20 People Share The Encounters They’ve Had With Strangers That They Can’t Lose Sight Of
Every once in a while, we meet a stranger we can’t forget. Perhaps they sat down next to you at the bar when you were drinking your sorrows away, complimented your appearance when your self-esteem was at its lowest, or said they liked your smile. The other times, it’s something funny, awkward, stupid, or very much out of the blue.
So when one Redditor asked, “What is the strangest interaction you’ve had with a random stranger?” hundreds of people jumped to the comments sections to share their most memorable encounters. Scroll below for the most interesting stories these people have shared.
Who is that one stranger you will never forget and why? Let us know in the comments!
More info: Reddit
I was around 16 (F) at the time and at the mall with my two guy friends. We split up in the food court and while I was aimlessly walking around trying to pick out food, someone bumped into me from behind. I assumed it was my friends but as I turned, I was handed a BABY from a man I’ve never met. He then backed away towards a woman and they started laughing. It looked like she was taking pictures of me with her phone. They spoke in a language I didn’t recognize and kept backing up further away while looking at me and laughing almost as if trying to make me follow them. All the while I’m holding a strange baby in the middle of the mall food court too stunned to move. After what felt like hours but was maybe a minute or so, my friends walked over to me very confused and why I had a baby. Before I could even utter a word, the man and woman ran over, took the baby and left. 11 years later I still have no explanation.
I was in a bakery in my small town USA, when the patissier was slack jaw staring at me. She told me she was from Germany and I looked like her daughter–even my glasses looked the same. She thought her daughter had come over from Germany to visit her. Sorry to disappoint and even sorrier she didn’t have a pic to compare.
I was at Busch Gardens in Virginia, maybe 9 years old when an elderly man walked up to me and gave me a 1 million dollar bill with his face on it. I still have it
in the dollar store by the hollywood theater in portland oregon, (its like 20 miles from my house) i was buying some soda when i saw a guy in a “vietnam veteran” jacket. i, being the patriotic m**********r that i am, said that i appreciated his service. then he said “that will be $100”. i thought he was joking. he was not. i did not have $100, and i said to him as much. he said “well give me anything you have.” i gave him five cents, as i only carry what i need to buy stuff on me, and that was the change. he just walked away without thanking me. it was weird as all hell.
When I was 30, I had a sword fight with a boy about 11 or 12 in a Rite-Aid. He was standing there looking at the plastic swords, and when he looked up at me, I held my sword out and gave a nod, like let’s go. I was at the other end of the aisle, so we run towards each other and take a huge swing. When the swords connected, and they shattered into a thousand pieces. I mean they exploded. He’s got a look of utter shock. He starts looking around and I gave him a, don’t worry about it, I’ll pay for them. I think they were about 3 bucks each. His mom didn’t notice as she was checking out. He’s gotta be in his 30’s now. It was fun.
Just arrived at a music festival in the Faroe Islands back in 2005 with my friends and this girl I’d never seen before leaps around my neck, gives me a kiss on the cheek and wishes me a happy birthday before running off into the night, check my phone and its literally just struck midnight on my 21st birthday.
Quick background: I’m from the UK, I’m a recovering alcoholic (nearly 4 months sober now) and used to sit in this beach shelter at night after work and drink 8-10 beers. One night this guy came over holding a glass of wine and randomly started chatting to me. He said he regularly jogs past that shelter in the mornings and picks up the empty beer cans and bins them. He basically got me to admit it was me, he knew my name and where I’d bought the beers. This freaked me out at first but it turns out he’d been picking up the receipts id been leaving there which had my name and the shop location on cos of my clubcard.
Anyway, he basically went on to ask why I drank so much and if there was anything that had happened in my life to make me live that way. For some reason I told him some of the dark secrets from my past that made me turn to drink. It turns out he was a policeman, and not just any policeman, but the one who arrested Roy Whiting (the killer of sarah payne) and after a bit of a conversation he told me about himself, and what he said to me I’ll never forget. He said “I have 4 kids, and you never know, you could be number 5” and that hit me hard. A random stranger just decided to talk to me and offer me a love that he somehow knew I’d never been given. Well fast forward a year or so and i no longer drink, we stay in contact on Facebook and whenever i see him around we have a hug and a catch up. He always beeps me when he drives past. Thank you, Paul.
