30 Times Someone Saw A Grown Adult Having A Tantrum In Public

Published 2 weeks ago

Most of us persevere to be calm, cool and collected in public when dealing with a frustrating situation, but on rare occasions, you may see someone externalise all their emotions. While we give some leeway to children throwing temper tantrums as they are in the learning process, what do you do when faced with a full-grown adult shouting and screaming over minor inconveniences?

A Redditor recently asked, “What’s the biggest public tantrum you’ve ever personally seen from an adult?” Folks responded with the most hilarious stories of the worst meltdowns they’ve ever seen from grownups. Scroll below to check out these cringe-worthy tales of when adults behaved like toddlers in the most embarrassing of ways. 

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#1 Trump on January 6, 2021. He incited an insurrection because he did not win the USA election.

Image source: WINTERSONG1111, Edmond Dantès

#2 Watched the CEO of a company worked at start screaming and stomping his feet because people weren’t listening to his band at a company event, and instead were mingling at the bar. He literally shouted “this is MY PARTY! This is MY COMPANY! This is mY FAVORITE BAND!” I just started laughing. What else can you do?!

Image source: roguescott, ELEVATE

#3 My MIL threw herself on the ground and cried because I wouldn’t let her friend use my company’s Gulfstream to fly her to Europe for her birthday. I told her she was more than welcome to charter it at my discount if she liked. When I told her the company would need a 90K deposit is when she fell to the ground in tears.

Image source: tavariusbukshank, Karolina Grabowska

#4 I witnessed a man throw his entire suitcase down an escalator over a canceled flight. Luckily no one else was on it but I did wish he’d fallen down after it tbh.

Image source: HuuffingLavender, Jan van der Wolf

#5 Worked at a bingo hall for 4 years: we sold paper games as well as an electronic computer that played for you. Each computer was $30 for the night. For holidays, the jackpots for each round usually double, if not triple so the place was usually packed, so much that it occasionally became standing room only, and people would literally stand along the walls. Unfortunately, we had 200 computers with a max building capacity of 700, so if you didnt get in line early, they sold out fast. So I often had to tell people that they werent going to get a computer for the night.

Image source: WoodedSpys, Anna Tarazevich

This one night thou, it was December 22nd or 23rd and it was her birthday, she set aside the money for a computer but we had sold out almost an hour prior. Her group showed up after game play had started, all the tables and chairs were taken so her group had to stand. She was upset that concessions refused to give her food for free, they never gave food away for free. So what did this 20 something do? In the middle of a game, she threw her food on the cashier, drink and all, ran up to a table of customers nearby, taking things off the tables and throwing them around, picking up drinks and throwing them at others, snatching up 2 computers and yelling “ITS MY BIRTHDAY!!!!” but eventually, a few former military dudes and her ?brother? stopped her, she was arrested and charged with a few crimes. Most people she hit with food pressed charges, along with the owner who pressed charges for damaging several computers because they got soda dumped on them and stopped working. I was not interviewed as a witness, they had plenty and security footage. Games continued after a 45 minute delay. I get that people want to feel special and for things to go perfect on their birthday, but f**k.

#6 I watched a 70 some odd year old Asian lady have a complete meltdown because a restaurant was out of donut holes. She was lying on the floor screaming and grabbed the restaurants credit card machine and refused to give it back until she got her donut holes. Cops were called, then she claimed she was having a heart attack so ems was called and that’s where I came into it.

Image source: LongjumpingSurprise0, [deleted]

Long story short, she wouldn’t let me touch her so I have no idea if there was anything medically wrong, we let her have her little temper tantrum until her daughter who was there talked her up off the floor, the cops didn’t even issue a ticket but told her to never come back to that restaurant.

