August 18, 2023 | Laura Bergen

The Dumbest Smart People

Nobody’s perfect. Even geniuses like Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking have quirks. But sometimes smart people just say some really dumb things. From dangerous lapses in judgment to idiotic beliefs, these Redditors shared their bafflement at dumb encounters with people they thought were smart.

Do you know anyone who could make this list?

1. Don’t Play With Fire

One time I was at my friend Claudio's apartment with his brother just hanging out and watching a movie. All of sudden I hear a woosh and see a big flash of light. I look over at Claud and his hair is on fire.

We got it out quickly and I asked him what just happened. He told me, "I was trying to listen to the sound the lighter made when I flicked it”. We had not had any drinks or substances at the time.

split image of confused man and dumbfounded woman

2. A Weighty Subject

My father-in-law is very intelligent. He taught himself how to solve a Rubik's cube without looking anything up and is generally a genius in math, logic, puzzles, what have you. But here's where all logic leaves his body.

He believes dinosaurs couldn't be real because they would be too big for their skeletons to uphold their weight. He has lots of other really stupid ideas because he is so intelligent he thinks he can just reason himself into correct conclusions without doing research or adhering to the scientific process.

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3. Got You Covered

I've been waiting so long to tell this story. Two members of my family are very highly intelligent...or so I always thought. I went to their house and they just installed an above-ground pool that came with a POOL COVER.

Instead of using the pool cover they went and bought all these insulated pink foam boards (one-inch thick, four by eight foot rectangle foam boards). I just sat there and watched while they cut up all the foam into puzzle pieces to fit in that ROUND pool. It completely baffled me.

I asked them why and they said it was to keep leaves out of the pool. So every time they got in the pool they had to remove all the puzzle pieces, then clean the pool because tiny pink insulation was floating on top, and when they were finished for the day they spent an hour trying to connect all the puzzle pieces they cut back into the pool.

The original pool cover was by the pool in the bag it came in. It was the dumbest thing I've ever witnessed in my life.

Never Want To Meet Again factsShutterstock

4. Just A Scratch

My father-in-law could construct a new bladder out of a piece of your own intestinal lining if you had bladder cancer and needed a new one. He’s saved thousands of lives that otherwise would have been lost to renal, prostate, and urinary tract diseases.

He once told me that someone with a bright yellow car was intentionally hitting his Mercedes Benz. They’d hit his car and sideswiped it once while he was at the hospital. He had it fixed, and it costs thousands of dollars.

Then a few weeks later, the same bright yellow vehicle did it again, this time nearly tearing off his fender and leaving a huge yellow gouge down the side of his car.  He took it to the body shop a second time.

During his next visit to the hospital, the hilarious truth came out. The parking attendant said, “Hey doc, it’s nice to see you. But I have to warn you….security was here and they’re kind of upset about the fire hydrant you’ve hit twice in the last month. I tried covering for you but apparently, they’ve got it on video”.

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5. Pronunciation Class

My ninth-grade English teacher tried to suspend me for saying “debris” the correct way. She claimed it was pronounced, “de-briss”. She, I kid you not, sent me down to the principal's office with a note saying that I “willfully disagreed with her and should be suspended for disrespecting an elder”.

The principal, who was already a pretty cool guy, had me sort mail for an hour. When the hour was almost up, he and I went up to the room, interrupted her lecture on whatever it was we were studying, and calmly destroyed her.

He said, “The word is pronounced the way [my name] said it. Not debriss. Please remember this next time, and if you want to excuse yourself from this school for a week instead of [my name] getting suspended for a week”.

She was absolutely mortified, and to this day when kids who were in that class run into her, they call her Miss, or Mrs. (I don't know if she ever married or not) Debriss.

Teachers Got Fired FactsShutterstock

6. Stay In School, Kids

So growing up I used to think I was a once-in-a-lifetime genius, and to be honest, my school's low standards helped. I realized that I was not when I met a real one in my freshman year of college.

