They pretend to have triple-digit IQs, glasses thicker than Velma’s from Scooby-Doo, and they love flaunting their stuff—bragging about their big brains, of course! They’re the obnoxious wannabe eggheads that make the internet insufferable with their Thesaurus vernacular and incessant desire to prove that their intellectual capacity for reasoning (i.e. ability to sound smarter) is bigger than yours or mine. Combined.
The ‘I Am Very Smart’ Reddit community is chock-full of quality posts poking fun at people who think they have high IQs (but actually just have massive egos). And with a following of 1.5 million, you can bet that folks are interested in seeing these ‘mighty minds’ make utter fools of themselves.
Check out some of the best posts from the community below, upvote your fave pics, and be sure to follow their subreddit if you like their content. Bored Panda has written about the intellectually eloquent r/IAmVerySmart subreddit before, so when you’re done with this list, have a scroll through our earlier post which can be found right over here.
Bored Panda wanted to learn more about the r/IAmVerySmart community, so we reached out to their moderator team and members. They're a vocal and friendly group and they told us all about what their subreddit stands for, how it changed over the years, why people want to try to appear 'VerySmart(TM),' as well as how best to deal with anyone who's been hitting the Thesaurus way, way too hard.
Too Busy To “Ackshually” To Appreciate A Joke, Only To Then Incorrect Them
Absolute Alpha Intellectual. To This Day, I Still Don’t Get It
The 'I Am Very Smart' community was founded way back in 2013 and it's one of the longest-existing veterans on Reddit. The moderators, even though they encourage poking fun at people who try to sound smart too hard, nonetheless don't tolerate anyone sharing any identifying information. The content's supposed to be about fun while indirectly celebrating actual critical thinking and intellectualism.
Moderator Thumbs0fDestiny was very open about the fact that the main draw of the 'I Am Very Smart' community is revealing someone else's blunder when, instead, people should be humble and succinct. In other words, the sub's popularity comes from one of the most human things ever, the joy that we get from seeing someone else fail or get humiliated, called scadenfreude.
Haha... If You Don’t Get The Joke, You Are An Absolute Moron
Or, in their own words, as the mod went in character, pretending to be one of the people the community likes to laugh at: "Every day across the internet, people comment some of the most braggadocious drivel anyone could ever hope to hear, and they do so with such confidence and disregard for logic that it sometimes transcends the bounds of the page it's written on and becomes art. We collect those masterpieces of magniloquence and put them all in one easy to find location where people can come and talk and laugh about the cockalorum character that wrote them. What's not to love?"
"I've talked to NASCAR fans before who say they don't go for the race, they go for the crash. When one goes to the circus and sees the man put his head in a lion's mouth, somewhere inside one's self they kinda want to see the lion chomp down. That's what you get, in the intellectual sense, when you come to r/IAmVerySmart," moderator Thumbs0fDestiny said, getting serious once again.
He Just Tries To Correct The Already Correct Spelling Lmao
This Meme Isn't Funny Because It's Incorrect
Meanwhile, community member OneGoodRib (loving these user names, by the way), point-blank said that people love laughing at others and there's less guilt if we all poke fun at the "chumheads" who are the targets of the subreddit. "I don’t feel nearly as bad about having a laugh about someone being pretentious as I do about laughing at, say, people who are dressed really poorly in public."
In OneGoodRib's opinion, some people are "super insecure" about their intelligence and believe that being smart is the most important thing in the world. That's why they're willing to sacrifice anything just to make others believe their IQ's hitting Super Saiyan power levels (even if it backfires... magnificently). "It’s okay that they don’t have friends, or talents, or accomplishments, as long as they just keep telling people they’re super smart. And of course some humans are just smug [jerks], it just happens that the people in this sub are smug about being smart rather than smug about motorcycles or veganism."
Only The Most Intelligent Of People Can Understand This
Nobody's a stranger to not wanting to sound like a fool, however. We've all been in situations where we end up regretting coming off stupid. However, the 'VerySmart(TM)' that are featured on the r/IAmVerySmart community overcorrect in these situations way, way, beyond the norm.
"There's a lot of id involved in the VerySmartTM commenters we feature. They seem to have much of their self-esteem tied up in their (mis)conceptions of their own intelligence, or the person they're talking to depending on the circumstance. Who knows why," Thumbs0fDestiny mused. "Perhaps it's because everyone views themselves as the hero of their own story and some people prefer playing the intellectual to the athlete."
I Love Tinder
They also had other ideas about why some folks try so hard to seem intelligent: "Maybe it's because they are actually of above-average intelligence and their life's circumstances have led to them being right so often, they now just take it for granted, and then we just happen to catch them when that assumption bites them on the ass. Or maybe the person views intelligence as a weapon, a status symbol that must be flaunted for its own sake."
Nothing Is More Romantic Than Getting Mad Over "Btw"
I Really Hope My Friend Was Being Sarcastic With These Messages
At the end of the day, everyone's desire to sound smart can be as unique and varied as there are different individuals in the world. Most likely, it's a mix of many small different reasons, the main one probably being that we've evolved to depend on our social group where reputation is everything... and being someone who's looked up to can mean the difference between a life of luxury and being an outcast who has to fend for themselves. However, our 'tribes' aren't dumb: they know when someone's desperately pretending to be someone better than they are.
