You shouldn't call 911 unless it's an emergency. This was one of the first rules our parents instilled on us as kids. But how do you stop a toddler from accidentally dialing emergency services and babbling gibberish to the operator, or a two-year-old from calling 911 because he wants breakfast? You don't. Kids are kids and as we all know, they do and say the darndest things. These 911 operators and family members recount their funniest stories about children calling 911 for the most ridiculous reasons.
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 Calling Mom
My mom was a 911 operator for a while. When she told us about her new job, she told my younger brother and I that she got a job at the place where you call 911. The next day, my mom went to work at her new job. My brother, who was in second grade at the time, called 911 just to tell my mom about his day.
#2 Brother Problems
My uncle is a dispatcher in my home town. He always tells me this story of a four-year-old who called 911 because his older brother farted on him.
#3 Steve the Gecko
My cousin called because she was giving her lizard a bath and it went down the drain. It was like a tiny house gecko named Steve. She called 911 crying that Steve was drowning and had gone down the drain. By the time the dispatcher figured out Steve was a gecko, the police and fire department were already pulling in. She was like six or so and I still tease her about it. I do feel bad for Steve though.
#4 The First Time is Scary
A young teen just had her first menstrual cycle.
#5 Arrest My Mother, Please
My dad was the chief of police when I was growing up and I spent a lot of time at the station. When I was four or five, my mom wouldn't let me do something so I called the emergency line (pre-911 days) and after the "XXX Police, what is your emergency" greeting, I very sternly requested that they arrest my mother.
The dispatcher recognized the address I was calling from and called my dad to tell him that I was on the emergency line and what I wanted. I got a lecture that night, but from what my dad says, they had a good laugh about it at the station.
#6 Sibling Rivalry
My older brother said he called the cops on me for something, so I called them back to say nothing was wrong and that he was lying because I was scared. My dad was not happy.
#7 An Old Man
My kid was 17 months old and impossible to tie down. While I was cooking dinner, he went into the study and somehow dialed triple zero (emergency line in Australia). I think he was trying to talk to his Nanna, but panicked when a stranger’s voice came down the line instead.
I caught him and hung up the phone, not knowing he’d actually dialed anyone. Then I went back to cooking butter chicken for dinner. Fourteen minutes later the police are on my doorstep. They came in urgently, looking for “an old man who might have fallen down”. The emergency line operator had asked several questions, but the only response she had gotten was laboured, heavy breathing that she thought was an old man too injured to speak. Luckily for us, it was just sneaky and confused toddler wheezing.
We figured it out and I brought my kid out to meet the policemen. One of them said “Yeah, that’d be the perp. Look at the guilty look on his face.” Funnily enough, my kid did have an expression of extreme chagrin. Possibly the first and last time he ever felt guilty for anything.
#8 The Simpsons Emergency
My brother called the police on me because I wouldn't let him watch the Simpsons when we were younger. He told them I was being mean to him. They called my parents back for a very interesting conversation.
#9 Burger War
When we were younger and home alone, my sister called the police on my brother because they both wanted the same In-N-Out Burger. We had four identical burgers, but they wanted the same one. The police came to our house and explained to us why we shouldn't call the police for no reason. Our mom came home in the middle of their lecture. She was not happy.
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#10 Fire Safety
When I was four years old I was watching a fire safety video. They told me to call 911, so I did.
#11 Toddler Gibberish
My son managed to hit the emergency dialer on my cellphone while I was doing laundry. I heard him happily babbling toddler gibberish before saying, "Kay, bye!" And handing me the phone. He pretends to talk on it so I thought nothing of it until I heard, "Hello? Hello?" On the phone. I apologized a LOT and removed the option for emergency dialing without actually unlocking the screen. The lovely lady on the other end didn't seem too upset by it.
#12 Bring Doritos
My buddy’s dad was a state trooper. He was home alone when he was like 12 and called 911 and asked them to, “Tell daddy to bring Doritos when he comes home."
#13 We Need a Vegetarian
Me: 911 where is the emergency?
Little kid: Uh... yeah... I... we need a... a vegetarian.
Me: (long pause) A what?
Kid: A vegetarian.
Me: (Silence as I am processing this)
Kid: For my dog. He's sick.
Me: Ohhhh.. okay you need a veterinarian. Sorry buddy but 911 is for human emergencies..!
Kid: Oh, okay bye.
#14 Dumb Brain
I worked for 000, the Australian version. Kiddie calls are rare, but kinda stressful as you have to take everything seriously in case it's real (e.g a four-year-old called to say he couldn't go downstairs because he was scared a zombie wound eat him. Turns out his dad just had a heart attack and this was the only way he could think to explain it). The best was probably a little boy calling me to tell me his sister is "a dumb brain." Then he called me a dumb brain too.
#15 No Emergency
Not an operator, but my uncle who drinks quite a bit would show up at our house growing up. Usually not a big deal, but we often had to call the police to take him back to the halfway house. One time this happened while my mom was out, so my brother called 911. When they answered “Hello 911, what’s your emergency?” My brother, who was maybe 10, answered: “Hello, this is NOT an emergency.”
