You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing With

March 14, 2023 | Scott Mazza

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing With

We love a good uncompromising tough guy. And it’s always fun to see how people can show their boldness amidst provocation. These Redditors shared stories of impressive tenacity, and they're absolutely unforgettable.

1. He Had No Choice

I was out drinking with some friends. We walked out of a bad greasy spoon at 3 am and ran into some guys walking into the restaurant, also inebriated. I was the last in my group, and I accidentally rubbed shoulders with the first guy in that group.

Immediately, he starts trash-talking, but I just ignore him and keep walking to the parking lot. I'm about halfway to my car when he says something that particularly offends me because it was targeted at one of the girls with us.

I turn around, and seconds later, we're in the middle of a blank spot in the parking lot with our friends off to the sides. Eye to eye, he finally realizes that I'm a pretty big guy. We have a tense silence for a few seconds, then, under my breath, I said something that made him freeze in terror.

"You're going to say, 'screw this guy, he ain't worth it,' you're going to turn around, walk away and rejoin your friends. And you're going to do that because if you don't, you won't need to eat because I'm going to feed you your shoes".

About five seconds passed before he said, "screw this guy, he ain't worth it", and rejoined his friends.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

2. Hitchhiking

My friend's dad is a truck driver, and he used to pick up hitchhikers ALL THE TIME. One time, he picked up two of them, and they started on the journey to wherever they were going.

After an hour, one decides he's going to try and jack the truck and pulls out a blade. Well, my friend's dad, being awesome, floors it, and says, "You're going to put that away, or I'm going to kill us all," and steers directly towards the concrete dividers that were splitting the highway up ahead.

The would-be truck-jackers put away the blade and sit quietly for the rest of the ride, and he STILL drops them off at their destination.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

3. Chivalrous Defender

I was out fishing at a local pond with a few cute girls that I went to school with (we had gotten close because of honors society). We catch a few bass and channel catfish and decide it is time to head home before dusk sets in. There was a 150-200 yard path from the parking lot to the actual pond, so we started heading down said path.

As we get about halfway down, we see two local "thugs", who have dropped out of high school and are always around to cause trouble in our town. Since I am carrying all of the tackle (for non-fishermen, rods/lures/tacklebox/etc), I am also trailing the three girls.

As we get closer to the thugs, I hear them yelling idiocies like, "Woah mommy, look at that thing," and, "I’d bed every single one of you"... right in front of the girls. Next, the guy in front turns around and grabs one of my friends’ posteriors and slaps her right in the chest.

This made me mad. I yell, "Hey jerks! Don't you even dare look at them". I admit, I'm a little hot-tempered, and probably could have handled the situation much better, but I was in the heat of the moment. The two guys start walking over to me, obviously ready to mess me up.

With quick thinking I dropped my tackle and flipped out my four-inch Smith & Wesson blade from my pocket, and to put the icing on the cake, I pulled out my Ka-bar that I use for filleting. The dudes were silent after that. They took a very wide path around us, and we were on our way.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithHippopx

4. The One-liner To End It All

I'd been drinking quite heavily, as this happened just after Ireland lost the match to Croatia (I don't handle losses very well). I'm walking to another pub with my friend, and some dude starts mouthing off at us. A really belligerent guy, truly.

We try to get rid of him, and when his phone rings, I figure we've finally lucked out of this mess. We pick up the pace and try to shake him off, but he's so inebriated that he's shouting into his phone, so we can easily hear it. He refers to us insultingly several times, just being a real lower colon.

His phone call ends and he catches up to us (this guy was huge, so it wouldn't have been very hard to gain in on two short girls). This is when he comments on my body. I'd been getting annoyed for a good while, but that was when I snapped. I whipped around and got all up in his face.

I had the fronting hand going and everything. I don't even know where the courage came from...Wait, I do—Jaegermeister—but I give him the best glare I've given in my life. Then I deliver a line that I—despite having been a writer since I was a kid—have never topped even in fiction.

"You've made a lot of bad decisions tonight. Now make a good one and walk away". He's so surprised that he just stares for a few seconds, and then he tries to go after my friend. The classic, "Your friend is a bit crazy, isn't she" approach, but I'm having none of it. I keep my hand in his face and keep saying "Walk away. Walk away".

He eventually realizes that I am not even a little bit joking and leaves. It was...tremendously satisfying.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFreepik, KamranAydinov

5. The Park Ranger

I used to be a Park Ranger, and we had some limited enforcement capabilities. A supervisor had thrown us some overtime to keep high school kids out of a playground after dark because some of the people in the neighborhood were complaining. They were noisy, throwing bottles at cars, puking everywhere, etc.

I can see why people didn't want them around. The park rules stated that they couldn't enter the playgrounds after dark, so I was right in asking them to leave. The first time we cleared the playground, we were very polite and put up with all their "get a real job" and "fake officer" jokes.

I heard that all the time. I worked 40 hours a week and got a nice salary and benefits, so I don't know what their definition of a real job was, and it was a little funny hearing it from 18-year-olds. The second time, it was more of the same.

The third time I cleared the same group of plastered teenagers out of the playground I was getting a little annoyed. I warned them they would be getting summonses next time I had to come back to this playground. I drove off and watched them all file back in after they retrieved their bottles from under the parked cars on the street.

I went around the block and came back to the playground, blocking the exit with my truck. Now they all had to squeeze past my truck to exit. I had had it, this was my last warning. I had given these kids every chance to go home.

The last kid to exit, who was particularly intoxicated, leaned his head into my open window and said, "Screw you, I'll be back in five minutes". That pushed me over the edge. I threw my door open and got out, which he was clearly not expecting.

I could see he was woozy beyond the capability to put up much of a fight, so I said to him, "You wanna go back to the playground? Let's go! Now you can't leave!"

