Whether you’re into Doctor Who or Pokemon, conventions have something for everybody. Since the early ’60s, conventions have grown into a massive phenomenon. Thousands of them take place yearly worldwide, bringing fans together. Aside from meeting new people, many con-goers seek out autographs from their favorite stars. They might also walk away with a rare action figure or comic book.
One set of con-goers that are always the center of attention are cosplayers. These individuals spend hours perfecting their costume play for photographers and fans alike. As expected, they can attract plenty of attention from people. Many times, they simply brush it off. Other times, they try to exit out of a potentially sticky situation.
This group of people talks about some of the wildest things they’ve witnessed at a convention. From wild cosplay antics to panel mishaps, their con experiences were unforgettable because of these incidents.
45. Hug It Out
I got caught in a glomp circle because my friends were having fun. (If you don’t know what a glomp circle is, it’s a hugging game where if you get hugged, you run to the middle, and to get back to the circle you have to hug someone else.) I was smeared in unsealed grey makeup and very flustered. It was a bit fun at first, since I was pretty young, but it was a lot of older men hugging young teens. It was all fun and games until two cosplayers started an all-out fandom duel. People were casting fake spells, throwing cosplay props, screaming, and glomping everywhere.
44. Battle Of The Cringe
I’m usually a vendor so I often get people come up and talk my ear off about their fanfiction I don’t care about. There was a lady doing just that and talking about how she was going to get one of the voice actor guests to act it out for her on a stage play or something.
Then I see a girl who was previously talking a lot and not getting the “you need to go” hint come over, so I “introduce” her to my new “friend”. They both just happened to have fanfics about the same character. So they move off a bit and are both trying to one-up each other in the cringe.
I was just thankful they went away.
43. You Rebel Scum!
I cosplayed as a Rebel Pilot for the Rogue One release. Everyone in line clapped as I walked by, so I was feeling good about myself. Took it in stride when a guy across the aisle in the theater asked to get a pic with me later. I say sure, or we can do it now since the movie doesn’t start for another 30 minutes. He doesn’t say anything.
A few minutes later, he’s like, “Can I get a picture with your helmet”? Just the helmet. That was awkward. I thought maybe I had misheard him the first time and didn’t want to say “no,” so I handed him my helmet. Thoughts of lice and who knows what else going through my head. You can take a picture with me as much as you want. But don’t take pieces of my costume and try them on.
42. Ready To Rumble
This happened at Ireland’s comic con. I went about two years ago. This was the first year where they had an official comic con. Everybody was really nice and I got a couple of good comics. But there wasn’t much to do at it. This was in Swords which had a huge field outside were most people sat around talking to one another because there was nothing else to do, really.
Outside, they had a wrestling show. Surprisingly the girl wrestlers were actually the better wrestlers of the day. One of the “main wrestlers” looked about eighteen and did nothing but insult the crowd, and an eight-year-old outwitted him (not even joking, the boy got owned by an eight-year-old). The worst wrestler of the day was a guy who wrestled as a pirate; his pants kept on falling down in the ring.
41. Use Your Indoor Voice
Being my first con, and being pretty socially awkward, I didn’t really get to ask for many photos since I guess I look like the stereotypical nerd, and people just kind of avoid me. But a few people were nice and posed for some. I took a break and this group of, I assume, Homestuck fans (I think they have horns and grey skin?) came in and started screaming through all the rooms, talking loudly, generally being obnoxious and ruining it for a lot of people just trying to have a good time, not really anything personal with me though, but I’m glad I didn’t have to talk to them.
After that, I really wanted to go to a larger con, so I saved up my graduation money and some early birthday cash and went down to AnimeNext in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was awesome, and compared to the other it was a 100 times better, and I finally got the chance to cosplay.
So I went as Steven Universe, which was a pretty easy cosplay. I did get a few rude comments from people passing, but a few people did want a photo (I even bought his shield).
