Walmart is known for being a one-stop-shop for everything from groceries to electronics, but it’s also notorious for attracting some rather eccentric shoppers. From outrageous outfits to bizarre behavior, there’s no shortage of strange sights to be seen in the aisles of this retail giant. We asked shoppers to share their most outrageous encounters with fellow Walmart customers, and the responses were nothing short of jaw-dropping. Here are some of the most out-of-touch things people have seen while shopping at Walmart.
All content has been edited for clarity.
Out-Of-Touch Doesn’t Even Do This Justice
“I was seventeen. I’d just gotten my driver’s license and with it came the title Mom’s Little Chauffeur. I’m sure everyone with younger siblings has had this title at one point or another. Anyway, my littlest sister, who was five at the time, had her first school play coming up and she was really excited about it. She wanted to go all out for her costume, including a very specific shade of pink nail polish, which of course, she didn’t already have. Over this, she threw one of her patented Sass Fits. Mom gave me ten bucks and asked me to take her to Walmart to get the nail polish she wanted and I could keep the change for gas money.
She and I went to Walmart and we went to the Beauty department. She picked out a nail polish and then noticed the Essie brand had the exact color she wanted, only it was nine dollars before tax and I didn’t bring enough money. We had a small argument over the nail polishes, I convinced her to just settle for the cheaper bottle, and we started making our way to the register to check out.
As we walked, hand in hand, an older woman approached us, looking really mad. My sister kind of squashed herself into my side, trying to hide from this woman as she marched right up to us and stopped us in our paths.
‘You ought to be ashamed of yourself,’ she accused me, sticking a disapproving finger in my face.
‘E-Excuse me?’ I stammered.
‘Having a baby when you’re so young… Don’t you care at all about your future?’ she snarled. ‘How old were you when you even had her, you little slut?’
‘What are you talking about?’ I tried to ask, but she launched into a tirade about how ashamed I should be and what a slut I was, and how I’d messed up my own future and my ‘daughter’s’ future for being a teen mom.
‘Ma’am,’ I cut her off, mid-sentence as I realized what she was accusing me of, ‘This is my sister. I’m not her mom.’
Her lips pursed as she glared at me. I grabbed my sister’s hand and quickly walked off before she could say another word.
As I write this, I realize how many strange encounters I’ve had with older women who perceive something about me and confront me with it. I guess I’m a magnet for self-righteous middle-aged ladies with an agenda and something to prove.
‘Breizh?’ my sister asked as I buckled her into her car seat a few minutes later. ‘What does ‘slut’ mean?’”
It’s Called Being An Entrepreneur
“A friend and I were at Walmart on Halloween night to get face paint. As we walked out we heard someone go, ‘Pssst!’ I kept walking, ‘Pssst!’ my friend turned around.
The voice said, ‘Come here.’ Now I turned around to see an old, hunch-backed woman in sweatpants walking towards us. Then it happened.
‘Y’all want these T-bone steaks?’ neither me nor my friend knew what she was talking about. I thought it was a drug reference given her appearance. She kept coming closer.
Since we didn’t answer she goes ‘Where’s your car?’ My friend points to the car like an idiot and she starts following us to the car. Now this is where it got weird.
She gets in the back seat, we get in the front. I turn around, and she’s pulling a frozen slab of meat out of her pants. One after another until three T-bone steaks were on top of her now deflated sweatpants.
She offered each for half price. I laughed and said no, my friend said no as well though he looked interested lol.
The steak lady then goes, ‘Whatever, y’all young, y’all don’t know nothing about hustling,’ and got out of the car. We were both really confused.”
Federal Crimes For This Is Wild
“As my daughter and I were rolling our very full cart through the aisles one evening a voice came shouting over the loudspeaker.
‘CODE YELLOW! There is a TURD in the punch bowl!’
My daughter and I looked at each other thinking — it’s Walmart but what in the world kind of announcement was that?
My daughter laughed and ran off to pick out some things for her hair. I rolled into the checkout line and told her to hurry up.
The manager walked up to the end of the conveyor belt almost immediately and said sternly to the whole line of us, ‘Leave your carts. We are evacuating the store. You need to leave right now!’
It was a bit chaotic. Food dropped in place. Registers stopped. People filing out quickly. The same message over and over— leave your shopping. Leave the store. Now.
I wasn’t leaving without my daughter! Was there a bomb? A fire? God forbid, a shooter?
We got out safely thankfully, though a bit shook up.
Later that evening we drove back by and the store was empty like a ghost town but illuminated by the flashing blue lights of several police cars.
