Every day, we perform so many tasks that we instantly forget about them. Meeting the deadline at work, picking kids up from school, reserving a dinner table, paying bills, doing this and that; no wonder our heads are spinning by the end of the week.

Whatever we do, even if we do so voluntarily, we have to follow some general rules, sometimes strict instructions or simply common sense to complete each task. But what happens when a person not just does what they’re supposed to do, but does so in such a literal way that it modifies the initial task altogether?

Call it a sense of humor, malicious compliance, a miscommunication, or a human error, but one thing is clear, every now and then, people take stuff at face value. Below Bored Panda wrapped up some of the funniest examples to remind everyone that we had better be clear than sorry. More literally completed jobs await in our previous post here.

#1

We Told Our 3-Year-Old That New Year Is Special Because You Get To Toast. Later, She Said: "Are We Gonna Make A Toast Now?" And Thus, A New Year's Day Tradition Was Born

We Told Our 3-Year-Old That New Year Is Special Because You Get To Toast. Later, She Said: "Are We Gonna Make A Toast Now?" And Thus, A New Year's Day Tradition Was Born

reddit.com Report

Grudge-holding Treefrog
Community Member
1 month ago

She’s so happy

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#2

This Is The Picture Amazon Sent My Bill To Say The Packages Were "Delivered To A Family Member Directly"

This Is The Picture Amazon Sent My Bill To Say The Packages Were "Delivered To A Family Member Directly"

mayorofutopia Report

Sophhh
Community Member
1 month ago

Aww

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#3

Someone At A Festival Offered Me A Little Bag Of Coke

Someone At A Festival Offered Me A Little Bag Of Coke

BGFlyingToaster Report

Sophhh
Community Member
1 month ago

Priceless 🤌🏻

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Let’s make one thing clear – people are destined for miscommunication, for one reason or the other. Sometimes it happens by accident, other times it depends on the wrong assumption or interpretation, and other times we do it deliberately to prove a point. Call it an act of malicious compliance, a phenomenon well documented on various online platforms.

At the same time, if we want to make a real connection, miscommunication between us and the other person will break the deal. After all, social interaction follows us everywhere: at work, on a date, while out with friends, or having a coffee with your bff. So how could we possibly gain that confidence to express ourselves so that we are understood? Bruce Lambert, a professor, scientist, and consultant who has taught thousands of people all across the United States how to communicate more effectively, may have some answers.

#4

My Grandma Wanted Some "Creative" Grad Photos Of My Friend Since We're Graduating At The Same Time. This Was Her Least Favorite

My Grandma Wanted Some "Creative" Grad Photos Of My Friend Since We're Graduating At The Same Time. This Was Her Least Favorite

Toll_House69 Report

Jacqueline Pie Francis
Community Member
1 month ago

This broke me—I cannot stop laughing

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#5

She’s A Genius

She’s A Genius

777jorgeivan Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

Genius!

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#6

Always Asked For A Skateboard As A Kid. My Parents Said Not Until I'm 35. Today They Delivered

Always Asked For A Skateboard As A Kid. My Parents Said Not Until I'm 35. Today They Delivered

johncpeterson71 Report

ツ chihuahua n.
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

He looks so happy! Edit: ty for the upvotes, this is the most i've ever gotten!

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First, we have to realize that being misunderstood is one of those common things that are virtually impossible to get rid of altogether. As long as we are a community, we will misunderstand each other. Nevertheless, it still puzzles us.

“People say they want to learn to express themselves more clearly so that they won't be misunderstood. When we are misunderstood, we think it is because we chose the wrong words. We didn't convey our ideas properly. Or we blame the other person. We expressed ourselves perfectly clearly, but they misinterpreted us. They got the wrong idea out of what we said,” Lambert explains on his website How Communication Works.

#7

Experts Recommend Keeping Your Daily Rituals Even While Working From Home

Experts Recommend Keeping Your Daily Rituals Even While Working From Home

czmanix Report

Susan Bosse
Community Member
1 month ago

I loved this when it was first posted. Still as funny as it was then.

