30 Redditors Share Their Black Friday Horror Stories
We all love to shop, don’t we? Not just that, it is one of our favorite pastimes too. After all, window shopping is a VERY serious business folks!! And we know, like us, you too patiently wait for the crazy discount season to begin, every single year, to stock up on goodies you’ve had your eyes on but which were a tad bit over your expenditure limit. Black Friday or ‘the ultimate day to shop’ as some people would like to call it, brings back bittersweet memories of how we braved the chilly nights, standing in line outside the stores to get our hands on that ‘half off’ item inside.
But has shopping always been fun for you guys? Or did you ever get elbowed, pushed or screamed at by some random stranger while browsing through stuff at Best Buy or walking between the aisles of Walmart? Anyways, with Black Friday just around the corner, we thought of bringing to you a list of some of the horrible Black Friday experiences shared in a Reddit thread. Read on and as you do make your shopping list for THE DAY!
Setting A Wrong Example
“I work back of house at a Toys R Us. I spent Black Friday taking big ticket items to the back where we just loaded them into the customers car instead of trying to make our way to the front of the store.
Apparently, someone decided it was fine to wander into the back storage room and start opening boxes to find what they wanted. Other customers saw this on jackass do it, and then decided it was ok if they did it too.
Myself and the other back of house guys were busy wrestling with a really obnoxious bed set, so when I made it to the other side of our back storage, I found like 8-10 people just taking cases off our bays and opening them, then tossing them aside if they didn’t want it. They claimed there was nothing indicating they couldn’t come back there. We have a two signs on the swinging door saying “Employees Only” and “Warning: Only authorized personal beyond this point!” (Acharai)
That One Punch
“I’ve thrown one punch in my life. It was on black Friday.
So it was the year the 360 came out. I was standing in line to get some external hard drive next to the video games. And there was this 11ish year old kid with a woman in her 60s. He was waiting for his 360 bundle. Woman before him had “gotten the last one,” sighs all around. Then he says “nope one more” and begins handing it to the kid and this guy comes out of nowhere and pushed the older woman and the kid. The kid hit his face on the edge of a video game rack, you know the one with the metal and plastic dividers. At 19 years old I don’t know what came over me but I instantly swung for the dude’s head and caught him right in the temple sending him into a kurig tower in the middle of the Isle. Everyone froze, including me. Guy had dropped the 360 and got up and walked away. I slid it with my foot to the kid and he didn’t say anything either.
Best part was, as I still wanted the hard drive, I turned to get back in the end of the line. At the same time the rep I’m charge of handing out the other items such as the hard drive asked who was next. The first two people in line just pointed at me, causing me to skip about 5 spots in line.” (Ruckus55)
At The RadioShack
“I worked at RadioShack for a year in college. During Black Friday, one of the sale items was a $10 calculator marked down to $5. Two sweet, elderly women came in to the store looking for them. When I told them there was only one left in the display, the crazy was ON.
It turned in to a geriatric version of roller derby without the skates. The one grandma who lost the race called the other one an “idiot” as she was standing in the checkout line, gripping her $5 prize.
I always imagined some little kid opening presents on Christmas morning and getting this stupid $5 calculator, not really wanting it and having no clue about the back story behind it, as his grandma, sipping her tea, looks on with a triumphant gleam in her eyes.” (Jsquaw)
At The Walmart
“I think it was around Black Friday 2004 and I was a cart pusher at a Walmart. In this particular, year Walmart offered a plasma tv at an extremely low price and was the hottest deal of the year. A man showed up the Tuesday before big sale with a tent, ice coolers, generator, tv and everything he needed to brave the three nights, he would be staying over. He continuously talked about being first in line and how he was going to get the plasma tv and how he was hosting the next Super Bowl party so this was just going to be the best thing ever. Come around Thursday night, I showed up and he was still there in a jolly mood thankful he was about to be able to go home and sleep in his own bed. The news came and he did a short interview and explained what he was waiting for, how he was able to get the time off (he was a truck driver) and was overall excited over the whole ordeal and prided himself for toughing out the cold. The line for the entrance wrapped around the whole front of the door and about another 300 yards or so past the store with thousands of people waiting to get in. At 5:00am, the doors open and the man goes straight to the plasma tvs to see that they were all gone. What happened? The garden center at the Walmart opened up about 10 seconds before the front door and those that came the night before scooped up on all 15 plasma tvs. This guy who had been there since Tuesday afternoon was dumbfounded and argued with management but was stonewalled and told there was nothing that can be done. That guy’s thanksgiving was a bust for sure.” (smuggling_info)
Crazy Towel Story
“Worked security at Target for 5+ years. For being a store in the rougher part of the town, I don’t have too many horror stories. The funniest one I like to tell is a couple years ago, I was there early morning doing crowd control. I would always talk to people in line, try to keep them entertained while they waited in the cold. The first couple in line had been there for about 13 or 14 hours. So we open the store, and we have deals on all sorts of electronics, toys etc. They get in line and have a shopping cart full of towels that we had on sale for $2. That’s it. Just towels. They were first in line outside and waited over half a day for $2 towels. When I left after my 12 hour shift, we still had shelves full of these towels, along with tons more in the stockroom.” (Lineman72T)
Anything For Bacon
“I worked for six yrs at a Johnny rockets in a mall as a server and management. We didn’t open early like the rest of the stores because we are a restaurant and well, we don’t serve breakfast.
