Kids are smart. Some of them are scary smart - like kindergarteners who can do times tables, or elementary school students who can do long division in their heads. Let's hope these people end up running the world someday.
eaquino03 asked teachers of Reddit: What is your "this student is so smart it's scary" story?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
50. Two Second TurnaroundGiphy
Had a kid that was about 5 years old... he was a bit disruptive in class. So I figured I'd shut him up for a bit. I asked him to add all numbers from 1 to 100. "That'll keep him quiet for a few minutes."
To my surprise, he answered almost instantly, 2550. "It's just 51 x 100 / 2"
I think he went on to create something that eliminated matrices or something.
49. Moving Too Fast
Not a teacher but during one of my calculus courses in college, some kid (around 17 years old, I was 23 then) was part of the same class but he was still in high school.
He was a foreign student and was on a scholarship. Said he was from a poor background and his scholarship would be immediately revoked by the sponsors if he didn't get any single A-. Mind you, my school proffers a bell-curve grading system.
We were sorry to hear this but he followed laughing saying "but A- is really easy to get. It would be so embarrassing not to get it."
In my third year I met him again. This time he was a year 1 college freshman doing a year 3 module which had at least 3 prerequisite modules to partake first.
48. I'm The Nightmare
I actually had a teacher (eventually) say that about me, to my face. She was a very experienced teacher (and a good one too) who taught my senior year AP English class. When we did the beginning of the year practice AP test I apparently got the best score that she's ever seen on the first day of class. She later told me that she knew from that moment that I was going to be an absolute nightmare....
And she was right.
47. Portable Inventions
I knew a kid that built a computer to where he could carry it as a backpack and easily just pull it around and play some games. Idk. It was cool.
46. Keep Me Mouth Shut
Not much of a teacher, but there was a peer that sat next to me (this was in 6th grade by the way.)
He had helped so much of his other colleagues on their math, English, etc. And kept scoring nearly 100% on each math tests, my friend told me he had an IQ of the unknown, probably a high schooler or something (I can't remember. ) Besides all that, he decides to misbehave and literally get a tracking form every time he had inhaled. Disappointing, I feel bad both for the guy and all of the teachers that had to deal with his bull crap. I feared, being in class with him, that he might 1 up me for making a stupid remark.
45. A Language All My Own
Not a teacher but, my older brother with autism was able to create his own language with numbers at the age of five. My parents told me about how he coordinated each of the 26 letters with the corresponding number and would write full paragraphs with numbers. That in itself wouldn't be completely buzzard except for the fact that he was able to write full comprehensible paragraphs at the age of 5. Oh, and I forgot to mention that he was mute up until the age of 11. So yeah. Couldn't talk, but wrote in numbers.
On a more relatable mention, he also beat Sekiro the video game in 2 days the week of release. Autism is an interesting phenomenon.
44. Young And Still Smart As Heck
Well, I'm 11 currently and my mom has recently told me that I taught myself how to read when I was 4 when she was sick and she couldn't speak. I have always been a curious type and I like asking questions, but I couldn't get answers from asking my mom. So what do I do? Figure out how to read so I can look it up on Google.
43. Fast And Smart
I am not a teacher, I am a student. I would not consider myself scary smart. I had a physics final which took about 2 hours. Someone in my class asked the teacher if anyone in the class before me had aced it. Nobody did. I finished the test in 4 minutes and 46 seconds. I had aced it. I think I set a new record at the school.
42. Compare And Rejoice
My son was like this! I didn't even realize it was so impressive until his sister didn't talk like he did, and the doctor said she actually was advanced in her vocabulary. Now he's 3 and still amazing me. I know I'm screwed when he gets older, because he's definitely smarter than me.
41. A Memorized History
Not a teacher but an adult with a lot of really young cousins. I was hanging out with my 8 year old cousin one day at a party (I was keeping an eye on him so his dad could go get him some food) and then this kid he just starts talking to me about dinosaurs. Not like a usual 8 year old talking about how he likes a T-Rex cuz it's big or something.
Like he starts talking like a paleontologist using all of the dinosaurs scientific names, telling me which ones lived at the same times as other dinosaurs and which ones didn't. Telling me what their diets were and cool facts about things that are special about the individual species. It was like a college lecture about the history of dinosaurs but from an 8 year old. It was wild. And he would get very flustered when other adults would try and relate it to the Flinstones because the Flinstones has it all wrong and it bothers him.
40. Not Cheating, Just SmartingGiphy
Reporting from the student side: I loved mathematics as a kid, and my grandpa was great at doing all kinds of calculations in his head - naturally, I've learned a lot from him.
Multiplications, divisions(were my favorite), squaring(and some cubing), and square roots. All this I've learned from grandpa, somewhere between 5 and 7, much of that in my head.
Teachers have asked more than once How do you know this? Where do these numbers come from? Some didn't believe I could actually do this without writing down anything but the result, they said I need to write down how I calculated to believe I wasn't cheating.
I ran through all the mathematics problem sheets that were meant for grade 1-4(Austrian school, 5-10y/o) in a little more than half of grade 1. Eventually ended up making my own ones.
