“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers)

It’s no big secret that knowledge is essential to humanity. I mean, just consider all the things we wouldn’t be aware of if people didn’t believe in lifelong learning!

Folks would still think that the Earth was flat and sat on the back of a giant turtle that was flying through space, half of us would’ve perished from hunger and deadly diseases, language wouldn’t have been a thing, and yadda yadda yadda. The point is, we’d have an empty planet.

Most will probably agree that the enthusiasm one has for learning new things fades away straight after schooling, which is somewhat understandable. You know, we get busy with work and whatnot. However, as the saying goes, “It’s never too late to learn,” so even if you’ve just discovered that ponies are not, in fact, little horses – just be glad that you did. 

What’s something you learned ‘embarrassingly late’ in life?” – this internet user turned to one of Reddit’s most enlightening and thought-provoking communities, inviting its members to unveil a couple of things that they happened to learn way too late in life. The now-viral thread managed to garner nearly 36K upvotes as well as 31.8K comments containing some pretty surprising answers. 

More info: Reddit

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers)

This is something my little sister did through high school. We’re about 8 years apart so we never overlapped in school.

She’s always been a straight-A student, and I found out she worked extra hard because she “wanted to catch up to me” in school. So we could be in school at the same time.

I almost cried.

rebel_croissant , Pixabay Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) I was like, 22? working at a restaurant making myself a salad, and I asked the chef for bumps and he stared at me for like, 60 solid seconds trying to figure out what I wanted. I explained to him I wanted bumps for my salad. I have all the rest of the toppings but now needed bumps.

Guys … my family told me croutons were called bumps my entire life. I called my dad that night and confirmed that bumps are indeed, actually called croutons.

YesAccident5991 , jeffreyw Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) I thought that horses had toes until I was 22. I thought the hoof was a “horseshoe” and the toes were tucked inside.

How did I learn how wrong I was, you ask?

I was walking past a cavalry museum and saw a horse statue and loudly remarked “it must hurt so bad when they fold a horse’s toes to put them into the shoe!” Dozens of horse enthusiasts turned and looked at me with wild bewilderment in their eyes.

BronNatsPulisic , Ken Bosma Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) While watching Game of Thrones, I asked my husband when dragons went extinct. He had to pause the show for that one.

ashforgold , John Lester Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) That Bonsai are not a species of tree, but a way to grow them. Any tree can be a bonsai.

ixent , Andreas D. Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) I learned that pork and beans are not called “cowboy beans”. I was 18 and asked a grocery store clerk to help me find the “cowboy beans”. We were looking everywhere and I was getting frustrated because I know that every store carries these beans. After a while I pick up a pork and beans can with a picture and say “see, it looks just like this!” He says “you mean pork and beans?” Then I realize that my mom called them that so that I would eat them. The look of disappointment from that grocery store clerk haunts me to this day.

whyunoletmepost , Artem Savchenko Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) You don’t have to rip the plastic top off of your new deodorant with your teeth or pliers or anything. You can just turn the base until it comes up enough to just take it off.

SanibelMan , cottonbro studio Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) I was probably 21 or 22 when I learned that whole milk is only 3% fat. I always thought it was 100, and when I saw reduced as being 2% I thought “why wouldn’t they do 50% or somewhere in the middle?”

willk95 , Mike Mozart Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) I live near the Hospital for Joint Diseases….when I was a kid I thought it was a special hospital for people who had two different diseases at the same time.

Baffhy_Duck , Wendy Wei Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) My sister was in her 50’s when she found out the meaning of: “you have an addictive personality”. She thought after all these years of therapy that it meant that people were addicted to her personality. We laugh hysterically when we talk about this (in a very sad way).

casper02127 , Ben Mack Report

I suspected it was the same with lots of people but I found out it wasn’t gorilla warfare but guerrilla warfare maybe in my twenties.

The disappoints of growing up… they just keep coming.

octoriceball Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) When I was ten years old, I considered orgasm to be a nice word for a fart. I told my mother that my stomach hurt from having so many orgasms.

Asruhk , Scott Wilcoxson Report

When people say quote unquote I thought they were saying quote on quote

LF_redit Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) Jackalopes are mythical creatures. I was… 18 I think? To be fair, I’ve seen a platypus, rhino, and a giraffe. Those are some bs animals.

AtlasAngel02 , Mark Freeman Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) Just this week I found out about the little button on the back of the socket driver that pushes the socket off. I have owned the same socket set for about 30 years, and I have a dedicated screwdriver that I keep with my sockets and use to pry them off when I’m done using them.

I will be 55 years old soon.

