According to CNBC, 25% of Americans are now working remotely. It’s been tough for almost everyone to adjust to working at home. The refrigerator beckons with the promise of snacks, the kids are screaming at each other when you’re reading emails, and the dog won’t stop whining about going outside. It can be a nightmare!

Perhaps the most challenging part, however, has been adjusting to Zoom. This video conferencing software has been part of many cringe-worthy, horrifying, and downright embarrassing moments. Just look at the funny stories here of people getting caught, sometimes literally, with their pants down.

You won’t want to miss these 32 hilarious stories of Zoom meetings gone wrong!

1. Lawyer Uses a Cat Filter

One of the most famous Zoom fails of all time comes courtesy of Rod Ponton, a County Attorney in Texas who accidentally used a cat filter during a virtual court case. The lawyer proved he’s a #nofilter kind of guy since he had no idea how to turn the cat head off. The result is this this hilarious exchange between Ponton and the judge presiding over the case.

2. Reporter’s Dad Flashes Everyone

Source: usatoday.com

Dads can be so embarrassing! Jessica Lang, a reporter for Suncoast News Network, had her humiliation taken to the next level when her old man walked onto the screen with his beer belly in full view. Go ahead and add this one to the list of truly funny Zoom meetings. And Jessica…maybe it’s time to move out?

3. Awkward Goodbye After the Meeting is Over

Here’s a good lesson in always signing off after a conference call! Donny was clearly not wearing pants in his Zoom meeting and can be seen scratching his butt right after the call is over. His co-workers tried to get his attention, but he was totally oblivious. It wasn’t until they called him on his cell phone that he ran out of the room, presumably to put on pants. Poor Donny!

4. Congressman Gets Stuck Upside Down

The House of Representatives was all business when discussing recent developments with the COVID-19 pandemic. A Congressman was even turned “upside down” by the events! Yes, he’s talking about something serious, but still, it’s really hard not to laugh at this hilarious Zoom call gone wrong.

5. CEO is a Potato

Source: huffpost.com

In another case of filters gone wrong, a girl Tweeted about how her boss couldn’t mash the potato filter for the entirety of their Microsoft Teams meeting. Lizet Ocampo, the Miss Potato Head in the incident, had a good sense of humor about the incident and even had this to say: “I yam a potato boss.”

6. Kid Finds a Spot for Her Unicorn Picture

Kids are part of many Zoom meetings gone wrong. Just look at this BBC News correspondent whose daughter can be seen in the background adjusting a unicorn picture. The girl, whose name is Scarlett, eventually finds the perfect location for the frame, much to everyone’s relief.

7. Student Pretends to Be Danny DeVito

Source: etonline.com

E-learning was a challenge for many students, so one young boy decided to play hooky and let Danny DeVito take his place instead. The student set the Oscar-nominated actor as his virtual background and signed off the remote session. This incident gave his mom a good laugh when she overheard the teacher saying, “Who turned themselves into Danny DeVito?!”

8. Jennifer Uses the Bathroom

We all have to go to the bathroom at some point, but what if it’s caught on candid camera? A woman named Jennifer took her laptop into the bathroom to do her business, only to forget to turn the video off. Everyone could see her pulling down her pants and popping squat. The loud gasps tipped her off, but not before the damage was done from this awkward Zoom meeting.

9. Teenager Rants About Her Teacher

Teens can be so angsty. In one of the most epic of Zoom fails, a young girl can be heard loud and clear complaining about her teacher’s instructions for the class. Her mortified face at the end really says it all when her teacher overhears the entire thing. Lesson learned – always mute your mic!

10. Woman Falls Off Her Chair

During a video chat, a woman leans back in her chair only to fall off in the middle of a meeting. She thankfully wasn’t hurt, but she had to sign off to find a new seat. The only thing is she forgot to mute her mic, so everyone on her team could hear her cursing about the situation. Talk about awkward!

11. Fiancée Tries to Hide Via Morph Suit

Source: metro.co.uk

The WFH life is a struggle because you often share the space with your loved ones. This lead a man to hilariously try hiding in the background of his fiancée’s Zoom calls by wearing a morph suit, kind of like the one found in 2020’s The Invisible Man. Needless to say, his plan didn’t work as he could clearly be seen walking by with his coffee.

12. Presenter is Not Wearing Pants

Not wearing pants during a meeting is a classic fail, but this has got to be one of the most awkward zoom meetings of all time. You’ll seriously cringe. A man leading a group of students gets up in the middle of a conference call to be shown in his blue boxers. He blames it on “a little glitch.” Yikes.