39. Way Ahead Of Ya
Not a student, but a member of the University faculty. I teach an advanced mathematics course in a New England University. At the beginning of the semester I posed a problem on the board, that with the accumulation of the year's teachings, students would be able to comprehend at the end of the semester.
Fast forward a few days into the semester and I see this faculty member in the class cleaning the boards, or so I thought. Before I could correct him, he had left the room and i found that he had actually solved the problem.
38. Intelligence Is Contagious
A kid was playing with a rubic's cube in the yard. I decide to see if I can't teach him how to solve one. He listens, observes, and a week later he can solve it faster than I ever could.
Another week later, he has a 2x2x2 and is figuring out how to solve it.
Another week later, he has a 4x4x4 and understands that it's harder because it doesn't have unmoving bits.
Another week later, he's got a 5x5x5.
Now, it's spreading, and half the class have cubes.
37. 2nd Grade Life, 6th Grade Brain
I teach preschool special education. I was talking with the class about space and our solar system. A child who cannot read yet raised his hand and said "if the sun is called sol, then that's why it's called a solar system? Because the planets go around the sun?" I was like yes! It is! And he continued "so, solar panels are called solar because they collect the sun? Interesting." I was surprised at his connection and said "yes! And you will get a book to take home today all about the solar system." He returned the next day and had memorized all the names of the planets, their distance from the sun and each other, and the times it would take a rocket to reach his planet. We stumbled into his "niche". He is now in 2nd grade but goes up to 6th grade for science class.
36. Boy And Boyfriend
Not a teacher, but growing up there was a boy in my class who was super far ahead of everyone because his mom (who didn't have a job, but was a typical rich mom) would buy text books and teach him advanced things at like age 9. He moved in 6th grade and I haven't seen him since.
My boyfriend is also a genius. He's an extremely fast learner, shoot, he can learn a lot in a little time. Sometimes when I'd have trouble with math homework I'd call him and read the problem to him, then he would give me the answer and explain how to do it. The only times he can't help are in classes that he's never taken, even then he can read my text book and explain everything to me.
35. Born To Prosecute
One of my friends joined an interschool law competition a few years ago. Basically, the teams were given a case, chose their roles and had a trial a few weeks later. He was 11, and most of them were 16/17. He was prosecution lawyer, and persuaded the magistrates towards the ONLY guilty verdict of the day.
34. Future Tech
I had a little guy in my PreK class who was scary smart. Now all of these kids were bright. They were doing US 1st to 3rd grade materials at the age of 4 as Korean ESL students. But Andy had an eidetic memory.
We were discussing the concept of parades, a spelling word that week. Parades aren't really a thing in Korea like they are in the US or Canada. I've only ever seen them at the larger amusement parks. So we were watching a video clip of the Macy's Day Parade. Before I can say anything, Andy perks up and exclaims, "That's the Macy's day parade from 2007! I was there!" And proceeds to tell us about each up coming float (got each one right). He would have been between 1-2 years old at the time.
He was a sweet kid, he loved to debate upcoming technologies and was obsessed with cell phones. I often wonder what he's up to now.
33. Chugga Chugga...Whoah
Not a teacher. Once had a job in a railway where I was qualified in, and most of my duties surrounded, the signal panel inside the station.
A friend and her 5yo visited. The 5yo watched me work the panel for ten minutes and described ALL the moves possible including the ones we only used once or twice a year.
Not a teacher but there is this one kid in my class that knows more than my teachers, so whenever the teacher gets something slightly incorrect, the student makes sure to tell everyone, and the look of the teachers face is priceless.
31. Quick Math
Had a dude in my primary school (UK) and in year 4 (around 8-9 years old) he suddenly was able to tell you what day of the week you was born on if he knew your date of birth.
30. So BoredGiphy
Not a teacher, but when bf was in elementary school, principal pulled his parents into her office and told them that he was above IQ for his age (and also an 'I know more than you' little jerk. He told his parents that "he will always be right, and will be extremely stubborn about proving you wrong. We have programs for these types of kids, and it's considered to be a disability". He proceeded to gain a reputation of the kid who slept in class, got called on by the teacher, looked at the board, and got up and corrected the teacher's work. A total nightmare.
I like to pretend I'm so smart that my school didn't know what to do with me but in reality I know that my school is just absolute garbage.
I got invited to be one of 20ish highschoolers in America to get an all expenses paid trip to go work and learn in a national laboratory and present our findings to the senators of a few of the states. I'm by no means a super genius and quite frankly don't know how I got selected but it was a fun experience that boosted my confidence... Until I went back to school and I was told to play with blocks for a week in the Special Ed closet.
28. Non Cheating
Not a teacher, and I don't know if this counts, but for a test in one of my subjects, we were told to put our books on the floor, and one of my classmates put his book on the floor with the revision sheet under the clear cover thing that they put on some workbooks. The kid didn't end up cheating though, he put the book in a position that meant he couldn't see the revision sheet. He was across the aisle from me as well, so if he had left the revision sheet where he could see it, I would have been able to cheat too.
27. Steep Learning Curves
Not a teacher, but we brought in a field construction worker to be a foreman. This job required the use of a computer but he literally had never used a computer, or operated a mouse in his life. He actually picked it up super fast. In a month he was creating digital design drawings and navigating 3D models.