ScaryNation , Bill Abbott Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) I thought that ‘prima donna’ was ‘pre-Madonna’ and that it meant everything before the singer Madonna and just assumed she was some kind of universal queen.

vienna_versailles , Madonna Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) Until I was in school for environmental studies, I thought “mourning dove” was “morning dove.” I usually heard them calling in the mornings, so “morning” made sense to me.

boldolive , Carolyn Savell Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) Birds have sex. I thought that the mother bird laid the egg and the father fertilised it later. I was 18 and asked my mother what the birds were doing…

drittinnlegg , Henry Report

That Cheesecake Factory is a restaurant and not an assembly line of workers making cheesecake. I always envisioned you would go in there and watch them and eat a slice, sort of like a brewery.

Edit: I’d like to add that I’ve lived in close proximity to multiple locations my entire life, and my sister used to go all the time with her friends. I thought they all just really liked the cheesecake, and the factory vibe of it all. It’s not until my now fiancé asked me to meet her and her friend there for drinks that I figured it all out, at about age 22-23 lol

LochnessIntelChief07 Report

The “D” in the Disney logo was a stylized capital letter and not a backwards G.

omild Report

I was 19 when I learned that women have to give birth (or at least be pregnant) to have breast milk. I’d always thought that it’s available at all times.

I was a very sheltered kid. Don’t judge me.

krukson Report

That in Billy Joel‘s hit song „We didn’t start the fire“ the line of „homeless vets“ meant homeless veterans and not homeless veterinarians. I was about twenty five before i put those pieces together, and always thought there was a big homeless veterinarian problem I had never heard about

Herr_Poopypants Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) Not me but my mom: waiting for the shower to be warm BEFORE stepping in.

She grew up with a bathtub most of her life, and didn’t get a shower until she moved out of my grandparents’ place in her 20s.

She was apparently talking to a coworker about the winter weather one morning. While lamenting, she goes, “And don’t you just HATE getting into a cold shower on these cold days?! It takes SO LONG for the water to get warm!”

Coworker: “Uh… Cheryl…. You know you can just WAIT until the water gets warm, THEN hop in….”

PoopsieDoodles , Karolina Grabowska Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) I didn’t know I was circumcised until I was ~15 or 16. I was arguing with a girl online. I thought the head was the foreskin and that circumcision cut the actual head of the penis off.

MrDelicious84 , Malte Luk Report

I was taught it’s fine to flush tampons down the toilet, and would even flush pads, and sponges when I’d clean the bathroom. I didn’t learn that it was a *huge* no no until sometime in my mid to late 20’s. I’m surprised the pipes at the house I grew up in weren’t constantly exploding.

edie_the_egg_lady Report

Why I was really young my sister told me she threw her guts up. So I was really afraid of vomiting my entire insides up for years.

Prestigious_Sweet_50 Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) That the porta potty doesn’t somehow know when someone’s inside. That the sign only changes to “occupied” when you physically lock the door. Many people walked in on me during my childhood.

EDIT: I was dragged to many outdoor craft fairs and whatnot as a child. So I had to use them more often than most other children.

ineverlikedanything , Kari Sullivan Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) A few months ago 2 of my colleagues both handed in their notice at around the same time. I kept reading/hearing the sentence ‘they’re both moving on to pastures new’ being thrown about the office in the weeks leading up to them leaving and I hadn’t heard this phrase before and thought that was the name of the rival company that they were going to. I thought it was weird that nobody was talking about how they were both leaving for the same company.

I was in the car with one of the ones who was leaving and said ‘so where is that you and X are going to be working? Is it..’ and just before I could embarrass myself and say ‘pastures new’, they interrupted me and said they’re not going to the same place and asked me where I had heard that. I think at that moment I realised I was stupid and didn’t mention it again.

WorriedSoft , Kurt Nordstrom Report

“What’s Something You Learned ‘Embarrassingly Late’ In Life?” (45 Answers) I was maybe 17 or 18 before learning that it was Timbuktu, not Timbuk 2. I thought there was an original Timbuk out there somewhere

BoiIedFrogs , Emilio Labrador Report

That I was in fact NOT missing a testicle. Thought there was supposed to be 3 until I was like 14 years old.

Fgyiyio Report

That Jacques Cousteau was a real person. I always just thought he was a fictional character like Sherlock Holmes until I was in my 30s.

creamstripping4jesus Report

I thought ponies were just baby horses until the age of 23.

EDIT: Until I was 23, I didn’t think horses aged like turtles. I’m dumb, but not *that* dumb.

Lowkey_Retarded Report

My parents were divorced the whole time and my mom was not, in fact, taking a vacation lmao

artemus_who Report

Let me tell you about how I thought you were awarded a “Pullet Surprise”

BendyBrains Report

In the last year I found out peanut butter is brown. I’m 34. And horrendously colourblind, if that wasn’t obvious.

DefiantEmpoleon Report


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