People Share The Worst Adult Temper Tantrums They’ve Ever Witnessed
Temper tantrums should be reserved for toddlers. They’re too young to express what they need and they don’t have much experience with being told “No.” Adults, on the other hand, are skilled in both areas and should probably never have to resort to throwing a tantrum. But there’s always that one person. From people who have public meltdowns over trivial things to those who throw things because they don’t get their own way, these people share the worst adult temper tantrums they’ve ever witnessed.
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#1 Shopping Cart Freak Out
I work in retail and I saw one woman literally flip her full cart over and walk out after her coupons wouldn’t go through. It was actually extremely impressive now that I think about it, it must’ve had $150 of groceries at least.
#2 Meanie Baby
When I was 16, I worked at McDonalds. This was in the days of Beanie Babies. A woman came in with her two small children. She ordered some happy meals and wanted a specific Beanie Baby. When she found out that we didn’t have it, she flipped out. She called us every name in the book, right in front of her little kids and everyone else’s kids. She was a real Meanie Baby.
#3 No Decaf
Back when I worked at 7-Eleven a woman came in for coffee, and I was out of decaf. So I offered to make her a fresh pot and she said that it wasn’t good enough and she was already late, threw the cup on the ground and stomped out.
#4 No Hot Dogs on 4th of July
My dad once flipped and spiked his shopping basket into the ground, scattering unpaid-for food items everywhere, because the grocery store was sold out of hotdogs at 3 p.m. on the 4th of July. My sisters and I were super embarrassed, cleaned up and finished shopping while he waited in the car.
Amy from Amy’s Baking Co.
#6 Anger Over 24 Cents
One time I was in Target trying to return something, so I was in the customer service line. There was a lady a couple of people in front of me at the counter arguing with an employee about some coupon she was trying to use. Evidently this had been going on for a while before I arrived, as I could see the people in front of me were visibly irritated and antsy.
The whole time this was going on, the woman’s husband had their two kids standing right next to the main door of the store waiting. Mind you this was about 9 p.m. at night, and both kids were in their pyjamas. One of the kids was literally screaming the entire time. Periodically the woman would turn aside from her conversation with the employee and outright yell at the kid to shut up.
This lady wasn’t backing down about the coupon business, and neither was the employee. It got to the point where both of the people in front of me gave up and just left. This whole time I just assumed this coupon was for some significant savings, but what I heard next, I’ll never forget. The customer screams, “I’m not paying 24 cents extra!”
24 cents. That was what the coupon was for. This lady had been standing here for literally 45 minutes willingly embarrassing herself and keeping her exhausted kids from sleeping over 24 cents. I seriously don’t understand some people. Shout out to that employee though. I would need a long shower and a few drinks after that interaction.
#7 Window Problems
Someone opened a window on the bus and some guy went nuts, stood up and slammed it shut and starting giving everybody a lecture about how this guy should consider everyone else. We, of course, all told him to STFU and opened the window again.
I think it has to be when the ancient supermarket across the way was closing because a new store had been built a mile away. They had this huge “everything must go sale.” I was scavenging for closeouts, as was everyone else. At the checkout, a 60-something woman was angry that “YOU PEOPLE” didn’t have what she wanted. Then she proceeded to tell the cashier (in her 40s) she was “happy she was losing her job and she hoped she would become homeless.”
At some point, she also called the cashier a “nincompoop.” The manager asked her to leave and she went on an incomprehensible tirade. I just hope that the old lady never walked into the new store because the entire staff of the old store worked there too… and I strongly suspect they will remember her.
#9 Work Issues
The woman in the cubical across from me literally every day.
#10 Organic Bread
I worked in a grocery store and a woman asked me to slice her organic bread. She flipped out when she discovered that non-organic bread was also sliced on the machine. She stomped her foot and yelled, “But that messes up the organic integrity!” It was my last week working there, so I simply told her, “Ma’am, please understand, I’m not emotionally involved in the situation.” She froze and just walked away with the bread.
#11 Juice Box Tantrum
A woman who was in her late twenties/early thirties, dressed in a business suit, who was literally screaming in the face of a poor security guard at Heathrow after having her half-finished juice box taken away and disposed of.
#12 Per Pound
The guy I was standing behind in line at the grocery store got upset at the cashier for charging him by the pound for grapes. He was adamant that the listed price was for the bunch and was making a huge scene and getting nasty with the cashier. He asked me to come with him so he can show me (was within viewing distance from the register and I just wanted the line to move). We walked over to the grapes and he showed me the label and said “what does that say?” looking all proud. I pointed at the small text under the price and said “per pound.” He got even more upset and checked out and left.
