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Police Officers Share Their Craziest 'We Have The Wrong Guy' Moments

Sometimes cops nab the wrong person, even when the evidence is strong. What's important is that innocent people are never punished or held accountable for the actions of the guilty. And no, Ted Cruz is not the Zodiac Killer - probably.

I_am_js asked police officers of Reddit: What is your best "I think we have the wrong person" story?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

15. Double the fun.

I've got two, from twenty-five years ago when I was a cop, one on one side of the badge and one from the other.

The first, I got assigned a warrant service to pick up a wanted felon. Mr. Robertson was 6' tall, 250 pounds, long red hair, bushy red beard, and lived at, let's say, 123 Elm St. Pretty distinctive dude.

So I roll up to 123 Elm Street, and sure enough, there mowing his lawn in the front yard is the man himself, 6', 250, red hair, red beard. I make contact with him, "Hey, Mr. Robertson? You got warrants and it's time to go to jail."

Hook him up, take him to jail, and in central booking I get his property off him and while filling out the inventory happen to notice this guy is Mr. Robinson, not Robertson.

Sure enough, the wanted guy was my guy's landlord, and his twin-brother-from-another-mother doppelgänger. When I'd said Robertson, Robinson didn't even twig to the fact I hadn't said his name, he just heard the similar sounding name as his own. We had to walk the whole thing back and reactivate the warrant, then kicked him loose with a handshake and an apology.

The one from the other side, I had just gotten off duty at 2 AM and was driving home still in uniform. There wasn't any other traffic on the road, so I wasn't really surprised when a police car turned in behind me and started following me. I figured he was trolling for drunks and I was the only thing moving on the road, so he was just going to follow me a little to observe my driving, and he'd realize pretty quick I was sober and peel off.

Instead another patrol car joined him.

And another. And another.

Then all four lit me up, and spread out behind me, blocking the road in a full felony stop.

Well, this just got interesting.

They went through the whole procedure, and I carefully followed their instructions. When they finally got me out and saw my uniform, they just stopped for a few seconds while I was trying to figure out just what the hell was going on. Then three of the officers got in their cars, turned off their lights, and took off, while the original officer told me I could put my hands down and explained what was going on.

My car was a spot on match for the suspect vehicle in an armed robbery and shooting that had just occurred right up the road. I'd driven right by the scene before the cops even got there a few minutes before the officer in the next district spotted me and thought I was the suspect.

It was an interesting night.


14. Nine-year-olds rob candy stores, Marv.

There had been a string of robberies (7 in 2 weeks) in my neighborhood, so everyone was on high alert. I was home by myself, and one of my dogs started puking, so I rushed to let him outside, forgetting my dad had set the alarm. We had a silent alarm, so I had no clue it had been tripped, sending out a dispatch request to the local 5-0.

5 minutes later, there was a knock on the door. I'm young, home alone by myself, and had been told to never answer the door if I was alone. So I didn't. They kept knocking.

Long story short (they broke the door down), they thought they had caught the burglars. Multiple cars, I vaguely remember there being a K-9 unit involved, and the police had their suspect; a 9-year-old girl, crying her eyes out.

I was not the group of thieves, who ended up being caught about a week later.


I'd like to imagine them putting you in cuffs, high-fiving each other and telling you you'd be going to jail for a long time for your crimes.


I remember them being just as confused as I was. But, I did get to be 'put into custody', as it was looked down upon to leave a young child (under 12) by themselves, so they had to talk to my dad before they left. He had gone to work, and I was waiting for my mom to get home. So they both came home to cops in their house lol.


13. I didn't do that, I did *this*.

Two of my colleagues (murder squad detectives) attended custody to meet a defendant answering bail - when they arrived at the custody desk there were a couple of people hanging around, waiting for their solicitors - they told the custody Sargent they were there for (insert name) and he pointed one of the guys out. They went up and introduced themselves and said they they would be questioning him at another station, so all three got in the car and headed off.

Whilst driving, they told the defendant what would be happening - on arrival he would be arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, questioned and either bailed or remanded. The guy was like "you've got to be joking, attempt murder? I was shoplifting!" - he was relatively calm, half laughing and shaking his head. A short time later one of the officer got a call from the custody Sgt - their actual bail appointment had arrived. There were two defendants with the same name answering bail that day.

They apologized to the non-murderous shoplifter, turned the car around and headed back to bring the right person in for questioning. Keystone cops to the max.


Did that count as a confession that he had been shoplifting?


Not admissable as he wasn't under caution, but TBF he may have said "I was nicked (arrested) for shoplifting" or something. Can't remember specifics, had forgotten all about this until this post cropped up


12. When it comes to addiction, nobody wins.

Old neighbor accused me of stealing from his house and eating his food and stealing his dead wife's jewelry. He said I matched the build and clothing of the thief.

Police came to our house and they knew my dad and were skeptical to me being a criminal, I do pass the guys house when I walk home but I didn't even know someone lived there.

Neighbor was adamant when they showed my face to him and said his oldest grandson is going to stay with him so he could be safe.

Grandson arrives and police notice he looks like me, the build and clothing especially.

Yeah, turns out his grandson would come to sneak into his house and steal stuff to feed his drug habit.


11. Numbers don't lie.

In our family we had a great uncle who tattooed his name and Social Security Number to his shoulder. Apparently he had the same name and birthday as another guy with a prison record, and had kept hearing about it. It came in handy at least twice when he was pulled over and the cops started arresting him. Each time he got out because he had his social security as proof that he was innocent.


10. The naaaaame gaaaame.

There is another man two years younger than me who shares my first and last name, exact same spelling. the only difference is the middle name.

