When Kids Do It, It’s Cute...When Adults Do It, It’s Creepy

November 27, 2019 | Phillip Hamilton

When Kids Do It, It’s Cute...When Adults Do It, It’s Creepy


Kids get away with a lot, and these Redditors have experienced it firsthand. It’s funny to think about the things you might have done as a kid and realize that those things would be pretty questionable if you were to try it nowadays. You might even get chased out of town if you did some of the things mentioned here today!


1. Geodude, Phone 9-1-1!

One time when I was little, early 2000s, I accidentally faxed a picture of Geodude from Pokémon to the police from my grandma’s fax machine. The picture was still in there because my grandma made copies of all my drawings and I thought the fax machine was a phone, so I tried to call 9-1-1. In the end, I dialed the police and sent them a picture of Geodude with zero context.

My grandma wasn’t happy about it lmao.

Creepy As An Adult facts Flickr, Secret Pilgrim

2. Just a Phase

My young cousins all went through a phase where they would constantly grope/touch women inappropriately. One of them would run up to me at family get-togethers, poke my breast and yell: "BOOBIES!" Then a few years later another one of my cousins who I babysat would run up and smack me in the butt and run away laughing.

They were only around three or four, so they didn’t really know better, but if a grown man did this to me, I'd call the police.

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3. You’re Cancelled, Kid

My two year old stroked a flight attendant’s behind with both hands as she was shifting something in the overhead bin next to our seat. Her skirt was very tight fitting, right in front of his face, and I guess he just thought it looked nice to touch. She whipped her head around at lightspeed with a glare to send the offender up in flames.

When she saw it was just a toddler and I apologized she looked relieved and laughed. The way she reacted, though, made me think she probably has that happen way too often by grown gross dudes.

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4. All I Need is Socks

Yesterday my son (11 months) had a nappy blow out so I had to change all his clothes. While I was fetching a new outfit for him, he crawled to the glass front door, stood up and started waving to our neighbor in literally nothing but a pair of socks and all his tackle hanging about. The neighbor laughed and waved back but I feel like it would have been a slightly different reaction if it had been my husband waving to him buck naked but for some socks.

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5. Suckle Free Zone

My friend, when he was just crawling apparently, was at a beach with his mum. She looked away for a second and he’d crawled over to a nearby topless sunbather sleeping on her back and tried to suckle on her. Obviously she screamed and it didn’t get far, but after much embarrassment, they did all laugh it off. As an adult? That’s probably prison time. Even as a literal baby it could have been much worse depending on the woman’s response.

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6. The Toilet Shuffle

My mom always loved to tell how when I was first being potty trained, when I had to go number two, I would pull my pants down in the living room before trotting to use the toilet, pants around ankles. Something tells me it wouldn't go over as well now.

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7. Clothes? Who Needs ‘Em!

My friend had a sleepover for her birthday, her brother, who was maybe 2 or 3 at the time, was due to have a bath, he played a game his family called "naked man" where they would just let him roam the house naked for a while before he'd get in the bath. He ended up standing at the French doors between the hall and the room we were watching our movies in, just splayed against the glass for all of us to see. She was mortified but we didn't care, it was cute.

To break the tension one of our other (quick-witted) friends said: "Oh don't worry about it, my brother does that all the time." It took us all a beat to register that her brother was a teenager.

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8. Playground Creeping

Based on a thing I witnessed yesterday: Sitting in a little shack on a playground, observing the children, before just jumping on your bike to (probably) head home. I thought he had kids on the playground himself and didn't say anything because of that the whole time, but nope, he drove away completely by himself. He didn't do anything, but thinking back he seemed pretty creepy.

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9. Beware the Grocery Store Grabber

There's an eight-year gap between my next sibling and me, plus no cousins close to my age, so I was everyone's favorite to teach. Some of it was to go hit the other sibling or cousin because they couldn't react to me without getting in trouble. Other lessons I learned was grabbing butts. In the grocery store with my mom I wandered over to a bent-over lady and grabbed her butt.

She spun around ready to punch someone but there's was no one there to punch until she looked down. Then she saw me, and burst out laughing when she saw a four-year-old. My mom was horrified. 11 years later I was horrified when my junior high science teacher asked me if I still grabbed lady butts while they're shopping for vegetables.

Turns out she remembered me, which isn't all that shocking considering my hometown is 3,000 people and I was one of 3 mixed children that lived there

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10. The Bomb is in the Diaper!

