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. Simple Physics
I remember having to defend myself on a speeding accusation. I had footage of the dashcam, which clearly showed me not speeding. I was going 30 mph, but the officer claimed I was driving 50 mph. The dashcam footage showed him driving at 40 mph and catching up to me fairly quickly. That’s when he decided to pipe in and make a fool of himself.
He asked, "If you were really going 30, then why did I have to go 40 to catch up to you?" I responded, "Because in order to catch up to anything, you have to go faster than what you're following. If I was going 50, you would have never caught up to me while going 40".
2. She Had Just Been Sleeping, For Seven Years
This happened in my senior year of government class. The teacher just got done giving a lecture on 1940s Germany. He asked if anyone had questions, and this classmate raises her hand. She instantly regretted it. She asks who the German leader was and why he was such a bad person. The pained look the teacher had on his face is one I will never forget.
The silence as everyone looked at her in disbelief was something I had never seen or experienced since. My school had been teaching us about this subject from grade 5 until we graduated. We even went to the museum in DC and did a full report and presentations on what we had learned from going there in sophomore year.
She had no reason as to why she didn't know this basic information, but the only thing she said was she didn't see why he was such a big deal.
3. Close, But No
My parents are deaf and I was texting them while I was at my middle school soccer game one day. My teammate asked me how my parents could be texting me because they were deaf. Confused, I asked her what she meant, and she asked me quizzically, "Don’t they read Braille?" I laughed in her face and told her that’s for blind people.
4. It’s Just That Easy
My great aunt came to visit us after twenty years and when she looked around the yard, she asked my uncle, "Wasn't this house over there in a different spot?" He looked at her, dead serious, and said, "Yeah, but our neighbor complained, so me and my friends got together and moved it a hundred feet". Then there was the kicker. She actually believed him.
5. What Does That Mean?
I majored in screenwriting in college, and one of the classes I had to take was about getting hired in the media industry. One of the job interview tips the teacher had was to be ready to answer questions about what your favorite movie or TV show is, since that's the industry we're going into. One guy raised his hand and asked, "What if you're not ready to reveal that information?" The teacher was stunned.
6. It’s As Easy As One, Two, Three…Or Not
This was more an instruction not a direct question, but a while back, I picked up a side job putting together test kits. The job was incredibly simple; take a swab and a vial of liquid, put it in a little plastic baggie, and seal it. We had two simple rules: The vial had to be to the left of the swab, and the bag had to be sealed properly. That was it.
Well, we had this woman come in and they put me next to her to train her. I had trained all our previous newbies and they all picked it up within five seconds (because again, it’s not hard). I was in for the ride of my life. After 12 hours, this woman still couldn't figure it out. All the bags were either fully open or a vial was missing or something.
We then have to pull her entire stock and redo them all. While staring at us fixing her mistakes, she looks at me and asks, "Am I doing it right?" After we pull her entire stock out and they're ruined. Thing is, I would've given her a total break if it was like her first couple hours, but this was over an entire 12-hour day with me and another supervisor training her.
7. When Push Comes To Pull
I was driving on the highway with my parents when a tow truck hauling a small car passed by us one lane over. That’s when my mom revealed her true stupidity. She asked us how it was possible that a small Honda Accord was pushing such a large truck. My father, while driving slowly, looked at my mom's face, didn't say a word, and let my mom's brain percolate.
It wasn't until about a full minute later that she had realized the stupidity of her query.
8. I Wonder Why They Call It That
One day my boss walked up to me and asked me what I was doing while performing an inspection on an air compressor for our maintenance shop. I explicitly said that it was an air compressor. He responds with, "So what does it do?" Without even thinking I said, "It's an air compressor, it compresses air". My boss immediately tells me to leave to do my other tasks.
Later he said that the look on my face was even worse than the confusion in my voice.
