36+ Cringey Gatekeeping Fails That Backfired


We all know what it’s like to get possessive. Jealousy is a real struggle, especially when it comes to things we hold near and dear to our hearts. However, it’s not an excuse to gatekeep information about something that’s public knowledge.

Whether you’re a gatekeeping glorifier or more of a free-access-to-all kind of person, these embarrassing attempts at controlling others will have your blood boiling. You won’t believe some of the things these people tried to gatekeep!

Piece of Work

If you have a creative hobby, you know how real mental block can be. There are some days when the ideas are flowing out of you without stopping, and then there are days—even weeks—when that creativity has simply got up and left the building.

Even if you’re not actively creating something, that doesn’t make you any less of an artist, no matter what someone has arrogantly insisted.

Adulting is Hard

Technically, once someone turns 18, they have legally become an adult. However, if you’re going to compare the experiences of an 18-year-old person to anyone in their twenties and above, they’re going to understand life very differently.

Still, if those are the requirements to talk to this person as a peer, we’d recommend that everyone, no matter their age, stays far away from this person to avoid their negativity.

This Slaps

We’ll be the first ones to admit that no matter how hard we try, we simply can’t keep up with the ever-changing slang of the younger generations. It seems every time we think we’re getting closer, those words have been replaced with other ones that make no sense in context.

But just because people are using funny words we don’t understand, doesn’t mean those people don’t have actual jobs. We can all live our lives, even if we don’t understand each other.

Hot Take

People love to complain. It’s a part of the human experience. When it’s too cold, we whine about wanting summer to be here, but anytime we get just a little bit sweaty, we wish we were back in the depths of winter.

We’d say we were left speechless by this person’s attempt to dictate who’s allowed to complain and who’s not, but we’re too busy complaining about the weather to give them a second thought. No, we’re not pregnant nor over the age of 68.

Getting Old

Everything in life is relative. You might feel like you’re getting old when you turn 30, but compared to someone in their 70s, you’re just a baby in the adult world.

When we feel that first twinge in our backs and knees, and our habits start to change, it’s normal to feel fearful of inevitable aging, no matter how young we actually are. Thinking of our friends dying gives us a whole new level of fear.

Party Time

People love talking about the lives of other people without knowing them personally. There are many reasons someone would need to collect unemployment.

As a right of the U.S. government, those people are entitled to celebrate a national holiday as well. After all, Labor Day commemorates the contributions of workers in the 19th century—and we can all celebrate that for the sake of the country. Don’t worry yourself with what folks will be eating on this holiday.

Catch a Cold

There’s nothing quite like waking up to run your morning errands and having to sit in your freezing car, as you wait for the heater to work its magic. However, this person would say otherwise.

Working through the night in negative 40-degree weather sounds like a truly terrible time. We feel for you—and we’re still going to allow ourselves to complain about how chilly it is. Isn’t it nice that we can all have experiences at the same time?

Getting Animated

We’ve always known that fans of anime were an enthusiastic bunch, but this person is taking it to the next level. Anyone named “Narugod” on social media might not be the person you want to be debating with.

You can be in favor of one series over the other, but as soon as you start to argue about who can and can’t watch certain shows, you lose all credibility.

Sign of the Times

Age is just a number as they say, but sometimes, folks get into weird battles over which years were the best to be born into. This is one argument people will never agree on.

We don’t know about you, but all the people we’ve met in their early to mid-20s have just about nothing figured out yet. Maybe wait a few more years for them to develop some direction in life before calling them the real “g’s”.

Boy Crazy

Every generation seems to have a boy band that steals the hearts and money of young girls around the world. In the ’90s, it was *NSYNC, and they ruled the world for a brief moment.

It’s one thing to be obsessed with a boy band, but it’s another thing to tell an entire generation to stay away from the concert so you can get your ticket. Sorry, but that’s not how it works.