Had people shake our gates screaming that they wanted food. It would be just me and a opener getting the chairs set out.
I pointed them towards the food court and told them we didn’t serve breakfast. A lady spit at me and told me “I know you have bacon.”
We do. In a fridge, waiting to be cooked and put on a burger.
Edit. Not all JRs serve breakfast. Some do, some even serve beer. But my location has never been one of them.” (Kidou)
“I haven’t told this story in a while: So I worked for Mrs. Fields Cookies in my local mall during black Friday back when I was in high school. Our manager got called to a store in a different city because a manager had a very severely hurt themselves melting chocolate for their chocolate dipped cookies. I end up having to work for the majority of the day with an equally lazy buddy of mine slinging cookies and taking orders for cookie cakes while the mall was packed. Around 4 in the afternoon (and about $1600 in sales) a gentleman in a button down Mrs. Fields Cookies Shirt comes to our counter telling us he had to do a midday drop for us for whatever money we had taken in the day. I left him in the back. He tinkers for a second on the computer and ends up taking our deposits.
So now it’s an hour before closing time. My boss is now back to our location to help us close. He starts going through our paperwork and money and realizes we are about $1600 short. I explain to him that Mr. Soandso came to our location to do a midday drop since he didn’t work. He told me Mr. Soandso doesn’t exist and calls the corporate office. It turned out this guy had gone over a dozen Mrs. Fields in the area and robbed over 10k worth of money. They never figured out who it was. I ended up being fired over it with my buddy. We stole a giant cookie cake as compensation. Worth it.” (Hereforthefreecake)
It Got Ugly
“My first black Friday, I was working at a Walmart. I was assigned to be one of the employees that would cut open the plastic on the pallets which contained our merchandise, which were all in the floor. Basically, as I readied box cutter, I got shoved by a customer and I fell right on it and sliced my hand open. After getting through that and patching it up, I came out on the floor and promptly got punched in the face when I picked up a DVD on the ground. A customer apparently wanted it. To hell with black Friday.” (Wildfires)
For The Sake Of The Line
“I worked for BBY for 6 years. Everyone knows about the lines that you stand in outside. Part of the process is once you get into the store you stand in another line to buy your products. Our manager thought he was particularly smart winding the line through our appliance department. Mind you there is usually 1500+ people in the building at 6 am (with a line still outside). Well we get a complaint from one of our patrons. After checking the dryers, we find a nice turd in one. Good size solid constancy just sitting there. A lady who did not want to lose her spot opened the dryer, and shat right there in front of every one. I decided that day even though I may want stuff; I will never do THAT in front of an entire crowd of people for $799 50” plasma TV.” (Dave_Versus_Volcano)
“Back when I worked in retail we had people lining up at the doors. We hadn’t finished setting up the signs yet so we were running late. At about a minute after 12 the people outside started pushing on the door and cursing at my manager. The door was a cheap piece of crap so even though it was locked they were able to push it inward. Problem was, it never actually opened but the people at the back of the crowd thought it did so they started pushing and the people at the front started being crushed against the door.
When my manager saw this she immediately opened it up and about 5 people at the front spilled onto the floor and the rest of the people behind them started trampling over them. They were okay though because they were all young guys and I saw them shopping a few minutes later.” (HaberdasherA)
The Angry Customer
“My first day working in retail was Black Friday. My store was running a promotion where you buy one novelty tee shirt and get another half off. Novelty meaning characters, phrases, things of that sort. NOT tee shirts with band names.
A woman comes up to me asking me to help her pick an even number of band tees for the sale. I kindly told her it was novelty tees only, and explained what that meant. She insisted I was wrong and I told her she could check at the register if she didn’t believe me.
