Give A Little, Get a Lot: These Kind Acts Warmed Our Hearts
We could all use a little love and care, but sometimes kind gestures come from the most unexpected places. Whether it’s a friend showing up at our door to give us the present we didn’t know we needed, or a complete stranger helping us out in a time of need, these stories about the nicest thing someone has ever done will warm your heart.
Face the Musica young man sitting at a piano in the darkPhoto by Kiwihug on Unsplash
When I was about 13, the pastor of our family church heard me practicing Chopin on the piano. Knowing my parents couldn't afford much, he offered to pay for my music studies so that I'd be prepared to enter music conservatory right after high school. All he asked for in return was that I'd help out with the church's music program when needed.
This kind, generous man spent thousands of his own dollars to help me along the way to a rewarding career in music.
Sleep Away Camp
When my parents were awful, and my sister was passing away, my friend’s parents took me in for a while. But it was even better than that. You see, they did it in a way that seemed like a sleepover, even though it went on for months. I didn't even realize until I was an adult how much they stepped up for me and protected me, right when I needed them the most.
Lean on Me
I had a sore leg, and it was sore enough that I couldn't put much weight on it. During this time, my school did this fundraiser run, and I wanted to participate even though I could barely walk. My best friend, who I'm still friends with to this day, stayed by my side, limping the whole way. I still thank him for that, it meant a lot to me.
To Serve and Protect
When I was 16, I was at a store getting some comics. I was 15 cents shy, because they raised the price by 5 cents a comic, and I was trying to decide which one to put back when a guy I went to high school with, and barely knew, gave me a fifty cent piece. He went on to join the Marines right out of high school, and retired a couple of years ago.
He's still just as awesome now. He restores old Volkswagens and sells them for cost to his fellow veterans. He restores old furniture and donates the pieces to families in need. He volunteers with wildlife rescue programs. He refuses to let me pay him back, so I'm going to try and buy his drink at our 30-year high school reunion. Gotta thank him somehow!
Something for Nothing
I went to a local breakfast spot one day after a rough night. I totally forgot my wallet, so I left my phone as collateral and went back to my house. When I came back, some guy had already paid for me. I know it doesn't seem that big of a deal, but it was a pretty bleak week for me so it meant a lot just to have someone do something for nothing.
A Friend Foreverboy feeding a animal during daytimePhoto by Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash
My wife and I were driving our kids, who were three and five at the time, to the zoo. We narrowly missed being smushed by a semi truck, but also almost flipped our top-heavy minivan doing 75mph when dodging said vehicle. All in all, we were very blessed to have our lives, let alone no damage to our car. The same couldn't be said for other cars, but no one was hurt either.
The State Trooper who showed up was the most generous young man. He gave my daughter a little teddy bear that she still has to this day 5-6 years later. She even remembers getting it, which is pretty incredible for someone that age. I think that was the most meaningful thing anyone's done for me, and I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of good people in my life. This one stands out because it was directed towards my daughter.
I’ve Got You, Babe
My mother passed, and I was so stressed trying to find a way to give her the funeral she deserved. My boyfriend went down to the funeral home, made the arrangements, and paid the balance. By FAR the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me.
A Helping Hand
My firstborn had a severe deformity, and spent a week in hospital before we took him off life support. I was staying at the Ronald McDonald House, and even though one of the rules was that you are your own maid when you leave, complete with doing laundry and remaking the beds, I was a complete wreck and couldn’t do a thing. Then I got the surprise of my life.
A kind stranger took care of my room for me even though they were going through their own stuff. Another blessing from that dark time is that the funeral home took care of everything for me, including all bills associated with the service and cremation. I will never not donate to the Ronald McDonald House and I know what funeral home I'll be using when I one day need one again.
It was a very long time ago and very dark sad time. It destroyed my family, a few years later I lost my husband to the depression that happened from this, and while both tragedies changed me, I'm very good now and know happiness. I want to say that I've thought about how very, very bad things can get in the world, but this stranger, and people like him, showed me daily that the world is full of amazing loving people.
A Little Tune-up
A few years ago, I was going down to visit my grandmother in South Carolina. I needed an inspection and oil change on my car, and I was the single mom of a 5-year-old. The total cost ended up being 40 dollars more than I thought. At the time, that was devastating, and I had to tell my daughter in the parking lot that we couldn't go see her grandmother anymore.
Someone heard me talking to her and came over to us and gave us 60 dollars. That was one of the nicest things someone I don’t know has ever done for me.
Can’t Put a Price on Education
On September 14, 1986, my dad dropped me off at boarding school and gave me a five-dollar bill. I never heard from him again. He never paid my tuition bill. So, from the age of 14, I took every job I could get and worked my way through. At $4 an hour, I didn't even come close to paying off my entire bill, but the school let me stick around because I was a model student in and out of the classroom.
We get to graduation. I opened my little diploma thing expecting to see a bill in five figures. Instead there was a note: “Congratulations on your graduation. A group of us who believe in you and love you have taken care of your bill. We are proud to present you with your diploma.” I later found out that one of my friend's dad, a fairly well-off dentist, went fundraising among his golf buddies because he didn’t want to see me enter life at 18 under crushing debt.
The Tables Have Turnedpeople around tablePhoto by Zach Reiner on Unsplash
One of my high school tormentors invited me to his house to hang out for a day. I was really nervous it might just be to screw with me, but I was desperate for some sort of friendship at the time, so I went over. We're now best friends, and he and his family feels like family to me. Honestly, I have no idea how we ever disliked each other.
The New Normal
I was hugely pregnant and had very young children with me. We went to a free exhibit at an aquarium down town. I was unfamiliar with the area, but found free parking several blocks away. I was broke, so finding a free exhibit with free parking was really a special outing for us. After the exhibit, my young children and I started walking towards the car, but couldn't find it.
I figured I had gotten turned around, so we returned to the aquarium and started walking in the other direction, but still couldn't find the car. We went back and started out in a third direction, still unable to find our car. It had started to rain and we were just lost. All along, a homeless man had been watching us, as we had passed by him multiple times in our search.
His words were heartbreaking. He told me he remembered seeing us first go in to the aquarium hours ago and what direction he saw us come from. He offered to walk down that way and look for our car for us so we didn't have to be walking around aimlessly until the car was located. I thanked him, but turned his offer down, not wanting to send this homeless man out into the rain.
He told me he was impressed with how well-behaved my children were, and he offered a dollar to buy them a candy bar. I couldn't accept, I mean how horrible of a person would I be to take money from someone who clearly needed it more than me—but he insisted. He said the dollar wouldn't save him from being homeless, but buying my kids a candy bar for being so patient and well-behaved would make him feel normal and some days he just needed to feel normal.
It was an act of kindness I will never forget. I think of that gentleman often.
