It doesn't take much for someone to explode into a fit of hysteria and red-hot rage. It happens to just about everyone, no matter how much they try to prevent it. But sometimes, people just take it a step too far and cross that invisible point of no return. And when they cross it, boy, it can be something else.
A Reddit thread recently asked people to share their most memorable stories about people freaking out in situations that didn't necessarily deserve the type of reaction they received. Please take a quick look at the stories that stood out over the rest, and don't worry, all comments have been edited for clarity.
"I was at a pizzeria with my friend, his baby brother, and his dad. The baby was pulling on the blinds next to us, so I pulled the string to lift up the blinds so he wouldn't be able to reach the blinds anymore.
For some reason, the blinds weren't connected properly, which caused the entire fixture to fall and land on our sodas. This sent my soda bottle launching like a rocket and nailed some guy at the next table, soaking him.
We tried to apologize, but he instantly went into freakout mode.
He stood up, looked like he was about to explode and just yelled out, 'I DON'T LIKE BEING STICKY!' The guy then stormed out of the pizzeria, but not before cursing at my friend's dad, making a complete scene in front of the whole restaurant. On top of that, my friend's dad laughed at him for freaking out, which made him again yell about how he hated being sticky.
That guy really really didn't like being sticky."
"Before my dad and stepmom got married, she had a temper tantrum when we called animal control after her dog bit a chunk out of my face when I was little. She raged that the dog didn't do anything, that 'he fell or played with some farm equipment, or something,' yelled that they were trespassing, and all but assaulted one of the guys.
My dad basically had to restrain her to allow the guys to do their job. I was obviously at the hospital, so I learned this secondhand from my brother and sister who watched the whole thing, but this tantrum was apparently epic and they really thought SHE should be the one tested for rabies, not the dog.
The dog ended up being fine anyway. In California in the early 90s, apparently an animal got one 'free pass' to do anything up to killing a human being and they wouldn't put it down.
The dog ripped a chunk out of my face, nearly killed me, and she attacked the animal control guy just taking the dog to get tested because even though my dad and brother saw what happened, she kept insisting it was my fault.
My 'saint' of a stepmom didn't even want to take me to the hospital. She didn't want any risk that her dog would be put down. She was saying all this while my dad was trying to keep me awake as my blood is pouring down his abdomen while he holds me and tries to find the car keys. My dad apparently developed a bad taste in women a few years after divorcing my mom, but he still loves me, and the way my brother and sister tell it, he didn't even stop for a moment to listen to her, and they got in the car to drive me straight to the ER without her.
I was passing in and out of consciousness at the time, and I was like 5, so I only remember: the door where I came in to get help, my dad covered from chin to pants in my blood, the threshold where they carried me out, and my sister holding me in her lap and chanting, 'It's going to be okay' over and over while on the way to the hospital."
"I was driving down a street in Portland following about five car lengths behind a small pickup truck. The driver of that pickup started slamming his brakes on for no apparent reason. He kept doing it until he actually slammed them so hard that he slid to a complete stop in the middle of traffic. I was forced to stop behind him and was sitting there wondering if he had something wrong with his truck when he got out in a fury and ran back to my truck red-faced and screaming at me that I was tailgating him.
I was baffled by this guy. I never tailgate people and I was a generous five car lengths behind him on the road. He lost his mind and was screaming so high pitched and senseless that I could no longer understand anything that was coming out of his mouth. I thought there was something mentally wrong with him, so I rolled my window down and said, 'Take a deep breath, you're going to have a heart attack.'
That just made him go crazier. I've never heard a human voice make such crazy sounds. I wish I had a video camera. So after a minute or so, I just pulled over on a side street to try to make sense of everything and let traffic go. He stood right there in the street and screamed the wailed his arms all over for four more minutes as cars went around him. As I was sitting there, a car pulled over in front of me and a guy got out, walked over to my car and said, 'Did that guy slam the brakes on in front of you?'
I said, 'Yeah, I have no idea what's wrong with him.'
The guy said, 'He's done it to me twice and I've called the police on him both times. I just called them right now.'
Both of us sat there until the police arrived (about two more minutes) with the guy screaming and throwing a temper tantrum the entire time. The cops had to tase the guy to get him to stop his tantrum. He got arrested and his truck got towed. It was a bizarre and terrible experience. One of the cops told me they had received over 50 calls on the guy and they had arrested him five times already.
The guy's license had already been revoked at that point, but he was still driving anyway. It would have been nice if having a revoked license would have kept him from driving."
"A woman lost her mind at the movie theater concession stand because they only sold Coca-Cola beverages.
'BUT I ONLY DRINK PEPSI! I can't believe you don't have Pepsi! What kind of business is this?'
The guy at the concession counter tried to convince her that they were basically the same. She was having none of it! Pepsi or nothing for this lady.
This went on for several minutes before she demanded to speak to the manager, and insisted that she be refunded her ticket price BECAUSE SHE NEVER WOULD HAVE BOUGHT IT IF SHE'D KNOWN THEY DIDN'T HAVE PEPSI! The manager refused to give her a refund. Of course, she ended up in the same theater as my friends and me and she whined to her friend the entire time up to the movie start.
