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People Reveal The Moment They Knew They'd Become Fluent In Another Language

In today's interconnected world, learning foreign languages is an invaluable skill. The younger you start, the more success you will have - and that eureka moment when you realize you're fluent can blow your mind.

Stallin_Grad asked polyglots of Reddit: What was your "Holy cow I'm fluent now!" moment?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

10. Goals.

When I forgot to read subtitles.


That must have been a crazy moment when you realized.


I was at a movie theater and some dude in front of me was blocking the subtitles so I was struggling to read them. After like 10 minutes I just realized I could just listen to the movie, I'm not sure why I'm even trying to read the subtitles.


9. Jumped to the right conclusion.

When a 4-year-old girl said to me "hay una rana en el cuarto de baño de chicas." I was like "there's a frog in the girl's bathroom? No, I probably just heard that wrong" and sort of brushed it off.

It turned out there was, in fact, a frog in the girl's bathroom.


It seems you translated the sentence incorrectly (EN->SP), it sounds too robotic; a better translation would be: "Hay una rana en el baño de chicas". You over-translated.

7/10 - See me after class.


8. Kids can learn unlimited languages.

I didn't really have that moment. I learned English mainly through watching videos on the internet. Whenever I didn't understand a word I'd just ask someone.

I don't remember a specific moment or anything. I just remember one time I couldn't pronounce the difference between 'dog' and 'duck', and when I got more contact with the internet about two years later, I was watching twenty-minute Minecraft videos on YouTube with no difficulty understanding them whatsoever.

It might have been because I was quite young.


You even learned the grammar from videos, too? That's cool!


This is how I learned English too, I distinctly remember not getting the difference between 'my' and 'mine' and then figuring it out. Same with the past participle of verbs.

And now I'm an English teacher and though I understand if students are struggling with the grammar or something, I just can't relate to it.


7. Machen your skills known.

I argued with some random dude in German.


6. The drama.

I speak only very loose Spanish, but one time in Walmart a guy was yammering in Spanish to a poor clerk who clearly couldn't keep up with what he was saying. I asked, in Spanish, if he had a problem—among the mile a minute Spanish I picked out enough to realize he was going to his niece's birthday—and we were in the card isle. I asked him how old she was and gave him a Dora the Explorer card for that age. He tried to give me a twenty but I wouldn't take it.


My Spanish is very loose. When I was in college I worked the dorm offices. My boyfriend/co-worker at the time was Mexican and spoke Spanish. He had a friend who was a foreign exchange student from Spain. The foreign exchange student, had an issue getting his mail. The mail clerk that day was a fat, lazy, slob of a human being who continually asked people to switch shifts to get out of work.

Anyway the foreign exchange student came to the office and started complaining to my boyfriend in Spanish about not getting his package that he needed ASAP. This was right before spring break and he was going skiing the package was his ski goggles. The packed showed it was delivered, but they hadn't sorted it into his box yet. It was not a big deal to search for a package for a student, it was a small campus. We did it a lot.

I pick up enough of the conversation to look at him and go "Did that b!tch not give you your package?? Did she look for it?" He gives me a slightly terrified look and shakes his head no. I take him back down to the mailroom and search for his package which was right on top. He signs for the package, as we're walking back he asked where I learned Spanish. I explained I know just enough Spanish to be dangerous. He responds, you know just enough Spanish for me to know never to talk about you in Spanish.


5. We love accents.

I had two Americans complimenting my English and saying that they couldn't hear any accent at all (I am from Denmark).


Same thing, but I'm always like "WTF" when americans say someone has no accent when I can clearly hear one.


I hear quite a lot of this kind of thing and it seems an American thing in particular. Maybe to Americans nobody has an accent unless they speak like Arnold Schwarzenegger.


4. Did you do your daily lesson?

When the Duolingo bird gave my family back.


He still has my family.


あなたのかぞくはほしいですか? あなたはそれを請います。


Sorry but your first sentence should say kazoku wo or kazoku ga hoshii. Your family isn't the subject of the sentence rendering the participle ha (wa) appropriate since you are the subject (implied the question is asking you) and your family is the object. Really should be participle wo but in my head it sounds better with ga.

Also in your second sentence it's unnecessary to say anata wa because you already established in your first sentence who the subject is. Not wrong, but redundant.

Not trying to be a butt, just helpful. Japanese is a difficult language.


This man Duolingos.


3. Generally a good sign.

When I started to actually understand what they were saying, instead of guessing based on the words I knew and what happened.


I guess you could say,

no really you could say or speak in a different language.


2. Bon!

When a train announcement was made in French, then English. I realized when the English announcement was made that I didn't even notice that the first one was in French. I understood it without having to think about it.


Sometimes people would ask, "when you had that conversation, which language were you speaking?" and I honestly couldn't remember if I had it in French or English.


I had a friend who once switched from English to Norwegian in the middle of an angry rant (Norwegian was her first language). We all just stared at her blankly until she stopped and asked what was wrong. She had no idea she'd changed languages. It took her a minute to even process that she'd done it!


1. Mission accompished.

When I started thinking and dreaming in that language. And when I started forgetting how to phrase some things in my maternal language.


Same here. I was like "wtf" when i knew what the word meant (for example, chimney) but couldn't rephrase it in my own language lol.


Ah, the innocence of childhood; a time of simultaneous wonder and confusion. Kids interpret things differently than adults because they don’t fully understand how the world works yet. As a result, people end up with memories from their youths that they can’t make sense of until they’re older. Does this ring any bells? Then read on as Redditors share their most interesting childhood mysteries that finally got solved years later.

1. Sometimes Parents Run Out Of Patients

I met my wife in college. When we were dating, she often mentioned that when she was a kid, she had a play doctor’s kit that someone swiped from her house. She had some surgeries really young, so her parents bought it for her to de-mystify the doctor’s office. She’d use it all the time on her dad, poking and prodding him.

One day, I asked her about the theft. Did they take everything? Jewelry? The TV? Other valuables? No, no, and no. Then, it hit me. I asked, “So, someone broke into your house and only took your doctor’s kit, leaving anything worth fencing there?” She replied, “Yeah, why?” I responded, “Did you ever consider your folks were tired of you using the kit on them all the time after you got better?” She finally realized. “Oh, dang.”

We confirmed it with her dad later, but for 15 years, she had believed some thief broke in and ONLY took her beloved doctor’s kit.


2. Messing With Mom

I solved a family mystery for my mom. I wasn’t allowed to play console video games during the week until I was 18, but some nights I’d really be craving it, so I would noiselessly creep through my house into my basement where I could play video games in peace. But once every 30 times or so, one of my parents would need something from the basement, so I’d quickly turn off the TV monitor, hide in the guest room, and pray they didn’t turn on a light or notice the Xbox was on.

One night, I ducked into the guest room and hid behind the bed. To my horror, my mom followed me into the room and turned on the lights. I was panicking, so when she started digging through the closet with her back to me, I made a run for it. I nearly brushed her shirt—if she’d seen me, I would have probably given her a heart attack. But I made it and kept going all the way to bed.

About five years later, my mother commented to me something along the lines of, “You’re such a quiet walker,” and I told her it was because of my basement trips, thinking that I had nothing to lose. My mom’s face immediately went kind of solemn, and when I explained, she said, “So there really was someone down there.”

She explained that she remembered that exact night and felt that a ghost was in the room. Over the next couple of days, she’d stare into space and just say, “I can’t believe you were really there.” She seemed to get over it, but she probably checks empty rooms closer now.


3. Something Seems Fishy Here…

person holding black and silver fishing reelPhoto by Brady Rogers on Unsplash

One evening, while camping, my brother caught a fish that we decided to keep alive in the cooler for some reason. Well, the next morning, we ran out to see the fish, and it had grown like five inches! We were so excited, and we didn’t know how the fish grew that much overnight. But last year, we brought it up, and my dad finally told us what really happened... That's when we realized it was all a lie.

He said that he had gotten up that morning and saw the fish get taken by a raccoon, so my dad spent the next hour or so frantically fishing for another one. He said he caught the new fish—the first one he could catch—just a few minutes before we got up. I had never questioned the fish’s growth as I grew up, but I felt like we probably should have wondered about that more after hearing what really happened.


4. Practice Makes Perfect

When my father would take us camping, we'd often go on hikes and bike rides. He taught us about safety in the woods and on the water and how to navigate using maps. So it wasn’t all that strange when, on a random day, he said that we would be playing a game where we’d be blindfolded and taken on a drive. The object of the game was to call out what direction we were turning by feel, and then ultimately, after driving for about 30 minutes, give a rough guess of where we were and which direction home was in.