From Beyond the Grave
My grandmother made a ton of birthday cards in advance. After she passed, I still received birthday cards from her for the next few years. It was a little weird, but I cried happy tears whenever I got to read words from her after she passed.
Duty of Care
A paramedic helped me after I was in a car crash. He took his time to come back to the car and bring me back my front tooth, which was really tiny and he offered to go and look for in the wreck. At the same time, he found and brought back my partner's phone. I don't know his name, and I was in such a state of shock that I can't even remember what he looked like.
Still, he put my tooth in a special liquid and the hospital team managed to put it back, saving me a lot of money. There was also a woman officer who put a blanket on me and made sure I kept it. The hospital only managed to take it off me right before I left. It was a green standard first aid blanket, and I don't know why I refused to let go of it (again, shock) but it provided a lot of comfort. Thank you so much, guys.
Get Away From It All
The nicest thing someone I know has done was for someone else. My brother took a fellow band nerd on a high school graduation road trip for several weeks. Thing is, the friend was dying of leukemia, and they both knew that this was going to be his first and last road trip. No timetable, just one day at a time across the breadth of the US.
Found in Translationpeople walking on street during night timePhoto by Yu Kato on Unsplash
I worked in Korea for a bit. It was late at night, and I decided to surprise a girl I was talking to by heading to her apartment. It was around 10:30, and unbeknownst to me, the subway stopped running at 11:00. Unfortunately, I was halfway there, so I decided to message her. She told me to take a specific bus to get to her place. I get on the bus, and I don't have the slightest idea which stop I should be getting off on.
Well, about 10 minutes later, a load of people get off on this one stop. An older Korean businessman sees me and motions to me that there's an available seat next to him. He starts talking to me in English and he says that the stop where I'm getting off is one stop before he gets off, and that he'll let me know when. We start a conversation about where he works, how he learned English, what I'm doing in Korea.
By the time we knew it, his stop came up. He profusely apologized to me and said that it was the stop before. I said, "It's okay, I'll just walk the opposite direction." As we get off the bus, we're both walking in the same direction. As we come up to an intersection, he flags down a taxi, tells him the subway station to drop me off on, and he paid the fare. All this while still apologizing to me. That guy was just such a good person, you know?
Moms Just Know
I was involved in a hit and run on my bicycle in Chicago. I broke my collarbone, and a stranger drove me to the ER. I was going into shock and freaking out about finances—I’m a single mother. The stranger gave me her number for the report and such, but then she made a gesture I’ll never forget. She later sent me $5k because she knows what it’s like to be a single mother with nothing.
I sobbed. I hadn’t gotten my unemployment yet. I was overwhelmed by her kindness.
Friends With Benefits
I was having a panic attack for the first time. It swung between so euphoric I thought I was going to "ascend" and terrified that my life was going to end in pain. I called my loved ones to say goodbye, including my best friend. He came running from a block away. He was terrified too, but he held it together, sat me down, hugged me, told me that he didn't want me to go anywhere, and that he needed me right here.
I needed that. I needed to see what I felt wasn't based on reality, needed someone to say that I should not obey those feelings because I was needed and loved. On some level, he saved me. Years later, he voluntarily went into homelessness just to fly out to see me on another continent. Yes, we're together now romantically. No, I don't know how I got so lucky. We're planning the wedding. :)
The Art of Caring
When I was a freshman in high school, I took an art class that was a mix of 9th-12th graders. I was really bad with people back then, so I spent most of class sitting on the floor between the trash can and the drying racks and never speaking to anyone. Still, there was this one 11th-grade guy who would always make it a point to talk to me.
He didn't know me or anything; he just happened to sit near me. But he'd always ask about my day or compliment my art or offer to help me with my math homework. At one point, he even managed to get me to sit at the desk with the rest of the students. It's just one of those things I think about from time to time because he really had every right to ignore me like everyone else did, but he didn't. He really made art class into a second home for me. I miss that guy.
It’s the Little Things
I have an online friend in another country, and one time she made a cake for my birthday with my name on it because she knew no one else would do anything.
Know Your Worthwomen's blue dress shirtPhoto by Tra Nguyen on Unsplash
During my Physics graduate program, there was a terrible professor for two of my core classes. He was terrible at teaching, but also known for complaining at faculty meetings how the grades had been going down in his classes ever since more women started taking them. I put in a ton of work anyway, and despite all that he gave me two Ds for those two classes. I’ve honestly never heard of someone getting Ds in grad school and finishing, so I was convinced my life was over. Then, I learned that I was so, so wrong.
At that point, I told another professor who had been supportive what happened, and he got me a stiff drink to talk it over. In that meeting, he said that technically there was no requirement to take the guy’s classes. Instead, he told me to sign up for two independent study classes, which he would supervise, and all I would be doing is practice questions for the qualifying exam.
So we did exactly that—I studied, and we would meet up a few times a week to go over problems. By the end of the semester, I took my qualifiers, and passed with margins to spare. Today, I’m a postdoctoral fellow in astronomy at Harvard, which never would have happened if that professor hadn’t taken a chance on me and put in so many hours to help me.
It makes me so determined to help all the students in my path and mentor them as well, because people can be so much more than one bad professor thinks they are.
I had just had my father completely cut ties with me after years of estrangement and him being super distant. Obviously, I was a little emotionally uneasy about how “final” it felt, and the implications for the distant future. My live-in girlfriend knew, told her mom, and her mom sent me a bunch of snacks I’ve always wanted to try but never wanted to spend the money on.
Instant mood lifter, and it restated the fact in my mind that there are other people who care about me even if my dad doesn’t.
Pikachu, I Don’t Choose You
When I was like nine, I went to an arcade over in San Antonio, Texas because we were there for a vacation. There was this claw machine that had pokemon in it, and I was aiming for my favorite pokemon ever, but accidentally got a different one. The employee comes around to unlock the thing so I can get my prize. I whine to my mom, "Aw I wanted the Charizard though."
This dude puts the other one back in there, and hands me the one I wanted. I will forever remember you, bro.
Work to Live
My one co-worker got all my other co-workers to donate money for a gift to me from my hugely underpaid apprenticeship. I received $350, which was exactly how much I needed for an upcoming bill. It really saved me when I had literally $0.70 in my account. A few weeks earlier, actually, a different co-worker noticed me not eating and bought me lunch, then many of them brought me leftovers. That apprenticeship was the worst, but the people were the best.
The Good Neighbor
His name is Duong. When I was in university, he was my neighbor. I got into a motorbike accident and couldn’t go to class by myself, so he put me up on his back and brought me to the class like a hero. When my elevator was broken, he climbed all 13 floors to bring me dinner because he knew I couldn’t go out to get it. Whoever is with him for the rest of his life is a lucky person.
