Ask the GIF Guru: How to Recover from an Accidental Text

Few moments in life are more horrifying than the hour-long second it takes to realize that you sent a text to the wrong person.

The first time it happened to me, I had been firing off a whole lot of fury to my then-boyfriend about my close friend Alex.

Now, to my own credit, Alex was being really annoying and mean and acting like the Bart Simpson-y brother I never wanted, but I managed to exaggerate and hyperbolize my momentary hatred for him to such an extent that even my own boyfriend would have been like, “Dude, chill.”

I say “would have been” because my boyfriend never got the text; Alex did. Alex, who was sitting across from me during lunch, eating his burger while I had been hunched over in novel-length texting mode. The very same Alex whose phone dinged the moment I hit send, who put down his burger to pick up his cell, and then slid his mobile bearer of bad news across the table to me where I — still oblivious — picked it up to read my own awful rant.

“Awkward” has never been a more appropriate word.

Because I was in front of him and still technically mad (despite my embarrassment beginning to overshadow everything else), I shrugged. Just brought my shoulders straight up to my ears and made this face–>    :/

“You were being a dick,” I offered. “But I’m really sorry.” And then, more out of necessity than anything, we managed to salvage the day and move forward.

Had he received the text when I wasn’t there, however, the recovery would have been harder. In fact, it could have been near-impossible because I probably would’ve been at a total loss for words. There’s no coming back from the incorrectly-sent-text…

Unless, of course, you follow it up with a GIF

Let’s say you do what I did and send a really scathing, mean text to the subject of your gum-flapping. As soon as you realize what you’ve done, follow up with this GIF below. It basically equates to, “Oh fuck.”


Yea girl. Just get out of there.

Next, let’s imagine you sent the person you’re secretly in love with an entire sonnet on how much you love them (only you were writing it to your best friend so obviously it was even weirder and creepier than normal…maybe it went into a lot of detail about how you stalk them not just on social media, but in their apartment as well). Send this:


This technique is called “distraction.”

Finally, maybe you sent the worst text you could ever imagine to the worst recipient on the planet. Choose your own adventure here, but for me personally, I’d really hate to accidentally send a nude pic to my future mother-in-law. There’s sort of nothing one can do except laugh and send this:


Which, if nothing else, lets them know you appreciate a movie classic. Or that you’re a crazy person. But you know, win some/lose some.

Now if you’ll kindly all direct your eyeballs to the comment section below, let me know the worst text you’ve sent, and how you handled it. And if you don’t mind, hook a sister up with more GIFS. (Shout out to commenter Jess. H for the Lebowski one!)

TTFN! — Amelia Diamond

  • Whitney

    I had an angry rant-style text I was sending to my then boyfriend regarding my roommate that went to my roomate. Admittedly, the text was scathing and she had just broken up with her boyfriend so the timing was awfull, but said text started a conversation and helped to eliminate the sour passive-aggressive behaviors that had been going on for months prior. My roommate was sitting across from me so there wasn’t much lag time for admitting I screwed up.The situation wasn’t fun at the time, but sometimes it can be nice to get it ALL out in the open and let them have a piece of your mind. I don’t plan on repeating that situation thought.

  • Dancingcheektocheek

    Not your best work, AD.

    • Amelia Diamond


    • Amelia Diamond

      Look at those dancing poodles though!

      • Anna

        i really liked it

        • Anna

          you really can’t beat anything with those dancing poodles. But Question: Do you think those are actual poodles?

          • Amelia Diamond

            Anna I just don’t know what to think.

      • distraction technique. love it 🙂

  • Eden

    “life goes on, man”
    too good!

  • LaRaeRae

    UGH. Mine wasn’t that bad but it has made me VERRRYYYY careful to never commit the same horror again.

    I was in a car with a group of my friends, and my friend Matt was talking about how he wanted a vespa. So, I sent a text to my friend Amy saying “Matt would look soooo much more douchey on a vespa.” Not even just douchey, “more douchey.” Because he already looked so douchey.

