Definitive Ranking of the Most Embarrassing Prom Moments

Prom has the potential to be one of the biggest nights of your young life.

We're told by our parents and our favorite movies and TV shows that it's one of the most magical experiences you'll ever have.

Because of these high expectations, you're bound to have not one but many mortifying moments happen throughout the evening. That's just life.

Continue reading for our definitive ranking of the most embarrassing prom moments. Don't worry, you're not the only one these things happen to.

12. Not Winning Prom Queen

You'll soon find winning the titles of prom queen and king are a lot less important than the movies would have you believe. If you're on prom court anxiously awaiting to find out who the recipient of the coveted crown, gain a little comfort in knowing that this rejection is the least embarrassing moment that'll happen at prom.

Mean Girls spring fling court

(Mean Girls via Paramount Pictures)


11. Ditching Your Heels

Honestly, most girls do this at some point during prom. Yes, those heels really make your outfit. However, the freedom to dance the night away is much more valuable than those shoes. While you may not consider yourself one for going barefoot in public, you'll feel young, wild and free once you finally kick off those kicks. Sure, it can be a little embarrassing to go barefoot, but you won't really care in the end.


10. Taking Staircase Pictures

Before your prom night can begin, you'll be forced to take approximately 1,000 obligatory photos for your parents. One of these pictures will be positioned on a staircase so that history can remember each and every one of your besties' dresses in full. While posing like a dork is a little embarrassing (especially when this event takes place at your house), you at least get to laugh off the mortification with all of your friends, who are standing strategically above and below you.


9. Color-Coding Your Prom Squad

Sometimes our friends want to do crazy and semi-embarrassing things, like color-coding your dresses for prom. Whether this means you all wear varying shades of an agreed upon color or each of you chooses a different rainbow hue, matching at prom is a little too attention-grabbing for some of us. You won't find yourself running home in tears of embarrassment or anything, but you may feel some eyes on you and your crew.

Never Been Kissed double helix costume

(Never Been Kissed via 20th Century Fox)


8. Wearing the Same Dress as a Friend or Foe

Showing up to prom (or even the pre-prom photo sesh) in the same dress as either a friend or a foe is admittedly a little embarrassing. As much as you can say you don't care, let's be honest with ourselves: We all kinda do. You know that some people are gossiping about the situation, which you'd really appreciate them not do. Hello, people! Don't draw more attention to the problem! But at the end of the day, it's just a dress. You know that you feel good in your chosen outfit and that's really all that matters.


7. Taking the Classic 'Prom Pose' Picture

Back to prom poses. While the staircase photo may not have been all that embarrassing, we're entering humiliating waters here. Snapping that chest-to-back photo with your prom date can feel so awkward because it's such an uncomfortable and unnatural pose. While the feeling of embarrassment cuts deep, this moment only lasts… well, a moment. Still, if we had to stand like this any longer it would definitely rank higher on our list.


6. Having Your Hair and Makeup Professionally Messed Up

For those of us with parents who insist we get our hair and makeup professionally done for prom, you know that you run the risk of having your look professionally screwed up. Some salons are better than others at capturing that perfect up-do or creative smokey eye. But with our luck, we've somehow avoided these "better" salon establishments. While staring back at a hot mess in the mirror can be mortifying, you know your girls will fix you up in no time. Crisis averted, thankfully.

Marnie makeup disaster

(Girls via HBO)


5. Having a Public Promposal

Whether or not your public promposal goes well, it's still super embarrassing to have that much attention focused solely on you. The absolute worst is when your sweety decides to plan a promposal during a pep rally and literally the entire school is waiting for your response. Why would you do this to us? That said, it's the thought that counts and we forgive you. Sort of.


(Prom via Walt Disney Pictures)


4. Declining Someone'Promposal

But what's worse than receiving a public promposal is rejecting one. Eeeeek. Not only do you feel embarrassed for yourself, but also for the person you're trying to let down lightly. You're fully aware everyone is going to talk about the rejection, and that's some major drama you'd rather avoid leading up to your big night.


3. Pulling Up In a Parent's Car

Some of our classmates are lucky enough to ride to prom in style in a limo or party bus. And then there's us. Pulling up in your parent's car is high-key embarrassing on a night like prom, especially when their ride is a minivan. It's not a cute look. But the worst case scenario is when your parent also insists on being the chauffeur to the big dance. Can't they take one night off from ruining our lives?


2. Tripping on the Stairs

Ah yes, the classic stair trip. No one is immune to tripping down a flight of stairs, particularly when you're wearing an elegant ball gown and sky-high heels. Yes, everyone saw. No, you did not recover smoothly. This mortifying moment is even more embarrassing because it typically hurts quite a bit, too. Whether your little trip has resulted in a sprained or twisted ankle or you fell flat on your butt, there's just no recovering gracefully from this moment that's painful on the body and the ego.


1. Being Ditched By Your Prom Date

And here we have it, folks, the most embarrassing moment of prom. While many of us thankfully won't experience this utter disaster, it does happen to the best of us. Whether our dates caught a head cold or cold feet, the excuse is never good enough for ditching your date on prom. We thought rejecting a promposal was bad, but being the subject of the rejection is so much worse. Not only is it embarrassing when our date ditches the prom (or ditches us to go dance with someone else), but it's super hurtful as well.

Harry Potter Yule Ball

(Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire via Warner Bros.)


In a world full of embarrassing realities, sometimes we'd rather just dwell on our dreams. To do so, click HERE to find out your perfect prom date based on your zodiac sign.