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People Break Down 'The Incident' That Happened At Their High School

A deleted Reddit user asked: 'What was “the incident” at your high school?'

High school student carrying text books.
Element5 Digital/Unsplash

Nothing has more impact on our lives than the moments of adolescence.

Everything seems to be high stakes–especially in high school–where short-term goals like being popular and voted best-looking are the coveted status.

And when teens fall short of expectations, struggle with academics, and feel like breakups are the end of the world, they don't have the wisdom yet to know things eventually get better.

It's no wonder many successful TV series like 90210 feature teens. There's plenty of drama to entertain audiences who've either been there or are going through it themselves and find many of the plotlines are relatable.

But sometimes, there are plenty of unimaginable and horrific incidents that take place and are forever ingrained as part of the high school experience.

Curious to hear from strangers online about their teenage years, an anonymous Redditor asked:

"What was 'the incident' at your high school?"

Major school incidences ranged from the bizarre to tragedy.

Prank Gone Wrong

"Senior prank, someone dumped a few hundred pounds of flour and yeast into the school indoor pool, in hopes of turning it into a giant glob of dough (I guess). It didn’t work, just caused about 100K damage to plumbing, pumps, filters, etc. Prankster never caught."

– Sea_Ganache620

Cruel Morning

"In high school Two kids both named Logan. Both last names were very similar. One was popular and the other was not. Unpopular Logan was drunk and ran across a road in the middle of the night and was killed by a semi-truck."

"The next day the principal announced that popular Logan had died. Popular Logan was late for school."

"Everyone was very sad. Then popular Logan showed up and all school rejoiced that unpopular Logan was the one who died. Was f'ked up."

– AggressiveSmoke4054

Sudden Death

"A sophomore (my classmate) dropped unconscious in gym class and was rushed to the hospital. 3 days later they took him off life support and he died from a brain aneurysm."

"Edit to add: his funeral was held in the high school gym and damn near everyone went. Never in my life did I think I’d attend a funeral AT school."

– DisappointmentToMost

In The Nick Of Time

"A friend of mine in high school had a brain aneurysm, also as a sophomore. He'd been complaining for a few days about sudden, brief, very intense headaches. He was on the JV football team and went to play a game. Took a hard tackle and the aneurysm ruptured."

"That actually turned out to be the luckiest possible time for it to happen, because the school always had an ambulance on call at the side of the field during football games, so he was in the hands of EMTs within a minute of people realizing something was wrong. He was rushed to the hospital, they removed part of his skull to reduce the pressure on his brain and he spent a week or two in an induced coma. But in an absolute damn miracle, he made about as complete of a recovery as one can from that kind of injury; the only long-term effect was some very minor loss of muscle control in the left side of his face, so his smile was a little crooked."

"That was back in 2000."

"He just died three weeks ago from an accidental drug overdose."

– Lachwen


"A kid came to school with a machete and tree saw and slashed 7 students the day before Thanksgiving break."

"And a girl fell through the gym’s acoustic ceiling tiles and had to wear a halo."

– usfgirl1020

Incidences were not limited to just the students.


"A science teacher was beaten, chased and fatally set on fire by her husband who then shot himself."

– Fracture_98

Domestic Violence

"A teacher at the school I attended was being chased by her abusive husband. She drove to a police station with him following and tried to go inside but the doors were locked (it was some holiday). He shot her dead there and drove off. After that they made a rule to always have someone on staff and the doors unlocked."

– TheW83

There's no avoiding the brutal shaming that accompanies the high school experience.

Special Gym Class

"We had so many pregnant teen girls that they had their own gym class."

"A friend of mine who had a fake leg— he had a solid metal rod from mid thigh to mid calf from childhood leukemia so he couldn’t bend at the knee, was in the same class. Just this one poor guy and 30 pregnant 16 year olds."

"I was a teenager in the late 90s and grew up in the southeastern United States. It was a suburban area where a ton of people (still) identify as Evangelical Christians, it’s also called the Bible Belt. The required sex education classes didn’t teach anything but 'Just Say No' so there were girls who thought jumping up and down would prevent pregnancy. Not kidding. These were really sheltered girls who would attend Purity Dances, so it was quite a scandal that so many were pregnant at the same time. Most of the baby daddies were just dumb teenage boys who didn’t know the facts of life."

"Remember that there was no internet at this point so it’s not like teens could get information on their own especially if they were from a super religious background. A girl on my street was 'sent away' to live with an aunt when she got pregnant."

"Also, the pregnant girl gym class was technically for the physically disabled kids, hence why my friend was the lone guy in the class."

"His leg, from what he explained to me, had cancer in the bones of his knee. They didn’t want to amputate his whole leg so they removed the knee and grafted a rod in place— this would have been back in the late 80s so I’m sure they do stuff differently now."

– Malicious_Tacos

Students Can Be So Mean

"a girl had an epilepsy attack and she lost control of her bowels. Not a pretty sight."