#7 Two weeks ago in Orlando. My family and I were in a nice restaurant. There was an issue a few tables away from us, it was a group of guys in their late 20s. (guessing)

Image source: MicroCat1031, NEOSiAM 2024+

It started over slow service, and the waiter, manager, and a food runner ended up in a confrontation with the four patrons. Lots of yelling and drama, the guys got escorted out, and it should have been over right there, but one of the guys came back in and hit the waiter in the back of the head (Sucker punch from behind) and was tackled by the busboy. Two of the other guys from the table come running back in (Don’t know what happened to the fourth) and jump into it. Cooks came out of the back, and six restaurant workers took down the patrons. Ended with police being called and arrests being made, it was the biggest brawl I’ve seen in a while before the cops got there. There may have been alcohol involved.

#8 I was managing a fancy bar that got full pretty easily. A girl threw a tantrum because it was full and there wasn’t a table for her – she had no reservation. She was screaming so much that I managed to wiggle a big group onto a smaller table and freed up a space for her, just to get her to be quiet.

It didn’t work, though. She didn’t like the space I made and said she wanted our VIP table (already booked that night, and it cost €2300 to reserve it). I said no. She said if she couldn’t have it, she’d lie on the floor and scream. I said she couldn’t have it. So she lay down on the floor and screamed while I and all the bar clients watched her.

Some people are genuinely insane and I don’t understand their vision of life.

Image source: thataintrightlureen

#9 I worked at a movie store as a teenager. A guy pulled up at 10:15pm (we closed at 10:00). He saw me in the dark store and tapped on the window to indicate he was returning his movies. I looked at him and tapped on my wrist to indicate they were already late.

Image source: ZachVIA, cottonbro studio

He proceeded to throw all 3 movies at the window as hard as he could and started cursing at me. After he drove off, I went outside and wrote down all the barcodes. I looked up his account and added a note as to what happened. I left the movies sitting outside.

Obviously all the movies were stolen. He had to pay the capped late fee plus he had to pay for replacements.

Funny thing is, had he just accepted they were late and dropped them in the bin, I would normally do people a solid and check them in before I finished closing. His childish behavior cost him a lot more money (around $100) in the long run.

#10 In my youth I worked in a little gift shop. A well dressed elegant couple in their 40s came into the shop one day during the Christmas season, with an ad in hand for a certain item. We had sold out of the item and they yelled at me demanding I order a new one for them or it was false advertising. I was timid back then so I just quietly explained that it was a limited lot, which was stated in the ad, and we couldn’t order any more. This enraged the woman.

Image source: Bleu_Rue, Karolina Grabowska

She… she actually stamped her foot and said we had ruined her Christmas. Up to that point I was annoyed and a little scared of their over the top anger. But when she stamped her foot I burst out laughing. Seeing a grown woman do that was just so absurd. Especially when the item in question was an angel figurine on sale for $5.99.

#11 An ex of mine once had a massive toddler style tantrum on the floor on a Tesco because I bought white pepper rather than black. She was throwing stuff, shouting, crying and ended up on the floor like a beetle with her arms and legs in the air shouting about f*****g pepper. An ex for many reasons, this being one of them.

Image source: Quack_Candle, Christina Rumpf

#12 Was working in a coffee shop when I was 15. A man came in ordered a coffee and a donut and handed me an American bill. On our cash register was a button for American cash, so that it had up to the minute conversion to ensure we gave the right amount back.

Image source: Darkest_Elemental, Lisa Fotios

I handed him his change and his order and he refused. He told me I didn’t give him the correct change back, and demanded my manager. My manager heard the story, ran it through again and proved it was correct by pulling up the current exchange rate on her phone. She backed me up and told him I was right, he was wrong.
The guy lost it. He threw his change at us and stormed out of the shop. We were lost for words. Not only did he pay for the order, but he left it on the counter when he stormed out. And then also gave us the change by throwing it at us and leaving.. so what did he accomplish?

#13 Saw a woman stealing those packs of 12 croissants in plastic and then when security didn’t let her leave she doubled down and went insane and started throwing handfuls of croissants. It was f*****g epic.

Image source: Away-Sound-4010, Interplay29

Edit: I wish I saw more but it was leaving a Safeway and as curious as I am I try my best not to rubberneck when people are having moments lol.

