The average Joe is just that…average. But there are many people out there who fall way below the bar set by Joe. These Redditors shared their encounters with dumb people that made them lose faith in humanity and facepalm hard.
1. Color Me Confused
I was training a new co-worker on the cash register. I said, "Someone's bill comes to $12 and they give you $22, how much change do they get?" She replied: "Do you honestly expect me to do that in my head?" Oh, but that wasn't her dumbest moment.
Later, it had just rained and the sun was setting. This highlighted the sky and wet parking lot red/pink/orange (quite beautiful). She looks at me and says, "Wow, it must be so hot out, the ground is red!" She was a senior in high school.
2. The Radiator
My uncle's girlfriend won't allow him to be anywhere near his brother who is undergoing radiotherapy treatments for cancer. She says she will break up with him if he does. The reason? My uncle could catch radiation from his brother and give it to her and her son. That's when I realized she is a complete moron.
3. Laundry Lesson
In undergrad, I spent my summers working at a Boy Scout camp. One summer, I had an 18-year-old staff member assigned to be my assistant (we'll call him Joe) who did many, many stupid things.
My favorite incident was this: Late one night, some of us were hanging out on the front porch of the staff cabin next to the shower house, complete with the washer and dryer. We see Joe going to and from the washroom but didn't think anything of it.
At midnight, we're all turning in for the night when Joe comes up and asks, "Does anyone have any detergent?" "Yeah, I have a tide pod you can have”. I hand it to him, and he goes, "Thanks, I don't think the detergent I made is going to do the trick". We all kind of stopped and looked at him.
Then someone asked, "Joe, how did you make laundry detergent?" Without a pause, he says, "I just mixed together some bleach and hand sanitizer”. After the initial laughter, I asked, "Joe, why did you add hand sanitizer?"
Again, without missing a beat, he responds, "Because it kills 99.9% of bacteria”. I guess the bleach was for the remaining 0.1%...
4. Made To Measure
I went to a hardware store for plexiglass cut in a 12 x 12 square. I got 12 x 18 and handed it back to the guy, and said it was wrong. I couldn't believe his response. He called me an idiot. I said if it was right it would be a perfect square and not the rectangle he handed me.
He showed me how he measured. It was 12 inches but measured twice on the same side. This "little lady" had to show a 70-year-old how to measure correctly. He's 70 and works in a hardware store but has no concept of how to use a tape measure correctly? Then he got offended when I corrected him.
5. Dragon Slayer
I’ve been a hairdresser in chain salons for around six years now. When I was at the two-year mark, I had a woman in my chair for around an hour. Her husband and teenage daughter were over my shoulder the whole time. She had literally no clue what haircut she wanted and also had very fine hair, and not a lot of it.
We just kept going shorter and shorter and she wasn’t happy with it by the time we got it to just below her ears. This woman looked me in the eyes and asked a question that made my jaw drop: “Can you make me look like Goku?"
I said, “Ma’am, I don’t think anyone can make you look like Goku. I also don’t think I can give you what you’re looking for today, you can go ahead and head out. The haircut will not be charged”. I still think about that interaction a lot.
6. Code Brown
A few days ago, I was cleaning the men's bathroom as part of my job. The toilets were SUPER messed up: flushing the toilet on the left would cause water to come out of the pipe below the middle toilet and flood the stall, the middle toilet was heavily clogged, and using a plunger wouldn't do anything.
If you were to try flushing it, poopy water would rise up, and when you tried flushing the urinal, water would rise up and take minutes to go down the drain. I told the other workers that the toilets were out of order and needed an out-of-order sign until plumbers came to fix them.
One worker decided to check out the problem, and I told him that a plunger wouldn't fix the problem and to not flush the toilets. He didn't listen to me. He tried flushing them anyway after using a plunger and flooded the bathroom.
After making a mess, he STILL kept trying to flush the toilets and flooding the bathroom with more refuse. Because of him, I had a disgusting mess to clean up. I had to vacuum up so much brown water WHILE standing in it!