Thankfully since the last con, I built up some better self-esteem and I was able to talk to people about their cosplays and stuff (though I was still pretty nervous). On the second day, after waiting in line for about an hour to get autographs from the voice actors who were there, there were some obnoxious people who just didn’t know how loud you should be inside, and just constantly talked throughout the whole line. Standing behind them the whole time really was horrible.
40. Take A Swing
I was at Colossalcon last year (awesome con if you live near Sandusky) with my girlfriend. I was dressed as Laxus Dreyar and my girlfriend as Aquarius from Fairy Tail. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Laxus has a pair of spiked headphones on that are part of his usual costume, of which I made some pretty good replicas.
On our way to the Fairy Tail photoshoot, we ran into two guys who were also on their way there, also dressed as Fairy Tail characters. One as Gajeel, and his friend who I can’t remember. Gajeel wants a photo of a fake fight with me, so I oblige. We take a couple of fight photos in different poses, and the last picture is going to be one of us punching each other in the face simultaneously. So I go to place my fist on his cheek, when he just punches the side of my head. Now, he didn’t punch full force, but enough that it dazed me.
I wasn’t too angry that I got hit, and his friend was apologizing profusely for him, but I was livid that he broke the headphones I made for my costume, just a few minutes before the photoshoot! Broke the spike clean off! So I had to run back to the costume repair station, which is an awesome thing the con has, only to find out that they just ran out of hot glue. Now I’m running back to my room, fixing the headphones as best I can, and running back to the photoshoot.
Didn’t miss too much, but other people apparently had similar interactions with the same guy. Dude was completely oblivious.
39. Constantly Checking The Watch
I was at a con where there was a panel about doing cosplays. There were three girls that had a Powerpoint presentation and talked about how to make outfits and such. It would’ve been good, but the presentation lasted way too long. They got into way too much detail, about buttons and stuff and people were losing interest and were talking among themselves and not paying attention. The host stopped the presentation multiple times to, very rudely, tell people to be quiet. Yeah, that was very cringey…
38. A Supernatural Look-Alike?
I once cosplayed as Castiel from Supernatural when I was watching season four on Netflix. At the time, I had no idea how crazy the fan-base could be.
I made these really cool black wings out of real feathers and made them retractable. My costume was sweet! I go to the con and am waiting in line when somebody a few people behind me yells “MISHA!” (For those of you who don’t know, Misha is the ACTOR who plays the character in the show.)
I turn around and see this hysterical girl looking over at me and saying, “I LOVE YOU MISHA! OH MISHA!!….blah blah MISHAAAAA!!!” She is squealing and screaming and basically in tears. At this point, I should mention that I am also female, and I DO NOT look like Misha Collins.
I kind of awkwardly wave at her, then turn my back to avoid eye contact. She continues freaking out behind me for several minutes as my friends looked on laughing and saying, “She’s still going…” I can’t imagine what she would’ve done if she had seen the real Misha.
37. Maybe Next Time!
I volunteered at Tampa Bay Megacon this past fall. I was working in the photo ops area with the third party photo company.
Some woman raced up at 2:30 p.m. begging me to sell her a photo op with Brett Dalton because she hadn’t realized he wasn’t going back to his autograph table after his photo op and she wanted to see him. I couldn’t sell her one because the op was in session and locked. “My supervisor can help you if you want to wait?”
She stood there for TWENTY MINUTES repeating that she wanted to talk to Brett and then asked me if she could wait outside the back entrance and grab him as he left. I was like, “No… that’s… not a good idea.”
The supervisor came back and informed her that Brett had already left the building because only 30 people had done ops that afternoon. This woman went completely postal and ran away crying.
36. I Choose You!
My wife cosplayed as Daenerys from Game of Thrones. I’m a short, blonde guy and was not going to even try going as Drogo. So I went as a generic Stormcloak soldier from Skyrim. Easy to do, had everything we needed already. Done.
