People From Around The World Share Their Funniest 'On Autopilot' Stories

People From Around The World Share Their Funniest 'On Autopilot' Stories

Sadly, since we don't yet have robot servants, a lot of the things we do in our day-to-day are completely mundane. You get up, you brush your teeth, you make your breakfast, you drive to work. Wash, rinse, repeat. You can pretty much do it all on autopilot.

The problem with living your life on autopilot, however, is that you can make some pretty startling mistakes without even realizing. And that's just what these people below did. Fortunately, they were good enough to laugh at themselves and then go online to share their follies with us.

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52. This seems like an unfair thing to do at 3:30 am

I was woken up at 3:30 in the morning for a random pee test for my college baseball team last semester. After I peed in the cup, I drank it.

Don't know why, but I did it. Luckily there was still enough in the cup to test.

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51. I don't understand this but I gather it's serious

I was tutoring another student on geometry (arc and area and whatnot) just after I had finished cramming for and taken a Calc test. About three quarters of the way through the poor kid's homework I realized that I had not done any of the problems correctly. Rather, to the students endless confusion, I had been integrating the circumference of the circle between the endpoints of the arc. Once I realized my mistake I redid the work with him and reimbursed the session cost.

I've never seen someone so grateful to find out that they were doing their math right and that I was in whatever postapocalyptic math-based dreamscape.

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50. Tons of Vitamin C

Poured orange juice instead of milk into my cereal, put the bowl of cereal into the fridge, walked back to the table with nothing wondering where in the world I had put my cereal. Breakfast is tough.

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49. Do you take cream in your water

I once poured some fresh coffee grounds into the basket before placing the filter in. Upon realizing my mistake, I emptied and cleaned the basket and then placed the filter in its rightful place. Then I poured the water in and hit brew.

Fifteen minutes later, I had a full pot of hot water.

Not a good morning.

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48. Don't knock it 'til you try it

I worked at a restaurant where we had to knock on the bar door before opening it. I probably did it about 20 times a day for 6 years. Almost every time I open a door that you just have to push open, like a bathroom door at a restaurant or something, I knock really hard like three times. I get lots of weird looks.

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47. Nanner for nana

Once I was feeding my 1-year-old a banana and talking to my mom. In the middle of the conversation, I pushed the banana in front of my moms face and just waited for her to take a bite. It took like 30 seconds to register that I was force feeding my 48 year-old-mother NOT my toddler. It was hilarious.

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46. Your mom

My fiancee functions on autopilot in conversations a lot more than she should. One time we were discussing my mother, and she said, "yea your mom is pretty gross, would you bang her?"

I asked if she heard what she just said, then she apologized. Not the only weird thing she's said, but easily the weirdest.

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45. Shave your teeth

Once put toothpaste on my razor and very nearly put it in my mouth before the gears in my brain screeched to a halt and the warning sirens went off.

I now keep my razor in the shower, far away from my toothbrush.

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44. Early to rise

Wake up in the middle of the night to take a pee then just autopiloted into my morning routine... It wasn't until after I drank my coffee that I realized it was only 3AM and that I wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep.

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43. Three is a crowd

You ever drive to work on the weekend? Mine is even worse than that. I had three jobs for awhile, and occasionally I'd get dressed for the right job, then drive straight to the wrong one and not realize it until I'm at the door. Or answering the phone at job A with job B's greeting.

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42. How did it work out?

Went to the gym, walked right past the desk where you check in and get a locker key, walked into the locker room, stood in front of a locker and was absolutely puzzled about what to do next. I can hear a buzz sound, like you get in a video game. Then a screen pops up "Missing Locker Key".

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41. The opposite of free gas

I went inside the gas station, paid, then drove off. Twice. Didn’t even fill up, just drove away.

I've done the same thing going through the drive through a time or two. Pay for my food, get my receipt, drive off, turn around and go back for my food.

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40. When we say 'stop', we don't mean forever

Waited at a stop sign for 5 minutes thinking it was a red light. I was not on my phone.

I didn't hold anybody else up luckily.

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39. The walk-thru

I was working fast food and taking orders both inside and for the drive-thru. I took someone's order inside at the counter and told them to pull forward to the 2nd window.

Good thing the customer wasn't on autopilot or she would have gone outside and stumbled into the drive-thru lane.

