Watching someone get fired is almost always an awkward and painful affair, even if they absolutely deserve it. However, sometimes the culmination of events is so dramatic or you dislike the person so much that you simply can't look away like it's an awful, beautiful trainwreck. It can still be hard to watch, but they definitely make for some great stories.
Whether it's a coworker with a personal and vicious vendetta against you for being their partner's ex, or a holiday party prank that backfires horrendously, nobody in their right mind would make these mistakes even on their worst day. That being said, people who get fired for reasons this outrageous are typically cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Here are Reddit users' weirdest, most insane tales of the best reason they saw someone get fired for. Content edited for clarity.
"My 22-year-old coworker at a kayak shop inappropriately harassed one of the regulars. He was handsome, fairly intelligent, and well-liked. She was a leathery, flirty, baby-voiced space case with implants who came in often and seemed surprised at everything anyone ever said.
One day, this guy asked her if she wanted to go smoke a blunt with him in his car. She said, 'No, I haven't done that since high school!'
He pointed down to his stiffy visible through his wetsuit and said, 'But look what you did to me! How are we gonna fix this?'
We fired him that day. When we asked him what he was thinking, he just hung his head and said he couldn't explain it, asking us not to tell anyone. He then promptly got wasted and told everyone. Nowadays he's kind of a creepy, bearded misogynist and nobody can really explain what the heck happened to him."
"This woman was the store manager at the Dollar General I worked at and I was an assistant manager. She would attempt to have morning meetings where she would scream at us over how we 'allowed' people to shoplift. The first and last of these that I went to, she started screaming and slamming a bottle of detergent around so I began to leave. She demanded to know where I was going and I told her it was too freaking early to let her scream at me over something that was above my pay grade, so I was leaving, and she sure as heck wasn't going to stop me. She threatened to fire me, and I told her I would see her in court.
She screamed when we didn't get our freight up on the shelves fast enough. Witch, do it your dang self. Store managers are not exempt from putting up freight. She screamed at outside vendors, who all hated her. But, that's not why she got fired. She started running check scams. She would wait until she was the only manager on duty, go to buy something, and then bully the cashier who didn't know better into taking her check and running it as cash. She lied outright and said the district manager knew and was okay with it.
Finally, the other assistant manager and I blew the whistle on her when we found out what was going on. That was when she got fired. She had to pay restitution and if she hadn't, they would have prosecuted her and sent her to jail. Also, she is banned from every single Dollar General in the country. They all have her information. The last time I saw her was at a local laundromat and she was itching for a fight, which she successfully got into and resulted in her being kicked out of the laundromat and banned from there as well. Yep, she's trash."
"A guy was helping a coworker install heavy/expensive high-tech stage equipment high up on a ceiling. They realized halfway through the installation that they needed a tool to finish installing, but due to the way it was half-installed, one of them would have to hold it in place (if he let go, the expensive equipment would be destroyed) until they had the tool they needed.
So one worker held it in place while the other left to go pick up the tool. But instead of getting the tool, the other coworker stopped to talk to several people and literally spent an hour and a half mucking around before casually strolling back with the toolbox. The guy holding the equipment felt like he was about to die from holding it up for so long, and was furious with the idiot who had left to get the tool.
We (the managers) caught the whole thing on security footage. When we asked the idiot why he spent an hour and a half messing around and talking to people, he said, 'Well, you told me to stop being rude to clients, so I made sure to talk to everybody. So, really, this is your fault. What was I supposed to do?' Fired."
"In high school, I worked at a movie theater and we had pretty set schedules due to school and sports, but we also had mandatory shifts for special events based off of a shift sheet.
One of my coworkers was scheduled to work the midnight showing of The Dark Knight, but he called in sick that day. Then he just casually showed up to the movie that night as a patron. Management wanted to fire him but decided to just cut back on his hours.
Fast forward two months and he was working a Saturday morning special where they show vintage children's movies before the theater opens for a discounted rate (for example, Curious George at 9 am for $2 a ticket).
He got caught by a family in the middle of his shift as he was hooking up with a chick in the back row of the theater. That time they fired him."
"I got tipsy on my day off and left my phone unattended. I went to check on it around 9 pm and saw four missed calls from my boss and six from a coworker. I decided to call my boss first; she told me that my coworker needed me to cover her midnight-6 am shift for a 'family emergency.'
I told my boss, 'Sorry, I've been drinking.' She said that since there were still three hours before I'd need to be there, she wouldn't care if I was a bit tipsy because I've always been a good worker (and it was just a fast-food restaurant so no biggie). I agreed and called my coworker.
