There are some questions that illustrate such vulnerability, such open tragedy on the part of the asker that we fend off tears while we come up with an appropriate answer.
Sometimes the question comes from someone who's been so steeped in struggle that they need help understanding that another possible reality exists.
Sometimes it's a question that cuts right to our own core with startling efficiency.
Whatever form it takes, it stops us in our tracks and we're likely to remember it for quite awhile after.
Curious to hear the saddest examples, Redditor julylovestory asked:
"What question has someone asked you that secretly broke your heart?"
Many Redditors responded by sharing the sad questions uttered by young children.
Kids just have the knack for cutting straight through to the essence of it all.
A Tragic Conscientiousness
"As we passed the toy aisle at the store, 'I know you don't have much money right now, but maybe when you get some we could come back and get a toy?' "
"I was not doing well financially back then and my daughter brought me to tears in the middle of the store."
Puzzled and Sad
"First day of preschool for my three year old son. The first time he would ever be away from Mom & Dad at the same time."
"I brought him to the room and expected a meltdown, but instead he confidently strutted, and I do mean strutted into the classroom."
"Three hours later, I picked him up. He was ok until we got to the car when he said, in quiet sad voice 'l thought you were coming with,' followed by an even sadder quieter 'Why did you leave me?' "
" 'Can I wish for my sister?' - A 10-year-old student of mine whose big sister died 4 years ago. We were working on an activity about dreams and aspirations for their futures."
How Bad Must It Be?
"I was like 22 and it was probably 10pm or so at a Walmart. I was on my way to a party and stopped for beer. The store was fairly empty and as I was in the beer aisle, I see this kid completely by himself."
"He was about 5 and at first I thought it was kind of funny because he was trying to pick up a case of beer. I waited like 30-60 seconds, looking around for this kid's mom/dad to come get him. A couple people walked right by him like it was normal, so then I started getting worried. I picked up my two cases of beer and walked over and kindly asked him if he lost his mom or needed help."
"The kid completely ignored the question and instead was thoroughly impressed that I was strong enough to carry two cases of beer. Eventually an employee noticed and came over as well. I told her everything I knew and she took over and told him that she was going to bring him to find his mom."
"As he was walking away he kept looking back at me and I smiled and said goodbye. The kid stopped and said 'can I just come home with you? I don't like my mom.' "
"I was caught off guard so I just laughed and told him the lady was going to help him. Now I'll never know the full story, or what happened to him but the more I think about it - that kid more than likely had a pretty shi**y childhood."
"I mean, the store wasn't busy and it was late at night on a weekday. It really makes you wonder why he was there in the first place, how he got separated from his mom and why would he ask to go with a complete stranger instead of worrying about where his mom was?"
"It still makes me sad. Hope everything worked out for the little dude."
Others talked about the times when they or somebody else realized just how tragic their own circumstances were.
"My ex asked me what I liked to do with my family growing up."
"Made me realize my family never did anything together and I literally had no answer to such a basic question."
People Share The 'Dirty Secrets' That Their Bosses Don't Want Customers To Know
Seeing Another Version
"During college, parents took a friend and I out to dinner. Very normal dinner, chit chatted about whatever. After we left and were walking back to my car, he turns to me and says 'Is that what a normal relationship is like?' "
"We talked more after that, I had met his parents a few times and they seemed strict but never seemed to have a terrible relationship. Turned out apparently his dad had cheated on his mom multiple times, dad had zero respect for any of my friends sisters and essentially expected them to do all the housework while the men did 'guy stuff.' "
"Hunting, training for sports, school, etc. Turned out his childhood was pretty fu**ed, dad was never around and he had to essentially be the father figure in the house. As the oldest child, never really saw a normal loving relationship that he could look up to."
"My friend is a really nice guy, still has some messed up views of relationships though. I never realized how 'abnormal' my very normal family/childhood was."
A Better Place
" 'You've never beaten me or told me I couldn't do something. Is that normal?'
"My first girlfriend told me that. I have never felt such a wave of anger, sadness, and heartbreak wash over me like I did when I heard that"
" 'Is this your first child/baby?' 'How many live births have you had?' My first child died in infancy. Those kill me."
"So does 'how is your daughter doing?' From people with whom i rarely speak/see. That one is the worst. My second child is currently four weeks. I'm fu**ing terrified."
And some people discussed the time a question destroyed their social confidence.
Worst Teacher Ever
"I have a stutter, when I was a kid I had to read a page of a book to the class. I stuttered, and the teacher said 'can you even read' and that fu**ing broke my 13 year old heart."