I don't know if "cute" is the right word, but I was at a restaurant and a kid was yelling: Bomb! Bomb! Boooomb! Bomb! Probably not even these words, just blabbering nonsense, but it sounded like those words—Pretty sure it's if an adult were yelling "bomb! bomb! bomb!" in a crowded space they'd be in some serious trouble.

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11. Look! Boobs!

When my niece was young (around two), I was carrying her around Walmart while in a rush to buy cleaning supplies. As we’re about to check out, she pulled down my shirt so my bra was showing and started screaming “BOOBIES” at the top of her lungs, pointing and gesturing at my boobs. That would have been creepy if she were, you know, an adult man.

It still was, but I guess she was just interested in the attention she was getting.

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12. Free-Peeing

Peeing outside. When my son went through potty training, we'd let him pee in the backyard or outside somewhere if he didn't think he could make it to a bathroom. He'd get all excited, turn around, pull his pants down, and his little baby butt would just be facing everybody while he peed. It was great lol. I believe they still put people on sex offender lists for peeing in public as adults.

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13. Be Like the Dogs

A few years ago, my cousin's three-year-old daughter ran out into her backyard and dropped a poop on the lawn. People were over for a gathering, that little girl just lifted her dress and did it. Everyone thought this was hilarious. Except for my cousin who was mortified. The kiddo explained, "But, the dog gets to do that! Why can't I?"

Cute explanation, but an adult sure as heck couldn't get away with that.

Creepy As An Adult facts Pixabay

14. Morbid Obsessions

Telling your sibling or parent that you love them so much you'll follow them around 'till the day they die. Or saying when they die, you'll cut off their head and put it into a jar to carry it around with you forever/always have them with you. I used to say this stuff to my brother all the time when I was younger. He never batted an eye at this. :D

He was super chill about it, to be honest. He's only four years older than me??? I don't understand how that didn't put him off since I mostly said this creepy stuff in elementary. :/

Creepy As An Adult factsPixabay

15. Just an Itch, I Swear!

Scratching balls in public. I teach a lot of elementary school kids and honestly, every single one of them scratches their balls without any sort of...discretion? Is that the right word? Like they're not even hiding and just go full-on scratching in front of everyone. Sometimes they do it through their shorts and sometimes they just straight-up dig their hands into their underwear and scratch.

If I did that in public I'd probably be arrested for harassment.

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16. The Wiggle

When my daughter was 18 months old, she learned how to wiggle her eyebrows. There were a few weeks where she was obsessed with catching strangers' eyes across the room and just wiggling her eyebrows at them.

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17. Sneaky Slide

I've got one. We were shopping at a mall; my son was young (in a stroller). My wife goes off to do something while my son and I stood in line to make a purchase. There was a lady in front of my son and I in the line, dressed in shorts. My son puts his hand on the lady's thigh and slides it up underneath the hem of her shorts. I see the lady stiffen and start to turn. I quickly turn around and start gazing at the displays on the other side of the store.

Behind me I hear, "Oh, how are you, cutie!" and know that it is now safe to turn around.

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18. Like He Owns the Place

A few days ago on Halloween, the first trick or treater came up to my house. I was passing by the door and saw him coming up so I went to go open the door before the bell had even rung. As I was opening it, I feel it open towards me. A five-year-old Spiderman is there greeting me with a huge smile while his mom was at the end of the driveway yelling at him that he's not supposed to open the door.

If that had been an adult, the smile on my face would have been nonexistent.

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19. Kick

I was bagging up my groceries (I was at Aldi’s) and a woman with a small child in a cart was next to me. The darn baby kept kicking me in my very large pregnant belly and this lady was ignoring it, despite me asking the little dude to stop that repeatedly. Aaaanyway. Kicking pregnant women in the belly is tolerable for wee people...pretty illegal for adults.

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20. Scream for Joy!

Scream. Like if adults screamed whenever they got excited or sad then the world would be a much scarier place. Imagine somebody is at the grocery store and the kind of chips they want aren’t there they just sit, scream, and cry until something distracts them from their missing chips.

Angriest ever factsPixabay

21. Close Hug

When my two-year-old walked up to a very pretty nurse at the hospital and hugged her leg, she thought it was super cute. When he got bashful and hid his face but kept petting her leg, she called over a coworker to come look at him. Kiddo walked over to the more petite coworker and hugged her, which happened to plant his face in her crotch.

She awed and picked him up to hug him back and tell me how wonderful he was. I imagine the reaction to an adult doing that would be very different.