I grabbed him by the shirt and dragged him back into the playground and cuffed him. My partner was completely stunned. He stood by making sure no one tried to come to his rescue. I brought the kid, who was even more stunned, over to the car and began to search him and get him ready for transport.

The other kids realized what was going on and began to shout at me, demanding I release their friend. One kid yelled, "You can't do that! You're not even a real officer!" to which I replied, "I might not be a real officer, but he's going to the REAL precinct in REAL handcuffs and he's going to be charged with REAL misdemeanors and have a REAL record!"

The kid cried real tears the whole way to the precinct. He was given an appearance ticket for disorderly conduct, trespassing, failure to comply, and an open container. We didn't have to go back to that playground for the rest of the summer.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFlickr, Park Ranger

6. Big Bro To The Rescue

I have an older gay brother. It was pretty well known he was gay in high school, but nobody ever flat-out asked me about it. One day, two guys from the football team (both Juniors) are giving me a hard time. Suddenly, my brother appears. He walks over and says, "Hey. Leave him alone. This isn't a request".

One guy replies, "Shut up gay boy. What are you going to do?" My brother's answer still sticks with me to this day.

"See, you should think about that. I've been gay for as long as I can remember. Which means I got into fights every day. So, I know I can fight. How about you? Can you actually fight? Or do you just try to scare people? Because you don't scare me. I've been with guys bigger than you. Again. Leave my brother alone".

"Screw you!"

"You're not my type. I like men".

At this point, a little crowd had gathered, and they began to laugh at my brother's last comment. The two guys scowled, huffed, and walked away. My brother looked at me, smiled, and said, "Sorry if that was awkward".

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFreepik, asier_relampagoest

7. A Terrifying Language

I was out in downtown Houston skating around with some friends when I had to pee. I walked into a narrow alley and I didn't see these two girls staring. So I looked at them and smiled. Right as I finished up, a couple of fools came up and just straight started harassing them.

The typical “wanna do you/you got a pretty mouth” dumb stupidity. So I start to walk over to break that up when a guy looks up at me and says, "What do you think you're gonna do?" I started talking in a low voice in German just repeating lyrics from Rammstein making it sound like a threatening sentence instead of a song.

Then they freaked out because I'm a tall, fairly muscular dude. They left and the girls said thanks. They then asked me what I said and I told them I didn't know and left.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

8.  Loss Prevention Boss

Among many of my security jobs, I have worked in Loss Prevention for two major retailers. (For those wondering, Loss Prevention is essentially catching thieves.) Eventually you just kinda know who to watch and who not to.

One day my partner (a female) and I started watching this guy: early 20s, overly muscled, and spray-tanned, with a guido jersey shore haircut and a muscle shirt. He is, of course, looking at other muscle shirts in the store. We see him select five shirts and go into the fitting room.

Very long story short, he tries to take eight of these shirts. My coworker and I are with him acting like an arguing couple the whole time. He eventually goes to leave the store which is when we can stop him. So we get in front of him at the door, identify ourselves, and ask him to come with us.

Now I normally slouch a lot but I'm 6 '4. So the kid gets in my face saying he didn't do anything, and if I don't move he's gonna kick me down. So all I did was stare at him and say, "Make a decision about what you're going to do, and we will go from there". Totally calm, with a straight face.

He kinda blinked and got a weird look in his eye and asked me, "What?" So I repeated myself. "I said, make a decision, about what you're going to do. We will go from there". He kinda sat there for a few seconds and leaned back a bit, and started harassing my female co-worker instead.

At that point, I snapped my fingers and told him to pay attention to me. After that, we placed him in cuffs and led him to the office for processing. Since then, I have used that line multiple times at other LP, Security Jobs, and even at bars.

The ONLY time anyone has ever done anything after that was a patient from a mental hospital I worked at who was schizophrenic and at that point, it didn't matter what I said.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

9. Cancer Beats Bros

A little over two years ago, I had a total thyroidectomy to treat thyroid cancer. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped pile of glands that lay along the lower front of your neck. To take them out they had to cut a fairly large slit along my neck, and it was pretty gnarly.

Skip forward two months after the surgery. I'm back in university and mingling in a bar with some friends. A prototypical bro is harassing one of the girls in our group. I walk over to try and separate them, and it's immediately obvious that this bro is spoiling for a fight.

He's a good four inches over me, puffing and slapping his chest, rattling off "You wanna go?" ad infinitum. I'm about five drinks deep at this point, and I'm not having any of this. I calmly turn to my friend and hand her my drink. Returning my attention to the bro, who now has a few fellow bro-clan at his back, I look him in the eyes.

"I want to go? I. Want. To. Go?" I rip open the neck of my shirt, buttons popping off and revealing a still-healing slit neck. "YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT I WANT TO GO".

At this point, everyone in the immediate area has shut up and turned to look. Those in front of me are gawking at my neck. The antagonist bro mumbles a "Jesus Christ" as he backs into the equally stunned backup bros. I retrieve my drink from my friend as onlookers come forward to ask what happened to my neck.

The rest of the night was quite enjoyable. I don't remember all of it, but I do know I didn't pay for any drinks after that. I also had four new numbers saved in my phone by the next morning, none of them having names I recognized.

Cancer beats bros.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

10. Sports Fight Escalated

I was at a bar with my buddy watching a baseball game. My buddy loves the Red Sox and doesn't drink, and I think baseball is stupid but LOVE drinking, so we reached a kind of compromise.

Anyway, while my friend Scott is chatting up this girl next to him about "the Sox" (or whatever) these two guys next to us in Yankees jerseys are becoming more and more belligerent. Yelling, throwing stuff at the tv, and just generally being inconvenient.

