People Share Their Most Bizarre Experiences With Mistaken Identity

October 12, 2018 | Carl Wyndham

People Share Their Most Bizarre Experiences With Mistaken Identity

“There was a time I could have been mistaken for Burt Reynolds. I had a mustache and so did he. But he was the number one star in the world, so there wasn't really much confusion.”—Tom Selleck.

We all have doppelgängers, or so it's said. But most of us will never meet ours. Instead, we will come across the doppelgängers for other people that we know, which can often lead to some interesting circumstances. Sometimes it can be fun and games, maybe lead to some free drinks, but sometimes it can take a turn and veer into awkward or even scary territory. Hopeful the latter of these circumstances hasn’t happened to those reading, which means that they can enjoy these stories by Redditors. From the wild times to the tragic detainments, here are some of the most interesting stories of mistaken identity, as told by the users of Reddit.

Mistaken Identity factsPhys

47. Go For It

This fall a guy came up to me while I was tailgating at a football game. The conversation went like this:

Him: Are you who I think you are?

Me: I don't know, who do you think I am?

Him: From Shawshank Redemption

Me: Yes. You caught me. I'm Morgan Freeman.

(Note: I'm white)

Mistaken Identity factsScience ABC

46. Hello Sheriff

One day I was sitting in my living room and I got a knock at my door. It was the sheriff telling me I have a warrant out. He asked me for my birthday and what my middle name was. He told me I wasn't the right person he was looking for a person with the same name but different middle name. She wrote bad checks. He left... I went and laid on my bed. Had a mild panic attack.

 Mistaken Identity facts Quora

45. Learning Not To Trespass

When I was a teenager I didn't shave for a while and started to grow some facial hair. Then one day I was going to another city for a few days so I shaved off the facial hair and put on some nice clothes before leaving.

As I headed for the bus stop some random guy approached me and told me if he ever catches me on his land again he would beat me to death. This scared me as I never trespass on peoples' property and would even go out of my way to avoid it. I didn't even look the same as I had the day before.

I am fairly certain this guy had confused me with someone else. I was so scared that I just promised not to do it again and went on my way hoping we would never have a similar encounter with each other.

Mistaken Identity factsWikipedia

44. Not Your Momma

I was taking my mother to visit her mother after a doctor's appointment. A police officer saw us passing and pulled behind us. By the time I made it into my grandma's neighborhood, I had literally over 12 police vehicles following me... going 30 mph... through a residential neighborhood lol. I was pulled over only to hear the officer say "Oh, it's not her" when he walked up. I said, "Well, whoever she is, better her than me!" I don't know what this woman who looked like me did, but they wanted her badly.

Mistaken Identity factsThe Cheat Sheet

43. Border Problems

My aunt is Filipino, and she and her white husband were visiting relatives in Canada. When they tried to cross the border to the US, they were detained for over four hours before being let go.

It turned out that there was a woman with my aunt's exact name who was on the run from the authorities. I think the culprit was Hispanic, and because my aunt looked Hispanic she was automatically deemed as suspicious.

Mistaken Identity factsTime

42. The Jig Is Up

My girlfriend mistook me for someone charming and attractive... I've been able to keep up the ruse for over two years now.

 Mistaken Identity facts Pexels

41. A Voice For Bed

A girl in a bar once thought she recognized my voice as that of a local DJ and told me it was the sexiest voice on earth. I didn't tell her I was NOT him and we ended up at her place for a steamy night. To this day she probably still thinks she banged that dude.

 Mistaken Identity facts JoJo Wikia

40. Screech Life

I was at an outdoor concert getting a beer out of the car when I hear some giggling and snippets of words which cue me in on the nature of their conversation. I retrieve said beer, close the car, turn around and say "Let me guess. Screech." They wandered off with a slightly mortified laugh.

That was not the first time that has happened either. Our video yearbook people did a "Look a likes" segment of the yearbook and we had Opie, a bear, and Screech.

 Mistaken Identity facts The Daily Beast

39. Taking The Shots

There were a couple of guys who were convinced that I was major league pitcher David Wells. I played along and the free shots were nice. The fact that I was wearing an Indians hat didn't seem to tip them off.

