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Smart People Share The Dumbest Thing They Have Ever Done

Book smarts and common sense are two wildly different kinds of intelligence. Let's just say they don't always co-exist within the same person. Combine that fact with the way our minds tend to function on autopilot and you've got the perfect recipe for smart people doing some seriously dumb things.

Oh, you thought you were the only one? Nope. Not even close.

Reddit user MaterialImportance asked:

Normally smart people of reddit, what is the dumbest thing you've ever done?

The sheer number of people who have autopiloted their way into stupidity is just ... breathtaking, honestly. So kick back, relax, and enjoy the stories of other people going down in a blaze of idiotic glory. You know you've done it, too. Solidarity, brethren.

E or F

Okay so several years ago I worked in a craft store. When we were going through the aisles cleaning up, we were supposed to grab any damaged items and put them in a specific bin. At the end of the night, the manager would kind of quickly go through it just to make sure everything in there was in fact damaged.

So the one night she's digging through it and pulls out a wooden E. "Who put this in here?" She asked. I said I did. She asked why. I told her, "It's supposed to be an E but it's missing one of the prongs."

My manager stared at me for a few moments before informing that it was, in fact, an F.

- thumbingitup

The Break

Took a quick break at work and went to get a drink.

Stupid brain went on autopilot and I drove home (not that far), walked in, took off work shirt, plopped on couch, turned on TV, wondered where my girlfriend was cause she's usually home when I get off work, looked up at clock, realized I had 3 hours left on shift.

Cursed a bunch, got up, put shirt back on, grabbed soda, and went back to work.

- 03throwaway03

On A Hunt

Once searched high and low all over the house for like 25 minutes for a certain pair of shorts that I just could not find. I had them on.

- thwinks

A Cup Of Water


I put a cup of water in the microwave, but the cup was too tall so I poured some water out and tried to put the cup back in thinking that would make it fit.

- Sp00nful017

Magnets, How Do They Work? 

In my 20's I briefly convinced myself that all rocks became magnetic under water, because when I dropped them under the surface, they would fall onto the bigger rock floor, as if they were being pulled magnetically. Took me a good 3 hours to remember gravity existed. Not my proudest moment.

- Caddywhompus12


Tried to take a screenshot of a crack on my phone screen.

- trybeofone


I was once eating delicious table grapes and asked my wife and her friends: "Why haven't they made booze out of these?"

I forgot wine existed. I thought I had invented wine. We drink A LOT of wine. They were kind of shocked and still tease me about it.

- tonebonePDX

Oops Antiques

Wandered into the bathroom of an very old antiques store and take a dump. Once I finished I realized I was in a storage closet with antique bathroom fixtures - none of which were hooked up to actual plumbing.

- monkeyCmonkeyDoo630

How To Work A Cup

I was at the zoo buying a fountain pop from the cafe when the staff didn't give me a straw. I asked for one and he said that they do not give out straws due to the free roaming animals on the zoo ground.

I asked, "How am I supposed to drink this?"

Without breaking eye contact, he took the drink and removed the plastic lid.

- PlayDohMask

Thank You

A random girl asked me to take her photo at the park so I agreed and replied with a chill 'sure'. After taking the photo, she thanked me and apologized for being bothersome. My dumb self replied to her 'thank you' with a

"No, Thank you"

Instead of a 'You're welcome'

At that moment I realized I sounded like a total perv and was like ... did I really just say thanks for taking HER picture??? Please excuse me as I go jump off a cliff...

I hate being socially awkward.

- aleshuu

Cinco De Mayo

A bunch of co-workers were talking about getting together for Cinco de mayo. They asked me if I wanted to join. I said, "Sure, when is it?"

That's the day I learned Cinco de mayo meant May 5th.

- suckynipplechops

Log Pile

I was like ten when this happened. I was with my friends looking for a nice place to go on adventures and shit.

We found a stack of lumber that attracted our attention. Old guy, who owns the lumber tells us not to climb up there, or if we do, just be careful.

We climb on it anyways. I find a way INSIDE just to get stuck between two huge logs.

We had to alarm the fire department and they had to cut me out of there.

At that point literally the entire town was across the road watching me.

- Encrux615

In Your Hand


Once I wanted to play on my DS (few years back) and I spent 10 minutes walking around the house asking my mom where my ds was.

It was in my hand the whole time.

- elliehasastroke

Spent almost an hour searching my house for my phone....while on the phone with my Mom. She heard me getting frustrated and throwing things around and asked "What's wrong?"And I replied, real pissed off, "I can't find my phone anywhere. I have been looking for it the whole time I have been talking to you....oh."

- holmesla0319

I decided to end working on homework, and arose from my desk searching for my phone. I probably wanted to relax and lurk or do something else of the sort.

It was dark in my room, so I couldn't see anything.

I then thought, "Hey, let me grab my phone here and use the flashlight to try and find my phone!" ...

