When I put the call out for the worst Zoom fails, I expected some funny responses… but these stories totally blew me out of the water! It is so refreshing to get to know real people behind the LinkedIn profile or beyond the fancy email signature. At the end of the day, we’re all just people trying our best to put our remote foot forward – and sometimes failing. Astronomically.
@tldv.io Do you ever think about just how many people are listening when you mess up? 😬🙏w/ @been.ian #wfh #workfromhome #remotework #remoteworking #meeting #onlinemeeting #virtualmeeting #zoom #googlemeet #corporate #colleagues #coworker #9to5 #relatable’ ♬ Blinding Lights MuchDank edit – Marvie
A huge thanks to all the real people who shared their honest stories! Call me crazy, but hearing these tales made me feel like we’re all a part of the same community of working professionals, a.k.a human beings. That’s truly humbling.
In summary, if you’re looking for:
- Embarrassing Zoom stories
- The worst Zoom fails
- A good Zoom anecdote or yarn
- Zoom interview fails
- Funny Zoom stories
- Zooms plot-twists
We got you covered! 😉 So let’s get to it!
By far the funniest Zoom call I have been a part of took place right around Christmas, 2020. We were having an internal call between our marketing team and the web development team to discuss upcoming 2021 updates. One of our developers accidentally bumped his desk, jarring the webcam into a downward-facing position. The camera was directly facing his crotch and he didn’t have any pants on, just boxers. The only thing you could see was his white boxers with pink flamingos on them and the bottom of his black polo top. It was absolutely hilarious. He had no idea what was going on for about 5-10 seconds. Then he obviously saw onscreen and quickly moved the camera back up. He was beet-red and we all laughed at him for the rest of the call. We still call him “Flamingo” to this day. – John Ross, CEO of Test Prep Insight.
Hmm, not sure if this makes me want to be more careful with my video meetings, or go out and buy some flamingo boxer shorts…?
Can you say that again, please🔇
This is one of two of our Zoom interview fails. This story is from the perspective of the recruiter. Later, we have one from the perspective of the interviewee!
Without a doubt, the most embarrassing/annoying Zoom meeting fail for me happened while interviewing a candidate for a new position. Halfway through the interview, I read out a long list of requirements for the role which took around four minutes. Unfortunately, it was only when I finished that, that I realised I’d accidentally muted myself beforehand and the poor candidate hadn’t heard a single word that I’d said; meaning that I had to do the whole thing all over again. – Milosz Krasinski, Managing Director @ Chilli Fruit Web Consulting.
Sheesh! As a reader, you might think – why didn’t the candidate say anything!? … Well, hold on, because we have a story from the candidate’s perspective coming up…
Maggi noodle fuss 🍜
So, I was having my video conference call in the afternoon where I was hosting the call and explaining the stats for the week. After 10 minutes my 5-year-old nephew and 3-year-old niece started to quarrel badly for Maggi. They slapped, punched, pulled hair, and what-not. The poor girl came running to me with tears in her eyes.
I had to hold the call but my colleagues asked me to unmute and keep the video going. They made funny faces and asking questions to my niece and the innocent soul started giggling. This continued for 10 minutes after which I ended the call. Later that day, I scheduled a similar call in the evening and made sure to make another Maggi for my niece.
Nandita Loomba, Digital Marketer @ Telebu Communications. Thanks for sharing your Zoom anecdote!
I do love my noodles, but I hope this never gets in the way of my job…
Boxer shorts strike again ⚡
I’m a classic person who likes to pretend I’m dressed up on Zoom calls for a professional appearance, wearing business attire above the waist–like a dress shirt–but keeping it casual below the waist with basketball shorts and bare feet. On a recent all-hands Zoom call, someone was at my door, and without thinking I got up to check who was there, letting everyone on the call see I was wearing a button-down dress shirt with basketball shorts and no shoes or socks.
