Amazed People Share Their ‘I Can’t Believe That Actually Worked’ Moment
Sometimes, we’re faced with situations where the only way to get out is by taking a long shot. If all the easy options are bad, then the only thing we can do is try our luck and hope for the best. A lot of the time, such an attempt falls short of the desired outcome, but occasionally we do get lucky, and that small chance is all we need to keep trying.
Most of us have a story of a time when we tried something we thought was doomed to fail, but the odds ended up turning in our favor, and we came out on top. These “I can’t believe that actually worked” type moments make for very entertaining and sometimes educational stories. Here are some of the luckiest stories from internet users who couldn’t believe their good fortune.
#1 Act Like You Belong
I went to a music festival a few years ago with a bunch of friends who only paid for the campsite, but not for the festival itself. I did pay for the festival and had my wristband on, but I joined my friends in trying to sneak in just for the fun of it. We walked around in the nearby fields and ended up somewhere backstage, hiding behind a tent.
The backstage was separated from the festival by a pop-up fence. They usually have an entrance with a security guard somewhere, but we couldn’t immediately locate it. So I came up with an idea: since I had my legit wristband on, I had nothing to lose. I just pretended to be really tipsy, having stumbled into the backstage by accident while trying to find a place to go #1.
As soon as I left our hiding spot, someone noticed me, and I just went, “Where the heck is the entrance here” in a tipsy voice, and the backstage guy showed me how to get “back” onto the festival terrain. I stumbled through the opening in the fence, and as soon as the guy was out of sight, my friends followed. My little piece of acting got five of my friends a free festival day that day. It still amazes me.
#2 Low Tech Solutions
When I was about 11 years old and computer monitors were all starting to become flatscreens, we bought a terrible little LCD flatscreen. The plug for the unit I bought ended up not having a third pin and it short-circuited within a week of me getting it. The monitor’s colors were all messed up, flickering between random colors. This happened momentarily every few minutes.
My parents refused to buy me a new one because they said I broke my new monitor. It wasn’t my fault! So, being the bored kid I was, I just did my best to use it anyway. I remember it so very clearly. I was playing Warrock, and the screen blacked out right before a firefight and got me killed. I thought to myself, if my parents don’t buy me a new one, I’ll just break it completely.
Without a second thought, I punched it in the center, right then and there. This fixed the monitor. There was discoloration around where I punched it and a line through the middle, but there were no more random colors or more flickering. Who would have thought that a good punch was all I needed to do to fix it?
#3 The Answer Is Always Tupac
I had a really tough math problem in Calc that I didn’t know the answer to. It had something to do with hip hop or rap sales. I didn’t know it, ran out of time, and it was the last question on the assignment, so I just wrote down the first answer that came to mind: “Rap died in 1996 with Tupac.” She marked it right, obviously out of oversight, but my buddy beside me tried really hard to answer it, got the wrong answer, and the professor marked him incorrect. He was flabbergasted.
#4 Happy Boars
I had to identify the preputial diverticulum on a pig in my anatomy final and I had a total brain fart on the name. I remembered the clinical correlation—you have to remove it if you want boars to mate—so I wrote down “mating station” as my answer. I ran out of time and had to submit my exam paper with “mating station” and figured it wasn’t even worth arguing for partial credit.
I came to find out at the review for the exam that someone else had argued that the professor himself called it the “mating station” in class. He had a lecture recording of him saying it and everything, so he grudgingly gave back points to anyone who had put that down. The funny thing is, I don’t even remember hearing him call it that during his lectures.
#5 A Very Private Detective
I experienced all kinds of red flags with this guy, but I had no real proof of his sociopath nature. Just several suspicions. So one day, I checked up on one of his stories. He’d have brand new vehicles for a while, then they’d mysteriously vanish. He claimed to be rich, from Mafia money, and he just “got tired” of that new Corvette or motorcycle or whatever.
So I called the dealership where his last expensive car had been “purchased” and pretended to be a private detective, working on behalf of a rich client. “Just checking out his reliability,” I told the guy. “We see he bought a Corvette…” The guy told me everything. Apparently, my friend put some short money down on the car, then failed to make even a single payment afterward.
He also somehow successfully evaded the repo man for MONTHS until they finally caught up to him. I couldn’t get away with it today, but back then, people were more naive and would spill the beans easily if you sounded legit on the phone. It was my one Veronica Mars moment and I have absolutely no regrets because it was so fun.
#6 Littlest Psychic
I told this girl in second grade that I was a psychic. She didn’t believe me, of course, so she asked me to predict something. I told her, “You’re going to scream right now,” and as she was saying, “That’s dumb. Why would I,” A kindergartner playing tag randomly fell and rolled back into her legs. She screamed at the top of her lungs, and she was totally scared of me after that.
