Let’s face it: sometimes a thought really isn’t even worth a penny (referring to the “penny for your thoughts” line). Sometimes ours and others ideas of advice probably aren’t the greatest. Does that stop them or us from sharing? Of course not! And once you read some of the bad advice posts on this list you’ll be glad that they didn’t keep it to themselves.
You really need advice on something important so you turn to a trusted individual and loved one, ready for them to lay some seriously helpful truth bombs on you. Instead, they open their mouth and out comes some of the dumbest things you’ve ever heard. Now you have to politely smile, thank them, and awkwardly nod your head while you file the advice away under the “never gonna use this” category. We’ve all been there and while it’s certainly aggravating at the time, it can make for some really entertaining stories later.
We took to both Reddit and Twitter to ask around and see what the worst advice people ever received has been. And it’s no big surprise that neither website disappointed us at all. There were a number of people who answered and it was difficult selecting ones for the list; we seriously could have posted hundreds. Narrowing it down was difficult but we managed to pick our favorites.
So enjoy some of the worst advice people have ever received and be prepared for some serious laughs.
1. Gravity stops pregnancy
“When I was in high school, I had a fiend who was not the smartest. I remember him telling me if I didn’t want to get a woman pregnant, then she should be on top so the sperm can’t flow up. He became a father his sophomore year.” –cmanymules
Our thoughts: This was one of the funniest ones we read all day so we decided it should be first on the list. The OP actually had a lot of commenters who shared that they had friends who actually believed the same thing too! We’re completely flabbergasted. Maybe this should be on the adult version of Myth Busters?
2. If you’re not married, it’s not cheating
“You know, son, there really is no such thing as cheating if you aren’t married. The Bible doesn’t recognize any relationship that isn’t bound in the covenant of the Lord. So until you are married, relationships don’t really exist.”
“Thanks Dad, you just indirectly explained why you’re on your third marriage.” –djramrod
Our thoughts: We have so many feelings about this one to say the least. But for starters let’s all agree that God doesn’t really want roped into your marital issues. We’d also really like to know where OP’s dad originally came up with the idea. Was he trying to justify the fact the he girls on the side? Or was he looking for a clever way to propose polyamory to his girlfriend?
3. More than he expected
“Was going out with this girl and my friend said I should surprise her by climbing up her bedroom window at night. Her mom was there.” –paharitto
Our thoughts: Call or text ahead before you plan on doing this one! We would have loved to have seen the look on OP’s and mom’s face as he climbed in through the window. We also want to know what the girl thought about it. Was she impressed or embarrassed? Did she think it was creepy? We have so many questions!
4. That’s some really bad, itchy advice
“When I was in boy scouts we went camping and my scout leader said to just use the leaves to wipe. It was poison ivy.” –chrisdrewdavis
Our thoughts: Like the previous entry, we have so many questions regarding this one. For starters, why didn’t anyone bring toilet paper (yes, we’re judging you scout leader)? And why would you tell them to wipe themselves clean with leaves that you haven’t identified first? Regardless, we imagine that OP has never pooped in the woods since or in the very least, he carefully inspects the leaves before using them.
5. Probably shouldn’t eat that
“When I was probably about 10, my friend and I had been playing outside when we somehow managed to rub against some poison ivy. We were incredibly itchy and miserable. My friend then told me that her uncle had put two pieces of poison ivy leaves between two pieces of bread and eaten it making him immune to poison ivy after. Luckily I was smart enough to not do that.”
Our thoughts: Number four reminded usof some bad advice we received when we were children. Luckily we had enough common sense to not try it because the effects could have been deadly. We’re fairly certain that our friend at the time wasn’t trying to kill us with bad advice, but now we’re not so sure.
Bonus advice: We weren’t alone with the poison ivy eating contest. @Lesliecfrank tweeted out, “my Native American dad told me to eat new poison ivy leaves so I would become immuned. My 1st grade pictures show the results.”
6. That’s hot
“As a friend of mine and me were in an Asian restaurant he told me that Wasabi is like butter. I could taste feelings afterwards.” -sirteaage
Our thoughts: This is a major oof and one that many of us can relate to. We’ve had our friends lie to us about wasabi and in turn we’ve lied to others about the heat of it. There’s something so funny about tricking people with wasabi. We also like that OP said “I could taste feelings afterward”; that’s such an accurate description of how wasabi feels.
7. Language barriers
“Mom is foreign and wanted me to get an American name and told me, ‘You should change your name to Trashy!’ She was going for Trisha.” -ykimyk
Our thoughts: Immediately the first thing that popped into mind was “thanks mom.” We’re sure Trisha aka Trashy had the same response initially. However, it’s probably become a very hilarious story for her to share with all of her friends. Most language barrier stories are.
8. Black and white photography conspiracy
“When I was really young I came across some black and white photos in a photo album. I was really confused because I was used to color photos. So I asked my mom why these were in black and white. She told me, ‘it’s because people used so much coal back in the day to power things that everything was black and white.’ Being the dumb little kid I was, I believed her for a long time.” –justakitty
Our thoughts: Okay OP you can’t leave us hanging like that; how long is a “long time”? Was it a few months or a few years? We’d also like to know just how young justakitty was at the time. We’re dying to know! Either way, this is hilarious.
