Awkward family dinners are a staple of every family. Whether it's a holiday celebration with relatives you don't know well or a casual meal at home, everyone has had to sit through at least one very uncomfortable dinner they'll never be able to forget.
That’s One Way To Get Into The Holiday Spirit
“During Christmas when I was 13 years old, my family came over for dinner. Even though my cousin was 22 years old, he was always the ‘I don’t care’ member of the family. He surprisingly arrived in good behavior. He came singing Christmas songs and dancing.
A few hours after drinking, he stood up the table and yelled, ‘LISTEN, PEOPLE! THIS IS MY GIFT FOR YOU!’ He then pulled down his pants. My mom covered my eyes and I remember it being really awkward in that moment.”
He Was Caught In The Act
“This happened to me a few years ago during Thanksgiving. I was around 11 or 12 years old and it was your typical Thanksgiving dinner family reunion; turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, you know, the usual suspects. My family and I were spending some quality time together watching football, playing board games, and just having fun. This is where the awkward part comes.
About an hour into the party, it occurred to me that I needed to use the bathroom. During that time, I decided to take advantage of the privacy (naturally) by watching a little bit of an adult video.
Now, my grandfather had this Bluetooth earpiece that had voice-command and I thought it was a pretty cool device (until this moment, that is). Now, being the dumb person I was, I forgot to turn off Bluetooth on my phone. Surprisingly enough, the phone detected my grandpa’s earpiece and automatically paired with it, meaning the sounds of moans from my phone were now being broadcast to my grandpa’s ear.
When I was done, I came back to the dinner table to find my grandpa trying really hard to contain his laughter. I asked him what was so funny, and he replied, ‘Having a little alone time, now, weren’t you?’
It was at this point I knew I messed up, and no one said a word for the rest of the dinner. It was extremely embarrassing and to this day, I’m still scared to use my phone whenever my grandpa’s around.”
How Could A Father Say This?
“This was on Christmas night when I was 5 years old. My brother was cooking while my wrathful father had over-served himself and passed out on the couch. My brother made turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans. When it was time to eat, all seemed well. My brother made a speech about the greatest gift he was ever given and I just watched in amazement. My father then looked at the food and said, ‘Why don’t you act like normal kids?’ I was confused and my brother looked at him.
My father said, ‘You always force yourselves to be different. No wonder why your mother is gone. She doesn’t want to see our sons like this. The oldest one dyeing his hair white and the youngest being a pathetic weakling!’
Our mother passed away when I was a few months old in an accident. My brother and father started screaming and arguing with each other. I felt choked up and went to my room.
At around 10 pm, my brother came into our room and brought me dinner. I am just grateful to have my sibling with me.”
“It was my family’s yearly Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt’s house. I was about 11 years old and I was just sitting at the table eating my food when my uncle started asking questions about what I’ve been doing lately. He was asking pretty normal questions, like how school was going and what I did in my spare time. I left the table to get some pumpkin pie and my kind of pervy grandpa had followed me.
I was putting some whipped cream on top of my slice of pie when he then whispered in my ear, ‘So have you started puberty yet?’
I just stood there in shock and confusion. Now you may think that’s something normal for you to ask an 11-year-old kid but how he said it is what creeped me out – he said it really flirtatiously and suggestively.
I then speed walked back to the table, still carrying my slice of pie. I refused to talk to him for the rest of the day. And what made it so awkward was that almost my whole family was in the same room. They all heard it and didn’t say anything!”
All Of This Over Potato Salad?
“It was Thanksgiving night and the majority of the family was at my grandparents’ house. My aunts (I’ll call them A and B) were setting up dinner when they realized that they both made potato salad. B got angry and stated that she was in charge of potato salad so A should take hers back home. A said it would be no problem for us to have two because the family could enjoy both.
