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Costco took this man’s cake order way too literally and the result is hilarious

"I was like, ‘I got directions and a little illustration here. They can’t mess this up. Right?’” says Costco customer Stephen Walker.

Well, you can’t say Costco can’t follow directions.

On April 2, Reddit user Stephen Walker (known as u/FlipDemStocks on the platform), posted a set of images in the r/funny subreddit that have garnered a ton of attention — and laughter. In the viral post, Walker shows the result of a recent cake request he made at his local Costco.

“Costco will give you exactly what you know you didn’t need,” Walker wrote in the post, sharing a trio of images showing not a comedy of errors, but a comedy of compliance, if you will. In the first image, Walker shows his request for a white half-sheet cake, choosing to have no writing or designs on his cake, and a note to “please see back.”

The instruction page Walker provided to Costco.
The instruction page Walker provided to Costco.Courtesy Stephen Walker

The second image includes a drawing of his request — an isometric rendering of a cake shape. Along with the simple line drawing, Walker made his requests: “No writing," "No Designs," and “Only Request Red frosting on perimeter for top / bottom.” Easy enough, right?

The now-infamous drawing by Walker.
The now-infamous drawing by Walker.Courtesy Stephen Walker

“I used a black pen to draw a quick sketch of what I thought a cake would look like,” Walker tells, adding that he grabbed his young daughter’s red magic marker to draw where he thought the red border would go. “I was like, ‘I got directions and a little illustration here. They can’t mess this up. Right?’”

Well, the Costco cake artist followed Walker’s request to the letter, copying his drawing exactly and placing it neatly on the cake — even if that’s not exactly what he wanted. Even the black lines from the original sketch were completed dutifully with black frosting.

Costco did not reply to a request for comment.

Walker's cake in his Costco cart.
Walker's cake in his Costco cart.Courtesy Stephen Walker

Reaction to Walker’s cake adventure has been almost totally positive, with thousands of people taking to the comments to share their feelings.

“Task failed successfully,” wrote one Reddit user.

“This is a thing of beauty,” wrote another Redditor.

“That’s the TLDR result,” wrote another user. (TL;DR stands for “too long; didn’t read.”)

“Lol, i’m impressed that they even transferred the flawed perspective,” someone else wrote, to which another replied, “And the two tone. It’s really impressive how that decorator got those details but completely missed the big picture..”

One user had a theory as to how this riotous result was reached.

“I wonder if they would have understood if you didn’t include the drawing,” one Redditor wrote, to which Walker replied, “Should I try that next time?”

“My daughter’s birthday was actually on March 26 but we planned to celebrate it on the first of April,” Walker says. “My wife took care of all of the other planning activities and decorations and all that, so I was like, ‘All right, I’m in charge of the cake. I can’t screw this up. Right?’”

For Walker, who bought the cake for his daughter’s 3rd birthday, the mistake wasn’t actually a big deal to him. He had already purchased a cake topper, which was red, and was planning on placing it on the blank cake.

“I picked it up Saturday morning and I was in a time crunch,” Walker says, adding that he saw the cake and was confused at first, but shrugged it off, even making a joke to the cashier, who said he could go tell the bakery about it, but he refused. “We were in a hurry, so I was like, 'Well, I’ll just scrape it off.'"

Walker says the party went off without a hitch, save for the momentary thought that the cake was an April Fools' joke. Moreover, the father and software engineer plans on making the comedic cake a new tradition of sorts.

“Maybe next year what I’ll do is I’ll just send the photo of the picture I took of the cake with my shadow in the background and send it to the same bakery, and ask, ‘Can you print this up as a cake topper?’” Walker jokes. “That’ll just be the cake topper, and I’ll just take a picture every year. So it’s like, a picture of a picture of a picture, like 'Inception.'"