Eating alone has its pros and cons, but meals after a sad event are a struggle to get through, like when all your friends bail on your birthday dinner at the last minute. Or when you can't afford milk for cereal. Or eating your deceased spouse's leftovers.

Devastatedboy asked Reddit: What's the most depressing meal you've eaten?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

Seems negligent, but okay.

Our parents would get so caught up in work sometimes that they wouldn't buy groceries for an inordinately long time, leaving us to forage for whatever scraps were in the kitchen. The worst it ever got was when we could find nothing to eat except a couple bags of bread in the freezer that only had a couple of endpieces left that were badly freezer burned and a block of cheddar that was so old it was dark orange and cracking. We used it to make the most disgusting cheese sandwiches we ever ate in our lives though.


Wow, hard same. Parents both worked doubles for awhile, and my great-aunt would drop off weird industrial sized food items from her church pantry for us. Three gallons of cottage cheese and 5lbs of black olives? Figure something out, kid.


When you realize that you may have an issue.

Pieces of an earlier meal that I carefully pulled back out of the trash.

I was struggling with an eating disorder, and threw away most of my meal thinking that it being in the trash would turn me away from it. I was strong enough to stay away for an hour or two, then decided I didn't give a F-- that it had been in the trash can. (It was my own, the one under my desk, so mostly just paper anyway.) I don't know if I've ever felt so low and disgusting in my life, knowing that it was my own fault and I was a spoiled bitch who chose to live like this.


Similar story here. My lowest point was standing in front of my parents' fridge, feeling hungry and light-headed, but being unable to eat any of the (completely normal) foods.

I know I might do the trashcan thing too, so when I throw any food away, I always crush it and mix it with trash.


Not so lucky.

Lucky Charms with water, because we didnt have milk, I didn't realize that it was depressing at the time but now that I'm older its sad af.

Just told my dad about this post and he said he also did this once as a kid, looks as if it's being passed down the family tree.


When I was fourteen, I poured myself a bowl of cocoa pebbles, realized were out of milk, and just filled the bowl with whipped cream instead.

Disgusting? Yes.

Delicious? Yes.


Sad Thai.

At a local Thai place me and my then girlfriend would always go, the owner always greeted us and was super friendly. Anyway after we broke up I went in as I fancied a green curry. He asked where she was and I explained. He looked sad and and said "oh..." I sat and had my green curry by myself. It felt sad, I just get take out from them now.


Maybe I'd be a terrible business owner, but I'd have given you that one on the house.


This is a lot.

I once had Thanksgiving dinner alone at a truck stop Denny's in Great Falls, Montana.


Great falls, Montana

You win.


Hey, f*ck you. I like it here.


Really? Why?

... I'm from Lethbridge I suppose it's not all that much better. We're relatively close to Glacier and Waterton though that has to count for something.


Because it has the right amount of nothing, I can walk in a bar and they know my name and drink, great fishing all year round, 15 minute drive gets you out to unruined nature. People aren't up their own butt, friendliest weird town I've ever lived in... I can make a modest wage and live like a millionaire compared to those making the same in any large city.

Came over from Belfast, Northern Ireland, I have been in busy, and I have been in nothing... I like the nothing.


Good for you. I grew up out in Montana/Dakotas and have lived in NYC for the past 19 years. I'm definitely retiring in Montana or Vermont someday. I miss the quiet sometimes.


Well, at least you were fed.

My grandmother died and we were over at her house cleaning stuff out, and mom put me in charge of cleaning out the refrigerator.

My grandmother was always someone who hated to waste things. To such an extent that if she opened a can of soda but didn't finish it, she'd put the open can back in the fridge and finish it later, even though it would be flat by that point.

So as I'm cleaning out the refrigerator, I'm crying and taking bites of all the cold leftover food in there. I was thinking that at least some of her food isn't going to waste, and thinking how sad it is that we'll never have one of her home-cooked meals again.


I gather it's a generation thing. Anyone who grew up during the early 20th century has "don't waste food" tattooed on the inside of their skull with a picture of a ration-card next to it.

My grandma is much the same.


My grandpa is the same, despite being halfway across the world. Grew up under japanese occupation in Singapore and would not let the tiniest scrap of meat on a fish's head go into the trash.


Mickey Dees, always there when you need it.

Mom ended up in the hospital just in time for my sisters b-day.

All my sister wanted to do was go see mom and see if she was okay. I said I would take her as I wanted to see mom myself.

Dad ended up screaming that we didn't have the gas to drive to the hospital she was at and that we could do something "Later."

I got pissed, raided my dads coin jar on his bureau, hauled my sister into the car, put $5 into the gas tank, and drove through McDonalds where my sister and I had a hamburger, shared a small fry and a drink and ate in relative silence.

THAT was a depressing meal.


What happened after that, if you don't mind me asking? And is your mom okay?


She's ok. Dad was upset with me for a bit.

Rest is history almost.



A leftover casserole my 2nd wife had made. I ate it when I came home from her funeral.


I have christmas dinner leftovers in my freezer that my mom made. Not sure if I'm going to eat them...but I also don't know if I'll ever be able to recreate her cooking.


Look at it this way, she made it for you. Would she want you to eat it or toss it? You could look at it as a way of honoring her memory.


Exactly, it's either going to be eaten and enjoyed or it's going to linger in the bottom of the freezer almost totally forgotten about for god knows how long, then chucked in the bin like any other piece of rubbish because you either really need the freezer space, the freezer died or you're moving house.

You may as well put it to good use and appreciate the effort and care that went into making it, rather than that person having spent some of their very last days making a weird frozen food shrine to themselves.


