We all have varying levels of tolerance when it comes to dealing with the stupidity of others. From believing that trees create wind, to not understanding basic math, these stories certainly reveal how frustrating it can be to deal with dumbness. Follow along as these people expose the dumbest things that have been said to them by their friends, family, and strangers.
1. Out Of Touch With Reality
I'm not the most well-off person. I work for slightly less than minimum wage, and live paycheck to paycheck. I used to have a friend that was very well off and her parents owned an extremely popular restaurant in the downtown area of my city. They made her co-owner when her mom decided that position was too stressful for herself.
She went from making minimum wage to making at least $80,000 per year, and that would be a bad year. She also lived at home with her parents who paid her phone bill and didn't charge her rent. Basically, her only expense was her car, and even then her dad would pay for everything but the gas. So, one day, I'm with this friend at a fast food place and I check my bank account to make sure I have the money for food.
Apparently, a few hours before, a bill had come out and I was now negative $45, so I told her I couldn't afford my food. She proceeded to humiliate me in front of the whole restaurant: "You're NEGATIVE $45? What? Can you even go negative in a bank account?" She demanded to see my bank account and I showed it to her. She said, "Wow. I mean…I ALWAYS have at least $1000 in my bank account for a rainy day fund. I can't even imagine being THAT poor."
2. That Can’t Be Right
My old roommate pointed a laser thermometer at a pencil on a table, inside our house. The laser thermometer read 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). He exclaimed, “This thing is broken!” I asked, “Why do you think it’s broken?” “This is a pencil. It doesn’t produce any heat. This thermometer should say 0.”
I stared at him for a few seconds, unable to collect my jaw off the floor. “Well 0 Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius) would mean it is frozen, or well beyond frozen, so I think 68 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius) is the temperature of the air in the room.” This man was 26 years old. His two adult brothers were sitting in this room. I was the only one who understood why the thermometer was correct.
3. Just A Government Conspiracy
A crazy ex-coworker once told me, completely seriously, that pink salt does not exist. I replied, “Yes it does exist. I use it often.” Horrified, she tells me I can't possibly be using it. It doesn't exist, because it comes from a place that doesn't exist. Of course, I asked what she meant. I still can't quite believe how she answered. She, completely seriously, tells me that the Himalayas don't exist.
It's just a government conspiracy. Therefore, Himalayan salt doesn't exist. She is also staunchly conservative and doesn’t believe in vaccinations of any kind, but religiously uses hand sanitizer because, "I would hate to get my grandkids sick!" Working with her was full of very similar conversations about a variety of topics.
4. Baked Before The Brownies
I had a friend who was baking some brownies and the recipe called for a 13 by 9 baking pan. She got upset when she looked at her pans and she didn't have one; all she had was a 9 by 13 pan...She actually argued with me for a minute that they were not the same thing, until I grabbed the pan and held it sideways and said, “13 by 9” then turned it 90 degrees and said, "9 by 13. Make the brownies." To be fair, she was pretty baked. We still laugh about that.
5. The Birds And The Bees Fail
I went to school with a kid who wasn't the brightest. In many ways, he was like Kevin from that one internet-famous story. The icing on the cake was when he got super angry at a girl in his class and told her, "I'm gonna get pregnant and knock you over.” When asked to explain his reasoning, he said that if he became pregnant, he would gain weight, which supposedly would make him stronger than the girl, which would allow him to "knock her over."
This was in freshman year of high school. The guy had no idea that he couldn't become pregnant.
6. At Least He Was A Sweet Guy
I worked with a very dull dishwasher who was always saying strange things. He was a sweet guy, but without being mean or derogatory, he was literally the dumbest person I've ever met. Anyway, one day he got quiet, set down the dishes he was carrying, and paused for a second. Then he unleashed the greatest question anyone's ever asked me.
"Do you believe in rumors?" Do. I. Believe. In. Rumors. Not "a" rumor. All rumors. Forever. This happened at least 18 months ago, and the dishwasher has since moved on, but we still fondly remember him and this question.
7. An IQ Of 10
I used to work in Yellowstone. The amount of stupid coming through the park is unimaginable. We had a bison come and lay down close to the boardwalk at Old Faithful. A woman holding a toddler started running up to it. Luckily, I had grabbed her by the back of her shirt and pulled her down. She kept screaming she was going to sue me and the lodge for ruining her perfect vacation photo.
When this happens we are on higher alert. We always had to watch tourists like they have IQs of 10. Often, they prove that assessment correct.