Now, I know enough about baseball to know Boston and New York hate each other (I'm originally from Philadelphia, and we hate EVERYONE) but I didn't think these two were gonna be much trouble aside from being loud.

Then, for whatever reason, one of the big New Yorker guys decides to dump a full drink on this Red Sox chick my friend was talking to. At this point, my entirely clearheaded friend said something along the lines of, "Hey, dude, what the...?"

The guy turned to my buddy, reeled for a moment, and then leaned way back and made that "hocking a loogie" sound, and right as he leaned in to hawk at me, I swung at him, forgetting I still had a full mug in my hand. It was the best revenge possible.

According to my friend and his lady friend, his saliva "totally came all the way out of his mouth, hit the mug, and then went back into his face when the mug hit him". It was wicked awesome!

Now, mind you, I'm completely plastered, but as far as the New York bros were concerned I came out of nowhere like a woozy batman because I was sitting at a table behind the whole group (wing manning is a subtle art).

So as this dude hits the floor bloody and sputtering, his other New York bro looks at me mouth agape, takes two steps back...and then I got jumped by the bouncers and was dragged out of the bar yelling the entire way.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFreepik,Racool_studio

11. Savage Grandpa

I always enjoyed this story of my uncle and grandpa, both awesome guys. When my uncle was in elementary school, he would take a shortcut home from school through the woods. There was a kid who would hang around and yell at kids as they passed.

One day my uncle was on his way home, minding his own business when he popped out from behind a tree. The kid poked his fun and then threw a big rock in my uncle's direction.

Narrowly avoiding being hit, my uncle picked up the same rock and threw it back hitting him square in the face and causing a rush of blood to stream all over his face. My uncle ran home, scared for his life. Sometime later, there was a knock on the door.

My grandpa answered the door and the kid and his father were standing before him. The kid’s dad is upset and tells my grandpa that my uncle threw a rock and hit his kid in the face, to which he was owed an apology or something.

My grandpa turns to my uncle who is sitting on the living room floor playing with toys and asks him, "Son, did you hit him with a rock?" to which my uncle replied, "He threw it first".

My grandpa turns to the man and his evil son and says, "Well, it seems your son threw it first. Mine just has better aim". And shut the door.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

12. Don’t Mess With The Pizza

Two guys at a bar (one sitting next to me and the other across) started messing with me for no apparent reason. They were clearly plastered. And the fact that I ordered the bar pizza is a testament to the fact that I was nearing that point too.

When the waitress comes by and drops my pizza off, the guy across from me is basically challenging me to "walk outside". At that moment, the sad excuse of an idiot next to me makes a grab at my pizza.

Through some amazing drunken luck, I see this out of the corner of my eye, launch my arm out and backslap out of this guy's arm. They must have imagined I knew martial arts because they didn't say a word after this and got up to leave. Don't mess with my pizza.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFlickr, Joel Kramer

13. Show You Something? Okay Then

I remember during the first week as a freshman in high school (All-Boys Catholic, just to set a visual for you guys), I was waiting outside with the other students to get picked up by their parents. As cars were lining up, one of my classmates came up to me. As usual, because of my Asian descent, I was asked some questions.

Classmate: "Where are you from?"

Me: "I was born in the US, but my parents are from the Philippines".

Classmate: "Do you know martial arts?"

Me: "Yeah I dabbled in Karate and Arnis."

From experience, when you answer the 2nd question with a YES of some sort, you either have one of two responses: One with intrigue and interest, and the other with obnoxious smugness. He responded with the 2nd response.

Classmate: "Ok, why don't you show me something?"

Me: "...Um, show you something, like what?"

Classmate: "Like if I did this!"

He grabbed me by the collar with both hands, sort of rough and tight. Just how I like it, actually. I'm about 5'5, and he was about 6'0. I remember looking up at him.

Me: "Oh ok, this"...

In an instant, I slammed my elbows down against his forearms, breaking the lock he had. Then I grabbed his shirt with both hands, turned around, and with a simple motion of the body and hips, I threw him on his back.

As he was looking at the sky, the look of pain on his face and the occasional groaning allowed him to swallow his pride, and stop messing with me. I guess that's what happens when you have the wind knocked out of you, as you land with 20-30 lbs of books on your back.

Me: "So yeah, that's the simple gist of it"...

I walked to the sunset, and I got into my brother’s car, riding away home. Home. That's where the heart is.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

14. The Bear

I worked as a backpacking guide in New Mexico and carried a green plastic lightsaber in my pack for giggles. One evening my crew was cooking dinner and a bear started working his way down the ridge by our campsite toward us. I acted on instinct.

I grabbed the lightsaber off my pack, whipped it open, leaped across the creek, and ran screaming after the bear waving the lightsaber like a crazy person. I chased him about 100 yards up the hill, then walked back and acted like nothing happened while my crew looked on in awe.

Felt incredibly tough for days.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFlickr, BenSpark

15. The Dive

I worked at a huge bar down in Memphis for a while, working my way through school as a bartender. A huge fight breaks out in the middle of the main floor right in front of the stage.

Bottles are being thrown so I know I have to get involved and do something. I hop onto the bar top and do a flying superman dive into the middle of the fight and take out probably eight people. As I am getting up from my less-than-graceful swan dive, a dude grabs my shoulder.

At this point, my adrenaline is pumping on overload and I spin around and lay this huge muscle-bound dude out cold. The adrenaline starts to slow down and my tunnel vision ceases. I look around to see everyone just standing there with a look of "Ohhhh man".

Officers come in and haul off the hooligans and as I walk back to the bar the crowded room just parts for me and made me feel like I was the baddest man on the planet. Plus, the rest of the night, people would order drinks and say, "Woah dude, you handled your business," and then would tip extremely well.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

16. Let’s Take It To Court

I was a lowly sergeant standing before my battalion sergeant major. I was being threatened with non-judicial punishment for very nonsensical and untrue reasons. I looked him in the eyes and requested a full court martial. He told me to leave his office and never bothered about that issue again.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFlickr, Navy Medicine

17. The Catch

My friend told me to throw a tennis ball at him as hard as I can to prove he could catch anything.