26. Just Above And Beyond
Not a teacher but I had a friend who had a 25 (originally 50+) slide show case going over string theory for a project which we were allowed to do the topic in. The teacher cut him off through one of his slides and gave him an immediate A+. He always did his work and would consistently place high in any test. In my opinion the teacher should have told him to do something we all could understand so he wouldn't waste his efforts, but he always wanted to prove he was intelligent.
25. Cut Off A Sense, Heighten The Others
I teach chemistry and I had a blind kid in my class for a year (his eyes were removed from cancer at age 2). He aced all my tests and was always the first to grasp any concept. Just an amazing mind. Since then I have never underestimated the power of listening and imagination.
24. Owning The Older Kids
K so this happened first semester, I'm a high school teacher, and right now I'm teaching juniors. ( for those who don't know, juniors is third year out of four) So this class full of 16-17 year old dudes and girls are just doing there work on the first day of this school, and a 6th grader walks in and goes: "Sorry I'm late, I'm getting used to my new wake up time from elementary." He is passing my class with an -A ..this is AP Chemistry. I'm worried he will become too smart and use his gift for evil, he is a bit of a rascal.
23. The Worst Setbacks
I taught in a therapeutic day school a few years ago. I had a student in my class who was a severe behavioral problem, even for a therapeutic setting for behavioral kids. He would hit teachers and kids when he would have a meltdown. He was crazy high energy and only in fourth grade. I learned he had an IQ in the high 140 range putting him around 15 points below Einstein. He could comprehend college level texts, he could perform math problems by only being shown once how to do it, and had the most in-depth social understanding of people that I have ever seen.
It's such a shame. He has the capacity to cure all of the worlds problems, but lives in a trailer with like 10 cats, a mother who doesn't pay attention to him, her boyfriend who beats him, and his grandma as the only positive influence he sees in his life.
22. Fooled Ya
My SO didn't learn how to read until he was in 2nd grade. His kinder and first grade teachers, as well as his parents, thought he was reading when he actually would just memorize stories. He learned to read in 2nd grade and quickly started reading at a 4th grade level. He's pretty brilliant.
21. He Pulled It From The Air
I'm a teacher and my own youngest son is crazy smart. I teach special education so there is no correlation but when my son was in first grade he was helping his brother who is also extremely bright do his sixth grade math. My youngest is now 17 and is a dual-credit high school / college student taking such things as precalculus at the college level. He taught himself to code and is on his high school robotics team. He seems to learn things by osmosis. When he was 3 years old I would ask him how he knew the things that he knew and he would just shrug his shoulders and tell me that he just knew them. I don't know where he learned this stuff. I certainly am no math whiz.
I was at a calculus competition with a honest-to-whatever math prodigy. The kid was answering ALL the group questions in just a few seconds, got a perfect score on the individual test, and he's won so many other competitions like who wants to be a mathematician. Guy was ridiculous.
Not a teacher, but when I was in school I had a friend that could bargain for grades. Examples: English teacher also was the drama teacher he did absolutely no work in class.
Told the teacher he would come in after school twice a week to build her sets for the school play. She gave him a B.
History teacher was the debate coach,
He wagered his F for an A if he could beat any 2 students in any 2 subjects from his debate team.
Mopped the floor with them, at one point had the team captain whining instead of providing evidence.
Brought the teacher some kind of antique Japanese family artifact to raise his D to a C.
I hear he found a guy who owns like 8 properties in Bali and he just manages them for a few grand a month and free housing.
18. It's Tenuous Ground
I'm not a teacher, but I have another child in my class (ninth grade) who has autism. He's super brilliant but also socially unaware. He obsesses over guns and weapons of all sorts and has explained to me multiple times over how he started researching from a young age how to contain the unlimited energy from a black hole into a spherical shape, designed to contain it. I laughed until he showed me the notebook he had filled with research. So yeah, I'm not sure what to do, I'm not super crazy about a black hole being within 1000000 light years from me but also I don't wanna get stabbed and/or shot.
17. It's Exponential
I work as a private teacher in Poland and I have this one student who is in grade 7 and just started learning algebra few weeks ago.
She told me that her school stuff is easy and wants challenging questions. My boss told me that I can give her challenging questions and make it difficult.
I made like a list of questions, from easy to difficult, by difficult I mean it's even hard for high school kids. I gave her a high school level algebra where you have to do substitution, or polynomial division, or finding constants. Concepts that are for 16 years old students.
I gave her a simple example with only x2 and she managed to solve questions with like x6.
16. A Bike For Your Thoughts
I had student in the 9th grade that was pretty good at writting. In fact, she was WAY better than most of the my colleagues when I was in college. Hell, I'm positive she was better than almost everyone I know, including other teachers and professors I know.
If you're able to able to write a complex texts at an almost professional level when you're 14, and you're a student at a public school in a poor area of a third-country, I'm pretty sure you're the reincarnation of Shakespeare.
She actually won 1st place on "essay contest" with schools from her city and other 4 cities. She won a bicycle.
15. I could do this, but with identifying cars.
One of my kindergarteners just "knows" multiplication, and not just the basic 5s or 10s. In the beginning when his parents told me I played along with 2x2 or 10x10 but you can tell him 17x14 and he knows it instantly. So cool to watch.
