It seems everyone, regardless of how intelligent you are, spends at least some of their life on autopilot. Day after day, we brush our teeth, drive our vehicles, and even hang out with friends, all while barely even noticing what we're doing. So it's also natural that sometimes, we make hilarious, absent-minded mistakes while doing these rituals.
But just because it happens to all of us, that doesn't make it any less funny! These Redditors shared their most hilarious gaffes while on autopilot. Is it bad that I can relate to every one of these?
(Content has been edited for clarity)
Something’s Missing Here
“I once went to walk my dog, without the leash… and without the dog.”
He Had A Lot On His Mind
“My girlfriend called me to remind me to pick her up for dinner with her mom on her birthday. I was really excited to go, and happy I was with a girl that wanted me to meet her family. I felt really good about that and man did I need it on this day. I had two people quit coincidentally on the same day, both to start their own ventures. I was really happy for them, but at the same time really jealous. I had long thought about starting my own thing, having that freedom to do what I want. Thoughts were running through my head: Am I afraid because I’m too comfortable in this job? Do I even like this career? What would the business be in, and do I have the soft skills outside of just development to make a business work? I remembered someone I admired in the business was always really funny in conversation, and he referenced it as a way of keeping employees and getting clients.
I decided I definitely needed some comfort food to go along with my newfound self-reflection. As I got in the car, I fired up a new comedy podcast my friend was making and it really was hilarious. I was bummed I didn’t have his talent in timing and making these jokes happen, and kept thinking about how it was a bridge for a lot of social situations. Am I even funny? Are people laughing at me, or with me? When I got home, I decided making some pasta will be the comfort food I needed, and I was not going to be shy with the cheese. As I often do, I jumped right into pajamas, started cooking, and pondering my thoughts for the day on starting my own business and my lack of comedy.
That’s when my girlfriend called me on Facetime. I picked up, and she saw me cooking pasta, in pajamas, and not looking happy. Then I remembered this whole thing started because I was supposed to pick her up for dinner after work to meet her mom. She yelled at me, deservedly so, asking why the heck was I not there yet, and why I was in pajamas making pasta. All I could blurt out was, ‘I’m thinking about starting my own business, and I don’t think I’m very funny!’
We’re getting married in July.”
“This has happened too many times to count:
Made coffee – forgot to add coffee.
Made coffee – forgot to add water.
Made coffee – forgot I already made coffee.”
There Was A Bit Of A Mix up In The Bathroom
“I got out of the shower, dried off, and grabbed my comb. I then grabbed the toothpaste, applied toothpaste to the comb, and paused…
I only stopped because for a few seconds I legitimately did not know if I was supposed to brush my teeth or comb my hair. I knew I should do one or the other, but I also knew I couldn’t do both with what I had in my hand. So I just stood there looking at my comb with a glob of toothpaste spread across it. Then I looked in the mirror and wondered if I was still dreaming.
Then I snapped out of it, had a good chuckle, rinsed off my comb, and got on with my routine as normal.”
No Burger For You
“I ordered food, drove up to the window to pay for said food, and then drove home without getting the food. I realized once I was home that I was hungry, and I was like, ‘Good thing I just got some delicious Arby’s that I’ve been thinking about all day.’ That’s when it hit me that I never actually got my Beef ‘n’ Cheddar with curly fries.
I had to drive back to the store and shamefully ask them for my food. Thankfully, this seems to happen all the time so they remade it for me without making a big deal about it.”
Parking Lot Panic
“This happened just a few hours ago. I’ve had the flu for almost two weeks and it’s made me feel like I’m on pot, but not in a good way. Like, just the weird forgetfulness without the high.
My mom, who’s almost 70, is also down and out with the flu. I decided I needed to help her out, especially after a call where she told me she wanted to go to her doctor but didn’t think she could drive.
I brought her to the doctor in her car (she doesn’t like riding in my Jeep, says it’s like riding in a truck). After a successful doctor’s visit (she didn’t have pneumonia or anything), I dropped her off at her house and proceeded to Wal-Mart to pick up her prescriptions and groceries so she doesn’t need to leave home for awhile.
After getting the scripts and groceries, I got out to the parking lot and being in my own mental fog, I didn’t see my Jeep where I thought I parked. Crap.
I frantically push the cart full of groceries all over God’s creation trying to find my Jeep. I started thinking about calling the cops and telling them that my vehicle was stolen. Crap crap crap.
After about ten minutes, at which point thankfully I had not called the authorities, it hit me like a ton of bricks that I am a flu-woozy dummy and I am driving my Mom’s car. The most humorous part was that I carted right by it without it making the connection. Screw you, flu.”
Could Have Been A Lot Worse
“I once blew through a red light at about 50 MPH on a major road in Phoenix, Arizona, while thinking about work I had to do.