"Mean girls type made fun of her, and she transferred to another high school."

– StuntCockofGilead

Teenagers deserve more credit than they're given.

These days, they are forced to grow up fast and learn important life lessons earlier than their parents like for them to experience due to various circumstances unfolding on campus.

If they can survive high school, they can survive almost anything in life past graduation.

People Divulge The Worst Things Someone's Ever Said To Them

Reddit user BlondCurvyDiva asked: 'What's the worst thing that's ever been said to you?'

When parents see their children grow aggressive and resort to hitting and throwing things, they often tell their children to "use their words".

While violence is never the answer, this advice might not always be the best advice, as sometimes words can hurt much harder than a punch or being hit in the head by a flying object.

Indeed, some people are still finding ways to recover from things people have said to them in the past.

Be it a demeaning insult or learning news they hoped they would never hear in their lives.

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It’s not uncommon to tell little white lies, especially to a child or sibling. After all, messing with them is half the fun. Sometimes, white lies and tall tales go beyond the standard Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Not only that, but often, the person being told the lie goes on believing it for far too long. Here are some of the dumbest lies people believed.

1. This Untruth Got Flushed Away

grayscale photography of two girls closing their mouthsPhoto by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

My best friend was a girl, and she thought it would be funny to get all the girls I knew in on a prank against me. She told every girl I knew, including my teacher, mom, and sister, to tell me that girls didn’t poop if I asked. They all went with it for a couple of days and I fell for it. I believed this was the case from about fifth grade up until the ninth grade when my sister forgot to flush.

I went in immediately after her, and the truth suddenly hit me. There they were—four years of lies just floating there, mocking me for being so stupid and gullible. My friend thought it was hilarious when I confronted her at school the following day. She couldn’t believe I hadn’t figured it out. She had also almost forgotten about that prank.


2. A Crock Of Cheese

red strawberry fruit on green leavesPhoto by Justus Menke on Unsplash

There were many times I had been duped, but one stands out. I was about seven years old at the time, and my sister was 13. We were eating strawberries. There was this huge one, and me being the annoying little sister, of course, I had to get it before her. So, I took it and had the biggest bite possible. When I saw what was inside, I just started screaming. The strawberry was filled with ants.

So there were ants running out and my mouth was full of this strawberry-ant-mix. I was hollering in horror at the top of my lungs. Meanwhile, my sister was about to pass out from laughing so hard. She told me to just calm down and eat cheese because the cheese will kill the ants. I was relieved, so I ate almost a kilo of this feta-like cheese. I ate and I ate and I ate.

I ate so much that my mom was scared there wasn’t going to be any cheese left for breakfast. After half an hour of eating cheese, my sister told me, while laughing like a maniac, to stop eating because she had just made it up to calm me down. However, I didn’t believe her.


3. She Drummed Up This Tall Tale

white red and blue umbrellaPhoto by Ana Lucia Cottone on Unsplash

When I was little, and my mom got me fast food, I would use the straws like drumsticks on the passenger side dash of the car. My mom told me to stop because I could set off the airbag and break my own neck. Fifteen years later, I drove a friend to get food. He started doing the same thing. I told him sternly not to do that because I didn’t want the airbag to go off.

He just stared at me like I was insane. That moment made me question everything else my parents ever told me.


4. Stuck Between A Rock And A Hard Place

multi colored plastic round toyPhoto by elnaz asadi on Unsplash

When I was a child, I got upset after a button came off of my shirt. My mother told me not to worry and that if I placed the button under a rock in the yard, the button fairy would replace it with a quarter. I believed it, and to my mother's dismay, I took her story to heart. She discovered I had pulled the buttons off of every shirt in my closet.

To this day, 40 years later, shirt buttons can still be found under random rocks in my parents' backyard.


5. It Was A Total Snow Job

snow covered cars parked on snow covered road during daytimePhoto by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash

One time, when I was about five or six years old, I was staying in with my father, when his good friend came by. It was evening and I was doing my own stuff, such as playing with Legos and watching TV. Meanwhile, they were in the kitchen talking, laughing, and generally, doing what adults do, or at least that’s what I thought.

Then, my dad suggested we all go for a walk. It was deep winter, but pleasant out—very snowy but not too cold. So, of course, I was down for the walk. I figured I would get to play with snowballs and mess around. We went and at some point, my dad's friend started to walk sideways and behave funny. A few times he even fell in the snow and started eating it.

It was very amusing, so my dad and I laughed our butts off. When we came back home, his friend just collapsed in the corridor and my dad got him some pillows and a blanket. I asked him, “What's going on?” He said that his friend ate too much snow. We laughed again and I went to sleep. When I was 18 or 19 years old, it finally hit me that they were both loaded.

The walk was to go to a store and get more booze.


