We’ve all been caught in an uncomfortable situation that looked weird on the outside but actually had a pretty reasonable explanation. Too bad, that often these experiences are so awkward for all the people involved that you don’t even have an opportunity to explain yourself. A Reddit user asked people to share their ‘biggest this isn’t what it looks like moments’ and the thread was flooded with the most embarrassing stories. Scroll below to read some and share your own in the comments! (Facebook cover image: iStock)


More of a “this isnt what it sounds like”…

A family we were close to had just moved to the US from India. They had a young daughter, like 5 years old, who was still learning English. One day she fell down the stairs while playing outside. She ran in crying and saying “The stairs hit me!”… once she calmed down her dad corrected her and said “No no. You mean to say ‘I fell down the stairs’.”

A few days later my dad was showing them the grocery store. In the checkout line the cashier saw the girl’s bruised up legs and asked what happened. The daughter responded with “What did you tell me to say, dad? Oh right! I fell down the stairs.”

He had a fun time explaining that to the police.


It was my third day at my new office job. When I washed my hands my pants touched the counter top which was covered with water. Naturally I now look like I pissed myself and had a giant 6 by 6 soaked area around my crotch. I couldnt walk around with that so I thought to use the hand dryer. However, the hand dryer was the type that you stick your hands in rather under. So I line up and basically mount this hand dryer like I am looking for a good time. I look at myself in the mirror and as I start thinking “this wont look good if…” and of course the CIO walks in before I could finish the thought and react. He looks at me and in deadpan voice says “Do I need to call HR?” to which I responded “No, its consensual.” We had a good laugh about it and he never let me forget that moment!


This is one of my moms absolute favorite stories to tell:

My partner and I were in a kind of long distance relationship at this point (high schoolers living 40mins apart) and they would occasionally drive up after school to come see me

On this particular day my mom came home from work and was concerned with the lack of sound.

I hear her calling my name as she comes closer, she eventually gets to my closed bedroom door not wanting to see what I’m sure every parent would expect by this point

She swings it open and finds my partner and I

…..putting together our brand new Millennium Falcon (full size for action figures) that we had just purchased from Toys R us

My dog kept stepping on the pieces and messing things up in his dopiness so we closed the door

After that she never worried about us being alone.

Honestly think this might be the moment where my mom decided she wanted to adopt my partner.

Sometimes, I’m not sure who she loves more……. s/

Btw – My partner and I got married this year and we still have that Millennium Falcon


I used to take my kids to different playgrounds as they were growing up. Often times I’d be out there with them, chasing them, being the random monster/dragon/antagonist while they run away and then eventually turn around and chase me back. Inevitably since the rest of the parents were on their iPhones or doing anything but interacting with their kids, I’d end up with a collection who wanted to join in the fun.

It was all going well until they said they wanted to play “Minecraft”

So as a group of kids suddenly scatter from where I am standing yelling “Ah! Run away from the Creeper! Ahhh!” I look up to see a line of parents suddenly jostled back into consciousness with absolutely no friggin context whatsoever.


My dad not me. Working construction in the dead of winter he gets back to the motel after pulling the night shift, he sits down on the bed and he is so frozen can’t bend down to take off his boots so his coworker who is a gigantic man gets down on his knees to undo my dad’s boots. The cleaning lady barges in to see a massive man on his knees and head down in front of another man who’s sitting on the edge of a bed. Now my father did what anyone would do threw his hands behind his head and moaned real loud.


Anytime I open a can that isn’t cat food I have to explain to my cat that “this isn’t what it looks like.”


I work as a manager at a grocery store. Some cashiers aren’t old enough to scan alcohol so I have to do it for them. I made a comment to a female cashier after the 4th time she called me over. “I can’t wait until you’re 19.” Took me a few seconds to realize what I said, in front of customers.


I used to work security/reception at my company, so I greeted everyone when they came in the door and made sure they were wearing their security badge. You could either wear your badge on a lanyard around your neck or on a retractable belt clip.

So I’ve been doing this job for like 2 years when I’m outside talking to some of the girls that work on the 2nd floor. One of them just flat out asks why I always check out women when they come in to visit.

Excuse me?

Turns out, there was a lot of talk about how I was “looking women up and down” when they came through the door. Well, I was looking everyone up and down. I would look at their chest first and if there was no badge there, my eyes would move to their belt. It was kind of my job and stuff.


