Sometimes the pressure of of having a wonderful time on your birthday can put undue stress on a thing that should be, above all, relaxing and enjoyable.
That can make us zero in on the occasional slights and bits of selfishness in our friends and loved ones on our big day.
But nit-picky observations are one thing, and glaring affronts are a whole other.
A recent Reddit thread asked people to share the most sensationally awful birthdays they've ever had.
Redditor hated1327 asked:
"What is your 'worst birthday ever' story?"
Many recalled the birthdays that left them stuck doing an activity that they had absolutely zero interest in.
The Clear Priority
"My fifteenth birthday, was on holiday with my bio-dad and step mum who despised me and my sister. My dad wished me a happy birthday and asked me what I would like to do, before I could answer my step mother insisted she needed a new pair of shoes."
"I spent my fifteenth birthday sitting quietly in the corner of a shoe shop while somebody who hated me and wanted to alienate me from my father tried on endless pairs of shoes, that he would buy for her."
Polite and Quiet
"On my 21st birthday, a family friend who is an old lady invited me and my family to a dinner with her and her family, because by the Lunar calendar her birthday was on the same day as mine."
"Her family and my parents can all speak Cantonese. I cannot. They decided to go to a seafood restaurant. I am allergic to most seafoods."
"I spent my 21st birthday sitting at a table full of people not saying anything and not eating anything, because I couldn't do either."
Like Any Other Day
"I was really excited for my 19th birthday. I was going to have lunch with my gf, hang out with my friends after, and end the evening with pizza at my parents' home (as is family tradition; fu** cake)."
"The gf's mum picks me up (no car at the time because I was living with the gf and paying rent) and we go down to her university and she has to pick up some books so we go to the bookstore and she kills 2 hours in lines and shopping for clothing. Not all the books were bought so we went to an off-campus book store. Another hour or so in line. I text my friends and cancel our plans."
"We then go to The Olive Garden and she spends the whole time talking to her mum about something that the mum's most recent bf did. Started chatting up the server and mentioned it was my birthday to her SHE wished me a happy birthday. Gf looked at me puzzled. She had forgotten it."
"It's now 8pm and we are driving home. I'm in the backseat and I call my parents and tell them that I'll be home soon. There's an accident down the road on The highway... My parents call me and ask where I am. I tell them to eat without me. 3 hours later we are out of the traffic jam and I go to my parents home and cry."
"Broke up with her a few weeks later because she was cheating on me (for months now) and I was still salty about her forgetting my birthday and ruining that day. I hope you have a happy birthday! May it be less shitty than my worst."
Others talked about the times they found themselves forced to feel uncomfortable for someone else who wasn't having a good time.
A Complete About Face
"On my 22nd birthday, my housemates girlfriend insisted we go out. She kept badgering me about it until I named a local place that was semi-expensive, I also said chilis. She kept pushing for the more expensive place insisting it was my special day."
"We got there, she looked at the menus and immediately threw a fit, complaining she couldn't afford anything. When her boyfriend attempted to buy her meal, she declined him multiple times, and refused to share his as a compromise."
"For the rest of the night we ate in silence interrupted by her complaining about hunger pangs and how anyone could afford the place she had insisted we all go to."
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Leading With a Guilt Trip
"My wife hates going to the movies so for my birthday one year she relented and took me to one I had been dying to see. This was all her idea and when she told me what we were doing I was super excited. As we are pulling up to the theater she starts guilting me with 'do you REALLY want to go see this?' and guess what, we didn't."
"Two years ago she was going to cook my favorite meal for me but put it off until the last minute and so then made some BS excuse about how she had plans to take me and the kids out for dinner. We get all loaded up in the car and she says, 'where do you want to go?' she had no plans."
"I was pissed but I picked a place but the wait was too long for her so we fought and I ended up eating a bowl of Chex for my birthday dinner. She will make elaborate plans for anyone and everyone else's birthday but when it comes to mine she uses it as an excuse to give me a big Fu** You!"
Red Flags Everywhere
"21st birthday. The week leading up to it my (now ex - thank fu**) boyfriend had been ignoring me, typical sh**. So the day comes, we take a boat ride (not my idea but hey, who cares it's only my birthday). Naturally after we end up at the bars, working our way back home and surely enough I'm drunk off my a** by the time we get there."
