The outlandish things you can get a kid to believe are truly shocking. In fact, one of the highlights of parenting is getting to tell innocent lies to your children that they’ll fully believe until they publicly embarrass themselves by sharing with friends later in life. Seriously though, kids will believe pretty much anything you tell them, but it’s probably not a good idea to milk this fact too much. That’s how you end up with stories like the ones told by these Redditors, who came together to share the absolute dumbest things they ever believed as a child. Here are 50 of the dumbest things people believed as kids.
1. Welcome to Spooning Country
When I was about four, my older sister told me that since the population of Japan was so high, Japanese people slept sideways on their beds so they could fit more people on every bed. I believed it until I went to a sleepover at 13 and suggested that we sleep “Japanese-style” on the bed so everyone could fit.
2. That’s a Kids Name
That I would have to change my name when I grew up. I don’t know why, but I thought my name was suitable for a child but definitely not for an adult, and I couldn’t imagine being an adult with my name. I even talked to my mother about it, saying that at some point we’d eventually have to go to court to have it changed to something more “adult-sounding.”
3. God’s Toll-Free Number
I used to think praying was akin to using a phone to dial up to heaven. So, when I was a kid, I’d make the sign of the cross to start my call/prayer to Jesus. I was a super forgetful child though, so what ended up happening was this: “Okay thank you for listening to me, God! Bye-bye.” Makes the sign of the cross. “Sorry, Jesus I’m not sure I ended my prayer properly let me try again.”
Makes the sign of the cross twice. “Can you still hear me?” “No?” “Okay, I’m going to go play now.” Then I’d make the sign of the cross one last time to be sure.
4. Show’s Over, Go Home
I remember watching the series finale of Friends when I was 10 years old. My parents kept saying it was the last episode ever, and I watched it with them. After it was over, I went to bed and cried. I thought that once a TV show was over, it would never be shown again. I thought that I had just witnessed a part of history that would never be seen again in the future.
My mom had to come into my bedroom and console me, telling me that it would play again in reruns. I have told this story a few times before, and always said I was about six years old. After looking up the air date of the final episode, it turns out I was actually 10 and a half, and I’m pretty embarrassed by that fact.
5. A Will-Smith Type
I thought people aged at different rates. When I was in kindergarten, I knew this kid who looked like the kid version of Will Smith, and after I moved and went to a different city, I saw a Will Smith movie on TV, and I thought to myself, “Dang, everyone else is probably in high school and I’m still in second grade.”
6. Salted Squirrels
My dad told me that I could have a pet chipmunk or squirrel if I caught one. He told me the key to catching one was to shake salt on their tail. They would always stop to lick the salt off, and then I’d be able to catch it. Not hard to figure out why he told us that, because my brother and I would spend hours a day running around the yard with a bucket and a saltshaker.
I think the last time I tried was when I was like nine. I never really thought about it again until I was like 15 and it was mind-blowing to realize it was all just to keep us busy outside.
7. Mommy Magic
My mum told me that all mothers could mind read their kids, so me keeping secrets was futile because she’d always know. I also thought that when you slept, you stopped breathing. The bizarre side effect? Whenever I pretended to be sleeping, I would end up gasping for breath and giving myself away.
8. Old-School GPS
I grew up poor in Colombia. One of my uncles bought a car and gave every single family member a ride around the block. When I finally got to see the inside of that car, I thought I was in a spaceship. Anyways I remember noticing the blinker arrows by the odometer. I could see them come on and off randomly, left, right, right, etc. What I couldn’t see?
My uncle turning em on and off. I was seven when this happened. I only learned that the car is in fact NOT telling you where to turn at age 15.
9. Oy Vey
I thought Jews and Christians made up 99% of the world, divided roughly equally between the two religions. The remaining 1% of Earth’s population was magical old fantasy religions with hexes and zany costumes and stuff. I was probably nine or 10 before I lost this childhood misconception. When I found out about Buddha, for example, I assumed he was like the Pope for Chinese Christians. I’m Jewish.
10. Pilot for a Day
When I was a young kid, maybe between five and nine, my dad took me to the tiny grass-runway airport in my town, and we went on a short plane ride in a small Cessna around the valley. My dad sat in the back, and I was upfront with the pilot. While we taxied off the ramp and out to the runway, I was given permission to move the yoke.
