Toy Store Meltdowns: 15 Hilarious Toddler Tantrums (And 5 That Made Moms Run)

Being a parent is more than waking up in the middle of the night to a screaming baby who refuses to eat, sleep, or anything else a mom could think of. At this point, moms end up letting them sleep on their chest, as they try not to knock out on the couch to super old reruns of "Law and Order: SVU." However, parenting is much more than that. Because once they start sleeping through the night, and moms start getting comfortable again, then the toddler phase hits and moms are doomed again.

Even during the terrible two's, the ridiculous threes and the even-worse-fours (parents use more colorful language to express this age), a mom might think that her life is not worth living with the little emperor that she brought into this world — but, it does get better. Or at least that's what they say.

And the thing is, during the toddler phase, these little destroyers become more independent. Sure, when they were newborns they would cry, but would be easily comforted most of the time — toddlers cannot and will not be comforted, they simply refuse.

And that's why parents hear the horror stories, like these, in which toddlers are creating chaos all around them. In this particular case, at the toy store. Keep reading to laugh out loud with these hilarious tales!

20 The Unexpected Act Of A Toddler Outburst


“I don't work in a toy shop, but we have those machines where you put a coin in and a bouncy ball comes out. One kid didn't get a ball, and I kid you not, decided to punch a completely unrelated woman right in the [...] because of his rage. Parents apologized to her but still! Right in the [...]”

Collateral damage is only one of the side effects of having a toddler.

Most of the time, the collateral damage is you, you poor tired human. But your belongings are also at risk — the pricier the item, the higher the chances are of it getting completely destroyed by the tiny dictator that you created. But then, there are times when people are just at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

When my siblings were little, for example, we took them to a nice place for dinner during a family vacation. That was our first (and final) mistake — they were 4 and 8 at the time. We expected some chaos, but we certainly did not expect the lady from the table right next to us to complain about them throwing food at her table — and her hair. Needless to say, we are not welcomed at that restaurant again.

19 The Meanyhead


“A parent wouldn't buy their daughter the 5th Generation iPod, so the daughter called her a [...] meanyhead.’ I had no idea how to respond. The parent walked their child outside. Needless to say, there was lots of yelling outside the threshold of the store.”

It’s funny when kids make up their own words, but it’s even funnier when they pair their “insult” with an actual terrible word that no one — especially not a toddler — should be saying aloud. While this must have been a very embarrassing moment for the parent with the potty-mouthed kid, it must have been pretty funny to watch!

But when you’re the parent of the misbehaved child, there is absolutely nothing to laugh about. You’re not thinking of how funny it is for everyone else, you’re thinking that everyone is judging you because you probably say explicit words a lot at home — probably while driving too, don’t you? And people around you know it and know that you are the reason why your kid is running around making up nicknames for you that include the largely used one-syllable word.

But, trust us, the happy witnesses, nobody is judging you for that. We might have judged you if you had taken a different approach to the whole situation, but removing the child from the store with no iPod was the right call.

18 The Pretend Game


“The kid had asked for this toy but the mother doesn't want to get it for him. Instead of saying no she brings it to the counter and asks me to pretend it’s not for sale. I give her this look as if to say ‘are you [...] kidding me?’ but I go along with it. I pretend to scan the toy, frown and say ‘Sorry, it appears this isn't for sale.’ The child flips and [starts] screaming for me to give it to him. The mother then loudly demands I call my manager, then whispers ‘pretend’ I'm pretty fed up, but I go along with it. The kid is jumping up and down and screaming at this point and the mother says to him ‘sorry baby, but the lady says you can't have it.’ He starts swearing at me and tries to jump onto the counter and hit me. I just glared at the woman for the remainder of the transaction at a complete lose as to how to react.”

Now this, kiddos, this is an example of absolutely some questionable parenting.

You should be brave enough to confront your kids and tell them that there is no way in this world that you’re buying them a toy, instead of plotting complicated scenarios with poor employees who just want to go home and eat ice cream. Do not do that. That's a big no-no.

17 The Adult Tantrum


“Kind of related- I was in a Toys R’ Us shopping for Christmas presents for my little cousins. One little girl threw an absolute hissy fit, threw herself on the floor, rolling around. The mother told her to stop once, which obviously didn't work. So the mom put her stuff in the cart and threw herself down on the ground too, yelling and faking a hissy fit. The little girl stopped and was just like 'What?'. The mom got up, brushed herself off, and left with her daughter. It was pretty awesome parenting- the little girl stopped almost immediately.”

