Some things are just better out in the open and Awkward Moments Day on March 18 is your chance to embrace those embarrassing or awkward moments from your past and laugh about them. Remember that time you enthusiastically waved at your friend but soon realized that they were a complete stranger? What about the time when that incy-wincy pebble tripped you in front of all of your classmates? For some of us, it feels like these awkward moments come looking for us. If you’re one of those people, then today is your day.
History of Awkward Moments Day
The variety of awkward moments is endless, but some of humanity’s most cringe-worthy moments have been better documented than others. Just in case you’re working through your own social faux pas, check out this history to make yourself think: “hey, at least I didn’t do that.”
Turns out, humans have been awkward since the dawn of time. Some of the earliest awkward moments we could find include Isaac Newton incorrectly predicting the end of the world several times, a football team in the 1929 Rose Bowl almost running a touchdown to the wrong side of the field, and President Roosevelt accidentally running into Churchill coming out of the bath, naked!
With the advent of radio, TV, movies, and more technology that connects us, the number of awkward moments publicized and made infamous expanded exponentially. Who hasn’t heard of Janet Jackson’s famous “Nipplegate” situation at the Superbowl? Who doesn’t remember when Ashlee Simpson got caught lip-synching at a concert?
Awkward moments in the YouTube age have a whole new character, as they can be watched over and over again. More famous awkward moments from the 21st century include Mike Tyson falling off a hoverboard and when Ariana Grande got caught on camera licking a doughnut at a bakery before putting it back (ew!).
We have to say, the awkward moments that take the cake are those brought on by the digital age of communication – we mean texting, dating apps, and social media. You know what we’re talking about. Raise your hand if you’ve ever swiped right on a coworker by mistake and had to avoid their desk on your way to the kitchen. Who else has liked a crush’s Instagram post from three years ago? We can’t be the only ones who have ever sent a screenshot of a message… right back to the person we were texting.
Our media age offers a plethora of opportunities for personal embarrassment, but hey – at least we can watch everyone else’s awkward moments on YouTube. Take heart knowing that awkward moments have existed since the dawn of time, and occasionally running into a tree or putting our feet in our mouth only connects us and makes us human. Plus, they’re fun to laugh about!
Awkward Moments Day timeline
La La Land Wins Best Picture
Oops, we misspelled that title. Remember when La La Land was announced as Best Picture, but the real winner was Moonlight? The whole cast of La La Land is still trying to forget.
- December 2015
And the winner of Miss America is...
Who doesn’t remember when Steve Harvey famously read the wrong name for the winner of Miss America, then ever-so-awkwardly had to re-allocate that winner’s crown?
A Glamorous Fall
We know you’ve already seen Jennifer Lawrence fall at the Oscars because it’s been turned into one of the most popular gifs we just can’t seem to get away from. But take heart - you’d think someone that glamorous taking an embarrassing spill would turn the public on her, but it’s only made us collectively love her more.
During a 2005 Black Eyed Peas concert in San Diego, Fergie famously peed her pants on stage after not having time to use the bathroom beforehand. We feel for you, Fergie.
- May 2006
Guy Goma Gets Interviews
Guy Goma showed up at BBC for a job interview, but a mixup had him on the evening news: https://youtu.be/e6Y2uQn_wvc
- October 2004
Ashlee Simpson Gets Caught Lip Syncing
Ashlee's infamous TV gaffe can be seen here: https://youtu.be/5RrLAgi_mBY
Awkward Moments Day FAQs
When is Awkward Moments Day celebrated?
How Do I Get Over An Awkward Moment?
Everyone deals with things differently, but our advice is to try and laugh about embarrassing or awkward moments.
Where can I find more about Awkward Moments Day?
Search up the best awkward moments, and there video compilations and articles are sure to make even the most embarrassing moment in your life look pretty tame.
Where is Awkward Moments Day celebrated?
The United States.
Awkward Moments Day Activities
Boldly share your gaffes on social media
The brave among us will blanket social media with the hashtag #AwkwardMomentsDay and proudly let their worst moments be visible to all. This isn’t for everyone, but seeing others move past their most embarrassing gaffes can be super helpful for those that need to appreciate themselves and take themselves less seriously!
Get over an awkward moment in your past
You know that feeling right before you drift off to sleep, where your brain suddenly plays a reel of your top 20 most awkward moments? We’ve all lived through those nights. Rather than turn red and try to banish it from your mind in vain, let the feelings in and work through them. Remember everyone has awkward moments, and you can let the embarrassment go. Anyway, it can’t be any worse than when Steve Harvey crowned the wrong Miss America.
Remember awkward times with a pal
A good friend won’t judge you for your embarrassing moments - and chances are, they were right there in the same boat with you. Call up a friend and ask them if they remember the time you awkwardly wore matching outfits for a week or liked a crush’s Instagram picture from three years ago. You’ll have a laugh, and the awkwardness will fade away.
You’re Less Awkward Than You Think
People tend to notice your most embarrassing moments far less than you think they do. Studies have proven the existence of the ‘spotlight effect,’ which assumes that other people notice us far more than they do.
In 1664, British Parliamentarian Samuel Peppys was recorded as the first person to write the word ‘embarrassed’.
Have A Laugh
Have an awkward situation that your mind just can’t quite recover from? Facing the situation head-on and laughing about it is the psychologist-approved way to get over it.
Trust the Awkward
People who feel embarrassment are more likely to be trusted and forgiven by others, according to a study!
Feelings of self-consciousness are some of the earliest feelings we create as humans. As soon as babies can recognize themselves in the mirror, self-consciousness begins.
Why We Love Awkward Moments Day
People love awkward moments. Search “awkward moments” on YouTube, and we guarantee there will be a wealth of the funniest and most cringe-worthy exchanges in people’s lives - and you’ll laugh. The best way to deal with our own awkward moments is exactly the same - just laugh through it and enjoy the entertainment.
They connect us
Awkward moments are something everyone can relate to. We all have a story - yes, THAT story, the story you don’t even like to think about, let alone tell. Whether you farted so loud you spilled your drink on your date, or accidentally called your girlfriend’s mother her grandmother, everyone’s got one.
They make us better
Embarrassment and awkwardness are signs - are you reading them? If you’re embarrassed by something you’ve done, it’s a natural indicator that shows you what you want to improve. Embarrassment can teach you that you didn’t live up to your goals or values, and awkward moments can teach you to be more careful next time. Like, maybe it’ll teach you that it’s important to do the work on a presentation if you’re lecturing to your peers, or that you should chew some gum after drinking coffee at work!
Awkward Moments Day dates