Police were investigating a county trustee who was giving people housing assistance checks they didn't qualify for; they would cash the assistance and give the trustee a percentage back. One of the civilians being investigated was the other guy. A plainclothes cop in an unmarked car shows up with a female holding a clipboard, identifies himself as a state trooper, and within five minutes is asking me for copies of my bank records. He's threatening to subpoena if i don't comply.

This isn't the first time i've been mistaken for him (I used to get his mail all the time) and I even asked if they were looking for me or the other guy, pointing out our different middle names. I got really suspicious really fast (a high pressure situation, demanding access to my financial records, threats of subpoenas and further legal action) so i started to doubt this was an actual police officer and was in fact just a scammer. The badge he showed me was just a plastic square like my drivers license, further muddying the issue.

I told him I wanted to speak with the police and called dispatch; two uniformed officers showed up fifteen minutes later and confirmed the guy was an officer. The woman with him was some kind of auditor and records keeper. After a further 15 minutes of questions the woman pulled the guy away and pointed out something on her phone.

Yep, they wanted the other guy.


9. Saved by the doppelgänger?

This guy definitely went through some sh*t being the wrong person

Photo of the two men

A Missouri man spent nearly 17 years behind bars for robbery until his doppelganger was discovered — and the other guy looked so much like him that authorities decided to toss out his conviction.

Jones, 41, had been serving a 19-year jail sentence for a 1999 robbery when he heard other inmates buzzing that another prisoner looked just liked him — and even shared his first name, Star said.

It's unclear what the other man was locked up for, and Jones never saw his doppelganger. But he told two legal interns assigned to his case about the rumors, according to Alice Craig, one of Jones' lawyers.

The interns brought the message back to their superiors at the Midwest Innocence Project and the Paul E. Wilson Defender Project, who dug further into the case.

It turned out that not only did the other man bear an uncanny resemblance to Jones, he also lived closer to the site of the crime.

Jones' doppelganger, Ricky Amos, used to live with his mother in Kansas City, Kansas, near the address of the incident, Craig said. Jones lived across the state line in Kansas City, Mo.

"When I saw that picture, it made sense to me," said Jones, who has denied committing the robbery, to the Star.

"Either you're going to think [we're] the same person, or you're going to be like, 'Man, these guys, they look so much alike.' "

His lawyers showed the two men's photos to the victim, two witnesses and the prosecutor in Jones' case — and all four admitted they could not tell the pair apart, according to the Star.


8. There are some systematic issues to address here.

I live in a neighborhood in Indy that is going through a major revitalization right now. So it's very much in a transitional phase. We rent a house from a good friend of ours. He bought the house from some garbage people who had lived there for a long time. These people did, sold, made drugs, there was violence, prostitution, everything. In general the house was disgusting, unlivable, really. Just the worst. Well the scumbags who lived here still try to use our address even after 5 years. About a year and a half ago one of the dudes used our address to renew his driver's license at the BMV.

He even had the audacity to leave a note for us to call him when the license came in. Fast forward a few months, around Christmas time, we are all sitting around, watching TV when we get a knock on the door. My husband answers it and it's a SWAT team with guns drawn. They see my husband, who does not look like a methed out crack head, and inside are our 2 little boys, my parents, and me nursing our baby plus the Christmas tree and all the lovely trappings of our home. They immediately put their guns down and my husband and I have a lovely chat with them. Yeah, they had our house surrounded, guns drawn, the whole shebang, looking for this dude who was wanted on some kind of violent felony. We were pissed at this dude who I refer to as Big Nasty.


7. Fail.

I live in a small town in rural England, and we used to get some trainee's/ new police officers from the met there for their training.

Me and some of my friends were teenagers we were walking to the supermarket, because what else is there to do in a small town pre-internet? Suddenly from out of nowhere this police car comes screaming out of nowhere, sirens going and screeches to a halt in front of us.

A young guy, must have only been about five years or so older than us jumps out and starts giving us the whole hairdryer treatment. He lines us up and starts taking our statements of what we had been up to in the last hour/gloating at us "You lads are in trouble now, criminal damage, trespass, theft. You have really screwed up!" With him was the local bobby and he came up to each of us in turn after the younger guy had grilled us and said very jovially "Now don't worry lads, I'm sure it's a misunderstanding, we've had some reports of a break in. You don't match the preliminary description, and I'm sure we'll get this cleared up when we get the more detailed description come through."

So the more detailed description comes through the radio and the young guy is wearing the biggest sh*t-eating grin you've ever seen. The description didn't even remotely match, and honestly the young guy looked so disappointed we all ended up feeling sorry for him.

So yeah, that was probably quite embarrassing for him.


6. I didn't do it, my head is bleeding.

Since everyone else isn't a cop...

I was 16 and worked at a golf course mowing lawns and such. We got a call at home from the cops that said I'm a suspect in a hit and run accident because my plate #s were on the car that drove away without stopping. The cops said the car was maroon colored; my car was gray. We told them and figured that was that.

The next day at work there was a minor accident. A dumbass coworker pulled a metal rake too hard and the rack holding it came down onto my forehead. It wasn't a deep wound, but it bled A LOT. My boss took me to the ER to get my head super glued, and to be safe, took me home too. Thus my car stayed at the golf course.

That evening a cop comes by and finds me with a head wound and my car is missing. I look quite guilty. By sheer luck, the cop calls someone after talking to my parents and discovers they got the guy and the plate numbers were close.

I probably would've been arrested.


5. Yeah, totally understandable mixup.

Obligatory "not a police officer, but.." I travel frequently across the Canada/US border, sometimes by bus. On one bus trip, the whole bus was held up by one woman, who was pulled back to be interrogated. An hour later, she gets back on the bus, announcing that there was a person on the most wanted list with her same name. HOWEVER that person was a 5'4 white male, and she was a relatively tall (probably 5'10?) black woman. It took them an hour of interrogating her to realize they had the wrong person🤦♀️


HOWEVER that person was a 5'4 white male, and she was a relatively tall (probably 5'10?) black woman. It took them an hour of interrogating her to realize they had the wrong person🤦♀️

I... What?