7. One Direction
My older sister believes North is the direction in front of you. As in, North is only a personal thing, and that true North isn't a thing. My dad yelled at me for arguing with my sister because she was right. She claims to be a scientist and has worked in research labs. My dad is an engineer.
Neither are in my life anymore by my choice and there are a lot less of these comments!
8. Have Wings, Will Fly
I work in public works. Next to my building, we have a huge fenced-in yard where we keep signposts, extra street lights, etc. It's a giant yard.
Anyway, the last thing we do every day before we leave is lock the gate to the yard. Last week I was going to lock the gate then my senior pulled me aside and told me to wait, I asked why. His response almost made me burst out laughing.
He was concerned because there were geese in the yard and he didn't want to lock them in...This yard does not have a ceiling of any sort. There were three of us that witnessed this and after about five seconds of awkward silence I finally just said, "They are geese, they can fly out”. He seemed dumbfounded by this revelation.
9. The Meaning Of Life
A girl once laughed at me at a party when a friend and I were debating the merits of Evolutionism vs. Creationism and anything in-between. She was cute and flirty, but then she erupted into a rant about how dinosaur bones were planted by Jesus a few hundred years ago and Evolutionism was a hoax.
Politically, she was super leftist on fiscal policies and pro-communism. Socially, she was far-right on stuff like abortion. It was a very bizarre combo.
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10. Round Peg, Square Hole
I saw two guys laboriously trying to fit a road case containing drum kit hardware (very heavy) through a too-narrow door. They turned it this way and that and it still wouldn't fit. Their next move was dumb—I'll never forget it.
They EMPTIED THE ROAD CASE and tried pushing it through again, hoping for a different result. We laughed and laughed and then laughed some more.
This is my mother. I love her completely. But she has absolutely 0 spatial/self-awareness a lot of the time. Whenever she gets a text/call she stands still right then and there to answer it. On the top of the escalator, in front of an elevator, you name it, all of the most inconvenient places.
Inevitably, someone says something. Usually, it's a pretty assertive "excuse me". Every single time she gets so offended. It's incredibly funny to see. It really sucked when I was growing up because if I said anything in those situations it was "disrespect" and I'd get punished, but now that we're all grown up she gets no reinforcement and it's great to see.
I know that probably sounds really bitter talking about my own mother. But there have been so many times like this where she has literally blocked me in the driveway, taken 5+ minutes to move her car at a snail's pace, and then punished me for getting tardies at school, or punished me for being "disrespectful" in yelling at her to move more quickly so I'm not late so I don't get punished by her.
12. You’ve Got To Be Puddin’ Me
One time I was going on some kind of trip with my class. It was that sort of trip where you had to spend a few days in a bad hotel with your class and your teacher while you apparently learned something about "teamwork". Anyways, on the last day, we had some pudding for dessert after lunch.
When we started eating, this one girl asked: "Why is it warm?" And I told her it was probably because it was just cooked, and she looked at me like I was crazy. This girl didn't know that in order to make pudding, you have to mix the ingredients together while they are BOILING.
Of course, it's going to be warm if you don't put it in the fridge afterward! The worst part is that after I told her that, she proceeded to ask every single teacher and student that was in the room if what I told her is true...I get that not everyone is a pro-chef, but come on!
13. Water Me
I just saw a husband and wife take their dog to one of those water fountains that have the water fountain for people, the water bottle filler, and a dog bowl on the other side. The husband takes the dog to the dog bowl side. The wife starts getting involved and drags the dog out of the dog bowl and points toward the drain, and turns it on.
I am telling her the dog bowl is on the other side (where her husband had the dog in the first place). She ignores me completely. Now her dog is licking the water bottle filler spout...what a dumb lady. I feel bad for her husband…but how anyone could choose to live with someone who can't listen?
14. What’s The Solution
I worked in a lab, and had a summer intern assigned under me. I told them we had to dilute one chemical X amount into a solvent...Blank stare. I tried every analogy and example I could come up with to describe the concept of taking a set amount of one material and spreading it out with another.
Eventually, I was telling them how after work I was going to pour bourbon into a glass, then add some water. The same amount of bourbon, but more beverage. It never clicked. Science was not their calling.
