“It’s Not What It Looks Like”: 40 Comical Misunderstandings

Published 4 weeks ago

Awkward things happen to all of us. Most times we are lucky because there are no witnesses, but then there are those mortifying moments when we are caught in the act itself. Redditors recently got candid about those cringe-worthy things they got caught doing red-handed that led to a comical misunderstanding. 

While it’s unfortunate for those people caught smack dab in the middle of a compromising situation, it sure does make for a hilarious tale for us. Scroll below to read all the entertaining submissions people put forward when asked to recall their most, “What is your ‘It’s not what it looks like‘ story?”

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#1 I’ve posted this before on my old account but it’s funny so I’ll share again.

Image source: bethereintime, Tom Rogerson

My family and I went to this really weird little festival that happens every spring to celebrate a frozen dead guy. I wanted to do the polar plunge with my dad so I used spray hair dye to make myself look a bit grey and I put on a fake beard so I could look like his mini me. It was so windy that year that they couldn’t keep the warming tents up, so our alternative option was to pack in the back of a 1970s ambulance and try and un dress then re dress in warm clothes with 15 other random naked strangers.

My dad didn’t want to do that so he decided he would Walk up the main street and change in the cafe bathroom. Unfortunately it was so cold and windy that hypothermia was starting to set in. I had to go into this tiny a*s bathroom with my dad to help him get changed. As we were nearly done some old lady came barging in the bathroom cuz we were taking way too long. At that very moment I realized I had f****d up.

My dad was standing up and I was on my knees trying to button up his jeans (Levi 501s have a lot of buttons and they are weird to button on someone else.)

She had a look of horror on her face and the only thing I could blurt out was . “NO it’s okay! He’s my dad!”

That was absolutely not the right thing to say lol.

#2 A long while ago now, I was walking home from a friend’s house. We had been smoking and drinking, so I was a little out of it.

Image source: InfamousUnderpants, Pasanheco

It was around 1am and I was almost home, when I saw this little old lady doubled over and struggling to walk. I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help. She said she was fine, but asked if I could help her home as she didn’t live too far away. So I gave her my arm for her to support herself and off we went.

Her home wasn’t that far, but it was slow going. At this point, I had already decided that I was going to ring an ambulance for her, but thought I’d get her home first.

When we eventually made it to her home, she took her key and opened her door… Only to collapse into her house and pass out… And then the house alarm went off… And then her neighbours appeared. Luckily, the neighbours believed me and the old lady managed to get some medical attention.

#3 I was staying over at a friend’s cottage in the country with my girlfriend (now wife). A bunch of my friends were there as well, male and female, but we got the spare bedroom because we were a couple.

Image source: Malthus1, Becca Schultz

We all went to bed – after about twenty minutes, the bed we were in collapsed, making a terrible clatter.

Instantly, the whole house erupted in cheers and laughter.

Reality: bed was very rickety, no one had actually slept in it for a long time, and we were just peacefully resting in the bed when it just collapsed. But of course, everyone assumed we were screwing up a storm and literally “broke the bed”.

#4 When I was 5, someone had gotten into my uncle’s blue spray paint sitting on his porch and they had sprayed some of it on the porch. He lined up me and my brothers and checked our hands for any blue and saw blue all over *my* hands.

I frantically tried to explain as a five year old that it was from coloring markers from earlier at school but he had none of it and marched me to my mother to ‘expose me’. My mom took a look at my hands and easily identified the difference between blue markers and spray paint and called my uncle an idiot.

It was actually my middle brother but he was wearing gloves so there was no transfer on his hands. I wasn’t going to be a snitch to that idiot uncle though.

Image source: SexBadgersaurus

#5 I’m an ER doc and was having dinner with some friends who are also ER docs. We got into it about which sedation medications were the best for pediatrics. My friends were arguing for propofol, but I like a combination of propofol and ketamine. We were arguing for a little bit and I loudly stated “ketamine is my favorite d**g”, just as the waiter was walking up. He gave us our waters and then a very strange look. We talked about more mundane topics after that.

Image source: Methasaurus_Rex

#6 I talk to myself all the time, like, ALL THE TIME. Helps me process my thoughts (or keep myself company). Most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it until I’m in the grocery aisle and some poor old women wants her beans and here’s me, full blown self conversation mode, probably scaring the s**t out of her lol. I’ve accepted that I will forever receive weird looks in public, and I have A LOT of “I swear I’m not crazy” stories.