Several days later I found out what happened. Several young adults had commandeered the PA System and broadcast the silly turd message, all in good fun. What they hadn’t counted on was the ‘Code yellow’ part of the message happened to mean ‘Emergency—Evacuate’
It caused thousands of dollars of wasted perishable food, and thousands in revenue, and could have caused injuries due to panic. The boys were tracked down using debit card receipts for purchases they made after the prank. The insider who filled me in said the kids were college students who were being charged with federal crimes.
(I don’t believe those boys intended any of this to happen, sounds like they were just being boys, and well, silly and gross.)
Never a dull moment in that circus called Walmart!”
They Sound Really Fun
“My wife and I got laser eye correction at the same time. This was done at an out-of-town facility that did procedures for a wide area. The place had a deal with a local hotel; we checked in to the hotel, were shuttled over to the doctor, had the surgery, and got shuttled back to the hotel, where we were supposed to go to sleep immediately. Do NOT drive home before the next morning. The reason for the mandatory nap was that they made us comfortable with the thought of lasers and sharp blades to the eye by use of a really, really good happy pill administered about 15 minutes before the surgery. You stayed alert and relaxed (and did I mention happy?) for long enough for the surgery, then got really sleepy.
It would be a bad thing to rub your eyes for a few days, and bright lights would be uncomfortable also. The solution for both was tinted ski goggles, secured with surgical tape while sleeping to prevent you from moving them. You can take the tape off while you are awake, but still, wear the goggles in case you forget and try to rub your eyes.
All went as expected, and we slept like logs starting just after noon. We both woke up sometime in the night, hungry but still really, really happy. We remembered there was a Wal-Mart just down the hill from the hotel; they would have munchies!
Walk over. It’s dark, and we’re wearing tinted ski goggles, but who cares! We laugh like crazy most of the way there. OH! Now we notice that we are still wearing flannel pajamas and bathrobes! We forgot to change! That’s funny!
Enter the Mart. It’s almost empty! Must be later than we thought. On to munchies! Get several bags of Doritos, and see a display of sunglasses. Realize we can wear non-prescription sunglasses now! Slide the goggles up on our foreheads and try some! Wow, most of these look so bad it’s funny… especially when you are drugged out of your $#& mind, and also wearing ski goggles! More laughter. HA! Funny! Funny!
Store clerk from about fifteen feet away, holding a garden fork: ‘Um… can I help you with something?’
‘No, thanks! We’re just looking!’ And that was hilarious!
‘Um. You do know we’re closed, don’t you?’
‘What? When? We just got here! And Wal-Mart never closes!’
‘Yeah, this one does, at midnight. It’s three AM. We were closed when you walked in.’
‘Why didn’t someone say something!’
‘No one wanted to get close to you.’
Wife: ‘Except you! You’re braver than everyone else!’
‘Yeah. But I’m fifteen feet away and holding a pitchfork. Would you mind leaving?’
‘Sure! But, we have to pay for these chips. Wait, my wallet is in my pants!’ (And that’s funny!)
‘No, you can just keep the chips. Are you guys on drugs, or something? Why the goggles?’
‘Yep! We’re on drugs. Big time! The goggles are to keep our laser eyes safe. Else they might … well we don’t know, exactly, but something BAD!’
It went on like this while we were escorted out by Mr. Pitchfork, who stayed a comfortable distance away. He declined our offer to share our free chips.
(For those who would be aghast at us eating chips before we paid for them: we were carrying unopened bags. We were drugged, not barbarians!)”
I Would Have Died Laughing
“There I was back in the pre-cell phone era when dinosaurs walked the earth, at the local Wal-Mart, buying Barbies for my daughter’s upcoming birthday, when this little kid, not older than seven or eight, rushed by with some random toy from the next aisle over. He runs to a woman with a nearly full shopping cart at the end of the Barbie aisle; she seemed to be just ‘window shopping’ the new Barbie selection and when the kid reached her, he starts pleading with her to buy him the toy.
She shakes her head: ‘No.’
The kid runs back to the other aisle and comes back with a different toy just as she starts moving down the aisle with her shopping cart. He again starts pleading by shaking his head ‘yes’ but she is disinclined to acquiesce to the request and shakes her head ‘no.’
This happens a couple of more times; by now she is in the corridor that separates sections of the store, and can clearly see the boy deciding what new toy to beg for.
‘We’re leaving,’ she says.
‘No. I want a toy.’ comes the reply.
‘I’m not buying a toy today; we’re leaving. Come.’
‘No. I. Want. A. Toy.’
‘I said: We are leaving now.’
‘I SAID NO, YOU OLD F-ING WHORE!’
I should say that the Wal-Mart was full that Saturday and many people were present watching this situation escalating with relatively little interest.
This kid’s words echoed back from the far wall of the store; it was hard to imagine such a set of lungs in such a tiny form. Sailors stood there with their ears turning red and ringing at the serpents and frogs that escaped that mouth.
