Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay

There's a really excellent thriller from the 1940s called Sorry, Wrong Number. It stars Barbara Stanwyck, who received an Academy Award nomination for playing a woman who overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and tries to prevent it.

Now, as good as this movie is, it reminds me why I don't bother to pick up the phone for numbers I don't recognize (and yes, obviously, this film takes place in the days long before caller ID).

But calls from wrong numbers aren't all annoying or even bad (though at least one story below might just be). We heard all about people's experiences after Redditor cowgary asked the online community,

"What is your strangest wrong number story?"

"I got a call..."

"I got a call at like 6 am, and I was still sleeping so I kind of didn't understand what was happening- but this person was SO EXCITED to tell me that they got the new job, and they recognized I was still half asleep so they said they'd call me back later, and said "I love you." - I just said, "I love you too, I'm glad you got the job." I absolutely did not know that person and they never called back, but I think of that call all the time."

[user deleted]

Oh no! I bet this keeps you awake at 3 a.m., huh?

"For some reason..."

"An old friend of mine got a wrong number text from a mother responding to an ad about a used electric wheelchair for her child.

For some reason, he used got a lot of wrong number texts. He would usually have a little fun with the sender before telling them they had the wrong number, and share it on social media.

But this time, he didn't mess with her (obviously). He posted it on social media and asked around if anyone knew where to find a used electric wheelchair. The mother couldn't afford a new one. It got a lot of attention, but nobody could find one for sale. After a couple of days of no luck, anonymous donors bought and donated to them a brand-new electric wheelchair.

More heart-warming than strange, but a good story either way."


"I hung up..."

"Guy: Is Steve there?

Me: You have the wrong number.

Guy: Nice try, numbnuts, put Steve on the phone now.

Me: You really do have the wrong number.

Guy: Is this (my phone number)?

Me: Yeah.

Guy: Then it's the right number, isn't it? Put Steve on the phone.

I hung up and then he continued to call and leave threatening voicemails for a few hours, until he either got bored, realized he had the wrong number, or perhaps died of hypertension from being so angry all the time."


That's scary. Perhaps he did realize he had the wrong number––which is all the better for you.

"I was home from college..."

"I was home from college for Christmas break around 2014 and ended up chilling downtown with a few buddies from high school who were also in town for the holidays.

While hanging out, I received a group text with a bunch of numbers I didn't recognize. The message was a group picture with people who were obviously at a Christmas party. I made the only logical choice and immediately sent a selfie back with the message "wrong number."

The rest of the people in this text absolutely loved this and responded with "hahaha"s and "you're kinda cute" texts, until one person said, "You should come to our Christmas party!"

The party was only a few blocks away from where I was hanging out, so I left my friends and went to the party.

I find the apartment, walk-in, and it had a "record scratch moment" like from a cheesy 90s movie. Everyone goes silent stares at me: I am the only white person there. After a few seconds, the host shatters the silence with the shout: "It's wrong number guy!"

We end up doing shots and partying for The next few hours! By far the BEST wrong number experience ever!"


There is always a level of risk when you go to a stranger's home but this sounds like it ended really well. Hopefully you kept in touch?

"She talked to me..."

"I had a little old lady call me 3 different times to reach her friend who was all alone for the first mothers day. She had this rich joyous voice with southern accent blended with her Jamaican accent.

She talked to me about her grandson that was her pride and joy. She was thrilled to hear stories of my wee ones on mother's day. We shared some great stories and laughs.

Each call Sue and I had a lovely chat and reviewed the phone numbers. She just kept getting that pesky area code wrong. She kept saying God wanted us to chat. It was a great moment."


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"Next day..."

"Back in my community college days I had a pretty tight clique, but we lost touch when I transferred to university. After that I did an MA, so I was gone quite a while. The rest of them stayed tight.

Well, when I moved back to town after finishing my MA, I was invited to a New Year's Eve party by one of my old friends. At this party was Gina, a girl I had had a crush on, but never got anywhere with. A few years later we had a pretty good time at the party, and ended up in the same car home.

So we were in the back seat and started fooling around.

Next day I wake up with a massive headache and a text message from someone I didn't know saying things like "If you touch my girl again I will break your arms!" I texted back "I'm not so sure she's your girl." The response: "Wait, 206 area code? Where is that?" "Seattle." "Sorry dude, wrong number."

.... ok?

I never saw Gina again though."


"Got a call from a government agency..."

"Got a call from a government agency, FDA maybe? Anyway, the first thing the lady says to me is, "We got a call that you have a problem with goats?" I'm like no, sorry, wrong number. "Are you sure you don't have a goat problem?" Nope. "Ok thanks, sorry about the confusion."


Are you sure it wasn't the Department of Agriculture? Just saying.

"He sounded lonely..."

"Got a call from an older dude, told him wrong number and the exchange went as follows:

Me: Sorry wrong number

Him: Oh alright, sorry to bother you

Me: Okay b-

Him: How are you?

Me: Umm, good you?

Him: Eh I'm alright.

Me: Alright, well uh… gotta go bye

He sounded lonely so I felt bad, but I was just so thrown off and had no idea what to say."


Aww. Poor guy. Hopefully he found someone to talk to.

"Later that night..."

"A picture was sent to me from a group of numbers I'd never seen before. I opened the message and it was a photo of a white family standing around a casket. There was a sign behind the casket that read "we'll miss you, Aunt Sandy" It gave me the chills but I had no idea what to say, I had no idea who they were. I left it on read and went about my day.

Later that night, someone from that group texted "you didn't show up, the least you could do is text your condolences to your family"

I went downstairs, took a selfie with my black grandfather and Guatemalan grandmother, and said "my condolences, but I do believe you have the wrong number"

One person sent a single 😂 emoji and another person replied "I AM SO SORRY"

Never heard from them again. Hope they were able to find whatever family member that played funeral hooky though."


You see, as interesting as some of these stories are, they have not convinced me to answer numbers that I just don't recognize. Guess I'll be missing out on all the fun.

Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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