Cut the Shirt

Imagine spending hours getting ready for an event, only to show up and see someone else is wearing the exact same thing. You have two options—either you can be embarrassed or you can own your matching outfits like you planned it on purpose.

While it might not be ideal to be twinning with someone, how are you supposed to stop that from happening? This person really needs to learn the difference between things happening on purpose and coincidentally.

Living in a Fantasy

The nerd lifestyle isn’t for everyone, especially when you constantly have people both on the outside and on the inside making judgments and comments about the way you express your interests.

Are you truly a nerd if you submit to the popular genres and series, instead of something much more obscure and odd? According to this nerd, the answer is no. Who would’ve thought?

Trucking Along

After saving up for a while, finally being able to buy that car you’ve always wanted feels like a major accomplishment. If you’re excited about something, don’t let anyone tear you down.

There’s no need to yuck someone’s yum, especially when your issues are just based on opinions. This guy just bought a new truck—let him enjoy his new purchase. Didn’t they ever tell you to pick your battles?

You’re Kitchen Me

Going to culinary school gives you the skills to become the chef you’ve always wanted to be. But preparing certain food requires certain training. Not all chefs are created equally.

That’s right, if you make sushi, you’re not a chef—you’re actually a master or an itamae. We’d love to see this guy try his best at making the kind of sushi these specially trained chefs do on a daily basis.

Sugar Sugar

Personally, we like our coffee with some milk and a little bit of sugar—and how lovely is it that our personal preference for how we like our coffee affects no one else around us? That’s the thing about our lives. Things don’t offend us if we don’t let them.

This person really wakes up and chooses to be judgmental every morning. They must really like their personality like their coffee—extra bitter.

Stop Playing Around

You would think that at the guitar store, you’d be encouraged to play around with the instruments to get a feel for their products. But this store had some pretty ridiculous bans on songs they don’t want to hear played in their shop.

If we were a customer in this store and saw this sign, we’d turn right around. Why not encourage people to play and practice, rather than dull their spirits?

Playing Ketch-Up

We’ve heard of the infamous Chicago dog, but we had no idea just how seriously the folks of the Windy City took their hot dogs.

Not only is it against their etiquette, but it’s also apparently bad for you to add any ketchup to your food. Sorry to all those ketchup lovers out there, but your habits are offensive to the culture of Chicago.

You Make Me Sick

Ideally, calling out from work is only done in emergencies. But when you’re so sick, you can’t bring yourself to work, you’ve got to do what you need to do.

We’re not sure these people have ever been sick in their lives. If you’re expecting your employees to work while they’re hacking up a lung or have a fever, you severely need to rethink your management style.

Push Through

Carrying a baby is hard enough, but women have to also put up with every single person who has something to say about how they go through the process of giving birth.

So now, people can dictate whether someone is a mom or not just by how they gave birth. The fact that they carried a child for nine months would say that makes any woman—even if they had a C Section—very much a mother.

Staying Social

People handle their use of social media very differently. There are some people who post every single thing from their day, so you know everything they ate, did, and saw. Others post very little.

However, even if there are patterns between how much men and women post, we wouldn’t say that the concept of social media is for one gender over the other. After all, it’s the variety of people that makes social media so interesting.

Hair Don’t Care

Hair has a lot of influence over how we feel about ourselves. When it looks nice and clean and healthy, we feel like the best versions of ourselves. When we need a change, a haircut is the best way to start anew.

We’re not sure who told this man he could decide what long hair meant for different people, but he sure has taken it upon himself to be outspoken about it. We see one disgrace here, and it’s definitely not long hair on men.

City of Angels

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving on an open road with the top of your car down and the wind in your hair. Luckily, you can get that experience in many states across the U.S.

This guy just really wants to make himself feel better for all the money he spent on a car while also paying insane taxes and rent prices. Maybe making smart financial decisions is actually the flex here.

