Black Friday Horror Stories From Retail Workers Who Lived To Tell The Tale

By: Kate Row | Last updated: Nov 21, 2023

Black Friday began as a day for bargain shoppers to get amazing deals on major holiday purchases. But this day has gained a reputation for getting more than a little out of hand.

As it turns out, Black Friday shoppers take this day very seriously and things can get really crazy. These are some hilarious and frightening Black Friday horror stories as told by the retail workers who witnessed them. Enjoy!

No Time To Waste

A brand new associate got a violent surprise on her first Black Friday working retail. The 16-year-old girl was helping a woman find her shoe size, which the store was out of. She recommended that she check another store or look online.


Source: reuters

Apparently, this was a grave mistake because the woman shouted that she didn’t have that kind of time and then proceeded to throw the shoe at the worker. The shoe hit her and even split her lip. Happy Holidays.


Cleanup In The Shoe Aisle

Apparently, the shoe department is commonplace for crazy behavior. A customer couldn’t find an associate to point him in the direction of the restroom so he did what any toddler might think to do.


Source: sneaker news

He dropped his pants right in the middle of the aisle and left a surprise for the next associate that came to that part of the store. Unfortunately, the person who discovered the little surprise was another customer who happened to step into the mess. What is it about Black Friday that makes grownups revert to childlike behaviors?

Baby Down!

A Walmart employee witnessed a fight break out between 2 women where one of them flipped the other woman’s baby stroller over with the baby in it! Instead of the mother picking up her baby she lunged at the woman and attacked her right back.


Source: fansided

Apparently, the manager had to check on the baby while the 2 women continued fighting. We wonder what the argument was about. Maybe they both wanted the last T.V. available?

Pepper Spray At Victoria's Secret

Black Friday sales are great, but it looks like some people are looking to get their items completely free of charge and not many stores are willing to lower their prices that far. A worker from Victoria’s Secret described an incident where shoplifters came into the store and stole everything off the front table.


Source: reddit

Instead of running with their items in hand, they decided to actually spray mace at the workers! They had to evacuate the store and people were seriously injured. What is it about this holiday that makes people go absolutely crazy?

Special Privileges

One woman complained to a worker about the crowds in the store. She asked her to evacuate the entire store so that she could personally shop without the crowds of people. Obviously, her request was denied.

Source: medium

A few minutes later she pulled the fire alarm and the entire store had to be evacuated. The fire department even showed up. She was arrested so she didn’t get to shop the sales anyways and she ruined it for the rest of the shoppers and workers as well.


Setting A Good Example

A Target employee witnessed a serious Black Friday showdown happen at the self-checkout. It was a Super Target so we can imagine that the crowds were intense and the tempers were running thin.


A woman holding a baby actually elbowed another woman in the face to take her cart! The sales can’t be good enough to warrant assaulting another customer with your baby in your arms.


Body Shimmer As A Weapon

Black Friday might be the only day of the year when someone would use body shimmer as a weapon. A customer asked for a specific perfume scent and when the worker explained that it had been discontinued, things took a turn for the worst.

Source: business insider

She used body shimmer to spray into the employee’s eyes as if it were pepper spray. The worker even had to wear an eye patch for a week after the incident!


Game Stop Drama

A Game Stop employee shared a real horror story from Black Friday that ended in an arrest. The store usually allows people to trade in games for other ones but due to the volume of customers they were not allowing people to trade, only buy.

Source: syracruse

A customer who brought in more than 100 games to trade was none too happy about this and decided to start throwing their video games at the worker one by one. He was arrested and banned from Game Stop for life. Let’s use this as a lesson for how NOT to shop.



One retail employee was stationed at a sale bin with discounted clothing and accessories. When the doors were opened to customers, the crowds rushed in and bombarded the poor girl. She was pushed and shoved around.

Source: newsflare/ youtube

One woman even placed both of her hands on the employee’s shoulders and shoved her back. She flew into one of the bins! People who work on Black Friday deserve a raise for putting up with this kind of behavior.


Sweater Meltdown

A woman asked for a sweater to be put on hold for her. When the retail worker calmly explained that they couldn’t put items on hold during the holiday she whispered something pretty menacing in her ear.

Source: bgr

She said she wished she wasn’t in the store so she could actually choke the retail worker! This was all because of a sweater. Imagine!


Impatience At The M.A.C. Counter

A former M.A.C. employee encountered a coworker getting spit on because a shopper was upset at how long the line was to buy her lipstick. She actually spit on her!

Source: reddit

We’re not sure why she was confused at the line. Black Friday is known for having the longest lines of the year. It’s not a good day to shop for impatient people or people who think it’s okay to spit on others!


Need A Hand?

In all of the commotion that happens on Black Friday, there are unfortunately people who try to steal. This employee noticed a customer had what looked to be a prosthetic hand in the sleeve of his hoodie.

Source: reddit

They didn’t think anything of it until an hour later when a coworker mentioned a mannequin hand had been stolen. I mean, why?


It’s A Warzone

One employee saw a total warzone situation unfold in front of their very eyes. A particularly spirited customer ran ahead of the crowds and sprayed mace behind them toward the rest of the crowds.

Source: howstuffworks

You might be wondering what they were running towards that was worth spraying other people with mace: The electronics section. Apparently, a discounted T.V. was worth injuring people.


Mr. Coffee

We know how people can get if they don’t have their morning coffee. But this woman took things to a real extreme by punching another woman to make sure she was the new owner of the last Mr. Coffee machine.