8. Just To Be Sure
I needed safety boots for my first job. I was 15 years old or so. My mom took me out to buy some. She's a coupon collector and had a 10% off coupon and a $10 off coupon. An older lady approximately in her 50s was working the counter. I asked if I could use both coupons. She said no. I said, “Okay, the 10 percent off one, please,” since the boots were $180.
She said, "Now hold on, the $10 one might save you more." She busts out a calculator. My mom and I just looked at each other in stunned silence. We didn’t want to be rude to a seemingly nice, but quite dumb, woman working a bad job. I'm amazed she knew how to even do the calculation. However, it appeared the answer she got didn't align with her worldview. So, she insisted on ringing the purchase up with both coupons "just to be sure."
At the end of the day, she was just trying to be nice and save me money, but my god.
9. A Strange Thing To Ask
"Was it difficult for your husband to learn English? Is there a language barrier for you guys?" My husband is Scottish, born and raised. The people asking me this question were supposed to be well-educated teachers. They had never met my husband, so they didn't even have the excuse of hearing his accent. But, had they met him, they would have been more surprised at how diluted his accent was.
His diluted accent was due to leaving Scotland at 18 to live in London for seven years. By the time I met him, he had been in the United States for 14 years. He had an accent, but was very easy to understand and had adopted a more American style of speaking so people could understand him. He would even say things like “pants” instead of “trousers.” So, no, there is not a language barrier.
10. It Just Looks Old
My husband’s mom is very ignorant and known to say really stupid things. Most recently, we were in Italy and she asked why they didn't just tear down the Colosseum because it looked so old. I was the definition of speechless. She wasn’t even physically there, she was just seeing it on social media! She doesn’t believe in leaving the United States because she thinks it is the best place, so she doesn’t need to see any other places. Honestly, everyone is probably better off that she stays where she is at!
11. The Same Is The Same
I went on a hike with a few friends and one girl who I didn't really consider myself to be close with. In the past, she always seemed to disagree or argue with me over really small things, and it annoyed me. Anyways, we had all agreed to get back to town by two in the afternoon for a late lunch, and the hike was taking longer than expected.
I suggested we head back because it was getting close to one and it'd take about an hour and 15 minutes to get back. Well, she disagreed with me and asked me why I thought that. I told her that to get back to the beginning of the trail, it would take about 45 minutes. She said she thought it would only take 30. Then, I said that the drive into town would take about 30, she then disagreed and said it would take 45.
I kind of just stared at her until she realized what she had just done and she shut up after that.
12. A Guaranteed Nut Job
While I was in college for an Earth Science degree, I served at a restaurant. The owner of the restaurant asked me if I knew what the moon was made of or how it was made. So, I gave him a concise and correct response. He looks at me and goes, "Oh that's what you think? Let me tell you what no one in the government will say." I braced for the worst...and I got it.
Then, he proceeds to tell me how everything I'm learning is a lie perpetrated by corporate interests and that the moon was made by a group of scientists three billion years in the future, who travel six billion years back in time and create the moon. He was dead serious. This dude was not joking. This was also in 2013. I absolutely guarantee he is a nut job.
13. A Doctor’s Understanding Of It
I'm a paramedic and I was responding to a call for a child who was injured. I arrive on scene and the firefighter hands me a limp five-year-old. I immediately check that he has a pulse and is breathing, which he was, and take him into my ambulance to assess him. We try to verbally stimulate him and try to provoke a pain response and we're getting nothing.
As we're checking all his vital signs, which are all coming back normal, we prick his heel with a tiny needle to check his blood sugar, and he suddenly wakes up and starts crying. My partner and I looked at each other in relief. A crying baby/child is better than a non-responsive one. All his vitals continue to check out normal and his responsiveness is good.
At this point, the mother arrives on scene and comes into the back of the ambulance. She looked worried and we calmed her down and explained what happened. We recommend transport to the hospital so they can run some tests to figure out why he was non-responsive in the first place, and she agrees. Along the way, I'm explaining everything to her in layman's terms and she is staying very calm.
Apparently, the reason she was not there initially was that she hired a babysitter for the night. While she was out, she got a call from the babysitter saying she had to call for help because the child wasn't acting right. We get to the hospital, and after getting a room, we place the child on the bed and the doctor arrives. At this point, I switch to full medical terms as I give the story to her.
She is asking follow-up questions and I'm responding. The mother was concerned about all these terms that are foreign to her and she asked, "What is this word ‘LETHARGIC’ that you keep on saying?" I turn to the mother and start explaining that it just means her child was excessively tired beyond normal. That's when the doctor said something that made my jaw drop: "No, ‘lethargic’ means ‘dead.’ I need to figure out why the medic was using that term."
