People on Reddit were asked: “What is the weirdest instance of ‘It’s a small world’ you’ve ever came across?” These are some of the best answers.
1. Two years post graduation, I ran to a high school friend In Rome, on a tiny back street. We are from Philadelphia.
2. I like to talk to people on the internet. I meet people from all over the globe.
A couple years ago I started talking to this guy from France. We shared some “unconventional” interests (we met on a bdsm forum). We get to talking for a while and at one point I mentioned where I live. Now I live in a small town. Like small enough that it doesn’t even have a Starbucks. Because of this, whenever I talk to strangers on the internet about where I live, I instead say that I live in the nearest big city. So I tell him that I live in this city, and he replies “Oh, that’s cool, my fianc lives near there. He lives in [my small town].”
So that was pretty [wild]. This guy I met on a bdsm forum who lives in France just happens to be in a long-distance relationship with somebody in my town. It doesn’t stop there though.
So about a month later the guy from France was coming to my town to see his fianc. And given the context of how I met this person, he invited me to come hang out and have some “fun” with the two of them. So dumb 18-year-old me went to the address of somebody I’ve never met before, alone, without telling anybody where I was going. Fortunately nothing bad happened, but looking back it’s still probably one of the stupidest things I’ve done.
So I get there, ring the doorbell, and the door was answered by the French guy… And one of my brother’s old friends from high school.
So of the thousands of people I could have met on that forum, from anywhere in the world, I met a guy from France who was in a long-distance relationship with, out of anybody else in the world, a friend of my brother’s from high school in my tiny town.
3. I worked at Disney World for the college program a couple of years ago. An older couple came in line at my ride and began speaking about how they come multiple times a year because they are members of the Disney Vacation Program. They told me how friendly they thought I was and how I looked exactly like a younger version of their old boss’s husband.
We kept talking for a few minutes and the wife mentioned how happy she was to be out of the cold NY weather and in Florida. I mentioned I too am from NY and we realized she is a retired nurse from the town in which I was born. By the time we finished speaking we realized she had worked as a nurse for my Grandma almost 40 years before and the man she thought I looked like 100% was in fact my grandfather. It was unreal and freaky. I called my grandma to tell her what had happened when my shift ended and she went on to tell me how she remembers the lady all the way back to her first day of work, almost 40 years before. It was weird.
4. I was living in an apartment building in NYC for a few years and had a really cool neighbor. I moved and then I saw her on the street one time and asked her what she was doing here, she said she moved to the building right next to mine. I had the same neighbor twice.
5. I was on a plane with a connecting flight in Chicago. When I landed, I turned my phone back on while we were taxiing and checked Facebook. My friend posted a status saying his flight was rerouted and he had to connect in Chicago. I commented something like “Hey! I’m in Chicago! When will you be at the airport?” And he was like “I’m there now! Plane just landed!” Then I asked where he was flying from and after he responded, I looked back.
He was two rows behind me the whole flight.
6. When my lecturer was an archaeology student he worked on conserving the artefacts brought up from the wreck of the Tudor warship the Mary Rose. He became great friends with a young officer from the Royal Engineers, who was one of the divers helping to recover the shipwreck. That was my dad. The link was discovered when I ended up mentioning my dad’s involvement in the project during an after lecture chat. So weird.
7. My fiancee and I were telling childhood stories one day. We were at her grandfather’s, and there’s this big empty, hilly dirt plot of land across the street. I was telling her about how I rode dirt bikes there with my dad one time. This one time, I stalled out in a pretty deep dip. I was around 8 or 9 at the time, so I was having a hard time pushing it out. An old man rode by on an ATV and asked if I needed any help. I said no, being the shy kid I was (and still am). As he rode away, I noticed a little girl on the back of the ATV.
My fiancee’s jaw kind of dropped and she said, “That was you?!” Her grandfather was the guy on the ATV, and she was on the back.
8. Met this cute girl at a party in college. Started talking about our plans for the summer, and she mentioned she was house sitting for some family friends on the other side of the state. I told her my parents lived on the other side of the state and that I was going home next week to housesit as well while my parents were in Mexico. Long story short, it turns out she was house sitting at my next door neighbor’s house during the same 2 weeks I was house sitting. That was a fun 2 weeks.