Child’s Playassorted color of wicker baskets on displayPhoto by zakariae daoui on Unsplash
I was walking through the streets of Marrakech after it had just rained, and I was wearing those flimsy flip-flops, so all the wet sand from the street was being catapulted onto the back of my legs. Out of nowhere, I feel a tap on my arm. It’s a young Moroccan girl, not older than 6 or 7 years old, offering me her water bottle to clean my legs.
I politely declined because I could never accept to take someone’s water in that scorching heat, but thanked her and her mother profusely. Children are so pure.
Do the Math
I went to a very small school with a bunch of really amazing math teachers, and one really bad math teacher. For example, she tried to sue a kid for "aggressively swinging his backpack" at her when she threw him out of the classroom for something trivial. He had only picked up his backpack in a completely normal manner.
I was slated to have pre-calc with the terrible teacher the following year and was complaining about it to my amazing math teacher, saying how much I was dreading her class. That’s when I got the offer of a lifetime. My amazing math teacher offered to teach me pre-calc over the summer so I could skip a year of math and go straight to calc with the amazing teacher.
So, once a week, each week over the summer, I met my amazing teacher in her back garden, where we had tea and cookies and she taught me pre-calc. A week before school started, I met with horrible teacher and took her pre-calc final, aced it, and got to stick with amazing teacher. I’ll always be grateful someone cared enough about that.
Growing up, I was severely neglected and had no friends due to my lack of hygiene and social skills. One of my teacher aids got wise to it, and brought me to her house to play with her daughter, took me on family trips with them, gave me clean clothes, and just showed me an insane amount of kindness I'll never be able to repay.
Through Thick and Thin
I was fired from my last job. It was the first and only time I had been fired, and it sucked. I really liked that job, and I got super depressed. My friend also lost his job later that week, which really sucked because I knew he loved that job, too. He would always tell me that it was his dream job. And right as soon as he found out, he called me.
He called me to tell me that even though he lost his job, he knew he was going to be alright. He wanted to tell me that to set a good example. I knew he was heartbroken, but he put on a strong face for me. And I'll never forget that. Never.
I’ve never been able to celebrate my birthday. Between my awful mom and horrible relationships, it’s just become a tradition to lie in bed and cry every year. Well this year, my best friend and boyfriend put their heads together and threw me a surprise “party.” They decorated our apartment, baked me a cake and decorated it to the best of their abilities, and got me some small, thoughtful presents. 24 years old, and finally I had my first good birthday. I cried like a baby.
You Shall Not Passman in black jacket driving car during daytimePhoto by Thibault Penin on Unsplash
I went out to a bar drank a bit too much with my girlfriends. Some guy saw and tried to push me into an Uber to take me to his hotel. Then, the bouncer wouldn't let me back in no matter how many times I asked because according to him, "I changed my mind and that's not the guy's fault." No one else passing by wanted to intervene. I was getting really scared—until a good Samaritan stepped up and changed everything.
The Uber driver popped out of the front of his car and wrestled the guy off me. He made sure I was okay, gave the bouncer and everyone else a piece of his mind, too. Hope that guy's doing well in life.
Let the Good Times Roll
I took my sister, who’s in a wheelchair, to the cinema for the first time on my own. At the end, I realized I couldn't undo the brakes because it was a new wheelchair. It was blocking everyone. I felt like crying because I thought everyone was angry at me, but some nice lady helped me, then took me and my sister out. She said she once had a son who needed a wheelchair. This was long ago, but I'll never forget her or the kindness she showed me that day.
I am from 1980's rural Texas, where education was laughed at and where the idea of living in a foreign country was ludicrous. When I was 17, I met a Rotarian (like, a guy from a non-profit) who allowed me to go on a year-long foreign exchange. I had never heard of that concept before and had no real idea of what it meant. At 18, I packed my bags and discovered a brand new world! It honestly changed my life FOREVER. Definitely for the better.
While I was gone, I met other foreign exchange students and learned that it was fairly difficult to get into this program. I'd heard ambassadors’ children were being turned down from it. I honestly think that I got to go because no one else from my area wanted to leave the safety of our small town, while I jumped at the chance. I think about that old Rotarian a lot. I owe him everything for changing my life.
How to Save a Life
Back in 2018, I had a drastic decline in my mental health, which led to a failed attempt to take my life. I had enough of feeling miserable, so I checked myself in to a program. Afterwards, the hospital gave me a number and location to follow up with my newly-appointed therapist. Upon getting to their building, though, they needed me to pay a co-pay.
I didn't have a darn penny on me and said I couldn't pay. They denied me my appointment, and I remember thinking that when I walked out of there I was really going to go through with harming myself this time. Then a miracle happened. Right before I was about to leave, this other patient stopped me, pulled out her credit card and paid my co-pay.
She had told me that this place and these people saved her life. She said she didn't want me to lose mine because I couldn't afford to be cared for. The intensity of that relief almost cured my debilitating depression, I never felt so grateful in my life. I sincerely hope that lady is flourishing and being the best self she can be. She saved my life; that is the greatest kindness someone has ever done for me.
Those Who Can Do, Teach
My English teacher when I was very, very young. She was the sweetest I've ever had. She knew I loved the Harry Potter books, even though they were not super popular in France back then. So one day, she brought me HP-themed coloring books from her trip to England. It made me so happy that she thought about me even though she was away from school.
I Recommend This Manwhite mug on brown surfacePhoto by Pablo Varela on Unsplash
My boss and mentor wrote me a glowing reference and pulled some strings to get me into a graduate program, even though I was severely depressed and my work performance was nothing to be proud of. I couldn't comprehend or remember anything due to an undiagnosed disease, and I also acted extremely awkward socially. I really don't know why he went so far out of his way to change the trajectory of my life, but I’ll always be grateful.
I've had many people do nice things for me, but one stands out. I was very young, maybe 16 or 17. I'd had a terrible car accident and needed to get to a specialist downtown during my recovery. I wasn't a confident driver to begin with, and I had never driven downtown and got hopelessly lost. This was before everyone had cell phones.
I stopped at a pay phone in a grocery store. I was sobbing and scared. I couldn't describe where I was, since I was so lost, and I didn't know how to get turned in the right direction. A little old lady stopped to ask me if I was OK, so I told her where I was going and that I didn't know how to get there. She was shocked that I was SO LOST.
I was so far removed from where I was supposed to be. I wasn't even close to downtown. So she literally drove there in her car while I followed her. She just pointed out her window when we got to the address and I turned in. I never got to properly thank her. But it was far from over. To make it so much worse, once I finally got there, I was told they'd had to cancel my appointment.
I broke down, and an elderly couple came to comfort me and gave me some money and said to please take some time to calm down at the cafe next door, have some lunch or something. Twice in one day, I was approached by kind people who just wanted to help a teenager. That was over 25 years ago. I still don't like to drive downtown, but I do. I think of those people every time I have to go there.