I guess not really strange, but it’s stuck in my mind for over 10 years.
I had just moved halfway across the country for work. After a couple of months there, my great grandmother passed just before her 101st birthday. I got an early morning flight back to my home state. The lady next to me was probably just near retirement age.
I wasn’t crying, but just keeping to myself as one does when traveling with things on their mind. Once we were able to let our trays down, I dropped mine and laid my head and arms on the tray, and just watched the city lights out the window. For nearly the entire flight, this woman started rubbing my back and told me everything would be okay.
I normally hate being touched, and honestly don’t seek comfort very often. But that was one of the most comforting things that’s ever happened, and I just let it happen. So wholesome strange I guess.
I work in a hospital on the third floor. One evening I was washing up in the coffee room the sink is next to a window. It was getting dark, and I glanced out the window, and at exactly the same time a woman on the other side of the street glanced up at my window. I decided to wave, and as I raised my hand she simultaneously raised hers. We both had a little chuckle about it and went on with our lives. The whole thing took about 5 seconds but I still think about it.
A few stick in my mind, but this one I have just never understood.
I’m at a busy downtown intersection, on a sunny Saturday, waiting for the light to cross. Guy beside me starts making small talk. Very chatty. We had quite a wait for the light for … some reason I don’t remember… so it was a bit of a chat.
He made some unusual remarks asking me about my ethnicity (somewhat accurate). Then it was him telling me his life story, out of the blue.
Ok, maybe he’s hyper for some reason. I’d just moved to the city from a more rural area so I was polite and didn’t elbow him away. Not sure if maybe I should have. His story about himself was just a bit memorable because it involved some globetrotting and a few other random details.
I thought nothing more about it after crossing the street and we went separate ways.
Then a couple of months later I’m in a downtown mall. Same guy walks up to me, out of nowhere, and starts chatting to me again. I interrupted him and said “Yeah, I remember meeting you before,” and I repeated the life story ramble that he’d done earlier. At that point he does a disappearing act.
I have no clue to this day what that was about. Just odd.
No one in my family wanted to ride the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster with me so I went solo and got seated next to a guy who didn’t speak English. I knew ahead of time that they take your picture as the ride blasts off so I made a face (rock fist, tongue out). At the end of the ride, my ride partner and I went to look at our photo and amazingly, unknown to the other, we had both made the same face and gesture. We both laughed when we saw it. He said something to me I didn’t understand, gave me a hug, and we parted ways. I still think about him 6 years later.
Image source: Boxdog
I was in Boston one night with friends and started to sing show me the way to go home. A girl on the other side of the street walking in the other direction sang every other verse with me for over a block and a half. We were quite loud before we ended.
Image source: ThrowRARAw
I was studying in a uni library when I see the guy sitting next to me turn his head to look at me for a moment too long. I turn to look at him and he sticks his arm out and offers me some cheetos. I politely turn him down and we both go back to studying, he doesn’t make any attempt to interact with me again.
Fast forward a few months, I’m heading back to my home State from a completely different State 3 hours away on a bus with assigned seating. It’s relatively empty other than maybe 10 others max all in random areas of the bus. I’m minding my own business when the guy in front of me gets up on his knees on the seat and turns around to face me. It is the same guy from the library. And what does he do? Stick his arm out and offer me cheetos.
Image source: Worldly_Salamander_
A pleasant looking middle aged woman came up to me on a bus, sat beside me, and then told me in a whisper “my teeth are trying to kill me.” And then sat out the ride in silence.
Working as a nurse In a nursing home, suburb of Boston. One day one of my residents get a visit from two elderly residents. One is his friend, the other a stranger to him, who gave his friend a ride (they were in their 90’s and only one of them drove). The driver started a conversation with me while his friend visited with his friend. He asked me where I was from, parents, grandparents. Told him my mother was originally from Dorchester Boston. He asked me which part. I said Ashmont station area, ocean Street. He asked me if my grandfathers name was Hugh. I told him yes and my grandfathers last name. He then named all my aunts and uncles names, including my mothers and asked me who’s child I was. Turns out this man, who drove his friend into the country to visit a dying friend, was my grandfathers business partner (who I never met). My grandfather had died about 15 years before. What a small world. I couldn’t wait to get home from work to call my mother and update her that I met Saul Goldman. (She remembered him and his family fondly). Made me happy to be alive. I know he enjoyed meeting me as well. It was as if thru both he and I, my grandfather came back alive for a few minutes, just then.