    Anyways, I accidentally sent the text to Matt. The dropping feeling in my stomach after I heard his phone vibrate was so painful. Luckily, we had an awkward laugh about it at the time, even though Matt was offended and I was humiliated. Now that five years have passed, it’s a really hilarious memory that gets brought up at a lot of parties.

    • Amelia Diamond


  • exploringwardrobes

    hahaha the gifs are so appropriate! i accidentally sent a text to my dad instead of my boyfriend. i’m still too embarrassed to reveal what it said, maybe not as bad as you’re thinking but still a little too weird.

  • Amelia Diamond


  • Jojo

    I am a huge fan of the screenshot. A former classmate of mine constantly posts humble brags on social media, so naturally, my roommate and I will screenshot them and send them to each other and laugh about it. The problem occurs when I screenshot something and then accidentally send it to the individual who posted it…. Oops. One time I did this, but quickly upon realizing my mishap, followed up with a “oh wow did this seriously just happen? that’s so great!” I am officially fake.

    If karma is real, someone has an iCloud solely consisting of screenshots of anything dumb I have ever said via electronic means of communication

    • Amelia Diamond

      i am now deleting all screen shots on my phone….oh i’m getting terrors just thinking about this…

    • Kirsten

      I once did something similar but it was with snap chat. Someone sent me a snapchat of them doing something lame and I took a screen shot to then message to another friend to discuss the lameness but then realised you get notified when someone screen shots your snap. I then had to text the screen shot to the snapper and say something totally fake like “oh you’re so funny! You make make me laugh” or something like that

  • hi_itsgabby

    You don’t bounce back from this.

  • Annie

    THOSE POODLES. Where do you find your gifs?!

    • Amelia Diamond

      All over! A lot of friends send them to me because they know I’m an avid collector. Sometimes I google things like, “weird animal gifs.” I also google quotes from movies or scenes from movies because EVERYTHING has been turned into a gif. I was really into for a while, and whatshouldwecallme is hilarious and often has some real gems.

  • Ohhh I love some Dude-abiding, especially when paired with a dose of MR!

    Which is most mortifying, analog or digital accidental awkward friend shares?

  • First of all, my I declare that’s now my new favorite picture of Hillary Clinton EVER and kind of may also become my lock screen on my iphone just because of it’s awesomeness?

    Secondly, oh good GOD sending texts to the wrong person is so humiliating. SOmetimes you can play it off like oh yea, I totally meant to send that to you…but most of the time it miraculously goes to exactly the person you DON’T want to see it. It’s like one of those nagging rules of the universe. It’s like the universe is trying to punish us for being snarky…eek!

  • Jenny

    So mine wasn’t bitchy, but it was still pretty embarrassing- I was interviewing for a job, and the hiring manager texted me some info about the interview. The trouble was, I just about to reply to a message from a friend telling me she’d pick me up a donut (or something equally exciting, can’t remember exactly) when it popped up and I got them confused, so my reply to the hiring manager was something like “OMG, I freaking LOVE you.” Not sure if there’s a GIF for that one.

    • Amelia Diamond

      hhaahhaha. what did you say back??

  • almitavi

    I was having a conversation with my husband of how we were going to pay our amex, and I mixed up conversations and sent the messages to every mom of the class of my kindergarden daughter. So they all basically knew how much I owe in my american express statement (which was particularly high that month), and that I was going to pay in cash, plus the message started with a corny nickname I say to my husband. I was like.. F***, how can I fix this?

  • Julia

    Probably one of the funniest articles I have read all day. Girl, I can totally relate. I was super mad at a friend one time and angry texting another friend, and before I know it those last three messages had been sent to the girl I was angry at. Whoops! I followed it up with an incredibly smooth “Sorry, wrong person”. Aren’t I great with words? Haha 🙂


  • Hahaha I once print-screened a what’sapp conversation and accidentally sent it to that person, instead of a friend. So he knew I was totally copying everything we discuss with my friends. SO awkward. I just said : “huhhhhh? how is that possible?”