Saving the Day
My dad cancelled my weekend with him a day before we were supposed to go to Six Flags and do other stuff together. My best friend's parents found out and duplicated all the activities. It meant so much to me.
Hit the Road
I was given a car by a former co-worker. At the time, I was walking or riding my bike eight miles one way just to get to work, and then another eight miles to get back home. When working with her, she asked if I wanted a car. I thought she was joking, but said yes anyway. About two weeks later, she said her husband had this old car that he fixed up and it’s ready for me.
From there, she had me meet up at a notary, and all I paid was for a title transfer and tax, which only came around $150. It wasn't the nicest car, but it worked. The car lasted a year, but still to this day I am forever grateful someone would gift me something that truly helped out tremendously. Then, she said there was a catch. I started to get nervous, but it was actually so heart-warming.
The catch was that, whenever I'm able to, I have to pass along a good deed. I've tried to pass this whenever I can. I sincerely appreciated all the help, Debby, and I wish only the best for you and your family. I'm still working on passing along good deeds as we have agreed. Thank you so much for your kindness, especially during a time in my life where I thought there was little hope. There is always hope.
Color Me Surprised
A woman I worked with a few years ago knew my 30th birthday was coming up and asked me what I was doing. I just said I’m visiting family, but she also found out that I’d never had a “surprise” before. I might get a present and maybe a bit of money and I was happy with that. I had no idea the gift she was about to give me.
At my parents’ house, they’d forgotten to buy a cake, so I just picked up a Victoria sponge cake and stuck a couple of tea light candles on it. It was fine, I don’t complain. But when I got back to work a week later, my lovely colleague had organised this beautiful two-tier birthday cake surrounded by gifts! And then she really surprised me.
She produced tickets for us two to get a drink at this ice bar place and tickets to go to the theatre. She did this because she remembered me saying I hadn’t been since I was a kid and no one I knew was interested in going. I was so shocked, I was nearly in tears. This was the very first birthday surprise I ever had. I will never forget my 30th birthday because of my colleague.
A Purr-Fect Presentperson walking inside building near glassPhoto by Heidi Fin on Unsplash
I worked as a retail cashier at a drug store. It was the Christmas season and CRAZY busy. We had tins of chocolates on sale for under $10, and they had designs of kittens and puppies on them. I mentioned to a lady who was buying a bunch that one tin in particular looked identical to my cat. She bought the tin and gave it to me!
I actually cried. To have a stranger spend their own money on someone else in that capacity. I’ve never had it happen before. It was years ago, and although the chocolates inside are long gone, I still display that chocolate tin every year at Christmas.
I was in a boarding school, so I couldn't go home or anything like that, and I was also really out of touch with my emotions. Very “keep calm and carry on.” One day in class, I was having REALLY REALLY bad period pains, and since I'm not the kind of person to share much, I was trying to hide it even though I was pretty much in agony.
My friend sitting next to me could clearly see something was wrong, and eventually I told her. So she sneaked into the dorm where you're not supposed to go during class hours for me to fetch some medication. She also offered to bring me dinner so I didn't have to move once I got home from class. She even told me jokes and stuff to cheer me up. I’ll always be grateful.
I couldn’t be there for the passing of my grandmother because I was at university, so my uncle had a bracelet made for me. It was engraved with her handwriting.
One Happy Ending
I had a really bad home life growing up. My friend—and at the time she was only loosely my friend—had two incredible moms who heard what was going on with me, and pretty much immediately got involved. At the time, I was emaciated, constantly terrified, and never let anyone get close, especially adults. When it got really bad, I used to dumpster dive and collect scraps from the school cafeteria for food for myself and for my brother.
I was chronically sick, mentally ill, rarely slept, and skipped class all the time. My friend's parents started dropping off bags of food at school for me and my younger brother. One night, they invited me over and I just...never left. They moved my brother into the house. They had absolutely no money. Not a freaking dime.
The money that used to be split between four people (two kids, two moms) was suddenly split between six. The house we shared was a half-finished re-modeling project and a total hazard. We didn't even have doors installed inside! Just curtains. To me, though, it was magic. I thought the fact that we didn't have sinks—that we had to crouch over the tub to wash our hands—was mythical.
My moms hugged me every morning and told me how special I was and how proud they were of me. For the first time in my life, I was stupidly, ridiculously happy. Every morning I woke up, my heart would race until I thought it might burst. I was literally that happy to be alive. The second I woke up—I mean the second—I bolted to the kitchen to say good morning to my moms and get a hug.
My friend (now my sister) and her family did everything for us. No rhyme, no reason. I stopped skipping school. My grades improved. I started earning scholarships. I got into a fantastic university. I now have a degree, a fantastic job, friends, and a family that I love.
Kindness Is in Short Supply
On the last day of school, I was helping my art teacher clean up for the summer. She knew I was rather poor growing up, so she gave me all the leftover paper, some really high quality bristol board and watercolor paper, all of the leftover prismacolor pencils, tons of paint brushes, and other various art supplies. It was her last year teaching, and she didn’t care to save the stuff for the next year. I still miss her. She was the best teacher I've ever had.
Long Time, No Seephoto of pub set in room during daytimePhoto by Jason Leung on Unsplash
I was at a restaurant in Boston by myself on a Friday night. It was 7 pm, so I was just enjoying a nice dinner by myself before heading back to my hotel. There was a man with a wedding ring on who asked me if the seats next to me were taken. I told him no, and he and his friends sat down. He eventually started chatting with me and it was friendly, but then he started hitting on me.
I brushed him off, and he slightly backed off…but then started eating French fries off of my plate. I pushed the plate away and asked the bartender for my check. I was in the last seat at the bar, so I had nowhere to go other than to wait, and the bar was packed. The guy then tells me I’m beautiful and asks if I want to go back to my hotel with him.
I told him again no. He asked again, I told him I was married and he said “So? So am I.” I’m so grateful for what happened next. All of the sudden, this voice says to me “Oh my god! What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you in so long!” And a woman hugged me. This woman and I chatted and pretended we were old friends while I paid. She then walked with me to my Uber to make sure I got into it safely and that he didn’t follow me. I don’t know where this woman is now, but she made me feel safe.
I went on a homecoming date and ordered a bunch of food. While we were there, this old couple ended up buying our dinner because we reminded them of what they used to look like when they were young. I’m very grateful, because I didn’t actually have enough money to pay for dinner. I was maybe $30 short. I’m still with the girl three years later.
A Grave Secret
I have many family members interred in a small cemetery with a few unattended graves that I occasionally clean and place artificial flowers on. Sometimes I do the ones around them. I feel morally obligated to honor their memory. One day, I found a letter. Its contents were heartbreaking. Obscured behind my father's flowers, in an inconspicuous brown envelope, was an effusive message of gratitude from an old woman whose arthritis incapacitated her.