Stop Short

It can be difficult to figure out the best way to style yourself, especially as a grown man. While fashion trends are expanding, there are still only a few options for what to wear as it gets hot.

With the right styling and a good amount of confidence, you can really pull off just about anything—even shorts. Telling men they can’t wear shorts at all is pretty bold. What are they supposed to do when the temperatures rise?

It’s the Pits

The ladies out there know just how annoying shaving your armpits can get. But leaving it for a few days doesn’t seem like the best option ever. Luckily, there’s a third solution.

You can grow out your armpit hair, never wasting time on shaving or money on razors. Not to mention, you get to upset people like this who need to have some kind of control over what people do. Seems like a win-win-win to us.

Green With Envy

We’re all for having your own beliefs, but the minute you start claiming emojis as your own—well that’s where we draw the line.

People can consume animal products and still feel obliged to use an emoji of a plant. Suddenly, we feel even more interested in eating a burger and texting all of our non-vegan friends’ multiple little sprout emojis just for the fun of it.

You Must Be Lion

Nature is incredible. We’re always in utter awe at the dynamics between species. If you really want a true experience of animal behavior, heading to a safari is the perfect option for you.

Does this person know that women and children already inhabit Africa, an entire continent? We’re so taken aback by this person’s unapologetic attempt at controlling what nature’s already decided. They’re much too comfortable saying what they think from the comfort of their own home.

Literally, No

Somehow, without noticing it, the word “literally” snuck into our vocabulary. It’s not our fault that no other word seems to perfectly encapsulate exactly what we’re feeling.

Maybe we wish we said it less, and maybe we don’t. But that’s a decision for us to make—not the establishment we’re sitting at. What a ridiculous rule. Surely there are better reasons to kick people out of your restaurant than this.

The Good Life

They say money can’t buy happiness, but sometimes, we really feel like a little bit more money just might help improve our lives. Still, it’s been proven time and again that those with tons of money aren’t always the happiest people.

Depression is a serious mental health issue, and it doesn’t just go away with a higher salary. Please don’t tell people when they can and can’t be sad.

The One

Dating in your late 20s and beyond is truly a trying experience. We used to be excited to go on dates, and now, we’re just wondering what will be the first thing to disappoint us.

We’re never going to put someone down for being lucky enough to find someone earlier than usual. We just might look at them, envious that they got to miss out on all of the unfortunate experiences of modern dating.

Dem Apples

Ah yes, the debate as old as phones themselves—are iPhones better, or Androids? At this point, we’re not even sure if people are making their decisions based on characteristics or on whichever phone they bought first.

We knew kids were getting their first phones at a younger age than we ever did, but we had no idea you could only have an iPhone until the age of 13. Thanks for telling us which phone we’re allowed to have as adults.

Of Legal Age

While we’re all for going a little crazy and finding yourself as a teen, please do it within reason. You don’t need to get caught by the police to prove you’re doing something with your life, as much as this person wants you to believe that.

However, spending some time in a police station doesn’t give you street cred—it gives you a record.

What a Joker

People take their craft very seriously. We can appreciate the dedication of a person who has taken the time to really learn the skills and knowledge that make their performance one of a kind.

What we’re not a big fan of is putting other people down for their lack of experience. Maybe this dude hasn’t spent the same amount of money or time as you, but in the end, there’s no denying that you’re both dressed as the Joker.

Green With Envy

Filling your home and yard with plants is a wonderful way to brighten your space and make you feel connected with nature. The best part is, that literally anyone can go and buy a plant!

We’re not sure what this person was trying to prove when they asked if the person posting was an actual horticulturalist. Too bad their point was foiled when it turned out she actually does have a degree. Why don’t you leaf her alone? No one has thyme for your suspicious questioning.

Meat Your Match

Seeing people take time out of their day to protest for important causes is inspiring, but some people completely miss the point. Instead of focusing on the issue at hand, this guy started to call out other individuals at the protest itself.

