Life is full of challenges, and we often really don’t have the answers for them. But what if even without knowing the answers, we could just try anything came to mind and have our problems instantly disappear? As crazy as that sounds to anyone this has never happened to, it does in fact occur from time to time in certain scenarios. Here are 42 surprising stories about people’s best “I can’t believe that actually worked!” moments.
42. Parks and Recreation
I went to check into a hotel and asked if there was a parking fee.
He replied with yes, it’s $15 a night.
I asked if by any chance he could waive it for me.
He replied with “Yeah, sure.”
Saved me $60.
41. You Better Watch Out
I got a free watch offer from a decent company I’d bought from before. However, the catch was you had to spend over $300. I added four of the “free watches,” which were usually $75, into the cart—which registered as $300. I went to checkout and a green “-$300” appears in the bill. Added my shipping address, and two weeks later they came.
40. That Was the Real Test
I needed a C+ to graduate and didn’t attend the final. So I went in and just told him I wanted a B- to graduate, hoping that he would either let me retake it or at least negotiate to the point where I could make it a C+. He tells me: “Sure, have a great summer!”
39. Student’s Pet
Once, in tenth grade, I came into my English class on a test day and greeted my teacher by saying “I really don’t want to take a test today. Can I just have a 100 and a nap?” For some still inexplicable reason, she said yes. Life was good back then.
38. Getting Historical
“Hi, I’m Gandhi, and if Britain doesn’t get the hell out of India, I’m going to starve myself to death!”
Well done, sir.
37. That Went Downhill Fast
In high school, I became overly frustrated with my increasingly slow PS2. It wouldn’t read the discs sometimes and it was only getting worse. One day, I just threw it down the stairs. It worked perfectly for a few years after that. I still think that should not have worked, but I’ll take it.
36. Shaken Up
The first time my wife and I went out to eat with our new baby, he would not stop crying and was starting to make a scene. Not knowing what to do, I picked up a salt shaker, set it down right in front of him, and said: “Watch this.” He began looking at the salt and stopped crying.
35. If I Could Talk to the Animals
When I was a kid, my sister sat in front of me. I held my hamster in front of her toe and said “bite!” for fun. Well, he did it! It was the first time ever that he bit one of us. There was some blood and we were all stunned.
34. Santa Claws Came Early This Year
The entire grade went on a field trip to a bowling/arcade place to celebrate completing middle school. I was at a claw machine and asked my friend to look at it from the side to see if the claw 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. I’ll never be so cool again in my entire life.
33. It’s Called “Charm”
The first time I awkwardly tried to hit on a girl. We ended up hooking up that night and the whole time I was thinking, “Wow, that actually worked.”
32. Key to the Forbidden City
You’d be insanely surprised at how many restricted places you can enter without permission in stores or wherever else. All I do is just act like I belong with some confidence, and in I go.
31. Man’s Best Friend
I was on a first date. Normally, I never go beyond making out on a first date, but that day I was feeling bold. So, I decided to ask her if she wanted to come over and meet my dog. Yep, that worked. I have since tried that line on a few more girls and it has worked every time.
30. Something’s Afloat
I was 12 and 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 had disappeared underwater. I struggled for a second, then remembered something my childhood friend once told me: “All you have to do to float is bend over in water.” I never had the guts to try when she told me, but I was about to die—so, I just let my body relax, bent over in the water by my waist, and floated to the surface, alive and well. I couldn’t believe it was really as simple as she said.
29. Telling It Like It Is
My friend and I were in community college, and Halo 3 had just come out. We had papers due for our English class the next morning, which 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. This was in front of the whole class. She laughed, appreciated the honesty, and let us turn it in late since we didn’t lie.
28. Moving Up in the World
I was flying somewhere. After everyone else was boarded, I went up to the gate agent and asked about being upgraded to first class. 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.
27. The Great Escape
Back in high school, I used to skip assemblies often. A few of us did, and the teachers started sending out prefects to basically hunt down students. A couple of them found me without me noticing, and started to escort me to the principal’s office. As we’re walking, the assembly is let out and a flood of students heads towards us.
I’d been playing a lot of Assassin’s Creed at time, and decided I’d give the “blend” thing a shot—mostly as a joke. As a group walks past us, I turn, bow my head, and start to walk with them. It totally worked. I even glanced back and saw the prefects looking around confusedly. Obviously, by my describing my appearance, the teachers caught me anyway. But it was great nevertheless.