9. That’s Just Unsanitary
My cousin brought her new boyfriend over to meet the family. Some other cousins were planning to go to the rec center to play racquetball. The new boyfriend says he played in high school and would beat them all. He then starts talking aggressive smack towards the family...until someone points out he's wearing sandals and can't actually play.
Then he turns, looks me in the eye, and says, "You're cool letting me borrow your shoes and socks, right?" He indicated towards the shoes and socks I was wearing at that moment. I declined.
10. Not Quite The Same Thing
I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and used to work at a call center. I once had a customer ask me where I was located and then they asked how my English was so good since I was "from New Mexico". That was my first, but not last experience with people not knowing that New Mexico is not part of Mexico, but is part of the United States.
11. Water Does What It Wants
As a plumber, I went to a call at a house where there was an underground leak around the riser before the water entered the house. The lady said that the leak started after her gardener tightened the packing nut on the hose coming off the riser which had been leaking. I gave her a reasonable price to hunt for this leak and repair it.
Surprise, she doesn't like the price. Then asks me with complete seriousness, "Well, can we just make the hose leak again so it's not leaking underground?" It took every fiber of my being to keep a straight face and say, "Yeah, leaks don't work that way ma'am".
12. Veterinary Science Is Complicated
I work at a veterinary clinic, and the number of times people have asked me if their male pets will still be able to urinate after being neutered is staggering. For those who don’t know, neutering involves removing the testicles and nothing else, so yes, male pets can still urinate.
13. What If He’d Said Neither
I'm an identical twin, and I once had a lady ask us if we're twins or brothers. I said both. She then asked how that worked and I just kind of stared at her. It hit her 10 seconds later and she just started laughing.
14. Made To Measure
I'm a math teacher, and one of my co-workers looked me straight in the eye and asked, "What do the lines on a ruler mean?" I laughed, thinking she was messing with me, but when I saw her initial reaction I felt bad and explained it to her. She laughs about it now and calls it her blonde moment. But to be honest, she has a blonde moment every day, if not multiple times a day. I still don't understand how she was hired or has kept her job.
15. More Like Divestment
The parent of an ex-friend asked me to fund their nonsensical idea for a new business venture. They essentially wanted me to take out a mortgage to buy a terrible house in the middle of nowhere so he could turn it into a guest house and bait shop. In all fairness, there was no bait shop in town, but the guy had no income for over a year prior to asking and never presented proper research and financial plans, amongst other issues.
16. This Is Important To Know
I married a Muslim guy, and when we were engaged, my Southern grandma was asking me about him. One question made me want to cringe. At one point she asked me, "Is he Christian?" I felt very awkward. as I reminded her my fiancé is Muslim. She looked annoyed and said, "Yes I know, but is he Christian?" Yeah grandma, sorry but that's going to be a definite no.
17. He Could Have Two
I once had a teacher back in high school that had a last name that was usually a common first name, John. Because of this, all us kids just called him John. One morning, when I had his class first period, half-awake, I asked him, "Hey John, what's your last name?" I realized what I said a second later but still got laughed at by everyone else.
18. A Hostess And Meteorologist
I work as a hostess at a fancy restaurant. We open our patio (which is visible from the front entrance) around lunch. There is an upsettingly large number of people who come in from outside and ask, "Is it hot out?" I usually just answer that I’m not sure and would have to step outside to check. So, I exit through the door they just came in, stand outside for a moment, and come back to tell them the weather.
19. A Lack Of Self-Awareness
My ex-girlfriend and I used to work together. One day while we were still dating, we had a break and went to grab lunch. Then she made a jaw-dropping confession. She confessed she cheated on me with my best friend while I was visiting my family in my home country. I got mad and left. Later, at work, she asked me what was wrong.
20. It’s Elementary
I am Canadian but deal with drivers from the USA daily. A few years ago one of them said to me, "You guys pronounce the letter Z (zee), as Z (zed) right?" I said, "Yes, we do". He then says to me, "How do you spell that?" I'm still not sure how I kept a straight face when I realized he was serious. I explained it is just a letter, like it is in the US, just pronounced differently. He seemed puzzled but thanked me for the explanation.
