Ah, bad first dates. Literally, anyone who has ever been on a date with someone has had a bad first date, even if they don't think so. Well, let's all take a moment to thank the waitstaff of the world who not only witnessed bad first dates but decided to share them. Here, we look at some of the first date horror stories waitstaff have seen.
Thank you to everyone who shared their story.
(Content has been edited for clarity)
Give Me All The Cheese You Have
“I definitely witnessed a memorable bad first date.
I was waiting on this couple, who were clearly on a first date. The man seemed initially delighted with her. I took their order and she ordered the fettuccine alfredo. So far, there wasn’t a problem.
I brought their orders out and, as is the custom at our restaurant, I asked the lady if she would like some freshly grated parmesan on her pasta. She went, ‘Oh yeah. I love cheese. Your arm is going to get tired, I’m warning you!’ Her date smiled at her, clearly thinking she’s adorable.
Now I’ve heard and dealt with this before. I have grated a lot of cheese in my serving career. It’s never been a problem and I almost never judge someone’s cheese preference, being a dairy lover myself.
I will never forget this lady. I have never grated that much cheese before or since.
It started off normal and her date was still smiling at her. The pile began to grow and he chuckled, clearly thinking this was some cute quirk.
But she doesn’t tell me to stop. You can no longer see any pasta on this dish and our dinner pasta portions are very very large. I could see on his face that his initial delight with her was slowly morphing into surprise. The smile was growing smaller and tighter and the eyebrows were going higher.
And still, she didn’t tell me to stop. She was clearly thrilled and obviously wanted MORE cheese grated on this thing. For the first time, my arms and wrists started to hurt. Now there is nowhere left for the cheese to go but UP. A small humped mountain of parmesan is growing on this woman’s plate. Finally, after what seems an eternity, she said, ‘Okay, that looks great!’
I am not exaggerating when I say she was having some pasta with her cheese. I had to get a fresh block because it was worn to the nub. My wrists hurt like crazy, which was a first for cheese grating in eight years. This dish looked absolutely gross. I looked over at the guy’s face and it had morphed again from surprise to pure disgust and embarrassment.
She was completely oblivious and digs into her cheese stack, still chirping and chattering at him, and he wouldn’t even make eye contact anymore. The smile was gone. He was clearly over it. It’s very obvious there is not going to be a second date.
I skipped asking if they wanted dessert and just brought him the bill as quickly as I could without appearing to rush them. He gave me a look that all but screams ‘Thank you!’ and made his excuses to go, leaving me a VERY nice tip for expediting this painful experience as much as was professionally possible.
I haven’t seen either of them back since.”
Soaked Him For Every Penny
“I was working at a Red Lobster and I get sat with a young couple, maybe 16-17 years old. They’re polite and nice, but as other servers will confirm, I immediately knew that I wasn’t going to make much, if anything, from these two. I greet them. They’re good. He’s happy. She’s happy.
I ask for a drink order. She orders a $6 non-alcoholic foo-foo drink. He gulps; orders a water. I bring the drinks, and she asks for a $10 appetizer. Okay, no problem. I can see the worry start to set in on my man’s face. I put the appetizer order in and come back for the entree order. She orders the most expensive meal on the menu, at about $28 dollars. I look over at this kid, and I can see the math going on in his head. It’s like that part of “The Hangover” where Zach Galifianakis’ character is counting cards. He’s worried that he won’t have enough to cover dinner, let alone the rest of the date.
I can totally pick up that this is their first date and she’s soaking him for every penny. I feel for him. At this point, he says that he doesn’t want anything, but I tell him that I can hook him up and get him lunch menu prices. He elects for the lunch portion of the crab linguini, which clocks in at $5. He’s beginning to sweat at this point and I feel so bad for him.
She thankfully doesn’t order dessert. I didn’t offer because I thought he might stroke out at the table right in front of me if I did. I drop the bill, it’s mid-50s with tax. I get squat, nada, nothing for a tip. I knew it. It’s okay, I just hope he got to first base really. She was taking him to town. I wish I could’ve seen where they went afterward. Poor guy probably dropped a whole week’s pay that night.”
Coming Together To Defeat Evil
“I own a bakery with a cafe, and I see a lot of bad first coffee dates and bad people in general, but there’s one that will always be the worst for me.