15. Star Search
I was at the local rodeo a few summers back and started chatting with a guy while we waited in line for the Porta Potty. He noted that there were two bright stars out already even though it was still a little light, and I said, “Oh I believe that's Jupiter and Saturn! They always come up over that mountain”.
He looked at me and said, "Stupid woman, how could we see other planets before the stars? Planets are way farther away than the stars”. I was like..... no? They're literally not? And also, you're awful??
16. Video Store
I worked at a video store years ago. This was at the time that Pirates of the Caribbean, the first one, was about to be released for home viewing. A man, his daughter, and her friends come to the till with a movie called Pirates. We only have ONE copy of this movie. It’s a movie for adults...
He comes back angry that I rented his kids an inappropriate movie. Sir, do you honestly think we would only have ONE copy of Pirates of the Caribbean? Second, I'm not about to question your choice of movie rental in front of your kids.
17. English Lesson
I was at work and explaining to a co-worker how to put wrap on a cooking wrapping machine and I said, "You have to pull it taut". She just stopped and blurted out something I'll never forget. She said, "That isn't how you use that word. You can't teach a wrap”.
And my bosses came in and I had to convince them that taut was a word, and they told me that I shouldn't use big words like that all the time. The word was “taut”.
18. Spaced Out
I was at a small social at my parents’ house and mentioned something about the National Space Center in Leicester. A girl pipes up and says, "Oh I love taking my son there, he loves it. I just find it amusing because I don't believe in space".
I looked at her dumbfounded and asked if she meant she didn't believe in investing money in space exploration. No, she did not believe in space. She simply did not believe that anything existed above the sky, that pictures and videos were all fake, and that all space agencies and anyone who claimed to have been to space were lying.
The other girls in the group started nodding in agreement saying things like, "Now that you mention it, I've never really seen space".
19. Chill Pill
In the sixth grade, a teacher told me and my friend Sonia that we had to help a boy who has ADHD because he couldn't concentrate in class and had terrible grades. We both agreed. The next day, when the teacher introduced him to us and left, Sonia took out some medicine from her backpack and made him eat it.
I didn't know what to do, so I simply called the teacher. When the teacher arrived, the boy was crying and shaking. The teacher completely lost her temper and started yelling at us. When everyone calmed down, the boy told the teacher what happened.
She asked Sonia why she did that and why she had medicine in her bag. Sonia argued that she thought if he took the ADHD medication it would cure him and she wouldn't have to help him. (FYI: ADHD meds will help you manage your symptoms, but they won't cure your ADHD).
I don't know what happened to Sonia after that. She didn't go to school for a month, so maybe she got expelled for a month? I don't know if that's possible in my country. As for the boy, I became friends with him. He's chill and we Facetime each other sometimes.
20. Tax Time
Recently I got pulled into a conversation by a co-worker about public/private (religious) schools. He felt that his kids going to a religious school was a necessity (sorry, no, a preference. I'm not against it, it is your money) and he should be given a tax break for not using the public schools.
I disagreed as I said nobody is obligated to use a private school, that it was the choice of the parents and whether they had the means to do so. He kept on and on but really lost it when I said, "Well, I have no kids, so why am I having to pay taxes that go to public education. If anyone should get a tax break, it is me". (I should note that I do not agree with that. Well-funded and properly maintained public education is good for communities as a whole).
He really just went off the rails about entitlements and such, yet expected that I, someone without kids, should pay more so he could get a break because he opted to send his kids to a catholic private school. The dude is an idiot.
21. Off The Vine
While working in a grocery store's produce department, a customer complained that all of the watermelons had a flat, yellow-y spot. I explained that this is just the side on the ground. Then she asked, "Well, when are they ever on the ground?" She thought watermelons grow on trees.
Good thing Isaac Newton wasn't sitting under a watermelon tree.
22. The Final Frontier
We were watching a live feed of Voyager II in science class, with a giant red LIVE symbol in the top left of the screen. After about ten-ish minutes of the teacher explaining what we were watching, some guy behind me shouted "Yo, it just exited the solar system," and the dude next to him yelled, "Wait, this is live??"
