Organized People Reveal How Plans Backfired Spectacularly

Nothing in life will go as planned. It doesn't matter how organized or OCD you are, whether you're a civilian or a major world leader; the Universe is ready with every curveball you would never have believe existed. And most of the time our best laid plains go up in flames faster than a political career.

Redditor _acrowsmurder asked What plan backfired spectacularly? Ironically so many misfires can be learned from history. If only we were wise enough to not repeat it.


The Shah of Khwarezmian killed diplomats from Genghis Khan as an attempt to intimidate him into staying away. This led to his massive empire being invaded and completely absorbed into the Mongol Empire over a period of two years.


When the British government wanted to get rid of the cobras in India, and they started paying a bounty for every dead cobra, which caused people to begin to breed cobras in order to kill them and get the money.


While Henry VIII was having his "Great Matter" and trying to divorce his first wife, the position of Bishop of Canterbury became open. At the time Rome was extremely concerned about what Henry was going to do and about how angry he had become. As a last ditch effort to appease Henry, the Pope appointed Thomas Cranmer, a rumored Protestant, to the position.

Thomas Cranmer immediately defied the Pope, divorced Henry from his first wife, and acknowledged his marriage to Anne Boleyn. When the Pope was angered by these actions and tried to retaliate, Cranmer responded by separating England from the Papacy and creating the Church of England.


Walkers crisps in the UK (similar to Lays) ran a promotion where for every packet of crisps you buy, you can go on a website and predict where it will rain in the UK at a given time. They split the UK into 21,000 individual squares and you just had to pick one and if 1mm of rain fell there in 3 hours you'd win £10. You can guess what happened next


Denmark declaring war on Sweden in the 1650s.

Basically, the Swedish king Charles X was tied up fighting in Poland and was looking for any excuse to get out without looking like he was retreating or giving up, when Denmark (who at the time still held Scania) declared war.

Instead of returning home to Sweden, Charles X had his army of 6000 do a forced march from Poland to Jutland (the Danish mainland). They sieged the fortress of Fredriksodde for two months before storming it, and then seized all their army supplies to restock.

By the time Jutland was under control, winter had come, freezing the sea around Denmark and southern Sweden. Thus, at January 30th, Charles X marched his army of 9000 cavalry and 3000 infantry across the ice to Funen island:

The ice warped under the weight of the soldiers; on occasions water reached up to the men's knees. Close to the shore of Funen a skirmish broke out with about 3,000 Danish defenders, but these were brushed aside quickly and the army was safe on Funen.

Three more crossings took them to Zealand via Langeland and Lolland, and by February 15th, the Swedish army reached Copenhagen from the west, forcing a surrender and the Treaty of Roskilde, in which Denmark lost a third of their territory to Sweden, along with other concessions.


When Barbra Streisand wanted to suppress photos of her Malibu mansion but instead drew so much attention for the 50 million lawsuit against the photographer (who was documenting coastline erosion in California) that the photo was downloaded over 400,000 times compared to the 6 times it was downloaded before the lawsuit. Spectacular failure!


The Reichswehr trying to spy on the German Workers' Party, which the state saw as an extremist danger they wanted to keep an eye on, undermine, and preferably eliminate. They assigned the task to a 30-year old WWI veteran, Adolf Hitler, who was actually ordered to join the party by his commanding officer. Well, the party took a liking to young Adolf, and vice versa, and the rest is history. Oops.


The time Napoleon was defeated by rabbits.

After the Treaties of Tilsit Napoleon decided to celebrate with a rabbit hunt - somewhere between a few hundred to a few thousand rabbits were collected for the hunt.

Upon release the rabbits didn't run off and instead went straight for Napoleon and his party - they swarmed Napoleon forcing him to retreat to his carriage. But it didn't end there.

According to historian David Chandler, "with a finer understanding of Napoleonic strategy than most of his generals, the rabbit horde divided into two wings and poured around the flanks of the party and headed for the imperial coach."


The Assassination of Julius Caesar.

While the Senate and other powerful men that backed the Senate at the time wanted to do in Caesar after he thoroughly crushed the Senatorial backed alliance during the Civil War that followed the end of the First Triumvirate they made a rather large blunder.