Epic fails, at least at first, but embarrassing and funny Zoom stories like this ultimately humanize you, and as a company leader trying to set a work environment and culture for 2021 and beyond, it ended up ingratiating me with those on the call.
Evan Tarver, Co-founder & CEO @ Selling Signals.
Thanks for sharing your worst Zoom fail in our collection of embarrassing Zoom stories!
Maybe we need to burn all of our boxer shorts! Would that prevent any future Zoom fails!?
One case definitely worthy of an Oscar for the funniest Zoom call was at the beginning of quarantine. During that time I was working with one media in the sex tech industry. This particular meeting was the first meeting with our shareholders and we were asked to set a background image to hide our home mess. One of my colleagues was late to the meeting and connected via phone. He obviously didn’t know he was visible at the time and he began to select different background images. Let’s say that a lot of spicy images were on the phone of my colleague – mainly for design reference. Suddenly, my colleague’s background was lit up with a spicy image, after spicy image, as he scrolled through his options! I have never seen so many wide eyes at a meeting! However, that was quickly followed up by laughter …
Thank God! Only after flipping through about 20 sexual images did he realise, and settle on a professional background. Side note: my colleague, which looks like a really humble person – something like this (🤓) emoji, looked quite funny against those suggestive backgrounds. – Kateryna Inozemtseva, Event Manager @ Startup.Network
Phew! That one almost had my heart racing and me squirming in my seat! Oh to be a fly on Zoom in that meeting!
The absolute plot twist 🔀
“At the start of the pandemic during a zoom meeting with a potential supplier, the sales assistant wasn’t aware of a small, but significant, mirror located behind him. In that mirror was the reflection of his living room where there was another man doing his best to distract the sales assistant with striptease.
This poor sales assistant was trying so hard to stay focused on the meeting and wave off the boyfriend’s intrusion without disrupting the discussion. Soon we saw the concern on the sales manager’s face. Then he clearly texted off camera. The sales assistant got the text, looked mortified, and excused himself from the meeting.
And that, evidently, was also the day the sales assistant came out of the closet to his boss. – Brent Lovett, Director of Operations @ Omni Health Partners of Nevada
Talk about the worst Zoom call! Now please excuse me while I quickly go and smash up every mirror in my house….🏃♀️🏃♀️
The struggle is real, women! 💃
I had a big meeting with a potential client. I got up that morning, put on a suit, did my make-up, and was ready to put my best foot forward. I sat down at my desk to do other work before the meeting. It was really cold in my office, so I grabbed the closest thing to me – my ratty fleece robe. I fully intended to take it off before my big meeting. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, It was time for the call. I hopped onto the Zoom meeting and spoke about my work and capabilities and thought it went really well. That is until I ended the Zoom meet and I realized I had shown up to the meeting wrapped up in my bathrobe. I was mortified and not surprised when I didn’t hear back…..until 2 weeks later when they reached out to me to ask me to come on board. Next time, I’ll leave the bathrobe in my closet. – Jocelyn Bermudez, Founder @ JMB Digital Marketing Solutions LLC
Now, this is not the only wardrobe malfunction that will be featured in this article. So get ready, plenty more worst Zoom meeting fails to come!
We’re a small startup and nearly all of our members are remote, we have me in Hungary, 2 guys in California, 1 in NY, and 1 in the Philippines. It’s been a challenge to get everything inline but it’s been working pretty well so far. So our funniest fail happened in one of our earliest weekly calls when John joined as our support and outreach team member from the Philippines. We were having a call and we kept hearing chickens and John nonchalantly just went oh yet that’s my end sorry. Switches on his webcam and there he is in his boxer shorts with chickens around him! I nearly spat out my coffee and we all laughed about it. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any recording but he’s been great and took a picture to show the moment. – Peter Selmeczy, Head of Marketing @ Motionbox.
Wow, wow, wow wow! Firstly, totally in love with John, hi John 👋, secondly, I’m not so sure if this is a “Zoom fail”, so much as a “Zoom win”, because this is an epic tale to last the test of time!