#13 Reckless Driving
My dad got in a fight with another dad at a go-kart place when I was a kid because the guy was driving recklessly. It was pretty awesome actually.
#14 Free Redbull
I was in line behind some lady in a gas station who was absolutely insistent the guy take 23 cents off whatever it was she was trying to buy. He tried every way he could to explain to this lady that he couldn’t do it but she just wouldn’t listen. I finally gave up and just slapped a dollar down on the counter and said I’ll pay for the rest of it. She then, of course, insists that he does not accept my money and that she wanted him to give her the 23 cents. Instead, he quickly picked up my dollar and told her to get out. Now it’s my regular gas station and he gives me a free Redbull on Monday mornings.
#15 Movie Points
I was at a restaurant with my uncle and cousins from far away. First time visiting with them in years. At the end of the dinner, one of my cousins snuck off and paid for everyone as a nice gesture. My uncle got irate yelling and complained that he wanted to pay his share because, and I kid you not, he has a movie ticket points Visa card and he was close to getting a free movie. He argued and told off our cousin loudly in the restaurant over a few free movie points. He would not drop it until he got our cousin to apologise to him for costing him movie points. I don’t think those cousins are going to fly down again any time soon.
#16 Cents Off
A little old lady in an unbridled rage absolutely red in the face screaming at a teenage Baskin Robbins employee, because she wanted $0.10 off a $0.99 ice cream cone. The deal was only available on Sundays and it was Thursday. She made us wait in line behind her while she argued over a dime. The cashier couldn’t do anything because the register was electronic and wouldn’t apply the discount. I was about to pay the lady in loose change to move along, but someone stepped in to assist us off to the side. We were in and out in a few minutes, and the irate octogenarian was still raging when I left.
#17 Disney World
Disney World. Every single time I’ve been there. Obscenely high prices. Crowds of some of the rudest people you will ever be shoved into. Mix in a healthy dose of heat, humidity and afternoon showers. I have seen grown men and women snap in 17 different languages.
#18 Dinner Chaos
I once had dinner at a restaurant with a group of people who’d been partying all day. Just after the meal was served, one guy cracked it about something and upturned the whole table. Food spilt, plates destroyed, dresses ruined, and he walks off down the road. To make matters worse, we all had to chip in to pay for the smashed plates and un-eaten meals. What a great end to fun day.
#19 Christmas Eve Mom
My mom on Christmas Eve. We do a family Yankee Swap and she had made some sort of side deal with my sister about a bracelet. Swap finishes up, mom wants the bracelet, sister wants to keep the bracelet. I don’t remember the exact details, if they had shook hands on the deal or whatever. Mom gets upset, stomps upstairs to watch a movie with my kid cousins. Maybe two hours pass she comes downstairs upset that no one came up to get her, ends up crying. This is a 57-year-old woman. Merry Christmas.
I had a patient family member that was super picky, constantly calling the nurses station, constantly coming out of the room to complain. She was upset because she ordered a guest tray, wanted a cheeseburger, and it hadn’t come up yet. Another patient coded next door. So basically, the patient was literally dying. All of us nurses left crazy lady to go to the code, and the lady went nuts, yelling YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT MY CHEESEBURGER! We ignored her.
#21 Spoiled Brat
I had a grown adult roommate who was mad because her parents (who gave her $1,000 a month in addition to paying her rent, phone, car, and grocery bills) would not give her an additional $600 a month. Meanwhile, I’m a grad student who makes $10,000 a year and have been supporting myself since I was 19.
She was sobbing when I came home, and I was very worried and asked her what was wrong. She had been crying for half an hour, and finally told me the story and asked me for support, saying, “It’s just not fair that I have to live like this, am I right?” I responded, “I literally cannot relate to you,” and walked out of the apartment because I wanted to smack her.
#22 Gate Won’t Open
The parking garage near my work is a frustrating place. The monthly customers have a parking pass that lifts the gate to get in and to get out. The thing is, the pass and their sensors don’t work. You have to creep up to where you think the sweet spot might be, wave your pass around, reverse and try again, curse a bunch, endure people behind you honking despite them going through the same thing… frustrating.
Not surprisingly, I witnessed a grown man throw the most excellent temper tantrum I’ve ever seen. The gate wouldnt go up, and he just started screaming in his car and smashing on the horn, straight out of a movie. The worst part is is that the gate always seems to go up right when you reach peak rage. So he’s yellin’ away, and then the gate is just like “Alright, man. I’ll open. Jeez.”