 Mistaken Identity facts

38. A Whole Lot Of Confusion

One time I heard someone behind me yell, "Hey, It's Dog the Bounty Hunter!" Excited, I whipped my head around, only to realize the kid was looking at me. He quickly realized that I was not who he thought I was and said, "Oh, sorry ma'am."

 Mistaken Identity facts Meme Creator

37. Talk About Vague

I had someone once think I was "that white girl on the Disney Channel." That was in 2001 or 2002 and to this day, I have no idea who they were talking about.

 Mistaken Identity facts SteemKR

36. Maybe You Should Just Go With It

I've had a few times where I've been mistaken for Jack Black. Which is odd because other than being a short white fat slouching man our hair color and facial features are extremely different. I'll be eating a sandwich at a fast food place and some guy will walk over and be convinced I'm Jack Black. He won't leave me along about it. What's odd is it's happened over multiple cities/states and it's always black guys who confuse me for him. It kind of sucks having to argue why you aren't famous and really are just a poor guy eating a sandwich.

Mistaken Identity factsNashville Scene

35. Learning To Be Tim Robbins

I used to look a lot like Tim Robbins. In one week, six people asked me if I was actually him.

"No, Tim Robbins doesn't stop at a Wendy's in a Grand AM at two in the morning."

"No, but I did check out your figure a second ago, so I will let you think I am him."

"No, Tim Robbins was in 'Howard the Duck,' I was not."

"No, Tim Robbins is four inches taller and talented."

"No, Tim Robbins doesn't work at a bottling factory, and no, I am not preparing for a role with this uniform."


Mistaken Identity factsVariety

34. Maybe He IS Robbie Williams

Not me, but my mate is the absolute spit of Robbie Williams. I tell you what we've had some fun with this fact in London's nightclubs. Especially when it comes to women + you just walk in, no queuing, no entrance fee and sometimes free drinks.

Mistaken Identity factsDaily Mirror

33. Putting The Principal Down

My boss took me out to dinner. He is the principal of a kindergarten in Japan and I was a new English teacher. While we were in the car heading to the restaurant, he asked what my real name is. I assumed he was talking about my first name, considering I am known as Liz-sensei instead of Elizabeth at the school, so I told him. He bangled up my name pretty bad trying to pronounce it, and then got really excited.

"That is very famous name in Japan. President. We all know that name, we study World History."

"Really? Elizabeth? Are you talking about Queen Elizabeth?"

"No, in Second World War. President. Everyone will be excited when I tell them this. Amazing!"

I sat there confused for a second, and then it hit me.

"Are you talking about President Roosevelt?"

"Yes! You related, amazing!"

And then I had to let him down slowly.

Mistaken Identity factsSuperstarfloraluk

32. How’s Your Sister

Before I turned 18 a couple years ago, I was able to buy cigarettes from anywhere in my neighborhood. I never got ID'd since there was apparently someone who I looked identical to in the neighborhood. Of course, I had to vaguely answer a few questions every now and then, like "how's your sister?" or "is the car running better now?"

Mistaken Identity factsVermont Public Radio

31. Awkward

One time, the principal of my high school came up to me and started talking to me, and I had no idea what he was talking about. Turns out he thought I was my twin brother. I'm a girl.

Mistaken Identity factsAnnie Tritt

30. Disappointing Dicaprio

In 2007 I was in Rome with school, one of the days there we were split into groups of five and got a map with like 20 locations we were supposed to go to. At some point, we were looking at the map and I hear someone somewhere behind me yell "LEONARDO DICAPRIO, LEONARDO DICAPRIO, LEONARDO DICAPRIO."

Followed by someone tapping me on my shoulder. When I turned around I see this girl with the most confused/disappointed look on her face I've ever seen. I have no idea why she thought I was Leonardo Dicaprio, I'm a 6'4" skinny white dude, I'm ten years younger than him, and we were speaking Danish at the time.

Mistaken Identity factsBoston College High School

29. Ellen and One Direction

I often get told by Niall from One Direction... and I hate it with a passion.

Also, weirdly, Ellen Degeneres. Apparently, they look similar. Who knew?

