The Universe really does work in mysterious ways. No matter if you’re a super-skeptic who only believes what they see with their own two eyes or somebody who checks their horoscope every morning, you can’t deny that it’s spooky how quickly karma sometimes catches up to people. On rare occasions, it’s nearly instantaneous. And karma loves putting evildoers in their rightful place.

To show you what we mean, we’ve collected some of the best posts from the ‘Instant Karma’ subreddit that prove that Justice (yes, with a capital ‘J’) can sometimes strike like a bolt from the blue. As you’re scrolling down, upvote the pics where you agree with how karma dealt with people and let us know in the comments if you’ve ever seen any instant karma moments in your own life. Be sure to give r/instantkarma a follow if you like what they do.

According to Dr. Alex Lickerman on Psychology Today, Nichiren Buddhism teaches that everything that happens to us is “ultimately due to our own influence.” Whether intentional or quite the opposite. Meanwhile, coincidence is considered to be but an illusion. Or, in short, what goes around really does come around—but with everything that you think and do.

Bored Panda reached out to Lickerman, the author of The Ten Worlds and The Undefeated Mind, and spoke to him about humankind's hardwired sense of morality, as well as the benefits of taking responsibility for all of our actions. Read on for his insights.

#1

Pretty Instant Karma

Pretty Instant Karma

Hillshurt Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
10 months ago

Lovely. Just perfect.

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#2

I Love Karma

I Love Karma

About137Ninjas Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago

He probably just walked himself out.

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#3

Got What Was Coming

Got What Was Coming

Blazingfire17 Report

troufaki13
Community Member
10 months ago

Good boy!

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If we’re to believe the Buddhist perspective on life, it means that at the end of the day we’re all responsible for what happens to us. However, this doesn’t mean we’re to blame.

For example, we’re not to blame for being born into poverty or for having something awful happen to us. However, we’re responsible for how we deal with the situation, how we respond to things, and what our next steps will be. In other words, we have the power to better our situation and not just be flung about by the winds of fate (or, rather, by our own decisions).

Though some people would argue that morality is something that's learned through experience, Lickerman told Bored Panda that "our sense of morality may actually be neurologically wired into us." However, this doesn't mean that acting morally or responsibly is easy or the go-to decision for most of us.

#4

This Subreddit Never Said Bad Or Good Karma!

This Subreddit Never Said Bad Or Good Karma!

medallionstallion Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
10 months ago

This is lovely. Good on the both of them.

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#5

Got What He Deserved

Got What He Deserved

Zbiu_YT Report

Zoe Hoesley
Community Member
10 months ago

That’s one point to big good bois and zero to the dickhead

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#6

Rip Him

Rip Him

uhhsamurai Report

troufaki13
Community Member
10 months ago

I hate poachers! I even love cockroaches more than them

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Lickerman told Bored Panda that we tend to need some sort of push to make us act responsibly. "People, in general, need a motivation to accept responsibility for their actions," he said. That motivation could be pretty much anything, however, Lickerman suggests that accepting responsibility for our actions "may actually make us stronger, more resilient."

He added that it's difficult to say where the limits of our ability to change ourselves to match our own perceptions are. "Research shows our self-perception is a very powerful influencer of our behavior. Can’t say it’s been quantified. It won’t change immutable characteristics, like personality characteristics, but it will change behaviors," he said.

In his first book, The Undefeated Mind, Lickerman explains how research has begun to show that belief in good (what is just and fair) and evil (what is unjust and unfair) may be "far more universal than previously thought." Psychologist Marc Hauser and his colleagues conducted an internet study with 5,000 subjects in 120 countries, asking them to "render moral judgments and to justify them" in moral scenarios. One of them was the infamous trolley problem where you have to choose between killing one person and five.

#7

Just Mad I Tell You

Just Mad I Tell You

PizzaPow Report

Dr Nostromo
Community Member
10 months ago

Good for her!