I played this lady in the finals of a singles qualifier for the APA amateur 9 ball championship. I destroyed her. Mostly because she scratched like seven times. She could not make a ball. When the match was over, she tiraded on how I am a sandbagger and nearly broke her cue. She did not shake my hand and almost did not sign the score sheet. She put me in the losers bracket in the second round, and she runs the junior program for the city.
#24 Road Rage
I was recently driving on a small country road when I saw a traffic jam in the distance. I drove my motorcycle ahead of the traffic until I saw two ladies facing each other in their cars. Both tried to pass each other, but neither wanted to make enough room for each other to make that possible. They could just drive forward and it would be over, but no, they just refused to pass each other and decided to just sit there and create chaos on this small road because they didn’t want to drive on the small patch of gravel…
#25 Nuclear Meltdown
Watched a woman at a rental car counter have a nuclear meltdown because the employee couldn’t rent her a car since her license was expired. Her rationale was that even though it was expired, the license still showed who she was.
#26 Blow a Fuse
I was a kid in a mall when I was able to shop by myself and saw a lady blow a fuse at some guy behind the counter. Calling him names and what not just losing her head. He just puts up the palm of his hand and says, “Ma’am, I believe you are too irrational to deal with.” And then just pivots 180 degrees not facing her and ignores her. Waits for her to leave and when she does, he just proceeds to say to the next person, “May I help you?” Like nothing even happened. I learned a lot from that guy in one and a half minutes.
#27 Where’s My Apple?
The ex-wife screaming, “I hate you and I hope you die of cancer!” that time I accidentally threw away an apple. Darn, I love being single.
#28 Frisbee Bagel
Not so much a tantrum but just an incredible rage incident. I watched as a woman exiting an Einstein Bros Bagels looked into her bag and, in anger over some error in her order, perfectly frisbeed an all-grain bagel across the length of the store, over sitting customers, and beaned the cashier perfectly on the head. Her aim was so impressive that none of us, including the cashier, could do anything but stare in silenced awe.
#29 Meltdown Mode
My wife in meltdown mode. It’s astonishing that a tantrum can last over 25 years, but it has. Maybe one day I can update this if the tantrum ends. Doubtful.
#30 No Petting
I told a grown woman she could not pet my service dog while he was working. She got herself so worked up she started shouting, and told me that if I didn’t want people to pet my dog I shouldn’t bring him into the grocery store. I expect this sort of behavior from young children, and I also expect their parents to keep them under control.
#31 The Temperature is Too Hot
I work as a lifeguard at a waterpark over the summer and some days can get REALLY warm. I once had a lady who was seriously angrily complaining to me that it was too warm outside, like somehow it was my fault that there was a heatwave that day.
#32 Classical Musician Fight
We had a dress rehearsal for an orchestra concert and the duet before us went overtime, apparently because they started late. When we kindly reminded them, the violist snapped and said something under his breath how we had made them wait at a previous rehearsal (which was not true; we were told to take more time).
Our clarinetist said, “Excuse me, would you like to say that to my face?” What followed next was two mature, adult, professional classical musicians screaming at each other on a symphony stage. Luckily, the violist backed down and admitted fault because even the artistic director couldn’t get them to calm down.
#33 Ran Off With the Kids
When my (now ex-)wife ran off with our kids after I went to the hospital because she bashed me in the face. That was two and a half years ago and she’s still throwing her tantrum since it keeps her from admitting fault for her abuse.
#34 Zen Master
I used to work at a Whole Foods as a cashier and on one particularly busy night, I was about to have my customer pay when he took his cart, pulled it back and slammed it into the next guy’s cart at the register next to mine. My guy then raised his voice saying, “I can’t even reach the machine to swipe my card! Move your cart asshole!” This was crazy because he could have just moved his own cart out of the way but insisted on slammed his neighbor’s instead. So the next guy over, calm as a zen master, slowly turns to the guy. Looks at the carts, looks at me, looks at my guy and just says, “We can fight about it if you want.” Me and the other cashier tried our hardest not to laugh but the look of embarrassment was something else. He got shut down.
My mother-in-law doesn’t handle stress very well, she tends to start lashing out at people and starts fights for no reason. On the morning of my son’s first birthday party, she started to lose it as we were running around getting everything ready before the guests arrived. She first cornered my wife and started freaking out over the thermostat and some other unrelated pointless stuff, then found me and started a fight over the garage door (it needed oiling and I hadn’t done it because I was busy setting up the party). The volume of her voice steadily increasing. My wife marches up to her and actually sent her to her room to calm down, and she did it! She stayed up there for an hour while my wife and I finished putting up decorations. It is a memory I will cherish forever.