During an advertisement for the concession stand displayed on the screen, a giant Coca-Cola bottle appeared, and she must have felt personally taunted because she yelled, 'Freaking Coke!' Someone walked out of the theater and returned with an usher and the manager and she was kicked out, with her friend scurrying behind them. She had to have been in her 50s. Completely crazy."
"I was meeting a client at Starbucks to discuss a contract renewal. As I was waiting, I took a quick look at the contract so I would know their situation a little better. Out of nowhere, this hipster girl came up to me and said I couldn't wear my hearing aids because she thought that they were a Bluetooth headset and not actual hearing aids.
Her words were: 'You can't be wearing those, they insult people who are disabled.' I looked at her dumbfounded and she began to screech her broken line of thought. When she realized I wasn't going to take them out after her little speech, she proceeded to try and yank them from my ears. This didn't sit well with me, so I recoiled and tried not to hit her.
She then began to scream and shout that I was being oppressive and ignorant, and the manager had to come over and ask what was wrong. I wasn't able to get my mouth open because she kept screeching. When the manager asked her to leave, she began to scream how she was going to call the police and have everyone there arrested for 'extreme oppression of her rights,' and because I was 'pretending to be disabled.' This is when her friends ran interference for her as she called the local police. She then began to keep squawking until the police came. The only officer who came in was my dad.
It was the most euphoric moment of my life. She ran up to my father and began to spew these completely insane statements on how the manager struck her several times, and how I was faking being disabled to illegally panhandle money in the shop. The manager and my father exchanged looks, the manager came out and said that the cameras in the shop have been recording all morning and are within legal compliance with the town.
She began to realize the manager bit was a lost cause and focused on me. The looks my father and I exchanged were those of, 'This idiot doesn't know, this is going to be fun.' I never learned much sign language in my life, but my father did his best to help me. So, right in front of this woman, we began to sign hello and how are you as well as several nonsensical signs.
She began to rave and rant on how the police were misogynistic oppressive Nazis, and how my dad (the officer to her) and I were working together on corrupt money-making schemes and screeched constantly the entire time. Her friends came to try and calm her down when they realized how bad she was going off and how far south their move was going. As they were pulling her away, she claimed that she was going to sue everyone involved.
To this day, I don't know how she did it, but she found my information and sent legal documents from lawyers trying to get me to 'confess' to her growing list of 'crimes' that I 'committed.' This went on for a few months, until her lawyer stated they could no longer work with her and sent me a letter saying they'd dropped all inquiry."
"A former 35-year-old coworker began to cry, shout, and bang his fists on my supervisor's desk because a small, $10,000 marketing campaign was not successful.
Seeing that my colleague was emotionally and physically distraught over a small failure, our supervisor tried to comfort him by saying, 'This is a small failure and we have learned from it. Remember that this is just marketing and no one is going to die or get hurt because of your mistake.'
A look of calm came across his face and he replied, 'Not yet..'
I asked him what he meant by this.
'I said, "Not yet." Someone is going to get hurt, eventually,' he replied back to me.
This guy had an empty, thousand yard stare when he said those words to me. I also knew that he hated my supervisor and all of the women on our team. My boss and I remained outwardly calm, but I could tell the situation wasn't going to improve on its own, so I recommended that he take the rest of the day off to decompress.
Without saying anything, he stormed out of her office, walked over to his desk and grabbed his car keys. He slammed his drawers, ran out to the parking lot, entered his car and peeled out, leaving his computer and all of the personal belongings behind -- including his wallet and cell phone. He was crying and sniveling the entire the time.
We agreed to call the police and notified them that a disgruntled employee made a clear implication that he was going to hurt someone at our office. The police stationed one cruiser in our parking lot almost immediately.
We later got word that our colleague had a warrant out for his arrest for beating his girlfriend with a knife block, which is why the police response time was unusually fast. They waited for him at his home and arrested him on the spot. He had a loaded sidearm in his vehicle. Thus, it was plausible to assume he intended to use it at our office.
Our entire marketing budget for the fiscal year was $25 million. Essentially, he was willing to kill people over a $10,000 mistake. I'd say that's the worst adult temper tantrum I have ever seen."
"I was at O'Hare boarding my flight, a lady handed her ticket to the gate agent and was informed that she was at the wrong gate, as this flight was going to DFW and she was going to LAX.
Any sane person would assume that the person who worked for the airline and just let 50 people on the plane with boarding passes would know where this plane is going, but this cunning traveler wasn't having it.
She said, 'They told me the flight to LAX was at this gate, you're lying to me!' and then the gate agent offered to look up what gate her flight was at but she just snapped back and asked the gate agent 'Are you sure?' about five times, each one louder and angrier than the one before, then asked the people right behind her in line, including me 'ARE YOU SURE THIS IS NOT THE FLIGHT TO LAX?'
And then she stormed off, presumably to find what gate her flight was actually on and run in that direction, but that's what a sane person would do, so who knows."
