April 13, 2023 | Nia Williams

Testing The Limits Of Human Stupidity


An idea may seem bright at the time—until it backfires. As these Redditors and people on Quora sadly learned, attempting to outsmart the world by overestimating one's intelligence is a doomed endeavor from the start.

From repeatedly trying to make phone calls on a calculator to sticking hoodie strings into their ears and wondering why there’s no music playing, these people seem to have left their brains at home. Their stupidity won’t win them any awards in life but it definitely makes for some great stories.


1. Naivety Doesn’t Help

At 16, I worked at a pharmacy. While stocking shelves one day, I was approached by an attractive Spanish girl who asked, "Do you have medicine for—um—crabs?"

I was puzzled. I'd never met anyone who owned pet crabs before, nor thought that pharmacies carried medicine for such things. That's when I did something incredibly stupid.

I yelled to the pharmacist, "HEY, THIS GIRL IS LOOKING FOR MEDICINE FOR HER CRABS! DO WE HAVE ANYTHING?"

human stupidity

2. Mind-Boggling Discovery

Growing up, my father would take me to McDonalds and buy me Happy Meals. I loved getting the free toys in each box, however, I did not appreciate the copious amounts of rice I’d get on my burger buns, having to scrape them off each time.

One day, I had an epiphany. When ordering, I could simply ask for no rice on my burger. Oh, my father played along real well. He would tell workers at the drive-through, "No rice on the burgers", to the point of screaming at the confused people.

I was 20 years old and eating at McDonalds with friends when I unwrapped my burger to see the dastardly rice staring smugly back at me. It was then that it all became clear. I instantly called my father. I had never heard him laugh so hard. The only words he managed to get out were, "You just now figured that out?!"

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3. I Forgot It Could Do That

Just before going on a date, I was merrily brushing my teeth with my favorite electric toothbrush, when I noticed the battery was about to stop working. I started to panic, frantically pressing the "on" button and getting shorter and shorter bursts of power before it completely turned off.

Oh heck! Now what?! How will I ever brush my teeth?!

Oh yeah, I could just move the thing back and forth across my teeth.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityShutterstock

4. Disappeared Into Thin Air

With my first car, I always had to manually lock it by pushing the button down before getting out or using the key to lock it from the outside.

One day, I was in a hurry and bolted out of the car. I was sure I had locked it before getting out, and then slammed the door behind me. Panic ensued when I realized that I'd made a big mistake. I couldn’t find my keys. I checked everywhere—on the ground, in all my pockets. No keys.

I planted my greasy forehead on the driver's side window, peering in desperately to see if I had dropped the keys on the seat or on the floor. Dang it, I was already late. Where could they be?

After two full minutes of this awkward panic, and me running from one side of the car to another and peering in through the windows, I finally decided to check if by some miracle, I had actually locked the door.

Wouldn’t you know it? I found I not only left the door unlocked but also left the car running, with the keys in the ignition!

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5. Bank Woes

I wanted to deposit some money into my bank account. I drove to the bank, went inside and got a deposit slip. When I tried to enter my account number into the allotted boxes, it wouldn’t fit. There were too many numbers! When I presented this problem to the cashier, she said that the account number didn’t exist in her system.

Confused, I drove back home and looked up my account number on the check book. Everything looked okay. I was entering the right account number. So what was going on?

I then drove back to the bank and told the cashier that the account number was correct. She insisted it was still wrong. So I walked back to the car to get my check book.

It was then that I suddenly realized I had been walking into the wrong bank! My bank was the one across the street.

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6. What A Racket

My dad went off to play tennis. Five minutes later, he came storming back after realizing he had forgotten his racquet. He started looking everywhere for it and yelling at everyone for moving his stuff, because it wasn't anywhere he expected it to be.

Eventually, I worked up the courage to say, "Dad—it's in your hand".

He had been searching the whole house over with his one free hand, even waving the racquet at us to show how angry he was at everyone.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

7. Weird Spots

I went to visit my friend who owns two cats. One day, he notices something very concerning. One of the cats has a spot on its head, which I think is most likely from playing with the other one. But my friend still wants it checked out so I go with him to see the vet.

The vet instantly sees that there is nothing wrong with this cat and assures my friend that everything is fine. My friend then turns the cat over and says, "Well, he has a weird spot here as well. Could you check this out?"

The vet looks him square in the eye with the most serious look ever and says, "That sir, is a mammary gland". Trying to keep his composure, he responds with something like: "Ah, okay then", and we leave.

She was nice enough to not charge us for the visit. As soon as we got to the car, we burst out laughing. It took a full 10 minutes before he felt fit enough to drive again.

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8. A Handy Move

I was about 14 years old and playing basketball with friends, when the ball got away from us. I tried to recover it, only to end up stomping my foot down on my left hand. For some reason, I thought that someone else had stepped on my hand.

As I tried to pry it from under my own foot, I ended up stepping harder on my hand which was struggling to break free. This went on for almost 10 seconds before I realized that I was a complete moron.

