10/09/2014 10:53 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The 36 People You See at Every Supermarket


Going to a supermarket in this day and age can be a confusing endeavor -- all manner of new foods and food groups keep popping up to confuse you, and the women are impervious to flirtation (usually). Add to this the fact that the aisles are almost always filled with a cast of characters that rivals the best-written sitcoms, and you've got a recipe for mass hysteria. So, to help you navigate more efficiently from the greeter to the totally unpopulated self-checkout line, here's a list of all the people you'll see during your next visit.


Twenty-Something Suddenly Realizing He Can Eat Cereal for Every Meal
You can usually find him haphazardly emptying out the other contents of his cart to make room for more Cookie Crisp, and then talking to the cashier about his "kids".

Produce Section Curator
The way he arranges the kiwis might be nice to look at, but it needs a more solid foundation. Most likely a frustrated art school dropout/graduate.

Obsessive Coupon Clipper
Usually spends a couple hours before shopping aggressively leafing through three or four books of coupons. She's so into savings that she'll probably end up buying three boxes of string cheese even though it makes her really gassy. But oh the savings!

Old Lady Buying a Ton of Cigarettes
She's reached the 14-item limit for the express line, but all of the things she's buying have the Surgeon General's warning label on them. She's probably seen more than a few Surgeons General come and go.

Mute Clerk
Somehow, this grumpy-faced cashier managed to check out your entire order, take your card for payment, and ask you whether you wanted paper or plastic -- all without actually opening his mouth... except to breathe loudly.

Person Actually Signing Up for the Rewards Program
There is probably a better time than this to join their members-only 1%-off club than during a rush while there's only one lane open. And I'm pretty sure the cashier's lame pitch was intended to be a joke.

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Paralyzed Ice Cream Browser
The ice cream selection is pretty huge, we'll admit, but generally things are frozen inside of the display case instead of in front of it. OOH, FREEZER BURN!

Overly Chatty Clerk
He has a joke for everything you're buying, forcing you to debate ditching that box of Tucks Medicated Pads in the candy rack before he gets to them.

Disinterested Teenage Stock Boy
Probably spends a lot of time spacing out on the loading dock out back.

Disinterested Middle-Aged Stock Boy
Definitely spends a lot of time spacing out on the loading dock out back, talking about B.O.C.'s back catalog.

Grumpy Butcher
No person in the entire supermarket is more terrifying than this cleaver-wielding fellow, whose enthusiasm for chopping meats (and nothing else) makes your request for a quarter-pound of extra-thin turkey seem pretty trivial.

Free Sample Snatcher
This person is taking flagrant advantage of the courtesy of the supermarket by actually subsisting on free samples. Probably has a clandestine lair inside a hollowed-out beer display, full of spent toothpicks. Comes back to the counter several times during the day wearing different clothes.

There's still plenty more people you'll see at every supermarket, including the Express Lane Disregarder, the Lonely Sushi Counter Dude, and the Person Paying With a Check -- all on Thrillist!

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