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#8

Mom Told Her Daughter To Grab Her Mask So They Can Go To The Store. This Was The Mask She Grabbed

Mom Told Her Daughter To Grab Her Mask So They Can Go To The Store. This Was The Mask She Grabbed

jorhey14 Report

Gentleman Wolf
Community Member
1 month ago

Hey, it covers her nose and mouth… which is more than I can say for most customers who roll through the store I work at…

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#9

My Buddy Was Told He Could Wear A Costume

My Buddy Was Told He Could Wear A Costume

_L3g10n_ Report

Sophhh
Community Member
1 month ago

This made me smile 😌

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But Lambert argues that it's not that simple. “It's not about putting our ideas into words and having other people decode our words and extract our ideas,” he writes. “It's about saying and doing things in the world so that other people, drawing on mutual knowledge about you, the context, language, and how the world works, can make accurate inferences about your beliefs, emotions, attitudes, plans, goals, and intentions.”

#10

Found Some Amazing Indian Writing

Found Some Amazing Indian Writing

mikedudical Report

Theo Lee
Community Member
1 month ago

Well… It’s technically true..

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#11

My Dad Asked Me If I Wanted An Egg Sandwich. I'm Not Even Mad, This Is Genius

My Dad Asked Me If I Wanted An Egg Sandwich. I'm Not Even Mad, This Is Genius

SamManiac1998 Report

Coco
Community Member
1 month ago

Probably delicious too. 😋

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#12

Told My Boyfriend I Was Getting Him A Burger For Christmas

Told My Boyfriend I Was Getting Him A Burger For Christmas

Ao-Eleni Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

Well done!

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According to him, when communication breaks down, it is a breakdown in this inferential problem-solving process, not a breakdown in encoding or decoding. “Avoiding misunderstanding means supporting this inferential process, or, when possible, minimizing the need for inference by being explicit,” he says.

#13

They Asked For A Lion Cut, They Got It

They Asked For A Lion Cut, They Got It

keerwashere Report

Sophhh
Community Member
1 month ago

Mufasa 🙏

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#14

There You Go

There You Go

__Dawn__Amber__ Report

Sophhh
Community Member
1 month ago

lol I don’t understand what people expect when they text there customers this 🤣

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#15

Fifty Shades Of Gray

Fifty Shades Of Gray

coreytimes Report

Mike Schantini
Community Member
1 month ago

Less pornographic than the original. Well done!

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So in order to avoid being misunderstood, Lambert’s advice is to ask yourself whether there is enough common ground to support accurate inference. “Accurate inference requires mutual knowledge, i.e., a set of facts that we share in common. We make assumptions about what other people know and what they know we know, and what they know we know they know, etc.”

What’s important to understand is that these assumptions are often wrong. “When the doctor tells the patient to put the patch on a different place every day, she assumes the patient knows to take yesterday's patch off. Dangerous assumption,” Lambert explained. To avoid misunderstanding, it’s always great to check your assumptions about mutual knowledge, and where it's lacking, do the work needed to fill in the gaps.

#16

My Cousin Wanted Cake And Ordered One. Told The Bakers To Write Whatever They Wanted Because It Was For Just For Her Anyway

My Cousin Wanted Cake And Ordered One. Told The Bakers To Write Whatever They Wanted Because It Was For Just For Her Anyway

B1ockh3d Report

Atlas
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

*Ding ding ding* That’s right Paula, it’s bored!

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#17

Can You Talk Real Quick?

Can You Talk Real Quick?

SamSillis175 Report

Atlas
Community Member
1 month ago

The profile picture matches the situation perfectly

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#18

Garlic Powder

Garlic Powder

kaileeaj_ Report

Atlas
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I love watching the garlic fall from the sky

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Another tip from Lambert is to ask yourself if the person knows you well enough to realize when you're speaking literally or not. “Most of what we communicate, we communicate indirectly, by saying one thing and meaning much more,” he argues and adds that it’s efficient when people share enough knowledge and know each other well enough.

However, “When people do not know you well, they will be unsure when to take you literally and when to use inference to go beyond what you said to get at what you really meant. Avoid irony, sarcasm, and other forms of indirect, non-literal speech when speaking to people who may not know you well enough not to take you literally,” Lambert suggests.

#19

Asked For My Cheese Steak To Be Made With Love. They Delivered

Asked For My Cheese Steak To Be Made With Love. They Delivered

OMGASQUIRREL Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

That's really sweet! It took some time!