"So seeing this, he decides that now would be a good time to pick a huge argument with me in the middle of the bar, followed by a dramatic exit so he could smoke a cigarette, or so I assumed. It wasn't until I realized it had been like 20 or so minutes that I walked outside to realize he had left me there."
"Yeah. That one definitely takes the cake for me."
Others shared the sensationally bad birthdays. These were almost cartoonishly awful.
"10th birthday. my mom got a pinata. my best friend was trying to hit the pinata. on his back swing, he clocked me right in the forehead, but on his forward swing, he broke open the pinata. all of my friends saw the candy and immediately rushed to it while I was laying on the ground bleeding with a huge gash right above my eyebrow."
"I had to go to the hospital and get 5 stitches."
Into the Abyss
"When i was 5 I had a large birthday party at my house with everyone from my neighborhood and kindergarten class. We had a clown and a bounce house and everything. After the clown performed we all got in the pool and the next thing I know my dad is yelling at this kid 'dont let go of the damn cat.' "
"The kid let go of my brand new kitten and it went straight up in the air because he tied all of the balloons to its collar. So, we all watched my kitten get hung and disappear almost 29 years ago. =("
"Everything was going well, until I sat down with an opened Birthday Badge in my trouser pocket."
"The pinner pierced my testicle and I had to go to A & E."
Here's hoping that these people never endure a birthday that tops these bad examples.
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There's a lot of pressure each time our birthday rolls around. We want it to be special. Everyone enjoys knowing their friends and family care about them on their special day.
Of course, not ever year is going to be as good as the last. Everyone has had a boring party or a little mishap during their celebration. Maybe someone forgot your birthday but it didn't totally ruin the day.
But some people have had some absolutely awful experiences.
Users on Ask Reddit told us tales of everyone forgetting their birthday, being stuck in an airport, nose bleeds, arrests, and even some serious violence.
Redditor inanimateobjectfez01 wanted to know:
Reddit, what was your worst birthday?
Just when you think it couldn't get worse, it does. These stories will have you thanking your lucky stars that it didn't happen to you.
Forgotten and ignored.
"It was my 14th birthday and nobody in my family was around, my siblings were all out and my parents were on vacation, neither my family nor my friends called or texted me a happy birthday, I called up 2 girls (lets call them A & B) I was friends with (who also forgot it was my birthday)."
"I asked them to a movie, so I walked about 3 miles and met up with them at a movie theater, I paid for all our tickets and I paid for all their food, so we got into the theater and Girl A's boyfriend was there with his friend who Girl B found attractive. They all started a conversation to which I was left out of, during the movie they only paid attention to the 2 guys, about halfway through the movie I walked off, unnoticed (of course) and I began walking home, now broke and forgotten I got to experience a 3 mile walk home at 9pm in the pouring rain."
A birthday ends in disaster with her boyfriends arrest.
"My mom sent me a plane ticket to spend my 25th birthday visiting her in Hawaii. My live-in boyfriend Patrick, who was much beloved by myself and my family, unfortunately couldn't get the time off of work, so he stayed behind in South Carolina."
"Essentially I didn't hear from him for a couple of days, but was having too much fun to worry. On the night of my birthday, at a fancy restaurant, I got a call from our neighbor who was freaking the f*ck out."
"Our neighbor had witnessed my darling, hard working, loving, upstanding boyfriend running around the property barefoot and shirtless, crying and carrying what was obviously a crack pipe into the woods behind the houses. Patrick had then been seen hauling random electronics and art out of our house and into my car, which he drove off in, still barefoot and shirtless, leaving the front door wide open. When the neighbor couldn't get ahold of me, he went to go close our door. Inside, the house was destroyed. He said it looked like a hurricane had hit. Thousands of dollars of irreplaceable antiques were shattered or torn to pieces, and everything of value was gone."
"At this point I was sitting on the ground outside a very nice restaurant, in a fancy dress, having a full-on panic attack. I asked the neighbor if he might be mistaken. He sent me a photo of the living room and a picture of the empty driveway. I called Patrick immediately and only asked him if he was driving my car, which I had asked him not to do because his license was expired. He said no. I told him I knew he was lying because the neighbor had sent me pictures of the driveway. He then told me he had borrowed it to go to the store. I told him what the neighbor had told me and about the picture of the living room. He tried to deny it all and finally, hysterical, I hung up and said that if he didn't call me sober in the morning, I'd call the police. His last words to me were 'I love you, I don't know why Remmy (the neighbor) is lying to you, I'm going to f*cking kill him.'"