I threw the tennis ball and it broke one of his fingers.

(...and no, he did not catch it)

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

18. Dylan

A friend of mine named Dylan and I used to hang out a lot in high school since we were on the swim team together. He tended to fit the whole "arrogant jerk" stereotype on the surface but was actually hilarious, super nice, and insanely fun to be around (emphasis on the insane).

He was a couple of years older than me, so during my senior year of high school, he was at some liberal arts college near the coast getting a hippie major in piano performance or something. Well, he got himself kicked out of there because he and his roommate stashed over $1,000 worth of drinks in their fridge and ceiling tiles in the dorm. But that's just the backstory.

So he comes back home, we play CoD all summer and do whatever, and he joins the Navy and starts working out even more constantly than he always used to as a gym rat. So, being the testosteroned-out, crazy guy he was, he naturally bought a motorcycle.

He loved wheelies on that thing more than life (they were almost mutually exclusive), so on the 4th of July while at a friend's house, he decided to do wheelies, at night, on a narrow, hilly residential street. While he's showing off doing that, one of the guys there decides that it would be hilarious to shoot bottle rockets at him.

So he takes the first few hits like a champ but loses his balance just enough when one hits him in the helmet to flip the motorcycle over. He goes flying, headfirst, over the handlebars at no less than 15 mph. Crazy, right? Wrong.

He goes straight up ninja, somersaults, and lands on his feet, unscathed, while the motorcycle is completely totaled. Since his lease expired a little later in the summer, he moved back in with his parents for a few weeks until he was deployed for basic. One week, his parents are gone. Queue an entire week of pretty wild parties.

Well one night, these three idiots don't want to leave when he says leave, while holding a large stick from the garage (most people were out there). One of them says something like "put down the stick and fight [the three of us all at once] like a man".

Well, what does he do? He drops that stick. We came downstairs (his closer friends were upstairs cooking some food since the party was downstairs and winding down), to see him holding the one kid by the hair with his left hand, and messing up the two bigger dudes with his right.

Yeah. They left quickly.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

19. Definitely Don’t Mess With This Guy

Someone threatened to sneak into my house and take me out in my sleep. In one swift motion, I picked up a bottle and slammed it down, shattering half of it, pointed it at him, and said, "I guess I'll just have to kill you now, then". I was pretty out of it and have no idea where that came from.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

20. David And Goliath: A Modern Rendition

I got into a fight with this bigger kid. We slugged it out for a bit but finally, I got him in a headlock. Suddenly he whips out a pair of scissors. I tried to push him away but he lunged at me and I managed to lift my arm in front of my neck and he impaled my upper arm.

I remember feeling such rage that he would do something like that. I grabbed two bricks from a nearby pile and screamed that I would destroy him.

My cousin who was in a pub nearby still tells me how he saw this big kid come running past the pub and crawling under a truck. Then moments later I emerged from the alley clutching two bricks, rage in my eyes, with scissors sticking out from my arm. I got free scissors, and that guy still avoids me.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

21. The Judo Master

I am a lady, a little lady, and I enrolled in a Judo class last year. I was never very good at sports and at this time, I was not used to muscle soreness and was not very coordinated. But I stuck with it and moved up into the advanced class.

My least favorite thing is randori or sparring. It gets very intense. At the time I was 115lb and the next lightest class member was probably 190lb. While judo is a lovely sport and martial art that uses geometry and physics to counter the opponent as opposed to just brute muscle strength, that muscle still helps.

Also, it takes me a little longer to understand throws because it's harder for me to translate what I see into what I do. I know I'm not the best, I would joke and laugh whenever I did something wrong instead of getting angry or frustrated. But unfortunately, I was treated differently by my classmates (not my instructor, awesome dude).

I’d get a lot of eye rolls if I made a mistake, even if others made the same mistake. It got on my nerves, but my instructor assured me that I was doing fine and was on the same page with everyone. Since I had to rely on physics and balance, I had to do combinations exactly correctly while others could just lift and throw using muscle.

So, one day we end class with randori, and I have to participate. Fine, it's the only way I'll get better, I thought. I'm paired up with a guy who is at least 80 lbs heavier (I mention this for a visual later). We're sparring and I keep trying to do a throw that we had learned that day.

So I am trying and just not getting it. I'm trying to keep a smile on my face so I don't appear frustrated or angry, and this guy decides to start a sentence with the phrase, "You know what your problem is?"

"You know what your problem is?" Oh absolutely not! Now, if he would have said, "Here, what if you did this"... or "May I make a suggestion?" I wouldn't be angry, but the phrase, "You know what your problem is?" made something explode inside me.

"Oh no, what is it?" I asked with the angriest brown doe eyes you could imagine. "You can't do it," he said. I hulked out. I threw him three times. After each throw, I put him in a kesa gatame, which is a pin that I am a beast at because I can fan my body weight out well.

The last time I had my bicep and whatever the forearm muscle is called around his neck in a hold, I said, "No, tell me again what my problem is". Totes weird. But didn't hear anyone talking to me like that again.

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22. Here’s What Jealousy Gets You

I was with a bunch of guy friends at a bar drinking. For some reason, this girl was not happy with me, I wouldn't even be able to tell you why. I'm sure it's because I was female too, and you shouldn't step to someone's gender like that.

Anyway, I'm pretty non-confrontational. But after about 45 minutes of her yelling at me every time she sees me walk around a corner, I start getting fed up. I was a little tipsy, mind you, but then she approached me as I was standing in front of a big hallway mirror with multiple friends around.