To any non-medical personnel, and apparently even medical personnel, "lethargic" does NOT mean "dead." At this point, the mother starts freaking out saying, "Wait, are you telling me my son was dead earlier?" I very quickly ask the doc if she needs anything else from me and when she says no, I turn tail and book it. I was not about to start dealing with that mess that the doc just started.
14. Both An Idiot And A Liar
I have a sense of injustice over a teacher calling me a liar in front of my entire class. We had been talking about our favorite foods, and I told about a rice dish my mom made and my favorite part being the bamboo. She insisted bamboo wasn't edible and called me both an idiot and a liar. I was so mad, but she wouldn't back down.
Then, I brought the bamboo with me the next day and she STILL refused to admit she was wrong! She just said it probably wasn't even real bamboo.
15. This Guy Knows Best
I had a horrible talk with a jagoff in my high school chem class…He tried to convince me India was a part of the Middle East. He didn’t even shut up about it when I told him I’m Indian and I know exactly where the heck I’m from. He just kept going on about it.
16. Better Keep On Hoping
When I was working in construction, I had a guy I was working with say, “I hope the sun comes up on that side today,” pointing west, “Because yesterday it came up on this side and it was so hot,” with us being on the east side of the building. Buddy, that’s not how the sun works.
17. The Importance Of The Talk
In elementary school, we were learning about local Native American cultures and legends. One legend had all the men go off to fight except one boy, and it was left to him to continue the tribe's existence if things really went south in the battle. I got in a debate with a girl who loudly asked why didn't he just go and fight too, because the women can keep the tribe alive.
Me, being worldly and having had “the talk” already, tried to explain that there would be no more tribe without at least one guy present. She yelled back, “That’s not true! We know how to fish!” I had to be told to sit outside because I couldn't stop laughing.
18. That’s How It Goes
The stupidest thing I’ve ever heard someone say is that genes go with gender. If the father has blue eyes, and the mother brown eyes, the kid will have blue eyes if male, and brown eyes if female. She said this as in all genes were like this, not just eye color. Like...it's so easy to prove that's not true...
19. Not The First Time
I’m European, and when I was in the US, I was eating a pizza, and someone asked me if that was the first time I ever had pizza…I tried to explain that Europe kind of has pizzas too, and that we frequently vacation in Italy. This was still met with a confused look on their face. I gave up.
20. There Are Stupid Questions
I’m a skydiver. I once had a woman ask me if the plane stops for us to get out. Yeah, it parallel parks next to the 747.
21. As A Matter Of Fact
I asked an acquaintance why she didn't think there could be life on other planets. She said, "Because there's no air in space." I know I've heard dumber things than that, but it's the one that really stuck in my mind.
22. No Sense Of The Outer World
A friend of mine traveled to the US with her family when she was younger. Upon hearing her family’s accent, an American asked, “Where are you guys from?” The answer was Australia, and that person confidently responded with, “Ah, which state is that?”
23. Two Very Different Types Of Dreams
My older brother, who’s 20 years old, asked, “Do you know why they call it a lucid dream?” I said, “Yeah, it's when you're awake/aware that you are in a dream and can usually control it.” My older brother said, “No, a lucid dream is a lewd dream, why do you think they call it that?” I wish I was making this up but no, my brother is just this dumb.
24. Just Kept Pushing
I'm an American of Mexican descent. Someone asked me where I'm from. I told them that I’m from California. He then asked me where my parents were from. I told him that they are from Michigan and Texas. Looking at me rather upset, he said, “No, where are your people from?” I said, “Dude, I can trace my family back to within the United States to 1817. Where the heck are you from?” He just walked away after that.
25. Typical For The Industry
I work in the restaurant industry. I was refilling items on the breakfast buffet, and this lady walks up to me and blurts out, "I want some of that," and points. Keep in mind, we don’t physically serve the food to people, and I don't want to directly be placing food on people's plates. So, I give her a polite response like, “Oh yeah, it's really good today.” She then somehow asks an even dumber question: "How do I get the stuff over there?" I just look her right in the eyes and say, "Walk around the buffet." You really see the dumbest people in the service industry.
26. Not The Right Field
A homeschool friend I bumped into in college said he was getting an aerospace engineering degree because, and I quote, "It doesn't have as much science in it." How does he think we know how to make things fly?
27. A Very Unspecific Answer
I was at a local restaurant for lunch. I said to the waitress, "I'll have the ham sandwich." She said, "Would you like cheese with that?" "Yes, what type of cheese do you have?" "Sliced." Took all we had not to fall out of the booth laughing.