I grabbed my phone, turned on the flashlight (as well as the light in the room), and spent a good five minutes looking for my phone with my phone.

I finally decided to look at my hand, and was disappointed in myself for the rest of the day.

- SUPA_Doggo

I was on the phone with my boss he was asking me if I was at work yet I said no I wasn't. He asked me why not. I said I couldn't find my phone. He said "Do me a favor look at your hand." I told him I was looking for my phone.

He sighs and goes "Shut the hell up and look at your hand."

So I look at my hand and tell him it's empty. He goes "No you dumb sh*t look at your other hand."

So I then looked at my hand that was holding my phone. After a long pause I just said "I found my phone."

He told me to get to work.

- Sting2018

Teaching Preschool Is Exhausting

Preschool teacher here! My coworker lost her Northface jacket at work, and had to leave during nap time. She, I, and a third teacher all spent about 20 minutes searching for this jacket while tip-toeing around our combined classes of sleeping 3 year olds.... just for her to realize that she was wearing it the entire time.

- KillerQueen15


I was once on a job interview for a large car manufacturer for working the assembling line. When I was asked "What's your biggest flaw?" I told the recruiter "My physique."

Needless to say, I didn't get a callback.

- cellaz

Foil v. The PhD

Just last week I wanted to reheat some leftovers in the microwave. I put them in and pushed "start"... with the aluminum foil still on.

Some frightening sparks got off before/while my dumbass realized what I'd done and hit "cancel."

...I have a PhD.

- oh_blessyourheart

Phonetic Phanatic

I grew up outside of Philadelphia and went to college in Louisiana. On the first paper I wrote for my Civil War and Reconstruction class I kept writing how the generals were PHANATICS - because I actually thought that was how it was spelled. Until I was 19.

When I showed up a few weeks later in a Sixer's jersey the professor stopped the class in the middle of a lecture and said, "Oh my god, you're from Philly. Oh my god. Is that really how you think fanatic is spelled?"

And I said "How else would you spell it?"

To which he responded "The right way???"

It was traumatic.

- Talk2Angels

Inventing Tennis


My friend and I were in gym class playing ping pong. After a while we got to talking about how there should be a bigger, court-sized version of ping pong with larger paddles, a larger ball, a larger net and maybe 2-3 people on each side. Fully content and proud that we had invented a new game, we continued playing.

5 minutes later, my friend started dying laughing and, once she was able to stop laughing, pointed out that we had just invented tennis.

- hot_thot_bot

Never Assume Pregnancy

I'm a bicycle tour guide, this happened in front of the entire group of 16 people, quarter way into an eight hour tour.

To everyone, loudly: "OK the next toilet break will be one hour from now!"

To small heavily pregnant Asian-American lady: "Except for you, there's a toilet opportunity in 5 mins if you need it."

I then flashed her my cheeriest smile. She responded by just giving me a look of confusion - and that's when my panic set in.

Me: "You are with child, correct?"

Her: arms drop"No, just fat..."

The group recoiled as a collective, the poor woman looked absolutely humiliated and her husband went beet red. My panic gave way to total flight mode and I awkwardly half-yelled my response.


dies inside

- Bikelangelo

The Oil

I may be accident prone, but it's usually because of outside forces. However, the second time I was trying to make donuts, I had the biggest blonde moment of my life.

And yes, I am blonde.

Finished everything up, and was cleaning, cause my mom usually gets on my case when I don't clean up after baking. Had wiped down all the counters, put the ingredients away, and all that was left was the hot oil.

My dumbass proceeds to forget what happens when hot oil and cold water do when mixed.

Proceeded to get second degree burns on my dominant hand, and need to call an ambulance because no one is home to the hospital. After I got back, with a newly bandaged hand, my mom got on my case for not cleaning up the oil.

Love you too, mom

- ChanseyChessy

Pizza Pandemonium

Threw a frozen pizza in the oven for my son. A few minutes later the house starts filling with smoke. I open the oven to discover I had put the pizza in upside down.

- Sullt8

Giving City Block A New Meaning

I was trying to charge my phone and I plugged then cable into my phone. It wasn't charging. Then I realized I was walking through the city with the block dragging behind me.

- juanamarina101

Chili Powder Panic

My dad couldn't get the chili powder to come out no matter how hard he smacked the bottle. So he turns the open bottle upside down over his face and smacks it hard. Cue the screaming when the chili powder drops on his left eye.

Rather than rushing to the kitchen sink less than an arm's length away he runs down the hallway, still screaming, to the bathroom at the farther end of the house.

I asked him why he didn't use the kitchen sink and he yelled back "NOW YOU TELL ME!?" and ran back into the kitchen to use said sink.

I asked him again why he ran back just because I asked him the question, "I DON'T KNOW!!" he told me.

- gildedstrife

People Who Actually Died And Were Revived Share Their Experiences

"Reddit user AlaskaStiletto asked: 'Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?'"

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.