Honestly, hearing these stories are so heartwarming. We’re all people at the end of the day, and behind our sleek websites, profesh LI accounts, and polished VC decks are real people, with real stories, and this is certainly one of them! The way we work is currently undergoing a lot of scrutiny and questioning. Our gauge for what is “professional” and what should be the norms of working culture and our physical working environments is currently being recalibrated. Thus, it makes me realize: if dogs and cats are totally normalized, why not chickens too!?
Personal boundaries will be broken… 🥴
I was holding a weekly meeting for our employees and I needed to share a screen with a presentation of a very complex diagram. However, I was speaking and trying to share my screen at the same time so I accidentally missed the screen. Instead of showing the diagram, I opened the screen with a photo gallery from 2010. All of the photos were taken during a costume party when I was dressed up as a character from Great Gatsby. The bigger problem is that I didn’t even notice the mistake so people had a few minutes to enjoy my photos before I realized what happened. – Stefan Chekanov, CEO of Brosix.
I’m sure this lead to some follow up questions later…
Pin error 📌
Simple pin error or the worst Zoom meeting?
“I was running a virtual presentation course in early 2020 with two producers assisting the virtual event. The client required mandatory participation including video on, being part of discussions, and no participant multitasking, which the producers would track. In the beginning, the producer was ensuring the client’s participation requirements. All of a sudden on my Zoom screen, I see random participants become the prominent display as if they were speaking.
At first, I thought Zoom was glitching or the students might be off mute and their microphone picked up a random sound. Then it started happening to different participants. One person covered their face seemingly embarrassed. Then I saw in the corner of Zoom’s interface “Spotlight.” My producer mistook the “Spotlight” function for the “Pin Video” function. If you don’t know the difference (as my producer didn’t), “Pin Video” makes a specific person’s video large for your personal view only. “Spotlight” makes the person’s video large for everyone. “Spotlight” is only available to those with permissions like Host and Co-host, which my Producer was at the time. I had to pause, laugh along, and explain what was happening and why.” – Robert Kienzle, Senior Consultant @ Knowmium.
The moral of the story: to avoid this worst Zoom meeting fail, proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance!
Damn sound again! 🔇
My partner and I lead our FIRST ever zoom webinar for our company to find clients. This was our first time using a slide show on Zoom. We started the Zoom, put on the slide show, didn’t realize we were MUTED (and we had put do not disturb mode on ALL of our devices) so it took us TWENTY MINUTES to realize we had been muted the ENTIRE TIME. Thankfully we checked the chat after a question. We were SO embarrassed! I can’t believe anyone stayed! They must have felt awful for us! – Makayla McIntosh, Owner/Trainer @ Mai-Ty Fitness.
Damn mute button strikes again!
Fashion faux pas 👖
My biggest Zoom meeting fail happened because of an unexpected interview. Since I do a lot of Zoom meetings, I usually dress at least business casual for the workday. However, I had a few unexpected plot twists to my morning, so I was still in an old college T-shirt and PJ bottoms when I sat down with my coffee to check my email. Imagine my horror when I realized I’d scheduled to host a Zoom interview for the wrong timezone, and it was starting an hour before I expected–in two minutes! I didn’t have time to get ready, so I figured I’d do the interview with the camera off. But in my haste of opening Zoom, turning on the audio, and pulling up my interview notes, I switched the camera on. So the candidate I was interviewing definitely got a clear look at me with morning hair, in a holey shirt, pounding my keyboard to try and turn the camera off! I was humiliated and apologized again and again. – Daivat Dholakia, Director of Operations @ Force by Mojio.
I’m sensing a theme here among these Zoom anecdotes… essentially, clothes seem to be our undoing in Zoom. Hang on a minute! Should we invent clothing filters???
