Communication is one of hardest parts of being a human, whether you’re attempting to build relationship with friends, family, or strangers. Our brains work differently, we come from different backgrounds, we have different comfort levels with social interaction, and all of that can combine to make misunderstandings fairly common.

And that awkward moment when you laugh at something someone said, only to realize a moment too late they were completely serious? Terrible.

It happens to the best of us, though, so you’ll definitely be able to relate!

16. What on earth is wrong with people?!

When I was in college, two friends and I went out to a cheap Chinese buffet for a weekday lunch. We were probably not particularly well groomed or dressed at the time.

So at a nearby table there’s a woman and a man having lunch, both dressed in business attire. After they finish, the woman (probably in her 20’s) comes over to our table out of nowhere and starts chatting with us, making normal chit chat. Kind of odd but maybe she’s just friendly. All of a sudden she asks, “Do you guys like to f*ck?” We just looked at each other and laughed nervously because how do you respond to that in this situation? She just stood there, completely serious.

I don’t even remember what we said to her after that (this was 20+ years ago), but despite sounding like the beginning of a porno, it was only followed by another round at the buffet, not a gangbang.

15. It’s more awesome than funny.

When my 60 year old father told me he broke his hip paragliding into the roof of his hotel.

14. How do you even respond to that?

Someone once said to my friend ” Wait you’re Chinese? I always thought you were Asian.”

13. He let you blunder right into that one.

New friend: I really shouldn’t be doing so many extreme sports, but you gotta live your life, right? I’m gonna end up in a wheelchair by the time I’m thirty!

Me: Hah! I know, right?

New friend: No I mean really; I have a degenerative disease that’s going to ruin my body by my thirties so I’m trying to live my life now…

12. That’s still kind of the appropriate reaction.

I asked a coworker with what his son’s name was, and he answered Legolas.

After two seconds of laughing I realised he wasn’t laughing.

His son is actually named Legolas.

11. Let him have his small pleasures, I guess.

Started a new job in a company where my boss worked in two different offices. He wrote himself a note on legal paper. He handed it to me and told me to fax it to the other office.

Then he told me to call them and tell them to put it on his desk there so he could have it tomorrow when he arrived.

I smiled because I thought he was playing a joke on the new guy. He was not. He loves faxing.

10. This reaction can’t have been unique.

I’m in Australia, and first heard the news of 9/11 on my morning radio (USA evening).

I was stuck in traffic near the army base, and they announced it with sirens.

To start off with I thought it was a comedy sketch that I didn’t think was particularly funny. I had a pretty dark sense of humour, too.

Then I realised it was news. Holy sh^t.

9. Man that just kind of makes you sad, doesn’t it?

I listed my Ford Explorer for sale.

A guy emailed me to trade his 2018 Kia Forte or something. I didn’t really need one since my fleet already had a 2013 Kia Forte but he emailed me a few times saying he wants my explorer but owes money on his Kia. I said how much.

He said it’s an 8 year finance deal so need to pay in total $45k. And he wanted my car.

I could buy that car right now for $25-30k at the dealership brand new… he was dead serious.

8. What in god’s name did I just read?

Someone wanted to euthanize their dog because when she was put outside alone in heat, she found a chihuahua and had “ugly puppies that cost a breeding session” when we asked what that had to do with anything. he said ‘the chihuahuas sperm is forever inside of her and can make those ugly puppies instead of the pure bred’ (this dog was definitely not a pure bred) when we said that things don’t work that way he said

“I know for a fact they do. That’s why my daughter is half (n word). A (n word) raped my wife back when she was in her 20s and his sperm stayed inside her until mine activated it. And we all know (n) sperm is more violent so it won.”

He was serious.

7. This is terrifying. Also I don’t think nurses joke about that?

Waking up from general anaethesia. One of the nurses by my hospital bed gently informs me that my heart had stopped while I was under.

I thought I was dreaming for a while, and didn’t take it seriously. Then my dad showed up, and I saw the panic on his face. Then I phoned my mum, and she had obviously been crying her eyes out.

Then I took it seriously.

6. All I can think about is Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker.

I once worked with a 50 some year old guy at my first job, who also happened to be a former crackhead. I added in that detail because his mannerisms and communication were clearly affected by his prior drug use, and he would sometimes laugh when he was telling serious stories.

One day he was telling me a story about him accidentally setting fire to the woods when he was trying to cremate his dead pet frog when he was a little boy. I was laughing my ass off, strangely so was he, until he looked me dead in the eye, with a face that’s as serious as they get, and says “I’m still not over it.”

I knew that look and knew he was actually being serious despite being in absolute hysterics with me while telling his story. I immediately felt like an as$hole. He was cool about it though thankfully lol

5. This is definitely not a drill.

Breaking news: “People panic buying toilet paper”

Me at home: “Hahaha”

Me at grocery store: “Oh wait you’re serious”

4. This is so not right.

An intern at the vet I work at was a very very very sheltered Mormon.

He came to work one day panicked. He had his first kiss the night before, asked the girl to marry him, and was concerned about his wedding date.

He was absolutely convinced that he got her pregnant by kissing her. ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED.

It took me a long time to register what he was panicked about because it sounded so absurd. He’d delivered hundreds of kittens and puppies by then, I just… thought he had also learned about human reproductive anatomy as well as animals by then.

3. Bless her heart.

This was a few years ago. I forgot how the topic was brought up, but I clearly remember my older sister saying, “There aren’t any modern buildings in Egypt, just pyramids”

2. Best possible response, really.

Colleague’s wife confronting me on speaker phone: “Are you having an affair with my husband?”

My exact response was to roar laughing, managing to offend them both simultaneously.

Good job, geekpeeps

1. I mean, you’d think they’d call with that kind of news?

When I was in high school I received a message over msn from a buddy saying, “Mitch is dead.”

Thinking he got into trouble, I responded with, ” Ahaha What’d he do?”

It turns out, he had a brain aneurysm while driving home from school.

I have secondhand embarrassment for these people and the awkward is real!

What’s the most memorable time this has happened to you?

Share in the comments if you want to!