Surprising Story Receptions

While the editors have always done a pretty good job in filtering out the more offensive and bigoted garbage I’m sure this site gets from time to time, sometimes they also have published stories that, intentionally or not, don’t show OP in a very good light. At other times, stories who were likely meant to sound lighthearted instead showed a depressing picture (or, in rare cases, a heavy story actually implied a much less serious context).

Whether an editor missed the implications, or OP wasn’t able to predict most people’s reaction to what he narrated, sometimes stories don’t get the reaction either expected… and, sometimes, the readers are surprised at the presentation too!

What are your favourite, or most memorable according to you, instances of this?

And, for the editors, have there ever been stories you’ve considered to “unsubmit” exactly due to this?


Relatively recent example:

I especially remember this one because it might have been justifiable if he’d only hit the tree once or twice, but he kept going until people were hurt.


Since I forgot in the original post, I will add here mine:
It’s amazing how the OP went from a somewhat gossipy guy with clever ideas, to being totally unsympathetic child abuser with one single line. Had he not added that one single line about spanking, he might’ve gotten a much warmer reception.


I posted a story about calling a pub to check if we’d left a toy behind. The member of staff sent to check it out swore over the radio to the manager which was clearly audible on my end of the phone call. I called them out on it as a small parting shot before ending the call. I submitted the story believing it should be a NAW as you shouldn’t have a staff member swearing over the radio. Instead I was viewed as the uptight prude by the commenters as it’s a pub, of course people swear in pubs.

Interesting little backfire. That and, instead of using *** to censor their language, I was a little more creative. That caused great consternation.


The first story that came to mind was one that was actually deleted because of backlash so I’m going off of memory here:

The OP was talking about a story their dad(?) told them from when he was in the military and it sounded like both of them got a kick out of it from the story’s tone. Basically, dad got pulled over on base because he was speeding, threatened the officer that “he would regret it” if he gave him a ticket, and got the ticket anyways. He then pulled strings to have that officer’s immunizations records get “lost”, forcing the dude to get all of his vaccines again by OP’s father. The OP also gleefully added in the detail that the story happened decades ago (during the Vietnam War I think?) so needles were considerably less fun to get poked with and that vaccines weren’t as refined yet and were prone to more side effects.

Again, all this happened to this random officer just because he did his job and gave someone a deserved ticket. Big yikes. I really don’t know how that one got through to the site to begin with.


Another recent one, while going by a comment in the story (“To be fair, he should have leveled with her then and there that it would take a bit more time”), OP would probably agree that his boss did not do the right thing, I doubt he expected so much backslash for their actions.


There have been three stories where I’ve used a variation of this comment:

OP: "Aha! They have posted my story. I shall now bask in the warmth and love everyone has for me in the comments section!


OP, 5 minutes later


The first time was for this infamously awful humblebrag:

The second time was for this story (Originally NAW, but later changed to NAR after feedback to the editors):

…and the third one, in true Rule of Three, was mine. Boy, did I misread the room on that one!


There have been stories that were “unsubmited” (a.k.a. deleted) due to this! A fairly recent one was called “It’s as easy as riding a bike [insert laughter here]”. I can see the title through my notifications since I commented on it, but the link is broken. The OP was a mom (or maybe dad?) who proudly bullied their daughter about learning to ride a bike without the side wheels, despite the girl being uninterested and clearly afraid of falling off the bike without the extra support. It was a horrible thing, and many people were pointing out the emotional abuse.


Probably the most polarising one that I can remember - now deleted, possibly for that reason - was the one with the guy outside the abortion clinic. The comments weren’t a dumpster fire - they were a warzone.


I don’t remember that one at all; it may have been deleted before I saw it.

Given the can of worms that got opened by my comment on a story that wasn’t even about the topic (A Million-Dollar Solution) I can well imagine how… combative the comments got in the one you speak of.

Can you remember roughly what happened? Feel free to blur the text if you think it might have triggers.

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The story has gone (this is the link, but it’s not even captured in the Wayback Machine)

Basically, the OP was a “sidewalk counsellor” who is someone who stands outside abortion clinics and attempts to persuade people not to have abortions. It’s a topic which nearly everyone has a strong opinion on, so when that piece of info was brought to light, peace was never going to have a chance. Interestingly, even thought the story is gone, Disqus has a record of the comments. You might want to make sure you’re wearing something fireproof before jumping in.


… I see what you mean

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Ah, I remember that one! The story was so euphemistic that I didn’t understand what was going on and went to the comments to find out.


Do Reddit stories count? If so, we had the one colloquially known as “whiny locksmith”, which was removed after too many commenters pointed out how little it fits with the NaR tone.
EDIT – the Reddit link.


I posted a story about one of my first actually paying jobs.

At the end of the story I posted a little throwaway line that essentially illustrated that at the time I was a newbie and credulous about what my coworkers told me.

They spend the whole comment section acting like the thing at the end was official policy and discussing that instead of discussing the meat of the story XD. It was not official policy.


Aww I didn’t think your last story was so bad! At least it was high density puns/jokes. I guess our commentariat doesn’t like risqué humor!


This one was mine, and it made me glad I wasn’t in the habit of identifying my own stories back then, because I got CHEWED UP. I recognize I was pretty whiny in the story, I don’t know if it would have worked better with a lighter tone? That summer was rough on me, so at the time it felt like the Universe kicking me further in the butt.

Behold, my humiliation.


Awww. I think it’s the last line (as it so often is!) that makes it sound like you’re blaming your dad for you being in that unlucky situation that didn’t really have anything to do with him. Instead of him chastising you to do something on your own, and in doing so he avoids your unlucky fate—that’s a bit lighter and more sympathetic, I think.


Not a reaction to a story, but a reaction to a comment.

A little bit of history: About 3 years ago there was a glitch, and a few stories had the comments section switched. So the comments for one story ended up in the comments for a different story completely, before being deleted. But because of the way Disqus comments are stored, it is still possible to view the comments section.

The story that this comment section was for was about a child who had trouble saying “elevator” (lift is so much easier :wink:). So I posted an anecdote about how my lad had trouble saying exhaust.

There ended up being a massive amount of pedantry on the correct way to say exhaust, to the point where I ended up getting a bit irked (One of the few times I came close to losing my temper). I edited my original comment accordingly, adding (for the benefit of the pedants) some appeasement soaked in sarcasm.


I’ve just remembered that there was a story about someone working in (something like) a bakery right on a farm and when someone, disgusted/concerned, pointed out that there’s a fly on, IIRC, the pizza slices, OP basically said (not in these exact words, but almost), “Well, duh, Einstein, we’re on a farm, of course there are going to be flies”. OP seemed to be completely convinced they were in the right, the commentariat, on the other hand, obviously didn’t share their conviction.
I can’t find that story now, though.