Not Always Legal is a sister sitenote to Not Always Right, added to the site's rotation in 2018. This site contains anecdotes from the legal world, involving everything from dumb criminals, disorder in the courtroom, and very strange crimes. As usual, it's best to take these stories with a grain of salt.
Not Always Legal contains examples of:
- 30 Minutes, or It's Free!: This customer demands a pizza place to deliver his order of fifteen mix topping pizzas and wants it for free if it doesn't arrive in thirty minutes, despite the fact the submitter explaining to the customer the pizza place has never used this trope as its policy and his order would take an hour to make due to the story taking place on Superbowl Sunday, meaning he's not the only customer with a big order. When the customer angrily threatens to shoot the pizza place and harm the submitter's girlfriend if he doesn't get his order fast, the submitter instead reports him to the police; the customer is summarily arrested and humiliated in front of his friends.
- Abuse Mistake: Played with in this story — the OP's ex-husband was physically abusive, but she hadn't seen him for over a year when he was finally convinced not to contest the divorce. However, a couple weeks before the court date, she got a massive case of poison ivy exposure. She didn't realize until after the divorce decree was handed down that the judge had mistaken the remaining bruising from the poison ivy for "husband beat her up again", and fast-tracked her divorce to get her away from him.
- Abusive Parents: No collection of legal stories would be complete without its share of criminally neglectful parents.
- This story features a toddler calling 112 (the number for emergency services in the Netherlands) because she can't find her parents. As it turns out, they went to the movies and left her and her infant brother home alone because they weren't able to book a babysitter. This led to the parents getting a stern talking to and Child Protection Services being notified. For bonus points, there's no crying "fake" on this one; it made it to the news.
- This couple and the husband's brother get their young children involved in their insurance scam, when their plan involves having a huge truck rear end them, for no other reason than to use them to gain extra collateral from the potential payout.
- This father, on his first unsupervised visit with his son after being released from prison, decides to try stealing a chick from a petting zoo. While an employee manages to retrieve the chicken, the man speeds away immediately, sans both chicken and child. Thankfully, the little boy knows his motherís number; she quickly arrives, and the police reassure her and the employees that the dayís outing would be the last time the man sees his son alone, if at all.
- A neighborhood bully is found by police to be stealing and extorting whatever he can at his mother's demand, so she can sell it for her drug habit. He gets rehomed with an aunt, whom OP sincerely hopes helped him recover as well as reform.
- In this story, the submitter and a customer (a police officer) at a store see a small girl wearing only a sundress and tights in the middle of a frigid winter night outside with her mother. When the cop tells the girl's mother that the girl is clearly very cold, the mother makes up the excuse that "kids don't feel temperatures the same way normal people do", plays the "she's faking it for attention" card when that doesn't work, and then freely admits that she is ignoring the poor kid's (completely valid) complaints about being too cold. The neglectful mom gets arrested shortly afterward.
- This 'mom' attacks the submitter for getting the last of a product before her... with her child. She literally grabs her kid by the legs and swings them into the submitter's back, hard enough to possibly break her kid's arm. Unfortunately child protection laws prevent the submitter from finding out if the child was okay, and the woman's trial never goes ahead because she accepts a plea bargain.
- Affably Evil: A group of US Navy sailors on shore leave in Sicily share and talk about their cigars with a friendly local, who convinces a bartender to get them some free drinks. The next day, the sailors are all interrogated by the Italian police about being seen with a known Mafia leader the previous night.
- Alcohol-Induced Stupidity: Livid that a convenience store won't sell him beer after 2:00 AM, a drunk man retaliates by taking a camp hatchet to the store's electrical box to shut their power off. A camping hatchet that was non-insulated and entirely metal. Miraculously, the worst injuries the man ended up with after the ensuing light show are only a few burns (and ruined shoes sent flying several feet away).
- Amoral Attorney: The submitter's lawyer in this story takes their case, waits until two days before court to tell them it can't be won, and then abandons them.
- An Arm and a Leg: This teen ends up having his arm amputated after a "prank" gone wrong results in his knife going into his own shoulder and the wound becoming infected.
- Anger Born of Worry: Two girls ditch school to visit their out-of-town boyfriends and miss their ride home. One police search later, their families tear them new ones for their idiocy.
- Armor-Piercing Question: "Are you suggesting I should have falsified my report?"
- Artistic License Ė Law: A now-deleted post documented a group of wannabe sexual assaulters getting the book thrown at them by the judge overseeing their case, who is a family friend of the victim's. This is obviously impossible since it would be a professional conflict of interest, so the post was removed for being blatantly fabricated.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: The poster of this story figures out that a membership he's being offered isn't as good as it sounds when he realizes there isn't nearly enough traffic in the store to justify it.
- This woman threatens the submitter with scissors, attempts to run them over with her car, booby traps her house, and kills her dog, all because the submitter charged her $3 extra for a special coat treatment at the dog groomer.
- This woman shoots the submitter and a police dog (with a gas pistol, thankfully) resulting in the latter losing an eye and the woman getting 15 years in prison, all because the submitter and their father wouldn't give her their gun for her son to play with.
- Bad Boss:
- The Boss at a shady motel yells at his teenage employee for giving out all the money in the safe after being robbed at gunpoint, claiming he had to be bluffing (said robber had actually killed someone else for not giving in), and decided to take the money out of the boy's pay, and refused to let him leave early due to emotional distress. The boy's mother was not happy, and managed to persuade the boss to change his mind once she found out.
- This manager let a 19-year-old employee be fired for using an employee discount with coupons, despite having signed off on some of the double-discounted purchases himself. He then has the gall to say that she's "like a daughter to him." Comments speculate that he was making her a scapegoat for the company not doing well, given that it folded soon afterwards.
- Bad People Abuse Animals:
- A woman with a burning hatred for pit bulls smacks one on the head with her purse hard enough for the poor dog to start bleeding and run terrified to his owner (when all the perfectly friendly (though scarred, as he was rescued from a dog-fighting ring) pit bull did was go up to her daughter and sniff the daughter's hand). Then the woman calls the police and makes up a wild story about the pit bull being rabid and ferociously biting her daughter, apparently hoping the police would come and shoot the innocent dog dead (and not even caring about getting her supposedly-exposed-to-rabies daughter treatment). When the police arrive to see the trembling pit bull being comforted by his owner, the unharmed girl playing with another pit bull, and the eyewitness accounts proving the woman's story wrong, the woman is arrested for animal abuse, placing a false 911 call, and blatantly lying to the officers when they arrived, and is also forced to pay for the pit bull's veterinarian bills.
- This lunatic attempted to maim the staff at the dog salon she had visited and ended up killing her dog over a $3 charge for a service she had requested.
- Badass Bystander: When she realizes the coffee shop is being robbed by a man with a knife, this regular customer throws her chair at him, and her boyfriend pins him down until the police arrive.
- Bait-and-Switch: The submitter in this story starts receiving mail for a person they don't know, including several bills that end up going past due, to the point where they suspect that somebody's committing some sort of fraud. It turns out to be down to an elderly woman with undiagnosed dementia making a mistake with her address, who simply didn't notice the lack of bills due to her condition.
- Ballistic Discount: This dingus tries to pull a classic variation of the trope with a hunting knife. Too bad for him, the clerk is packing a loaded gun.
- Bavarian Fire Drill:
- The customer in this story winds up on the wrong end of one; he gave his keys to what he took to be a department store's valet. It's unclear whether the thief was intentionally trying to pass himself off as a valet or just capitalized on an opportunity (i.e., had the submitter of this story actually taken the car instead of trying to convince the guy he wasn't a valet), but the latter would be one heck of a Contrived Coincidence.
- Attempted by this fellow when he sees a couple standing by a car they had accidentally dented with their car door and attempts to con the couple out of 100 euros, claiming the car belongs to his wife and that she wouldn't care if they just gave him the money for the repairs and called it square (instead of exchanging numbers and filling out an accident report). The scheme blows up in his face when the car's real owner suddenly shows up and asks what they are all doing by her car, and he promptly books it without taking any money.
- Stated to be the reason new dealers are placed under supervision at this casino; gamblers will try to trick them into illegal moves.
- Belief Makes You Stupid:
- This old busybody comes to the conclusion that her neighbor must be dealing drugs because he works at night (as a prison guard) and is never seen in her church. When the police officer points out the stupidity of her reasoning, she starts screaming that he's breaking the law by not going to church, which is kind of the opposite of the First Amendment's purpose.
- This Sunday school refuses to pay an artist for a commission, citing they'll instead pay in "prayers and blessings." The unamused artist immediately sues them for breach of contract.1 Timothy 5:18 (New Living Translation): For the Scripture says, "You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain." And in another place, "Those who work deserve their pay!"
- This atheist lawyer thinks a religious lawyer is this trope without realizing that he is this trope. When the religious lawyer is unable to meet the atheist lawyer for a possible partnership at a restaurant due to his religious dietary restrictions, the latter sends a long ranting text message about how the former is irrational for holding such beliefs and it will affect their work as lawyers as he wants someone who doesn't do non-rational practices or celebrate non-rational holidays. What makes it stupid is that this took place in Ontario, Canada, and the atheist lawyer's discriminating message can be considered a criminal act and blatant Human Rights violation.