The guy was 18 and studied physics at a pretty advanced level, composed music and played piano incredibly, and was writing a novel. The thing is, he was 18 and not quite mature enough for college. He never went to class because he thought he didn’t need to and once Skyrim came out he never left his dorm anymore.

He was the smartest person I had ever met before or since and he failed out of college his first semester.

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7. Human Warning Label

Each year for about 25 years, a group of about 20 of my old high school friends and our wives and girlfriends get together at a huge farm for a “Big Chill” type weekend.

One weekend morning one of my friends was the first person up and decided to make toast and coffee for himself. His bread got stuck in the toaster and he was about to try and pry it out with a metal kitchen utensil.

A girlfriend of one of my other friends who had just met my friend with the utensil late the night before and really didn’t know him walked into the kitchen and saw what he was about to do and said, “Stop what you’re doing now! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you can get electrocuted using a metal utensil in a toaster!" But here's the twist.

My friend with the utensil just happened to be a NASA rocket scientist who monitored the Space Shuttle launches. Needless to say, he was more than a bit chagrined.

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8. Trojan Horse

My friend in school was very tech savvy and was so certain he knew how to temporarily disable the school's child lock software so we could play games on school computers without anyone knowing. But there was something we didn't know.

We didn't expect him to download an exe file off the internet from home, put it on a pen drive, and bring it to school, where he accidentally unleashed a trojan virus on the entire system. The dude got suspended for two weeks and we couldn't get any work done for weeks afterward whilst tech support tried to fix the problem.

Disrespectful at Home FactsShutterstock

9. Smart On Paper

My best friend in high school had a little brother that scored 1550 or something ridiculous like that on his SATs. His parents were ecstatic when he told them, but their joy turned into disbelief when he said, “Yeah, it would have been a lot easier if I would have remembered to bring a calculator”.

So they made him retake the test with a calculator and he aced it!  The world was his oyster at that point. He was contacted by a bunch of Ivy League schools and offered full scholarships to several. He debated what to do, but in the end, he chose rather poorly.

He chose to go to the local community college so he could stay with his girlfriend.

Twin Stories FactsPiqsels

10. Lighthouse In The Desert

I was head of security at a major Cambridge commercial building. It was a melting pot of the best and brightest people working in some of the best companies in the world. The combined IQ of this place would put NASA to shame.

However, they sent an officer to the train station with a go pro strapped to his head so that new starters could find their way via a literal step-by-step video because they kept getting lost. The train station was next door. The verbal instructions to get there were "turn left". But that wasn't all.

They also struggled to use the revolving door, they got stuck in the lift because they had to press open to open the door, the list of these goes on for hours. The maintenance guy had a great term for them, he said they were "like lighthouses in the desert. Extremely bright but absolutely useless," and it fit too well.

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11. No Mask No Problem

My brother is a super smart guy who is studying physics at a world's top 15 university. He was supposed to be spending a year in Texas when Covid was starting to cool down and travel was relaxing (he never got to go due to visa issues).

I can remember a conversation we had while we were under the impression that he was going to Texas and I had said something to the effect of, “Be careful when you get there since they don’t really believe in Covid and are still hosting big sporting at your uni".

He turns around, looks me in the eyes, and says the dumbest thing I've ever heard, “There’s not any Covid in Texas hence why they don’t wear masks”.

Turns out, he genuinely didn’t realize people are as self-centered as they are and he thought since they didn’t wear masks there couldn’t be any Covid in Texas as he’d assumed they’d be smart enough to wear them.

Smart People Stupid FactsPexels

12. Keeping It Cold

My friend is smart in the book definition but is capable of being the dumbest guy ever. The best example I have from him is only one month old. We were moving into another house with my girlfriend and we had some food in the fridge (about 40€ worth).

We asked him if we could stock it in his then I will take it back when mine would be turned on. He agreed and I gave him the food, the day before moving. Fast forward to the next day, he joins us at my old place with a bag. At this point, I already knew he did a stupid thing.

When I asked him what was in it, he answered with, "Your food". I asked him where he wanted to stock it, he said, "In your fridge, idiot". Me: "The fridge that is unplugged and that I need to move then wait before plugging it in again?"

