We’ve all had moments in our lives when we aren’t quite thinking at our highest capacity. Maybe we just got up and haven’t had our coffee. Perhaps it’s simply been a long day and we need to get some sleep. Either way, we’ve all been there...but these people have no excuse for their incredibly stupid questions, and these Redditors witnessed it firsthand.
1. She Had Just Been Sleeping, For Seven Years
This story takes place during my senior year in government class. Our teacher had just finished a lecture about Germany in the 1940s. After the lecture, he asked if anyone had questions. One of my classmates eagerly raised her hand, but what happened next, she quickly regretted.
She asked a simple question: "Who was the leader of Germany during that time, and why was he considered such a terrible person?" The expression on the teacher's face was filled with discomfort, and it's an image I'll never forget.
The classroom fell into silence, and everyone stared at her in astonishment. This was a topic our school had been teaching us since fifth grade, and we even visited a museum in Washington, D.C., where we did extensive research and presentations about it during our sophomore year.
It was baffling that she didn't know this fundamental information. Her only response was that she didn't understand why this was such a big thing.
2. Close, But No
Both my parents are deaf, and one day I was texting them while I was at my middle school soccer game. One of my teammates came up to me and asked how my parents could text if they were deaf. I was a bit confused by her question, so I asked her to clarify. She looked at me with a puzzled expression and said, "Don't they read Braille?" I couldn't help but burst out laughing. I then explained to her that Braille is for blind people, not deaf people.
3. It’s Just That Easy
My great aunt paid us a visit after two decades, and as she surveyed our yard, she turned to my uncle and asked, "Wasn't this house in a different spot before?" My uncle, with a completely straight face, responded, "Oh, absolutely. But our neighbor had some complaints, so a bunch of us buddies got together and moved it about a hundred feet."
The surprising part was that she actually bought his story, hook, line, and sinker.
3. What Does That Mean?
I studied screenwriting in college, and one of my classes focused on preparing us for careers in the media industry. During a discussion about job interviews, our teacher shared a valuable tip: be prepared to discuss your favorite movie or TV show because it's relevant to the industry.
Then, there was a surprising moment when a classmate raised his hand and asked, "What if you're not comfortable sharing that information?" The teacher was taken aback by the question.
4. It’s As Easy As One, Two, Three…Or Not
I had a side job a while back, assembling test kits. It was a straightforward task: put a swab and a vial of liquid into a small plastic bag and seal it. There were just two basic rules: the vial had to be on the left side of the swab, and the bag had to be properly sealed. That was all there was to it.
One day, a woman joined our team, and I was assigned to train her. I had trained several newbies before, and they all got the hang of it within seconds because, as I mentioned, it's not a difficult task. However, this time was quite an adventure. After a grueling 12 hours, this woman still couldn't grasp the process. The bags were either wide open or missing a vial, among other mistakes.
We had to redo all of her work, pulling her entire stock. While we were fixing her mistakes, she turned to me and asked, "Am I doing it right?" Keep in mind, this happened after a full 12-hour shift with both me and another supervisor trying to train her. I would have cut her some slack if this had been within her first few hours, but it had been a long and challenging day.
6. When Push Comes To Pull
I was on the highway with my parents when a tow truck passed us in the lane next to ours, hauling a small car. That's when my mom outed herself as an idiot. She wondered aloud how it was possible for a small Honda Accord to be pushing such a large truck. My dad, who was driving at a leisurely pace, glanced at my mom without saying a word, allowing her to think it over.
It took her a good minute to realize.
7. I Wonder Why They Call It That
One day, while I was inspecting an air compressor in our maintenance shop, my boss approached me and inquired about my task. I straightforwardly told him that I was working on the air compressor. In response, he asked, "So, what's it for?" Without much thought, I replied, "Well, it's an air compressor; it compresses air."
My boss rather curtly instructed me to go and attend to my other duties.
8. That’s Just Unsanitary
My cousin introduced her new boyfriend to our family, and we were planning to go play racquetball at the rec center with some other cousins. The new boyfriend confidently claimed he used to play in high school and would beat everyone. He began talking some pretty aggressive smack to challenge the family members... until someone pointed out that he was wearing sandals and couldn't actually play.