21. Some Wires Are Important
My first day working at Geek Squad, I got a phone call from a woman who was at the airport working on her laptop and it shut off and wouldn't turn back on. I talked to her for a couple of minutes giving her suggestions, and when I mentioned plugging it in to let it charge, she goes, "It's supposed to be wireless. Why do I have to plug it in?"
I couldn't even answer her for a good 10 seconds. I legitimately thought it was one of my new co-workers messing with me. Now, granted this was 2004 and people weren't as familiar with things like WIFI like they are today. But that still stands as one of the dumbest things I've ever been asked.
22. Quebec Is A Confusing Place
I worked at a McDonald’s in Quebec near the American border. An American man asked me for our prices in English. He expressly said that he didn’t want the food names in English, he wanted our prices in English. I was confused and assumed he meant he wanted a conversion to American dollars and so I told him we don’t do conversions.
He got mad and said he had Canadian money, he just wanted to know the price of the menu item but he can’t read French. The hilarious truth dawned on me. I just said, "Sir, are you asking me for English numbers?" He just called me stupid and walked out. I’d also like to point out that our prices were written as big numbers for the dollars with little numbers for the cents next to it.
23. Odd Logic
I was giving a presentation about schizophrenia when I was still working on my bachelor's degree. This one girl raised her hand and without waiting blurted, "You have schizophrenia? Why are you studying here?" The entire room went utterly silent. I laughed it off and told her, "No, I am just doing the presentation". But man, I thought she was dumb.
I don't even know where she got the idea that I had it. I was showing a video of a person in a catatonic state and explaining what that meant. And even if I did have it, it's none of her business.
24. Maybe He Shouldn’t Take Algebra
While studying for our algebra exams, my friend goes, "I don't get it, how can letters be numbers?" Me, thinking surely he was kidding, said, "Yeah it's cause they're variables they're meant to just represent numbers". Then he says, "Oh, I get it, but I just don't know why we need letters if we have the numbers". At this point, I knew nothing I'd say will make sense to him so I just agreed.
25. Good News!
I was visiting the Opéra Garnier in Paris, well known for its ceiling painted by artist Marc Chagall. I was walking around, admiring the building and these two American women came up to men Now, I'm American too, but this made me embarrassed to associate with them. They go, "Oh, you look like you speak English. Where's that Chagall ceiling?"
I feared I would burst out in laughter if I opened my mouth, so I just pointed upward and got out of there as fast as I could.
26. TV Is Only Ever Nonfiction
I have a friend who is fun to hang out with, but believes in a lot of conspiracy theories. We were hanging out one time and watching a movie that brought up the moon landing in one way or another. She turns to me and goes, "I hate that shows are allowed to spread false information about the moon landing. It’s literally impossible".
I was laughing, thinking it was a joke, before looking back at her and seeing her face. I said, "Oh, you’re serious?" We went back and forth and she eventually said, "If the moon landing is possible then why don’t we just fly airplanes to it?"
27. That’s Not The Only Thing That Isn’t Working
I once had a middle-aged guy at work tell me that an elevator wasn’t working, so I went over to check it out. And as we approached, the doors opened and people got off. So I said, "It must be working now". He got in and less than five minutes later, he came back said that it’s still not working. So we walked over and I pressed the button.
I asked him which floor he was going to. I pressed the button to his floor. His reaction still makes me laugh. He then said, "Oh I didn’t know you had to press a button". And I’m thinking, "You lived this long and have never figured out how to use an elevator?"
28. How Many Homeowners Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?
While delivering propane to a customer's house, the owner came out and asked me if I can help him with something. He told me his kitchen was all dark and the light switch didn't work anymore. So I obliged him, and when I got in the house and stepped into the kitchen, there was a full-on broken light bulb glass on the floor.
