In literature, the protagonist always coming out on top is almost a guarantee.
And while the outcome is what a good majority of causal readers expect and enjoy, a story in which the antagonist comes out as the ultimate conqueror can be a refreshing take on a plot twist.
In real life, however, a scenario in which evil trumps good is not a favored narrative.
Curious to hear examples of this, Redditor ActualWater1994 asked:
"When was there a time where the villain defeated the hero in real life?"
There are villains among us.
"Anytime someone stole someone else’s work/invention and the original creator never received fame or recognition for it. It unfortunately happens all the time."
"That one youtube comment for that piano tutorial video that said his piano playing sucks and he could play better. Tons of people tried to call him out of just being an a** in YouTube comments but he finally made a video of him playing the same song on piano and it was a masterpiece."
"I think Charlie did a video on it."
"Me in my early career. Boss took credit for a bug that I found in IBM software that was derping our system. Lost that job shortly thereafter."
History is rife with real-life villains.
Offing The Presidents
"When JFK and Abraham Lincoln got assassinated."
A Contradicting Historic Portrayal
"Thomas Edison basically man stole a lot."
"Seriously, what was his deal? Like was it common practice in the past for people to steal patents like that? I can comprehend corporate espionage or sabotage, but the dude straight up sent goon squads to hurt people."
Consequences For Exposing Shady Business Dealings
"Daphne Anne Caruana Galizia. The journalist who broke the Panama Papers and got carbombed for it."
"Edit: As u/newbootgoofin99 pointed out, I misremembered the details here. The reporter who broke the Papers was actually named Bastian Obermayer; Galizia was killed instead for drawing connections between local corrupt government and the papers."
"The message is still clear, of course: speaking out against the rich and corrupt rarely leads to the justice you see in comic books. Far more often, those who seek justice get silenced."
"In a nutshell, they're a collection of documents--about 2 terabytes worth, iirc--that contain financial information regarding the world's richest people. They're proof that the elite of the world are hoarding their wealth in offshore accounts and being shady about their business dealings."
"The only thing that happened as a result of their publishing was that the journalist who did it was killed."
"Jean Moulin is a French man who was one of the head of the 'resistance' during WWII. He and his couterparts were denouced by a friend and caught by the Nazis. He was questioned and tortured daily by head of Gestapo Klaus Barbie. He tried to commit suicide multiple times until he died while being deported to Berlin. He never gave them a single information. He is our hero."
"In the somewhat early 1800s a wealthy woman named Delphine LaLaurie (a slave owner) had her mansion burnt down. When firefighters arrived to the scene, they made a disturbing discovery. In her house where dozens of slaves who had undergone various grueling surgeries and mutilations. Some had their mouths sewn shut, others had undergone partially complete gender changes. All of them had suffered some form of abuse. When the public found out, many were outraged. However, Delphine fled to France and was never brought to justice."
The Absolute Ruler Of The Congo Free State
"King Leopold getting away with brutalizing Congo."
"Yes its awful. I live in Belgium, and I disgust Leopold the second. Right now, statues of him are getting taken down/broken or vandalized by fellow Belgians. Im proud that some people have the balls to stand up against the royal family from back in the day."
The Movie Director
"When back in 2007 many celebrities signed to free Roman Polanski, who is proven to drug and rape a 13 yo girl."
"Polanski is still free and no one does nothing."
"You can wtach the list of evrryone who signed. You won't want to watch movies again. Most of the greatest actors, actresses, film makers, etc. are in the list, even those that we all thought where the less evil."
"People like Natlie Portman is there."
"The English burnt Joan of Arc at the stake, who was fighting for French Independence."
"The English also killed and mutilated William Wallace, who was fighting for Scottish Independence."
"The English basically were the villians in many countries' fight for independence and often times the English won."
Conceptually, Redditors talked about what makes a villain.
"Perspective is the key, we don’t often have black and white hero vs villain situations, typically you only get one side where the people controlling the message create the hero side."