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9. What IS That?

A man with a very thick accent came into the pharmacy where I worked, holding what looked like a small turkey baster. He indicated that he wanted a "new one"".

What is it?" I asked.  Unfortunately I couldn't understand what he was saying. So I took the baster from him and walked over to the pharmacist to ask for her help".

I have a customer who is looking for one of these things", I told her. She took one look at me and lost it. I was holding, in my hands—a dirty—used—rectal syringe. I thought the brown stuff on it was old gravy.

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10. The Handy Hair Dryer

I slept over at my girlfriend's parent's house a few months ago. When I woke up, I decided to take a shower before heading to work. My girlfriend had already left for work by the time I got out of the shower.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to bring a towel into the bathroom and since her parents were home, I didn’t want to run out to grab one without wearing any clothes. So I thought it would be a great idea to air dry myself with the hair dryer that was lying on the counter.

I have very short hair, so I have never used a hair dryer up until this point and was unaware how hot the air can get. I began drying myself and everything was going well until I got to my very sensitive manly parts. That's when disaster struck.

The searing burn from Hades came instantly. By the time I pulled Satan away from my "family crown jewels", it was already too late. I had given myself a nasty burn and had to explain this to my girlfriend's parents on the car ride to the emergency room.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFreepik,freepik

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11. A Painful Experiment

It was a hot summer’s day. I was sitting shirtless on my deck, drinking a bottle of ale and puffing on some smoke. As I finished the ale, I wondered if the lighter could melt glass. I started blasting the bottle with it. A spot the size of a pea started to glow faintly red, then to orange. It then began to melt. Satisfied, I put the lighter down and stared at the cooling glass.

Suddenly, a tiny crack started to form across the hot spot along with a faint "tink" sound. I had just enough time to think "you're an idiot", before squeezing my eyes shut and the bottle exploding in my hand.

I was mostly showered in tiny specks of hot glass, but one piece the size of a quarter landed straight on my chest, and stuck there, making a sizzling sound. I had to grab it with my fingers —burning them slightly too—before peeling it off, and taking my skin with it.

To this day, every time I look in a mirror shirtless, I have a hairless spot the size of a quarter that will forever remind me that I'm not as smart as I think I am.

Man with a bottlePexels

12. What's Your Excuse?

My mom and I were going through some old family photos when we came across some of my grandparent's wedding day. I was asking her questions about it, and she kept saying she "didn't really know".

So I finally asked her why she didn’t know anything about it. She replied, "Well, I wasn’t there". I was stunned, shocked, and totally saddened that she didn’t attend Nana & Grandpa’s wedding".

Why not? " I snapped, "Why didn’t you go?" And she said, "I wasn’t born yet"".

Oh, yeah".

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13. Freaky Birthday Wish

My mom needed me to pick up a card for my uncle’s birthday, which is on August 13th. I asked her, "Ooh, has he ever had a birthday on Friday the 13th?"

"Well, yes, he has had several throughout his life", she responded. I then replied, "I can’t wait until my birthday is on Friday the 13th!" I used to love scary movies and I guess I had imagined a horror movie-themed party.

In an almost laughing tone, my mom said, "Well, considering your birthday is on the seventh, I hate to tell you that that would never happen".

Every Friday the 13th since that request, my family has given me a card and a present. They love to give me a hard time about it.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

14. Hello, Is Anyone There?

I was searching everywhere for my phone while talking on it to my friend. I then asked him to call my phone once I hung up so I could find it—definitely not the proudest moment of my life.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

15. Early Morning Wake-Up Call

One morning, the alarm on the other side of the bed went off. I reached over to hit the snooze button but didn't realize how far away I was from the alarm clock. That miscalculation landed me in a world of trouble.

The clock was on the other side of my sleeping girlfriend, whom I ended up slapping on the forehead instead. She managed to sleep through the alarm but woke up yelling at me when I slapped her. I just mumbled, half asleep, "I thought you were an alarm clock".

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

16. Up The Creek With Hunger Pangs

One evening, I was working late on the college newspaper with my best friend. We got really hungry and started looking around for something to eat before finding a container of cookie dough in the fridge.

In my infinite wisdom, I asked her, "Do you think I could bake cookies in the microwave?" She muttered a vague sound of agreement. So I grabbed a Styrofoam plate, and put a couple scoops of cookie dough on it before sticking it in the microwave for 10 minutes.

After three minutes, the most noxious, black smoke started seeping out of the microwave. I jumped up and started flapping my arms around and screaming, "Oh, no! Oh, no!"  My friend didn’t notice anything until I ran over to open the microwave. There, we saw a black burnt circle which was once the plate of cookie dough.

Instantly, the room started filling up with smoke. I thought for sure the fire alarm would go off and water would drench all the computer labs on our floor, but it never did. To make matters worse, the windows wouldn't open, so we had to use old newspapers and jackets kept in the newsroom to push the poisonous fumes down the stairwell.