Going into my hotel room. (This was a s**t hotel, I was low on money and just needed somewhere to stay for a couple of nights.)
On the phone with my husband, a guy walks up to me as I’m pulling out my key card. He gestures at himself and the door, in a ‘can I come in’ kind of way.
I say “No” and look at him, he keeps standing there, then he goes a few steps away. I stupidly think we’re done and open the door and he moved forward to come in with me. I slam the door without entering and book it down the stairs to the front reception desk.
If I hadn’t been on the phone, distracted and tired, I would never have let him get so close to me. What could have happened but didn’t? Just so strange.
Two that happened to my best friend, years ago.
1. He’s walking across campus and some guy walks up to him, holding an unwrapped Twinkie. He puts it close to my friend’s face and says, “Look at it! Look at it! YOU CAN SEE THE PRESERVATIVES!”
2. He’s in the men’s room in the physics building after an astronomy seminar. Some guy comes in and stands next to him at the urinal, staring at him, and says, “The Earth is flat. You know it is.”
And one that happened to me.
I’m in a restaurant in Washington DC, a thousand miles from home. It’s my first time in the District, I’m eating alone, so I decide to sit at the bar instead of taking up a table. A man my age sits down next to me, somehow we get to talking, and long story short, my mom was one of his mom’s bridesmaids and I’m named after his grandfather.
My family and I were traveling cross-country and stopped in this tiny rural coffee shop for lunch. The waitress came out to take our order, she took one look at me and said “Hey Kim, how’s your mom doing? I said “I’m sorry, I think you’re mistaking me for someone else, I don’t live around here and I’m not Kim.” She kept insisting that I was just joking around and teasing her. This went on for quite some time, until I had to convince her with my drivers license that I was not this person that she knew. She was blown away and said I could be a twin to this person that she knew, as I look exactly like Kim, talk like Kim, everything.
Was at a horror convention. My wife, and two friends we met at the con were at the after party. It was an out door event at the hotel’s pool with a death metal band and Sid Haig serving people drinks with the money going to charity.
We were just laughing and joking around when out of the blue an older man entered our conversation. He started by laughing at whatever story we were talking about and we all kind of stopped to look at this dude.
This guy was dressed to the nines in all purple. A purple stripped suit, a purple cane and a purple tophat with ribbons. His white beard was dyed purple as was his mustache. He had purple gloves on, purple dress pants, and purple shoes. And this was no cheap cosplay – these were pretty damn expensive looking clothes.
Immediately we are fascinated with him. We welcomed him to the circle. He introduced himself as “Mr. Purple.” and that he was “Curious to what was going on at the party.” Apparently he had no idea there was a horror convention going on – that he was just somewhere nearby and saw the after party and decided to come by.
He was not odd or unpleasant. He was actually quite nice, joyous, and fun to talk to. He never got into who he was or what he did or why he was purple ; but just made small talk with all of us as we continued sharing stories. Eventually he tipped his hat and thanked us for chatting with him before heading off. We did not see him for the rest of the party.
I will never forget you Mr. Purple. Whomever you are.
In Portland OR I was walking into the Pearl District around 7:00am, I was the only one walking on my side of the street and a guy walking the other way on the other side crossed over and came *right up to me*. I took my headphones out when I saw him coming and thought ‘oh this can’t be good’ and then he asks me very intensely,
“**DO YOU LIKE THE X-MAN WOLVERINE**?”
Took me by surprise but I answered “uh, yeah?” and he extended his hand to shake and said,
“**HI I’M WOLVERINE**.”
This was a clean shaved blonde white dude, about 6’1″ 150 pounds with busted up knuckles, and while he was presenting as friendly he was *not* trying to make a joke about his identity. He believed what he was saying. So I just rolled with it and said “Oh cool man, good to meet you. Yeah, I didn’t recognize you without the costume.” We talked for a second and then I did the I-have-to-go stutter walk thing and as I left I told him to watch out for Magneto.