Work holiday parties are always interesting. But, some are a little more interesting than others. Apart from the usual office gossip, sometimes things that are a little more dramatic go down. The people in these stories experienced a work holiday party that they definitely won't forget.
Here are the best stories from Reddit about the worst things people have ever seen happen at a work holiday party. Content has been edited for clarity.
A Dramatic Exit
“We had our Holiday party on a barge. The top floor was rented out to a different company. There was only one male and female toilet per floor and one of the female party-goers from the upstairs party had had way too much to drink before the meal was even served. Between dinner and dessert, she stumbled down the flight of stairs with pee running down her leg and fell into the men’s toilet. She did her thing and fell up the stairs back up to her party. The next thing you know, we hear her screaming, ‘fine then, I’ll just go!’
She jumped overboard into waters we all knew were shark infested. Her date, knowing there was no way she could survive given how wasted she was (not even considering the sharks), emptied his pockets and jumped in after her. They had to stop the barge, call the police, and end the trip for the rest of us. I have no idea what happened to the jumpers and I didn’t get any dessert.”
No Bonus? No Problem
“Our holiday party was hosted at a really nice restaurant and there was an open bar. We all arrived, had a drink, started chatting and joking around.
Then the CEO arrived and promptly called us all to attention. We assumed he would just be congratulating us on a great year and wishing us a happy holiday, but instead he announced that we would not be receiving bonuses that year and that there would be layoffs in the near future. People were mad.
There was basically a mad dash to the open bar and we all said ‘No bonuses? Okay, I’m drinking my bonus this year then.’
The next several hours were an absolute nightmare. We took more rounds of shots of top-shelf drinks than I can remember. The receptionist vomited onto her plate of filet mignon. Two coworkers had hooked up in the bathroom. The CEO’s wife ended up passed out wasted in a chair next to the coat rack and had to be carried out.
It was glorious.
Also literally half the company called in sick the next day, and those of us who actually came in just spent the day taking turns puking in the bathroom.”
The Party Sparked Company Wide Scandal
“The senior vice-president showed up at the party with his girlfriend. Since he was married with kids at the time this was considered in poor taste at best. It angered a number of mid-level managers who started looking into things.
It turned out that he had engineered a no-show job for her at $95k a year. Her primary function was flying with him on the company plane to conferences and such. He even took her to investor meetings where the wives of the big investors took a very dim view of the proceedings. One of the managers leaked all this to the local newspaper.
The end result? He was fired, along with several director-level flunkies who had been keeping this all under wraps. Eventually, even the CEO was forced to step down when it became apparent he was complacent about the no-show job.
It was a dull party to begin with. He could have easily skipped it but he had to flaunt his girlfriend in front of us peons.”
Fool Me Once
“HR had booked us into the function room of a hotel. It was one of those big, out of town places that do wedding receptions. Everyone had to pay $50 per head to attend, $75 for plus ones.
When we arrived, the room we’d booked already had another party in it. They’d double-booked the room and just assumed that one company wasn’t going to turn up. So there were 300 people trying to share a space meant for 200 at the most. There were not enough chairs or tables and no room to move.
When the food came, we had to take turns eating our courses while people stood around us, waiting. The venue had lost our meal choices so it was basically ‘eat what we give you.’ The food itself had clearly been microwaved from frozen. It was scalding hot on the outside and still frozen in the center.
After it became clear that this was going to be the standard for the night, our manager ordered pizzas for just our party, to be delivered to the function room. Most of those who had already eaten the food provided ended up with food poisoning.
Afterward, we all demanded a full refund. The company got its deposit back but the employees got nothing. The following year, HR booked the same venue as they’d given us a huge discount and promised that it would be better this time.
It wasn’t. It was pretty much the same: Microwaved food and watered down drinks. After that, people refused to sign up for the next one unless they chose a new venue.
That company was a bunch of penny-pinching wankers.”
The Darkest Holiday Party
“I worked at a no-frills grocery store. We had a pretty interesting boss. He was only 28 but he owned the store. He would go through an identity crisis literally every month. One month he would be full hipster, the next month full cowboy, then gangster, then biker, then athletic lifter, then lumberjack. The guy was messed up. Anyway, we all got wasted at the Christmas party. In the late hours of the night, we all went back to his place. He was being ridiculous and got in a fight with his girlfriend. They were yelling back and forth and then she dumped him on the spot. She left and he was quiet for a while.
He went to his room and came out with a weapon. He loaded it up and started telling everyone he’s going to kill himself. Our assistant manager got up to address him and he turned it towards him and aggressively told him to sit down. The owner of the store sat down in his chair with his weapon and put it under his chin. Everyone was trying to yell some sense into him. He gave it up after a few minutes. It wasn’t spoken about after that. We all went to work the next day. He didn’t come in for a week after that but then he came in as if nothing happened. I quit a few weeks later. He sold the store a year later, only after getting his ex pregnant in an effort that we believe was to keep her around.”