"Not to mention that your idea of a villain might be someone else’s hero and vice versa."
Ambiguity In Classification
"In real life, it's relatively rare that heroes are unambiguously heroes and villains are unambiguously villains: the heroes are the ones that you happen to be rooting for."
The Reputation Of A Corporation
"Nestle sent thousands of shipments of formula to Africa that had to be mixed with milk when they could have sent one that used water and were responsible for the deaths of approximately 66,000 infants. I have seen basically 0 major news outlets actually cover this because they know nestle will royally f**k them over and they’ll never be heard from again if they do, or nestle has them in their back pocket. No matter what restrictions or regulations we have in place, major corporations will always find a way to exploit citizens and violate human rights illegally and get away with it Scott free every time."
"If you’d like to read more about the atrocities nestle has committed against countless people head on over to r/f'cknestle, they have a lot more information on why you should stop supporting nestle if you want their human rights violations to finally end."
Turning A Blind Eye On Indiscretions
"Winston Churchill was a noted racist, misogynist, and imperialist. He was also an alcoholic and an a-hole. He made some fairly unconscionable choices (such as Coventry) in the pursuit of defeating the Nazis. But because he did defeat the Nazis, a lot of his less laudable traits get conveniently ignored."
"History is written by the winners..."
"Edit:all these people using the confederacy as proof I'm wrong may need to rethink what the real reason is..."
As a few Redditors pointed out in the thread, the distinction of who is the villain is not exactly black and white.
This is why it's such a fascinating conflict in literature.
Everyone is flawed. But it's a fine line as to whether or not the choices a character makes–as a result of being wronged by society–determine if they are worthy of praise or condemnation.
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It's a known fact, that after having one too many drinks, our judgment and multiple abilities become severely impaired.
And as a result, we should probably avoid doing important work, calling exes or unrequited crushes, and, of course, driving.
But, have you ever surprised yourself, by realizing that you're actually good at something after having a few drinks.
That maybe one thing an excess of alcohol cured was your self-consciousness, and may have improved your confidence?
Redditor 1bottleofwineb was curious to hear what hidden talents the Reddit community unearthed after having one too many, leading them to ask:
"What are you strangely good at when drunk?"
Who told you that? Oh...
"I start oversharing pretty quickly."
"It's a problem when hanging out with colleagues."- tanej86312
I'm not usually this outgoing!
"Making friends lol."- Illustrious_Big_8485
"Talkative, being able to hold a conversation about almost anything."- D-RezGiphy
Where did my inhibitions go?
"Oddly enough, most anything that relies on reaction speed."
"My best guess is that I second guess myself too much when I'm sober, so I wind up waiting too long."
"If I actively try to counteract that, I jump the gun."
"When alcohol gets involved, I just stop thinking about it and nail it."
"Literally the only time I've managed to beat several textbook examples of incredibly difficult video game bosses, ie. 'Hollow Knight's Absolute Radiance', 'Malenia in Elden Ring', was when I was riding that edge between tipsy and drunk.- orein123
8 ball left corner...
"I normally suck ,and when I'm trashed I really suck."
"But there's a sweet tipsy spot in the middle I'm freaking great."
"I don't keep drinking to be drunk I do it to keep the pool juice flowing."- Niznacktime shot GIFGiphy
A skill no one wants
"Ruining friendships and relationships."
"F*ckin masterclass."- KatatoniK94
I'm bilingual? Who knew!
"My second language comes out easier."- Grapegoop
Making decisions... I'll definitely regret...
"Sending my friends stupid 'I'm drunk haha' texts."
"Someone take my f*cking phone away please."- existential-mysterydrunk parks and recreation GIFGiphy
Ready, Steady, Go!
"I guess not so much anymore but in my early twenties, when I lived in San Diego, I'd get drunk and run for like 12 miles, sometimes by the beach."