- Believing Their Own Lies: This guy is so convinced that an ID he was provided by his female companion is genuine that he calls the cops to prove it. She, on the other hand, immediately says they have to leave, but he won't listen and confidently hands it to the police while she's trying to escape.
- Berserk Button: Don't shout when talking to this unhinged moron, even if it's the only way anyone - said unhinged moron included - will be able to hear you. He will try to assault you and anyone who tries to protect you.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The submitter of this story describes her father as the kind of guy who captures spiders and releases them outside rather than squishing them. When a man gropes her, the father smashes his head against a dryer.
- Blatant Lies: This person gets rid of a "computer support" scammer by claiming to have eaten their computer for breakfast, and their laptop for dinner. The scammer just accepts this.
- Blind Without 'Em: If your license prohibits you driving without corrective eyewear, maybe it's NOT the other guy's fault you can't see their vehicle in broad daylight at 100 meters...
- Bluff the Impostor: This Spanish learner, not convinced that a man claiming to be the head of a major United Arab Emirates bank is who he says he is, prepares several paragraphs of Spanish word salad as a reply to a "business proposal", knowing that any legitimate Spanish learner would recognize it as being incoherent. Sure enough, the guy doesn't recognize the nonsense reply for what it is and turns out to be a scam artist.
- Brutal Honesty: ďLook, your ex and their lawyer politely said in their response that youíre a piece of shit, and Iím not honestly confident theyíd lose that argument.Ē
- Bullying a Dragon: This dingus attempts to mug the submitter despite the fact that she is wearing her karate gi and freshly earned yellow belt. The results are painfully obvious.
- Chairman of the Brawl:
- This story has a robbery at knifepoint end in an unexpected way when a regular throws her chair at the robber, allowing her boyfriend to subdue him.
- This story has the submitter be duped by a woman fleeing arrest into thinking she's being chased by an abusive boyfriend, leading them to accidentally threaten a cop with a folding chair. Mercifully, the story ends with the submitter being talked down and the woman being arrested.
- Chocolate Baby: While it's not the focal point of this story, a man in divorce court explains that he is getting divorced because he and his wife are white and the six-month-old child she gave birth to isn't.
- Confess to a Lesser Crime: Probably what was being attempted here: by confessing to shoplifting only the toothpaste, the customer assumed the store security would take it back and let them go. Instead the confession was grounds for a bag check, revealing all the other stuff they'd shoplifted.
- Content Warnings: This story takes place in the aftermath of a fatal vehicle accident, and is marked as such.
- Contrived Coincidence:
- The combination of a burglar alarm mistakenly going off, a dark unoccupied house, a chatty parrot well-versed in police terminology, and a cardboard cut-out of Arnold Schwarzenegger brandishing a shotgun as The Terminator results in a cop accidentally shooting up the wall of a retired fellow police officer's house. Whoops!
- Lampshaded here. OP is calling the police in regards to criminal harassment because the mother of a caught-in-the-act-on-video teen porch-pirate is calling him up and shouting profanity and promising to make his life hell, for ruining said porch-pirate's life by "snitching" on the teen girl stealing his package in the first place. As he gets off the phone with the police, a couple of police officers knock on his door, with the porch-pirate herself holding a spray-paint can, caught red-handed attempting to vandalize his front door with graffiti. Once the police officers were brought up to speed, they went and had another "chat" with the girl and her mother. It's unknown what the police did to them, but they were never heard from again, and the porch-piracy in the area dropped to zero.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Literally! A couple of thieves raiding a trucking company get locked in a refrigerated truck until the police arrive.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot:
- This airhead is so desperate to claim the last footlocker in a store that she comes in and padlocks it to the shelf just so no one else can claim it. Pretty much everyone she speaks to afterward points out to her that had she simply put it in her cart if she wanted it (or just carried it with her since she claims that her cart was full), then she would not have gotten in a fight with the submitter over it, gotten security involved, and then been arrested for causing a public disturbance.
- Stiffing one accountant on overtime pay gets a business investigated and charged for stiffing several other employees on overtime pay, then for tax fraud, leading an executive's wife to file for divorce, driving the entire company into bankruptcy.
- A visitor's car gets flattened by ice falling off the roof of a tall apartment building. The apartment owners refuse to pay for the old, run-down car to be replaced, and are taken to court... where it's revealed that they had fraudulently claimed the building was smaller (and exempt from ice safety regulations), getting them into major hot water with city planning and the tax office, because they'd claimed fewer tenants and less income than they actually had.In the words of my lawyer, ďSeriously, if I pulled that stunt, Iíd hand you ten grand for your 20-year-old wreck of a car and tell you to shut the eff up about it.Ē
- This story concerns a health insurance fraud scheme: the doctor bills the insurance company for fake visits and prescriptions using their patient information, the pharmacist bills the insurance company for filling the fake prescriptions, the insurance agent manages the claims. One patient gets a copay bill from their second line of health insurance for one of the fake visits and calls the fraudster agent about it. Instead of passing it off as a mistake and paying the bill for them, the agent insults and accuses the patient, guaranteeing the patient's next call is to a manager about patient privacy laws.
- Could Say It, But...: In this story, the submitter totally isn't giving out legal advice to the caller. They're just noting that just because someone doesn't have car insurance doesn't excuse them from financial liability in the event of an accident.
- Crime of Self-Defense:
- A verbal example in this story. The submitter and his father are Native Americans and their neighbor is a racist jerkass. One day, the neighbor threatens to shoot the submitter's father, who retorts that if he tries he'll have the submitter shoot the neighbor. Both men are arrested and jailed for making threats, although at least the neighbor will be doing more time than the father.
- Subverted in this story, where the submitter's father is attacked by four thugs who mistake him for a scooter thief. The father attempts to run and only resorts to kicking their asses when he is cornered on a bridge over a canal, but the cops haul him off to jail and presume he started it. When the father explains his side of the story, the judge demands to know why he didn't jump off the bridge. With no idea how to get back to dry land. In freezing weather. Mercifully, the father is acquitted.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The submitter of this story points out to a defendant that with the driving skills he has shown evading police pursuit, he could have real potential as a race car driver. Sadly, he does not take the submitter up on their suggestion and continues spiraling into his criminal ways.
- Didn't Think This Through:
- Desperate to get a refund on a phone that he inadvertently ran over, this genius tries to win sympathy points by claiming that he is a war veteran with PTSD... and makes the ill-advised embellishment that he may come back into the cell phone store armed because of it. The employee immediately calls the police, and the customer is thrown into the slammer for breach of the peace. Turns out the customer had a history of threatening people in the past and this was the first time that it actually backfired on him. As a bonus, he is banned from entering the cell phone store (and the submitter makes a point of mentioning that there's not another one of their stores for 200 miles).
- The crook in this story borrowed a friend's pee to beat a drug test and prevent the cops from realizing he smoked weed, not thinking to make sure said friend hadn't done any other drugs. The urine sample came up positive for ecstasy and meth. (The submitter even points out they couldn't have arrested him for the marijuana!)
- When confronted by the police for accosting a pedestrian, the members of a pickpocketing group all give fake names... fake names that also have associated arrest warrants.
- These parents thought they would give their kids a more authentic Christmas by "borrowing" three deer from a nearby deer farm and dressing them up in jingle bells. The parents quickly find out exactly what happens when you take skittish, undomesticated herbivores into a house and adorn them in long strings of loud objects. The deer completely freak out and destroy the entire interior of the house, leaving nothing breakable intact, and they make so much noise that when the initial 911 call is made dispatch thinks it's an act of domestic violence. Miraculously, nobody in the family was hurt, and the owner of the deer farm decides not to press charges, feeling the thousands of dollars in property damage and the ruined Christmas were punishment enough.
- Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: This guy has been sending harassing messages to his ex-girlfriend, who contacted the police over it. When they call him to warn him off, he starts yelling about how they can't talk to him like that because he's "in a wheelchair" and deserves "respect". He then continues harassing his ex, telling her she should be ashamed of herself for calling the cops on a wheelchair user, and when he's finally hit with a restraining order tries the wheelchair defense again on the serving deputy before being shut down.
- Disaster Dominoes: Company stiffs an employee on $10,000 of unpaid overtime. This escalates into the company going bankrupt.
- Disproportionate Retribution: This lady asked a dog groomer for a special coat treatment on one part of her dog, ignorant of the fact that this would still incur an extra charge of $3 regardless of how much would be used. When the submitter explains this, the customer freaks out, threatens to kill her dog, attempts to run the submitter over in the parking lot two weeks later, and when the police went to her home, it was discovered that not only had she carried out the threat and killed her dog, but had also gutted and booby-trapped her house so that 'they' couldn't get her and had binoculars pointed out of every single window.