On Monday, when classes resumed, everyone kept talking about the weird smell in the air. Thankfully, nobody opened the microwave to see the charred remains of our bright idea.

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17. Music Makes The World Go ‘Round

I plugged my hoodie strings into my ears, thinking they were my earbuds. I thought my iPod was busted until I looked down. I didn't even have my iPod with me. I was just sitting there with the strings in my ears.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

18. Fuzzy Socks No More

It was cold and rainy on my walk home from high school. I was reading my phone and thought, "Hey, I'll just step in this puddle here". Well, that turned out to be a horrible idea. The puddle was a pothole. When I got home, I was cold and soaked.

The previous night, I had watched an episode of Seinfeld where he put his clothes in the oven to get them all dry and toasty. I changed out of my wet clothes, and thought, "Hmmm, I want my fuzzy socks to be dry and toasty, too", but I wasn't about to put them in the oven—I wasn’t that stupid.

I threw them in the microwave instead. I went off to do something but shortly afterwards, I started smelling this god-awful odor. I ran back into the kitchen to see the inside of the microwave on fire! I opened the door and threw a cup of water on the burning socks.

Somehow, I managed to fling what was left of them into the trash can. The trash now catches fire. There wasn't a lot in it so I turned the water on in the sink and started dumping the burning trash in it just as my mother was walking through the door.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityWikimedia Commons

19. Can You Hear Me Now?

I had been listening to music on my phone with my headphones. When I remembered I needed to call someone, I took the headphones out of my ears and then dialed the number. The phone showed the call was connected but I couldn't hear anything.

I then proceeded to shout at the phone, hang up, call back, shout some more, all while growing increasingly more frustrated. This easily went on for at least 10 minutes before I finally realized that my headphones were still plugged in.

Not my proudest moment.

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20. Say "Jeeze!"

For my high school’s end-of-year assessment project for photography class, I decided to travel an hour into London and spend the day taking shots of the city. I wanted to spend the whole day there searching for interesting pictures, trying to be as artistic as I could in order to get a good grade.

The following week, proud of my efforts, I went straight into the school’s darkroom to develop my pictures. I turned the lights out and began winding the film back into the cassette.

I became perplexed when the camera didn’t seem to cooperate and I couldn’t get the film out to be processed. So, I went to get my teacher for help. He took one look and asked, "Are you sure you put film into this camera?"

It turns out, I traveled into London and spent an entire day taking photographs with no actual film in the camera!

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21. Didn’t Think This Through

We only had one set of apartment keys, which I had because I’m always the first to arrive home after school. One day, I left a note saying, "I have the keys. Call me on my phone if you want to get in the apartment".

I then taped the note to the TV, locked the doors, and left.

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22. Unbelievable Revelation

For about four months, I thought this girl who I worked with really liked to change her hair color a lot. It was really bizarre. At one shift she was blond and the next she was brunette. Topped off with a slight change in personality and the occasional blank stare when referencing a previous conversation, I just thought she was strange.

Then one day, the blonde and brunette walked in TOGETHER. They’re TWINS?!! My mind exploded. I didn't say anything and was speechless for the rest of my shift.

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23. Jack Of No Trades

I was talking to my mom about fixing some piping. We were standing next to the washer and dryer, one of which was on. I then asked her, "Shouldn't we wait until the laundry's done to cut off the water?" She replied, "It's just the dryer that's running". I retorted, "Yeah?"

My mom then gave me a confused look. I asked, "So, the washing machine uses cold water?" "Yes, mostly", she replied. Then I asked, "So then the dryer uses hot water?" My mom gave me the most incredulous stare.

After several seconds, I uttered, "Oh, right. Okay".

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24. On The Road To Nowhere

For my job, I have to drive a lot. One day, after visiting a customer, I jumped into the car, turned the corner and waited behind a line of traffic at a red light. The light turned green but no one moved.

I assumed someone up ahead had broken down, so I just waited. After three full light cycles, I started trying to see over the line of traffic. I could see the car at the front had no one in it, so I sat back thinking, "Gee this must be bad", and continued to wait patiently.

I waited for some time until I started to get really annoyed. I was going to honk the horn but thought to myself, "Why isn't anyone else honking their horn?"

I eventually looked down the line of traffic and realized the cars were all empty and I was actually revving behind a line of parked cars.

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25. Long Lost Roommate

I was studying alone at a local restaurant when I looked up and saw an old roommate of mine sitting a couple tables away. Having lost track of her for several years, I went over and asked the usual, "What have you been up to?" line of questioning.

When we got to the subject of kids, I asked how her daughter was doing—she was three when I lived with her four years ago. She said that she was good and started high school this year. An alarm went off at that point and I thought, "That's crazy. How old is she if her daughter is 15?"

Then it dawned on me that this was NOT the same person I thought I was talking to—even though she had been happily going along with me the whole time and had me convinced she was this person until the age comment. Instead of admitting my idiocy, I continued to make small talk.

