12 Times Justin Bieber Treated His Fans Like Trash

Justin Bieber seems to have mellowed and matured quite a bit since his antics in the mid-2010s, and he attributes a good bit of that to his marriage to Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin). But as he must well know, the internet never forgets — and we can recall some pretty unsavory behavior from the young pop singer toward his fans from back in the day.

When he reached the height of his fame, the "Sorry" hitmaker was not exactly — how should we put it? — a fan of all of the attention he was getting all of the time. Not that we blame him for wanting some privacy, but this could be why he started lashing out at people taking pictures, even innocent Beliebers who approached him on the street or after shows. By 2016, the Biebs canceled his meet-and-greet sessions and announced on Instagram (via People), "I'm done taking pictures. It has gotten to the point that people won't even say hi to me or recognize me as a human. I feel like a zoo animal, and I wanna be able to keep my sanity. I realize people will be disappointed, but I don't owe anybody a picture."

Unfortunately for everyone who could belt out the lyrics to "Baby" in their sleep, unwanted picture-taking wasn't the only thing that seemed to set him off. From allegedly making insulting comments to walking off stage, here are some of the most memorable incidents in which Justin Bieber treated his fans like trash.

He reportedly made fans wait hours to start the show

This one's kind of a classic. What rock star hasn't gotten too big for their britches at one point or another and delayed their show beyond any reasonable time period? Okay, well, kind of a lot of them don't do this. Which is why Justin Bieber got a lot of negative press after reportedly delaying a concert in London for two whole hours in 2013.

A write up in the Daily Mail pulled no punches when calling the singer out for his tardiness, dubbing him "Justin Diva!" in the headline and reporting that he was playing video games and "threw a tantrum." According to Us Weekly, many of Bieber's young fans had reportedly either fallen asleep by the time he finally took the stage or were in tears when their parents made them head out early due to it being a school night. While one fan tweeted out that it was "totally worth" the wait, Bieber was allegedly "booed" by other audience members, who were understandably peeved at being kept waiting for so long.

Bieber's spokesperson denied that he was two hours late, however, and instead claimed, "He was not supposed to go on until 9:30 and he went on just after 10. ... There was no booing." Hm...

Has Justin Bieber spit at fans?

Even we would have a hard time believing that Justin Bieber was once in the habit of spitting on fans — and we've seen it all — if it weren't for the facts that it's been videotaped, and he's been accused of doing it multiple times.

On one alleged occasion in 2013, according to TMZ, a radio host in North Carolina was innocently working out in the same hotel gym as the Biebs and a couple members of his crew and asked him to take a photo. Bieber reportedly declined, and then he and his friends supposedly started "mock[ing]" the woman, who claimed that either "Bieber or someone in his group [spit] blue Gatorade into her water bottle while she wasn't looking." She even took a swig from the contaminated beverage, telling the gossip rag, "I did not look at my water bottle before taking a drink." Gross!

While Bieber's rep denied the allegation, it wasn't the only time he was accused of spitting at people. TMZ also reported that same year that, in addition to several other alleged incidents, the singer apparently spit at fans gathered around a Toronto hotel from his room's balcony — and that someone caught the incident on camera.

He allegedly called a fan a 'beached whale'

Another controversial Justin Bieber moment relates to a comment he allegedly made to a young woman at a hotel in Perth, Australia in 2013. A local news site, News.com.au, reported that while staying at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bieber approached a group of women in bikinis and supposedly told one she looked like a "beached whale."

Hotel guest Helen Robinett told the outlet that she overheard the alleged exchange, in which Bieber also told the young woman she "should go on 'The Biggest Loser.'" Another guest at the pool also claimed they heard Bieber make this comment and saw him make hand gestures imitating a large stomach. Robinett, a queen, filed a formal complaint with the hotel's staff. "That kind of comment can have a serious impact and repercussion. That's why I'm so upset about it. I'm bloody angry. He's nothing without his fan base," she said.

Hard as we looked, we couldn't find any evidence of a Bieber apology for the supposed comments, unless you count this tweet as one, as suggested by gossip blogger Perez Hilton. "You are all beautiful," the Biebs wrote on Twitter shortly after the incident. Not our favorite celebrity non-apology, to be honest.

The Biebs walked off stage over spilled water

There was a time in Justin Bieber's career when he was known almost as much for his short fuse as he was for his music. One perfect example of this came in 2015, when he announced, "I'm done, I'm not doing the show," and promptly walked off the stage when he was only one song into his set list in Oslo, Norway. The reason? Per NBC News, Bieber "complain[ed]" that fans weren't "listen[ing] to him while he was trying to wipe up spilled water."