- The Dog Bites Back:
- Frequently. A tip about legal services: they're not obligated to still help you if you do something terrible to their employees or someone else like a lot of customers in Not Always Right. A lot of stories in law offices in particular have to do with someone in desperate need of a lawyer for their upcoming case mistreating either a lawyer or a secretary and suddenly finding themselves treading legal water without a lawyer for their abusive behavior.
- This client needs some very specialized legal work done (as in, the poster and maybe three other lawyers in the area can do it), waits until almost the end of the process to reveal that she gave the poster wrong information, blames the poster for using that wrong information for the court filing, throws a fit, and stomps out vowing to get the poster fired from their law firm. The poster is not fired, but the client now has to find another law firm to restart the entire process ... and it will be at least 6 months before any of the other lawyers doing this work would have an opening for a new client.
- Draco in Leather Pants: Invoked by the submitter's cousin in this story, who insists that a foster care child they're friends with just needs a friend to steer them on the right path... even as he commits progressively more heinous crimes with or without the cousin's influence. They end up getting married while he's in prison for attempting to rob a pharmacy at gunpoint, and the cousin still thinks he's a good guy at heart.
- Drives Like Crazy:
- "Crazy" is an understatement for a driver who continues to drive the wrong way down a drive-thru after it becomes obvious he can't make it without hitting anything, scraping several cars in the process. The worst part is that he seems somewhat aware of it; before doing this, he repeatedly apologizes to the driver telling him he'll have to reverse, and the submitter says he did so in perfect monotone.
- And then there's the girl who had a laundry list of moving violations and had just barely avoided jail time from the exasperated judge by promising to mend her ways... and on the way home tried to race a train. She didn't survive.
- "Mate, you've left most of your car across two lanes..."
- This woman reads and writes in a magazine while driving down a freeway and nearly causes multiple accidents until a police car finally pulls her over.
- Similarly, this idiot is reading a paperback book while driving at night in fog, going ludicrously slow as if that'll help him maintain control of his car, which is veering around the road in a fashion that initially misleads the submitter into thinking he's drunk. The only reason the submitter doesn't report him is because cell phones don't exist yet.
- The Ending Changes Everything:
- This story starts off with a neighborhood bully who steals and breaks the toys of other kids with his bad behavior being encouraged by his mother. By the end it turns out that the mother is a drug addict who had been making the kid steal the more expensive toys so she could sell them to support her habit.
- After spending weeks, if not months, receiving a stranger's bills, collection notices, and a police visit, this submitter is annoyed to no end and suspecting fraud. Actually, the intended recipient has dementia, and forgot her own address as well as what bills she needed to receive and pay. The police visit was a wellness check due to the missed mail/bills, and once the woman is found, they contact her family to move her into assisted care.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Subverted here. A drugs dog at a state border checkpoint starts indicating at a man's truck. It identifies a toolbox in the truck's bed, and the officers open it to reveal... a perfectly normal bag of peanut M&Ms.Officer: [to the dog] You're going back to training.
- Exhaustion-Induced Idiocy: After three long days of filming a movie, a haggard stuntman begins heading home without removing a fake axe injury on his head. A horrified policeman pulls the stuntman over and offers to get an ambulance. Too tired to think straight, the stuntman wordlessly begins taking the fake head wound off his face, causing the poor policeman to lose his lunch all over the car.
- Eye Scream: In this story, a crazy woman gets into an argument with the submitter's father over an airsoft gun that eventually escalates to her stealing the gun and shooting a police dog's eye out.
- Faked Food Contaminant: In this story, a group of businessmen holding a lunch meeting at a restaurant claim to have found a hair in the food and demand the chef come out and apologize to them personally. The lunch shift at that restaurant is very slow, so there's only two people working in the kitchen at all. Both come out, and instead of apologizing remove their chef hats. The hair in question was short and black; one chef is completely bald, the other has thigh-length hair ... but all the businessmen had short black hair matching the one they "found". The businessmen are then banned from the restaurant.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- "Ma'am, I've patrolled this street hundreds of times before, and I've never seen a single deer."
- "Are you aware that this is a bus lane?!" "Are you aware that this is a bus?"
- Emergency services can't find a severe traffic accident on a street that is LITERALLY VISIBLE FROM THE POLICE STATION, and near a lot they frequently ticket bad drivers at. The operator is very confused and implies that none of them ever learned the street's name, so they went in random (wrong) directions looking for a street they already knew very well, delaying treatment of the injured.
- False Rape Accusation:
- The teen drug dealer in this story was going to try this to avoid punishment for his criminal activities, until the officers pointed out the numerous cameras around the area showing what happened.
- In this story, a woman attempts to dupe the submitter into smoking weed so she can blackmail them, then threatens to lie and say they smoked with her even if they didn't, and then finally threatens to accuse them of sexually assaulting her. Fortunately, the submitter is recording the conversation, and the woman gets a lengthy jail sentence.
- Frame-Up: Mentioned as a common tactic by one lawyer who specializes in family law.If your client isnít planting the drugs in their exís shed, itís their ex planting drugs in your clientís shed.
- Frivolous Lawsuit:
- Attempted by this woman, who suffered a minor cut from the slide of a rented firearm. The fact that she'd admitted to lying on the range's waiver form (by claiming she had extensive firearms experience when she had none) was apparently irrelevant... though not to her lawyer, who takes one look at the waiver and quits the case.
- This woman uses the fact that the store is not selling candy (which is fake and used only for display) as grounds to sue the jewelry store where the submitter works. A customer who is being helped comes out and reveals to the woman that he is a judge, and that he would laugh her out of court if the case came to him.
- This story has two:
- At the focal point of a story is an angry customer who takes a terrified teenage grocery store cashier to court because she accidentally short-changed him twenty bucks during a very long shift, demanding $3000 for "theft and consumer fraud and breach of trust" (even though the issue was resolved right there at the store and he got his $20 back). Not only does the judge throw the case out and fine him $2500 for the ridiculous lawsuit, but the cashier's parents countersue for $1000 for the emotional distress he caused their daughter, which gets bumped up to the maximum statutory limit of $3000, resulting in him losing $5500 because he couldn't let what was an honest and trivial mistake go.
- Another absurd lawsuit is mentioned in passing within the same story, wherein a fired employee sued his former boss over the boss refusing to pay the employee the latter's dental bill over a lost tooth. How did the employee lose his tooth? His boss punched him...in a dream the ex-employee was having about beating the stuffing out of his boss, during which he accidentally punched himself in the mouth in his sleep.
- Good Is Not Soft: The victim of a hit-and-run offers to forgive the incident completely if the offending driver pays to have her bicycle, which was severely damaged, repaired. The driver refuses... until the victim declares she will press charges (costing them legal fees for defense and a hefty fine, as well as a criminal record) and claim on their liability insurance (which will affect their rates long-term).
- Good Stepmother: This story is a cross between this trope and Mama Bear.
- Graceful Loser: This telephone con artist praises the OP for recognizing their scam call as such.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: This "mother", incensed that the submitter got to the last of an on-sale item before her, literally uses her own son as a weapon against him, breaking the poor boy's arm.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: This poster's father was hospitalized during his term in the Air Force. His hospital roommate was a prisoner under guard. One night-shift sentry either forgot or wasn't told which person he was supposed to be guarding, so asked the only other person awake ... the prisoner. The prisoner promptly told the guard the other guy (OP's dad) was the prisoner and walked out of the hospital. Luckily OP's dad could prove he wasn't the prisoner.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: This man, who flies into an Unstoppable Rage and attempts to beat up the submitter, an employee at a car wash, just because the submitter had to yell at him over the car wash's extremely loud blow dryers to get back in his car and move it out of the car wash. (Fortunately, another employee manages to stop the man and kicks him out before the man can follow through with doing so.)
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: This landlord uses the existence of a stray cat to charge the submitter's family a pet fee and related increase in rent. The family takes the case to court, and wins... only for the landlord to increase the rent again (for all his properties this time) with the resulting legal fees as his new excuse, prompting the family to vote with their feet.
- Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: This group of robbers decided it was safe to plan their robbery of the bus driver on the bus, since they weren't using the local language to do so. Too bad one of the other passengers knew exactly what they were saying.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Any time someone calls the police over someone else's business, only to be arrested for their own violations.
- After the narrator's father dug a pond that attracted noisy frogs, an annoying neighbor began making false pollution complaints, hoping that the environmental safety inspectors would either annoy the owners into filling in the pond, or find something that would force them to fill in the pond. The inspectors found something, all right... they found that the neighbor was washing their car and improperly dumping the wash water (with chemicals), and fined them instead.
- These people demand the police do something about their car being blocked, and a tow truck called, by the owner of the property where they're illegally parked. Said police were called after they tried to start a fight with the property owner, which was recorded by the neighbors. "Something" turns out to be arresting them all as accessory to trespassing (the illegally parked car) and assault (the attempted fight), and the tow is redirected to an impound lot.
- A man whose property is adjacent to a national forest harasses the submitter for hunting there, only for the submitter to explain that the area they're in is part of the forest, not the man's property. The man calls in a ranger and shows him the "No Trespassing" signs, only for the ranger to check his GPS and... issue a citation for having "No Trespassing" signs in the national forest.