After arriving and walking around a while, we decide to get food. As we are stood there ordering, this HUGE guy cosplaying Pikachu comes over and just starts singing “The Dragonborn Comes” from the video game at me. I smile, being polite even though it’s kind of weird. He just does not stop. Everyone around this hotdog stand is silent and watching. I stand there for what feels like an eternity (probably about four minutes) just dying inside as a Pikachu bark-sings at my face.
35. Contest Of Cringe
Went to an anime convention with a group of friends a few months ago since a friend was selling his artwork there. The whole thing was pretty cool but the cringiest thing was the cosplay contest. The contestants would go up on stage to do a mini-skit, or choreographed routine, or do like a catwalk kind of thing to show off their costume; anything to display their cosplay, basically.
I didn’t know where to look for 90% of the show, to be honest. Unwatchable. It didn’t help that the crowd wasn’t really that into it either, owing to the middling quality of the contestants, and the host was really struggling to hype up the whole thing. Watching him trying to get some applause out of the crowd was like trying to wring a dry towel for water. Just ain’t there, mate. And I distinctly remember a Cloud Strife cosplay holding up his sword… Which was 1/5 – 1/6 the size of what it should have been. Good God. A lot of the contestants also went with moe-related anime, which I wasn’t familiar with at all. The whole thing was just bizarre.
34. Looks Can Be Deceiving
I dressed up as Mami Tomoe from Meguca. I was heading back to my hotel. As I waited to cross the street, some random dude came up to me and started chatting. He said to me, “Ah, you’re Mami, aren’t you? Sort of going for this more Victorian-era look, I guess, huh?” And like, the way he talked came off as super patronizing.
But the best part was when it finally clicked that I was a guy. He got real quiet and I could see him think… “Hold on, is that a guy?” He walked off in the opposite direction after that. I caught him looking back at me a couple times before he got too far away. I had a real good laugh about it afterward.
33. Lost At The Con
My cringiest experience comes from when I attended my first con as a little 10-year-old. My dad accompanied me (of course) for the one day I went, and I was planning to meet some of my internet friends I’d made through a forum. Cue the most miserable experience of my life.
I was on the phone with my friends for hours trying to figure out where they were as a 10-year-old who had never been to such a large and very busy convention center before. Eventually, my dad got fed up and asked to speak to one of my friend’s moms. We found each other quickly after that — just goes to show you how clueless I was.
Eventually, we went to the Dealer’s Hall to check out all the cool anime merchandise. We were in a big clump walking through until I noticed an Ikuto figure from Shugo Chara, an anime I was in love with at the time. I told my friends I wanted to see it and separated from them to check it out. Bad idea, because I turned around and they weren’t there. I wandered around in the Dealer’s Hall for an hour, at least, wondering where my friends were.
By the time I found them, my dad had been talking to a bunch of security guards. Guess he called con security to help look for his naive daughter, probably thinking I’d been abducted or something worse. It was incredibly embarrassing and shameful for me but didn’t deter either of us from attending the same con for six years after that.
32. Friendship Is Magic
So I help out my girlfriend who runs a Pony store. I myself am not a brony at all but do it to support her and the coworkers I’ve met through these events are now good friends of mine.
This past summer, at one of the cons I am the main salesman of the main room we have and I greet a group of guys (probably around age 17) that walk in and instantly notice that one of them is wearing a green bow tie, brown jacket, and white shirt. Now it’s not totally uncommon for people to cosplay non-Pony stuff at these cons. When I see him I remember the grass starter of Pokemon that got announced three weeks before. So I exclaim in my naivety, “OH! Rowlet! Awesome dude!” Only to receive a reply of “The [bleep] is a Rowlet?”
Taken aback by the gruff response and sudden confusion, I reply, “The new grass starter of Pokemon? I’m sorry, what might you be cosplaying?” And in the nastiest tone mixed with a demeanor of annoyance that I should already know who he is, he says “I’m Doctor Hooves! Duh!” Under my breath, I say, “…you’re pathetic, duh,” and then proceed to ignore the guy as he stomps around the room in an annoyed and arrogant fashion.
