20 People Share the Worst Meltdowns They’ve Ever Seen at IKEA | 22 Words

There's something about IKEA that makes it a truly mysterious place.

All of the stuff is relatively stylish and super cheap, which makes it wonderful. But you have to build it yourself and it's a literal maze to walk through, which makes even the most successful IKEA trip at least somewhat stressful.

Somehow, IKEA stores seem to have the uncanny ability to bring out the worst in people.

Thanks to a recent AskReddit thread, we've compiled 20 stories of the wildest things people have seen while shopping at IKEA.

Maybe it's something in the meatballs.

This man marched up to me, phone in hand and family in tow. He wants to buy a certain clothes rack but he can't find it ANYWHERE in this STUPID STORE. All right mate, I'm happy to help you out (although I'm not liking the attitude). He shows me a picture on his phone. A screenshot from a website with no context. I haven't seen that clothes rack before. Either it's very new, very old, or not something that we stock. I ask if he knows the name of it. "No, that's YOUR job." He's getting even more worked up now. But I can't search with just an image. I check our store's website and I can't find the damn clothes rack anywhere. I ask if he was sure he looked at (store location)'s website specifically (not all IKEAs stock the same stuff.) Immediately I can tell he feels insulted. OF COURSE HE LOOKED AT THE RIGHT WEBSITE. I activate dumb salesgirl mode and ask him to show me. He pulls up the website, and there is the clothes rack. Quite clearly on Target.com. He notices and storms off wordlessly. I got immense pleasure watching him get lost and do a couple loops through the store before finding the exit. – balexig

I used to work in IKEA in my student days, the Glasgow, Scotland store. When it was newly opened an elderly Irish guy and his wife stopped me and asked where IKEA was. I explained that they were in IKEA and they couldn’t understand. They had arrived at the ferry port in Ireland that morning and decided that they’d go on a day trip to somewhere they hadn’t been before. When they arrived at the port in Scotland there was a dedicated ‘IKEA’ bus. They thought IKEA was an actual place in Scotland and didn’t realize it was a shop. I walked away trying not to piss myself laughing as I could hear them blaming each other for the mistake! – shizzlingmanizzling

I worked at IKEA for 5 years selling sofas. One of my coworkers, Jim, worked evenings and weekends in returns while his day job was teaching math at a local high school. One day, a woman comes to the counter trying to return some pillows. Generally speaking, they didn't take returns on pillows for sanitary reasons. She also didn't have a receipt and the pillows were clearly used and absolutely disgusting. Jim tells the customer that he's sorry, but our return policy states we only accept products within 30 days of purchase, with the receipt, and unused in the original packaging. This did not sit well with her and she began to scream at Jim. She was spiteful and cruel. Jim had come to the US from another country years ago and while he spoke perfect English, still had an accent. She mocked his accent and told him to speak English. She repeatedly shouted that he was stupid and would never amount to anything. He was too dumb to get a real job, etc. Meanwhile, her teenage son is in the background. He's pleading with his mother to stop shouting at Jim. He's begging her to give it up so they can go home. Eventually, she turns around to shout at her son and ask him why he cares so much. "That's my calculus teacher..." There had already been a parent-teacher night scheduled for a few weeks later, his father went alone. – ikeathrowaway168151

I was stocking a bin in the warehouse at opening time, so I had a view of the guy going over to open the gate at the front of the store to release the hordes right at 9:00. The time comes he flips the switch, the gate starts rising and as soon as it's high enough this woman ducks under it and begins all but running across the store. That's when I realize her kids, who looked like they were about 3–5 frantically chasing her flat out just to try and keep up. Made me kind of sad. – Leningrad_optical

I work in the kitchen planning section of IKEA. Once I had a couple who could not decide which countertop they should choose and when the woman had enough of the debate, she hit the man in the face with her phone and left. – Cryosaber

An older gentleman in our baths department ranting about how "cheap" the furniture is, banging on things, etc. He tried to slam a drawer but it soft closed on him. Oops, your tantrum was foiled by quality furniture. – sleepypunk

