Human beings are often referred to as the “rational animal.” However, as much as I hate to say it, perhaps we don’t always live up to that title. Even the best of us have instances where “rational” is the last word one could reasonably use to describe our behavior and/or thought process. Whether we’re motivated by factors other than logic or whether we are just simply prone to having “brain freeze” moments, we all do things from time to time that make us pause and ask ourselves “What on earth was I thinking??” Here are 42 explanation-defyingly stupid things that people have decided to do at some point in their lives, brought to us by the intrepid users of Reddit.
42. A Simple Misunderstanding
We were driving to a restaurant and wanted to see how long the wait was. My dad handed me the phone book and asked me to look up the number. I, for whatever reason, thought he said “get rid of this.” So I opened the window and chucked the phone book out while we were going 70 MPH down the highway.
That was over ten years ago and I still get mocked for it.
41. Not Exactly Rocket Science
I failed a science test. I decided that I would just burn the grade and it would no longer exist.
So I’m sitting in my bedroom with the door open. I make sure I’m on the carpet for safety reasons and I just grab the entire test—which was roughly three pages—and light the corner.
My brother walked down at the right time and saw me. The paper went up instantly. I had no idea it was going to be that fast! In movies it would always slowly burn so you can see what the message was before the evidence was erased.
My 12-year-old brother quickly put it out with his hands. And later, my mom found a small stain on the carpet.
My brother didn’t get burned or rat me out. Or if he did, no one told me.
Clearly, I failed science for a reason…
40. Write This Down
Microwaved a pen for two minutes in the workplace microwave. To this day I do not know why I did that. Didn’t lose my job though, so that’s good!
39. Candle in the Wind
I tried to put out a candle by covering it with a Kleenex. It didn’t work…
38. There’s a First Time for Everything
I stuck my hand in a hot bowl of soup simply because I hadn’t before and wanted to see what it was like…
37. Taking the Bait
I jumped up and (successfully) bit the string that is used to pull the attic door down. It had a metal bead on it. Immediately after, I remember thinking, “holy crap I actually got it in my mouth and broke the string.” Then I realized the string was still there, but half my front tooth wasn’t.
As the best man at my wedding said, “the attic string went fishing for idiots and caught one.”
36. A Tacky Story
I used to drink cans of soda by stabbing them with a push pin/thumbtack. If I just pulled it out, there would be a stream of wasted soda. So I would pull the tack out with my teeth while creating a seal with my lips. One time I accidentally swallowed the tack. One emergency room visit and a few X-rays later, I was sent home to dig through my poo. I was 14.
35. The Ants Go Marching
I have an amazing ability to pick up almost any bug carefully and efficiently without hurting them. When I first discovered this talent when I was about five or six, I went and collected 44 ants, got some dirt, and made my own ant colony—in my room, under my bed. Parents were not amused…
34. Race to the Finish
One time I was eating a lemon poppyseed muffin. The phone rang, so I reacted by shoving the entire muffin in my mouth and eating it as fast as I could, nearly choking to death, and I didn’t even make it to the phone before it stopped ringing.
Why did I do that?
33. Anybody Home?
I was in my office with the door closed. Got up from my desk to walk out, and knocked on the door before opening it and walking into the hallway.
32. Wheels Turning in Your Mind
I put my finger into a handheld blender and turned it on to see if I could stop the blades from spinning.
I couldn’t, and it chewed up my finger. I was 21.
31. It’s Raining Meat!
I was really drunk once, lying in my bed, trying to eat a hot dog wiener. No bun. Just the wiener. Wasn’t even cooked. I was apparently far too drunk to handle eating it so I (for whatever reason) chucked it over my head, out of my top floor window and onto the lawn.
My downstairs neighbor was apparently walking to the house when I did it. She complained to our landlord about me throwing a raw wiener at her at 2 am. Our landlord luckily found my explanation really funny.
30. Let’s Hope the Purse Wasn’t White…
Went to a coffee shop and ordered a large cup of coffee. Barista hands it to me and I put it directly into my purse with no lid.
29. Blood Money
Yesterday I was using a nail gun on the trim around the windows of my house. Being the idiot that I am, I decided to see what would happen if I shot a penny. The nail ricocheted off the penny, shot past my head, and ended up in the fridge behind me. Close call.
28. Gracefully Mistaken
When I was little, I threw my ballet shoes into a toilet I had just peed in. I have no idea why. I then ran to my mom, who couldn’t decipher through my hysterical crying what was going on. To this day I still have no idea why I did it, but I remember feeling that I had to do it.
27. Picky, Picky, Picky
I once picked a guy’s pocket and put it back just to see if I could do it without getting caught. I didn’t get caught. It was the single dumbest thing I’ve ever done in my life, considering how bad it could have gone if I had gotten caught.
26. Burning With Passion for Class
This was during a graduate business school class. I was sitting in the back row, bored out of my mind. I had a foil gum wrapper that I rolled into a horseshoe design. I then looked at the electrical outlet, and it was like my hand automatically started to move towards it. I remember in my head, I was saying, “Don’t do it – you know what will happen!” but I couldn’t stop.
Once both ends of the foil wrapper were in two of the holes for the electrical outlet, there was a pop, a spark, and then some smoke. The guy next to me was so startled, he flew back in his chair against the wall. I shorted the whole row of outlets that everyone had their laptops connected to. The professor started walking up to my area to see what happened, so I pulled the wrapper out of the outlet and tried to play it off. He only came up part way and made some comment about “sticky fingers.” Later on, I was voted by my peers to be “most likely to burn down the business school.” So, I have that going for me.
25. Cheaper by the Dozen
I microwaved a single cheetoh.