Eventually, I awkwardly said "Bye", and walked back to my table. We finished our meals with no eye contact. If I remember correctly, I even called her by name.

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26. This Tastes Funny

This morning, I ran out of toothpaste and decided to use baking soda instead. Now this is fine for fresh, unused baking soda, but I didn't have any of that on hand.

Instead, I used the old one in my freezer. I immediately regretted that decision. My mouth was full of the taste of old meat and everything that had been in my freezer over the years. Ugh!

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFreepik, cookie_studio

27. Driving In Circles

One day while driving home from high school, I went down the usual road that leads to my street when I suddenly realized that my street had disappeared! I drove back and forth for about 10 minutes, feeling like I was in an episode of The Twilight Zone. Where in the world had my street gone?

Finally, I drove really slowly and read the street signs. Then, it occurred to me—the house on the corner, which had always been flamingo pink, and was also my landmark for turning, had been painted brown. What?! A house got painted and I freaked out and lost my marbles.

It was a stupid moment indeed.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, Joseph

28. Exam Fiasco

One evening in the summer, I was revising for final exams and just nodded off. I woke up and thought it was the next day, didn't even question if it could've been a couple of hours later. I just put on my school uniform, shoved a piece of toast in my face and said, "Bye" to my brother, who nonchalantly replied, "Bye" back.

I started panicking as I was running to the train station. My record for arriving on time wasn't the best and I couldn't afford to be late again. Just as I got there, I saw the train pull in and in some incredible kung-fu-style maneuver, I managed to jump onto the train just in time.

As I'm sitting down feeling pretty darn smug about my accomplishment, I finally looked at my phone and saw that it was only 8:15 pm! I was now stuck on a non-stop, 45-minute train ride looking like I just fought Thor and lost.

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29. It’s Getting Dim In Here

One night a few months ago, the power went out in my apartment complex. So, I downloaded a flashlight app on my phone. As I’m using the flashlight to get around, I realize that the battery is quickly draining on my phone. So I go grab my charger and plug it into the wall, but nothing happens.

It took about five minutes of me checking different outlets, jiggling the cord around and cursing a lot, before I remembered that the dang power was out.

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30. Dude, Where’s Your Card?

My friend, Rachel, and I were going to an event downtown. Originally, she was planning to pick me up, but she called at the last minute saying that she wasn’t ready and for me to come over to her place instead. So I drove to her house and when she was ready, we got into her car and she drove us to the event.

After the event, it was rather late. We had a few drinks but it was time to get home. So she dropped me off and I went straight to bed. I had no idea that I'd just made a huge mistake. In the morning, I noticed that I had some missed calls from Rachel. She left me a voice message saying, "Umm, I think you forgot something? Your card?"

I thought to myself, "Card?" I was confused because I had my main debit card and cash on me, so thought nothing of it. This wasn’t as urgent as she was making it out to be. I resolved to call her during the day and pick up whatever it was after work.

Until...my husband and I headed out to go to work and he asked, "Hey, where’s the car?"

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31. The Numbers Don’t Add Up

I work in sales, and as such have to make a lot of phone calls. My phone sits on my desk. I dial the numbers, wait for it to start ringing, then I pick up the handset.

This particular afternoon, I found the number of the customer I had to call, and proceeded to dial. I waited for it to ring. Needless to say, there was no ring. "I must have dialed the wrong number", I thought to myself.

So I tried again. And again. Still, nothing worked, not even a dial tone. On my last attempt, I looked down at my phone and realized I kept pressing the "AC" button on my calculator!

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

32. Treading In Murky Water

One summer, my parents went out of the country for two weeks and left me alone. So I decided it was the perfect opportunity to have some of my "closest friends" over as often as possible. We lived out in the middle of nowhere. The nearest neighbors are about 100 yards away. And our house had a pool and a hot tub, so it was the perfect set up.

The first night I had people over, the hot tub got pretty nasty—we may have exceeded the maximum capacity a little bit. So my bright idea was to siphon all the water out of the tub directly into the pool, and refill the tub with clean water from the hose.

It worked perfectly. The hot tub got clean and the pool got a little bit warmer. The next night, word was catching on, and the group of friends increased in size. But there was a problem. Once again, the hot tub water was almost opaque by the next morning. No problem—again, I dumped the dirty hot tub water into the pool and refreshed it with clean hose water.

By the third night— yuck, yuck, YUCK! But I kept at it, dumping the hot tub gunk into the pool. But then...what the heck, where's the bottom of the pool? Now I have a serious problem. In my efforts to keep the tub clean, I had neglected the pool water, which had slowly started to turn into a sickly grayish-green color! Uh oh.

I thought to myself, "Filters should take care of it by the time my parents come home in a week, right?" But what if it didn't? How could I ensure the pool water would be crystal clear for my spectacularly unforgiving parents? That's when the genius idea bulb went off in my head.

Twenty minutes later, I had tens of thousands of gallons of water roaring out of the pool and working its way down the mountain like a grand liquid chlorinated avalanche. "Oh, no, you didn't", you say?

