As a person who has met more than my fair share of famous, infamous, and slightly-more-notable-than-average folks, I have to say that the adage “you should never meet your heroes” is mostly true.
As in, far more people have been disappointing or just meh than the other way around.
These 17 people have some stories of their own, and they’ll probably convince you to steer clear of your own heroes, should you ever get the chance.
17. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover.
While I was working at an airport, I met Sting. I thought he was gonna be cool but he was kind of a d%ck. The opposite can be true also. I met Robbie Williams (of Take That) who I’d always thought seemed kind of a d%ck but he was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
16. Oh man that’s rough.
I was dying to meet Jason Momoa and I finally got the chance to at an after party for a indie movie he was in. It was at a small venue in LA with some bands playing.
Jason walked in and few people started talking to him; once they passed I bought a beer and approached him. I gave him the beer and asked how his night was. He was kinda drunk already from the look of it, but he pounded the beer without saying anything. I wasn’t too sure what to think so I got more to the point and asked if it would be cool to get a pic. He leaned into my face and said, “Tonight isn’t about that. Tonight is about me.” and walked away.
Not even 5 minutes later he was taking pics with some other people across the venue and signing some autographs.
Aquaman owes me a beer damn it.
15. I actually love this story.
I met Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at an airport. I asked to take a picture and at first he seemed really unhappy about it. I asked what he was reading and it was a Sherlock Holmes novel. I loved those so we chatted about it some and then he mentioned he had written one about Holmes’ brother.
I felt like I was really bothering him so I’d keep trying to leave him alone but every time I started to leave he’d ask a question so we kept chatting. Just a really quiet dude I guess. Was nice after the picture though.
14. That is terrible advice.
John Stockton told me I shouldn’t eat so much bread when I met him when I was a little kid.
13. This is a sad state of affairs.
Scottie pippin is hands down the biggest turd ever. I grew up in the suburbs he lived in and every time I saw him he was just such an a$shole. He was a hero growing up and he ended up being complete garbage.
12. She has a good father though.
When I was in 2nd grade, I thought Bob Feller (pitcher from the Indians back in the day) was the greatest thing ever. I read about him constantly. When Cleveland opened it’s new Jacob’s Field stadium, he was there signing autographs all day. I went to the exhibition game with my dad.
Around 10pm we were walking to our car in the lot, and my dad notices Bob Feller is like ten feet away walking with some guy. He’s like – Do you want to ask him for an autograph? So I go over there, this tiny little white haired blonde girl, and I was like “Excuse me Mr. Feller, can I have your autograph?”
He turns to me and is like “God damnit, no. I’ve been signing autographs all day, I’m not signing another one, jesus christ.”
I didn’t know what to do so I just kinda froze and walked back to my dad and teared up. My dad was so sad because he knew he was my hero, so he took the paper from me and was like “Mr. Feller would you reconsider? She’s 8, she reads about you every night, you’re her hero.” He was like “Give me the god damn paper!” Signed his name real quick, and my dad thanked him so much and walked back to me to give it to me. He was like “Here honey!”
Loud enough for Feller to hear (which was an accident lol), I was like “i dont want it anymore.”
After telling that story here and there I found out apparently he is a huge di*k and has a reputation for being constantly nasty. Oh well.
11. That awkward moment when…
Quite a few years back my dad took my brother and I up to San Francisco for a day trip to pier 39. Turns out Jeremy Bulloch (the original Boba Fett) was doing some kind of meet up thing that no one turned up for, except for us. My dad is a huge star wars nerd after having grown up in its heyday, so naturally he was a bit nervous meeting his hero.
From memory, the encounter went pretty well, but I’ll always remember the moment it got awkward.
“You were always my favorite character man, even if you only got like ten minutes of screentime”
“I’m sure I had a bit more than that..”
10. There is something so innocent about this story.
One of my earliest memories was meeting Batman. I was probably 3 or 4 and I remember my mom taking me to this big event and it was crazy and awesome. The Batmobile was there and we got to sit in it. I remember I had a picture of Batman and Robin signed. Best day ever!
I’m 30 now and recently brought it up to my mom. I asked where it was we went that time. She explained to me that it was just a local grocery store promotion, Batman and Robin were just some old fat middle aged guys with a beat up old corvette that had cardboard “mods” attached to it.
Apparently it was a pretty embarrassing display… I always remembered how amazing that day was but now that I know the truth it kinda ruined it.
9. This is one amazing story.
I was a huge Pistons fan growing up, and my family had season tickets. For season ticket holders you get these sick privileges like being able to go to the tunnel sometimes after games, pregame meet n greets, whatever.
Anyway, one day, some of the Bad Boys were in the arena- the back to back champions. Total Detroit legends. I worshipped them, Isaiah Thomas especially. Keep in mind this was in the second wave of Pistons greatness in the mid 2000s, so to have both iterations of great Pistons teams was unthinkable to me.