Before I even got the chance to tell her I'd do it, she gave me a whole sob story about how her 8-month-old niece had just died and how she loved her so much and it hurt so much, blah blah blah. Whatever, I gave her my condolences and agreed to take her shift.
The next day, my boss calls me to tell me that it was all a load of crap because the restaurant owner went to the only pool bar in town and saw this girl working behind the bar. She was fired on the spot and I was offered a...free burger for being a team player and as an apology for taking away my only off night that week."
"A guy in my hometown got fired for pooping on a pizza as a joke. He grabbed a pizza from the Christmas party, took a poop on it, then put it back. He was fired the next day.
It kind of ruined his life since he got fired from one of the mills in town, which is literally one of the few places a person with just a high school education can make six figures. His family had to sell their house and move since it's not like he could work at the other mills, given his reputation. It was pretty sad, but then again...he pooped on a pizza so he had it coming."
"My ex's new girlfriend got hired at the same time as me at the same convenience store. I had no idea until I saw her standing at the register the day before my first shift. She had already made nasty posts on Facebook about me being 'mentally ill' and used it to manipulate people because that's what he told her (I have autism).
I kindly asked her to remove the posts because I didn't know her nor did she know me, and you shouldn't base your judgment of someone off of what their mooching ex said about them. This girl went off the rails, cussing me out over Facebook. She had just turned 18 and I was 21, and it was some real high school bullcrap.
Then she went to our boss and tried to get me fired before I even shared the Facebook drama that she started. She got off on being an 'inflammatory social justice warrior' according to her Instagram bio but in reality, she was just confused about the point she was trying to make 90% of the time. Also, her trying to sabotage me over Facebook drama immediately put her on my boss's blacklist.
Three weeks into her working at the store, she told a customer, who came in looking for Tylenol for her child who had cancer, 'No one cares that your kid has cancer,' implying that the lady was using it for sympathy.
The lady posted a negative review of this girl on our store's Facebook page. This crazy girl proceeded to steal the log-in information for the page from the manager's office and began to message this woman all kinds of abusive crap. She started bragging about 'standing up for herself' in our employee group chat and the next day, she was fired. To top it all off, she got a lifetime ban from the store after she came in the following day and stormed into the back office trying to cuss out our boss."
"This guy who used to work with me literally took 30 sick days in six months. He claimed he was in remission from cancer and that sometimes it left him too weak to come in. He never provided any evidence of it, despite the department head telling him that he had to show something. He would also come in at 11:30 and stay until like 8 at night. Official hours were 9-5 with 'reasonable flex,' which the rest of us took as, 'You can get in at 9:30 and leave at 5:30' or 'Come in at 9, don't take lunch, leave at 4.' We never really saw any evidence of what he was doing, particularly in those three hours after we left.
One week, he'd just gotten a work laptop and he took it home, as many of us did. Come Monday, he never appeared. The manager tried calling him throughout the day, no answer. The next day, he called in saying his mother was in the hospital and he had to stay with her. He also said he had his laptop so we could just email him and he'd do stuff. Our boss was skeptical but took his word for it, assuming he'd be back in a day or two.
Well, we didn't hear from him for a week, then most of the next. We'd send him work to do while he was away, and nothing would happen. It got to the point where we really needed some stuff that he'd emailed to a customer and against policy hadn't CC'd our central mailbox, so our boss logged into his email.
As it turned out, he'd been using his work email to coordinate going out on a bender with his mates during the time when his mother was supposed to be at death's door and he couldn't leave her side. From the emails, the bender started on the third day he was out and basically lasted for a full week. I ended up having to give a deposition to our manager as part of the process of firing him because I was his direct coworker. I have no idea what he was thinking."
"A girl called into my husband's work from a number that wasn't her own, saying, 'I got carjacked on my way to work so I won't be able to come in all week and I'm calling from my friend's phone because my phone was in the car, so you won't be able to reach me for about a week, either.'
As soon as she hung up, management called the cell phone that was listed on her file and she picked up and said, 'Hey, I'm driving, who's this?'"
"This is the story of the phantom cash register. I'm an accountant and once had to investigate this big supermarket chain that noticed that in one of their stores, their costs and their sales didn't even vaguely relate to each other. Some days, their sales would be 50% down on what they expected but their cost on products and stuff were basically right on the estimate.
They thought that that the store was doing something that created an incredible amount of waste, so they went in to audit it. The audit went on with no problems in the stock room, so they went out to the floor. That was when they realized that the store had 13 cash registers, but their computer system only had 12.
It turned out that the manager had told the head office that one of their registers was damaged in some kind of incident and got approval to get a new one (not just the machine, the whole setup: counter, conveyor belt, register, etc). Somehow he convinced the engineer that his job order was wrong and that he was installing a whole new setup rather than replacing one, so the engineer installed it and left.