9. At college, one teacher kept saying my last name, then said “I know you from somewhere… but I won’t tell you where”.
Seeing he was old and kind of weird, I didn’t pay much attention to it. Also, this was a “musical language from the 20th century” class and I’m a chemical engineer, so it was just a mandatory class I had to get through and didn’t pay much attention to it. At the end of the semester, though, it kind of bugged me.
So, I was at my grandfather’s house for lunch (something I do very rarely) and I bring the subject up. By the way, my grandfather had a stroke in his 40’s, losing mobility in half of his body and severely damaging his mental capabilities. He can barely talk, move, and he doesn’t remember 90% of things. I bring the subject up, and mention my teacher’s name and what he’s telling me.
My grandpa’s eyes brighten up, and he says “Silvio?! He’s your teacher?!”.
I couldn’t believe that my grandfather was talking, much less that he could remember the name and it rang a bell with him. Turns out, my teacher was my grandfather’s best friend when they were young, he had lunch at his house almost everyday, but they drifted apart when my grandfather had to hide from my country’s coup d’etat in 1973.
I contacted/reunited them and after 30+ years they are now back to their old habit of having lunch together every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Makes me so happy.
10. Finding out after being married that my wife and I were in the NICU at the same time when we were born, and that our mothers spoke to each other there.
11. A few years ago we took a family trip to Washington DC for my kids school vacation. The day before we left, we get on the Metro from Arlington to go into DC to see some sites. I seat my kids across the aisle from me, and I take a seat next to Alan Greenspan, who had recently stepped down as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. We nod and say hello, and I get off with the kids a few stops later.
Three days later I have to take an Amtrak to NY from Boston, and as I’m going up the escalator from the platform at Penn Station, who is waiting at the top of the escalator waiting to board? Alan Greenspan. The train I had exited was continuing its route to Washington DC, and he must have been headed home.
We both nodded to each other again, but this time there was a look of odd familiarity on his face.
12. On my honeymoon with my wife in Costa Rica. Was wearing a buffalo villas short while my wife was at the coffee bar. A guy comes along wearing a Bills hat, we strike up a conversation and he asks where I’m from. I’m in a 1st ring suburb of Buffalo called Amherst. He says he is from a small farming town not to far called Pendleton. I told him my wife grew up there. He asked what road so I told him. He says he lives on that road too. Just then the wife walks up and says “Hi doctor.” It was her childhood pediatrician.
13. I took a new job in a city where we knew no one and a friend of my mother-in-law set us up with a guy who was renting his house close to my future place of work. So we gave him a call and as part of the conversation I told him my real name which is a weird one but is the same name as my dad’s and sometimes I have to spell it out for people.
He was pretty shocked when he heard my first and last name because he supposedly works with a guy with the exactly same name. I didn’t make a big deal out of it and was thinking he was [joking with] me to close the deal but once we met with him my wife asked about this other guy he works with. He called him and explained what was going on. We chatted and asked me about where I lived before and who my dad was and yup this guy turned out to be a lost step brother my dad had with another woman. Gave him the same name and everything. It was pretty weird and we didn’t keep in touch afterwards.
Since I updated my [online] profile sometimes I get offers/requests from his colleagues since we also studied the same thing.
14. I was working with an out of town consultant, who complained about the arid climate in my home state. He said, “Us boys from (other state) aren’t used to this!” I laughed and “Oh yeah? Where in (state) are you from?” He replied, “Oh, little place you’ve never heard of called (small town).” I guffawed and said, “No kidding my mother-in-law lives in (small town)!”
He said, “I live by the canal between the golf course and (main drag).” I laughed and said, “Yeah? No kiddin, MIL lives down that way, just past (distinctive bar name).” “Holy!” says the guy, “is your MIL’s name Janice?” Small world.
15. I am Hungarian and in Hungary everyone has a personal number. (Much like social security number in ‘murica) Starts with 1 for males 2 for females. Then date of birth yy/mm/dd format. Then a four digit number. Mine is 6413.