The Office Brat
“We had a white elephant gift exchange. Pretty much every gift was a bottle of hootch or a gift card. One person selected their gift and opened it and it was just a 4 pack of toilet paper. He tried to laugh but he was obviously annoyed. He acted like a brat every gift opening after. If someone got a gift card, he would sarcastically go, ‘Ohhh, wanna trade?’, or ‘Lucky you.’ The last gift was opened and he just went on a rant about how unfair it is everyone got a decent gift and he’s stuck with toilet paper. He demanded to know who the cheapskate was who couldn’t be bothered enough to buy a decent gift but was gladly going home with something someone else bought.
A shy girl from another department raised her hand and quietly said: ‘I brought the gift, did you look at the bottom?’ Sure enough, he flipped the toilet paper over and there were 2 tickets to an NBA game taped to the bottom. The guy turned red, quietly apologized, and sat down. He left like 2 minutes later without a goodbye to anyone.”
The Universe Was Looking Out For Him
“I found myself single for the first time in a while right before my old job’s annual Christmas party. I didn’t want to be responsible/attached for a date so for my plus one I brought my younger brother. I thought ‘hey we can both drink it up for free and who knows where this night might go with both us unattached and free to mingle.’
It was roughly two hours into the party and I was feeling great! My charm and charisma were on point. I was making everyone laugh in the group I was standing with. I danced a lot and it was just a great party. Then someone I don’t work with and barely know tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘that guy over there, is that your brother?’ I affirmed he was, the guy said, ‘I’ve picked him up off the floor 3 times, you need to take him home.’ Just as he said that my brother fell down again.
I politely excused myself from my friends and coworkers and made my way over to my brother who was way more hammered than I ever thought anyone could be after only showing up 2 hours ago. I literally had to hook my right hand in his belt at the small of his back, throw his left arm/hand over my shoulders, and grab his left wrist with my left and hold him upright as I walked him out of my company Christmas party. He just kept apologizing profusely in extremely slurred speech. I said, ‘no problem, I am locking you in my truck and returning to the party, just sleep it off and I’ll take care of you in the morning.’ He’s like ‘sure ok.’
My truck was about 2 blocks from the venue. I was literally hoisting his entire body weight as his feet dragged behind and attempted to walk to the truck. The venue was at a state university ballroom. Coming down the street ahead of us, I could see campus police. I calmly said to my brother, ‘game face man, there is campus PD.’ In our town, everyone knows campus PD are prick and will jam you up if they can so it was serious, I just needed him to act ok for 30 seconds. He turned to me and slurred out ‘I’m right as the mail’ in his best Val Kilmer as ‘Doc Halliday’ impression. He promptly shoved off of me and took off sprinting down the sidewalk.
To his credit, he made it farther than I thought possible, but he was never going to make it. After about 20 feet of what I can only assume was him trying to sprint out of a forward fall, he ate sidewalk in a fantastic fashion. Instantly, a siren blips and we were bathed in red and blue lights from campus PD. I ran to collect my brother and made sure he wasn’t broken as the cop started screaming at us about how ridiculous we were. 2 minutes later, we were cuffed and in his patrol car. Don’t worry, many, many colleagues and coworkers saw me getting cuffed and placed in a cop car.
This cop continued to berate us about being irresponsible losers who drink at a party on a Saturday night. He was getting all our info while my brother continued to apologize next to me. This all led up to the fantastic moment where the universe reached out to me and in amazing fashion granted me a solid. This horrible woman from work who was always super negative and complained about everything drove out of a parking lot next to us and directly into a brick wall. I stared in shock at what I just witnessed. A car literally drove out of this lot and never swerved or anything. She just straight up drove into a wall at about 10 mph. Two things happened then. I saw that negative nancy from work stumble out of the driver’s seat obviously wasted and the cop hung his head and let out a large sigh. He turned and looked at me in his back seat and said. ‘if you can get a sober DD here in 10 minutes you can go.’ He uncuffed me and gives me my phone. Then, he proceeded to berate negative Nancy. I called my pre-arranged DD and said, ‘I need you here as soon as you can safely get here if you’re not here in 10 we go to jail.’
Like a saintly DD, my best friend’s wife showed up in a bathrobe obviously half asleep still and we went back to their house for ice water and sleep. I was famous at work the following Monday but not as famous as negative Nancy.”
This Ended Well For Some People
“Early in my professional life, the company held a great party. The owner paid for everything. It was a great time. There was tons of drinks.
There were these two people who definitely had the whole Work Husband and Work Wife vibe. They were married to people who had never met each other. Dinner happened, there were drinks available, etc. They disappeared. Their actual spouses were bothered that their spouses were in the bathroom for a long time. The work wife’s husband found them in the men’s room hooking up. He came out and revealed what he found. There was lots of yelling and arguing. The work husband and work wife insisted they’d never slept together before because clearly, two people who aren’t sleeping together decide the play is to hook up at a party with their spouses in attendance. Drinks were dumped on people.
