People Share Their "And That's Why The Sign Is There" Stories

August 9, 2019 | Mathew Burke

People Share Their "And That's Why The Sign Is There" Stories


We’re surrounded by signs. Most of them are rather banal, but not always...Sometimes, you see a crazy sign that makes you pause and wonder, "What the heck happened to make someone write this thing?" It's hard not to imagine the wild stories that led to their creation! Here are 42 examples of the most “crazy but necessary” signs people have ever seen.


1. Best Seat in the House

The other day, I saw a woman tanning in the middle of a shooting range. I think some new signs will be made shortly…

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsFlickr

2. Generational Gap

We had to put up a "No hanging around outside" sign because the teenagers did not know what "No loitering" meant.

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsShutterstock

3. Business Before Pleasure

I work in the medical field. At a seminar on new colostomy supplies, there was a sticker on the colostomy bag collar (if you don't know, that's the part that your modified intestine sticks through). It stated that the equipment was, and I quote, "Not to be used for sexual pleasure." I do not know the backstory, but I can only imagine…

Self-Diagnosing Patients FactsShutterstock

4. It’s Getting Hot in Here

We had to put a sign in our pool area that says “No exercising in the sauna" because yes, one man had been consistently working out in the sauna.

Bizarre Christmas Traditions FactsPixabay

5. Bread and Butter

Many years ago, I worked at a temporary job in an average office building. I was going to eat my lunch in the kitchen when I see that they had put up the following sign: “This is a new toaster. Please, please, do not toast bread that has butter on it!!!” I feel fairly confident that there is some kind of hilarious explanation behind this.

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsPexels

6. Sounds Like That Toaster Is Toast

I work at the dining hall at my university. One day, I was cleaning the salad bar when I noticed a small fire coming from our toaster oven. After running to find my manager, we eventually put it out. Turns out some guy had stuck a piece of pie in there with a paper plate—and the entire thing had burst into flames.

"Please only put bread in the toaster" became a new sign shortly after.

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsShutterstock

7. Man’s Best Imaginary Friend

To deter would-be burglars, everyone in my neighborhood put up "Beware of Dog" signs. Not one person actually has a dog—we all have cats!

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsPublic Domain Pictures

8. Sounds Like Someone Likes to Talk About Himself!

The door to our boiler room sucks. If you close it fully, the maintenance guy literally has to crowbar it open. I'm the maintenance guy. So how did I choose to deal with this? I put up a sign that directly says, "Do NOT close this door completely or maintenance guy will literally have to crowbar it open!" Direct and to-the-point!

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsFlickr

9. Bird Brain

We used to have a lot of seagulls near the pool at the hotel where I work. We put up a “No seagulls allowed” sign. We still have a lot of seagulls near the pool at the hotel where I work.

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsPexels

10. Taking Out the Trash

People kept dumping their trash on the lawn of a local business. So, the manager put up a sign saying, “If trash is left on premises, Wi-Fi will be disconnected.” No one will ever dare mess with that place again.

Life-Shattering Secrets factsShutterstock

11. Punted

At the college I went to, there was a sign on the men's bathroom in one building that said, "Please don't use your feet to flush the toilets." I asked around and discovered that this was because some dude once drop-kicked a toilet in an attempt to flush his business. I have never laughed so hard reading a sign in my life.

Twins FactsShutterstock

12. Get ‘Em While They’re Hot

I’m a high school football coach and our games have a concession stand. The proceeds from it go towards helping the school and the team. We once had a guy who showed up out of the blue and started selling food and drinks in the bleachers, undercutting the concession stand’s pricing. We asked him to stop again and again, and finally had to put a sign up warning against third parties selling anything on our property during our games.

Horrific Birthday FactsShutterstock

13. Crocodile Rock

My local park has a sign that says “If the fall doesn’t kill you, the crocodiles will” near a little ravine. All I can say is yikes...

Steve Irwin QuizWikipedia

14. Mother Goose

We have a huge sign on a field near our high school that says "Beware of geese." I've never seen a goose in the area before, but I've also never seen anybody set foot there. When I asked my art professors what it was all about, she said they put it there because kids used to skip classes to drink and smoke in that spot. I guess it worked!

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsMax Pixel

15. Beware of Sign

To keep an unwanted visitor away from our house, my wife put up a sign that says "Caution: Dog not muzzled after dark." It seems to be working so far!

