Kids say the darndest things. They also say the cringe-iest things. They hear everything, they remember, and they repeat. Think about that next time you’re tempted to drop an f-bomb in front of a toddler.
Anyway, when kids veer off-script, it can be humiliating—but it can also be highly entertaining. Parents can spin that embarrassment into comedic gold. All they have to do is tell the story.
That’s what a bunch of face-palming parents gathered to do on Reddit, in response to a question about the “most embarrassing” things kids have said in public. We edited the best of them for grammar and readability.
Do yourself a favor and keep reading. Every parent will cringe in sympathy. Non-parents might just decide to stay that way. But we can all agree that these stories are painfully hilarious.
“Daddy, why are the police here?”
Social mores are not a toddler’s strong point.
“In a McDonald’s, my son saw two police officers,” wrote thatdan23. “His comment: ‘Daddy, why are the police here? They don’t eat hamburgers, they eat donuts.’”
“One of [the police officers] was not amused.”
Somehow, the embarrassing comments kids make often seem directed right at the parents.
“[I was] carrying my daughter back from the bathroom through a crowded hipster brunch spot while she shouted ‘He farted!’ at every single table,” wrote flippenzee. “In case there was any confusion, she was also pointing at my face.”
At least that kid didn’t imply something worse, like this next one.
“In the middle of the DMV, my 2-year-old sniffed my butt and said ‘Poops!’ because we always do that to her when checking her diaper,” wrote a Reddit user with a since-deleted account.
Of course, kids usually don’t mean to embarrass their parents. Sometimes they don’t even mean to use inappropriate language.
“[I] had my son in a doctor’s office waiting room,” wrote another Reddit user. “There was a large clock on the wall. We had just taught him what a clock was, so anytime he saw one he would get excited.”
“He started pointing and yelling, ‘Clock! I see the clock, look at the clock!’”
That doesn’t sound too bad. What’s the catch?
“He was also 2 years old and couldn’t pronounce his ‘L’ yet,” concluded the Reddit user.
Oh. Oh dear.
“We can punch a stranger!”
Where do kids come up with this stuff?
“My oldest daughter and I used to run away from my wife when we went shopping,” wrote openletter8. “One time, we got particularly far away, and I asked her what do you wanna do now that Mom can’t stop us?”
“She exclaimed loudly, near others, ‘We can punch a stranger!’”
No, no you cannot. Here are a few more head-scratchers:
“My daughter is an only child and has an imaginary sister and brother,” wrote adreamaway1. “And she will tell her preschool teachers or strangers things like, ‘We left my sister at home alone,’ or, ‘My brother died.’”
That went dark quickly. Moving on…
“I was in Subway with my 3-year-old daughter,” wrote Shokker88. “A very large man came in behind us, and he had a stomach that hung down past his shirt.”
“My daughter saw this and said, ‘I see someone’s belly,’ and went forward to tickle it before I stopped her. It was a game we played at home where I would tickle her belly … ”
“I want that f***in’ truck.”
Remember, kids are little sponges. If you use profanity around them, they will pick that language up. Then they will deploy it in the most awkward situations they can find.
“My friend’s [2-year-old] daughter saw another kid in the grocery store with a toy truck, and out of nowhere says, “I want that f***in’ truck…” in an angry tone,” wrote thebroklahoman.
“[It’s] not the funniest thing to read, I know, but we’ve been saying that in a baby voice for the last few years, and it always cracks us up.”
This was far from a one-time experience. Here’s another kid who learned to drop f-bombs before being potty-trained.
“My cousin called a wardrobe a ‘f***ing wardrobe’ for around a year,” wrote RainingBlood398. “The wardrobe had fallen on her younger sister (thankfully not doing any lasting damage), and her dad, hearing the bang, ran into the room and screamed, ‘That f***ing wardrobe!’”
“My cousin assumed that was it’s correct name.”
These things have been going on for generations.
“Great-grandpa was 12 before he found out those animals they kept weren’t called ‘damn-sheep,’” wrote eritain.
“When I was little, for some reason, at Thanksgiving dinner, while everyone was saying what they were thankful for, I yelled,”I am thankful for this G*******d dinner!” wrote zBrettz. “I then proceeded to stuff my mouth.”
“I did not stick around to see the reaction of the cashier.”
Kids don’t know the stakes. You can’t just assume they’ll know what will embarrass their parents, or, worse, get them arrested.
“When babysitting my young cousin, she ran through the store yelling, ‘You’re not my daddy!’ as I chased her telling her to stop running,” wrote I_am_number_one. “Target security didn’t like that too much. It embarrasses her now that she’s older because I like to remind her about it constantly.”
Stores are dangerous for people with kids. Inevitably, our little angels will come up with something that makes you look like a bad parent, or worse.
“Just last week walking out of a store, my 3-year-old turned to the cashier and said, ‘I farted in your store,’” wrote KittenHobbes. “Just like he was saying the sky was blue. [I] did not stick around to see the reaction of the cashier.”
It’s not just the grocery store that parents of young children have to worry about. It is everywhere.
“After his little sister was born, my toddler announced to the parking garage that [her sister] ‘came out of mommy’s magina!’” wrote boneandbrine. “So that was nice …”
“Is that my daddy?”