31. Not The Droids You’re Looking For
I was dressed in Bioshock cosplay and Stormtroopers stopped me to do a “pat down security check”. Literally four guys dressed up as Stormtroopers demanding I turn around and place my hands on the wall behind me. I noped out of that situation as well. I really don’t like the Stormtroopers at cons. You have no idea who is behind the masks.
30. Bringing It To Life
I sell artwork at cons, and take commissions, etc. Most people just tell me what they want, then I do the best I can to produce it. Some of them admit they don’t have any money and just want to tell me they like my work. That’s okay too.
One time, though, I was watching my table when this guy comes over and asks if I do commissions. Yes, yes I do, I tell him. I’m about to show him my price guide when he whips out this business card-sized picture of a brown, anthropomorphic dog with a vine growing around one arm and holds it out to me.
“My character is very unique. His whole village is dead and he’s the last of his kind. He’s part plant. I want you to tell me why you’d be the best person to draw him for me.”
This guy literally wanted me to beg to draw his character.
I told him my rates. He left.
29. The Force Is Strong With This One
There was this one kid who didn’t quite understand the difference between real and fake fights. He would run at random cosplayers with a hard plastic lightsaber and hit them with full force over the head or in the stomach, then screech in victory and do a lap around them, taunting them with lines copied straight out of a Monty Python movie… needless to say, he got kicked out.
28. An Unexpected Tour
During Megacon in Florida one year, I was dressed as Merle from Escaflowne when I encountered a group of Deadpools. They asked for a picture with me so I did only seconds into the picture they picked me up and ran around the build carrying me. They eventually ran outside the con and dropped me off in the front of the build and ran off laughing.
27. Kids Say The Darndest Things
A massive and amazingly plotted out Sailor Moon panel was completely derailed by these two kids. They were about 10 and 12, a little young considering it was way late in the night, but it wasn’t an adult panel so they got in.
Constant barrage of questions, anytime they started talking it lead to a five-minute rant on how their classmates at school don’t understand what being an Otaku is like. The panelist was clearly flustered but wasn’t sure what to do about this so she answered them and let them go on. She got to cover maybe 20% of her panel. About half of the room of 70ish people left because it was just too much.
26. It’s Time To Duel
I was about 15 years old, and my friend ran into the dealer room really fast to pick something up, so I was just waiting for her outside the door. All of a sudden I see a dude in a really elaborate Kaiba (from Yugioh) cosplay so I go up and ask for a picture. He looks about 25-30, and proceeds to strike up a conversation about how his mom was embarrassing him, but he couldn’t ditch her because she was his ride to the con. I don’t know how long the conversation lasted, but the moment my friend was out of the dealer room we were gone.
25. Not His Kind Of Rock
Cringiest moment was during the cosplay competition. There was a couple that was dressed as Toph and Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender. The (frankly annoying) host announced to the audience that “Zuko” has an important question to ask his girlfriend. Apparently, it’s a thing to propose during the competition…
So they do their little show, Toph throws a foam rock at Zuko, and then they just stand there awkwardly. The guy gets cold feet or whatever, because like two minutes pass where it’s not clear what’s going to happen. They walk offstage, then the girl comes back and stands there for a few seconds… then goes away again. Zuko comes back and stands there, the host doesn’t know what to say. She kind of ignores him and talks about how mean it is to throw rocks at your boyfriend. Zuko gets the hint and walks off. Then the host goes “Oh, looks like he changed his mind. Maybe we’ll get a proposal next year.”
24. May The Doctor Be With You
We were selling at a pretty busy con, but things slowed down around the time of a big event, as they do. This guy who’d walked past our booth earlier stopped back by. He was obviously into steampunk (which is what we sell) because he’d made his own “mechanical arm” with duct tape and gadgets and a bracer. We complimented his components, made general chit chat while he glanced at our wares.