My daughter was like that at 3. My sister is a kindergarten teacher and she just loves telling people she taught my daughter multiplication as a toddler. Really, she was distracting her in a store, and my daughter was counting by 2's. My sister said "can you do that with 3's?"
My daughter thought about it and then just did it. They went through this all the way to the 7's in ten minutes. My sis told her it was called multiplication and to this day takes credit for it.
My daughter is currently in 6th grade, taking both Algebra 1 and Geometry. She isn't a genius or prodigy- she isn't doing so well in history. Probably because, for example, instead of taking notes on the Haitian Revolution yesterday, she started writing all the exponents for 3. She was proud to show me she got all the way to 3 to the 50th... some people just "feel" numbers and enjoy them more than other things.
14. Not bad, not bad at all.
I had a student ask for an extension on their paper because they were representing our nation in the world science festival...
They came in 3rd, and the paper was an A+.
13. The magnitude of this...
Had a first grader figure out exponents on his own.
Edit: also to note, the kid knew numbers but we had to read the directions to him because he couldn't read well enough yet.
That's just the way he was raised.
More power to him!
He holds most of the power in that family.
12. He will never lose his keys.
I was doing a 500 piece puzzle with some kids (I was a preschool teacher). We finished the puzzle, except for one piece, which was nowhere to be found.
Kid comes in takes one look at the puzzle on the table, says, "oh, are you missing that? I know where it is." Reaches into another completely different 500 piece puzzle, rummages for like 10 seconds, pulls the piece out, fits it in.
I ask him how he knew it was there. He said he had done the other puzzle for a bit and noticed it. I asked him how long ago. Christmas, he says? It was February at the time. Kid was maybe 5 at the time.
Might be more memory than intelligence, but that was crazy to see. Such a great kid, in somewhat dire circumstance. I hope he's gotten all the opportunities he deserved.
5-year-old memory is the best memory. I'm at the point where if I forget something in class (where I put my keys, what page we were on yesterday, what color James colored his duck) I just ask them. They always know.
11. Mood when I'm on Twitter.
I once had a pre-kindergartener who could read, and cried because he was so upset with how dumb the rest of the kids were.
My mom would write little notes for preschool me and stick them in my lunch box. My teacher noticed I could read them and would have me read them to the class everyday after that. I cried, but from embarrassment lol
Sad thing is that feeling will haunt him his whole life.
10. Maybe there's hope for us.
We had a four-year-old in preschool. He was sitting under the table writing down numbers for a long time. He had no time to talk to us. When he came out and we looked at what he had been doing, he said he wrote down all the multiplications. It turns out hes brother in 5 grade was learning the multiplication table, and this little brother really wanted to do the same, but did not have a multiplication table. He counted on his fingers to add each column, and got the table right. A few days later he knew multiplication.
He would also comment on dates. If someone told they had their birthday on june 12, he would say "that is in 184 days" almost immediately. On an excursion we passed some statues with birth and death dates, and he would casually sum up: He was 78 years and 110 days old, She was born 33 years and 120 days before him etc.
I think he was maybe more focussed and willing to understand, than necessarily so smart.
Edit: Since got some traction. This kid is really the whole package. He is enthusiastic about everything. Gymnastics, science, art, math. Not at all to compete, just because it is what he likes. Other kids just follow him, and he is the often the center, and he is kind and nice. Never seen him push, hassle or brag. Just enjoys taking in all facets of life. I just wanted to show him I could see who he was. I treated him as an adult in conversations and feedback. He was of course childish in many ways, but behind the noise of childishness was a wise soul I wanted to know and encourage.
9. Checks out.
I taught high school math. One of my freshman students divided 1134 by 63 in his head in less than a second. I let him finish the problem, and then after he arrived at his answer, I asked him "How did you do that?" He looked at me with this blank stare as if he was thinking 'You can't do that?'
He proceeded to say "Well I doubled 63 and then multiplied that by 10, and then I saw that 1134 was just the difference of those two numbers, so 18." Looked at me like it was nothing. I told him good work and moved on.
I'm only above average at a few things, but one of them is mental math. When I saw that this kid could do this calculation that I couldn't, I was so happy. It was one of my happiest moments as a teacher. I didn't help him in that moment, but to know I played a small part in his math education felt so good.
Edit: Okay, I get it--you're all geniuses. I wish I had you all in my math class :)
Do an easy math to get as close as possible. 63 x 2 x 10. 1260.
Wrong answer, though. Too high. Subtract 1134 from 1260. 126. hmm.
He ALREADY did part of the math in his head with the 63 x 2. 63 x 2 = 126.
So two of those twenty 63's were making it wrong, so instead of 20 it's 18.
Something weird I just noticed:
1134/63 is 18
1+1+3+4+6+3 is also 18.
Multiples of nine have this property.
8. I was an early talker too. I ran out of things to say.
I work with 18-24 month olds and we have an 18 month old who can have literal conversations. Perfect sentence structures, perfect verb conjugation, perfect pronunciation (even L and R!) Knows all the alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes, by sight.