I worked as a 911 operator while I was in college and one time a young child called in. It sounded like they were maybe four or five from their speech. The first thing they said when I answered was, "Help I pooped and farted." I could barely contain my laughter as this young child was essentially screaming, "I pooped and farted! I need help 'cause I pooped and farted."
A couple of years back I got a call from a kid who was about six or seven, stating that his brother (who was about the same age) had hit him. This is more of a parental than a police matter, so I politely asked him if I could speak to a parent. "NO!" was his reply. I lowered my voice an octave and said "Let me talk to your mom or dad". Same reply from the kid.
I went into semi-angry, but totally serious "ADULT" mode and firmly said, "Put one of your parents on the phone or I'm sending the police to 1234 Main Street" (he was calling from a landline so I had his address). He paused for a moment, and then I could hear him start throwing up in the background of the phone call out of fear. We did wind up sending the police out to chat with the young man as I was never able to speak to a parent to verify that everything was okay. He received a lecture.
#18 I Want Breakfast
On a Saturday morning, about 7 a.m. I was "sleeping in" and my two-year-old called 911 because he wanted breakfast. I didn't know until a sheriff was knocking on the front door doing a welfare check. I would love to have heard that conversation.
#19 Rebellious Kid
Not an operator, but a responder. A few years back, one kid called 911 on his brother not letting him play Xbox. My friend, the operator, put me in for a conference call. In the background, I heard this guy shout, "HE'S TAKING THE TRUCK!" Apparently, the parents made the kid get off the Xbox and go outside, so the kid did the logical thing. He stole the UPS truck parked across the street.
#20 Stolen Candy
A four-year-old called in to say that his dad took his trick-or-treat candy. Yeah, he took it so the kid wouldn't fill his face in a single night. The dad was planning to ration it out.
#21 Making Whoopie
I had a six-year-old girl accidentally call 911 saying that her mommy and daddy were making whoopie. I had flashbacks of Family Feud and laughed so hard. I waited a few minutes and called back. Her mom tried to play it off saying they were wrapping Christmas presents.
#22 Silly Names
I had a kid today call in. He told me he hated me and that I was a "butt crack." He was probably about six years old. Also, a little while ago, we had two kids who were around seven prank calling from an untraceable cell phone. They called us all sorts of hilarious names. At the moment, it was super annoying but now we all just laugh about it.
About ten years ago, my preteen sister accidentally called 911 while calling her best friend and then hung up as soon as she realized her mistake without saying anything to the operator. She didn't tell anyone in the family what she had done for fear of getting in trouble and hoped it would just go away.
This was seen as suspicious and a police officer already driving in the area was sent to our house. It just so happens that around that same time, my mom's sister was visiting and she was leaving. The cop arrived just as she pulled out of our driveway. My sister actually saw the cop pass just after she left, and was horrified, but hoped it was just a coincidence and still didn't tell anyone. The cop decided to follow our aunt and pulled her over a block away. The mistake was figured out pretty quickly though, and he let her go without ever coming back to our house.
#24 Itsy Bitsy Spider
My spouse did 911 dispatch for a short time and once had a call consisting of several toddlers all singing Itsy Bitsy Spider together.
#25 Dad's Digging A Hole
The kid in question must've been about three or four. His mom put him down for a nap and went out jogging. His dad was outside doing yard work. The kid woke up early, looked for mommy around the house but couldn't find her, so he called 911.
Kid: "I can't find Mommy anywhere!"
Operator: "Is your daddy around?"
Kid: "Yeah, but he's outside, digging a big hole."
Cops got there fast and didn't leave until mom got back from her run.
#26 Poor Bird
Not a kid, but a man called super freaked out because he had found a bird with a broken wing. I couldn't even get mad because he cared so much about that little bird. We ended up transferring him to the wildlife rescue.
#27 It's Okay, Everyone's Alive!
Not a 911 operator, but my parents love to bring this story up so I thought I’d share. One morning when I was about four or five, I called 911 to tell them that nobody in the house was dead. They wanted to speak to my parents, and I kept insisting they didn’t need to because no one was dead. Eventually, I hung up on them and they called back and got to speak to my parents, WHO WERE ALIVE AS PROMISED.
#28 Don't Like Fish
When I was four, I called 911 on my parents for forcing me to eat fish for dinner. They promptly called back and my mom answered... let’s just say I never complained about eating fish ever again.
#29 Pocket Dialed
I once pocket dialed 911 while playing Airsoft. When I got back to my car and was able to look at my phone, I saw I had a 12-minute phone call and several missed calls from (what I later found out was) the local sheriff's office. The secretary was not happy. When I finally got to talk to the sheriff, he laughed it off and said it was no biggie, as it was in the middle of nowhere and nothing really ever happened.
#30 Where Are We?
My dementia client called once to ask for the number for Air Canada. He thought we were stuck in England (We're in Canada!).