6. I Was Out Of Tune With Reality

File:Grammy Awards, Best Alternative Music Album - 2005, John

When my sister and I were kids, our mom lied and told us that she was a Grammy-nominated and winning singer. She said that all of the trophies were in our attic, knowing that neither of us would ever go up there and check for them. My sister and I bragged to all of our friends about it for years, only to discover that our mom wasn’t a very good singer at all.

We held this lie over her head for years. We finally gifted her a fake Grammy that had her name and her favorite music category engraved on it, citing her as the winner of it. She laughed until she cried.


7. Her Answer Wasn’t Quite Black Or White

black traffic light turned on during night timePhoto by Tsvetoslav Hristov on Unsplash

I was four, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom. One day, she was washing dishes in the sink and I came over and asked her what my dad’s favorite color was. Without turning around, she told me it was grey. I said, “Grey? That’s an ugly color!” She replied, “Well, don’t you know that your dad’s colorblind and can only see black and white and shades between?”

I obviously believed that wholeheartedly because Rugrats didn’t have an episode explaining what color blindness was. I then spent the next four years telling my dad what color the stoplights were when he and I were riding together. I figured because he was colorblind, he didn’t know what color the stoplight was. I never did it when my mom was in the car because I knew she obviously had a secret signal to let him know while he was driving without making it obvious.

So, every car ride would always start out with me telling him the light was red, and then green, or that it was green so he could drive straight through that but the next one was yellow and he needed to hurry up, and so on. His response was always polite at first, but it would escalate until he yelled, “Thanks, thank you, yup, thaaank you, THANK YOU, YES I KNOW YOU CAN STOP NOW.”

I would end up pouting the rest of the ride. Eventually, I stopped and learned his favorite color was blue. I was telling this story at my high school graduation party. My dad overheard and confronted my mom in front of everyone, exclaiming that he had never known why I had done that and how annoying it had been. My mom had never realized I was doing it because I never did it when she was in the car.


8. A Grizzly Tale

brown bear selective focal photo during daytimePhoto by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

My dad always liked to make up silly stories to freak me out when I was little, and this one I believed for YEARS. He would sometimes pick up odd jobs to do for friends. One time, when I was about six, we were at our friend’s house. He was trimming up the bushes in the backyard, while I stayed inside playing. He came into the house with huge scratches all up his arm. I started freaking out. I asked him what had happened.

He told me, "Well I was out in the backyard cleaning things up, and all of the sudden a bear came out of nowhere and asked me to race him! So of course, I did and OF COURSE, I won. The bear was so angry that he scratched up my arm and ran away." I literally believed this story until I was in high school. We were with family and I had brought up that one time my dad raced a bear in the backyard, and I swear I've never seen my dad laugh harder than that.


9. He Was Just Pushing My Buttons

boy sitting on plane seat while viewing windowPhoto by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

When I was a kid, my dad always told me not to touch the button on the armrest of a plane because it was an "emergency" button. One time, when I was about five, we were flying to visit family. My dad fell asleep, so I pressed it a bunch of times because I was curious. Nothing happened, and I fell asleep thinking it must be broken. I woke up in a stroller with my parents, upset because the plane had to make an emergency landing. I started crying because I thought it was my fault.


10. His Story Didn’t Ring A Bell

green and yellow trees on brown grass fieldPhoto by Lasse Nystedt on Unsplash

When I was five years old, my dad told me and my nine-year-old sister that telephone poles were actually trees that had been genetically engineered by the power companies to grow straight up into a perfect pole with two little arms on each side to hold the lines. It was just one of the many “dadisms” that he preached when Mom wasn't around.

One day, he brought my sister home earlier than usual from school. He explained to my mom that the principal had called him to come and pick her up. When she asked why he told her that a local power company worker had come to her class that day to talk about power line safety. The power company worker had asked the class, "Who knows how telephone poles are made?"

My sister raised her hand and proudly shared what my dad had told her. The worker laughed and said, "I think your dad lied to you." My sister's response completely threw him. She said, "I think you're a liar." We still quote her at family gatherings whenever we think someone is pulling our leg.


11. This Strategy Backfired

chess pieces on chess boardPhoto by Seri on Unsplash

When I was younger, I was told that my stepdad traded his watch and all the money in his wallet for our family's chessboard and that he had hiked out of the jungle with it. My mom corroborated the story and it was easy to believe cause my stepdad was a former officer. About a decade later, my then-boyfriend walked into my house and said, “Hey my ex-girlfriend has a chessboard just like this one!”

I told him that was impossible because my stepdad had hiked it out of the jungle. He said, “No, really!” What happened next shattered me. He proceeded to pull the chessboard up on eBay. It was $30. Later, I confronted my mom by sending her a screenshot. She just laughed. I was honestly hurt and felt very stupid.


12. I Was Conditioned To Believe This Tale

black metal appliancesPhoto by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

When I was about ten, I was in the car with my father on a hot day. He told me to roll my window up because the air conditioning would run out. Because of this, I believed air conditioning was consumable in a vehicle and if you had it on with the window down you would run out. I was 22, driving in my work truck, and every time my coworker rolled the window down when he lit up, I turned the AC off.