Instead the woman gathers a bunch of and tees and tells my manager at the register I told her it was rock tees, not novelty, despite the signs all over the store saying novelty. She wanted the sale honored because “idiot new employee messed up.” My manager knew I didn’t say that and refused. The woman threw all of her stuff around, screamed and stormed out. Whatever. To hell with her, right?
When I took my lunch break she hunted me down in the food court threatening to punch me in the face for telling my manager I wasn’t responsible for the mix up, “ruining her sale” aka foiling her plan to mess with my store. She chased me all the way back to the store screaming with her fists up. I hid in the back for the rest of my shift. I never even got to eat lunch.” (DampCottonClouds)
Hell On Earth
“I used to work at a family-owned vintage video game store at a mall in north Austin. Naturally, the mall opened early for Black Friday at 5:00 in the morning. When I unlocked the door at 4:30 I was blasted by heat. For some reason, he mall’s heating system was outta whack, so one side of the mall was freezing and the other was sweltering. I remember looking at the store’s thermostat and seeing that it read 95 degrees.
Not terribly exciting, but working in a mall on Black Friday in a nearly hundred degrees store is probably the closest literal example of Hell on Earth.” (thesilentchief)
The Sheriff Got Involved
“I worked one black Friday in the clothes dept at Walmart. For like 2 straight hours before the sale began, people hovered over the pallets. The alarm went off and the swarm just went insane.
There were two women in particular on opposite sides, tossing clothes back and forth to each other. Idk what their system was because half the stuff they were just catching and tossing aside. But this little teenager (I mean like petite tiny girl) intercepted a pair of jeans being tossed and the woman went totally INSANE and elbowed her in the face. Instant blood and the little girl was so shocked she just stood there shaking and crying. The woman acted like that was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I pulled her out of the crowd and started to walk her to get her cleaned up when the sheriff appeared out of nowhere. The best part was she was his kid and the woman was arrested on the spot. Hahaha. She had to post bail AND pay full price for her stupid Levi’s.” ([deleted])
“I ran an electronics department in a large retail store and was a veteran to Black Friday. My team always had everything under control. We had tickets for everything that would sell out quickly, we knew exact numbers and where everything was, and had signs for lineups for hourly deals. We were always prepared and never had an issue.
One year, the district manager decided to “observe” our store during Black Friday. She stopped by my department in the thick of it to see how things were going on my end. It was insanely busy of course, but we had everything managed. She was carrying a piece of paper which she told me had some unadvertised markdowns for old inventory. This was news to me. She glanced at it, grabbed my phone, and made a store-wide announcement that we had JVC Digital Camcorders marked down to $49, regular price $199.
As she was making the announcement, I stood there with my jaw open. A sense of fear came over me. I knew the model that was just marked down, and we did have it in inventory. The problem was, we only had 4. The store was packed, and a fast-moving zombie horde of shoppers immediately swamped my department from all sides. It was some Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead crazy. As the horde swept over my department, I saw my district manager hightail it out of there.
I have never been in more fear for my life.” (maybepants)
Cops, Arrests, And Hospital
“This is one a buddy of mine witnessed.
At a local Walmart they started pulling the pallets of black Friday stuff out on Thursday (I had to go get corn, ended up at like 3 different places till I found some.), well these pallets were all set up in the middle of the store with plastic wrapped all the way around, so easily cut the plastic and good to go.
So black Friday comes around, and people are obviously outside the door. Well some people apparently realized what Walmart was doing so they took the liberty of bringing their own razor knife to cut the plastic so they didn’t have to wait for an employee to do it. So doors open, everyone rushes in, and for some reason they didn’t have them all unwrapped yet, well these people are so violent over these sales, that the one employee ended up getting cut on his arm and a few other minor cuts from people with razors. Cops are called, like 3 people are arrested, the employee ends up getting like 15 stitches total.” (zunnol)
Take All Or Leave All
“I’ll start with a small one.
I was working in a video store and we marked down absolutely everything (including our selection of hundreds of used movies) to insane degrees. I mean 50% or more in most cases. Used movies were practically giveaways.
Among the usual mobs were this guy and his wife who walked in with a box of those giant professional grade trash bags. They proceeded to fill up four of these trash bags. At one point, they were just going through the used bins and throwing things in there.
Naturally then when they got to the register, they had quite a few doubles. Every time they would hit a double they’d remove it. Because of the sheer volume of movies, they had a tough time keeping up with everything and were taking forever to check out.
