Ever have a moment where everything goes exactly as planned? It's so iconic, the moment should forever be remembered by all who were lucky enough to witness it. Unfortunately, while these situations have an amazing start, they can have a less-than-stellar ending!
People on Reddit share how their moment of triumph was ruined by one mistake. Content has been edited for clarity.
She Started Off So Strong
“A few years back, I dated a guy who was, to put it simply, a total nightmare. He was very mean with his humor, had a lot of anger issues, and was very critical of everything I did/said. Overall, it was just a very unhappy time in my life. I stayed with him hoping things would change (I’m sure most of us have made that mistake before) and after realizing that would never happen, I decided to finally break up with him. I went over to his apartment and since his roommates were home we went outside to the parking lot to talk.
I explained why I was breaking up with him, and the more I talked, the angrier and more passionate I got. I’d imagined saying these things to him for forever, so the words came out eloquent and natural and powerful. I could see he was feeling guiltier and guiltier, which is exactly what I wanted. Finally, I finished my speech, gave him a moment to say something, then began to walk away when I realized he wasn’t going to. I was trying my best to look freaking good as I walked back to my car, but a dip in the ground caused me to trip and I ultimately face planted into the concrete. I ended up spending the next hour crying in his apartment bathroom cleaning up my scrapes and cuts.”
Got Caught Up In All The Excitement
“As a teenager having completed my first solo flight in a glider (I was an air cadet – first solo is a HUGE achievement), I jumped out of my now safely landed glider, raised both my fists in the air, and screamed out in joy.
Sadly, in Air Cadets flying operations raising both your hands is a signal that you saw something dangerous. As soon as I did it, everyone started screaming, ‘STOP FLIGHTS, STOP FLIGHTS.’
The tow plane on the ground shut its engine down, all gliders were pushed back to their parking spots, and I got yelled at for a while.”
They Were Silent For Three Hours
“It was my freshman year of college, and my then-girlfriend and I were at the end of our relationship. Although, neither of us had admitted that we actually broke up, which resulted in many nights of hooking up only to regret it the next day. It was really emotionally damaging for both of us.
After getting some attention from a cute girl in my English class, I decided that we should finally end this relationship, or else we’d be stuck in a loop of love and hatred forever. So after class, I go to her dorm to talk to her. Her roommate is there with her, so instead of asking her roommate to leave, we go to talk in the hall.
Now at this point, I think I should mention her dorm was on the second floor of the hall. So we talk for close to an hour, and finally, I tell her that it’s best if we just finally broke it off. We’re both in tears, seeing as we were together throughout most of high school, and here we are ending our first real relationship. In that blurry haze, I turn around to make my descent down the stairs, only to misjudge the height of the first step. So I go tumbling down the stairs, breaking my arm in the process.
This resulted in the girl I just broke up with having to drive me halfway across town and waiting with me for three hours in the ER.
Not a word was said between us the entire time.”
Why It’s Important To Check Your Surroundings
“My ex-girlfriend had moved back into our small town after breaking up with her boyfriend (my ex-roommate). I never avoided her but was lucky enough to not lay eyes on her for over a year when I heard she was moving again. That day, as she was walking to her car for the last time to pull out of town, we locked eyes as I came out of a coffee shop.
Holding her gaze, I took one step towards her, inexplicably failing to notice the signboard on the sidewalk that mentioned a drop-off. My coffee goes flying. I go flying.
From my newly acquired position of moral authority (half on the sidewalk, half in the gutter), I firmly, calmly said, ‘Hello. Heard you were in town.’
She replied, ‘You’re laying in dog poop,’ and rides off into the sunset.”
Did He Forget It Was There?
“So after a lot of beating around the bush, I finally convinced a cute girl to go on a date with me. It was, however, the dead of winter. So when she arrived at my apartment, we mutually agreed to hang out on my couch, watch a little TV and enjoy a couple of drinks to insulate ourselves from the onslaught of cold we’d have to endure to go anywhere that wasn’t my apartment.
After a couple of drinks and a couple of episodes of Scrubs, we decide we’re ready to brave the cold, and we make it exactly one step out of my building before we decide it is too cold for the walk to the restaurant where we planned to eat. So, she asks if maybe we could just get a burrito at the shop I managed which was a nice convenient one block away, and then maybe we could stay in and play video games.