9. The new makeup setting trend
“I was told once to use hairspray so my make-up would stay. Turns out, it just makes your face sticky… and a little crunchy!” –pineapple814
Our thoughts: We’ve seen this advice on different fashion/makeup blogs but we’ve never actually tried it ourselves. The idea of spraying hair spray into our face just didn’t sound like something we wanted to do at the time. It’s nice to know that the trick really doesn’t work; it’s just bad advice. However, we’re also irritated now because so many blogs and makeup artists have been suggesting hairspray to use in a pinch to set your makeup. Sorry you had to find out the hard way this doesn’t work OP.
10. Straight from the horse’s mouth
“I used horse shampoo because I was told it would make my hair shinier but it turns out it’s just for horses.” –jimmyfallon
Our thoughts: Even Jimmy Fallon had to ring in on the bad advice. While in all honesty it wasn’t as funny as we had hoped given the comedy sensation’s reputation, it was something we could relate to. As children, our parents also used mane ‘n tail on our hair and we had several friends with long hair who swore by it. As Fallon suggests though, there’s nothing special about the shampoo; it’s just shampoo for horses.
11. Not funny at all, that’s just bad advice
“I called Kids Help Phone when I was a teen to ask for advice on how to help my depressed friend. They advised I find new friends. I wish I was making this up.”
“Edit: To clarify, the conversation was VERY short. I explained my friend has been struggling, depressed with no motivation and isolating herself from others, along those lines (it was a while back) and what can I do. The only piece of advice they gave me was to ‘let her sort it out on her own’ and ‘find new friends’. That’s it. Nothing to interpret or misinterpret I don’t think. We remained friends though and she’s alright now.” -atsignwork
Our thoughts: It breaks our heart that OP was shut out like this by a help line. However, we’d really like to commend her for reaching out for help for her friend and for remaining by her friend’s side.
12. Laziness or craziness on the therapist’s part
“When I was around 15 years old, my mom took me to a therapist so I could talk about my depression issues as well as my parents’ divorce. We both thought it was a good idea and I was actually happy to be getting help. Well, I was until the first session. While I spoke to the therapist about how I felt and whatnot, she interrupted me. ‘Do you know what’s wrong with you,’ she asked. I shrugged and said ‘depression and coping with the divorce of my parents.’ She shook her head and looked me dead in the eyes and said, ‘you’re possessed by demons.’ I laughed but it turns out she was serious. My mom never took me back there to her.” -breadwinner
Our thoughts: So was the therapist just too lazy to come up with a formal diagnosis or was the therapist just crazy? Maybe the therapist was actually the one possessed with demons. Either way, this one had us shaking our heads in confusion and utter shock.
13. Tampering with mail is a federal offense
“Hide weed in envelopes because police aren’t allowed to search mail.” –pimpmaster_32
Our thoughts: I mean at first thought it’s not the worst idea out there but it’s definitely a half-baked (pun intended) plan at best. We want to know though if OP actually tried this and learned the hard way, or if it’s just bad advice a “friend” gave him or her.
Bonus advice: Patrick
Schomburg was quick to chime in on OP’s post:
“It’s possible to work this. Mail an empty box to yourself with no return address. Write in big letters ‘Refused’ on it. Put your stash inside and reseal it. While it will no doubt be searched, you can simply say you didn’t know what it was, never opened it because there was no sender info, and were planning on dropping it at the post.”
But seriously, please don’t try this.
14. Would you like fries with that?
“The month I was set to graduate w/ an English degree, I asked my college advisor for job tips. He said: study business. #littlelate” –amelianmd
Our thoughts: If we had a dollar for every time one our friends cracked a McDonald’s joke regarding our literature degree, we’d have a private island in the middle of the Caribbean by now. So chin up amelianmd, you’ll find a great job!
15. Thanks dad but I’ll pass
“When my marriage was on the rocks my dad said ‘Son, go out and find yourself an older woman that just wants to f**k and keep your marriage. She (wife) doesn’t have to know, you’ll be getting laid and the older woman will be happy without a commitment.’
Thankfully….I didn’t go that route, and my marriage is repaired and stronger than ever today.” –mikethejeepguy
Our thoughts: Wow, just wow. What is up with fathers and encouraging their sons to cheat on their significant others? Thankfully OP didn’t take his father’s advice and rather than looking at a divorce, he’s looking to many more happy years with his wife.
Not all advice is good advice, but bad advice can be hilarious
Now that you’ve gone through the list of some of the worst advice that people have ever received, you might be feeling better about the advice you’ve received/given that in hindsight wasn’t that great. We’re also very interested in hearing about the bad advice you’ve ever gotten as well as bad advice you’ve given. Did your dad convince you that blinker fluid was a real thing so you went into an auto store and asked for it? Or maybe you had an older brother you convinced you that if you ate a watermelon seed as a child that it would grow into a watermelon inside of your stomach. Let us know! We’d love to hear all about it!