4. America's Most Wrong.

I'm not a cop, but my mom had a story for this happen to her. Basically, it revolves around the show "Americas Most Wanted."

A woman who looked almost EXACTLY like my mom was featured on the show. She had the same hair, same face, and the kicker, same name. They even showed my moms actual information (which I won't list here) as being the criminal's.

The story ended like every story on that show does. "If you have ANY information regarding the whereabouts of this dangerous criminal, please call this number"

Now onto my moms perspective.

She was just sitting at home on a Saturday night alone, as she lived alone. She was reading a Stephen King book, when she hears some commotion coming from the hallway. She ignores it. Lots of yelling. She had not seen the show which painted her as a criminal.

Then suddenly BAM!!! Her door is knocked down in an instant. About 10 cops flood into her 1 bedroom apartment, and she is arrested.

She explained they had the wrong person. They claimed everything matched. Social security matched. DNA matched. Name matched. Photo resemblance matched.

It turns out the woman was basically stealing my moms identity, and intentionally making herself look like my mom. The end result is that when they created a profile for the criminal, they used my moms information to start with. So when they arrested my mom, of course the information was her information originally.

They kept her in jail for 2 weeks. It wasn't until they took fingerprints from the scene of a crime they said she committed, and the prints didn't match, that they realized she wasnt the criminal.

It's scary to think if they had used her profile prints, rather then crime scene prints as the set to compare to, that she would have been still in jail today. It was basically a life sentence.


3. Oh sure, blame the little kid.

I was a curious little kid. My father stopped at a the local liquor store to grab a bottle of wine and I was poking around. The door to the office was unlocked and I wandered inside, sat in the chair and spun around a few times, got bored, wandered out.

A few days later my father gets a call from the police, and we go in. As the officer is speaking to us I proceed to spun around in the chair and pick up and look at everything on his desk. After about a minute the officer says, "thank you for coming in. I see what happened. You can go."

Turned out the owner's teenage son stole a few grand from the store and tried to blame it on the handsy 5-year-old.


2. Filing a false report is a crime, and rightly so. Too bad stupidity isn't.

Not a police officer, but I was the wrong guy once.

I was dating this girl and when things didn't work out, she got vindictive. She had a copy of my car insurance and got a guy friend to pose as me to call the police and report my vehicle stolen. I go be-bopping out of work one glorious Friday afternoon and get felony stopped by about 10 Dallas, TX PD officers. Guns drawn on me and everything, right outside of the large office complex I worked at. Turns out the people who reported my car stolen used their own phone number when filing the report and eventually got caught and charged.


1. We gotta stop traumatizing innocent people.

Well like many other posts I'm not a PO but I did get felony stopped while on Las Vegas blvd. I left work pulled out of the parking garage and turned right on Tropicana. I then see lights behind me and start to pullover thinking it was an emergency vehicle. I am then surrounded by police with guns drawn. This was like midnight on the strip so it was intense. Police make get out walk backwards with my hands on my head. They cuff me and tear into my car almost immediately.

Long story short it was another Mustang with out of state tags involved in a robbery. That was an intense evening.


Have you ever known an innocent person that was charged with a crime? What happened?

The Dumbest Person I Know
Photo by iam_os on Unsplash

The average Joe is just that…average. But there are many people out there who fall below the bar set by Joe. These Redditors shared their encounters with people that made them lose faith in humanity and facepalm hard.

1. Color Me Confused

I was training someone on the cash register. I said, "Someone's bill comes to $12 and they give you $22, how much change do they get?" She replied: "Do you honestly expect me to do that in my head?" Oh, but that wasn't her dumbest moment.

Later, it had just rained and the sun was setting. This highlighted the sky and wet parking lot red/pink/orange (quite beautiful). She looks at me and says, "Wow, it must be so hot out, the ground is red!" She was a senior in high school.


2. The Radiator

My uncle's girlfriend won't allow him to be anywhere near his brother who is undergoing radiotherapy treatments for cancer. She says she will break up with him if he does. The reason? My uncle could catch radiation from his brother and give it to her and her son. That's when I realized she is a complete moron.


3. Laundry Lesson

shallow focus photo of washing machinesPhoto by Jeremy Sallee on Unsplash

In undergrad, I spent my summers working at a Boy Scout camp. One summer, I had an 18-year-old staff member assigned to be my assistant (we'll call him Joe) who did many, many stupid things.

My favorite incident was this: Late one night, some of us were hanging out on the front porch of the staff cabin next to the shower house, complete with the washer and dryer. We see Joe going to and from the washroom but didn't think anything of it.

At midnight, we're all turning in for the night when Joe comes up and asks, "Does anyone have any detergent?" "Yeah, I have a tide pod you can have”. I hand it to him, and he goes, "Thanks, I don't think the detergent I made is going to do the trick". We all kind of stopped and looked at him.

Then someone asked, "Joe, how did you make laundry detergent?" Without a pause, he says, "I just mixed together some bleach and hand sanitizer”. After the initial laughter, I asked, "Joe, why did you add hand sanitizer?"

Again, without missing a beat, he responds, "Because it kills 99.9% of bacteria”. I guess the bleach was for the remaining 0.1%...


4. Made To Measure

I went to a hardware store for plexiglass cut in a 12 x 12 square. I got 12 x 18 and handed it back to the guy, and said it was wrong. I couldn't believe his response. He called me an idiot. I said if it was right it would be a perfect square and not the rectangle he handed me.