My teacher just gave up trying to talk about it and sat back down. This was in high school.
I worked at a grocery store for two years. We had a new hire taken to the front office to get written up for just sucking in general. He was told he wasn't going to be getting very many hours and that he could really only sample free stuff on weekends.
His response was, "That's cool but can I get the district manager’s personal phone number to ask about sponsoring my Twitch?" (He was completely serious). This kid would chase people down the store and practically demand that they take/buy whatever he was sampling, full-on sprinting at them. And the most hilarious moment of all?
He also nearly choked himself out trying to put on an apron.
24. Furry Friends
We were at a local livestock show with our emu. We were right next to a stall with an alpaca, and there was a table that spanned in front of both of our animal stalls. A parent walked up with their little kid waddling next to them. They looked at the bird, looked over at the bowl of fur on the other side of the table, and said, "Look, [kid's name], this is what they get from the bird!"
The number of people I've encountered that aren't wearing a mask and then announce that they're sick or "under the weather" is astonishing. I was at the grocery store the other day checking out, and the guy in front of me made a point of sticking his face in the poor cashier's face.
And then he was like, "YEAH I'M NOT FEELING TOO GOOD I'VE BEEN SICK SINCE SATURDAY. I HOPE IT'S NOTHING SERIOUS". Honestly, I wish those kinds of people would just disappear. There's nothing that can be done to make them understand why they're selfish, terrible people.
26. On A Rant
My dad tends to rant and rave for hours at a time when he finds out that people don't agree with him. It's loud, he doesn't let anyone else talk, and if you try to leave, he follows you. It's pretty miserable. One of his rants ended with him saying that he couldn't understand why nobody is willing to have a rational discussion with him.
27. Hamming It Up
I was asked to facilitate a meeting about emergency communications. The person who called the meeting (fyi, an MBA) and I were going over topics people had suggested for discussion. One of the suggestions was ham radio. The MBAer said, “Oh, there must be a way to make a radio from a ham”. They were not joking. Not even a little.
28. Potty Problems
So my older sister, in her mid-20s at the time, was doing the potty dance at me while I was working on some schoolwork (early 20s for me). I asked her what she needed. “I feel like I have to pee, but I can’t pee!"
“You’re probably dehydrated. Drink some water. It’ll help”. Ten minutes later, she’s shouting from the back of the house that it’s not working. I had to tell her to not drink water while on the toilet. It doesn’t work that fast, so go drink it in her bedroom or something.
I was dating this guy in high school who was a year older than me, and one day we were out getting lunch with his mom. She and I are talking about Tennessee since she grew up there and I lived there for the first ten years of my life, and this man looks me in the eyes and with full sincerity says, "That's in Texas, right?"
Also at one point, he asked me how they got the butter into the microwavable popcorn and a few other instances that made me feel like I should be on some sort of watchlist for dating him and question how he passed the grade I was in at the time. Overall, not the sharpest tool in the shed.
30. On The Chopping Block
I once worked at a printing shop and we have large cutters for paper. This thing has a huge blade that is wicked sharp and can chop through 1,000 sheets of paper like they're butter. There are several safety devices on it because of this. A new dude was starting and I was showing him how to use the machine.
You have to key it off, set the paper and guides, turn it on, lock down the paper, then close a lid and push a button on the left and right side of the machine so that there is no way you have a hand in there.
This guy immediately starts trying to figure out how to bypass the safety controls on a machine he's never used and will absolutely separate his hand from his body in an instant. So I ask him why on earth he would want to risk chopping off a hand or finger. His response, "I'm smarter than a machine". That guy was a complete idiot!
31. Road Rage
Just last night I was coming from the movies and I had to get onto the highway and this car was exiting. They stayed at their speed and I slowed down because there was very little opening to merge and you're supposed to yield to the ramp. I looked over, into this guy's car—and my blood ran cold.
The driver was looking down at his phone. Then he finally looked up and notices that he was running out of real estate to exit. I lay into my horn because they've basically come to a crawl. It was infuriating. Get off your phone!
32. No Hablo Español
About ten-ish years ago I was hanging out with one of my sisters and we ended up going to her friend's place. While we were there, my best friend called me. He's Mexican and I was learning Spanish at the time, so I answered my phone in Spanish.