13. Woman Wears Hawaiian Shirt 264 Times

Say “Aloha” to this woman who trolled everyone by wearing the same Hawaiian shirt to 264 Zoom meetings. Nobody on her team commented on her outfit. On her last day with the company, she wore the shirt one final time and then retired the button-up for good. This isn’t so much a Zoom fail as it is a weird social experiment.

14. Correspondent’s Cat Makes a Cameo

It’s tough to talk about serious matters when your cat’s tail brushes against your face. That’s just what happened to John Nicolson of the UK Parliament. During a broadcast, his cat Rocco’s fluffy tail can clearly be seen on the screen. Luckily, everyone managed to have a good laugh at this Zoom call gone wrong!

15. Manager Gets Pulled Over

Of course, we shouldn’t be on the phone when we’re driving. Not only is it dangerous, but it can also result in funny Zoom calls. Just look at this story of a manager who was pulled over while video chatting. The team knew the boss was getting busted when they saw the red and blue flashing lights on the screen. Please don’t Zoom and drive!

16. Teacher’s Dog Vomits on the Rug

A teacher was in the middle of presenting a lesson when his dog Lila got sick in the background. He had no idea until a student messaged him and said: “This is weird, but I think your dog just vomited on the rug behind you.” It just goes to show that Zoom call fails aren’t always your fault!

17. Husband Sings in the Shower

You should share trust, respect, and love in a marriage, but do you really have to share an office space? Unfortunately, a woman was forced to set up her workspace in the master bedroom. In one disastrously awkward Zoom meeting, her husband could be heard loudly singing in the shower in the background. He didn’t stop until she stormed in, opened the door, and yelled “Everyone can hear you!”

18. Call of Duty Instead of Work

Remote work is all about trust, so you probably shouldn’t be playing video games while you’re on the clock. Remote work is all about trust, so you probably shouldn’t be playing video games while you’re on the clock. In one funny video chat, an employee thought they had signed off after a Zoom meeting and immediately fired up the Xbox. Little did they know, they could be seen and heard playing “Call of Duty” in the background. Oops!

19. Guy Farts Loud Enough for All to Hear

Zoom has a “speaker view” setting where you can only see the person who is speaking. One guy let his butt do the talking when he accidentally farted during a meeting. The boss and all his colleagues realized it was him when his shameful, reddened face could be seen on the screen. If you have too many mugs of coffee in the morning or beans for lunch, this is one of those funny Zoom fails that might just happen to you!

20. Couple Gets Into a Fight

Your relationship should be between you and your partner. A student named Natalia learned that the hard way when she accidentally left her mic on while arguing with her boyfriend during an online class. Everyone could hear the lover’s quarrel, much to Natalia’s humiliation. Hopefully everything worked out with the couple!

21. Parrot Crashes an Online Class

75% of U.S. schools were operating online in 2021, which was a challenge for students and faculty alike. One student dealt with the stress by taking a nap while logged into his virtual class. He unfortunately forgot to mute his microphone, causing everyone to hear his pet parrot screeching in the background. Maybe Polly just wanted a cracker?

22. Potato Chip Falls Down Shirt

Have you ever been hungry during a Zoom call? Well, be careful because this fail is totally relatable! A woman was crunching on potato chips in a meeting, only to accidentally drop one down her shirt. She kept a straight face and was forced to finish the meeting with the crumb in her bra.

23. Google Search History on Display

Use the “screen share” feature with care, or at the very least, make sure you close out of anything embarrassing. A man learned that the hard way when his Google search was on full display during a meeting. Unfortunately, he was looking up some embarrassing health issue. This Zoom call fail gives a whole new meaning to “privacy.”

Honorable Mentions: Zoom Horror Stories

Sometimes the webcam sends out serious “Big Brother” vibes. Here are horror stories that are sure to give you nightmares!

#1. Ghost on a Zoom Call

A team of sales people heard shuffling footsteps and doors slamming in the background of their Zoom meeting. Everybody on the call was at home alone!

#2. Haunted Webcam

A girl was getting ready to join a Zoom meeting late when the webcam suddenly turned on by itself. She didn’t realize it for several minutes.

#3. Bigfoot Spotted on Webcam

In January 2020, the Washington State Department of Transportation thought they saw Bigfoot on their webcam. A Yeti-like shadow could be seen stomping through the snow on Sherman Pass Road.  