 Mistaken Identity facts Playbuzz

28. Celebrity Friends

Stephen Stills once mistakenly thought my father was Richard Dreyfuss (we were at a fundraiser for John Kerry's Senate re-election bid sometime in the mid-'90s).

Also, my cousin looks exactly like Ben Affleck in Chasing Amy, so when that movie came out everybody thought he was Affleck (didn't help that he's also from Boston and even has the same sort-of-but-not-really Boston accent).

Mistaken Identity factsMinistry Best Practices

27. Stoner Life

I once went a couple months without shaving for Halloween. I had about four people come up to me and ask me if I was Seth Rogen. Apparently, I look like an overweight stoner when I don't shave for a long time.

Mistaken Identity factsThe Tracking Board

26. Well Ain’t That Embarrassing

Was leaving work late one night. All my coworkers we still going strong doing inventory at this dive poster place in the mall.

A girl I just started dating picked me up and was starting to drive me home when six or seven cop cruisers circled around us and a helicopter blazing its searchlight on us.

Apparently, someone had robbed one of the stores just a short while earlier. There only description of the guy? African American and "Baggy Pants."

I guess my regular jeans, black hoodie, and white skin confused them.

They ended up taking all our information down, calling her parents, calling my parents, a call to my boss. It was extremely embarrassing.

Mistaken Identity facts

25. Not The Worst Mistaken Identity

I used to get mistaken for the Prince all the damn time, mostly by old women.

Mistaken Identity factsPaxnet

24. Using Your Sense Of Humor

If you have a sense of humor, this is one of the funniest things about being black. Not confused for, but I've gotten "hey, you look just like..."


Kobe Bryant

Philip Michael Thomas

Also, a buddy of mine (who looks more like Dave Chappelle than anyone) was confused for Michael Jordan in Mexico. He gave out a ton of autographs.

Mistaken Identity facts Pexels

23. Autographing Napkins

A family member of mine looks a bit like Drew Barrymore. One time in the Dallas Airport an Asian family chased her down until she agreed to take pictures with them and "autograph" a bunch of napkins.

Mistaken Identity facts BBC

22. The Weirdo In The Cabin

This one isn't mine, but one I did. I was working a wedding at a lakeside resort one weekend (my fiance is a DJ, it was her cousin, I got pulled in as a roadie). I was told "Go to cabin #15 and get Jarett, he'll show you where to find such-and-such..."

So I go to cabin #15, bust open the door and yell out "It's the plumber, I've come to fix the sink!" I don't know why I yelled that, it made sense at the time. Out walks this guy, who was clearly just asleep, saying "What?" I ask for Jarett, and he doesn't know who I'm talking about. I go "Oh crap," and leave in a hurry, without giving the guy any explanation.

I later found out Jarett was in cabin #13. I had been told the wrong number. But I think I just gave that guy a great story to tell about the weirdo who wandered into his cabin screaming about sinks.

Mistaken Identity facts Spruce Cabins

21. A British Following

I was walking through Times Square on my way to meet a friend for dinner (so I was in a minidress, heels, and a flower pinned in my hair), and a bunch of British boys yelled "Oi! Katy Perry!" and kept trying to follow me, chat me up, etc.

Mistaken Identity facts ReverbNation Blog

20. I Am McLovin'

McLovin, back when I was a scrawny kid, people always thought I was him because of my haircut and the way I talked. I couldn't go to any public gathering without at least one person bringing it up. Nowadays, people will give me a strange look and I'll just nod and say "yeah, McLovin." The look on their face is priceless.

 Mistaken Identity facts Ask

19. Selfies With TSwift

I get that I look like Taylor Swift a LOT, and I was at a big cocktail party once with friends and friends-of-friends. This woman flips out, comes up to me and says she wants to prank her tween daughter who is a huge Taylor Swift fan. She asks if she can take a photo with me to send to her daughter, so I said sure, what the heck.

I put on my best T Swift smile and she texts it to her daughter with the caption 'Look who I ran into tonight!!" No idea if she fell for it or not, but man that whole encounter was so funny.

