When we’re younger, it’s no surprise that our main source of information is our family members. Sadly, they know this and can’t help but mess with us. Between scamming siblings out of Cadbury eggs to telling your children that planted Skittles will grow a rainbow, these are some of the craziest things people were told as kids.
#1 Sound of Summertime
I remember when I was younger that my brother convinced me that the sound of cicadas in the summertime was actually the sound of the sun’s rays beating down on Earth. For years I believed him and would comment on how it “sounds” really hot outside. Our parents are actually deaf, so they just went along with it.
#2 That’s Extra
When I was a little kid, I think my dad was trying to curb my electricity usage. So, when I was growing up, he told me that every time you flipped the light switch, it cost an extra $0.25 on his electricity bill. I honestly just suspect that dad was trying to stop my light switch raves… but they were so much fun.
#3 High School Records
When I was a senior in high school, I was an aide in guidance for one period. I remember one time the guidance secretary had me move student records into a different room. When I mentioned this to my boyfriend at the time, he told me to go look at his and see all the comments and cool things his record gained over the years. He was so enthusiastic about knowing everything teachers had to say about him within 13 years. He was pretty devastated when I told him that the student records were literally grades and contact information.
#4 You’re Locked In
It was late at night, we were driving home, and I was at that age where I asked a question every three minutes. For some reason, I was the only person in my family who had never been baptized and my little cousin had just recently been baptized, so I wanted to learn more. I asked my mom, “If you get baptized, do you have to become a priest?” She probably didn't listen and I can't blame her because she gave me a very offhand "yes." I was so smug knowing my cousin was resigned to be a priest and I could be whatever I wanted.
#5 Tend to the Sting
When I was a kid, I got a bee sting on my foot and my mom said to our nanny, "Quick, get the meat tenderizer!" I was already crying because of the bee sting, but at that point I started absolutely howling. See, "meat tenderizer" is apparently a seasoning that has enzymes in it that can help neutralize bee stings. But the only "meat tenderizer" I was aware of was a big wooden mallet with spikes that my mom would use to pound cutlets of meat.
#6 Strict Rules
When I was growing up, my teachers in school used to say, "Next year they're going to be a lot harder on you about this." I also heard, "the rules only get more strict.” I heard some variation of these phrases at the end of every year in elementary school, but by high school, the rules were much less strict.
#7 Appetizers for Dinner
When I was a child, I was told you weren’t allowed to have appetizers for your main course, and obviously you are very much allowed to if that is what you desire for dinner. As I got older, I realized that you can totally have appetizers for dinner and the restaurant probably doesn't even care about your order.
#8 Wheelbarrow of Intestines
I remember that my second-grade teacher once told us that our small intestine could wrap around the entire world if we unwound it. I believed that for an embarrassingly long time. That is before I told my mother and she laughed at me, asking where I kept my wheelbarrow full of intestines. I mean, fair enough.
#9 Dad’s Wisdom
When I was young, I asked my dad all sorts of questions. Once, I asked him what the bump strips in the road before stop signs were for. Without hesitation he told me, "It's so the blind people know when to stop." I never questioned it until I was in high school and a friend asked me what the bump strips in the road before a stop sign were for. Right as I began to respond, I realized I could no longer trust anything my dad ever told me.
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#10 Attack From Above
I was told that when you go to the bathroom on a plane and flush, your stuff literally falls down but it all falls apart into small pieces before it hits anyone. I didn't find out the truth until I was 24. I went on a trip with my best friends and they were confused as to why I refused to go to the bathroom. I told them I had to wait until the plane hit a certain altitude so I don't attack someone underneath.
#11 Break and Feast
In the third grade, my class was split up into other classes (my teacher was away) for the day. I asked the teacher how to spell "breakfast" during journal writing time. He told me, "How do you spell break? And how do you spell feast? Now put them together." The next day in spelling class I spelled breakfast as b-r-e-a-k-f-e-a-s-t. I’ll never forget.
#12 It’s Froggy Out
My mom told me and my twin sister that when it was foggy outside it was because the frogs were singing. She would then say, "It's froggy outside." My twin literally argued with a teacher about what fog is and where it came from. She told a whole class it was because frogs were singing and then went home and told my mom that the teacher was crazy and teaching us wrong information.