Two words. Black Friday. It was 9:55, we open at 10. We were almost done, all that we had left to do was put out some children's kitchen set. What we didn't realize was that it was 50 percent off. I only had two pallets left to put out when the store opened and the horde came. They were crazy. Sprinting, pushing and shoving. They fought to get to these kitchens and when they noticed my pallets, they tore them open and took it. Eventually, one woman started screaming and attacked the guy who took the last one off of the pallet, not noticing the two full pallets. I had to pull her off him and security came. After about 10 minutes the chaos ended, and I cleaned up. At that point, an elderly couple came and asked if there were any kitchens left and I put one in their cart as my co-workers laughed at what had just occurred. – MindenMachine

Was organizing some products as I noticed a couple in their 60s walking past me. The man stops and comments on a rug, saying it’s nice. The wife replies “That won’t fit in our home." The guy immediately growls back: “Oh come on we both know what this is about. You think I’m stupid! I’ll show you stupid." He then grabs the rug and angrily stomps off. The lady just kept walking as if nothing had happened. – TVjoker

I work in Ikea food. I had one guy claim that he was a "big guy" and wanted me to put extra food on his plate after I made the plate. I explained that I can't as we have to stick to a portion size and that he could add a side plate for $1.99. He then yelled that we are all cheapskates, stormed off to his family, brought all the plates of food that we made for them and told us that he is going to bring his family somewhere good. – Adamant_Scimitar

I was in the Vancouver IKEA, and they have a children's play area that was packed. There must have been 100 kids in there, some being watched from outside and some completely unattended. Without warning, the power went out. There were emergency lights but the play area was still quite dark. The kids all started shrieking and crying and running around in the darkness. The power probably only out for 2 minutes, but the chaos was spectacular. When the lights came back on, it looked like a battleground. Some kids were bruised and bloodied, some had the 1000-yard stare of a war veteran. There were a few who had bonded together in the tunnels and refused to leave. Some were missing entirely — they must have escaped in the shadows into the well-furnished maze that is IKEA. – BananApocalypse

We needed a new mattress. My wife insisted that we pay the $99 for delivery. I was adamant that I could get it home on the roof rack. I strapped the mattress to the roof of the car, ratchet straps across all four corners. Motherf**ker wasn't going anywhere. We get in the car and opt to take surface streets home instead of taking the highway. Everything's going great, but there is one stretch where the speed limit is 50mph. We're driving along and a big truck flies by and immediately after it passes us, I see the mattress fly off the car in the rearview mirror. "HOLY F**KING S**T" I'm backing up on the road and come to the mattress. I did do a fantastic job strapping it to the roof rack. Problem is that the mattress took the roof rack with it. It's still tied to the mattress. We hoist it back on the roof and take it slow to a gas station. Re-strap the mattress (straps going through the car this time) and get it home. There's a small cut on the underside of the mattress and some gravel in the protective plastic cover. Otherwise, no real harm done. My wife still brings it up every time we go to Ikea: "So... we're paying for delivery, right?" – burstaneurysm

I'm an IKEA cashier! There was a bratty teenager and her mom about to pay for their over-$1000 transaction and the mom suddenly said, "You know what? This girl here doesn't deserve any of this. Put it all back." I've never seen a teenager completely lose it until that shift. I feel bad for my co-worker who had to do my go-backs. – kiki112

A guy came in and wanted something that we only had “in the air" so it would require a forklift to get the product down, which we don’t do with people in the store for fairly obvious safety reasons. I told him we could get it down right after the store closed for him but that was not an acceptable answer. He proceeded to lose his s**t on me, demanding I bring out a forklift and take it down now. As this is happening, his wife and two small children walk up. I say, “Well sir, just imagine that your children are in the aisle when the forklift comes out and an accident occurs, your children could be crushed by a falling pallet, the arms of the lift, or any other number of possibly fatal incidents." His response: “I don’t give a s**t about that, I just want you to get my f**king table." I didn’t have to continue the conversation. His wife took care of it. – maskillzizillz

