It is a proven fact that human beings are not the brightest species on the planet. Actually, we're further down the 'brain-train' than most people would want to believe. Which is why there are so many consumer inventions that were so promising but crashed and burned. They flopped because people couldn't take the time to figure it out, or maybe as a whole, we're a little dumb. I'm still trying to figure out that damn rubik's cube, though that was a hit. Maybe that one is just me.

Redditor u/froxictic wanted to discuss a few things that we could try and put a little more brain power into by asking... What product failed because people were too dumb to understand it?

Smokey Knows Best

GIF by Smokey Bear Giphy

The US National Park Service struggled for years to find a locking trash can that would be able to keep bears out. People couldn't figure them out so they wouldn't lock it back up, or litter, rendering them useless. One park ranger was quoted as saying there was considerable overlap between the dumbest people and the smartest bears.



Those chip bags that would decompose in the ground. Too noisy, they said. But I kind of feel all chip bags are noisy to some degree. That being said, we should've either poured the contents into a washable bowl or plate or something like that or just used the noise as a deterrent to prevent over-eating.


Find the Source

Nearly 50% of HDTV's in the early era were returned because people plugged in their RCA cables as the main video source.

They not only didn't understand what HD was, they thought the picture looked worse, as it was distorted on a 16:9 screen.


Do the Math!

pulp fiction burger GIF by MIRAMAX Giphy

The 1/3lb burger because people thought it was smaller than the 1/4lb one.


Bad Tickets

There was a lottery ticket scratch off that had a temperature listed on it. You would scratch off to reveal your own temperature, and if it was colder than the listed one, you win. Pretty simple, right?

It failed because people don't understand negative numbers. People called in claiming that they "won" because -6 is "colder" than -8.

It is not. The ticket was ultimately discontinued.


Mix it In

They put out instant cake mix in the 50's. You only needed to add water, but no one would buy it. I think they couldn't believe you cold make a cake with just powder and water. They discontinued it.


There was a story when I was in school that the marketing guys figured out that if you take out the powdered egg and had the end user add eggs it would sell.

They figured that as women were going into the workforce and weren't able to cook a full meal, the felt guilty about buying a complete mix. Having the end user add real eggs gave them the feeling that they were really baking and not just pouring powder out of a box.


For Cleanliness

About 15 years ago Arm & Hammer came out with a series of environmentally safe cleaning products for bath, kitchen, and glass. They worked well, smelled good, and I really liked them. The drawback for dummies was the reusability of the spray bottle. Refills came in a cartridge the size of a five hour energy shot. You filled the bottle up to the fill line with water then screwed the cartridge into the bottle which had special inner threads to open the cartridge.

The spray bottle was sold empty with a cartridge attached. The checker at the store paused when ringing me up to ask if I really wanted to pay six bucks for an empty bottle. When I bought the glass cleaner I got the same question. Nobody bought it because they didn't realize how it was packaged.


This is not playtime...

homer simpson couch gag GIF Giphy

Those little shopping carts at grocery stores for kids.

A bunch of dumb parents refused to parent their kids and they would just let them jam the carts into displays, peoples legs, other carts etc, so almost all grocery stores in our area got rid of them. They were made so kids could put their own choices into the cart and be mindful of what they choose, not babysitter bumper cars.


Can't Sip the "Cheap"

We had a guy come talk to us at my college about his experience in marketing. He mentioned that when he used to work for Campbell's (I think) they had trouble breaking into the Chinese market with their instant soup. They had just assumed that it would sell just as well there as anywhere else but apparently it was the same kind of issue as you mentioned where I guess culturally it was seen as "cheap" to just heat up some instant soup. So they rebranded and repackaged it as a dry mix that you had to actually add to boiling water and lo and behold it started selling.


The Laugh Track

Naked Gun Movie GIF Giphy

Police Squad!, made by the guys who did Airplane! and widely considered pound for pound one of the funniest TV shows that's ever aired.

But it failed because it required audiences to actually pay close attention to the quickfire gags and fast dialogue. Led to ABC's president memorably saying it was cancelled because "the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it."

Later it was adapted into the Naked Gun movies, which were smash successes, probably because people in theaters are locked down into the movie.


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Sometimes you can only open yourself up completely with a person you've never met and may never meet again. That is probably because you owe that person nothing. For a brief time you'll share an intimacy without judgement because there is no baggage. And these moments can be life changing and affirming. You never know how a quick smile or hello will change the course of a person's day.

Redditor u/v_rose23 wanted know about the people they've encountered that left a lasting impression though by asking... What's the nicest interaction you've ever had with a stranger?
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Beware of every single flash bulb pointed in your direction. And think not twice, but five times before you post anything of yourself on the internet, especially if it's in a certain "delicate or salacious" nature. This isn't the twentieth century anymore, when you could just burn a poorly thought out polaroid. And of course there seems to be an uptick in everyone just freely exposing themselves to the world... for free. The internet means it all lives forever. Be ready.

Redditor u/BrixtonsFinest2 wanted to hear from everyone out there who has been witness to seeing their online and private lives collide by asking... People who post NSFW content: Has anyone from your real life ever found out? What happened?
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Image by Mandyme27 from Pixabay

It’s weird how much stuff we let slide when we’re kids. Even if you look at the TV shows we watched back then, we had such a high threshold for the bizarre (early 2000’s Nickelodeon, anyone?). So it’s no surprise that some of us straight-up didn’t react when we saw weird crap in person.

Here are a few wild examples of seemingly harmless things we saw as kids that would be horrifying to see now. Brace yourself, this one gets crazy.

Kids and water aren’t a great mix sometimes. It can get real gross, real quick.

Not worth the tranquility.