Score. I love this plan. I love this plan so much I want to dump the girl making it so I can marry this plan. We pop our heads into my workplace, get enormous burritos and drinks for a hugely discounted price, and then trudge back to my apartment. As we’re on the walkway up to my building, I shift my burrito into my right-hand so that I can rummage through my pocket for my keys with my left (I’m left-handed). As I look up, I see that my date is about to try to walk over a huge patch of black ice on my sidewalk that can’t be seen in the dark of night.
On cue, she slips and flings her burrito skyward. Since I was a step ahead of the disaster, I caught her with my right arm (without dropping my burrito or my drink), and gracefully snatch her dinner midflight with my left hand, and then prop her upright. Bingo! Disaster averted! She’s thoroughly impressed with my catlike reflexes and my gentlemanly dedication to the well-being of her person and her dinner. She gushes for a second about how cool that was/ I told her I knew the ice patch was coming, and to look out for the second one a few steps ahead (I knew they were both there having had to avoid them in the daylight) and she gingerly bounces over it, turns to give me more praise and then…
I immediately slip and fall on the second ice patch I explicitly warned her about, hurling my drink, and both burritos into the air. She doesn’t catch any of them. I hit the back of my head hard enough to bleed, and instead of spending the night eating junk food and playing games with a cute girl, I spend the night on the couch trying not to vomit from disorientation into her lap.
Yeah, so maybe that didn’t turn out so great.”
She Was Salty About What Happened
“I used to work at a very popular beach as an ocean lifeguard. I got introduced to this job because I was a competitive swimmer in high school, and my coach wanted me to keep swimming for the summer offseason. I was small and skinny compared to all the other guards there, however, I was an extremely fast swimmer and runner, and could outperform many of the guards on the beach when it came to endurance and speed.
During the first week of the job, the guards learned my name and wanted to see how fast I actually was. So one morning for workouts, some guards told me to go swim to the buoy a few hundred meters out.
In my head, I was thinking, No sweat, I’ll just sprint to the buoy and show them all that my speed makes up for my size.
So to show off my competition swimming prowess, I ran from the beach and dove into the cold ocean water. Except, the beach shore isn’t like a swimming pool, and it’s shallower than it looks, and I ended up face planting into the salty, wet sand, in front of all the guards. It was a painful swim too…I had sand cuts all across my face, and the salt didn’t help much.”
She Did Her Best To Laugh
“We had this one friend, ‘Mary-Ann,’ that would just be a general brat to everyone for no reason. You know the type – insecure, domineering, sports champ, no tact or inhibitions whatsoever. She would pick a different girl to pick on every week, and this week it was my friend, ‘Haz.’ Mary-Ann was going on about how Haz would probably never get a boyfriend until she lost weight and grew her hair and got ‘less ugly,’; you know, really constructive, friendly advice.
Haz lost it, which was brilliant. We all wanted to see Mary-Ann get her comeuppance. Haz stood up and just let rip about how she was a spoiled little brat and she couldn’t just say whatever she wanted and none of us like her anyway, so just get bent, Mary Ann!!
Haz, red in the face, swiped her bag off the table and went to march out, promptly tripping on a chair and falling flat on her face. There was a horrible slapping sound as skin hit the hardwood. She was literally sprawled out in front of about 70 kids, who naturally erupted into laughter, Mary-Ann included. To her credit, she managed a weak chuckle, she knew she had to laugh at herself. I got up, grabbed her and pulled her out by her arm, and then spent the next hour consoling her in the girls’ room.”
That’s Not How He Wanted To Be Remembered
“I once caught fire late in the fourth quarter against our longtime youth basketball rivals, closing the game out with a twisting layup that killed any hopes of a comeback they may have had. As their coach called a timeout to regroup, I danced a mocking jig on my way back to our bench, mimicking a taunt their point guard had aimed at us earlier in the game. Jigging merrily backward towards our cheering section, a teammate ran out to high-five me but accidentally clipped my heel while I was midair, mid-skip, and thoroughly off-balance. I performed a sort of wonky front-flip and landed in an oddly suggestive sprawl as my teammate, carried forward by momentum, tripped over me in turn and joined me on the parquet.
Worse still, the game story ran in the local newspaper with an unfortunate headline image which showed me throwing a successful head-fake, the result of which was a defender mounting my crouched, grimacing self, balls pressed firmly to the back of my head. The story may have mentioned that I was the league’s leading scorer that season, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the chatter at school the next day centered on my front-page tea bagging.”
