20 Retail Workers Share Their Most Insane Black Friday Horror Stories

Black Friday is famous for two things: Great deals and horrible tramplings. 

So when a post on Reddit’s AskReddit forum asked users to recount their “Black Friday horror stories” the gruesome tales of terrible human behavior stormed in like an angry mob on the day after Thanksgiving.

More specifically the post asked people who have had the distinct misfortune of working retail on Black Friday to recall the horrors that they’ve seen when slavering shoppers meet low-low prices.

Here are some of the worst (and funniest) Black Friday stories from Reddit:

1. The Narc

“We had a lady call the police on our store because we sold out of a TV. I really wish I was lying… they came too.” –Thebootiediaries

2. The Near-Smush Experience

“I almost died when I opened the door when I was working at Best Buy”. –WatchGodwin1


3. The Bootyshort Bandit

“I work at the largest lingerie retailer in the country. We had a security guard last night for the beginning of black Friday. A southern belle mother decided she didn’t want to wait in a 50 person deep line and she would cut.

Our security guard asked her multiple times to step to the back of the line or leave. She proceeded to ream him with every curse word in the book, and ended by threatening him with a gun she had in her bag.

This will be my last holiday in retail.” –kittiekatie0629

4. The Mission Impossible

“Not so much a horror story but something I just couldn’t believe

Black Friday at ASDA (British Walmart) there was these microwaves like 70% off and the store and was so busy you couldn’t move. There were empty shelves all along the aisle up to these microwaves and a guy laid down on the shelf and army crawled along the shelves grabbed a microwave and army crawled back with it.” – VeryLazyLewis

5. The Avoidable Farce

“Worked at a store that had a service department. They couldn’t ring up anything at the service counter but they had a computer which made it look like a register. Guy is standing there patiently waiting to be rung up. Finally somebody notices him and asks what he needs. “I’d like to pay.” he says. “I’m sorry this isn’t a register” replies the service tech. The guy then proceeds to try and convince the service tech to let him pay because the line for the main registers is three hours long. Of course the service tech couldn’t because he didn’t have a register. He just had a computer for making appointments and such. So after 15 minutes of argument the guy moves off to find the line. Here’s the fun part. While he was arguing somebody else saw him standing by something that looked like a register and so got in line behind him. Then people saw the shorter line and got in behind them. With nobody to control it the line to nowhere grew quickly. 15 minutes was all it took for the not-line to snake all the way around the department. So when the doofus who started this whole fiasco went to find the right line he found the end of the line he had started. Then the guy behind him heard that there wasn’t a register so he followed the first guy. Then the next customer followed the 2nd and so on. They walked around in a circle for an hour before somebody noticed them. We almost had a riot when a manager had to tell 100 people that they weren’t in line and had just waited an hour for nothing. That same year we had several scuffles at points where the register line had forked into two lines. From then on we marked off a huge register path and had several employees just manage the line.” –IntentionalTexan


6. The Old-Fashioned Way

“I worked for a golf superstore as a cashier. Black Friday customers come rushing in and the line starts. I proceed to scan the first item and nothing… the registers are completely down and the lines are growing fast. The only thing we could do is take every transaction manually. Write down SKU’s, calculate tax, and use the old credit card swipers for 3 hours. I never worked retail during Black Friday again.” –Steelergrl2310

7. The Oh The Humanity!

“I saw someone get the crap beaten out of them for the toy of the year, a Hatchimal.” –The14thNoah

8. The Parent Trap

“I worked at Toys R Us some years ago. No stand out bad customers, but It surprised me how many parents brought their young children out at 3am and then got mad and would yell at their children for whining/crying because “you can’t get any toys, Christmas is next month. Ask Santa.” Your kid is exhausted and you dragged them to a toy store, of course they’re gonna be pissed off. Working there really changed my perspective from being annoyed at shitty kids in public to being annoyed at shitty parents.” –Because_Science

9. The Biter

“My dad was a police officer when the toy of the year was the Tickle Me Elmo. He responded to a call at Walmart or Target (can’t remember which one exactly) of two women beating each other up over one. When he went to break up the fight, one of the women bit his arm. She bit him so hard that she actually spit some of his skin and blood out onto the floor. He had to get his blood tested every 6 months for 2 years after the incident to make sure he didn’t get any diseases from her. People are fucking crazy.” –JennyAnydots711



10. The Insane…Deals

“I worked one gloomy 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 pants being tossed and the women went fucking 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 shitty Levi’s.” –arielscoop

11. The Day Off

“I worked at a grocery store in high school. Black Friday was my favorite day all year. Hardly anyone goes food shopping the day after Thanksgiving.” –Tastes_like_SATAN

12. The Tough Customer

“Former GameStop manager. The worst one I ever worked was 2006. Everyone wanted a damn Wii. When I got to the store at 4am to prep for the 5am opening, there were people wrapped around the shopping center in a line for the damn thing even though I had a sign on the door explicitly stating that we could only guarantee them for the first 6 people. When I made the announcement to the folks in line, I thought I was about to get my ass kicked by more than a couple pissed grandmas and soccer moms who had been waiting since midnight.