He noticed we have some Doctor Who and Star Wars watches. So he spent the next 35 minutes telling us all about his fanfiction where his character is the Doctor on his 14th generation, how he uses the TARDIS to go into the Star Wars universe at various times to fix this or that, goes into a steampunk realm which is where his gadgets came from, then crosses into a series I didn’t recognize, and may at one point have landed on Serenity and given advice to Captain Mal.
Because no one else was around, we were at his mercy. Finally, people started coming back to the vendor room and we made some excuse to get him to move along.
23. Gotta Catch Them All
At a panel on fanfiction writing, there was a middle-aged man going up to the people seated in his nearby radius, asking them to read a printed version of his latest Pokemon story. I was one of those people. The writing was awful, but I tried to give whispered constructive criticism.
Unfortunately, he wanted to discuss the pros of his story very loudly, all while the people leading the panel were trying to host a discussion and answer questions. I tried ignoring him, straight up telling him to lower his voice, and telling him I had nothing to say, but he would not leave me alone. Later that night, I saw him at a karaoke event where he attempted to sing the Digimon theme song… in Japanese. It went about as well as you’d expect.
22. With Great Power Comes Great Irresponsibility
Some Deadpool cosplayer was running around doing silly poses and trying to be witty and charming until he tripped in front of a large crowd and landed pretty hard on his knee. It was obvious he was hurt, so someone went to help him and he screams “[bleep] off” as you can see tears soaking through his mask. Full grown man, jumping around in the cringiest attempt at being Deadpool, smashes his knee, lashes out, and cries.
21. Q&A Gone Astray
Supernatural conventions are great for observing pure social awkwardness and complete lack of self-awareness.
I was at the panel for the two leads of the show, and the format is basically Q&A. You’re not supposed to tell personal stories, ask for hugs, or generally waste everyone’s time. Just ask your question and go.
Chick dressed as a cowboy gets up to the mic, spends a couple minutes rambling mostly incoherently, and then pulls out a newly purchased baby outfit to give as a gift to one of the leads (who had either announced his wife was pregnant recently or the kid had just been born). Dude managed to make the awkward “uh, thanks” sound appreciative somehow and quietly handed it off to one of the staffers. Those guys are masters at dealing with cringe.
20. Not Fooling Con Workers
I’ve worked security at cosplay events. For me, the cringiest attendees are ones that take the character they’re cosplaying way too seriously, coming up to is and trying to roleplay. Bear in mind a lot of the team is 40-something men that hate this stuff and are only here for the paycheck. They fully expect us to understand all the fandoms and get confused or even annoyed that I don’t know niche characters from weird anime.
19. The Final Frontier Of Fandom
Many, many years ago, I went to a con dressed in a Babylon 5 Psi Corps uniform. I got cornered in an autograph line by the stereotypical creepy nasal-voiced Trekkie who went on and on and on and ON about all the reasons why DS9 was totally WAY better than B5 blah blah blah etc.
No amount of “that’s your opinion” or “I respect that, I happen to prefer B5” would shut him up. Dude was mortally offended that I liked one show better than another. Thank heaven my friends showed up shortly thereafter and saved me from having to listen to the guy any further.
18. Top Of The Stairs
Every comic con in Arizona at least one guy will go as pyramid head, and whoever I’m going with will always take pictures with him. One year he brought two of the Silent Hill nurses with him and for some reason, everyone would avoid the trio. My family approached him to ask for a picture which he allowed, however when we got close my little sister looked up at him (she has never been to comic con nor seen pyramid head before) and asked, “Why does your head look like stairs for little people?” Pyramid head broke down laughing and afterward we couldn’t even take the picture.
17. Gotta Take Some Notes
Applegeeks was one of my favorite webcomics, and the artist, Hawk, was there. He had just signed some artwork for me and I was trying to have a conversation with him when this guy comes up, stares at me, writes something in a notebook, and then tells me I’ll be dead soon because he wrote my name in his Deathnote. He then proceeded to interrupt me anytime I tried to talk to Hawk and only wanted to discuss Deathnote. Have hated that anime ever since because that guy ruined my chance to talk to an artist I admired about his work.
