The top 25 most awkward moments in life identified

Forgetting a friend's birthday, waving to someone by accident and spilling coffee on white clothes among most embarrassing situations, according to poll

Gemma Francis
Monday 11 February 2019 17:22 GMT
Almost half of the millennials surveyed said they experience an embarrassing moment at least once a week
Almost half of the millennials surveyed said they experience an embarrassing moment at least once a week (Getty iStock)

Accidentally ending a work call with “I love you”, complaining about someone when they are standing behind you and getting on the wrong train are among a list of life's most awkward moments, according to a survey.

A poll of 2,000 adults found that more than eight in 10 have experienced an “FML" moment – with waving back at someone only to discover they were waving at someone behind you the most common.

Other awkward moments include misjudging the weather and ending up in a thick jumper on a hot day, dropping your phone into the toilet and texting the person you were gossiping about by accident.

Stalking someone’s social media profile but accidentally liking a post from years ago and replying to all instead of just to one person on an email also featured on the list.

But the study, by haircare brand Aussie, found that while 43 per cent would "ride out" the awkward moment, more than one in 10 would head to the nearest toilets to take some time out.

A spokesperson for Aussie, which commissioned the research as part of its #GreatHairThough campaign, said: “We’ve all been there when you just want the ground to swallow you up (or retreat to Oz down under) when things haven’t gone to plan.

“We can’t always fix our messy lives, but we can make sure hair is looking on point, because life doesn’t always go to plan."

Other FML moments that appear in the list include leaving tags on new clothes when wearing them for the first time and forgetting a friend’s birthday.

Researchers also found that younger British people tend to experience more awkward moments, with almost half of the millennials surveyed having an “FML” moment at least once a week compared to just over one in 10 of over-55s.

With data revealing that more than one in 10 would head to the toilets after an FML moment, Aussie is installing “loos” at Waterloo train station in London to allow commuters to recover from their daily disasters.

The #GreatHairThough loos will travel on from London Waterloo Station to Glasgow Central Station and Manchester Piccadilly.

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The top 25 most common embarrassing moments for British people:

  1. Returning a wave only to realise they were waving at someone else
  2. Forgetting a friend's birthday/anniversary
  3. Misjudging the weather and wearing a jumper on a hot day
  4. Forgetting to put a phone on charge overnight so the alarm does not go off
  5. Spilling coffee on a fresh white shirt first thing in the morning
  6. Umbrella turning inside out in heavy rain
  7. Dropping a phone into the toilet
  8. Forgetting headphones before a long journey
  9. Someone pointing out a tag left on new clothes
  10. Leaving the house in a rush and spending the whole day worrying about whether you have left hair straighteners on
  11. Opening a handbag and the entire contents falling out
  12. Telling a hairdresser you only wanted a trim but ending up leaving with much shorter hair
  13. Losing balance on the tube/train and landed in a stranger's lap
  14. Sleeping through an alarm and tripping over whilst running for the bus
  15. Falling asleep on the tube/ train/ bus, and ending up leaning on someone's shoulder
  16. Sending a personal email to a colleague by mistake
  17. Stalking someone's Instagram and accidentally hitting "like" on an old photo
  18. Accidentally mentioning something to a person, then realising they had not told you – but that you had actually found out through “stalking” their social media channels
  19. Replying all/texting the person you were gossiping about
  20. Spilling food on your clothes before a job interview
  21. Keys falling out of a pocket into the toilet
  22. Bumping into someone you have cancelled plans with
  23. Purchasing "dream" heels and then spending the whole night out regretting it
  24. Rushing for a train, making it, but then realising it is the wrong one 
  25. Accidentally ending a work call with “love you”


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