This happened at my bakery maybe six months into our first year. Two boys come in, clearly nervous, and on what has to be their first date together. They’re both young, maybe 15 at most. They order at the counter and go find a table. I bring their stuff around and they’re both giggling over something, blushing, being just straight up adorable. One of them starts holding the other’s hand, playing with his fingers, and they both go quiet, eating with their opposite hands, and then giggling more. My only other customers were this group of maybe six teenage boys hanging out in back of the store. So I’m watching this like it’s the most adorable of nature documentaries about teenage boyfriends in the wild.
All of a sudden, this woman comes in and starts looking around the store for something. Before I can open my mouth to ask or say anything, her face just drains of color, and she marches right up to them and starts berating one of the boys. Over the next few minutes of her just screaming, I get the gist of things: It was his mother, and she had shown up because she wanted to meet the girl her son was being cagey about. She couldn’t believe her son could do this to their family, yells a bunch of self-serving nonsense including, ‘Don’t you know I want grandkids?’ She then cries at him about his dead father being disappointed in him, insults his boyfriend, and storms out, shouting over her shoulder that if he keeps up with this, don’t bother coming home.
This poor boy is just weeping silently, while his not-even-really boyfriend is trying to comfort him, completely bewildered with what happened. The boyfriend ended up calling his mom, as me, the guy who was working with me at the time, and the teenage boys tried to calm this kid down, reassuring him that his mom was insane and he was perfectly okay the way he was.
Thankfully the boyfriend’s mom showed up, hugged him and told him he was staying with them, and then called his mom the B word.”
When In Doubt, Wasabi
“About a year ago, I was a server at a sushi bar. I witnessed a plethora of awkward and uncomfortable first dates, but one in particular sticks out in my mind.
It was a young couple in their early twenties. The date started out with a lot of formal and shallow conversations along with a lot of awkward fumbles. You could tell the girl was a little disinterested and started looking around impatiently.
Then when I brought them their food, the guy made a comment about how I was a white girl working at a Japanese restaurant. This really didn’t sit well with her, making things even more uncomfortable. When I walked by about 10 minutes later, I saw that he had compiled the wasabi from both his and her plates and decided to eat it in one mouthful in hopes of impressing her.
About five seconds after swallowing, he started crying and gagging while she just made a face of pure disgust. He got up to run to the bathroom with his hand covering his mouth. Vomit was shooting through his fingers and onto the floor on the way because he couldn’t keep it down. She promptly left the restaurant. It was pretty awkward.”
Nothing Gets In The Way Of My Mexican Food
“I was working at a Mexican restaurant at the time and a really mismatched couple came in. He was dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt and she was decked to the nines in stiletto boots, full makeup, and a super tight, tiny clubbing dress.
I seated them and took their drink orders. She looked angry. She wasn’t really speaking to him, she was glaring at the waitstaff and other diners and drumming her fingers on the table. They ordered dinner and he kept trying to make conversation.
Then dinner arrived, she took one bite and started SCREAMING at him about how terrible this date was, she doesn’t even LIKE Mexican food, and how dare he?! To top this off, she took another bite of her meal, SPIT IT OUT AT HIM and then stormed out of the restaurant. The place went silent. Literally, everyone was watching this.
I rushed over to take payment for him so he could leave and this guy, this freaking guy, leaned back in his chair and said, ‘Ah, screw her,’ and started eating her entree.”
A Surprise Visit
“I saw a really uncomfortable first date once.
She arrived first. I sat her outside along the front of the building, a two top against one of the two big glass windows that look out from the bar/indoor dining area. After a few minutes, he walked up and I caught a very awkward hug/handshake/cheek kiss, which gave me enough anxiety about needing to wait on the two.
They had a good amount of confidence when ordering drinks and food and seemed comfortable, but throughout the meal, she was getting edgy and distant in their interactions and it was clearly growing uncomfortable. I was standing at the service bar during a lull and the bartender handed me two glasses, sent from a big six top to go out to the two.
Turns out her family was eating at the same place and were watching the whole thing. I can only imagine what they were texting her about it, which is why she was losing her cool. When I walked out with the glasses and told them it was from a table inside, she could not have made herself smaller if she tried. I barely got the glasses down and said they were sent from a table inside before the dad was beside me. I split so fast and could see him shaking the guy’s hand while his daughter was trying so hard to go invisible. Obviously, I ran inside to tell all of my coworkers.
Eventually, the mom went out and they were all chatting, still with the daughter’s head in her hands. Once the parents came back in, I dropped the check without being asked and in minutes they’d paid in cash and were gone.
I still think of how embarrassed that lady must have been and can’t believe they were all at the same restaurant in a mid-sized college town.”
