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People Reveal Their Worst Cash-Strapped ‘Struggle Meals’, And They’re Pretty Terrible

If you’ve never been down to your last couple of dollars, and an almost empty fridge, waiting for that next paycheck, so you can eat a proper meal, God bless you. For the rest of us, the term “struggle meal” hits home, as you know the feeling of having to put together a makeshift meal with whatever is in-house, just to get some semblance of nutrition in your system.

On AskReddit, a simple question was posed, “What was your poorest meal?”

As answers poured in, some foods such as, “a single cold hotdog,” and “Cup Noodles” might sound familiar. Perhaps the saddest being, “A nap,” as sleep was apparently the best option for dinner that night. Coming in right behind the nap has to be the person who used the water from boiled hot dogs as a meal.

Check out the answers below, and hope that you never have to enjoy one of these meals again:


The College Diet

“I used to buy those dried ramen containers where you just add hot water. There was a time during my 20s when I ate instant ramen about five times per week for close to a year.” – TheBeardedGM


Hot Dog Straight From The Package

“A single cold hot dog (no bun, just dog) and salsa. My dad was dirt poor when I was younger and that’s all he had. Couldn’t even warm up the hot dog because the electricity was shut off” – Schmuckatelli98


The Responsible Cat Lover

“In my second year of university I was so broke around Christmas time that I bought bread and 2 packs of hotdogs to eat for 2 weeks so that I could afford enough food for my cat.” – sadpanda989


“A nap.” – JamesIgnatius27


The Ultimate Struggle Meal

“Wiener water soup. Saved the water from boiling wieners for hot dogs. Heated it up later and added some crackers.” – Redf6


Milk Toast?

“My husband’s grandma told us once about her favorite depression era food: “milk toast.” Make toast, pour milk on top of it to make it soggy, sprinkle sugar. Like disgusting soggy French toast.”  SarahSparrow16


Ketchup Spaghetti

“I was flat broke to the point where I literally didn’t have a penny to my name. I had to make it through five more days till my loan installment came in and all I had in the cupboard was pasta and ketchup. So I lived off the most budget pasta bolognese possible for the rest of the week.” – Firkragg


Old Saltine Soup

“3 year old Saltines and water.” – Phantomtastic


A Sadwich

“A sadwich made with slightly expired bologna, stale white bread and Taco Bell hot sauce.” – RoboNinjaPirate

Humor Now Trending

17 Waiters Reveal The Worst First Dates They’ve Ever Seen


While dining at restaurants, we forget that waiters can see and hear everything around them. They probably use the Geoffrey Butler from Fresh Prince approach, where you hear all, say nothing and write a book about it later. Except nobody has time to write a book, so, off to Reddit these stories go.

On AskReddit, waiters were asked, “What’s the worst first date you’ve ever seen?” The answers came pouring in, as these servers were chomping at the bit to tell their stories.

Of course, like all things on Reddit, you have to take these stories with a grain of salt, because who the hell really knows if any of this happened. However, none of these stories sound extremely over-the-top, so they may have happened. Plus, it’s the internet, and I’d like to believe everything on it is true.

Peep the crazy stories below, as you’ll cringe at these waiters’ recollections of terrible first date encounters:


Tindering In the Middle Of The Date


“Served a couple a few months ago. Everytime I walked over, he would always be the one talking, and she would just be sitting there not having a good time. At the end I asked if it was one bill or separate and she immediately piped up “SEPARATE.” I go and take his payment, and as I hand over the debit machine to the girl, I see the guy take his phone out and start swiping through Tinder.”


The Guy Who Had An Escape Plan

“I work at a fairly nice Italian restaurant, where we do a lot of business. One night a man who I was not even serving came up to me while I was punching an order in on the computer and hands me $20 and a napkin with a phone number on it.

He proceeds to tell me ‘I am on the worst date of my life, this woman is horrendous and I have to get out of here. Take this $20 and please go to the nearest phone and call me and tell me that I have to get home right away. I don’t care what excuse you make up, I just gotta get the hell out of here.’

Initially I thought he was kidding until 2 minutes later the guy who was serving him came up to me to tell me how wicked this woman was and how he could tell the guy didn’t wanna be there. I promptly called that guy as soon as I had a free minute… I called him and told him I was broke down on the side of the road and needed a lift.

One of my shining achievements as a server.”


The Dine And Dash Tinder Date

“It was an attractive young woman and an average-looking man. First off, these people were 30 and I have no clue why they decided to go to Applebee’s for dinner.