Luckily my manager came up and acknowledging the increasingly angry lines of people behind them, told the couple they can either buy everything they have in the bags regardless of whether it was a double or leave.
After some arguments the husband eventually grabbed the bags and upended them, spilling the DVD’s on the floor right in front of the register. They then left.
The best part? Customers started to go after the movies on the floor like vultures before we could get to them.” (Denton56)
“Not exactly a horror story like you are looking for, but still related.
I used to work at Best Buy. On Black Friday I worked a 12 hour shift at a register the whole day. 12 hours of constant repetition became a blur. When I got home and went to bed, I couldn’t sleep because every time I fell asleep I would have a nightmare that was essentially me thinking “crap, I need to get back to my register” and then semi-consciously walking around my room trying to find it. I got maybe 3 hours of sleep after a 12 hour shift. It was awful.” (arkofconvenant)
The Kind Stranger
“This is not a horror story but it did happen early on Black Friday. In 2008 my son and I stood all night outside Best Buy so he could get a deal on a gaming console. They are really organized and they passed out papers to the people for the door busters. They let those in the front of the line pick first. We were 12 back or so. They had laptops for $299, $499, $699, etc., as well as other great prices. So they get 5-6 past us and a lady asks for the $299 laptop and clerk says they only have the $499 and up laptops left. Lady starts to cry, says she is starting night school and can’t afford the $499 laptop and that she waited all night (which she had because she got there shortly after we did). A complete stranger from in front of us in the line walks over to her and says, “I knew I brought so much cash for a reason”, and then peeled off $200 and handed it to her and walked back to his spot. People were losing it. “Do you know him?!” “Nope.” “Did you see that, a guy gave that woman $200.” Coolest thing I’ve ever witnessed at Christmas.” (phil8248)
Ice Cream Maker Thief
“I saw an elderly woman steal an ice cream maker out of a man in a wheelchair’s electric handicapped cart. He got a security guard, and she flat out denied it saying the man was using his handicap to embarrass her. I lost a little faith in humanity in that moment. I followed her and took stuff out of her cart and put it back on the shelves and out random embarrassing items in their place.” (madamimadam89)
Asian Girl Is The Winner
“Not a worker but a shopper. One dark Black Friday morning….
I was at an Urban Outfitters in San Diego looking at clothes at 4:30 in the morning when there is this shriek coming from the girls section. All the guys (there were only like 8 of us) run over to watch these two 100 pound teenage blonde haired entitled girls just going at it over some dress. No one was stopping them and then this little Asian girl walked out into the middle and slowly grabbed the dress while the girls were fighting and backed out of the circle. She calmly went to buy it while the two girls were ripping out each other’s hair and their moms’ were trying to stop them.” (nnnaaaiii)
The One At Victoria’s Secret
“I used to work at Victoria’s Secret PINK and my first black Friday, I was at the front of the store. People were already outside waiting to get in at midnight. When the foods lifted, I was pushed backwards and almost fell to the ground, luckily I fell on our launch table. I climbed the table and stayed up there throwing customers hoodies and yoga pants. It was fun yelling “green hoodie, size small, who wants it?” and everyone jumping and yelling for it. Also, a girl fainted and I had to push people from walking all over her.” (starfoxbella)
Uncivilized Girls Disrupt Store
“I worked at an Ulta Cosmetics store a few years back and everything was crazy, but good so far. Well a group of teenage girls came in with HUGE bags and went straight to the perfume section. Then on top of that they were cussing LOUDLY and a lot and were just generally disrupting everything. Well my manager goes over there and just calmly asking them to quit cussing and talking so loudly, and they erupted and screaming and hollering like uncivilized farm animals.