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22. Cussin’

My mom cussed a little (as all good mothers do) when my sister and I were little, we learned some colorful words pretty early on. Once she tried to pour her own tea at home and spilled it and in a very exasperated two-year-old voice went "oh DANG" and took off her shirt to clean it up because she couldn't reach the drawer with kitchen towels in it.

My mom almost peed herself from laughing while my dad was trying to correct her from cussing/cleaning spills with clothes. Meanwhile, four-year-old me is sitting in my booster seat watching all this. I pointed at the puddle of tea, and went, "Sissy what the EFF." I just feel like that would be frowned upon now, since she's 19 and I'm 21.

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23. The Flasher

When I was four, my favorite color was purple. My mother happened to dress me in a skirt with purple shorts underneath that day. I went around the airport excitedly showing strangers my purple shorts because I loved the color and would say, "Puuurple!!" Today, flashing random strangers wouldn't go over so well.

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24. Respect Your Elders

It wouldn’t necessarily be illegal as an adult now, but my favorite story my mom told about me as a kid was how I called adults out in public for their bull. We were at a parade, and a 50-year-old lady was running in front of children to take all the candy and bring it back to her own grandchildren in Florida (we live in Upper Michigan, and this was all dollar-packs of candy she could’ve easily bought herself).

I was about five at the time. I noticed she was doing this, saw that the kids were crying, and the parents weren’t doing anything (more out of fear of this lady, she was intimidating as heck). When she jumped in front of my two-year-old brother, I gave her an earful about how the candy is for the kids and she can just go buy some instead of stealing ours and being a huge jerk. She realized all the adults were watching to see if she’d blow up at a child and left in a huff.

The rest of the adults applauded me, and my parents were extremely proud. When I stand up to a mean adult as a child, it’s both adorable AND inspiring, but when I do it now, I’m an “oversensitive millennial-trash snowflake who needs to respect her elders.”

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25. Dragon Man

My kids play pretend sometimes. My daughter likes to pretend to be an animal or mythical creature (mostly dragons) running around on all fours and roaring/hissing and stuff. She really gets into it, sometimes this happens in public. It's a little awkward, but I figure this is just stuff that kids do sometimes. Now I'm imagining how it would go down if I did something like that in the checkout line at the grocery store lol.

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26. Come on, It’s a Compliment!

I have a small story that relates to this. So, when I was around seven or so I lived in an apartment complex and my mother was really good friends with our neighbor. And this lady was really big at the time (I'd guess around 250-300 lbs.) so sometime after I was introduced to her I’d walk up to her and say "____, you have a big butt." Needless to say, my mother was super embarrassed and apologized profusely.

They continued to be great friends, and she even got down to a healthier 160 by the time my mother passed, which they both congratulated.

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27. Toy Story Confirmed

Not exactly illegal, but I once had a housemate whom I thought always talked on the phone very loudly, laughed very, very loudly (imagine high pitched shrieks of joy), basically did everything that didn't let me sleep well at night. But then I found out she was actually talking to her stuffed animals. Like, legit conversations and jokes.

Freaked me the heck out and I called a friend who told me to just imagine the housemate as someone who's 5 years old, cause for kids that's normal. Still couldn't sleep, but for completely other reasons.

Creepy As An Adult factsPixabay

28. Hanging With the Kids

I’m a 25-year-old burly fella, shaved head and full beard, but I’m a softy. I was bussing a table at work and there was this outgoing little girl, probably 2 or 3 years old, at the table next to me. She excitedly yells at me from her table, “Hey! Look at my new dress!” I innocently say to her, “Wow! Look at all the flowers! You look very pretty” just like how anyone would talk to a two-year-old.

I was returned with friendly, yet awkward and shifty-eyed smiles from the rest of the family at the table. Much different from the laughs and conversation they gave to our young female hostess when the same thing happened to her minutes later. I have nieces and nephews. I know how to talk to and deal with kids, but it makes me feel like I shouldn’t.

Because society has creeps, they think every man could be one. And I’m the one that has to stay on my toes about it because of their insecurities. They should be teaching this little girl to be cautious of course but that situation was teaching her that whatever I did was wrong (or at least not right YKWIM?).

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29. Free Fries!

I was watching my friend’s daughter and took her to McDonald's for lunch. On our way to a table, she grabbed a French fry from someone's tray as we walked by. I apologized profusely and made her apologize before we left, and the woman was so kind about it. If an adult did that, I doubt she would have been as understanding.