I will preface this by saying a couple of weeks prior to this, my wife had bought some frilly underwear on clearance sale, and a couple of bananas to eat on the way to work. I was chilling in the car at the store while she went in when I smelled nasty over-ripe bananas. I reached into the backseat and pulled out the bag that had been forgotten back there. I take the underwear out of the bag and tie the old banana up dog poo style. No big deal, right?

For whatever reason, my brain goes I wonder if these brand new underwear now reek of old squishy banana? and I put them to my nose and take a big whiff- right as a sweet old lady pulls into the parking spot in front of our car. She looks at me, panties pressed into my nose inhaling deeply, her eyes go wide with shock, and visibly shaking, she pulls back out of the spot and drives away. Literally leaves. Shopping trip cancelled. I know I had to look like some kind of degenerate pervert on a public minge-binge, but it wasn’t what it looked like.

TLDR: Looked like a dirty panty sniffing weirdo in the grocery store parking lot, nearly make old lady stroke out in horror

I went to my friend’s house last night (edit: not actually last night. I told this story before on Reddit and copy-pasted it without changing the time frame) and came back around 12:30am. To set some context, my friend lives about an hour away from me on the opposite side of the city. When I was driving back home afterwards, this car cut me off on the on ramp, and I honked at them. I then turned back up the music, and pretty much drove home on autopilot, but when I got off the freeway at my exit, I realized that the same car that cut me off was in front of me. After that, I got kind of curious, because it had been about 30 minutes since the incident, and we’d changed freeways twice already. I then got a little bit worried that they’d think I was following them home, but I didn’t think too much of it–until the car started going up the same side streets I did.

Eventually, I realized that my 16-year old neighbor who just learned how to drive cut me off, and she and her friends were probably now petrified that some lunatic was following them home. I guess she’d called her parents in the meantime because she pulled into her driveway and the house lights were all lit up, and her dad (a huge guy) was standing outside with a baseball bat. I then pulled into my own garage and apologized for scaring them and it was all chill after that.


When I was little, my mom would sometimes take me to work with her at a little shop she ran. I would often pass the time (and stay out of mom’s hair) by drawing and handing out my “works of art†to customers. One day, when I was 3 or 4, I learned about dialing 911. I apparently thought the concept was so important, I wrote “call 911†on all the doodles I handed out to the customers at mom’s shop that evening. Obviously people starting thinking I had been kidnapped or something, and freaked out. My mom had fun explaining that one to the police!


My boyfriend and I had a fight and both went to bed grumpily (we were housemates and had separate bedrooms). In the middle of the night I heard a LOUD thump in the living room area of the house. I grabbed my baseball bat and went through the whole house with the bat (and the lights on). Every closet, every cupboard, etc. Nothing was out of order and the doors were locked. I was still spooked and running high on adrenaline.

It was about 4:30 in the morning and I had to get up at 6 so I just gave up on going back to sleep before that. I debated what to do for the hour and a half and decided to go to IHOP (open 24h where I live). As I was about to leave I realized that if I left my sleeping boyfriend in the house and the murderer WAS actually still there and killed him I would feel extremely guilty. So I went to wake him up just enough to warn him before I left for IHOP.

He woke up to me leaning over his bed, holding a bat, and whispering about murder. He almost cried.


I was 16 and my parents just left the house for a dinner out. I had to do laundry so I start right after they left the door to get it done as early as possible.

As I’m filling the machine I notice a stain on my shirt and so I put it with the rest of the clothes. I also look at my pants and decide to add them as well along with my socks and…f**k it my underwear as well.

So I’m butt naked and I start the machine. I rush to the stairs to get to my room and dress up and that’s when the front door (which is right where the stairs are) opens and I freeze.

My dad comes in and sees me naked. We both aren’t moving a few seconds and then he laughs, grabs his wallet on the table and says: “So THAT’S what you are doing while we aren’t here?”. He then closes the door while giggling.

I’m there still in shock and red as a beet. I rush to dress and call my parents on my mother’s cell phone to tell them it’s not what they think as they are just laughing their asses off.


My best friend of 15 years, J, is a guy and with me being a girl we have always endured people assuming we HAVE to have sex. Spoiler: we don’t.

Anyways, we are camping with a few friends and got supremely drunk. One of my girlfriends, M, has taken off into the woods after a fight with her boyfriend and the 4 of us are trying to find her. At this point, I’m so full of tequila I know I’m about to puke so I ask my best friend to hold my hair back.

