Cautionary tales—and a moment of levity—courtesy of America's favorite appliance.

By Stacey Ballis
Updated March 13, 2020
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Most of us have lived with microwave ovens for the entirety of our cooking lives. So, it continues to be surprising how often we (still!) encounter epic failures in microwave cookery. Microwave fails tend to be even worse than regular cooking failures, in part because the nature of microwaving means you were attempting to do something fast, easy, and with minimal cleanup, sometimes in shared space like a workplace kitchen or lounge. There is no worse feeling than your reheated coffee, quick oatmeal, or lunchtime soup becoming a major—and public—humiliation.

In the spirit of “don’t let this happen to you,” here’s a collection of recent microwaving disasters (check our latest on what you shouldn’t microwave). And folks, let’s be careful out there.

Epic Microwave Fails

When your quick mug cake for one turns into a one-hour cleanup job.

When you just want to make some spaghetti squash.

When reheating rice changes the molecular structure of your container.

When you realize all plastic containers are not necessarily microwave safe.

When you forget to put water in your Easy Mac.

When you just want to warm up your hard-boiled egg.

When your sriracha chicken is just too spicy to handle.

Make Rice Krispies Treats in the microwave, they said. It’s so easy, they said.

When you try and sterilize your toddler’s bath toys.

When you forget to poke that little hole in the bag before microwaving.

When you forget to put a lid on your soup.

When you were just trying to get that crick out of your neck.