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#8

Goodbye, Monster

Goodbye, Monster

howiemandealt Report

Zoe Hoesley
Community Member
10 months ago

Damn right he faced no charges

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#9

Well This Says Something

Well This Says Something

usernametakenexe Report

EA
Community Member
10 months ago

Not sure if this is funnier cos of the irony, or when he had to either come out to his congregation to not look like a liar, or apologise to his conversation and look like a total TWAT. Sincerely hope those followers left his church and used the donations to help those in need, rather than pay this guy’s wages.

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Lickerman writes: "The subjects agreed about which actions were moral and which weren’t in most of the scenarios, delineating in the process a set of moral principles that seem to be shared by members of all cultures—namely, that it’s less morally permissible to intentionally harm someone than to allow them to be harmed, that it’s less morally permissible to invent a way to cause harm than to cause harm with an existing threat, and that it’s less morally permissible to cause harm directly than to cause it indirectly. Yet the vast majority of subjects couldn’t name these reasons as their underlying justification for judging the actions in each scenario as they did."

He continues: "When we take moral action, we seem to rely not so much on moral reasoning as on moral intuition and then work backward to rationalize the judgments we’ve already made. (Which isn’t to say our moral intuition can’t and shouldn’t be influenced by reason, but rather that our moral intuition remains the primary driver of our moral decision making.)." However, where our moral intuition comes from is still unclear. However, our conception of good, the desire to provide help and prevent harm might be "rooted [...] in the psychological and perhaps even neurological processes of the human mind."

#10

Karmadillo

Karmadillo

jmonis2 Report

me
Community Member
10 months ago

Lol that comment... karmadillo

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#11

Got What They Deserved

Got What They Deserved

Amygdala5822 Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago

You can't come to the hood without asking the king.

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#12

Kid Refuses To Move His Legs, Guy Sits On Them Instead

Kid Refuses To Move His Legs, Guy Sits On Them Instead

Supraman18 Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago

If that's the kids mom to his right, she needs disciplining way more than the kid.

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Meanwhile, becoming responsible for our actions can have the added benefit of making us stronger and more resilient. In his book, Lickerman alludes to a study led by psychologist Kurt Gray where participants would hold up a 5-pound weight, would be given a dollar, and half of then would be given the opportunity to donate it to charity. Donating the money made the participants able to hold up the weight 7 seconds longer than the control group.

"Why? According to Gray, because doing good increases our sense of agency, or potency, a phenomenon he terms moral transformation. (Interestingly, this effect wasn’t seen only with acts of charity but also with acts of villainy.) [...] Which all suggests a reason that action in the moral sphere, whether good or evil, makes us strong: it requires us to be. Or, at least, that’s what we think people who take moral action are: research shows that we’re cognitively biased to 'typecast' people who take such action as resilient—-a bias, it turns out, that affects not only our perception of others but also of ourselves," Lickerman writes.

"And when we perceive ourselves to be endowed with a particular quality, we have a tendency to conform to that perception. All of which implies that performing or even attempting to perform moral action may increase our resilience because it causes us to perceive ourselves as more resilient. This then makes us act, and therefore feel, as if we were."

#13

Amazing. Impeccable

Amazing. Impeccable

tinyzenji Report

EA
Community Member
10 months ago

This might be the best thing I’ve read/learned this year

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#14

Instant Karma

Instant Karma

FaustinoXIV Report

Dr Nostromo
Community Member
10 months ago

I remember this one. If I recall correctly, the clerk wasn't sure whether to report it as they didn't know if a crime had been committed.

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#15

Guy Is A Jerk To A Police Officer In An Unmarked Car

Guy Is A Jerk To A Police Officer In An Unmarked Car

BehindBlueLine Report

EA
Community Member
10 months ago

I LOVE it when a bad driver is caught out. This is a special kind of karma. Overtook me even though I was doing the speed limit? Oh look, speed camera van ahead! What a shaaaame.