Silence ruled the entire store possibly even the mall’s hall just outside the entrance for almost two whole heartbeats before the woman reacted with a speed that The Flash and Quicksilver would envy: she picked up her purse from the cart, slung it over her shoulder as her high heels clicked over the three steps between her and the child; she grabbed him by the left shoulder like an Eagle grabbing its prey, which put his butt in the perfect position to receive the hypersonic slap coming down from her right hand, which launched his butt up about two feet, but due to the perfect grip of her left hand on his shoulder, and due to its centripetal effect on his center of mass, gyrated her almost by 90˚.
A mistress of Newtonian physics, she used the inertia to take an effortless three steps in the direction of the exit, repeating the process once and again as a ballet of movement that soon took them both out of the store, circling all the way out to the parking lot, where they were not seen anymore.
All of us were left dumbfounded. The worst part was that it seemed to me that this sort of language was not uncommon in that home; it was the public nature of his outburst that brought Themis’s sword upon him.
It was a different world, then. I got my fair share of spankings and still don’t like Ivory soap because I’m reminded too much of the taste.”
That’s Called Teamwork
“Somewhere around 2003, I was at a big Walmart store in a suburb of Dallas, Texas.
It was one of those long weekend mega-sales. Thanksgiving, if I recall.
One of my cousins, who was visiting me, ensured that I woke up early and took her to Walmart. It was, of course, crowded and chaotic with people running all over. And the store was all loaded and piled up with stuff.
I saw a woman carrying 4 DVD players and a man carrying 2 small TVs with a built-in VCR. I could see the camaraderie among shoppers as they were giving tips to each other on where the best stuff was. My cousin had blended in very well in a matter of minutes.
However, the funniest thing I noticed was this. A big box containing DVDs. The box must have been 4 feet in height and similar in length and width, full of thousands of DVDs. It was surrounded by people who were scrambling, pushing, and shoving to pick the best DVDs. It was somewhat harder to reach the bottom of the box, as it was 4 feet deep. Then came a large Hispanic family who were all excited and talking in Spanish. They threw one of their teenage kids inside the DVD box so he could swim to the bottom and pull out the best DVDs. He would read out the DVD name in Spanish, and they would all discuss it in Spanish and add the DVD to their pile of stuff. Most of them were boring movie titles or documentaries, so I am not sure what they would have done with them. But, the excitement around the whole thing was simply hilarious.
I was a bit sleepy and grumpy before reaching Walmart, as I had to wake up early. But once inside, I was wide awake and quite amused.”
Yeah There’s No Explaining That One
“I lived in America for less than a year, so I don’t have the lifetime of shopping experience there that most Americans would have. But, there is one incident that I think fits the question.
It was a weekend and I was out grocery shopping with my family. As we were running out of drinks, I was told to go get us a carton of apple juice. So I was walking towards the drinks section when suddenly a guy burst into the store. He was disheveled, his hair messy and it was obvious that he had run a long way to get here. The look in his eyes was also one of borderline panic.
As I watched, he took off running for the dairy section. I elected to ignore him and continue walking, but he recaught my attention when he stopped in front of the milk area, whipped out a notebook, and frantically begin to write down the names of all the milk brands. When he was finished, he sprinted out of the store again.
The curious thing was that I saw him many times when shopping at Walmarts on other occasions, and sometimes on the way back from school. He was a perfectly normal, nice man, and he never once displayed any kind of similar behavior that I witnessed that day. Whatever it was though, I hope he managed to do what he was trying to do when he copied out the names of milk.”
That’s Definitely What She Was Thinking
“I was shopping one evening near the health and beauty section and noticed a middle-aged woman looking at a display of hair dye boxes. She would pick one up, LICK the picture on the front, then set it back down then move on to the next one.
She had licked probably seven or eight boxes before she caught me staring, set the box she was holding back on the shelf, and took off quickly around a corner.
I just wondered if she was trying to find out if ‘strawberry blonde’ and ‘chocolate brown’ really tasted like their names.”
2 AM At Walmart Is A Special Place
“I make jewelry and sell it at craft fairs. I was up most of the night before my first fair getting everything ready. I realized at about 2 am that I had forgotten a folding table. So I went to the 24-hour Walmart near me.
I found a clerk and asked her where I could find a folding table. She told me that she had never heard of such a thing.
Then I heard a voice say ‘Over here!’ I followed the voice and found a shelf with different sizes of folding tables. In front of the shelf was the woman who had called me over. She was in a flannel nightgown, had one of the tables open in front of her, had an open box of crackers on the table, and was eating the crackers and reading a magazine. She asked what I was looking for, I told her, and she helped me decide which table to buy. Then I asked where I would find a tablecloth for it.
She said, ‘I have no idea. I don’t work here.'”