26. I Didn’t Recognize You, Your Majesty!
I’m a straight dude with a lot of gay friends. One of them jokingly refers to me as “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. The doorman tells me there’s a cover charge—so I, being drunk, blurted out “BUT I’M KING OF THE GAYS!” He laughed and let me in.
25. Tricks of the Trade
This may come as a shock to many people, but pretty much anyone who does programming is just guessing half the time—yet we all still have working technology. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
24. Meet the Real Life Fonz
I repair slot machines for a living. One I had to deal with was frozen in game state 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, all the lights were on, and the software just stopped mid-spin. I was thinking the game probably finally died and we’d need to reimburse the guest for their lost money, which can take a while if it’s a ton of money like this was.
The guest jokingly asked if it just needed its butt kicked to work again, and I figured that since this game is old and durable, I’ll indulge him. I kicked it, and the game came right back up. The guest proceeded to win another $500 or so from that spin. 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.
23. What a Heel
I successfully opened a wine bottle using a shoe when no opener could be found.
22. Giving Back to the Fans
My sister and I went to a show a while after 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 shoutout during the set or something. About 20 minutes later, I get a phone call from the band’s manager saying 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.
21. Candid Camera
After hours of trying to repair a broken digital camera, I went to throw it away. I shrugged and dropped it on the linoleum. I then heard a horrible crack, as the motor turned on making a jackhammer sound before it clicked and became a smooth hum. The camera has worked ever since.
20. Nothing Like a Good Night’s Sleep
My terrible sleep pattern is linked to my mental health. A few months ago, I told myself I have to be in bed by ten and that I must not to touch my phone. I could stay awake and fantasize or stare at the ceiling as long as I wanted, but I had to be in bed. And it worked! I’ve been slipping the past few weeks, but it did wonders for my mental health overall.
I even went from not leaving my room to getting a part-time volunteer position, and I’m doing great at it!
19. Writing Music
I had a really tough math problem in Calculus that I didn’t know the answer to. It was something that had used Hip Hop or Rap sales as a reference. I didn’t know it, ran out of time, and it was the last question on the assignment—so I just wrote: “Rap died in 1996 with Tupac.” She marked it as correct, obviously out of oversight. Meanwhile, my buddy beside me tried really hard to answer it, got the wrong answer, and the professor marked him incorrect. He was flabbergasted.
18. Listening to the Little Guy
I noticed an error on our website that would affect customers. I emailed the web team about it, thinking they’d ignore it until someone higher up brought it to their attention. They read it, implemented changes, and CC’d my director to thank me for the input.
17. A Spoonful of Sugar
When my nephew was only a year old, he was eating and my sister told me to give him a spoon. I tossed him a plastic spoon. It landed correctly in his hand and he used it to eat like it had been there the whole time. Didn’t even slow down. I looked at my dad and said: “Please tell me you saw that!”
16. Secret Ingredient
I decided on a whim to make some peanut sauce. I threw together peanut butter, soy sauce, and a little water. It was looking kind of clotted, for lack of a better word, when I stopped stirring. I thought I remembered learning somewhere that vanilla goes in cookies because it helps stuff mix, so I said here goes nothing and added a dash of vanilla. The sauce instantly came together. I felt like a mad genius.
15. It Worked—Literally
I went to a private college prep high school for the first three years. I don’t really recall why I looked into this, but I found out that if all my credits transferred to public school, I’d technically only need two more classes to be eligible to graduate. Checked into it further and found out that you can’t really just go to two classes and leave—unless of course, you enroll in the work exit program.
So I got myself a part-time job and transferred schools. My senior year was one semester long, I went to school for two hours a day, and worked until my friends got out of class. It was incredible. I still can’t believe it all worked out.
14. Bathroom Break
I was trying to unclog a toilet without a plunger. I poured some fabric softener in there just to see if it would help, and it cleared the entire thing right up almost immediately.
13. Precious Memories
In college, I took a literature review course that included Dante’s Divine Comedy. I had read it at 16 and 21-year-old me declined to re-read any of it prior to the essay test for this class. I just decided to BS my way through based on what I remembered from years before. Got an A.
12. You’re Hired!
I was trying to get into a developer bootcamp for which I was woefully underqualified. I memorized as much of a “100 top programming interview questions” list as I could and BSed my way through the interview. Managed to learn enough on the fly to not look like a complete idiot. Here I am almost three years later, making way more than I should at a job I had no idea how to do when I started.