- This teenage thug decides he wants to scare the night shift cashier of a corner shop, so he runs at them screaming while holding a knife... promptly trips over a wet floor sign, buries the knife in their own shoulder, and eventually ends up having to have that arm amputated.
- Hold The Floor: What a newsagent at a shop in a train station does during an attempted armed robbery, taking their sweet time reading out the note the robber gives them and then very slowly taking money out of the register. It works and the police arrive in time to arrest the guy (who was surprisingly patient with the submitter through the whole ordeal, though it's implied that he was either drunk or high).
- Humiliation Conga: In this story, the poster's brother is called in on his day off to deal with a task not in his job description. He asks for $10,000 in overtime, but the company refuses, so he takes it to the labor board. Although the brother's lawsuit is unsuccessful, the ensuing investigation reveals the company had been stiffing all of its employees on overtime, costing them $100,000 in fines. This leads to them finding out they've been committing tax fraud, costing the company $500,000 in back taxes and fines. This leads to one of the partners' wives filing for divorce and taking a quarter of the business in cash. Finally, the company goes bankrupt.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Several Too Dumb to Live people end up doing this.
- In this story a thief is protesting his innocence in court. When his victim mentions that he stole an expensive chocolate cake from his fridge, the thief protests that it was a strawberry one instead.
- This pool cleaner was accused of stealing from lockers by two patrons. When called by management, he thinks two other patrons accused him, and yells at them that he didn't steal from their lockers, because they changed the code when they saw him spying on them!
- Insane Troll Logic:
- "I canít be fired! I canít be arrested! Itís impossible to steal from your job... See, I just sell it somewhere else. Itís the same as the store!"
- "Just do your job and (commit insurance fraud); it's not like I'm asking you to do anything illegal!"
- "Drinking and driving couldn't possibly be illegal, because, after all, bars have parking lots!"
- I Reject Your Reality: In this story, a client runs away from a drug rehabilitation center and gives a random phone number as contact information before doing so, resulting in an employee at the rehabilitation center barraging another woman (the submitter) with calls telling her to turn herself in no matter how much she and her husband tell them that she is not the person they are looking for. They end up going to the police with the submitter's identification material and the deputy is able to prove that the woman is not the runaway woman, but even when confronted with this evidence the employee insists that she must have forged every piece of ID and is still trying to throw them off her trail. The employee ends up being fired from the center and forced to pay a fines for harassment and restitution to the submitter because they still refuse to believe the submitter is not the runaway.
- Is This Thing Still On?: In this story, customer service for a webshop is getting calls from an irate customer who claims that the Xbox 360 they ordered has not arrived and will not be placated until they get a refund. When the customer moves to the submitter's coworker to complain about the same thing, the customer doesn't hang up their phone before telling someone with them: "There, now we'll have a free Xbox for sure!", which the coworker hears clear as day (and even if he wasn't, the call was also being recorded). The customer's call is forwarded to the fraud department, and subsequently the customer's address is blacklisted from the site and their account deleted.
- It's All About Me:
- This man tries to cut off a bus and causes an enormous traffic pile-up as he tries to force the bus to move out of his way. He refuses to move and tries to attack everyone who comes to tell him to move, including the police, all because he thought he was above the law and that the world had to move for him. His egomaniac behavior gets his driver's license revoked and lands him in jail and with several fines, including an assault charge made by a truck driver he hit.
- This woman encounters a tow truck and several vehicles blocking her road, and flips her lid, demanding that they move immediately or she's calling the police, ignorant (and seemingly uncaring) of the fact that they are with the police and in fact are recovering a vehicle involved in a fatal accident. When the first squad officer to arrive arrests her, she detonates, ultimately ending up with eighteen weekends in jail for obstruction, assault on a police officer, misuse of 911, interfering with an investigation, and tampering with evidence (for attempting to spit on the tow truck driver).
- Jerkass: A man who very loudly works on his truck the middle of the night and keeps his neighbors up blows off anyone who asks him to stop and continues to work on his truck at unreasonable times, resulting in the people of the neighborhood filing noise complaints to the city about him. Incensed, the man retaliates by barraging the noise complaint website with bogus noise complaints about them (including easily disproven ones such as complaints about noisy dogs which implicated people who didn't have any), and arguing with the police officers who come out to investigate. Ultimately, all this does is get the man arrested for the fraudulent noise complaints and fighting with the officers.
- Joke and Receive: A cashier gets a customer buying a balaclava (i.e. a stocking cap covering all of the wearer's head but their eyes and mouth) and jokes about the customer robbing a bank afterwards. The customer's reaction to this joke is to suddenly give the cashier a strange look and make a mad dash out of the store, tossing the balaclava into a trash can as he does so.Oops!
- Karma Houdini:
- A reckless driver gets off scot-free when the police behind them decide to instead pull over the submitter, whom they thought was using their phone while driving, and waste time trying to prove that the submitter was in fact doing so (which they weren't).
- In this story, the submitter's friend is scammed out of $40,000 by an unscrupulous client. The client flees to Europe after withdrawing his fraudulent earnings, and the submitter notes that as of the last time they spoke with their friend, the police have neither caught the fraudster nor returned the friend's money to him.
- In this story, three drunken douchebags break into the submitter's apartment, assault them, lock them out, and trash their stuff. The judge gives them a slap on the wrist because "boys will be boys" and they all have "bright futures", and although small claims court holds them liable for damages, they refuse to pay and flee the state before their community service is finished.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: A standard reaction from lawyers who discover that their clients' cases are fraudulent or completely idiotic.
- This woman's lawyer drops her case when he discovers she lied about her experience with guns on a liability waiver at a firing range, promptly injured herself, and tried to sue.
- This woman's lawyer drops her case when they were sent security camera footage and a witness statement showing that the client was trying to defraud the target with a false injury report.
- Laser-Guided Karma:
- This driver decided to start tailgating another car for no apparent reason (there was almost no traffic on the road, so he could have simply passed the car at any time). Turns out the car being tailgated was an undercover cop car.
- While two teenage shoplifters are being detained, two other teenagers steal their bicycles.
- This woman's attempt to fake an injury not only ends up with her being legitimately hurt, but her lawyer drops the case after being handed evidence showing that the woman was completely at fault because she had been trying to scam the store.
- Some kids throwing lit firecrackers into a crowded street hit a police car with one.
- This customer threatens to shoot a pizza place and harm the submitter's girlfriend if the pizza place doesn't honor a (non-existent) 30 Minutes, or It's Free! policy for his large orders of pizza. He instead got arrested for his threat.
- A guy rummaging in people's bags for loose valuables ends up with a handful of used tissues.
- The father in this story is berating his daughter for losing control of her car in bad weather and going into a ditch (and describing anyone who would do such a thing as 'very stupid'), up until the point when he gets chewed out by the emergency responder and the sheriff's deputy for making such a big deal over an honest mistake. The tirade is continued by the tow truck driver, who confirms that the car is still good to drive. The father angrily speeds off... then hits a puddle and slides his own car into the same ditch 300 feet further down the road, fast enough to do the car serious damage.
- Back when traveling from one European country to another required customs/border checks, this guy found himself behind at least 100 other cars at the Spain-France border. He decided to pull into the emergency lane and speed ahead of everyone else, pulling back into the line just before the border crossing station. Then the gendarme on duty flagged his car over and had him park in the median to wait until all the cars he'd cut in front of crossed the border.
- Lawful Stupid:
- This meter maid continually gives tickets to drivers who have not paid for their parking. The fact that the people in question have clearly just parked and are in the process of using the kiosk to pay is irrelevant.
- In this story, a British police officer guarding a nuclear site held his fire on a suspicious individual, and it was soon determined that the individual was an employee for the security company they had hired who had decided to conduct a security test without informing the heavily-armed police with shoot-to-kill orders. The officer was reprimanded and fired. The comments argue whether this trope was actually in play (the suspect wasn't a threat, and Stanislav Petrov is brought up when discussing human judgement in situations like these) or not (a second's hesitation in a possible terrorism situation could cause the loss of hundreds of lives).
- Lethally Stupid: The worst we hear this man do is speed, which is bad but common enough to not default to Drives Like Crazy. However, it's noted that the man is legally blind, limited to a small field of peripheral vision with most of his field of view being completely black. Naturally, he doesn't have a license, and usually rides a bike, but decides it's a great idea to buy and drive a motorcycle after moving. Several comments point out that there are too many ways that this could go wrong, and that it's lucky that he was pulled over before he actually hurt anyone. Even the editors seemed to agree with this; the punchline of the story is that, when asked for his license, the man replied, ďThe good state of California didnít see fit to give a blind man a license, officer,Ē and the story is titled "The State Of California Maybe Has A Point".
