People Admit What's Legal, Even Though Everyone Thinks It's Illegal

Ever have your mom warn you that something was illegal? Ever found out years later it was just a way to make you stop doing it? Or how about those laws and police procedure we learn from TV or movies?

Reddit user adaminc "What is something that people think is illegal, but actually isn't?"

Here are some surprisingly legal activities from around the globe.


Buying a flamethrower apparently.

They're very useful for dealing with weeds quickly.

Local Only

There is no "one free phone call".

By law, the police have to give you as many phone calls as you need to contact an attorney.

That Kilt Question

Public nudity.

In Scotland at least.

Get the Fava Beans

Being a cannibal

It's illegal to kill someone, destroy a dead body etc etc, but it isn't illegal to do the act of eating human flesh.

Just in order to do it you need to break 12 other laws.

TV Legal Degree

Saying you're not a cop, if you are a cop and someone asks you if you're a cop.

Really, in general it's completely legal for law enforcement to lie to you, but not the other way around.

Shirts vs. Skins

Females going topless. Not in every state, but in a surprising number.

You Have the Right

Filming the police in America.

Tag, You're It

It's legal to remove mattress tags. It's only illegal if the seller removes the tags before trying to sell it.

It's even written right on the tag itself: "Under penalty of law this tag is not to be removed except by the consumer."

Stolen Valor

It's not illegal to wear military uniforms. It's not even illegal to lie about serving. It's only illegal if you use it to manipulate/gain/profit in your favor.

I've seen enough videos on YouTube to know that it will get you yelled at and humiliated, though.

When it comes to the first amendment, people have this odd thought that just because you are allowed to say whatever you want, other people aren't allowed to criticize you for it. Sure you can lie your a$$ off about being a military veteran (so long as you aren't trying to defraud the government for benefits), but that doesn't mean that people can't sh!# all over you for doing so.

The Yellow Rose Though...

In Texas, picking blue bonnet flowers. It's not illegal at all. Pick some, take them home and put them in a vase if you like.

That's just something moms told their kids so they wouldn't literally pick ALL of them out of the yard.

One for the Road

Drink a bottle of beer while driving in Germany. You can do it, but if you have too much blood alcohol after that beer, you are screwed.

MPG is Murder

Owning a tank, completely legal in the US and UK.

You need rubber tracks (called parade tracks) in the US in order to drive it on the road, but once you do that you can even take it on the highway.

Stacking the Deck

Counting cards at the casino - you won't be arrested for it, but anyone who's ever seen the film Casino knows you may wish you had.

At the Movies

It is legal to buy and sell tickets to R rated movies to those under 17. The policy is a self regulation imposed by theaters and movie distributors.

Drive By

Passing a cop driving really slow in front of you.

Nearly Departed

It's not illegal to fake your death.

But it is illegal if you collect insurance on it. Or using it as a means to get out of a legal responsibility like debt, alimony, etc.

Little Blue Lie

Cops lying to suspects. Totally legal and holds up in court.


Chewing gum in Singapore. Its perfectly legal,it's just the sale and distribution of it that is illegal.

Breaking Free

In Germany its not illegal to break out of jail.

They don't punish you further for wanting freedom, a basic human right/emotion/whatever you call it.

To Valhalla

I inquired at a cremation facility I was doing work at (network technician, before anyone gets any funny ideas...), and in my area, it is completely legal to have a Viking-style funeral, like with a flaming arrow shot at a boat that the body is in.

The only real restrictions are a) you have to do it somewhere it's not going to cause a panic (like a smaller tributary, or back river, not at the shore during peak tourist season, for example), and b) you have to have a fire marshal in attendance, just in case it gets out of control.

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