#7 MacGyver Maintenance
I polish tile floors with a propane buffer. We were unloading the machine from the van when the wind slammed the door shut. The door hit the oil fill tube and shattered it. I needed to find a way to fix it so we could do the jobs for the night. It was 2 a.m. in the morning and the only place open was a big box store. I walked around the hardware and automotive department for about 20 minutes trying to find something to fix it.
I ended up with a pack of rubber feet for a barstool, self-tapping screws, and a roll of universal metal strap. I plugged the hole with the rubber foot. It was tapered and fit perfectly. Then, I ran the metal strap over the foot and screwed it into the frame of the machine. It took a week to get a replacement part and that held the whole time.
#8 Necessity On A Mountaintop
I was a network engineer for an ISP at the time, and I had to get to a mountaintop where one of our towers were located to perform some maintenance. I rode a snowmobile all the way up there, and when I got there I realized I forgot the keys to the enclosure. Not to be defeated, I tried to pick the lock, and I got it to open after about 20 minutes of trying. Yay, I didn’t have to quit for the day and got the work done.
#9 Go With The Flow
I was 12 years old and I didn’t know how to swim. I wound up in the deep end of a pool with dozens of other people who didn’t realize I disappeared underwater. I struggled for a second, then remembered something my childhood friend told me: “All you have to do to float is bend over in the water.” I never had the guts to try it when she told me, but I was about to die, so, I just let my body relax. I bent over in the water by my waist and floated to the surface, alive. I couldn’t believe it was as simple as she said.
#10 The Nicest Teacher Ever
My friend and I were in community college, and Halo 3 just came out. We had English papers the next morning, which we did not get done. When the teacher asked us why they weren’t done, I just told her we were up all night playing Xbox in front of the whole class. She laughed, appreciated the honesty, and let us turn it in late since we didn’t lie.
#11 Wasp, Managed
I worked in a grocery store as a manager and there was a wasp that was freaking everybody out. One thing led to another and, while my intent was for it to be a joke, I flicked my shoe off my foot and smashed the wasp against the ceiling with my shoe. It landed flat on the ground in front of me. I just stepped back in and kept going about my day. Everyone was standing in awe of my happy accident.
#12 Parental Magic
The first time my wife and I went out to eat with our new baby, he was sitting in a baby seat next to the table and started crying. I picked up a salt shaker and set it right in front of him, saying, “Watch this.” He looked at the salt and stopped crying. For the rest of the time we were at the restaurant, he was completely transfixed at the salt shaker.
#13 Something For Nothing
A company I’ve bought from before was offering free watches for customers who purchased over $300. I added 4 of the “free watches” which were usually $75 into the cart, and it registered as $300. I went to check out the items and $300 appeared in the bill. I added my shipping address and two weeks later, they came.
#14 The Currency Accepted Everywhere
I was in line to board my flight and when I reached the gate agent, I asked if I could be upgraded to first class, just as a joke. After a bunch of typing on her computer, she said sure and asked how I would like to pay for it. I said, “By asking nicely?” To my amazement, she gave me a boarding pass for my new first class seat.
#15 Meeting The Band
My sister and I went to a show together. She’d been going through some really rough times. I wrote the band a letter about her and asked one of their merch guys if he could deliver it to them, hoping they could just give her a shout out during the set or something. About 20 minutes later, I got a phone call from the band’s manager.
He told us to go to the side of the stage between the opener and the headliner, and we got to watch the whole show from the side of the stage. They gave us a VIP meet and greet pass. The bassist came up and we learned that he was the one who pushed for us to get what we got. He was so nice about everything. He gave my sister a hug and posed for a photo with her.
#16 Proved Wrong
My entire grade went on a field trip to an arcade to celebrate completing middle school. I was at a claw machine (not sure exactly what it’s called; I’m talking about the machine where you direct a claw and try to grab a toy with it) and I asked my friend to look at the claw from the side to see if it was lined up with the toy I wanted.
Just then, a boy from another class walked up and said to me, “You know that those are a scam, right?” I was flustered and hit the button to lower the claw without even waiting for my friend to tell me if it was lined up properly. The claw came back up with TWO toys and dropped them in the collection box. The boy was silent for a moment before saying, “That was actually pretty good” and walking away.