"When I would wake up the next morning I'd be like.... how did I do that?"- helltothenoyo
Amazing the things we can do after a few too many glasses of wine.
Though, best to just enjoy it in the moment, rather than try to replicate it...
Those who have recently moved, or simply visiting, a city completely new to them often feel unsafe and unsure in their new surroundings.
Even if they likely aren't in any immediate danger, they still might feel worried or intimidated to go out, particularly on their own.
Unless, of course, they are experienced city dwellers, and have a well developed set of street-smart skills.
Redditor egalCriminal69 was curious to learn the best tips from the most alert and attentive Reddit users on how to stay aware of your surroundings and handle possibly unsafe situations, leading them to ask:
"People with street-smarts, what is ur best street tips?"
Best not to get involved
"No shame in running away from a fight."- SuvenPan·
Always be open to alternatives
"There's more than one way to get home."
"If you see something shady going on on your normal route you're better off taking the long way than getting involved with whatever is happening."- RedPanther1
Show confidence... even if you arent...
"Always act like you know where you are going."- GrenuilleGIF by Town & KeyGiphy
Sometimes bringing attention to yourself pays off...
"Know that criminals rely on their victims to be polite and not cause a scene or draw attention to themselves."
"When something happens to you, scream and shout."
"Make it known you’re in danger."- brkh47
Be aware of your surroundings, and hold on to your belongings
"If you're in a big town or a city and a group of kids surround you, keep your hands in your pockets and don't let them get behind you."
"Some will try to distract you while others pickpocket you."- Melonmode
How long have you got...
"There is no good reason to loiter in a city, especially at night."
"Look at street signs and sh*t only long enough to know where you are."
"Walk quickly, but like you're in a hurry to go somewhere, not leave where you are."
"Mind your business."
"Any yelling, fighting, or any source of commotion should be ignored."
"Move away from it immediately--you have more important shit to do, act like it."
"If someone calls out to you or tries to stop you, don't break stride."
"Respond immediately by briefly glancing at their face, their eyes, and their hands, in that order."
"Immediately look back in your direction of travel, shake your head and loudly say 'I got sh*t going on'."
"If they persist, just repeat it while walking away."
"A stressed, visibly engaged person looks dangerous."
"Cultivate a pissed-off expression."
"Not 'bad@ss', don't try to look like someone you're not."
"Just look mad, inconvenienced, and on the way to deal with it."
"Don't hold eye contact longer than four seconds, and don't break it faster than two."
"When you break eye contact, glance down to diffuse a situation, and look away to the side to display confidence."
"Break one law at a time."
"If you're doing nefarious sh*t, dress like you're on the way to or from work."
"Make sure your car is sorted, all lights work, tags are current, full tank of gas, etc."
"Keep your speed within five MPH of the posted limit."
"Don't have bumper stickers, window decals, or anything hanging from the rearview mirror."
"Wear your f*cking seatbelt."
"Unless you absolutely know you need a gun, just don't f*ck with them."
"Never keep it on you."
"Never carry drugs, stolen sh*t, or anything illegal with a gun, and don't keep or store any of that stuff in the same place as a gun."
"Anything + a gun = much longer sentencing guidelines, and mandatory minimums."
"Just don't f*ck with guns."
"Never let someone force you into a car, an alleyway, inside a house, anything."
"No matter what the situation, your odds are better if you fight or run."
"If someone pulls a gun on you and is farther away than about 15-20 feet, run away from them at an angle."
"It is a lot harder to hit a moving target with a handgun than most people realize."
"Even if you know how to fight, avoid it whenever possible."
"Graveyards are full of people who thought they were hard."
"If any of this is something you have to think about on a regular basis, change your life."
"This is not the way people are supposed to live."- kiloheavy
Don't text and drive... or walk!
"Stay THE F*CK off your phone and pay attention to your surroundings."
"Best way to get knocked over the head and your pockets ran is with your nose in your phone and your earbuds in."- mediaG33K
Sometimes best NOT to give the benefit of the doubt...