I thought I was steering the aircraft the whole way. I told my mom that I taxied the plane. In school, I told my class that I taxied the plane. In fact, it was so strong a memory that, I grew up remembering the memory without evaluating the experience. I was home when I was talking about that flight with my dad, and I was thinking about it.
I had this long pause…and I said, “Holy, Dad, I just realized that I wasn’t steering that Cessna!” My father laughed so hard. The worst part? I was home on leave from a naval aviation squadron. Yeah, I definitely should’ve known better.
When I was about three or four, I used to believe I was a cat. I had a homemade cat costume and everything. One day I wore it out in public and walked on all fours, the whole nine yards. I don’t know why my mom let me do this. A year later I changed my mind and was a dog. This lasted until I was eight years old. One time I went to a friend’s house and barked at their dog.
I was not allowed back. So basically, I was a furry from the age of three.
12. Cowboys and Indians
For the longest time, I was confused about the whole Native American Indians and Indians from India. The child version of me presumed that they just really hated cowboys and went to America to put an end to those poor Western renegades. I received quite the shock when I was 11 and learned the truth but to be fair, I’m not American.
What a day that was!
13. The Bun-Eating Bourgeoise
I believed hamburger and hotdog buns were only available for restaurants, not “civilians.” Mom used toasted sliced bread at home to make burgers and hotdogs. I believed that until the age of 10.
14. Look Out, Wikipedia
When I was 12, my brother and I had a great idea: we were going to make a website on which any information can be found. Like Wikipedia, yes. But our idea was that WE would be providing all the text by writing everything down. I stopped after describing the 2nd Punic Conflict. My brother didn’t even start.
15. The Best Kind of Brain Damage
I believed that Stephen Hawking was in a wheelchair because he was too intelligent. Y’know, like his brain was damaged from being so smart.
16. Little Pink Snakes
Okay, a small list. I believed that store employees worked every hour that the store was open, every day that the store was open. My parents were 9-to-5 office workers, so logically, this rule applied to everyone. So, the grocery store was open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day, so the cashier worked 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM every day.
I also believed that television shows only came on if the TV was on. If I wanted to watch a show, just leave it off and it will be there when I turned it on again. I thought that the paperwork my dad did was math problems and reading questions, just like I had to do in school. And last but not least? I believed that worms were baby snakes.
17. It’s Cocoon Time
I remember watching the movie Cocoon with my grandparents. I could not have been more than four. For some reason, I deduced that in order to become adults, children had to expire in these pool cocoons and be reborn old. I freaked my cousins out and had a whole group of kids crying at a holiday party over our impending doom. Ruined Christmas pictures that year.
18. That Monster Do Be Smelling Fresh, Though
I used to get a running start to hop onto my bed because I was convinced the Boogeyman underneath would grab my legs and suck me into the underworld—thank to the Disney Channel Original Movie Don’t Look Under the Bed. My mom gave me “Monster Spray” in a special spray bottle to mist under my bed at night to keep the monsters away.
By about fifth grade, I figured out it was Febreze.
19. Built Like a Baby
I believed that when a woman was pregnant with anything more than twins, the babies weren’t all in her stomach area, because there was no way they would fit. At the time there was a news story about someone who had sextuplets, so I had an idea about how it was all set up—and it was utterly disgusting. The setup was two in the stomach, one in each calf, and one in the underside of each arm.
20. That’s the Name of the Game
I was fortunate enough to have a computer when I was growing up back in the early 90s. We had a few games on floppy disc that I played all the time, but I always wanted more and couldn’t convince my parents to buy them for me. One day I thought, “If I just scribble out the name of the game on the disc and write the name of the game I want…that should do the trick!”
I told my dad about my idea and he just shook his head. He was probably ashamed of the idiot he was raising. I wasn’t discouraged though. I grabbed a pen and scribbled “Ghostbusters” on a copy of some flight simulator game, popped it in and fired it up. I was disappointed. I’m also still not a smart man.
21. We’re Losing Table Here
Alright, so I was 10 years old and my parents got in this big fight because my mom just went and bought a bunch of furniture, including a kitchen and dining room set that was made of pine. Pine is super soft and makes a terrible wood for a table, and my stepdad was fuming. I have portions of essays still readable in this wood, 20 years later. It’s the worst.