She had seen my maintenance of her husband's grave from her house across the road and wanted to thank me for my compassion. I was confounded because I never anticipated any recognition. She said she asked her daughter what she could do to compensate me, and she purchased an iTunes voucher for her mother to give me in the envelope.
It was one of those letters and gestures that the gratitude and appreciation emanated from the very paper. The handwriting was so elegant and fastidious; I know she took an inordinate amount of time composing her words. She loved her husband beyond articulation. We have tea together twice a month now.
A Class of His Own
When I was in school, I had a classmate who was terminally ill. He wanted to do all the things he wouldn’t grow up to do, and pretty much our whole school got involved. One girl’s parents owned a nightclub, and they decked out the VIP lounge and served mocktails to roughly 100 students. The kid wanted to be a police officer, and one boy’s dad arranged for him to go on shift with him for the day.
He wanted to go on a beach holiday, and the teachers put little kiddie pools around the long jump pit with water in. We all did something off his list. He got 62 valentines cards in October! He was always such a kind and thoughtful guy that everyone was happy to join in. His mom messaged me a few weeks ago just to catch up and she said she can’t believe that this year it’s 20 years since he passed, and she's so grateful that everyone made his brief time on earth so wonderful.
A Little Something Extra
My dad is a retired junior/senior high school art teacher. Every single morning for well over a decade, he packed an extra lunch and put it in a place in his classroom where a student whose family was struggling could take it without making a big deal of it. Eventually, when the older student graduated, one of his younger siblings started taking his class.
The kid would already know he could take the extra lunch bag without having to face talking to my dad about it, or being embarrassed in front of the class. I used to ask why Dad packed two lunches while I was growing up, and he would just say, “I sometimes get extra hungry.” My mom later told me the truth. He is such a quiet, humble, and extremely generous man.
Reddit user OmarBessa asked: 'Redditors who have gotten genetic tests, what's the weirdest thing you learnt from your DNA?'
At the end of the last century DNA laboratory companies began to offer direct-to-consumer home DNA test kits.
According to The Center for Genetics and Society, as of November 2023 more than 26 million people have taken an at-home ancestry DNA test.
These tests have helped people find and reunite with long lost family members. However not all revelations were well met.
Unknown ancestry was discovered.
Infidelity and secrets and lies were also exposed by these tests which led to strife in some families.
Reddit user OmarBessa asked:
"Redditors who have gotten genetic tests, what's the weirdest thing you learnt from your DNA?"
"So my dad is from the Philippines and my brothers and I all assumed our whole lives we are half Filipino and half Polish/German from my mom. Even my brothers married Filipino women and are very much into the family culture."
"Anyway I’m the only one who did the dna test and it came back we are only a 1/4 Filipino."
"There’s a mix—1% Japanese, 1% South American, etc...—but the big surprise was our missing 1/4 was Iranian/Romanian."
"My brothers flat out refuse to believe it."
"Learned that I (White) had a 100% Nigerian ancestor around 130 years ago. Now I want to dig deeper to find out who it was!"
"What’s funny is that I spent a gap year in Nigeria as a teenager, and I love the culture and food and still have a lot of Nigerian friends."
"It’s still a big part of my life."
"For 29 years, it was assumed that my dad who raised me was not my biological father, that I was the product of an affair my mother was having."
"I came out with blond hair, freckles and blue eyes. A stark difference to my tanned, dark featured dad."
"My dad chose to raise me as his own anyways, refusing paternity tests. I was never made to feel like I wasn't his."
"I took 23&Me simply out of curiosity and found out that he is in fact my biological father."
"My dad has told me he didn't want to know the results either way, but I let it slip showing my sister's the app one time at dinner."
"He didn't react, but I got an extra big bear hug getting on the train to leave that night."
"It was assumed when my mom found out she was pregnant that the pregnancy was the product of the affair. My features only solidified that assumption."
"He was already raising my mom's first daughter as his own, who he'd met when she was 2 and told my mom he wanted to keep raising the kids together. They got married and he adopted her a few months after I was born."
She was also treated so much as his that I didn't even know she was adopted by him until I was a teenager."
"My parents stayed together for 14 years, and to this day are still best friends."
"As an adult, my father-in-law found out his mother was actually his grandmother and his older sister was actually his mom."
"Things were different in the late 30's."
"I think this is quite common, especially when the real mother is still very young and in school when they get pregnant."
"The grandparents will adopt the baby and say they’re the mum’s sister/brother, and so the mum can continue their life as normal as possible."
"The daughter I adopted and I are actually distantly related!"
"As an adoptee who is considering doing the DNA thing, this intrigues me."
"My brother (also adopted, not a blood related sibling to me) did the DNA thing and found his birth family! I got to meet two of his half siblings. It was fascinating seeing 'nature vs nurture' in real time."
"There were certain mannerisms, etc... that all three of them did, and then other things my brother did that are definitely from the family we were raised in."
"Really cool to watch."
"Not me but my grandma got a DNA test done because she was sold as a baby—this happened back in the 30s (Depression Era, USA)—and never knew her biological parents, so a family member urged her to do it so we could maybe find them."
"We found both sides—a half-sister from her bio mom and a half-brother from her bio dad."
"Although it was kinda weird to realize we have family close by (only 20 miles away in one case), it was much weirder for the bio families to discover my grandma’s existence, since neither side had anything to do with the other."
"Her bio mom and bio dad seem to have crossed paths at some point in the same city. He was a married man, she was an older teen. Not sure if it was a one night stand or whatever but her bio mom was pregnant as a result of that night."
"At some point in her pregnancy, she checked into a home/hospital for pregnant unwed teen mothers (using a fake name). The bio mom was told the home would find homes for the babies, so she delivered and left."
"Bio mom went on to marry and have her own family, while bio dad likely never knew of the situation."
"As it would turn out, the home was not adopting out babies, rather selling them. Since my grandma was blonde and blue eyed she was bought quickly for a higher price by a woman."
"My grandma didn’t know until her teens that she was sold."
"My grandparents—they were married at the time—had a biological son they gave up for adoption before my mother was born and never told any of us about."
"Turns out some of the extended family knew my grandma had been pregnant before my mom but kept it a secret."
"If it was during the great depression in the US it was sadly something that happened. Not even just with babies."
"Some families had to give away their children or some of their children (I can't imagine the trauma for everyone involved) because they couldn't afford to feed themselves, let alone a child."
"My husband's grandmother told me about family members she knew who had to find new families for their children or even send them to live in an orphanage where they would at least be fed.
"Sometimes they were able to get the kids back after finances improved but not always."
"My ancestry is exactly what I grew up being told, I have several family members who were really into genealogy".
"But I found out I have a first cousin we didn't know existed."
"Apparently, my uncle had gotten married and had a son no one knew about when he was 19 and stationed across the country that he bailed on."
"Ends up my bio dad was quite the dabbler."