28. A Dumbstruck Moment
My coworker told me that he thought he was allergic to peanut butter. I asked him, “Oh, do you have a peanut allergy?” He said, “No, I think it's the butter.” I don't even remember what I said to her after that I was so dumbstruck. Pun intended.
29. The Job Of The Trees
I was on a very windy hike and I passively mentioned that it would be better once we were protected by the trees. A friend of a friend who was with us stops and says, “Wait, don’t the trees make the wind?” I stopped in my tracks. This human being got to 23 years old believing that trees activity flapped their leaves to generate wind. They felt the wind on their skin, saw the leaves moving and their brain went, “Yup, I accept that this is the way the world is,” and never questioned it.
30. Are They Made Up?
In the end, this guy admitted he was wrong, but my high school physics teacher thought I made up narwhals. In his defense, I absolutely had a penchant for drawing weird, made-up creatures whenever the moment presented itself. We had to do a sock puppet show to explain something I don’t remember, and I chose to make narwhals for my puppets.
It was 2010 and I thought it was the funniest thing that ever existed. He asked me if the creatures in my presentation were creatures I made up, or if they were from mythology. I’ll never forget the projector pulled up to the Wikipedia page on narwhals, and my teacher scrolling through it going, “This is crazy! I thought you made them up!”
31. A Gnarly Party Trick
When I worked in the oil field, I had an accident that chopped off the top quarter of one of my fingers. I was young, so I was still going to parties and such with my gauze on. When it finally healed enough to let it breathe, I took it off and people were looking at how gnarly it looked. This girl came up completely dead serious, looked at it, and said, “How long will it take to grow back?”
32. When It Crashes, It Burns
The dumbest thing I ever heard was when my former coworker said that she doesn't wear a seat belt. Even though she drives like an absolute maniac. Her reason was the most insane part. It's because she wants to be able to escape her car when…not if, but when…she crashes and it catches on fire. I kindly informed her that at the speed she likes to drive, she will absolutely not have to worry about being trapped in a burning car.
33. A Stranger Knows Best
My son was two years old at this time. He has always been very tall and spoke clearly in complete sentences early. This lady in a grocery store asked how old he was and I replied. She proceeded to tell me I was wrong and that she worked with kids and he was clearly at least three or four. I ignored her and she kept pushing. So, I replied she was probably right and I just didn't know the age of my son.
34. Completely Serious Statements
I had a guy tell me, "The Earth is flat and there is no such thing as outer space, it's all a giant screen that God has projected over the Earth." When I asked him about all the astronauts and probes that we have sent to the moon and other planets, he answered, "All lies by demon possessed people to deceive people."
When I asked him about how satellite TV could work if satellites in space didn't exist, which was my business at the time, "antennas up on mountains," was his answer. I know this guy sounds like a loser, but he was completely serious. I have never seen anyone so nuts in all my life.
35. Really Doubling Down On The Dumb
My brother’s wife is a pharmacist. A friend introduced him to his fiancé and upon hearing my brother’s wife was a pharmacist, she said, "Oh cool, I've never known anyone who worked on a farm before." He tried to correct her, but she doubled down with, "I think I know what someone who works on a farm is called."
36. Wildly Inaccurate Information
This girl had had multiple dogs for years. One time, I told her not to give one of them a marble cake because it was chocolate. She looked me dead in the eye socket like I was the stupidest person ever and told me, “Chocolate isn’t bad for dogs! The only thing that’s bad is holding it above their nose, it causes sugar to fall into their eyes and it can make them blind.”
37. Need To Be Famous To Be Right
The dumbest thing I’ve ever been told is, “If you knew what you were talking about, you’d have more than 30 followers.” The issue was on citizenship rights. I had literally been through the system for 12 years, and then worked on it as a lawyer for a couple more years. The guy was serious and earning about three times more than I was as a political aide…He is my benchmark of what to expect from a certain kind of privileged person.
38. The Speed Of Stupid
I’m a competitive swimmer, and I once jokingly told someone I could move faster than the speed of water. They genuinely said something along the lines of, “No way! The speed of water is super fast!” They seriously believed there was a speed of water. Their logic was that there’s a speed of light and sound, so there’s a speed of water too.
39. Thinking Of The Wrong Place
I had a classmate in high school biology class once say that she wanted to move to Australia. When asked why, she replied, “I want to look out my window and see giraffes in my yard.” No amount of convincing or documentation would convince her that giraffes were in Africa and not Australia.
40. Still Funny Years Later
I live in Sweden. When I was in high school, a classmate asked me where my last name comes from, since it's not a Swedish-sounding name. So, I told her it's an Algerian name and that my dad comes from Algeria. My classmate said, ”Algeria? Where is that? I’ve never heard of it.” I said, ”It's in North Africa.” My classmate was quiet for a few seconds.