Oh, yes. I did.

I was feeling smug about my dirty water solution until I noticed the shape of the inside of the pool becoming less defined. You see, we have a vinyl skin for the interior of the pool, and guess what held it down against the concrete? That’s right, the water! To my horror, the blue skin was methodically peeling itself off the walls and bottom like a yawning college student extricating his hungover body off his gunky bathroom floor.

Immediately, I stopped the water from rushing out. The pool now only had a couple feet of water in the far side but the shallow end was a "little" wrinkled. I could salvage the deep end. But how was I going to fill up the pool again?  Well, what worked for the hot tub?

The water hose! I was sure it could fill up the pool in five days, before my parents returned! So, I turned on the hose confident that the pool would fill up with clean water. But wait, the house used well water. And after a few days of pumping, the water didn’t flow out as quickly anymore.

After five days of trying to refill the pool, the water was only starting to reach the shallow end. To add to my pain, my parents were coming home the next day.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, Aqua Mechanical

33. Brain Freeze

While sleep-deprived on a Transatlantic flight, I saw a sign on the seat in front of me that read, "In case of an emergency landing, the seat cushion is also usable as a flotation device".

I just stared at the word "usable" for about 20 minutes. My head was saying: "yoo-see-ah-bull? Yoo-C-bull. Yoo...yoo-C-ah-bleugh?" I couldn’t figure out how to say it!

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityShutterstock

34. A Shocking Transformation

For whatever reason, I was at school one day and decided to wrap a paperclip around my index and middle finger, then plug myself into two different outlets to see what would happen.

The first time, nothing happened. But the second time, I actually plugged myself in and was knocked flat on my rump! The teacher panicked—the students panicked—the whole building panicked. The outlet was scorched, the lights blew, and the building lost power.

Me, however? I was fine. My friends and I always joke that I probably rewired my brain that day. I went from being a trouble-making student to a grade-A student almost overnight.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, Marco Verch Professional Photographer

35. All According To Plan

When I was a kid I loved the idea of skateboarding but was too lazy and uncoordinated to actually learn how to do it properly. Instead, I would sit on the board and ride it down my driveway, straight into my busy street.

One day, I devised a plan which involved tying an extendable dog leash to the rear axle of my skateboard and lodging the base of the leash under my garage door. My naive child-brain led me to believe that this would provide a gentle stop when the leash reached its end. I've never been so wrong.

I knelt on my board, hands braced for fun times. My plan seemed to be working as I picked up speed with the leash extending behind me. Then, the board jerked to a halt but physics kept me moving—face first into the concrete sidewalk.

I started fourth grade with scabs covering the bottom half of my face and teeth chipped so badly, I could whistle through them.

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36. The Trouble With Lazy Boys

My cousin and I were sharing a room at my grandma’s house. We had just replaced the old TV for a newer one. Rather than moving it out of the way, we just left it in the hall. Like a couple of lazy blockheads, we figured we'd just move it the next day. That turned out to be a horrible mistake.

At 11 pm, we heard a loud scream and a large thud right outside our bedroom door. We ran outside to find Grandma in a heap on the floor. She was going to bed but didn't turn the hall light on, because she wrongly assumed that her grandsons weren't numskulls.

She bruised her hip, and I still feel terrible about it to this day.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFreepik, rawpixel.com

37. Fitting Right In

I was starting a new job and getting the grand tour. I was shown a door to the back loading dock and was told, "Don't open that door without a code. When it is closed, it is armed"".

Okay, good to know", I think to myself. As we return to the storeroom, I see a delivery guy walking towards the back loading dock door. I see that he is just reaching for the handle, and without thinking, I yell, "DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR! IT HAS A GUN!"

My manager stared at me for a moment until she realized I had thought the door was literally armed. She laughed at me for about five minutes before telling everyone in the store what had happened. Then she bought me a bag of Cheetos and told me that I would fit in just fine.

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38. The Early Bird Gets To Play

When I was a kid I lived right next to my school. Home was literally a 60-second sprint from the playground. One morning, I arrived at the playground and it was eerily quiet. Nobody was there but me. There usually were buses that arrived really early, so I was never the first on the scene, but this time I was.

I was thrilled! I ran around the playground and played on the swings. When I realized that nobody was coming, I ran home to tell my mom that she sent me to school too early. I started bragging about being the first kid there when she looked at me and said, "No, honey. You're late. The bell already went".

That was my first time going to the office. I can't believe I didn't figure it out myself. To this day, I still wonder if anyone saw me on the playground—the rebellious kid who doesn't obey the bell and just plays on the swings.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPxhere

39. Joke’s On Me

I used to work at a gas station. Every night, law enforcement officers would come in for some coffee and some chit chat. Over time, I got to know a couple of them. They would talk about the weird things they would see on their shift. I got to hear some pretty good stories.