Late Night Hikers FactsShutterstock

16. Plaque to the Future

There was a very old plaque on a rock in my hometown. I can’t remember what it originally said, but someone destroyed it with their car a few years ago. Now, since everyone feels bad about having lost a historical commemoration, there’s a new plaque in that spot that says, “On this day in 1892, something happened.”

Strangest Thing Caught Doing FactsShutterstock

17. Life’s a Beach

I went to the local beach hoping to go swimming. That's when I noticed a sign warning that the lake’s “Bacteria levels exceed health standards. Contact with this water may cause illness.” I did not end up going swimming…

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsPixabay

18. Feeding Time

I live on the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia. A few years ago, there was a freaky incident involving a sea lion that grabbed a girl and dragged her underwater. Her grandpa had to save her. In the area where that happened, there is a sign that orders people not to feed the sea lions. A certain someone probably should have paid attention...

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsFlickr

19. Going My Way?

A busy street in London that I work on recently got changed from a one-way to a two-way street. I almost walked into two separate busses on the first day it was finished. In the office, we had to put up a sign saying, "The main road is now two-way, please look at both sides of the road when crossing" at our front exit!

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsShutterstock

20. Garden Party

For some reason, in my neighborhood, people systematically seem to target my mailbox when they’re out walking their dogs and their dogs need to pee. This has become a serious issue, as it has rotted the wood out and we’ve already had to replace the post once because of this. So, I finally put up a big, flamboyant lawn sign that reads: “WARNING - CHEMICALLY TREATED - HAZARDOUS TO ANIMALS.”

It’s done its job!

MailboxPixabay

21. Helicopter Park Rangers

My local park had a problem with unsupervised children running around freely and causing problems in the area. So, they put up a sign that says “Unsupervised children will be sold to the circus.” No one lets their kids play there unsupervised anymore.

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsMax Pixel

22. A Sign From Above

People were bringing dogs to the park on a mass scale, despite the presence of an enormous "No dogs" sign in clear view. The locals’ excuse?  "The sign is too high, the dogs can’t see it!"

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsFlickr

23. That’s a Sign, Eh?

On a mountain at a ski resort in Canada, there was a sign that said, “Caution: Trees Don’t Move.” I’m glad I didn’t have to learn that the hard way…

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsMax Pixel

24. Home Is Where the Radioactive Material Is

I once saw a real estate sign saying that radioactive materials may not be stored in any house that is for sale. I thought it was kind of funny—because who would do that?

Shocked teacher with opened mouth holding her head in front of a boardPavel Ilyukhin, Shutterstock

25. Rock and Roll

I saw a sign near a waterfall on my honeymoon. It said something to the effect of: "15 people have died here after leaving the path and falling on the slippery rocks." Definitely got my attention. I did not venture off that path!

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsShutterstock

26. Someone’s Got Some Beef

There is a sign on the way to my grandparents’ house that has a picture of a cow falling off a cliff onto a car. This is because there is a cattle field on the cliff above the road, and at least three cows have fallen to their own deaths there. While doing this, they have also caused sudden, splattery deaths of several unlucky drivers.

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsPxHere

27. I Can’t Believe What I Just Saw

I've heard of a chainsaw with a sign on it instructing people not to attempt to stop it with their hands or genitalia. All I can say is if there really are people out there who need that sign. I am definitely glad it’s there!

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsMax Pixel

28. Dropping Off

Back when I was a kid, there was a roadside park we often picnicked at, where a guy chasing a frisbee once jumped a fence—not realizing that there were not bushes on the other side, but the tops of trees growing from the base of a 30 foot cliff. So, anyway, that’s how that park came to have signs every ten feet all over the fence warning people about the drop!

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsFlickr

29. Standing Room Only

I went to a public bathroom in Chinatown, LA. There was a sign that said “PLEASE STOP STANDING ON THE TOILET. - Management,” along with a diagram. I get that squatty potties are a thing, but I had to laugh because it was just not what I had expected to see. Also, it clearly did not work, because there were footprints on the toilet seat.

Julia Roberts FactsWikimedia Commons

30. Till the Bathroom Do Us Part

I work in an office and in the bathroom we have a sign that says, “Please do not flush printer paper, throw your divorce papers in the trash.” Now, every time someone in our office has to use the bathroom, we say “I gotta go flush the divorce papers.”

Surrounded by Idiots FactsShutterstock

31. Hot Pockets

My step-dad's buddy from law school is a judge. Apparently, a defendant's friend once came by to support him in court and went through the security checkpoint. The sign said to "Empty contents of all pockets into tray" and empty his pockets is what the guy did. Unfortunately, inside one of the guy’s pockets was a gram of coke.

