Products are usually well thought-out. After all, companies are investing time, money, and other resources into developing them. But even though they are created to satisfy a specific need, things happen and products can evolve into something else entirely, taking on new forms and applications.

To learn more about these examples, Reddit user u/EpicEllis2004 submitted a question to the platform, asking what are some of the products that have drifted away from their main purpose. Turns out, it's a topic that really interests people. In just a week, the post has received over 34K upvotes and 14K comments, providing quite a few interesting insights into consumerism. Here are some of the answers.

#1

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread History Channel... as far as I am concerned the secret relationships between aliens and the illuminati do not qualify as "history"

Ezequiel-052 , history Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
1 year ago

I really miss what it should be

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#2

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Remember when MTV was a music television?

galactic-frog , Blude Report

Alexia
Community Member
1 year ago

I grew up with MTV. Oh, those were the days...

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#3

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread The toilet lid of a toilet. Seen too many not even know you're supposed to put the lid down before flushing. Microscopic fecal matter flies everywhere otherwise. Apparently this isn't common knowledge.

ShroomyKat , Curology Report

Kari Panda
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

This. So many arguements about putting the toilet seat up/down when honestly, everyone should just close the lid once they’re done. The particles spread up to 6 m (19 ft) otherwise.

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#4

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Slinky, the toy. It was originally designed during WW2 to help sensitive instruments remain steady on ships... to counter the effects of pitch, roll, and yaw. The engineer working on them knocked one off his desk accidentally, saw the way it moved from the table to the chair, to the floor, and a new purpose was born.

On a side note... during the Vietnam War, when the Slinkys were metal, radio operators would carry them through the deep jungles. If they couldn't get a good signal in the jungle mountains, they'd sling a Slinky high into the tree limbs while holding onto one end. It created an instant antenna extension that they would attach to the radio.

Single_Performance25 , Will Report

Lauren Caswell
Community Member
1 year ago

Ace Ventura is all I can think of! "Everyone loves a slinky!"

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#5

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Q-tips. The only thing they are used for is the one thing you are explicitly told not to use them for.

bloblehead , Olivier Bergeron Report

Little Phoenix
Community Member
1 year ago

Cleaning your keyboard?

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#6

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread The warming drawer on the bottom of all our ovens, which is used as pan storage for exactly %100 of oven owners.

Newtracks1 , Grant.C Report

MacDudu
Community Member
1 year ago

Most new oven models don't have this

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#7

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Super glue was meant to be a temporary method of stitching a wound. It was used that way during the Vietnam War. Tell people today to super clue their cuts shut, however, and most will think you're crazy

BigBobby2016 , endolith Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
1 year ago

Isn't this in a lot of first aid kits and such for this exact reason?

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#8

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Apparently paintball guns were invented for foresters/loggers/park rangers to mark trees (for cutting etc.) without having to approach each tree.

galactic-frog , Pengyi zhang Report

Jyri Hakola
Community Member
1 year ago

Wonder how many minutes it took after the initial product release that 1st forester thought that it would be funny to shoot Mike on back.. Maybe hours but definetly not days..

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#9

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread The eggplant emoji.

Mio69uwu Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 year ago

Cherries and peaches as well...

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#10

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Snuggy was originally designed for wheelchair users. Outerwear designed for walkers is cumbersome to take on and off for wheelchair users so snuggies were designed to help with this.

TooMuchHotSauce5 , lynn Dombrowski Report

denzoren
Community Member
1 year ago

Now this makes a lot of sense.

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#11

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Ketamine is for horses and not for Saturday night.

jibbletmonger , Steven Cornfield Report

Otter
Community Member
1 year ago

It's been approved for use as a human sedative, it's used in operating rooms and ICUs. And remember those Thai kids that were trapped in the flooded cave? Each kid got a shot of Ketamine before the final rescue, it kept them quiet as heroic spent hours dragging them to safety through a dangerous flooded cave.

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#12

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Bubble wrap was invented as fancy wallpaper.

galactic-frog , David Maier Report

Lyone Fein
Community Member
1 year ago

. . . In mental health institutions.

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#13

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread WD-40 was developed as a rust preventative (it’s even in the initials: “WD” means “Water Displacement”). Nowadays people use it to lubricate mechanical parts.

bluebirdgm , FHKE Report

ThatGuv
Community Member
1 year ago

Great for removing stubborn, leftover glue after pulling the label off a jar.

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#14

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Pipe cleaners,

Use them for all sorts of arts and crafts as kids. It wasn't till I owned a tobacco pipe and went to buy them that it actually clicked

TouchedbyJebus , Cannabox Report

F-Dup
Community Member
1 year ago

Oh my Jesus Christ. I haven’t thought about these since I was in primary school. Back then, I assumed the ‘pipe’ in pipe cleaner referred the things that ran along the walls of my house and I didn’t question it. It’s only now, reading this as a fully grown adult, that I realise it’s not that kind of pipe at all. That update has been pending for decades!

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#15

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread I think people already know this but the neck on the beer bottle is actually supposed to be held so you don’t warm your drink too fast.

bigbenis21 , Story Ninety-Four Report

Michelle M
Community Member
1 year ago

No thank you. I don't trust my clumsy hands to hold it steady at the neck.

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#16

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Iirc Play-Doh was invented to clean wallpaper

spacelordmthrfkr , Betsy Weber Report

T Simmons
Community Member
1 year ago

Then they named it really badly!

