Who doesn’t love a family get-together? It’s a time when everyone is a given a chance to see one another and catch up. It seems like as we get older and become busier with our own lives, it gets harder and harder to make time for family. But once the date and location is set, being with each other feels just like the old times. Welp, for some. Some get-togethers don’t always end on a good note.
These folks share the worst family dinner they’ve ever experienced. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Happy Birthday To Her AND Her Mother-In-Law
“My ex-MIL’s birthday is the day before mine. A message was relayed to my then-husband that we would do a ‘combined’ birthday celebration for the both of us. None of my family lived in the same state as me at that point, and I’m not really huge on birthdays anyway, but I invited one of my close friends from work.
We all met at a Hibachi restaurant and there was a table for about 20. All my husband’s siblings, their kids, and their kids’ boyfriends/girlfriends were there. My MIL was at the head of the table while we were in the far corner of the table on the other end. I thought it was strange but I didn’t let it bother me. I started to pick up on some tension from my in-laws, but nothing was said to me or my husband.
When the ‘Happy Birthday’ song was sung and the cake was brought out, it only included my MIL. There was no mention of me. I think it might have bothered me a little at that point as I was confused why this was supposed to be a ‘combined’ ‘birthday but I was left out.
My friend thought the whole thing was odd, but we all just talked and enjoyed our food in our corner of the table. The jaw drop didn’t happen until the next day when my FIL called and said how offended they were that I brought someone they didn’t know and we wouldn’t be doing a combined birthday again. What? We never did that again and I was completely fine with it.”
“My BIL (brother-in-law) recently announced he had a serious girlfriend and that they were hoping to move in together. This was a big deal since he lived in a different state and we never got to see him, but they planned to move closer to home. Great. Everybody was happy.
Ok so now it was time to meet the girl. My BIL suggested we all get together, so he could introduce her to everybody at once. We thought, ‘Even better.’
I suggested we have dinner at our place to which my BIL and his girlfriend agreed. So far so good. This was where things started brewing.
A few times a year, I make this lasagna dish. I almost never make it since it’s a huge pain in the rear to make it. I make my own tomato sauce and lasagne sheets. It takes forever but in the end, it’s worth it. So for that dinner, I decided to make the lasagna for 19 people.
My BIL came over, we met the girl, and everything was going great. Everyone’s plates were empty and nothing seemed weird.
Half an hour later, my kid came in and yelled, ‘Tinkerbell barfed.’
Tinkerbell is our dog (the kids named her so don’t judge.) Anyway, I went to clean it up so it was no big deal. Except she barfed up my lasagne. I could clearly see the cheese and the beef. Someone fed my lasagne to the dog. Now I was upset. Not angry just upset.
Now the grand finale. My BIL’s girlfriend came over and offered to help with the cleanup. Great. Then she admitted it was her. She’s vegan. She was very very sorry. She didn’t think it would hurt the dog. She again was ‘Oh so sorry.’
I on the other hand was ticked off. Even though my dog was fine, she could have seriously hurt my dog. She was lucky my dog is tough as heck. I did raise my voice at her but it was nowhere near yelling.
I said, ‘What were you thinking feeding my dog lasagne?! Do you know how many spices I put in it? Dogs can’t handle that! Just go outside.’
I was angry so I said some harsh things, but I walked away without saying what I actually wanted to say. Now the girl started crying. Everybody heard it. I explained but everybody thought I was being a huge prick. Dinner was now ruined. The only person who took my side was my mother-in-law.
Later that night, my oldest kid admitted to my husband she saw my BIL’s girlfriend giving ‘something’ to the dog. My Bil called about an hour ago saying how his girlfriend was beyond devastated and was afraid of being ‘that’ kind of a vegan so she panicked and just fed half of it to the dog. She offered to take us all out to eat as an apology. I might’ve been a prick, but don’t mess with my dog.”
“My wife is pregnant and we were a few months in. We had gone to the doctor to find out the gender and were throwing a family party to deliver the news. Her family is very well off and very large. I’m talking 50 people within a five-block radius of her grandparent’s house. My side of the family is super small. Just my mom, stepfather, and aunt came to the party. So I supplemented my side with some of our mutual couple friends.
About an hour into the party we had everyone go outside for the reveal. We prepared these poppers filled with confetti (either blue for males or pink for females) for the announcement. I thought it would be hilarious to make one filled with the opposite color but my wife said no. Anyways, everyone got a popper, lines up on either side of the driveway 3-2-1 POP! Pink glitter and confetti fly in the air. Everyone was hootin’ and hollering in celebration. We started receiving congratulatory remarks from my friends and her family. I made the announcement that we had come up with a name.
Right after I said the name, my mother came up to me and said, ‘Are you sure it’s not a boy?’
‘Yes, I’m very sure. The doctor confirmed it last weekend,’ I said.
A tear started to roll down her cheek as she said, ‘And y’all are firm on the name?’
I said, ‘We really like the name we picked out.’
She said, ‘What about my middle name, Jean?’
I said, ‘I’ll get with my wife but I think we are pretty set on the name we picked out.’
