People Recount The Most Important Thing They've Ever Accidentally Broken


Get me some crazy glue ASAP!!!

Be careful! Don't touch that! That's expensive! Remember all the times those lessons of fear were lodged at you? No of course you don't. If you did you'd still be following the advice and not in debt or exiled from the fancy parties. It's human nature to touch, fondle and fidget.... all things that get us into worlds of trouble. Breaking things can often turnout to be an expensive habit. That's why at high end museums, they just shoot you now. We've all been there, we've all shattered an item or two that was irreplaceable.... and some people still hate us for it, including ourselves.

Redditor u/Maengelic was wondering who would be willing to admit the fragile things they've had a mishap or three with by asking..... What was the most important thing you broke, and what was the aftermath?

Darn Diskpart....

I was using diskpart and was going to clean a 256GB drive. I listed the disks and selected a 4TB hard drive. The drive had around 1.5TB of semi-important files. The files weren't important enough to be backed up, but losing them would be a damn pain in the butt.

I proceeded to stare at my screen for a good minute, just confirming my selection. I then, even subconsciously knowing I had selected the wrong drive, cleaned my 4TB drive instead of the 256GB one.

The second I hit enter I realized my mistake and freaking panicked. Spent the next few hours downloading questionable free programs to recover around 1.5TB of data. In the end everything worked out, but I definitely learned my lesson; don't do critical things when lacking sleep.



Judge Judy Reaction GIF Giphy

My Dad's laptop after I smashed the screen when I was very young. I still regret it to this day and yet he was never vocally angry about it.


The 2 Million Flush...

I broke a 2 million dollar piece of equipment at work. Really wasn't any aftermath. People came and fixed it and someone else broke it a few months later. It's always getting broke. Also I work for a multi billion dollar company so 2 million is nothing for them.



My massive Lego Star Wars Republic Cruiser. :( I was probably 12 and it sat on a shelf. Accidentally knocked it off and exploded everywhere in my room. I was silent as I watched it fall, then just sat and cried for a while.


I kicked a Lego ferris wheel that my Lego obsessed brother had built because I was mad at him. I'll never forget the way he deflated. He was so proud of that thing and Legos were really all that he had at the time. We never found all the pieces and I feel guilty about it 15 years later.



finding nemo ocean GIF Giphy

"Hey can you look after my fish while I'm gone?"

"Sure, that'll be easy!"

Spoiler alert: it died. In like an hour.


Upper Wisconsin. 

We were driving in the late 90's in upper Wisconsin. No GPS. I was a pre-teen and was allowed to sit in the front seat because my two younger siblings were being little animals. So there I was with the only map of Wisconsin, in the front seat, with the window down. Now you might think the map got ripped out of the window by the wind. Nope.

See I decided to put the map outside the window like a flag and watch it flap in the wind.

The "wind" was going roughly 60 mph. My dad starts yelling to put the damn map inside the car. He begins to close the window to force me to pull my arm in. I pull my hand in as fast as I can. The map rips in half. And of course I was left holding the bottom half of Wisconsin.

All I could do was just look at him pie eyed, like I never could have imagined that could happen.

We were in the back woods of Wisconsin, and for those that don't know many of those areas are Native American lands. We got REALLY lucky and some random NA patrol guy type came by and asked us what we were doing. My dad made me explain and show the torn map. He laughed and called me an idiot.

Good news was he had a map in his car, outlined the path out, and sent us on our way. I still cannot believe that I was allowed to hold that new map and help get us out of there.


Limited Fallout

Fresh into consulting, working on a massive project for a large supermarket chain installing new backend system and found myself playing catch-up and working late at night. Thought I was working in the training environment, accidentally made sweeping changes in the production (real) system which rendered a company that did a billion dollars of sales a week completely unable to trade. Lucky I did it at midnight.

Cue about 50 engineers across multiple countries and many different time zones rolling back changes over the next 6 hours to be ready for trade in the morning.

Believe it or not the fallout for me was minimal - as I shouldn't have had access to do that in production and didn't think I would have had it either. It brought a whole bunch of security issues to the surface and within a week there color coded environments, a new beefed up permissions system and approvals process for such drastic changes.



Oh oh I have something for this! I broke $20k of equipment and kept my job!

I was working on a gas chromatography machine, and through some idiocy, blew a channel—the carrier gas line was kinked and I didn't know. I was like "oh that's weird" replaced it, and instantly blew it again because there still wasn't carrier gas being pushed to the instrument.

All told, about $20k USD mistake. Nothing ever happened to me, I was up front about what happened and my boss just shrugged. This was the first time I realized I was dealing with Real Money— that's a drop in the bucket.


Happy New Year!!!

Excited Happy New Year GIF by Hazelnut Blvd Giphy

My car going to NYC for New Years Eve. Blew the head gasket right when I got to the toll booth at the bridge for Queens. Had to abandon the car at my friend's house, got $300 for it and had to take a bus back to Massachusetts. Also had to go 6 months without a car.


Over the Shoulder....

I was in college getting ready to visit friends at another college about 4 hours away. I had packed my laptop in my backpack which had one of those side inserting pouches for laptops but I forgot to zip it up. As I was getting ready to leave, I swung the backpack over my shoulder and the laptop flew out like a slingshot. Found it was damaged but still worked. Went on my trip super bummed I had damaged my laptop.