There was a big silence among all the people here and we had to throw out the food because there was mainly baby food and I didn't want to take the risk of getting my daughter sick. Of course, he did pay me back but I had to ask and he wasn't really happy about it.

Most Entitled People Stories FactsWikimedia Commons

13. What’s Old Is New

Back in the mid-90s I was trying to purchase a difficult-to-find part a customer of mine needed. I finally found a place in New Jersey that had it. When I told the woman on the phone that I needed it shipped to New Mexico she informed me that they didn't ship out of the country.

I said, “Not OLD Mexico. NEW Mexico”. She countered with, “Yes, but it's still MEXICO and we only ship inside the United States". After a face-palm moment, I spent some time explaining that New Mexico was indeed a state, where it was, etc.

Even after that she said, "I've never heard of it before and I can't see why they would name a state after another country" (I guess the fact that she was in a state named after part of another country escaped her). I told her to just check with someone else in the office. So she put me on hold for a while.

When she got back on the phone she said: "I was told that we can make an exception to our shipping policy for this order".

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14. If It Ain’t Broke

Okay, so this is my sister-in-law and her live-in boyfriend. He's a lawyer and she's like a higher-up at a company making lots and lots of money. They get into their vehicle one day. A check engine light comes on. So instead of reacting like a normal person, they immediately get out and call a cab, because "the engine is broken".

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15. Inside The Orb

In fifth or sixth grade I was having a conversation about space travel with a friend. She began to tell me how amazing it was that we broke through a solid layer of earth so quickly when launching. I was confused and began to explain to her that the atmosphere isn't solid.

She persisted in her argument—and then I made a bizarre realization. Turns out that she thought that we lived inside the Earth. She drew me a diagram to explain.

It was a circle with stick people walking along the inside perimeter. When she thought I didn't understand she said, “You know, like a Wonderball”. She was so surprised to learn that we actually walk the outside surface of the earth. She also thought gravity was like those carnival rides where you stick to the wall, which is at least more accurate.

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16. Screened In

When I was in my final year of physics at university, we had a professor who would get very irritated at the pull string for the projection screen, as it would dangle down in front of the whiteboard.

Every morning, he would spend a good couple of minutes attempting to throw the weight on the end over the light fixture above the whiteboard, taking anywhere from five to 30 tries each time.

All the students would give tips and encouragement, and this became a kind of inside joke for the class of how long it would take every morning. Months go by, and one day near the end of the quarter, we end up with a substitute.

The sub goes to the board and, without hesitation, grabs the string and hooks it over a thumbtack stuck in the cork at the top of the whiteboard...The entire class literally gasped in unison!

The sub whirled around, asking what happened, and the whole class just starts laughing. Eventually, someone explained what happened, and we all had a good laugh that an entire class of physics majors never even thought of that solution, let alone noticed that the tack had always been there for that purpose.

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17. Pump It Up

I'll out myself here. I'm pretty smart. I got 1540 on the SAT, 34 on the ACT, graduated valedictorian in high school, and graduated cum laude with a degree in aerospace engineering from college. A couple of years ago my sump pump quit working. I figured out it was a bad float switch.

So I bought a new float switch, took it apart, replaced the switch, put it back together, plugged it in, and tested it by raising the float manually. Everything worked fine. So I stick it back down in the sump hole to start reconnecting it. That's where I made a huge mistake.

What I failed to do was unplug it before I stuck it back in the sump hole, so the float switch immediately tripped and it started pumping a stream of dirty rusty water right in my face and all over my utility room. After I got it to shut off, I sat there for a second, blinking water out of my eyes and audibly saying "you idiot" to myself.

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18. Spoon Fiasco

I’m no genius but I don’t consider myself an idiot. That was until I was trying to get some ice cream and it was rock solid, bending my spoons. So I, as any sane human would, decided to warm up my spoon by putting it into the microwave!

After not too long something happened that caused me to stop the microwave (this was six or so years ago I can’t quite remember) and I opened the microwave and the spoon had a slight blue tinge. What did I do? Well, I grabbed it with my bare hand, of course—and it burned so badly it got stuck to my index finger!