He was impressed with how well we did. We then took off the blindfolds and went for a hike. I never thought much about it. Years later, I suddenly realized why we played the game—my dad was into psychology, especially child offenders. He was kidnap-proofing us, but in a lighthearted way, so there was no fear or trauma.


5. How Rude-Olf Her

When I was 10, my godfather gave me 20 dollars as a Christmas gift. However, the money had disappeared by the end of the dinner. For years, my parents blamed me for being irresponsible with my money. Years later, we figured out that my cousin’s fiancée at the time was a kleptomaniac—after she got caught stealing stuff from my aunt’s house. It turned out she was the one who took the money.


6. He Stood Corrected

man holding chain-link fencePhoto by Milad Fakurian on Unsplash

When I was six or seven years old, I visited my dad at the place where he worked... or so I was told. I remember remarking about it at the time, and people laughed at me because I said it looked just like a prison. The people laughing were the guards, and I was indeed visiting my dad at the Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution, where he was a federal inmate.


7. It Was A Trick Of The Light

While driving, my dad could make street signs (stop signs, mile markers, speed limit signs, etc.) light up and then turn off with a simple hand motion. He would never do it when other cars were near so that “they wouldn’t be alarmed or see the magic.” My sister and I begged him to do this on every car trip. It wasn’t until I started driving that I realized he was just turning his brights on and off, and the light was reflecting off the sign like it was supposed to.


8. A Whisk Not Taken

I was solely responsible for washing the dishes in my teens. The only thing was, I was really bad about getting them done with any consistency, so I was always catching flak for that. When I was around 14, my mom noticed that she was missing some pots and pans and that the drawer felt light on silverware. So, she searched for them.

After turning the kitchen upside down, she concluded that I just did not want to do the dishes. She theorized that, in order to avoid getting in trouble for not doing them, I simply threw them out in the trash. The accusation stuck despite everything I said to defend myself. I caught backhanded comments and scolding about that for years.

Then, when I was 19, we visited a trailer my grandfather put on some rural property he owned. My mother then found a bunch of her dishwares. She realized she had left it there and that I never actually threw any of it away. My stepdad apologized to me immediately, but I never got any such thing from my mom herself. I resented her for that for a long time afterward.


9. They Didn’t Know ’Squatch

a person in a garmentPhoto by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

When we were kids, my buddy and I would ride our bikes up the road to this horse ranch that sat upon a hill. I have so many memories of that hill. Anyway, in the distance was another huge hill that was eventually bought and turned into a winery. Trees covered the entire hill except for the bare area that faced toward us.

Well, on one autumn afternoon, my best buddy and I spotted something very furry walking on two feet from one tree to another on that hill. This hill was hundreds of yards away from us, and whatever we saw was clearly bigger than us. As the sun was setting, it started to approach us. We. Freaked. OUT. Obviously scared the heck out of us, and we took off screaming down the road on our dirt bikes, away from whatever that thing was.

Many years later, I discovered that what my buddy and I saw was likely a bear walking on two feet. For nearly a decade, my buddy and I would’ve sworn we saw Bigfoot.


10. Something Strange In The Neighborhood…

When I was around six to eight years old, I remember I had to start asking my mom to go play in the backyard with my siblings so that she could supervise us. We never had to do this previously, so my siblings and I were very confused. Any time we didn’t ask, we got in big trouble. Eventually, when we got older, my mom finally told us the truth. We were absolutely floored.

It turned out the neighbors were harboring a known pedophile in their house, and that’s why mom got so upset with us going outside without asking.


11. Dads Are Dedicated To Their Craft

I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation with my dad when someone in the show told Riker to “wash his back.” When I asked my father why someone would say that to another person, he said, “So you can smell someone coming up behind you.” It wasn’t until years later that I understood I was really just confusing the word "watch" for "wash"... It also showed me how committed my Dad was to keep up the deception for his personal satisfaction.


12. A Different Kind Of Worship

assorted magazine lot on white and blue containerPhoto by Jose Antonio Gallego Vázquez on Unsplash

My dad is an ex-Catholic. Every night until I grew up and left the house, he’d tuck me in and say, “We love you. God bless you. Goodnight.” I always wondered why since he had stopped going to church long ago. Fast forward to me being 28 years old—my dad and I were watching an old Bruce Springsteen concert together (one of his favorite artists), and at some point, Bruce said, “We love you. God bless you. Goodnight!” at the end of his set.

I turned my head toward my dad and asked him if this was why he’d said that for years to me at night. He just laughed and said, “I have no original material.”


13. Paws For Thought

When I was four, I vividly remember getting into my mom’s car. She kept telling me that our cat had passed. She told me how she rushed him to the vet because something was seriously wrong. Despite her best efforts, he apparently passed. I never knew why he passed and why it happened so suddenly, but I accepted that it happened.

Fast forward about 15 years—I was home from college for the holidays, and on Christmas Eve I drove to the store with my dad and uncle. They talked about the cat my parents got for Christmas one year. When I heard the truth, my jaw dropped.

My dad said, “Yeah, that thing was too aggressive. I took it to a farm and gave it away.” Normally, when the family pet dies, the parents lie to the kid and say it “went to a farm upstate somewhere” to ease the burden. My parents told the opposite lie: they told me the cat passed away to cover up the fact that they just sent it away to some farm.


14. What A Sweet Idea

Growing up, my family was poor. Yet, when I was 10 and all of my friends were having these crazy birthday parties with petting zoos, bounce houses, clowns, etc., my mother decided to throw me a birthday party as well. I would end up having a sleepover for my birthday when I turned 11. It was great—we were going to make ice cream cones! We got all the stuff out with my mom, but when she opened up the box of cones, they were all smashed up.

She explained that we weren’t having regular ice cream; we were having “magic castle sundaes” because the broken ice cream cones resembled the sections of a castle. We all thought this was great, and we enjoyed them. When my friends went home, they even asked their parents to make magic castle sundaes.

Two days ago, I found out that my mother was getting past sell-by foods behind the grocery store (the food was not expired, just past the sell-by date). She had no idea she got broken cones until she opened them with us. She thought of the magic castle idea quickly, and we all loved it. It just goes to show how stupid kids are.


15. He Got Layups Instead

basketball player about to free throwPhoto by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

My husband told me that when he was in middle school, there was a certain time of the day when he’d get pulled out of class to shoot free throws in the gym—only him. He didn’t think this was strange, but he also didn’t understand why he was the only one that got to do that. It turned out that his parents told his teachers he couldn’t participate in sex education.


16. Down The Rabbit Hole

When I was little, I used to have this experience where all of a sudden, my perception of size and distance would get all wonky. I would look at everything around me, and things would all look small and far away. I always felt like a giant, yet when I looked at my hands, they’d be so small. This only ever happened at night.

To deal with the sensation, I would get up, go downstairs, and walk around a bit in the kitchen. Then, after some time, it would fade away. I told my mom about what I was going through but she just brushed it off. Fast forward many years later—it turned out that I had what’s called "Alice in Wonderland syndrome." Kids get it sometimes, and then the symptoms disappear as they get older.

Apparently, it’s harmless?


17. Beet The Odds

When I was in grade school, I walked from my house to school every day for about a mile. On my walk, I would always stop and give my vegetables to a homeless dude, so my mom would think I ate them. One day, while I was on my walk, a friend from my class pulled over with her mother. Her mother offered to drive me to the school with my friend.

I told her no. I had to give that dude my veggies, or else I'd have to come home with uneaten veggies and get in trouble. Also, I know now I could have just tossed them, but I was a dumb kid. Anyway, her mother got really pushy and insisted I get in the car, but I just continued on my way. That was the last time I saw that friend.

I was little, and we weren’t super crazy close or anything, so I didn’t think anything of it. Later in life, I thought about her and asked my mom if she remembered the girl. It turned out her estranged drug addict mom kidnapped her, and no one could find either of them. We lived close to the Mexico border, so they think she left the US.

My mom freaked out when I told her the story and was also kind of mad that I used to give my veggies to a homeless dude.


18. O’Really?

rock formation beside sea under white skyPhoto by Henrique Craveiro on Unsplash

I figured out my dad wasn’t on a “business trip” in 2005. He was at my uncle’s wedding, and he didn’t want to take me all the way there because it was in Ireland. He knew I’d want to go if he told me. In hindsight, I probably should have picked up on the lie. My dad is a school custodian.


19. Hospital Heartbreak

I had meningitis when I was two years old. My baby brother also had it, but he passed. I had the viral for while he had the bacterial form. I grew up thinking I had it first, and I always felt like I gave it to him and that I was the reason he passed. I know I shouldn't have thought that way, but oftentimes, you can’t help what you think; especially when you’re a kid.