At the end of the trip, I came back home ready to relax and watch some TV. To my horror, there's huge cracks in the tv and the entire picture was ruined. Turns out that I had slingshotted my laptop into my TV. I Did about 1k worth of damage in 1 second, all because I forgot a zipper.




I broke a $3,000 diamond at work once. It was a wedding ring. I was tightening a little princess cut (the square one with the sharp points), and all of a sudden it turned into a broken "milky/frosted" mess, lol.

You would be surprised on how easy it is to break a diamond; especially when they have super sharp points. You can't scratch them, but they will break. Aftermath was a "hey, that happens" and some more training. I broke several more stones after that, but all small and easy and cheap to replace. Best job I've ever had.


I channeled Carmen San Diego....

I was trying to align a laser in my lab the first month of my PhD program. It had to enter the galvo (beam steering device) at a very precise angle. I was putting the last bolt in the mounting bracket and my hands were sweaty and the bolt just shot out of my hand. If I tried to do this, it could have never happened, but that goddamn thing made a perfect football spiral right through the aperture hole into the sealed $25,000 optical device (it is completely sealed except this hole). I heard the "plink-plink" sound as it managed to hit BOTH mirrors inside as well as the focusing optics.

I started bawling, sure that I was about to get booted from the lab. This device was special-ordered from Germany and it would be months and $ to replace. I channeled Carmen San Diego and somehow managed to find the cell phone number of the single engineer based in the USA and surprised him while he was at a gas station.

The poor dude was so confused that a 22 yr old sobbing girl got his number... that lovely human told me how to access the secret service panel (so it WASN'T sealed!!) and I was able to get the bolt out, but I had to void the warranty to do so.

It ended up still functioning, but for years whenever we got a new student they'd ask how the hell it seemed like there were scratches on the mirrors inside (distorts the beam in some locations) and I would pretend I had no idea. I never adjusted that bracket again I always made someone else do it... I'd seriously start to sweat just thinking about it.


being served. 

Broke is a strong word - but I accidentally turned off a server I was working on once.

I had a complete mind fart while being on a remote session on this server. My main machine needed turning off for some reason, and I forgot I was still in this remote session to a server. Hit Start > shut down and got "Are you sure, please type something in this box to confirm why...etc" - so I just mashed the keyboard thinking "of course I want to turn it off".

It went off. But another screen appeared behind that. DAMN, I'd just turned off a a server that hundreds of other analysts use for work. Suddenly cries of "hey Server001 has stopped working", "yeah me too...", "and me".

Then my desk phone rang. It's the data center: "DID YOU JUST TURN OFF SERVER001?!?!" DAMN. "no" - "then why does it says: Shut down by DonKiddic, Reason given: aosbfsiodufsiudbfsdfsdbjf ?".

I managed to get away with it by saying the screen froze so I mashed the keyboard, and then it turned off. Not sure if management ever found out but I was never told off by them.


A Leg Down


I broke my dads fake leg once, for the aftermath he couldn't really catch me...for a while. I got a good smack from his crutch lol.


Swiffed Away....

I was 12, asked to carry a ceramic urn for my aunt while we were loading up the car for a trip. I dropped it and it turned out they were the ashes of her grandfather that just passed.

We were driving to some lake to spread his ashes. I felt bad, but she was devastated. Not really a dignified thing having your ashes cleaned up by a swiffer wet jet...


Typo in code....

Typo in code, as a result instead of a few defective records I erased whole batch of data from base. Fortunately it was backed up every hour, so we were able to restore it. Still, dealing with those defective records got pushed back again and again and they caused more errors, which meant a lot more work when we finally got to cleaning them up. Full weekend on unpaid overtime.


Army Infractions. 

During classroom instruction in the army, I broke a bit of electronic equipment worth £250k (back in the 90's) by plugging it into a dock of sorts which had an undiagnosed fault. Immediate reaction from the instructor: "that's odd, try this one"... the replacement bill is now £500k.

Instructor brings in the head instructor of the unit, who then proceeds to break another one in exactly the same way... £750k by this point.

By this time I'm somewhere between crapping bricks over breaking something so expensive, and trying not to laugh my @ss off as my seniors proceed to break half a million worth of kit in front of me. It took the civilian instructor stepping in and saying that maybe we should stop breaking stuff and send everything in for repair. No repercussions for me as I was under instruction, but interesting to see the definition of insanity play out in front of me in real time.

I guess that was a great insight into the military mentality.


The Set Up.


The lever on my mother's brand new recliner.

The aftermath? I gently placed it back and made it look like it was fine, then she went to use it and thought she broke it.


Not the Cake.... 

My mom told me to get a cake out of the oven for her while she stepped out of the store. I was in the middle of a COD match when it was time to take it out so I ran, took it out of the oven and put it on the glass table we had in our kitchen, and ran back to my game.

Fast forward my mom comes home and is screaming at me for what I think is her not believing I took the cake out of the oven, but when I go downstairs to tell her I did take it out of the oven the table was shattered to pieces on the floor.

Edit: the cake was also ruined as glass shards make for a cursed snack.


Eat a Berry Instead.


I broke my front tooth biting an apple, can't even make that up.

Nearly 5 years of painful root canals, gum surgeries, braces, and countless trips to the dentist later the tooth is still dead, and there is a chance I will need to replace the tooth with a multiple thousand dollar implant.



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