See? Now, this is a good approach to dealing with tantrums in public. While it might have been embarrassing for the mom to get on the ground and yell, it probably taught her daughter that she shouldn’t throw tantrums in public if she doesn’t want to look as ridiculous as her mom. Embarrassment is probably what made the little girl stop crying and making such a big deal about it!

Still, it was a funny, and clearly effective, way to deal with a toddler’s tantrum. I would’ve loved to see the kid’s face when her mom threw herself on the ground. Priceless!

16 The “Messy” Man


“[Jake] had just finished restocking and straightening up the hot wheels section. It had taken him nearly two hours. A little kid, about 4, walked up to the display to look at it. My boyfriend chuckled at the kid, asked if he was looking for a certain car. The kid looked up, grinned, and reached up to the display. He grabbed the first one he could reach and went to find his mom. The two came back, she was telling the boy he couldn't have the car (Jake had moved to the other side of the aisle to straighten up that section) and put it back. She then walked away, telling the boy to follow her. Instead of following her, he reached up to the hot wheels display again and pulled off every toy he could reach and threw them on the ground. Jake immediately walked over, asked the kid to stop. The kid did, just looked at Jake, and took a step back. Jake then began straightening the display up again. The kid walked back to Jake, grabbed his leg, and bit him. Surprised, Jake yelped and reached down. He didn't touch the kid, as that was against policy, but just as that happened, the boy's mom walked around the corner. She saw what was happening, and began chewing Jake out for making her kid mad, for being a horrible employee, and for being a filthy man.”

Not only do they think that the sun shines out of their little brat’s behind and that they can do no wrong, but they are quick to jump on anyone to tries to correct them in any way.

Ugh, these kind of parents are the worst. That poor kid is gonna grow up to be so confused about how to properly act in public!

15 The Kicker


“When I worked at Target, the worst fit I ever saw was a little boy who began screaming, kicking his mother and started pulling everything down off the shelves in the aisle before he began throwing himself on the ground refusing to leave. The mother had to drag him out of the store while he was still kicking and screaming.”

This has collateral damage written all over it. Not only did this kid throw one of those noisiest tantrums that could make anyone in a 10-mile radius want to lock themselves in the basement, but he also pulled everything off the shelves! To be honest, I think the mom should’ve at least tried to put some stuff back — but had I been in her situation, my priority would also probably have been to remove the screaming child from the public place. But then what, should the employees be left with the tantrum leftovers?

It’s kind of the same conundrum that I face every time we decide to take the kids out for lunch. We can usually manage a semi-quiet 1-hour lunch. But, if food takes a little longer than expected to come out, and we somehow pass the hour mark, then all the demons are let loose. When I have to run away with my kids like some kind of contagious person, then I just make sure we tip really well. Otherwise, I try to tidy up as much as possible. But how do you do that at Target? They should allow parents and customers to leave employees tips afterward, you know, for their trouble.

14 The Tiny Nightmare


“My stepson threw his worst fit ever in a Toys R’ Us. He was only a year and a half at the time and also exhausted beyond belief. We were at my in-laws' house. So, last day we are there, they insist on going to Toys R’ Us. We get there, the kid is doing okay-ish but has that frenetic ‘If I stop moving I'll go to sleep’ energy. He sees one of those electric motor Camaros, climbs in, refuses to get out. We need to leave because we have a long drive home. The kid is refusing to get out. So I climb in to wrangle him out and it was like he grew 6 more arms. He starts SCREAMING bloody [...] as if I've flayed his skin off and dipped him in salt water. He also starts flailing, knocks off my glasses, pulls my hair, and goes to bite me. I basically pull him out, wrap his arms around himself, using his jacket as a swaddle, and proceed to walk from the very back of the store to the front with this bucking, screaming child in my arms and everyone stopping to stare, many of them with sympathy. Grandma is crying because her grandbaby is crying. Kid's father is plugging his ears. I don't look at anyone, I just walk right to the car where we then played the ‘Baby is stiff as a board and refusing to be buckled in a game’ I won. Within about 60 seconds of the car is in motion, he was out like a light and didn't wake up until 2 hours after we got home.”

Grandma's crying, dad's freaking out, toddler's crying, everyone's crying. Feels like an episode of Oprah without the car to win. 

That sounds like a nightmare straight out of Elm Street. Where’s Freddy Krueger when you need him? He would’ve been less scary than this toddler!