#17 This Is My Badge, Let Me Pass
I went to a dirt track race in the middle of Illinois. My friend went to buy his own tickets. I walked up to the front gate and pulled out a “Missouri Department of Conservation Heritage Card” that I bought for $2 to renew my turkey hunting tags. I walked up to the front gate (tipsy, mind you) and said in a friendly but stern voice: “Sir, this is my Missouri Department of Conservation Heritage Card.”
I gestured to the gate and followed up with, “I think this should be fine enough.” He replied “Missouri conser-what?” Even more sternly, I said, “Missouri Department of Conservation Heritage Card, sir. It says right there.” He then said, “Oh right. Department—er—Missouri, yes, yes, right away go on through.” I said thanks and walked in. I only saved like $7 but it was a fun story when my buddy asked how I got in before him.
#18 When In Doubt, Hit It
The fans on my old MacBook had stopped working. I searched on YouTube for a fix and found a video that said, “Sometimes there can be lint or dust clogging up the mechanisms. A good thumping can get them back in order.” The guy in the video proceeded to hammer the computer with his fists and the fans came back on. I shrugged, gave it a shot, and to my surprise, they hummed back to life and I was back in business. I couldn’t believe it.
I half-ran a stop sign and a cop pulled me over. By half-ran, I mean, I was doing a California slow-roll-through, and halfway through, I saw the cop and stopped. He walked up, asked me if I knew I ran the stop sign, and I said yes. Then, I don’t why, but I asked: “May I have your mercy?” He took a step back, looked a little perplexed, ran my license, came back, and just said, “Today, I am merciful. Stop running stop signs.” He let off with a warning.
#20 Better Than “Open Sesame”
My computer’s CD player was jammed. I tried all the technical steps I could think of back in 1999 for my old beige-colored tower. Nothing worked. After several minutes of being super frustrated, I yelled at it, gave it a soft smash with my fist, and it immediately opened. My friend was shocked. Now he thinks I’m some sort of troubleshooting genius.
#21 Crazy Cheap
The brakes on my SUV went completely out one day, so instead of paying for a tow truck, my dad decided to connect my car in front of his pickup truck with a big chain. My car could still accelerate just fine; there were just no brakes, so we called each other on our cell phones and every time I needed to slow down or stop, I’d just tell him to hit his brakes on the pickup. It was completely stupid, illegal, and definitely dangerous but we got there just fine and I didn’t have to drop a hundred bucks on a tow truck.
#22 Make Way For The King!
I’m a straight dude with a lot of gay friends. One of them jokingly refers to me as the “King of the Gays.” I was visiting some friends in another city a few weeks ago and we tried to go into a gay bar, but the doorman told me there was a cover charge. I, being tipsy, blurted out, “BUT I’M KING OF THE GAYS!” He laughed and let me in.
#23 Nope, A Bard
A baby deer got trapped in our back yard and was throwing itself into the chainlink fence. I remembered reading Cicero’s Pro Archia, where he mentioned that sometimes animals react to music. So I told my wife to grab my guitar and I played a few chords. Sure enough, the deer calmed down and started walking towards the music.
When I stopped playing for a second, it instantly freaked out again and started running into the fence. Then, as soon as I started again, it calmed down and walked towards the sound. Once it got about half way, it saw the gate and ran out. My wife thinks I’m a wizard now. I’m basically an animal whisperer with a guitar.
#24 What Siblings Are For
Once when I was a kid, we picked up burgers for lunch on the way home. I got settled in at the table and realized that I forgot to grab ketchup. I didn’t want to stand up again, so I turned to my younger sister and said, “Ugh… I wish we weren’t out of ketchup,” to which she replied, “Huh? No, we aren’t!” We went back and forth a few times until she angrily stomped to the fridge, grabbed it, and slammed it down right in front of me.
#25 Faked It Until I Made It
I was a photographer in the army, and I had tickets to go to this music festival called VirginFest. I showed up with my work camera (Canon 5DMkii) and went straight to the media booth. I acted confused as to why my name wasn’t on the list and answered every question they had with “I don’t know, I was just told to be here and shoot.”
I then pretended to make some phone calls off to the side. 10 minutes later, this lady pulls up with a golf cart and hands me a media sticker and wristband. That was the day I shot my first concert which included Weezer, Blink 182, Taking Back Sunday, and Public Enemy. I used that day to make friends with other photographers and land more gigs later on.
#26 The Cure For All Ills
My friend and I were going to the mall in her car. She started the car and everything seemed fine. She put it in reverse but all it seemed to do was put the car in neutral. No amount of pushing on the gas made the car move. The only reason we were moving back at all was because of the incline of the driveway.