#13 A Place for Kids
My mom dragged me to a lot of adult-only work-related events when I was a kid as she had this need to show off her family. She was basically one of those mothers who everyone likes to complain about, the ones who just won't leave their kid at home because she's so well behaved and would love attending a six-hour-long evening of grownup stuff.
Every time I asked, "Would there be other kids there?" and every time my mother would answer, "Yes. There will be loads of other children there." And every time we arrived, the youngest person there was 30. But I was at that age where you trusted what your parents told you, so even though deep down I knew my mom was lying, there was always a spark of hope that she wasn't.
#14 We All Float
My dad used to be the biggest tooter. They were so bad I used to cry when he did it. He told me if he didn't let one go, he would blow up like a big balloon and float away. I 100% believed this until I was about 13. I somehow associated it with the Harry Potter movie where his aunt floats away. Honestly, when I found out, I was kind of relieved. I remember as a kid trying to pass wind as much as I could in literal fear of blowing up and floating away.
#15 Packing Up Early
My high school teachers used to be so picky about packing up before the bell and always said in college, the professors would fail us for packing up before we were dismissed. During my first semester, one of my professors let us out 15 minutes early because we packed our bags and she was like, “Okay, yeah, bye.”
#16 You Can’t Have Your Pudding
Last week, for the first time (I’m 24 years old) I realized that you could eat half of your dinner, take the other as takeout for lunch later in the week and save some belly room for dessert. I genuinely used to think that you could only order yourself dessert in a restaurant if you finished your entree first.
#17 A Helping Hand
As a kid, I was made to believe that if you swallowed a watermelon seed, a watermelon wouldn’t grow in your stomach because that's the wrong biology. But, if you chew on your fingernails, then a hand would definitely grow in your stomach and wreak havoc on your insides. Because, you know, biology works that way.
#18 Family Friendly Restaurant
I believed that another name for Hooters was "the new McDonalds." My dad just told me and my brother that so that when we talked about going there in front of my mom, she wouldn't know that my dad just brought a couple of elementary school children to a more adult bar. This was more than a decade ago, so Hooters’ advertising strategy may have changed since then.
#19 Broccoli Truck
Somehow or other, my father somehow convinced me that the brown UPS delivery trucks were called "broccoli trucks." No, they didn't deliver broccoli, they delivered packages. No, they were not associated with broccoli in any way at all. So, why were they called broccoli trucks? To heck if I know. Dad logic I guess.
#20 Lied for Years
I thought that an NES would break your TV. My mom always told me playing an NES would destroy my TV. Someone lent me one and I was literally shaking as I hooked it up. She stared at me as I did and was telling me I wouldn't get a new TV once it blows up. I played all night and learned she had lied to me for years.
#21 Childhood Lessons
"Go to school and work hard for a good degree and you'll get a good-paying job!" Another favorite of mine is, "Work hard and you'll be able to get a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in a good neighborhood like I did when I was 26!" That or something like, "Stick with your employer. The loyalty is rewarded!"
#22 Mustard Eggs
I wasn’t told this, but a friend’s ex-girlfriend once was. Her sister told her the yellow inside a Cadbury egg was actually mustard. For years, the ex-girlfriend would give her sister her Cadbury eggs every Easter. It wasn’t until she was about 17 years old she realized she was being tricked into forking them over.
#23 Where’s My Rainbow?
Do you remember this Skittles commercial where they planted Skittles? Well, my parents convinced me that if I planted Skittles the same thing would happen, but it took a bit longer. I planted some Skittles in my backyard and every day for months I watered them hoping my rainbow would grow. It never did, but my parents thought it was hilarious and eventually they told me they were just messing with me.
#24 Different Kind of Puppy
On our first giant family trip to Red Lobster when I was about four years old, there was a tank of salamanders out in the waiting area to give people something to look at. My uncle convinced me that they made these things called “hush puppies” out of them. I didn't eat a hush puppy until I was about 16. Turns out he's a filthy liar.