Bieber must have realized on some level that this was not his cutest look, because he later took to Instagram to post a long explanation and apology. "Sadly it's been a rough week for me, long days, no sleep, while having to be 'on' as they would say for cameras, fans etc," the statement began. "In no way did I mean to come across mean, but chose to end the show as the people in the front row would not listen." 

Bieber did take some accountability though, admitting, "I don't always handle things the right way but I'm human and I'm working on getting better at responding not reacting." He also apologized to fans "in the back" who were "disappointed," and for "wasting the tv people's time." JBiebs added, "I'll be sure to make it up to you next time on tour.. With love Justin."

The singer criticized his fans' clapping

Imagine you are at a Justin Bieber concert, and he starts to play certified bop "What Do You Mean?" You and the rest of the crowd begin to clap along when, all of a sudden, Bieber stops singing to inform you and the thousands of others in the crowd that you are clapping wrong. Well, what if we told you that this is something that actually happened? Wild, right?

At a concert in Spain back in 2015, Bieber was bothered enough by some off-beat clapping that he told fans, "Stop! At least clap on the right notes" (via BuzzFeed). At the very least, Bieber wasn't annoyed enough to actually storm off stage this time, but instead started clapping on beat himself to show the crowd how to do it properly, saying, "It's like this. If you're gonna clap, at least clap on beat."

With an awkward chuckle, the Biebs then got on with the show. Luckily, his fans didn't seem too put out by the interruption, but we didn't get a chance to interview them all, so we can't know for sure.

Justin Bieber threw a fan's gift on the ground

Obviously, Justin Bieber does not like being approached by strangers when out in public. And again, while we can't say we blame the guy for wanting some privacy whenever he's out and about, it would appear that even if you just want to give your favorite artist a gift, this one does. not. want. it. Just ask the Argentinian fan who tossed her national flag at the singer when he was spotted in a car outside of a New York City hotel in 2016 — only to see Bieber immediately toss the flag onto the sidewalk. It's a moment she caught on video, no less, in which he was previously seen mouthing, "Go away," to his devoted Beliebers.

Per the Daily Mail, the young fan posted about the incident on her Facebook page, and as the story gained steam online, it sparked outrage among other Argentinian fans. "Of course it was not my intention for it to fall close to his face, so I apologized a thousand times. He looked at me with the face of a p****, grabbed the flag, threw it on the pavement and shut the window," the fan said. "I'm 15 and he could have treated me better since I apologized and he could hear it."

Not cool, JBiebs.

He left stage because of loud fans

Concerts are, famously, very loud events. Anyone who has attended one of these can attest that the noise level from the performance itself, as well as the screaming crowd, can leave your ears ringing for days. But for Justin Bieber, not all noise is good noise, and he once got so frustrated by fans screaming that he left the stage in the middle of a show.

At a 2016 performance in Manchester, England, Bieber tried to get fans to quiet down in between songs, telling the crowd (via People), "I appreciate all the support, I appreciate love, I appreciate the kind things." He continued, "But the screaming in these breaks has got to stop. Please and thank you. I don't think it's necessary when I'm trying to say something and you guys are screaming." Following a literal mic-drop and exiting the stage, the singer did eventually return and explained that he just wanted a little "respect" and "courtesy" from fans.

A week later, People captured a since-deleted tweet from Bieber, in which he explained himself further, with the outlet noting that the short-lived statement echoed those made onstage in Glasgow, Scotland. "I don't say the right thing all the time because if that was the case then I'd be a robot," he wrote in part. "And I'm just, I'm not a robot." Bieber added, "There's times when I get upset ... times when I get angry, there's times when I'm going to be frustrated. But I'm always going to be myself on this stage."

Justin Bieber to a fan: 'You make me sick'

At the risk of belaboring the obvious at this point, here's a pro-tip for all Beliebers and non-Beliebers alike: If you happen to see Justin Bieber out in public, do not approach him or ask for a photo. He does not like it. Just ask the young woman who tried to snap a selfie in Melbourne, Australia and got a bad attitude instead in 2017.

Someone captured a video of the short verbal altercation (via TMZ), which showed a woman posing in front of Bieber, who was noshing on some food on a stick, as she attempted to take a selfie. Bieber could be heard saying, "Look at your respect level. Look at your respect level right now." As he moved away from the fan, he could be heard muttering, "Look at you. You make me sick." 