Once we rolled back on the flat ground, she put it in drive hoping that it would fix itself. Nope, we still weren’t moving at all. In a moment of what is either brilliance or sheer stupidity, I said, “Why don’t you turn it off and turn it back on.” Like it was a computer. Sure enough, when she turned it off and turned it back on, everything was fine. It was like nothing was ever broken.
#27 An Easily Bribed Cat
I had a cat that got sick a few times in a row. After two visits to the veterinarian, she started freaking out, throwing tantrums whenever she saw her carrier. It was impossible to get her into the thing. So we came up with the idea of baiting her into the carrier by putting a little slice of sausage inside the carrier where she couldn’t reach it without getting in. We thought she wouldn’t buy it, but a girl has to eat, I suppose?
#28 Baby’s Off Button
We were at grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. My wife has the two-month-old in the baby sling trying to get her to sleep, walking around and bouncing her. She comes over to me saying she can’t get baby to sleep. I said, “Did you try touching her nose? It’s like an OFF button.” I reached over, booped the baby’s nose, and the baby closed her eyes. She was passed out for the next couple of hours while we ate dinner. I still can’t believe that worked.
#29 Tea Towel To The Rescue
When I was 16, I was home by myself while my parents were on holiday. I got a little overconfident in my cooking skills and ended up starting a chip pan oil fire. I was frantically running around the kitchen and vaguely remembered hearing about throwing a tea towel over the flames to put it out. I did it as a last gasp effort and it actually worked, but I was all ready to grab my cat and abandon the house if it hadn’t.
#30 Money From Nowhere
A website was offering gift cards for half off. So I bought a $50 gift card for $25. Instead of actually sending you an actual card, they emailed you a code so you could use the card instantly. I then got the idea to see if I could buy a gift card with a gift card. I added a $100 gift card to my cart and checked out… it worked.
So I did it again, and again…. until I turned my $25 into $400. I purchased a new snowboard from the same website. I was sure that I would get a call or email from them saying that it was a bug in the system, but five days later, a new snowboard showed up at my door. I’m pretty sure they changed the system after a bunch of people figured out that loophole.
#31 Exorcising An Old Toy
While helping my best friend clean out his basement, we happened upon his old Bop-It. The thing was busted because the sounds all played out super slow and demonic. As a joke, I chucked it at his concrete basement wall while saying to him, “Hey, do you think this will fix it?” It slammed into the wall, then fell to the floor, landing on the large button and letting out a crystal clear “Bop it!”
#32 Unique Way To Stop A Bully
I was pretending to be a palm reader once in my math class, and I’d done my research so I didn’t look like an idiot. Anyway, there’s this line that supposedly shows who your guardian angel is by a long stretch of the imagination. The idea is that the line that wraps around your thumb has marks on it, and each major one is the death of the person who will be your guardian angel.
So I was playing this older mean kid and I said, with practiced confidence, that someone he looked up to died when he was 12. It ended up checking out, at least by the lines. He went silent for a few seconds and looked up with tears in his eyes. His grandpa had died the day after his 12th birthday. He never was mean to me again.
#33 Percussive Maintenance
I repair slot machines for a living. One was frozen with well over a thousand bucks on it. All the doors were closed, there were no jams in the dollar acceptor or the voucher printer, and all of the lights were on. I thought the game finally died and that we have to reimburse the guest for their lost money, which could take a while.
The guest jokingly asked if it just needed a kick to work again, and I figured that since the game was old and durable, I’d indulge him. I kicked it, and the game came right back up. The guest proceeded to win another $500 or so from that spin. The game was good for the rest of the day, too; no errors or anything. I played it off as gracefully as I could, but I think that was my life’s peak and I’ll never look that cool to anybody ever again.
#34 Does Anyone Understand Art?
It was in art class back in high school. It takes me a long time to do art. I don’t know why. I’m pretty decent at drawing something I’m looking at because I just draw every line I can see in the same shape and direction without skipping anything. However, I’m terrible at creating something out of nothing… Definitely not my forte.
Anyway, everyone else was about two or three projects ahead of me, and the next project I had to do was a darn coil pot with all these thin, long rings of clay that take forever to make. The pots had to reach a minimum height of 15 to 20 coils. It was super time-consuming and I was already behind, so I said screw it. I quickly rolled up 5 giant rings that reached the minimum height and started on the next project.
The teacher came over, saw my coil pot, and called the entire class to stop what they were doing and come to my table. I thought I was about to get chewed out by him in front of everyone, but it turns out he was just amazed by my pot and had never seen anything like it. He thought it was the coolest thing ever. I got full points for it and it was definitely the highest grade I ever got in that class. He even kept it to put in his display case in the hall.