#14 Security guard here, I’ve seen many, a more notable one was when a drunk lady was trying to drive her car off of a two-story parking garage, but she was failing to make one of the turns without scratching the side of her truck, I tried telling her to leave her truck up there and not drive, but she wasn’t hearing any of it, she then became convinced that the architecture of the building was designed to trap her in particular, so she began screaming ,”HELP I’M TRAPPED” repeatedly before taking the turn so incorrectly that she tore her wheel well and gas cap clean off her truck, I watched and cringed as they were slowly torn off the truck, the sound it made was wretched, she didn’t care she just kept driving, she then proceeded to hit one of the cars on the lower level, at this point I had already documented everything and called the cops, the cops gave her a DUI whilst she was screaming the whole time that I had set her up, a few days later when it was time for her to check out of the hotel, she was staring at me the entire time while checking out, and upon leaving she said “see you later Allen…” my name isn’t Allen…, the front desk guy would ask me to tell this story to people while laughing his a*s off for the following year.

Image source: TrevCat666

#15 Christian youth pastor at a chain restaurant where I worked. Brought in 9 teenagers on New Year’s Day after a “lock in” at their church. We were the only restaurant in town open at 6am on New Year’s Day, and 3 people called out “sick” (hungover), so we literally had 1 cook, 1 waitress (me), and 1 shift supervisor for about 60 people seated, and a line out the door.

Image source: readerlove, Tima Miroshnichenko

He threw a hissy fit when I offered coffee and he told me they were teens and caffeine was bad anyhow. Then proceeded to order everyone Cokes (ahem…). We were already running out of food (two other restaurants in town weren’t open that we’d expected to be open and our general manager sucked at inventory). Half the food they ordered (things like Eggs Benedict) wasn’t available.

The guy was a total a*s to me. I hustled and kept their Cokes refilled, got pancakes/eggs/bacon/sausage orders out fast, and the kids were rowdy and wired but generally well behaved.

He tried to DINE AND DASH. I stopped him and he started yelling at me I front of 75+ people, saying my customer service was so poor we didn’t deserve to be paid, that he’d complain to corporate, etc. My shift supervisor cut him off and recognized him. Told him Jesus didn’t like cheats. The youth pastor screamed at him and called me a useless lesbian whore (I had short hair).

I got zero tip, a bunch of Chick Tracts, and two kids turned their waters upside down and stuck the half-full glasses to the table so it made a mess when I moved them.

Such good Christians.

#16 I had just walked up to my parked car with my family from the beach in SW Florida. It was a packed and busy parking lot. An older retired aged lady flew around the corner and pulled up directly behind us and asked if we were leaving. I told her that we were. We proceeded to open the trunk to put our beach stuff in.

Image source: Brave_Spell7883, Alex Plesovskich

We were still wet from swimming and were drying our clothes off with towels, clapping the sand out of our shoes, etc. The lady was still parked directly behind us, watching us like a hawk. It had been maybe 3 minutes since we had got to our car. She then asked if we were almost done, and I calmy replied that it would just be a minute. We got into our car, fired up Google maps, and she started laying on her horn yelling at us to f*****g move. I put the car in reverse and asked her to get out of the way, as she was blocking us in. She got out of her car and came right up to my window, yelling and screaming profanities at us like we had violated her rights. No shame, yelling in front of several people like a nut case.

People in FL are f*****g insane, especially the retirees. They are nasty, rude, and entitled. It is not just the retirees. Road rage down there is so common, and people fly off the handle for the smallest things. I think the heat gets to people, idk, but the nastiest and worst people I have ever met live there. They are like ticking time bombs. I wish I had recorded this. It would have been an instant viral Karen video.

#17 I live in a small town where all the “Peaked in High School” jocks now have kids who are old enough to play sports. I recently saw a dude who has his picture on the HS “Wall of Fame” cause he had 1 good year of wrestling, lose his absolute mind on his 8yr old son because he struck out in baseball. This 36yr old dude who’s 300+lbs and couldn’t jog to 1st base is screaming “I told you to hit the f*****g ball” while his son is in tears.