Well, A became really angry for some reason later so when B wasn’t looking, she dumped the whole bowl in the trash. B found out and was so angry and offended. The two began to argue in the kitchen. Suddenly, A took a turkey knife and threatened to stab B if she didn’t leave. At that point, one of my uncles called 911, but since he’d been drinking for quite a bit, he shouted, ‘The house is on FIRE!’ and a few minutes later, a fire truck drove up. They got fined for prank calling and the whole family started to fight over who was going to pay it.
For the time being, my cousin and I went and hid from the yelling in a small room called the doll room. It was full of my grandma’s old doll collection and pretty creepy. We were freaked out but stayed inside.
When we left the room, my cousin told him that the room was haunted and the older cousin suddenly tackled him and started to beat him up. My cousin was screaming, the family was yelling, the cops showed up and arrested three of my uncles, a bunch of people left, and my grandma was just crying in the background.
Finally, a couple hours later, everything was back to normal. Sitting around the table were my grandparents, one aunt, one uncle, my beat up cousin, my older angry cousin, and my parents and me. We all ate in awkward silence and nobody ate the potato salad since it actually ended up tasting gross.”
Not In Public, Grandma
“My great-grandmother is a lot of things, but a homophobe happens to be one of them.
I was at a family reunion when I was a freshman in high school with all of my cousins who I love seeing. When it was time for dinner, somehow my great-grandmother – who was 95 and obviously reached a point where she didn’t have a filter – started going on a rant about how much she hates ‘gays.’
This is something she screamed at the top of her lungs in front of her entire family. ‘You know what I hate about the gays? They do it in the through the other way around! I remember when Arthur tried that on me in 1946!’ Arthur, of course, was her dead husband.”
So Long, Appetite
“Whenever I went to my ex’s house for tea, we would have the strangest conversations. His family is one of those ones that have no filter when they talk, so they will say ANYTHING while eating.
One day while over there for tea, his mom started talking about her yeast infection and how she wasn’t happy with her intimate life. She then went on to describe both of those in great detail. It was so gross and my ex only got embarrassed when he saw my face because he was so used to those kinds of conversations at the dinner table.
When it came to dessert, his dad started talking about the way he pleases himself. Let’s just say that I couldn’t eat my ice cream after that.”
Not The Greatest First Impression
“When I was a junior in high school, I thought I should introduce my long-term girlfriend of three years to my extended family. We decided to do so at my younger sister’s birthday who was turning 13 years old and was close to my girlfriend.
We sat on one end of the 16-foot table across from my grandma and after introducing her to my family, my grandma commented on my girlfriend’s appearance by saying, ‘Oh I get why you’re dating her now,’ referring to my girlfriend’s large chest. This was bad but I calmed my girlfriend down and some family members told my grandma that she can’t say things like that and to knock it off. The dinner went fine until dessert.
I had left to fetch the cake and ice cream and when I returned to enter the room, my sister was sitting in my girlfriend’s lap. My grandmother says, ‘looks like you and your sister switched partners, I would have never guessed.’
It took everything I had to prevent my girlfriend from launching across the table at my grandma. We had to leave before anything else was said during the party that might have started something.”
Too Much Information
“When I was 11 years old, my mom invited my grandma and my uncle to our Thanksgiving dinner. My uncle liked to drink a lot and he was feeling good before dinner was even ready. My younger sister had no idea, but my teenage older sister and I knew.
My grandma had a fit with my uncle about the state he was in at a family dinner. The next thing you know, the family dinner became a talk between my grandma and uncle about fooling around and gentlemen’s clubs. It was the weirdest dinner of my life.”
Well, That Escalated Quickly
“I was having dinner with a female friend of mine on Thanksgiving since my dad was out of state spending the holiday with my at-the-time stepmom’s family. My friend lived with her folks and she invited me and one other ‘friend’ that happened to actually be her girlfriend. Her parents were super intolerant religious folks, so she stayed in the closet when it came to family.
