60 People On Reddit Share Their Best “I Can’t Believe I’m This Dumb” Moments
Back in late 1999, two psychologists from Cornell University—Justin Kruger and David Dunning—put it to the test whether people who lack the skills or abilities for something are also more prone to lack awareness of that lacking. They started off their research paper with an example of a Pittsburgh bank robber, McArthur Wheeler. McArthur was arrested in 1995 shortly after robbing two banks in the middle of the day, with no mask on, or any other kind of disguise. When the police caught up to him and showed him the footage from security cameras, the robber was confused. “But I wore the juice,” he protested. As it later turned out, the poor man believed that if you rub your face with lemon juice, it will be invisible to security cameras. Yeah, right… The two psychologists did other tests too that proved that their theory stands correct—the less competent you are, the more you think highly of your intelligence.
What later has become known as the Dunning-Kruger effect could probably explain why some incompetent people are just so damn annoying. Also, it can provide an insight into why we enjoy spending time with those who are able to laugh at themselves and their dumb brain farts. Don’t you think it takes a smart person to admit that they can be very, extremely, overwhelmingly dumb? Therefore, all of these 60 people, who were brave (and smart!) enough to publicly admit the dumbest things they did, deserve a medal. While we won’t actually send a medal to each one of these people, we suggest you take a scroll through this list where they are sharing instances that made them question their own intelligence. As always, vote for the ones you like the most and don’t forget to share dumb moments that made you question your own mind!
#1A couple of weeks ago, I heard my neighbors cat meowing, so I responded with a “meow” of my own. This went on for about 3-4 exchanges until I opened the door and found it was not a cat, it was just another dude meowing back at me. So many unanswered questions.
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#2I locked my car keys in the trunk of my car, hours later when I got my keys out, I proceeded to reenact what happened to my friends, complete with actually locking my keys in the trunk again…
Image credits: RedCaribou57
#3Fixing a clogged sink by removing the drain pipe and thoroughly rinsing it underneath the tap of the sink I just removed the drain from.
Image credits: Amhil
#4I have a key fob for my car. It’s set up so that if you hit the lock button once, it locks the car. If you hit the same lock button again, it locks it again and honks the horn so you know you’ve locked it for sure. The thing is, I always want to make super sure that it’s locked, but sometimes I come home to my condo super late, and my parking spot is right under someone else’s window. I noticed that if the key fob was farther away from the car when I hit the button twice, the honk was not as loud. So out of consideration, I would always wait til I was halfway up the stairs to do the double lock honk. What a great neighbor I am!
Anyway, after maybe 2+ years of doing this, one time my girlfriend and I were in my condo and I realized I needed something out of my car. So I go down there but when I get there I realize I had forgotten my keys. Well, I had my phone, so I called my girlfriend and asked if she would stick her arm out the window with the key fob and unlock my car. She mistakenly hit the lock button twice and my car honked. Really loudly! Even though she was all the way up on the third floor!
It was only then I realized…the honk was always the same. It only sounded softer when I was farther away…because I was farther away.
I have a master’s degree…
Image credits: MisterWonka
#5While helping my girlfriend make dinner one night we needed some lemon juice and she asked me to squeeze a lemon. Now logic would dictate you cut the lemon in half before you squeeze the juice out of it, but not this brilliant [guy]. No sir! I just squeezed the [hell] out of it, rolling and palming it in my hand until the peel finally broke, releasing the lemon juice into a bowl as requested. Needless to say, when she turned and saw what I had done she was amazed (probably by my impeccable ability to follow orders). She then asked how I ever managed to live alone, and I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m not allowed in the kitchen anymore.
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#6My coworker asked if there is lactose in eggs, I thought to myself “they both come from the same animal, so maybe”. For 5 seconds, I thought milk came from chickens.
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#7Made some soup on the stove in a saucepan and poured it into a bowl and some of the soup dripped down the side of the boiling saucepan so I licked it
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#8Three times now, I have taken the cap off of a tube of super glue and put it in my mouth to hold it. Three. Times.
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#9I once had a brain fart and forgot that porcupines were animals. I was hanging out with my family and my niece mentioned that her favorite animal was a porcupine, and I laughed for a good long time before explaining to her that porcupines weren’t animals. I’d gotten them mixed up with pine cones.