"No one takes stuttering seriously."
There's the Answer
"When I was 19, I hung out with a cute girl from my high school that I never got to hang with when we were in school. Had a great day together, and that night she asked, 'can we be like secret friends or something? I don't really hang out with people like you.' "
"Never hung out again."
Comparing and Contrasting
" 'Oh, are you the girl with the hot sister ?' " -- JustehOK
"I worked in a department with two Melissas. One day, I was sitting next to one Melissa when we overheard another coworker say to someone, 'have you seen little Melissa?' "
"The other Melissa got kind of a defeated look in her eye and said, 'oh, I'm big Melissa.' " -- EarhornJones
To Be Seen Inaccurately
"I went through some abuse that essentially stopped me from having romantic interest for a while (4 years)."
"A female friend I was very close with at the time had been told by some of her friends who didn't like me that I was probably just pretending to be her friend because I was secretly in love with her."
"She asked me if that was true. It broke my heart since if she could believe that it was like she could also believe I was lying about the abuse or the effects thereof just to get close to her, and it really hurt that she could think me capable of that."
When the Fears Keep Coming True
"A friend recently asked 'Did you not change your bed sheets?' when they visited. I have been struggling with my mental health for the past few weeks. Adopted a kitten because I thought it would help me with it and it died 4 days later."
"Everything I did within my power to make myself better/happier just seems to backfire. Yes, I did not change my bed sheets."
Slipping Through Cracks
"Variations on 'What was your name again?' Apparently, I am so forgettable that over the years, literally not one person whom I have known casually and then not seen for like 6 months or more can remember who I am."
"Good friends know me, yes. But I have lost count of the number of people whom I went to school with or lived next door to or who were friends of my friends who knew me for YEARS, if only as an acquaintance, and then cannot remember even my first name."
That Playground Cruelty
" 'Are you a boy, or a girl?' This was earnestly asked to me on the playground when I was 13. I was very chubby, and had grown out my hair (my dad had a cool ponytail, and I wanted to be like my dad). But puberty hadn't really kicked in yet, so I guess I looked pretty androgynous."
"I told the girl that asked I was a boy, and she nodded and walked away, returning to a friend who then cheered in triumph, I guess they won the bet."
"That messed with me for a while."
It's a list that's sad enough to leave one wondering about the questions they've received that struck them as particularly hopeless.
Sometimes, though, that vulnerability can be the start of accepting new realities and new possibilities.
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Some people truly think the world revolves around them, which is why it's so satisfying to see them get what they want.
Consider: When was the last time you saw someone in public freak out in a store and demand to speak to the manager? Did the manager acquiese? Or did they stand up for their employees?
We're used to hearing about employees getting the short end of the stick, of course. But the moments when things go the other way—and a terrible nuisance finds themselves unable to get what they want—is truly a sight to behold.
In short: Saying "no" or putting people in their place is the ultimate power move.
People shared their stories with us after Redditor sormatodor asked the online community,
"What was the best 'you have no power here' moment you have ever seen?"
"The other evening..."
"This is a bit silly, but gave me a great feeling of satisfaction. Due to the bad economy and poor money management, my parents have moved into the spare room of the house my husband and I bought a year ago. Things are mostly smooth, tho I'm not the closest to them for several reasons I won't go into here."
"The other evening I was out gardening (because it's hot during the day and we have the luck of having a streetlight right next to our front yard, keeping it pretty well illuminated even after sundown, I mostly garden at night), and I thought I had gotten the hose twisted, as it kept getting stuck."
"This went on for a bit, when I realized that it wasn't stuck, but being pulled. I looked into the dim area just past the illumination of the street light and spied my father, crouched over and tugging the hose. Well I did the only reasonable thing to do, and I sprayed him. He yelled and ran inside with me chasing."
"Once he got inside he made a face and goes "You can't get me now! I'm inside!!" In that father-to-daughter-don't-you-make-a-mess tone of voice."
"I readied my hose, looked him in the eye and said, "It's my house." And just let loose with the hose. He was soaked. Worth cleaning up the mess for that moment of true fear in his eyes."
This story definitely made our day better!
"I used to work..."
"I used to work for a super nasty manager when I worked at McDonalds. This guy was horrible to us. He was constantly bullying us, s*it talking us TO CUSTOMERS, and doing everything in his power to make us miserable. Well, so many people complained about him that he ended up getting fired."