He finally asked me why I did that. I'll regret my answer forever: I told him it was because I didn't want the air conditioning to run out. He laughed for the whole hour's drive back to the shop.


13. My Stuffy Was Away On Vacay

Sock Monkey plush toy on brown panelPhoto by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

When I was five, I lost my stuffed animal in the Miami airport. It was my favorite, and I was really sad about it. A few weeks later, my mom presented me with a brown dog that otherwise looked exactly like the white one I had lost. She said the workers at the airport had found it and mailed it to us, but he got a tan because he was in Florida. For a few years, I bought it hook line and sinker.


14. A Salty Tale

orange camping tent near green treesPhoto by Scott Goodwill on Unsplash

As a kid, my whole extended family would go camping, and my great grandfather would bring a giant salt shaker for every kid. When we arrived, he would pass them out to each of us and tell us, “If you get salt on a squirrel’s tail, it throws off the squirrel's balance, and he can’t climb the trees anymore. That’s how you can catch one and keep it for a pet.”

We all went running around for hours chasing squirrels with salt shakers trying to catch one while the adults sat around drinking uninterrupted. I never got my pet squirrel.


15. This Movie Was Pure Fiction

File:Inmate in full harness restraints.jpg - Wikimedia

When I was about seven years old, I could not understand how all the gory scenes in action movies seemed so realistic. So, I asked one of my older brothers how they did it. He told me the most disturbing lie possible. He explained that they empty out the state prisons in the area the movie is being made, dress the inmates up, and tell them that if they survive the filming, then they get to leave prison after.

I believed it until I was around ten.


16. I Didn’t See This One Coming

girl in blue and white shirt wearing pink framed eyeglassesPhoto by Zahra Amiri on Unsplash

It was the summer of fifth grade. I was told that if you sit too close to the TV or a computer screen, you will go blind. Then, when I was in sixth grade, I got glasses. As I was trying on my first pair of glasses, all I heard was, “I told you." I was then told that my sister, who was a year younger than me, wouldn’t need glasses because she listened.

She got HER glasses less than a year later.


17. Poisonous Gingerbread

brown cookies on white ceramic platePhoto by Casey Chae on Unsplash

Back in elementary school, when I was about seven years old, we would make gingerbread houses with icing and stuff. My teacher told us NOT to eat the gingerbread and the icing because it was poisonous, and we could get really sick. Being the teacher and someone you should listen to, I believed her. So, while I was growing up and for most of my life, I thought that gingerbread was poisonous.

I never ate a gingerbread house in my life nor any of the icing. At 29 years of age, my fiancée and I were making a gingerbread house, and she started eating hers. I freaked out. It was then that she informed me that the teacher probably said that so she wouldn’t have 30 kids hopped up on sugar in her class for the rest of the day. I couldn’t believe I was duped that hard and never realized it.


18. This Lie Stunk

grayscale photo of man making silly facePhoto by Denis Agati on Unsplash

We used to make an annual trip to the mountains in North Carolina for about two weeks starting the day after Christmas. I went through a phase when I was younger where I wanted to know the etymology of every word. We were driving through Jacksonville just before rush hour. At the time, the area used to reek from the mills and the coffee plant.

The smell was so strong that even if you weren’t paying attention to the road, you knew you had reached the area, simply from the smell. So, while everyone in the car was commenting on the odor, I asked my dad how Jacksonville got its name. Not knowing, he did what every good dad does—he made something up. He said it was because everyone passed gas at the same time.

For years, I had this image in my head of business people all over Jacksonville, commuting to work in their business suits and skirts, holding briefcases throughout the entire city, all busting wind in unison throughout the day. It was one of those lies that you believe as a kid, and don't bother questioning it. You don’t even think about the answer until you're sitting in class and the real answer is explained in a book. I'm guessing I believed that one until I hit middle school.


19. My Uncle Milked This One As Much As He Could

brown and black wild cat sitting on brown rackPhoto by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

A college nearby has a cougar as its mascot, and they sell cougar cheese. It's delicious. My uncles told me that cougar cheese was made from the milk of cougars. It made sense to me. Then when I got older, I saw a can of that cougar gold and wondered how they milked the cougars. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that you couldn’t have a cougar milk farm with angry cougars hooked up to milking machines.

I got a chuckle out of the image and realized that I was a grown man who believed that they were milking cougars down at the college and turning it into cheese.


20. This Story Was Bearly Believable

brown bear on green grass during daytimePhoto by Rey Emsen on Unsplash

When I was ten and my brother was seven, we were on a lake trip. I was just wandering around the treeline and he wouldn’t stop following me, so I told him that I was looking for "bear eggs." Since he had recently learned about the platypus in school and wouldn't shut up about them, I also explained to him that the bears in our area were actually marsupials that, "fell off the back of a truck.”