He showed me how he measured. It was 12 inches but measured twice on the same side. This "little lady" had to show a 70-year-old how to measure correctly. He's 70 and works in a hardware store but has no concept of how to use a tape measure correctly? Then he got offended when I corrected him.


5. Dragon Slayer

I’ve been a hairdresser in chain salons for around six years now. When I was at the two-year mark, I had a woman in my chair for around an hour. Her husband and teenage daughter were over my shoulder the whole time. She had literally no clue what haircut she wanted and also had very fine hair, and not a lot of it.

We just kept going shorter and shorter and she wasn’t happy with it by the time we got it to just below her ears. This woman looked me in the eyes and asked a question that made my jaw drop: “Can you make me look like Goku?"

I said, “Ma’am, I don’t think anyone can make you look like Goku. I also don’t think I can give you what you’re looking for today, you can go ahead and head out. The haircut will not be charged”. I still think about that interaction a lot.


6. Code Brown

white ceramic bathtub with stainless steel basePhoto by Oliver Hale on Unsplash

A few days ago, I was cleaning the men's bathroom as part of my job. The toilets were SUPER messed up: flushing the toilet on the left would cause water to come out of the pipe below the middle toilet and flood the stall, the middle toilet was heavily clogged, and using a plunger wouldn't do anything.

If you were to try flushing it, poopy water would rise up, and when you tried flushing the urinal, water would rise up and take minutes to go down the drain. I told the other workers that the toilets were out of order and needed an out-of-order sign until plumbers came to fix them.

One worker decided to check out the problem, and I told him that a plunger wouldn't fix the problem and to not flush the toilets. He didn't listen to me. He tried flushing them anyway after using a plunger and flooded the bathroom.

After making a mess, he STILL kept trying to flush the toilets and flooding the bathroom with more refuse. Because of him, I had a disgusting mess to clean up. I had to vacuum up so much brown water WHILE standing in it!


7. One Direction

My older sister believes North is the direction in front of you. As in, North is only a personal thing, and that true North isn't a thing. My dad yelled at me for arguing with my sister because she was right. She claims to be a scientist and has worked in research labs. My dad is an engineer.

Neither are in my life anymore by my choice and there are a lot less of these comments!


8. Have Wings, Will Fly

I work in public works. Next to my building, we have a huge fenced-in yard where we keep signposts, extra street lights, etc. It's a giant yard.

Anyway, the last thing we do every day before we leave is lock the gate to the yard. Last week I was going to lock the gate then my senior pulled me aside and told me to wait, I asked why. His response almost made me burst out laughing.

He was concerned because there were geese in the yard and he didn't want to lock them in...This yard does not have a ceiling of any sort. There were three of us that witnessed this and after about five seconds of awkward silence I finally just said, "They are geese, they can fly out”. He seemed dumbfounded by this revelation.


9. The Meaning Of Life

silhouette photo of group people standing on grassPhoto by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

A girl once laughed at me at a party when a friend and I were debating the merits of Evolutionism vs. Creationism and anything in-between. She was cute and flirty, but then she erupted into a tirade about how dinosaur bones were planted by Jesus a few hundred years ago and Evolutionism was a hoax.

Politically, she was super leftist on fiscal policies and pro-communism. Socially, she was far-right on stuff like abortion. It was a very bizarre combo.


10. Baby Babble

My wife and I had a baby recently (about two weeks ago). My in-laws are over for a few weeks for supervision/support so it doesn't become overwhelming. My mother-in-law keeps worrying about why he doesn't play with all the toys she got him. Are you serious? He's two weeks old.

He can't even focus on thinsgs yet. My father-in-law wanted to take him to the emergency room yesterday because he got an eyelash in his eye. Twitches. My in-laws are nice people, but I have no idea how they raised two kids.


11. Blocked

This is my mother. I love her to death. But she has absolutely 0 spatial/self-awareness a lot of the time. Whenever she gets a text/call she stands still right then and there to answer it. On the top of the escalator, in front of an elevator, you name it, all of the most inconvenient places.

Inevitably, someone says something. Usually, it's a pretty assertive "excuse me". Every single time she gets so offended. It's incredibly funny to see. It really sucked when I was growing up because if I said anything in those situations it was "disrespect" and I'd get punished, but now that we're all grown up she gets no reinforcement and it's great to see.

I know that probably sounds really bitter talking about my own mother. But there have been so many times like this where she has literally blocked me in the driveway, taken 5+ minutes to move her car at a snail's pace, and then punished me for getting tardies at school, or punished me for being "disrespectful" in yelling at her to move more quickly so I'm not late so I don't get punished by her.


12. You’ve Got To Be Puddin’ Me

two bowls of chocolate pudding with raspberries on the sidePhoto by American Heritage Chocolate on Unsplash

One time I was going on some kind of trip with my class. It was that sort of trip where you had to spend a few days in a bad hotel with your class and your teacher while you apparently learned something about "teamwork". Anyways, on the last day, we had some pudding for dessert after lunch.

When we started eating, this one girl asked: "Why is it warm?" And I told her it was probably because it was just cooked, and she looked at me like I was crazy. This girl didn't know that in order to make pudding, you have to mix the ingredients together while they are BOILING.

Of course, it's going to be warm if you don't put it in the fridge afterward! The worst part is that after I told her that, she proceeded to ask every single teacher and student that was in the room if what I told her is true...I get that not everyone is a pro-chef, but come on!


13. Water Me

I just saw a husband and wife take their dog to one of those water fountains that have the water fountain for people, the water bottle filler, and a dog bowl on the other side. The husband takes the dog to the dog bowl side. The wife starts getting involved and drags the dog out of the dog bowl and points toward the drain, and turns it on.