Then, he turned to me, made eye contact, and said, "You wouldn't mind if I borrow your shoes and socks, right?" He gestured toward the shoes and socks I had on at that moment. I politely declined.
9. Not Quite The Same Thing
I had to relocate to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I got a job at a call center. During one call, a customer asked me where I was located. Then, they inquired about how my English was so proficient since I was "from New Mexico." This was my initial encounter with people not realizing that New Mexico is a state within the United States, not a part of Mexico. It wouldn't be my last time encountering this. Not by a long shot.
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10. Water Does What It Wants
I once had a plumbing job at a house with an underground leak near the riser where the water entered the home. The homeowner mentioned that the leak had started after her gardener tightened the packing nut on the hose connected to the riser, which had been leaking before. I provided her with a fair estimate for locating and fixing the underground leak.
Shocker: she wasn't pleased with the price. Instead, she asked me quite seriously, "Can't we just make the hose leak again so it's not underground?" It took all my self-control to not to laugh in her face as I replied, "Unfortunately, leaks don't work that way, ma'am."
11. Veterinary Science Is Complicated
I'm employed at a veterinary clinic, and it's astonishing how often people inquire whether their male pets can still urinate after being neutered. Just to clarify, neutering only involves removing the testicles, so yes, male pets can absolutely still urinate after the procedure.
12. What If He’d Said Neither
I'm an identical twin, and I had a funny encounter once. A lady asked my twin and me if we were twins or brothers. I coudln't help but stare at her for a moment. Then I replied, "We're both." She seemed puzzled and asked how that worked. I just looked at her without saying a word. It took her about 10 seconds to realize the joke, and then she burst into laughter.
13. Made To Measure
I work as a math teacher, and there was this one memorable moment with a co-worker. She looked at me seriously and asked, "What do the lines on a ruler mean?" At first, I chuckled, thinking she was joking, Then I saw the look on her face. She definitely wasn't joking. I felt a bit bad and decided to explain it to her.
Now, she laughs about it and calls it her "blonde moment." To be fair, she seems to have these moments quite frequently, if not multiple times a day. I'm still a bit puzzled about how she got hired and has managed to keep her job.
14. More Like Divestment
The parent of a former friend wanted me to finance their ridiculous new business idea. They basically wanted me to take a big loan to buy a rundown house in a remote area, with plans to convert it into a guest house and a bait shop. While it's true there wasn't a bait shop in town, this person hadn't had a steady income for over a year before asking. Plus, they never shared any solid research or financial planning to show it could work, among other concerns.
15. This Is Important To Know
I married a Muslim guy and while we were engaged, my Southern grandma had some questions about him. One question really made me squirm. At one point she asked me, "Is he Christian?" I felt quite awkward, reminding her that my fiancé is Muslim. She looked annoyed and repeated, "Yes I know, but is he Christian?" So I had to tell her, "Sorry grandma, but that's a definite no."
16. He Could Have Two
Back in high school, I had a teacher with a last name that was typically a common first name, John. So, all of us kids just called him John. One morning, in my half-awake state during his first period class, I blurted out, "Hey John, what's your last name?" A second later, I realized what I'd said, but not before everyone else had a good laugh at my expense.
17. A Hostess And Meteorologist
I work as a hostess at a nice restaurant. Around lunch, we open our patio (which you can see from the front entrance). It's insane how many people come in from outside and ask, "Is it hot out?" I usually just say I’m not sure and would have to step outside to check. So, I walk out through the door they just came in from, stand outside for a moment, and then come back to share the weather update with them.
18. A Lack Of Self-Awareness
My ex-girlfriend and I used to work at the same place. One day, while we were still together, we took a break and went out for lunch. During lunch, she dropped a bombshell. She admitted to cheating on me with my best friend while I was away visiting my family in my home country. I was furious and walked away. Later on, back at work, she came up to me and asked what was wrong.