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that he actually got it before me. I don’t know why no one had ever told me that before. Maybe they didn’t tell me because they weren’t aware that I always harbored this guilt about it since I kept everything inside. Not one person had ever mentioned to me that he had passed before I got it.

I was in the hospital for about three weeks, so it could have been before or during my hospital stay.


20. Music Speaks To The Heart

I remember being in the car with my dad when I was eight years old. I was in the front seat and we were driving somewhere. At some point, this song came on the radio. He cranked the volume up and said something about the guitar player being the best ever. He really jammed out, which was super uncharacteristic because he was usually so stoic. It was the only time I heard the song, and he passed before I could ever ask him what song it was.

When I asked around, no one knew what I was talking about or what the song might be. So I had this melody in my head for years, I had no idea how I was to look up a song that had no lyrics. For years and years, this song stayed in the back of my mind. I was afraid to forget it. Then, somehow, this story came up when I was like 26 or so while chatting with my husband. That's when a lightbulb turned on in my head. We searched YouTube for “best guitar songs.”

After about 15 minutes, we found it. “Cliffs of Dover” was the song that I’d burned into my brain on repeat for 16 years. Now I jam out to it with my kids.


21. Don’t Drink The Pool Water

A man diving into a pool at a party.Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Once when I was about seven or eight, my family was having a pool party, and my twenty-something aunt was sitting by the pool with a glass of clear liquid. I was hot and thirsty, so I reached for her drink, and she said, “Don’t drink that; it’s pool water!” I wondered why in the heck she’d have a glass of pool water but I left it alone.

Years later, as my family’s drinking habits became clearer to me, I realized that she was probably drinking booze.


22. An Old Classic

For over 20 years, I had a very distinct memory of seeing this movie with my dad around the holidays in our living room. It was a black and white movie, and I had a vivid memory of only this one specific scene. I was probably about six or seven when I watched it with him. I never got the title and that bugged me for the longest time. I would think about it periodically for years because I remembered it being so cool... I just wanted to know what movie it was so I could check it out as an adult.

Then one day, I can’t even remember where, but someone online had described this movie and mentioned the name. It sounded really familiar to me. I looked it up on YouTube, and it turns out the movie was Babes in Toyland/March of the Wooden Soldiers. The scene I remembered so vividly was all of the soldiers marching out of the toy shop. Figuring this out was literally one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever felt in my life.


23. The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors

I grew up in the deep South. As a child, we would take a winter trip up to Stowe, Vermont, to see my grandparents. While there, I would hear scary ghosts wailing outside the windows at night. It was terrifying! But once my grandparents moved south, we stopped going.

When I was in my 30s, I took another trip up to Vermont. During my first night’s stay, I heard the ghosts again! I freaked out until one of my siblings calmed me down and explained what was going on. It turned out, I was getting scared for absolutely nothing—the winter winds up north are just way different than the southern night winds. Suddenly, my general fear of the dark disappeared as I fully realized the source of the sound.


24. An Enlightning Revelation

File:Tonnerre de Zeus.jpg - Wikimedia

I grew up wondering about the mystery of Zeus. When I was very young, I very distinctly remember having a friend named Zeus. How could you forget someone with THAT amazing of a name? At some point, probably in third grade, he moved away and disappeared. I could never even find him in the yearbooks. It was like he never existed. My mother, my family, and everyone kept telling me that I imagined this kid.

Then, one day, I was telling my wife about my old best friend Zeus, the kid who vanished off the face of the earth and took every person’s memory of him with him. I even showed her where he used to live when we drove by and recounted the day I went to his birthday party. I remembered that he had a great piñata and everything.

My wife stared at me for a moment and then asked, “Honey, did people yell for him a lot? Like, ‘Hey Zeus, come here?’” I said, “Well, of course, they did. How else would they get his attention? ‘Hey, Zeus, what’s up? Hey, Zeus, how are ya?’ Duh. That’s a silly question.” She inquired, “And he had a piñata?” I replied, “Yeah, why?” Then she dropped the truth bomb.

My wife then answered, “Sweetie, I bet you his name was JESUS. HEY-ZEUS. ZEUS.”

It was like being hit with a truck of realization. I asked my mother later and, yes, I did pal around with a kid named Jesus. It was one of the greatest mysteries of my life and it turned out it was just me being a dumb-as-a-rock kid.


25. Christmas Cookies

I always wondered how Sinterklaas made the pepernoten fall through the ceiling. I was CERTAIN that the Dutch version (Sinterklaas) was real because, in December, pepernoten (tiny Dutch cookies) would suddenly rain down on me. I thought Sinterklaas was on the roof, dropping it through the ceiling.

I was so convinced about this that I bragged to the kids in my class that MY Santa was real and theirs was fake. I simply told them that Dutch Santa only visits Dutch kids in America. The truth was that apparently, my mom would carry handfuls of pepernoten in her pockets, and when I wasn’t expecting it, she would throw it up in the air above me.

I don’t know how I didn’t realize what was going on at the time... The first year I was in on the secret, I watched my mom throw pepernoten on my brother It seemed so obvious.


26. Thanks For The Great Memory, Dad…

My dad used to burst out with this one line of a song occasionally: “...said Barnacle Bill, the sailor...” Only ever that line. When I was six or so, I asked him why. He said it was an old drinking song that was absolutely filthy, and I was too young to hear the rest of it. This continued once or twice a year until I was 18.

Once I was older, I told him that I was an adult now so he could tell me the rest of the song. I distinctly remember him looking up from the newspaper, sighing and folding it, then going, “The truth is I can never remember the rest of the song.” And then he went right back to reading the newspaper.


27. The Copycat

three assorted-color kittensPhoto by The Lucky Neko on Unsplash

When we were young, my brother and I got a pair of kittens: a black one (mine) and a grey one (my brother’s). They got some vaccines, and sometime later, we woke up one morning to find that the grey kitten had grown. I thought, “Wow, cool! But why didn’t my black kitten grow too?” It was strange, but whatever. I stopped questioning it.

It turned out that the grey kitten randomly passed one night. My mom sent my dad out to get a new grey kitten so we wouldn’t be sad. All he could find was a slightly older and bigger grey kitten. So they told us one of his shots helped him grow. I believed that until late high school. My mom finally came clean to us one random evening.


28. Oh, Snap!

My dad used to say he could stop the rain for a moment by snapping his fingers. He’d always do it in the car when it was pouring. I was so mesmerized. I told all my friends about it, well into late elementary school. I’ve since realized he’d snap as we drove underneath an overpass.


29. Nature Can Be Cruel

I had a guinea pig in kindergarten that turned into many guinea pigs after I babysat the class guinea pig for Christmas break. My parents were thrilled... (not). Anyway, my teacher took the entire guinea pig family back to her house—she was supposed to sell them, and then give back my guinea pig. They never returned, and my parents told me they all got sold together as one big happy family... But it was all a big, fat lie.

I didn’t find out until I was maybe 25 that a coyote actually got into the cage and they all got eaten together as one big happy family. This is the way.


30. The Mystery Caller

santa claus with red backgroundPhoto by krakenimages on Unsplash

When I was like eight or so, I answered our house phone. It was a man who asked to speak to my mom. He didn’t ask for her by name... he just said, “Could I speak to your mom, please?” I asked who it was, and he answered, “It’s Santa Claus!” I was so excited that I ran to find my mom. I told all my friends for days that SANTA CLAUS HAD CALLED MY HOUSE.

This led me to believe in Santa for a few years longer than most kids normally do. I was HEARTBROKEN when I found out that Santa wasn’t real. Years and years later, I remembered to ask my mom who had called that day. It was our reverend, and my mom was a deacon. He had known me for years, so he recognized my voice when I answered, and he knew what age I was. It had never occurred to me.


31. Homeschooling Seems To Be The Norm Nowadays…

I was homeschooled growing up. I begged my parents to let me attend regular school when I reached high-school-age. They kept saying my math programs didn’t line-up right, and that I might get stuck an extra year if I tried to go. I was thinking about it the other day, and I was like, “Well, dang.”

I’m pretty sure it was not completely true, and they just didn’t want me going to normal school. I don’t know why I just realized this.


32. The SisTerminator

I had nightmares for years. In literally every dream I had, my older sister was a robot trying to kill me. She would come in the form of a tank, things that looked like Transformers, or a metallic spider, and she had a lot of knives and stuff on her. My dreams would conjure every single metallic robot you could imagine with my sister’s face on it.

I had these dreams for all of elementary school, but it was solved when I brought it up at the age of 17. I was born super early—I mean SUPER early—at four months old. I was born with so many issues and complications that I spent five months in the NICU, where I received a lot of attention from doctors. I also had multiple surgeries and a feeding tube put in me.