"New manager was great. He was super chill and understanding with us all. A couple weeks after he took over, the old guy comes in and starts talking about how terrible the store looks, how our service is worse than ever, and how much this store needs him. The new manager looked at him and said "If you don't leave, then the cops are gonna make you.""
"When the guy didn't move, new awesome manager stuck to his guns and called the cops. The dude is no longer allowed on ANY McDonalds property in the city and has a restraining order against him."
Wow, that is definitely a power move. So much for that guy. How embarrassing.
"And walked out."
"The first time I had dinner at my parents house after I got my own apartment. My dad was giving me grief as usual. Finally, I stood up and said, “ I don’t live here anymore. I don’t have to put up with you this way any longer. I’m going home.”
"And walked out."
"Most liberating moment of my life."
We're proud of you! Well done. Set those boundaries!
"Anticipating his next move..."
"I worked in management at a theatre for a while. If the concession counter was slammed and I was able, I'd leave my post and help them sling popcorn."
"One night while helping out, a particularly belligerent man started cussing out a 16 year old girl on a cash register for being too slow, even suggesting she quit since she clearly couldn't handle pushing buttons or scooping popcorn."
"It was pretty disgusting and I felt so bad for the girl, I stepped in and told the guy that our employees have the right to refuse service to customers who harass them as part of our anti-harassment/discrimination policy, empathized that the lines were longer than usual, and suggested he should apologize and move on. He was PISSED."
"Left half his order on the counter and started fuming off."
"Anticipating his next move, I went back to my original post that night - as manager of the customer service kiosk. Oh boy, the look on his face when he saw me. (Didn't want a refund of his tickets though so I assume he watched the movie, without popcorn)."
Sounds like you were a good girl. That teenage girl definitely appreciated you for sticking up for her!
"When an unhappy client..."
"When an unhappy client threatens to go hire a better lawyer. They don't seem to get that this isn't a threat when they aren't paying me..."
Okay, there's the door. At the end of the day, you have a choice: Money or peace of mind? Your peace of mind will thank you every time.
"I told my ex..."
"I told my ex I was getting remarried. He told me he was going to stop me and put a lein on my house (which I bought with my money six years after the divorce). My son would come home from visitations telling me how his dad was going to stop the wedding and I'd have to pay him all of this money, la di da."
"Get to court. His attorney goes blah blah blah for what felt like forever. My lawyer (yes, I had to freaking get one) stands up and simply hands the judge the divorce papers showing the disbursement of funds and how my ex isn't owed anything."
"Judge looks at ex's lawyer and basically asks, "did you even ask for this document before filing?" and dismisses the case."
Did you get court costs? Any solution for his attempt at alienating your son? Hope it's better now.
"So my biological grandmother..."
"Not me, but a story my dad used to tell me all the time."
"So my biological grandmother was very emotionally abusive. She was very controlling and tried to keep people within her sphere of influence. There's a reason why my grandfather divorced her."
"In high school my dad had a job washing airplanes at an airport in our area, which he absolutely loved (he's a huge fan of aircraft in general). He had classes until roughly 10 am and then he'd be off to work until around 10 pm (it was what he loved, he didn't mind long hours being around aircraft all day)."
"But one day he came home a little too late for his mom's liking. She said she'd take his keys to his motorcycle and that he'd lost privileges to it."
"The fact of the matter is that he bought the motorcycle himself and he needed it to get to school as well as work. He laughed in her face and she didn't do anything. She couldn't do anything."
Your dad sounds like the cool loner from an '80s high school movie.
"When I got back..."
"I work for a trampoline park franchise. We opened a sister location that I ran for about a year and a half before moving back to take over the old location."
"When I got back, a lot needed fixing but in particular there were 2 teenage employees that had been fired/suspended on numerous occasions. They were generally lazy, rude jackasses that shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. Problem was, they both had aggressive helicopter moms that intimidated the manager into rescinding any punishments."
"Once I came back, I took stock of our employees and had a long talk with the entire leadership team. I learned which employees caused which problems, who was unreliable, who had a regular habit of skipping shifts, texting on shift, etc. I fired about a half dozen that first week, including those two I mentioned."
"That night, both moms called my personal cell to scream at me (our numbers are listed in the online scheduling tool so employees can find shift covers more easily). They demanded to know why I fired them, threatened to sue, have me arrested, accused me of discrimination (against their white middle-class sons), etc."
"I simply asked, “Is your son over 18? Yes? So you’re demanding I illegally release personal information regarding a former adult employee? Bye.""