"Around four AM my phone rang. It was the cops. Patrick had stabbed our neighbor multiple times and tried to get away in my car. He was caught, charged with attempted murder and possession of crack cocaine, and I pressed charges for the theft of my car. Over the next few days it unfolded that he'd maxed out the cash withdrawals on my credit cards, emptied my bank account, and I was evicted from my house due to him trying to murder a neighbor. My car was impounded as evidence. Everything I owned that I hadn't packed for a week in Hawaii was either destroyed or locked in a house I wasn't allowed in by the leasing company (he obviously didn't use the rent money I left behind to pay the rent) and the police. Because the accounts were in both of our names, I had no recourse. I was now not just broke, but thousands of dollars in debt, homeless, and carless. I lost everything. Family heirlooms, collections I'd spent years accumulating, gifts from people who had passed away, everything."
"I decided to just stay in Hawaii and try to get my life back in order, since I was literally going home to nothing. I did exactly that and life is fine now, six years later. Patrick died two years ago of a drug overdose shortly after getting out of prison."
"The neighbor was okay, and mysteriously dropped the charges several months later. He never spoke to me again."
"Was there any signs that could have said he might do something like this? Or was it just completely out of the blue?"
"Completely out of the blue. The only thing I could think of, looking back, was that his ex-wife hated him pretty viciously. But everyone's ex hates them, ya know?"
Sick in Afghanistan during war.
"May 2011, Now Zad, Afghanistan. It was my 22nd birthday and probably one of the worst days of my life. I was extremely sick, liquids just spewing out of both ends of me. But as my Sergeant would say, 'This is war, so unless you're shot and about to die, your a** is going on patrol.' So here I am, my 22nd birthday, in the middle of bumf*ck Aftrashistan, sick as a dog, throwing up on patrol, taking liquid sh*t breaks and ripping my socks off to use as tp, it's like 130 f*cking degrees out."
"I should be stateside getting irresponsibly drunk and partying like a normal 22 year old. So, I'm praying to God we don't get shot at, I mean combat isn't exactly fun but this day especially I didn't feel like dealing with the Talibans bullsh*t. So yeah anyway we started taking mortar fire, and small arms fire. I'm already having a bad time trying to control my bowels, so yeah I sh*t myself...a lot ... because mortars. I did however find out that when adrenaline is pumping through your body you forget that you're sick, so there's that."
"Worst birthday ever."
"On the bright side, you didn't take a hit on your birthday with sh*t in your pants and vomit on your shirt."
Family really ruined this kids birthdays.
"I spent my 13th birthday at my parents' friend's families house because he had come from Mexico to visit us and he wanted to visit his family. They didn't have a tv or anything to do and I literally sat by myself in a room for a few hours trying to sleep, and then ate and then sat in the room by myself again for another few hours."
"14th birthday, my dad said he would buy me a PSP if I went to work with him on his birthday (he was a contractor). I did and he didn't buy me the PSP for a few months. All he told me after we got home from work was that he wasn't really going to buy me a PSP."
"When I was 7, my brother tried slamming my face into my cake but missed the cake and literally just slammed my face against the table, I started crying and got blood all over my cake. This happened again when I was 9."
"Recently I've been spending my birthdays with my friends and they've been much better."
Grudge against the weather man.
"My seventh birthday. I was going to have this big, awesome party at my house, it had a 3 acre yard so it was an awesome place for hide and seek, tag, etc. Anyways, the night before we watched the news and the weather man said that without a doubt it was going to rain. We called everyone and canceled the party and I ended up just sitting around my house alone for the day."
"It didn't rain even a little that day. I have held a grudge against that weather man for a long time and I believe it's what made me kind of avoid social gatherings all together."
A bad trip from start to finish.
"When growing up, I was in a professional children's choir that toured internationally. The week before my 13th birthday, we were in Hawaii for a festival of some kind with kids from around the world, which was awesome. I was super pumped for my birthday, it was on the day we were leaving but I didn't mind because I was going back to see my family!"