She walked up to me, put her face close to mine, and said, "Don't turn around, there'll be a skank staring back at you". I looked blankly at her for a second and then all of a sudden WHAM. I felt my arm hook around and my clenched fist hit her right in the side of the head, and she fell down.

Everyone just stood in silence for a minute until she started screaming, at which point I was calmly sipping from the drink that was still in my left hand. She ran away uncontrolled, calling the bouncer over and screaming, "THAT'S HER!"

The bouncer looked at me, noticed I was not tripping over myself, and didn't have tears streaming down my face like she was, turned to her, and said "Get out, now". The whole bar had stopped to watch at this point, and as she was walking out I got an entire bar full of applause.

It was awesome.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

23. Not From ‘Round Here

Long story short, my passport got taken and the only way back home was a train from Oakland, California back to Canada. So I was sitting at the train station for like two hours and decided to go for a walk around that part of Oakland (across from where the raiders and A's play) being naive and from Canada, I had no idea what this meant.

It took me less than 10 minutes to realize I made a horrible decision. A car started driving around the block I was walking down (I had a suitcase and a backpack and a large bag it was a long trip). After the third time being circled, I decided to walk back quickly.

That worked well till I had to cross the parking lot, where this car pulled in as well. Now, being from Canada, all of a sudden the thought of all those scary stories of gangs and muggings from the American news got me scared.

The three guys who got out of the car are what we see as the typical hoodlum. The driver steps in front of my walking path cause I've been trying to avoid eye contact. He stops me and goes, "Yo man, you not from here," and laughs, "What you got in there, hey I should check it out".

His two friends are leaning over the car and one pulls a bat out of the car and places it on the roof. This is where my instincts kick in and I lose control of any real thinking.

So I start yelling in the most aggressive way possible, "I got my stuff that's what I got, I'm from Surrey, BC and if you think pulling a bat out means you scare me, you can think twice. You better have something more than that to get at me. I step over crackheads on my way to work every morning and I stabbed a guy for pushing me in a bus line so if you want to start something you better start it".

Now, obviously, I've never hurt anyone and I am from Surrey and I do step over crackheads on the way to work. But I don't know where any of this came from. By all physical appearances, I'm a bit of a dork and I'm gay. So I have no idea where any of this came from but my heart was racing and this is what came out.

So I stood there for a few seconds breathing heavy fists clenched, posed in some stupid-looking come-at-me-bro pose like I was ready to battle a lion. The guy looks at his other friends and then goes "my bad man" then gets back in the car and they leave.

About a minute after they left, I actually had to sit down, my legs would not work I was so scared. So that's how my life almost ended.

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24. A Knight Indeed

Five cowardly roaches (who don't deserve to be called "men") tried robbing my mother outside a store in my town one evening. Somehow, they neglected to see me sitting in the car directly in front of them. When I popped up, they all took off, empty-handed, scattering in every direction possible with their tails between their legs.

So I scared off five would-be criminals by doing nothing more than appearing in front of them.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

25. Someone Can Hold Their Own

I had a hockey player turn my face into a hamburger. He was wearing a fiberglass cast on his forearm and when he wasn't splitting my face open, the near grazes would still leave me with road rash. I started laughing and yelling, "IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?"

About halfway through the beating, he had tears leaking out of his eyes, and I was laughing uncontrollably. He finally gave up and took off after about a dozen total shots. Once the adrenaline wore off, it was pretty painful. My face was shredded from hairline to chin and I had blood on my shirt down to my navel.

Never told the school staff who did it. But no one ever messed with me again after that.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

26. If You Look For Trouble, You Find It

I was driving home one day and accidentally cut off a guy because I was trying to avoid a really bad wreck. The guy starts riding me and honking his horn and flipping me off. I decide to cut down a back street to get away from him but he follows me. I take turn after turn trying to lose this guy.

I finally decide to stop and pull over in a residential neighborhood. This guy gets out with a tire iron and starts walking to my car. I stay in the car and he comes up and starts trying to open the door yelling out "get out of the car". I pull out my concealed carry pistol and tell him to get back in his car before I drop him.

He ran and I got a new tire iron. I called the authorities and had to wait for them because I didn't want said idiot to call and say I was the aggressor and was brandishing a weapon.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

27. Superpowered Trooper

I caught lead fired from an M4. We were on the range for Guard training, firing the M4. My group wasn't on the line, so we were standing a few meters behind the group firing.

The group firing went from standing to prone position, and in doing so, one of the servicewomen accidentally discharged her M4. The round went through the edge of a sandbag, struck a heavy metal pipe right in front of the firing positions, and ricocheted up in an arc toward our group, having lost most of its velocity.

On instinct, I stuck out my hand to catch it. I didn't even have time to realize what had just happened before it melted a hole in my glove and burned my hand. I love when people ask about the scar, and I get to say, "Oh that's from the time I caught a bullet".

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFreepik, wayhomestudio

28. The Dream-Crushing Princess

My favorite tough-guy moment happened in 5th grade. I was a tiny, towhead blonde girl who got picked on a lot. Even though I was at a private school, the kids got really aggressive. (Lots of pent-up privileged rage?)

Anyway, one day in music class, a kid about 40 pounds heavier and a foot and a half taller than me kicks me in the back and I fall on my face. The teacher does nothing. I came home with a bruise from my tailbone to my scapula.

Naturally, my mom wasn't pleased. After she met with the school and they still took no disciplinary action, she gave me permission to exercise any defensive action I saw fit if he ever touched me again.

Fast forward about a week, and I'm on the top of the play structure at recess. The kid comes up to me and starts trash-talking to get me to leave. I try to ignore him and refuse to move. Then he decides to start laughing about how I need someone else to fight for me. Now I'm starting to get mad, but I keep my cool.