16. You’ve Probably Never Heard Of It
I usually cringe the hardest during the masquerades when someone picks a super obscure character to cosplay, doesn’t have a great costume, and does nothing but walk out on stage, pause for a second, and then walk back. These usually lead to no applause and very little acknowledgment, which our local MC tries to make up for by padding his script with a superficial compliment if he feels so inclined.
Seriously, if you’re going to do an obscure character, make a presentation out of it so people can at least grasp something about their personality or who they are/what they do.
15. Battle Of The Century
The first GenCon I went to I was walking about and there was a guy dressed like the Doctor and he was “battling” a life-sized Dalek. That’s not the cringey part. Actually, even though I wasn’t a Doctor Who fan, I still thought it was really cool because they both had really good costumes and it was fun. The cringey part was the guy off to the side yelling, “IT’S JUST A STUPID ROBOT” because it slightly slowed down traffic in that area, even though literally nobody else was complaining.
14. Join The League
I was at PAX with my wife and made her sit through a few hours of the League of Legends playoffs (back when these were at PAX Prime). To try to get her interested enough to watch one more game, I told her about how one of the players posted on Reddit after getting kicked out of his house, but still managed to become a pro and now make tons of sweet gaming money. Just then, an interview with the player (Doublelift) happened on stage where he called the other team’s ADC trash. This lead to my wife deciding that he was quite rude and she didn’t like him much.
Later that afternoon, we saw him walk right past us and she loudly went, “Isn’t that the weenie who was on stage earlier?” He looked at us, and I cringed because it was uncomfortable.
13. Bringing The Fight To Life
At the beginning of our Smash Bros community here in Brazil, we used to organize some tournaments at these anime conventions. One time I was playing with some friends and a girl wearing a Pikachu costume plugged her controller to play after the guy I was playing.
Okay, she picks Pikachu, of course, but every time I hit her with a move IN GAME, she made a really loud Pikachu cry like “PIKAAAAAAAA” or “PIKA PIKAAAA” by my side.
I cringe just thinking about it.
12. Don’t Come Between Jedi And Their Meal
A few years ago I was in line for a grilled cheese dressed as a medieval Jedi. These two kids (13-14 years old maybe) walk up to me and try to pick a fight with me. “Big bad Jedi, you ain’t so tough”, etc. I really didn’t even understand what was going on, I’m a full grown adult trying to get a grilled cheese. I mainly just ignored them, until they started poking me in the neck with their wooden swords.
There’s something extremely primal about defending your neck from sharp objects. I’m very grateful I kept my patience with them. My death glare got them to leave.
Got the last grilled cheese the food truck had, it was great.
11. A Yearly Cringefest
Pax East. Every Year. After Jerry and Mike do their show-opening chat they open the mic to the audience. It is a parade of cringe: people crying because the internet comic meant so much to them. People trying to out-dictionary Jerry with random words for him to define. A fake cult that offers sacrifices. It goes on…
10. You Can Call Me Miku
The cringiest thing happened at the cosplay contest. While a lot of the cosplays were very average, we were overall enjoying ourselves, especially since the host was so awesome (Paul St Peter, for whoever is familiar).
Anyway, towards the end, a contestant came on stage, and I didn’t catch what Paul had said she was cosplaying as, but from the long blue hair, I assumed she pulled together a last minute Hatsune Miku cosplay (other than the wig she was just in a plain t-shirt and jeans).
The girl pauses in the middle of the stage. Paul looks confused as to why she’s not leaving, and then a song comes on. And the girl starts dancing on the spot. Nobody really reacts. Then the song ends and everyone starts clapping, except she doesn’t stop. Another song came on and she’s still dancing. This went on for like 10 minutes, with different songs starting and her still doing her crappy little dance on the spot. Everyone in the crowd started talking toward the end. Nobody was interested. Eventually, she finishes, but nobody claps at first because we aren’t sure if she’s done. After she steps offstage, a few people clap but most people were silent. It was so cringey and bad.