I am telling her the dog bowl is on the other side (where her husband had the dog in the first place). She ignores me completely. Now her dog is licking the water bottle filler spout...what a dumb lady. I feel bad for her husband…but how anyone could choose to live with someone who can't listen?


14. What’s The Solution

I worked in a lab, and had a summer intern assigned under me. I told them we had to dilute one chemical X amount into a solvent...Blank stare. I tried every analogy and example I could come up with to describe the concept of taking a set amount of one material and spreading it out with another.

Eventually, I was telling them how after work I was going to pour bourbon into a glass, then add some water. The same amount of bourbon, but more beverage. It never clicked. Science was not their calling.


15. Star Search

blue metal storage box on green grassPhoto by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

I was at the local rodeo a few summers back and started chatting with a guy while we waited in line for the Porta Potty. He noted that there were two bright stars out already even though it was still a little light, and I said, “Oh I believe that's Jupiter and Saturn! They always come up over that mountain”.

He looked at me and said, "Stupid woman, how could we see other planets before the stars? Planets are way farther away than the stars”. I was like..... no? They're literally not? And also, you're awful??


16. Pirated

I worked at a video store years ago. This was at the time that Pirates of the Caribbean, the first one, was about to be released for home viewing. A man, his daughter, and her friends come to the till with a movie called Pirates. We only have ONE copy of this movie. It’s a movie for adults...

He comes back angry that I rented his kids an inappropriate movie. Sir, do you honestly think we would only have ONE copy of Pirates of the Caribbean? Second, I'm not about to question your choice of movie rental in front of your kids.


17. English Lesson

I was at work and explaining to a co-worker how to put wrap on a cooking wrapping machine and I said, "You have to pull it taut". She just stopped and blurted out something I'll never forget. She said, "That isn't how you use that word. You can't teach a wrap”.

And my bosses came in and I had to convince them that taut was a word, and they told me that I shouldn't use big words like that all the time. The word was “taut”.


18. Spaced Out

blue and purple galaxy digital wallpaperPhoto by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

I was at a small social at my parents’ house and mentioned something about the National Space Center in Leicester. A girl pipes up and says, "Oh I love taking my son there, he loves it. I just find it amusing because I don't believe in space".

I looked at her dumbfounded and asked if she meant she didn't believe in investing money in space exploration. No, she did not believe in space. She simply did not believe that anything existed above the sky, that pictures and videos were all fake, and that all space agencies and anyone who claimed to have been to space were lying.

The other girls in the group started nodding in agreement saying things like, "Now that you mention it, I've never really seen space".


19. Chill Pill

In the sixth grade, a teacher told me and my friend Sonia that we had to help a boy who has ADHD because he couldn't concentrate in class and had terrible grades. We both agreed. The next day, when the teacher introduced him to us and left, Sonia took out some medicine from her backpack and made him eat it.

I didn't know what to do, so I simply called the teacher. When the teacher arrived, the boy was crying and shaking. The teacher completely lost her temper and started yelling at us. When everyone calmed down, the boy told the teacher what happened.

She asked Sonia why she did that and why she had medicine in her bag. Sonia argued that she thought if he took the ADHD medication it would cure him and she wouldn't have to help him. (FYI: ADHD meds will help you manage your symptoms, but they won't cure your ADHD).

I don't know what happened to Sonia after that. She didn't go to school for a month, so maybe she got expelled for a month? I don't know if that's possible in my country. As for the boy, I became friends with him. He's chill and we Facetime each other sometimes.


20. Tax Time

Recently I got pulled into a conversation by a co-worker about public/private (religious) schools. He felt that his kids going to a religious school was a necessity (sorry, no, a preference. I'm not against it, it is your money) and he should be given a tax break for not using the public schools.

I disagreed as I said nobody is obligated to use a private school, that it was the choice of the parents and whether they had the means to do so. He kept on and on but really lost it when I said, "Well, I have no kids, so why am I having to pay taxes that go to public education. If anyone should get a tax break, it is me". (I should note that I do not agree with that. Well-funded and properly maintained public education is good for communities as a whole).

He really just went off the rails about entitlements and such, yet expected that I, someone without kids, should pay more so he could get a break because he opted to send his kids to a catholic private school. The dude is an idiot.


21. Off The Vine

green and yellow watermelon fruitPhoto by J D on Unsplash

While working in a grocery store's produce department, a customer complained that all of the watermelons had a flat, yellow-y spot. I explained that this is just the side on the ground. Then she asked, "Well, when are they ever on the ground?" She thought watermelons grow on trees.

Good thing Isaac Newton wasn't sitting under a watermelon tree.


22. The Final Frontier

We were watching a live feed of Voyager II in science class, with a giant red LIVE symbol in the top left of the screen. After about ten-ish minutes of the teacher explaining what we were watching, some guy behind me shouted "Yo, it just exited the solar system," and the dude next to him yelled, "Wait, this is live??"

My teacher just gave up trying to talk about it and sat back down. This was in high school.


23. Sampler

I worked at a grocery store for two years. We had a new hire taken to the front office to get written up for just sucking in general. He was told he wasn't going to be getting very many hours and that he could really only sample free stuff on weekends.

His response was, "That's cool but can I get the district manager’s personal phone number to ask about sponsoring my Twitch?" (He was completely serious). This kid would chase people down the store and practically demand that they take/buy whatever he was sampling, full-on sprinting at them. And the most hilarious moment of all?

He also nearly choked himself out trying to put on an apron.


24. Furry Friends

black and gray birdPhoto by Jon Hunter on Unsplash

We were at a local livestock show with our emu. We were right next to a stall with an alpaca, and there was a table that spanned in front of both of our animal stalls. A parent walked up with their little kid waddling next to them. They looked at the bird, looked over at the bowl of fur on the other side of the table, and said, "Look, [kid's name], this is what they get from the bird!"