Then he decides it's a good idea to bring up my mother and pushes me. Now, this kid wanted to be a marine. I think I crushed that dream...literally.

I grab him by his shirt collar and run him to the edge of the structure, slam him into the metal pole on one side, and throw him headfirst over the edge. He broke his collarbone. Best part? He got suspended for five days. I got nothing. No kid ever messed with me again.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

29. Never Take From Lord & Taylor

It was getting late, and the store was about to close (Lord & Taylor). Then a guy walks in—one who doesn't look like he would be buying the type of clothes that are sold there. He immediately starts browsing the dress shirt section. A co-worker and I see him pick up about 10 shirts and proceed to walk into the dressing room with them.

Now you think that a smart thief may hide one, two, maybe three in their pants if they are super ballsy. No. This man decides to stuff ten dress shirts down into his pants making him look like he has similar-sized quads as Ronnie Coleman himself.

At this time, I stop him right away. I say that we know that he is trying to take all of the shirts and ask kindly for him to put them back. This is when things start heating up. The man says that he has HIV, pulls out a syringe, and says that anyone that tries to get in his way is going to get "stuck".

I obviously don't want any part of this so I back up and was going to let him go. Normal protocol is that you are not allowed to touch a "customer" inside the store even if you do know they are taking something. This is when I start to hear clothes dropping to the floor and the sounds of metal hangers rattling.

My co-worker decided that 10 shirts were not leaving the store and he was going to stop this man. Out of the left field, I see a metal bar come slamming into this man with the force of a hundred men. He gets knocked unconscious, authorities are called, the man gets thrown behind bars, and all was made right in the world.

I was not very bold, but my coworker surely was.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

30. Rescuing The Bike

I attended an annual college bike tour which consists of everyone (about 500+) riding bikes around a neighborhood and getting tipsy. After about three hours into the event, my friend’s bike gets stolen.

I wasn't around him when it happened but he finally found the guys who did it and covertly took one back. But the other guy who had his bike was about to get up and ride away with it. So he ran over to me and says, "That guy took my bike and he is about to ride off with it".

Without missing a beat, I threw all of my stuff (backpack, glasses, neck koozie, and the red bull I just chugged) and stormed off to confront the guy with rage in my eyes. I'm about 6', 185 lbs and the guy was a 6'1, 200 lbs frat bozo. I'm in a fraternity too, but I pride myself on trying to not act like a jerk.

So I stood in front of the bike, put my hand on the handlebars and the following conversation ensued:

Me: Is this your bike?

Guy: Yeah man.

Me: What brand is it? (He started to look down so I karate-chopped his chest so he couldn't look)

Me: WHAT BRAND IS IT...(no answer)

We stare at each other sizing one another up, silence for what seems to be a minute, I see his fist ball up, so I get in a striking stance ready to deflect and ruin him. A few more silent seconds go by, and the tension level is over 9,000.

His buddy finally comes over: Dude just gets off the bike man it's not worth it.

Me: Get off the bike, you know it's not yours!

Guy:...So if I just get off we don't have to fight.

Me: Yeah just get off the bike, BRO!

So he got off the bike and shook my hand and apologized.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

31. Teenage Drama

I was living with a middle-aged woman. Since I am middle-aged as well this was a fairly decent arrangement. Her daughter was living with us as well. 17 years old and absolutely wild.

From what I understand, one of her former boyfriends became upset with her because she had a new boyfriend. He was going to come to my home and hurt her under my roof. He said that if I got in his way, he was going to hurt me as well.

A friend of hers caught wind of what was happening and called her mother. She called me. The boy showed up with an audience. I greeted them just by poking my head out of the door and telling them to get off of my property.

This bozo gets out of the vehicle. I open the door and he can see that I'm packing a 45 in a shoulder rig. I also have an 870 by the door.

I hear a forlorn "Hi, (my name)," from his friend that came along to witness him beating me up. I repeated my demand that the man remove himself from my property and he complied. It could have been the firearms. Then again it could have been the shovel leaning against my truck and the fact that no one would come looking for him if he disappeared that far from town.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFreepik, karlyukav

32. Paintball Can Be Wild

I was playing paintball with some dude I’d just met. We were playing a game that required we defend a small plywood village on a hill. Everyone around us was getting picked off for about 30 minutes. Then the whistle was blown by the ref, signaling that our team was allowed to leave the village.

With a nod, we took off in the opposite direction of the attacking team, running down the hill and circling around. Running full speed we rounded the hill. No one saw us coming. Their attention was centered on the plywood village. One by one, we shot EVERY SINGLE member of the other team.

It was the most amazing game of my entire life. A ref saw the whole thing and tossed us two cheap little keychains with the name of the field as a keepsake to remember it by. I still have the keychain.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPxhere

33. King Of The Hipsters

King o' the hipsters parked in front of my driveway the other day and I yelled out, "Hey. Center of the universe, I have places to be, move your car". As I was closing the door one swore at me. And I couldn’t believe him.

So I walked back out to the edge of my property and said, "just move your car man". The first hipster, who had an ironic mustache, skinny jeans, a 'vintage' shirt, and horn-rimmed glasses yells at me…

Him: "Go back in your house gay boy!"

Me: "So you're inconsiderate AND prejudiced".

This turned him bright red and he came at me until his friend held him back.

His friend chimes in with, "You're better than that!"

Me: "Based on the evidence I have available, I would have to say he is not".

So the hipster turns to his friends and says, "I'm walking home and grabbing my bike, I'm just mad".

Me (grinning): "Fixed gear?"

The hipster gets in my face: "YOU ARE THE MOST IGNORANT PERSON I'VE EVER MET"

Me: "I'm not using insults. Enjoy the ticket" (officers ticketed it before he got back)

Hipster: "IT'S ONLY 25 DOLLARS".