The light bulb was blown out. However, he didn't know that they existed evidently and asked me if I could fix it. I explained to him what he needed to do to fix it and he responded to me that it sounded overly complicated. So he offered me $50 to screw in a lightbulb.
29. Just Keep Swimming
I was working at Walmart in the pet department. We had a small selection of live fish, but with no live plants or anything fancy. A customer called me over to ask if we had a certain kind of fish. I said nope, sorry but we don't have any at the moment. They asked if I could go check the back. They were insistent that I go check just to be sure.
I explained that we have no extra fish tanks back there and there's no way a fish can survive outside of water. I think they just gave up and assumed I was a lazy employee that just didn't want to go check the back room for them. I'll happily go check the back room for stuff because our inventory system was sometimes inaccurate, but I won't go check on an imaginary extra fish tank that doesn't exist.
30. Do As The Romans Do
My family and I are eating dinner at a local Italian restaurant one night. The family that owns it is very traditional and they have authentic food and music. So we're eating dinner when the following exchange takes place. My brother says, "Hey dad, I have a question". My dad indicates he is listening. Then, my brother asks in full seriousness, "Why are they playing Italian music here?"
My dad answers that it’s because it’s an Italian restaurant. My brother stares at him, blinks, and then continues eating his food.
31. But What Is It?
A door-to-door salesman came to sell me on some carpet cleaner. I could tell he didn't want to be there; it was too hot out and he'd been at it all day. I told him straight up I couldn't afford to buy anything, but I'd let him do his spiel so he can get paid for it. He did his speech and demo, and was still a few minutes under minimum time.
I told him he can come in and chill in my nice AC, have a drink, and wait out his clock. He gladly accepted. We ended up hanging out on my balcony and we got along pretty well. Then he dropped a life-changing question. He looked at me and asked, "What's the difference between pizza?" My whole world has never been the same.
I just stared at him blankly, waiting for the other half of the question...but it never came. That was the entirety of his question. Eventually, I snapped out of my awe and asked, "...and what?" He doubled down and asked, "Nah, just what's the difference between it?" I tried to explain, very politely, that you need another thing for that question to make any sense.
But he just wasn't grasping it. Eventually, I just started explaining the difference between the different kinds of pizza, but he stopped me, as that wasn't what he was asking. Okay, then I try to explain the difference between pizza and calzones. Also not his question. Thank the good gourd his timer went off because I did not want to be impolite and laugh in this dude's face.
32. These Are Called Context Clues
When I was a cashier, it really ground my gears when I would be in uniform, standing behind a cash register, with my light on, and consistently people would lean their head into my lane and ask me if I was open. I couldn't help but very clearly look up at my light, then back at them and say yes. Similarly, I'd be walking around the store doing stuff in uniform with my name tag on and I would still have people constantly have ask if I worked there.
No, I chose to wear the uniform of this grocery store chain, make my own name tag, and then go throughout the store stocking items and not shopping.
33. How Does She Do Her Job?
My mother loves to talk about how she's been working in tech and IT forever. This is true, but there's one big problem. She just hasn't kept up with tech advances. For example, she couldn't figure out how to pair her new Bluetooth headset to her laptop. I eventually got frustrated and when she asked me what I did, I said I went to settings, then clicked Bluetooth, followed the instructions, the end.
Later in the morning, I'm just minding my business and hear her shout loudly in frustration. So naturally, I asked what's up and she said, "Why isn't my headset working". I simply asked, "Did you turn it on?"
34. How Would That Work?
I was guiding clients in Katmai National Park in Alaska. If you don't know, there's a very famous little half waterfall called Brooks Falls. If you look up brown bears online, guaranteed some of the first results are from Brooks Falls. Literally one of the most famous natural waterfalls in the world. We're flying over it and a client turns to me and says, "Are these falls man-made?"