Some of the others know some of those things but I've never seen a baby this advanced. I sometimes forget she's only one year old because she seems more like 3.5. Just tiny like a one year old.
Her dad brought her back from a well baby checkup telling us that the doctor asked "does she say any words yet?" and we all lol'd cause she has full conversations!
My son spoke in full sentences by 18 months, reading by 2.5, could add, subtract and multiply etc before preschool. He's now 21, unemployed and spends all day playing games online 🤷🏻♀️ Still smart as though. Just lazy 🙄
He might feel like he can't live up to the pressure - like everyone thinks he is reallly clever but he doesn't feel it and doesn't want people to notice. If he doesn't try he remains clever but just lazy, if he tries and fails he's no longer clever. I was definitely like this because I hit a lot of milestones early. Just something to bear in mind. Maybe try and build his confidence again. Good luck though - I'm sure it can be super difficult and frustrating for you.
7. And now she smashes protons together.
Not a teacher but a proud big brother. My baby sister was 5 when I came home from college for the summer after actually figuring out calculus. And I explained it to her.
And she wrote it down in her journal. Yes, she kept one from the time she was about 4.
Fast forward after she skipped a few grades in elementary school and she was taking calculus in high school. And could not understand why it was so easy. And reread her journal, figured it out , and called me, laughing.
She has a PhD in high energy physics and does research at CERN. Yeah, that stuff. Desperately proud of her.
6. A good teacher knows their limits.
I'm a piano teacher on the side. Teaching a four year old how to read sheet music before she can read books. I ask her to find the Cs and she will point then out on the page ect. She can also do math really well and understands the concept of multiplication. Also another student that just started and plays by ear and composes her own pieces at 8. She also speaks 5 languages which I didn't find out until I told her I was learning German. After teaching her for 3 months she's already to the point where I had to send her to a better teacher.
What are the 8 year old's parents like? What do they do for a living?
Her parents are immigrants so it explains the numerous languages. The mom had just gotten a job as a bus driver and I never met the dad so I'm not sure what he does. I think it's more to do with the girls bright mind and instead curiosity. She was always excited to learn and would ask questions.
5. He should work in banking.
I have a 5 year old this year who has stolen my wallet more times than I'd like to admit. From my pocket. Without me knowing. I now wear a wallet chain like I don't remember what decade it is. He still tries but he hasn't figured out a work around. Yet.
Nah man, he's even smarter then that. Now that he's trained you to be obsessed with the wallet, and you think that's all he cares about too, he's in the clear to start stealing other things. Check your desk.
Oh he steals everything but my wallet is definitely the one that blows my mind. I how no idea how he did it so many times.
4. But her grades.
Obligatory "Not a teacher" comment.
There was once a kid in the grade above me in middle school that hacked the school database and deleted everyone's grades. He was expelled.
EDIT: This was about 6 years ago. And it wasn't just as easy as using a teacher's username and password, as teachers only had access to change grades in their own classes. He was caught because he bragged about it. He was just one of those kinds of kids.
When I was in 6th grade a kid took down the school internet using a school administered laptop.
Kid took the fat highlighters, cut them open and removed the insides and replaced it with bud. Sold them at school. He was caught, but only because a kid snitched after they were caught getting high. Absolutely brilliant.
High - lighters
It's right there in the name.
2. There's no harm in being informed.
My mom was a student teacher in the early 1970s. She recounts the story of a gifted first grader that nobody really knew how to handle. Every day her mentor would give the child a copy of the New York Times and let him read during her class.
Much later my mom was working as a speech therapist and had a severely autistic child that would come in daily. After their lessons he would spend his free time drawing elaborate (and accurate) city maps on the whiteboard. It was fascinating!
1. Astronomy is joy and joy is universal.
Worked at a special purpose preschool designed for kids on the autism spectrum. Did an intake day with a kiddo (4 y/o) where i was just trying to have fun and see what kind of things he liked. Did some time on the computer where we surfed around YouTube a bit. He searched up a video about our solar system, and began to explain to me the difference between the inner solar system and the outer solar system (what they're made of, sizes, electromagnetic fields to compensate for distance from the sun, etc). I had to Google everything he ws saying, because I had no idea if it was true.
Spoiler alert. It was.
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If you don't have any experience with construction, it can be pretty interesting to watch those reality HGTV shows (I know I'm addicted at this point). Some of the best episodes can be the one's where they open up the walls to find the builder didn't do anything right, causing a huge blow to the budget. The drama!
As someone who doesn't know much about building, and is dreaming of homeownership, Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked a question I wish I had thought of first.
Redditor Vast_Recognition_682 asked:
"Home inspectors of reddit, what are some horrible things that almost went unnoticed?"
Here's some horror stories that shed a little light on the home owner unknowns.
Behind the closet wall.
"Going through a home with [the] home inspector, didn't find any issues, bring my dad in to look through the house too and he was [incessantly] checking everything. Looks at the Zillow listing with the floor plan, measures the basement, finds out the actual measurements smaller than the floor plan which led us to go looking in a closet and realize they finished a wall and closet around the old oil tank, never decommissioned it, never planned to tell anyone about it, and we would have had to rip walls out to get to it to remove it. It was a non starter and we walked away. So happy to have my dad's sharp eye while home shopping."