"Don't talk to any strangers and don't let them stop you on the street."
"Just keep walking."- gmilfmoneymilk·Vivien Leigh Quote GIF by Top 100 Movie Quotes of All TimeGiphy
No matter where you are, it's always best to be aware of your surroundings.
And whenever possible, wise to avoid walking alone at night.
That's why we have Lyft.
Good smells and bad smells are generally considered pretty universal, but there are definitely some outliers.
Most people can't stand the smell of gasoline, but there are quite a few people who find the smell pleasant.
Redditor Psycho_Bunny_Cutie asked:
"What's a weird smell you're willing to admit you like?"
"Not getting sprayed directly because I've never had that happen so I don't know if I'd like it, but the lingering aftermath."
"My friend's dogs got sprayed and I helped get them bathed. It almost drove them out of their house, but I liked the smell. It lingered for months."
Disney Home Video
"I remember liking the smell of Disney VHS cases."
"Omg. This unlocked a memory for me. I also loved this. But I haven’t done it in so long that I had forgotten. But this comment literally brought the smell right back. Thank you!"
"Me toooooo. Holy sh*t. I feel like it’s 1995 and I’m on the living room floor about to pop in Pocahontas for the 4th time today."
"I dont know if this counts, where I used to live is very common to hug people all the time, and if I have been in someone's home before, the place would have a particular smell, and almost everytime I would hug them, they would smell like their home. It always felt good to make that association, it was comforting somehow."
"Same for me, and then when you're out and about and you catch a wiff of something that smells the same even if it's been years they pop into your mind."
"The smell of brand new tech gadgets. It smells of technology. Whenever I buy a new mouse or keyboard (it is especially true for logitech products I don't know if it is a general thing) I sniff them as long as I can detect that sweet plastic-y, ultra clean-smelling goodness."
"Back when CD's were the dominant form of data transfer, I would LOVE every time a new one was opened, just sniffing the new CD."
"Years later, I discovered a nearly identical (to me) smell that works just as well... fresh saffron. Saffron smells like new CD's to me, and I love it."
"Ah, back in the old days, the smell of papers that the teacher handed out that were fresh off those old hand-cranked mimeograph machines. The solvent. Mmmm."
- whazzup_b*tchesFast Times At Ridgemont High GIF by FilminGiphy
"Pvc pool toys when you're unfolding them before you blow them up."
"I bought a shower curtain the other day and instead of a light plastic smell it smelled heavily of inflatable pool toys, best shower ever."
"I love the smell of basement- which I don't know if is weird, but I'm the only one I know who likes it."
"Yessss, also sometimes underground parking garages or stairwells have it. Everyone always thinks I’m an idiot when I bring it up."
"The smell of Home Depot"
"I have long been hoping for Yankee Candle to team up with Home Depot to a lumber aisle scented candle."
Hot Pavement And Rain
"Hot parking lot when it first starts to rain."
"The best! I can smell it now. Thanks for that. That smell in a sun shower is like the best feeling you could ever feel."
"Matches after the flame goes out."
"Ooooh I like the smell when you blow out a candle."
- Kaisa_is_shortLighting Up GIF by GifGariGiphy
While there are some smells that seem like everyone must hate them, there's always going to be someone who thinks they smell better than roses.
We know "metal detectors" and "cool" aren't typically used in the same sentence, but rock with us on this one.
Imagine if you found something really undeniably awesome. Would it make the hours of pacing and searching worth it?
Reddit user heloooreddit asked :
"People who metal detect, what's the coolest thing you've found?"
As someone who lives in S. Florida and has really only seen metal detectors used on hot, sandy beaches, I can confidently say it would have to be really very insanely cool and/or adorably heartwarming in order for me to decide being out in that heat and getting sweaty and likely sunburned was worth it.
Read through the things Reddit has found and see if it would be worth it for you.
A Whole.... Town.