Then the manager configured the register so that any payments that went through it went directly into his bank account. Also, this new register was right by the door, and the company's policy was that you always kept the lane closest to the entrance/exit open. So no matter how quiet it was, this register was always active.
Well, they did an investigation and found out that he'd managed to steal nearly a QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS over the time he'd been running the scam. He ended up busted by the police, got a conviction, was ordered to pay it all back, and eventually went bankrupt."
"I once worked a couple of summers on a casual contract in a food factory, one of those ones that makes microwave meals. The young guys worked in the cooking area and would have a laugh during the shift, but we were all mature enough to know when to get on with the work.
There was one kid who started with me fresh from school and really wanted to get taken on permanently. A couple of months in, we both got offered full-time positions; I turned it down as I was going back to college a few weeks later but this kid took it.
Having done all the paperwork, he started his first week on the job not knowing it would also be his last. Most of the meals we made were for big brand companies and one time a very major customer was coming in for a visit during the week. That meant we all basically had the day off from work so we didn't mess up, but they also created a sample line just so the client could see the process and we wouldn't lose the contract.
This kid did not grasp the importance of the situation and while the client was examining the line, he came out of cold storage with some mashed potatoes and flung them at one of our coworkers while laughing. This would have been ok on any other day as long as senior management wasn't around, but not this day; he accidentally hit one of the visitors. The kid was gone within the hour and left in a flood of tears."
"Some idiot who cooked at a restaurant I worked in hated cops because he was a worthless human being/skinhead who was constantly being arrested for doing dumb crap. He had only worked there a few days before the first cops came in to eat (we offered 50% off for uniformed police) and he tried to execute his stupid revenge plot. One of the cops ordered a pasta dish and this dude took a paper towel and wipes his butt with it in the back.
Then he came to the line and threw the paper towel into the sauté pan with the cops food. The head chef smacked the handle of the saute pan, flinging the poo towel and hot food onto the idiot. Then the chef launched into a crazy tirade as he grabbed the idiot and physically threw him from the kitchen. It was all very fast, very violent, and very awesome."
"I had a boss at my current job who lasted about three months. During those three months, I still can't tell you what work she actually did, but these are some of the things she did do. She picked a fight with a doctor because the doctor missed an appointment with her due to having other patients to see. So she, like any normal person, complained to the CEO because they were friends.
She then proceeded to pick a fight with another doctor, who is now my boss, over something trivial, and also complained to the CEO again (we are a small company, so the CEO is not that high up). During this fight, I had to do something that I never thought I would ever have to do in my life: I complained about my boss to HR because she kept showing me emails and trying to get me to criticize the doctor.
However, what ultimately got her fired was the hotel incident. She went to a conference with the CEO and another doctor and got there late. Like, she got to the hotel at about midnight. When they went to run her card for incidentals, it got declined. Rather than call the CEO, or the other doctor, she called her brother on the opposite side of the country. He gave them his card information and she got her room.
Apparently, she was making a disturbance in the room, so security came up to tell her to keep the noise down. Well, she didn't take to kindly to that, so she called the front desk and complained all the way up to the general manager. Well, he didn't give a crap and kicked her out, leaving her stuck in a different city, with nowhere to go, because she had no money.
She then went to the airport to get her flight changed and apparently had a panic attack and had to go to the hospital. We found out she came back because it was during the work week and the CEO's assistant came in asking if she was at work since her online plane ticket indicated that she flew back. My coworker and I had no idea.
A few days later when she was back at work, my coworker and I were called into HR to hideout. They fired her at her desk and didn't want us present. She still called and texted me for like a week, but I ignored her. We found out about a year later that she died six months after she got fired. I feel terrible and I genuinely wonder if she had a health condition of some kind that affected her behavior."
"This woman faked having all the ACA (Association of Chartered Accountants) qualifications, which are basically the gold standard in our industry. She claimed to have run a 40 person accounts team for the better part of a decade, so she applied for a job as the financial controller of a company with a trade just shy of a billion dollars in turnover every year.
In reality, this woman didn't know anything about accounts. Didn't know her credits and debits, didn't understand the difference between assets and liabilities, just really basic stuff that she had no idea about.
Well, about six months in, she realized just how deep she'd gotten herself. She was in a position where if she did things wrong, she could literally end up in prison and she had no idea what she was doing.
She was fired, she had to pay back every penny they'd paid her, reimburse them for the expense they'd incurred on things like her company car. No references and thanks to word of mouth, she wasn't getting anywhere near any kind of senior position again as long as she lived."