My mom was sad that I couldn’t meet my sister and that my sister couldn’t meet me (she was four years old at the time). So my mom put a picture of my sister’s face above me in my incubator thing so I could see her. A cute idea, but this ended up causing my brain to put together the only two things I knew—surgical tools and scary hospital equipment with my sister’s face on it.

It took us so long to figure out what the heck those nightmares meant.


33. Paranormal Paralysis

woman covering her face with blanketPhoto by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

When I was 12 or 13, I had a horrifying experience one random night. I woke up completely awake (not dreaming) and felt encased in transparent concrete. I could only move my eyes, and even though I was breathing, I couldn’t control it. Everything was bizarre... I could sense a malevolent presence in the corner of my room, but I couldn’t turn to look at it.

This went on for what felt like hours. I was drenched in sweat and felt like I was suffocating because my adrenaline had kicked in big-time, but I couldn’t increase my respiration. Finally, after trying to scream a thousand times, I was finally able to get a squeak out. I kept going and going until I was screaming at the top of my lungs, but my family didn’t come to check on me. At that point, I really thought I was going to die.

After another thousand tries, I was able to start barely moving. I finally broke out of the encasement and realized what I thought was my screaming was a barely audible whisper. I didn’t wake my family because I had nothing to tell them that they wouldn’t simply dismiss as a “bad dream.” I didn’t go back to sleep that night, and I had horrific insomnia for decades until my 40s when I saw a documentary about people who said UFOs had abducted them.

It was a dry, fact-based documentary, and they had experts on explaining that many such “abductees” were actually experiencing something called “sleep paralysis.” My jaw hung open. I called my wife in, as I had told her about my “supernatural” experience, and we listened as these scientists described my experience EXACTLY.

Here, after decades, was the clinical description that literally changed my life. My sleep began returning to normal, and my mental health improved.


34. Nom, Nom, Nom

I wasn’t a kid anymore, but some years back, when my mom was terminally ill, my family was receiving food-based gifts from a lot of our friends: prepped dinners, baked snacks, a restaurant gift card or two; the usual support friends extend when people they care about are going through tough times. For a long time, I remembered dad asking me if I’d tried any pastries we’d gotten from some family friends. We’ll call them the Nelsons.

I let him know they were a little dry but very tasty, and he chuckled. It stuck with me because it was an odd reaction. It wasn’t until a couple of years later while driving home that I remembered his reaction and the fact that the Nelsons had suggested easing some of mom’s pain with marijuana, which they grew at home around the same period.

I had eaten pot cookies. I feel like an idiot for not realizing it, and I don’t remember anything that happened after eating the pastries.


35. The FUNcle

My uncle, who was single with no kids, lived a few houses away from my grandparents. My siblings and I would often go between the houses. We always loved my uncle’s house because he had a huge fish tank of tropical fish, and he let us play video games. He was the most fun uncle there was—he was always taking us to the movies, amusement parks, fishing, and golfing, and he was just fun to be around in general.

He always had us rolling with laughter. But over time, he became less okay with us popping over, and we resorted to sneaking into his house. We didn’t get very far along, and it made him angry when he caught us. From that point on, we always just saw him at my grandparents’ house. We used to joke with him about having a girlfriend over.

Fast forward 17 years later, he had a massive heart attack, and while he was in the hospital, his sisters went into his house to look for paperwork and get the house ready for his return. That's when we uncovered his dark secret. There they found ROOMS full of empty bottles of cheap booze. My uncle had a severe drinking addiction for years, and none of us knew it. And suddenly, so many little things started making sense. He ended up dying shortly thereafter of organ failure. He wasn’t even 60 yet.


36. Turtle Recall

brown and black turtle on white surfacePhoto by Craig Pattenaude on Unsplash

When I was younger, like four or five, my family had a pet turtle. One day, the turtle went missing, and my parents told me it climbed the wall in our backyard to go to the creek behind our house. I, being a naive toddler-child, did not question this logic. Fast forward to when I was 17 and driving with my mom in the car—we saw a tortoise crossing the street, and I was suddenly brought back to my memory of us having a pet turtle.

I pulled over to save the tortoise and was all, “OH MY GOD MOM, TURTLES CAN’T CLIMB WALLS! WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR TURTLE?!” I came to find out it had burrowed a hole in our lawn, and my dad didn’t notice it until after he ran it over with a lawnmower. Obviously, it was easier to pick up the pieces and tell your kid it climbed the wall than admit that it lost its life to a lawnmower.


37. Jolly Old Saint Nixed

When I was a child, I believed in Santa Claus. As I grew up, I became more skeptical of his existence. But there was one fact I couldn’t get over—one fact that kept me believing longer than any kid should: How did every single adult have their story straight? Every grown-up could name the reindeer, tell you where Santa lived, how he got around, what he wore, how his toys got made, what you'd get for being naughty, etc.

How could it possibly be a lie when everyone knows all of these exact details? It would have to be a cover-up of a massive scale, possibly organized through secret meetings held by the government that only adults could attend. I toiled for years, wondering exactly how they could coordinate such an elaborate lie. I finally broke when, one year, I asked Santa for coal, and instead got CHARCOAL—suspiciously the same kind my parents kept in the garage.

I interrogated my parents, and they finally had to fess up that it was all a lie. They told me that every fact they knew about Santa came from stories, songs, movies, and television. There was no corporate conspiracy; just a bunch of adults that had heard far too many shopping mall winter playlists.


38. The Game Bugged Him For Years

As a kid, I played Medal of Honor: Allied Assault with my brother. We got to the fifth level, which took place in a rainy French city similar to the one in Saving Private Ryan. However, we always got stuck on the first objective, which was to locate the bazooka team. There were no clues as to where this team was in a giant rubble-filled city with poor visibility.

To make things worse, hidden enemy snipers would constantly fire at us, making the search much more difficult than it already was. My brother and I practically scoured every nook and cranny, but we never found this team. If the bazooka team was trying to stay hidden, they were doing a good job. In the months that followed, we reinstalled and replayed the game several times, but we would always get stuck on that level.

Fast forward several years, and I got the digital version of Allied Assault for nostalgia’s sake. I dreaded playing the fifth level, but to my surprise, I easily cleared the first objective by happening across the bazooka team’s corpses in one of the buildings. It turns out the CD we originally played on had a bug where the bodies were never even rendered into the game.

All we did was waste several hours looking for a group of people that never made it to the battle in the first place. Giddy at the prospect of finally completing the game, I happily continued the level only to quit when I kept getting sniped by those dang hidden snipers.


39. The Ring Of Truth

gold ring on brown wooden tablePhoto by Roman Derrick Okello on Unsplash

My grandmother is extremely religious. Despite this, she was surprisingly chill about both my sister and me having children out of wedlock. It never made much sense to me why she was so understanding when I knew she did not approve of it. Cut to my wedding, after the ceremony she called me over and put a ring in my hand.

It was my late grandfather’s wedding ring; it was a gift that I wore as my wedding band for many years. Once I started inspecting it, I saw there was an engraving on the inside. It had my grandparents' initials and the date of their wedding. That date was AFTER the day my mother was born. That's when I realized: “She’s rotten, just like us.”


40. The Yo-Yo Effect

One day, my friend was over at my house playing video games. My mom called us over to her room to help flip the mattress over. So we did. We then went to another friend’s house. My mom later called me at that friend’s house and said, “There were two $20 bills on top of the dresser. Did you get them?” I said no. I then asked my friend, and he also said no.

Around five minutes later, my friend asked if we wanted to go to the toy store because he had $40 in two $20 bills. I said yes and we went—he bought me a yo-yo or something. It took me YEARS to finally realize that my friend took the money.


41. The Writing Was On The Wall

When my brother, my sister, and I were kids, there was the incident of the “little M’s.” I must have been about five years old, while my brother was seven and my sister was nine. One evening, my mom had been decorating the living room, and about halfway up the wall, there were these little squiggles that suddenly appeared in pencil over the fresh paint.

They went the whole way along the wall and around the entire room. When my mom saw them, she hit the roof. There were hours of screaming and trying to get one of us to confess to writing on the wall. I was the prime suspect being so young, but on closer inspection, the little squiggles looked like little “M’s.” Because my sister’s name began with an “M,” she was also a suspect.

My mom sent us all to our shared room to talk about which one of us would confess. We knew that none of us had done it, but we still had to confess because my mom was... well... crazy. Being the youngest, we decided I’d receive a lesser punishment, so I took one for the team.

Many, many years later, we asked our mom about it. She admitted that she had figured out the next day that it had bled through the painting from underneath. Someone must have marked a border around the room; possibly for a dado rail or something. We laughed it off, but we were pretty angry that she didn’t admit it and apologize to us at the time.