9. Made This For You!
I went to a con a couple years ago and during a Q&A panel, this girl had sat in line for hours to make sure she got to ask a question. She had made some crappy little animation of the actor whose line she was in on her DS and wanted to show it to him. When it was near her turn at the mic the person working the show turned her away because obviously it’s not a question and she wouldn’t be allowed to walk on stage to show him the animation while the audience looked on in awkward silence. The girl started screaming and crying and just had a meltdown because she was being turned away.
It interrupted the people in front of her currently talking to the actor and drew all the attention away. The actor felt sorry for her and tried to help by letting her walk over to the camera person to show it on the screens for everyone, again cutting in front of others who had waited for their turn because she had a tantrum, and it was just so awkward. The animation was so bad and just featured the actor in “chibi” form in different poses. Everyone just sat there awkwardly when it was over while the actor tried to compliment her efforts.
8. Try, Try Again?
A long time ago, at my very first con, I dressed as Itachi from Naruto. This was when Naruto was getting to its peak in the anime world. I was about 15 and 160 lbs so I was heavier than most girls my age. This woman who was larger, (maybe pushing 300) decides because she’s cosplayed as a gender swapped Orochimaru that she would run up behind me, and jump on my back shouting “ITACHI-SAN — GLOMP!!!”
I don’t know if any of you remember the phase that ran through anime of chibi characters “glomping” one another, but it’s basically when someone playfully jumps onto someone else’s back and they both fall down in a fun messy pile of happiness or they get on them like a piggy back.
Needless to say, I did not fall into a playful pile and she didn’t make it to the piggy back position. I ended up spraining my ankle and hobbled away from her as fast as I could without words. She then tried to make it look theatrical and (I guess) thought that I was playing along with her. She does it a SECOND time.
I screamed (my ankle hurt and I was mad) and security came. She cursed extensively at me saying I had gotten her into trouble. Ambulance was called for my ankle because now it was really messed up, and I now felt thoroughly embarrassed while everyone watched me get on a stretcher (I imagine Itachi on a stretcher was a sight to see). I have never fully cosplayed at a con again.
7. A Crime To Breakfast
I went to a large convention with a friend. The one day we didn’t cosplay we wanted to go to a lot of panels and ‘experiences’ because the con had a cool interactive murder mystery set and game.
So we’re sitting in line and just chilling when this guy slides over towards our little camp. He’s older than us, two girls just trying to watch funny videos to kill time. And he starts talking to us. We’re polite and we make small talk. As the line moves we try to say bye, but nope, he’s looking for a group to join for the rest of the con. We lie about how we only have a day pass despite the obvious weekend passes on our bodies. We say our goodbyes and skedaddle as quickly as possible and we check our purses because the guy was sketchy and you never know.
My friend’s purse was untouched, but mine was opened and stuff moved around. This guy acted like our best friend and then he stole my Pop Tart. Not the whole unopened pack that was my breakfast and lunch, he opened it and stole one. Just one Pop Tart. I took a selfie with my friend in the line and I have a blurred picture of the guy.
6. We Won’t Be Seeing Him Again
I was at Fan Expo Canada meeting Temura Morrison (most famously Jango Fett). He had no one in his line. I approached and told him I wasn’t a fan of Star Wars but he starred in and produced a Showtime exclusive movie called Once Were Warriors that really changed me as a person. His only response, “A bit dodgy that one…”
I was still super stoked to meet him and didn’t let that bother me. Sometimes celebs don’t like to gush about older projects. “Who do you want this to?” he asked.
“That’ll be $40,” his handler added simultaneously. Me turning and handing my money to the handler apparently took too long so Morrison piped up with, “So I guess to NO ONE!” He never made eye contact. The handler looked at me sadly and mouthed the words, “I’m so sorry.” So I gave him my name and he wrote it out.