 Mistaken Identity facts The Ringer

18. Going Along As Paul

Hahaha, one of the funniest things ever was these guys on the bus at Rutgers University when Rutgers fest was still around a few years ago. They saw me and one of the guys just screams "Oh my god its Paul Wall!!!" and his bro just agrees and starts screaming too. It was so weird because I look nothing like Paul Wall but they got so into and had the whole bus doing a Paul Wall chant for me. It was so funny I just had to join in.

Mistaken Identity facts Know Your Meme

17. Star Struck For Slipknot

The wife of the clown dude from Slipknot. My husband apparently looks like him (sans mask.) We were at Ikea one Saturday, and he was talking to someone about offset spatulas for making spaetzle. A young guy came over to me, with glee wonder in his eyes.

"Is that your husband?" he asks. "Yes, it is." I reply.

He then asks me what his name is, to which I answer. He immediately relaxes and says "He looks just like Shawn Crahan."

I had absolutely no idea who he was talking about, and he could tell. He explained who he is, and expressed surprise at the fact that it's never happened before. I told him he's usually mistaken for Nate Garnette from Skeletonwitch. We chatted for a bit, but he left when my husband rejoined me. He still seemed like he was star-struck simply from the resemblance.

Mistaken Identity facts

16. Even The Paparazzi Are Confused

Not me, but an old coworker of mine occasionally gets mistaken for Zooey Deschanel. Because we live in LA, she's appeared in several celeb spotting articles for magazines.

Mistaken Identity facts The Confused Gyani

15. RuPaul’s Approval

Christina Ricci.

When I was younger, I went to Universal Studios and this was when the movie Casper just came out. They had a special exhibit set up with props and costumes from the movie and I remember going in and people staring at me and getting super quiet.

I still have family that calls me "Wednesday." It used to bug the crap out of me. But last year when I met RuPaul at a signing in Hollywood—he even said I looked like her and, ya know, I guess it's not that bad.

Mistaken Identity facts SayingImages

14. Practice Your Kicks

Back in the '90s, I was asked by several people, mostly kids, if I was a Power Ranger.

Mistaken Identity facts HobbyConsolas

13. Cruising as Cruise

I was driving a Bentley Convertible when a guy did the whacky flailing inflatable arms guy thing at me, I was very confused. When I stopped at the light he pulled up next to me and yelled: "Can I have your autograph!!!??" I said "sure" then signed a business card and handed it to him. He looked at it confused and asked: "Aren't you Tom cruise?" I told him "nope, sorry" he looked like he was going to cry.

Mistaken Identity facts Know Your Meme

12. Stupid Hats

I was in a music store in Davis, California, when I was approached by two tween girls and an adult woman. They requested my autograph, and when I asked them who they thought I was, one of the girls timidly replied:

"... Johnny Depp?"

She looked so hopeful that I almost wanted to say yes, but I went with the honesty route.

It shows how far a stupid hat and a pair of sunglasses will go, I guess.

I've also had a few women tell me that I look like Matt Bomer. One of those occasions was when I was attending the Napa Valley Film Festival, and it seemed like the girl making the comparison was waiting for me to confirm that I was, in fact, the actor.

Mistaken Identity facts Mradio

11. Pretend You Don’t Speak English

Not really a celebrity of late but any tall European basketball player. I am white and around 7'0" tall. Friends in university were always asking me to pretend I was this European basketball star that did not know English when we went out to the bars.

Apparently some women like tall men who can't speak English well.

Mistaken Identity facts Cari Cole

10. Who Said You Have To Be An Athlete To Play Soccer?

I was wearing a Portland Timbers jersey while out running. Someone stopped their car and asked if I was one of the players.

I'm 40, fat, and bald—so I didn't think I could get away with pretending to be a professional athlete for long. So I explained that I was not.

Mistaken Identity facts Kicks to the Pitch

9. Not Doing The Job Properly

A bouncer at a bar in NYC was holding my ID in his hand when he asked me if I was Jacoby Ellsbury from the NY Yankees. It was right after he was traded so it was plausible, but all he had to do was look down at my ID and realize I'm not him. I said "Yes I am" anyways.