My sister's friend got angry and shouted, "YOU DO NOT SPEAK MEXICAN IN MY HOUSE!" I told him, "I'm speaking Spanish," expecting to get in an argument and possibly be kicked out. The dude calms down and says, "Oh, ok. Sorry".
That rendered me confused and completely speechless, until my best friend asked, "Bro, did I just hear what I think I heard?" All I could say was "uhh... Yeah..".
33. Made To Order
I worked in a restaurant as a sous-chef and we had a line cook who just wasn’t all there. He was a nice dude, and he meant well, but just all the lights were off. He once made a simple salad and dressed it with a tremendous amount of grated parmesan cheese. I asked him why he did that.
His reply was, “I like it”. I explained to him that we make stuff for the customer in a specific way. He fixes the plate and it sends it out. The next order is the same salad, and the same thing happens again. And again aaaand again. What I kept telling him wasn't clicking. But believe it or not, that wasn't his dumbest moment.
I also had to explain multiple times that you don’t stick your hand in a blender while it’s blending. Multiple times.
34. Across The Pond
I grew up in the UK and moved to the US, and I had the following conversation:
Her: “What language do you speak where you come from?"
Her: “No, I mean what actual language did you speak as you grew up?"
Me: “I grew up in England and they speak English there”.
Her: “You don't understand, we speak English in America, what language did you speak before moving here?"
35. Truth Teller
I got into a philosophical sort of debate with another student in high school on a band trip. He was sitting next to me so I overheard him say, "The only absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth," like it was a mind-blowing revelation of wisdom straight from the cosmos.
At face value, I thought he was just being facetious or ironic so I chuckled, and he got offended. He ranted for like 20 minutes in completely nonsensical circles and legit did not see the contradictions he was making the whole time. After five minutes of trying to point it out, I was just like...okay buddy.
36. Snake Charmer
I have convinced my co-workers that snake oil is real. They are wanting to buy some from me to get mad gains. I haven't sold them any yet because we're moving into winter and all the snakes are hibernating so all the snake oil I have is being saved to keep up my family's health. But come Spring time, when the snakes wake up, I'll have some more.
I'm banking on them forgetting by Spring.
37. Electrical Problems
I was a TA in high school for a regular high school. I think it was a world history course. So not honors, not "Academically Enriched," but not quite eating your own poop either. Anyways, I get to class and the power is out, so of course everyone is going nuts cause...it's dark, I guess?
So the teacher still wants to lecture and the kids all groan. That is until one yells out, "Let's watch TV!" YAAAAAY!! Everyone starts chanting, "TV! TV! TV!" I'll never forget the teacher's face as he looked at me. His eyes filled with disappointment about the future of our country.
Unable to realize that no electricity also meant no television. Sad.
38. Photograph Politics
My adult sister is a very liberal Democrat who constantly wants to argue politics with anyone who will listen. One day I was showing her some photographs I had recently taken on a trip to Washington DC. She looked at a picture of the Capitol Building and said, "Oooo, that's a pretty building. What is it?"
I blinked a couple of times before saying simply, "That's the Capitol Building, Sis". "The capitol building?" she asked. "What do they do there?"
39. Up In The Air
This was during my exchange year in the USA. I came from Germany, and in class, we had this thing where I introduced myself and everyone asked questions about me and my country. So this one girl raises her hand and seriously asks, “Do you have airplanes over there?"
I was completely stunned by this question and had to calmly explain that I actually flew there by plane...but to this day I'm not entirely sure if she maybe just trolled me. I mean, you can't be THAT uneducated?!
40. Playing Telephone
My friend once couldn't find his iPhone in his house, so he rang it from the landline. His iPhone rang…while sitting on the table in front of him. He picked it up and obviously, there was nobody on the other line. He screams upstairs to his parents, with one phone in each hand: "Who is ringing me?"
I just sat there facepalming.
41. Paper Pusher
I worked in the records section of a government department. An outside worker injured himself and could no longer perform manual work. So, my Manager decided he could help out in the records section by doing some filing. He is illiterate and can neither read nor write. Huge mistake.