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30. The Immature Hoarder

So yesterday my husband and I were watching hoarders and the episode was about a woman and her adult daughter (who didn't live there). Long story short the daughter that didn't live in the hoarded house was just as much of a hoarder and was hampering the process because she didn't want to let anything go. She started acting goofy, like, "Hey guys watch me do a cartwheel!" and swinging off of a laundry line, just running around very obviously seeking attention. At one point she said making decisions was "toooooo haaaard" and laid down in the pile of hoarded stuff in one room.

It was totally creepy. She was a former model but like in her late 30s early 40s and it was obvious that she felt that her only value was in her youth. So, I guess my answer is attention-seeking behavior

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31. Rattle ‘Em Off

Kiss another kid. Ask for someone to make someone they hate disappear. Kill a pet by accident (it’s not cute, but comprehensible when the kid doesn’t understand what they’re doing. Basically any stuff that involves childhood crushes, children don’t know much so they can do from cute to messes up things, that as an adult may get you a restraining order.

On Valentine's, ask someone you gave a rose for a kiss (seen some kids do this, you guess the issues when they’re adults). Beat up other kids. It might be cute as “look at him/her standing up to their bully’s” but that’s a big no-no as an adult. Asking for a little brother/sister to their parents.

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32. Trickiest Whizz in the West

I was working at the Walmart TLE. Where the customers parked was a guard rail, and on the other side, two to three feet of level ground, then a drainage swale, probably 20 feet deep. I went to get a car, and a lady was wrangling three young kids. I think nothing of it and pull the car in. I go back to grab another, and on the other side of the guard rail is one of the kids mom was trying to wrangle.

He's wearing a cowboy outfit. He's standing there surveying his territory, pants to his ankles, arms akimbo, taking a whiz. It was at once hilarious, and awesome.

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33. Thumb Suckers Anonymous

Sucking your thumb. I had gotten into a car accident when I was in college and had to take the bus to and from school. There was this beautiful French girl who would suck her thumb reflexively the ENTIRE trip. Some of you might think it could be sexy, but I promise you it was anything but. It made me feel so profoundly sad for that poor girl with the prune-y thumb.

She definitely experienced some trauma.

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34. Just a Little Casual Racism…Maybe?

I was a nanny for a couple of boys when my son was about the same age. One day in the middle of pizza, the eldest (three to four years) saw a dark-skinned family, black or Hispanic, I'm not sure. I was too embarrassed to look. He decided to yell at the top of his little lungs, "THAT DARK BOY HAS EYES JUST LIKE WE DO!!!"

My immediate and rather loud reply, "Oh good! They must be lovely and brown too!" Desperately trying not to let everyone around us think these little blonde, pale-as-milk kids had never seen or been taught about any other color of people. So he dodges me trying to grab him to sit, and says, "NO...BUT HE HAS EYES...REAL EYES."

I don't think I have EVER picked up three kids and left anywhere so fast in my life. I have no idea what kinds of horrors that poor restaurant thought of us. But I swear their parents’ best friend is mixed and half my family is Hispanic. To this day I have no idea what he meant or was thinking.

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35. A Strange Pre-Bath Ritual

When I was about 10 one of my friends had us over for a sleepover. We were watching our movie when her brother, aged four or five, ran into the room totally naked shouting, "Naked man, naked man.” Friend's mom quickly pulled him out, and our friend explained that it's a game they let him play before baths to encourage him to enjoy baths.

She was clearly and visibly embarrassed by this, when one of the other girls piped up, "Don't worry, it's no big deal my brother does it all the time, too." It took us all a beat to realize that her brother was about 16 or 17. So, I guess running around naked shouting "naked man" doesn't fly past a certain age.

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36. Burglar Check

When I was maybe five or so, my sister and I were playing with the pay-phone (yes, I know I'm old, screw you) after a family breakfast at a Bob Evans. I dialed 9-1-1, not realizing you didn't have to put a quarter in to call the police. I was HORRIFIED to get an answer. When the lady said, "9-1-1, what's your emergency?" I didn't have the sense to freaking hang up and run away. Instead...for the love of...I asked if "any burglars were on the loose."

Now, I'm a five-year-old kid, and this dispatcher picked up real quick that some dummy misfire of the uterus got his hands on a phone. She said, "Can you get your mom for me?" gave her a finger-wagging, and what was done was done. Now I'm 30. How do YOU think that same conversation with dispatch would go?