I went to IKEA last year with two friends of mine, a husband and wife, who own a pickup truck and could haul stuff. I needed exactly two things: a desk and an office chair. They were just going to look around while I shopped. I walked into the store, picked out a desk and a chair, and wrote the numbers down. In and out of the office section in 90 seconds. Too late. Their attention had already been grabbed, and they spent the next 20 minutes discussing potential couches, chairs, dressers, beds, etc., all of which culminated in my friend saying the single worst thing he could have said in the moment: "This will be such a pain to move." "We're moving? Why are we moving?" "You know I've always wanted to move to Colorado." "Then why did I just leave the job I loved for the more permanent job here?" Holy s**t, the floodgates were opened. What followed was no less than a 15-minute screaming argument in the midst of IKEA, which continued through the warehouse, through the checkout line, and into the parking lot. The argument started over him wanting to move and her wanting to stay, but quickly progressed to jobs, school, families, children, and ended when she snatched the keys from his hand, screamed a torrent of obscenities at both of us, and drove off. If you've never had to call someone to come pick you up with a couple of boxes because your friend just got divorced in the middle of an IKEA parking lot and your ride drove off, I can't recommend it. Desk still holds up, though. – ProfessionalKvetcher

Went to IKEA shortly after my first wedding to buy a dining room table. It was me, my then-husband, and a close friend, who, unbeknownst to naïve-young-me, was my then-husband's mistress. I watched them walk around like a couple discussing the options before finally settling on a glass-topped table that I mentioned many times was impractical. (One pan-slip away from shattering!) While I had my blinders on to all the other signs that they were f**king around, it was this moment which made me realize what was going on. I busted him a few days later. (And should have also busted that stupid table.) – CommonFrequency

Went to an IKEA as a kid with a friend and his family. He had a little brother, who, upon eating one of those heavenly meatballs, said it tasted bitter. Mother proceeded to eat one and said it tasted fine. Kid disagreed, and threw the meatballs one at a time all across the cafeteria before Father was able to stop him. – ParziCR

Last year we had someone show up and unload his 7.5-ton truck in front of the main entrance and slowly move his whole apartment to our return area. He showed up with receipts for everything and printouts of the return policy. Everything was less than 2 months old. After 2 hours of arguing with the managers, he successfully returned everything and was handed a gift card with ~15,000€ on it. Obv he made a scene about wanting it in cash instead. The boss of our IKEA location then gave him a houseban. – kakaobohne

I was at an IKEA one day getting a dresser. I was walking through the small item section (between the showrooms and the warehouse, for stuff like plates and such) when I saw this guy looking in this bin for shower curtain rods (or maybe just regular curtain rods, can't remember). The bin was empty, but there was a nearby shopping cart with one in it. It was clearly someone's shopping cart that they had left sitting while they went to get something else. The guy took the curtain rod from the cart and was leaving when the guy came back and caught him. The guy refused to give the curtain rod back to the original person and a physical altercation ensued. Yes, two grown men fought over a cheap IKEA curtain rod until security/employees came and broke it up. – Altephor1

IKEA broke up a couple my parents knew. I believe it was around the time IKEA first came to the U.S. My parents went to one with their friend and her boyfriend. The boyfriend did not realize what he was in for, and my parents basically watched all the life drain out of him as his girlfriend dragged him through furniture. There may as well have been giant flashing signs saying COMMITMENT everywhere, this dude was not ready for it. They were bickering hard by the end and broke up shortly afterward. – TelemarketingEnigma

I saw a dude in the car park of the Newcastle IKEA Cram a f**kload of furniture into his Ford Focus. His wife stood next to him f**king SCREAMING at how much of an idiot he is for buying so much, how they aren't going to fit in the car now, and how he is putting all this furniture together alone because it's his "f**king stupid s**t we don't need." Husband replies, "No, you won't fit in the car now." And drives off. – Columbusy