That's the way to do it!
The nerve of some people... especially parents who think their kids should bear no responsibility for their own actions.
There's something really satisfying about telling people like this off. If you've ever worked in customer service of any kind—especially in retail or in restaurants—then you know how satisfying it can be to tell the worst people "no."
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
Considering how much money these films make, I understand that I am in the minority when I say that Marvel films have absolutely overstayed their welcome. What once seemed fairly innovative—the current generation of the MCU really took off when Iron Man proved to be a tremendous hit—now feels stale.
I accept it, though. These films are not for me and never have been. That's okay. But it'd be great if we could have more room for other great blockbuster films other than yet another superhero movie.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor Ziggi28 asked the online community,
"What franchise has been milked to death?"
"MTVs Teen Mom. Although they still act like teenagers, the moms are in their 30s."
Part of me thinks the only reason it's still on is because MTV knows several of the cast members have no other way to make money and they're waiting to see if any of the kids become teen parents.
All of Them
"A better question would be what franchise HASN'T been milked to death. Something like 9 out of 10 "blockbusters" these days are remakes/sequels/rehashes etc."
If we have to have nonstop remakes, I wish they’d at least make good remakes of bad movies/shows that had potential but were poorly executed for whatever reason, instead of mediocre at best remakes of classics.
It's a "No" for Netflix
"Certainly nothing netflix has created. Get hooked on a show with solid potential and bam....its canceled."
Netflix’s Dark Crystal amazingly resurrected a Jim Henson masterpiece, set up an entire world to explore, and cancelled it after one season.
"Is the next Halloween really going to be the last one or no?"
Don't forget, guys: Evil dies tonight!
We'll repeat it 10,000 times just so you know for sure.
Friday the 13th
"When Jason started killing in Manhattan, possessing people’s bodies, and killing on a futuristic spaceship in outer space, I felt the Friday the 13th series was getting a bit ridiculous. Although Jason X wasn’t that bad."
Honestly, the franchise died with Jason X. The remake of the first—which actually combined the plots of the first four films—was actually pretty good but didn't go anywhere after that.
"Ben 10. I enjoyed the first 3 shows, 4th one is mixed for me, but that 5th show which is that reboot that came after was unnecessary and just shows that Cartoon Network is reliant on making money from toy sales rather than telling a good story from that reboot."
There were more than two? This is news to me.
The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead. I stopped watching when I found myself actively hoping the protagonists would be killed in gruesome ways."
I stopped after Beth died, didn't watch it for a long time, went back to it—though I started from the beginning—and gave up right when Glen was killed. It was exhausting and a meandering mess all in all.
"I just got an ad for the Jurassic World: Dominion extended edition. Pretty sure nobody has been asking for more runtime of that movie."
That movie had no reason to be as long as it is and Laura Dern and Sam Neil are really slumming it.
90 Day Fiancé
"90 Day Fiancé."
"There must be like 20 spinoffs from that show, including Pillow Talk (which has former cast members commenting on episodes) and then a Pillow Talk for the Pillow Talk episodes. Not to mention the individual spin offs like The Family Chantel and Darcey & Stacey."
I can't believe this is still on. I must be dreaming.
"Grey's Anatomy. It’s so repetitive and just ridiculous now. I gave up in season 10, then tried again and caught up a few seasons but it’s just kind of relentless, ruins good characters and rapidly churns out new, forgettable ones."
This should is the definition of a soap opera. And to think it was once a big Emmy contender for a few years!
Admit it: You're so over these too, aren't you? We might as well be living in a time loop because some of these franchises keep coming back over... and over... and over...
Have some thoughts of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments below!
We've all displayed embarrassing behavior or actions at one point or another, and we can't seem to shake off the regretful moment.
It just replays in our minds like an endless boomerang.
We are equally embarrassed for those who may have done something spontaneously foolish and have no clue of the mortifying impact of their actions.
It's called cringe, and strangers online had plenty to say about the all-too-familiar phenomenon when Redditor brownGoddess01 asked:
"What is something you find REALLY cringe?"
There is a time and place for things. That doesn't mean the unspoken rule is broken.
"A disastrous engagement during someone else's wedding."
"This happened at my cousins wedding. My other cousin was proposed to by her bf during the reception. The cousin getting married eventually got a divorce and the cousin who was proposed to never got married. My grandma went to her grave calling the guy who did the proposal 'El Diablo.'”