If you need a good prank idea when you're renovating, here's one:
"I saw a post once, this guy said his dad's house had a diagonal outer wall and he was installing a combination wall and bookshelf to square the room. Since there was a small dead space on one side, the dad (who was a doctor), got a life-size plastic human skeleton from work and tossed it in there."
"So if someone tore the wall out to remodel in 30 years or whatever, they'd see it and freak out."
Man cave mayhem.
"Not a home inspector, but I did ask our home inspector what crazy stuff he had seen over the years. He had two stories."
"He inspected a modest three bedroom house and found that were very strange structural cracks in the walls. The area where the house was built is primarily clay soil which leads to a lot of foundation issues, but these were really abnormal cracks. He headed to the attic to wrap up his inspection; it was located over the garage so there was absolutely no structural support there. He poked his head up into the attic and couldn't believe his eyes: the owner had a fully furnished man cave in the attic over the garage. It had a couch, big screen tv, weight set, and a huge gun safe. He said he had no idea how in the world all of that stuff didn't come crashing down through the garage ceiling or how the guy had managed to get the giant gun safe up there without some sort of elaborate winch system. He said it was only a matter of time before the house collapsed."
"The only other weird thing he encountered was a cistern (an old well) in a crawlspace underneath a house. He said he was crawling along on his stomach when he almost fell into it; it was left uncovered."
A rats nest of wires.
"I'm sure there will be some stories about wiring above drop ceilings. When I was looking at houses, I saw (not the home inspector) one once where like 10 different wires came into one rats nest of a cluster. To make it even better, there was a regular lamp cord that ran from it to power the hanging kitchen light above the table. And if you want whip cream and sprinkles on that.... the power came into that mess through knob and tube."
"I am an apprentice electrician and this comment just made my soul cry."
"I found an uncapped steel conduit with live wires behind my sink while remodeling. There wasn't even a cap on the wires."
"While ripping out our old kitchen we cut the old crappy countertop with a sawzaw, to our surprise saw a spark and blew a breaker. some mother f**kers who previously renovated this kitchen ran the wiring for a new outlet on the wall around the studs in a crevice in the back of the countertop...."
"My family flipped a house a few years ago. There were four ceilings, each a couple inches lower than the one before, and all but one had old wiring in it. It was like cutting into a weird lasagna, trying to find the studs in that house."
"Grandma was shrinking with old age, but her kids didn't want her to realize."
"Not me, but one I spoke to. Place almost passed, until out the corner of his eye... bam... jack stand holding up a beam under the house."
"Same with a house daughter was interested in. The place was a flip and totally redone. Beautiful. And down in the basement was a brick holding up a big beam."
This inspector had a full list.
1. "Furnace exhaust flue inlet at the attic furnace disconnected and a dead bird below it. Would have dumped all the furnace exhaust straight into the attic area. Obvious safety implication."
2. "Long time vacant house in a very secluded area. Reeked of cat p*ss and burnt plastic. No cats or cat feces in sight and no entry point for cats. Found small balloon in the corner of the floor where the fridge would be. Picked it up (with gloves) and white powder came spilling out. We came to the conclusion there was possibly the presence of methamphetamine in the home at some point and in some fashion."
3. "5 year old house, nice neighborhood, great shape, vacant. Everything looked good visually. In the attic, just after it had started raining heavily, a slight but constant drip was noticed from the roof sheathing in one area. Got lucky on that one. Sunny day, there would have been no evidence of any issue whatsoever."
4. "Homeowner DIY replaced the microwave and thought it would be 'clever' to run the exhaust vent into the wall cavity between the kitchen and adjacent laundry room. Just dumped the moisture into the wall. Mold city after a while if you do a lot of cooking while using the exhaust fan."
5. "60s house, well renovated. Range was a gas/electric dual fuel setup. Noticed broiler took forever to even start to warm up and never got hot enough that I couldn't touch it real quick (they usually glow red after like 30 seconds). Found out the range was plugged into a 110v outlet (enough to power the control panel and light) and not the proper 220v outlet (not even present). Oven was essentially useless. That one also had an incomplete drain line from a bathroom sink dumping everything directly into the crawlspace."
6. "New build. Got into the attic and just a quick 360° scan, something was off. Looking closer found a truss web beam that was completely gone, just ripped out (gusset plates bent to hell). Probably knocked out by the framing crews crane or something and they thought no one would notice. Time is money right? Lol"
They saved the day with this good catch!
"I used to work in a hospital, in IT. We were in a back corner of the oldest building. I used an out of the way stairwell, that had a 4 inch cast iron sprinkler main running through it."
"One day when I was leaving, I noticed a little tiny bit of water on the outside of the pipe. I went back to my desk, called maintenance, and asked them to send someone down so I could show them what I noticed. Walked the guy down to the stairwell and showed him, went on home."
"The next day I get to work and there's a letter on my desk. I open it, and it's from the director of maintenance. Seems that they shut down and depressurized the sprinkler line, and when they went to disconnect the section with the leak, the pipe just crumbled. They figured that my call prevented a major flood in materials management (which backed up to the stairwell on the floor below us) as well as a FD call-out, as the alarm would have gone when the pipe ruptured and water started flowing. The director sent me a very nice thank-you, and referred the situation to the cost-saving committee to see if they could get me a bonus based on preventing an accident."