The people in the cross-traffic saw me coming and managed to stop before I T-Bone murdered someone, and I passed through an empty intersection.
Their horns blaring snapped me back to reality, and I pulled over immediately and spent the next 5-10 minutes shaking and hyperventilating on the sidewalk.”
Door In The Face
“I once worked at a site where all doors were accessed by tapping your badge on a pad, at which point they’d open automatically. I kept that badge in my wallet. Pulling out my wallet and tapping it against the pad became second nature. Given that there never seem to be enough hours in the day, I always found myself multi-tasking and doing this made life so much easier for me.
Until I moved to another site, that was all keypad access.
I don’t know how many times I tapped my wallet against those friggin keypads, only to walk straight into a closed door that I’d fully expected to be opened, before I finally adjusted to the new doors. This resulted in varying degrees of hilarity depending on what I was carrying. The worst one was probably the cup of coffee.”
He Was Caught In An Uncomfortable Situation That Was Purely His Own Making
“I was driving a rental car and noticed the gas was low. I was at a stoplight, so I rolled down the window and stuck my head out, trying to see whether the gas tank was on the driver’s side or not. While I was looking, I felt a raindrop land on my head. Without thinking, I reached down and hit the button to roll up the window. Suddenly I panicked as my head was getting slowly smashed by the rising window and I had no idea what was happening. I panicked and escaped and slowly figured out what I had just done.
I looked up to see a very confused girl, stopped in the car next to me, was looking at me. She had no context for why I had stuck my head out of the car and, for some reason, had decided to smash it with the power window.”
A Day In The Life Of A Scatterbrain
“A typical example: Driving in to work on a weekend. I got halfway there and started thinking about getting in and checking the mail. I suddenly wondered if I had brought my keys. I patted my pockets. Nope. I got off the freeway, started turning around. Then I realized I was using my keys to drive the car.
Sadly, a typical day for me.”
Fire And Body Spray Do Not Mix Well
“A friend came over to meet up at my house before we went out. Before we were about to leave, I guess he thought he smelled a bit, so he asked if I had any Axe body spray (this was back in high school, so reserve your judgment a little bit please).
While I was waiting for him to finish up, I was playing around with a lighter and walked into the bathroom to ask if he was done. He was engulfing himself in a cloud of Axe and I flicked the lighter on without thinking. His whole body went up in flames and he leaped into the bathtub screaming bloody murder. The flames were gone as quick as they had arrived and the only thing that remained was the smell of burnt hair. He still doesn’t grow armpit hair to this day.
Needless to say, I paid for our drinks that night.”
She Almost Flunked Out Of Her Contact Lens Safety Class
“I went to the optometrist for a contact lens consultation (these are compulsory ‘lessons’ in which they teach you basic contact lens care and safety; you need to attend these in order to be prescribed lenses, where I live at least).
I hadn’t slept well the night before (insomnia is the worst), and so I was feeling a little fuzzy and sleepy, but otherwise I was okay. Towards the end of the session, I was asking her a few questions about the lenses. She had told me that, for my specific type of lens, I wasn’t allowed to wear them to sleep, because the cornea is one of the only parts of our body that receives oxygen from the outside of our body (fun fact, there!). So, I have to make sure they’re out before sleeping? Ok, got it!
Then, without thinking, in my sleep-deprived state, I asked, ‘Ok, so, how do I know if they’re out?’
She stared at me for a few seconds, and then responded with, ‘Well, can you still see?’
I’m surprised she didn’t take them back then and there, but hey, at least I’ve never forgotten to take them out before bed, thanks to that awkward moment that is now burned in my brain!”
Congratulations, You Pranked Yourself
“I use Crest 3D White. I was a tired guy (raising twin girls by myself from when they were 4 days old). My mom had come over to help out and put the diaper rash cream on the bathroom counter, which was purple with a white stripe (Desatin). It was almost identical to my toothpaste.
I was ready to pass out and go to bed. I washed my face and began brushing my teeth. So, I was brushing, and it doesn’t foam up. It just spreads and sticks. I started licking my teeth and lips and when I looked in the mirror, my lips and tongue were white. It just coats your mouth in the worst way possible. I don’t know how to explain it. I looked down and my toothbrush was white. I saw that I had put baby butt rash cream on my toothbrush.
It took me about 30 minutes to get that out of my mouth.”
Mix Up On Aisle 3
“Just earlier today, I was at Wal-Mart with a couple friends. We were getting a couple groceries and just messing around, hanging out, and killing time. At one point we stopped to look at some toys for a few minutes, before continuing onwards while laughing and joking as usual.
About five minutes after leaving the toys, we go around a sharp turn, which is when I notice my buggy was handling weird. I look down, and see nothing in my cart but a big bag of fertilizer right at the front.
