Remember childhood? Remember how it was somehow simultaneously better and worse than adulthood? It’s a confusing and magical time. Part of that magic, though, comes from just misunderstanding things. When you haven’t done or seen much and your brain is still forming, you can project all kinds of fascinating and perplexing narratives onto elements of life that, on closer inspection, end up being pretty mundane. It can be fun to return to that earlier perspective, which is probably why user _definitelynotgod tipped off such a huge discussion when they posed this question to r/AskReddit:

What was the biggest misconception that you had as a child?
by inAskReddit

There were over 8,000 responses, including several iterations of the obligatory “I used to think adults knew what they were doing” joke. But aside from that, there were sweet, funny, and incredible childhood memories to scroll through for hours. Here are just a few of the best ones.

1. Carpet layers are heroes.

Underneath the floor of a building was just an endless void.

I thought people who replaced floors were incredibly brave so I always told my parents I wanted to replace floors.

– Yeet_machine27

2. Race relations are over-complicated.

That people of other races just had different levels of being tanned…. found out in the mall that I was wrong

– thenewfrontiersman88

3. If you’re from a rich enough family this one’s actually true.

I thought having a job was just you picking a company you like, waltz in, find an empty spot and start doing something.

I had no concept of interviews, tests, and all the paperwork involved.


4. I need to be ready for a new life.

My Mam always told me that if I got lost or separated from her while out in public and couldn’t find a police officer, I should seek out the nearest woman with children. Her reasoning was obviously that another mother would be a good kind of stranger to talk to, much more likely to help and less likely to harm a lost child.

My reasoning, however, was that if I somehow never found my own Mam again, I could and would just go home with the woman and have new siblings to play with so I wouldn’t get lonely.

– TheBlackWomb

5. Wait, is this not how it works?

All that you needed to do to get pregnant was get married.

– tengolacamisanegra

6. Potlucks are deceptively named.

I thought a potluck was where everyone brought food to a party and put it all in one giant pot.

Then you would scoop out a plateful and whatever you got was your luck.

– rogerriddle

7. Business is serious business.

I thought being fired from work meant that the fired person gets killed.

Every time my mom would tell me and my sisters not to bother her or she could get fired from work (she partially worked from home), I assumed that her boss would come into her office and literally shoot her.

I was so terrified that my mom would get in any trouble at work.

– beautyinburningstars

8. I was a photographic rebel.

I thought that if I tilted my head to one side for a picture, it made me look “sexy” (god knows what I thought sexy meant back then) but it was only something naughty girls did.

So I would wait until right before the pic was taken, and then quickly tilt my head right as the shutter went off.

– jennybelly

9. I had a foolproof retirement plan.

I would bury coins in my backyard so I could dig them up next year and be rich….because buried treasure.

– Shinespark7

10. When life gives you lemons, you also have limes.

For whatever reason I always thought limes were just unripe lemons.

When I was in my early twenties I went to buy a lemon tree and was so confused to see the had lime and lemon trees.

I feel like an idiot everytime I think of it.

– biqaza

11. I will never grow up.

That there was absolutely no way I’d ever get to be as old as the adults in my life.

For some reason it seemed more likely to me that I could become a dog than that I could age into even a fifteen-year-old.

– growol

12. We took the “Christ” out of “Christmas.”

My parents weren’t raised in the US, but they tried to make sure my siblings and i got the whole American experience so they tried introducing us to Christmas and even sent us to Christian summer camps.

For some reason, this caused a sort of confusion in my mind and I thought Santa was God and I was never corrected because my parents didn’t understand Christianity or Christmas.

– OhioOhO

13. Nuclear families or bust.

That not everyone has a sister.

I was certain that everyone had a sister like me and when I went to a friends house to sleep over I was dumbfounded that his sister wasn’t there??

His parents ended up showing me a picture of some random kid and told me that was my friends sister just to shut me up.

– 11001010jesuS

14. ATM stands for A Tiny Man.

I though people hid inside atms and gave people the money

– your8yearoldcumsock

15. That’s amore…


– Cookieman996

When I was a kid I knew that as I got older, I got taller. When my mom informed me that one day I’d probably be taller than my older sister, I took that to mean I would one day be older than her as well. We got into a pretty heated debate about it.

What’s something strange you thought as a kid?

Share the magic in the comments.