I have a graduate degree. My niece was maybe 6 at the time. She schooled me.
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#10Worked in kitchens for over a decade. Put a metal pan in the microwave to heat something up.
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#11Put some hot, boiling sauce into a shot glass to let it cool down for tasting. Do something else for ten seconds. Spot shot glass ‘Ah right I wanted to check the taste’. Proceed not to gently suckle on it, but down the still almost boiling, fatty fluid into my mouth like cold vodka.
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#12One time I microwaved a single mozzarella stick for 30 seconds. It seemed an appropriate amount of time. When it was done I popped it in my mouth to eat it. It was molton lava hot. As it seared the inner workings of my mandible my brain began screaming “get rid of it!” So I did. By swallowing it. I felt the burn travel down my esophagus and into my stomach. It hurt so bad. It was only made worse by my friend laughing hysterically at me and exclaiming that even dumb dumbs know to spit it out.
Image credits: MarilynMonroeVWade
#13I once threw a stone high in the air directly above me. Absolutely no reason for that, just because I could I guess. Instead of walking away, I kept standing there, looking at the stone falling down until it was too late to move. I still managed to put my hands up protecting my head, hurt a lot anyway.
I don’t think I’ll ever win a Nobel prize.
Image credits: HerrgottMargott
#14I went my whole life thinking the saying was “the ghost is clear” instead of “the coast is clear”. Im 21 just found out yesterday at work lol
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#15When I was cleaning out my shed in the back, I stepped on a rake and the pole smacked me in the face. Literally, like the cartoons. It happened three more times before I came up with the bright idea to move the rake.#16I wanted to make cookies for my mom that spelled “mom” and I ordered one “o” and two “m” cookie cutters#17one time i was thinking about aqua from Konosuba and i thought “natural blue hair isn’t real, but what about blue eyes?”
i have blue eyes
i have blue eyes and i was questioning their existence
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#18Wanted to light a candle. Struck a match. Changed my mind about which candle I wanted to light, and decided to light a Yankee jar candle instead. Couldn’t get the lid off with one hand. Stuck the lit match in my mouth so I could use both hands to get the lid off.
Couldn’t smell the scented candle.
Could only smell singed nose hair for days.#19I realized this year that pufferfish fill themselves with water when they expand instead of air… I’m 25#20Once I picked up a lemon, wondered “do lemons bounce?”, and immediately threw it on the ground.
It was the last lemon.
They don’t bounce.#21First day of university I go out to explore the campus, only to find the same odd piece of litter in the corners of multiple buildings, almost seemingly strategically placed. even more oddly, it was the same exact piece of cardboard trash I kept seeing. Strange, but probably just leftovers from an event where the university handed out something stored in them. Upon seeing the 5th or so inproperly disposed of piece of cardboard, I take it upon myself to be a good citizen and properly recycle the misplaced trash. A simple enough task that even I couldn’t screw up! I casually walk to the corner, kneel down, pick up the piece of trash and…
I can only imagine what people must’ve thought after seeing me react to the piece of trash that had somehow outsmarted me, gluing itself onto my skin. I was like a cat with a piece of tape on its paw, flailing wildly, too afraid to scream, the only sound that could be heard was cardboard flippyflaps echoing down the halls.
After the 4th or 5th good swing at the air, the cardboard remained permanently affixed to my skin and I had finally begun to realise what was happening. I, a superior intellect, a student of a well respected university, had been caught.
By a mousetrap. GG.#22I saw an animal in the woods behind my house and my immediate thought was KANGAROO!
I live in Indiana.#23“Don’t touch. Wet paint.”
I touch#24A couple months ago, my husband and I went on a walk. There are a lot of trails where we live and a couple of lakes. So we walked down a trail to the lake, turned left up another trail, and ended up at the top of a street. We start walking down the street and I realize there is a house that has a wishing well in their front yard like we do. I point it out to my husband and then I realize they have the same truck we do, too. I point out the truck and then I realize that we were in front of our own house. It wasn’t my brightest moment.
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#25Made a cup of coffee, got out a cereal bowl, poured cereal into my coffee, then put the cereal box back in the fridge.#26One morning my vision was all blurry so I started freaking out and called my gramma to take me to the doctor. Then like 20 minutes later realized I just forgot to put my glasses on. I’ve worn them since 1st grade and totally forgot for half an hour.#27Phoned the police to report my car stolen after being unable to find it after a shopping trip.