35. It Is What It Says It Is
My father is builder for a living, and in conversation with an engineer at a build site, my dad asked him, "What's a load-bearing wall?" The engineer said, "Hold on". He goes back to his truck and comes back with a thick manual, lays it on the hood of my father's truck, flips through a few pages then says, "Here we go," and spins the book around with his finger pointing on the page.
Pops looks down to read this sentence: A load-bearing wall is a wall that bears a load. My dad almost fell down laughing so hard because he realized his mistake.
36. The Light Plays Tricks On Us All
I was painting this guy’s restaurant one day, and he comes up to me and asked me why I painted a line with a different color next to the jam. I said, "I have no idea what you’re talking about, will you please show me?" He takes me to the area. I see right away what he's talking about and nearly burst out laughing. I tell him it’s a shadow from the jam.
This dude doesn’t believe me. It’s 100% a shadow, I have not left and gone to the store to get a different color of paint, come back, and painted one single stripe on the counter. It’s a shadow. This dude still thinks he’s right. He’s arguing and getting all huffy because I’m insistent it’s a shadow, on account of the fact that it’s a shadow.
I just had one of those moments where I question every decision I ever made that led me to this point. I went over, picked up the jam, the shadow moved, and I put the jam back down again and walked away.
37. Odd And Concerning
An older guy came into the Geek Squad I worked at and wanted his iPad looked at. I started by asking him if he has a membership, he didn't know. No worries, I looked it up and said, "Sorry, no membership, only extended warranties for microwaves". He looked at me and went, "What's a microwave?" He had three of them, each with warranties under his name.
38. Sometimes, Roads Change
I was driving home with my future ex-husband to meet my parents for the first time. We’d have to drive through Atlanta to get there. He asked me if I was sure I knew how to get home. I had been making the drive from the university to my house at least once a week for the last three years. After repeatedly asking me, he turned the GPS on "just to be sure".
39. She Wants It All
I was on the verge of getting a new car. Then I made a discovery that destroyed my life. I found out that my wife was cheating on me. She asked what we were going to do about the car, to which I said I could let her use it since my dad still had a spare car he barely used and she would need to move around with our kids. Three months later, when she was picking up the kids from my house, she asks me a ridiculous question".
Hey, could you ask your dad what I would need to do to put the car’s title under my name?" To which I looked at her and said, "Excuse me? You cheated on me and left without a second thought and I was still kind enough to let you use my car. Do you seriously still have the audacity to ask to have the title be put under your name?" Nope.
40. Do You Drive A Boat?
I was at my local college and told a classmate I was moving to Finland after I graduated. She asked me if it was just past Detroit. I asked her to repeat herself. When she asked again, I could only come up with saying, "Kind of, I have to take a plane". To which she replied, "Why can't you just drive there?" And I had to show her on a map where America is and where Finland is.
She still didn't understand. It haunts me 10 years later.
41. The Same Way We Do Now
I was doing a training seminar for work for a council in Australia. They were showing a software like Google Maps but with info about zoning laws and who owns what property. You can go back in time and look at what it looked like back to about 1945. Photos are aerial photos from planes and choppers. A young lass asked how they got photos from that long ago. She seriously didn’t think cameras existed back then.
42. A Lack Of Spatial Awareness
I worked at a restaurant at an airport. It had no doors, just a big open space you could walk into. It looked just like a restaurant. Tables, chairs, a bar with barstools. It was a slow morning so we were just kind of milling about chatting when a group of about five people walks up and goes into the restaurant, walks about the place looking around.
They were checking out the merchandise with the restaurant’s name plastered all over the stuff. They walk up to our group and ask, straight-faced, "Is there a restaurant around here we could eat at?" Then we got a brilliant plan. One of us replied with an equally straight face, "Yeah, there's one down the terminal that way," pointing away from us.
They then walked away to find that restaurant. It never ceases to amaze me how people’s intelligence stays at the door when they walk into an airport.