Anyway I’m in the tunnel. I got a sh*tload of autographs on this hat that I don’t think I have anymore, Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton, what have you. Then, an older guy starts walking down, and people are going kinda nuts. It’s one of the Bad Boys. I definitely recognize his face, but I really could only know Isaiah Thomas and Bill Lambeer.
So I go “Who is that?”
And this older teeanged kid (in retrospect he was like twelve) goes “Oh, that’s Joe Dumars.”
So I go “Mister Dumars! Mister Dumars! Can I please have an autograph?” (being polite was procedure, if you weren’t polite they wouldn’t give you anything)
and the guy turns to me, looks me dead in the eyes, and in front of everyone (in my mind like 400 people, in all likelihood it was about 60) and goes:
“Bitch, I’m Rick Mahorn!”
and then the twelve year old goes “Mr. Mahorn, may I have an autograph?” which Rick Mahorn grants him.
TO THE DAY I got an autograph from every single bad boy, EXCEPT Rick Mahorn.
8. It’s always the ones who shouldn’t be that are.
Not my heroes by any means but by far the biggest a$sholes I’ve met in the music industry were Puddle of Mudd.
They couldn’t even play their own songs during sound check without f**king up. And they would fire any crew that looked them in the eyes.
Also Chris Daughtery. I was his runner and asked for an autograph for my aunt who is a huge fan and he just laughed at me.
7. Well that was a ride.
In January 2002, I was invited as a guest to a 101st Airborne reunion as I was writing my masters thesis on the correct way to implement television and movie content in the classroom and I’d chosen the HBO “Band of Brothers” series as an example for a typical high school American History class.
One of my sources was a local man who I’d met through the local war museum and he invited me to come with him to the reunion. “Wild” Bill Guarnere and Edward “Babe” Heffron BOTH happened to attend. I rushed back to the hotel and got my copy of their book “Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends”.
I stood near their table for several minutes, waiting for a break in the conversation, then spoke up. I introduced myself, why I was there, and asked if I could get them to sign my copy of their book.
Bill Guarnere was not pleased to be bothered by a fan and got very mad at me, telling me to “f**k off”. I was super-disappointed and apologized.
Two weeks later, I received a new signed copy of their book along with a signed copy of “Band of Brothers” by Stephen Ambrose. Included was a letter from Ambrose (but signed by the two veterans as well) explaining that Bill and the other members of Easy Company were not in good moods that day because many of them had just found out that Carwood Lipton had passed away less than a month ago. They apologized and thanked me for being understanding
This gesture from Ambrose and the two men has become more and more meaningful over the years as they have all since passed, Ambrose died less than year after the incident.
6. It kind of ruins the whole thing.
I met Michael from The Bachelor (Australia) at a local club called Blackbird.
He wasn’t a “smooth talking but sweet” player like they portrayed him on TV, he was just a drunk dude sleazing on every girl in the venue (With very little success too).
I also met Deadmau5 while bartending and he was a complete wanker. He was so rude to all the staff and other patrons my manager asked his entire entourage to leave. It was really sad for me because I absolutely love his music.
5. Not shockers.
I have a lot of friends that swim and they’ve always said Ryan Lochte is a complete douche.
A few of them met Michael phelps and an apparently he was a condescending a&hole.
4. Neither of those surprise me.
Played blackjack with Michael Phelps who was a drunken sloppy mess and an a$shole. Also, Pete Rose, who was funny and awesome.
Phelps was at the Harrah’s casino in New Orleans during super bowl weekend and Rose was on a random Vegas trip at the Palms 6-7 years ago.
3. A+ work on the aunt’s part, though.
I went to an event with “Salem” from Sabrina the Teenage Witch as the special guest when I was like seven. It turns out, there were multiple Salem cat-actors. For some reason, this really devastated me. After that, I’d always try to point out the inaccuracies of the cats within a scene…
To make me feel better, my aunt got the producers of Wishbone to write and confirm that Wishbone was a single dog, actually named Soccer. This did make me feel better, and Wishbone is a universally better show.
2. That’s just mean.
I met one of the artists from ZZ Top at a super nice hotel in Louisville. Wasn’t a big deal to me but was to my cousin.
My cousin asked, “I’m sorry to bother you, but may I get an autograph? I’m a really big fan!”
The one Z replied “Sure thing, let me run up to my room really quickly and get the rest of the guys.”
We watched him go up to the room and waited for a little over an hour. My cousin cried.
F*ck that Z in particular.
1. He’s just a bit aged, I suppose.
I met Buzz Aldrin working on a promo for Axe Body Spray when they did that Apollo “Go Into Space” contest thing.
He was insanely nice… but listening to him talking to his assistants and the Axe people as well as the director of the promo between takes… he seemed a bit… disconnected from his words.
I have no idea what his schedule was like or what else he was going on but… being the main audio guy I had a clear feed of everything he was saying… and it all just sounded mildly confused.
Still, got to shake hands with a guy who’s been on the freakin moon so, you know, that was really freaking awesome!
We should say that our “heroes” are under no obligation to be fabulous to everyone they meet, but still – it can be disappointing.
Do you have a story to add? Share it with us in the comments!