Since the zookeepers couldn't catch them all, they were now an invasive species. I told him that if he found anything brown and oval that wasn't a pinecone it was probably a “bear egg.” We were exploring an area where people walked their dogs and stuff. He found a lot of brown oval things before we left and my mom slapped the daylights out of me when my uncle and I laughed.

To be fair, at the time, I still believed "fell off the back of a truck" was a real thing and not a euphemism for misappropriated goods.


21. Time To Hit The Kentucky Tale

File:Ohio 2021 license plate Montgomery County.jpg - Wikimedia

I’m from central Kentucky and growing up we would always see tons of Ohio license plates on the road. So I asked why that was. My father proceeded to tell me that Ohio had a state law that was basically a curfew. He told me that once Ohio residents leave the state for any reason, they have a limited amount of time to return.

Therefore, if they didn’t make it back, they couldn’t re-enter the state. So, the Ohio drivers on the road were vagabonds, forever driving the surrounding states until they could go home. He told it so well and with such conviction that I believed it until I repeated it to friends in high school and finally realized what an idiot I was.


22. I Couldn’t Handle The Truth

boy writing on white paperPhoto by Yogesh Rahamatkar on Unsplash

I was seven years old, and one of my teachers wanted us to write a letter to a family member, friend, or someone. I wrote the letter, got the envelope and the stamp. My mom worked at the county prison at the time, and she suggested I write to one of the inmates who never got mail, so I did. I wrote something along the lines of, "I'm sorry you're locked up, but I hope you get out." I even signed it with my seven-year-old signature. While I was writing the letter, my mom had left to go to the store.

I asked my older brother what our address was because I needed to put a return address. Unknowingly, he gave me the address to The White House. I wrote it on the letter and put it in with the mail that my mom was sending out. Years later, I went to pick my mom up from work, and one of the corrections officers called me Mr. President. When I asked why he said that, he mentioned the letter I wrote years prior and how it was a joke in the prison any time my mom mentioned me.


23. The Seven Year Myth

green Doublemint packPhoto by Hunter Newton on Unsplash

On my fifth birthday, my older sister gave me a pack of gum. It was my first time trying gum, and I swallowed it. I told my sister, and she told me that because I swallowed the gum, I would pass in seven years. I was so sad. I never told my mom because I didn't want to make her sad. So I lived the next seven years of my life awaiting my tragic end.

My mom couldn't understand what my problem was on my 12th birthday because I was so sad. Finally, before bed, I told her how much I loved her and that I hoped she would miss me. She said, "What are you talking about?" I told her that I wasn’t going to make it through the night. My sister got yelled at, and my mom assured me I would not be gone before the morning.


24. This Was A Bunch Of Blarney

a statue of a man holding a baseball batPhoto by Tim Wilson on Unsplash

When I was little, I thought that Leprechauns were real. I spent many hours and several iterations designing traps to try and catch one because if you caught one, you would get his pot of gold. A few times I tried, I got a piece of gold, and that's what kept the magic going. It turned out my dad was painting rocks with gold paint and sneaking them into my traps at night.

It is actually a really sweet memory as a kid, but it fell apart when I started asking other kids how their traps were going, and no one knew what I was talking about.


25. This Lie Blew Up

gray and white mini fan on white surfacePhoto by Call Me Fred on Unsplash

We didn't have air conditioning or central air in my home growing up, so we used box fans a lot. They sat on the floor and weren’t all that sturdy, so sometimes they would fall or get knocked over. At one point, my mom told me not to leave them running when they fell over because they would "explode." My child mind, of course, took that to mean the same as it does in movies.

I got spooked and imagined our whole house exploding into a massive fireball. I remember one time a fan fell over next to my dad, and he wasn't urgently picking it up. I went into a panic and was yelling at him while he gave me a confused "what is your problem?" look.


26. Wood You Believe This?

colse-up photo of brown wooden dollPhoto by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

From when I was about five to twelve years old, I believed my father had a wooden plate in his head. Whenever anyone said, “Knock on wood,” he would knock on his head. He would say it was because he had a wooden plate from when he jumped into an empty pool as a kid. He kept the lie going by adding that whenever he went to the doctor, it was because his wooden plate was being replaced due to termites.


27. Mirror, Mirror

a man wearing glasses looking out a windowPhoto by Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash

My dad always told me to be good because he said that he could see around corners. Sometimes, if I got told off for being naughty, I would walk out of the room and flip him the bird and he would always know. So, once, when I was around 12, the same thing happened. I had done something wrong and he shouted at me. I then walked out of the room and, clearly out of sight, flipped him a double bird.

He knew it and ran out after me. That's when I had the most jaw-dropping revelation. The door to walk out of the living room was next to the back door for the garden, which was glass. He could always see me in the reflection. I couldn’t believe I was so stupid for so long.