#25 Golden Arches… Next Door
When I was from the ages three to five, my grandparents used to take me out for breakfast at McDonald's all the time. I thought it was great. Turns out, we were really at a Sambo's, which shared a parking lot with McDonald's. I was pretty much just content to eat there as long as the golden arches were within view.
#26 Careful With the Card
My dad told us that he was the green munchkin in the lollipop guild from The Wizard of Oz and that the other two were my two uncles. I told my friends about it all the time. He also told me and my siblings that if we didn’t say “rah-mah-dah” (as in the hotel chain) as we put the hotel key in the door, it would blow up. To this day, I still say it in my head whenever I open a hotel room with a card.
#27 Still Waiting
When I was in high school in the late ‘70s, they told us that if we smoked the devil’s lettuce, we'd have bad trips years later. They made it sound like we'd be the president of some company and suddenly start tripping and take off all our clothes. Or that we’d be at a church and start yelling that everyone was melting. I'm 58 and still waiting for my trip.
#28 Where’s McDonDon?
When I was six years old, my mom told me that McDonald's in China were called "McDonDon." My family speaks Cantonese, so Mandarin doesn't apply since they're pronounced differently. Eight-year-old me was extremely disappointed when we finally visited China and all around I saw were McDonald's signs. I also distinctly remember calling my mom a liar once we got to China and I saw all the golden arches with the regular logo, and not some awesome word that I thought was funny sounding.
#29 Years of Embarrassment
My stepdad convinced my sister that he had Peter Andre as a cousin and that Peter's real name was Michael Mickelthwaite. I overheard and assumed it to be true. This led to a lot of embarrassment when revealing this fact to schoolmates, some of whom were big fans and proved this to be untrue. Thankfully, 10 years on from the embarrassment, I don't take my parents' words as gold anymore!
#30 Discovering Colors
After asking my father why old movies were in black and white, he told me that the whole world was just black and white back then. He also told me that color wasn't actually discovered until 40 or so years ago (at that point). I had no proof otherwise, so I believed that we literally didn’t have any color back then.
#31 This is Australia
When I was a little boy afraid of the dark, I would hear typical night noises and think they were something terrifying. My dad would explain to me that there is nothing in Australia that could hurt me… no lions, tigers, bears and such. Now that I’m older I realize that this is Australia and everything is trying to harm us!
#32 Elevator Operators
When I was a kid, my dad once told me not to hit every button on the elevator because it was operated by a bunch of little people at the bottom of the shaft using pulleys. He told me that if I hit every button, they'd all get frustrated with me and come up to attack me. That was pretty terrifying news as a kid.
#33 Anything’s Possible
That we'd need to know cursive and write papers in cursive in high school. I was also told that cheaters never win. We often heard that college is a guaranteed career, you swallow eight spiders per year in your sleep and you should just try your hardest. Anything is possible! Yeah, well, my parents never worked it out and I didn't get to be Chuck Norris' co-star in Sidekicks , so I guess I didn't try hard enough.
#34 Shine a Light
As a kid, my family doctor used to tell me that I needed to plug the opposite ear when he shined his light in my ear so that the light wouldn't shine through. Given that I was a rule-obeying kiddo, I did it every time he asked me to. Unfortunately, it took me several years (of infrequent visits) to get the joke.
#35 More Rib Bones
I was sent to Lutheran private school all the way through high school. When I was in the sixth or seventh grade, my teacher told us that women have one more pair of rib bones because God used Adam’s to make Eve. Man, was I embarrassed in my freshman year biology class when my teacher asked if there was any way to tell male and female skeletons apart and I answered that women have more rib bones.
#36 You Need to Call Ahead
Around ‘91, as a seven-year-old, I went into my barber to get a haircut. I wanted to get a lightning bolt and the number three shaved into my head, as was the style at the time. The barber told me that was something you needed to call ahead to get done. I later realized that was completely ridiculous and was just for my own sake.
#37 Passing Down Paranoia
As a child, we were told to never do number one during the middle of a thunderstorm because lightning could strike the water pipe and flow up your stream and electrocute you. I realized when I was about 17 that I had never heard of this actually happening to anyone and started to question why I had been holding it in or going in buckets during storms. Turned out, this is just a giant phobia my dad has, but not a real thing that has ever happened.