"My buddy and I set out to find an old gold mining camp. We followed the maps and were in the right place when we discovered that the town was actually on the other side of a canyon. We had to beat our way through some 12' brush and then started finding things everywhere."
"He found a pocketwatch right by the side of the old wagon road. We realized that the entire dump was still there. Like the place had become forgotten and finally recorded on the wrong side of the creek years before. We actually stopped hunting and told the Forest Service. We met and took the archaeologist up there. He was floored because everything was still in context. Felt pretty good about finding a whole town."
"Here I am prepared for some wedding ring, or a casual coin. First comment: 'we found a town' ."
"Thanks for leaving as is and not taking what isn’t yours."
"I work with a bunch of archaeologists. They would just be drooling over getting to be involved in a dig like this."
A BombDr Strangelove Movie GIFGiphy
"15 years ago, me and my siblings found bomb from World War II in the Belgian Ardennes, using a $30 toy metal detector."
"I remember walking off-road in the woods for hours until we found a spot that looked like nobody has been there in ages. We quickly found a couple of bullets and, while I was inspecting the bullets, my younger brother age 9 saw something sticking out of the dirt."
"At first, we thought it was a rusty metal can, but when he pulled it out, it took us a moment to realize that he was holding a bomb. We didn’t know whether it was still intact so I instructed him to slowly put it down in way that it could not roll off the hill and hit something."
"We didn’t have any mobile phones so we rushed to the nearest road which we followed to get to a village to get help. We marked the trees so we would remember where we had hidden the bomb."
"When we arrived at the village, we explained what happened. Luckily, they believed our story and called the local police. When he arrived, we couldn’t understand a word he said (he was speaking French, we only spoke Dutch) — but eventually he would follow us deep into the woods."
"When we arrived, the bomb was luckily still there, and after an inspection by the police officer we were instructed to leave as apparently it was too dangerous and had to be picked up by the bomb squad — but not before we snapped a picture for the local press, posing with the bomb next to us. I still have that picture."
"This is fantastic, what a story and great you have the photo"
"I went with a friend who's big into his detecting to see what he gets up to, we spend a solid 6 hours in this one field which he was adamant used to have a roman farmhouse."
"Just before we were going to give up for the day, and to be clear we had found the odd roman coin which was really cool in itself, we stumbled across what seemed to be really big. Anyway, long story short we dug down amd found a selection of roman agricultural tools set out in a relatively neat formation."
"My friend has since gone back and found further tools as well as a huge haul of coins.
This will be really underwhelming for a lot of people but the historic tools were really cool"
"Wouldn’t have been underwhelming for me. Sounds awesome"
"Underwhelming? Hell no, that's wicked! In fact I'm sure a lot of people would love to see some pics!"
Another Big FindHistory Blacksmith GIF by Age Of Empires CommunityGiphy
"I found a blacksmith’s shop in the middle of a farmers field. I was detecting for a historical society and their local expert told me to detect a certain spot that he calculated where the blacksmith shop would be."
"I did a 10x10 foot area with only finding small pieces of slag. I wasn’t convinced that the shop was there, but the expert wouldn’t have it."
"While everyone took a break at noon. I started a spiral pattern going farther and farther from his calculations. About 30 minutes later and 100 feet away, I got good strong signals and large slag pieces. I even found a single clay brick. One of the society members started an excavation at my spot."
"They eventually hit the corner of the shops foundation. They found a hammer and tools for the anvil and the rest of the blacksmith shop."
"That's awesome. Good on you for using 'trust but verify' for the calculations"
Not A Tank
"Using a Schonstedt metal detector to determine the absence or presence of an underground heating oil storage tank in Morristown, New Jersey I found a subsurface object corresponding in size to a 550 gallon tank (4’x6’)."
"I obtained a municipal permit for removal, subsurface utility mark outs and when I excavated I discovered the object was not a tank but a cache of revolutionary war era cannonballs."