Mate of mine was [dating] this chick when we were like 16, who was holidaying in our town. We figured out that the chick and I share the same birthday. When we compared our ID cards she was the very next person entered into the database with 6414 as the final digits.
16. My high school AFJROTC teacher turned out to be my dad’s CO when he was active duty during Desert Storm. This was about 10 years since I’ve graduated, but knowing the military, you end up everywhere.
17. Was at a wedding, chatting with a friend about my own upcoming wedding, specifically the honeymoon to the Maldives.
She says she has a friend, (let’s call him Steve) who just went there on their honeymoon, where they did wine tasting in the lagoon with reef sharks swimming around them.
That sounds familiar to me, because a guy I’d recently met had done that on his honeymoon to the Maldives. I ask what the island’s name was – my friend can’t remember.
So I pull up the photo of this guy and his wife in waist-deep water tasting wine. And in the background is Steve.
18. I dated a girl from the summer before senior year of high school until the first couple weeks of my sophmore year of college. A little over 2 years total we were together. It was my first serious relationship and I was absolutely crushed when she dumped me.
4 years later, after finishing grad school I decided to pack everything up and move to NYC. I found a place with some roommates in Crown Heights.
Maybe a week or two after moving, I’m strolling down the street to get coffee. I turn around the corner and my ex is right there. It was the first time I saw or talked to her in probably 3 years. Found out she also decided to move to NYC, settled in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn and was living literally in the building next to mine. Like I could look out my window and see into the living room of her apartment.
19. One of my best friends almost married a woman that actually turned out to be his younger sister.
Turns out his parents had gotten a divorce when he was a kid, the mum [went] over to another part of the country and had another kid and had never bothered to tell him.
Years later they both happened to attend the same concert in the same state, got “friendly” and started seeing each other regularly. At one point they even had a pregnancy scare and they considered settling down. That’s when she called her mom to break the news and sent her his picture, then she mentioned his name.
Then all hell broke loose.
He says they are still great friends tho. He confessed to me they would’ve continued with the marriage if the mum hadn’t broke the news to everyone that their kids were [together].
20. I was hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail for a month (it’s over 2100 miles in total length), and I ran into someone who was hiking the entire way, somewhere in Virginia I believe. I found out he’s from Connecticut, as I am, and to my disbelief he was actually the cousin of someone I had classes with in high school.
I saw him that one night where we happened to stay at the same campsite, and then I never saw him again for the rest of my trip. (he was hiking further per day than me).
21. I was in the navy when my ship stopped in Hawaii. I was at a bar next to a newly commissioned Ensign…like myself. We started talking and he said he went to the university of Delaware. I said “I once went to a party there.” He said he’d had a party in his dorm with some people from my school. I asked “Did one of those guys pee on your stereo in the middle of the night thinking it was a toilet.” He said, “Why yes?” I replied…”That was me!”
22. My family moved from Germany to Atlanta, Georgia when I was 9 years old. I went to Atlanta International School. On my last days at school (we returned to Germany after six month) I was introduced to another student from Germany. I was told to look after him and show him around since I was also new and from the same country.
Eight years later, we moved to Atlanta for the second time. The location of the school had changed by then. On my first day I was introduced to another student, who was told to show me the ropes. He turned out to be the kid from 91, still living in Atlanta.
23. I had my first kiss at a Dave Matthews Band concert. When I started college in 2008, some people on my floor and I got together and were playing truth or dare. I had to describe my first kiss in great detail on a truth, and it turned out that the same girl was there in the room. Through other concert/intimate details, we figured out that that was the case indeed.
24. I run into a friend of a friend of a friend all the time in some of the most random places. It started out we would just run into each other at the bars in our hometown, once I moved after university it would get weird.
Ran into him at Stanley Park in Vancouver. The zoo in Calgary. A bar in Saskatoon. A campsite in BC interior. Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Coco Bongo Playa Del Carmen. Surfing Puarta Vallarta.
It’s become a running joke in our mutual friend group, that one of us is a stalker.