24 People Share Their AWFUL Birthday Stories


Everyone knows that birthdays are supposed to be happy. Even though we are celebrating aging, it’s still supposed to be a joyous – a day all about you! What could be better?

Except apparently these people’s friends and families didn’t get the memo and ruined everyone’s good time. Check out these 24 Reddit users who were brave enough to share their sad birthday stories with you.

Got one of your own? Share it in the comments! You might just make it onto my next list…

1. WTF?

My 18th birthday was intended to be a huge surprise, one that had been planned by my sister, mother, and grandmother for weeks. Everything perfectly set, down to the T. The eve of my birthday, my half-sister over our family dinner explained to me in great detail everything that was planned for my birthday, as if I was supposed to know. The worst part was, she continued to talk over my family members as they tried to shut her up. Family fight erupts, leaving my mother and sister crying over their failed surprise

Icing on the cake: On my actual birthday, said half-sister shows up 3 hours late to the party, after all the “surprise” is over. Then, as I’m opening presents, decides it’s best to share how she had found a pair of a young girl’s underwear in a sketchy alley way near her work, and how “she can only imagine the worst”. The uncomfortable vibe couldn’t be broken after that and the party quickly died down.

2. I would be SO angry

Last year I was unemployed at the time of my birthday. My friends and I made plans to actually go out and do something. The day before my birthday I got called to an interview where they told me I had a job. They wanted me to start the next day. So I cancelled my plans, went out and bought some work clothes and showed up for my first day of work. When I arrived, I found that there were 6 other girls there and that we were actually being interviewed again and that we would do a day of “training”. It then came out that only 2 people would leave with jobs. Our “training” consisted of us doing 5 hours worth of kitchen labour. At the end of the day 2 girls were chosen and everyone else walked away jobless. I was not one of those girls and I wasted my birthday on unpaid work.

3. I’d have asked for her half

My family paid for me and my girlfriend at the time to go out for a really expensive meal for my 21st birthday.

The entire meal came to $300.

She broke up with me as I was driving her back home.

4. Well that’s sad

My birthday usually came a week after my first report card, and I got punished as a result with either no birthday, or a “bitter birthday” with just me and my parents, who would stare at me disappointedly. Or my mother was drunk, and would forget.

My birthdays since then have been pretty good, though.

5. …I just can’t

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.

6. LOL

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.

7. Ohhhh…nooo…

For my ninth birthday, my mom planned a surprise party for me. All of my friends would be waiting at my house after I got home from school and we were gonna have a great time.

Nobody showed up. Every parent kept their kid home. I ate cake with my family alone until one family friend showed up.

I was born on September 11, 1992.

As a bonus, I came in to school wearing a huge smile, completely unaware of what was going on.

There was also my seventh birthday, where my dad spilled an entire pitcher of tea on my pants at Joe’s Crab Shack and I sat and cried through them bringing me cake.

Also, the day before I turned… 17? I found out my grandpa’s cancer had come back with a vengeance and he was terminal.

8. “Selfish”

My best friend’s brother died suddenly. She asked me to throw a party to make her forget about it and she was thankful though I felt terrible about it. She shared a room with him so she stayed with me for 3 nights and I had to hold her as she cried. After she left I took down all my birthday cards and refused to open any presents. After the weekend someone had a go at me for being selfish. It was pretty bad.

9. Big birthday blowout

21st birthday. The week leading up to it my (now ex) boyfriend had been ignoring me, typical stuff. 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 butt 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.

10. Whose birthday was it again?

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.

11. Super!

My Birthday is at the very end of January. So often this coincides with the Super Bowl.

16th birthday was going to be a Super Bowl party. Gave out a ton of invites, paper and verbal. Had a bunch of people say they would swing by either for the whole thing or for the first half. Blah Blah Blah.

Put out snacks, had the game on the big screen. Only had two people show up and they didn’t even come inside. They just dropped off a small cake on their way to a different Super Bowl party.

At halftime I finally gave up hope that anyone else was showing up and told my mom to put the snacks away as I was going to bed.