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38. Knife sandwich > knuckle sandwich

I was a kitchen employee at Arby's when I was 18. We used to have sub rolls that were footlong, but the only subs we sold were 6 inch. So you had to cut each roll in half before you used it. I was just zoned out one day, and I ended up cutting the sub roll in half, putting the knife back in the sub roll bag, and then trying to use the sub roll to cut the next sandwich. My manager saw it and freaking died.

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37. So close to a break and enter

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving home, but instead of going to my current house, I drove to my old house. I haven't lived there in over 5 years. I pulled into the driveway and luckily I realized what I had done before I actually got out of the car.

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36. There's no barfing in soccer

I had a dislocated knee and kicked a soccer ball that was coming towards me. It caused my knee to go back in place and then I immediately threw up.

Also I don’t know if it is funnier but to add context I’m a 5’3 girl who is extremely uncoordinated and my first thought was, "Oh my goodness, I actually hit it!” And then I threw up and felt like myself again.

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35. Hello, it's me, double-fudge

Was holding my phone and ice cream in a cone. Phone rang, answered ice cream. A sticky ear is surprisingly uncomfortable.

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34. You thought you caught yourself

Early morning, I was about to put mouthwash on my toothbrush but I caught myself and I was like, "Nice try, brain" and put them back. Then, I grabbed the toothpaste and squeezed it on my palm.

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33. Nachos and tea

My brother ordered nachos at a Mexican restaurant, grabbed a chip and proceed to watch himself dip it into his tea. After about two dips, he came back into reality, shook his head, and went “what?”

My mother is an EMT. After a 24-hour shift she came home and tried to unlock the front door with her car keys button and did that for about 5 minutes.

I once drove to work when I was supposed to drop my younger brother off at school, neither of us seemed to notice until we got to my workplace and I had turn around. He was late.

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32. The invisible pillowcase

I was folding my freshly laundered bed linens while simultaneously putzing around the house. I don’t know what to tell you but somehow, I was folding a pillowcase, then the next moment, I couldn’t find it anywhere. And I looked everywhere my very tiny home! It wasn’t in the folded pile, it wasn’t in the closet, it wasn’t in the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen where I puttered around while folding said laundry... It still haunts me and I’m going to find that freaking pillowcase even if it kills me.

It’s definitely not in my hand, my other hand, trash or fridge. My main suspects are the closet or within the fitted sheets meaning I have to refold them.What’s funnier is there are two pillowcases of the same design and it’s making me even crazier thinking I imagined the other one! I was also searching for it holding the other one like it was a missing cat poster.

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31. The first coffee paradox

Tore open a sugar packet, poured it directly into the trash, tossed the empty paper packet into my coffee. I've done this too many times to count. Making coffee before you had your coffee is a sport.

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30. This almost sounds like an alien abduction story

Overshot an exit that I've used hundreds of times, didn't notice and ended up driving another 50 miles before realizing that I was way out of the city's boundaries. Still don't remember any of the in between, just starting to drive and then realizing I had no idea where I was.

Thank god driving skills are part of the auto pilot experience.

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29. Have you tried re-starting it?

  1. Open banana.
  2. Discard white parts into trash.
  3. Pick the stringy bits off.
  4. Notice I'm holding a peel and not a delicious banana.
  5. ...
  6. Go back to bed because clearly I'm not functioning and need to turn myself off and back on again.

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28. Dogs aren't stupid enough to eat Tide pods

Put a dog biscuit into the washing machine instead of a detergent pod.

I realized before turning it on, so I was able to recover it. Luckily I didn't try feeding my Tide pod to my dog.

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27. A tale of two babies

When I was a brand-new mom on maternity leave, but still trying to juggle law school and a newborn, my sister-in-law had an emergency and had to leave her Boston terrier with me. Even though he was a very well-behaved dog and had met the baby, we still kept them separated just in case.

One morning, after my husband left for work, I picked the baby up out of the bassinet and went downstairs to make coffee. My husband had forgotten something and promptly came right back in to find me at the counter, brewing coffee, rocking a black and white dog in one arm, while our son still quietly chilling in his bassinet upstairs.

He took the day off from work and I went back to sleep.