I Need To Channel That Level Of Confidence
“I was on my way to a major job interview at a big media company, and I was super nervous. As I got out of the car, I tried to psych myself up so I would exude confidence. I walked toward the building and reminded myself to stand up straight, walk tall, smile, and look smart. I was almost late, so I walked a bit faster.
In the process of being straight and tall and fast, the heel of one shoe got caught in a sidewalk crack and I went down, hitting the pavement hard. I scraped the heck out of my hands and my wrist hurt a lot, but my suit wasn’t torn so I continued on. I ducked into the restroom before the interview to pick the gravel out of my palms. I had to shake hands with six different people and it stung like crazy each time, but I just tried to smile and stay confident.
I had to go to the doctor the next day and get x-rays and a brace for my slightly fractured wrist. I did get the job though.”
Excitement Quickly Turned Into Humiliation
“When I was 15, I got a summer job working on a dairy farm. Perhaps I was just a bit of a softy, but it was really some of the most grueling, miserable work I’ve ever had the pleasure of performing. I wasn’t working with the cows, but rather mostly yard work and rehabbing an in-ground swimming pool that had just been left to fester for a decade or so.
Many of you know that summers in upstate New York generally consist of pleasant 85-degree (30 c) days made just miserable by 95% humidity. Others will know of the unique aroma that ebbs and flows like a chemical weapon around a 5000-cow dairy operation. Many more will know of the particular odor that wafts like a lukewarm cup of tea from a thousand gallons of algae-water steeping a couple of dozen raccoon carcasses.
The cherry on top was that farm labor is one of the very few exemptions from minimum-wage laws, but because it was perfectly legal for them to pay me slave-wages, it was all done on the books! All this means is that I was making $4.50 an hour before making generous contributions to Social Security and Medicare.
So naturally, my employer forgot to pay me for about a month. By that point, I knew that once I got paid, I was going to have enough money to finally purchase the object of my utmost desires: a vintage 1987 Ibanez RG560 with the Floyd Rose Tremolo and a Seymour Duncan JB Humbucker at the bridge.
So payday finally arrives, and my boss acts like he’s being generous, like this is a gift, like it’s still his money and he’s just letting me examine it for a bit. He’s also decided that I need to start saving for college. I was trying to decide if I should call my dad immediately after I get home to ask if he’ll take me to Guitar Center tonight after he gets home from work, or if I should wait stoically for him to get home and then ask.
So after my boss gets done telling me exactly what to do with all of his money, I used every bit of self-control I have not to sprint to my bike that was still leaning against the lilac tree next to the tractor barn. I managed to just walk quickly to my bike, but once I had my feet on the pedals my self-control was absolutely depleted. I knew that the sooner I got home, the sooner I could call my dad, the sooner I could run my calloused fingers up and down that glorious rosewood fretboard.
So I’m hurtling down the gravel driveway of the farm, nearly crying from the excitement and happiness, knowing that I’m so close to finally embracing the object that has haunted my dreams and lingered through my every thought for months. I lean slightly to turn left out of the driveway onto the smooth autobahn of my country road to make the 2-mile journey to my house when both wheels roll and slip on the quarter-sized gravel. All of my exuberance is interrupted by a quick drop in my stomach, followed by a sudden impact and a 5-foot skid across the gravel. My hand was bleeding, and my elbow was bleeding, and the hot burn emanating from my left thigh gave me a strong indication that I would likely need emergency skin grafts. The only people who saw my embarrassing wipe-out was a group of people who also worked on the farm. I thought they would be laughing, but they weren’t. The one who could speak some English asked me if I was okay, and I smiled and waved my bloody hand to tell him that I was absolutely unscathed, picked up my bike, and rode home hobbled by the horrific chafing of dusty jeans on a sweaty leg-abrasion.”
This Probably Went Better In His Head
“We had a waste of skin co-worker; he was the type that comes in late, takes long lunches, does the minimum, and just isn’t pleasant to be around. After being written up for being tardy three times in 30 days, he was fired. I was out with the boss in the parking lot on lunch while HR went through the termination process with him.