“It would mean a whole lot if I could get my picture with you sir,” I said.
“You can take a picture of me, but not with me,” he replied. Still no eye contact. I said no thanks and limped away.
5. Just A Shy Guy
I was at my table at SDCC pushing my comedy comic book. This guy comes up to my booth, young-looking guy, lanky, awkward. Maybe late high school/early college-aged. I start talking to him and chatting him up about his con and cracking jokes. He calms down and starts to get comfortable. He opens up and says he’s there alone and it’s his first con.
I see beside him there’s a pretty and peppy woman wearing shorts, a tank top, and a backpack, maybe two or three years older, and dressed in a cute Ewok hat. She’s finishing her purchase at the table next to me. I ask her if this is her first con, too. “No, I’ve been here before a few times. It’s a lot of fun!” “Well, HE hasn’t been here before.” She turns to him. “Oh, you haven’t? What are you here to see?” He sheepishly responds as if this is the first time a girl ever talked to him.
And in one of my almost glorious moments, I said to her, “Would you be interested in showing him around? He’s here on his own and would love to see some cool stuff.” She looks to him. “Yeah, absolutely! What’s your name?” And in this moment, I thought I would make this kid’s first convention legendary.
Instead, he freezes up, resists all eye contact with her, and says, “I’m sorry. I’m 17.” And he Napoleon Dynamites out of there as quickly as possible. As his dust trail settles, she looks over to me confused. “Okay. I was just going to show him around.”
Poor kid. I tried to make him a friend or maybe more and he noped out of there so uncomfortably. Again, my fault for making the situation. It’s definitely not as cringey for me as watching the awkward guys try to act “anime tough,” but I’m sure I made it super cringey awkward for him.
4. Not Speaking My Language
Had a guy dress up as Lelouch and give the entire speech from the show via microphone to a crowd in a large public area (not a stage, not a performance venue)… in Japanese. It was five minutes long, no one understood it because despite being an anime con not everyone is fluent in Japanese, and it was awkward to watch as more and more people got annoyed at him.
3. Homestuck On You
When I was 15, myself and two other friends dressed up as different Homestuck characters at a local comic con. There was a girl around the same age also dressed up as a Homestuck character. She came up to our group and specifically asked for a picture with me (which was odd as me and my friends were kinda grouped together) but whatever. Anyways she sorta followed us around yelling the character’s name trying to get our attention. I get why people hate Homestucks after that.
2. A Complete Disaster
Anime Mid Atlantic 2008. They got bumped from their original venue due to a double-booking, and the Virginia Beach Holiday Inn took them in. They had no idea what they were in for. I swear to God, no one at that con was over 18, there were herds of unwashed, overwrought 15 year olds who couldn’t book rooms because they were too young sleeping in the lobby, and I’m pretty sure people used the pool as a bathtub.
When we got to the con on Thursday morning, the place was pristine. When we left on Sunday night, it looked like an outtake from Animal House and the pool water was cloudy and gray. There were far too many people for the space available, so a lot of people got cut out from panels, the masquerade, etc.
The cops were there a bunch of times, too. Once I saw some guy running from them and he ran into a van so hard that he bounced off the car next to it and slid under the van. (I still have no idea how that happened, or how to describe exactly what I saw.) Anyway, he crawls out from under the van and takes off and then five cops come running out into the parking lot after him.
1. He’s Only Human
I was waiting in line to meet Tom Felton (AKA Draco Malfoy). The young lady in front of us wanted him to take a selfie with her and post it on HIS twitter. She wanted to affirm that “her friends” would “make it go viral”. When he told her he doesn’t do that she got exasperated, and started whimpering that he “just HAD to, she had promised her friends.” He tried to be nice about it… He apologized and said there were many people in the line. She got angry and stomped off without her signed photo.
It’s like she saw him as an object, not a person.