"None of his relatives were surprised I existed, just that I was the only stray kid that did (so far). I keep an eye on my results for any other mystery siblings!"
"I told my new half siblings if I ever went to a family reunion I'd show up in a shirt that said 'Spare Parts' or 'I'm your plot twist'."
Solving Unsolved Mysteries
"I had the same suspicions when I took my test. Turns out it was my grandmother instead with the secret babies she put up for adoption."
"Didn’t find out until 6 years after she passed away so we’re never getting answers as to what happened."
"Also got a surprise contact by the police, as I was a high match to a John Doe that was found drowned on the shores of Lake Superior in 1991."
"That was a fun family tree rabbit hole to dive down. Turned out to be a half 1st cousin from my grandmother’s firstborn."
"The local police were great about informing me and communicating. The case was assigned to them by the provincial police who were clearing out thousands of cold cases."
"I was also very excited to assist because I’d done a rather in-depth family tree about a decade prior."
"They have a team of forensic genealogists, most of them on a volunteer basis, and they were incredibly good at finding information. A lot of it was birth/marriage records and working off random dna matches to try and figure out where the Doe related to the match."
"In my case, I was a 422cm match to the deceased so we looked from my maternal great-grandparents on down."
"I assisted myself on a couple of cases afterwards, all just unidentified bodies found in water or bush, nothing criminal that would require clearance."
"To be honest, I felt a little morbid because of how interested I was in the process. I had to temper my enthusiasm when responding to the police initially."
I didn’t know the person, I had zero attachment to them and it was more of a scientific interest."
"It wasn’t until weeks later when I realized how close of a relation it was that it hit me. That plus he was likely murdered made me feel bad about my earlier enthusiasm."
"But in the cases I volunteered on, those people were loved and missed."
"One fella was a cousin of a beloved NHL enforcer that passed away a year before and I recognized the names of the immediate family we had to contact. They still had Facebook groups dedicated to searching for him with posts until the day before we contacted them."
"I’m sure there’s a relief at having answers but grief at the loss being confirmed."
More and more people are exploring their roots through DNA testing.
Have you taken a test? What was your DNA revelation?
Content Warning: Discussions of Addiction
We've all heard of strange, inedible things that people have made a habit of eating, like paper or glue. Unfortunately, there are instances where eating these things works more like an addiction than a dietary choice.
There are a lot of other things that people might become addicted to, too, that have nothing to do with food, but which also are not the usual culprits for addiction.
If someone that we know is addicted to something unusual and isn't hiding it the same way that someone addicted to drugs might, it can be a really strange experience to witness.
Curious about others' experiences, Redditor JARClol asked:
"What is the weirdest thing you are or saw someone addicted to?"
"I used to know a girl who was addicted to eating those little polystyrene chips that are used for packaging."
"She always had a bag of them with her. The noise she made when she was munching on them used to set my teeth on edge."
"Don't tell her about the biodegradable ones (which actually taste nutty)."
A Hairy Situation
"A roommate in college was addicted to hair. She collected hair and made hair people. She would use the community vacuum cleaner, take out the hair, wash it, and make hair people."
"She would also go to salons asking for the cut hair 'for her family’s garden' and then proceed to make hair people."
"She had hundreds of them with names and stories about them."
"I kept my hairbrush locked up after it was cleaned out the first time."
Pen and Ink
"Eating markers, like the tube of it. Inside the casing. I told his mother and her reply was, 'Oh, he's doing it again,' like... Again? Toxic ink? Again? I don't mean licking it. I mean chewing. Black ink in saliva and swallowing the ink-soaked sponge."
"I knew a dude in high school who ate the ink from pens. Every class, gnawing on a pen, eventually breaking it open then sucking on it like a straw. He regularly would be drooling ink. I left that school sophomore year, and I wonder whatever happened to Abe."
"Abe? Was his last name LINKoln?"
The Strawberry Milk Fan
"I used to work with a girl who would just chug liters of strawberry milk. Every time I went to the toilet after her it stank of milk. She was eventually diagnosed with Type-Two Diabetes and gave up the milk… briefly."
"Yeah, I'm not surprised. I'm Type-Two, and strawberry milk usually has more sugar in it than chocolate milk. The smaller-sized cartons you get at lunch usually have 22 to 40 grams of sugar in them and a s**tton of sodium (no, I'm not joking), so a liter would have hundreds of grams in it."
"I got it after 23 years of poor choices and family medical history. She got it by decimating her pancreas and s**tting a machine gun."
"And you said briefly, meaning she's probably worse off. Like, I still have sugar, but I try and have less of it. I f**k up a lot because it's hard, but f**k, if she went back to drinking liters of it, I wouldn't be surprised if she's had some other issues."
Just a Taste
"My best friend used to eat fabric softener in high school. She wouldn't have huge mouthfuls or gulps; she would take just enough to coat her tongue."
"She would keep bottles of it hidden around her room so she could have a taste whenever the mood struck her. I love her to death, but she’s a strange one, lol (laughing out loud)."
Weren't We All?
"I used to be addicted to Candy Crush back in the day. After running out of five lives, I couldn't wait for them to be available so I would forward my clock just to be able to play. My phone was set to the year 2030ish by the time I stopped playing."
"Wow. You time traveled. That's a loophole though, isn't it? You never had to pay for fake things."
Just After a Few Beers
"Not so much addicted but I had a friend in college that would huff the fluid in his zippo lighter when he was really drunk."
"Treavor wasn’t allowed to have his lighter after a few beers."
"I had a good friend in high school who had asthma who’d take hits off his inhaler, all day long. We’d be talking and he’d just casually whip it out whenever and take a hit. Ended up going to bed a couple of years after we graduated and never woke up."
"I'm sorry. He probably f**ked his heart up. I hate taking my inhaler. It makes my heart race and makes me shake and feel like s**t."
"Growing up, I used to take two Albuterol vials in my slow, old 90s nebulizer during asthma episodes. That thing was a TANK."
"I got a brand-spankin' new travel nebulizer in college and remember that first time I used two vials with it. I thought I was having a heart attack. That thing is POWERFUL and I wasn't expecting it. Two vials were far too strong and had me shaking for over an hour."
"I still have it to this day, and when I take it once a year or so for a flare-up, even one vial still makes me shake a bit."
The Truth Behind the Problem
"I visited Nairobi for work around 2000 and the street kids all walked around with a small bottle of glue stuck to their upper lip so they were basically sniffing glue continually. It was extremely sad."
"Probably something similar here in the Philippines. Homeless street kids sniff a plastic bag with a bit of contact cement in it to get rid of/to numb the hunger sensation. Not an addiction but a survival tactic… in my opinion."
"Same in Zambian. Not stuck to their lip but carried and sniffed when needed. It was apparently to numb the body from feeling the cold in winter. Painfully sad."