After opening, our systems were unbearably slow when processing credit cards, but they still worked. The rest of the day was busy, but not too terrible other than the bitchy people who couldn’t find a Wii.

Fast forward three days later, a lady walks in to the store with a bank statement and starts laying in to me about her card being charged $200 4 times (Processing, not drafted yet btw). She insists that she won’t walk out until I give her $600 cash from the register. It ended with her and I on speaker phone with my district manager who politely told her to piss off and call her bank. Cops were very nearly called during the ensuing screaming. This is with a store packed with customers. Fun stuff.” –CowabungaM8

13. The Mom Of The Year

“This year was surprisingly tame, people were all in really good moods which in turn makes me happy. Last year a woman yelled at me for taking too much time to finish her transaction, that her kids were in the car and she didn’t want CPS to take them. Okay then!” –AstronomicalArtis18

14. The No Labels Confrontation

“At staples, I watched two grown men get into a brawling fist fight over a $30 label maker.

…it wasn’t even the last one.” –awsnapitsrachel

15. The Bait And Switch

“When I was 15 I got my first actual job. It was at a clothing store and my first day was Black Friday. I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal because I was hired for men’s formal wear.

When I show up at 4AM, they manager tells me I’m working women’s shoes today only.

Absolute madness.

The worst part is shoes salesmen get commission, but since I didn’t have employee numbers I got only minimum wage. Losing out of hundreds of dollars extra pay.” –bearded_booty

16. The Aftermath

“When I worked at Best Buy I watched two elderly ladies get in a fistfight over a Nintendo DS. That and the cleaning the aftermath of Black Friday. Looked like a grocery store before a hurricane.” –anteru



17. The Sonic Torture

“About 15 years ago, I was working at a book store in a mall. Somehow, around 5pm maybe, I found myself the only employee in the entire store–not a single coworker to be found, and we were slammed with customers. We usually had music playing in the store, controlled by an ordinary 5-CD stereo in the back office, and of course this is the day the inoffensive holiday music gets brought into circulation.

Around the time I found myself alone, I noticed the stereo had become stuck on repeat, just playing the same song over and over. It was at least an hour before I was able to get away from the counter, and so that was the day I was forced to listen to some kind of generic “A Very Jazzy Jinglebells” some 30 times back to back.” –HeyNomad

18. The Psycho With No Pants

“Not retail, but I worked at a restaurant that is right across the street from the mall (And open Black Friday) so naturally after people get great deals on whatever they come eat.

Anyway, I’m sitting in back of the house Black Friday morning, waiting for my inevitably long shift to start. It was incredibly busy as it was but I wasn’t about to clock in early. I was BSing with one of the managers when I heard a hostess scream through the walkie “HELP HELP!”. So I immediately rush to the entrance to see two grown men on the ground fighting,one in nothing but his underwear, and my shift lead trying to pull them off each other while screaming “FUCKING STOP. THIS IS A FAMILY RESTAURANT THERE ARE CHILDREN HERE!” I jolted forward in an attempt to break up the fight. This is where it gets weird. Everyone is gathered around this small area watching or trying to help when someone grabbed a fire extinguisher and started spraying us with it.So we have a bunch of people trying to break up a fight between a man in his underwear and some other dude and someone spraying us with a fire extinguisher while we have christmas carols playing in the background. Finally we get the fight broken up. Cops show up. The whole 9 yards.


Guy1 got the last TV/voucher from Best Buy and Guy2 was very angry about that. So he followed him over to the restaurant to try and buy the TV from him. Guy1 told Guy2 to fuck off so Guy2 took off his pants and started to fight Guy1″ –Usernamesarestupid12

19. The Walking Wounded

“I work at a gas station, so I’m somewhat immune to Black Friday-itus. The worst we got this morning was cars lined up to get gas. On the other hand, we had a few Walmart workers come in, and they looked like they just came back from the war. Both of them had ladies ram their carts into their legs to get at the merch. The guy said it was just a flurry of shredded plastic and hands when they kicked off the sales. Nobody got a full break, and the catered food was cold and well picked over by the time they could break. A car had side-swiped another car, damaging the paint pretty bad and tried to drive off. On top of all, they’re not getting time and a half for working Thursday night into Friday morning, ’cause it’s not technically a holiday anymore. At least he got a home-made cupcake (I brought in cupcakes for the ladies working Thanksgiving at my job).

Edit: I had that Walmart employee as a customer again today. He told my boss and I about how one of his coworker’s was practically trampled. She’s a petite little thing, and got tripped (accidentally this time, not on purpose like the cart rammers) by one customer, fell down, and had several more walk on/over her. She’s ok; she’s just sore and has bruising all over her legs. We seriously thought he was bullshitting us at first on this story, but he was dead serious.” –abbyabsinthe




Jason Mustian

Jason is a Webby winning, Short-Award losing humor writer and businessman. He lives in Texas with his amazing wife and four sometimes amazing kids.