I did not see our groceries and cat toys.
I’d just absent-mindedly stolen someone else’s cart, and none of us even noticed for several minutes.”
It’s Way Too Easy To Lock Your Keys In Your Car
“I somehow locked my keys in my car when I was sleep deprived. My cool neighbor got my car unlocked with a wire hanger.
I got in my car, clutched my keys in gratitude, and called my friend to let her know I got my keys out. I got sleepily engrossed in this conversation, and while still on the phone, I locked the car, headed back to my house, and then looked down at my empty hand. I had promptly locked my keys in my car again.”
Doug Set Him Up To Fail With That Call
“I was working the night shift at a military police headquarters. I was in the office and it was another quiet night. The radio piped up with my buddy Doug’s voice, ‘Police 5, dispatch, are you at your desk?’
‘Stand by for a phone call.’
Sometimes we would call when we didn’t want a situation over the radio, or just to joke around about stuff.
The phone on my desk rang and I yanked it up and yelled, ‘Whatddya want Doug!?’ And the voice of not-Doug on the other end went, ‘This is the Command Duty Officer (officer in charge in the Commanding Officer’s absence), who is this?’
And after he said that my radio piped up again, ‘Police 5, standby for a call from the CDO.’
‘…Yeah, thanks Doug.’
I told the CDO what happened and he just laughed it off, as thankfully I’d worked with him in the past on some other incidents. I never made the mistake of answering a phone like that again, though.”
That Wasn’t Too Bright Of Her
“I tried to turn down the brightness of the sun from my car. I wasn’t even hungover or anything, and I was wearing sunglasses, but for whatever reason, while driving to work my brain was like ‘no this is too much.’ I reached towards under the dashboard and tried to turn down the brightness of the outdoors. Needless to say, it didn’t work and I seriously questioned my sanity for a few minutes.”
Look Before You Reach
“I put my hand in a deep fryer.
I was working the opening shift at a McDonalds at the time. The pie-warmer was set up above the deep fryers, for reasons that are unknown to me. For the first round of the day, I start tossing them up there (because I’m breaking 6 feet and the manager is not able to reach easily). One falls and drops into the vat of oil. I immediately reach in and grab it and throw it back up there.
Then it starts to BURN like nothing I’ve felt before.
I still did my next seven hours, with my hand in a glove, slathered in mustard.”
Would You Like To Pet My Toaster?
“I was making toast one day, and just stood there absent-mindedly staring at the toaster, when I saw the UPS man pass my kitchen window.
I unplugged the toaster and took it to the door with me under my arm. He stared at it for a second, then it burnt me and I dropped it.
I’ve never been more embarrassed and bewildered.”
Hop On, Everyone!
“I used to drive a transit bus. And I rode a motorcycle to work. More than once, on the way home from work, I’d stop at a bus stop with people waiting and sit there getting angry because none of these jokers were getting on.
I’d even stare them down to see if they’d get their crap together.
Then I’d realize that I’m on a motorcycle.”
Auto Transmission, On Autopilot
“I’ve been driving a stick shift for about three years now, and it feels so natural for my left foot to press on the clutch when I’m downshifting to slow down. When I was driving an auto, I put my foot on the farthest pedal to the left, pressed down, and came to a screeching halt. I had pressed on the brake.
Thousands of dollars of damage, all because there is no friggin clutch in an automatic car.”
Just Push Harder
“I went to go fill my car up with gas, and I had some friends with me (the friends will have some relevance). I was following the instructions on the little screen, when it said, ‘insert your card’ or something pretty similar.
Autopilot me thought that the slot that spits out the receipt was the correct slot. It didn’t go in, but because I was not paying attention. My brain decided that I just needed to push my card in harder, so I ido.
My card was stuck in the receipt printer slot for a good 4 or 5 minutes while I panicked. As I was standing there freaking out, my friends noticed that it was taking a while. I told them what happened and they all explode with laughter. Oh autopilot me, why do you have to be a dummy sometimes?!”
Even Doctors Make Dumb Mistakes
“In preparing for surgery, we have to do a complete sterile scrub down, followed by donning a set of sterile gowns and sterile gloves. We don’t usually have to use sterile face masks or eyewear, so we can put those on prior to scrubbing our hands clean. We’ve done it so many times, to the point that it became an autopilot thing.
As you can imagine, I spent a good five minutes scrubbing my hands clean and carefully putting on my gown/gloves, only for my scrub nurse to look up and ask me ‘Umm, where’s your face mask?’ With much embarrassment, on goes the mask, and because my hands were no longer sterile from touching the mask, I had to scrub them all over again.
I’ve also pulled a variation where I did everything including my face mask, only to realize that my vision was a little blurry. I had left my prescription glasses at the sink. That one is an easy fix though, as I just had to get someone else to put the glasses on me.”