Anyway, halfway through what started out as a pleasant meal my friend’s older brother, who somehow found out about the relationship, made a snarky comment about it and things went absolutely nuts. The mom was crying, the dad was going nuts, yelling, swiping dishes off the table, and throwing things at the wall. At one point he pointed to me and said ‘YOU KNEW THIS DIDN’T YOU!’ in a scary manner like he would jump across the table and beat me up at any moment.
All the while her older brother was sitting back with this smug smirk on his face. We all three got out of there as quick as we could and we ended up getting dinner at Boston Market. My friend ended up moving in with her girlfriend and had to get a job because her trust fund was cut off almost immediately.
As far as I know, she has not spoken to her family since.”
Can’t Avoid A Mother’s Death Glare
“During Thanksgiving dinner as a kid, we decided to go to my mom’s friend’s house for the dinner. Before we started eating, we had to say prayers.
When it was my turn I said, ‘But Mom, Jesus isn’t real. Do I have too?’
The rest of the evening I kept getting stares from my mother.”
Low Quality Friend With High Quality Taste
“I was 6 years old when this happened. Some of my mom’s friends came over for a dinner. The food was great but one of the friends seemed really weird.
We have two bathrooms in our penthouse. The first one was under renovations but the second was upstairs and free. All of our bedrooms and closets were upstairs.
Our dinner finished and we were wondering where my mom’s friend went, so we checked upstairs and the bathroom was free and no one was inside.
We checked in my mom and dad’s bedroom (which had a ton of jewelry mind you), and she was inside, grabbing jewelry from the closet! My mom kicked her out and we spent all night checking for missing jewelry. No jewelry was taken, but my mom never talked to her ‘friend’ ever again.”
A Family Feud That Went Way Too Far
“Aside from pretty much every dinner ever being awkward, I can think of a specifically awful dinner. A couple years back, we were having a New Year’s dinner.
My mother and my brother were having an argument about something I can’t remember. However, mid-way through the dinner, things got REALLY heated as both stood up and started were screaming at one another in the doorway leaving the dining room. Finally, it came to head.
I was looking away at the time – down at my plate trying to tune it out – when I heard a loud cracking noise. I hear someone start to storm off as my mother starts to scream in this weird voice. I turned to look and I saw my mother holding her jaw as she fell to the ground. My brother was gone.
He had apparently decked her really hard in the face before storming off. My mother was screaming bloody murder, believing her jaw was broken. We had to call the police, my brother got arrested (after a terrifying standoff when my brother had stockpiled knives in our shared bedroom), and my dad drove my mom to the hospital. My brother had to go to therapy for a while and is still under assisted living. He’s regretted hitting our mother and never lived it down.”
The Comment That Made Him Nearly Choke On His Fork
“When I was around 12 years old, I spent summers with my dad and stepmother, who often had my stepsister over with her two daughters (my nieces) who were 5 and 9 years old.
Well, we were still at the age where it was acceptable for little kids to bathe together and although my eldest niece was well aware of what puberty pertained to, the youngest was not. To sum it up, the youngest noticed the hair on my private parts and her older sister and I essentially had to explain that it’s normal and one day she’d get them too and that it was just part of growing up. This alone was awkward, but it gets better.
At dinner, we were all at the table. My 60-year-old dad was there, a man who cringes and runs away at the mere mention of the word ‘tampon’ and my stepmother, a woman who basically thought I was the spawn of the devil and made all of us feel disgusting for various reasons, including puberty. Anyway, the five of us are peacefully eating dinner when my youngest niece stands in her chair and blurts loudly, ‘Aunt Ginni says I’m gonna grow hair on my backside!’ in a concerned tone. My eldest niece and I looked on in horror as my stepmother immediately got mad and hushed her then glared at us. Meanwhile, my dad nearly choked on his fork.”
That’s Not The Turkey…
“This happened back on the Thanksgiving of 2006. I was sitting at the table waiting for the turkey and we all got settled. Then my dog ran under the table and laid down. We ate and ate but while we were eating, I dropped a piece of turkey near my crotch and my dog ran up to me and tried licking the food up, but instead, she licked my private area. I swatted her head away, which caused me to drop my plate onto my aunt who was sitting next to me.”