- Loophole Abuse:
- This story mentions a Canadian law that unpaid phone/TV/internet accounts, after six years, can no longer be collected from or the holders be refused service. Some customers are aware of the law and as such cycle through providers so that they rarely have to pay for the service. Of course, it's been done so often that companies have become Genre Savvy; the submitter's company has averted the trope by changing their policy so that anyone who took advantage of the loophole would be recorded as a high risk for non-payment and have to pay a hefty up-front deposit before getting anything more than basic service.
- The prostitute in this story has figured out that as long as she hasn't serviced them by the time the police arrive, the clients can't prove she was doing anything illegal... and can't force her to give the money back.
- When the Homeowners' Association prohibits planting sunflowers, but not corn...
- In this story, the submitter and her soon-to-be Amicable Ex are trying to get divorced, and the summons clerk informs them that it would be illegal for the submitter to personally serve her husband divorce papers and that they need either a special messenger or an officer of the law to do it for them. The submitter promptly turns around and hands the summons to a nearby cop, who can barely keep a straight face as he hands it to the husband.
- Love Makes You Stupid: The girls in this story are 15, cut school to visit their out-of-town (college-age) boyfriends, miss their ride home, and soon have the police looking for them.
- Mad at a Dream: While not the focal point of it, an example that escalated into a Frivolous Lawsuit is mentioned in this story; an employee dreams he is beating up his boss after getting yelled at by him the day before, during which the employee accidentally punches himself in the face in his sleep and loses a tooth. Afterward, the employee demands that the boss pay the employee's dental bills, which just ends with him getting fired. The now ex-employee tries to sue his former boss for damages, but the case gets laughed out of court.
- Major Injury Underreaction: "Did he get me?" A contractor employee comes up to their superior, calmly and seemingly without issue, suggesting they might need to go to the hospital... because a fuel thief just stabbed them in the back and the weapon is still in there note .
- Mama Bear:
- When a group of cops mistakenly thinks a sandwich shop is open later than it actually is, resulting in the underage clerk having to wait well after closing while they chat, her mother ends up delivering an epic rant to the cops in question.ďDo you know what time it is? My daughter has school in the morning; she was supposed to be home half an hour ago! And then I come up here thinking something horrible must have happened and see nothing but cop cars in front of the building. I almost had a heart attack! You should all be ashamed of yourselves!Ē (And that's just the opening salvo, the full rant went several minutes.)
- Title dropped in this story. A man breaks into the submitter's home during the night, with the purpose of spiriting away the submitter's son to see his biological mother (the submitter's ex-wife, currently in rehab). The man is armed with a knife. The submitter's current wife is proficient in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She breaks both his arms.
- When a group of cops mistakenly thinks a sandwich shop is open later than it actually is, resulting in the underage clerk having to wait well after closing while they chat, her mother ends up delivering an epic rant to the cops in question.
- Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: One of these mothers calls a government office in charge of criminal background checks to complain that her son's conviction for sexual assault keeps showing up every time he applies for a teaching position, and demands the office take that conviction off his record immediately.
- Mistaken for Servant: This woman mistakes a teenage girl for a grocery store employee (despite the girl's outfit not even being close to the kind the store's employees wear) and refuses to take no for an answer, angrily grabbing the girl by the arm with enough force for her nails to draw blood. The woman is quickly arrested for assaulting a minor and also loses custody of her kids (it turns out that the woman was already on probation).
- Mistaken Identity: Some police mistake the submitter's husband for a criminal they're looking for as he's out playing Pokťmon GO late in the evening. Fortunately, the husband's ability to easily remember numbers gets him out of hot water when the police ask him to confirm his identity.
- Moral Luck: A policeman guarding a nuclear site in this story runs afoul of this via Sadistic Choice when a man wearing a suspicious vest threatens him; unbeknownst to him, the man is an actor hired to perform a security drill at the site, but the police were not informed of this. The policeman can either shoot him dead on the spot, performing the correct action based on the knowledge he had on the scene but causing the completely pointless death of an innocent person, or hold his fire, risking a terrorist attack on the nuclear site even though there's no actual danger. The policeman holds his fire, and is reprimanded and fired for it.
- Morton's Fork: A nuclear site is guarded by security personnel from two sources: military police and a private security firm. The latter decides to have a surprise drill, with an actor dressed as a suicide bomber, and neglects to inform the former, leading to a confrontation. If the policeman had used lethal force per his requirements, he would have mistakenly killed a civilian. However, since there was no warning that an actor would be on-site and no reason to believe he WASN'T a real bomber, the policeman was dismissed as a security risk for holding his fire.
- Mugging the Monster: Egad, is THIS story every parent's worst nightmare. The submitter drives home from work to find his house surrounded by police cars and ambulances and learns that his son was almost kidnapped by a drugged up man, who was armed and broke in through his step-daughter's bedroom (thankfully, said step-daughter was away at her biological father's house at the time). Fortunately, the submitter's new wife is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion and foiled the kidnapping before anything bad happened. What's worse, though, is that the druggie knew where they lived through the submitter's ex-wife, who was in drug rehab with the man, befriended him, and told him about how she ended up in rehab, including dropping names. After leaving, the man immediately fell off the wagon and, while bombed out of his mind, remembered the ex-wife's son, figured out where he lived through the names the ex-wife gave him, and decided to go take him to see her in the middle of the night. The ex-wife, who had nothing to do with the attempted kidnapping, is just as mortified at what happened as her ex-husband was, profusely thanks the new wife for protecting her son, and is more careful about giving away names in the future.
- Must Have Caffeine: This person calls 911 four times in 10 minutes to demand that the police stop blocking access to the gas station where she gets her coffee. Who cares that the station is closed because someone murdered the clerk and the homicide squad is still investigating — and she insists that if they're not going to let her in, they should at least brew a pot of coffee for her and deliver it. The only reason she quit calling after the fourth time is one of the officers heard her screaming and came over to see what was wrong and promptly arrested her for disorderly conduct, assault on a police officer, disturbing the peace, and abuse of the 911 system, as two real emergency calls had to be rerouted to another dispatch center because she was tying up the line.
- Multiple Identity IDs: Trips up the scammer in this story — she couldn't remember which birthdate went with which stolen identity.
- Mundane Utility: This police officer was using his car's flashing lights to scare elk off the road so much that he forgot about its intended use and was puzzled when a driver assumed they were being pulled over.
- My Greatest Failure: This story describes a conversation the poster has with a judge, which eventually leads to the poster asking if there is anything the judge regrets. The judge describes a 16-year-old girl who kept getting into trouble for driving violations. The judge eventually threatened to put her in jail, but buckled when she begged him for clemency since nobody had gotten hurt. She promptly decided to race a train to the crossing and was killed.
- My Rule Fu Is Stronger than Yours: In this story (originally posted on Reddit), a man goes to a lawyer to see if there's any way he can stop his HOA from making him remove the sunflowers he'd planted around the house. The lawyer found that sunflowers were on the (extremely long) list of banned plants, but whoever had originally drawn up the list (and not just written "no plants without prior permission" in order to bill more hours) had left out corn. So the guy digs up his sunflowers... and in their place plants obnoxiously big and ugly cornstalks, which the HOA can't fine him for because corn was technically allowed. He eventually agreed to take down the corn, in exchange for the HOA letting him keep his sunflowers.
- Myopic Architecture: In this story, a jewelry store replaces its front display window by a large and thick sheet of Lexannote but refuses to replaces the framework surrounding the front window (a task suggested by the contractor installing the Lexan window, but which they couldn't do themselves). A week later, the jewelry was robbed by thieves who drilled into corners of the windows then ripped it from the facade by pulling it with a large vehicle. The window was lying almost undamaged on the street (minus some minor scratches and the holes drilled by the crooks). Linking this new window to a proper, appropriate framework would have resulted in a structure solid enough to not allow the window to be ripped this way from the facade.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight:
- This crook's attempt to pull a Ballistic Discount on a hunting knife fails when the clerk draws a pistol on him.
- Name-dropped in this story when a burglar draws a knife on the submitter to rob the golf course they work at, only for the submitter to draw their concealed pistol and send him running.
- This story has the submitter accidentally threaten a pistol-wielding cop with a folding chair and then nearly name-drop the trope.
- Never My Fault:
- This woman goes to ridiculous lengths to try and make it seem like it isn't her fault that her dog ran from her yard to terrorize the submitter and their pit bull (who doesn't get along with other dogs due to being being in a dog-fighting ring in the past) while she was watching and tries to paint herself as a good dog owner and her dog as a friendly well-behaved pooch when both clearly aren't (the dog, in particular, gives the submitter a nasty dog bite on their ankle when the submitter tries to block him from their pit bull). Ultimately, the woman is charged with illegally letting her dog run off-leash in an open yard in the neighborhood (among other misdemeanors) and is forced to give up her dog. Despite this, even in the court hearing the woman still adamantly refuses to believe that she was at fault for the incident despite telling the story exactly how it happened.
- This driver tries every excuse she can think of to weasel her way out of trouble for hitting a bicyclist. Not only does every single one of them incriminate her of breaking some sort of traffic law, but her employer finds out about the accident (since it was a company vehicle) and fires her for refusing to take responsibility.