Image source: Ok_Display_5985

#7 For me it was a “not what it sounds like” story.

I was in 8th grade and in computer class working on a BASIC program or something. I remember I was wearing my Vans DNA. I was shuffling my feet and the sound of my shoes rubbing together made the perfect, ripping fart sound.

The people in my row stopped and looked up at me. I told everyone, “No guys. It was my shoes. Watch.”

I proceed to rub my feet together and try to recreate the sound but of course it doesn’t happen. Everyone just stares and slowly turn their heads back to work.

Image source: degobrah

#8 Moving house and my father-in-law was helping on moving day.

My wife and I were well-prepared, with only our bed remaining assembled and everything else packed and ready to go.

I lifted the mattress and had to clumsily explain to my wife’s dad that all of the straps on the bed frame were just to hold the fitted sheet in place.

Image source: Ordinary_Shallot_674

#9 Last night my husband came to visit me at the restaurant I work at. I served him some sushi and it was a fun way to break up my shift. After he left, I was busing his table and I took a sip of the Arnold Palmer he had left behind. Looked up and realized a family a few tables over has just watched me slurp out of a half-empty customer’s drink through a used straw.

Image source: chewbubbIegumkickass, Pressmaster

#10 Years ago my team did a cabling job to add some registers to the garden center in a Walmart. This kind of work is done overnight because there are much less customers in the store. There were cables in the conduit already but plenty of room for two more, but we were outta of clearglide, wire pulling lubricant, so we grabbed some KY from health and beauty.

We would often grab things at night, drinks, hardware, whatever and keep the packages to pay for it before we left in the morning.

That morning 4 guys went through the checkout line with 6 empty energy drinks, a couple of snacks, and an empty bottle of KY, which we informed the cashier was empty because we used it in the garden center the previous night!

Image source: ExistingCaramel2188

#11 My dog ate some string. I had to pull it out of his butt on a walk. People were like “YIKES” and giving me a wide berth.

Image source: portholeporthole, Eugene Chystiakov

#12 I’m surprised no one called the police on me for this…

Image source: vorxaw, bilanol

I do general repairs as a side gig. I offered to help a friend fix his sink one day. So I park my work van on the street outside his house and start organizing tools to bring into the house. Suddenly I look up and I see his 3 year old daughter has somehow wondered out of the house and is walking in the middle of the road. Yikes. So I quick run after her, grab her off the road.

However, I couldn’t bring her into the house just yet because my van was still completely open, with tools strewn about. So I had to put her in my van while I finished organizing.

To anyone one else, it probably looked like I kidnapped a girl into my van.

#13 There’s a brand called “lonely ghost” and it has attire that often say “call me if you’re lonely” or “text me” and it has an actual number

Image source: cantsleep6811, Priscilla Du Preez

My friend had the hoodie with the phone number on it and we were bored and wanted to see what actually happened. I texted the number “I’m lonely” it gave a cute little auto reassurance response and a gif or something.

Anyways, boyfriend at the time saw the text to an unsaved random number saying “I’m lonely” ?
Had to pull up the hoodie with the number haha.

#14 When I was a teen I went on a road trip about 6 hours away to meet some friends. I brought a female friend with me cause it sounded fun.

We arrive to the mutual friends house and they show us our room with a single bed. I was mortified and as soon as they left us alone I told the girl that this wasnt “my plan” and I’ll see if I can find a couch or something. Thankfully she was cool with non-sexually sharing a bed.

I awake in the middle of the night with a pretty severe asthma attack. My inhaler is on the nightstand on the other side of her. The rest of the room is covered in various boxes making a walk around the bed time consuming and dangerous, so I get a bit closer and reach over her, *carefully*, to grab the inhaler.

My hands are shaky and I knock it to the floor. I realize I have to climb over her to grab it. I sit up, throw one leg over and reach down, grabbing my inhaler and taking it.

I smile in relief, look down, and I’ve woken her up. In the middle of the night by straddling her. She just closed her eyes and went back to sleep.

Image source: chadsexytime

#15 I worked in a supermarket when I was younger and my boss found me one day lying on my stomach in the aisle with my arm fully outstretched holding a large jar of pickles.

Image source: NamaNamaNamaBatman, Pressmaster

This was long before planking but he still thought was something being done “for the lolz” and started chewing me out before a customer intervened and explained the situation. The fact of the matter was I was walking down the aisle when out of nowhere the jar just slipped off the shelf and I dove and caught it.