Me: "Unless I'm mistaken, that is about five hours as a Starbucks barista...isn't it?"

He swears at me again.

Me: "This is a gay-friendly neighborhood, sir, I'd appreciate it if you kept your foul language to yourself".

Hipster flips me the bird, I send him a kiss. Not really a "tough guy" but I kept my complete cool the whole time and smiled. It was one of the few times I actually had comebacks that really stung. The best part is that from the looks of both of us, you'd think I'd be the one to use insulting words (I'm a straight white hick).

So I could tell that pointing out his hate to him really rustled his jimmies.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

34. She Scared The Thief Away

A guy talked his way into my neighbor's house pretending to be from Comcast and then left once he saw she had several large dogs. The neighbor called Comcast, there was no work order for her house, and she warned us to be on the lookout for a small-bodied black truck and gave us a description of the guy.

Fast forward two days and I look outside to see a guy parked in our cul de sac, in a small black truck, taking photos of our house. There was no reason to take photos of our house, it wasn't for sale or architecturally pleasing in any way, so I decided the guy was casing the house to rob it.

Admittedly, I went a little redneck but I made myself as big as possible, barged out of the house, and charged right at the truck. The look on the guy's face was one of complete surprise as he threw the camera down and gunned the truck out of the neighborhood.

I'm a short female, but I guess charging at the guy with as much aggression as I could muster was tough enough. We never saw him on our street again.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

35. Commotion On The Bleachers

I was at a football game during college where the tickets sold were far too many for the space allotted. They also forgot to give the band a section so the band just took a bunch of seats assigned to ticket holders. Because of the overbooking, many people were standing on the benches to be able to see.

Once all the folks in front of us were standing on the bench, we were forced to as well. The frat brothers seated behind us did not like that we were standing on the benches and pushed my friend (who is 6'8") off the bench claiming he was "too tall" to stand on the bench.

Since I was inebriated (and have a very poor self-preservation instinct), I decided to defend my friend by getting into a yelling match with the frat boys. After a few pretty harsh insults and threats, one of the frat boys' mothers (who was sitting with her husband and the frat boy's younger brother) starts yelling at me to leave her son (the one who pushed my friend) alone.

She even had the gall to grab my shoulder to get my attention. At this point, I assume this will end in a fight where my friends and I get kicked by like 30 frat guys, so I decide to take a different tact. I proceed to unleash the vilest string of insults and curse words at this woman for raising such a horrible kid and that her disgusting son is the instigator of this situation.

The look on the father's face was absolutely beautiful. It was a combination of shock that would stand up for myself despite the clear odds against me and the realization that no matter how this ended he would have to deal with his wife after this.

The dad slowly sunk into his seat and tried to blend into the crowd as the mom just got quiet and looked towards her sons to come to her rescue. I finished by telling her to control her kid and let me watch the game in peace. I then turned around to watch the game.

I hear her behind me begin to berate her husband and both her sons as to why they didn't stick up for her. The father just says "let's go" to his family and they all get up and leave (including the frat boy, who was quite whiny about leaving his friends).

My friend further towards the aisle told me later that the younger son was saying to his mom that I was crazy and would have fought all of them. Probably ruined that whole family's trip since they had to deal with a super irritated mom for the rest of it. I am still shocked that the frat did not attack me after.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFreepik,freepik

36. Anatomy Class Is In

Some kid on my street walked up behind me and put a cutter to my throat. I took his hand and moved it to the other side saying, "The vein is over here and you better be quick or I'm going to shove that blade up your rear".

He ran off and the other kids thought I was really tough. I just thought the other kid was messing around. Turned out he wasn't and he ended up behind bars.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

37. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Confuse ‘Em

When I was in middle school, the biggest kid was the typical ruffian and, with his crew, messed me up. It started with him punching me in the stomach and me losing my breath. Not sure why but I suddenly started laughing and just couldn't stop.

The more they kicked and punched, the harder I laughed until the big guy threw a swing and barely missed my face. I moved really close to him, poked his nose with my finger, and walked away laughing. Later, I ran into him after I got out of college. He said the experienced traumatized him.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

38. Flew Into The Wrong Kitchen

I was playing with a Xacto-cutter while sitting with my family at the kitchen counter. A housefly landed in front of me and I announced that I was going to cut his wings off. One swift chopping move later, I had cut a single wing off the fly. The fly buzzed off the counter onto the ground attempting to fly but just went around in a circle.

Take that, Mr Miyagi!

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFreepik,freepik

39. The Dirty Larry

I was meeting a friend of mine for dinner at a dining court on campus. He showed up with some other of his friends too. Toward the end of the meal, they started dumping the leftover food and drink into a single glass and introduced me to what they called a "Dirty Larry".

One of the guys started talking about starting an intramural basketball team. He was going around the table asking each person if they were a good basketball player. When he asked me, I simply picked up the Hush Puppy lying on my plate and tossed it into the Dirty Larry cup sitting eight feet away.

Felt awesome.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

40. Justice Delayed?

When I was in 8th grade, some kid picked on my younger sister in school and made her cry in class. Later that week her class had a recital/play in our church. I saw the kid alone in the lobby while everyone was in the church basement.

I yoked him up by his neck and held him against the wall, and told him I would end him if he ever made my sister cry again. Later on, my sister came up to me and told me the kid apologized to her, and she thanked me. I told her she needs to stick up for herself and stop crying all the time.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

41. The Underdog Champion

In freshman year, I messed up a 6'4" tall Black senior in a rap battle. Then he offered to shake my hand and when he took it, he started to crush it, but I didn't flinch the entire time. Finally, he relented and commended me on being the only person who didn't squirm when he did that.