13 The McDonald's Milkshake


“When I worked at Blockbuster, I had a kid in the video game section get so upset, he was breathing heavy, on the ground, just totally losing it. I don't even know what it was. Best idea, he wanted to rent a game, mom said no. He was breathing so hard and just sobbing, he sounded horrible, like really, really horrible. It was no surprise he threw up on the floor. Clearly a McDonald’s milkshake from across the way. Mom snatched him up and they bailed completely. My co-worker is a God among insects for cleaning that up.”

See? This is exactly what I mean when I say that places like Blockbuster — may God have mercy on their soul — Target, Walmart, and other places where toys are sold and kids are let to run wild, should be able to take tips from embarrassed parents who clearly have no way of cleaning up their kid’s barf after a crazy meltdown over a video game.

Parents already have so much stuff to carry around — from jackets to toys, bottles and sippy cups, diapers and all the wipes in the world — to add paper towels and a multipurpose cleaner to take care of our kids’ messes. So let us tip the kind workers who are left with that job!

12 The "Hit-In-The-Face" Toddler


“I worked at Toys R’ Us for nearly a year in the "RZone" electronic section. This middle-aged buck-toothed woman would take her daughter into the store quite often. They would always come in 5 minutes before closing, and every time I had to tell them to leave, the kid would throw the hugest tantrum. She would kick my shelving, sending Blu-Rays and video games flying around my store. Her mother would tell me to go get them and tell her that she has to leave because there was no way she would listen to her. This went on for a few months and I was getting used to the routine until one day I walk up to the kid and say ‘hey, it's time to leave’ the kid screams ‘AHHHHHH’ and punches me in the face. I lost it and yelled at the mother, saying that she has to control her child and that if she knows her kid can't handle going to a toy store then she shouldn't bring him there in the first place.”

It's interesting to see how parents think it’s okay to have store employees deal with their unruly kids because they refuse.

And then have the nerve to not even apologize after the demonic child punches a complete stranger in the face. Wrong on so many levels!

11 The Over Dramatic Tantrum


“Little brother couldn't have something and my mom tells him it's time to go and as she is dragging him out the door he is screaming "HELP! HELP!" Lots of glares.”

This is something that I’ve done before. Not the part of the mom casually saying that it’s time to go, but actually, the part of the kid screaming for help. This was a few years ago, so bear with me. My siblings and I went to one of those schools where a uniform is required. But, going to actually buy the uniform is totally tedious and nothing a tween ever wants to go through on a Friday afternoon.

So off we went, a couple of weeks before school began. My mom took us me all to the uniform store. We absolutely had to go — according to her — because we had to try everything on. Ugh. So we were goofing around at the store, waiting for her to pick all the stuff she needed us to try. Then, when she was done, she called us to try everything on. My brother and I looked at each other and I suddenly told him ‘who is that woman?’ The store clerk immediately looked at my mom like she was losing it. We kept making comments like ‘why is she talking to us?’ and ‘let’s call mom to see if she can pick us up now.’

We left the store with no uniforms and a very aggravated mother, but dang was it fun. I’m sure I’m gonna pay for this with my own kids.

10 The Tiny Shoplifter


“Not a clerk, but for me when I was 3. I was in a toy store, and I saw a cool action figure set that all my friends had one of. So I tried to go check it out, but my dad put it back on the shelf because he said we were going birthday shopping for my cousin. I went to go put it back, but when I turned a corner, I opened it up and hid it in my overalls. My dad eventually noticed, took it out, I took it back, yelled like a thunderhead, bit his thumb, and threw it at a clerk who said he'd take it back. We got banned from the place, however, its downfall came 2 years later when it was burned down.”

There’s nothing funnier than a 3-year-old who thinks he’s being sneaky and parents can’t tell that he is shoplifting or hiding something from them.

Just this morning, my 4-year-old thought he was being super-fast getting a little toy car that was taken from him for bad behavior. He was sure I didn’t notice and kept denying he’d taken it. But it is kind of hard to hide a toy car under your t-shirt. Like, unless he ate it, I’m sure there’s something there that doesn’t belong. Sorry kid!

I do hope, though, that he is always this bad at lying. It will make his teenage years go by so smoothly!

9 The Headbanger


“As an employee, I saw a 3-4-year-old little girl throw a tantrum by jumping up in the air and slamming herself down onto the hard tile. She apparently didn't think it through because her whining and fussing turned into screams of horror and pain.”