25. Sicko

The number of people I've encountered that aren't wearing a mask and then announce that they're sick or "under the weather" is astonishing. I was at the grocery store the other day checking out, and the guy in front of me made a point of sticking his face in the poor cashier's face.

And then he was like, "YEAH I'M NOT FEELING TOO GOOD I'VE BEEN SICK SINCE SATURDAY. I HOPE IT'S NOTHING SERIOUS". Honestly, I wish those kinds of people would just disappear. There's nothing that can be done to make them understand why they're selfish, terrible people.


26. On A Rant

My dad tends to rant and rave for hours at a time when he finds out that people don't agree with him. It's loud, he doesn't let anyone else talk, and if you try to leave, he follows you. It's pretty miserable. One of his rants ended with him saying that he couldn't understand why nobody is willing to have a rational discussion with him.


27. Hamming It Up

sliced hamPhoto by Сергей Орловский on Unsplash

I was asked to facilitate a meeting about emergency communications. The person who called the meeting (fyi, an MBA) and I were going over topics people had suggested for discussion. One of the suggestions was ham radio. The MBAer said, “Oh, there must be a way to make a radio from a ham”. They were not joking. Not even a little.


28. Potty Problems

So my older sister, in her mid-20s at the time, was doing the potty dance at me while I was working on some schoolwork (early 20s for me). I asked her what she needed. “I feel like I have to pee, but I can’t pee!"

“You’re probably dehydrated. Drink some water. It’ll help”. Ten minutes later, she’s shouting from the back of the house that it’s not working. I had to tell her to not drink water while on the toilet. It doesn’t work that fast, so go drink it in her bedroom or something.


29. Questionable

I was dating this guy in high school who was a year older than me, and one day we were out getting lunch with his mom. She and I are talking about Tennessee since she grew up there and I lived there for the first ten years of my life, and this man looks me in the eyes and with full sincerity says, "That's in Texas, right?"

Also at one point, he asked me how they got the butter into the microwavable popcorn and a few other instances that made me feel like I should be on some sort of watchlist for dating him and question how he passed the grade I was in at the time. Overall, not the sharpest tool in the shed.


30. On The Chopping Block

white cloth lotPhoto by JJ Ying on Unsplash

I once worked at a printing shop and we have large cutters for paper. This thing has a huge blade that is wicked sharp and can chop through 1,000 sheets of paper like they're butter. There are several safety devices on it because of this. A new dude was starting and I was showing him how to use the machine.

You have to key it off, set the paper and guides, turn it on, lock down the paper, then close a lid and push a button on the left and right side of the machine so that there is no way you have a hand in there.

This guy immediately starts trying to figure out how to bypass the safety controls on a machine he's never used and will absolutely separate his hand from his body in an instant. So I ask him why on earth he would want to risk chopping off a hand or finger. His response, "I'm smarter than a machine". That guy was a complete idiot!


31. Road Rage

Just last night I was coming from the movies and I had to get onto the highway and this car was exiting. They stayed at their speed and I slowed down because there was very little opening to merge and you're supposed to yield to the ramp. I looked over, into this guy's car—and my blood ran cold.

The driver was looking down at his phone. Then he finally looked up and notices that he was running out of real estate to exit. I lay into my horn because they've basically come to a crawl. It was infuriating. Get off your phone!


32. No Hablo Español

About ten-ish years ago I was hanging out with one of my sisters and we ended up going to her friend's place. While we were there, my best friend called me. He's Mexican and I was learning Spanish at the time, so I answered my phone in Spanish.

My sister's friend got angry and shouted, "YOU DO NOT SPEAK MEXICAN IN MY HOUSE!" I told him, "I'm speaking Spanish," expecting to get in an argument and possibly be kicked out. The dude calms down and says, "Oh, ok. Sorry".

That rendered me confused and completely speechless, until my best friend asked, "Bro, did I just hear what I think I heard?" All I could say was "uhh... Yeah..."


33. Made To Order

person preparing cooked dishPhoto by Fabrizio Magoni on Unsplash

I worked in a restaurant as a sous-chef and we had a line cook who just wasn’t all there. He was a nice dude, and he meant well, but just all the lights were off. He once made a simple salad and dressed it with a tremendous amount of grated parmesan cheese. I asked him why he did that.

His reply was, “I like it”. I explained to him that we make stuff for the customer in a specific way. He fixes the plate and it sends it out. The next order is the same salad, and the same thing happens again. And again aaaand again. What I kept telling him wasn't clicking. But believe it or not, that wasn't his dumbest moment.

I also had to explain multiple times that you don’t stick your hand in a blender while it’s blending. Multiple times.


34. Across The Pond

I grew up in the UK and moved to the US, and I had the following conversation:

Her: “What language do you speak where you come from?"

Me: “English”.

Her: “No, I mean what actual language did you speak as you grew up?"

Me: “I grew up in England and they speak English there”.

Her: “You don't understand, we speak English in America, what language did you speak before moving here?"

Me: “Bye”.


35. Truth Teller

I got into a philosophical sort of debate with another student in high school on a band trip. He was sitting next to me so I overheard him say, "The only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth," like it was a mind-blowing revelation of wisdom straight from the cosmos.

At face value, I thought he was just being facetious or ironic so I chuckled, and he got offended. He ranted for like 20 minutes in completely nonsensical circles and legit did not see the contradictions he was making the whole time. After five minutes of trying to point it out, I was just like...okay buddy.


36. Snake Charmer

brown and black snakePhoto by David Clode on Unsplash

I have convinced my co-workers that snake oil is real. They are wanting to buy some from me to get mad gains. I haven't sold them any yet because we're moving into winter and all the snakes are hibernating so all the snake oil I have is being saved to keep up my family's health. But come Spring time, when the snakes wake up, I'll have some more.