She left shortly after that exchange without saying goodbye. Apparently right after the pop, she turned to my friend who had just gotten her PhD, and asked how reliable those sonograms are at determining the gender of the child.
She gave us the cold shoulder for the next three months and has a collection of boy names ready just in case three doctors and a handful of nurses are wrong about us having a baby girl in December.”
Where Was His Family When He Needed Them The Most?
“Well, it was a series of events, but it all came to a head at my grandfather’s funeral. However, I’ll attempt to make this as short as possible. So a number of years back my grandfather had a stroke (no one knew it was a stroke til two or three years later) while he was refurbishing his ’32 Chevy, which he treated better than his family.
Eventually, he started to deteriorate and could no longer care for himself and my grandmother could no longer do it by herself. In came my brother who closed down the business he just opened in order to be his full-time caregiver. I helped as much as I could, but I lived four hours away at the time finishing up college. Occasionally, his brothers and sister would come to visit, but for no more than 20 minutes before they had to scurry out the door for ‘important business’ all the while telling him how much they loved him.
Eventually, he passed away in a peaceful manner surrounded by my family (I was still away at this point), and reconciled with them for all the nonsense he had put them through. In came his siblings who (once again) shrieked like banshees while mourning his death as if they had done everything to care for him. They did not, however, my grandfather said I took care of him more often than they did and I was a full-time student who lived four hours away.
Then came the wake (or open casket viewing for those who may not know), where his family put on a show for everyone to show their ‘love’ in a public setting. Eventually, things slowed down and my grandmother thought it would be nice to share our fond memories of him with those who gathered to show their support, which we did. However, when my grandmother got up to speak, they began to chatter amongst themselves and abruptly leave in the middle of her speech. This was the last straw for my father who confronted them and told them they would no longer be able to carry his casket to lay him to rest.
The following day at the funeral things went eerily smooth, although they did the whole banshee wails again for attention, other than that it was peaceful. Then comes the final goodbyes before we laid him down to rest. All of the sisters thought it would be great to write a joint letter to my brother and grandmother who took care of him in his final days and ‘speak their minds.’ The gist of the letter was that they killed him, neglected him, and ignored him which lead to his death. Also included was a jab at my nephew (who was 2 at the time) stating that if my brother cared for his son as he cared for my grandfather, he would have another tinier casket to deal with in the near future. They ended the letter telling us to repent of our bad actions and to ask for forgiveness unless we wish to burn.
We don’t speak with that side of the family anymore.”
“My cousin brought her boyfriend with her to my grandfather’s 80th birthday party. There were lots of relatives around. My grandfather’s brothers and sisters even came with our second and third cousins. It turned out that one of our second cousins (a guy) used to be with my cousin’s boyfriend.
Turns out, her boyfriend went through a phase. We weren’t that close to our cousin but we knew him well enough.
Well, that cousin was pretty wasted and when he saw my cousin’s boyfriend, he tore some of the birthday cake and threw it at him while shouting, ‘Forget you! You broke my heart, you prick.’
Everybody was mortified and nobody knew what to do. My cousin knew her boyfriend had a phase but she didn’t know that one of his exes was one of her second cousins. It was super awkward.
The fling happened five years before when they were like 17 in a camp and apparently the boyfriend broke the second cousin’s heart. Safe to say, it ruined the party and my second cousin had to leave with his mom. My cousin and her boyfriend left too.
After the party, my grandfather and I had the chance to talk and he was like, ‘Did you see that? I almost peed my pants laughing.’
We laughed our butts off. I’m super glad my gramps didn’t take it to heart but man that was super painful to see.”
The Kid’s Table
“I hadn’t seen my full family together in quite some time, so they set up a get-together at a park. The family gathering included me, my brother, my sister, her husband, and their two kids, my dad, step-mom, and her kids, aunt, uncle, my two cousins, grandma, and grandpa.
I got there with some picnic items and saw a few members setting up.
I said, ‘Hi’ and helped set up the tables and set the food out. We talked and played games while the others showed up. When everyone got there, we sat down to eat.
I sat next to my dad and got a weird look from my aunt as she said to me, ‘This is the adult’s table.’
To which I replied, ‘I am an adult.’
She told me how the first and second generations were considered adults and the third and fourth generations should sit at the kid’s table since we ‘don’t have much to contribute to adult conversations.’
I told her, ‘I can drink. I drive, pay rent, and have a job, so how am I still considered a child?’
She said that until I had kids of my own I would have to sit at the kid’s table.
According to my aunt, there were eight children and eight adults (ages 25-75) so I should just sit at the kid’s table since it’ll be even, but there is plenty of space at the adult table and I don’t want to be stuck with five literal children. She still disagreed and at this point, my uncle and grandparents backed her up.
So I mentioned, ‘Forget it, take my quiche back.’
I then told them to have a nice day and drove away. I got a few texts from telling me to come back from my dad and grandparents. I asked if my aunt was going to apologize and they asked, ‘For what?’
That was enough for me to disregard their other messages and calls until I got home, where I am now.
I felt bad that I may have possibly ruined a nice family gathering, but feel my family doesn’t respect me at all, enough to say that I am still a child and apparently have the same mentality as 6-year-olds.”