Mistaken Identity facts The Ithacan

8. Creative

The baby Jesus. When I was in an Ancient Art History class the whole class agreed that this statue of baby Jesus looked like me.

Mistaken Identity facts Make a Meme

7. Even The Famous Mistake Him

I was mistaken for Stephen King by Chip (of Chip and Dale) at Epcot when my kids were little. He(?) handed me an autograph book with the initials "S.K." written on it, indicating he thought I was King. I was also mistaken for Christopher Reeve by a drunk at a restaurant in Williamstown, Mass. on my wedding trip. I just replied, "No, I'm not, but I wish..

Mistaken Identity facts Youtube

6. A Variety of Faces

I am CONSTANTLY mistaken for Nick Swardson. And occasionally Jake Busey. I've also heard "yo it's Shasta McNasty!" while people point at me. I have one of those faces, I guess?

Mistaken Identity facts

5. Rather Be Wayne Rooney

I've got two:

I used to keep my hair fairly short, maybe a number three or four. I also used to frequent English-style pubs instead of bars and would regularly get drinks for signing Man. U posters/photos as Wayne Rooney. Apparently, I looked just like him, without the athleticism.

Second isn't quite as funny:

I was walking home from a bar in town one night to see a police cruiser slow down and coast next to me. Officer rolls down the window and asks me where I'm headed. "Home," I tell him. He asks me where I was coming from, mentioned the bar. He stops, asks me to hang on a second because he wanted to ask me if I had seen anything. (Now, I didn't really want to hang around, but I figured bolting from him half-drunk and in a small town would be worse, so I stood there and waited for him to get out of the car).

He steps out, pad in hand, proceeds to ask me a few boilerplate questions. He then tells me that I'm under arrest, cuffs me, and leads me into the cruiser.

Once we got to the police station, I was put into an interrogation room by myself for about 30 minutes (around 1:30 am). Around two am detective comes in with a folder full of pictures of a guy who looks like me, with my name and his SSN differs by two digits.

Turns out that guy who looked like me had murdered several people. I was interrogated until my mother showed up with school photos, my SSN card and my birth certificate and a check in case they required bail. Worst mistaken identity ever.

I preferred being Wayne Rooney.

Mistaken Identity factsGoal

4. Going For A Ride

I was walking into a dorm building with a friend one time, and she saw one of our friends coming into the dorm a few hundred feet behind us. She decided to scare him, so she hid behind a big pillar right near the entrance.

The guy walked through the door, and she jumped onto his back, grabbed him around the neck, and started smacking his ass, yelling "Giddyup, Cowboy!"

The guy flipped out and got my friend off of his back. It was not our friend, it was just some random, strange guy. My friend turned bright red and ran up the stairs without saying a word.

From then on, that guy would see her sometimes in the halls and say "Hi, Cowgirl" and she was always too shy to reply.

Mistaken Identity factsMedical News Today

3. Jay’s Doppelganger

In college, I was approached by several people on separate occasions that thought I was some guy named Jay. One of these times a cute girl came running up to me and jumped on me to give me a hug thinking that I was this Jay character. It took me several minutes to convince her that I wasn't him.

Finally, I met this guy at a concert in town when I ran into some of his friends who were there and thought I was him. It was eerie how similar we looked, facial structure, hairstyle, we were even both wearing dark green sublime shirts. I'll never forget that. It was like a movie.

Mistaken Identity factsThe Daily Edge

2. Getting Kidnapped

This didn't happen to me, but on my friend's birthday night, a man approached him and asked him "Where's it at?" My friend had no idea what he was talking about, so they apparently had the wrong guy. They pulled out a gun and kidnapped my friend. Another guy stole my friend's truck to search for the missing car apparently. My friend told them the car was at a 7-11, where he fled from them and told the 7-11 guy to call the cops. His truck was found shortly after.

Mistaken Identity factsOdyssey

1. Koala Love

My mum cut out an article in our local newspaper, then phoned me up to say that she had seen me in the paper and will show it to me when I see her next.

Turns out she cut-out a picture of DAVE GROHL holding a koala at a zoo and thought it was me.

Mistaken Identity facts 1-log-furniture

Sources: , , 

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