That’s How That Works factsShutterstock

19. So Novel

In college, a friend had a 4.0 and was set to get her bachelors in two years! She was insanely smart. We’re driving around at night and I joke with our mutual friend who was driving and said: “Oooo Adult Novelty store, let’s stop in and browse a bit”. My genius friend's response floored me.

She said, “Ugh. I hate books”. It still cracks me up every time I think about it.

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20. When The Moon Hits Your Eye

So I'm pretty smart, I'm in several advanced classes and whatnot. One time when my family was traveling for a road trip at night and the moon was very bright and had an orange hue to it. I didn't realize that it was the moon so I asked my family, "What is that big orange glowy thing in the sky?"

They all burst out laughing and said that was the moon. Let's just say my family won't let me live it down now that I've asked that.

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21. Leveled Out

Not incredibly stupid but surprising: I have found myself working for many engineers and unless you have a PhD they are 100% sure they are smarter than you. The reality is that they are great at planning/logistics but usually horrible at fixing problems, but they never see it because they are so confident.

Just today I had to explain to an engineer that the reason his level said that a shelf was out of level was because the wall wasn’t level and he wasn’t setting the level square on the shelf. So it was level from side to side but not front to back and he had me drive all the way out to the site to show him how to operate a level.

This took 45 minutes. He was convinced that he could see it. Next, he claimed his level was broken. Then my level was broken. Then he couldn’t see it so it must be level. IT WAS MAGIC!

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22. Heat Warning

I don't know if I count as smart, but I did a very dumb thing a few years ago. I'd just bought my first bike with a disc brake.

Cycling to work I thought, "I bet disc brakes get really hot, there's a lot of energy being dissipated in a rather small bit of metal. Hmm 10m/s, 100kg, maybe ahhh 5 KJ, but the heat would depend on the cooling rate and they are thin and in a 10m/s air stream. I wonder how hot they get”?

At the next light, I bent down and applied my thumb to the disc to check…SIZZLE AAAAAAAARGH! Even stupider, I'd bought a phone with fingerprint unlock a week before, and with the ridges burnt off my thumb I could no longer unlock my phone, sigh.

They grew back in a week or two and I could unlock it again, interestingly.

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23. The Cherry On Top

This was one of my best friends, who is now a surgeon, and is one of the smartest people I have ever met. During his first year of med school, he was visiting his hometown during a break in the semester. We were at a restaurant catching up, and he ordered a milkshake for dessert that came with a maraschino cherry on top.

He excitedly ate it then said something to the effect of, "Man, I love maraschino cherries, I could eat a million of these. I always wanted to buy a jar, and eat it all by myself". To which I replied with, "John, you're 24 years old. You own a house, have money in the bank, and are in med school. You're an adult, if you want to get yourself a jar of maraschino cherries, you can. We can hit up the store as soon as we're done here".

He spent about five minutes struggling to process this newfound information. You could almost see the gears in his head turning. After this brief delay, he looked at me with the biggest, almost childlike smile and said, "Let's go now”!!! We paid our bill, then headed to the nearest grocery store.

John then purchased the largest jar of maraschino cherries available and started eating. Afterward, we went to a house party, where John refused to drink, but instead just kept eating from his jar. Long story short, he ate the entire jar in about an hour. But that wasn't the best part.

Fifteen minutes later he started puking neon red cherries for the rest of the evening.

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24. Bike Trouble

This was a guy I used to work with. He was soft-spoken but extremely insightful. He had a knack for understanding a situation and drilling down to the core of the issue.

One very snowy day in winter, he decided to drive his motorbike to work. His reasoning was the roads would be full of slow-moving cars and he'd be able to scoot past them on his bike. What actually happened was he found himself struggling to keep his bike upright with a lorry just inches behind him.

He said one slip and he'd been under that lorry. He drove his four-by-four into work the next day. Lesson learned.