Anyways, this table was a point of contention in the family. Parents were super sensitive with it; stepdad would always give me a ton of guff when I was cleaning it off. Too much water, too much pressure, etc. One day I’m cleaning it off after dinner, and he flips his lid because I used too much water, going off about “the table shrinking.”
I rolled my eyes because he was always yelling about something and there’s no freaking way that table is shrinking. I proceed to go about the rest of my evening as any 10-year-old would, in and out of my bedroom, family room, etc. And heck, wouldn’t you know it—every time I came out and walked past that table, the thing was smaller.
My mind was blown…I shrunk the freaking table. As the night went on it eventually went back out to full size. I told kids at school. I told teachers. I told people in high school. I remember telling my friend’s parents right before college. After college, I’m at my parents’ house with my girlfriend and she offers to help clean up.
I proceed to warn her that you have to be careful about cleaning the table, that it can shrink. She looks at me like I’m brain dead, and I immediately start relaying the story of when I shrunk the table. It wasn’t until I looked at my mom in the middle of my story, because she couldn’t stop laughing, when it dawned on me.
I was a freaking idiot and they had just removed the leaves from the table and added them back in.
22. Iron Efficient
When I was four or five years old, I read a picture book about dinosaurs. As you may know, there once existed a creature called the mighty Brontosaurus, whose diet consisted entirely of leaves. The book also told me that the Brontosaurus ate rocks to aid in its digestion. Genius five-year-old me thought, “That’s ground-breaking. Let’s do it.”
After I had begrudgingly eaten my leafy greens at dinner, I was allowed to play outside in the yard, where I hunted for small red pebbles and popped them into my mouth, one by one. I only ate the red ones, because I knew they had iron in them—since I also read a book about Mars and space—and of course, the extra iron would be good for me since my Mom fed me iron vitamins.
My logic was valid, but not sound.
23. No Girls Allowed
My father convinced me that jackrabbits were a secret that the women of the world weren’t in on. He basically told me they weren’t real, but my mother and sister and all other women didn’t know and I wasn’t to tell anyone. This made for an awkward moment in like fifth grade at an Applebee’s. I was with my mom and we started talking about the animal mounted on the wall and I couldn’t stop smiling.
She then proceeded to bust the conspiracy and destroy my dreams of a worldwide gender conspiracy.
24. The Special Bread
My brother and I were fighting over who got the end slice of the loaf of bread on our sandwich. Neither of us wanted it. So, my dad told us that it was a special piece. We didn’t ask why it was special, we just switched gears and started fighting over who got the special piece. Luckily there were two in a loaf. We both believed it for years.
I also thought that people got pregnant by spitting in each other’s mouths when they kissed. I fantasized as a kid that all my favorite characters were swallowing each other’s spit to get a baby in their belly. Because everyone needed a baby. That was what came after love.
25. The Deadly Splinter
I got a splinter in my finger once when I was about four or five. I had, and still have, a deep fear of needles so when my mother came at me with a sewing needle to get the splinter out, I freaked out and wouldn’t let her near it. She then pulled out a random first aid book on the bookshelf and showed me an illustration of a child lying on the ground with their eyes closed and told me that if I didn’t get the splinter out right away, my life would end.
This horrifying revelation got me to shut up and have the splinter removed by my mom. Fast forward four or five years later, and I’m telling a friend to watch out for splinters in my clubhouse because he might keel over. He then informed me that he had a splinter a few days ago he didn’t tell anyone about and started to cry.
We ran to my mother who explained that we would, in fact, not get game-ended by a splinter. Of course, she had no memory of ever having said this to me.
26. Eye Mash
I had eye operations as a kid because I had a lazy eye. One day in hospital I asked my mum what they were going to do and she told me they would “Pop my eye out with a teaspoon, mash it up with a fork, and then stick it back in” I believed that until I was 12 or something!
27. Classic False Advertising
I think this is mostly the school’s fault. As I look back on my history, they taught about the Underground Railroad, but just basically mentioning it as you’re younger but not really explaining it. They just say that it was a network of connections for freed/run-away slaves could get to the north, thus leaving much up to the imagination of young kids.
Then, by the time you actually learn about the Underground Railroad in mid-junior high, your opinions are already formed. But then, if you have a good teacher, they explain that it really isn’t a railroad, but just known hideouts and people willing to protect them. I remember clearly a teacher stopping and saying, “This is not a railroad, it is a system of safe houses and places. There is no train, no conductor, no tracks.”
It seems like he ran across this problem many times before.