It’s pretty damn common and it’s sad. All these dudes live such sad lives that they need to relive their glory days through their kids and they have public meltdowns non stop, like are in tears and sulking because their CHILDREN aren’t playing good enough for them.

Image source: Snoo_79693

#18 It was around Christmas. I was at the airport waiting to fly home to see family. I heard a disturbance coming from the flight check-in counter and turned to see a grown man probably in his 40s beet-red in the face and screaming at the employee behind the counter. I walked a bit closer to hear the conversation,

Image source: Chyroso72, Nicola Barts

“I want a new ticket! I don’t know when my flight is supposed to leave!”

“Sir the flight time is printed on your ticket right there.”

“Yeah but it’s in military time! I don’t want a ticket in military time! Get me one that has normal time on it I can’t read military time!”

Another man stepped in to break up the altercation and Mr. I-Can’t-Read-A-Clock stormed off. He never ended up getting a new ticket :).

#19 Not necessarily public, but used to work at an Oncology office, someone wanted to reschedule their appt the day before they were supposed to come in. No big deal. I tell him when I have available and none of the times worked for him. He became irate and told me “I need to be nicer to him because he has cancer”
Like sir, I sympathize, but everyone here has cancer.

Image source: charlotte7301

#20 I was waiting to board a flight once and they were accepting family boarding. This woman and her husband roll up with like 2-3 kids all under the age of 2 and a HUGE folded stroller. I’m not sure what the exact issue was, but they told them they had to do something different with the stroller, which caused them to have to delay their boarding.

Suddenly the mom starts yelling her part of the conversation. All I heard was her complaining that “THIS IS HOW LOYAL, WHITE AMERICAN FAMILIES ARE TREATED” (her words, not mine) and that “YOU’D THINK THEY WERE TERRORISTS”. I think the funniest part was not a single person batted an eye over this. Her husband was obviously humiliated, but stayed silent.

All of this over common sense airport rules and a SLIGHT inconvenience to them as the airline actually held up the boarding process for them so they could get the situation dealt with and still have priority family boarding.

Image source: mysteryparrots

#21 Dude missed a flight on the big yellow banana. Entirely his own fault. When informed that they could not accommodate him until the next day, he became enraged. Yelling, screaming, stomping his feet. He actually knocked the computers off the neighboring desk. He hit one of the employees, and then had the audacity to try to fly the next day. No, sir, you’re not flying ever again. Attacking an airport employee will get you added to the no fly list.

Image source: Meggarea, Rafael Rodrigues

#22 Dude at Walmart in 2003ish had a complete meltdown over his spiral notebooks ringing up at 30 cents a piece instead of the 25 cents that was listed on the sign. Composition notebooks were 25 cents, someone put those spirals back on the shelf in the wrong spot. He did the whole shebang. Even shouted “YOU DONT KNOW WHO YOU’RE DEALING WITH” while his teenage daughter begged him to stop. The cashier started crying. First time I’ve ever seen someone trashy enough to get thrown out of a Walmart.

Image source: RealBowsHaveRecurves, Mike Mozart

#23 I actually witnessed a real, adult tantrum. My manager had to fire an employee for excessive tardies, absenteeism, and constantly being short in his cash drawer (it was a financial institution and he was a teller so that was a major problem). She took him in her office but was concerned about his reaction because he was quite a drama king and outweighed us by about 200 pounds so she left her office door open, just in case. I asked the security guard to stand near my desk which was right outside of the office. As she broke the news, he started yelling, “No! No! No!”

