Black Friday Sales Horror Stories - Don't be One of These People!

Black Friday is far from a perfect day of great deals and low prices. In fact, over the course of its history, it’s had many instances where things went from good to crazy to downright horrific in a matter of moments. So while we all love the great deals that come with Black Friday, we thought we’d sober it up a little. We want to talk about the Black Friday sales horror stories in hopes that you won’t be like some of these people when it comes time for you to shop this year, or any year, for that matter!

Horror Stories From Previous Black Fridays

Let’s start with some funny yet innocuous Black Friday horror stories before looking at more high-profile examples of Black Friday violence.

Fuming For Furbies

One year, a college student was working at a Toy Store on Black Friday. This was the year that Furbies were all the rage, and people were willing to do anything to get their hands on one. So this young college student was given the task of handing out these tickets to the first nine customers in line. They’d get to use the ticket for a Furbie once inside. Seems harmless, right? Wrong. After handing out the first ticket, the girl was tackled to the ground. A woman had been the attacker, and she went for the tickets, breaking the employee's fingers in the process. Talk about mental. She clearly didn’t think it through because the store refused to honour the tickets after that, and when they tried to detain her for the cops to come to arrest her, she decked the manager and left.

Moral of the story: cheating and violence against retail workers won’t get you anywhere. In most cases, it lands you in jail.

The ‘$20’ Flatscreen TV

Everyone loves a good deal on a fancy TV, but one employee was smart enough to question the price of a certain TV one Black Friday he worked. After a man brought a massive TV to the till he scanned it and was shocked to see the price was only $20. He immediately disputed this, saying it was impossible, but the customer argued it wasn’t. So, it turns out the man had placed a $20 sticker on the TV, and the employee was able to notice in time. The TV was, in fact, between $300 and $500 on special. He was eventually taken to mall jail, where his fate remains unknown, but hopefully, justice was served!

An All-Around Rough Day On The Job!

This story is crazy, but one year an employee at Best Buy on Black Friday saw a customer get out of his car and stab another guy. Why? Because of a parking spot. On the same day, he saw one woman punching a pregnant woman all because of TV. Finally, to cap off his manic day, a customer threw a chair at his coworker because they’d sold out of iPads. Talk about a rough day on the job.

Examples of Violence on Black Friday

Let’s take a look at year-by-year high-profile examples of violence Black Friday has brought out in people over the last few decades. Unfortunately, most examples exist only over the last decade and primarily in the United States.


It was Black Friday, 2008, in Valley Stream, New York, when a crowd of roughly 2000 people (yes, you read that right) waited outside for the 5 am opening of Walmart. Anticipation was building amongst the cold and eager shoppers. But, perhaps, they were a bit too eager.

As the doors to the Walmart began opening, they bolted for the doors and destroyed them and, in the process, created a stampede and trampled a Walmart employee to death.

What’s horrible about this story, beyond the fact that a poor woman lost her life, is that the shoppers should have little empathy or care whatsoever for her condition. They’d claimed that they’d been waiting in the cold and would wait no longer. They’d arrived the night before at about 9 pm. This lack of care for others' safety continued as the cops arrived. Shoppers continued streaming into Walmart and pushing them aside in the process. Deals are great, but they’re not worth another person's health and safety.


Black Friday, 2010, a Toys ‘R’ Us in Madison, Wisconsin, saw an altercation quickly escalate when a woman cut the line. She was reprimanded by fellow shoppers and eventually began making threats of violence against them, such as using a firearm against those who protested her cutting. She was arrested.

A volunteer in Georgia was stabbed by a shoplifter. A Florida Walmart shopper was arrested for drug and weapons charges after others noticed the handgun he was carrying.

2010 saw a rise in petty instances of violence that would escalate quickly, usually involving firearms.


Porter Ranch, California, Black Friday in 2011 saw a woman deciding to pepper spray the other shoppers. This resulted in 20 injuries and happened in a line for the then-discounted Xbox 360. The woman allegedly used pepper spray because people were cutting in line to get to the Xbox 360. However, other reports of the incident alleged that she’d used the pepper spray to disperse a crowd in front of a crate of Xboxs’ so she’d get to the front. Unfortunately, one person did die in this instance.


Black Friday can be an absolute nightmare. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a shopper or someone working in a retail store. It’s just chaos. That’s why shopping online has become such a popular alternative. If you do shop in person, don’t be these people. It’s not worth it and it’s so uncalled for.

This year at Catch, we’re acknowledging that people would rather avoid the darkest parts of human beings. Instead, you want to deal with nothing more than a computer screen and a well-stocked online retailer. Catch is preparing for the biggest Black Friday sale in our history, and we’re so ready for you to claim some of the amazing deals we have planned. So get your accounts up and running, create your wishlist, and prepare yourselves for a plethora of insane deals on all your favourite products.