24. Someone’s Got a Screw Loose…
I ran around with a screwdriver in my mouth when I was around seven or eight. Tripped over a carpet and cut the roof of my mouth open one time. I was lucky I didn’t bloody die! There’s a scar there now, which gets itchy on a regular basis and is so unbelievably annoying.
23. Tug of War
Me and my brothers would tie ropes to each other and run in opposite directions. Did it to trees, too. I tried to bungee jump from a tree with just a regular old rope one time. That one hurt pretty bad.
Anyone else jump down a flight of stairs because you thought you could make it? Turns out most of us aren’t Superman after all…
21. The Computer Should Have Knocked Some Sense Into You
Angrily thwacked my laptop when the internet went out for the 10th time when I was trying to do my homework. Turns out I hit it where the hard drive was, and it never worked again.
Lost the homework I was trying to do.
20. Sounds Like One Wild Fourth of July Party
When I was about nine or ten years old, I threw a piece of pie into my neighbor’s yard. Turns out my neighbor was in her yard. She came and knocked on my door, asking why a piece of pie flew out of nowhere and almost hit her. Strangest thing I ever got in trouble for.
19. Cooling It off
Sometimes I blow on my ice cream before I take a bite. Have no idea why.
18. We All Scream For Ice Cream, Literally
I was a little mentally out of it one time and eating ice cream out of a big tub. I needed my hands for something and instead of just putting the ice cream down, I chucked it out of the window. That way just seemed easier, I guess.
As you can imagine, there was someone passing my window, but they just went “what the heck?” and laughed. I hid under the table for a while and lamented the loss of ice-cream.
17. Painting a Pretty Stupid Picture of Your Judgment
I chopped an aerosol paint can in half with an axe. I was definitely old enough to know better, but my cousin and I thought we had it worked out. My mom always said, “One kid, one brain; two kids, no brains.” Boy was she right. I was yellow for a week.
16. Hands on Approach
I decided to check if the stove plates were hot by touching them. They were…
15. Bon Voyage!
I was packing up the car for a trip and just completely forgot to grab the last suitcase and put it in. It was apparently just sitting on the sidewalk for the entire two days I was gone…
14. One Big Elaborate Conspiracy
As a kid, my parents would tell me to go brush my teeth and, being the stupid kid that I was, I would go to the bathroom, lock the door, run the water, wet my toothbrush, and rinse my mouth to make it look like I had brushed my teeth. I would also squeeze tiny blobs of toothpaste to make it look used, and would rub the toothbrush across my arm to make the brushing noises, while eating mints to make my breath seem legit. All in all, this process took more time and effort than actually brushing my teeth.
13. Happy Wife, Happy Life
Told my wife she has an anger issue. It just came out. No context. Like, ten minutes ago. We weren’t even fighting. Guess what? She is really pissed right now…
12. Curiosity Killed the Cat
You know those cigarette lighters in old cars? Nobody in my immediate family smokes, and when I was younger, I decided to press it out of curiosity one time and it popped out.
I pulled it out to inspect—it was just grey coils—it didn’t look red hot or anything. So I tested that sucker the best way I knew how—I stuck it to my tongue.
11. Fan One, You Zero
I threw a plastic bottle at a ceiling fan. It ricocheted back, right on my forehead.
10. Always Listen to Your Little Voice
I had an intrusive thought that said I should scream in the middle of a mostly quiet class.
I didn’t ignore it.
9. Food Fight
Boiled a pot of pasta. Then poured the water and noodles down the drain.
8. That Bowl Wasn’t Exactly Your Cup of Tea…
I have a bad habit of sucking cups around my lips/mouth and then pulling them off so they make that very satisfying “pop” sound. One day I was holding a plastic bowl and absent-mindedly stuck it to my mouth and tried to suction it to my face. Discovered it was too big, so I moved it up over my nose and proceeded to suck.
Proceeded to panic until I could pull the bowl off my face.
7. Was the Snow Yellow?
I picked up and licked that machine they use to melt snow. It was not salty as I had hoped, and it did not taste good. Would not recommend.
6. A Hole in One
When I was maybe 10 or 12, I threw one of my dad’s old golf clubs that was missing its head like a spear down the hallway after telling my brother it would be cool.
The result was a golf club hanging out of a hole in the wall and an EXTREMELY grounded me.
5. Burning Through Cash
When I was 10, I saw this cool magic trick where you soaked a dollar bill in rubbing alcohol and then the alcohol burns off and your dollar bill stays intact. So stupid ten-year-old me was home alone one day when my mom left me $20 to order food with. I ended up soaking it in rubbing alcohol and burning it, causing it to disintegrate into ash immediately.
4. Just Checking for X-Ray Vision
When I was a kid, I put a jacket over my head and fell down a flight of concrete stairs. I busted my face completely, but somehow only chipped a tooth. To this day, I just can’t remember what I was thinking. Maybe that I could somehow see through the jacket? I clearly couldn’t.
3. Strrrriiike Three!
My dad was sleeping on the couch and I happened to be holding an avocado. Without giving it a second thought, I chucked the avocado at his head for no reason. It plonked right off his forehead, waking him up of course. He was so furious he couldn’t look at me for the rest of the day.
I was like 11 years old, and my dad has a temper. The moment it left my hand I knew my life was ending so I just helplessly watched it sail into his sleeping face.
2. What a Wonderful Way to Start the Day
When I was a wee boy, I woke up early before everyone, went down to the kitchen, grabbed a chair, brought it to the fridge, and took the small metal pencil sharpener from the top. I decided to sharpen my pinky first thing in the morning so I could have a sharp finger! Ended up waking the parents up and bleeding profusely.
1. Half Past Stupid
Someone asked me what time it was. I lifted and rotated my wrist so I could look at my watch. I was holding an iced tea and just poured the whole thing into my lap.
The best part?
I wasn’t wearing a watch. I didn’t even own a watch. Never have.