Never Underestimate Soda
"My first-ever girlfriend was genuinely addicted to Coca-Cola (self-admitted). She would have a glass as soon as she woke up and drink it all day."
"The one or two times I was there when her family had run out of it, she was irritable, anxious, and so grumpy until she was able to get down to the store to buy more."
"Strangely, it wasn't even the caffeine or sugar she was addicted to, because having a coffee or a different type of soda wasn't enough to ease her withdrawal symptoms."
"I had a friend who slept with a cooler of Diet Pepsi next to the bed. He had a large Slurpee cup that was always full, no matter where he was."
"We did a five-day offshore fishing trip. He ran out late on day four."
"As we pulled the boat into the dock, he literally ran and jumped onto the dock and raced to the soda machine at the far end."
That's One Way to Use It
"My Spanish teacher was addicted to Vix VapoRub! Not to use it traditionally, though."
"She was eating it."
"Apparently, she knows that it's not a secret, because she ate it using a tongue depressor right in front of us, during the first week of school. I guess she figured we couldn't poke fun at her if she owned it."
"She literally demonstrated! She said her grandfather taught her and she likes the consistency/overwhelming scent."
"I can't imagine it's good for her."
Live to Game
"Rocket League. I'm not even joking. The guy was in his 20s and playing up to eight hours a day."
"He used to be super social and became a hermit pretty much for seven years. He would pretend to be sick at work so he could play three days straight."
"He lost his whole social life. He spent New Year's every one of those years sitting in a dark room with windows covered, playing that game."
"I tried to get him to stop but never worked."
"I used to be addicted to chewing on ice, or maybe obsessed. I would bring a cup full of crushed ice with me everywhere. When I went to the beach, I would just bring a bag of ice from the gas station and sit and eat it."
"I stopped for ages and then became temporarily obsessed again during one of my pregnancies. I was checked for vitamin deficiencies both times but nothing came up."
The Use of Chapstick
"I'm addicted to chapstick. I can't go more than three hours without applying it."
"I think my lips are relying on the chapstick now because they get dry so quickly. And it feels like nails on a chalkboard when they do, I can't focus on anything else besides my lips being dry until I get some chapstick, lol (laughing out loud)."
"Here’s a pro tip someone told me: before you put chapstick on wet your lips so there’s actual moisture to lock in."
"I also find Vaseline is way cheaper and way more effective. I use it once in the morning and once before bed and I’ve gotten chapped lips like five times in the last seven years."
An Interesting Choice!
"Judge Judy. And it was me. My boyfriend introduced me to the show in my mid-thirties and I binged it on YouTube, listening to it whilst working in our warehouse/driving/cleaning/anything."
"Six years later, if I have a task that I really need to get into productive mode for, I put her on and my brain shifts gears."
"At one point, it felt weird to work without her voice in the background yelling at people. She’s like my white noise. She’s my default soundtrack."
These accounts were honestly fascinating, and in some causes haunting, to read.
It just goes to show that, first of all, we all like different things, and second of all, you never know what is going to qualify as "too much of a good thing" for one person compared to someone else.
Those who work in different fields all have their respective anecdotes that are sure to keep listeners engaged.
But certain jobs that keep employees away from land are sure to have the most intriguing stories to share.
Seafarers shared their unique experiences bordering on hair-raising phenomena when Redditor tylo144 asked:
"For those who have careers that keep them out at sea for long periods of time, what is the creepiest thing you’ve seen out in the water?"
Mariners shared their wildest stories from their time out at sea.
"Not so much what I saw but what I experienced. I was once underway in the Gulf of Alaska during a November gale. Waves were up to 35 feet with some rollers hitting 45. An uncommon occurrence on the diesel electric ship I was on was a cyclo-converter tripping. When this happened the ship would temporarily completely lose power and propulsion until some electricians could reset everything. This happened during that gale. I simply can’t explain how strange it is for the boat you’re on to all of a sudden go so quiet, that you can clearly hear waves slapping the ship and metal bending and flexing. Knowing you’re completely at the mercy of the sea. Knowing that if the ship lost its bearing and went beam to there was a real possibility of capsizing. It’s easy to forget when you’re at sea that the only thing keeping you alive is a bunch of steel welded together. At that moment I was fully aware and it humbled me. Thankfully we trained frequently for this and had everything fired back up relatively quickly."
"Another time I recall was when the ship took a rogue wave. They are absolutely real and I believe they account for a massive number of shipwrecks. It was late at night and I was on the bridge. We were passing through a storm and we’re taking the waves off the bow with no visibility. As the ship moves there’s normally a pretty standard pattern. You ride up a wave for a bit and then you fall down the wave for a bit. Well we started riding up a wave and got to the point where we should have been starting or ride down…but we just kept climbing and climbing. And then it happened. We started our ride down the back of this massive wave. All of us braced ourselves and tried to find something to hold on to but we all fell to the deck any way. Anything that wasn’t secured for sea fell down all around us. Manuals, tables, computers, printers, you name it. Our captain who was sleeping called up to the bridge asking if we hit something. It woke the entire crew up. Rogue waves are real, and they’re terrifying. I can’t imagine being in a smaller boat or taking one of them broadside."
Series Of Bizarre Events
"I was in the US Navy for about 10 years, and have 10s of thousands of miles at sea in an aircraft carrier. Countless nights on the flight deck in the middle of the night and middle of the ocean..."
"Creepiest: A HUGE patch of the ocean glowing. Like nuclear waste in the Simpsons glowing. I've seen bioluminescent algae of a few kinds and this was nothing like it. I've never seen anything like it before or since."
"Weirdest thing: hundreds of mile out to sea from land and there was a MASSIVE fire on the water. It was like the top of a gas refinery, but on the water with nothing under it but water. Flame going a few stories into the air."
"Funniest: 2 flying fish collide mid-air. I was smoking when we were in the Persian Gulf and saw the fish fly from a pretty far distance towards each other. I remember thinking 'there's no f'kin way they're going to hit' them SPLAT SPLASH! I was in tears laughing but no one saw it. Everyone just thought I was a weirdo, but I got to see a miracle of nature lol"
"Some 20 years ago..."
"On the MV Explorer (since sunk) down near the Antarctic circle, sailing around the 'bergs and occasionally making landfall..."
"We rounded into a small bay area, and there, amongst the ice and coast was an unmarked sailing yacht. Which is odd as generally yachts have some identifying markings on them."
"To add to it, they didn't respond to any radio contact, and whilst I wasn't privy to the conversation (and it was a long time ago), some crew went across via Zodiac and were refused boarding."
"So basically a yacht, not a particularly large one, that was unmarked was hanging around in the inhospitable waters of the Antarctic and didn't want any help or contact."
These Redditors have fearlessly plunged into darkness.