Years later, we had over 80,000 files with wrong paperwork attached that we were still trying to clean up. The Manager knew this man could neither read nor write and told us later said, "How bad could it be?".......bad.
42. No Energy
This was in Earth Science, ninth grade. A girl starts asking the teacher about how your halo works. She explained that it's your body's energy reserve that swirls around you in ultraviolet light. Her question was about how your body keeps it from floating away. Half the class seemed to actually take her seriously.
(I think she meant Aura, but she used the word Halo. But it still would have been ridiculous pseudoscience either way).
43. Lost At Sea
We're talking about the missing Malaysian airplane and this girl in my class says, "Oh, it probably got lost in Panama". And I was like, "Why Panama?" She gave me this look like I was an idiot and said, "It's in the Bermuda Triangle". Me and the other guy we're talking to both look at each other like..??
And the dude says, "Jackie...Do you know what the seven continents are?" Obviously, we're messing with her because of course she would know, but she replies with: "Duh. America, Mexico, Britain, North Africa, South Africa, Europe, and China”. We laughed and then we realized she was serious.
44. Charged Up
I know a girl who had just gotten a new phone and didn't understand why it wasn't charging when we were out at a bar.
Her: "My phone battery is draining and I don't know why".
Me: "Because you're using it...?"
Her: "Yeah but it's supposed to have wireless charging, so why am I losing battery? Shouldn't it just stay charged forever?"
45. Times Change
One of my classmates told me once that two countries could have an entire month of difference between their "local dates". For example, today is October 18th in Canada, but it is November 18th in France "because, you see, the Earth spins". We were in a science class and had been taught about the Solar System for at least six years.
I tried to explain that the moon and sun were not the same sizes, then all of a sudden I found myself having to explain that the sun and the moon were in fact different and not just one side fire, one side rock.
They all laughed at my crazy theories, then asked, if the sun was so far away, why is it in the same sky during the day (on Earth) as the moon was at night? They peed themselves laughing, and I just laughed with them. This was a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with my 56-year-old mother-in-law.
Sometimes the argument is lost, whether you are right or not.
47. Doctor’s orders
We had a gentleman admitted to the ER after suffering a Pulmonary Embolism. As soon as he arrived he began screaming and belittling the ER staff for no reason, claiming nothing was wrong with him and he wanted to leave. The consequences were horrifying.
We tried to take him into Critical Care but he refused to lie down and eventually just pushed a medical student to the ground and ran out the door. His heart stopped in the parking lot about 50 feet from the Ambulance bay.
48. I Don’t Know My ABCs
When I was managing a GameStop, I told a seasonal employee to alphabetize the wall. Three-quarters of the way through, he stops to ask me the dumbest question imaginable: He's wondering if P comes before or after V. He was a high school senior.
I reminded him that there’s a song about it, and his response was “Yeah, I just hum it after I get to M”. After that, every applicant was made to sing the alphabet song.
49. All Booked Up
I went on a date with a nerdy girl, and all was going well. The capstone to the date was seeing Detective Pikachu. We were chilling in the theater a little early just gushing over Pokemon stuff. Trailers come up and one is for the Tolkien Biodrama, and I mention I might go see that one too when it comes out.
“...So what, he wrote a book". She rolls her eyes. I ask, "Not a fan of LoTR?" Her response was roughly, "I've only read three books in my life, and that was three too many". It turns out that the limit to how much she can stomach reading in a sitting was roughly the same length as a tweet.
The final nail in the coffin was her asking if it was wrong that she was getting turned on by the Ryan Reynolds Pikachu.
50. Baby Babble
My wife and I had a baby recently (about two weeks ago). My in-laws are over for a few weeks for supervision/support so it doesn't become overwhelming. My mother-in-law keeps worrying about why he doesn't play with all the toys she got him. Are you serious? He's two weeks old.
He can't even focus on thinsgs yet. My father-in-law wanted to take him to the emergency room yesterday because he got an eyelash in his eye. Twitches. My in-laws are nice people, but I have no idea how they raised two kids.