28. Most Savage Mom of the Century Goes To…
When I was four, Barney the Dinosaur was all the rage. Whenever Barney was on TV, my mom would say stuff like, “Man, Barney sure has a big belly, I bet he can fit a lot of food in there,” and, “Did you know Barney is a T. Rex and T. Rexes eat meat?” Also, “Did you ever notice there are always new kids on the show? I wonder where the other kids went?”
Lastly, she would say “I wonder if Barney ever gets hungry on a commercial break, especially with all those kids running around”. I eventually stopped watching Barney because I was afraid he ate children. I wouldn’t even play with Barney toys or use the Barney blankets in school. In the following years, the San Diego Zoo underwent a major renovation around the time the Jurassic Park movies came out.
My mom told me that the zoo was going to have dinosaurs like the movies did. She also led me to believe that unlike the movies, the dinosaurs didn’t eat cows, because people ate cows and we couldn’t spare them, so the dinosaurs probably ate vagrants and orphans. When I would misbehave, she would sometimes threaten me that I’m lucky I wasn’t homeless, that if I wasn’t a good kid, she could kick me out on the streets.
She probably didn’t realize that I thought she was threatening to have me fated as dinosaur food. She also got me to take baths by telling me that since soap didn’t exist when dinosaurs were first around, it was like poison to them now, so it was important to stay clean to avoid getting eaten. The embarrassing result of all this?
I had nightmares until I was 14 and could not watch Jurassic Park all the way through until I was 22. When Jurassic World came out a few months ago, it was actually a huge triumph for me to watch it in theaters. My mom did not know until a few years ago how terrified she had made me, and she feels so awful about it that she still apologizes on occasion.
29. Getting Baked with the Borrowers
Let me start by saying that I was quite little. I think I was about seven or eight years old. We lived in the country and I was raised on Disney movies. We lived on our imaginations. Anyway. The movie The Borrowers had just come out, and we rented it on VHS. My sister and I must have watched it 20 times. We played games imagining people running around and all these fantastical things.
It was great. It passed a lot of time for us. Enter bedtime. I crawl into my little bed, swirls of games in my head, and I notice a strange light in my closet that is directly across from the foot of my bed. I gingerly crawl out and open my closet to see a small slit in the drywall. I press my eye up to it and see A SUN…AND TREES! THERE IS A WHOLE WORLD IN THE WALL OF MY CLOSET!
OH MAN, THE BORROWERS HAVE A WORLD IN MY CLOSET! I run and get my sister. I show her. We freak out and run downstairs where my father is gently reading his newspaper after a long day of work. My mother is sitting there talking to him when we bust around the corner screaming about a hidden world in the closet. My father glares at my mother.
My mother tells us she will look into it and brings us back to bed and reads us another story to calm us down. The next night there was no light. The trees were gone. I destroyed the world. I truly thought I had erased this little existence. But the truth was much darker. I had seen a slip of my mother’s secret closet farm for—ahem—illicit substances.
My dad made her move it. Ah, innocence and overworked imaginations. The magic of childhood.
30. Just a Bunch of Fairy Dust
My best friend and I both managed to convince ourselves that the other was a fairy. We would have landline conversations pretending we were going to fairyland and that we could see each other there. I remember saying things like, “Is that you in the orange dress?” and definitely believing her when she replied that no, she was in a purple dress.
I thought she was a fairy and I was a fake, and she thought the same as me. We were both liars. Pretty fond memories!
31. Krampus Vs. Bad Santa
When I was about three or four I had done something to tick off my older brother around Christmastime. In revenge, he told me about “The Bad Santa Claus” who lived at the South Pole. It was the Bad Santa who delivered the coal to bad children, and the Good Santa who deliver the presents. If you stayed up late to try to see Good Santa and you accidentally saw the Bad Santa, he’d turn you into a zombie elf and kidnap you and take you to the South Pole where you’d be forced to make coal for the bad children in his factory forever and you’d never see your family ever again.
Needless to say, this completely traumatized me, and I couldn’t sleep in the days leading up to Christmas and became so terrified and crazy at one point about how I didn’t want to be taken away from my family that my mom had to sit me down and tell me there wasn’t any Santa just to get me to stop crying. It’s been over 20 years and I still hold a grudge.