That lady saved my a*s that day and the clerk who was ringing her up got our secret signal which meant many items were “accidentally” not scanned.

#16 In college, I used to work overnights at a gas station. I would regularly bring in cash from home and exchange for larger or smaller bills from the register as necessary. One night, a co-worker decided to steal some cash from the register and there I was, on camera, clearly doing the same and, less clearly, exchanging the bills. When the manager brought me in the next day and showed me the footage I couldn’t even say anything. I was just glad the guilty party got fired and it wasn’t just me.

Image source: omgitsprice

#17 I was a lab tech working at a pharmaceutical research lab, and we ran out of pregnancy tests. I went to Walgreens to buy some home tests, and I needed 5 of them. I was about 8 months pregnant.

Image source: jennyvane, Anikona

#18 When I was 16 I met a girl on Myspace that lived in Canada, which happened to be a short drive from where I lived in the U.S., so we planned a meet-up in Windsor, just across the border from me. I had never crossed the border by myself and was fairly new to driving solo. When I got to the border, I accidentally pulled into one of the express lanes and just drove to the toll booth ahead, thinking I would just explain that I had messed up and chose the wrong lane, whoops no big deal, I’ll just pay and be on my way.

Image source: shutemdown420, NomadSoul1

Well no, they thought it was suspicious so they asked me to pull into an open hangar nearby and sent some officers to check out my car. When they approached and asked me to pop the trunk, I just did it because I was s******g my pants. My parents did not know where I was and I was so scared of getting in trouble with border patrol.

So right after I pop the trunk they call more officers over. I am asked to step out and put in hand cuffs, and then the questioning starts. Who am I and where am I going? Who is the girl and how do I know her? At this point I’m terrified. They all went from pretty chill to very serious in a matter of minutes. Then one of them reaches into the trunk and pulls out a sword and it HITS me.

A week earlier I had been filming a video for one of my classes with my friends and it was a war scene from a book. We had amassed all of our medieval mall ninja weapons for the video and in the end, the weapons all ended up in my trunk and I COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT THEM. I’m talking swords, axes, flails, bludgeons, bardiches, nunchucks, EVERYTHING. For the next 2-3 hours I was questioned while they picked my car apart.

In the end I think the only reason they let me go is because I also had a giant bag of Magic: the Gathering cards in my backseat and after explaining the game to them they realized I had no life and was probably too nerdy to be any real threat. I also had a single rose for her on the passenger seat (I know, I am so suave) so I think they could see I didn’t have bad intentions..

They let me through, I met up with the girl, and we made out on a play structure for like 4 hours. Drove home that night and never told my parents. Ah, to be young again.

#19 Back in seventh grade, when I was at peak “awkward teen boy” there came a day in gym where we were set to play volleyball.

Image source: schnit123, Allan Mas

The only problem was that when we got to the gym the coach realized she’d forgotten the volleyballs, but no problem, because they were just sitting in the storage room…in the girl’s locker room, and she decided to send me, a boy, to go get them. She assured me that I would not get in trouble if I was caught but even still I was about as not-at-all thrilled over being given this job as I possibly could be, because I was sure that if any girl saw me in there she would tell the rest of the school that I was a pervert sneaking into the girl’s locker room.

Well halfway through the mission my worst nightmare came true and I turned a corner to confront two girls who were heading back into the locker room. They stared at me, I stared at them. I started panicking and in my discombobulation I decided the best possible thing to do at that moment would be to tell these two girls that I’m not a pervert (because obviously that would have cleared everything up) but I was so flustered that what came out instead was “I’m not gay,” and then I really smoothed things over by running away.

Surprisingly the fallout for this wasn’t too bad. I got made fun of a bit for it but people had pretty much moved on by the next day. Not me though. Twenty-seven years later this still haunts me.

#20 Owned a horse as a kid, partner went with me couple months back to visit him at the stable he lived at to visit him. Said horse has a habit of nipping (not out of aggression, to show affection/play). Horse was nuzzling his head onto my chest and bit right by my tit. Gently pushed his head away, but that s**t HURT.

Image source: gettinghairy, Lily Banse

Went home with partner and was getting undressed for some quality time. He took a look at me and went, “what’s that?” I look down and there was a giant forming bruise/bite from where the horse nipped me. I quickly explained but he found it f*****g hilarious.

#21 A was a student athlete in HS and our athletic trainer was an attractive 24 year old girl. I had a hip injury that required an ace wrap around my hip joint.