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With nearly 1.9 million members and 8.5 years of getting their show on the road, the ‘Instant Karma’ community is one of the leviathans of Reddit. However, don’t think that they’re just about seeing only unethical people get punished. They also urge their members to post examples of folks getting rewarded for good behavior as well.

Examples of delayed karma or scripted events are, obviously, not permitted on this subreddit. The name of the community is pretty self-explanatory. What’s more, r/instantkarma’s moderators have pointed out that they have no tolerance for calls to violence.

Just because somebody deserves to be punished doesn’t mean that redditors should pour hatred and vile language online. Of course, discussions are encouraged, but they have to be civil. Exactly like people ought to be in real life.

#16

I Don’t Know If It Belongs Here!

I Don’t Know If It Belongs Here!

AleyFarooq_ Report

wandile dludlu
Community Member
10 months ago

He's screwed, look at how many police there are in that picture

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#17

Respect Your Mother

Respect Your Mother

dobbyisafreepup Report

troufaki13
Community Member
10 months ago

Children need discipline, I don't understand why parents just give in and don't set boundaries

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#18

Gave Him The Express Shipping Option For Free

Gave Him The Express Shipping Option For Free

blackxparty Report

Dr Nostromo
Community Member
10 months ago

So glad the driver wasn't charged. As one who was in the delivery business for 30 years, I was in fear of my life on a couple of occasions. Not as easy a job as one my think.

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#19

Snowman 1, Driver 0

Snowman 1, Driver 0

Vlancing Report

Dr Nostromo
Community Member
10 months ago

He was stumped as to how that happened.

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#20

Bye Bye

Bye Bye

NearbyDANKSTER Report

James016
Community Member
10 months ago

Why would a teacher do that?

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#21

One Plate Of Karma Coming Up

One Plate Of Karma Coming Up

reddit.com Report

I'manoob!
Community Member
10 months ago

Hasta la vista!!

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#22

Mayor Dishes Out Karma On Litterer

Mayor Dishes Out Karma On Litterer

Jontolo Report

Flowers
Community Member
10 months ago

I love this guy's expression!

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#23

Just Play Defence

Just Play Defence

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Simone Taylor
Community Member
10 months ago

Omg brilliant. My hero!

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#24

Reverse Brick

Reverse Brick

gabedavis46 Report

Flowers
Community Member
10 months ago

I don't think I would be able to stop laughing if I saw that in person.

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#25

Oh How The Tables Have Turned

Oh How The Tables Have Turned

BleacherReport Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago

Oooooh. Dwight might be moving to his friends in Africa.

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#26

Instant

Instant

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Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
10 months ago

Stupid cop.

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#27

All's Well, It Ends Well

All's Well, It Ends Well

studentactivism Report

Dr Nostromo
Community Member
10 months ago

And they look like such nice boys.

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#28

Hit And Run Driver Forgot Something

Hit And Run Driver Forgot Something

Royal__Tenenbaum Report

wandile dludlu
Community Member
10 months ago

When your car wants to snitch on you

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#29

Anti-Gay Politician Caught Fleeing A 25-Man Orgy

Anti-Gay Politician Caught Fleeing A 25-Man Orgy

Report

Eliška Hůlková
Community Member
10 months ago

And it was during Corona lockdown.

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#30

Goddamn Hypocrites

Goddamn Hypocrites

Ready20000 Report

Couldnt_Find_A_Good_Name
Community Member
10 months ago

BURN!!

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#31

Revenge At Its Finest

Revenge At Its Finest

_skrt_skrt_ Report

Liz the Wanderer
Community Member
10 months ago

Wow. What a sleazy thing to do.

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#32

Politicians Get A Taste Of Their Legislations

Politicians Get A Taste Of Their Legislations

Penben99 Report

Lxm
Community Member
10 months ago

That folks is why you shouldn't drink raw milk.