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#17

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Gloveboxes were originally meant to store gloves because people used to drive with gloves on for some reason.

Yah-ThnPat-Thn , Mark Doliner Report

Otter
Community Member
1 year ago

People used to drive with at the very least - gloves, dust coats, goggles, and hats on, if not full face masks. Because cars didn't have roofs or windows and the roads weren't paved, anyone who drove the first cars was going to get all the dust, mud, or weather in the world in the face.

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#18

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Minoxidil was originally developed to treat high blood pressure and people reported unusual hair growth all around the body, since it promotes blood flow to the skin pores. They came up with a topical version and voila, millions of people smear that sh*t on their scalps and beards everyday and its the one of the only clinically proven ways to cure baldness.

LeagueOfLucian , amazon Report

Chrissie Mörbe
Community Member
1 year ago

Nice try, Minoxidil salesperson!

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#19

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Viagra. It’s a heart medicine originally.

VegetableWishbone , Syed Ikhwan Report

Otter
Community Member
1 year ago

It's still used for some heart problems, and I have no idea if anyone who's sick enough to need it for medical reasons can still enjoy the side effects.

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#20

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Botox was created to treat migraines

lovejetblack , Sam Moqadam Report

Some Cool Guy
Community Member
1 year ago

I'm no expert but isn't that lip filler not botox?

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#21

21 Products That Somehow Lost Their Original Purpose, As Shared In This Online Thread Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets used as informal databases instead of as a data analysis tool

rwilldred27 , Joe Anderson Report

Suraj A R
Community Member
1 year ago

I think MS Excel was always used as a data analysis tool, where as MS Access was used as an informal database since 1992

Omi bub
Community Member
1 year ago

I definitely used at as an informal database at least a decade before I even heard of MS Access

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Robert T
Community Member
1 year ago

Yeah, tell me about it. As someone currently turning half a dozen very large spreadsheets into a proper relational database.

Argie Smith
Community Member
1 year ago

My boss still thinks this is the greatest place to keep data! So sad!

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Vic D
Community Member
1 year ago

Lotus 123 was invented as database/analysis Tool I remember programming macros in Lotus 123 back in 1990, Microsoft stole the concept and named it Excel, they gave it for free with Windows 95 and killed them, same thing with Word, they copied Word Perfect.

Michele Ferretto
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes, but apparently the writer of the article is too young to have even heard of Lotus...

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April Caron
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

Why store data? Because you are going to analyze it. There have always been data analysis tools connected with databases. Sometimes they are different programs that connect to the database. Sometimes (like MS Excel) they are one and the same.

Isidien Gudmundsdottir
Community Member
1 year ago

VisiCalc released by VisiCorp in 1979 for Apple II Lotus123 was released in 1983 MS Excel in 1985 Yes, I'm THAT old. Worked with all of them but, the best software effah! in those days? Sideways.....(for those who remember "heaven" opening up IF you were in an accounting department with a super deluxe 9-pin impact printer from..Okidata.)

Tim Pillinger
Community Member
1 year ago

It's all fun and games until you lose several thousand covid patients...

Frank Ropen
Community Member
1 year ago

Or gene names turned into dates

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Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
1 year ago

How unbelievably fascinating this one is...

Eddie Yoo
Community Member
1 year ago

The table like structure (rows & columns) is the same basic structure of database table. Most programming system use excel or csv to transfer data between different database. Like a universal data exchange storage.

Paul Z.
Community Member
1 year ago

Most abused calculator in the world! Whole fortune500 companies.run on it...

Shannon Kathleen
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

That's scary. Like when I managed a regional ISP and a local bank kept complaining about their dial up connection going down, long after more robust connections were available. Finally lost patience and told their CIO that trying to operate a bank on dial up was insane. I think he took his $19.95 a month business to our competitor. Thank goodness. Those were the days, my friend.

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J. F.
Community Member
1 year ago

The knowledge how to stay calm why using Excel is enough i need to know for my job

Tequila4Two
Community Member
1 year ago

People are even using it to create art.

Kevin McKinzie
Community Member
1 year ago

I thought excel was for running large corporations on, the heck with the 3 million dollar ERP system.

Rissie
Community Member
1 year ago

Soo, what do you reckon databases are for exactly? It's just a smarter way of storing data. And just like data on paper you can analyze it. And because it's digital, your database is easier to analyze then your paper database.

Shannon Kathleen
Community Member
1 year ago

MS Access had a fairly steep learning curve for the casual user. It was much easier for most users to store data in an MS Excel spreadsheet. MS Excel worksheets are data storage tables.

Brandy Grote
Community Member
1 year ago

Then why does Access, the Microsoft database program, exist? And why does Excel have a "sum" command for adding columns?

Ninn Kynok
Community Member
1 year ago

It's a rip off of Lotus 123 ... and that wasn't the first spreadsheet.

Frank Ropen
Community Member
1 year ago

Always remember 1900 is a leap year in Excel to be compatible with Lotus which had the same fault.

Radek Suski
Community Member
1 year ago

I very much doubt it

Frank Ropen
Community Member
1 year ago

What do you doubt? That Excel is meant for data analysis but is misused as database? We have lots of Excel "databases"

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Tim Bouchee
Community Member
1 year ago

Depends on what you mean by "analysis." Not sure if I'd classify simple mean or standard deviation calculations or generating a graph an "analysis."

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