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#20

I Asked My 5-Year-Old To Keep An Eye On His Sister While I Served Him Dinner, I Peek Out Of The Kitchen And Find Him Like This. His Sister Is In Good Hands

I Asked My 5-Year-Old To Keep An Eye On His Sister While I Served Him Dinner, I Peek Out Of The Kitchen And Find Him Like This. His Sister Is In Good Hands

Rizbiz99 Report

Who Panda 420
Community Member
1 month ago

All I can see is that playpen snapping and him falling on the little girl.

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#21

Not Gonna Lie, This Is A Little Too Accurate

Not Gonna Lie, This Is A Little Too Accurate

Natural-Ad-1464 Report

Atlas
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I mean…they’re not wrong

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#22

They Got What They Asked For

They Got What They Asked For

awwwnchal Report

Sophhh
Community Member
1 month ago

It’s the “plz” for me 😭

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#23

Picked It, Thanks

Picked It, Thanks

Ryozuo Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

OK! What's next?

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#24

They Asked Me To "Dress Like What You Want To Be When You Grow Up". So I Went With Retired On An Island

They Asked Me To "Dress Like What You Want To Be When You Grow Up". So I Went With Retired On An Island

egnards Report

Repo
Community Member
1 month ago

This is how legends are made

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#25

My Brother's Camp Requires The Kids Write A Letter Home After The First Week

My Brother's Camp Requires The Kids Write A Letter Home After The First Week

reddit.com Report

SnakAttack
Community Member
1 month ago

Teenage angst at its best. This boy will go places.

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#26

My Daughter When She Said She Wanted To Be A Transformer For Halloween

My Daughter When She Said She Wanted To Be A Transformer For Halloween

brandoj23 Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

Perhaps not the kind of transformer she was expecting.

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#27

I Was So Busy In The Kitchen I Didn't Know What To Do First, My Little Brother Asked Me What He Can Do To Help. I Told Him To 'Get That Bag Of Potato, Peel Half Of Them And Boil'

I Was So Busy In The Kitchen I Didn't Know What To Do First, My Little Brother Asked Me What He Can Do To Help. I Told Him To 'Get That Bag Of Potato, Peel Half Of Them And Boil'

My little brother is a true genius.

AbanaClara Report

Sophhh
Community Member
1 month ago

He understood the assignment

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#28

My Bro Told My Grandma, Jokingly, That He Wanted 100 Things From The Dollar Store For Christmas, Grandma Doesn't Like Being Challenged

My Bro Told My Grandma, Jokingly, That He Wanted 100 Things From The Dollar Store For Christmas, Grandma Doesn't Like Being Challenged

AceWayne4 Report

Dennis Stanley
Community Member
1 month ago

That looks like it might be kind of fun.

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#29

Can't Blame The Answerer

Can't Blame The Answerer

Hacka4771 Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, they are not wrong...

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#30

My Buddy Jokingly Decided To Get A Henna Tattoo Of A Mustache While At The Beach. The Foreign Worker Didn't Understand What He Was Saying

My Buddy Jokingly Decided To Get A Henna Tattoo Of A Mustache While At The Beach. The Foreign Worker Didn't Understand What He Was Saying

So she asked him to write down what he wanted. This was the result

RyanHasWaffleNipples Report

Sophhh
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh my..

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#31

This Brazilian Girl Is A Big Fan Of K-Pop And All Korean Culture, So Her Father Without Understanding Much Wanted To Personalize Her Party

This Brazilian Girl Is A Big Fan Of K-Pop And All Korean Culture, So Her Father Without Understanding Much Wanted To Personalize Her Party

With the most famous Korean character he found

SayMarin Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

That went North fast!

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#32

A First Grade Class Was Asked What They Would Say If The Pilgrims Showed Up At Their Door On Thanksgiving

A First Grade Class Was Asked What They Would Say If The Pilgrims Showed Up At Their Door On Thanksgiving

gnarcore666 Report

Derek Dufrane
Community Member
1 month ago

He not wrong

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#33

My Wife Doesn’t Want Our Newborn Son’s Face Posted On Social Media, So She Asked Me To Censor It. Needless To Say, I Won’t Be Asked To Do That Again

My Wife Doesn’t Want Our Newborn Son’s Face Posted On Social Media, So She Asked Me To Censor It. Needless To Say, I Won’t Be Asked To Do That Again

MoeHanzeR Report

Gentleman Wolf
Community Member
1 month ago

Actual question, would like legit replies (I don’t have kids so I don’t understand this): Why do parents wish their newborn’s/baby’s face to be censored on social media? Privacy? The child/adult that the baby is going to grow into won’t resemble the baby’s face that much, so why hide the baby’s face? (If the parents don’t censor their faces, I don’t see what censoring the baby’s does in terms of privacy.) Is it a “baby can’t make their own decisions about whether or not they want their face posted online publicly” thing? I’m not trying to be an a*s, I’m truly curious as I’ve never understood this!