I felt pretty cool.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

42. The Hero Turns Villain

I had a neighbor I went to school with who would tease me all the time about stupid stuff. I can't even remember any of it, it was so pointless. Regardless, it was frustrating.

One day he was doing the usual and I grabbed him one-handed by the neck and lifted him off the ground like some kind of supervillain. I told him, "If you don't stop I'll end you". He struggled and then I dropped him and he ran away. We live a few houses down and it's been like 10 years and he still says nothing to me.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

43. Momma Raised Him Well

These two kids make fun of the way my mom talked (she's deaf) and also plugged their ears and repeated things like "What did you say?" and “I'm deaf and dumb" as she dropped me off for school when I was seven. I saw RED.

I immediately dropped my bookbag, strode over, and proceeded to destroy these two kids, who were twice my size and three years older…

I broke one kid's nose and gave them both black eyes and bruised bodies, all while teachers and parents watched in shock (this wasn't the first time they'd done it).

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

44. “Do It, Then”

I once had a pistol pointed at my neck and I dared the guy to pull the trigger.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

45. Not All Heroes Wear Capes

In my sophomore year in high school, some big brute was pushing this tiny girl around the hallway. He found out she didn't like dudes and took some serious personal offense to it.

I'm a small, nerdy fellow. But I walked up, gave him the "Why don't you pick on someone your own size, you know, like a tank" routine, and proceed to get knocked around a bit, too. It was only a few bruises, nothing was broken. And I felt proud for standing up to the guy and giving the nice girl a chance to escape.

The girl asks me later why I did it, and I explained that people like that need to be put in their place. Even if it means I have a bad day for it. She introduces me to some of her friends who became the best new friends I had that year (I always got along better with girls). And the pack of nerdy guys I hung out with basically makes me their unofficial leader.

By strength of numbers we manage to stop quite a few fights over the next couple of years just by telling them to knock it off or they'll have all of us to deal with.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

46. The Fight

I defeated four guys that wanted to grab my iPod and my wallet. Okay, they were plastered, but that was one crazy tough fight!

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithShutterstock

47. Bloody Hero

I work as an EMT, and one time, we had a bloodbath of a call. An old lady had almost scalped herself in a fall, and it was quite messy, trying to keep her calm to keep the bandage on her freely flowing head.

After the call, my uniform was covered in blood from the front down. I took off the top layer to reveal my undershirt, which was also covered in blood. Too late in the day and not caring, I hopped in the back, off the rig, and headed to base to change.

My apartment was a mile from the base, so I decided to head there instead. As we pull up, I hear voices yelling, and hop out in my now blood-drenched clothes. I turn around the corner and see three guys harassing (grabbing and pulling) one of my neighbors—an elderly woman who doesn't speak much English.

So I quickly take stock of the situation and grab a tire iron from the side of the rig, which was slightly out of view. I take a few steps and yell, "Leave her alone, or you're going to pay," while my partner calls for PD backup.

They turn around, just as some of the outside lights come on, and reveal me, a 5'10" skinny guy, covered in blood, with tactical pants on, with a tire iron. Their faces were priceless. Suddenly one of them books it, and the other says to the last guy there "I'm not dealing with that dude" and follows his friend.

I help the lady and then realize what a scary sight I was. Some dude, covered in blood with a tire iron, coming out from around the corner into the light, and angry. She ended up being fine, and I changed rather quickly after that. The authorities came and got what little info they could, and we were all on our way.

But wow, I felt like a superhero.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

48. Lifesaving Punch

I’m an ER doctor. I took care of an elderly gentleman a few years ago that presented with chest pain, and his wife was at his bedside. He was hooked up to the cardiac monitor, and while I was talking to him, his eyes rolled back in his head. I looked up at the cardiac monitor and he was in ventricular tachycardia.

I turned to his wife and said, "Excuse me, ma'am, I have to hit your husband now". I landed a fist of fury right to the center of his chest and his heart regained a normal sinus rhythm, and he came to. The nurses came running in with a crash cart shortly afterward. I looked at them and said, "We're good here".

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFlickr, michael_swan

49. Campus Football

Threw a huge party at our house off-campus in college. A bunch of bozos nobody knew showed up and started causing trouble. My roommate and I confront them in the yard and tell them that they gotta go. Some guy steps like he's gonna throw a punch.

I won't lie, I flinched and he laughed in my face and they started walking off. They walk down the street when suddenly one of them (a bald guy) throws a full PBR can that zaps by me and hits my roommate in the stomach. THUD he goes down.

I grab said PBR can and I rear back like a Third Baseman trying to throw the runner out at First and throw this PBR can as hard as I can. I got an act of perfect revenge because WHAM it hits baldy in his stupid bald head and a melee ensues.

It was awesome.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithPexels

50. Putting Eminem In His Place

The other day, this annoying obnoxious little monster (who looked like Eminem and was about 19 years old) walks into the fast food restaurant I was eating lunch at. He thinks he's all hard and walks with a ghetto strut like he's somebody special.

He walks in with one of those iPod boom boxes, blasting his crappy music—so loud that no one can talk or eat in peace. Mind you, there are old people around. The music was loud and totally inappropriate for a social setting.

He sits at a table across from me, rips open his bag of food, and proceeds to hump (move doozy up and down back and forth) to his bad music. And then he throws his food wrapper on the floor. Without a care. My blood begins to instantly boil.

I stand up (I'm very intimidating in stature) and yell to him in the sternest voice I've ever mustered up, "Turn that off and pick up your wrapper". The manager walked over as he knew something was about to go down. Needless to say, there was no more music and his garbage was picked up.

The rest of the people in the restaurant gave me looks of praise for calling him out as it was totally awesome. Sometimes you have to put Eminem in his place.

You Don’t Know Who You’re Messing WithFlickr, Daniel Foster

Sources: Reddit,

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