The coworkers left together, presumably to continue their rendezvous at a hotel. Their spouses stayed and hit it off. I left that job about six months later. When I left, those two were dating while their divorces went through. The people who still work there told me those two are married with multiple kids. The Party Cheaters got married the day they were officially divorced but split less than a year later.”
Airing Of Grievances
“A long time ago, I worked in a bank branch that had about a dozen employees in total. We went out to dinner for Christmas one night. The branch manager said that she was getting people cabs in case they wanted to drink. That was some sort of cue for everyone to get hammered.
The quietest, meekest person that worked there got very sloppy wasted. It turned out she had been dealing with a lot of stuff at home, and so she really let loose. She started telling everyone exactly what she thought of them which was never anything positive:
I overheard her talking to a coworker, ‘…and that’s why I never liked you.’
I laughed. She turned to me and said, ‘And yoouuu….you know what your problem is?’ If I recall correctly, it was that everyone knew I changed my outgoing voicemail greeting from home and came into work late, every single day and I wasn’t fooling anyone but I thought I was smarter than everyone else. It was so uncomfortable and awkward I didn’t put a lot of stock into what she was saying.
But really, it was like something out of a movie. She ended leaving a couple of months later since no one would talk to her anymore. I just felt bad for her. Later we found out she was in the process of separating with her husband at Christmas. There was just awkwardness all around.”
“We have a small staff of about 15 people, so the staff party is at the boss’ house. He gets it catered, the whole deal. One of the sales girls (#1) brought her boyfriend, who she had been seeing for about 37 minutes prior to the party. Turns out, he had previously dated one of the other sales girls (#2) a few years ago. No big deal, the ladies were fine about it. The problem was that sales girl #2 had also brought her new boyfriend. The boyfriend with sales girl #1 had a few drinks and made some comment to the boyfriend of #2 along the lines of ‘how do my sloppy seconds taste?’
A fight ensued. The boss’ pool table got absolutely destroyed. There was red vino everywhere. The carpets were ruined, everyone was screaming, and my wife and I are sitting in the corner with our nachos enjoying the show. Good times.”
“My company gives awards for ten year anniversaries. As this one guy got his, he decided to give a speech. People normally don’t give speeches but it was his moment so the owner stepped aside. The guy was hammered.
It was a known secret he had been charged with murder several years back. He got off somehow. He went on and on about how appreciative he was that the owners supported him and his family. We could barely understand him due to how wasted he was and the fact that stone cold sober, he wasn’t really all that articulate.
Between the slurred thank yous and his wife gently trying to get him off stage, it sounded a lot like the guy confessed.
Speeches were no longer allowed.”
The Nightmarish Venue
“My dad’s employer booked a horrible venue one year. It was an empty warehouse on the South Side of Chicago. It wasn’t nearly big enough and there wasn’t any seating for some reason. As if that wasn’t enough, there was hardly any lighting so it was quite dark. On top of that, because the gods of Christmas nightmares apparently didn’t think we’d taken enough punishment, there was also no heat. Did I mention it was December in Chicago?
So, picture about 500 people packed like sardines into a dimly lit, way too small room, unable to sit, with all of their winter gear on. Everyone was desperately trying to move around to stay warm but also trying not to bump into each other because you had less than a foot of room between you and the next person.
There was food there but I refused to eat it. I didn’t trust them not to mess that up, too. So after spending 3 hours in that nightmare, I left absolutely starving on top of everything else.”
He Had No Clue Who He Was Talking To
“My employer decided that, on that particular Christmas and for the first time, staff could bring along their wives/husbands/SOs.
One of my close colleagues, slightly over-refreshed, nudged the woman he was standing next to. He nodded at a male and a female colleague, both out on the dance floor, and said: ‘He’s been sleeping with her all year.’
The woman he was talking to was the guy’s wife. There was ‘a scene’ in which my colleague had his lights punched out. The company never invited SOs again.”
“The owner of the company took us to a very expensive steakhouse for dinner. This place actually wheeled out a large side of beef on a cart and cut your steak to order in front of you before taking it to cook it. Their shrimp dishes are nationally known for being amazing, I ate 5 of them. Guys were getting pretty hammered with the owner and someone talked him into buying shots of Louis XIII for us all at $450 a shot. I had three of those.
The next day we showed up to work to find the door locked and no one there. We started making calls and found out that the owner had just that morning taken the company jet and a lot of money he wasn’t supposed to have access to and ran away. About a month later, we found out he went to somewhere in South America, where he is presumably still living like a king. A few of us were mad that he didn’t ask us to come along.”
Maybe Just Stay Home Next Year
“They hired out a members club so I thought it would be at least a decent standard facility. The bar was staffed by one rather grumpy older lady. Someone brought a punch bowl and someone else spiked it. My friend went outside and vomited blood all over the place.
A group of six guys wouldn’t leave me alone the entire evening because they wanted to know how I had ‘kept that on a tight leash’ because they found my wife attractive. There was a karaoke that only one person did and they wouldn’t stop doing it. Two people who were not married to each other got caught in the toilets together.
Oh, and someone got hammered and tried to fight the boss, for the third year in a row. It was a different boss each year.”