19. It’s Elementary
I'm Canadian but interact with drivers from the USA every day. A few years back, one of them asked me, "You guys pronounce the letter Z (zee) as Z (zed), right?" I said, "Yes, we do." He then asked, "How do you spell that?" It was hard keeping a straight face when I realized he was serious. I clarified that it's just a letter, like it is in the US, only pronounced differently. He seemed a bit confused, but thanked me for clearing it up.
20. Some Wires Are Important
On my first day at Geek Squad, I received a call from a woman at the airport. Her laptop had shut down and wouldn't power back up. I spent a couple of minutes suggesting some fixes, and when I mentioned plugging it in to charge, she said, "It's supposed to be wireless. Why do I have to plug it in?"
I was speechless for a good 10 seconds. I genuinely thought it was one of my new co-workers playing a prank on me. Now, to be fair, this was back in 2004 when people weren't as tech-savvy as they are now. But, that question still ranks as one of the most baffling ones I've ever been asked.
21. Quebec Is A Confusing Place
I once worked at a McDonald's in Quebec close to the American border. One day, an American man came in and asked for our prices in English. He made it clear that he didn't want the food names in English, just the prices. I was puzzled, and thought maybe he wanted the prices converted to US dollars, so I told him we don't do conversions.
He got upset and explained that he had Canadian money; he just couldn’t read French and wanted to know the price of a menu item. Then it suddenly clicked. I asked, "Sir, are you asking for the prices in English numerals?" He called me stupid and stormed out. Funny thing is, our prices were clearly displayed with large numbers for the dollars and small numbers for the cents right next to them.
22. Odd Logic
While working on my bachelor's degree, I was giving a presentation about schizophrenia. A girl suddenly raised her hand and blurted out, "You have schizophrenia? Why are you studying here?" The room went completely quiet. I just laughed it off and told her, "No, I'm just giving the presentation." I was quite taken aback by her assumption.
I have no clue why she thought I had schizophrenia. I was showing a video of someone in a catatonic state and explaining what it meant. And honestly, even if I did have it, it's not her business to ask.
23. Maybe He Shouldn’t Take Algebra
While cramming for our algebra exams, my friend suddenly says, "I don't get it, how can letters be numbers?" Thinking he was joking, I explained, "Well, they're variables, they're just placeholders for actual numbers." He then goes, "Oh, I get it, but why do we need letters when we have numbers?" By this point, I realized nothing I'd say would clear things up for him, so I just nodded along.
24. Good News!
I was exploring the Opéra Garnier in Paris, famous for its ceiling painted by the artist Marc Chagall. As I was wandering around admiring the place, two American women approached me. I'm American too, but their question made me cringe. They said, "Oh, you look like you speak English. Where's that Chagall ceiling?"
I was trying hard not to laugh, so I just pointed upward and made a quick exit before I could burst out laughing.
25. TV Is Only Ever Nonfiction
I have this friend who's great to hang out with, but is really into conspiracy theories. One time we were chilling, watching a movie that mentioned the moon landing in some way. She turns to me and says, “I hate that shows can spread false information about the moon landing. It’s just impossible.”
I burst out laughing, thinking she was kidding, but when I saw her face, I realized she wasn't. I said, “Oh, you’re serious?” We had a bit of a back-and-forth, and at one point she said, “If the moon landing is possible then why don’t we just fly airplanes to it?"
26. That’s Not The Only Thing That Isn’t Working
Once at work, a middle-aged guy told me an elevator wasn't working, so I went to investigate. As we got near, the doors opened and people stepped out. I said, "Looks like it's working now." He hopped in, but less than five minutes later, he returned saying it was still broken. We went over together, and I pressed the button.
I asked him which floor he was heading to and pressed the button for his floor. His reaction was priceless. He said, “Oh, I didn’t know you had to press a button.” And I couldn't help but think, “How have you gone this long without knowing how to use an elevator?”
27. How Many Homeowners Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?
While I was delivering propane to a customer's home, the owner came out and asked if I could lend him a hand with something. He mentioned that his kitchen was all dark because the light switch seemed to have stopped working. So, I decided to help out, and as I entered the kitchen, I noticed shattered glass from a light bulb on the floor.