My husband was kind of terrified -- for some reason, he thought I had a seizure It was our first kid and I went through a traumatic delivery and that was just the icing on the cake. My MIL ended up taking two weeks leave because he was so afraid to leave me alone.

But the rest of us can look back now and laugh 11 years later

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26. "Who's a good boy?"

I have a dog with fluffy white hair. Think poodle-ish. I was on the couch petting and talking to my dog for a good while when I see my wife come down the stairs. Trailing behind her was my dog. I had been petting a Costco fuzzy white blanket the whole time. I wish I could say it only happened once...

Now, anytime my wife sees anything remotely white and fluffy she says "who's a good boy?"

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25. More pet peeves

I pet my friends brother-in-law while we are watching a movie and he was sitting on the floor. I just blanked and like... assumed he was a dog? We had just met about three hours prior.

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24. From the cash to the trash

One time my girlfriend got handed her drink at Starbucks, said thanks, went over to the bar to get cream or something and immediately dropped her fresh drink straight into the trash can at the bar. Her mother and I just looked at her and started laughing. The barista saw what happened and with an “it happens” attitude agreed to replace the drink. It also helped that no one was in there except us.

We still bring it up every now and then and all laugh, my girlfriend included.

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23. Shower of shame

When I was like 9 or 10 my grandparents had a beach house in Biloxi, Mississippi. I know, why the heck there? Anyway, the condominium complex had a pool and my mother took me to the pool as the adults were going off gambling and what not.

Mom and I arrive at the pool and there’s a girl there, maybe 13 or 14? Me, being on the edge of full blown adolescence was locked on her.

So mom was talking about god knows what at the time, I’m just “uh huh, yeah mom” while watching this girl swim and quietly falling in love with her in my own mind.

I begin to take off my shirt, but I had gone full autopilot and slid my swim trunks down as if I was about to get into a shower.

Oh crap.

I pull them back up because I think the girl had noticed but mom didn’t. I told my mother I had to go to the bathroom and scuttled back to the condo. Now I just have this horrid memory to look back on every now and again, even into my late 20’s.


22. Are you Samuel L. Jackson?

I was riding passenger in my car with my wife driving. I was sort of brain dead after work while we were carpooling and we came to a stoplight. It turned green but the car in front of us wasn't moving for a few seconds. I was trying to call the car a 'mother[bleeper]' and then tell my wife to honk, but ended up saying "HONK MOTHER[BLEEPER]!"

Let me tell you, the look my wife had on her face before she realized I had just messed everything up was something unique. So now it has become a joke between us because she started laughing her butt off once I realized what I had done moments later and I went... "WAIT NO, THAT ISN'T WHAT I MEANT!"

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21. You may have cracked yourself

I was trying to make some scrambled eggs.

Basic prep: crack the eggs, put the eggs in a bowl, toss the shell.

Me, being a dumb-dumb: crack the egg, put egg in the trash.

I literally stood above the trash can with the shell in my hands processing what had just happened for about 30 seconds. I just had the faint feeling of "I messed up" and was wondering exactly how for way too long.

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20. I prefer my keys chilled too

I do so much dumb freaking stuff while on autopilot and it doesn't help that I'm on autopilot more often than not:

Thrown away SO many spoons and forks, then had to dig in the trash to get them back out?

Threw away my phone instead of my trash more times than I care to mention.

Where are my keys? Where are my keys? Oh, that's right, they're in the fridge cause screw you, that's why.

Where's my phone? Where's my bloody phone?????? In the closet on the top shelf underneath a stack of papers cause screw you that's why.

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19. Well, as long as you're not driving on autopilot

I've had two -- both driving-related for some reason.

  1. I was at the grocery store pushing my cart through the aisle, as you do. Then, when I went to turn left into another aisle, I tried to put on my "blinker" for some reason...
  2. Class was just ending and as I was about to stand up to leave, I reached down to "unbuckle my seat belt." I don't know, man.

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18. Rat heaven is a bag of ham

Had a pet rat out roaming with me while I made some toast. Cleaned up, put the rat in the fridge and didn't realize until I put the butter in the cage that oh crap!

Went to reclaim the rat and she was all like: "Screw off, the food box is MINE now." She had already gotten into the ham.

I rushed all over there concerned and apologetic and she's freakin' balls-deep in a packet of ham and actually tried to cling to the door as I took her out. She'd seen paradise and wasn't leaving.