Your Choking Is Inconveniencing Me
“I used to hang out at the mall until my friends would get off work at 10.
I saw a young couple come in and I could kind of hear their conversation. They were very very polite to each other and you could tell it was the first date or close to it.
The girl got very red in the face and then just stood straight up and coughed. A big chunk of meat flew out of her mouth and landed on the guy’s forehead. I mean, you couldn’t get it more square above the eyes.
Then she passed out and fell to the floor. They called 911 and the fire department came and made sure she was alright. While the FD guys were talking to her, the guy got mad and left her there. He just jetted.
So she didn’t have a ride and she was crying, so the bar staff said they would take her home. (This is before cell phones.) So, my one friend showed and we asked if she needs a ride. It’s a small town, so she said yes and we were going her way. Then she changed her mind and asked if she can go hang with us, which was no problem. We were all pretty close in age and we were going bar hopping, so she might find her friends.
Three years later, my buddy married her and he owes it all to her choking and having a dude skip out.
All The Pizza In The World Couldn’t Save That Date
“A few years back I was working at Pizza Hut as a driver. We had the smallest store in the area, and there were no booths or tables for customers. You come in to pay and leave.
There is one small bench barely able to seat two inside the door. This ‘couple,’ probable freshman, come in and the lad nervously orders a single medium pizza. The whole time he was ordering it, he was trying to be very literate and use a bunch of old English sounding phrases to sound appealing or smart or something.
Fast forward the 10 minutes of cooking time he spent crammed on that tiny bench with the girl, who was visually uncomfortable, but either too polite or too nervous to leave. I was hoping they’d leave and take it to a car or to the park but no. He started trying to hand feed her pizza…on a bench too small to comfortably seat two. He was doing this with three to four customers in line less than two feet in front of them, and drivers constantly having to step over their legs to get out of the store.
In-between the cringy ‘want another bite?’ questions, she was practically shaking at this point and closing her eyes out of embarrassment. That was a big mistake because he slips in for a kiss instead of pizza. Regrettably, it worked and she revolted and threw up on the rest of the pizza in his lap. She bolted and ran off, but he tried to order another pizza to go, because ‘she didn’t get to finish it, she’ll like it if I bring her another.'”
Their Date Required A Clean Up
“An elderly couple came in and ordered food at my parents’ restaurant. The lady in question was crabby and upset and wasn’t all that happy. The gentleman friend of hers was trying to make things go better. Turned out, they weren’t married, they lived in a local fold (retirement home) and were out on a date.
The man proceeds to stand up to use the facilities…only he was too late and a lump of feces rolled out his trouser leg. Obviously distressed and embarrassed, his lady friend did the right thing by announcing very loudly, ‘Oh, Christ. You’ve soiled yourself again.’
My brother had to clean it up. He wasn’t impressed.”
Heartless First Date
“We had a lady on a blind first date come in last week and she has her table booked. Three hours later she was still sitting at the bar, waiting. The bloke had stood her up and it had really upset her. To make matters worse, he had phoned in and when I answered the phone, he said that he had arrived but had seen what she looked like and that she wasn’t his type, but he couldn’t face her to tell her, so could we tell her?
You can bet I didn’t tell her that, I just pulled my manager to one side and filled her in on what the man had said and we both agreed that was heartless, so we said nothing to her.
I do feel bad, but probably not as bad as I would have if I’d told her the truth.”
Pick A Hand
“Not sure if it was the first date, but I wouldn’t assume this guy could get a second.
He put a five dollar tip in one hand and a twenty in the other. Though I first resisted at first, he insisted that I choose a hand for my tip. It was uncomfortable for me and the girl. When I got the five, I really expected him to say that he was kidding and give me the 20. But he didn’t.
It was so mean. I was 20 and I had a baby at home. My livelihood was so funny to him. It’s been nearly a decade, but I’ll never forget the way that made me feel. Such a jerk move.”
Dealing With A Rude Date
“I’ve had one date at my bar, which seemed to be alright, nothing special.
The lady arrived first, so I opened a tab in her name. We don’t take your credit card or ID or anything when you open a tab, we just need your name here in the Netherlands. They seemed to get along and including some dessert, their bill came to about 50 euros. They decided to call it a night and she asked for the bill.
Now my personal rule is that I’ll put the bill in front of whoever asks for it. I do not care if you are male or female, young or old, hammered or sober; whoever asks for the bill gets it. So since she asked for it, I put it in front of her. She looked at the bill like it’s covered in diseases and tells me, ‘Ew, don’t give it to me. HE is the man, HE is paying.’