Image source: MurkyHuckleberry4310, YuriArcursPeopleimages

One day, she was wrapping my hip before practice in a side-office of a bigger training room and two other athletes opened the door that we forgot to lock. What they saw was the back of me, with my pants down, and the trainer in front of me, on her knees, with her head in my crotch area, and her hand reaching back grabbing my butt. Her hand was only there for a brief sec while she supported herself. But teenage boys only need to see that image for a fraction of a second for them to imagine something else.

In case you’re wondering, this side-office was always used for more personal treatment like my hip injury. Girls would be taken in there if they had to remove clothing for example. The bigger training room was always busy and it had a doorway that was always open so we didn’t want passing teachers/other students/parents/visitors getting a sneaky look at teens in their underwear getting injury treatment.

#22 Was ordering my Mom’s birthday gift online one time. She walked into the room unexpectedly and I reflexively slammed my laptop closed. There’s nothing I could’ve said that would’ve convinced her I wasn’t watching p**n. .

Image source: Square-Raspberry560

#23 In the 80’s When I was a teen I was partying with neighbor friends in their back yard and forgot my bong their backyard.

In order to retrieve it I needed to run a covert operation like navy seal team six later that night.

The big sister saw me slinking around under the cover of night and accused me of being a peeping Tom.

Good luck trying to explain that one. But I did successfully retrieve the bong which kept my friend from getting busted so at least there was that.

Image source: kdubstep

#24 A guy sitting in front of me had a bug crawling out of his shirt and I watched it crawling into his hair. The dude asked me why I was touching him. Dude! I wasn’t.

Image source: ExistingHelicopter29

#25 I worked on a low budget movie (that never got finished), for one scene we needed scenes from the crime, gory bloody pictures they would put up on the board in the police office. Dumb**s I worked with dropped them off at Walmart for printing and enlargement (back when that was a thing). He did not warn them.

Image source: goblinmarketeer, LightFieldStudios

When we went to pick them up he got pounced on by police and had much explaining to do. Also, same guy…. I had made two corpses from skeletons, using the old tissue paper and latex method, same genius just tosses them into the back of his pick up truck to take them to the set. Got pulled over for speeding. They pretty much were pulling him out of driver side window while was he screaming “they aren’t real people!” over and over again. When they finally touched one and realized it plastic they let him go while ticketing him for every thing they could because they were pissed. Personally I was thrilled my work was taken so well.

#26 I’ve posted this before but what the hey, I was hanging out with a guy friend (I’m a girl) watching movies.

Image source: fuckandfrolic, cottonbro studio

I fell asleep in the middle of the third one, had a hot dream and woke up to my own orgasm while he sat on the other end of the couch sporting an erection, but with both hands up, and looking equal parts terrified and horny.

I was beyond mortified. He was like “I-I didn’t know what to do-“

I had actually been dreaming about him and didn’t know if I’d said his name or not.

I got the f**k out of there.

I have never been so f*****g mortified in my life. But, after a lot of him pushing and me being embarrassed, we ended up dating. Been together about a year now.

Edited for clarification.

#27 My personnel clerk was telling me about a sexual harassment issue in my office, as soon as she repeated what was said, “are you asking me for a bl**job”, the store gossip walked by and sure enough I’m being spoken to by corporate HR within the hour. Thankfully I had proof of what was actually going on.

Image source: Lostandfoundchampion, Priscilla Du Preez

#28 Got charged with a marijuana-related felony charge back in 2004. When you become a felon, you have to register at the Dept. of Corrections. I register, and they give me a small card with my info on it. Fast forward a few months and i walk into a liquor store for cigarettes. No ID. I search through my wallet and find this card and hand it to the guy.

“You’re a sex offender?”




they had given me the completely wrong card, and i was walking around as a sex offender.

Image source: PMmeyourboogers

#29 I shared a two bedroom apartment with a friend of mine. We worked opposite schedules so I was home when he was at work. He had moved his new girlfriend in with us and we got along great. It was almost as if I had two best friends. One morning she woke me up asking if I wanted to eat ice cream and watch some horror movies. We were sitting in my bed watching one of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies and I nod off for just a second before snapping awake. When I did that I knocked over a bowl of ice cream. Instantly as most people would I started making all sorts of noise due to the freezing sensation I had on my crotch. I was grabbing napkins and trying to clean myself up and she already had some paper towels scrubbing the mattress. At this exact time a friend of ours had stopped by thinking we were asleep so he was in our living room. He heard the commotion and walked into my room to see me spread eagle moving my hand at a rapid pace and her just below me. He screamed that he saw nothing and didn’t want to be the one to tell our friend that something was going on. We have never let him live it down.