We are in complete darkness, I’m on all fours puking, he’s awkwardly standing in front of me kinda crouched down because he’s a foot taller than me and holding all my hair up while I heave. It looked… I know HOW it looked but on my life I was getting sick. At this exact moment, M runs out of the woods, flashlight directly on us and screams “HOLY S**T SHES BLOWING HIM!â€

I’m legit puking so hard I don’t even hear her. By the time we got back to the campfire M had told everyone else what she saw. She’s still adamant to this day that she knows what she saw.

Edit: wow everyone got the wrong idea of M completely! She’s really not a b**ch, dramatic OH GOD yes but a b**ch no. We had a metric f**k ton of tequila that night no one was thinking rationally😂

As for J, he’s not in the ‘friend zone’ ya f**kin’ sad dads. It’s possible to love someone, enjoy their company and emotional support, without wanting or needing to put your genitalia into their assorted body cavities.


Back when the Netflix app on Xbox had the theatre setting where you could invite friends and watch movies. My friends and I were watching the history of sex documentary (being horny 12 year olds and thinking sex was funny) they paused the video on the statue of two guys f**king, then my dad walked in. I looked at him embarrassed saying, “this isnt what it looks like” my dad said, “it’s okay mike I’d love you anyways” and walked out.


Alright, as a student, when I visited my hometown I got to visit my grandma before leaving back to university and grandma always had small chocolates for people visiting her. Her grandchildren would get more than one usually. As I was leaving the house she gave me one more to have it during the travel back home.

I ate a piece of chocolate while loading my stuff in the car and I put the small chocolate in my back pocket, right before I say goodbye to my parents. It was a hot day at the end of summer.

A bit before the exit to the highway I was taking, I stopped at a traffic light and realized that the chocolate between my butt and my car seat was not a good idea, so I’m reaching for it. Chocolate already melted and package already open made my left hand full of melted chocolate.

Following the loud “well, s**t”, I realize that the girl in the car next to me just saw a guy reaching his butt and bringing his hand up again full of a brown unknown sticky thing.

The look on her face was totally worth it. Only bad thing is that melted chocolate won’t go away only with tissues.


My friend and I were sitting at lunch bitching about this Chris guy who was in our class and who was an absolute twat. Really not a nice human being. At one point I turned around and saw another Chris, an absolute sweetheart, sitting nearby looking absolutely crushed. Took 5 minutes to convince him that we were not talking about him. I felt so bad though.


Not me but a kid I worked with. He comes in to the break room holding some sandwiches and a Dr Pepper, sits down and starts eating and then tries to have a drink but he can’t open it. I offer to twist the lid off but no, he can do it he says.

So he puts this Dr Pepper in between his legs, grabs the lid with both hands and twists. This, obviously, wasn’t a bright idea. It explodes over his lap making him look like he’s pissed himself.

So he goes to the bathroom to clean up, gets some loo roll and starts mopping up but it still looks really bad.

Over by the radiator is a hand dryer, so in his infinite wisdom he puts one foot on top of the radiator and the angles his crotch to the hand dryer and starts rubbing furiously as the hand drier’s going.

Unluckily for him, he’s facing away from the door so when the next guy walks in all he can see is this skinny dude rubbing his crotch like no tomorrow while waving it under the hand drier.

Apparently the guy just walked right on back out after muttering a “sorry”.

He didn’t find it funny when I pointed out the Dr Pepper motto was “What’s the worst that can happen?”


One time during my teens, I was using my grandparents’ computer to look up video game cheat codes. I was worried they might disapprove that I was using cheats, so when my grandfather walked into the room, I quickly minimized the window and turned around to say hello and ask what he needed.

His response: “Oh nothing important, I’ll just come back later.” He almost seemed to be rushing out.

I turned back to the computer screen in confusion, to see that minimizing the window had revealed a pornographic pop-up ad hiding in the background. I was super embarrassed. He never mentioned it though.

I put my dad in this situation when I was a kid. Probably around 10 years old or so.

For context, my dad rarely drank in front of us growing up but would occasionally have a beer. As parents often do, he would have me go get it for him if we were in the same room. I was a lazy kid and didn’t want to miss whatever we were watching on TV so I often found this to be an annoyance but pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.

