Prom night is supposed to be a magical milestone of high school. You’re dressed to the nines, you dance the night away, and make memories that will surely last a lifetime. Right?
Prom is often as much of a sweat-filled, hormonal nightmare as any other school dance, just with more expensive clothing and the massive anxiety spike that comes with expectations to have the best night of your life.
Nobody’s prom was perfect for everyone. Maybe someone spiked the punch at your prom and you didn’t even catch a buzz. Maybe your prom dress caught on fire, or your date ended up making out in the bathroom with someone else.
Here are the best prom horror stories that will, if you’ve had one, maybe make you feel a little better about your own prom experience.
1. Totally twinning. 💃💃
“Mine is so boring and not at all spicy, I was wearing the same Jessica McClintock [dress] as my date’s ex girlfriend. She offered to meet me out side to talk it out and I declined.” — Samantha C.
2. Well, at least he wasn’t your date.
“My friend got stood up and my brother had to come to my prom. He wore my dad’s suit. I was more humiliated than my friend 🤦♀.” — Megan J.
3. But did you get to sing “Heart of Glass”? 🎤
“A bunch of us went to a karaoke place for after prom. A lot of people got drunk and spilled ice on the table and thought they broke glass, [and] got us kicked out of the place. I’m still worried about going to karaoke places in K-Town to this day.” — Emily Z.
4. They took the midnight bus going… nowhere.
“The party bus I was on didn’t clear a porte-cochère at the hotel our prom was at. It got stuck, and our parents had to come pick us up.” — Alex F.
5. Really “Made” that prom experience awkward for everyone.
“MTV Made came to my high school and a girl performed a choreographed dance at my prom since she got “Made” into a hip hop dancer… It was really bad.” — Jeremy C.
6. Only the best in mood music.👌
“My friends put me in charge of music on the way there and I ended up breaking the radio in the back of the limo while we were still in the driveway and after 20 mins of the driver trying to fix it he said ‘I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do but i have a CD if you want me to put that on.’ And then we had to listen to Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers as our hype music.” — Nicole G.
7. I thought we left duct tape prom dresses in the ’00s?
“There were definitely two girls from what I remember whose dresses almost fell apart, but nothing good old duct tape couldn’t fix ✂.” — Elvie Mae P.
8. Wow. 😧
“All was fine and dandy until we learned that a girl in our prom group had taken acid when she tore her dress off and went crazy at the actual dance. She got carried off (and we later learned that the stunt got her prematurely kicked out of the college she’d been accepted to). Once we got back on the bus, parent chaperones came on to tell us that the cops would be searching us to make sure we didn’t have any more acid and that we should get rid of anything illegal. A couple of us sheepishly walked off the bus and disposed of flasks and weed-related items. I threw away a pot brownie I was saving for the afterparty. The cops never came and searched us.” — Harry H.
9. Honestly, they finessed that.
“My boyfriend senior year got mad at me because I was on prom court and had to slow dance with one of the guys on the court. (The guy I danced with was gay.) Also, all my friends realized the event hall where our prom was [held] never closed the kegs, so they all got beer from the taps and our school wasn’t allowed back there.” — Miller K.
10. Oh boy, buried treasure!
“The boys in my prom group buried beer in their parent’s backyard to be retrieved at a later date, then forgot where they buried it.” — Ruby L.
11. Oof, they should not have let them go. ❄
“Two popular girls somehow convinced the prom committee to stop the music/dancing in the middle of prom to perform an acoustic duet of “Let It Go” from Frozen… and they let them do it.” — Sage Anderson.
12. Boats and prom? No thank you. 🛥
“In my high school’s attempt to curb drinking/after parties, they organized a big boat post-prom to cruise Lake Michigan for a few hours. While there wasn’t any drinking, we were formally allowed to smoke cigarettes and and cigars. Nobody knew how to smoke cigars (a lot of inhaling) and multiple people got sick from smoking too much.” — Scarlett A.
13. Bonnie and Clyde whomst?
“After prom my date and I went to a bonfire at a trailer park where they threw so much wood into the pit that they created a fire that was unsafe and terrifying. While everybody was trying to put out the fire my date decided to go into these trailers and steal people’s shoes, and then had me drive her out of the trailer park as everyone was dealing with the fire. I had a major crush on her (she was a senior and I was a freshman) so I had no problem being her accomplice while she enacted this trailer park shoe heist.” — Garrett K.
14. Guess you weren’t ship-shape. 🚣♀
“I didn’t drink in high school, but my friend was dating one of the more popular guys on the soccer team. One of the soccer team jocks had a rager at their house after prom. I went to look after my friend because I knew my crush would be there. Anyway, my crush made me a very strong drink which I drank (although I was not an experienced drinker). Needless to say I woke up feeling very sick then had to sneak out at six in the morning the next day because I was on the sailing team and had to go to a regatta. Boats and hangovers do not mix, people.” — Charlotte R.
15. Buckle in folks, this is one rollercoaster of emotions. 😬
My senior year of high school I knew a guy. (Let’s call him Matt.) Matt and I had gone to the same elementary school, middle school, and now high school. We weren’t exactly friends, but he was one of those guys I was exceedingly nice to considering I’d known him since we both wore pull ups. We worked on AP psych homework together a lot and occasionally chatted between classes.
Anyway, it became apparent that Matt thought I was just the cat’s meow and wanted to date, date, date about two months before prom. I agreed to go out with him once and it was not so awesome. (Think him reclining his driver’s seat chair in my parents driveway and asking if I wanted to make out before we went on the actual date and then getting kind of angry when I said no.)
So it was a pass from me. But Matt kept asking me out. Every class we had together, he’d ask about my plans and follow up about a second date. He’d text me incessantly, etc. Then, about two weeks before prom, he got suspiciously quiet. I noticed the change, but figured he’d finally gotten the message — I hadn’t been subtle about my disinterest. Then, he showed up to the morning announcements.
Every day at the start of classes I would recite the morning announcements with my co-host over the loudspeaker. One Thursday, when I was offering up details on the upcoming Russian class field trip, Matt and the entire football team showed up outside the glass announcement booth with a big sign that said, “Prom?” and a whole bunch of roses. I quickly put together that if I could just get through the announcements and hang up the phone connected to the loudspeaker, I could quietly reject him in front of the team (still about 30 guys) and not the entire school.
But as the words, “That’s it for today, enjoy your classes” left my lips, my co-host grabbed the phone and shouted “Matt asked Ali to prom!” broadcasting the news to the whole school. He went to hang up the phone and I bubbled over with panic and embarrassment. Before the phone hit the receiver, I could be heard on the loudspeaker saying in the background, “Why would you do that? I’m gonna say no.”
Matt looked wrecked, having heard the news along with the rest of our 800-plus peers over the speaker. I have never felt like a more terrible person. I came outside and we talked about it and I apologized. Ultimately, he asked a very nice sophomore and I went with a guy named Nick who said the word “totally” about 5 times per sentence. So it worked out, but still haunts me.” — Ali F.
If you’re someone who hasn’t yet attended prom, just know that there’s no pressure to make this the greatest night ever. You will have many more nights in the future make a fool of yourself or witness others being whole, entire fools.