You’re Never Supposed To Ask A Woman This
“On Thanksgiving, we were all at my grandma’s house and my mom was holding my at-the-time newest cousin who was born a few months prior. My other cousin asked my mom if she was pregnant when she clearly wasn’t and my mom said ‘NO,’ started to burst out crying, and ran out the room with our new cousin. Everyone was silent.”
What He Said Was Beyond Cringeworthy
“This happened on Thanksgiving a year or two ago. Everything was seemingly normal: my grandmother and I were finishing up the food preparations, my dad was waiting patiently, and we were waiting for my uncle to arrive.
Knowing he was going to be late as always, we started to eat. I will back this up by saying I’m not that close with this uncle. I really don’t know him that well due to him avoiding my grandfather while he was alive. Eventually, he arrives for dinner and starts eating.
The conversation started out normal with questions such as, ‘What are you doing after you graduate?’ and ‘You seeing anyone?’ Then it got silent and he busts into a story about the time he went to get a vasectomy and they told him that he was shooting blanks before he started talking about his bowel movement. This is all while we were eating.
While no one was drinking at dinner, I sure wished the Monster Energy Drink I was drinking was something a little strong in it just so I could forget this ever happened.”
More Money, More Problems
“It was the summer of 2004. I had gotten my passing grades to be able to attend art school.
My mom was really happy for me and wanted to celebrate with a lovely dinner so she went all out and invited our family from London: my grandparents, my aunt, and her husband, Uncle Jim, my cousins and my mom’s brothers.
After enjoying a lovely rich roast with dessert of wonderful homemade chocolate cake, my granddad made a toast to me getting into art school with water painting and drawings of landscapes, as well as a picture of a sunset that was the hardest as it took a week to draw because of needing to capture the right moment of the sun setting.
Everyone was so proud of me and it felt like the perfect moment until Uncle Raymond turned to my mom and said, ‘Jan, where the heck did get the money for this?’ My mom gave her younger brother a dark look before replying, ‘Where is the money you owe me?’
You couldn’t even hear anyone breathe. I was then asked by Aunt Susie to take my cousins upstairs and stay there for a while until we were called back down.
My mother had saved money for special events like holidays, weddings, or if the unexpected happened. I, to this day, don’t know what was discussed between my grandparents, my uncles, and my aunt with my mother, all I know is that money can make a family turn on each other.”
Way To Blow It
One time at Thanksgiving while the whole extended family was there, I decided to come out to everyone. I stood up and told everyone that I was gay and my cousin walked in and yelled, ‘YO! How is your hot girlfriend?’ The whole family sat in awkward quiet for the next hour.’
She Was Not Happy When She Discovered…
“A couple years ago, I had Thanksgiving at my apartment for the first time since I moved into my current home. I would normally go out of state and celebrate Thanksgiving with my dad’s side of the family, so it was rare I would celebrate where I lived with several family members from my mom’s side.
I don’t remember too many details from that day because my eyes were glued to the television, but I do remember the food taking longer to cook than usual and my mom’s boyfriend complaining when something went wrong.
In most cases, Thanksgiving dinner usually starts around early afternoon, but it was later at night when we finally got to eat some turkey.
At around 5 pm, the kitchen sink started getting backed up filling with murky water. My mom’s boyfriend, being his usual stubborn self, decided to fix the problem himself. I don’t know exactly what he did but eventually, I walk into the kitchen to discover that one of the sink pipes was detached and murky water had spilled all over the kitchen floor.
My apartment has a small kitchen, so it was almost as if you couldn’t step in it without getting dirty turkey juice on your feet. About 15 minutes of frustration and complaining followed, mostly from my mom’s boyfriend before the adults cleaned up the mess and called a plumber to fix the sink.
We all got to eat our turkey and stuffing eventually but much later than we had all hoped.”