Ten Times People Took Instructions Way Too Literally

By: Kate Row | Last updated: Aug 29, 2022

People misinterpret instructions or signs all the time. Some do it unintentionally, while others do it on purpose. Whatever the case may be, these misunderstandings often lead to hilarious results.

“Wet paint” signs, for instance, mean “Be careful! The paint is still wet!” and should never, ever be interpreted as an order to wet the paint. Examples like this – and all others featured on this list – are why it’s necessary to be absolutely clear when giving people instructions.

Lean Against the Pole

A man and his daughter were going for a walk one day when they came across this beautiful sight. The man then asked his daughter to pose for a second so he could take a photo and post it online for their family and friends to see.



When the man asked his daughter to lean against the pole, she complied – just not in the way he wanted her to. Perhaps he should have been a bit more clear about what he wanted her to do?

Go, Answer, Go!

We don’t exactly remember ever being told to “motivate your answer” when taking a test at school, so it isn’t all that surprising to see this student misinterpret this instruction.



Rather than giving us a dull and lengthy answer, this student decided to answer this question in a rather hilarious way. We sure hope that the student’s teacher didn’t look at this too negatively and gave the student some partial points for their sense of humor!

Covered Up

In this day and age, there are still some people who take issue with seeing women breastfeeding in public. When this mother of two was asked to cover up, she did as she was asked, just not in the way she was expected to.


Carol Lockwood

Rather than covering up her baby, the woman decided to throw the blanket over her head instead. Her husband snapped this photo and posted it online, much to the amusement of their family and friends.

Hello, George

This budding plant enthusiast spotted this interesting-looking shrub one day but couldn’t figure out what type of plant it was. Like most people these days, he took to social media to try and get some answers from fellow plant enthusiasts.



Not long after posting the photo online, one helpful internet user took it upon herself to name the plant, as instructed. Thankfully, the person who posted the photo has a sense of humor and just laughed it off.

Under the Sink

When giving instructions to a child, it is important that you properly explain what needs to be done and how exactly it should be done, using terms that are easy for them to understand. Otherwise, prepare to see some strange results.


When this mother of two asked her three and four-year-old boys to place the rolls of toilet paper under the sink, this was not what she expected to see. Her two sons clearly had no idea that they were supposed to put the toilet paper in the cabinets under the sink.


Frozen Fruit

A woman was at the supermarket one day when she received a text from her husband asking her to buy some frozen fruit as well. It was a hot summer day, and her husband wanted to make some smoothies for the two of them.


She knew exactly what her husband wanted her to buy, but she decided to pull a prank on him by buying a bunch of bananas with stickers promoting a certain beloved animated Disney movie instead.


Uhh, Zack

A man named Zack was ordering food at Wendy’s one day when David, the man who worked behind the counter, asked for his name. Zack, who had a lot going through his mind that day, was completely caught off guard by the question.


Zack processed the question for a few seconds before proceeding to say his name. When Zack checked his receipt afterward, he was surprised to discover that David had written “Uhh Zack” on his receipt!


Time for Dessert

When going on a Disney Cruise, expect to have a great time no matter what. Crew members are trained to go out of their way to make their guests feel right at home, and that includes making sure that everyone is well fed throughout their stay.


When one guest was asked what they were getting for dessert, they simply replied, “nothing.” The chef wasn’t going to let the guest walk away without a post-dinner treat, so he gave the guest exactly what they wanted.


Brian with a Y

If you have a name that’s unique or has an unusual spelling, then you’ve probably had your name misspelled by a barista at least once in your life.  For some people, this is no big deal, but others would rather spell out their name for their barista than risk having it misspelled.


Bryan is one of those people. While Bryan manages to have his name spelled correctly most of the time, this barista thought it would be funny to troll him by writing “Bryan with a Y” on his


A Different Kind of 3DS

In case you’re unaware, a 3DS is a handheld game console developed by Nintendo. It’s best known for having the ability to display 3D effects without the need for 3D glasses or other accessories. It also comes pre-loaded with apps like Netflix and YouTube.


When this couple learned that their son wanted a 3DS for Christmas, they immediately started making plans to get their son what he asked for. When Christmas day came, their son was horrified to discover what his parents bought for him. Looks like someone was on Santa’s naughty list this year!