The light bulb had obviously burnt out. But it seemed like he had no idea about the existence of light bulbs, and asked if I could fix it. I walked him through what needed to be done to remedy the situation, but he told me it sounded too complex. He then offered me $50 just to screw in a new light bulb for him.
28. Just Keep Swimming
I used to work at Walmart in the pet section. We had a modest range of live fish, though no live plants or anything fancy. One day, a customer flagged me down to ask about a particular type of fish. I apologized and said we didn't have any at the moment. But they were adamant that I check the back room to be sure.
I explained that we don’t have additional fish tanks in the back, and obviously, fish can’t survive without water. They seemed to give up, probably thinking I was just a lazy employee avoiding a quick check in the back. I don’t mind checking the back for items since our inventory system could be off sometimes, but looking for a non-existent extra fish tank was a no-go.
29. Do As The Romans Do
One night, my family and I decided to have dinner at a local Italian restaurant. It's run by a traditional family, so they have authentic food and music playing. We were enjoying our meal when my brother suddenly says, "Hey dad, I have a question." My dad nods, showing he's listening. Then, with a straight face, my brother asks, "Why are they playing Italian music here?"
My dad explains that it's because we're in an Italian restaurant. My brother just stares at him, blinks, and then carries on with his meal.
30. But What Is It?
One day, a door-to-door salesman came by to pitch some carpet cleaner. He looked like he'd rather be anywhere else; it was scorching outside and he'd been at it all day. I told him upfront I wasn't buying anything, but I’d listen to his pitch so he could get credit for it. He did his thing, but finished a bit too quickly to meet his quota.
I invited him in to enjoy my air conditioning and have a drink while he waited for the time to tick by. He was happy to. We ended up chilling on my balcony, getting along pretty well. Then out of the blue, he hit me with a bizarre question. He looked over and asked, “What's the difference between pizza?” It was a brain-bender.
I was waiting for the rest of the question, but that was it. Eventually, I managed to ask, "...and what?" He just repeated, "No, just what's the difference between it?" I tried explaining gently that his question needed a bit more to it to make sense.
He didn’t get it. I started listing the varieties of pizza but he cut me off - wrong track. So, I tried explaining the difference between pizza and calzones. Nope, not what he was after. I was secretly relieved when his timer rang, saving me from cracking up at this confusing conversation.
31. These Are Called Context Clues
When I was working as a cashier, it used to baffle me when I’d be in my uniform, standing behind the cash register with my light on, and yet people would still peek into my lane and ask if I was open. I couldn’t help but glance up at my lit sign, then back at them and nod. In a similar vein, I’d be roaming around the store, doing tasks in my uniform with my name tag displayed, and I’d still get asked repeatedly if I worked there.
It's like, no, I just fancied dressing up in this grocery store chain's uniform, whipped up my own name tag, and decided to wander around the store, stocking shelves for fun instead of shopping.
32. How Does She Do Her Job?
My mom often brags about her long tenure in the tech and IT sector. It's true, she's been in it for a while, but there's a catch. She hasn't really kept pace with the latest tech developments. Like this one time, she was struggling to connect her new Bluetooth headset to her laptop. After a while, I got a bit irritated and when she inquired how I managed to do it, I told her I just went to settings, clicked on Bluetooth, and followed the on-screen instructions, that's all.
Fast forward to later that morning, I'm just chilling when suddenly, I hear her exclaim in frustration. Naturally, I asked what happened and she retorted, “Why isn't my headset working.” With a simple question, I responded, “Did you turn it on?”
33. How Would That Work?
I was leading a group of clients through Katmai National Park in Alaska, where there's this well-known small waterfall named Brooks Falls. Whenever you search for brown bears online, you'll likely see pictures from Brooks Falls pop up. It's one of the most recognized natural waterfalls worldwide. So, as we were flying over it, one of the clients turned to me and asked, "Are these falls man-made?"
34. It Is What It Says It Is
My dad's a builder, and one day while chatting with an engineer at a construction site, he asked, "What's a load-bearing wall?" The engineer told him to hold on, went to his truck, and came back with a hefty manual. He placed it on the hood of my dad's truck, flipped through some pages, and said, "Here we go," spinning the book around and pointing at a sentence. My dad read the line out loud: "A load-bearing wall is a wall that bears a load." He nearly toppled over laughing realizing the obviousness of his question.