32. Fire on the Millennium Falcon
I grew up around the time of the release of the Star Wars prequels. I vividly remember asking my brother as to why they released the sequels before they released the Phantom Menace, as it made no sense when I was 11 and a prequel was a wild new concept to me. He had me convinced, embarrassingly until I was about 15/16, that the reason they released the sequels first was that, “There was a fire at the studio, and it burned all the original tapes so they had to reshoot them.”
I was so dense.
33. Meat Sleep
I thought eating some kinds of meat, including burgers, could put people in a permanent sleep. This belief came courtesy of my sister. She was having fun one evening we went out with my father for burgers. I went vegetarian until I started school. Oh, and my father wasn’t pleased with me throwing the expensive food he bought, or that I wouldn’t believe him when he was trying to tell me she was just messing with me.
34. Hauling Mad Green
My father somehow convinced me that the brown UPS delivery trucks were called “Broccoli Trucks.” No, they didn’t deliver broccoli, they delivered packages. No, they were not associated with broccoli in any way at all. So, why were they called broccoli trucks? Heck if I know. Dad logic. I learned the truth about things far later than I should have—in middle school, actually—when I offhandedly remarked that I’d seen a broccoli truck in the parking lot.
My teacher overheard me and asked me to point it out…then gave me a look of skeptical confusion when I indicated the UPS truck. That was the moment when I realized my dad might have made up the whole “broccoli truck” bit. I wound up trying to explain that it was a family tradition to refer to delivery vehicles by odd names.
Everything I said only seemed to make my teacher grow more suspicious. Upon hearing the story from me, my father did a very poor job of restraining his laughter. He had also convinced my brother and me that he had a lie detector hidden in his closet. Once, while attempting to determine which of us had given our dog an unlicensed haircut, he stated that he was going to get it out and test each of us.
My brother erupted into tears, claiming that he was innocent, but that he just knew the machine would claim he was lying. In a way, I suppose my father did have a lie detector.
35. The One Ring
My dad lost his wedding ring in the bay during a fishing trip. He’d lost weight, his hand was wet and probably fish slimy, and it just fell right off and was lost forever to the water. I was absolutely inconsolable. It took my parents quite a while to get me to calm down enough to be able to explain why I was so upset about it. I thought it meant they were no longer married anymore.
36. Barber Shots
Well, to start: All dogs were boys, and cats were girls. If I wrote on myself with a pencil, I would get lead poisoning and keel over. Swallowing bubble gum would stay in my stomach for seven years. The barber’s electric clippers were needles and if you moved, you would get seriously hurt. Since then, I have made it a point to tell my kids/nephews/nieces that all the above are untrue and if they have any stupid questions to come to me and I will answer them truthfully.
I had a lot of anxiety when I was a kid.
37. The Legend of Green-Beard
As a child, I was fascinated by my dad’s mustache and I wanted to have one as soon as possible. My dad always told me that you will get one when you’re older. My mom, on the other hand, would get me to eat green veggies based on her prediction that I would get a mustache much sooner if I had them. This was debunked by my dad much later, when I had seen one old man with a glorious long beard, and I asked my dad whether he eats a lot of green veggies every day to get that beard.
I remember my dad laughing hysterically when he realized why I thought that.
38. The Birthing Sacrifice
My dad used to tell us this very elaborate story of how we were born. He told us he had to cut off a piece of his flesh to implant into our mom’s stomach, and how excruciatingly painful it was for him, and why we should, therefore, be grateful for his sacrifice. He did this in front of our mother, a woman who natural-birthed four children without epidurals.
I’m still amazed that she stood by and let him take the credit without saying a thing.
39. Hey, Mr. Sun
Not something I believed, but a harmless prank I used to play on my kids. There is a highway we use that has several long, gentle curves over a five to six-mile stretch. One day when my younger son complained that the sun was in his eyes—he was about three at the time—I had the idea to pretend that I had a personal relationship with “Mr. Sun.”
I saw that the highway was going to curve, so I had a conversation with Mr. Sun explaining the situation, and asking him to please move over so that he wasn’t shining in my son’s eyes. I drew out the conversation and timed it so just when Mr. Sun agreed, we would start the curve and it looked like he was moving over and out of my son’s eyes.
Then after another curve, the sun would be in my other sons’ eyes, so I asked politely for Mr. Sun to move again, just as we went around the next curve. This went on for almost a year before my wife explained to them what was going on. It was hilarious in the meantime.