"I used to be an oilfield diver in the Gulf of Mexico. I'd say about 80% of the dives I logged were at night. Mostly 500 ft and under DSV's."
"It's very eerie feeling sitting on the downline doing in water decompression in the middle of night. I'd always ask topside to turn off my headlight."
"Like a worm on a hook. Just bobbing in the darkness."
A Dark Calm
"Not even nearly as extreme as your story but it evoked a memory, I did a scuba diving open water course and then did the advanced course which included a night dive in a freshwater lake."
"I was only 5m underwater, pitch black darkness with two other guys, we were on a platform and we could either face the dam wall or the open water, and I turned to the open water while the other guys were behind me, I turned off my light (we did have little lights on our backs)"
"Just the deepest, calmest dark I’ve ever felt and seen. Not a single source of light anywhere, just immense darkness. Still remember that feeling and it was like 15 years ago"
Things get more interesting.
"The bioluminescent animals (or whatever they are) in the water is pretty amazing. Our toilet would fill up with seawater and if you took a piss in it in the middle of the night it would agitate the water and it would glow sometimes."
"Ominous Red Snow Angel"
"Always love the bio-luminescence flickering around the hull at night. They're almost like a cushion of little stars guiding you safely along. On those really dark, moonless nights, I'd almost beg for them to arrive."
"I sailed 70ft yacht around the world a few years back. Southern Ocean, Cape Horn, Good Hope, Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties, two equatorial crossings; the full deal. Plenty of terrifying moments, boring moments, funny moments and beautiful moments."
"A creepy moment that is burned into my memory involved a near catastrophe halfway between NZ and Cape Horn. We ended up hitting really bad weather and absolutely huge seas - 50ft swells with massive troughs in between. We were running with the swells for days as they grew, skidding down them like a bloated surfboard, always worrying that the next wave would break behind us and roll us over."
"At night it's pitch black down there in bad weather - the sky and sea just form a huge black mass. The most terrifying thing is the sound of an invisible wave breaking behind you. At night, you run red light to preserve night vision, so there's basically just an eerie red glow emanating from below deck."
"At about two in the morning, I was at the helm when a monster wave broke directly over the back of us without a seconds warning. Time slowed down like it does in those moments, and the last thing I saw was my own silhouette in the wall of water, lit up like an ominous red snow angel - and then nothing but cold blackness as the boat sunk into the sea."
"Fortunately, she popped straight back up like a cork after a few eternal seconds - almost like a submarine surfacing - and we were still in one piece. Still cant forget that glowing red apparition of myself though. The memory of it has woken me up in a cold sweat more than once."
Coming Up For Air
"Somewhere in the Atlantic, nice cold as f**k night, decided to step out and look at stars. About ten minutes on and a boats mast pops up, sits there a few minutes and then back under. No alarms, nothing. Just some sub boys getting a bit of late night o2 in the middle of nowhere next to some friends."
When I worked on cruise ships, I was always captivated by the green flash on the horizon.
The optical phenomenon occurs just as the sun goes down or before sunrise, with the tip of the sun barely visible.
It emits a flash of green light that I found absolutely thrilling to witness every time.
It's not necessarily creepy, but still a wonder for sure.
No matter how long ago we saw it, there are some scenes or images from movies that still send shivers down our spine or keep us awake at night to this very day.
Pennywise appearing in the sewer in It, Janet Leigh surprised in the shower in Psycho, Freddy Kreuger's tongue popping out of the telephone in A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Of course, some of the scariest, most disturbing, or most emotionally traumatizing scenes from films might have been featured in films outside of the horror genre.
Even more shockingly, some of these films were primarily marketed towards children!
Redditor alina_love was curious to hear which non-horror films the Reddit community saw as children still send shivers down their spines today, leading them to ask:
"What's a non horror movie that traumatized you as a kid?"
It Was Tim Burton, After All...
"'Pee Wee's big adventure'."
"Large Marge scared the crap out of little me."
"I was even scared of the fortune teller."- BlueStarrSilver·
With A Title Like "Temple Of Doom"...
"'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'."
"The scene where the guy gets his heart ripped out traumatized me for years."- Pbhf
That Funeral Scene Though...
"Fear of death, fear of losing a friend, fear of bees, fear of puberty."- heidismilesmacaulay culkin kiss GIFGiphy
Jurassic Park's Got Nothing On This...
"'The Land Before Time'."
"Watching Little Foot’s mother die was awful."- HourglassSass
He'll Always Regret Not Bringing Her To The Museum...
"'Bridge to Terabithia'."- jumpstart-the-end
"Everything goes so well and it falls apart SO FAST and your left absolutely traumatized."- VortexDestroyer99
The Reason People Hold On To Their Appliances For As Long As They Do...
"The Brave Little Toaster'."- Catgurl
"The junkyard scene alone was responsible for so many nightmares."- ManChildMusicianbrave little toaster animation GIF by Coolidge Corner TheatreGiphy
And Let's Not Forget The Coachman's Smile...
"Disney’s version of 'Pinocchio'."
"The scene where kids are turned into donkeys and kept on the island and then resold was f*cking weird."
"You felt bad for that bully kid after he looked sad and nobody understood what he said because he was a donkey."- earnestlikehemingway
Few Things More Sad And Scary Than Deforestation
"'Ferngully: The Last Rainforest'."
"That evil tree scared me so bad."- slutsdotnet
Anything But "Truly Scrumptious"...
"The 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Childcatcher guy!"
"I'm still scared of him!"- Jet_Maypenchild GIFGiphy
Offing Children One By One...In A Children's Movie!
"'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' boat scene."
"Honorable mention of claustrophobia when Augustus gets stuck in the chocolate tube."
At Least We Know He Had A "Sole"...
"Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
"That poor shoe….."- dalalice5555
At Least The Song Is Catchy...
"Not even Artax, which was awful, but the Rockbiter and his good strong hands."- marxychick1Neverending Story 80S GIFGiphy
Dorothy Gettying Electro Shock Therapy Says it All...
"Return to Oz."- Jeff_Steelflexx
"Horrifying! What about the animated wig heads?"- weensfordayz
The Reigning King Of Childhood Trauma
"Old Yeller."- IceTech59
"I remember watching this on TV during, I think, Wonderful World of Disney (Sunday nights were Disney night on TV)."
"Cried and cried and cried."
"I've never been able to watch it again and I've never shown it to my kids!"- crowwitch
Not All Friendships Are Tenable... A Terrifying Thought
"'The Fox and the Hound'."
"Still makes me incredibly sad, lol."- mental_reincarnationbest friends friendship GIFGiphy
Sometimes, writers and filmmakers simply overestimate what might go over a child's head.
Or, for that matter, they might underestimate their emotional capacity.
Regardless, ask any of Fairuza Balk's fans which is scarier, Return to Oz or The Craft, and their answer will be immediate...
(... and it won't be The Craft...)