35. The Light Plays Tricks On Us All
One day, I was painting a guy's restaurant, and he comes over asking why there's a line of a different color next to the jam. I was puzzled, so I asked him to show me what he was talking about. He took me over to the spot and right away I saw it was just a shadow from the jam jar. I almost laughed but explained to him, "It’s a shadow."
This is where it got nuts: He didn't buy it. He was utterly convinced I'd somehow sneaked off, bought a different color of paint, come back, and painted a single stripe on the counter. And no matter how much I insisted it was just a shadow, he stood his ground, getting quite agitated.
I was left questioning the series of life choices that led me to this surreal conversation. To prove my point, I walked over, lifted the jam jar, the shadow moved, and I placed the jar back down, then simply walked away.
36. Odd And Concerning
An older gentleman walked into the Geek Squad where I worked, wanting some help with his iPad. I began by asking if he had a membership, but he wasn't sure. So, I looked it up and found out, "Sorry, you don't have a membership, but you do have extended warranties for microwaves." He looked puzzled and asked, "What's a microwave?" Surprisingly, he had three of them, all with warranties registered under his name.
37. Sometimes, Roads Change
I was heading home with my soon-to-be ex-husband to introduce him to my parents for the first time. The drive required us to go through Atlanta. He questioned if I was certain about the route home. Though I had been making the trip from university to my home at least once a week for the past three years, he kept asking. Eventually, he switched on the GPS “just to be sure.”
38. She Wants It All
I was close to getting a new car when I stumbled upon a harsh truth that ruined my life: I found out my wife was cheating. She brought up the matter of the car, and I offered to let her use it since my dad had an extra car he hardly drove, and she needed to get around with our kids. Three months later, as she was picking up the kids from my place, she hit me with a bizarre request.
"Hey, could you ask your dad about what needs to be done to transfer the car’s title to my name?" I looked at her and said, "Seriously? After cheating on me and walking out without looking back, I was still decent enough to lend you my car. And now you have the nerve to ask for the title to be transferred to your name?" No way.
39. Do You Drive A Boat?
I was at my local college when I mentioned to a classmate that I was moving to Finland after graduation. She wondered if it was out past Detroit. I asked her to clarify, and when she repeated the question, all I could muster was, "Well, sort of, but I'll need to take a plane." She then asked, "Why can't you just drive there?" I ended up showing her on a map where America and Finland are.
She still didn’t get it. The memory still baffles me 10 years later.
40. The Same Way We Do Now
I was conducting a training seminar for a council in Australia, where they introduced a software similar to Google Maps, but it displayed zoning laws and property ownership details. You could also travel back in time, viewing the area as it appeared all the way back to 1945. The images were aerial shots taken from planes and helicopters. A young lady was curious about how they obtained photos from so long ago. She genuinely didn't believe cameras existed back then.
41. A Lack Of Spatial Awareness
I used to work at a restaurant located in an airport. It didn’t have any doors, just a welcoming open space anyone could stroll into. The setup was typical with tables, chairs, and a bar complete with barstools—it was clearly a restaurant. One slow morning, as we were standing around chatting, a group of about five people walked in and started exploring the place.
They browsed through the merchandise we had, all branded with the restaurant’s name. After a while, they approached us and asked, with a straight face, "Is there a restaurant around here we could eat at?" A whimsical idea struck us. One of my colleagues, keeping a straight face, said, "Yeah, there’s another one down the terminal that way," pointing away from our restaurant.
They thanked us and headed off in search of this other restaurant. It’s always astonishing how people seem to leave their common sense behind when they enter an airport.
42. That’s Not How Any Of This Works
I used to work at a restaurant named The Waterfront, which was situated near the beach. One day, a lady called in asking if the splash pad was open. I explained that we were just a restaurant and not part of the beach, but she responded, “Well, you’re closer than me, can’t you just walk over there and check for me?” I had to decline her request.
