People have been freaking out in public since the beginning of “people’s” existence. Millions of years ago, a tribe of early hominids watched as Ook-Ook howled and punched a tree when hunters took too long bringing him his mammoth meal, and now the whole world watches as Karen screams about her fries being too salty. Thanks to phone cameras, we get to see every tantrum every time, forcing everyone’s baggage into the open.
There are many pockets of the internet dedicated solely to capturing and cataloging these open displays of immature rage, and millions tune in every day for their daily dose of schadenfreude. With dozens more each day, it can be hard to pick, but here are ten of the best/worst public freakouts ever recorded (and only those that keep it somewhat light).
10 We’ll Do it Live!
A classic. Sometime in the early 1990s, Bill O’Reilly was having a really bad day and let it spill on film. The clip is an outtake and the footage was lost for over a decade—until May 12, 2008. One sweet, beautiful angel of a YouTuber uploaded it for the world to see.
While recording an outro segment, Bill apparently became unhappy with his teleprompter and just could not handle it. Unable to control his temper, Bill starts shouting at his coworkers. At one point he stands and starts removing his coat, but then cool, collected Bill catches himself and gets back to shouting like an angry dad. Thus was born his most famous catchphrase to date, “We’ll do it live! F— it! We’ll do it live!”
9 Lisa Nowak, the AstroNut
Lisa Nowak was a Navy Captain, fighter pilot, and NASA astronaut who crewed the space shuttle Discovery. You would think she’d be one of the calmest, controlled people alive. And she was, until the whole diaper-wearing-pepper-spray-kidnap incident that earned her the nickname “AstroNut.”
Nowak had been dumped, and her ex had then started seeing a woman named Colleen Shipman. So Nowak, unable to handle her jealousy and anger, did what any rational human would do. She stalked the couple for months before putting on a diaper, driving 900 miles, pepper-spraying Shipman, and trying to kidnap her. Shipman (also a Navy captain) resisted and Nowak’s plot utterly failed. She was arrested, fired from NASA, and discharged from the Navy, but I’m sure it was all worth it in order to become a national punchline.
8 I Have a Platinum!
This wonderful Walgreens Karen starts her meltdown innocuously enough by complaining about a line taking too long. When the woman in front of her lets her cut ahead, that’s when Karen really picks up speed.
For some reason, someone letting her go first angers her, so she starts refusing the clerk’s orders, yelling at other customers, and inexplicably bragging about her Amex platinum card. Seriously, count the number of times she says the word platinum while purchasing $8.00 champagne from a drug store. At one point the woman, unsurprisingly, asks to see the manager, when the clerk says, “I am the manager”—a moment any customer service manager will know is the best feeling on Earth.
7 Kanye West’s Whole Life
Just as it’s impossible to not think of Kanye West for a public freakout list, it’s impossible to narrow this freakout list down to just one freakout. Kanye’s whole public life is one big cycle of meltdown after meltdown. Some of his greatest, chart-topping hits include the time he told TMZ that slavery was a choice, the time he blew up at morning host Sway over “not being Ralph (Lauren),” when he infamously interrupted Taylor Swift’s MTV VMA acceptance speech, when he did the same thing to Beck for the exact same reason, his entire presidential run, most interviews ever (Ellen is a great one. Joe Rogan, too), and his frequent assertion that he is a god, as well as being Steve Jobs, Picasso, Warhol, Disney, and Jesus.
6 Naked in Outback
For some reason, Tina Kindred—age 53 mind you—decided to go to an Outback Steakhouse with “the intent to destroy the bar,” according to local police. Whether it happened before she got there or after, she ended up completely naked, standing atop the bar, and smashing everything of value she could find on the floor. Countless bottles of alcohol and dishes end up broken on the floor, and the restaurant ended up looking like a war zone.