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#34

Looking For People With TV On Their Wall

Looking For People With TV On Their Wall

EldestGriever0219 Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

Ha!

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#35

We Are Now A Hands-Free State

We Are Now A Hands-Free State

Mr-KyleV Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

Look Ma, no hands. Look Ma, no feet. Look Ma, no teeth! 😂

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#36

This Guy

This Guy

letsagochamp Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

And, doggo made excellent use of it...

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#37

Why Indeed

Why Indeed

stick1953 Report

Theo Lee
Community Member
1 month ago

Why?

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#38

He Is Simply Following Orders

He Is Simply Following Orders

Mental_Log4115 Report

Purple3262
Community Member
1 month ago

I cracked up at this!

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#39

My Wife Is A Teacher And Found This While Marking An Assessment

My Wife Is A Teacher And Found This While Marking An Assessment

jimmypompom Report

Littlebunnyfufu
Community Member
1 month ago

I mean, the check means the student got the answer right, yeah?

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#40

My Son Wanted "Cold Hard Cash" For His Birthday

My Son Wanted "Cold Hard Cash" For His Birthday

reddit.com Report

Atlas
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

His looks so tired of their s**t

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#41

Everytime Everywhere Follow The Signs

Everytime Everywhere Follow The Signs

mdtau11 Report

pink_panda
Community Member
1 month ago

Way to safety!

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#42

My Sister In Law Told My Brother “Use Those DIY Books And Fix The Chair!” Done

My Sister In Law Told My Brother “Use Those DIY Books And Fix The Chair!” Done

jtmonkey Report

AceOfChaos317
Community Member
1 month ago

Laziness at its finest, kudos and gold stars to ya

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#43

Our Wedding Shower During Quarantine. We Made The Best Of What We Had

Our Wedding Shower During Quarantine. We Made The Best Of What We Had

harmonicr Report

Lynelle
Community Member
1 month ago

genius

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#44

Some Kids Take Things A Little Too Literally

Some Kids Take Things A Little Too Literally

Pupikal Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

However, they did demonstrate the skill.

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#45

How Do You Want Your Sandwich Cut She Said. I Don't Care I Said. Turns Out I Do, Mildly

How Do You Want Your Sandwich Cut She Said. I Don't Care I Said. Turns Out I Do, Mildly

TenfootSlime Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

Didn't know Tangram style was an option. I'll have to remember this.

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#46

Every Year I Get My Boyfriend A Cake For His Birthday. This Year I Asked What Type He Wanted. He Said, “I Don’t Care”

Every Year I Get My Boyfriend A Cake For His Birthday. This Year I Asked What Type He Wanted. He Said, “I Don’t Care”

shesafireball Report

Gentleman Wolf
Community Member
1 month ago

I’m going to borrow this idea… XD Now, just to find out what cartoon/character my bf abhors the most… (but cake flavor will be his favorite, of course!!)

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#47

I Wonder What He's Gonna Do When He'll Become 90

I Wonder What He's Gonna Do When He'll Become 90

ElectroBOOMGuy Report

jjdubs W
Community Member
1 month ago

At 90 he just needs to stand up straight....

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#48

Two Is Less Than Three

Two Is Less Than Three

AzureDoo Report

Víctor García
Community Member
1 month ago

Sheldon learned to cook...

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#49

This Is What A Human Hand Looks Like Under A Microscope

This Is What A Human Hand Looks Like Under A Microscope

Classic-Cod-7952 Report

Random Person 2323
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow, looks pretty cool

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#50

My Friend's Tattoo. When Asked "What Does That Mean?" He Replies, "I Don't Know, I Don't Speak Chinese." That Is Literally What It Means

My Friend's Tattoo. When Asked "What Does That Mean?" He Replies, "I Don't Know, I Don't Speak Chinese." That Is Literally What It Means

chojurou Report

AceOfChaos317
Community Member
1 month ago

At least you are honest

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Note: this post originally had 112 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.