28. Beam Me Up

person holding BMW vehicle steering wheelPhoto by Andras Vas on Unsplash

When I was seven years old, my mother married my stepfather. He had a really great job, and as a result, had a BMW. One day, I got to ride in the front seat of his car for the first time. I had never in my life experienced anything so modern or so expensive before then. I was in awe of the dashboard, the interior, the seat warmers—everything just blew me away.

I think he must have noticed, because he was like, "Hey, watch this.” He raised his hand in the air, in front of the dash, and made a gesture like he was turning the volume dial for the music, without touching anything. What I didn't see, was his other hand on the steering wheel turning up the music from there. He then told me to try turning down the volume.

When it worked, I was just amazed. I actually believed his car could magically do that until I was 16 years old. I didn't ride in his car very often, so it kind of kept the illusion of it alive. My stepfather couldn't believe that I had kept on believing for so long. Then again, I also thought lacrosse was a big, secret joke that the whole world was in on.


29. I Couldn’t Brush This One Off

blue and white plastic bottlePhoto by 莎莉 彭 on Unsplash

When I was young, I once asked my older cousins if they also hated the burning after-taste when you swallowed toothpaste. They looked at me with matching expressions of horror. My cousin told me, “Don't swallow toothpaste. You only have like three chances. After that, you've had too much of the chemicals, and you'll be a goner by the time you turn 21."

I was horrified and said, "But I've accidentally swallowed toothpaste in heaps." They grimaced and said, "Oh gosh, I hope not." Several years later, it suddenly dawned on me that they were obviously making it up.


30. I Had My Bubble Burst

white airplane on brown field under gray cloudsPhoto by Anthony Duran on Unsplash

When I was young, we lived near a small private airfield. My mother told us that if we waved to the airplanes as they passed by, they would throw us bubblegum. We were the idiots waving like goons at all the small planes overhead for far too long. When we asked her later why she told us that she said, "When you have kids, look at the trust and belief in their eyes and see if you'll be able to resist messing with them."


31. His Lie Left Me Sore

woman standing in front of childrenPhoto by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

My dad told me that canker sores, or “ulcers” as we called them, came from telling lies. He said this to me a few times. In third grade, when the teacher asked if anyone knew why we get them, I raised my hand and proceed to spout out, “My daddy said they come from telling lies.” My teacher's awkward silence and lack of eye contact let me know it was my papa who sat on a throne of lies!


32. The Apple Fell Far From The Tree

a bunch of apples hanging from a treePhoto by Bozhin Karaivanov on Unsplash

When I was very little, every time I went to visit my grandpa, he would take me out to the garden to pick an apple from his apple tree. Four years after he had passed, when I was 16, we were sitting around sharing stories about him, and I said, “Hey, whatever happened to that apple tree?” My family laughed and finally exposed the truth.

It was just a regular tree, and he would go tie a few apples to it with string before we went over. Looking back, it was a skinny little tree, with big perfect red apples in it.


33. She's A Rich Girl

File:Walt Disney World Resort entrance.jpg - Wikimedia

When I was around eight years old, my family went to Disney World and shared a hotel. On the floor was a vending machine. At the time, I had a habit of looking through the coin slot of vending machines to see if people had left behind their change. On this trip, I hit the jackpot. Every time I passed the machine, there would be a few coins waiting for me—every single time.

I ended up with almost $6.00 during that trip. I thought the machine was broken. Many years later, I was telling this story to a friend of mine, and my dad started laughing. He then revealed the truth, which was that my grandmother would put the coins into the slot before I had the chance to look.


34. The Parent Trap

white power switch on wallPhoto by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

When I was little, I was just TERRIFIED of burglars. My mind was just wrought with fear over someone breaking into our house. My parents would always try to ease my worry but to no avail. Until one day they came up with this lie to make me feel safe. By our front door, there was an outlet with three switches. Two of them controlled outside and inside lights but the third didn’t seem to connect to anything.

I always asked them, “What does the third switch control?” My parents decided to tell me that it detonates devices buried in our front yard. My dad decided to build upon the story and said that one night he buried a ton of devices under the ground in the front yard and if a burglar stepped in the yard, a signal would go off. He would then flip the switch making the devices detonate and destroy the burglar.

It was definitely a really weird and intense lie to tell a six-year-old, but I never worried about burglars at that house again.


35. I Should Have Ditched This Concept

aerial photography of calm body of water during daytimePhoto by Jukka Heinovirta on Unsplash

There were these ditches dug along the roads so that plowed snow had somewhere to go in the winter. So, naturally, they collect water and are really marshy and grow reeds. I used to think you could sink into them as one would sink into an actual marsh. My sister, who was three years older than me, decided to mess with me—and boy, she did not hold back.

She told me that kids have been lost by sinking into the marshy ditches and that there were trolls who live underneath who ate them. She said that after a girl had been lost, they lowered a bag of chips into it, and they could hear the trolls crunching and munching on them.