The internet might just save homeowners on a whole lot of money by taking a closer look during the inspection. Thank goodness for this Ask Reddit post shedding light on the horror stories of homeownership and renovation mishaps.
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Unless you've been a member of the armed forces, you may only know drill sergeants as uncompassionate leaders who yell at privates all the time.
War Face GIF Giphy
"Drill instructors, what is the funniest thing you have seen a Private do?"
The following examples were utterly humiliating, but valuable lessons were learned.
"Had 2 guys get in a fight in our bay during basic. The drill sergeant made them hold hands and pretending to be on a date all week. Only time they could let go of each other's hands was rack time. They ended up becoming pretty good friends."
"Ex British Army officer here."
"A corporal went on a nine week mortar course and was accommodated (obviously) while he was away. It turned out he knew one of the DS teaching the course and was invited, regularly, to dine and drink in the Sergeant's Mess."
"The month after coming back from the course, he brought his payslip to me with a puzzled look on his face and, embarrassed, explained he didn't understand what it meant and could I help him?"
"It emerged that the Sergeant's Mess had a chitty system - you didn't pay for your drinks at the time, but signed for them and the total bill was deducted from your pay."
"This legend had managed to drink more than his monthly salary both months he'd been away and his payslip was a negative balance."
"I'm sorry Smith, I'm afraid you owe the Army £235 ($327.50) this month."
Asking For An Advance
"Former European Anti-Air Trainee here."
"Recruit spent his first check on alcohol and sex workers, asked his commander for next months check in advance the next day. Instead of having a good excuse prepared to actually succeed in that proposal he blankly told him in front of 80 other recruits why he'd need it."
"I saw a guy post about how he was like 6'3 and his DS was like 5'2, so whenever he messed up the DS would go up to him face to chest and yell 'Elevator!' and the guy would bend down to eye level with the DS and say 'Ding!' and the DS would proceed to look him in the eye while he chewed him out."
Some experiences were downright hilarious.
"Not an RDC, but in boot camp I was over the laundry crew. One recruit sh*t himself because he thought he couldn't leave his rack after taps. It was funny at the moment before I realized I had to wash it."
"This was the funniest f'king thing I ever read from u/odomotto"
"Recruit fired all his blank ammo during 'ambush training.' He crawled in ditch opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them. DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming 'what the f'k are you doing?' Recruit screamed back, 'throwing hand grenades drill sergeant!' Without missing a beat, the DI screamed 'out f'king standing.' And walked away."
"My sides hurt and I was wheezing laughing so hard at this when I first heard it!"
These punishments made no sense. And that's why they're memorable.
"When I was in basic, a kid we called 'Albino' shot off a blank round accidentally in the field. The sergeants were pissed and took his weapon away and replaced it with a broomstick for the remainder of the week in the field."
"Man I remember some dude didn't put the sheet on his bunk the right way and had to wear the sheet as a cloak and go to all the other barracks dancing around sing about how he was the 'Catch Edge Fairy' or something. It was pretty silly, he owned it though. He was doing twirls the whole time. This was Navy bootcamp."
Despite how they are depicted on film, drill instructors are people who care.
Like, Beals – a drill sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky – who said:
"We provide more than just physical, mental and emotional guidance for them. You are a father, a preacher, a financial advisor, a counselor-you provide so many different services to the Soldier that the regular public doesn't see on day to day basis."
"They see what they see in movies and what they hear about by word of mouth. But you are fulfilling so many roles other than just being a trainer and teaching an individual how to be a Soldier in the Army."
And occasionally, they are having a laugh at the crazy things their trainees do.
Sometimes, it becomes extremely clear that it's time to leave.
That goes for short term situations like a bizarre social moment, or longer term commitments like work or relationships.
Whatever the context, there is typically a tipping point moment when all the variables appear to suggest things have become unsafe, wildly uncomfortable, or maybe even a tad illegal.
It's those moments when all you can think about is the door.
Redditor Thotus_Maximus asked:
"What was your biggest 'I'm out' moment?"
Many people talked about the times they went to parties that turned out to be very different from what they had in mind.
"Went to a friend of a friend's 35th birthday party. There were like 3 people there when we showed up. Birthday boy says everyone's in the basement. Okay cool."
"We go down to the basement. Someone's DJing, they've got cool lighting, there's like 30 people dancing. After a minute or 2 we realize everyone in the basement is like 13. Nope Nope Nope."
THAT Kinda Party
"Lived in a hotel for a while when I was 18-19. One day a bunch of people I've met at the pool wanted to go up to this dudes room and party. I thought we were gonna drink, smoke, and have a conversation, but that's not how it went."
"While everyone went up there, I had to go back to my room and change clothes. When I finally went to join them, I walked in and saw this dude injecting hard drugs. I sh** you not, this dude turned completely blue and dropped to the ground like a rock. When I saw that, I just dipped."
"He got picked up by an ambulance and survived. When I saw him in the elevator the next day, he seemed like a completely different person. Seein' stuff like that (that wasn't my first time witnessing od's), I think kept me away from the drugs that can kill you easily."