#36 Heel to the Chest
We were in a shoe store where a woman was trying on multiple pairs of shoes. The salesman kept bringing her pair after pair to try on. It was a challenge for him because the lady was obese and could barely see the shoes on her feet. Finally, he said, “I’ve shown you practically every style shoe in your size that we have in stock. Do you like any of them?” She grabbed a high heel from one pair and threw it at him, hitting the salesman in the chest. She yelled, “I wouldn’t buy shoes in this store if you paid me!” and stormed out the door.
#37 Starbucks Tantrum
When I worked at Starbucks there was a very well-dressed man who came in and ordered a latte with the following customizations: whole milk, no foam, 200 degrees. We had just run out of whole milk, which I told him and apologized for. So I handed his cup down the line for his drink to be made. 200-degree no-foam lattes are hard to make, but my best barista was on duty so I wasn’t worried at all. She hands off his drink. He takes the lid off and looks at it.
Customer: “I said no foam.”
Barista: “Oh, I’m sorry, I must not have been paying attention. Give me one moment and I’ll remake it for you.”
Customer: “No, it’s fine.”
The customer walks away in the middle of my barista explaining that it would only take a few seconds to correct his drink. Suddenly, but also very silently, he takes the lid off of his drink, and pours it all over the condiment bar in a sweeping motion. Not really a temper tantrum, but obviously the dude had some very VERY weird ways of dealing with dissatisfaction.
#38 Do What You Always Do
Old job. One day, we had a huge tech overhaul they didn’t prepare anyone for. Entire machines we’re used to using were just gone, sometimes replaced, sometimes not. After three hours of literally everyone asking the manager how they were supposed to do their jobs now, he walked to the middle of the room and turned in a slow circle, screaming at the top of his lungs and gesturing wildly, saying, “EVERYONE JUST DO WHAT YOU ALWAYS DO.” …So I went to my workstation and waggled my fingers in the air where a keyboard had been the day before.
#39 Blame it on the 14-Year-Old
#40 Sounds Like Anger Issues
When I was in high school, my boyfriend was planning on joining me and my friends for an indie movie night at my house. My boyfriend called me up to say that he couldn’t make it because he had to watch his siblings, and I overheard his dad screaming, stomping and yelling at the top of his lungs. He kept calling me “stupid” and a “waste of time.”
I should mention that I was 14. Who calls a 14-year-old girl that?! I ended up calling the police on him twice later; once when he punched his son in the face and another when he followed my mom and brother home. He wanted to ‘teach her a lesson’, we found out.
#42 Hotel Guest
I worked the front desk at a hotel a few years ago. A guest came to check in around 10 p.m. and asked if he could get a room with two beds (he booked one bed). I told him we were sold out of rooms with two beds. Before I could offer him anything else, he took the bowl of apples we had at the desk and threw it against the wall. Then he took his OWN laptop, threw it on the ground and started kicking it around the lobby. Security came out promptly and told him he needed to leave, which obviously prompted more screaming and kicking. Needless to say, he didn’t stay at the hotel that night.
#43 BBQ Sauce
I used to work at McDonald’s. One time a guy came through the drive-thru and ordered chicken nuggets. We gave him his food and he drives off. A few minutes later, he comes into the store and runs up to the counter ranting about how we forgot his BBQ sauce. My manager meets him at the counter, apologizes profusely and gives him some BBQ sauce packets (extra too, maybe six or seven packets). He proceeds to throw them at her and the rest of us workers behind the counter. We all had BBQ sauce splattered on our uniforms, on the walls, equipment, etc. After he ran out of ammunition, he ran out of the store and drove away like a coward. I was 15 then and I pretty much lost my faith in humanity.
#44 Work Anger
In the office I work in, there is a bin behind my desk. It’s been there a long time and people use it to put their tissues in when they come out of the toilet. Someone moved it to a different position, and there was a banterous discussion for five minutes about how it doesn’t matter where it is. During this, the woman who sits on my table who is normally quiet yanked off her headset, launched it at the guy sitting next to her (thankfully not me), stomped over to the bin, took it back to its normal position (we have many bins in quite a small office it really wasn’t a big deal) and then proceeded to scream at us until she went red in the face about how we are being childish.
#45 Undie Tossing
I worked as a bra fitter in a department store. We had an older lady, probably late 60s with her rich old husband (80s) come in to the store wanting to buy bras after she had two weeks earlier gotten a boob job. We explained that because of swelling she should wait to buy bras and she became so enraged she literally started yelling abuse at us and pushing over entire racks of underwear. Picture a thin, somewhat wrinkled woman in rhinestones, losing her mind and tossing around undies. It was glorious.