42. Fit To Be Tied

brown knob on brown surfacePhoto by Elias on Unsplash

One time, when I was a kid, I had a bad dream. I dreamt that my parents locked me in my room by tying a rope between the doorknobs of my door and the bathroom door directly across the hall. I thought it must have been a dream because my parents would never do that to me. But years later, I found out that was exactly what they did.

Apparently, I had horrible night terrors, and I would run screaming into their room. After so many sleepless nights, they couldn’t handle it anymore. My door didn’t have a lock, so they came up with the rope solution. Thank goodness I eventually grew out of the night terrors.


43. The Hooch Heist

I’m from Ireland, and as unusual as it was, my parents never drank. Every Christmas, our family friends would forget about this and give our parents booze as gifts. Naturally, my parents either threw those bottles into the storeroom or regifted them. But one year, when I was eight years old, my parents got this awesome bottle of 40-year-old Scottish whiskey.

It was a cool looking bottle, so they placed it with pride on the mantlepiece. Then, when I was 16, my parents decided to go out of town for the weekend. My brother, who was 18, decided we should pull an Ocean’s Eleven on it—take the bottle and go to a massive house party with lots of beautiful-looking ladies.

I told him that we would surely get caught because this bottle was the pride of the house. My brother—who is so cunning that if you placed a tail on him, you could call him a weasel—explained that we would drink the finest bottle of booze on this side of Bonnie Scotland and then take it home and fill it with cold Irish black tea.

We duly did this and had an amazing time at the party. Mom and dad came home and were none the wiser. Day turned into night, days turned into months, seasons passed, years went by, and both my brother and I were in college. We returned home one Christmas and noticed straight away that the bottle on the mantlepiece was gone!

We were like, “Oh, no. Mom is going to murder us.” However, no one said anything, and we all had a great Christmas. Again days and nights went by, seasons came and went, and a few more years added up.

When I was around 24 years old, I worked in a hospital for a while and often had lunch with the janitors, cleaners, and handymen who worked there. After three months, one older Irish gentleman I got to know very well said to me, “Young man, do you like whiskey?” I answered, “Of course I do.” He replied, “Well, let me tell you a story.”

He then said, “Many years ago, your father asked me to paint the outside walls of your home. When your father went to pay me for my hard day of work, I refused. Knowing that they didn’t drink, I remarked if I could lift that 50-year-old bottle of fine Scottish booze. Your father thought this was an amazing deal, and I went home happy. My wife made me a steak and poured me a large glass, and I sat on the porch on a lovely summer’s day. Then I drank the dang cool tea and nearly took a heart attack.”

At this moment, I was literally in the end scene of The Usual Suspects. I couldn’t believe it and didn’t know what to say. Simply, I was gobsmacked. I offered to pay the older man for his work; however, he refused and laughed, saying that he was young once too. I am now 45 years old, and my parents to this day don’t know that we took the bottle, swapped it out with tea, and then a poor auld man drank it years later and never got paid for his honest day’s work! Only in Ireland, folks.


44. Birdbrained

When I was a kid, we had a pet bird. One time, we went away for a weekend and left it with friends, but their cat “knocked over the cage and it flew away.” Years later, I was like, “Wait, their cat definitely slaughtered our bird, and mom didn’t tell us.” I brought it up with my mom, and you could see realization dawn on her face. She said, “You know what, maybe you’re right.”

So, yeah, my mom didn’t lie about it, but it’s possible our friends did. Or maybe he got away after all...


45. The Driver Got BUSted

yellow school bus on road during daytimePhoto by Rodolfo Talala on Unsplash

For a while, in about the second grade, we had a bus driver who drove strangely. One time, he even tried to get the bus down a really narrow lane where it got stuck between a building and a tree, and we all had to get out and push. But the time I'll never forget was when he didn't drop off my friends and me at our designated stop.

He just completely missed our neighborhood, the last area on his route, and he went on to pick up the kids at the high school. My two friends and I were too scared to speak up. We stayed sitting in the back seats until a high schooler yelled, “Hey, there’s a bunch of little kids back here!” The driver cursed a blue streak, peeled out of the high school parking lot (probably without half his next load of kids), and drove us home.

All of our moms were distraught since we were like an hour late, and this happened long before cell phones. I told my mom all about the adventures we had with this guy driving, and the next day we had a new driver. Of course, he had been driving around for weeks, intoxicated, with a school bus full of kids.


46. A Deep Sleep

I remember waking up on our couch and being very bothered that I got taken from my nice warm bed, but I was too sleepy to say anything. My mom and dad were in the next room, screaming at each other, and then my mom came to me, crying and telling me not to fall asleep. I passed out. Then, when I woke up, I realized I was lying across my papaw’s truck’s back seat in the dark. Something was very wrong.

My mom was crying in the front seat, and my aunt was holding me crying. Papaw just stared straight ahead like he was mad. Later, I woke up again in a bright room, being jostled around and pinched. The next time I woke up, I was back in bed, and I thought it was all a dream. Twenty years later, I learned that my fever spiked at age three, and both my mom and dad unknowingly gave me medicine.

Those meds reacted to each other and I had a seizure, but my dad had to go to work and couldn’t be bothered, so my aunt and papaw took me to the hospital because an ambulance would have taken longer. In the truck, I was turning blue. The bright room was the ER, and the pinches were multiple IVs and tubes and such being placed.

I was there, out like a light, for three days.


47. Predators

When I was eight or nine, I won Kings tickets in a school raffle. My dad couldn’t go for reasons I don’t remember, and my mom is about as anti-sports as you can get. So I took my uncle with me instead. He mostly wanted to be in a private suite and suck down stadium food, so that's what we did.

He took me to the box, and there was this couple with us. They were probably in their 20s. Initially, they were kind of quiet and made very little small talk with my uncle. Then, he headed out to get some snacks, and the couple kind of slid over to me. Remember, I was at that “blushy-shy-kid age,” and the woman WAS rather attractive.

Then, the creepiest thing happened. Somehow—I swear that I don’t remember how—she asked what I would do if she kissed me, then bet me to let her. She kissed me, and I turned that kind of red you only see on stop signs. They had a HUGE laugh about that, which, of course, only made me blush harder and get a lot more self-conscious.

She started talking about doing it again, and I kind of did that thing little kids often do where they shake their heads and hide. She kept calling me cute, and then they said something about me going somewhere else with them. But my uncle came back with the stadium food, and they went back to their side of the box.

I was too dang embarrassed to say anything, and hey, stadium food is good, so I never gave it a second thought. When that memory resurfaced in my twenties, I went, “WAIT, WHAT THE HECK!”


48. How Awful

photo of train alleyPhoto by Martin Adams on Unsplash

When I was little (around six or eight years old, maybe), my mom, brother, and I were on the train traveling home from visiting family. Suddenly, the train stopped in the middle of nowhere, and we just sat there confused for a minute until my mom saw something outside and gasped, “Don’t look out the window.”

Naturally, this piqued our curiosity, and we clambered all over our mother to get a look out the window while she tried and failed to hold us back. There was nothing there—just some sticks and maybe some paint. We were like, “What gives?” My mother laughed and said, “Gotcha! Were you scared?” We both slumped back into our seats, disappointed, and waited for the train to start moving again.

She told us years later what she really saw that day... The truth sent chills up our spines.

It had been an intentional death by train that we had happened across. There was just no way we could have recognized what we were seeing as a human being, and my mom managed to just play it off like it was nothing, even though it must have been a truly horrifying sight to somebody who knew what they were looking at.


49. The Devil You Know…

When I was a little kid in the '80s, I got swept up by the Satanic Panic. I went to a Catholic school in a medium-sized city, and they really took it seriously. Everyone did. They convinced me that a cabal of devil-worshiping fiends was secretly controlling the entire world, and I was determined to grow up and do everything I could to stop them.

My school had a lecturer who was a priest who was a supposed expert on Satanism, and he showed us a movie where some people slaughtered and ate an actual cat. They told us that it was 100% real. Little did I know, I was being brainwashed.

Sometime in high school, the whole thing just went away. It was as if one day, the Satanic Illuminati were out to hurt every little kid they could find, and then the next day, they were gone. Eventually, I forgot all about the whole thing.

Flash forward to my mid-20s. I was in college, sitting in my apartment when all of a sudden I remembered the whole Satanic Panic. I remember thinking, “Whatever happened with that? Were they all caught? Did I dream that?” At the time, the internet was in its extreme infancy, but since my roommate was a longtime computer geek, we had it in my apartment. So I went online and looked it up.

