The greatest spelling bee fail of all time

Hairline? Hurling? Heroin? Harangue? Watch this 15-year-old hear everything but "heron" at this hilarious spelling bee competition. 


Kris Holt


Published Jan 25, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 10:17 pm CDT

Who knew so many words sound like “heron?”

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A 15-year-old spelling bee entrant fails time and time again to understand exactly which word he’s being asked to spell in a hilarious YouTube video that’s gaining traction today.

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One thing about great comedy is that the longer a good joke goes on, the funnier it becomes. That’s exactly what happens here as the teenager simply can’t understand what the word is, despite repeated requests for the moderator to repeat it, use it in a sentence, and provide a definition. It’s kind of amazing how patient the moderator is, actually.

Hairline? Hurling? Heroin? Harangue? He just doesn’t know until it finally clicks, and there’s a magnificent moment of realization.

He’s a good sport about the whole thing, as he uploaded the video, titled “The Greatest Spelling Bee Fail of All Time,” to YouTube under the username itsamec9303. In a comment, he writes that his difficulty stemmed from being unable to hear the auditorium speakers properly:

This is a real spelling bee one level down from Nationals. I wasn’t able to hear the word (speakers were pointed at audience and not us spellers) Many people failed hard and one tried to copy my epic troll(wasn’t trying to be just trying to figure out the word) but failed hard. This is real and was not staged. It’s me failing hard.

Despite his protestations to the contrary, some redditors are convinced he’s acting out on purpose. “Hahahahaha trolling at its finest :D,” wrote AcOrP. Meanwhile, az00m reckons the teen is practicing “The art of trolling without knowing you’re trolling.”

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Next thing you know, he’ll be trying to spell “colour” without a “u.”

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*First Published: Jan 25, 2012, 3:39 pm CST