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25. Mail Mishap

My brother was visiting home from college and had left a set of keys at his friend’s house. His friend graduated third in his class in high school and had a full scholarship to get a degree in engineering. My brother asked him to mail the keys to him. The friend mailed the keys to himself. 

He had written his name and address on the envelope, and my brother’s name and address as the return address.

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26. Call The Pros

My brother-in-law had a Master’s degree in physics and math. He was a teacher at a high school. He had a new house built. He thought he would save money by nailing on the drywall (sheetrock, Gib board). But it went so wrong.

He managed to put nails through a hot water pipe and the wiring. By the time he'd paid a plumber and electrician to fix up the mess, it cost a lot more. Later in life, he had a fatal ladder accident.

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27. Unicorn Of The Sea

I am a 21-year-old male of above-average intelligence, and I just learned that Narwhals are NOT mythical creatures. I guess I had always assumed they were just a seafaring unicorn somebody made up as a joke.

At this point I think I had only ever seen them in animated and hand drawn forms...SO, I'm watching Frozen Planet with all my roommates, friends, and my fiance...My mind is blown (I jumped out of my chair and exclaimed words loudly) thinking that the Discovery Channel film crew has made some huge scientific discovery.

Two weeks later and they are still ridiculing me about those large-toothed porpoises...there is no end in sight.

Booing Me FactsWikimedia Commons

28. The IT Guy

I worked IT at a university. We got a call saying a printer would not turn on. The particular person who called was a very stereotypical, "I have a doctorate I know all the things," kind of person.

Anyway, I get to the classroom and they show me the printer proclaiming they checked everything including the power strip, unplugged it, plugged it back in, and all that. They were very irate and rude the whole time I was there.

While I was looking it over they were getting more upset because they had already checked the power cables and they were fine. Without saying anything, I unplugged the power strip from itself, plugged it into the wall then turned on the printer and just walked out.

Luck Was On Their Side factsPixabay

29. Bio-Technology Problems

My former college biology teacher (at a biotech college) is unbelievably smart, works with a molecular diagnosis of HPV, is brilliant at genetics, is an awesome teacher, has been involved in some research projects, and also casually writes mirrored without even looking.

She struggled for up to 30 minutes trying to get the projector to work. That happened every day. Sometimes she even gave up and used the board despite the fact she can't draw to save her life. I haven't heard from her in a few years, I hope she's ok and still fighting God with an HDMI cable.

Surrounded by Idiots FactsShutterstock

30. Floating In Space

It was a beautiful day in Washington DC. My wife and I were visiting her best friend, hanging out, when we somehow got on the subject of the film Apollo 13. We all agreed the film was excellent. But, somewhere along the way, as we talked about the cool special effects and filming techniques, my wife references how they used those "anti-gravity chambers".

"Huh?" I replied. "Y'know," she says, "the anti-gravity chambers. How they got the actors to float around". At first, I thought she was joking. But upon further investigation, I realized she was completely serious. "There is no such thing as an anti-gravity chamber!" I said. Then her best friend jumped in, making matters even more difficult.

"There are too!" Her friend laughed. "How else do they train the astronauts for their missions in space?" I was shocked. "Ummm..." I replied. "A lot of different ways actually. Water training. Vacuum training. I don't know NASA protocol but there is no such thing as an anti-gravity chamber!!"

They both argued back and forth with me all afternoon. But, thankfully, now we can all laugh about it.

Fights That Ended Friendships factsShutterstock

31. It’s A Zoo Out There

Very early in my career, I got into a debate about zookeeping ethics with some coworkers. I'm generally against zoos as a concept and they were for. Back then I was also more vocal about my opinions.

One of my arguments against zoos was that moose, for instance, in the wild require several hectares of habitat, while the one lonely moose at our local zoo had a garage-sized pen with steel fencing, and like four spruce saplings. Moose are also native to our country so there's zero reasons for keeping them in captivity.

One coworker argued that zoos are necessary because her kid would otherwise never get to see a living tiger. So, that was a pretty dumb take. The other coworker said that he had seen tons of moose in the wild and he never saw them move, therefore they clearly don't need that much space.