My manager then of course told them to leave the store. Well at that point, I was close to the door along with pretty much all the other employees trying to call police/assess the situation, when this one chick who had been the main one screaming, pulled out a mace and sprayed my manager straight in the eyes and then proceeded to do a spray over towards my area with the rest of the employees. Unfortunately for her, there was a REALLY huge guy with his wife there and he straight up tackled her and put her in a headlock while her friends ran away as fast as they could. The cops ended up having to taze her in the parking lot because she tried to bite an officer. Crazy stuff. I have never seen anyone behave like that over nothing. Haven’t worked retail since.” (Psyqonaut)
Over A Furby
“I worked at Toys-R-Us when the original Furby came out. I walked in the back door right before my shift, when doors were supposed to open. I had people follow me in and assault me trying to get a damn Furby. Then when doors finally did open, one parent pushed my coworker to the ground and jumped on top of a pile of people to get one from the display. She ended up kicking some poor schmuck in the head and grabbed a Furby and stuffed it down her shirt, and tried to casually walk out and steal it.” (MsKnee)
More Like A Hectic Friday
“I used to work for a large shoe store in an internationally famous outlet. It was only me and one other person working the clearance section. None of the shoes are held out on the floor, they’re all stored in the back of the store. It was twelve hours of holding shoes between my legs, the crooks of my arms, one between my head and shoulder, frantically calling for sizes into a mic, while half of my customers and I couldn’t communicate due to language barriers.” (plum_blossom)
Crushed To Death
“I worked at the Walmart in Green Acres mall in Valley Stream, Ny. Was working the day, one of my fellow coworkers got crushed to death by a large crowd who broke the doors and gate outside. That moment changed Black Friday for the retail world forever. I quit after that, was not ready to lose my life to some TVs.” (troublesmoker)
Worst Black Friday
“My first and only black Friday was my worst. I was 18 and working in digital imaging at Best Buy. To keep the story short and sweet there was your typical (awful) $100 laptop people were flipping their mind over on Black Friday. I saw a mother tell her 10 year old son to run into the horde of idiots to grab one. (Thinking his youth would save him from any harm I guess?)
Kid actually manages to wiggle his way through the crowd and grab one, only to be picked up under arms by a 20 year old and no joke, thrown backwards into a display of Flash drives. The 20 year old grabs the laptop from the kid and runs like the wind.
Kid cries, the mom, hearing her son cry but unable to see him proceeds to lose her calm. She looks at us at the cash register like we are responsible and starts to scream at us to call the cops.
IDK what to think about the whole ordeal, of course the 20 year old is an idiot and is probably the worst person in this story, but the mom is what always agitated me. What in god’s name was she thinking bringing her kid to a 4am cluster, in hopes his bright eyed cheerful face would protect him from a typical black Friday mad house?
The story does have a happy ending, I got the hell out of retail and never had to experience another one of those ever again. What happened to the mom and the son and the other guy? Hell if I know?” (MidnightSG)
“Working at Frys Electronics two years ago. We opened on thanksgiving and worked through till 10:00pm Friday night. I got my punch detail next week, it showed everyone clocked out at midnight so no one got paid double time for working the crazy hours. They use some loophole about their transition from one day to another. They split it up as if we’d worked two separate shifts even though we never got a break. When I saw what they did just to avoid paying double time I was pissed! I can deal with crazy amounts of pissed off customers and crowds. I don’t expect to be bent over while doing my job.” (Bfeezey)
Grand Daughter Robs Grand Mom
“I saw an old woman crying her eyes out because her grand-daughter stole $850 from her purse the morning of Black Friday. She had her shopping route mapped out, what stores to hit for what sale, when and where. She was buying for everyone in the family, your typical sweet Grandmother that everyone loves. The only reason I know this is because I was a druggy at the time and my running partner/girlfriend (someone to get high with) said she had a great way to make money. When I went there to pick her up, and saw her gram crying I knew what was up. We rushed to my car, already called the dealer and I started backing down the drive way. I said “Let me see the money, I don’t believe you.” (before she would tell one thing and ten give half the money knowing I would cover the other half.) I walked back in the house and gave the money back to her grandmother, and apologized carefully explaining what we did wasn’t right but we were drug addicts so at the time it made sense. She looked at me the way a hunter looks at its prey right before it does the mercy shot to finish the job. She said Get help, and I did. The girl “didn’t need help” and quickly fell flat on her face and got HepC and I think HIV shortly after leaving me “for a real man.” (she loved sharing needles). I’m currently 2 years sober and this Black Friday will be 3.” (ChristinaPerryWinkle)
War Veteran To The Rescue
“I was managing a cellphone store in the mall. A young Asian couple came in and explained that they had just moved here and could not afford to get phones until Black Friday.
In order to get any phone, they have to run your credit. They, obviously, did not have (any) good enough credit to be approved for the phones. I told them they would have to get someone to sign for them. They took it literally and started walking around the mall asking strangers to sign their contract!
To my complete amazement, they came back with an old war vet in a motorized wheelchair. He starts signing for them. I pull him aside and say “Sir, do you realize what you’re doing for them? You don’t even know these people!”
He looked at me dead in the eyes and said “SON, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY OF THEIR GOOK GRANDPARENTS I SLAUGHTERED IN VIETNAM? IT’S THE LEAST I CAN DO.” (artformarket)
Petty Fight Over Toaster
“I have witnessed 2 people fist fight…..over a god damn toaster.” (evanman69)