One day, I'm minding my own business stocking the cooler when I hear Officer Ingram talking to my manager at the front of the store. The cooler room has speakers installed, so whoever is working in there can hear what is going on in the rest of the store. That's when I got the idea to do something utterly reckless.

I thought it would be cool to come out of the cooler with my sweatshirt and ski mask on and sneak up on Officer Ingram just to see how an officer would react to being robbed. So, I start sneaking around the store, hopping from one aisle to another.

I managed to go unseen by Officer Ingram. My manager saw me from the corner of his eye but didn’t say a word. It wasn't unusual for me to wear a ski mask after working in the cooler. I get to the counter and I put the blunt end of my box cutter against the back of his neck.

I then tell him in a deep voice, "Don't do anything stupid and call for help or anything. Just give me your wallet!" My manager just stared at me, speechless. Meanwhile, Officer Ingram didn't even flinch. He just took a sip of his coffee and told me that I must be the biggest idiot he had ever come across.

It was at this point that I noticed my manager’s eyes had dropped. When I saw what he was looking at, my blood ran cold. Officer Ingram already put his hand on his pistol. Just as I heard the safety click being pulled, I dropped the act and told him it was me and that I was just playing around. Officer Ingram starts laughing out loud and tells me to chill out.

He had seen me sneaking out of the cooler and around the store on the computer screen from the start. The monitor at the front of the store displays a live feed of all the security cameras around the store. We had a good laugh about it immediately afterward.

For a few days after that, whenever the other officers would come in, they would put their hands in the air or just throw me their wallets. It later dawned on me that if the manager hadn’t left the monitor on the screen showing the live feed of all the security cameras, I could have gotten shot and charged with all sorts of unimaginable things.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

40. Bless Me—In More Ways Than One

I was living with a close friend where the walls were a bit thin. Late one night, I had the urge to sneeze. But you see, I have a very bold sneeze. We all know those sneezes, the ones that just happen and leave you maybe one second to cover your mouth.

Well, that night, not wanting to wake my sleeping friend up with my sneeze, I went to grab a pillow to stifle my sneeze. It got to my face before I realized that I hadn't gripped the pillow at all, but had simply made a fist.

I ended up punching myself in the face. Gave myself a nosebleed and everything.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

41. This Smells Like A Really Bad Idea

A few months prior to my flight from Los Angeles’s LAX airport, the infamous "shoe bomber" had been caught trying to light his shoes on fire. So the airport upped their security by requiring everyone who goes through to take their shoes off to get screened.

I had just joined the school's improv team and had already decided upon entering the airport that I was the funniest human being in the world. My family and I walked up to security and proceeded to take our shoes off. I wasn't wearing any socks, and I tended to sweat a lot, leaving my shoes smelling absolutely disgusting.

But this day, I had a worse surprise for them. Now if you don’t know what "stink bombs" are, they are essentially a device that you squeeze together to create a pressure-filled bag of gross smells that eventually bursts, leaving an unpleasant odor all over the place.

As I walked up to one of the airport security screeners, I was grinning from ear to ear and politely reminded them to "watch out for those stink bombs".  Well...I was quickly escorted to a side room where all of my family’s bags were rifled through while six different agents and two officers yelled at me for a half hour.

My family and I were on a trip to New Zealand. It was the longest and quietest plane ride I'd ever experienced.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, Wayan Vota

42. This Isn’t What It Looks Like

My wife went to Las Vegas on vacation with her friends. I was still young and foolish at the time, so I did the only natural thing and went out drinking. Unfortunately, I got completely obliterated.

When I got home, I jumped in the shower because it made sense at the time. I started to feel sick and climbed over to the toilet to alleviate my nausea. After I finished, I went to push myself up but when I put my weight on the toilet it cracked in half.

The porcelain god was fighting back, or so it seemed. And that spelled trouble for me. I gashed my hand on the edge of the toilet after it cracked, and because of the booze in my system, it bled profusely. This was about the time when all reason left me. I was unclothed, bleeding, and completely plastered.

I didn't understand why there was water flooding the bathroom, so I flushed the damaged toilet several times, flooding the bathroom even further. I then called my wife and left her this voicemail: "Hi...I'm not sure where I am. I'm not sure who I am. There's blood everywhere...there's just blood everywhere. I’ve got to go".

My wife was sitting in the airport with her friends about to fly home when she heard my disturbing message. She then tried frantically to reach me several times, but to no avail. After leaving bloody handprints on the walls while steadying myself, I passed out undressed and bleeding on the bed.

When she couldn't get a hold of me, she then called my parents. My message had her thinking the worst. My parents drove over to my place and let themselves in. The next thing I knew, my dad was poking me with a broom and shouting, "Are you alive?!"

The next morning, I cleaned all the mess up with my mom. We had a nice chat. I felt badly for scaring my wife and parents, but it's eventually become a favorite story told around the campfire.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, A Syn

43. Beyond Clueless

When I got home from work, I happened to lock my keys in my work truck. Luckily, I had left a ladder outside the house. I broke through my privacy fence to drag the ladder out and propped it against my unlocked, elevated bedroom window.