That was, and still is, the single most moronic statement I've ever heard in my life, and I've heard a lot of dumb stuff throughout the years. The way the words left his mouth with such confidence just left my jaw hanging. It was so dumb I ceased arguing then and there. I had no more words to say to a face that stubborn.

Nothing since has ever topped that, and even though that was over a decade ago, I still bring it up from time to time. In addition to this, during a coffee break, they both revealed that they believed in bioresonance, and that they would pay for regular bioresonance treatments to sort out their allergies and stuff.

Otherwise, they were pretty normal, average intelligent people, skilled with computers, and so on. I try to not judge and especially not to make people feel less, but given that these people normally would give off a sort of know-it-all vibe, these two instances just broke all faith in their intellect.

Friends For Never factsShutterstock

32. Totally Nuclear

My eighth-grade science teacher explained to me and the class how wrong I was to think nuclear fission existed on earth. She said it was only in the sun and earth's core. She made me do a report on it and bring it to the class the very next day to show what I learned. How wrong she was.

In seventh grade, I had done this exact report and fell in love with nuclear science. Little did she know, there was a storm coming her way. I had never felt so humiliated in all my life at that moment. After giving an oral presentation of my report the next day, several of my classmates asked my teacher (in their teenage ways) if it was okay if I taught the class.

I had never felt more proud or more happy. EVER. (at that point).

Teachers Out For RevengeShutterstock

33. Zapped In The Slammer

I’m a 31-year-old male. I did some time in the slammer a while back, and as you can imagine you see all walks of life. A guy I used to play chess with and share the paper with was a college professor on the outside. He was a smart guy.

He decides he wants to clean the big industrial fan in the dorm, a solid iron warehouse job, you know what I mean. So he goes and takes it in the shower to clean it. Unplugged. He walks it back out to its mount soaking wet, dripping. He plugs it in and yanks the cord.

I was so stunned he was even doing it that I half thought it was some prank or something. But no, that little jig he did was the real deal.

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34. Do The Work

During my time in college, I knew a guy who was pretty smart and creative, and since we were doing games, animation, and vfx it was pretty handy. We had a bit of a friendly rivalry with our work and we always got our work done early so we would normally go around and offer to help people with their work (grab supplies, help with filming, and work on vfx with them).

One time when we talked about making sure our work was completed and ready to hand in, he explained he did it already and was enjoying his free time just relaxing.

We go to see the other students to help them and while I get stuck helping people with stop-motion animation, he just stands in the doorway, looks at everyone in the class, and proclaims, “If they can’t do the work by themselves maybe they shouldn’t be doing the course," and he walks off. Well, karma came for him in a big way.

The dude ended up failing the module and everyone else passed, and due to having to play catch up for the year due to this, he had to resit a year of the work. I don’t feel bad the dude was a massive jerk in general after this.

Listen up kids, the moment you think you're the smartest in the room is the moment you're the dumbest for underestimating everyone else and overestimating yourself.

Students Getting Expelled factsShutterstock

35. Soda Smarts

I was once bartending at a volunteer event alongside other volunteers. They were mainly physics PhD students. I recall one of them trying to put a two-liter soda bottle in a mini fridge for about 20 seconds but it didn’t fit. Until I intervened and twisted the bottle to the left so it slid in horizontally with a lot of extra room.

What can I say, I’ve got soda smarts.

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36. Sick Soiree

This is pretty recent. My friend lives in Cincinnati, and mid-December they came down with the flu. They are huge Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans. My friend decided, despite being sick, to still go to the airport, get on a plane, and fly to Tampa. They partied for a week. They then got back on a plane, and flew home to Cincinnati.

Over the next 10-ish days, they posted pictures of themselves at different bars with comments saying, "Don't know why I'm still sick! Guess I will have to drink through it". Or, "Man, can't shake getting sick, anyone wanna throw one back with me?" It was one of the most baffling things I've ever witnessed from this person.

Could they really not connect the dots that unnecessary traveling and copious amounts of booze consumption might make you more sick? Not to mention putting others at risk.