As I was on the phone I looked around idly, at which point I spotted my girlfriend’s car. I’d borrowed it. Mine was in the garage for an MOT.#28A couple years ago I was moving out of my apartment, so I had the whole place packed up. I had a cold at the time, so I decided to take some alka-seltzer. With all my cups put away, I get the idea that I should just toss the meds in my mouth, and drink out of the sink to wash it down. Well the tabs get stuck in my throat and the water begins activating the meds. I’m sitting there alone in my kitchen, clutching my throat and foaming at the mouth into the sink. I was ashamed I was about to die in the least cool way ever. Luckily they dissolved quickly enough for me to catch my breath and not die.#29Had a biscuit in hand and the ear phone in the other. Put the biscuit in ear and ear phone in mouth. At work. Why must I be such a disappointment.#30Told my friend that the 4th of July celebrations must be beautiful at the place we were. We were in Linlithgow, Scotland and I was talking about the palace and loch. Friend is Scottish. For obvious reasons they do not celebrate the 4th of July.#31I was in class one day messing around with my stapler.
“I wonder what’ll happen if I staple my finger.” *Staples finger.”
“Huh. I don’t know what I expected.”
Edit: I feel I should mention I was 16 when this happened.#32At my company we had the new director of HR come in to talk to a couple hundred people. He started going on and on about how we need to improve ourselves and work on our personal standards.
Then he starts asking questions of the audience as he walks around. He says,
“Does anyone know what the R word is?”
I confidently raised my hand–thinking now is the time to get some easy face time with the new executive.
Exec: “Yes, son?”
The entire place went dead quiet and everyone turned around and looked at me.
Black lady next to me: “Oh lawwwwd….”
Exec: “How about reorganization?”
I actually don’t remember what happened past that. But I have a job.
I still have nightmares#33Stayed at an Air BnB this weekend. It took me a full 2 minutes to figure out how to get the water to come out of the shower head instead of the lower spout.
I was pulling, pushing, twisting, bopping, and man handling every surface of that bath hardware until i figured out you just pull down on the tip of the spout.
I took that shower in shame.#34I drove over a mattress
It was in an alley in a puddle, I thought I would glide right over it. Thing got stuck in my tire well, had to call a tow truck to lift my car and beat it out with a hammer. Next morning found that it had punctured my front left tire and had to get a new one. Did another dumb thing by thinking I get a whole new wheel not just tire so ditched my wheel by the dumpster and then drove to the garage on a flat spare only to be sent home to get my wheel also.
It was a bad day or two
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#35I frequently see a man cross a four-lane road near my home. We have a fairly similar schedule and I see him often. He’s well-known in the neighborhood and he’s deaf. NBD.
I once slowed down as he crossed the four lane in driving, white-out, downpour rain and I though to myself, aw man, he doesn’t know it’s raining because he’s deaf.
Image credits: Sloots_and_Hoors
#36A few years ago I googled “do the people upstairs have a cat?” and it has never left me :/
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#37Went to a bank to withdraw money. Bank teller asked me how I would like it and I said: “in cash”. Bank teller just stared at me, while my friend is dying of laughter. Meanwhile, I stand not understanding the issue.#38I was sitting in traffic, and I noticed that all the other lanes were moving while mine hadn’t budged an inch. I craned my neck trying to see what the hold up was, and finally figured out that I wasn’t in a lane at all, but had been patiently waiting behind a line of parked cars.#39So this happened a couple days ago, I got home from school tired as hell so I decide to take a nap at around 5:00. Well it turns out to be really deep and when I wake up my clock says 7:50. This freaks me the [hell] out because school starts at 7:20 and I quickly get changed and sprint out to my car to drive to school. As I’m driving there is surprisingly little traffic but I don’t think anything of it and I pull up to the school parking lot. It is completely empty and I’m confused as hell so I walk over to two police officers and they inform me that it is actually 8 pm not am and I realize that I probably look like the biggest dumbass around. I just yelled at myself all the way home about how dumb I am.#40I’ve lived at my house for half a decade and I still get mixed up on which way the key goes in the front door. I’m starting to wonder if I should get tested.#41I suspected a roommate of stealing my food from the fridge, so I put a lock on the fridge and freezer door handles. Turns out you can still open both.#42Locked myself out of the house and couldn’t pick my locks
I’m a locksmith by trade#43I saw a bear in the woods and panicked so I threw food at it.#44Sent a text to my friend telling him he left his phone with me.