36. This Idea Shouldn’t Have Taken Flight

aerial photography of clouds and mountainsPhoto by Daniel Olah on Unsplash

I was pretty smart and could deduce some pretty complex things. Well, I figured that in order to turn, there were weights inside the long wings of airplanes that could move from one end to the other. When going straight, the weights are in the middle, and to turn left, the weights shift to the left, into the wingtips, and so on. It was so dumb to think that, but I would like to believe that such a design could actually work in practice.


37. Her Lie Left Me Cold

person holding glass figurinePhoto by Matt Foster on Unsplash

My sister once dramatically exclaimed, "My hand froze off!" She said this while running her hand under warm water after a ski trip where she had lost a glove. I was terrified and hid in my room for an hour. Later, I came out, and her hand was back to normal. I asked her how she got her hand back. She said, "Your hand just grows back if it's frozen off. You only really lose it if you cut it off."

I distinctly remember telling my teachers and schoolmates that my sister grew back her frozen hand. I was only seven years old, but even when they tried to tell me she was messing with me, I just assumed my teacher was dumb and didn't know what I did.


38. This Story Was All Fluff

Better Being Underground | Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats… |

I was picky about food. One day, I proclaimed loudly that I didn't like marshmallows. Then, someone told me that marshmallows were used to make Rice Krispie squares, so I informed my mother I would not be eating Rice Krispie squares because I didn't want to eat marshmallows. Until I was an adult, she made sure to warn everyone I would come into contact with—whether it was other parents, my teachers at school, basically, every person who she could get to—that her Rice Krispie squares were made with sugar glue.

I was 18 before I learned that was a lie.


39. Switched At Birth Sham

man and woman holding handsPhoto by Austin Lowman on Unsplash

I had always had an inkling that I was adopted, and my older brother played into that a lot by making fun of me and telling me that I was. I also was the only member of my family to look Mexican, and people always thought I was, while my family was half white and half Indian. When I was young, we moved to a new city a few hours away.

The people who owned the house before us had a maid service and that company gave us one month free to see if we liked it. The maid that worked for us was a young Mexican woman named Juanita. My brother very cleverly came up with the lie that Juanita was my birth mother and that she had an affair with a very famous person.

Since this person couldn't have the public image of cheating on his wife, he paid her a lot of money to put me up for adoption. He continued, saying that my parents had found out about Juanita being in this city, and we moved there so I could be closer to my birth mother. I believed this story for two years!


40. They Told Me A Historic Lie

brown rock on white surfacePhoto by Anton Maksimov on Unsplash

When I was a kid, my dad got these little arrowheads from some gift shop and put them out in our backyard. He told me that Indigenous people used to inhabit where our yard was and that if I looked around I could find different things that were left behind. When I found those arrowheads, I almost squealed with delight. I thought I had discovered artifacts from Indigenous civilizations in my backyard.

I told people about it every now and again and was pretty proud of it. I bragged about it to friends, teachers, and even people at the local historical society. I really felt stupid for believing it for as long as I did. I should have realized sooner that it clearly wasn’t true based on the fact that the explanations about them were too far-fetched, the placement of them was obviously in places where a kid would be able to find them, and that the concept wasn’t told to me before or after that one afternoon.


41. It Was A Twisted Deception

long exposure photography of hurricanePhoto by Nikolas Noonan on Unsplash

When I was about four or five years old, I was a really anxious kid. Even though we lived in an area where tornados were rare, but not unheard of, I was really fixated on the possibility of a tornado coming to destroy our house. So, to alleviate my anxiety, my dad told me that those spinning attic vents you see on houses were "tornado stoppers.”

He said that they spin the opposite way to a tornado and cancel it out, with an effective range that went to the end of our street. I accepted this at face value and didn't question it until many years later when I looked at our roof and noticed we didn't actually have a spinning-style attic vent. My dad had just assumed we had one and neither of us had bothered to check.


42. A True Fairy Tale?

santa claus with red backgroundPhoto by krakenimages on Unsplash

When I was a kid, about seven or eight, I asked my mother if Santa was real. She decided to tell me that he was not. I wasn’t too bothered and apparently felt that this made sense. I then asked if the tooth fairy was real, and my mother, overestimating my grasp of sarcasm, told me that the tooth fairy was, in fact, real. I figured that there was no reason she would lie to me given that she had just admitted to Santa being fake.

Later, my mother caught me explaining to other kids that Santa was fake, but that the tooth fairy wasn’t. Unfortunately, I believed in the tooth fairy for much longer than I care to admit.


43. The Meaning Of "Gullible"

opened book on brown tablePhoto by Pisit Heng on Unsplash

My dad convinced me that the word "gullible" was not in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I was probably six when he first told me. My mom and sister agreed with him at the dinner table. We had a dictionary on the bookshelf next to the table. I would look it up and find it. Then, I would forget and he would re-convince me of it at random intervals—sometimes a year later, sometimes six months later.