I’ll admit I felt mixed emotions when I found out that 99.99% of it was total bunk. I was both relieved and angry; I was relieved for obvious reasons, but I was still angry because it generated a lot of fear in me when I was little. Little kids shouldn’t hear stories of ritual carnal cruelties and violent sacrifices.

Anyway, it was all very horrible, but I’m glad I got closure. Now it’s one of those things that people are comfortable talking about. Being an adult, I find the whole thing very fascinating.


50. Maybe It Was The Hamburglar

When I was like four or five, my mom, brother, and I went along with my dad on a business trip to Seattle. I have a distinct memory of being in like a Taco Bell or a McDonald’s (I can’t remember which), but I remember waiting in line, getting to the front, and then my mom just taking us and leaving. I remember being so disappointed, and my brother and I whining and complaining until we got to the next place.

Well, a couple of years ago (I’m 28 now), it somehow came up in conversation, and my mom told us the whole story. We got to the front of the line, and the cashier said, “Those men over there are robbing us; they have weapons. Take your children and leave now,” so my mom did exactly that and never told us what happened.


As Queen Victoria's grandson, King George V never had a chance to escape the drama that hounded his family. From the tragedy that thrust him into the spotlight, to his complicated relationship with his despicable elder son, the Sailor Prince barely saw a moment's rest in his seven decades on Earth.

1. He Had A Big Family

His Royal Highness Prince George of Wales was born on June 3, 1865, at Marlborough House, right in the heart of London. His parents were Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, and Princess Alexandra of Denmark. The couple went on to have six children in total, filling their luxurious mansion with little princes and princesses—but George's parents were no ordinary royal couple.

These two hid a scandalous secret.

2. His Dad Had Too Much Time On His Hands

George's grandmother, Queen Victoria, had a...complicated relationship with George's father. She callously blamed him for the loss of her husband, and could barely stand to look at him. For that reason, she gave him absolutely nothing to do. Of course, George's father spent some of that time with his mother—they had six kids after all—but the rest of his time was spent somewhere far seedier...

3. He Adored His Father

George VGeorge V grew up adoring his father—aside from Queen Victoria, most people who met Prince Albert Edward loved him—but George likely didn't know about his parents' secret: They lived a double life. The first life was the one that George saw: The happy royal family. However, George must have noticed that his father was gone from home for long periods of time.

He likely figured his dad was just off performing his royal duties. Yeah...something like that...

4. His Dad Slept Around

Prince Albert Edward eventually succeeded his mother and became King Edward VII—but before that, he had another name: Dirty Bertie. You see, Edward VII was a man of massive appetites, and we're not just talking about his bulging waistline. Edward's favorite place on Earth was Paris, where he frittered away the hours in the finest brothels the city could offer.

But how did George's mother feel about this? Well, like everything else in the royal family, it's complicated.

5. His Mother Put Up With It

File:King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra - Wedding -1863.jpg

By all accounts, Alexandra of Denmark loved her husband, and at the very least put up with his philandering. She couldn't keep up with his ravenous desires, and at least he still spent some of his time at home performing his marital duties. So, she simply turned a blind eye to Edward VII's Parisian adventures and spent her time raising George and his siblings—and boy, did she have her hands full.

6. He Grew Up With His Brother

An important note: The young Prince George was never supposed to be the King of England at all. That role was supposed to fall to his older brother, Prince Albert Victor. Born only a year apart, the two boys spent nearly their entire childhoods together. They received the same education, but neither of them was what you would call a "star student."

The classroom obviously wasn't working out for them—so when they were old enough, their father shipped them both away from home.

7. His Dad Wanted To Make Men Of Them

The Prince of Wales thought there was only one proper way to turn a boy into a man: The Royal Navy. George's father sent both him and his brother off for training when he was just 12 years old. By the time George was 15, the pair of them entered service on the HMS Bacchante. But don't go thinking the boys were off seeing active combat. Their time on the Bacchante was more holiday than boot camp.

8. He Got A Tattoo

Aboard the Bacchante, George and his brother traveled the world, visiting the furthest reaches of the British Empire, from the Caribbean to South Africa to Australia. In 1881, they visited Japan, where George made a scandalous decision. Like so many teens after him, he got a tattoo: a blue and red dragon on his arm, to be specific (though of course he never allowed anyone to photograph it).

George would fondly remember his teenage years on the high seas for the rest of his life—but his magical childhood was coming to a close.

9. He Split Up With His Brother

George grew up with his older brother Albert Victor, but they had to part ways eventually. Albert Victor was to be king, after all. Eventually, their parents sent Albert Victor to Trinity College to study, while George stayed with the Navy. But he wouldn't be alone for long—he was about to meet his first love. Unfortunately, she was...let's say a little too close for comfort...

10. He Fell In Love

File:Queen Marie of Romania, née Princess Marie of Edinburgh.jpg

Once he and Albert Victor parted ways, George began serving with his uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in Malta. It made perfect sense: Like him, Alfred was a second son. Who better to show him the strange duties of a royal prince? But Alfred wasn't alone on Malta. He had his daughter, Princess Marie of Edinburgh, with him. George quickly fell in love with her, and she with him.

But, wait...doesn't that mean...?

11. She Was His Cousin

You read that right: Prince George's first love was...his cousin. And no "second cousin twice removed" business. She was his cousin. He quickly decided she was the one for him, and planned to pop the question. And even stranger, his grandmother, father, and uncle all approved. For the royal family, it seemed like a match made in heaven—at least, it did for most of them.

Others weren't so happy about it—and that's when the scheming began.

12. It Wasn't Meant To Be

Even with so many people in favor of these kissing cousins, some in the family despised the idea. George's mother and aunt were both against it—though not because of the cousin thing. They both disliked the political implications of the match. In the end, George's aunt convinced Princess Marie to refuse George's proposal, and she later went on to become the Queen of Romania.

George was heartbroken—but there was far worse pain right on the horizon.

13. He Fell Horribly Ill

Not even the royal family's resources could protect Prince George from everything. Around 1891, George fell ill with typhoid—the same disease that biographers believe killed his grandfather. For six excruciating weeks, George lay confined to a bed, praying for the fever to break. When it did, the entire royal family rejoiced. It seemed as though they'd evaded the Reaper—little did they know, George wasn't the prince he was looking for.

14. His Brother Was A Mess

George's older brother Albert Victor had started spiraling almost the instant the two of them parted ways. In England, rumors of his scandalous exploits were on everyone's lips. Whether it was secret affairs with chorus girls or controversy at a gay brothel, the name "Prince Albert Victor" seemed to just keep coming up where it shouldn't.

When he announced his engagement to Princess Mary of Teck, it seemed like he might finally settle down. Tragically, he never got the chance.

15. He Lost His Best Friend

File:Albert Victor late 1880s.jpg - Wikimedia

Prince Albert Victor and Princess Mary of Teck got to enjoy their engagement for all of six weeks. This entire time, an influenza pandemic had ravaged the empire—and it finally came for a member of the royal family in 1892. Prince Albert Victor succumbed to pneumonia on January 14, 1892, at just 28 years old. George's closest friend in the world was gone—but that wasn't all.

His entire life, George never thought he'd have to become king. Well, that had changed.

16. His Grandma Matched Him Up

Is marrying your dead brother's fiancée weird? At least it's better than first cousins, I suppose. Queen Victoria had worked hard to choose the perfect bride for her grandson—so why let such a great match go to waste? She suggested that George, now in line to become king, marry Princess Mary instead! Now, we've all had grandparents meddle in our lives—but in a bizarre twist, this one actually worked out for the best.

17. He Fell For His Brother's Girl

Things must have been awkward between George and Mary of Teck at first, but over the months, their shared grief and loss brought them together. Though Victoria undoubtedly pushed them into it, the two of them soon grew to care for each other. About one year after losing Albert Victor, George asked for Mary's hand, and she said yes.

18. He Couldn't Express Himself

George V and Mary of Teck had a surprisingly devoted and tender relationship. Though they might have seemed slightly cold and distant in public, that was just because George struggled to express himself. However, both he and his wife frequently wrote each other love letters. Despite the strange way they got together, they were a team, and that was a good thing.

Pretty soon, they would both need all the help they could get.

19. He Ruled Through Fear

George and Mary had five sons and a daughter. George allegedly gave a simple explanation of his fatherhood style: "My father was frightened of his mother, I was frightened of my father, and I am [darn] well going to see to it that my children are frightened of me." That would certainly line up with what his son Henry would later say about him, calling George V a "terrible father."

Maybe the kids resented the fact that George didn't give them the life most royal families expected...