I managed to get it open, and crawled through the tiny window. I got some nice bruises along the way. My dog, who witnessed the whole "break-in", looked rather entertained. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was laughing at me.

I got inside, and eventually found the long, lost spare keys. I went back down the ladder and unlocked the truck—only to find that the passenger side window was open the whole time.

C

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityWikimedia Commons, Jzadeh

44. A Messy Situation

One time, my friends and I were late for a train heading from Brussels to London. We got there with a few minutes to spare but found out we had to go through a tight security screening— complete with an x-ray machine, metal detector and a customs station. I wasn't expecting this at all.

I was last in my group of friends but quickly obliged. I put my knapsack on the machine then started to fill a bin with all my personal items: belt, wallet, sunglasses, phone, passport, Belgian waffle covered in whipped cream.

I then proceeded to walk towards the metal detector, when I suddenly realized what I had just done. I turned back just in time to see the detector’s black rubber flaps open on the other side, dragging the whipped cream and smearing it everywhere.

The machine was covered in whipped cream. But since I was last to go through and had put the waffle behind the bin of personal items, my things were saved. I just looked at the security guard, grabbed my stuff and yelled, "Sorry!" as I ran towards Customs.

I could hear him cursing at me as I ran.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, Oran Viriyincy

45. Some Things Never Change

During residency, I was trying to save money by bringing sandwiches to work. However, I would either not have time in the morning to make them, or I'd make lunch the night before, only to forget to bring them with me in my rush to leave the house.

So one day, I came up with an amazing plan: I'd make the sandwiches the night before, put my keys in the fridge with my lunch, and in the morning, I'd remember to get my lunch when I thought of my keys. Brilliant, right?  Well, the next morning I woke up in a rush as usual, hopped into my scrubs but couldn’t find my keys.

I looked everywhere for them. Finally, I had to call a cab, and left my apartment unlocked. All day at work, I was telling everyone, "I just don't get it. It's a small apartment. There are only so many places the keys could be". After work, I took a cab home, anticipating more cab rides as it was too late in the day to get my keys copied.

That evening, I opened the fridge to make dinner...and there before my eyes were my nicely chilled keys, right next to the lunch I had packed the night before.

Devin Trousdale

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFreepik, drobotdean

46. What A Wise Guy

Early on in my college freshman year, everyone went to a fancy dinner where you dress up and meet other people in your dorm. At my table, people were pouring water out of the pitcher the "wrong" way. Everyone knows you shouldn’t pour it through the spout where ice gets caught and the water would spill.

Having been a busboy in high school, I saw an opportunity to really impress people with my skills. So I loudly said, "Let me show you how a real professional pours water", and proceeded to pour water from the side of the pitcher like a true virtuoso.

The only problem was, I forgot that you need a glass to pour into. I poured water directly onto the table, and into the laps of the people sitting next to me.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

47. Wanted

We live in a landlocked city. When I was about 17, I was looking at the paper for a part time job. I had been babysitting and cleaning for a while so I was checking out the classifieds to find something similar.

After a few minutes of looking, my mom pointed out an ad that read, "Sunday mornings—Light housekeeping—Inner city". I gave my mom the most confused look and asked, "Who on earth owns a lighthouse in this city?"!

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, Tam Tran

48. Well, That Was Dumb

My older brother had just bought a new Nokia phone, which cost a fortune in those days. On the second day of owning his prized possession, I was trying to install some random apps on it without him knowing, when suddenly, everything went blank. Nothing. Zilch. Panic ensued!!

I tried to turn it on. No effect. I opened the back cover. Nothing. I connected, removed and reconnected to the system. No use. I even waved it around hoping for some magic to happen. In the end, I ran back to the shop where he bought it from. Panting and full of guilt, I told the clerk how it had crashed all by itself with no fault of mine, of course.

He took the phone and tried to turn it on without any success. He then plugged in the charger and asked me what I was studying. Just as I opened my mouth to say the words, "engineering undergrad", I heard the Nokia tune fill the room and a light flashed across the phone screen.

The darn phone was out of battery and my geeky self had been too dumb to not think of that. He smiled and returned it to me, then said, "These things don't run on sunlight. You need to charge them".

Akshay Kumar

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

49. Tight Squeeze

I was once shopping in a mall with two friends who were from the area. I had never been to this mall before. As we walked through, I saw the Abercrombie clothing store. I told my friends that I wanted to go in and try on some clothes. They just looked at each other but didn’t say anything.

We arranged to meet somewhere else after I was done. I went inside and saw a shirt that I liked. I looked for a sales clerk to unlock the change room door so I could try it on. She gave me a slightly weird look, but complied and opened it. At the time I was 19 and wore shirts that were size medium. I already owned some Abercrombie shirts, so I was familiar with them.