…All goes well until it comes time for entrées. This guy orders a fuck ton of ribs (a few full racks) and refuses the girl her original order of a house sirloin, which was only about $6, less than a fifth of his order.

The man orders a four dollar salad and a water for her. The woman stops talking completely while the man talks about some crazy party he went to. The man guzzles a few Strawberry Quencher Iced teas, says ‘Seeya Friday, bitch’ and leaves her with the bill.

She said the guy seemed nice when they talked on Tinder, but was very uncomfortable with him in real life, and afraid to say something. A co-worker and I paid for her meal.”


When Your Date Insults The Employees

“I was working at a Mexican restaurant at the time. I was waiting on a couple and I could tell it was a first date by the questions I heard them asking each other. Anyway, towards the end of their meal there was this Hispanic girl sweeping next to their table and the woman looks at her, holds out the remains on her plate and says, ‘would you like to take this home to feed your kids?’ I stood there in complete shock. This woman spoke no English, but she could tell this random woman was completely degrading her. The sad thing is she seemed like she really thought she was doing a good deed. Her date looked so embarrassed.


The Kanye West of First Dates

“Once witnessed a date where the dude talked about how special he was and how his mind wasn’t like other people’s for the entire date. The girl was politely nodding along and every time she tried to get a word in, he’d cut her off. Absolutely brutal.
EDIT: the amount of women commenting on how they’ve been on this exact date before is… upsetting.”


When Mom Accidentally Finds Out You’re Gay

“This happened at my bakery maybe six months into our first year. Two boys come in, chatting normally, clearly on their first date. They’re both young, maybe 15 at most, and adorably nervous. They order at the counter and go find a table, sitting close. One of them starts holding the other’s hand, playing with his fingers, just being cute.

All of a sudden this woman comes up and starts berating one of the boys. It was his mother. She had shown up because she wanted to meet the girl because her son was being cagey about who it was (I assume he had mentioned where they were going because she wouldn’t let him out if she didn’t know.) She starts screaming and crying about how her son could do this to their family. Doesn’t he know she wants grandkids? His father would be so ashamed if he was still alive, doesn’t his father’s memory mean anything?

She then tells him that if he keeps up with this, don’t bother coming home, and then marches out of our shop. This poor boy is just weeping, while his not-even-really boyfriend is trying to comfort him, completely bewildered with what happened.”


“Not Jew-y”

“Ooooh! He made a comment to her about how he’s “not Jew-y” so she should order whatever she wanted. She was Jewish.

She spent the rest of the evening in silence as he went on about how his ex-girlfriend was anorexic and “so annoying about food.” He was happy to be on a date with a woman who could eat like a normal person.

So weird.

Edit: one of the only times she spoke was to respond that she was Jewish. It was a quiet night in my restaurant and I was nearby doing sidework. She seemed like a very shy person.


Sneaking out the Back

“Worked at Applebee’s. This woman was the worst woman I’ve ever waited on. She was needy and slurped down her iced tea like there was a world wide shortage. He was silent. He didn’t talk once except to order his quesadilla burger, and she just kept going and going prattling on. And she was mean too! Talking down about how people were losers to be servers, and how much better it was to work in a shop.
At the end, he went to the bathroom and just never came back. He apparently jetted out the side door where the to-go girls worked and gave them a twenty to give to me. Worst Woman was just sitting there and waiting for him to come back. I stood there at the servers station just waiting for her to realize he wasn’t coming back.
So after ten minutes, she just started crying, pushes her chair over, and flounced out. I didn’t get a tip, but it made my night.”


Don’t You Dare Make Me Pay For

“I’m a waitress at a mid-range priced bar/grill. Just yesterday, a younger couple came in, and as I greet them I ask if they want anything besides water.

Conversation is as follows..

Girl: May I have a Coke? Or Pepsi?
Boy: God, Erin. I’m paying.
Girl: Water will be fine, actually.

My heart immediately sank, because you bet your ass he tipped less than 10% too.”


This Dude Was Consistently Creepy

I used to work at a little shitty diner place, definitely not the type of place to bring a first date. There was this guy who’d come in every Friday with a different girl. He was a very good looking dude and was alway super polite and very nice to me, but he was super awkward. The girls would look kind of skeptical as they walked in (probably because of the crappy diner scene). Every week, about halfway through the meal, like clockwork, the girls would develop these “get me the fuck outta here faces.” Thats when I would bring the check. They always boxed up their food and left right away.