You see, Caesar was actually an incredible statesman. His public work projects and careful management of the treasury as well as his plan to reduce income equality in Rome (he mass exported the poor and destitute by offering them farms all throughout the empire meanwhile allowing foreigners with important skills to move to Rome with full citizenship. This gave the poor citizens of Rome a rather large income and increase in quality of life meanwhile spreading more true Romans throughout the empire) won him the support of most of the Roman citizenry. The senate didn't like him pretty much because he attempted to usurp power. Something that many people will remember is Caesar declaring himself dictator for life, or rather getting the senate to do so; this wasn't just a power play; Caesar needed more time to finish preparations for his last hurrah, the conquest of Parthia. The Senate was so worried about him leaving, succeeding, and returning as literally the greatest Roman to ever exist (which would mean it would be impossible to unseat him) they set into motion their conspiracy with very little forethought of the consequences and really with very little thought in general. You see the Senate only killed Caesar. They did nothing to his supporters. They had no end-game. And of course Caesar's most loyal supporters supported him posthumously which lead to the true beginning of the Roman Imperium and the end of the Republic as we know it. And of course with a dynasty of Caesar's descendants: The Julio-Claudian Dynasty would be firmly seated in place after yet another round of civil wars with young Octavian (now known as Augustus Caesar) as the eventual victor. This, of course, degraded the power of the senate further.



One of the initiatives of the Chinese 'Great Leap Forward' in the 1960s was to kill all sparrows in order to keep them from eating crops, thereby theoretically increasing food production. What the Chinese failed to consider was that the sparrows had previously kept the insect population in check, which when left with no primary predators, promptly ruined or consumed all or most of the crops, leading to a massive famine. The Great Leap Forward is full of other blunders like this, such as forcing most of the population to construct primitive iron forges in their backyards that had a tendency to explode.


This one time when I was a kid I was wresting with my little brother and accidentally used him to make a hole in the wall about 2 feet in diameter and we tried to cover it up with duct tape, then a framed picture of two puppies and a note saying "Please don't take this painting down. We like it here." right above it with an arrow pointing down at it

It worked for about two or three months until my grandma decided she wanted to put a different picture up or something like that.


The Gallipoli Campaign. The goal was to open the Bosphorus Straits for the allies so they could supply Russia and maybe knock the Ottomans out of the war, and get Greece to join on the central powers' allies side. End result: 302.000 out of 489.000 allied dead casualties and Winston Churchill leaving politics (not definitively, of course)


When London taxi drivers went on strike to protest Uber and Uber ride requests went up 800%.


For all those HAARP conspiracists and those who think we fly in storms and make them worse: I give you Project Stormfury.

The government tried to seed hurricanes to make the eye spread out (weakening the winds around it due to angular momentum conservation) and eventually collapse the eye wall (where the strongest winds are). Then the eyewall reformed and contracted back. They found out hurricanes "replace" the eyewall structure on their own, and usually if they have time over water, one replacement weakens the storm temporarily and can later become even stronger!


"Custer's last stand."

The defeat of Colonel George A. Custer and his cavalry detachment by a large force of Native Americans at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

Five of the 7th Cavalry's 12 companies were annihilated and Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew and a brother-in-law, among others.


Theresa May snap election.


The Japanese wanted to make sure the American Navy would not be able to challenge them in the Pacific when they inevitably got involved in WWII, but they failed to damage the American carriers, damaged but didn't destroy most of the battleships in port, and left the dry docks intact so that the damaged ships could be repaired in Hawaii instead of being towed back to the mainland. So not only was the US able to fight in the Pacific, they were able to do it very soon after Pearl Harbor.


Microsoft had plans to make the Xbox One be online at all times and could not play used games.

PlayStation mocked this at e3 and Microsoft reverted the changes ASAP.


Where I live we have never done daylight savings (Caribbean). The President at the time thought it'd be a bright idea to implement this all of a sudden to copy the USA. For a whole week the country was havoc. People got late to work some even arrived hours later with the excuse that they thought it was x time. Businesses had a lot of employees missing, traffic was a nightmare because every single person was out to go to work, school or college.

Was also a mess to re-adjust sleeping schedule & just as a whole reschedule your itinerary to adapt that new time. Needless to say, it only lasted a week until it was reverted back.

KJ Styles/Unsplash

If you don't have any experience with construction, it can be pretty interesting to watch those reality HGTV shows (I know I'm addicted at this point). Some of the best episodes can be the one's where they open up the walls to find the builder didn't do anything right, causing a huge blow to the budget. The drama!

As someone who doesn't know much about building, and is dreaming of homeownership, Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked a question I wish I had thought of first.

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Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.

People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,

"What's the most dangerous thing you did as a kid without realizing?"
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