"The night before we left, we went to this dinner and I got a special birthday dessert. I kept dropping hints to my best friend that I wanted the live band there to sing me a birthday song, so she begrudgingly went up there and asked them. The lead singer looked at her, pointed at me, LAUGHED and shook his head. She then came back to the table and somehow tripped, hitting her hand on my bowl of ice cream, splashing that sh*t all over me."
"I started crying, so we were going to leave and just go back to the hotel. There was a limo outside and we excitedly tried to see if we had enough money to get it to take us back. We were two dollars short, and he left."
"We get back to the hotel and I find that my chaperone had taken the rest of my clothes to be put on the bus with my luggage so I had nothing to change into for the 15 hour flight home, no money left to buy anything and I was nowhere near the size of anyone to borrow clothes from. Whatever, soon enough I'll be home and it will be time to celebrate. SIKE! The plane has an electrical malfunction, so we wait. The plane is missing a screw from it's wing, so we wait for another one."
"We end up taking another flight to Las Vegas, where we watched slot machines in the airport for two hours before taking another flight backwards into California (?), have to sleep in the airport, we get airplane food for dinner and breakfast and they give us these little McDonalds breakfast vouchers for the "inconvenience". We have to wake up at 5 AM on the airport floor where we were sleeping to go to the opposite side where McDonalds was only for them to tell us they don't accept these vouchers."
"We finally get on the flight home, I'm just covered in sticky days-old chocolate ice cream, cold, sad. We get home, no one had properly updated our parents about the time delay (all they said was our flights were delayed many times) so no one was there to pick anyone up from the airport. My chaperone drove me home, where everyone was asleep and my "Happy Birthday" banner had been taken down because the day was technically over."
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Forced to be the cook.
"My 27th birthday (this year) was the worst birthday that I have experienced so far."
"I planned to simply celebrate my birthday at home with a few (about 5) friends with us grilling meats and cooking pizza in our brick oven, drinking beer, while listening to mellow tunes on a lazy afternoon. I had it planned with my friends for months and finalized who's bringing which, and who's doing what during our gathering."
"Since I still lived with my parents (I live in the Philippines and it's totally normal in our culture to live with your parents until you find someone to marry), I sought their approval to hold the party in our house weeks before the planned party."
"And here's how the storm starts brewing: a few days before my party, my dad tells me that he's invited a few friends over for the party as well. So I thought, "why not? he owns the house anyway and a few more well-wishers wouldn't hurt." Big mistake."
"On the day of the party itself, my father informed me that he invited more people and there would be about 10-15 more guests arriving and they would greatly appreciate it if we could also cook the food they brought since we were already 'booked' the grill and oven. Since I was the one who was voted to be the pit master by my friends, I had no choice but to accept."
"I ended up grilling for about 9 hours, almost non-stop, without anyone offering to take my place for even a short while. I didn't even have a chance to drink a cold beer because as my father said it 'you can't drink and drive because you'll be the one buying more drinks and food if ever we run out,' nor bond with my friends who I haven't seen for quite some time because of our own professional lives. The only breaks that I was able to 'enjoy' was when I went to the restroom, when I rode my car to buy more beers for my father's guests, and my short meal breaks. My friends and I also endured the loud noises that those obnoxious drunks made as they sang their songs with a guitar. So there you have it, my worst birthday celebration, so far."
Failed birthday party.
"Not mine but a birthday I went to. I received a text invitation to a birthday party from a girl I went to high school with with only a couple of days notice. I knew her and spoke to her a few times but we weren't great or even decent friends, we just knew each other. So I grab 2 other friends and we drive out to her house. Bare in mind her house wasn't crazy far away but still a 25 minute drive "Out to the sticks" in an area with tons of land and neighbors that are a little further away, so I guess driving out there put a few people off."
"I arrive a little later than the start time with my friends who didn't even know the girl and the party was desolate. There were 3 or 4 of her friends there already just sitting around. What made me feel sorry for her was that she obviously invited a lot of people because there were lots of chairs set up and tons of food. I say hi and thank her for the invite but she looks pretty distraught. My friends and I are talking to the girls outside while the birthday girl is nowhere to be seen. They resort to asking us to invite people or see if they're coming. We stayed for probably an hour and no one else turned up. Finally her mum comes out and tells us she decided to just stop the party and that we should go home. I haven't seen her since that party but I felt really bad for her."