That's how I knew that this shirt was WAY too tight, even for this brand’s standards. I just thought, maybe I had gained some serious weight or something. I slipped out of the changing room and found the same clerk working nearby. So I asked if she could get me the same shirt but in a larger size.

She gave me a strange look but handed me one anyway. I tried it on and by golly, it was still ridiculously tight. Now I'm wondering, what in the world is going on?! I know I’m not THAT big. I change back into my clothes and leave the room.

As I’m wandering around the store, I suddenly see it—a giant poster with kids on it who looked about nine years old. I'm in the Abercrombie Kids store! Screw me. I left the store faster than I thought possible, avoiding all eye contact with the employees as I dashed out. I 'd never been so embarrassed.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFreepik, benzoix

50. A Shattering Good Time

I was drinking booze at a friend’s house when we all decided to go into the jacuzzi. As I am taking my clothes off and about to get in, I suddenly drop my glass right outside the jacuzzi. It shatters everywhere. My friends give me the, "You better pick that up before we all step on it" speech.

But I ignore them and mumble something unintelligible before getting in. Well, wouldn't you know, karma came back to bite me—hard. I was the first one out of the jacuzzi! Guess who steps on the glass as soon as he gets out of the jacuzzi? ME! As I proceed to strip down and change under a towel, I look down and see a rather large pool of blood gathering by my feet and I think, "Oh, I'm bleeding", but continue to change anyways.

When my friends notice that I am bleeding, they rush to my aide. My towel drops off just as my friend’s dad runs down to see what the commotion is all about. He sees me standing there in my birthday suit and bleeding. Someone finally wraps a towel around me and another around my profusely bleeding foot.

We all show up to the emergency room of the hospital plastered, with me bleeding and practically undressed. I have no idea why the following happened but feeling silly, I jokingly told the doctors that I was ganged up on by my friends. My friend who was fortunately in the room with me explained the actual situation and nobody was apprehended.

Thankfully, only a tetanus shot to the buttocks and 10 stitches in a half moon pattern later was all I received. I am now reduced to using only plastic cups...to protect myself...from myself.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPxhere

51. Grocery Time

I attempted to purchase a cart full of groceries, and then realized my wallet was at home. I dashed home to get my wallet, leaving a cart full of melting, frozen food with some poor cashier—she insisted, but I still felt bad.

When I returned with my wallet, I paid for everything then proceeded to leave the entire cart full of groceries at the store! I got all the way home, walked in the door, and sat down before I realized what I had done.

I’m pretty sure the cashier thought I was dropped on the head a few too many times as a child.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, Ben Schumin

52. A Disastrous Breakfast

I really wanted to eat some boiled eggs, and happened to have one in the fridge. Not content with just eating a cold egg, I decided to heat it in the microwave for several seconds. After a few seconds, I heard a strange, fizzing sound coming from inside the microwave.

I took the egg out to check the source of the strange noise. That turned out to be a painful mistake. Just as the egg got close enough to my face, what happened next could only be described as the same feeling you would probably get if a hand grenade is about to explode right in front of your face.

My mom ran down the stairs to check out the commotion and found me standing there in the middle of the kitchen, holding an empty bowl, motionless. My face, glasses, the floor, the ceiling, everything within a three meter radius was covered in egg fragments. She never laughed so hard.

Needless to say, I spent a good few hours with a ladder scrubbing my breakfast off the ceiling.

Hoc Nguyen

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, Bryan Bruchman

53. Gunky Dishes

I went to wash my dishes to find a sink filled with cloudy, murky water. When I asked one of my housemates about it, she said that it was blocked, and maintenance was called but they wouldn't be able to fix it until the following week. Disgruntled, I used the other sink to wash my dishes, then went upstairs.

That night, I decided that a blocked sink was no match for my superior strength. So I reached into the water to assess the blockage before deciding on my next move. I moved my hand around the sink and felt something familiar—the plug! So that was the culprit!

I called one of my housemates asking if no one had thought to just check if the plug was in. It soon became a game of he-said she-said with everyone claiming to have heard from someone else that it was blocked. It didn’t matter. I smugly returned to my room, satisfied that I would now be seen as the handyman of the house.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityFlickr, Deron Staffen

54. A Demonstration To Forget

I wanted to prove a point to my friends that my iPhone 5 never breaks because I had dropped it plenty of times and it had never broken. So to demonstrate this, I took it out of my pocket and threw it on the hardwood floor.

It completely shattered.

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPexels

55. Laundry Woes

A few days back, I went to wash my clothes at the laundromat. After the wash, I put some coins into a dryer, and left. When I returned after about an hour or so, I went back to collect my clothes, but found they were still wet. Without thinking much of it, I put the coins into the dryer again.

When I returned the second time, my clothes were still wet. I went back to the apartment and complained to my roommate that the dryer wasn’t working. He said, "I dried my clothes this morning and everything was fine. Did you press the "start" button after putting the coins in?"

Muneeruddin Mohammed

Testing The Limits Of Human StupidityPxhere

Sources:, 3




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