So one day he’s chatting with a couple coworkers and I’m there. They were joking around about something and he turns to me and asks “You like me, right?” I answer back “Yeah except for when you drink beer”.

Adult me face palms every time I think about that. My dad is awesome.


My boyfriend and I were jumping on the trampoline together years ago, just bouncing around like a couple of kids, laughing our butts off. It was fun! He accidentally butt dialed his parents, who speakerphoned our laughing, creaking springs, and gasping to a car load of people. They were all mortified. We were able to set it straight later, but OOF. Sorry mom and dad.


The girl I was dating during sophomore year of college and I were both organ majors, preparing for an upcoming duet.

During the summer, it was so warm in the church where we practiced (no air conditioning, and the organ installed up high in the rear where it was extra hot) that she and I played in our underwear, with just a small fan to move the air.

We were shocked when we heard the locked door open, and saw the pastor enter the church. He glanced at us, playing the organ in next-to-nothing, but quickly left and locked the door behind him.

Later he told me at first he did a double-take, but then realized we were doing the smart thing – and that in his seminary days, he would’ve done likewise.


I worked at a care home for the elderly. We had one patient who had Alzheimer’s and one of the few ways we had to calm her when upset was to have her fold the napkins. I guess it made her calm to know she was being helpful, or maybe it reminded her of her past as a wife/mother.

So she was doing her folding one afternoon and a potential new resident comes in with her family. My resident with Alzheimer’s wants a change of pace, but words it like “I’m really getting tired…”

It looked for sure like were forcing elderly people with dementia to do all our work… until they were exhausted.


Technically my mom’s.

My eldest cousin was a little shit. She was with my mom (her aunt) at the grocery store. She was around 5. My mom told her she could pick a treat, she said she wanted a candy and an ice cream. Mom said no, she had to pick 1.

So my cousin says to the cashier ‘shes not my mother!’ and the cashier freaks out thinking cousins been kidnapped or something. Mom had to explain that she’s her aunt. I think they ended up having to call my aunt, cousins mom, to explain the situation. This was back in like ’85. My mom’s still annoyed.


Oh man. Sitting at a traffic light when I was eighteen. Wanted to get something out of my pocket (chapstick I think). I was wearing jeans that, when sitting, might as well have locked pockets. I keep my eyes forward so I can see if the light turns green, while I dig into my pocket. Have to kind of thrust my hips upwards and move a bit to reach my hand fully into my jeans. During my gyrating pocket quest I make eye contact with a girl crossing the crosswalk (I’m a guy). A look of horror crosses her face and she says something to her friend. The other girl gives me a disgusted look as well and they hurry across the crosswalk. I’m sure it looked bad from their perspective.


I was getting ready to take a shower (my bedroom has its own bathroom/shower) and I was already naked in my bedroom simply waiting for the water to get hot. Well, my dog was also in my bedroom because he always hangs out there. I was eating M&Ms just lying on my bed naked during this time and dropped an M&M onto the ground and it rolled under my bed. Being very anxious about what my dog eats (especially chocolate), I quickly got onto my knees on the ground and went to reach under the bed for the M&M. It rolled kinda far, so I was doing that thing where you are stretching your arm out as much as you can under the bed and just barely touching whatever it is you’re trying to get, without knocking it farther away. Well, my golden retriever saw the position I was in and walked over and mounted me. Literally at that moment, my mom opens the door to my bedroom and sees me butt naked, bent on my knees, with my dog mounted behind me. I mean, talk about the doggy style position……. I had a lot of explaining to do. It felt like an American Pie situation.


When I was in middle school we were roller skating and I couldn’t stop so I lifted my hands to not hit this girl in front of me. Of course I’m like “ahhhhhhhh” as I’m about to run into her and because of this she turns around right as I’m about to hit her and both my hands cup her boobs.

The teacher was like “Ron what the hell are you doing?!”


Not mine but just heard this story last week from a buddy. At a ball game with his sister/brother in law and 4-5yo nephew. Brother in line for concessions, sister back at seats or whatever, little one needs to use restroom, they tell my buddy no problem just head in with the kid he knows the drill. The kid, like many do, starts to kind of strip down before going to the bathroom starts asking inquisitive questions about why there are so many people in bathroom, why are things the way they are in that restroom, but finally culminating with the now practically naked little kid asking him in a crowded public restroom, “but where is my family?”