There are already enough people who don’t support this cause of this march, so why are you trying to alienate people who are fighting for the same things you are? Let’s focus on one thing at a time here.

Prove It

In a world that often turns away from those with unique and different interests, the nerd community has provided a safe haven for folks who often don’t feel accepted.

Why is this person trying to make a usually inclusive community much more exclusive than it needs to be? Everything about this last sentence is offensive. We don’t feel the need to even talk to this person, much less prove ourselves to him.

Man’s World

No matter your hobby, you know the feeling of finally getting a chance to enjoy the thing you love the most. In these moments, no one can ruin your happiness unless you let them.

If you’re watching how other people are enjoying their time instead of enjoying the activity yourself, maybe you’re there for the wrong reasons. Let a girl take pictures for goodness’ sake. We can’t get over the superiority complex of this person.

Tired of This

Life is all about perspective and attitude. It’s amazing to see the difference in someone’s life simply based on how they choose to look at every day.

Don’t compare your struggle to someone else’s when you’re the one who chose this. We’re sure owning a business is difficult, but apparently for this person, complaining is the easiest part of the whole job.

Showered in Love

Having a child is a beautiful gift for so many mothers, and throwing a baby shower is the perfect way to sit with all of your loved ones as they welcome you to the joys of motherhood.

Having a second child is just as exciting as having your first, and people are allowed to celebrate exciting moments. We’re not sure who died and made this woman the queen of etiquette, but we’re going to encourage women to do whatever they feel is right.

Getting Grilled

When you’re craving some good old-fashioned BBQ, hitting up a southern-style restaurant is the best plan of action. Just know, that not all BBQ is created equal.

At the end of the day, neither are taste buds. No one’s really gonna know if you have written permission from someone approving of your BBQ, and they aren’t going to change their mind if you do. The proof is on the plate.

Stressed and Repressed

Life passes by in such a blur, that sometimes it’s hard to stop and appreciate the little things. Remembering those moments from years ago can bring about a sense of nostalgia and appreciation unmatched by the stress of daily life.

Some people have experienced things they wish they could forget, and it’s terribly sad. Still, we’re unsure why a comment about cherished memories turned into a guilt trip.

Reaching Manhood

They say some people never grow up. Apparently, we know a whole bunch of people of all ages who haven’t reached the final form of manhood, according to this list.

Being held to such high standards can’t be easy for anyone, especially when life’s simple pleasures lie in a piece of pizza and some video games. Oh well, sorry, we don’t make the rules—though we’re not sure this person does either.

Looney Toons

Folks these days seem to have very strong opinions about what people can and can’t enjoy in their free time if they’re above a certain age, and this time, it’s cartoons they’re banning from the lives of adults.

We’re not sure why people are so invested in controlling other people’s lives. Maybe they’ve just been repressing the simple joy of cartoons themselves. Tell this to all the people who watch cartoons and have a significant other.

Weekend Plans

After a long week of work, relaxing is all we want to do on the weekends. Yes, we could do chores, or complete some tasks we’ve been meaning to do, but why do that when we can watch a show we love?

If that’s not your thing, then, by all means, do what makes you feel happy and accomplished. Don’t make others feel bad for enjoying watching a film.

Love-Hate Relationship

Human beings are complicated and impressive creatures. Our minds are amazing because we can hold all kinds of opinions and information—all at the same time.

You can be a huge fan of something, while also criticizing or hating a certain aspect. Don’t let this person discredit your devotion to something with a dictionary definition. We can tell you this for sure—we are not a fan of this dude.

That’s Cold

Trying to calculate the temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius hurts our heads. Up to a certain point, we’re thoroughly confused about how to change from one degree to another, but that’s what the weather app is for.

However, when you get into the negatives, things start to even out a bit more. Sorry to tell you this bud, but -40 degrees is the same in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. Nice job trying to invalidate people’s experience with the weather though!

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