#35 Hail The Teacher Voice
I had a customer who left his order sitting with us for several months. We’re a specialty shop that typically holds orders for only 60 days, and this guy was way past that. Others had tried calling to no avail, so finally one day, I called a left a voicemail using my “teacher voice” telling him he needed to come and get his order. Guess who showed up the next day.
#36 Smooth Sharpshooter
In 11th grade, I had a girl over to my house that I had a crush on. We were sitting in my bedroom listening to some Pearl Jam. As one song ended and the next track began, she said, “I don’t really like this song, where is your remote? I’ll change it.” I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I said, “Oh I don’t need a remote.”
I had a stack of pennies next to my bed. I grabbed one and chucked it at my radio which was sitting about 10 feet away and nailed the next track button. She turned and looked at me with absolute shock. I played it off like a god. The fact that I hit it on the first try, I have to think that she bought into the fact that what she just witnessed was my normal method for long distance radio control.
#37 Black Friday Delivery Deal
We were moving and my fiance needed a new desk. I saw one on a website on sale for $150, which was half the regular price. He decided to spring for it and added it to his cart. Then, he decided he might as well pick it up in store, so he kept switching between delivery and pickup from local locations. Out of nowhere, the total dropped to $0. We took a screenshot and waited for the price to return. We went through all the steps, got the $0 invoice, the shipping notification, etc. It was delivered about a week later and no one ever called about it.
#38 Dangerous Licensing
I fooled the DMV into thinking my out-of-state learner’s permit was an actual driver license. I got it “renewed” and walked out of the DMV with a new class D driver license. I had never driven a car or even taken driver’s ed.
#39 New Use For Pantyhose
The alternator belt on my old Neon snapped while I was at a friends house. I had to get back to my house where all my tools were. I was a teen at the time, so towing for $125 was out of the question. I grabbed what looked like used pantyhose from my friend’s garbage bin, looped the pantyhose around the crank and alternator pulleys, tied a knot, and miraculously made it home.
#40 For The Family!
My friend’s dad had an old Windows 2000 computer with a dead hard drive. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue they could just get a new one, but unfortunately, this hard drive had the only backup copy of some very important family pictures. I went through every troubleshooting step I could think of in order to recover the data and nothing. As far as I could tell, the drive was completely shot.
So, in one last desperate attempt, I blew on the connectors and the ports like I was trying to get my NES cartridge to work, flicked the drive with my finger and gave it a small dramatic speech about needing to stay alive for the family. The thing booted, stayed on long enough for me to grab the files, and then went dead.
#41 We Totally Work Here
When I was in high school, some friends of mine found blue coveralls at the local thrift store for something like $3 a set. We each bought a set, put them on and went down the hill to the mall. We walked into Sears, picked up a recliner from the floor, carried it out to my station wagon and drove away. I suppose it’s true that if you look like you belong, then you belong.
#42 Forgiven For Stupidity
I did a technically illegal pass on a backroad. The dude was doing 30 in a 40, so I zipped around him real quick right as a cop came over the hill behind us. I got pulled over, of course. He asked me what the reason for my illegal pass was. “Stupidity,” was what I said. He laughed for like 15 seconds, ran my license and insurance, then let me off with a warning and a lecture. I like him.
#43 Let Them Eat Steak
As a post-doc, I was assigned to take a visiting professor out to dinner. The department would reimburse me, and I’m not one to pass up a free meal. I jokingly asked if the department would cover $200 for dinner for two people, expecting a no. I was floored when the answer was yes. Apparently, no one had ever asked that question before, and there was no cap on the amount. My boss was surprisingly cool with the idea. Five minutes later, I was Googling “best steakhouse in the city.”
#44 Serendipity For Two
My roommate was brand new to college and told me: “Man, we have to go meet some girls.” I said, “The girls’ dorms are right over there. Go knock on the first door you see and invite them to our room to play games.” As I expected, he chickened out and wouldn’t do it. Wanting to prove how much of a sissy he was, I walked right up and knocked on the first door. Fast forward to now: I’ve been married to the girl who answered it for seven years.
#45 Xbox Torturer
My Xbox 360 stopped reading disks after some time and eventually stopped ejecting the disks. I learned that getting the disks back was as easy as prying out the disc tray with the claw end of a hammer, and to get it to read the disk, I had to listen to the sounds the Xbox made to determine whether it was going to work or not.
If the fans didn’t start up and I didn’t hear the disc spinning, I would hit the Xbox several times and repeat that until it would read the discs. I eventually perfected this art, much to the bewilderment and amusement of my friends, as well as horrified onlookers. I am the Xbox whisperer. No broken Xbox has a chance against me.