12. Oh, get over it

It was my 19th birthday. I was living in the dorms, and my friends got together and decided to give me a surprise party. This included them going out of their way to not see me all day, to avoid telling me happy birthday. All of my friends ignored me for the entire day, only to call me down to one of their rooms at 11:00 PM. I was getting ready for bed, ready to put the whole crappy day behind me. Instead I have to go down there to find them all drinking. They didn’t understand why that was not exactly a fun experience.

13. Ouch

Worst birthday was the 23rd for me.

Invited small friend circle only, to spent some time at my apartment with food, cake and drinks … later on we would make a local pub tour.

One friend arrived with some booze as present. The two of us spent most time alone because only 3 hours later the other invited guests arrived. The later guests were all drunk – really drunk – but they were all close friends of me. Nevertheless all the drunks did was eating the cake and vomit into the bathroom. After they were done with their exorcism, they left due to their conditions.

I was left with 2 friends which I invited to an all you can drink for free local pub tour.

14. V-day

My birthday is on Valentine’s day. The day before my 23rd birthday my (now ex) boyfriend of 5 years gave me this hideous Swarovski necklace and then dumped me. I was a server at the time, and spent my actual birthday trying not to cry my eyes out/slobber into everyone’s food as I spent my night serving lovey-dovey couples. I threw the necklace in the trash. (I would have sold it, but it was going for less than store value on eBay & amazon.)

15. Face plant

I don’t remember exactly which birthday it was, I think 9th or 10th, we were all set to go to Chuck E Cheese with some friends and their parents for my birthday. I was out in the yard with my friends playing with skate boards until it was time to leave for the pizza party. One of my shoe laces came undone, went under the wheel of the skateboard I was riding on and it pulled me down and I face planted into the sidewalk and took a good chunk if not all of the skin off my nose. Bloodied and crying, we still went to Chuck E Cheese. I felt so insecure with this big bloodied scar of a nose while we were out in public.

16. Get better friends

For my 19th birthday, I organized a party at a friend’s house with tons of booze and tons of snacks. My ARMY buddy whose house it was at even procured Everclear for the Jungle Juice. I invited pretty much everyone I knew and told them to invite their friends.

One friend showed up.

Six years later, I tried again. I organized a “taste tripping” party where you take these Miracle Berry tablets that change the way your tongue tastes food (sour tastes sweet). I had a bunch of different foods on a platter for people to try tasting. Again, I invited everyone I knew. Only one friend and his girlfriend showed up.

I’ve decided to stop throwing birthday parties.

17. Broke friends

Well, it was my 18th, and my first after starting university. Throughout high school, I was fairly well off and was usually pretty generous. I talked to all my friends and they all wanted to come until I mentioned they might have to kick in half for their dinner. All bailed except one, who got depressed and cancelled. My World of Warcraft guild got together and sent me a tray of muffins and a timecard. Its always a crappy day when the only people who even pretend to care on your birthday are people who you’ve never met in real life. Thank you, <The Muffin Kings>, for caring.

18. Series of unfortunate events

My 20th birthday. I woke up at 8am, went to class in the crappy cold rain. When I got there and found out class was cancelled I was pretty bummed, especially since I had no ride home for three hours. Next my sister takes me out to lunch where we find out our grandfather has to have emergency open heart surgery. Awesome. After that mess I went to see my now ex-girlfriend at school because she refused to drive home to see me. We go out to dinner, she doesn’t have money because she spent it all on booze earlier in the week. I have to pay for my own dinner. Next we go back to her dorm room for some birthday sexy time, but instead we have a talk and she breaks up with me. Worst birthday I’ve ever had.

19. Shit rolls downhill

16th birthday, I woke up to my parents fighting. They didn’t even remember it was my birthday. Then my best friend, who happened to be the girl I was madly in love with stopped by to tell me goodbye as she was moving to Texas with her family. I told her I liked her before but on that day I was going to tell her how I feel and ask her out. When I got back from saying goodbye, my dad was packing his stuff and they told me they were getting divorced.