Everybody’s worst nightmare 😱
I was running our team’s daily stand-up meeting. I followed my usual routine of connecting my Bluetooth earbuds to give the introduction and then mute myself. That day coffee was extra strong and made my stomach growl as soon as I finished the cup. I tried to bear the pain, but my intestines tortured me in hopes of getting relieved ASAP. (am I the only one that feels that way after coffee?). I had never done this before, but I couldn’t take it. I double-checked my cam was off and went running to the W.C. I get right away down to business while paying attention to the scrum masters and the team’s conversation. Here I am, pants down, hearing to an important call in a vulnerable position. (red flag, haha!) As soon as I flush I hear this long, deadly and uncomfortable pause! Something was wrong. I hear some giggles. I look at the screen and get shivers down my spine. Somehow my microphone was not muted.
It seems my Bluetooth earbuds picked up all the details of the chemical, turbulent warfare going on in the restroom. I wanted to bury myself under a rock or get abducted by aliens. On the other hand, no one said a word about it. However, by their looks, I could see they knew! Geeeez! Still, I learned the lesson if you need to take a Bio-Break while working from home, you better excuse yourself and leave all audio devices out of reach. – Marcos Isaias, project manager, and passionate blogger.
Mood check? 😨😨 … thought so. #zoomanecdote!
Celine Dion lover 🎤🎤
The funniest thing that happened to me at a Zoom meeting was when I tried to screen share with coworkers to show them a website update and accidentally pulled up the last video I’d been watching on YouTube: a Celine Dion concert video. I’d had a conversation with a friend recently about Celine Dion, and since I’m not too familiar with her music, I pulled up a video to watch later. I forgot that it was hanging out in my tabs until I started clicking around to find the one where I had the website pulled up and the tab with the paused video reloaded, treating us all to a spur-of-the-moment Celine Dion power ballad. My team may never let me live it down! – Ravi Parikh, CEO @ RoverPass
Every moment is a potential Celine Dion moment, and that is all I have to say about that!
Cheeky Zoom prank! 🤣
It’s safe to say my thirteen-year-old son is far better-versed in Zoom and other tech than me. He’s taught me how to use a number of applications and seems to have infinite patience. Unfortunately, he’s also a bit of a prankster like his dad. A very creative one, but a prankster nonetheless.
One of the Zoom backgrounds/filters (I’m honestly not sure which? he’s explained it but I’m lost as always) is a mech suit. It makes it look like the person is inside the suit. He uses it often and apparently installed it on my machine when I wasn’t paying attention one time. I went to log in to a meeting and my employees could not stop laughing. Not as funny as the “I’m not a cat” lawyer, but it still gets brought up from time to time. – Dan Bailey, President @ WikiLawn.
I applaud you, son. I applaud you. 👏👏
Funny Zoom truth bombs! 🤯
After a heated discussion with a former client, we were about to get off the zoom call and I’m pretty much (although not 100% that I hit the “End Call” button. After which I said out loud “Wow they are in a mood” or something like that. The client immediately called me back and I had to apologize. I didn’t lose the client and was able to mend the situation. I’m sure they were feeling the same about me. But I was so embarrassed. Now, as a rule, every time I get off a call, I say something nice about the person, just to make sure I don’t say something negative that they hear accidentally. – Jillian Kendrick Founder and CEO @ Informed Marketing Solutions.
Worst Zoom fail for sure!
Black cats = worst Zoom meeting? 🐈
I have two cats who love to chase around the apartment. My work chair is an ideal place for them to step on and jump on the top of the closet. I am completely used to these endless races, but they can be a bit annoying. One time, I was holding a presentation on Zoom and I asked people to pin my video so that they could see what I am showing. 10 minutes into my presentation the cats went crazy and started the ultimate race in my room… The moment I was about to make my case and state the main point, Gari, the black cat flew from the closet and landed directly on my head. At first, everyone was terrified because it looked as if some black object fell on me… A few seconds later, he continued his chase, leaving me with a scratch and a both traumatized and entertained group on Zoom.