20. He Liked The "Simple" Life

File:King George V (1865-1936), when Duke of York.jpg - Wikimedia

George's blood was as blue as it gets, and he could have lived in any number of extravagant palaces or castles. But that wasn't George V's style. He raised his family mainly at York Cottage, a relatively small house in Norfolk. They looked more like an upper-middle-class family than anything else, even though George was now directly in line to be the King of England.

So what did George do with all that time out in the country? Simple: He shot things.

21. He Loved His Hobbies

Queen Victoria was still alive, so the crown was still quite far off—and that meant George didn't actually have that much to do. He had plenty of time to kill, and he took that literally. As his official biographer put it, "when he was the Duke of York...he didn't nothing at all but kill animals and stick in stamps." George's two great loves were hunting and stamp collecting—though one of those pastimes got a little bloodier than the other.

22. He Loved Big Game Hunting

Later in his life, when he became Emperor of India, George and his wife took a trip through the Indian subcontinent. And while George was in India, you just know he was going to buck wild. Over 10 days, he shot 21 tigers, eight rhinos, and a bear. He may have been rich, but you did not want to mess with George while he had a gun in his hand.

23. He Went Too Far

The peak of George V's hunting obsession came on December 18, 1913. That day, he went hunting for about six hours. In that time, he shot one thousand pheasants. That's one bird every 20 seconds. By the time he had finished, likely because there was no ammo left in sight, even George had to admit "we went a little too far." You don't say, Georgie!

24. He Moved Up In The World

When Queen Victoria finally passed, George's father became King Edward VII, and George became the Prince of Wales. He spent the next several years having children, traveling the world, and learning about the business of being king from his father. Well, he was going to need all the help he could get: While Queen Victoria had seemingly lived forever, his dad was not long for this world...

25. He Became The King

File:KingGeorgeV QueenMary Coronation1911.png - Wikimedia

Years of debaucherous eating, drinking, and sleeping around took their toll on Edward VII. Victoria's reign lasted 63 years; Edward's only lasted nine. He succumbed to illness on May 6, 1910. The loss devastated George—soon to be King George V. Numb, he wrote: "I have lost my best friend and the best of fathers...I am heart-broken and overwhelmed with grief..."

But George didn't have long to mourn. At the time, Europe was a powder keg—and it was about to explode.

26. He Ruled Through WWI

On 4 August 1914, four years after George V became king, he wrote a frank entry in his diary: "I held a council at 10.45 to declare war with Germany. It is a terrible catastrophe but it is not our fault....Please to God it may soon be over." WWI would prove the most horrifying conflict that the world had ever seen—but not many people realize just how close to home it hit for George.

27. His Cousin Was Public Enemy #1

During WWI, the British public saw Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II as the figurehead for all the horror taking place on the continent. To them, he was little more than a monster—but he was George's first cousin. King George V was quite literally fighting with his own family—and the nightmare would only get worse as it got better.

28. He Sounded Too German

George tried his best to remain a beacon of strength and national pride during WWI. That meant making a decision that changed the royal family forever. Technically, George's house—the ruling house of England—was German. The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, to be exact. Britons had to watch as thousands upon thousands of their fathers, sons, and brothers went off to fight Germans, while a German ruled them.

It was a terrible look, and George knew it. So he decided to do something about it.

29. He Invented A New Name

I don't expect you to know the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, but I bet you've heard of the House of Windsor. Well, turns out they're the same thing. In 1917, George V released a royal proclamation, changing the British royal house's name to Windsor. He also made his German relatives change their names too. Prince Louis of Battenberg became Louis Mountbatten, for instance.

The royal family as we know it was born that day—but changing your name can't solve all your problems, as George was about to learn.

30. His Cousin Lost His Crown

File:Tsar Nicholas II -1898.jpg - Wikimedia

As if he didn't have enough on his plate, later in 1917, George received truly harrowing news: His first cousin and near-doppelganger, Tsar Nicholas II, had been overthrown, and the Bolsheviks had taken over the nation. The British government acted fast and planned to offer asylum to the Russian imperial family—but in a surprisingly heartless turn, George stepped in the way.

31. He Betrayed His Family

Kings must have to make countless hard decisions, but this one was particularly harsh. George feared that the Romanov family might inspire revolution in Britain. So, he abandoned his own cousin to a chilling fate. George blocked the offer of asylum: The Romanovs were not welcome in Britain. They remained in Russia where, after several grueling months in captivity, the Bolsheviks executed the entire family, then dumped their bodies down an abandoned mineshaft.

32. His Youngest Child Was Sickly

Finally, in 1918, King George V got some good news: WWI was finally over! George rejoiced along with his nation—but his happiness would be short-lived. Prince John, George's youngest child, was born in 1905, but from the moment of his birth, he was a sickly and frail boy. Little "Johnnie" was the baby of the family, but no matter how much anyone spoiled him, his health just never improved.

Finally, just two months after Armistice Day, George's worst fear came true.

33. He Suffered Every Parent's Nightmare

On January 18, 1919, Prince George had a severe seizure, and this time, he would never recover. He passed in his sleep at 13 years old. George and his wife Mary were both devastated, but part of them was relieved. John's entire life had been filled with sickness and pain. In a letter, George painfully described John's passing as "the greatest mercy possible."

34. He Started A Tradition

If you've ever watched Queen Elizabeth II's address on Christmas Day, you've got George V to thank. In 1932, he delivered the first-ever Royal Christmas Speech on the radio. He didn't want to do it, but his advisors reminded him that his people wanted to hear from him. And it turns out they were right! George became a beloved king—even if he didn't see it.

35. He Didn't Know Why They Loved Him

File:George V(GN09264).jpg - Wikimedia

In 1935, George celebrated his Silver Jubilee, and he could not believe the crowd that came out for the occasion. His radio addresses had allowed him to reach his people unlike any monarch who came before him. When he heard the crowd's adulation, he exclaimed, "I cannot understand it, after all I am only a very ordinary sort of fellow."

Well George, not everyone liked you—and at the top of the list was your own son.

36. He Was Disappointed In His Son

When George was young, his older brother was the problem child. When it came to his kids, the story was the same. Though they had once been close, George's relationship with his eldest son Edward grew more and more strained as the years went on. Now, oftentimes, fathers expect too much of their sons. In this case, I side with George 100%.

Prince Edward was not the kind of guy to make a father proud...

37. Edward Was Not A Good Guy

While he traveled the world, George had noted the prejudices of the British Empire with disgust. Edward had a...different reaction. His world travels only confirmed his belief that whites were superior to everyone on Earth. His writings about the indigenous people he encountered are truly despicable—yet that was just one way he disappointed George.

Edward's scandalous affairs might have been even worse.

38. His Son Slept Around Too

Edward VIIIdefinitely would have had more in common with his grandfather than with his father. He refused to settle down, embarking on affairs with married women, courtesans, and whoever else happened to catch his eye. Edward's antics horrified George and the other royals, but at least to this point, they had mostly stayed under wraps.

Then a scandal broke out that threatened to drag the entire royal family into Edward's mess.

39. He Found A Scandalous Mistress

Her name was Marguerite Alibert, and she was not the kind of person George wanted his son sleeping around with. A one-time working girl, she caught Edward's eye, and he upgraded her lifestyle to "courtesan." Edward met her while on leave from the front during WWI, and she gave him whatever he needed. But his grandfather was the one who loved working girls—not the current king.

When George found out about his son's new mistress, he was horrified.

40. She Shot A Man

King George V | George V's reign began amid the continuing c… |

George and the rest of the royal family heaved a sigh of relief when Edward broke things off with his Parisian courtesan—but that wasn't the last they'd hear of Marguerite Alibert. Just a few years later, she visited London with a new lover...and she shot him in the back several times. This upper-class murder shocked England—but for George, the stakes were so much higher.

41. He Kept It Buried

George V did everything he could to make sure that his son's name never appeared in the press surrounding the Marguerite Alibert. He mostly succeeded, and though there were rumors, the public never learned that the Prince of Wales had an affair with a working girl, who then shot her new lover. George eventually tracked down every last letter that Edward had written to Alibert and had them destroyed.

But the damage was done: George would never truly trust his son again.

42. He Adored His Son And Granddaughter

The members of George's family weren't all as exhausting as his eldest son. He thought extremely highly of his second son, the future King George VI, and adored his precocious granddaughter "Lilibet" (you might know her as Queen Elizabeth II). She loved him in turn, affectionately calling him "Grandpa England." He thought both of them would make excellent monarchs—if only they got the chance.

43. He Feared His Son Would Ruin Himself

By 1935, George's faith in his son and heir had all but evaporated. He said, "After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself within 12 months...I pray to God my eldest son will never marry and have children, and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne." He must have sensed that the end was near—and he would have been right.