I've always loved the tranquil feeling of being under water. When I was a kid I would just hold my breath and float around. Sometimes adults would think I was drowning and run up and scoop me out. I don't remember this (it was when I was pretty young) but my parents have told me about it

I used to think it was a funny story... people thinking I was drowning when I was just trying to relax

....until I watched a video explaining child drownings and yeah, the way I acted in water looked exactly like a drowned kid.

I don't think it's funny anymore.



Renee Zellweger Water GIF by Working Title Giphy

Flood water. It was fun and games for the kids, and we even splashed around in it, much to the horror of our parents (who immediately scrubbed us down). We didn't understand then, but now, oh wow...sewer, insects, rats, parasites, etc.


That’s actually hilarious.

My friend and I were walking along the road in about thigh high flood waters. A small boat with two men comes up to us. We were about 9 years old and I think they were National Guard. Anyway, one of the men asks if we remembered exactly where the manholes in the road were. We answered no. He told us that all of the covers had most likely been washed away in the flood but not to worry because it would probably only take them a few days to find our bodies if we were sucked down one of the holes by currents they produced. He spoke in a matter of fact tone and then left.

As an adult, I have zero doubt those two men had a good laugh as they looked back and watched us nope out of that water like two roadrunners in a cartoon.

Edit: It was Fish and Game Wardens. The NG didn't come until later.


Not to mention the crazy injuries that kids somehow are constantly surrounded by.

Had a jogger get hit by a car outside my house once when I was about eight or nine. My nephew came running inside yelling at my parents and my sister to call the ambulance because he was bleeding pretty badly.

I could even see him from our playrooms window and I wondered what he was doing lying on the grass. Turns out he was bleeding out pretty badly, deliriously yelling at my parents when they tried to help.

Eventually, an ambulance came and picked him up, but my parents always told me he made it out okay. The day after, in the spot he was found someone had put a lily in the grass in a vase.

It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out he died from the hit and run.


How sharp were they, though?

A kid f*cking sharpened his fingers with an automatic pencil sharpener at grade 2. Everyone didn't know what was going on until the teacher started freaking out.


I just remembered I tried to stick my finger into electric pencil sharpeners as a kid and disliked how my fingers were too big to fit in it. What the hell was I thinking?


Rock climbing can definitely be dangerous.

scared george costanza GIF by HULU Giphy

We did climbing in PE (sixth to eight grade). Like rock climbing and we had to do our own harness and stuff. PE teacher (supposedly) checked it after we were done to make sure it was done right. One day my neighbor broke an arm and leg because she wasn't properly strapped and fell.

This was at an international American school in Egypt around year 2000, for all those wondering what type of school does rock climbing.


Kids are, in fact, made of elastic.

We used to jump of our roof. First time hurt a little, but after a few times you learnt how to land.

Did it regularly and would try various items as 'parachutes' to see if it slows you down any.

I look at that height now and wonder how the hell we never broke anything - kids bones are more elastic I guess.


​It’s amazing what adults can get away with right under kids’ noses.

A casual hit-and-run.

car japan GIF Giphy

My babysitter was running late to take me to piano lessons and rear ended an old man at a stoplight. She told me that he must not have noticed because he didn't get out of his car. I thought nothing of it, and she drove away and took me to my piano lesson.

I forgot about it, and it didn't click until I remembered the incident years later that I had been unknowingly involved in a hit and run.


Big yikes.

Not so much something I saw - but when I was 5 or 6 I was at a family wedding, and there was this really friendly adult guy (who I didn't know) who told me he was really worried about his nice new car in the parking lot and how he wanted to check on the car but didn't want to leave the wedding.

He asked if I could go check on it and he would pay me $5 just to go see if his car was "okay" being that age $5 was a crazy amount of money so I couldn't believe my luck.

On the way to the parking lot, my mom intercepted me and was absolutely horrified, I remember not understanding why, like trying to tell her no she had it wrong he was nice and paying me! And as an adult now I'm like that's so messed up and I wonder how close a call that could have been.


Go grandma!

Until the age of 12 my grandma had custody of me. I used to sleep with her and she slept with a baseball bat next to her bed. It wasn't until I was much older that I realized she did it dads friends wouldn't be able to do anything to me.

Dad was a drug addict and drunk and when he was out of prison he had all kinds of people in and out of the house. You would never know what would be missing the next day - often my Nintendo :(

She did everything she could to protect me from God knows who/what and I had zero clue!

Edit: Damn this blew up while I was sleeping!! Thank you so much to everyone for the support :)

Im adding extra details to help understand the situation.

My grandmother was born in 1914, had a third grade education and was a housewife her entire life. She was already 71 when I was born! My grandpa died when I was 4 and it was just her and I. We lived in a tiny 2 bedroom house in a terrible neighborhood. It was paid off and that's all she could afford. She lived off of the social security death benefits from my grandpa and food banks. She couldn't just "leave" and go anywhere else.

Also, for those suggesting she should have called the cops - cops don't do anything if you say "I'm scared these guys will do something bad" cops have to wait till something bad happens.

She did her very best and raised my right! Now my father is back in prison (shocker) and is pissed at me for not letting the past be in the past and welcoming him with open arms. Meanwhile I'm a 2x college graduate with a great job, my own house and recently married! She definitely did something right. Unfortunately she died when I was 12. Id give anything to be able to tell her how grateful I am to her for doing everything right.


We see some scary stuff as kids. No wonder most of us are so messed up years later. Often these things don’t even register as something terrible- a lot of times, the things we witnessed were just a part of life.

The best we can do is to take our trauma, and learn from it, so we don’t pass it down to our own children. Because kids don’t deserve it- they deserve to have happy childhoods and not think about the horrors of the world.