She looked at me a bit puzzled, and said, ”But, aren't you supposed to be black then?” I looked at her and realized she was not joking. I then looked at my very pale arm, rubbed it, and said something like, ”I'll be damned, you're right! There must be something wrong with me!” It's been 13 years since that moment, and I still chuckle when I think about it.
41. They’re All Liars
I was at a burger joint for an office team lunch a while back and it had salad garnishes. There were basically lettuce, tomato, and a slice of cucumber, cut diagonally so the slice would be larger. A 19-year-old girl who worked there with us said, "Omg! This is the widest cucumber ever!" After asking her to elaborate, it turns out she didn't understand why cutting a cucumber diagonally would make the slice wider.
A guy in the office drew a pic on a napkin to explain but she just couldn't grasp the concept, and called us all liars.
42. Not The Smartest Move
So, I’m a choir director and work for a church. My boss, who has the title of music director but isn’t a musician, sings in the choir. We have a two-hour rehearsal and usually take a 10-minute break in between. I got to the end of rehearsal and noticed that he had texted me after our break that he had to leave early. He never verbalized that to me before rehearsal or during our break.
This particular rehearsal, we ended up going about 15 minutes over, so I said, “Hey I’m sorry. If you had to leave you could’ve just left when you needed to.” He told me, “I couldn’t because I got a ride from another choir member.” I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that he came to rehearsal with someone else instead of driving himself, but he had to leave early.
43. Flying Higher Than Usual
A friend of mine asked me why we didn’t see stars when we flew over them. She truly believed that when you were flying on an airplane, you flew over the stars. I was speechless.
44. Moving To The Midwest
A girl moved to our little midwest country school in the eighth grade from somewhere in New York. On her second day, she asked where all the students kept their horses, because she was convinced that's how we got to school every morning and that we didn't have buses. She followed that up with a request to go inside someone's teepee, because someone surely lived in one here. This was 2004.
45. A Gold Mine Of Dumb
This one guy in my sociology class is a gold mine of dumb questions. Today, he asked, "Why don't poor factory workers in colonized countries just quit and find better-paying jobs?" Last week, he asked, "Why are countries like Africa so poor." You read that right. Countries "like Africa," not countries in Africa. My professor looks so dead inside whenever he sees this guy raise his hand.
46. Just Another Stereotype
“I don’t mean to stereotype, but you look too white to speak Spanish,” after I told my college suitemate that I was taking Spanish courses. This was coming from a girl who always denounces stereotyping.
47. Those Things Don’t Exist
When I did my time in retail, our district manager was dumb. And I don't mean regular dumb. He dialed up to 11. For example, he thought natural disasters were no big deal, and were overhyped by the media. Take this example: At one point, we were having a company lunch which included all local store management and the district managers. We went to lunch at a restaurant.
The TV over the bar had the news on and they were talking about the hurricane that was about to make landfall in Florida or Texas, or something like that. He proceeds to go on a rant about how hurricanes are no big deal, it's just some heavy rain, and all these people being evacuated and relocated were just people using it as an excuse to move on the government's dime.
When asked how he can think that, he gave the stupidest response I've ever heard: “You don't see me trying to move every time there's a hurricane.” This dude lives in Kansas City. He was 100% serious. We pushed him on the subject and tried to explain how he wasn't affected by it because he was over a thousand miles away, he simply doubled down.
We then asked him to explain earthquakes in California. He says they have to be fake because he couldn't feel them. The real reason I knew he was telling the truth was because one winter, he couldn't wrap his head around the fact that we had four times as much snow as him. My store was two hours away from Kansas City. He tried to write me up for lying to him. I had to take it to corporate HR to get it overturned.
48. Just A Peasant In The City
I was a broke 22-year-old, had just moved to DC, got a new job, and was starting to get my life together. My brother and his girlfriend were asking why I wasn’t going out more and taking advantage of being young in a city. I explained money was tight. I had rent, my car payment, etc., and needed some more time to save up some cash.
My brother’s girlfriend looks at me like I sprouted a second head and says, “A car payment? Everyone knows you should never pay interest on a depreciating asset.” I wanted to scream at her. Not all of us grew up on a massive horse farm in a family that made its money two generations before. Some of us have to borrow money from banks like peasants instead of requesting a distribution from the family trust.
49. A Simply Incorrect Conclusion
50. All In People’s Minds
I have a "friend" who doesn't believe many things if he hasn't experienced them himself. For example, he told me he doesn't believe allergies are real. I asked, “Why not? He replied, "Well I've never had them. It's all in people's minds."