He responded by saying, ‘Forget what we just talked about, the date is over. I’m going home,’ and he walked out.”
My Compliments To The Chef
“I worked at a Pizza Hut and a couple came in on their first date. They were in their mid-twenties and on a first date at Pizza Hut, but I don’t judge.
The guy was trying way too hard to impress her and she was noticeably uncomfortable, but somehow he kept managing to save it. I brought them their pizza and the guy, who was still trying to impress her, wanted to send his compliments to the chef. We were quite busy that night so I couldn’t go get the ‘chef’ — a 20-something college dropout — as he was busy, so I offered to bring them to him. The girl said she’s okay and wanted to wait at the table. The guy was terrified and I could see by the look on his face that he knew he didn’t have much of a choice. Once in the kitchen, he went on for about 15 minutes about how it was the most beautiful pizza he’d ever seen and how the chef should get a raise for delivering outstanding work. It was obvious he has no idea what he’s doing. This never happens, so the chef was just as confused as I was by the whole situation.
Once he stopped complimenting, I offered to take him back to his seat but when we got in view of his booth I noticed his date had left. I stopped in my tracks and yelled, ‘I’m coming,’ to my boss, who didn’t call for me, just so I didn’t have to be with the guy when he realized she’d left him. Five minutes passed and he was just sitting there, holding back tears, when he finally asked for takeout. I felt bad for not being able to hold in my laughter long enough for him to walk out the door.”
Dating The Riddler
“I’m not a waiter, but I was once at a Pho place and this awkward date was happening at the table next to me.
In summary, the guy tried to book 15 more dates with her. He literally wanted every Saturday until her booked vacation, and the girl said, ‘We’ll see.’ My understanding of ‘We’ll see’ is a ‘No,’ but who knows. He proceeded to interrogate the girl in the most awkward way.
One example was that he asked her if she liked the soup. She said yes, and then he asked her about why she liked the soup. Then he asked why she liked the flavor of the soup, and why she liked savory things. At one point she just said, ‘It’s just a personal preference.’
He then said, ‘Why do you have such a personal preference?'”
How Long Do YOU Take To Get Ready?
“Oh man, I don’t know how bad it is relatively speaking, but one this guy was complaining that his date had taken too long to get ready.
She had clearly put a lot of effort into her appearance. He asked me, ‘Like how long do you think a person should take to get ready? How long do YOU take to get ready?’ It was so awkward. I don’t even think I was their server; he’d just roped me in.”
An Awkward First Conversation
“I’m not a waiter, but I was on a work trip and was having dinner and a drink at a restaurant bar.
About halfway through my dinner, a guy walked up beside me and ordered a drink. He downed it real fast and ordered another and again, downed it real fast. The bartender asked if he wanted another and he said he’d wait until his friend arrived.
Five minutes later or so, a lady showed up and they exchanged pleasantries. I wasn’t really paying attention, but from what I saw and heard, I could tell it was the first date.
At this point, I was interested and started listening in while focusing my eyes on the football game. As they were talking, they got on to his past. I couldn’t hear everything, but I heard him say he hadn’t been on a date in eight years. Then I heard him speak about his old girlfriend, who he said ‘wasn’t perfect but was perfect for him,’ which I found weird to say to your date, but whatever. I’m married and maybe the rules of dating have changed.
So he went into this long story about how she was with someone before they met, but they fell in love anyway. Then he got really choked up and I was super uncomfortable, but also curious. He then talked about how she was murdered. He said the word murdered four times, the last one with some emphasis. They started talking lower and I couldn’t hear as much, but it had something to do with her family in Ohio.
At this point, I’d been done with dinner for 15-20 minutes and I couldn’t imagine being more uncomfortable, so I left.
Maybe it worked out for him with her, but I just can’t imagine bringing up your murdered girlfriend within 20 minutes of your first date in eight years ending great.”
A Really Nervous Date
“I was serving a table who met through Tinder. The young lady seemed enthusiastic about it, her obviously shy Asian date, not so much. He tried to order for them both, but that failed as she spoke over him to order for them instead.
Apparently, he didn’t realize a date meant you had to actually speak, so she spent the rest of the night flagging me down and proceeded to flirt with me the entire date. When she left to the restroom, he asked me what he was doing wrong.
He was so tense that I gave him a shot and told him to just relax. If this didn’t work out, well then it didn’t work out, but to use this as a stepping stone. He seemed to get his stuff together right after. Ah, liquid courage.”