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#45Was folding laundry one afternoon.
Picked up a white shirt with some faded grey letters, looked very vintage. Had a black collar. I’m looking at this shirt and see the letters are some kind of weird font/ launguage.
It looks like the Elf language from LOTR in font and German lettering, with lots of diaeresis and vaguely familiar letters.
So I’m standing there for like 5 minutes, closely studying this damn shirt trying to figure out WTF language this is, even asking my boyfriend if he knows where he got this shirt (is it a band name? gift from someones vacation overseas?) I mean I’m going crazy trying to figure it out, this familiar yet never before seen language.
Turns out it was an American Eagle shirt inside out…#46I used to boil eggs in my kettle, one time an egg cracked so I had to clean it out. To see if the water was ‘eggy’ afterwards I decided to smell the steam as it came out…#47I snuck out to do teenagerly things at around midnight and got back at around 4 in the morning. I very slowly, agonizingly slowly, took my keys out of my pocket, selected the correct key, inserted it into the front door lock at a speed of one tumbler per fortnight, rotated it counterclockwise while palming the rest of the keys so as to not let them jingle and successfully unlocked the door. I removed the key from the lock at the same snails pace and put my keys back in my right front pocket. I went to reach for the doorknob and rang the doorbell. That was when I died.#48A few years ago i could not figure out if the new electric stove was on or off. I was familiar with flame stoves so i stuck my hand flat on the heating coil. My hand had burnt circular stripes all over it. The stove was hot.#49Often when I’m closing a door quickly I will hold the edge of the door rather than the door knob. You may be wondering: “isn’t your hand in the way of closing said door then?!” The answer is yes, I have slammed my fingers in doors too many times because I refuse to hold the fucking door knob.#50Until I was 16 I thought that dark meat and white meat came from different turkeys#51Couldn’t find my glasses. They were on my face.
Also walked into a pole. Not a small pole.#52Every elevator going down in a busy NYC hotel was already full of people so I decided to go up. When I got to the final floor I accidentally got out of the elevator instead of just staying put.#53I tried to use a birthday card that I got from my grandparents for my 18th birthday as ID to get into a night club.#54I couldn’t find a colander when the pasta was done, but I found the thing you use to steam vegetables (there’s no handle on these). So I held the thing over the sink, and poured boiling water directly onto my hand.#55I took the wrong train to get back home and didn’t realize it until i had already sat in it for more than half an hour. Twice. It was the same wrong train that leaves a few minutes before the train i wanted to take. I used to commute the exact same route for years.
A one-hour drive took me five hours until i got home. When i realized that i was sitting in the wrong train AGAIN, I cried.#56I had a key ring which was this little piece of plastic with paper inside. I wrote my address on it incase I lost my key.#57Trying to drive on a long trip (Austin to San Diego) when I knew I was tired.
Kept thinking “I’m almost there… I can make it.” Opened the windows, sang heavy metal at the top of lungs, pinched myself painfully. Then hit traffic just about twenty miles from my destination. Woke up passing cars going about 10 mph on the shoulder.
Then made the same mistake a couple years later driving to SD from Seattle in one stretch. Dozed off going about 60 down the 5 in LA at about 4am. Fortunate to wake up before going off the road or hitting one of the few other cars.
No joke how fast it can creep up on you from thinking you have got things under control to realizing just how quickly your body will shut down.#58I’m waiting in an airport in a foreign (to me) country right now. This is my second time in the airport and my third booked flight. The first one I was reading a book at the gate and didn’t notice everyone leaving (how?!) I watched that plane moving down the runway and wondered how long until I would be boarding. I rebooked the flight for the next day, but accidentally booked the wrong one and it left while I was sleeping peacefully at my hotel. I’m a bit nervous about this third one tbh.#59I farted while we were spread out sitting on the ground in my gym class. Everyone looked behind towards me and I looked behind me, only to see that I was looking at a wall.#60Am a doctor. Can’t read clocks.
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