Who Invited Those Two To The Wedding?
“It was my brother and sister’s dad and his girlfriend who had gotten into some knife-wielding fight in the parking lot at my wedding reception.
Basically, my half-brother and half-sister have a dad, let’s call him ‘Loser Face’ who came to my wedding reception with his trashy, half-his-age girlfriend. Loser Face and his girlfriend proceeded to get plastered and end up in the parking lot in a fight. I was not present for this and we all just heard pieces of it from multiple people. The story is that his girlfriend pulled a knife and tried to stab Loser Face in her anger. There was more fighting. She ended up hurting herself. She then proceeded to run around the hall bleeding all over the place.
So no one ACTUALLY got stabbed. Sorry for the confusion on that and the family tree. It was a pretty traumatic thing that was upsetting for a while, but now, two years later, is just something we all laugh about. And I haven’t seen or spoken to Loser Face or his girlfriend since. They are still together and have since had a baby that they don’t have custody of – which should paint a picture of the kind of people I am semi-related to.”
“I was 10 and there was a family gathering at my aunt’s house with a bunch of people staying over at her house. I got called into the family room and all my aunts were there looking at me. They started questioning me about my Grandma’s clock and whether I was playing with it, which I did, so I said yes. It turned ugly real quick.
An argument broke out between my mom defending me and my aunts accusing me of breaking my Grandma’s five-dollar clock. They kept grilling me about whether I broke the clock, although it wasn’t broken, the batteries just fell out.
The fight dragged out into the night. The hosting aunt brought out other instances of how I wasn’t behaving right, like running my fingers through her carpet and ‘drawing’ on her carpet with my finger. She even accused my dad of purposely breaking her sleeping bags. Me, being 10 and not understanding what this fight was actually about felt guilty that maybe I caused this whole thing because I played with my Grandma’s clock. My poor mom was defending me when I might have broken my grandma’s clock by playing with it.
The hosting aunt eventually apologized to my mother months later, but it made things really awkward. For 10-plus years, even now things aren’t really the same. Years after the whole thing, I realized it wasn’t really even about me or the clock, it was about some other nonsense that I don’t really even understand, but my aunts used me as their point of attack. I even remember saying ‘all this over a clock’ when I was 10 during the fight, and one of my aunts insisted ‘it was more than that’ implying that it was about how I was a horrible liar or something. You can’t make this thing up.”
“It was Christmas evening, around nine pm, we got to my mom’s boyfriend’s parent’s house (Christmas dinner and family and all that) after going Christmas lights looking. My mom got a call and disappeared for the rest of the night. Actually, all the adults were pretty much gone. Eh, whatever, 12-year-old me threw on a movie and fell asleep on the couch.
I woke up the next morning to my extended family members, family friends, and all kinds of people showing up.
I remember thinking, ‘Okay, what’s going on? Seriously?’
And then my mom walked out after being unseen for the whole night and told my two younger siblings and me that my dad had a heart attack.
‘What, is he okay?!’ I asked
With eyes that could rip your heart out, ‘No, baby, he died,’ and I remember my Mom’s voice choked/cracked a bit on the last syllable.
I remember my sister crying, ‘Daddy, no!” And her burying her face into a pillow.
But I just felt numb. Not hot, not really cold, just there. I fell back into the couch in disbelief. He can’t be GONE. What kind of sick joke is this? Who was the world to take my dad from me?
I remember walking around the neighborhood after that to get some air, wondering how the world could just go on. How it was a nice day outside and cars passing and people smiling.
The funeral was four days later in Dallas, four hours from where I lived because that’s where he lived at the time and died. And that’s why my mom got a phone call and not his roommate at the door. He was buried on my brother’s seventh birthday. I remember them standing beside the grave as my dad was lowered in. I was in the van because I just couldn’t stand there and watch him be put in the ground.”
Always Be Careful With Fireworks
“I used to live in Mauritius in East Africa and there, fireworks are legal. You can buy them anywhere and play with them any time of the year. Now there are certain dates where a lot of fireworks are used; New Year’s of course, Holi (Indian festivity) as well as Divali (also Indian festival).
Anyways, my whole family is of Indian origin and we celebrate Divali every year. I normally lived in a house that included four families and a total of 16 people but during Divali, EVERYONE directly related came which amounted to roughly around 45-50 people.
We were outside around nine pm when it was already dark outside and we were playing with fireworks. The kids were enjoying themselves when we decided to use a specific firework that looked like a rocket. You put it in a standing bottle and light it up. It would go high up in the air and explode. So we put one in a plastic bottle and just before it went up, the bottle wobbled and started falling and the firework went straight into the neighbor’s only open window.
The neighbor got a house of two floors with about a bazillion windows, ALL closed except one and that was the one that it aimed. We watched in awe and horror as it went straight into the room with the window open and after 1.5 seconds the whole room lit up followed by a big BAM.
I kid you not, I never saw 50 people go through a small door so quickly. Here we were, at nine pm, 50 people poking their heads out from behind the curtains and looking at the window scared. The next day, we didn’t come out before at least 12.
Thankfully, no fire happened and nobody was injured.”