When he walked out he saw us standing there, he jumped into his convertible pulled up to where we stood. He flipped off the boss screaming, some choice words, then floored it toward the exit of the lot. Unfortunately for him, the exit was only about 10 feet away and was currently blocked by traffic waiting on a red light.
So we stood there and laughed at him for a good 30 seconds while he waited for the light to change and traffic to get out of the way. He didn’t say anything, and I can only imagine how mad and embarrassed he was.”
A Very Awkward Walk
“In high school, I washed dishes after school at a local steak house. That alone sucked, but this instance also happened to be an incredibly cold night in January. I went to work right after swim practice, during the dinner rush, hung up my coat, and clocked in.
After I got all settled in, I discovered that the day guy had called in sick, no one was available to cover his shift, and the dishes were just piled everywhere. There was absolutely nothing clean left. I had just put on my apron when I began to get earful after earful of angry servers yelling for clean plates. I mean just horrible, belittling abuse. It was ridiculous. After about ten minutes of this, I bailed.
Stormed through the army of anger to the manager’s office and said, ‘I quit,’ and then stormed out to my car.
Only to realize that I had left my coat back in the kitchen.”
He Didn’t Make Narnia Proud
“I was at a renaissance fair in Connecticut, on a fair autumn day with a bit of wind. I showed up in some skinny jeans and a collar, ready to rock with my knightly brethren.
I go through my day and lo and behold, I happen upon an archery contest. It was a fice dollars admission, and the top three places get free swords. Awesome as heck. I enter, and by some weird twist of fate, I make it through to the finals.
The man running the contest was calling me ‘Jonas,’ because I apparently looked like a Jonas Brother. Here I was beating out all of these neckbeards with armor, robes, colored contacts, the whole nine yards. I could feel the icy stares of resentment on my back as I stood at the quiver.
It was finally my turn to shoot, and my first four shots were beautiful. A halfway decent shot and I could place third, a good shot I would claim second. Caught up in the moment, however, I knock my last arrow and let out a most heroic battle cry:
Not even thinking, I draw back my arrow and let it fly, not paying attention to the wind at all. Of course, my arrow veers right and goes way off target, not even hitting the hay at all. Needless to say, I turned around to my brother with his face in his hands, and a group of 30-year-old men laughing at a teenager who lost his shot at nerd fame. I was embarrassed beyond belief and stood there with a look of shock on my face. Definitely tainted my austerity with that one.”
Another Reason Why Paying Attention Is So Important
“In my second to last year of high school, after being athletically embarrassing my entire life, I discovered that I could run. Like, really run. Faster than anyone in my class. It was a dream come true.
At a school track meet, I came first in every race. So I qualified to run in our regional tournament. Again, I was over the moon.
So fast-forward to the regional tournament 200-meter sprint. I’m at my starting line pumping more adrenaline than should be humanly possible. My classmates are cheering my name from the stand. I can barely breathe.
BANG. I’m off. I can feel that I’m doing well. I had that sensation you get when you literally cannot throw your legs any faster. I round the bend and watch my competitors fade from my peripheral vision.
I’m on the straight now. My heart is pounding. There isn’t a competitor to my left or right. I’m coming first! I was the fastest in the region!
I decided not to take any chances and dropped my head, staying focused on remaining in my lane and waiting for my finishing line. That line would bring me so much popularity and fulfillment.
There it was. I threw myself across the finish line and walked onwards in exhaustion, but pride at my success. Then an event organizer walks up to me and hands me my banner.
Third?! I came THIRD?! I look behind me.
I had stopped at the wrong line. The wrong freaking line. And then walked across the finish line. Which would explain the gasps of shock from my classmates.
Next year, I was back to my slowpoke ways and I never had a chance to redeem myself.”
Putting A Little Spice On The Ending
“Being a nerdy and shy kid in high school, I was never in the ‘popular’ crowd or classified as one of the pretty girls. One night, my school was having a charity fashion show, hosted by a locally based amateur modeling agency (which, I believe has now shut down).
I was approached and asked to be a catwalk model. I eagerly said yes. The night of the show came, and I worked that catwalk like a pro, until the final outfit. All 12 of us wore the same top and jeans, and walked around, in a line. I was right at the back.
I tripped and fell onto the girl in front of me, who fell onto the girl in front of her, and so on, like dominoes. When I stood up, I got a round of applause, and all the other girls just sat and laughed at me. I was so embarrassed (I did take a bow though).”