Cheated deathUnsplash

37. Not So Smartypants

I used to be in a special ed class with this boy, we'll call him J. J was actually an incredibly smart kid. He got good grades, he just had a hard time understanding certain subjects. Our teacher praised him for this and I guess it just got to his head. That's when he made a key mistake.

One day he got so cocky with having such high grades that he told the teacher that he didn't need this class and he could easily get all As without it. His grades plummeted the second he told his mom he wanted to quit. He was back in about two weeks and the entire class basically lost what little respect we had for him.

Done For MomentsPexels

38. Give Me A Ring

My mobile phone fell out of my pocket as I got into my car at the post office. Thankfully someone picked it up, took it into the post office, and posted on the town’s community Facebook page that it was there (I had my car registration papers in the phone cover so they knew whose phone it was).

My sister-in-law saw the Facebook post and…..rang my mobile phone to tell me my mobile phone had been found!!! It’s gonna take a while for her to live that one down.

Terrible Customer ServiceShutterstock

39. Can’t Compute

My doctor. During the period of my life in which I was dating my ex-girlfriend, my doctor would INSIST every time I saw him that I needed to be on birth control because it was responsible for preventing pregnancy.

No matter how many times I told him that I was in a monogamous relationship with a woman he would still keep asking. I guess it just didn’t compute.

Deranged Doings UnleashedPexels

40. Made To Measure

I used to date a surgical resident in the most competitive specialty at one of the most prestigious hospitals in the world.

This man is so freaking smart his name is printed inside of the book people buy to study for the USMLE/Step Exam in medical school because he got such an exceptional score when taking this test. However, this man was simultaneously one of the dumbest people I’ve ever met.

There are two instances from the time that we spent together that really stick out to me:

First up: We are baking a cake, and the recipe calls for 1/2 a tsp of something or another. Well, we didn’t have a measuring spoon that was 1/2 tsp, so I start filling half of the 1 tsp with the ingredient and he stops me for a second and goes, “What are you d-… ohhh I tho-… nevermind”.

Upon further questioning, I learned he thought I was meant to be using the shallow divot where the unit of measurement is stamped on the handle of the spoon….

Secondly: While meeting my entire family for the first time at a Christmas tree farm, he asked my mother (a high school science teacher) if the tree grows back after we cut it down. I wish you could have seen my mom’s face.

The Dumbest Smart PeopleShutterstock

41. Easy Fix

I'm either incredibly smart, or my family is incredibly stupid. They call me for literally everything tech-wise, even if it's the easiest thing to fix. For example, there was a window open on the TV which they didn't know how to close.

They called me over to fix it, I took the remote control and selected “cancel” (which was the only button on the screen by the way). Problem fixed, and my time spent. Also, my mom paid for a subscription she didn't want for like five months. I asked her if she tried to cancel it, and she told me no, because she doesn't know how to.

She didn't even try to fix it for a minute and rather paid five months of useless subscriptions. I ended up doing it for her, even though she has a Mac which I’ve never used before, and she uses it constantly. I mean come on, why do people lack the ability to take action themselves??

It's not some crazy science that's super difficult to understand. Just try to fix it yourself sometimes.

Genius LoopholesShutterstock

42. The Boxer

My boss is very smart. He used to be an electrician by trade, learns hands-on tasks like he's been doing them his whole life after being shown once, can create blueprints for complex items from scratch, and can somehow keep all ten of us idiots alive during our shift all week.

And yet, without fail, I've watched him get outfoxed by one of our boxes because it has to be folded a certain way instead of taped shut. It's the highlight of my job when we get the occasional newbie and he has to teach them how to fold this dang box. It always ends up a folded, taped-up mess.

The Most Embarrassing Pexels

43. That Can’t Be

My downstairs neighbor is from India and he has been here in the US for 16 years now. He is a developer for a large corporation and he makes a very good yearly income. I am a good friend to him and we talk from time to time about life. When we talk about religion, however, I always find out something new that he has no clue about. 