It was probably the fifth time that I looked it up when I finally stopped believing him.


44. There Was Not A Crumb Of Truth To It

bread on white ceramic platePhoto by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

My parents told me that eating the crust of bread for sandwiches or toast was important as it contained all the healthy nutrients I needed to grow healthy. I believed that garbage until I was 26, and I saw my wife cut away her crusts. I told her how she was throwing away the healthiest parts of the bread. I'll never forget the look on her face.

She looked at me dumbfounded and thought I was stupid. Of course, she corrected me.


45. A Haunting Tale

gray scale photo of cemeteryPhoto by Vicki Schofield on Unsplash

We were on our way to a volleyball game when my dad told us that there used to be a cemetery where the school now stood. They had tried to contact the families to move the bodies, but any that weren't claimed were still under the school, so the place was probably haunted. As fifth graders are chatty, especially with something as juicy as "the school is built on deceased bodies," his story made it around our school and the competing school pretty quick.

My dad got in a bit of trouble for that one.


46. What A Croc!

crocodile in body of waterPhoto by Shelly Collins on Unsplash

Growing up, I had some family that lived a town over. We would visit them often since they'd host all the family events because they had a big home. Going to their house involved driving over an area with a large pond that had a road built over it. One day, we drove over the pond, and I noticed a log sticking out of the water.

I asked my dad what it was, and since we had watched some Crocodile Dundee, he said, "It's a crocimagator." Even though we lived in Canada, where there aren’t any crocodiles, I believed him. Every time we drove past, that log was in the same place for years. At first, I doubted it, but I watched a documentary that said crocs or alligators could lay dormant for months on end and not move.

Hence, I believed it for years. Eventually, the log vanished. It probably sunk into the pond and I didn't think much of it. I just thought the crocimagator moved somewhere new. Then it hit me that I was an idiot.


47. I Was Sunk By A Titanic Tale

File:Titanic in color.png - Wikimedia

My mom and I were watching Titanic when I was around four. She obviously didn't want me to see the love scene, so she covered my eyes as she forwarded through it. Her reasoning was wild. She told me that vampires come onto the ship and chase Rose and Jack away. I was terrified of vampires and dumb-little-me believed her.

Not only that, but I continued to believe her for the next three or four years, and was always scared of that movie because of those supposed vampires. In my mind, it had become a horror movie. It was only when I was at my best friend's house and her siblings had that movie on, that I found out my mother had lied to me. I felt so betrayed and as I grew older I was just confused.

When I asked my mother why she said vampires of all things, she said she panicked and couldn't think of anything else. To this day we joke about all of the vampires in Titanic.


48. I Was Neither Older Nor Wiser

grayscale photography of child and toddler while walkingPhoto by juan pablo rodriguez on Unsplash

When I was a kid, my older brother and I used to fight a lot. He used to insult me and torment me in many different ways. Being a girl, and three years younger, I was too little, weak, and dumb to defend myself against him. So one day, I asked my mom why my brother was older than me. My mom replied, "Honey, you used to be older than him but then you got sick and stayed the same age. During that time your brother grew older and now he is older than you!"

I bought it. Not only did I buy it, but I was so happy that there was a time in my life, even though I had no memory of it, that I was the older sibling and I was the one tormenting him. Of course some years later, when apparently I had overcome that strange disease that prevented me from growing older, I realized that my mom was lying.


49. Soda Jerk

seven assorted-brand soda cansPhoto by Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

One time I was at my dad's house, and he and a friend were hanging outside chilling while I was playing with my plastic ninja sword. My dad never let me have soda. His friend left, and he went inside to do the dishes. I saw a 7 Up can on the deck table and sprinted towards it. I took a huge swig. It turned out they had been putting their cig butts in there.

It was horrible. I ran inside and threw up. My dad asked, “What happened, what happened?!” I lied and said nothing, but he figured it out. So, he came up with the most genius lie: He told me all the soda he buys tastes like that, even if they are unopened. I believed him for a few years until I was about nine.


50. Hot Dog!

hotdog sandwich on white platePhoto by Jessica Loaiza on Unsplash

My grandpa was a country guy, who liked to fish, hunt, and ride ATV four-wheelers. He also liked to lie to kids, and just let you think whatever nonsense he put in your head. When I was young, we traveled to our weekend property in the sticks. I saw a cattail reed out near the lake and asked what it was. He said, “What’s it look like? Those are hot dog trees!”

We usually grilled for dinner. My mom and I went to get stuff, and she asked if we had hotdogs. I answered there were plenty of hot dogs back home. We showed up and started unloading all the groceries. My grandpa was filling up the grill as my mom prepped the food. She asked where the hot dogs were. I went to get a pair of scissors and got my shoes on.

She was very confused and upset after I told her I had to go cut them down and that Grandpa showed me where they were.


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