20. Birthday present

On my 21st birthday, I got an email that would change my life forever. I still remember the day quite clearly. I was living in Japan at the time, and I was sitting at the bar having lunch when my phone dinged to let me know I had a message. It was an email from the DNA testing company with the results of my DNA test between myself and my son. They were a 99.999999999999999997% match. I was ecstatic, but the joy was fleeting.

I called the then ex-girlfriend to deliver the news. I remember being so happy dialing that number. She answered, listened to what I had to say, then proceeded to tell me that it didn’t matter. She doesn’t like who I am, she doesn’t like what I do for a living, she doesn’t think I’d make a good father. I was taken aback, I thought she was kidding and tried to laugh it off, but she solidified it all by hanging up the phone. I’d never known a feeling so painful. I imagine being shot hurts less than the words I had heard in that call.

I fought the good fight from then on, but I never talked to her again. Legal counsel recommended I try not to take her to court for custody because she will win (I have no support network, I live in a foreign nation, etc). I used to follow her Facebook and look at pictures of him, but after they started timeline, all her stuff became private. I’ve never even met him.

21. A Failure of a Mother

On my 9th birthday my mum took me and six girls from my class to the cinema. About ten minutes into the movie she says “Gonna go get another Coke, you guys want anything? We said no thanks, we’re fine. She doesn’t come back. Movie ends and I can’t find her in the lobby, the bathrooms, outside, anywhere. It’s dark, I’m miles from home with no way of contacting anyone and my friends and I are all really scared. I ended up going into a toy shop beside the cinema, crying my eyes out and asked the manager to please help me. He calls the guards (Irish cops) and my friends and I get taken back to my house in two squad cars. My stepdad was absolutely horrified to see us coming home like that. I was really upset and in no mood to celebrate, we did the cake and presents routine and my friends’ parents picked them up soon after. My mum eventually showed up later that night, drunk. I didn’t even bother yelling at her, it was a familiar situation and I knew there was no point. I cried myself to sleep that night. Then Monday arrived, and the girls had told everyone in our class what had happened, and nobody would talk to me. All their parents found out as well, nobody was allowed to come to my house any more and I didn’t get invited anywhere either. It remained that way for the next three years of primary school.

22. Like dominos…

I was really excited for my 19th birthday. I was going to have lunch with my girlfriend, hang out with my friends after, and end the evening with pizza at my parents home. The girlfriends mum picks me up (no car at the time because I was living with the girlfriend 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 bookstore. 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 boyfriend did. Started chatting up the server and mentioned it was my birthday to her and SHE wished me a happy birthday. Girlfriend looked at me puzzled. She had forgotten it. It’s now 8 pm 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. 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.

23. Lol, kids

Got extremely sunburnt on my back/shoulders at a water park a few days before my 5th (I think) birthday party

Spent my party face down on a leather sofa crying my eyes out/sulking as roughly 20+ kids ran around in my garden enjoying a water fight party.

24. First world problem

It was my 30th birthday, and my wife and I were going to be house/dog sitting for my father the next day. My father and his wife were flying out the next morning at 6am, so the birthday celebrations were just a quiet dinner out, then early to bed. At around 4pm my dad’s wife cancelled dinner, but we still went over so I could have a look at the new hot water heater, as it had been acting up.

My birthday is a week before Christmas, so we also brought over some gifts for family members we don’t see often. This caused my dad’s wife to flip out and start arguing with my wife. Turns out she had been drinking since around noon, and was starting fights with everyone she came into contact with. This continued for a good half hour while my father and I looked on dumbfounded.

So we sheepishly went home. At that point I really just wanted to get super drunk and pass out, but I didn’t, because I love my father and will not knowingly disappoint him because of something his wife does. My wife was rather upset too, and we went to bed sober and there was no birthday sex. Still drove them to the airport the next morning, and dad’s wife acted like nothing happened.

So, really, it was a first world problem worst birthday, and could have been much worse. I haven’t made plans on my birthday since then, and I see it as any other day.

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