As crazy as that is, even crazier is the fact that Kindred had no drugs or alcohol in her system. Police arrived, tasered her, and arrested her, at which point she produced a creepy smiling mugshot worthy of the Joker. You get one guess as to which U.S. state in which the incident took place.
5 I want the Manager of the Airport!
“I want the manager of the f— airport here!” is one of the hit lines of Summer 2021. In May, Terre Ann Bluse was filmed screaming at police and anyone who will listen about how airport staff had choked her and threw her to the ground. In reality, Bluse had been late to her flight, denied boarding, and tried to rush the doors. She allegedly pushed a staff member, who pushed her back, when she tripped. She had also been intoxicated throughout.
Despite her screaming demand to see the “manager of the f— airport,” Bluse only received an arrest and a round of mockery from everyone on the scene. She resisted arrest, going limp on the floor and refusing to move, at which police dragged her away as she cried and pleaded for onlookers to film the interaction. They did, though it didn’t help her in the way she intended.
4 Chicken Sandwich for a Child
Can you relate to this situation? You’re at McDonald’s at 3 am, you order a Junior Chicken sandwich, and they tell you that they are all out. So you call the clerk a b—, claim reverse-sexism, question whether sexism even exists, claim that b— is a “proper English word” and so is fine to say to anyone, start a fight with literally every person in the restaurant, claim that people asking to be treated with respect is “extra rights” (whatever that means), refuse to leave, tell the staff to call the cops, and then question why they’re calling the cops. Man, is that a tale as old as time. If I had a nickel for every time I did this, I could afford a sweet new set of extra rights.
3 The Ol’ Chinese Meat Fight
This isn’t the biggest freakout but certainly the weirdest. For reasons unknown, a fight breaks out at a meat market in Shanghai, China. And instead of using weapons or fists, the parties involved all use what is available to them: hunks of raw meat.
At first, only two women are involved, throwing cuts of beef across the display between them. Then the fight expands, the meat rage consuming everyone around the two women, and soon a half dozen people start lobbing choice cuts at each other. The video’s uploader gives neither context nor translation, so those of us who don’t speak Wu Chinese or Mandarin are left to guess why a full cow and half was wasted that day.
This video starts in media res as a couple fights while seated on an airplane, during boarding. Perhaps fight is the wrong word, since it is really just the woman screaming at the man and then assaulting him. It starts strong, with a commanding “Shut the f— up!” and picks up from there.
Apparently, the man looks at another woman. At least that’s the woman repeatedly screams, alongside some incredibly offensive slurs and telling him to shut up, even when he’s not speaking. The mother of a young child seated behind the couple asks the woman to lower her voice and keep from swearing, to which she replies “Yeah, I know. I already consult(ed) the f— child.” Which is, admittedly, hilarious. But she only builds from there until a forceful slap is heard, at which point everything changes. Staff members try to escort the man away from the scene, at which point the woman follows him down the aisle, smacks him with a laptop, and punches him. The pilot arrives to tell her that she’s off the plane and will be charged with assault, to which she replies, “Fine. Whatever.”
1 Magic Fool Bus
Wow. Just wow to this video. This is about as public and freakish as public freakouts get. It starts off with a literal bang, as a woman—later identified as Mariana Silver—uses a tire jack to repeatedly smash the driver’s side window of a D.C. city bus, while inside a passenger repeats, “Are you kidding me? She’s going to f— jail.” And it only gets worse. Within seconds, we see that a man, presumably the bus driver, is standing in front of Silver’s car, preventing her from fleeing the scene. She responds by running him over and then assaulting him.
The incident moves on and on, and the bus driver (foolishly) keeps planting himself in front of Silver’s car, to which she responds by continually accelerating and knocking him over. Despite repeated warnings, he continues until she takes off for real. She speeds off, jerking at one point to throw him off the side of her hood. Silver was later caught and charged, and apparently, the entire incident started because she “illegally passed the bus and side-swiped a car in the process” and then refused to give her information to the driver. Weird choice, Silver.