43. The Internet Is A Tricky Thing
Once, while working in tech support, I got a quirky question from a lady. She asked, “If you send an email to this address, doesn’t it become my email address?” She believed she could hand out a random email address without actually setting up an email account, and it would somehow magically create itself. She couldn't grasp why she was unable to log into the email address she had been sharing for years, and why eventually a guy reached out to her, letting her know it was his email address and asking her to stop using it.
44. Now You Both Get One
When I was a kid, I went to visit my mom at her office and drew a picture for my dad. My mom suggested faxing it to him at his office, and I was thrilled with the idea because I wanted dad to see my artwork right away. But as the drawing went through the fax machine and reappeared on the other side with my original drawing still in hand, I burst into tears.
I thought something went wrong and my dad wouldn’t get to see my picture. I asked my mom, “Why is the picture still here?” That's when she had to explain to me that only a copy of the drawing was sent, not the actual paper I drew on.
45. Always Use Visual Aids
Once at work, I found myself tangled in a lengthy email exchange with someone wanting to know how to use a sort of reloadable gift/debit card on the vending machines. Initially, I simply explained that the card can be used like any bank card (provided it has a balance). There’s no special slot, just swipe it at the machine and pay as usual.
However, they didn't seem to grasp that, and kept asking about where to insert their card. I thought maybe we were just not getting each other, but I couldn't figure out how else to explain it. Thus began this ridiculous little saga. I ended up explaining the difference between the credit card slot, and the slots for paper money and coins.
Then I went the extra mile: I looked up photos of all the different card readers on our machines, circled the area where they should swipe their card, and sent that over. They went radio silent after that, leaving me with a tiny mystery: Did my last email finally clear things up, but they just didn’t bother to say thank you? Did they throw in the towel, frustrated that I wasn’t getting their seemingly complex question?
Or, did they see the circled pictures and feel insulted, thinking I must’ve assumed they were not sharp? The world may never know.
46. On The Fence
I once worked at a sporting goods store, and when we received our name tags, we were asked to choose our favorite sport to be displayed on them. I'm not much of a sports enthusiast, but I do enjoy fencing, so that's what I chose for my tag. One day, while in the break room, a coworker noticed my tag and genuinely inquired, “How is putting up fences a sport?”
47. Is A Park Not A Zoo?
While working in Banff National Park, I've encountered some clueless tourists, but one lady was a real piece of work. She asked me what time we release the animals, as she wanted to snap some photos. I paused for a moment, then explained that "all of the animals in the national park are wild, and we strongly advise keeping your distance since they can be unpredictable."
48. Is She A Geneticist?
My sister was out shopping one day with her toddler daughter, who was seated in the shopping cart. My niece has striking blue eyes which often catch people's attention. Now, my sister has brown eyes and my brother-in-law has blue eyes, though a different shade from my niece. So, they're at the store and this lady comes up, saying, "Oh, your daughter is so adorable. She has such lovely blue eyes. They clearly didn’t come from you."
My sister responds, "No, we're really not sure where they came from. My husband has blue eyes but they're a different shade. She's just lucky, I guess." That's when she asks a question that was so stupid, I'll never forget it: "Well, are you sure your husband is her father?" as if it's the most obvious question ever.
49. Simple Physics
I recall having to clear my name from a speeding accusation. I had dashcam footage, which unmistakably showed I wasn't speeding. I was cruising at 30 mph, but the officer insisted I was zooming at 50 mph. The dashcam footage revealed him speeding at 40 mph to catch up to me rather quickly. That's when he decided to chime in and embarrass himself.
He questioned, "If you were really going 30, then why did I have to speed up to 40 to catch up to you?" I retorted, “Well, to catch up to anything, you have to go faster than what you're trailing. If I was going 50, you would have never caught up to me at 40.”
50. Maybe It’s The School System’s Fault
In high school, my girlfriend and I visited a WWII museum. There were a couple of volunteers there who had actually fought in the war. With a serious face, my girlfriend asked them, “Which side did you fight on?” They were quite puzzled and responded, “The American side.” Then she asked, “Oh, did we win?” They were totally taken aback by her questions at that point.
We were both 16, and I remember her remarking, “Who even knows who won that old war anyway? It’s not my fault I didn’t know.”