This dude was so pissed that the police had "stolen his property," you could hear the commotion in the courtroom. To the police department's dismay, the judge intervened in the scene to insist that from then on, a new sign saying "No drugs, alcohol, or concealed weapons beyond this point" would be placed right in front of the checkpoint.

Apparently, stuff like this happened every once in a while and "Why ruin the fun?" said the judge. Cool guy. Big Zeppelin fan.

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsFlickr

32. Sign-Crossed Lover

I once went into a bookstore with a sign that would forever change the way I understood Shakespeare. The sign said the following: “Romeo & Juliet is not a love story. It’s a three-day relationship between a 13 year-old and a 17 year-old that resulted in six deaths. Sincerely, everyone who actually read it.” Can’t argue with that!

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsGetty Images

33. Fence Sitter

On his first day of kindergarten, my brother thought that he could escape during recess by trying to climb this massive chain-link fence. He got up about eight feet before the lunch ladies noticed and disciplined him. They sent him to the principal's office and, when questioned about why he did it, my little smart aleck five-year-old brother replied that, “There was no sign that said you can’t climb it!”

There is now a sign saying you can’t climb it.

Helicopter Parents factsPexels

34. Hello Walls

I was chatting with students in the lounge area when, all of a sudden, we heard an incredibly loud "BANG!" It turns out that a new student had been texting while walking to our center's demo room—and totally missed the fact that the room's walls are all panes of glass. As such, she ultimately face planted right in front of me and my group.

Apparently, this was enough to warrant a "Caution. Glass ahead!!" sign.

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsShutterstock

35. This Means War

While going for a walk one day, I saw a sign that said, “Danger: Do not touch any military debris. It may explode and kill you.” Definitely freaked me out. Definitely also glad the sign was there.

Happy Couples factsShutterstock

36. The Candy Man Can

There's this knick-knack shop in my hometown that always has a decorative basket of colorful beads, soaps, and what-not near the cash. Above it, they have this sign that says, "Do not eat" because, years ago, there was some dumb kid who tried to eat the items and kept popping them into his mouth one after another after another.

...In my defense, I was like five years old and they looked delicious. Don’t judge me!

Weirdest Rule FactsShutterstock

37. Don’t Mess With This Guy!

Someone’s property had a big sign on the fence saying, “You would be better off sandpapering a lion’s butt in a pair of pork chop underwear than being caught on the other side of this fence.”

J.D. Salinger FactsPixabay

38. Been There, Done That

Near my old city, there was a street sign that, when translated, roughly said, "Don't Cross Here: You Could Die!" Apparently, the sign didn't work. Eventually, it was changed to "Don't Cross Here: Someone Died!"

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsFlickr

39. The Grand Finale

Back in my home town, someone repeatedly pooped in a urinal over a period of about two weeks. At first, no one really noticed (don't ask me how) but after a while, it all started to...well, pile up. After the mess was eventually cleaned, a sign was put up saying, "Please do not put things in the urinal." The sign was promptly found inside the urinal.

Wine factsShutterstock

40. Pool Cue

One day, I noticed that some maintenance workers had drained, cleaned, and refilled the pool at my apartment complex. A few days later, I suddenly noticed a new sign on the pool area gate. It said something that I will never forget: “Persons with active diarrhea or who have had diarrhea in the past 48 hours are not permitted to enter the pool.”

Crazy But Necessary Signs FactsPixabay

41. Possession Is Nine Tenths of the Law

Our library has a "No satanic worship of any kind!" sign. I am fairly proud to be the reason for this sign. I had come in with a jokey supernatural anti-possession sticker on my laptop one day. The librarian promptly asked me to leave. The very next day the sign was already up.

Espionage factsPixabay

42. Brevity Is the Soul of Wit

My step-dad worked at a shipping yard, and they had to put cylindrical tanks in one of two spots that would indicate whether the tanks were full of gas or empty. So, one day, the boss asks a guy to weld two signs: one saying “full” and the other saying “empty.” This guy wasn’t exactly all there” so to speak. Regardless, he created the signs and showed them off to the boss once they were finished.

The first one was totally fine—it said “FULL” in big, bold letters. The second one...not so much. It just said “M.T.” We all found it so funny that we just kept it that way.

Mixed race male laughing.Getty Images

Sources: , , 


More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.




Dear reader,


Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!


Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!


Warmest regards,



The Factinate team




Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.