#38 Honey Bananas
When I was a kid, my mom told me and my siblings that the gross looking brown parts on bananas was honey so that we wouldn't throw them in the trash. In middle school, after years of believing that lie, I was eating lunch with a friend when she pulled out a banana and said, "Ew my banana's rotten." I replied with, "Oh, don't worry. It's just honey." The look she gave me followed by, "what are you talking about" made me realize I'd been deceived all my life.
#39 Movie Poster Culprits
Back when I was in kindergarten, my grandmother was kind enough to take me out to the movies on the weekends. In order to prevent me from misbehaving, though, she used to tell me that all of the people on the movie posters outside the theater were banned from going inside. Naturally, I was on my best behavior.
#40 Quiet in the Kitchen
Growing up, my mom always told me that when she was baking I had to be quiet or her treats wouldn't rise properly. I asked my 18-year-old cousin in cooking college if this was true. She said she's never heard of that and my mom was definitely messing with me. I'm 30 and I found this out about three weeks ago.
#41 Attack of the Crabs
I convinced my brother that dead crabs left a scent on anything that touches them so other crabs could swarm and attack the predator. I did this because, at the beach, a dead crab once touched my brother’s foot. I then continued to show him news of crab migrations and left him scared of crabs for two years until he found out dead crabs don't do any such thing.
#42 My Eyes Are Stuck
I was told that if I crossed my eyes, they'd stick like that. In the first grade, I hated computer class. I didn't want to do it. So, I crossed my eyes, raised my hand, and said, "Teacher, my eyes are stuck and I can't see!" Needless to say, I didn’t get out of playing lame math and history games on the computer that day.
#43 The Ninth Birthday
My dad told me that on my ninth birthday, I would change genders overnight… and that this happens to everyone in the world. I was terrified on my ninth birthday when I went to sleep that I would have to live the rest of my life as a boy when I loved being a girl. To top it off, my dad gave me his old clothes saved from when he was little and told me “stories” about how he used to be a little girl. I laugh at that prank now, but back then, wow.
#44 Organic Butter
My dad somehow convinced me when I was five years old that butter actually came from butterflies. He once told me that when he retired from the army, we’d raise butterflies and make butter from them. I would then be able to take the butter in my red wagon to the market, which may have made me a successful business owner.
#45 Stumping Your Brain
My father used to tell his younger sister, when they were children, that part of your brain is in the big toe and declared that that was the reasoning behind why stumping your toe hurt so badly. Through family throwbacks I've heard over the years, his sister evidently believed this up until she was a teenager.
#46 Coming to Get You
Growing up, my mother always told me that the black spots on the moon were all the children who misbehaved or were just bad all around. She said that if I didn't straighten up my attitude, the moon would come down and grab me. Eventually, I found out in the first grade that they were just craters. It was spooky, though.
#47 Pretty Poetic
When I was very young, my parents woke me up one night because there were northern lights in the sky. I asked my dad what caused them and he replied that it was the moon's light reflecting on the glaciers at the poles. He wasn't messing with me, he just didn't know about magnetic fields (or how the moonlight works for that matter), but I always thought that sounded pretty poetic.
#48 Doctor’s Appointment
My brother told me when I turned 10 that I’d have to go to the doctors and have a needle stuck right into both my eyeballs. I was very displeased at this. Before I turned 10, I sat my parents down and explained that I wasn't going to allow that. Oh boy, the looks on their faces as they called my brother in the room.
#49 Finish Your Food
When I was in primary school, they had this rule where every kid had to sit down for recess until they finished eating. We'd get in trouble if we were standing up while eating. The reasoning they gave us was that food doesn't digest properly if you eat while standing up, and that it would cause us problems later down the line.
#50 Hazard Light
In my dad's old Nisan, there was a single red square button on the dashboard. It was above the radio and stuck out like a pimple. He told me and my stepbrother that if we pushed it, any car that was 100 feet in front of us would blow up. We pushed that button so many times, always disappointed that it never worked. He'd say it was because the car wasn't exactly 100 feet away. It was the hazard lights button.