40. The Matching Game
My dad thought he was a funny guy. He told me that I was black, but he gave me white shots so that I would match the rest of our family. That screwed me up for a little bit.
41. Worse. Superpower. Ever.
When I was maybe six or seven, my father got a new car. It was his first car that had steering wheel controls for the radio and CD player. I, of course, had no idea about any of this. One day we were sitting in the car in like a parking lot or something and he told me to turn up the volume on the radio. I reached for the knob and he stopped me, going “No, no, no…use the force.”
He then closed his eyes and pointed his finger at the radio and the volume just went blasting! I was amazed. So, he turned it back down and said, “Now, you try.” So, I closed my eyes, pointed my finger at the radio and sure enough, the volume went up! I got really excited and he just quietly said: “Don’t let your friends know you have magic powers. If your mother found out I told you about this, she would be furious.”
Literally, for years, I believed I had some hidden volume-raising powers. Until one day I was alone in my room trying to make it work again. I was closing my eyes and pointing my finger very forcefully trying to raise the volume on my CD player. My mom apparently had walked into my room without me noticing, and after a few mins of observation asked me what the heck I was doing.
I knew the jig was up, so I told her the whole story and ended it with: “Don’t tell dad I told you about the magic powers.” She didn’t stop laughing for maybe an hour.
42. Sim Stomach
The inside of my stomach was another village with its own villagers. Every time I drank, it rained. Every time I ate, it fed the people. A tummy ache was because the villagers were unhappy.
43. The New Monsters Inc.
I thought that “Inc.” meant “in North Carolina.” I live in NC and my dad told me that that is what it meant, and I believed it for an embarrassingly long time. I still cringe when I think about it. So yeah, I thought the movie Monsters Inc. was set in North Carolina.
44. Snacking on Beavers
When I was like four or five, my parents took me to Kings Island, an amusement park. They had this little open-air train that takes you back through wooded areas. There was this giant beaver off the tracks, just chilling. I was super excited to see it. My dad quietly leaned over, so my mom and the other parents couldn’t hear him, and said, “You know, I’ve eaten a few beavers…they’re delicious!”
He probably thought he was being hilarious, but I inadvertently made him live to regret his joke. I went bananas. I felt like everyone on that train needed to know the type of dude who had graced their presence. “WHAT!?!?! YOU’VE EATEN BEAVERS?!!” There were a couple of snickers and wry smiles from other dads. A couple of dirty glances from other moms.
There were several children who seemed to think he’s a monster and several others who thought that he’s a tough guy. I just kept ranting about it for a few minutes. My mom asks, “So, how many beavers, Jeff?” The man went into panic mode. He claimed two beavers in total. To this day, I reckon he’s eaten the “few” he initially claimed.
I have yet to find any pelts to prove it, though.
45. Jesus Goes to Space
I thought the Christ on the crucifix at my elementary school was a cool man reclining on a hyper-modern, minimalist space vessel. I took him from the wall during break and made him soar through the room, dramatizing his mad flight with epic lip-generated engine sounds. Just when I staged his collision with a sandwich, the teacher came in.
46. Bring me Back to Those Beagle Days
My parents thought it would be hilarious if they made me believe I was a puppy. Yes, I believed I was born a puppy. Now. Before you think I’m just some gullible human let me fill you in about the insane lengths they went to to get me to believe them. They took down every single baby picture of me and replaced them with beagle pictures to prove it to me.
So, for the first like eight years of my life, I truly and honestly believed I was born a beagle puppy. When I was a puppy, I left suspicious puddles and smelled funny when I was wet, so my mom called up God on his cell phone and asked him to turn me into a little girl instead. The change happened when I was two, according to her.
Really, in kid brain, it is pretty logical. I mean, I didn’t remember anything before I was two, did you? So yeah. I spent a while believing I was born a beagle.
47. Water to Wine? Try Raisins to Grapes
My sister and I were very gullible, and my mother liked to take advantage of that. Here are some things that she either told us or that we misunderstood, and she allowed us to continue to believe: My Dad invented hot chocolate. If you get soap in your hair it will literally turn to straw—I still hate getting soap in my hair. If you leave raisins in water, they will turn back into grapes.
Rugby players regularly poop themselves in the middle of a scrum because they are scared of getting squashed/pushing so hard. My sister believed that one for ages and used to go around telling people like it was a little-known interesting fact. The gargoyles on buildings watched little kids and will shout at you if you go out into the road by yourself.