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17. Horse in the house

I cared for a horse for several years.

First thing in the morning I would go put feed and water in the field, lead her out, and close the fence behind her.

One morning as I'm walking back into my house, I hear a weird sound behind me. The sound of hooves on linoleum.

She looked as surprised as I was that I had brought her into my kitchen. Luckily, she never told anyone so my secret is still safe.

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16. Kiss the beard

I got to a party and saw people I knew, mostly female, so I gave them all a hug and a small peck on the cheek, get to the one guy in the group, both of us bearded men and proceeded to give him a peck on the cheek. We both just stopped and stared at each other.

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15. At the end of the line

I drove a city bus in college. My route and my commute home had a road that overlapped. Driving home from work one night I ended up doing my bus route instead of my commute home and didn't realize it until I ended up in the bus terminal at the end of the line. I guess it was better than driving into my apartment complex with the city bus.

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14. Moo moos on the choo choo

I wear a fob watch at work. Pinned to my chest. On my days off I do tend to get odd looks if someone asks me the time and I automatically start pawing at my boob.

When my daughter was very young she loved trains. So I'd take her on short trips and the line passed some fields, where I'd point out the animals to her. Got some weird British alarmed looks that time I pointed out of the window and loudly said "look! Moo cows!" when I was on the train by myself.

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13. No shame in the game

Once while playing an intense board game, I was concentrating so hard that my buddy realized that he could just hand random things to me and I'd take them and put them in my jacket pocket or place them on the table in front of me. I only realized when I ran out of space to put things.

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12. Sleepwalking = autopilot + unconscious

I sleepwalk once in a while. Recently I got up at 2am and fed the dog. My girlfriend woke up and was like "wtf, did you just feed the dog? What time is it?"

Apparently I looked her in the eye and said "everyone loves a midnight snack."

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11. Highway hypnosis

I got out of work late, drove home. Must have dozed off because last thing I remembered was being on the freeway a couple of exits from home. Woke up in the garage 10 min later, with the car turned off. I got home safely without causing an accident. Scares me to this day when I think about it.

Apparently it's called highway hypnosis. This happens a lot to people especially when driving the same route repeatedly each day. It just becomes second nature so your brain tunes out and figures you got this. Scary as heck when you come around and realize you've driven 50 miles on the highway and don't remember a second of it.


10. Super keen to get to school, huh?

I was in high school and thought I heard my alarm go off, so I got up and got in the shower. Normally my mom helped me make my lunch and get breakfast ready (we did everything at the same time) so I was kinda mad that she wasn't there. Got dressed, packed my lunch, ate breakfast, and went to tell mom goodbye. As I walked into her room, my backpack on and my car keys in hand, I saw her clock.

3:43 AM.

I think, this is a joke, her clock is wrong.

Check my watch that I put on but somehow never looked at. 3:43 AM.

Say, screw this, and go back to bed. Find out when I wake up at the right time that all I had put in my lunch was a banana and a packet of tea, and for breakfast, I'd had cereal with orange juice poured in. I knew this because half of it was still in the freezer. Not a good morning for me.

Worst part? I didn't even use a freaking alarm clock. My mom woke me up. Don't know what I was on that morning.

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9. Alternate theory: girlfriend is a shapeshifter

I was walking through town with my girlfriend at the time, looking at stalls and shops. She was in my periphery, or so I thought she had stopped to look at something on a rack. Instead, a woman of roughly the same height and hair colour had stood next to me.

I checked my phone for time, gently caressed her shoulders and said, "Come on honey, it's time for us to head off." And just walked away from this woman.

I turned around a few feet later to see my girlfriend had turn a luminescent shade of embarrassed and was now an entirely freaked out little old Asian woman.

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8. The accidental thief

I filled my car with gas and, when I got home, realized that I had not paid. I went back to the station and told the clerk what I had done. She thought she was missing a payment but the station was really busy at the time so she wasn't exactly sure. I paid for my stolen gas and went about my day.

I also walked into the convenience store next to my work, grabbed a Gatorade out of the cooler and walked out the door. I realized what I did when I got back to work. Went back and paid for that, too.