I'm banking on them forgetting by Spring.


37. Electrical Problems

I was a TA in high school for a regular high school. I think it was a world history course. So not honors, not "Academically Enriched," but not quite eating your own poop either. Anyways, I get to class and the power is out, so of course everyone is going nuts's dark, I guess?

So the teacher still wants to lecture and the kids all groan. That is until one yells out, "Let's watch TV!" YAAAAAY!! Everyone starts chanting, "TV! TV! TV!" I'll never forget the teacher's face as he looked at me. His eyes filled with disappointment about the future of our country.

Unable to realize that no electricity also meant no television. Sad.


38. Photograph Politics

My adult sister is a very liberal Democrat who constantly wants to argue politics with anyone who will listen. One day I was showing her some photographs I had recently taken on a trip to Washington DC. She looked at a picture of the Capitol Building and said, "Oooo, that's a pretty building. What is it?"

I blinked a couple of times before saying simply, "That's the Capitol Building, Sis". "The capitol building?" she asked. "What do they do there?"


39. Up In The Air

Air Canada airlinePhoto by John McArthur on Unsplash

This was during my exchange year in the USA. I came from Germany, and in class, we had this thing where I introduced myself and everyone asked questions about me and my country. So this one girl raises her hand and seriously asks, “Do you have airplanes over there?"

I was completely stunned by this question and had to calmly explain that I actually flew there by plane...but to this day I'm not entirely sure if she maybe just trolled me. I mean, you can't be THAT uneducated?!


40. Playing Telephone

My friend once couldn't find his iPhone in his house, so he rang it from the landline. His iPhone rang…while sitting on the table in front of him. He picked it up and obviously, there was nobody on the other line. He screams upstairs to his parents, with one phone in each hand: "Who is ringing me?"

I just sat there facepalming.


41. Paper Pusher

I worked in the records section of a government department. An outside worker injured himself and could no longer perform manual work. So, my Manager decided he could help out in the records section by doing some filing. He is illiterate and can neither read nor write. Huge mistake.

Years later, we had over 80,000 files with wrong paperwork attached that we were still trying to clean up. The Manager knew this man could neither read nor write and told us later said, "How bad could it be?".......bad.


42. No Energy

person wearing long-sleeved top with haloPhoto by name_ gravity on Unsplash

This was in Earth Science, ninth grade. A girl starts asking the teacher about how your halo works. She explained that it's your body's energy reserve that swirls around you in ultraviolet light. Her question was about how your body keeps it from floating away. Half the class seemed to actually take her seriously.

(I think she meant Aura, but she used the word Halo. But it still would have been ridiculous pseudoscience either way).


43. Lost At Sea

We're talking about the missing Malaysian airplane and this girl in my class says, "Oh, it probably got lost in Panama". And I was like, "Why Panama?" She gave me this look like I was an idiot and said, "It's in the Bermuda Triangle". Me and the other guy we're talking to both look at each other like..??

And the dude says, "Jackie...Do you know what the seven continents are?" Obviously, we're messing with her because of course she would know, but she replies with: "Duh. America, Mexico, Britain, North Africa, South Africa, Europe, and China”. We laughed and then we realized she was serious.


44. Charged Up

I know a girl who had just gotten a new phone and didn't understand why it wasn't charging when we were out at a bar.

Her: "My phone battery is draining and I don't know why".

Me: "Because you're using it...?"

Her: "Yeah but it's supposed to have wireless charging, so why am I losing battery? Shouldn't it just stay charged forever?"

Me: "....."


45. Times Change

Earth with clouds above the African continentPhoto by NASA on Unsplash

One of my classmates told me once that two countries could have an entire month of difference between their "local dates". For example, today is October 18th in Canada, but it is November 18th in France "because, you see, the Earth spins". We were in a science class and had been taught about the Solar System for at least six years.


46. Eclipsed

I tried to explain that the moon and sun were not the same sizes, then all of a sudden I found myself having to explain that the sun and the moon were in fact different and not just one side fire, one side rock.

They all laughed at my crazy theories, then asked, if the sun was so far away, why is it in the same sky during the day (on Earth) as the moon was at night? They peed themselves laughing, and I just laughed with them. This was a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with my 56-year-old mother-in-law.

Sometimes the argument is lost, whether you are right or not.


47. Doctor’s Orders

We had a gentleman admitted to the ER after suffering a Pulmonary Embolism. As soon as he arrived he began screaming and belittling the ER staff for no reason, claiming nothing was wrong with him and he wanted to leave. The consequences were horrifying.

We tried to take him into Critical Care but he refused to lie down and eventually just pushed a medical student to the ground and ran out the door. His heart stopped in the parking lot about 50 feet from the Ambulance bay.


48. I Don’t Know My ABCs

GameStop | GameStop, Manchester, CT. 8/2014 by Mike Mozart o… |

When I was managing a GameStop, I told a seasonal employee to alphabetize the wall. Three-quarters of the way through, he stops to ask me the dumbest question imaginable: He's wondering if P comes before or after V. He was a high school senior.

I reminded him that there’s a song about it, and his response was “Yeah, I just hum it after I get to M”. After that, every applicant was made to sing the alphabet song.


49. All Booked Up

I went on a date with a nerdy girl, and all was going well. The capstone to the date was seeing Detective Pikachu. We were chilling in the theater a little early just gushing over Pokemon stuff. Trailers come up and one is for the Tolkien Biodrama, and I mention I might go see that one too when it comes out.

“...So what, he wrote a book". She rolls her eyes. I ask, "Not a fan of LoTR?" Her response was roughly, "I've only read three books in my life, and that was three too many". It turns out that the limit to how much she can stomach reading in a sitting was roughly the same length as a tweet.

