25 Times People Actually Tried Advice They Initially Took As A Joke And It Worked

Published 5 months ago

The internet is a treasure trove of bizarre stories and unexpected wisdom, and Reddit, the vast online community, never fails to deliver when it comes to sharing peculiar experiences. Recently, a Redditor posed the question, “What’s the dumbest thing someone ever told you that actually worked?”

The responses poured in, revealing a collection of some intriguing and somewhat absurd pieces of advice that defied expectations and achieved surprising success. Scroll below to read them.

More info: Reddit

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Image source: perpetuallybookbound, Karolina Grabowska

My therapist told me to “give myself permission to grieve later” because I was grieving something that hadn’t happened yet. It sounded so obvious when she said it, because she said “you’re going to grieve it later. It hasn’t happened yet. So give yourself permission to grieve later, and to not right now.”

Bizarrely, it worked (for the most part). And I “give myself permission” to do other things later, too (worry, get mad, cry, etc). Somehow the act of consciously telling myself I can do it later makes it not so overwhelming right now.


Image source: Hawt_Dawg_, Arina Krasnikova

If your cat loses interest in his cat bed or scratching post don’t get rid of it! Just move it to a new location in your house.  The cat will find it and use it again.


Image source: PantySniffers, Michelle Tresemer

Is your dog afraid of the vacuum cleaner? Punish the vacuum in front of the dog. Hit it and tell it how bad it is. Get really mad at it. Put it in its place. I can’t believe this actually works, but it does.


Image source: hemlock-wine, Fawazlul Rizqi

Housemate lost her cat, was devastated, put up missing posters. An anonymous person contacted her and told her to go out in the middle of the night, yell the cat’s name, and then be quiet and listen. She found the cat, it was stuck in the neighbor’s shed.


Image source: scarecrow937, cottonbro studio

I worked for a courier company and this happened to my boss. He was on a long delivery out in the country. We’re from Virginia, but he’s currently in Kentucky. We’re pretty country ourselves, but not like this. This is pre-smartphone era, so he stops to talk to a local for directions.

Guy said “Go as far as you can see, twice, and there’s your turn.”

My boss stared with bewilderment at the level of Deliverance that just came out of this guy’s mouth. But… he fixed his eyes on a spot as far as he could see. He drove to that spot and made a mental note of the next farthest spot he could see. Upon arriving at the 2nd spot, dead on was the little unmarked turn he was looking for.

We still quote it to this day… “Go as far as you can see, twice…”


Image source: hulagirl4737, Max Rahubovskiy

If you drop something and can’t find it, drop another and watch where it falls.

Worked GREAT twice while tiling my bathroom.

Didn’t work so good when I dropped a winch handle off the boat.


Image source: PeppermintBiscuit, Kindel Media

I had a headache at work (years ago, at a previous job). I almost never get headaches, so it was pissing me off because I couldn’t ignore it.

My coworker: “I can get rid of it. Come here, I’ll squeeze your head.”

Me: “… What.”

“I’ll squeeze your head.” And sure enough, he grabbed my head and squeezed the sides so hard I thought he was going to fracture my skull. Then he squeezed from front and back.

Him: “Better?”

That headache was GONE and never came back. Now I go around curing my coworkers’ headaches. Everyone thinks I’m nuts until it works


Image source: Happy-Atmosphere-914, Nataliya Melnychuk

If you can’t get rid of your sore throat, get a new toothbrush.


Image source: Suspicious_Future_58, Yann Allegre

When having anxiety or a panic attack, put your hands in cold running water. It helps with causing a sensory ground, you focus on the sensation of the cold water


Image source: Graflex01867, RDNE Stock project

I tell people this – sick and congested?

Salsa. Hot salsa. Have some good hot salsa and chips. It cleared my congestion for a few hours, and nothing at the drug store would even touch it. Plus there’s no dosage limit – have as much as you like!

Hot and sour soup also works well.

Any spicy food should work, really.


Image source: emmascarlett899, Thomas Bormans

If you make a list of everything you have to do, and always write down anything that comes to your mind on the same list, you will not worry about forgetting things. Once it’s written down on a list that you know you’re going to look at, your brain stops keeping an “open tab” for it.


I have ADHD and seriously struggle with remembering to brush my teeth before bed.

Someone told me to put my toothpaste in the sink so I would have to physically pick it up and move it out of the way to use the sink. Once toothpaste is in my hand, it’ll remind me to actually use it.

Sure enough, totally works. I usually have to use the bathroom around the time I get ready for bed.

Image source: PaxonGoat


Image source: Necessary_Clerk_623, cottonbro studio

So, someone once swore that talking to plants would make them grow faster. I thought it was a load of horticultural hooey, but in a moment of desperation, I gave it a shot. Lo and behold, my ficus started thriving like it had won the plant lottery! Turns out, my green pals just needed some sweet nothings and motivational speeches.


I couldn’t figure out how to keep my cat from jumping up onto my shelf and yeeting my plants off the shelf. They were hardy plants, so they survived, but they took quite a beating. My aunt suggested I buy some citrus scented air freshener, and spray the shelf every few days.

I thought “ain’t no goddamn way,” but I didn’t want my plants to die so I tried it. Be damned if it didn’t work flawlessly. It’s worked for 3 whole years now.