– Malte Scholz, CEO, and Co-Founder @ Airfocus.
As somebody who has owned a few cats, I can totally relate to this one! But this story takes the typical naughty cat anecdote to a whole other level! Ninja cat level! This certainly qualifies as a funny Zoom meeting fail.
Neck pain 🤕
I’ve been using Zoom since before the pandemic (and talking with clients on video calls long before Zoom was even around!). I know webcam etiquette and I for sure know how to make sure my camera is off. On a large conference call with around 20 or so people, I was positive my camera was off after I finished my part of the presentation. My neck was killing me that day so I decided to do my various neck and shoulder stretches while listening. These stretches help my neck pain but make me look like I’m auditioning for a new Exorcist movie…not a very professional look. Well, guess who forgot to turn off his camera? I got an IM from somebody asking if I meant to turn my camera off. I thought they meant it was odd I was no longer on camera. Oh no. I quickly realized that I hadn’t clicked the right button to turn off my camera. A great lesson in humility and a great reminder to double-check the light on your camera. – Matthew Edgar, Technical SEO Consultant.
I’ll keep this in mind next time I’m stretching my neck! Thanks for sharing your Zoom anecdote!
Zoom interview fail 🎂🕴️
For those of you wondering whether Zoom fails are only a plague to teams, no! Just check out this Zoom interview fail!
This one is my own story! During the pandemic, I attended a Zoom interview for a potential new job with the CEO of a startup. The interviewer was about 15-20 minutes late, so it wasn’t off to a good start. But, things happen, so I decided to keep an open mind! About 15 minutes into the Zoom interview and the founder’s door is swung open, and what appears to be his father bursts into the room wearing nothing but a towel on the bottom half of his body. It was really obvious that we were in a meeting, as we were clearly talking, however, the father did not bat an eyelid and proceeded to saunter past his son, casually and slowly grab a shirt, and slowly walk back out the room.
The interviewer sunk close into the camera, trying to block the background (a.k.a his half-naked father) with his body, but to no avail! Honestly, I think this was just as embarrassing for me, as it was for the founder/interviewer! – Brittney Ihrig, Content and SM marketer @ tl;dv. Also, the writer of this article.
Certainly, this is one of the most embarrassing Zoom stories I hope to ever tell!
Yum, yum, yummmm 🍗
Prepare yourself, for this Zoom meeting gone wrong! 🙈
I attended a big meeting several months ago and it was scheduled during the busiest time of year for me. I would have meetings all day without any breaks for lunch or coffee… Since the meeting was pretty crowded, I figured I could turn off my camera and have lunch during the meeting. I ordered chicken wings and started eating. What I didn’t realize was that my camera was turned on the entire time, as well as my mic. Administrators turned it off at one point, but most of the people were already focused on me. I ate for 20 minutes before somebody made a comment about how delicious the food looked. When I realized I was being watched, my plate was already full of bones and my face was all covered in chicken. I was so embarrassed, but we all ended up laughing at the situation. – Nick Chernets, CEO @ DataforSEO
This is another WOW moment. When I heard this story, I imagined someone eating a bowl of chicken wings like a BO$$ without a care in the world! Ahhh, this is an awesome image in my mind and a GREAT way to end this article!
Thanks for sharing your worst Zoom fails!
I know I said it before, but again a big thank you to everyone for sharing their hilarious, embarrassing, honest, and cheeky Google Meet and funny Zoom meeting fail stories! Sincerely hoping you never experience these “worst Zoom calls”.
Wondering: who is tl;dv? We record your Google Meet video and audio meetings for leaner more sharable meetings and insights. It’s quite fabulous! Try us out now, here.
Have a funny, embarrassing, worst, or Zoom meeting gone wrong you’d like to share? Email [email protected] with the subject line “Zoom meeting gone wrong!” to be included!