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7. So that's what cat food tastes like

I feed my cat while I make breakfast. One very sleep deprived morning I made cereal in her bowl and put her kibble in my cereal bowl. I didn't realize I screwed up until I shoved a giant spoonful of cat food in my mouth and chewed a few times. It tasted like old beef jerky flavoured sand.

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6. So close to getting it right


It had been a long, rough day at work. Once I got home I really had to pee, I pulled down my pants, sat and started peeing. I forgot a step. Pull down underwear. You read it right everyone, I peed myself on the toilet.

Fun fact, I never shared my embarrassing moment with my husband. I wanted to share some of the funny responses I got and finally just told him. He hasn't stopped laughing yet. (He was having a bad day so I'm glad I shared.)

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5. Time to stop making decisions for a while

One time, one of the kids asked for... heck I don't even remember what. Probably asked for a sandwich or something. On autopilot (I was tired and sick) I go into the kitchen, got a bowl out of the cabinet, sliced up a bunch of ham, put that in the bowl, poured in apple juice, stuck a slice of toast and a teabag on top and handed it to him with a steak knife.

Kiddo was smart. He watched me do all that, took the bowl and knife, said 'thank you', put it on the table and went and got my wife, and said 'daddy's super tired' and showed her what I'd done.

She put me to bed after that.

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4. The grownup equivalent of calling your teacher 'mom'

I was on the phone with my boss and she was getting really irritated about something, I don't even remember what. The combination of her irritation and my exhaustion made my brain misfire, and I ended the call with "okay bye bye Mom, I love you!"

I was so embarrassed but she thought it was hilarious and started calling me her adopted daughter after that. I mean, she is the same age as my mom so it's not too weird, but I certainly felt like a child around her instead of a colleague until she left the company. I miss her.

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3. Lunch shouldn't beep

I grabbed my "lunch" on my way out the door for work in the morning.

I kept wondering what that beeping noise was the whole drive there. Couldn't figure it out.

Got to work and grabbed my lunch, only to realize I had actually grabbed the baby monitor.

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2. I write essays in my sleep

I had procrastinated on a film study project, started working on it at 8pm the night before it was due, made it about 1/2 of the way through by midnight, and woke up in my bed at 5:30am to go to school with no recollection of anything after midnight.

I was freaking out thinking I still had four hours of work to do to finish, but checked the document and it was done. Last saved at 3am. I got an A on a project that I barely remembered doing, and I had done the second half faster than when I was conscious.


1. The importance of bathroom etiquette

As most males are undoubtedly aware, men's restrooms usually have a fairly standard design: There's a row of sinks, followed by a row of urinals, and then finally a handful of stalls. The accepted etiquette for the men's room is nigh-on universal, but for those who might not know (and there seem to be a fair number of you), it can be described as such:

  1. Enter the restroom.
  2. If there is a urinal available and the ones next to it are not in use, approach and do your business.
  3. If there is a urinal available and the ones next to it are in use, find another urinal.
  4. If no other urinals are available (save for ones with adjacent users), approach, stare straight ahead, and finish as quickly as possible.
  5. If there are no urinals available, use a stall. Be sure to close and lock the door.
  6. If there are no urinals or stalls available, stand behind a urinal - keeping as much distance between you and the current occupant as possible - and pretend to be very interested in either the floor or the ceiling.

These rules are in place for the specific purpose of minimizing embarrassment, and they work well if everyone follows them. Unfortunately, while in a caffeine-deprived haze, I managed to accidentally exploit an unfortunate loophole.

I had walked into the restroom, intent on... well, you can guess... and discovered that none of the urinals were available. Fortunately, one of the stall doors was ajar, indicating that it was unoccupied... or so I thought. Upon entering the stall in question, I discovered that it was already in use by someone who had neglected to close the door, and who was midway through their "expulsion of fluids."

Had I been in a sounder state of mind, I would have hurriedly exited and waited for a different section of the facility to become available. As it happened, I decided that the best course of action was to lounge against the wall - still inside of the stall, mind you - and twiddle with my phone until the guy finished his performance. It was only as he was nearing completion that I realized what I was doing, and I rushed to exit the stall before my unwitting co-occupant noticed my presence.

Of course, that was right when someone else entered the restroom. They saw me leave the stall, assumed that it was empty, and walked forward... right into the original occupant, who was making his own exit.

I decided to hold it in for a while after that.

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