Image source: geckotatgirl, Aleksandar Živković

Then, he picked up a pair of scissors and held them over his head in a threatening manner while she tried to calm him down. He put the scissors down and ran out of the office and out next to my desk in a little open area. He proceeded to throw off his blazer and rip his shirt open, buttons popping off and flying everywhere. He then ran up the stairs to the mezzanine, laid down on the floor on his stomach, and literally kicked his feet and pounded the floor with his fists like a baby having a tantrum in a cartoon! The building shook. Thankfully, we were closed so no customers were there. Eventually, he calmed down. The security guard and another teller who was going to the police academy managed to help him collect himself and then he went down the teller line saying goodbye to each employee while the guard was redirecting him away; they were all freaked out. The employee who was a future cop drove him home. It was scary and appalling. Two days later, he came back to apologize to the manager, say goodbye to me, *ask the manager if he could still come to the Christmas party*, and ask me for the buttons from his shirt! I really hope he got his s**t together, eventually.

#24 My brother’s first wife, we were shopping in Safeways and she wanted some chocolates and my brother told her no, she sat on the floor and started to wail like a toddler, 5’2, 200lbs woman crying her f*****g eyes out sat in a fetal position.

Image source: Craigothy-YeOldeLord, Monique Carrati

#25 Playing mini golf and my date missed the hole and threw down his club and started yelling. That was the first and last date.

Image source: 4csrb, Steve Momot

#26 Got in a minor accident in a coffeehouse parking lot. The guy got out the threw a broken piece of his car at my car, got in my face and started screaming that I ‘better f*****g have insurance’. My kids hid in the backseat, I called my husband to come help deal with the guy. Insurance companies found him 100% at fault. Then he starts calling our house saying if we don’t pay the deductible, he will ‘get it from us another way’. Called the cops. Guy screamed at them. We live in a small town and his wife heard the story. Thinking this wasn’t a first offense for him because she divorced him a year or so later.

Image source: Rekrabsrm

#27 A new temp was fired so he got his stuff from the break room and walked out of the building punching holes in the walls and ripping down posters and destroying anything he could get his hands on. ALL of it came out of his paycheck and my boss and us were laughing that his check came out to something like 30 cents for a full week of work.

Image source: Pm_me_clown_pics3, fauxfresh

#28 A sales guy I worked with just earned a huge commission on a multi-million dollar mortgage. Some of us convinced him he should take us out to dinner because we helped & he was a good sport and we (sales guy & 3 low wage earning women from support staff) went out to a local pub. The bank president was there, which was not unusual, he made the rounds of all the local places most nights after work.

Image source: Risheil, Yan Krukau

He came over to say hello and when he found out why we were there he got angry that he hadn’t been invited and started yelling at us and banging his fists on the table, then he went back to his friends at the bar. We decided he had to be joking, there was no way he could be angry at us for that so we decided we’d be funny too. We asked the server if she would bring him the check, but don’t really leave it with him and she thought it was funny too, so she did. He was not kidding. I’ve never seen a grown man have such a public tantrum in my life. He was screaming at us until we got up and left (and would not let us take the check back). I went to work the next morning and my boss (who was supposed to be with us but had something come up) was coming out of the president’s office and this guy, who did not swear in front of women wanted to know WTF we did to make his boss so mad that he was trying to order my boss to fire the guy that got the commission. Later on, we figured it out. Because of that commission, the sales guy earned more money that year than the bank president.

#29 A customer got mad at another customer for “buying the last PS5” even though it was a pre-order. The guy followed the PS5 buyer out to his car screaming at him and trying to fight him over it. As the buyer was driving away the guy started throwing rocks at the car. The buyer sped the Hell away nearly running over someone. The crazy m**********r said he was going to sue the store cause we called the cops. Not sure what happened but I hope he got jail time for assault. F*****g stupid a*****e.

Image source: OhTheHueManatee, Kerde Severin

#30 At Orange County, CA John Wayne Airport, a grad school friend I was travelling with actually laid down on her (soft) luggage on the floor, screamed and wailed like a toddler because she missed her flight. I have never seen such a spectacle. The airline desk workers were alarmed and came over to reassure her there were other flights they could put her on later. She was in her 30s.

Image source: Orbitrea, Gabrielle Henderson

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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adult meltdown, adult tantrum, adult temper tantrum, cringe, public tantrum, tantrums, temper tantrums
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