The final nail in the coffin was her asking if it was wrong that she was getting turned on by the Ryan Reynolds Pikachu.


50. Round Peg, Square Hole

I saw two guys laboriously trying to fit a road case containing drum kit hardware (very heavy) through a too-narrow door. They turned it this way and that and it still wouldn't fit. Their next move was dumb—I'll never forget it.

They EMPTIED THE ROAD CASE and tried pushing it through again, hoping for a different result. We laughed and laughed and then laughed some more.


Silhouette of a man sitting  on the edge of his bed looking down
Jakob Owens/Unsplash
Happiness is something many people take for granted.
When things are good, they don't fight to keep it that way, because working to obtain a goal stems from an unsatisfactory status or adversity.

So it's not surprising then that many people have sabotaged their situations for something better and realized after the fact that they ruined a good thing.

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It's never beneficial to anyone to jump to judgment.

Especially if it's based on one simple action.

It's entirely likely that you might have caught that individual on a bad day, having a bad moment, or just experiencing a rare lapse of judgment.

Leading them to behave in a way that is not at all indicative of who they really are.

Even so, we still often find ourselves passing judgment on people, including total strangers.

Making assumptions, for better or worse, on the sort of person they are based on their public behavior.

Redditor FawnTi was curious to hear the things people witness which instantly results in their making judgments on total strangers, leading them to ask:
"What can a stranger do in public that will immediately make you judge them?"

If They Leave A Mess In Public, What Must Their Home Be Like?

"Throw trash on the ground."- crumpana

"A guy was walking in for an interview with my boss and just yeeted trash between the parked cars."

"We're a small company so we clean ourselves."

"After he left i let her know and that was that."

"How lazy."

"That would only translate to work."- seapancaketouchr

"Drop litter."

"Not pick up their dog's sh*t."- Kyadagum_Dulgadee

"Those people who throw bagged-up dog sh*t into shrubbery are the ultimate evolution of this."- LibertyPrimeIsRight

Sometimes We Use Our Better Judgement

"An act of kindness - especially one that doesn’t benefit that person."

"OP didn’t say it had to be negative."- Rettorica

news mic GIFGiphy

Shared Speace

"Saw a person unloading their groceries just push their cart into the next parking space and drive off."

"The next parking space was occupied by someone who was there, about to back out, who now had to deal with the cart behind them."

"All the judgment."- Arafell9162

No Reason Indoor Voices Can't Also Be Used Outdoors

"Scream at their partner."- FazeFrostbyte

"Screaming at someone whos just doing their job honestly."- notah0ee

The Epitome Of Selfless

"If they pick up litter I think they're a good person."- Quiverjones

"I pick up litter but I'm always convinced people think I'm weird for it, so thank you for this."- PootleBrain


Good Manners Need To Be Taught

"Watch a video on full blast, without headphones where it is very clearly inappropriate."

"Or scream at their kids, in front of a bunch of strangers."

"I think it’s absolutely humiliating for a child and it is very telling of how they are to the child all the time."- melancholia__

Just Plain Gross.

"Not washing their hands after using the bathroom."- Nateddog21

"When I was at the dentist's office and I heard a toilet flush in a solitary bathroom, and my DENTIST walked out immediately after, I quit seeing them."- zulimi317

Especially After The Last Three Years...

"Mouth open no cover sneeze."- averagejill

"I loathe those people."- eyekunt

"During peak Covid, my coworker and I witnessed someone pull their mask down, sneeze, and then put the mask back on."

"At a pharmacy."- IDreamofLoki

Baby Eww GIF by America's Funniest Home VideosGiphy

We All Have Them, But Do We All Use Them Correctly?

"Their cellphone etiquette."

"Bad or good, I will watch and judge accordingly."- BulkyHurry

"For me it's being on your phone while driving.'

"Instant rage."

"Full disclosure: was t-boned by one of those a**holes."- okwellactually


"Defecate in the middle of the street."- Prussian_Empire_23

"Saw someone do that in San Francisco once."

"I was riding the bus and looked out the window and he was just dropping one on the sidewalk with his a** towards the street."

"Then on the next stop a homeless man started cussing out the bus driver because he wouldn't let him ride the bus for free."- Dry-Breakfast-2742

Who's Really The One Who Goes Viral?

"Take out their phone to film while someone is in a bad situation, instead of trying to help / call for help."- Pioumi

Picture Recording GIF by BLoafXGiphy

Or In General...

"Being cruel to their pets."- OlyaBrnk

"Or wildlife."- kittytoes21

"Or saying something like 'it’s just a pet'.”

"B*tch this little dog is family and I would die to protect her."- Synner40

There Are Limits To "Making Yourself At Home."

"Be loud, Be rude to wait staff, let their kids run amok."- Emergency_Flounder58

"Rudeness to wait staff says a lot."- zta1978

Not Everyone Needs To Be Included...

"Speaker phone call."- Nolan

"I’ve been noticing kids these days having FaceTime calls, but not looking at the screen!"

"What the f*ck is the point of that?"

"I think I’m officially old AND cranky."- Drewbox

Frustrated Customer Service GIF by Ryn DeanGiphy

One's public behavior isn't always indicative of what they're like in private.

Even so, we've all been taught the basic dos and don'ts of how to behave in public.

Making it hard not to judge those who seem to willfully ignore them.

People working at a desk by the window.
Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash

Nothing will get you in more hot water with your boss than coming up with a lame excuse as to why you didn't show up for work.

Especially if that excuse doesn't even turn out to be true.

Of course, life can be unpredictable, and sometimes what you're telling your boss might very well be nothing but the truth.

You just might need some evidence to back it up.

However, there are some excuses that might be one hundred percent foolproof for getting out of work without any resistance from your boss or colleagues.

No matter who you are, or who you work for.

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