments were had in form of screaming and cussing at each other."
In the Middle...
"As the middle kid, I had a lot more rules compared to my siblings. My older brother moved out of my dads house so it was me and my little brother, who was spoiled rotten. I wasn't allowed to go to bed until my little brother said I could. He was allowed to hit me as much as he wanted. Keep in mind, I'm a female, now 18. He is four years younger."
"I moved out when I was 17. Also, he was allowed to do whatever he wanted and I had to do his chores and mine in under an hour. My chores were the dishes, taking the dog out, sweeping, mopping, steam mopping, vacuuming, laundry, and bathrooms. We lived in a 4 bed, 3.5 bathroom house. It also had a basement that my dad used for his man cave. My brothers chores were to clean his room, and take the trash out."
"I did all of his chores everyday and mine and it took me from 6 AM (I also wasn't allowed to sleep in but he could) until 3 or 4 PM. And I was doing online school. I failed school and was told I was only good as a servant. I was also getting abused but I moved out and now my fiancé helps me get over the trauma."
2 years later...
"When I went to boarding school, if I gained even 0.1kg of weight, I would have all electronics, which included my phone, tablet and laptop, taken away from me until 2 years later when my parents said I could have them back. I wasn't allowed to leave the school grounds unless I had their permission. I didn't give a f**k what they said and still left the school on weekends, but the farthest I went was the little co op 50 meters from the school because that's all I ever wanted to go to."
I Feel for Her
"I’d say I have some of the least strict parents and it’s made me realize the insane things my friend’s parents do. I have a friend from a hispanic household, she’s not allowed to wear makeup, and must get permission to go out. This wouldn’t be weird if she wasn’t literally 20, with a driver’s license, car, and 2 sources of income including the military. They don’t let her move out. She’s being deployed to Kuwait indefinitely and I haven’t gotten to see her once before she leaves."
HydrateJohnny Depp Drinking GIFGiphy
"My siblings and I couldn't drink anything during our meal. If we wanted anything to drink, we had to have it before we ate, and couldn't touch it again until our plate was clear."
In a Small Town
"cracks knuckles... my time to shine. I had a 7:00 curfew until I was 18 (then it only moved to 10). I live in a very small town, the kind that Walmart is considered a date, and my parents were mad I went across city lines for the movies when I was 18. I could only go out (meaning anytime I left the house including family events) twice a month. I had to turn my phone in at 9 until I was 16."
"I have the male equivalent of 'resting *itch face.' So I was forced to smile and s**t, otherwise I got in trouble for 'making a look."
It's amazing some people still grow up sane.
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