I had the chance to talk to one of them while he was in the restroom. Apparently he wasn’t harmful, there was just something off about him that the girls didnt like. His persistence is on point though.”


Don’t Go On A Date After Mouth Surgery, Howbowdah?

“I work in an Italian restaurant. A few years ago I waited on a guy and girl who met for the first time upon arriving at the restaurant. There were awkward pleasantries exchanged at the door and then they were seated.

When I was taking their order the guy asked if we had soup because he had mouth surgery a few days prior and chewing food was still a little rough. We don’t have soup, so I explained that the “softest” food on the menu was gnocchi. He ordered the house gnocchi and proceeded to cut each tiny dumpling into four or more pieces and slowly chew each piece. He ate that entire dish over a 3 hour period and the girl stuck it out for the whole thing. She looked miserable and I’m pretty sure they never saw each other again.”


The Blatant Gold Digger



Oh, She Fell Down The Stairs? Not My Problem

“I was working in a small restaurant with two floors. A woman and a man came in and I had a table for them upstairs. It looked like they had a first date because they were asking those “getting to know each other”questions. After ordering food, the woman had to go to the toilet, which is downstairs. As she walked to the stairs, the food arrived. She walked down, tripped and fell all the way down knocking her head on the ground. Two colleagues immediately rushed over to her to see how she was doing. She was unconscious and bleeding from her head so they called an ambulance. I went to the man while he already started eating and told him his partner (didn’t know how to call her) fell down the stairs and that she was unconscious and that an ambulance was on the way. He walked to the stairs, looked down and walked back to his table to finish his food. Later the ambulance arrived and I asked him if he wanted to go with them to the hospital and he said no while finishing her food as well. It was so awkward he just sat there for another 45 minutes eating, drinking, paid the bill and left. I still don’t know what kind of relationship they had and whether the woman is okay.”


Oh, Your EX is the Psychopath?

“I was bartending in NY and watched this couple that had met on Tinder have their first date sitting at my bar. The girl was a complete maniac. Kept bringing up the fact that the dude she was with could be a psychopath and could murder her (he had given no indication of this) and went on Tinder while he was still sitting beside her at the bar. Kept telling him he was lucky that she agreed to meet him at all and she didn’t think he’d be this boring. She ordered about 5 or 6 LITs and several shots, he literally just had 2 beers. She made him pay for everything.

My favourite part of this shit show was that he excused himself to go to the bathroom and left through the fire escape. Absolutely brilliant. To be clear, there was only one official entrance and exit. This dude escaped out the back and she went searching for him. Straight up thought he had disappeared out of the bar.”


Ay, Foo, This Restaurant Sucks Anyway


“So, I don’t know if it was a first date (but hopefully last) date, but last week I had a couple come in, and the man (thugged out and in his late twenties) began cussing about everything on the menu.

‘Yo, bitch, why’d you pick this shitty ass place? All this shit on the menu is fucking expensive as fuck’ (mid-priced lunch place, 90% locals and regulars of the senior variety for the most part)

So dude continues to cuss and berate his girl, and she doesn’t say anything. I come over and take their order, and he refuses to get anything, she gets some chicken strips, and then he starts in on me about how this is a ‘snobby ass old white folk place.’

At this point the regulars ARE noticing and one went to the owner to let him know what was going on, and he came out, hands on his hips and said ‘you have two choices, either stop the profanity and act civilized, or leave my establishment.’

The man said ‘I don’t gotta do shit, yo.’ Meanwhile the girl is now quietly eating her chicken, not saying a word.

Owner goes and calls the cops, because now this guy is getting louder and ruder to his poor date. When dude sees the cops roll up, he takes off, leaving the girl sitting at the table. Officers intercept him in the parking lot, and at the same time go and question the girl, asking if he’s ever hit her, if she feels safe, etc etc.”


Learn to Hold Your Liquor, Bro

Couple came up with beers they already had bought, and sat in my section. I go to introduce myself, girl seems nice, guy says nothing, just stares at his beer. At one point I glance up at their table. The girl is gone, and the guy looks like all hell. I thought to myself ‘Damn, he looks like he’s about to–‘ and right then, he hurls. Not a lot came out, and he tried to pass it off as a cough, but I saw enough pour out of his mouth, onto his chair and the floor.”

