“What took you an embarrassing amount of time to figure out?” – 30 funniest lightbulb moments

Sometimes things that are really obvious to everyone else just aren’t obvious to us and it can take a long time – an awfully long time – for the penny to drop.

We only mention this after Redditor StuckBugg asked this.

“What took you an embarrassing amount of time to figure out?”

And it prompted lots of very funny – and occasionally enlightening – responses.

Here are 30 of the best belated lightbulb moments.


‘How ring binders work. I thought you had to take out all the pages to add a new page to the back of the binder, which annoyed me in school because it could take a while having to realign all the pages to fit the holes in the binder.

‘I was about 22 when I worked in a bookstore and my coworker saw me take all the pages out, after which she showed me how it actually works. I will never forget the look of disbelief on her face.’


‘My French press. I owned one 9 months before I realized the coffee grounds go UNDER the plunger and not ON TOP of it. I was always so annoyed having to clean the top of the plunger after lowering the coffee into the water.

‘My girlfriend stared at me like I was the stupidest person she’d ever met trying to formulate how to politely fix this.’

‘How did you keep the grounds out of your mug of coffee??’

‘You pull up and dump in the trash! Minimal grinds!’


‘In lady and the tramp the humans are called Jim Dear and Darling. I was in my 30s before I realized that wasn’t their actual names, it was what lady heard them calling each other.’


‘That those ridiculous over-the-top dresses exhibited at fashion shows are not intended to ever be worn in real life; they are like concept cars of the fashion world, intended to showcase the designer’s creativity and vision.’


“I realised a few years ago that cows don’t just naturally produce milk, they have to be pregnant/have a calf to produce it. which is embarrassingly late to figure out.’


‘When I was 16 this girl called me. She asked if I had ever just called up a friend wanting to try to get laid. I said no.

‘We talked about it, I encouraged her I thought it was okay blah blah blah, wished her luck hanging up. About 15 years later I randomly thought about that shit …’


‘I was 50ish when I realized that the little piggy that goes to market wasn’t going fuckin’ shopping.’


‘That the ‘Teletubbies’ literally had tele-tubby’s, as in their stomachs were TVs. Figured this out at university.’


‘The microwave oven doesn’t have to be running for the “Add 30 seconds” button to work.’


‘When I was a kid back in the early 90’s I was obsessed with WWF wrestling. It didn’t hit me until years later that The Undertaker’s managers name, Paul Bearer, wasn’t his real name.’


‘I never understood “a stitch in time saves 9”. I was always like “saves 9 what??”. It saves 9 stitches. It means a little preventative maintenance can save you from needing big repairs. Put a stitch in the cloth to strengthen it, and you won’t have to mend a tear down the road.

‘I think it clicked in my late 30s.


‘I was like 17 before I realized I didn’t have to get in the shower and then turn on the water and get blasted with cold water. I can turn it on before I get in and just wait a second -_-‘


‘How to use a staple remover. Until I was was in my 40s, I’d just use the staple remover to “bite” the long side of a staple and kind of tear it back through the paper.

‘Then someone showed me how to properly use a staple remover by “biting” the crimped side of the staple to bend the crimp and kind of straighten out the staple again. Once kind of straightened, “bite” the long side of the staple and the staple will back out the same holes it went in without further tearing the paper.’


‘I thought that ponies were baby horses till I was like 24.’


‘When I was like 5 my dad would constantly make the following joke: He’d put his hand on my head and squeeze lightly a couple times while saying “I’m a brainsucker. What am I doing?” After a quick pause he’d follow up with the punch line “Starving!”, but he always stretched out the pronunciation for the word so it sounded to me like “Star…ving”

‘For years I thought it was a lame joke where the punchline somehow referred to the fact that brainsuckers were aliens and came from the stars or something like that.

‘I was sitting in class one day and I must have been 10-12 years old before I realized “He’s calling me dumb! The joke is that I dont have a brain so the brainsucker is starving!”

‘I was at least smart enough to never tell him this, because I’d never live it down if he knew it took me five years to figure out the joke.’