- No Honor Among Thieves: In this story, one member of a group of shoplifters gets searched, and is caught with a wallet belonging to one of his partners in crime. A brawl ensues.
- Oh, Crap!: In this story (which was later deleted for some reason or other), a group of teenagers try to sneak aboard a train, bum a free ride, and drink underage, and then try to threaten the conductor into letting them stay with the possibility that the conductor could be held legally accountable if they come to any harm. The conductor complies and drops them off at the next train station, where a bunch of police are waiting for them."I've never seen anyone get as pure of an 'Oh, s***!' impression as those kids right then."
- Omniglot: Downplayed example here, the submitter speaks six languages to varying degrees, and ends up trolling the scammer in four.
- Papa Wolf: In this story, appropriately titled "Mess With The Cub, You Get The Papa Bear's Claws", the submitter is groped in a hotel laundry room. Her father (explicitly noted to normally be the kind of guy who can barely even harm a spider) smashes the groper's head against a dryer.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: This dude tries to escape being arrested after attempting to rob a betting shop by leaving, coming back in oversized pajamas, and pretending to be a normal customer. Nobody is fooled and he's still arrested when the police arrive.
- Police Are Useless: The officer in this story doesn't even bother writing down the submitter's statement when she is groped, asks questions that implicitly victim-blame her, and then doesn't bother to follow up on it.
- Politeness Judo: Asking for directions gets this grandmother out of a speeding ticket.
- Poor Communication Kills:
- The facilities manager for a bank changes cleaning companies without telling the bank staff. When three unknown persons arrive at the bank claiming to be the new cleaners, the tellers lock them out and call the police.
- In this story, a security company performs a safety drill with a simulated terrorist attack without bothering to inform the police. This nearly gets the actor shot and gets a policeman fired for not pulling the trigger (even if the man turned out to be no harm, it was considered unacceptable for the cop to take that risk).
- The submitter of this story offers to take care of their neighbor's baby while said neighbor is frantically attempting to contact a friend of theirs whose kitchen is on fire, and takes the baby into their home to get them away from the smoke and all the noise of the emergency services. It slips their mind that they forgot to tell the neighbor where they were going, the neighbor forgot to tell the submitter somewhere specific to take their baby, and once the neighbor manages to affirm the safety of their friend, they've completely forgotten allowing the submitter to take their baby at all, with her stressed mind leaping straight to kidnapping. The emergency response quickly forms an enormous search party which thankfully isn't required as the police quickly sort things out while carrying out door-to-door enquiries.
- The owner of a coffee cart allows their barista to run the cart without oversight, oblivious to the barista's 'assistants' - who were young women in a human trafficking ring. All it takes is an office worker being relocated to the main site and telling the owner about the girls to bust the ring. This had apparently been going on for at least two years prior to the relocation.
- Pragmatic Villainy: These drug dealers systematically discourage drug sales and use in their immediate neighborhood, to deflect suspicion by the police.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The obnoxious client's daughter in this story gets what she wants because the law firm decides a disruption to their work period is better than her sick mother, disabled husband, and child being left in a sizzling car any longer than necessary; but the firm bans her for effectively using her family as hostages.
- Rage-Breaking Point: The submitter of this story loses patience with his sovereign citizen coworker after he runs a stop sign as a result of trying to tune out said coworker's pseudolegal Word Salad Philosophy, resulting in him being pulled over, and the coworker proceeds to argue with the officer who pulled him over and try to prevent him from cooperating with the officer. The submitter ends up screaming in the coworker's face and threatening to kick him out of the car and have him arrested.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- As the comments point out, the seemingly harsh judge in this story is following the rules of jury selection. Schedule conflicts (lack of transportation, disability, lack of childcare, etc.) need to be documented and resolved before the selection; otherwise, the only valid excuse is a genuine conflict of interests with the case (as the submitter had).
- This judge seems to be a jackass, yelling at a young man in traffic court for several minutes for his poor driving record, with this being the latest in a long string of offenses. When the submitter is called, the judge finds out that the charge is minor and the submitter has had no other tickets in eight years, and immediately dismisses the ticket.
- A teenager caught selling drugs insists that his lawyer father will get him out of trouble, even after his False Rape Accusation fails. In the last paragraph, the father makes a guilty plea for a reduced sentence, freezes his access to a trust fund, and promises to cut him out of the will entirely if it happens again.
- Redemption Rejection: On their way to jail, the bailiff submitter asks this boy racer whether he's ever considered taking up a serious career in racing, bearing in mind his ability to race and evade police on the roughest of dirt roads, and even offers to put in a word with the owner of a local racing team. Sadly, the kid laughs it off, and just sinks deeper into the judicial system.
- Revealing Cover Up:
- The coworker loudly accusing a reformed thief of stealing electronics, surprise surprise, turns out to be the one stealing electronics.
- This cashier was selling items to customers, registering the transaction as a $2 sale (and an item hold so the missing product wouldn't be noticed in inventory), and pocketing the rest. She's found out when a customer needs to make a return, and the manager questions why the receipt doesn't match the item.
- Company owner loudly tells the accountant that the money he's taking from the company's assets is to pay off suppliers... then the suppliers call and ask about their unpaid bills. One investigation later, it turns out the owner was embezzling money to buy sex services behind his wife's back.
- After hitting a bicyclist, this driver lies every way she can to avoid being found at fault... except every lie she comes up with involves her violating traffic laws anyway. Her employer also finds out, since she was driving a company vehicle, and fires her for not taking responsibility for the accident.
- A teenage runaway supplements her income by conning men on the Internet, flirting and telling sob stories so they will send her gifts. One of her beaus wants to visit, so she fakes a medical emergency on the phone to scare him off. Instead, he calls emergency services with her address, and apparently this isn't the first time they've busted her for this kind of thing.Police Officer: You need to stop lying! You have the entire police force here looking for a dead woman... This is the third time Iíve had to deal with you this past year alone, and this town has been putting up with your s*** since you were ten!
- Revenge Myopia: This one's a doozy. OP starts the story stating that his neighborhood is suffering a crime wave of packages being stolen from the door-step. OP installs a security camera and catches a thief in the act. He manages to get a clear facial view with the thief shoving his package in her backpack. As is his right, he places posters showcasing this at fence posts around his property, asking for information, or hopefully, getting the stealing to stop. In response, the thief's mother calls him up, and demands the posters be taken down because her daughter is not a thief. Not expecting it to work, OP asks the woman for her name and address so he can send an apology letter. The woman happily gives it to him. OP doesn't send any letters, he instead calls the police with the information he now has. When the police go to the given address to investigate, the woman spits on the police officers, and soon after, OP comes home to find his front door vandalized with graffiti. Shortly after re-painting the door, OP gets a call from the woman again, promising to make his life hell because OP "ruined her daughter's life by snitching." Then said daughter is caught, red-handed, attempting to vandalize the door again. There's no word what happened after that, but nobody's heard from Mom or Teen Thief again, and the porch-piracy in the area dropped to zero...
- Ridiculous Procrastinator: This lawyer doesn't even keep track of which lawsuits are open for or against his client, and repeatedly fails to furnish them for the lawyer representing the other company in a franchise transaction. When the other lawyer does his work for him, it turns out he'd blown off several otherwise-winnable lawsuits until they'd defaulted against his client. He gets fired and reported to the bar association.
- Rules Lawyer: This truck driver made a habit of memorizing specific speed laws pertaining to delivery trucks, because their employer expected them to make deliveries in times that weren't legally possible.
- Sarcastic Confession: When asked if she's smuggling food during wartime rationing, a large woman retorts that she's sitting on "my two hams". The police assume she's referring to her buttocks. She's not.
- Saying Too Much: A plumber who insists he didn't work on the house, and he took the toilet out carefully, and everything else was done by "his guys", but he can't be held responsible for that because he didn't have a contract, until his lawyer finally shouts "STOP TALKING!"
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: This father attempts to bribe the police out of arresting his son. It doesn't work.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
- This teenage drug dealer thought that because his dad was a lawyer, he could not only get away with his dealings, but slap the two officers who arrested him with molestation charges as well. His dad, however, wasn't willing to go easy on him.
- In this story, a food vendor is caught red-handed shortchanging customers and sticking the rest of their change (plus some extra money grabbed out of the till, since it's open anyway) in her pocket. She not only threatens the witness to keep her mouth shut or else, but assures her that the vendor is a friend of the facility's manager so he will take the vendor's word "over a teenage skank" like the witness. That witness happened to be the manager's daughter, specifically sent to that vendor to see why the till was always short. The vendor left in handcuffs.You should have seen her face when I called him Dad.
- This man believes that he can enter other people's apartments and make himself at home because his father owns the apartment complex. Not only does he use this on the submitter, but also the police, who promptly arrest him. It turns out that the father in question had specifically directed his managers not to let his son in or give him any keys, and the son had obtained apartment keys by claiming that the owner had requested maintenance in the rooms in question.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In this story, the defendant in an upcoming lawsuit for sexual harassment and discrimination puts the moves on his attorney within three seconds of her entering the room. She naturally responds by recusing herself.
- Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: A neighbor mistakes the chainsaw that a man on a roof is using to cut away a pine tree leaning against a house for a sniper rifle and calls 911. Cue a SWAT team surrounding the house and telling the bewildered (not to mention very scared) man to lay down his weapon and put his hands up. Fortunately, the misunderstanding is cleared up quickly and no one is hurt.
- Shout-Out: The title of this story is a reference to the lighthouse joke.
- Skewed Priorities:
- The lady mentioned in Must Have Caffeine is fine with disrupting a homicide investigation and placing unnecessary 911 calls (offenses that could and did get her prison time) to get her coffee... but not with driving 5 minutes and paying a few more dollars to get coffee ("that isn't contaminated with blood", to quote the police officer who dealt with her) from another place.
- A music store employee does absolutely nothing when a shoplifter leaves with an armload of CDs...until the submitter informs him that the thief damaged his car while leaving the parking lot, at which point the employee almost bowls the submitter over running out the door to check on his car.
- Spanner in the Works:
- A sysadmin who'd embezzled millions of dollars from his employer and retired early is caught when his successor fails to receive the fake inventory he'd been using to justify his budget requests, does his own, and comes up with a much lower number, leading management to investigate.
- This company refuses to pay a manager $10,000 in overtime. He takes them to court and, while he ultimately loses, the investigation uncovers the massive fraud the company had been committing, which results in their going bankrupt. And all because they didn't want to pay $10,000 that they may or may not have owed to one frazzled manager who was on-call even on his day off but wasn't receiving overtime.
- This landlord is caught in violation of building and tax codes because a visitor's car got crushed by falling ice and the landlord refused to pay for it. The submitter's own lawyer pointed out that this con might've still been going had the landlord simply paid up.
- The submitter in this story ends up helping to uncover a small insurance fraud ring run by a doctor, pharmacist, and insurance agent who were all related.
- After the store cameras fail to get any useful footage of a robbery, the thieves are tracked down by requesting the dashcam footage of a public bus that happened to pass their getaway vehicle.
- Some drug smugglers are in a hotel room, equipped with guns. They don't count on one of their 'clients' casually ratting out the drugs and the guns to the desk clerk on the way out, or the guy they send to answer the door being far too high to even think about denying the cops entry.
- The submitter of this story has a casual conversation with their boss about the coffee cart they used to visit, and in the process inadvertently helps to bust a human trafficking ring.
- Spiteful Spit:
- This jerkass tries to spit on the poster after he gets her boyfriend arrested for blocking his driveway, but all she accomplishes is getting it all over her chin and shirt.
- In this story, the mother of a teen girl videotaped stealing packages from the doorstep of one of her neighbors, spits on the police officers who arrive at her home, following up on the complaint of the guy who got stolen from. After the woman herself called him up, demanding he take down the "wanted" posters on his own property showing the teen caught in the act, and asking for information, or at least shame the teen into stopping criminal activity and the woman provided her name and address, when OP asked for it so he could send an apology letter.
- Stay in the Kitchen: This idiot doesn't understand why the female police officer was mad when he told her she should be at home doing "women things."
- Stealing from the Hotel: Subverted: The thief paid for the room with her credit card, so the hotel charged it for the stolen towels.
- Stupid Crooks: A theme with this site.
- A major example would probably be this thief, who leaves his resume with all his contact information at the scene of the crime. For bonus points, it's the thief's mother who submitted the story, because even she can't believe he's that stupid. The comments on this post are filled with additional stories of stupid crooks.
- Gee, my trial won't start for a few minutes, what can I do to pass the time... I know! I'll threaten a prosecution witness while everyone in the courtroom, including the cops, are watching!
- Thanks to stupidity that doesn't fit under this trope, a couple scammers get their hands on "convenience checks" note linked to an elderly couple's credit card. They promptly write two large checks... and deposit them straight into their bank account. The fraud investigator called this "the easiest case I've ever handled".
- These two knuckleheads steal a pizza delivery car from a chain and decide there's nothing wrong with mentioning to the submitter (to whom they're trying to sell said stolen car) that they stole it from a pizza delivery shop in the first place. Needless to say, the buyer takes the car for a "test drive", tracks down the person to whom the stolen car belongs, and ultimately gets the car back to its rightful owner.
- This murderer stole a motorcycle from his victim and takes it to a locksmith to have a key made for it. Too bad for him, the locksmith in question sees a news report on the murder the next day, and calls the cops, providing them with the name and address the guy left with the locksmith.
- A man is on trial for several burglary charges. After the initial trial and presentation of evidence, the judge asks if anyone has any questions before the jury goes into deliberation. Up goes the accused man's hand, and he asks: "So, if Iím found innocent, does that mean I get to keep the stuff I took?". Cue Face Palm from his lawyer, stifled laughter from the judge and jury, and a conviction issued within less than five minutes.
- A shoplifter who fled a store with a bunch of purses and clothes is caught in record time because he stopped about five stores down to sort through the stolen items.
- Another shoplifter parked her car right in front of the store she was stealing from, and even asked an employee ahead of time if she could. Security footage got very clear shots of her and her children loading the stolen items into her car (whose license plate is also on prominent display).
- This guy walks off without paying for his purchases at a supermarket before the employees can stop him. When he shows up at the store to shop again (after making a brief appearance there while bombed out of his mind), the employees call the police. The cops talk to the man and they follow him to the register. Against all logic, the guy tries to walk off without paying for his items again right in front of the police officers. He doesn't even make it out the door before the police officers arrest him.
- This woman is stated to absolutely suck at trying to con her way into getting returns on items she didn't buy from stores due to giving overly-convoluted and highly-improbable reasons for why she wants to return said items that always gives her away, demonstrated in the story by her trying to weasel her way into getting a return on a hair dryer by telling the submitter an absurd sob-story about the hair dryer being a gift to her jobless and ill son and one of the few things that made him happy. Unsurprisingly, the submitter is immediately suspicious and the scam fails.
- A woman sentenced to court-ordered community service at a thrift store skips two days and refuses to work the third, then tries to bully the staff into sending the court records that she completed her service. Instead, they just send the court records of the truancy, non-compliance, and bullying. "We never saw her again, but I don't think the judge was happy."
- In this story, the owner of a regulations and tax-evading apartment building apparently has never heard about the concept of hush money. When his negligence results in an ice block totaling someone's car (which was The Alleged Car beforehand), he refuses to pay for a replacement and the case goes to court... at which point, in the course of the investigation, the shady practices come to light, and he gets in hot water over way more than just an accident. In the words of the poster's attorney:
- In this example, a woman in a department store steals another customer's phone while clearly in sight of the security cameras. And then pays for her own shopping with a credit card, so the store has her details. And then tries to shift the blame onto her autistic daughter, despite aforesaid cameras clearly showing it was her who took it. And used the owner's Netflix app, and took photos and audio recordings of herself. Unsurprisingly, she is tracked down easily, and the recordings turn out to be of interest to the police in connection to another case concerning her.
- This scammer can't even keep his story straight; he enters a store claiming that he got the (stolen) vacuum cleaner he is trying to return as a housewarming gift, only to forget he said this mere seconds later and say that "[he] paid cash" for it and repeatedly demand to be paid back in cash. He just keeps digging himself deeper from there and it indirectly leads to his arrest later.
- A person tries to rob a pharmacy that sits right across the street from a police station. All the witness to the crime (the submitter) has to do is tap the window of the station to get the attention of the officers inside and gesture toward the robbery, and it is stopped (and the would-be-robber is apprehended and arrested) in less than a minute.
- A robber flees the betting parlor he is trying to rob when the owners hit the panic button, then comes back after changing clothes and tries to pose as a normal customer. The betting parlor owners are not fooled one bit and keep the robber distracted until the police arrive.
- A mother-daughter pair here. The teen steals a package right in front of a security camera, and gets a nice color poster of her in the act. Mom then calls up the victim, not with an apology, but with a demand to take the poster down, and then happily gives him her name and address, then spits on the investigating police officers. Not having learned her lesson, Ms. Teen-thief goes back to the house she stole from, the one with the security camera, and vandalizes the front door with spray-paint. THEN Mom gives OP reason to suspect them by calling him up and all but admitting it by stating 1.) He "deserved it" for getting the police involved and "ruining her daughter's life" and 2.) Promising to give him hell. Then Ms. Teen-thief gets caught in the act by the police coming over to OP's house in response to his call. We're not shown what happened to Mom and Ms. Teen-thief after that, but given that the porch-piracy (and the mom's harassment of the OP) is stated to have quickly stopped afterward, one can easily assume that they both got in very big trouble if they weren't outright arrested.
- These two have robbed an automated car wash full of quarters. The next day, one of them attempts to exchange them for cash at the store directly across the street from said car wash. The staff at the store have already been warned, and stall him while they call the police (who are also located just across the street), explaining that for an exchange of this size they need his name, address and telephone number, as well as an ID — all of which he provides without question, before paging his friend and accomplice, who arrives just as the police do. The police question the two, who respond with belligerence before trying to make a break for it, which gets them both arrested.