Times is tough and we're tired. And yes, I have.

You ever have sleep for dinner?


I have. The worst feeling is waking up not knowing what you're going to eat that day because you have nothing.


Are you doing better now?


Oh yes. Thankfully. Everything got better once I was able to leave home and support myself. Shitty family even took my hard earned money and used it to buy cigarettes instead of food

If you're going through a similar situation just know you'll be okay. It might not be tomorrow, it might hurt and be very hard for a little longer, but you will be fine and not hungry someday. I wish I could hug you and make everything okay.


When your friends had one job, and failed.

I invited some friends to a sushi restaurant for my birthday. I arrived a little early and sat down at the table for 6 I'd reserved, then one by one the texts came in canceling, and not a single person showed up. Even worse, the waitress noticed it was my birthday when she took my ID, so I knew the waitstaff could tell what was going on and felt sorry for me.

To everyone asking, yes, of course I just ditched all those friends and made a completely new set of friends in my mid 20s. And then everyone in the restaurant stood up and clapped. Those friends' names? Albert Einstein, all of them. Either that, or I learned a valuable lesson that if your birthday falls on a weekday and you're an adult, just celebrate it on the nearest weekend instead of asking people to schlep all the way downtown on a Wednesday and being shocked when they bail.


This sh*t right here is why I try and never cancel, even if I legit have a cold or something or I realize I can't stay the whole time.

You never know, you could be the one friend who came through for someone.

I wish I could go back in time and show up to eat all your sushi, friend.


Could be worse...

Some random snacks from 7-11, eaten for Christmas dinner with my father after my mother kicked him out. My father is a piece of sh*t, but I felt like it was still my job to try to hold the family together (and I was kind of afraid that he was planning to kill himself).


This was very close to a situation I was in 5 years ago except I didn't answer my dads calls. He must of thought we all didn't love him or wanna see him anymore cause he did it. It will always eat me up of how different it could have been if I answered and went to see him.



Bread sandwich.


Buy a bag of potatoes with that bread. boiler the potato, mash it, fry, stick inbetween bread. nom nom nom.


And there are people who think carbs are the enemy...


No. Never again.

I once microwaved undercooked noodles with leftover meatballs and poured a bunch of ranch on it because it was the closest thing I could find to a pasta sauce. It 'twas a dark time in history.


How'd it taste?


Like sadness with ranch.


Welcome to Sadness Ranch, the home of the failed rodeo clown.


I've had to eat peanuts for dinner.

When I was scraping by living paycheck to paycheck and I had an unexpected car repair that took away all my spending money, I went to the grocery store and bought a few packages of ramen, a bag of rice and a 12-pack of eggs for like $4-$5 in change and can returns that I scrapped together. Ate a ramen/rice/egg bowl for breakfast and dinner for two weeks.


I'm there right now. In college, switched my major late, ended up going a 5th year so financial aid isn't paying the same. I fry my rice with eggs in the morning and just dump sriracha on it. For dinner I eat ramen with more eggs, or if I'm able to afford chicken breast I eat that.

Went from a bodybuilder to hardly being able to keep muscle o due to lack of calories and protein.



Food pulled from dumpsters. The expired food still sealed was ok. Half eaten burgers from McDs? Not so much.


During a short time, my family was homeless (my mother took us in the middle of the night to some distant city via bus). My siblings and I would pretty much hang out at this McDonald's up the road from the shelter we lived in. We would watch people eat and take what was left over, digging through the trash cans when employees were too busy.

My little sister still had the habit after we moved back in with my dad. She would randomly appear with a McDonald's cup or half a burger before we even ordered. I tend to leave my cups on the top of the trash cans when I leave any fast food place, and I'm always looking to see if someone needs something. If someone had paid us more than a moment of attention they would have realized we needed far more help than we were receiving.


"If someone had paid us more than a moment of attention they would have realized we needed far more help than we were receiving"

right in the feels



When I was in college I was a typical broke teenager and I relied on Subway a lot, mainly for their daily deals which was usually a 6 inch and chips/drink for $4 or something cheap like that. This was also back when they had the rewards points card, so the more purchases you made the more points you got.

Anyway I had enough points on my card for a free foot long and decided to save that until I was really pressed for food.

Most of the time I would get the daily deal and split it over lunch and dinner. Besides that I would have top ramen and whatever soup was on sale.

So anyway, I had a pretty light week of work and my only food for the week had been 2 packets of top ramen and an orange so I was STARVING and I decided to cash in those points for the foot long.

In my mind, I could split it into 4 or 5 meals which would last me another week until I got paid.

Then I got home and started eating while watching tv and before I knew it half the sandwhich was gone and I was eating the 2nd half. In my mind I told myself I needed to save my food since it was all I had but my bodily instincts kept pushing me to eat.

It was a delicious sandwich but those last few bites I had, I did it with tears in my eyes because I knew I wouldn't be eating for a few days.

So yea, sobbing while eating a meatball sub from Subway

EDIT: This was over 10 years ago, I was fresh out of highschool, my first time on my own with no real concept of money or cooking for myself aside from hamburger helper/Rice-a-roni/boxed mac-n-cheese (if you can call those cooking). I did not eat only Subway but as I said it consisted of most of my diet since I could spend $4 and get 2 meals out of it. In my mind it was better than ramen because I could get veggies and meats. I am a lot better off now in terms of making money stretch and using it in the proper ways. I am also very familiar with cooking cheap meals. TLDR: I was young and dumb.


Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

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All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

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And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

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Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!

What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."


"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.


As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

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