44. His Health Failed

Back in the days when people called him the Sailor Prince, George V was the picture of health—but he'd seen hard miles in his time as king. During WWI, his horse bucked and threw him to the ground, causing serious injury from which he never fully recovered. The fact that he smoked like a chimney his entire adult life didn't help matters either.

The once hale and hearty king grew frail and sickly—and a painful tragedy only made things worse.

45. He Lost His Favorite Sister

File:Victoria de Gales.jpg - Wikimedia

George V's brother Albert Victor had been his closest companion growing up, but he still held a soft spot for his little sister Victoria. In December of 1935, when George was already at death's door, Victoria suffered a hemorrhage and suddenly passed. Her loss sent the king into a spiraling depression from which he would never recover.

46. He Went In His Sleep

By January 1936, George barely clung to life. He retired to a country estate at Sandringham House, but pretty soon he was too weak to leave his bedroom. Finally, his doctors released a statement: "The King's life is moving peacefully towards its close." And that it did. George V passed quietly in his sleep on January 20, 1936—only, that wasn't the whole story.

47. His Doctor Had A Secret Diary

Lord Dawson of Penn was George V's chief physician in his final days. He kept a detailed diary from that time, but he kept them a closely guarded secret for the rest of his life. Finally, in 1986, his diaries were made public. They revealed the king's last words, a mumbled "God damn you!" to his nurse. But that's not all they revealed.

It turns out, Dawson had not been entirely honest about that final night.

48. His Doctor Euthanized Him

The entire world thought that George V had passed from natural causes. In truth, Dawson had actively ended the king's life. A believer in euthanasia, Dawson knew that George's end might take hours or even days, and he saw the toll that it was taking on the king's family. So, he made the decision to kill a king. He injected King George V with morphine and cocaine.

15 minutes later, George's breath slowed...then stopped.

49. His Son Gave Up The Crown

George's son Edward became King Edward VIII—but it turns out that George's fears about him were baseless. Sure, George thought he'd make a terrible king, but apparently so did Edward! Before the year was out, Edward abdicated his throne so he could marry his divorcee partner Wallis Simpson. He was then free to live a life of high fashion, German sympathies, and extreme prejudice while his younger brother became King George VI.

So at least our guy King George V got what he wanted in the end.

50. His Son Really Was The Worst

File:HRH The Prince of Wales No 4 (HS85-10-36416).jpg - Wikimedia

It's hard to pinpoint when exactly George V's relationship with Edward went south—but it certainly could have been around the time the family lost young Prince John. While George and his wife experienced mixed relief and sorrow, Edward's response was truly disturbing. Despite being a 24-year-old man, Edward called his brother's loss "little more than a regrettable nuisance." I, for one, am happy this guy gave up his crown.

When we're dining out, we're generally excited, because it's meant to be a positive experience. Good food with someone we love, or as our me-time, what's not to love?

The last thing we want to think about is the possibility that something is going wrong in the kitchen, but as some Redditors have witnessed, sometimes one of the kitchens we can't eat from... is one of the professional ones.

Redditor stevesmd asked:

"What's the most disgusting thing you have seen in a restaurant?"

Contaminated Food

"Condensation above a buffet turning brown and dripping back down on the food..."

- MountainHipie

Nah, That Was Just Super Rat

​"I saw a napkin run across a floor. It was really a rat that somehow had a napkin draped over it but it was surreal and super funny to watch."

"We'd joke about eating at the place that held napkin races any time no one could come up with a place to eat, and then usually someone would be like, 'Naww, let's just hit up another restaurant.'"

- Sleestak714

Something Off About Those Smoothies

"While working at a restaurant, I pulled back the slushie machine because I smelled something off coming from behind."

"The smell was black mold. I quit on the spot and reported the restaurant to the health authority."

- Magic_a**1

Cleaning Up After the Baby

"A woman changing her baby's diaper on one of the tables. Before you throw hate at me, there were changing tables in both bathrooms."

- nanspud

Intimate Plating Habits

"As a waiter: watching the 'chef'/owner scooping spaghetti out of the steam table with bare hands and plopping it on a plate. We didn't call the resort 'S**thole' (Chateau) [name redacted] for nothing."

- calnuck

Build Your Own Germs

"This was one of those build-your-own frozen yogurt places with 100 different toppings."

"I watched a kid take a spoonful of cookie dough, eat it, and then put the spoon back in the container."

- moparguy_alec

Ill-Garnished Drinks

"The owner was snacking out of the garnish tray for the bartenders. She was just snacking on the lemon wedges and sugar sticks meant for the drinks."

"She was putting her fingers in her mouth and then diving back in for another cherry or orange wedge right there at the bar in front of me and a friend."

"I looked at her and said, 'What you're doing is f**king disgusting, those go in people's drinks, and you're putting your gross fingers in there.'"

"She scoffed and walked away. The bartender came over and thanked me for saying something and explained the staff tells her that all the time, but she doesn't listen because she's the owner."

- GrimWoldMcTheesbyIV

Sharing a Cutting Board

"They were cutting raw and cooked chicken on the same cutting board at the same time. The kitchen is open and you can see what's going on from the dining area."

"Everything comes pre-packaged, and they don't have anything fresh. I haven't eaten there ever since."

- Content-Wing-5015

A Misused Band-Aid

"Buddy ordered a burger. Took two bites then tasted something strange. It was a band-aid. A used band-aid.

- NeverGoneTooFar

"My mom and her sisters found a band-aid in a pizza once. The manager wouldn't refund them so they stood outside the door and told everyone who walked in."

"They got their refund."

- rahyveshachr

A Shocking Moment

"In-N-Out in SoCal, I saw a man chow down on his double-double, then immediately throw up into his red tray. He just kind of sat there shocked, and nobody else seemed to notice but me. It was surreal honestly."

- DarkPhalanxSet

One of Super Rat's Family Members

"A rat ran out from the kitchen and jumped on a table people were eating at. They all screamed, the rat ran along the table on the booth/table trying to find a way out but essentially took the worst route possible."

"This wasn't a high-end place and none of the wait stuff seemed that bothered, they had a similar attitude to if they had brought you the wrong meal. Like apologetic, but it's not a big deal. Which gave the impression this happens all the time and it was just another day for them."

"So we stopped going there."

- Cody6781

Questionable Feminine Hygiene

"I used to work at an Italian restaurant where there was a used tampon sitting around in the back of the kitchen. Of course, no one wanted to touch it so it sat there for the entire time I worked there. They never cleaned the back of the kitchen."

- Mighty_Meatball

Nothing Wrong with Dogs, But...

"I guess Starbucks counts as a restaurant, so a couple of Christmases ago, I stopped in for some coffee after getting a couple of gifts."

"I immediately saw multiple baristas petting a dog I assumed to be their manager's, but they went back to handling the food and drink without washing their hands, so I walked back out."

- ScorpionX-123

New Residents

"One of the creepier pandemic/lockdown stories I've heard involved a prosperous neighborhood in suburban Maryland."

"A guy who bought the house of a friend had lived there. He'd been just down the road from a strip mall with quite a few casual but upscale restaurants and bars."

"During the time, these places were shut down or limited to carryout, and the amount of trash put out dropped hugely. The guy's neighborhood was then overrun with rats looking for food."

"He couldn't even let his smallish dog hang out in the yard anymore. That was partly why he moved."

- 2PlasticLobsters

An Unhinged First Date

​"In a very posh restaurant, a man in his early 60s with a smart suit was on what looked like a first date. They chatted happily and ordered wine and steak."

"But when the meal was served, he cut his steak while chatting, looked into her eyes, and dipped his steak into her red wine up to his knuckles, opened his mouth wide, and threw it in."

"Then he picked up a chip and repeatedly dunked that in her drink while she looked on, shocked."

"Then he wiped his fingers on his tie and drank his drink. She looked visibly shocked."

"Then she went to the toilet and snuck out the back and away into the night. He got a call and spoke loudly to, I assume, a friend about how a steak meal guarantees a booty call, so it's on tonight."

"I ate slowly, waiting to watch him realize she had left. One hour later, he got madder and madder, screaming into the phone at her number, calling her horrid things... That lass had a very lucky escape."

- Plus_Data_1099

It's easy to see why these were the most disgusting things that some people had witnessed, and it's even worse to think about all of the stories there are in the world that were not included on this Reddit thread...

KFC menu items
Aleks Dorohovich/Unsplash

Restaurants, whether they are part of a major chain or a beloved local establishment, offer dishes that have become favorites by repeat customers.

But in order for some of them to thrive in a competitive dining industry, owners of your favorite places for dinner are constantly updating their menus to attract newer customers and to stay relevant in the culinary scene.

Unfortunately, the changes come at the cost of banishing your favorite entrees to the past.

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