Potlucks are great, but let's admit it, they can sometimes be a bit of a gamble. I mean, how can we really know if Susan from Accounting's casserole is safe to eat? Apparently, my fears aren't totally unfounded because when redditor u/aquamarinetangerines asked the r/AskReddit community "What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever seen someone bring to a potluck?" people sure had a lot of horror stories. Here were some of the worst.
1."Had a guy bring in his 'specialty corn.' It was legit canned corn in a crockpot with spices. The thing is, he told us, 'Yeah, my wife took it to her potluck on Tuesday. They didn’t eat it so I saved it on low in the Crock-Pot and brought it here.' It was Friday. Corn was brown. Nobody ate it. He kept eating it saying it was so good. The following Monday, his new name at work was Corn Cob Rob."
2."We had a potluck today, and someone brought some Doritos. People started eating them and complaining that they tasted like dirt. We looked at the bag, and it had a promo for Mockingjay: Part 1. The chips expired in 2014! This was a mixed department potluck, and we haven’t found the person that brought the nine-year-old chips."
3."Someone made brownies with ground meat in them for a church potluck. My vegetarian friend discovered this when she bit into one. She was more confused and horrified about their existence than she was upset about eating meat. I thought she had to be wrong. Then I tried them. It was beef. I was disgusted and really, really, really confused."
4."She opened a can of tiny shrimp and poured it out, liquid and all, on top of a block of cream cheese. That was it. I guess we were supposed to eat it with crackers."
5."Someone brought deviled eggs, and instead of sprinkling paprika on them, they used cinnamon."
6."At my previous job, I had a coworker who would frequently cook food because it was his 'passion,' and he would bring it in to share with everyone. On a few occasions, someone would get ill after, but infrequently enough that people wrote it off as a coincidence. This coworker goes out on PTO and asks another coworker to feed his 12 cats while he is gone and scoop the litter boxes. Unfortunately, it was discovered the coworker was cooking and serving us food in the same pans he was also sometimes using as litter boxes for his bushel of cats. When confronted, he stated he thought this was fine because he washed them after. We never ate his food again."
7."Homemade fried chicken which translated to ‘chicken covered in pancake batter and breadcrumbs and dropped into a frypan until the outside looked cooked.’ It wasn’t even seasoned."
8."An apple pie, but they didn't have apple pie spices like clove, cinnamon, or nutmeg, so they used taco seasoning by accident and expected people to eat it. I, a dumb bitch who likes to torture themself, tried it and promptly tossed it into the trash when they looked away."
9."A coworker brought homemade kimchi, but she admitted she didn't know how to make it and just 'winged it.' It was fermented wrong and covered in mold, which she didn't seem to understand was bad. The vegetables were basically half liquified, and it smelled like dumpster juice."
10."Casserole with a side of roaches. Not even kidding. They crawled out of the bag she brought her dish in. I stopped participating in potlucks after that."
11."Grandma's Jell-O salad, made with cottage cheese and celery."
12."My cousin’s wife wanted to make pimento cheese sandwiches for a Super Bowl party. Problem is she had no idea what went into pimento cheese and refused to go to the store because it 'couldn’t be that hard.' So she mixed a bag of shredded cheese, an ungodly amount of mayonnaise, and, for the little red bits, maraschino cherry halves. Then dumped approximately a half cup of garlic salt in for good measure. I thought they were a dessert because they were pink and couldn’t figure out what a pink sandwich would be. It was truly one of the worst things I’ve ever put in my mouth."
13."An office potluck. As everyone is eating, one of the girls says, 'I'm sorry if you find any cat hair in the green bean casserole, my cat kept getting up on the counter to nibble at the edges.' Cue everyone looking at each other like WTF?"
14."My sister would bring two Crock-Pots: one with spaghetti sauce, the other with water and the noodles. The noodles would be cooking in the water all day."
15."I worked at a patient care clinic with mostly nurses. One nurse brought mashed potatoes inside of a Walmart bag. Not inside of a bowl inside of a Walmart bag. Mashed potatoes. Loose. Inside of a Walmart bag. That could’ve previously held raw chicken or some other gross thing. A NURSE."
16."We had a Buche de Noel baking contest in French class in high school, and one girl brought one in that, when the teacher cut it, had a bunch of hair baked through it. This was my first experience with 'never trust what someone else baked at home unless you’ve seen their kitchen.'"
17."A sugarless cake. She realized too far into the process that she had forgotten the sugar and continued with the decorating. She placed it on the table and didn’t think anyone would notice the lack of sugar. We noticed…cakes need sugar."
18."Grandma brought the one-year-old fruitcake she kept in a glass bowl covered in foil out from under her bed to the family potluck. When the foil came off, everyone gagged as it smelled like booze and death. Then, she lit it on fire, poured cream on it, and insisted everyone try it. It was simultaneously super dry and sopping wet, tasted like hand sanitizer, and had the texture of cat litter."
19."A half-eaten chicken-something dinner from their meal at Olive Garden the previous night."
20."Once at a church potluck, a lady made chicken noodle soup, but instead of chicken, it was raccoon. She didn’t tell anyone. We found out because her sons were laughing, and we finally got them to tell us why."
21."Chocolate chip cookies, but she didn't really mix the ingredients very well, so there were lumps of flour and baking soda (or powder). They were godawful."
22."Orange rolls. For those that don't know, they're cinnamon rolls that have orange zest or extract in the dough recipe. Usually delicious. This person took a cake pan, poured orange juice in it, dropped biscuit dough in it, and then baked it."
23."My husband and I went to a potluck at a park shelter one time. Someone had brought vegetables and dip. I was reaching for some when my husband nudged me and told me to look closely. There were bugs all in the vegetables. I don't think they were from being outside because none of the other food had bugs. I think whoever brought the platter either didn't notice the vegetables were full of bugs or didn't care."
24."Chocolate-covered shrimp. No, not mole sauce. Just sweet chocolate sauce."
25."Sidewalk beans. They spilled beans on the pavement, scooped them back into the container with bits of stuff, and served it with the warning that they’ve spilled them on the pavement and there’s a chance of finding pebbles in it."
26."Went to an office potluck, and someone had made a breakfast casserole. I cut a slice, was about to put a bite in my mouth, and noticed the bottom was FURRY. Literally lined with cat hair. I can’t understand how she didn’t notice before putting the food in the dish, so gross."
Let us know the most disgusting thing you've ever seen someone bring to a potluck in the comments below or fill out this anonymous form!
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.