This is the problem with toddlers, they don’t think things through. They think they are so smart, so independent. The next thing you know, they’re actually pouring pasta with tomato sauce all over the floor, as they’re trying to feed themselves with a spoon. And, as if that wasn't enough, they also decide to rub their eyes because they’re tired. Cut to a hysterical toddler with pasta sauce all over their eyes, because that's fun, right That’s what I mean when I say they don’t think things through.

The kid in the story certainly didn’t think things through. She still fails to comprehend that by hitting herself, she is actually only hurting herself — maybe her parents if she manages to do enough damage, or her parents’ bank account if she for any reason required stitches.

And this is also exactly why it’s so tiring being a mom to a toddler. You have to run around after them all day just to make sure they stay alive. Not an easy task.

8 The Greatest Menace Ever


“Once I heard the single greatest threat to a child ever when they threw a fit. Went something like ‘If you don't stop, I am going to spank you right now, then this nice lady will spank you (she pointed at the cashier), then her manager will spank you, and then I'll have everyone in the store who feels like joining in, form a line!’ Needless to say, the kid stopped instantly.”

I don’t know how I feel about this story, because while it might have only been a threat, in my experience when you threaten your kids with physical violence is because they have at least been hit once before. While the story might sound funny — especially if we let ourselves think that there’s absolutely nothing true about the threat.

Spanking is no a joke.

In fact, the American Psychology Association has published numerous articles to encourage parents to stay away from any form of physical punishment for kids. “Many studies have shown that physical punishment — including spanking, hitting and other means of causing pain — can lead to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical injury and mental health problems for children.”

So, hopefully, this case was nothing more than a funny, great threat!

7 The Little Liar


“Little girl couldn't have been older than three. Some doll. Mum said no. The little girl starts screaming 'MUMMY, WHY ARE YOU HITTING ME AGAIN?' This kid was clearly a well-off kid. And one of my colleagues was standing right there when she started screaming it.”

Ha! See, this is fun. It’s kind of the kidnapping story where you pretend your mom is not really your mom, more like an unknown woman who is trying to talk to you. It’s funny when you see a little kid trying to get everyone’s attention by lying.

What I would’ve liked to know is how that poor mom handled the situation. What do you do when your daughter claims you’re hitting her “again,” but she’s not touching the girl with a ten-foot pole? Do you put her on your shoulder like a bag of potatoes and make a run for it? Do you patiently wait until she gets tired of screaming and casually resume your shopping? Or do you give in an just buy the little terror a doll so she can stop screaming and be freaking out?

Until you’re in that position, it’s hard to say. I think I’ve done it all at one point or another, depending on my mood — although my kids have never pulled a stunt like that, the night is still young.

6 The Expert Parents


“I used to work at KB Toys and I saw some youngish parents expertly defuse this type of situation. Kid (about 3 years old) was at the counter playing with a small toy. Parents say ‘Ok, put the toy down, time to go.’ Kid resisted somewhat. Parents make eye contact and Mom says ‘1,2,3!’ Dad grabs the toy as mom grabs the kid and swoops her out of the store. The little girl never saw it coming, he didn't make a peep and just started toddling through the mall like nothing happened.”

This is amazing! I’ve never heard of such a great technique before, flawlessly executed by a couple who really wanted to avoid their kid causing a scene. When he didn’t agree to go quietly, they knew they had to go in.

In a routine that sounded better choreographed than a Beyoncé Super Bowl halftime performance, they came, they saw, they conquered.

I wish more parents were as organized as these two. Granted, not everyone has the luxury of being two against one — in fact, more often than not parents are outnumbered by the tiny dictators, so it’s not as easy — but there has to be a better way. A more elegant way. Maybe one grabs the toys and the other one grabs two kids at the same time? Hopefully, no one will ever be in a situation in which the third kid also happens to be crying!

5 The Daycare Center


“Toys R Us was the worst job I’ve ever had. Parents use it as a daycare service so they can leave and do their own shopping in the mall. I have seen kids as young as 4 years old intentionally left alone in the store. They tear everything apart because they have no supervision. I have never worked anywhere where theft was more of a problem. I basically had to stand guard in front of the Pokemon cards all day.”

This is why you are not supposed to leave a toddler unattended. Not even if you really, really, need to go to the store next door to try on a few thousand dresses for your hated coworker’s wedding. Just take your kids with you or leave them at home — but not alone!

