Workers Share Their Most Embarrassing Mistakes In Solidarity With HBO Max Intern Who Made A Serious Email Gaffe

We all make mistakes, it’s not the end of the world.

A photograph of a young person with dyed teal hair sitting at a computer looking frustrated. A screenshot of HBO Max's tweet is visible by their head. carballo / Shutterstock and Twitter

We all make mistakes, especially when there’s a learning curve involved with our work, but for some, the outcomes can be more embarrassing than others.

For one poor intern at HBO Max, a single mistake brought a huge amount of attention and embarrassment knocking on their door. In response to the fumble, however, other former interns began to share an outpouring of embarrassing stories to show their solidarity.


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The HBO Max intern accidentally sent out a test email to customers.

One missed button, and this poor intern sent out an empty testing email to hundreds of subscribers for HBO Max’s mailing service back in 2021.

Photo: Twitter


Letting down a company that functions as a prospective employer can be terrifying no matter what, especially when a big mistake gets lots of unwanted attention. For this poor intern, the nightmare was just that.

On top of that, after the fumbled email, the HBO Max Twitter account was forced to explain the nature of the mistake, confirming that the mistake was indeed the fault of an intern, and the company was “helping them through it.” Fortunately for the intern, it was a silly, harmless mistake that they had support for, but the secondhand embarrassment was enough to fuel the memories of viewers from across the internet.

Overnight, former interns began to send in their sympathies in the form of “Dear Intern” tweets.

The trend caught fire, with hundreds of former interns pouring out their support, sharing their most mortifying moments with the world… And how the storm had passed, and they had gone on to find success, either with the same company, or with another one.


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Many of the stories were even worse than the HBO Max intern’s slip-up.

One hilarious story involved a woman sharing a joke at the expense of her coworkers with the entire company, instead of with a friend, and nearly getting fired for it.

A screenshot of a Quote Tweet from "aerin @AerinChevyFord" that reads: "Dear Intern, when I was 25 I made a PDF assigning each employee to the Muppet they reminded me of the most. I mean to send it to my work friend, but I accidentally sent it to the entire company. My supervisor (Beaker) wanted to fire me, but the owners (Bert & Ernie) intervened."

One man claimed he had single-handedly brought down Spotify...


A screenshot of a Tweet in reply to "MaxHelp @HBOMaxHelp". HBO's tweet reads: "We mistakenly sent out an empty test email to a portion of our HBO Max mailing list this evening. We apologize for the inconvenience, and as the jokes pile in, yes, it was the intern. No, really. And we're helping them through it." The reply comes from Twitter user "Daenney", and reads: "Dear intern, I once globally took down Spotify. It almost happened twice. My team was awesome about it and I'm still here. You managed to find something broken in the way integration tests are done. It's a good thing and will help improve things. Good luck <3."

While another awkwardly remembered a similar plight, when he brought down a production database at his first job.

A screenshot of a Tweet from "Osvaldo Mena Requena @omenar", that reads: "Dear Intern, at my first paid job as a developer I once blocked an entire production system by running the test suite against the production database. It's all part of the journey, you are doing great [relieved smile emoji]. xoxo, a human."

The message is repeated over and over: You are not alone. This is not the end. It’s all part of the journey.

Everyone was happy to encourage, to uplift each other and this nameless intern, with nothing to connect each other except for a shared feeling of failure, and the life experience gained afterward.


The event unfolded so positively that some Twitter users even responded wishing they had gotten the email themselves, to be included in the ongoing hype. Mistakes happen, all of us mess up. But life goes on. Your first mistake will not be your last, and you will grow to learn from your mistakes and adapt beyond it.

Hopefully, the outpouring of love was able to console the struggling intern, as it certainly gave hope to some of us.

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Hawthorn Martin is a news and entertainment writer living in Texas. They focus on social justice, pop culture, and human interest stories.