    Very intelligent response, I must say :))

    Oh, and I guess most Jennifer Lawrence GIFs are very, very useful for these kinda situations 😉

    • Amelia Diamond

      oh but that is kind of genius to blame technology

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    I loled so hard at your accidental text description. You are a hilarious writer, Amelia.My fave post to date.

    • Amelia Diamond

      thank you!

  • Hanni

    I forwarded a sext from my boyfriend to a friend – not the mistake it was very much on purpose, following a conversation about forced sexting. I then sent a follow-up text describing in detail how I felt about the unwanted sext from my boyfriend. The follow up text was not sent to my friend rather sent back to my boyfriend in response to his sext… I wish I had sent a gif back.

    • Amelia Diamond

      what did you say??

    • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

      Enquiring minds need to know: What did you say and how did he react to the news? This is too awesome for us not to know the details!

  • Maura

    I sent a text that said, “my neighbor’s giving me free botox night. By this time next week my face is going to be as tight as a drum!” It was meant for my sister, but sent to my boss instead. His reply was, “good for you”. MORTIFIED!

  • I’ve definitely done this. But I’ve also done the opposite (as in talking about how great someone is behind their back and accidentally sending to them) and that turns out pretty well. You don’t even need a GIF. Like today my mom responded to a text with “true dat.” so naturally I screenshot it and was sending it to my boyfriend with the tag line “my mom is so rad” and it went to her instead! She was thrilled! Here’s a GIF anyway!

  • I’ve definitely done this. But I’ve also done the opposite (as in talking about how great someone is behind their back and accidentally sending to them) and that turns out pretty well. You don’t even need a GIF. Like today my mom responded to a text with “true dat.” so naturally I screenshot it and was sending it to my boyfriend with the tag line “my mom is so rad” and it went to her instead! She was thrilled! Here’s a GIF anyway.

  • belulopezchamba
  • JessieAnne

    I have a group message with my main “friend group” (ew, terminology) that consists of me and my three best friends, but I also have a side group message with the same friends…minus one. Mostly where we complain about the douchey things said excluded friend, we’ll call him John, does. This being said, we’re all very big fans of the screenshot: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, just to make sure none of us missed something annoying John has done (we get really nit-picky when we’re already annoyed with him) and I have, on MULTIPLE occasions, sent screenshots with scathingly petty comments from “God, he’s such a pretentious asshole, look at that caption” to “He claims his forehead is his worst quality so why is it the focus of all his dumb selfies” to the group message with him included rather than excluded. My mis-texts always spur an awkward silence from my two other friends while I try to SOMEHOW recover (I’ll have to try the poodles next time) and text them in the intended message with something along the lines of “FUCK HE’S GOING TO KILL ME.” Ahh, modern technology.

  • Rach H

    Gift to gif.

  • Nathalie

    I accidentally sent this to my ex who also has a crush on my best friend

  • Lalie

    I accidentally sent this to my ex ..

  • Sarah

    i just sent a bunch of screenshots of my texts with a guy I’ve been into accidentally to HIM instead of my friend and he was like “I’m a really private person and this is really weird and awkward and disappointing” and I think I just ruined my shot at a second date with the best guy I’ve ever met….

  • Elle

    So…This just happened and I WANT TO DIE right now. Maybe venting and some empathy from others will help instead. Rather than just being up front, this guy semi-ignores me. We have been hot & heavy for 4-5 months, he stands me up but throws me enough texts to keep me wondering. So of course, as soon as he texts, I call and text back. No response. I get more frustrated and bombard him with MORE texts and calls because I WILL NOT BE IGNORED, damn it! Well, now I’ve done it…I just proved to him that I am insane so I never heard from him again after that. A month an half later, I text him on his birthday. He finally responds, which is more than I expected. Now that I redeemed myself, I can move on with some self respect because I proved that I’m not some psycho and I can let it go and leave it at that. But NoOooooo…What do I do?! In an attempt to forward his response to my gf, I accidentally text him instead, “John reply above”. omg. horrified.