The Wingman On a Purposely Bad Date

“Good looking dude, fit, clear shaven, kind of looked like Jim Cantori from The Weather Channel but younger (24 had to card him) and slimmer. Out of the blue this dude whistles at me. He whistles at me again while I am looking at him trying to figure out if he really just whistled at me like a fucking dog. ‘Yo man, more shots!’

…one of the other guys working that night starts to talk to him while the girl goes to the ladies room. When she gets back he whistles at the other bartender again and shouts “Hey man! Where are my shots! Pronto!” This guy starts just hammering shots. Not crazy but pretty damn quick. He is through at least five.

The dude… starts to get a bit sideways. Nothing big, just loud, laughing at his own jokes, talking over the girl every chance he gets. He then announces that he has to piss on a rock and walks to the back.

The girl looks mortified and sad. She is texting away like a mad man.

Then I hear him in the back raising some cane and out he comes with a dude under his arm. They sit down and he starts talking to a different girl at the bar. He is not really piss drunk but well on his way and says something out loud to the other girl about gay people and walks outside.

His friend follows quickly after and the girl is left at the bar alone.

Five minuets later the friend walks in, sits down, has a drink with the girl. I hear him say that he put him in an Uber and sent him home. They walk to go to the place the other dude had reservations for them at.

About 30 minutes later “YO” boy walks back in sober as the day he is born! Sits down waves me over and apologizes for whistling at me, give us 20 bucks and buys us a shift drink for when we get off.

He did it all for his friend. Got 1/2 drunk played the fool and called him to come save the day. Honestly said “he is a better man for her than me. She is really just not my type.” I was stuck between in awe and impressed.”

TL;DR: The guy was being an asshole on purpose, so his friend can save the day and go out with the girl. The guy being an asshole apologized to the staff, tipped them and bought them all drinks.

Picthx  Tian Tan Nightmaresmiles, Mitu
Writer’s Note: Light spelling edits for ease of reading.


22 All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Hacks That Will Make Your Stomach A Superstar


Not eating all day, waiting for the lull between lunch and dinner, only eating the fancy stuff — we all have our tricks for ensuring we get the most out of our buffet dining experiences. Still, a few more pointers never hurt. Here’s some of the best advice reddit had to offer on how to game the all-you-can-eat buffet.

(Pro-tip: might be better not to listen to #10. Just saying.)


1. Dash and Dine

“Pull the fire alarm, let the place empty out. Grab a bunch of grub and run”




2. Food Pyramid, Shmood Pyramid

“I’m a bit of a cheapskate, so I go for the more pricey things on the buffet that I enjoy, namely the proteins. I’m a bit of an ass about getting my money’s worth.”



3. Down to a Science

“Plate One: The Recon Plate, and also satisfies my desire for variety. I take a small portion of whatever looks good, try not to waste anything when eating, compare with the people I’m eating with what they thought was particularly good.

Plate Two: A smaller plate evaluating recommendations of others and getting anything I missed on Plate One.

Plates Three + (Pre-dessert): Plates of only the best. I only take what I’ll eat comfortably, so sometimes there is only a plate Three, I’ve gone as high as Five.

Dessert: Ignore Little Ice Cream Bowl, get Salad/Soup Bowl, put a portion of the best looking cobbler in there, top with soft-serve vanilla.

Been working on this for decades, refined the plan when working at a therapeutic high school for troubled kids. The preferred reward for good behavior was a buffet trip, so I got this stuff down to a science.”





4. Little Bitch Bowls Are For Little Bitches

“Those little bitch bowls they put by the ice cream? Yeah…don’t use those. Go over to the soup bar and grab one of the giant soup mug/bowls and use that instead.”



5. Tricky, Tricky

“Eat fast. We’ve all heard that when you get full, it takes about 20 minutes for the message to get to your brain, right? Once you start, you have about 20 minutes to eat as much as you can before you know you are full. By the time your brain thinks you are full… it is too late! Ha, you just outsmarted your brain!”



6. Style Points

“Always wear comfy pants with elastic  […] Call a cab/DD or try not to fall asleep when you’re driving home. Once home remove shirt, shoes, socks, turn on TV, recline chair and do not move for the next 6 hours.”





7. Red Alert

“I use the current terror level color codes to prioritize my eating: greens go first, then bananas, anything orange and lastly the red spicy foods.”