Toddlers’ little minds are still being shaped to understand what’s wrong and what’s right. Eat all your food? Right. Trash a store? Wrong. Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’? Right. Grab stuff you really like without paying for it? Wrong.

I know, parents, that you probably need a break from your toddler, but leaving them alone at a toy store is not the answer. There’s this awesome thing that you might not have heard of before but it is fantastic when it comes to taking care of toddlers. It’s called a "nanny." You should try it sometime!

4 The Overlook


“During the holiday last year I was ringing some customers up and a child started crying and screaming over a light-up flashlight that we sold at the registers. When the parents told him he couldn't have it, he threw it at the office door that sat in the electronics section I was working in and it shattered. The parents caved and bought one and then proceeded to walk out the doors without acknowledging the mess their son had just made.”

Buying whatever your disruptive child breaks should be standard — an expense resulting from parenting, if you will, except no one will reimburse you. Or so one would think.

Apparently, there are still people out there — like the parents in this story — that not only think it’s okay to reward their child’s terrible behavior by buying them a present, but they also think that there’s no need for them to replace whatever their child broke.

That is most certainly not the case!

You took your kid shopping and they were like a bull in a China shop? You better have enough credit on your credit card to pay for all that mess. Other people and businesses shouldn’t have to pay for your decision to reproduce and be a sub-par parent.

3 The Flying Lego Box


“I was an innocent bystander. I was walking through the aisles looking at stuff and I got hit in the head by a Lego box. Little brat in the next aisle is throwing Lego boxes because her mother wouldn't buy her the [...] she wanted. And her mother was very sternly whispering at her shoes for the kid to stop screaming and throwing things. I would like to say I threw the box back at the little kid... but I did not. I went and told an employee there and apparently, this little [...] comes in about every other week and does basically the same thing.”

Who's the parent here?

Another stellar parenting moment. Parents who think that just whispering is going to get their child to stop freaking out and suddenly become this civilized version of themselves. Not gonna happen! If saying “stop” once doesn’t work, then you grab that child and take her out of the store. You don’t stand there while she goes into a delusional state in a store.

But apparently, that was the standard behavior of this parent and child. I know you don’t like your toddler to trash your house anymore, but the alternative definitely isn’t to take him into stores to trash those as well. Maybe try the park? Or, you know, a landfill?

2 The Steady Stream Of A Soaked Toddler


“I used to work in electronics at Wal-Mart. One day we had an approximately 4-years-old kid demand his mom buy him a Wii, and she told him no. The kid then proceeds to scream loudly at her and take off running and screaming down the main aisle. The mom apologizes and walks off to find her kid. I think nothing of it and continue my day. I find out later from an associate in toys that the kid had come running and screaming into the action figure aisle, stopped, and then started to pull his pants down." (wait, it gets better...)

"This kid proceeded to crabwalk quickly down the aisle while painting the second row of toys with a steady stream of urine, all while still screaming." he continues,

"The mom caught up to the kid after that, and all the toys associate got was a quick ‘sorry’ before the lady took her kid and left. I felt sorry for the associate, but honestly, I was just glad he left my department before he decided to do that.”

I know this is terrible but I actually want to laugh at this kid. Why on earth would he think an appropriate way of dealing with his anger was to relieve himself all over the place? Beats me! But it was probably as hilarious to watch as it was embarrassing for the mom and, you know, disgusting for the poor “Toys” associate who had to deal with all that mess.

1 The Ball Puncher


“As I was scanning a customer's items, he realized his kid snuck a random toy into the cart. He told her to put it back, she threw a temper tantrum and punched him in the manlihood.”

Seriously? I mean, ouch, that must’ve hurt — don’t know, I do not have any to be punched, but I’ve had two c-sections, during one of which anesthesia started wearing off while they were suturing me so, I don’t know… maybe I can relate?

The child was probably just throwing a really bad tantrum and she was more than likely used to punching things, the only issue this time is that the “thing” that was closest to her was her poor dad’s nether regions.

Ah! The joys of parenting. Toddlers are not only disruptive to mankind, they also lack any manners and have no idea how to properly behave when out and about, embarrassing their poor parents every chance they get. Then they grow up, and things become a little bit better. And then, back to basic toddler phases by the time they’re teenagers — except that now they are bigger, stronger and smellier. Good luck with that!

Reference: Reddit.com, APA.org, Google.com, Pinterest.com 

More in What?