For Americans, Black Friday shopping is a national pastime.
After gorging on turkey and pumpkin pie, thousands of people fill the malls, and form long lines outside of big box stores hoping to get a good deal on essentials like towels, video games, DVDs, waffle makers, Xboxes, PS3s, electronics and more. You know - the essentials.
And for the most part, things stay pretty calm; well, as calm as things can go when you’re battling for $1.28 towels.
But when prices go low enough, some bargain hunters can get a little crazy. We’re talking guns, cops, violence - it’s enough to make you want to sit the shopping frenzy out.
Here, we take a look back at five horrific stories from Black Friday, with bonus video of the craziness from past years.
1.Two people shot outside Walmart over parking space (2012)
Everyone knows mall parking is struggle starting on Nov. 1. So come Black Friday, you definitely need to be repeating Frank Costanza’s “serenity now.” Last year at a Walmart in Tallahassee, Fla., there were reports of a shooting outside of the discount store. Two people were taken to hospital after a dispute over a parking spot. After closing for a short period of time, the Walmart reopened its doors to shoppers.
2.Walmart employee trampled to death (2008)
As eager shoppers waited for the doors to open at a Walmart in Valley Stream, N.Y., employees tried to keep things calm. But it didn’t work. An employee was trampled to death after shoppers crashed through sliding-glass double doors.
Detective Lt. Michael Fleming told The New York Times that the store lacked adequate security. He called the scene “utter chaos” and said the “crowd was out of control.”
3.Tot left in car while man shops for TV (2012)
This guy sounds like a real winner. A Massachusetts man left his girlfriend's two-year-old son in a car while he hunted for Black Friday deals. He then went home with his new 51-inch flat screen television and left the tot behind.
The boy was found outside a Kmart at 1:30 a.m. When police caught up to the man, he said he lost the boy while shopping and called someone else for a ride.
4.Woman pepper-sprays shoppers over Xbox (2011)
After a Los Angeles-area Walmart brought out discounted Xbox game consoles, a woman was accused of pepper-spraying other shoppers to push her way to the front.
As many as 20 people were injured in the melee. The woman later turned herself in.
5.Two killed in Toys ‘R’ Us shooting (2008)
Two men pulled guns and shot each other to death in a crowded Toys R Us in Palm Desert, Calif., after the women they were with got into a brawl.
According to police, the fight was not over a toy, and may have been gang-related.
If these stories aren’t nutty enough for you, here are some of the wildest, craziest stampeding shopping videos from the past few years. WARNING: Contains graphic language.
XBox melee at Walmart
$1.28 towel fight at Walmart
Hoards rush Urban Outfitters
Crazy Toys R Us woman can’t faze store employee
Survivor Series: The Black Friday edition