From the mouths of babes…whatever that’s supposed to mean.
“My 4-year-old nephew [screamed] at my brother, ‘Dad, stop acting like a child!’ at some big family event,” wrote aminice. “It was absolutely clear to everyone present he picked it up from the mother scolding my brother in private. He really had a point, though.”
Kids don’t always clarify their meaning. They just say what they’re thinking.
“My son came home from kindergarten with his backpack full of canned food,” wrote twillsteele. “When pressed about the issue, he confidently stated that he had told the teacher he was hungry, and we didn’t have any food at home!”
“They sent him home with the donations for those in need! We got him to return the food the next day. It’s a funny story we tell now, but talk about embarrassed!”
Finally, there’s the weird mind of the 2-year-old. They make associations that the rest of us never would.
“My husband is a police officer,” wrote IWantALargeFarva. “When my oldest was 2, she would point to every officer in uniform and ask, ‘Is that my daddy?’ It was so embarrassing.”
“Santa isn’t real.”
Things get really tricky when family beliefs butt heads with the broader culture.
“My son is full of embarrassing stories,” wrote killjennyproductions. “We told him about Santa not being real because he was terrified of Santa and cried night after night, screaming that ‘the evil Santa pirate was going to come into his house and mess with his things.’”
“Being 4, he didn’t understand our warnings not to tell other children. At Chick-fil-A one day, a kid comes running out of the play area, crying that some kid was telling them that Santa wasn’t real.”
“I rush in, aiming for damage control, and hear my boy finishing his lecture: ‘Santa isn’t real, and Jesus isn’t real. I am Jesus!’”
“Chick-fil-A asked us not to return.”
Wow. Chick-fil-A, of all places. Anyway, this sort of culture clash can pop up just about anywhere.
“My niece asked my sister in church, ‘Mommy, when are you going to poop out the baby Geegus?’” wrote deedaree.
Sometimes it’s nice not to be a parent.
“She’s a witch!”
You can tell this next one is going to go wrong from the very start.
“When my kid was a toddler, and just learning how to tell men from women, he liked yell out his verdict,” wrote DevonianAge. “One day, we were in a cafe, and he decided to practice.”
“’Mama, you’re a woman,’ he said.”
“‘That’s right, honey.’”
“‘And Papa is a man!’”
“He was pointing and talking loudly so that people noticed and started watching. No problem, it was cute. He labeled a couple of strangers next, talking loudly because he liked the attention. But then he pointed to an old woman across the room.”
“’And she’s a witch!’”
“In his defense, she was, in fact, an old hippie, and she was dressed … in long flowing scarves, etc. I don’t know if she heard him since I shushed him real fast (though a lot of other people definitely did), but she did come over later to introduce herself and meet the kids.”
“This was the kind of place where it’s normal to chat with strangers, so I don’t think this was necessarily a sign she heard us. Her name was Adina. I thought that was a pretty good witch name, so ever since then that’s been our family’s stock name when making up a story featuring a witch.”
“We don’t pick our nose, man.”
Kids see everything. Then they make comments.
“I have a 2-and-a-half-year-old, and so this just happened the other day,” wrote diciteco. “At a baseball game, I’m carrying my daughter so that her head is resting on my shoulder.”
“Suddenly she pokes her head up, looks directly at the man behind me, and says: ‘We don’t pick our nose, man. I said, we don’t pick our nose. No thank you!’”
“I didn’t turn around, instead saying that we only say that to people in our family … My daughter is very outgoing … [I’m] looking forward to plenty more embarrassing moments with complete strangers.”
Speaking of baseball, there’s this:
“When I was 4 years old, my dad took me to a baseball game,” wrote Tgs91. “Phillies vs. Padres. He takes me to the bathroom and there’s a guy with an eyepatch. Staring at the guy, I loudly ask my father, ‘Dad, I thought we were playing the Padres today?’”
“Dad replies, ‘We are.’”
“I point at the guy, while … next to him at a urinal [and say,] ‘Then why is he dressed like a pirate?’”
“My dad was barely able to stop laughing long enough to apologize.”
We can relate.
“I was the best pooper at Disney World that day.”
Here’s one that speaks for itself. We certainly don’t want to speak for it.
“[I] took my 3-year-old to Disney World,” wrote Explodo86. “Of course, after about an hour in the park, both I and the offspring have to go to the bathroom. We head off to one of the main bathrooms right next to the castle.”
“I let the boy go first … then I of course sit down and perform my own glorious No. 2 … ”
“At this point, the child starts saying in a voice that can only be described as booming, ‘Good job, daddy! You’re the best pooper I know!’”
“This of course led to chuckles from the long line of stalls populated by other fathers. The chuckles ended up turning into outright laughter. I was so proud of my pooping abilities.”
“Well, I’m somewhat shameless, so I clean up and go wash my hands to find that I’m now getting the nods of approval from everyone in the can who heard the interchange. I was the best pooper at Disney World that day…and internally embarrassed and entertained at the same time.”
“Embarrassed and entertained at the same time.” That sounds like a fair description of parenthood, at least until the kids get a bit older.