Friend was growing weed in his closet, we were checking it out and his mom comes calling and then just walks right upstairs into his apartment. He runs out to intercept her, I run out 2 mins later after closing up the rig, and she thinks to this day we were having sex. Even told his then-fiance that she understands if we have a “group arrangement”…

Went to a friend’s house and since it was an after party for a play, in high school, on a Friday, of course there was beer and we were all underage. I wasn’t drinking but a buddy of mine needed to go home so I dropped him off and headed back. As I got out of the car when I got back I noticed it was quiet but it’s a huuuge house (like 4-5k square feet) and I figured they were in the basement doing something quieter and I couldn’t hear them. Front door locked… OK I was just here 15 minutes ago, head to back door, unlocked. Awesome. Now the entire house was beeping as if someone was breaking in. Holy fuck that’s this house right here. OH F**K THAT’S ME.

Run into basement, nobody there. Upstairs, nobody there. Kitchen, lights off. Start to hear the house phone ring but I don’t answer and I know it’s too late. Call friend, no answer. Call another friend, no answer. See beer cans everywhere so I clean them up and hide them, hid the brownies they had, checked around the house one more time for stuff and waited for my inevitable demise. Friends call me back as I’m outside freaking the hell out and they start to rush home.

Long story short the cops showed up with two dogs and guns pointed at me and I get slammed to the ground and handcuffed, friends arrived at home and explained situation just in time before I’m hauled off, they decided to run out to eat at the exact convenient time I left, never told me, and left the bank door unlocked with the house alarm armed. That was a hell of a night…


Was sitting and watching TV, neighbors came over to visit with their kids. Their daughter runs over, inexplicably sits in my lap and bounces up and down several times before I can stand up.

The remote was in my lap. Kid says “What’s that hard thing?” and stands up quickly. A little shaken, I also stand up, the remote falls off my lap and lands on the floor, and as I lean down to pick it up, I take a step forward and I kick it under the coffee table. Turn to explain myself, notice I’m wearing pants that bunch up in the crotch Larry David style.



I pulled an all-nighter once, came home after work, and sat down at the computer to check some emails. I was barely able to comprehend the words on the screen I was so tired. I reached into my gym shorts to scratch my balls, and I guess i just passed out within the next few seconds. I was discovered passed out in the computer chair with my hand down the front of my shorts.


My brother and I got into a fist fight(he was right, I was wrong) and he punched me in the mouth. I was bleeding pretty good and kept spitting blood on him for some reason. He went into the condo(vacation) and my mom freaked out because he had blood all over him. It went a little like this Mom – OMG YOU’RE COVERED IN BLOOD Brother – calm down it isn’t my blood Mom – OMFG WHOSE BLOOD IS IT WHAT DID YOU DO?!?! Brother – Mom It’s fine it’s just Tyler’s(me) blood Mom – OMFG DID YOU F**KING KILL HIM?!?! WHERE IS TYLER?!?!? I walked in shortly after alive and well. The dispute between my brother and I was settled btw.


This is light-hearted.

I was like 13 channel surfing. I’m flowing through the crap channels. Exaclty as my dad walks in the back door with my little brother, I flip past a shopping network that is showing bras on live models. I must have been on that channel for .8 seconds. It was so ridiculously timed, that it looked like I had the show on and changed it right after he came in. He gave me s**t for it and wouldn’t believe me.


When my brother was young he was playing with the vacuum and covered himself with those suction circles. He had a physical later that day and looked like he was covered in hickeys


Also more of a “this isn’t what it sounds like”…

I was a weird person in high school, and my friends were equally weird. We had no boundaries.

My friend and I were walking to class, and were discussing the Jackass clip where they had a gas mask and tube assembly where one person wore the mask and the other farted into the tube. We thought this sounded like a pretty cool idea and were considering trying this out..

As we walked around the corner, I said to him, “I’ll suck yours if you’d suck mine”. Que the hot girl conveniently rounding the corner at that precise moment…


My wife and I used to hide money in her underwear drawer so our kids won’t be digging through it because they think it’s gross. One morning, I was getting dressed and wanted to get some money before I forget, so I was digging through her underwear when my 5-year old son saw me. He asked what I was doing and naturally, I can’t tell him that I needed money so I had to say something like that I was cleaning things up. Pretty sure he didn’t believe me and thought I was looking for a pair to wear.

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/this-isnt-what-it-looks-like-moment-ask-reddit/


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