Thankfully, I’m a solid developer now, but damn—if I never did that, I’d be stuck in tech support forever.
11. A Very Driven Person
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.
10. Always Trust the Internet
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 spinny 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 and gave it a shot. To my surprise, they hummed back to life and I was back in business. Still can’t believe it!
9. A Work of Fiction
Back in school, I was in English class and my friend knew that I had not done my homework of writing a short story. Knowing this, when the teacher asked for people to read out their story, my friend instantly shouted out that he had read my story and it was really good. To my friend’s amazement, I then proceed to stare at my book while making up a full short story. Teacher never noticed.
8. That Was a Key Decision
The moment was an audition for a tenor to get into our music conservatory degree program, for which I was his accompanist. The young man arrived for the audition nervous because he hadn’t slept well, and his singing voice sounded a bit “husky” and deeper from lack of sleep. When the university staff arrived to hear the audition, I decided to transpose his audition pieces a bit lower to make them more comfortable and to showcase his voice to advantage, rather than having him strain for the high notes.
It was daring, because the scores were difficult and not easy to transpose into lower keys. Still, for his sake, I did it without a word spoken—and it worked! No one listening realized the pieces were being sung in transposed keys. He got into the program.
7. Towing the Line
The brakes on my crappy SUV went completely out one day. Instead of paying for a tow truck, my dad decided to connect my car to his pickup truck with a big chain and have me drive to the mechanic shop. My car could still accelerate perfectly well, just no brakes whatsoever. So, we called each other on our cell phones and every time I needed to slow down or stop I’d just tell him and he’d hit the brakes on the pickup.
It was completely stupid, illegal, and definitely dangerous—but we got there just fine and didn’t have to drop a hundred bucks on a tow truck, so…it worked!
6. Lost the Battle, Won the War
My buddy was having a bad weekend, and we were sitting in our college’s cafeteria. We both load up on tater tots and pizza. He’s bumming, so I say “Hey man, see her over there? Cute right?” “Sure.” “Ok, well I’m going to go hit on her. Be back in a sec.” I have NO game with women. I am nothing to look at. I smelled like Jager and Marlboro Lights.
I think I was wearing sweatpants AND a button down shirt, for some reason. I’m not convinced I had ever “hit on” anyone before. It just isn’t me. The entire premise was that she would throw her drink in my face, or be horrified, and I would walk away laughing, giving my buddy a laugh out of my hilarious public rejection in the process.
When I got there, I didn’t know what to do. So we just talked. I sorta knew the girl she was with. I sort of addressed her, then flirted with her cute blonde friend. Nothing happened. I walked back to my table. Anyway, cute blonde friend and I had a class together that semester and, with the ice broken, I just talked to her like a normal person.
We have been married a decade now and have two kids. It was a thousand percent supposed to be a joke. So it didn’t “WORK,” but I mean, it sort of worked…
5. I Told You So!
I told this girl in second grade that I was a psychic just to troll. She didn’t believe me, of course, so she asked me to predict something. I said, “You’re going to scream right now.” As she was saying, “That’s dumb. Why would I–,” a kindergartner playing tag randomly fell and rolled back into her legs. She screamed. She was really scared of me after that!
4. Artificial Intelligence
My friend’s dad has an old Windows 2000 computer with a dead hard drive. Unfortunately, this hard drive had the only backup copy of some very important family pictures. We went through every troubleshooting step I could think of to recover the data and nothing worked. 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. Suddenly, the thing booted, stayed on long enough for me to grab the files, and then went dead again.
I half-ran a stop sign that got ran a lot. 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 walks up, asks me if I knew I ran the stop sign, and I say yes. Then, I dunno why, I blurted out “May I have your mercy?” He takes a step back, looks a little perplexed, runs my license, comes back, and just says “Today, I am merciful. Stop running stop signs.” Let me off with a warning.
2. Climb Every Mountain
I was a network engineer, and I had to get to a mountain top where one of our towers was 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. I finally 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!
1. Leaving the Fold
I once had a math test in high school that I knew I was totally going to flub. I was normally a really good student and did well at math, but today just wasn’t my day. The test questions were all on one sheet and we were instructed to use blank pages to write our answers. I sat during the whole test just doodling on the blank pages.
At the end, I put my name on the question sheet and folded over the corner as if there had been other sheets with it, put it on the pile, and walked out. Next class, the teacher pulled me aside and profusely apologized because she thought she lost my answers! She said she’d just leave it out of my overall class score for the semester. I couldn’t believe that worked.