In 2017, I returned to my office after my lunch break to hear my supervisors discussing Tom Petty. This seemed like a random topic to me until one of my supervisors told me Tom Petty had passed away. He was a huge fan of Petty and spent the next hour or so combing through the internet to get more information.

He came back into the room my other supervisor and I were working in and announced that Tom Petty wasn't dead after all. News outlets had jumped the gun to announce his death, but he was actually still alive.

The next day, I came in to find out that Tom Petty was dead; the news may have been premature, but true.

This is a classic example of the rumor being started on the internet. Sometimes, like with the news of Tom Petty's death, the rumor can run wild and appear everywhere. Other times, the rumor can be seen by just a few people and dismissed. However, a lot of times, these rumors turn out to be true.

Redditors know a lot of internet rumors that turned out to be true, and are eager to share.

It all started when Redditor strakerak asked:

"What started out as an internet rumor that ended up being infamously true?"

The King Of Pop

"Michael Jackson writing the music for Sonic 3."

"He actually did, but was never credited on the game because it would breach his contract with his record label."

– -WigglyLine-

"He did the same when he appeared on The Simpsons. He appeared under a pseudonym, and the Producers said it was an impersonator."

"Only years later they confirmed it really was Michael."

"His singing voice was actually done by an impersonator, though."

– given2fly_

The Truth Comes Out

"In 1998, US Men’s National Team captain John Harkes was shockingly cut from the team right before the World Cup. The coach claimed it was because Harkes wouldn’t fit into his new preferred formation, but rumors flew on the early internet that it was actually because he had slept with his teammate Eric Wynalda’s wife. The rumor was so well-known in soccer circles that Harkes expressly denied it in his autobiography the next year."

"Fast forward 12 years to 2010 and Wynalda admits it’s true. The coach then came out and admitted it was why he dropped Harkes, but that he’d planned to keep the secret as long as Wynalda did."

– guyfromsoccer

Video Evidence

"The Tim Burton Hansel and Gretel that aired once on halloween in the 80's."

"I heard for years that it was fake but I knew it was real because my dad recorded everything in the 80s and he recorded that. We let a good friend of ours borrow it and switch it over from VHS to DVD and soon after that it made its way on to the internet , and there it is now. I know it's our copy because the tracking in the beginning is screwed up. Still have the VHS."

– Frozenthickness

"There was a similar story with a Nickelodeon movie called Cry Baby Lane. It was supposed to be so scary that Nickelodeon got complaints and denied its existence for years. Someone uploaded a taped copy to youtube about a decade ago."

– PattiAllen

The Movie Business

"That North Korea hacked Sony Pictures because of The Interview movie."

"I worked in the movie business at the time and the account managers at Sony all basically needed to get new identities as all of their personal information got leaked online."


"My partner worked on that movie and the production bought all the crew 1 year of an identity theft tracking service."


Keep Away From The Ears Of Kids

"Some banned episodes or scenes of cartoons."

"For example, I remember there was a Dexter’s Lab cartoon where he clones evil versions of DeDe and himself and they swear like every other word (censored of course), and people debated whether it even existed cause they only aired it like once. Now it’s pretty accessible online."

– Spledidlife

Yes, It's True

"Echelon, a massive electronic espionage system by the US and allies to intercept all electronic messages, especially emails."

"In the mid-nineties it was a topic on conspiracy BBS boards. A lot of people in my bubble at the time (mainly uni students in Europe) were including fake threats to the US in the their email signatures as a way to "protest" and "fill the system with false alarms" (obviously useless)."

"Then, in 1999-2000 came out to be true and a lot of security service agencies from UK and other US allies started to admit they were part of the espionage network."

– latflickr

How The Mighty Fell

"John Edward’s love child."

– ACam574

"A reminder that he was cheating on his wife while she was hospitalized for cancer treatment."

– Fanclock314


"Carrie Fisher's heart attack. Some a**hole who was on the same flight was livetweeting the whole medical emergency and justified it by insisting she was just making sure the family was informed."

– everylastlight

It Actually Happened

"Every year around her birthday there was a rumor that Betty White died. When I heard she died, I scoffed, saying that dumb rumor is back.... then saw it on the news. I was in shock."

– Known-Committee8679

"The fact that Betty died literally right before she turned 100 is such a Betty White way to go out."

– Paganigsegg

Big Actor, Small Roles

"I distinctly remember some rumors about the reason why Bruce Willis was taking so many roles in sh*tty movies before it was announced he has dementia."

– KampferMann

"RedLetterMedia did a deep dive on his recent movie activity to try and work out why exactly he was taking part in basically scam-movies. They noticed he had an earpiece in one of the scenes and joked that the director was feeding him lines. I remember they even disclaimed over the rumours at the time, and possible made a follow-up vid when it was revealed to the public."

– CardinalCreepia

What To Do Next?

"That the writer of LOST were making it up as they went."

"Turned out to be absolutely true."

– homarjr

That last one was kind of obvious!

Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comment below.