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37. Now That’s Awkward

Just in general, anything that you do as an adult is treated with more suspicion than when you were a kid, and that's kind of messed up. I used to go to this one karate dojo for years, and there was this one instructor there who knew me since I was ten years old. Very nice guy. We don't know one another super well outside of class, but one of my favorite memories was one time after class we were laughing and having a good time. I put my smelly foot in his face as a joke, and he does the "This little piggy went to the market, this little piggy went home" song with my little toes.

Years later, now I'm about nineteen, and I'm still at the same dojo. I've already largely moved on from it and am more focused on boxing and Muay Thai, but I attend just because I like the people a lot. The same instructor is still there, but as I grew older, he seemed to become more and more distant from me, which upset me a little.

One night we're in the changing room, and I break the ice, just starting a friendly conversation with him, and we seem to be getting along. Then I bring up the time he did the "This little piggy" toe song to me and how much I enjoyed it, and if he could do it again. He gives me a weird look and says no. I wasn't expecting a yes but was still hurt.

Then he asked me why, am I gay and have a foot fetish? I shook my head, no. It was just an innocent thing that I really enjoyed when you had done it, and if you'd be so kind, I'd love to relive this memory. There's nothing weird about it. Then he tells me no, it's weird when you're nineteen, and walks away. I had a :( face for the rest of the night.

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38. Natural Born Artist

About 25 years ago I went to a three-day photographic seminar in Boca Raton. One day was planned for Butterfly Gardens in Lauderdale. A fellow student asked if he could bring his 12-year-old son along. The instructor said yes. We go and about half a day in they decide to pack up and head to Miami Beach. We get there and his son goes nuts taking pictures with his little Kodak camera of all the topless women sunbathers, and the girls thought it was cute.

I mentioned to the guy how I'd get arrested if I did that. He said he's going to have a hard time explaining it to his wife when the film gets developed.

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39. The Butt Spoon

Not exactly illegal, but I only got away with it because I was about four or five at the time. When I was a kid my dad and mom were divorced and dad would always let us watch Austin Powers, Road Trip, Van Wilder, raunchy movies pretty much, and mom was a pretty strict Christian type. Well, one day she asked me to do something like, "Why don't you go do this thing real quick", and apparently I turned around and said, "Why don't you get a spoon and eat my butt?"

Lol I have no idea where I got it but apparently she called my dad crying saying he needed to come discipline me and as soon as she told him what happened he just freaking lost it and hung up on her lol.

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40. Child at Heart

I'll name a few things that I personally do and have either gotten dirty looks or been scolded for being "childish."

Playing with stuffed animals, getting extremely excited when someone is walking their dog in public (I've actually been late to an event because I had to stop and pet/talk to an old man's dogs), sitting down on the floor enjoying a coloring book and crayons, playing in puddles after it rains, watching and being engaged with cartoons, wanting my wife to hold my hand when we cross the street, freaking out with excitement when I saw a lady in a giant Hello Kitty costume. I'm sure there's more.

I'm a 30-year-old woman, and I realize I shouldn't enjoy some of these things, but they help keep the call of the void quiet.

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41. Will You Be My Friend?

Once, I did something that my mom afterward clarified was cute as a kid but weird as an eighteen-year-old. When I was eighteen or so and staying at my grandparent's house for a while, I became so unbearably lonely that I started knocking on doors around the neighborhood and asking if there were any people my age who I could make friends with.

Eventually, a cop car started following me. I told him I was lonely and trying to make friends. When I led him to my grandparent's house, he asked if I was on any kind of medication, even though I already told him no, so he obviously didn't believe me. That's when I legit cried. I realized how my loneliness and desperation got me to a point where I was creeping people out.

In high school, I kept to myself most of the time, and my mental state was suffering at that particular time after graduation. Today, though, I have a dog, and I live on my own; I don't care too much about making friends anymore, because I recognize that most people are jerks, so forget them.

Creepy As An Adult facts Shutterstock

42. Tarps On

Taking my top off in public. Once in preschool, we were out on the playground and it was hot so I took off my shirt. I’m pretty sure I was wearing an undershirt but, perhaps due to fear of escalation (taking that off too) our teacher ran up and made me put my shirt back on. Later that day when my mom picked me up she asked me how my day was and I said, “Miss (teacher’s name) said we’re gonna keep our shirts on today!”

I’m pretty sure a phone call was made soon after.

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Sources: , , ,


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