The lady who owned our local sweet shop was alive in the 1840s—she told us she was alive during the Irish famine. We believed these for varying levels of time, but I caught on a lot quicker than my sister. She was telling that rugby player story in college.
48. Get Me a Straw, Stat!
You know how your skull doesn’t fuse completely together until you’re an older child? Well, my younger brother was scratching his head when he felt a little “dip” on the top and wonders what the deal is. He comes up to me and tells me and my sister about it. “Oh yeah,” I said, “that’s where the doctor put the straw.” He asks, “What straw?”
I say: “Oh, when you were little, we had to take you to the hospital because your brain was filling up with fluid, and you were going to pass on. The doctor drilled a hole right there, stuck a straw in, and sucked all your brain juice out.” He was incredulous, saying “No, he didn’t…really?” I continued: “Yeah. He had to swallow it, too because it was coming out so fast. You’re very lucky to be alive. I can’t believe you don’t remember that.”
My brother looks over at my sister for confirmation, who nods somberly. “It was disgusting.” A little while later, I hear my dad call my name. I look over, and my brother is standing by him, looking white and worried. He told me to stop tormenting my brother.
49. Proud Cat-Dad
When I was really young, I was convinced I was pregnant—I’m a male—with a baby cat named Bridget. My family decided to see how long I would believe this stupid thing, so they never told me how ridiculously impossible it all was. I went on believing it for about five months. That’s how long little me thought cat pregnancy lasted.
When the baby never came, I went to my mom and asked when Bridget would be born, she finally told me that boys can’t get pregnant and humans can’t give birth to cats. I was traumatized, little me was so excited to be a cat father, and then it was ripped away from me. I was such a stupid kid.
50. Dad Level: 100
My mom spent most of my childhood working in various dry cleaners. As a result, we often had an abundance of dry cleaner paraphernalia hanging out around the house. Absolute tons of hangers and stuff. I was particularly fond of the plastic bags, and as some derpy five-year-old girls are wont to do, I’d often “play wedding” with these, pretending they were wedding dress veils.
My dad was always cool as a cucumber, and he was so good at deceiving us. Whenever one of my brothers or I complained about a cut or scrape, he’d look at the injury very seriously, consider it from all angles, and then with a grim sigh conclude that there was nothing to be done and that the limb would need to be immediately amputated.
He’d go and get a knife and everything. He’d make a very serious—if satirical—production of it. This sounds absolutely insane to me as a 30-year-old, but as a kid, it was hilarious. It also served to remind us to stop whining about trivial stuff. There were five of us, four were boys, and stuff like that happened way too often to entertain coddling anyone about it.
So, one day he walks into his bedroom and sees me with one of these huge plastic dry-cleaning bags over my head. It’s a recipe for suffocation. I wasn’t a bright kid and didn’t really get how bridal veils worked, so I had it pulled pretty tight and was basically on the verge of being a cautionary tale. He proceeds to carefully take the bag from me, sits me down with a grave expression, and begins to tell me the story of my dead sister.
This dead sister I’d never heard of apparently also liked to play with these plastic bags. I smelled the deception from pretty far away because this was just what dad did, so I was like, “I get it, you don’t want me to play with the plastic, fine, why didn’t you just say so.” But my dad couldn’t mess with us half-heartedly. He had to go all-in.
He wove a story that was incredibly intricate (her name was Tabitha, she would have been nine years old), so detailed (we don’t speak of her because it just hurts too much, please don’t bring it up with your mother), and that went on for such a long time (for at least a year afterward he’d say things like, “Tabby would have loved that show”).
By the end of it, I was 1,000% convinced that I had a dead sister named Tabitha, and the only reason there was no tangible evidence of her existence was because the family was still grieving, even after all this time. So, fast-forward four years. My dad passed from cancer when I was 10. Shortly following his passing, there was some discussion in my family about him possibly having fathered another son out there, between wives one and two.
My siblings and I were sitting around talking about this brother that might be floating around out there, and what he’s like. Naturally, my oblivious butt brings up this stupid self-suffocating Tabitha girl who no one ever talks about, and I wonder how she might have turned out. And everyone’s like, “Who the heck is Tabitha?”
Dad, you absolute jerk. But I was very careful to not suffocate myself with plastic bags. So, there is that.