Inappropriate Declaration Of Love
"I used to work wedding receptions. One time during the speeches I witnessed the best friend of the bride profess his love to her, in front of the groom and everybody. It was one of the most awkward/cringiest moments I’ve ever witnessed."
There are some things we do that we can't take back.
How Far We've Come
"my past self."
"That means you’ve grown. Respect."
The Moment We'd Like To Forget
"My mind randomly replaying an embarrassing moment I've done that I want to forget."
"Listening my recorded voice."
Some people love living their lives on camera. Some participants don't have a say in the matter. And others just don't wanna see it.
All The World Is A Stage
"Family bloggers. Constantly having your life recorded as a child can really f'k you up. Especially since a lot of the time the parents are just using their children for content."
"I will extend this to normal people who post every second of their child’s lives, they often hide under ‘it’s so my family can see it’ but it’s not really, is it? Or else you’d have an account just for family not your 900 additional ‘friends’"
Crying You A River
"Recording yourself crying on social media."
"when individuals share sobbing selfies. No joke, when my friend's sister and her children put their dog to die, she tweeted selfies of them both crying. and the deceased dog."
"Like, is it a private moment of mourning and not a chance for a selfie?"
"All these 'prank' videos getting millions of views."
"Edit: To be specific, I’m referring to 'prank' videos that are clearly staged."
Unsolicited Life Coach
"People whose lives are an absolute self-induced disaster and post selfies with motivational quotes telling other people how to think and live."
Being in the entertainment industry and knowing how humbling it is when there are more rejections than there are bookings, we tend to be our own worst critics.
So there's nothing more cringey than revisiting an old recording of myself performing at a high school talent show when my interest in theater was fresh and exciting and I already thought I was a pro.
Unfortunately for teenage me, I was blissfully unaware I had ways to go before honing my craft.
Let's just say that all those old VHS recordings of me performing an imitation of Michael Crawford as the Phantom of the Opera need to be burned.
Sex. It's great, but there can be a lot of drama involved.
We're human, how could there not be?
One way to make it easy is to say the right name when you're in the heat of things.
Seriously, we know this sounds like a small thing, but it's monumentally important.
Make sure you know your date's name.
If you don't, take your date to Starbucks and have it written on their cup.
It might be REALLY important later in the evening.
Redditor throwaway2356765 wanted to know your best excuses in the worst moments of intimacy.
"How do you apologize to your girlfriend after accidentally calling her by your ex’s name during sex?"
Sex makes our minds crazy. I say all sorts of nonsense.
ExtremesRun Away Nuclear Bomb GIF by IdentityGiphy
"Burn the house down. Fake your death. Move to Peru. There's no recovery."
"You're gonna have to run out the clock on that one. Just say you're sorry and take the consequences."
"Yup. Persistence is key. Apologize a thousand times until she forgives you. Cook her favorite meals a thousand times until she forgives you. Massage her back a thousand times until she forgives you."
"'I'm so sorry [Ex's Name].' Trust me it'll work."
"Unironically maybe if you can convince her you have early onset dementia."
"Call out a guy's name next time and really throw her for a loop."
"Call out your own name."
"Or her father's name."DZLars
And Piggy?Press Conference Kermit GIFGiphy
"Call out Kermit’s name next time."
Sex makes us all crazy.
SorrySad Cry GIF by TheFactory.videoGiphy
"Oh man, trust me as someone who calls everyone by another person's name... there is no amount of apologies to make up for that in this case. Just hope she cares enough to forgive - she won't forget though and may bring it up many times."
"Not sure, but if it helps to know, I accidentally called my wife our dog’s name during an argument."
"Update: It totally killed the tension, and we laughed about it. I am safe."
"I just had a baby and now no one’s name is sacred in my house. Every cat’s, dog’s, or human’s name is Interchangeable with the others."
"Tell her you called her name while having sex with your ex and you're just trying to even everything out."
"Perfectly balanced, as all things should be."
"Just say you're sorry and you didn't mean it, but don't expect that she will get over it easily."'
"This seems like the most sensible answer. My answer was basically grovelling, grovel and grovel some more and hope she can forgive you but don't expect that to happen right away but definitely expect to hear it in every argument for a few years to come as well."
#1 AnswerLouis Litt Genius GIF by SuitsGiphy
"The only way to salvage this is at the time by adding ' ...was never this good!'"
Be better y'all. It's an intimate moment and your partner deserves the basest level of respect that come with knowing their name.
Do you have other ideas to share in the unfortunate event of this happening? Let us know in the comments below.