#31 Is This Real?
I called 911 when I was about five or so just to see if it would work. Naturally, an operator answered almost immediately and caught me off guard. When asked what the emergency was all I could manage to say was my name before I quickly hung up the phone. They called back and talked to my mom who wasn't thrilled when they asked if I was okay.
#32 He Won't Let Me In
I called the cops on my older brother when I was six. He wouldn’t let me into our room. They called back and told my parents.
#33 They Aren't Waking Up
This kid called in because his parents weren't "waking up". He was very scared and sobbing. I was on the phone with him while we dispatched EMT/Police (OD) to the residence. I was trying to get him to focus on me when he farted very loudly. It made my day.
#34 Don't Pick Up
When I was a little kid I was in the house by myself. The phone rang so I debated whether to pick it up or let it ring. I ended up picking it up but by the time I did, the prerecorded message was already in progress. It was about how you could call 9 now. What I didn't here was that calling 9 was short for 911.
So I, being curious, called 9. I panicked pretty hard when I heard the operator and hung up without saying anything. They called back but my dad had come in from the backyard and hurriedly answered the phone. He ended up convincing them not to send a car. Now, why was I alone? All the adults were in the backyard setting up for my cousin's wedding. She didn't know about it until I told her when I was 17.
#35 Santa Made a Mistake
Not an operator, but a five-year-old family member of mine once called 9-1-1 to tell them that Santa must have gotten the wrong letter from him, because all he got for Christmas was clothes.
#36 What's Your Emergency?
I was on the job when 911 was first implemented in my country in the late 1980s. When I answered, “911, what is your emergency," the kid said, "My private part is too short” Of course, he hung up laughing, not realizing that with 911 we knew where he was. Thirty minutes later the sergeant had him at the station explaining to me why he used such bad language "to such a nice lady." I just retired last year after 30 years in the communication center.
#37 What Are My Options?
A nine-year-old boy called once because he wanted to speak with a deputy "about his options." He was being bullied by a bigger kid on the bus and was afraid things were going to escalate to a physical fight. He wanted to ask the deputy to talk to the other kid or arrest him so he would stop being a bully.
#38 She's Being Mean!
Not a 911 operator, but my oldest sister was babysitting us one night and around 9:00 p.m. she told my younger sister (who was seven at the time) that it was time for her to go to bed. My younger sister proceeded to call the cops on her older sister and told them, "She's being mean to me!"
#39 Wow, This Is Real!
Me: 911 Where's your emergency?
Caller kid: Wow, this really is the cops! Click.
#40 What a Sweetheart
I had a little one call in to our center about 10 times, just so she could tell us that she loved us and appreciated us and that we were doing such a great job. Our center is pretty big, so she would get a different person almost every time. However, if she got you more than once, she would say something like, "No no no, I already told you! I need to tell someone else. You're great, but they need to know they're great, too! Okay, I love you, bye!"
It was all from a disconnected cell and we weren't really getting a great phase on her location, but she stopped after about an hour, so it wasnt super concerning. It made my day! I hope she grows up and keeps that big heart of hers, we need more people like her in the world.
#41 Is Your Refrigerator Running?
I had a kid ask me if my refrigerator was “working.” I replied with “Do you mean is it running?” He cursed at me and then hung up.
#42 Let's Chat About Fortnite
My favourite call was recently from an 11-year-old kid who was walking home from school and got lost. He called 999 (the UK's emergency number) in a panic, so I told him to stay where he was until officers arrived. We didn't have officers available for about 30 minutes, so we just spent half an hour chatting about Fortnite.
#43 Homework's a Crime
My sister is a 911 operator and a kid stole her principal's phone to call the police because they thought homework was a crime.
#44 Pay My Phone Bill!
Cell phones with no service can still dial 911. It's a nuisance because we can't call them back and rarely can trace them. Some people give them to their infants to play with and they end up dialing 911 over and over. One night it was so bad we sent an officer to look for the phone based off of GPS. The operator was warning the child that dialing 911 is illegal and he could get in trouble. The kid, without missing a beat, said, "Then put some minutes on my phone!" We kept that recording for a long time.
#45 They'll Be Fine
I answered and there was a second of giggling then the phone disconnected. As with all hang-ups, I called back. A child answered with a hello, "Hi this is krisphoto from the 911 center. We just received a call from this line." Click. I called back. It rings at least six or seven times before a very tired sounding man answered. "Hi, this is krisphoto from the 911 center. We just received a call from this line?"
"No," he responded, obviously not fully awake. "Yes, sir. We heard some noises then we called back and a child answered." There was a pause and then we heard him shout, "Jane, John, get in here now! Did one of you call 911?" Pause for what I can only assume was some vigorous head shaking no. "The police are on the phone and say someone did." There's a loud gasp. "John did it, daddy! I told him not to! I can't go to jail!" She ratted him out immediately. Turns out poor dad was home sick with the flu. Mom had run to the store thinking they'd be fine 20 minutes watching TV.