"I totally thought you were about to play us with a really boring story."
Two Decades Worth
"Been at it since 1999."
"I've found a lot of stuff so what would be the coolest find would be subjective."
"I've found a few gold rings , silver jewelry, silver coins, civil war bullets including a couple of possible 'bite' bullets and one union cavalry button."
"Top finds would be... several silver half dollars (Walking liberties from the 1940s and ben franklins from the 1950s). my oldest coin find (an 1853 seated liberty dime) , my only seated liberty quarter (1877), my three gold rings (one that has 25 small diamonds, another that is a wide band wedding ring with three initials carved into the outside with inlaid silver metal, and an old Herf jones graduation/school ring that is basically a blank... nothing carved into it), an uncrushed 1930s silver thimble (most found thimbles are crushed)."
"I've never found a gold coin or a silver silver dollar or a pocket watch, or a two cent coin, or a three cent coin. :("
"I live in Missouri so finds for the area will not be as old as say in the New England states. I DO know one guy who found an 1801 large cent in Kansas."
"I've found nearly every kind of coin from the 1850s to present day (barbers, wheaties, seateds, indianheads, standing liberties, etc. etc..). Only exceptions would be gold coins and silver dollars and some half dollars. I've posted some pics in my past AMAs and other posts so if you search my name and metal detecting or metal detector on reddit you will find them."
"Username checks out."
"Literally only did it once with a friend when I was a teenager at a beach with a friend (he and his dad were really into it). We found a $20k watch in 1995 dollars."
"Wasn’t a Rolex, but can’t remember the maker. We took it to a jeweler who made a few calls and found out it was in a registry and the owner was called. He was elated as it was a gift from his wife. He sent us each a check for $1,000."
"The jeweler gave us each a b*tchin fake gold chain on the spot. Jean shorts and high tops need the perfect neck accessory and we got it!"
"So neat that you were able to find the original owner!"
"Not only did you do the right thing, you got a good reward for it too. That's pretty awesome."
Some Lovememories photograph GIF by Good Deed EntertainmentGiphy
"I used to live near the railroad tracks near an airport and an old industrial area. They used to have a local station for the workers to shuttle into the area (late 1800's, early 1900's). They eventually tore down the station in the 30's/40's when the highways got built nearby."
"My dad used to take me with metal detectors and we would find railroad spikes, pocketwatches, wrist watches, old silver dollars and other coins."
"Best haul by far was a gold locket with a picture of someone's wife/girlfriend ensribed 'All My Love, Annie'. It wasn't the prettiest locket, but you bet your bottom dollar someone was kicking themselves for losing that precious treasure."
"All i can think is someone suffered a bad breakup and chucked the locket out of the train haha"
Gold, Gold I Tell Youepisode 12 gold GIFGiphy
"Not my thing, but my brother was detecting just downstream from a popular swimming hole on the American River in California a couple of years ago, looking for dropped watches, phones, go pros, etc. Got a hit, flipped a rock, and found an 11.5-ounce gold nugget underneath."
"Miners tore the hell out of those rivers back in the 1849 Gold Rush, and amateurs have been panning it ever since, so it was pretty freaking incredible to find something that big."
A Cherished Find
"I was detecting on a beach and a desperate South African man approached and told me he had lost his necklace his mother (now deceased) had given him when he was young."
"His friend had wrapped it in a towel and gone swimming. Then upon returning, flicked the sand out of the towel with the necklace in it."
"He had to go home for the day, but I searched where he told me he was sitting. 15 minutes later, my metal detector went absolutely nuts for this beautiful silver chain."
'I said to him that had he not asked me to look for him, I would have definitely found it later that night long after he had left with no way of contacting him. Crazy how life works like that."
"Aww, that was really kind of you. I'm so glad you found it!!"
Okay yeah - we'll admit, finding a whole town or a stash of revolutionary era cannonballs would be pretty worth it.
Which of these would be most worth it for you?