Image source: FlowerFaerie13


Image source: CressZealousideal336, Linus Belanger

Turn it off then on again.


Image source: neal144, Dmitry Grachyov

Put human hair down a gopher hole and the gophers will leave.

It worked!!


Image source: bjb13, Jopwell

I officiate golf tournaments. This involves long hours of sitting in a golf cart. Then when I had to get out I’d be very stiff.

A friend told me to put a towel down and sit on it and I wouldn’t be as stiff. How could that work, I’m just sitting there not moving, not even driving the cart around.

Well it does work. I’d get out and I wouldn’t be stiff.


Image source: hooliganvet, Gilberto Olimpio

As a welder, an old welder told me if your eyes get flash burned to put raw potato slices on your eyes and it will stop the pain.

It works, but don’t ask me why.


Image source: DeFiClark, Tima Miroshnichenko

That the 10c per copy xerox machine at my high school (that gave change for dollars in dimes) would accept xeroxed dollar bills in the bill changer. The Secret service gave the school a visit to explain to us how bad a crime counterfeiting was.


Image source: anchordwn, Erik Mclean

Got a fuel pump for a very old S10. Put it in the truck, it did not work. Googled problem, lots of other people having same issue with same fuel pump and no answer.

Some random guy on a S10 forum, that I found on page 3 of google, posted 10 years ago that the instructions were wrong on that fuel pump. You needed connect the red wire to the black one, and not the green one like the instructions said.

Worked instantly


Image source: scottcmu, Dmitriy Zub

One day I came home from work and there was this little white box sitting on the counter. I asked my wife, “What is this thing?”

She said, “It’s a box that emits a high pitched sound that only cats can hear and it will keep Spike off the counters.”

Me: “How much did you pay for this magic box?”

Wife: “It was fifty bucks.”


Wife: “Let’s just see if it works and I’ll return it if it doesn’t.”

I ate my f*****g words. This was 10 years ago, and my cat got up on the counter ONE time after we got the box and then never again. The box doesn’t even work anymore. I think it’s not even plugged in anyway. Still, the cat won’t go near it. Sorcery.


Image source: CaptainTime5556, Waldemar

I read a newspaper article about a guy who went to his local convenience store and bought two lottery tickets. Most people in that situation would play different numbers on each ticket, in order to double their minuscule chance of winning.

Not this guy. He was interviewed, and said he believed that playing the same numbers on *both* tickets would “double down” his chance, showing somehow that he was really serious about wanting those numbers to win.

So that’s what he did. But it turned out that he actually did have the winning numbers for that drawing, and he owned two out of the three winning tickets. Therefore he was entitled to walk home with two thirds of the jackpot, instead of just half.


Image source: honcho_emoji, Leeloo The First

if you find yourself obsessing about something, set a date and stretch of time to ‘worry’ about it. I have no idea why, but that was the only thing let me set something down in my mind and sleep one night. It was a piece of advice my mother gave me a few days earlier. ironically, it was something else she’d said to me that was the source of the worry.


Image source: MrsTurtlebones, Tara Raye

When my firstborn was an infant, a friend told me that an old Native woman said that to keep your baby from crying when you lay them in their crib to sleep, you should move your hand in a circle in the air near them, while slowly backing up and widening the circle until you leave the room. It sounded like a bunch of hooey, but my friend swore by it, and danged if it didn’t work every time! No idea why, but my kids were all good sleepers. Side note that I certainly always would respond if they woke up and cried, because I wanted them to know that I was there if they needed me, but that didn’t happen much either.


Image source: josiahpapaya, Nurefşan KOŞAR

My husband and I used to live in an apartment 4th-floor apartment with a balcony that was over a greenhouse. The actual greenhouse had walls around it and was gated. Never saw anyone going in or out of there.

One day while I was out having a smoke, a strong gust of wind came and blew my cap off my head, which did a boomerang in the wind for a moment before dropping directly below me on the roof of the greenhouse. I really loved that hat. It was a beautiful, purple, full round ball cap that I got travelling.

I go inside to tell my husband, who doesn’t seem to care much. I quickly scramble for ideas on how to get it back. I can’t think of a single thing, and realize that unless I get the gates unlocked and a ladder, there’s no way I’m getting it back. I would have made peace with this if the hat wasn’t DIRECTLY in my line of vision. So I’d have to stare at it every day.
A storm was coming, so I knew if I just waited until tomorrow to see if I could find my way in, the hat would be ruined anyway. I’d consider jumping off my balcony to get it, but it was a glass roof, so no bueno.

My husband then comes up with this idea. This was in Japan, so we had these things which are futon clamps. A lot of folks in Japan sleep on ‘futons’ which are like douvets crossed with mattresses. In the morning people usually throw them over the railing to air out and use a “futon clamp” to anchor them.

Husband grabs the clamp, opens it up
And holds the teeth open with a chopstick. He then ties two bath towel belts together, and fastened it to the clamp. He tells
Me he’s going to throw the clamp into the wind, so that when it lands on my hat, it will knock the chopstick out and fasten to the hat.

I was upset; so I told him to f**k off and went to mope. 2 minutes later he comes back with my hat.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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