Image source: sobegreen

#30 Mines a “Not what it sounds like” story.

I (m) worked in heavy industry and was taking college classes at night with a (m) supervisor from another competitor company. We teamed up as lab partners. Just to put the context of this story in place, consider the time period was the late 90’s

Had a salesman come in and while talking he mentioned the other company and I asked him if he knew my lab partner by his name. When he said yes I said “He’s my lab partner!” He gave me a weird look and wandered off and talked to a couple of other staff members before leaving.

After leaving the other workers were laughing as the salesman told them he didn’t know I was gay. Evidently he heard lab, as life.

Always wonder if he thought that about my lab partner when he went to the other company.

Image source: charlie2135

#31 In Mexico City on a high school trip I went to sleep alone and woke up with one of the girls from the trip. She looked confused. I looked confused. We both clarified that we did not, in fact, do it (this was me confirming for her). What we decided was that she got super drunk the night before, came into our room instead of hers, and got in bed with me thinking I was her sister.

Image source: linuxphoney

#32 Spider in my car got me pulled over for swerving all over the road. We found it and the cop just laughed at me. I’m not scared of spiders, but that big f****r was dangling in my face.

Image source: tbama11, FabrikaPhoto

#33 My mom once barged on my room without knocking with a shocked face and asking “what are you doing?!” I was laying in bed, laptop on my belly, chocolate on my mouth watching YouTube exercise videos. They kept making noises she assumed was either sex or p**n. To this day we laugh so hard about it ?.

Image source: suncirca, Anete Lusina

#34 According to my mom she peeked through my open door and saw me in my chair, hands at waist level, shaking a bit as I worked my hands and was breathing heavily. I was playing Spider-Man 2 fighting Scream.

Image source: Bonkboyo, Kevin Malik

#35 More like “it’s not what it sounds like.”

My daughter, who was a toddler at the time, told my wife that, “In the middle of the night, Daddy comes into my room naked to play.”

It took me a second to figure out what she was talking about and a lot of praying that I sounded believable.

My daughter was having a night terror 2 weeks earlier. I got out of bed in the middle of the night wearing only boxer briefs to see what the problem was. I ended up acting silly with her and joking around to try to ease her mood and get her ready to go back to sleep.

Image source: CaptainAwesome06

#36 Assisted teacher in getting books. She fell off the stool and I dropped the books to use myself as a cushion. She wasn’t on top on top but it looked strange from an angle. Another teacher was laughing and watching. I was red.

Image source: skummelgutt, Tima Miroshnichenko

#37 Our family was at a realtor’s open house, viewing an ocean side house that had ALL the windows and sliding glass doors open to improve the views. A big gust of air came through, blowing a very fancy looking vase off the entry way table. My teenage daughter just happened to by next to it, and caught the vase just before it smashed to the floor. As my daughter was placing it back onto the table, the real estate agent started yelling at her, telling her not to touch anything.

Image source: Liketowrite

#38 Ex GF started having a seizure on the side of the road. Called 911 to get an ambulance, cops show up first and draw guns on me because it looked like I had beat her up lol. Glad she was okay and glad I didn’t get shot!

Image source: cardiB_victim

#39 Found my then girlfriend’s panties in the laundry at my house and packed em in my book bag to give back to her. Brought them with me next time I visited and of course they weren’t hers. Thing is I didn’t cheat and they definitely didn’t fit anyone else I would’ve “known” in recent memory (we weren’t exclusive more than a couple weeks at that point). She kinda just hit me with a palm face and an eye roll and we never talked about it again /laughed it off in the moment. I still don’t know where those damn underwear came from or if they were planted or what.

Image source: Masenko-ha

#40 Sister went to the bathroom and I hid under her bed to scare her when she came back in. She came back in only wearing a towel. Turns out she was trying on clothes or something. I yelled loudly “hey! I’m hiding under your bed and I’m coming out with my eyes closed!” At first I thought to stay put and sneak out later, but figured that would seem way worse when she sees me come out of her room and is like wtf?

Image source: welito, Sora Shimazaki

Tldr: innocent scare prank turned into creepy peeping Tom situation.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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anecdotes, awkward, embarrasing, fails, funny, hilarious, It's not what it looks like
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