He once asked me why, if I believed in dinosaurs did I not then believe in God. He has also made the same remarks about galaxies after I told him that billions of galaxies exist. Today I informed him that the gas that powers his car comes from decomposed plants and animals from hundreds of millions of years ago.

He had a good laugh and then told me I will believe anything. He also believes that he will be showered with 72 “untainted women” when he passes.

Lawyers Shared Dumbest CasesShutterstock

44. Get Me Out Of Here

I just did an escape room with my husband and his brother. I always thought of my husband as a pretty smart guy...until his brother and I got his cell open from inside ours he couldn't figure out how to open ours.

He was by himself in another room for a good five minutes before a voice came over the speaker advising him, "the big green button on the center console that says "open all cell doors" will, in all cell doors". Poor guy won't be living that one down anytime soon!

Worst First DatesShutterstock

45. As The Romans Do

My 23-year-old girlfriend took AP classes, but had no idea what roman numerals were. She was designing a poster for an event I was hosting and asked me, “What's the code for this one?" It took me a while to figure out she was talking about the event number at the bottom of all of our posters.

I tried to explain how roman numerals work and she just said she knew what they were and refused to talk about it. And then asked me what the code was again...She also continues to think that North is whatever direction you are facing, East is right, South behind, and West is left....

Dumbest Person FactsShutterstock

46. Selective Smarts

My best friend had a 95% average in high school, took advanced courses, and graduated with honors, I’ve seen her straight up walk into doors while looking at them, try to lick frozen poles, and just forget what we were talking about in the middle of a conversation, straight up argue that the sky was overcast clouds when it was a crystal clear night and we could see the stars, and try to convince us that setting the oven as high as it could go would just mean her pizza would cook faster (yes, it was somehow both burnt and undercooked).

Paranormal Mysteries FactsNeedpix

47. Sparkle Smarts

I had a roommate during my first two years of college who was incredibly intelligent. I’m talking not just all As but getting 100% on almost every assignment, if not more due to bonus questions. In every subject too. And she’d always been this way too.

I met her in second grade and she’s always been a fast learner, could teach others, retain information, could analyze and apply it, the whole nine. What I'm saying is she is genuinely crazy smart.

She also thought it would be a good idea to use glitter spray paint on a costume she was making. Inside the apartment. With no ventilation. With nothing to cover the floor. Right in front of the door to the balcony. There was glitter paint stained on the floor for close to a year. What a mess.

The Dumbest Smart PeoplePexels

48. Fire And Water

This girl I used to work with thought that boiling water should be stopped altogether because it was going to one day "burn up the world's water supply". I didn't really understand what she meant by that so I asked her to explain it to me as if I were an idiot.

She explained that the steam that comes off of water is like the fire that would come off wood, destroying the water until it eventually "burned away," never to return. With as much respect as I could conjure, I explained what was really going on and her reply was "I don't think that's right so I'll have to read up on it when I get home". I really hope she did.

The Craziest RoommatesPexels

49. Which Came First, The Factory Or The Egg

My neighbor of 22 years (my entire life) is in her mid-40s. She believes that eggs are manufactured in factories. Not that they come from chickens and are simply processed in factories, but that they are made from base materials in a factory by humans/machines.

We passed a sign on the side of the road that said "one dozen chicken eggs - 1$"—and she made a noticeable "ugh" of disgust. Puzzled, my mom asked, "Why 'ugh’"?

Neighbor: "I can't believe people actually eat chicken eggs".

Mom: "You eat eggs all the time..."

Neighbor: "Those are the white eggs, from the factories. Not the brown ones from chickens".

Creepy talesUnsplash

50. How Many Programmers Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb

The original owner of a house I got a few years ago was a very smart person. He was a programmer and just talking to him, you could tell he is very smart. He was good with books and tech, but in no way DIY. He could not even change a light bulb. He called someone when a light went out and paid the person to change the light.

When we moved into the house, one of the first things I needed to do was replace bulbs, as 95% of them were blown out. I've never seen a person who is so smart and could not do very basic stuff like that. Google or YouTube is your friend, it really is not that hard.

The Dumbest Smart PeoplePexels

Sources: Reddit,


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