The Great Escape
"I was at a party when I was a teen. Cops turned up. I was stuck upstairs. But there was a balcony and underneath a pool. And beyond the pool a gate leading to an alley."
"So I jumped in the pool."
"But when I resurfaced there were already two cops standing there looking at me."
Other Redditors recalled the times they encountered strangers that did not appear to have their best interest at heart, to say the least.
"Was approached by someone and we talked about how we went to the same college and I showed him some of my art work, he thought it was pretty cool and offered me an opportunity and wanted to talk more later because I was at work at the time."
"I met up with him and his girlfriend and he told about what he mentioned. As I say there listening, it sounded familiar and BAM! It hit me. It was a pyramid scheme, it had nothing to do with art or any job prospects, I told him I wasn't interested many times in the nicest way possible l, but boy did they look pi**ed."
"I got stuck in an airport overnight as my flight was cancelled due to weather and I was starving because all the stores were closed. Some employee offered to show me where to get food so I followed him."
"He then opened a door to outside in the parking lot and motioned outside. I quickly said 'no thanks' and walked away."
And finally, some talked about when it became very clear that their work situation needed to end, like yesterday.
Quotas Reign Supreme
"I got buried by heavy packages while loading a truck for Fedex. It took 3 people to get me out. I was bloody, bruised, and had trouble lifting my arm."
"My manager came over and chastised me for my package count being too low. Walked out immediately."
Leaving Him a Stressful Day
"I worked in a contact centre several years ago. It was super busy and calls didn't stop coming. For some reason, my stupid boss removed everyone else from the queue for some stupid training, leaving me alone to handle all the calls. I messaged him a few times on Microsoft Teams, asking what was happening with no reply."
"After two hours, I shut down my computer and walked out of the company. I just recently withdrawn my last salary, so no regret whatsoever."
Corruption At Its Finest
"I worked for a blood analysis lab machine company for about 6 months. Hated every minute of it because I was working well over 60 hours a week every week. I wouldn't be leaving some hospitals until after 11pm sometimes. The management would never support the techs, the customer is always right, that BS."
"So one week at during the over the phone team meeting, the manager actually asked on of the younger techs to complete paperwork and submit it. Which is normal, but the manager was having him submit the repair paperwork and schedule the repair when they got around to it. He wanted the tech to pencil whip documentation we submit to the FDA so he could a quarterly bonus."
"Managers who's group hits all the pm's, gets a very nice size check. Had the tech done that and the machine failed before it was serviced, somebody could have died and he might have gone to jail. I left that job the next day."
Out With a Bang
"I walked out of a job two hours into a shift and left them without anyone who could do my job."
"As a parting gift, I threw the manual I'd written in the rubbish and didn't bother removing or giving anyone my passwords to stuff so they couldn't do anything."
Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.
People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,
"What's the most dangerous thing you did as a kid without realizing?"
"My chore was to wash the floors. I would mix all sorts of chemicals together, not realizing they don't mix. Like bleach and ammonia with other cleaning products."
This is very easy to do––and so dangerous! Thankfully you didn't harm yourself.
"I used to walk..."
"I used to walk on a frozen river when walking home from school. I was about 7 at the time."
Seen too many movies about people stuck under the ice.
"We would sneak up..."
"I used to do parkour. We would sneak up onto the rooftops of condo buildings when they were washing their windows (the staircases leading to the top floor would be unlocked). We would then go roof hopping.
Literal roof hopping like in Grand Theft Auto. We would jump from a 12 storey apartment building's roof to an adjacent 10 storey apartment building's roof, etc."
How are your knees? That's bound to do some damage, no?
"I picked up..."
"I picked up a baby copperhead snake and gave it to my mom as a present when I was 6 or 7."
You must have really hated your mom.
"There was a railway crossing..."
"There was a railway crossing on my walk to school, and the train would often be blocking my path so I would always wait until it stopped moving and then climb on top of it and jump off the other side so I could keep walking and not be late."
"Played inside an old broken refrigerator that was outside….not knowing it could have locked or tipped over."
Yes, it could have! Thankfully it didn't. There's a really frightening scene in The Leftovers involving a character who nearly suffocates in a fridge.
No thank you.
"Like most Florida kids..."
"Like most Florida kids I swam where I shouldn't have and I'm very lucky I didn't get eaten by alligators."
"After seeing videos..."
"Playing with fireworks. After seeing videos of kids blowing their fingers and hands off, I would never let my kids play with them, without lots of supervision."
"We are super lucky..."
"Getting on a boat with my then-boyfriend and not telling our parents where we were going. The boat ended up sinking during a storm and we had life jackets and floated on the ice chest. Only reason we are alive is because a ship that was coming in heard us screaming during the storm and called the coast guard. We were out there for a total of 15 hours and had severe hypothermia. We are super lucky to be alive."
This is pretty terrifying.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Yes, thankfully, you're alive.
"When I was about..."
"When I was about 9 or 10 a friend and I rode an air mattress down a river. Neither of us knew how to swim and we didn't tell our parents so when we came back cops were looking for us."
Well... these were a read.
If you'll excuse me, I'll stay indoors and wrap myself in bubble wrap. The outside world is scary.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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