"I managed a salon supply store. We sold things like hair color, shampoos, and other salon retail products. Only licensed cosmetologists can shop there.
One evening, a woman came in and began looking at the colors. I asked if she needed any assistance. It took about two seconds to realize she didn't know what she was talking about, so I asked to see her license. She pulled out her drivers license. I said I needed to see her cosmetologist license and that only licensed professionals were allowed to shop in my store. She lost it. She started hollering at me and said that she was a licensed practical nurse and how dare I say she wasn't professional.
Then she sat on the floor screaming that she wasn't leaving until I picked her color out and let her buy it. Then she stuck her fingers in her ear and started with the, 'La la la, I can't hear you,' bit. Just then, she got a phone call. It was her mom. She started arguing with her and hung up after yelling 'These idiots won't let me buy what I need. I'm not coming out until they do... so you can just wait in the car!'
I walked to the door and sure enough, there was an older woman in the passenger seat of the car in front of the store. I waved her in to come get her daughter. She came to the door and yelled, 'Get your butt in the car, you're embarrassing yourself.'
They left, but as they were walking out, the daughter spat on the window before getting back into the car."
"One time I was in Target trying to return something, so I was in the customer service line. There was a lady a few 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 some time 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 pm, and both kids were in their pajamas (so were both adults, for that matter). One of the kids was screaming bloody murder 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. I wanted to do the same, but I really needed to return this item and didn't want to have to come back another time.
When I was next in line, I could hear a lot better what was going on. This lady was freaking out now, telling the employee how she would get her fired, getting inches from her face and yelling, all kinds of insane stuff for an adult to do. The employee, God bless her, remained cool and calmly told her the coupon could not be honored.
This whole time I just assumed this coupon was for some significant savings, but what I heard next, I'll never forget. The customer screamed, 'I'm not paying 24 cents extra!'
All of that over 24 cents. That was what the coupon was for. This lady had been standing here for 45 minutes willingly embarrassing herself and keeping her exhausted kids from sleeping over 24 cents. I seriously don't understand some people."
"I was at the pharmacy around 8 pm, waiting in line behind an older lady. The pharmacist told her she would have to pick up her prescription the next morning because this location didn't carry that particular medication. The following ensued:
Lady: 'I'll wait.'
Pharmacist: 'No ma'am, we physically don't have it in this store. You have to come back tomorrow at 10 am.'
Lady: 'Let me speak to the manager.'
Pharmacist: 'I am the manager, I'm the pharmacist and this is my store. I'm telling you, we do not have this medication right now.'
Lady: 'Can you just give me one pill and I'll get the rest tomorrow?'
Pharmacist: 'Ma'am, we don't have any of the pills here.'
Lady: 'What if I pay you for the cost of that one pill right now, and I get the rest tomorrow?'
Pharmacist: 'Ma'am, I can't give you one pill because we have zero pills in this store. You'll be fine until tomorrow at 10 am, I promise.'
The woman proceeded to lose it. She began throwing stuff from the shelves onto the floor, stamping on them, screaming about how she will sue this pharmacy and how she's never seen such terrible customer service in her life. She even started kicking the partition between her and the pharmacist, threatening to go back there and fill it herself. It didn't even seem like she was upset about the medication itself, it was more that she didn't get her way and didn't want to come back. He asked a clerk to come help and the whole time, she's grabbing for things and throwing them onto the floor in fury. She was lead out and we could still hear her yelling outside."
"I played this lady in the finals of a singles qualifier for the APA amateur nine-ball championship. I destroyed her. Mostly because she scratched like seven times. She could not make a ball.
When the match was over, she went on a tirade on how I was 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 loser bracket in the second round since she ran the junior program for the city."
"I was using my brand new piece of garbage weed whacker/edging tool on the sidewalk in front of my house. It's basically just thick fishing line on a spool with a motor that whips it around. You get the line fed out to just the right weed whacking length, then it spins around super fast to whack the weeds and edge the grass. When the fishing line breaks, you feed out more by turning it upside down and gently tapping the tool on the ground.
But here's the thing: it's a complete and utter piece of garbage. The line breaks almost immediately. And the spool always tangles, so I'd have to stop and detangle it so it would feed out more.
I'd been out there almost 30 minutes and had edged a grand total of 12 inches of grass, with maybe 10 stops to detangle. I could have edged the grass with scissors faster.
Inevitably, each gentle tap to feed out more line was getting gradually less and less gentle. After the last tangle, I finally reached my breaking point and started bashing the thing on the sidewalk, in big arced swings from over my head, lumberjack style. And I'm swearing the entire time at the top of my lungs, in time with each swing. In the front yard of my house.
After more swings than I thought it could take, the tool finally came apart. But I was just getting warmed up. I marched it out back to the garbage cans in the alley and beat the life out of it some more against the can. Because the motor casing wasn't enough, I needed to break the long handle in half, too. I scraped my hand in my frenzy, but I eventually get that tool into about four jagged pieces.
I'm not proud. I still get mad thinking about that dumb piece of garbage weed whacker!"