"That's awful :( so sorry to hear that, even if it wasn't you. I'm glad you ended up going. My mom has a similar story from when she was in school, being the only one to show up to a girls party, who had clearly invited a large number. The girl ended up crying the entire time. if you genuinely can't make it, fine, but damn show up to a party and help make someone's day, of all days."
"I kind of had a crush on her which is partly why I went but I just liked going to parties and I knew I had no chance anyway. She was a nice girl but I guess she had a reputation of sorts. I think her friends were the MVP's of the night because they really comforted her."
"I was very young and I had been looking forward to going to Alton Towers (British theme park) for weeks. All my friends pulled out at the last minute so it was just me and my direct family."
"Everything seemed to be going ok, but I soon found out that my dad hates rollercoasters because they give him headaches or something. He's normally a friendly guy, but something I said must have set him off. My dad just starts screaming at me that nobody else but me even wants to be at the Theme Park and I shouldn't be forcing people to be unhappy for my own sake. He screamed at me until I started crying."
"So there's me, on my birthday without any of my friends, crying at the happiest place in the world."
Forced into a cult.
Hold onto your hats, this story is wild.
"I got woken up. Normal day at school, but I wasn't going. I remember telling people I was going to be "sick" for a while and had something wrong with my tailbone/spine. My brother went to school, he was told I had a doctor's appointment. At breakfast he was given a brand new cell phone (back when they were super super expensive and huge) and I went to my room and cried because it was my birthday and that was what I had wanted, because all of the cool girls had these black Motorola phones with displays on them and everything. I thought they were so cool and knew I was getting one because my church friend's dad worked at our country's biggest phone company and he always got us with stuff if we asked."
"After getting yelled at for crying, I had to get driven to my aunt-in-law's big house in the suburbs. I was given three bracelets with fake jewels in them before I went upstairs. They spent hours doing my hair and painting me and getting me into this outfit and making sure I looked perfect."
"Then we went downstairs to where my grandmother used to live. She was dead then so it was empty. They sat me down and started in on me. I can't really remember much beyond being interrogated for hours, made to say things I didn't mean, made to say I wanted my parents to leave each other. I remember that last one because they made a huge deal out of my mother being with my dad because he "took her down the wrong path" away from them. They wanted full rights to me and my brother and sister, etc to no avail. So they wanted me to sign stuff."
"My extended family put me into a cult they were in when I was five. On that day I was the proper age according to them and was chosen to be the one to have this child of a boy in there my age."
"We went to his house. His mother was actually really nice to me and reminded me of my own, but in a better way. I was wrong about that but that's not the point. I had to sign paper work saying he 'owned' me on his table and I remember being upset because the table wasn't good enough for me to write on and it kept wobbling."
"I was sat down in his room in a chair, and talked to by his parents and brother about how they wanted to welcome me into the family. His dad kept pacing and pacing and I remember something about motorcycles (big deal in my country) and how he was wondering if I wanted to be a part of the family by saying if he should buy a motorcycle or a new truck for his work. I told him a motorcycle and he said I could ride on it sometime. It was late summer and you could hear bugs in the bushes out of the window."
"They then left me to wait and it robbed me of my education. A normal life with happy memories."
"I never had the child. I am married happily now to another survivor of this and he is the first man I trusted since this happened. But on my birthdate he always makes sure that I get a little time alone to remember this."
"The night before my birthday my mom didn't come home, and if you look up my comment history you'll see that this wasn't unusual for my mom. I woke up on my birthday and went downstairs and my mom wasn't up but her car was in the driveway. I walk into my mom room and she's in bed with a cowboy hat next to her with another woman in the bed. I believe they had clothes on but they have covers on so I don't fully remember. I say mom and she doesn't respond. My older brother and I wait until they both wake up and we see its the woman that's being an awful influence on my mom. Mom and her are still drunk from last night and doesn't wish me a happy birthday until I remind her. She then drives her friend home and comes back several hours later, and she comes back with some gifts and a cake. She clearly forgot my birthday/gifts and couldn't even come home on time for my birthday."
These are terrible birthday's ruined by family and friends alike. Hopefully, their birthdays will only get better from here!
If you're suffering from a terrible birthday, here's a Wiki How to get over your bad birthday.
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