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#33

Actually Happened Instantaneously, At The Moment Of Impact

Actually Happened Instantaneously, At The Moment Of Impact

sophieperez_ Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
10 months ago

sweet!!!

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#34

This Is Venice City Hall Right After The Approval Of A Climate Change Denial Amendment

This Is Venice City Hall Right After The Approval Of A Climate Change Denial Amendment

LorenzoBagnato Report

Rowlie
Community Member
10 months ago

just let that sink in what a bad decision it was

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#35

Karma

Karma

Report

Dre Mosley
Community Member
10 months ago

This jerk and his jerk brother tried to capitalize off the pandemic by buying up all the sanitizer supplies they could find to sell at a profit until Amazon and eBay forbid it.

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#36

Moral Guy

Moral Guy

reddit.com Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
10 months ago

Busted.

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#37

Order Them To Stop

Order Them To Stop

Master1718 Report

James016
Community Member
10 months ago

It's becoming more and more apparent that lawmakers think that their laws don't apply to them

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#38

Got What He Deserved

Got What He Deserved

audaz134 Report

EA
Community Member
10 months ago

OH SNAP

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#39

Block An Electric Charging Station... Get Towed

Block An Electric Charging Station... Get Towed

kevinowdziej Report

Dr Nostromo
Community Member
10 months ago

Bet he was shocked!

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#40

Firefighters Had To Smash The Window Of This Illegally Parked Vehicle On My Street

Firefighters Had To Smash The Window Of This Illegally Parked Vehicle On My Street

snips4444 Report

wandile dludlu
Community Member
10 months ago

People don't understand that those pipes don't bend when water is flowing

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#41

What Goes Around Comes Around

What Goes Around Comes Around

bryann_and Report

wandile dludlu
Community Member
10 months ago

I never understood why this is funny

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#42

Lil Coke

Lil Coke

iCerp_cod Report

Zoe Hoesley
Community Member
10 months ago

Oh well they asked for it, what a bunch of dumbasses

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#43

That's Great

That's Great

Master1718 Report

troufaki13
Community Member
10 months ago

You can't escape fate

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#44

Karma

Karma

TitusNation Report

Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
10 months ago

And he is a tool.

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#45

Woman Tried To Acid Attack Her Former Lover

Woman Tried To Acid Attack Her Former Lover

Rekz160 Report

Linus Nilsson
Community Member
10 months ago

While riding on the back of his motorcycle!?!??!!

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#46

Guy Parks On Stripes To Avoid Freezing Rain, Happens To Be Under A Leaky Pipe

Guy Parks On Stripes To Avoid Freezing Rain, Happens To Be Under A Leaky Pipe

tnick771 Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
10 months ago

I kinda feel sorry for this one. He just wanted to get out of the rain and didn't really obstruct any free passage.

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#47

Just Remember The Quote, “ If I Get Corona, I Get Corona. It’s Not Gonna Stop Me From Partying”

Just Remember The Quote, “ If I Get Corona, I Get Corona. It’s Not Gonna Stop Me From Partying”

reddit.com Report

Tomas Holicka
Community Member
10 months ago

These people pay for their college? Bit of a waste.

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#48

Deserved It

Deserved It

Cottxr Report

Troux
Community Member
10 months ago

She didn't even tag him right.

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#49

Taxi Driver Took A Much Longer Route Than We Agreed To. We Told Him To Stop The Car And Let Us Take Another Taxi. The Police Immediately Saw Him Stop And Fined Him

Taxi Driver Took A Much Longer Route Than We Agreed To. We Told Him To Stop The Car And Let Us Take Another Taxi. The Police Immediately Saw Him Stop And Fined Him

walkq Report

David Retsler
Community Member
10 months ago

How did the police know what he did?

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#50

No Title Needed

No Title Needed

reddit.com Report

Aroace tiger
Community Member
10 months ago

I seriously don't get how 'gay' is an insult

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Note: this post originally had 52 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.