Source: christian science monitor

The coffee maker was on sale for an incredible $3. We understand it was an amazing sale but it certainly doesn’t warrant punching someone over it!


Special Treatment

A woman cut a long line of about 200 people to approach an employee at the register. She had 2 full carts of items and insisted that she should be allowed to cut because she was buying the items for her church.

Source: Reuters

When the employee told her that no one was allowed to cut, despite the reason she dropped to her knees and began praying. After about 15 minutes she finally left the store.


Cleanup Needed At The Register

A woman came up to the register to pay for her items and her young daughter was complaining about having to use the restroom. However, nothing was going to deter this woman from getting her sale items so she told the kid to wait until they got home.

Source: midjourney

Apparently, there was no waiting because the child peed all over the floor right in front of the register. The mother paid, picked up her bags, and told the employee that they should probably clean up that mess before casually strolling out. Some people!



The most dangerous part about Black Friday shopping is the enormous crowds of people. In one instance an employee was actually pushed down and run over! Unfortunately, this is not the only story like this we’ve heard about.


A hoard of people shoved them to the ground and they were trampled by eager shoppers. They even broke their foot and were unable to work for months after the fact. We’re sure they never worked a Black Friday again.


Getaway Bike

A Walmart employee recalls a fight breaking out over a bike. Two men were going at it and fists were being thrown left and right. Some blood was even drawn!

Source: redandblack

One man finally broke away and rode the bike right out of the store. He was pursued by the other man until he finally made it out. Naturally, he did not pay for the bike that he rode off into the night.


Shopping The Warehouse

A Toys R Us employee remembers one Black Friday when he was working in the back warehouse where they would help customers load larger items into their cars. One customer decided to make their way back there and dig their way through boxes to see if they wanted anything back there.

Source: the daily beast

Of course, other customers saw him do it and followed the leader so they soon had about 10 people sifting through boxes! These were purchases that other customers had already bought. It’s only fitting that adults would act like children in Toy R Us, I guess.


Never Too Old To Fight

At Radio Shack, two sweet old women came in asking about a calculator that was greatly discounted. When the employee let them know there was only 1 left, those sweet ladies turned into monsters!

Source: midjourney

They started going at each other and yelling profanities. Let’s keep in mind that this was all over a $5 calculator! I guess we should never judge a book by its cover.


Pants Filled With Lobster

Apparently, Black Friday sales sometimes extend to grocery stores as well as retail stores. A Sam’s Club employee recounts a particularly hilarious moment in which a woman was caught red-handed.

Source: canyon news

She had stuffed her pants with frozen lobster tails! She was unpacking them and throwing the trash in a nearby tire display.


Old Lady Vs. Teenage Boy

Another employee witnessed a real showdown between an elderly woman and a teenage boy. It all went down in the electronics department over a radio. The woman punched the boy in the face!

Source: reddit

She snatched up the radio that was in the boy’s hands and ran away with it. Only on Black Friday would you see such a sight.


The First Walmart Superstore

At one of the first Walmart superstores, an employee was given some good advice from their managers. They were tasked with cutting open the pallets so the items would be on display when the store opened.

Source: reddit

They were told to cut the pallets open and run when they heard the bells because that meant the people were coming in masses. They weren’t kidding because the masses came swarming in.


Tickle Me Elmo

When the Tickle Me Elmo toy came out people were fighting hand and fist to get their hands on the new toy. Customers were shoving, pushing, and fighting each other to get one of the Elmo dolls.

Source: the press democrat

It only goes to show that Black Friday can bring out the worst in people. Even Tickle Me Elmo can incite riots!


Even Security Is In On The Action

You would think security is safe from the dangers of Black Friday considering they’re there to keep people safe and make sure things run as smoothly as possible. But one security officer got stuck in the mix.

Source: patch

An employee witnessed a security guard getting punched in the face because the customer mistook him for a customer skipping the line. No one is safe on Black Friday, apparently.


Cooler Meltdown

We have seen that black Friday shoppers certainly have a flare for the dramatics. One employee witnessed a perfect example of this when a customer dramatically fell into the arms of a manager.

Source: cn blue & gold

What was the reason for this movie scene collapse? They didn’t have the cooler she wanted. All this over a cooler seems pretty dramatic to us but I guess we don’t know how badly she needed that cooler!


911 It’s An Emergency

Calling 911 for non-emergencies is a huge “no-no” and most people are perfectly aware of that. It’s a line for emergencies only. One woman called 911 because they wouldn’t price match at her local Best Buy on Black Friday.

Source: the daily beast

She was probably joyful to see the cops did show up and then was immediately disappointed when they pulled her away in handcuffs. Don’t misuse emergency lines, people!


Crock-Pot To The Head

Appliances and electronics are probably the most sought-after items during a black Friday sale. It is a great time to stock up on those items before Christmas rolls around. But this means extra competition from the customers.

Source: rockville rampage

Two men fought over a crock pot so fiercely that one man ended up hitting the other over the head with the pot. They were both escorted out by police. “Injury by crock pot” was probably a rough one to explain to the family.


Growling For Towels

One store had an amazing deal where towels only cost $1. One man decided that all of the towles would be his. We can’t imagine why he would need an entire bin of towels.

Source: metro

He jumped into the large bin and growled at any customers who tried to take any towels. He claimed them all as his own. Didn’t anyone teach him that sharing is caring?