#4. Google Home Takes Over

You may think robot overlords are scary, but Google Home also has a terrifying mind of its own. One girl had her smart speaker answer a question on a video call totally out of nowhere.

How to Avoid Zoom Fails

Now that video calling is our new reality, mistakes are bound to happen from time to time. However, you can cut down on Zoom meeting fails by following these tips!

  • Use a webcam cover – Get in the habit of using a webcam cover if you’re out of meetings. You can brush your hair and put on pants before you remove the cover!

  • Get to know the “mute” button – If you’re going to take a screenshot, fart, or talk to your cat, make sure to hit the “mute” button first. As a result, your co-workers won’t overhear anything awkward or embarrassing.

  • Communicate with your family – You love your family, but you don’t want them on your Zoom calls. Write your meeting dates on a dry erase board so they know when you’re busy, and when all else fails, invest in a good lock for your office door.

  • Test your equipment – Double check that your microphone, camera, and headphones are working correctly. You should also close out or hide anything personal. Finally, make sure your camera is angled so all that can be seen is your beautiful, smiling face!

  • Pay attention – The good news is many Zoom fails are avoidable. Do a quick sweep of your surroundings before the meeting starts, and be sure you’re totally signed off after the meeting is over.

  • Eat before the meeting – Crunching on potato chips isn’t the best idea when it comes to Zoom calls. Have lunch before the meeting. It also doesn’t hurt to take a quick bathroom break.

  • Turn off filters – Before you jump into a meeting, make sure you’re not going to be a cat or potato on accident. Those filters are fun for friends and family, but make you look unprofessional during a work conference, even if it’s really funny for everyone else.

  • Wear pants – If you want to be sans pants at home, go for it! Maybe just slip on a pair if you’re going to be in a Zoom meeting. That way you won’t have to worry about accidentally showing anyone your tighty-whities.

  • Laugh it off – Life is unpredictable. As long as the mishap isn’t illegal or inappropriate, you’ll be able to bounce back like a professional. Laugh at the situation, make a joke at your expense, and move on.

Final Thoughts

A Zoom meeting gone wrong can be characterized by the following: farts, falls, bathroom breaks, awkward conversations, and “Call of Duty” matches. If a fail happens to you, don’t freak out! We’re all still adjusting to this “new normal,” so give yourself a break. You’re only human.  

In the meantime, these funny Zoom fails are always here to make you laugh. Revisit them anytime you need a reminder of what work life balance is all about!

References

Ioannou, L. (2021, February 6). 1 in 4 Americans Will Be Working Remotely in 2021. Retrieved from, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/15/one-in-four-americans-will-be-working-remotely-in-2021-survey.html

Li, D. (2021, February 9). ‘I’m Not a Cat:’ Video Shows Lawyer Can’t Turn Off Kitten Filter During Zoom Court Appearance. Retrieved from, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/i-m-not-cat-video-shows-lawyer-can-t-turn-n1257168

Home Office 4 Us. 15 Most Embarrassing and Funny Zoom Meeting Moments. Retrieved from, https://homeoffice4us.com/blogs/news/15-most-embarrassing-and-funny-zoom-meeting-moments

Erwin, J. (2013, October 31). Happy Halloween: 7 Online Meeting Horror Stories. Retrieved from, https://www.pgi.com/blog/2013/10/happy-halloween-7-online-meeting-horror-stories/

Think Impact. eLearning Statistics. Retrieved from, https://www.thinkimpact.com/elearning-statistics/

Laurinavicius, R. Tymulis, D. (2020). 35 Quarantine Conference Calls Gone Hilariously Wrong. Retrieved from, https://www.boredpanda.com/funny-video-meetings-conference-call-fails-quarantine/

Perry, D. (2020, January 24). ‘Bigfoot’ Spotted on Washington State’s Sherman Pass Webcam, Sparking New Frenzy Over Fabled Beast. Retrieved from, https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/2020/01/bigfoot-spotted-on-washington-states-sherman-pass-webcam-sparking-new-frenzy-over-fabled-beast.html

Marder, H. (2021, April 8). 27 Quarantine Zoom Fails That Made Me Laugh Through My Tears. Retrieved from, https://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahmarder/hilarious-quarantine-zoom-fails

Hughes, G. (2021, September 10). Dad’s Hilarious Shower Fail Blows Up His Wife’s Important Zoom Call. Retrieved from, https://www.kidspot.com.au/parenting/dads-hilarious-shower-fail-blows-up-wifes-important-zoom-call/news-story/c15e978f2e3f931b6ee328fd65269ae4

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.