“I was a young kid when I first ate out at a buffet

Dad: OK guys have fun, eat as much as you can, I paid top dollar for this

Me: Takes bread and butter

Dad: What are you doing with bread and butter

Me: I’m hungry, aren’t I allowed to choose anything I want since this is a buffet

Dad: No this is a BUFFET, ALWAYS always always get seafood

…and to this day everytime I see a buffet or go into one I hear a voice in my head go ‘get the seafood..the seafood, SEAFOOOD'”



9. Thanks Grandma

“If it is at a wedding, or other potentially well catered event, and the food looks really good, but you don’t want to rush the line for fear of appearing uncouth, find Grandma. Take Grandma through the line helping her get a good plate, and helping yourself to a plate at the same time. You are now a hero, and you also got plenty of the best items.”





10. Well, that’s one way to do it

“Immediately pee on everything to assert your dominance, then take a little of every dish. To be fair, this is also my strategy for shopping for clothes.”



11. Two Simple Rules

“My family has two rules. Never drink alone and all events are open bar. Wedding? Open bar. Divorce party? Open bar. Funeral? Open bar.”



12. Good Men Don’t Need Rules

“Eat until they kick you out, or have to make new rules based on how you behaved at the buffet last time you were there.”





13. Here’s why you really don’t wanna be that guy

“Never be the first guy going for seconds. Wait patiently for the fat guy to break the ice then go for the kill.”



And reddit’s response:

“Instructions unclear, killed fat guy with ice-bucket”



“instructions unclear. Killed ice guy with fat bucket”



14. Timing Is Everything

“Timing is everything too. If they switch from the lunch menu and lunch pricing to the dinner menu and dinner price at 4PM, go in at 3:30. That gives you enough time to get your 1st plate from the lunch menu and subsequent plates will be fresh dinner selections at the lunch price.”



15. Remember to bring entertainment

“The buffet near my old house had a very out of the way back room that had both WiFi from the cafe next door, and power outlets.

I had a gaming laptop.

You can probably imagine where this is going…

Several times I went there and just slowly got different nibbles / drinks over the course of a few hours while either studying or playing games.

I’d asked the manager ahead of time if they minded, and he said that as long as I wasn’t taking up a table that they needed for incoming customers (It wasn’t at peak-hours) or wasting food, he didn’t have a problem with it.

I suppose that whether you eat your fill in 15 minutes or over the course of 3-4 hours, the cost to the restaurant is the same.”





16. Pace Yourself

“Take less of each dish than you think you want. If you like it, you can always get more; if not, you won’t be wasting space on your plate or in your stomach.”



17. The Art of War

“Here is a tip to remember while you are eating: be vigilant. Be ever aware of your surroundings and know when the premium items are going to come out. Plan your trips accordingly. Know your enemies and try to be one step ahead of them at all times. If you time it right, those crab legs will walk right onto your plate.”



18. About starving yourself beforehand …

“If you know you’re going at least a day in advance, eat a huge huge pasta dinner the night before to stretch your stomach. Then starve all day with just lettuce and water. Then pig out in the evening at said buffet.”





19. … and an amendment

“Amendment to your finale: Dont eat nothing either. Your stomach will have shrunk and you will fill up on the first two plates of food.”



20. Challenge Accepted

“All you can eat is not a suggestion, it’s a challenge.”



21. Srs Bsns

“This is not a sarcastic, funny or otherwise ‘not to be taken seriously’ comment.

Take the cost of the buffet, multiply that by three. So, for an example, we’ll say the buffet costs $12, all you can eat.

Your goal is now to eat $36 worth of food. Bread is cheap, fuck bread. Vegetables are cheap, fuck those, too.

You want to hit the roast beef, the teriyaki chicken, the slow roasted pork, beef fillets, mother fucking lobster; anything and everything that looks and tastes expensive.

Buffets hinge on the idea that you came there to eat a normal meal, with some meat and a shitton of starch and carbs and vegetables, leading you to fill up on the inexpensive stuff.

The higher your cost:benefit ratios, the better. Eating is serious business.”



22. “So that’s what I’ve been doing wrong”




PicThx matt.hintsa, skidder, jiruan, Alan Light, Doctor Canon, InterContinental Hong Kong


20 Waiters Reveal the Worst Thing Their Customers Have Ever Done

Something about the whole served/server relationship turns plenty of people into mindless, heartless pricks. From changing diapers at the dinner table to hiding tips in drinking straws, here’s some of the worst things waiters have seen their customers do, according to the fine folks at AskReddit.