- This fraudster intercepts her roommate's bills, memorizes her personal information, and impersonates her on the phone to complain to the utility companies about billing her (roommate) for services she (fraudster) isn't using. When told that this is identity theft and fraud, she throws a tantrum that it isn't, demands a formal apology letter from the company representative for saying her fraud was fraud... and in doing so, provides them her own personal and contact information, which the company sends to the police with a recording of the call and their fraud report.
- A bunch of yahoos attempt to rob a convenience store ATM and do so in the most ridiculous way possible. They start by driving through the front doors on a (stolen) ATV, but get the vehicle stuck in the check-out desk. They leave and plow through the front of the store again (this time in a stolen sedan), and then try unsuccessfully to pull the ATM from the wall. When that doesn't work, they just ram it out of the wall with the car itself. Then the police start to arrive and they heft the ATM into the back seat of the sedan, and then show off by doing a donut in the parking lot, whereupon they fling the stolen ATM out of the car and end up leaving without it. The group then returns to the scene of the crime the next morning, all wearing the same clothes they used to rob the store, to look at the mess they made. They are arrested shortly afterward. The clincher? The submitter mentions that the ATM is set to lock itself tight when damaged significantly enough, only able to be unlocked with a special tool held by the owner, meaning that the group wouldn't have been able to get to the ATM's money anyway after they banged it and rammed it and threw it around so much during the attempted robbery.
- A store is having problems with employee theft, so the owner decides to install cameras. He can't cover the whole store, though, so he just has to aim them at general spots, cover the cameras with domes so you can't tell where they're pointing, and hope. Within a week he's caught the thieves - and it turns out to be the two employees who helped him install the cameras, the only people besides he and his wife who knew where they were pointing.
- This fool of a jewel thief gloats about her crime in front of a friend of a friend, who works at the jewel store and is filming her.
- This genius crashed his car into a factory's security cameras, giving them very good footage of his face and license plates, then tried to steal the (empty) scrap metal bins anyway. This after he'd been caught in-person earlier, badly trying to pretend he had permission, and his description given to security personnel. The two reported incidents were enough to convict him with a jail sentence.
- This one robbed her own workplace with her boyfriend... still in uniform and wearing her nametag.
- This story describes two separate instances of a genius deciding to rob someone...at a police convention, first with someone trying to rob the front desk at the hotel hosting the convention, and then someone trying to rob a retired police chief at a different one. Both times, the crook is apprehended and arrested in a matter of seconds.
- This woman has a "cheater" on her water pipe that bypasses the meter. When the guy installing her legally-mandated new meter tells her it'll have to go, she calls the cops on him, and is last seen shouting "You did this to me!" as she gets arrested for having it in the first place.
- Summon Bigger Fish: Do NOT threaten ambulance drivers with a knife. "We get almost the entire police precinct within five or six minutes."
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Godfather [My Name] is not stealing us, and heís not a bad guy! We love him!" It's actually true, but the godfather in question is horrified to hear his goddaughter say it, unprompted, to a police officer who turned out to be there for something else entirely.
- They Just Don't Get It:
- The 911 operator in this story fails to understand that the submitter is asking for animal control to deal with a bear in the basement because she's blindly following the wrong emergency response card without actually listening to the submitter, leaving the responding officer shocked when the bear turns out to be an actual bear and not, as they apparently believed, "a big, hairy, gay guy".
- A text-based emergency service for deaf people refuses to help a deaf person because they didn't call the police... because, you know, deaf.
- The cousin in this story adamantly believes that a classmate is troubled and lashing out due to a lack of friends. She maintains this view as the classmate's offenses progressively worsen, going from deliberately contaminating food to get fired to selling prescription medicine, to two separate attempts at robbery (for which he got arrested and tried both times as an adult), with the clear implication that the classmate doesn't want to improve himself. This goes to the point where the two of them end up married (during the classmate's second stint in prison).
- A woman on Facebook calls the police on the submitter because she bought a sewing machine at a pawn shop, and she's adamantly convinced that it was stolen. Even when the submitter points out that pawn shops have very strict laws and regulations in place to avoid such scenarios, and the legal accountability would fall on them if she did indeed buy a stolen product, the woman continues to insist that what the submitter did is illegal and that she's going to jail. The local sheriffs openly laugh at her report due to how ridiculous it is.
- This "friend" is utterly baffled when the submitter gets mad at them for stealing and selling their car for weed and booze, and constantly whines about how much of a deal is being made out of it (but he gave back a cut of the money he made, that should make it alright!) right up until the cops force the notion through his head that it was a crime.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- This pedestrian thinks the best way to commit insurance fraud is to deliberately try and get hit by a car. And when the driver manages to avoid him, he runs right into their hood three times and then bashes his head against it, all within view of both the driver and the witness. He then more or less accuses the driver of hitting him on purpose when they obviously did nothing of the sort, and then tries to sue the driver for over $1 million. Needless to say, all this got him was some broken ribs, a split head, and a large medical bill.
- The plaintiff in a lawsuit against a lawyer's client is so desperate to win her suit that she attempts to steal evidence that she defamed the client from the lawyer's office... which is full of security cameras that record audio, doors that lock from inside, and does so directly in front of the lawyer who stopped in to pick the evidence up before the court hearing. Naturally, she gets arrested for trespassing on the lawyer's property and attempting to steal evidence, and it's heavily implied she lost the lawsuit.
- An unfortunately literal case here, when a judge relays the story of having a 16-year-old repeat offender for vehicular issues. He chose to be lenient and gave her community service, not jail time. The girl in question chose to continue her risky driving and tried to race a train at a crossing. The train won.
- This lady had a bag of suspicious white powder confiscated from her by a nightclub doorman... and promptly called the police to get it back. Needless to say, the powder was confirmed to be drugs, and the woman was promptly in much more trouble that just having the baggie confiscated. The submitter thinks alcohol was involved.
- This Klingon cosplayer is confronted by the police on suspicions of being a gang member. Rather than break character and explain that he's just a Star Trek cosplayer, he remains in-character as a human-hating Klingon who wants to kill all humans... which gets him arrested. The ironic part of this story was that his character, Chancellor Gorkon, actually wanted to make peace with humans!
- After being told repeatedly, emphatically, in no uncertain terms, to not talk about a high-profile, week-long case outside the courtroom, a juror encounters the defendant at the grocery store and starts chatting about the case in public. The breach of confidentiality gets the whole case thrown out as a mistrial and they have to find a new jury to start over, while the juror and defendant are both held for contempt of court and given an ear-lashing by the judge.
- A person steals a businessman's briefcase at an airport, finds bags of a white powdery material inside, and decides to snort it. Thing is, the white powder wasn't crack like the person likely thought it was, but super-absorbent, the material that goes inside diapers and becomes a gel that expands when it gets wet (from any source). The thief ends up being rushed to the hospital shortly afterward.
- Tranquil Fury: The manager in this story, upon discovering evidence that one of her agents is an accessory to insurance fraud, is described as "eerily calm" as she speaks to the submitter.
- Unwanted Assistance: This sovereign citizennote gets his coworker, the submitter, pulled over by causing him to blow a stop sign, then tries to prevent the submitter from cooperating with the officer because he thinks his pseudolegal Word Salad Philosophy invalidates traffic laws. The submitter, fed up with his coworker's babbling about maritime law, ends up exploding and threatening to ask the officer to arrest him.
- What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Simulate a credible suicide bombing threat without telling our police force colleagues? Sure, let's do that. There's no way we could get a police officer sacked by creating a horrible Morton's Fork where said officer either kills an innocent person or fails to respond to an apparent terrorist threat, right?
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit:
- A scam artist trying to trick traveling businessmen into illegal acts near a camera and report them is thwarted when word of the con reaches her latest mark and he refuses her invitation to smoke weed. So she threatens to press charges against him for rape; he then points out that the camera will prove he's innocent.
- A much more successful case here: A woman on the run from the police after resisting arrest dodges into a convenience store and tells the clerk she's fleeing an abusive boyfriend. Only once the officer pulls a gun on them does the clerk start to realize she's lying.
- Why We Can't Have Nice Things: The trope name is dropped in the comments of this story: A US movie crew shooting in Vancouver, BC donates any extra perishable food to people in the poor part of town at the end of the week, and the system works out great until one person in said neighborhood gets greedy and attempts to scam the film crew out of money by claiming his food was moldy (it wasn't). This causes a domino effect that goes up to the higher ups at the movie studio, and afterward the film crew is no longer allowed to donate food to the poor part of town and can only throw it out while everyone else in the poor neighborhood misses out on decent meals just because of one person.
- Your Door Was Open:
- Unintentional example here: some customers arrive at a store early in the morning, go in and start looking around, only for the police to show up. It turns out that the store was closed, but whoever shut up for the night forgot to lock the door, and they tripped a silent alarm when they entered.
- A case of taking a complete stranger's car for a spin because they'd left the keys in, and stranding the grandfather who'd given her the keys for the correct car in the first place.