Now look, we don't endorse harassing anybody or invading anyone's personal space — even if that person is a celebrity. But at the same time, telling excited fans that you find them disgusting is arguably a little harsh. But Bieber had already developed a habit of scolding fans who got too close for a while, and as previously stated, he eventually decided to stop taking photos with Beliebers altogether, according to TIME.

The pop star put a fan's phone down his pants

Not all of Justin Bieber's (allegedly) bad behavior has been completely hostile — sometimes, the pop star's past actions were just kind of gross. During a 2013 concert, the Biebs paused the show to ask fans politely to pretty please stop throwing things on stage. Unfortunately, not everyone followed these instructions, including one person who threw their phone onto the stage, which Bieber then stuffed down the front of his pants.

"I ask them to stop throwing things and they throw a phone," Bieber said on stage, as seen in a video posted to YouTube. He then picked up the offending device and joked, "Well, I do need a new iPhone," before sticking it in his pants, which naturally elicited shrieks from the audience.

Call us prudes, but plenty of others would probably agree that it's poor form to rub one's groin on other people's cell phones — especially when you compare Bieber's move with some of his music star peers, like Harry Styles' penchant for playfully teasing fanscalling their mothers, or texting their dads, before safely returning phones whenever they get thrown on stage. That said, Bieber's usual response when getting annoyed by an audience would be to just walk off stage, so we suppose it could have gone worse.

JBiebs allegedly punched a fan in the face

There have been times when Justin Bieber's poor fan-treatment allegedly even got physical, which is definitely not acceptable. Back in 2016, which appeared to be the peak era of JBiebs' misbehavior, TMZ posted a video taken in Barcelona, Spain that seemingly showed the singer punching a fan in the face.

In said clip, the fan in question was shown rushing toward a car, in which Bieber was seated in the back seat. The fan reached a hand into the open window, and an arm (presumably Bieber's) could be seen forcefully reaching out and hitting the man in the face. The fan then turned back to the camera to reveal a bloody lip, before recounting the event in Spanish to a group of shocked friends.

It's not the only time Bieber has been accused of throwing punches. In 2018, he was sued by a man who claimed the pop star punched him and hurled racial epithets, per Billboard. Also in 2018, he reportedly punched a man in the face at Coachella after seeing the guy allegedly assault a woman (via TMZ). And, according to TMZ, Bieber was allegedly punched by Orlando Bloom in 2014.

He regretted joking about underage fangirls

It's not news that Justin Bieber has a lot of fans who are young girls. Unfortunately, it kind of is news when he makes deeply uncomfortable sexual jokes about them. Back in 2015, per Bustle, Bieber did just that on stage. "Who's 13 in here? Do we have any 13-year-olds? Do we have any 14-year-olds?" he asked during a concert in Toronto, Canada. Doing the math on his fingers, Bieber counted aloud how many years until they were of legal age. "Four more years until you're 18." Um, ew? For what it's worth, Bieber immediately backpedaled, saying, "Too much, Justin."

The joke was undeniably inappropriate, but it is worth mentioning that, unlike some other performers in his cohort, Bieber has never been accused or even rumored to have actually tried to have sex with underage fans. It also doesn't look like JBiebs ever made a habit of joking about sexualizing teen girls.

Justin Bieber lashed out at fans for trolling his wife

Sometimes, when Justin Bieber has lashed out at his fans, it hasn't been totally unjustified. For example, when stans of Selena Gomez (who dated the Biebs on-and-off for several years) started trolling his current wife, Hailey Bieber, on social media.

Hearing that Hailey was about to do an Instagram Live session in 2020, one Gomez fan posted a video calling on other fans to "bombard" the model and actor with questions and comments about her husband's ex. "This is the time where they will not be turning off comments, so we need to f***ing bombard that s*** with Jelena and how Selena is better. Go after, please, let's all go after her," the person said (via Cosmopolitan). JBiebs was ... not pleased.

Posting to his own Instagram Stories, Justin called the fan out. "This sad excuse of a human just encouraged people on video to literally go after my wife telling people to say that my previous relationship was better so on," he wrote in part, saying he was sharing the video to show fans what he and Hailey go through daily. "As many people as there are that want to spend their time publicly degrading, shaming and trying to humiliate us, we would like to ask those who have it in them to lift us up in prayer," his statement continued.

Seems fair enough, to be honest.