43. That’s Not How Any Of This Works
I worked at a restaurant called The Waterfront, which was really close to the beach. I had a lady call in and ask if the splash pad was open. I informed her that we were a restaurant and not the actual beach, and she then asked, "Well you’re closer than I am, can’t you just walk over and check for me?" I declined to do what she asked of me.
44. The Internet Is A Tricky Thing
As a tech support worker, I was once asked, "If you send me an email to this email address, doesn’t it make it my email address?" This lady thought she could just give people a random email address without actually creating the email and that the email account would just magically be created on its own. She didn't understand why she couldn't log into the email address she had been giving people for years, and why she got contacted by a guy telling her it was his email address and to stop using it.
45. Now You Both Get One
When I was little, I was visiting my mom at her office and drew my dad a picture. She asked if I wanted to fax it to him at his office and I said yes, because I wanted him to have my masterpiece as soon as possible. But when the drawing went through the fax machine and came out the other side and the paper I had drawn on was still there, I cried.
I thought it didn't work and my dad wouldn't get the picture. I asked my mom, "Why is the picture still here?" My mom then had to explain that the actual physical paper wasn't sent, just a picture of the paper.
46. Always Use Visual Aids
One time at work, I got into this long back-and-forth email chain with someone who wanted to know how to use what is basically a loadable gift/debit card on the vending machines. I started off by just explaining that the card can be used just like any bank card (as long as it has a balance) and there’s no special slot for it, just swipe at the machine and pay normally.
Then they seemed to not understand that; they kept asking about where they’re supposed to put their card. I thought we must just be misunderstanding each other, but I couldn’t figure out any other ways to put it. So began my ordeal. I ended up explaining the difference between the credit card slot, and the paper money and coin slots.
Then I looked up photos of all the different card readers we have on the machines, and circled the apparatus where they’re supposed to swipe their card, and sent that to them. Never heard back after that, so I’ll always wonder: Did I finally answer their question, and they just weren’t considerate enough to say thank you? Did they give up out of frustration that I still wasn’t understanding their clearly more involved question?
Or did they see the pictures I sent circling the part of the machine they’re supposed to use, and get offended by how dumb I must’ve thought they were? We’ll never know.
47. On The Fence
I used to work at a sporting goods store. When we got our name tags, we had to pick out our favorite sport for them to put on there. I’m not really a sports person, but I do like fencing, so I had them put fencing as mine. We were in the break room one day and one of the girls I worked with saw my tag and with all seriousness asked me, "How is putting up fences a sport?"
48. Is A Park Not A Zoo?
Working in Banff National Park, I've seen some stupid tourists. But this one woman was downright dangerous. She asked me what time we let the animals out, as they wanted to get photos. I just looked at her for a second, and then went into the spiel of "all of the animals found in the national park are wild and we strongly recommend you keep your distance as they are unpredictable".
49. Is She A Geneticist?
My sister was shopping one day with her toddler daughter, who was sitting in the shopping cart. My niece has beautiful blue eyes and many people remark on them. My sister is brown-eyed and my brother-in-law is blue-eyed, but it's a different shade than my niece. Anyway, she's at the store and this lady stops and goes, "Oh, your daughter is so cute. She has such pretty blue eyes. They're obviously not from you".
My sister replies, "No, we're really not sure where they came from. My husband has blue eyes but very different than my daughter's. She's just lucky, I guess". The lady looks at my sister, in complete seriousness, and goes, "Well, are you sure your husband is her father?"
50. Maybe It’s The School System’s Fault
My girlfriend in high school and I went to a WWII museum. A couple of volunteers there had actually participated in the conflict. My girlfriend asked them completely straight-faced, "Which side did you fight on?" And they were very confused saying, "The American side".And then she asked, "Oh, did we win?" They were just blown away by her questions at that point.
We were both 16 and I remember her saying, "Who even knows who won that stupid old fight anyway? Like it’s my fault I didn’t know".