The r/IAmVerySmart subreddit shares a lot in common with the 408k member strong r/confidentlyincorrect online community which we’ve covered right over here. Both subreddits poke fun at people who are overly confident in their abilities and just ooze arrogance with their every word.
But the higher they rise, the more satisfyingly long their fall into internet shame. (And we all know that once something’s up on the net, it’s there forever, much like Homer Simpson working at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant.)
I'm Relieved I Thought That Was Possible
Being featured on the r/iamverysmart subreddit is all about being all bark but no bite: it’s a wall of shame for those who can’t back up their braininess with actual proof. Instead, they think that long words and synonyms will show everyone they’re the stars of the show (even though they’re clearly painting the props all the way backstage).
Interestingly, if you want to sound smarter and make a genuine impact on people (whether you’re applying to university, for a job, or just like the attention), communicating via text might not be the right way to go.
High Level English
Ah Yes, Speaking A Foreign Language With An Accent Makes You Dumb And Lazy
The Irony Is Absolutely Astounding
The Harvard Business Review wrote about a study where evaluators judged a person’s intelligence based on their pitches on why they should be hired. One part was videotaped while the other was transcribed (with flow-breaking sounds like ‘um’ removed, of course).
To sum up, the evaluators found those people who delivered their pitches in front of the camera and spoke aloud to be more intelligent than those who argued why they’re the best possible candidates in text form. Not only that, there was a greater emotional bond to the test subjects when they were seen on camera. Elle Woods’ videotaped pitch from ‘Legally Blonde’ to get into law school doesn’t sound silly anymore now, does it?
Smarter Than Actual Scientists
But if you do have to communicate via text, it’s best not to overshoot: be in writing who you are in real life. (Having an incredibly loud inner monologue that loves reading aloud everything that you write certain helps you realize when you overstep into cringe-territory.)
That means sprinkling in some common phrases and simple words, not just purple prose and delicately-crafted word amalgamations to delight and please the readers.
This Is My Landlord's Response To A Simple Text. No Previous Convo, Nothing. What You See Is What You Get
Outpaced Einstein And Hawking
When in doubt, always remember Joey Tribbiani from the hit TV show ‘Friends,’ and what happens when you substitute every single word with a complicated synonym just because you’re insecure about sounding ‘dumb.’ Be like Joey when he’s proud of who he is and doesn’t pretend. Or study hard, level up, and be like Ross Geller.
You Cannot Simply Understand My Highly Complicated Thoughts
No Moral High Road From This Intellectual
Apparently, Trump, According To Trump, Has "Unmatched Wisdom"
Moderator Thumbs0fDestiny also revealed to Bored Panda how the subreddit has changed how it approves posts because of a few major slip-ups that led to people getting harassed. The last major shift they went through was moving the community to manual moderation. "Most of Reddit operates by allowing users to submit posts, then having a few automated checks in place to make sure that the post doesn't violate any major or obvious sub guidelines. For instance, does this post link to an outside source; is it a link that's been posted before; or does the post use a forbidden word in the title? Things like that are fairly easy for a bot to catch and save moderators a lot of time on menial verification tasks," they explained.
Portraying Intelligent People “Wrong”
My Friend Went As Pikachu And Posted It To Her Story. A Thirsty Dude Replied
Now, if the post passes all of those checks, it then goes live on the board, and redditors can see and comment on it, as usual. "At that point, the sub moderation becomes a collaboration between the moderators and the community. Moderators are out there checking things out of course, but we're just regular users, too, so we don't see everything. We instead partially rely on user reports to let us know when there's a problem that needs to be addressed. This is obviously not a failproof way of operating but it does get the job done most of the time."
Your Marketing Scheme Is No Match For My Calculus Skills
Guy Is Convinced I Am A Girl (He Wishes) And Proceeds To Lecture Me On How He Knows
However, getting things right most of the time wasn't good enough to meet the moderators' standards for quality. They wanted to be right all the time when it came to posts not revealing any identifying information, as per the subreddit's very first rule. "There should, ideally, be no way for a user to see a post on our sub and use that post to find the person in that post. This means that all real names, phone numbers addresses, usernames, online community names, Twitter handles, etc. have to be redacted from the post before submitting it. There's no way a bot can guarantee that to happen. As such, we found ourselves in the position of having several posts live in the feed that contained that information which some people then used to track down and harass the VerySmart(TM) person."
About A Computer Mouse, When Asked If It Could Perform A Particular Function
Good In Math = Better Human
Note: this post originally had 60 images. It’s been shortened to the top 45 images based on user votes.
Thumbs0fDestiny was very candid about the situation: they'd let down Reddit's standards, r/IAmVerySmart's standards, as well as society's standards. "So we had to put a stop to it. The only way to make sure that didn't happen was to put the sub on full lockdown. All new posts are automatically filtered into a moderation queue where they sit until a human volunteer checks them to be sure there aren't any rule violations. This change has mostly been behind the scenes and therefore largely noticed by the community except to say new posts now arrive on the sub in batches when a moderator is clearing the queue, where before they would trickle in one at a time. The change had the desired effect though. We've not received a single complaint about harassment from anyone since we instituted the new policy."
Which posts were your fave ones, dear Pandas? Do you plan on becoming a member of r/IAmVerySmart? Do you know anyone in person who tries way too hard to look smart? Share your thoughts and drop us a line or two in the comment section below.