17 "Obvious" Things People Had No Idea Were Obvious Until Someone Else Pointed It Out To Them

Listen — it's happened to all of us. You know, that "aha!" moment when you finally put two and two together and have a sweet, sweet epiphany...only to share that new finding with someone else and realize it was totally obvious and you were actually way late to the game.

Personally, mine was (after three years of French class) realizing that

Personally, mine was (after three years of French class) realizing that "mermaid" was mer (which means sea in French) plus maid. I thought this was absolutely groundbreaking, and my friend was like, "Girl......" Humbling, truly.


Recently, redditor u/Remarkable-Lead-3946 inquired about just that. In r/AskReddit, they asked, "What really obvious thing have you only just realized?" People were refreshingly honest in their answers, ranging from low-key hilarious to genuinely informative. Here are 17 of the very best examples people shared:

1."How the American bail system works. I thought it was a sum of money you paid to avoid jail. I was surprised when I realized you get the money BACK if you show up for your trial."


It's true! According to "The Bail Project," if a judge grants bail, that means the defendant can pay that amount of money to the court and does not have to stay in jail until their court date. At the end of the trial, regardless of whether the defendant is determined to be guilty or not guilty, they get their bail money returned simply for showing up.

2."Water towers are for water pressure, not just a town putting its name on a tank and saying, 'Hey, look how much dang water WE have.'"


3."That it’s called metal because it’s harder than rock (music)."


4."I recently learned that goodbye is a shortened form of 'God Be With You,' which people in Ye Olde England would say to each other."


5."I recently realized that 'Howdy' is short for 'how do ye?'"

—u/OneCoolStoryThe phrase

6."I was, like, 25 when I found out the jugs of washer fluid outside the gas station aren't free. I was walking out of the gas station with a buddy one day, grabbed a jug of washer fluid, and he asked me, 'Did you just steal that?' I was like, 'No, dude, it's free.' Turns out it's not. I stole washer fluid for nearly ten years of driving, and no one ever said anything to me about it."


7."I was a 20-something regular cannabis user struggling to clean my pipe when I finally realized that that's what pipe cleaners are for. Those fuzzy bendable tubes weren't just for childhood crafts."


8."My 21-year-old cousin just realized he is mildly allergic to peanut butter and has been his whole life. Until now, he had assumed EVERYONE'S throat closed up a little while eating a PB&J sandwich, but they just fought through it."


9."In my high school science class, we were watching a video and it was then that I realized reindeer are, in fact, real creatures and not just mythical beings for the purpose of pulling Santa’s sled."


10."I was at least 50 when I learned that the little piggy who went to market wasn’t going shopping."


The first line in Mother Goose's poem "This Little Piggy" reads, "This little piggy went to market." As it is often recited or sung by children, people tend to assume the piggy is simply having a nice little trip to the supermarket to get groceries. In actuality, though, that unfortunate little piggy is headed to the slaughter to be put up for sale at the supermarket.

11."That the 'Mad' in Mad Men meant 'Madison Avenue.'"


12."I know 'Felix' is the Latin word for 'happy,' but only recently did I discover the name Felix also means 'lucky.' There's a cartoon character named 'Felix the Cat' who is a black cat, and I'm just now getting the irony of naming him that."

—u/ThePurityPixelTo those who are more superstitious, black cats are often considered unlucky.

13."In the song ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause,’ it’s the husband dressed up as Santa that's kissing his wife. Mommy is not having an affair with Santa."


14."I was 50. 50 FUCKING YEARS OLD. When I learned that bats are not, in fact, blind."

—u/EclectophileYou may have heard the phrase

15."That my car key remote isn’t broken, the battery just died after nearly 10 years."


"You don’t have to go to the dealership to get it fixed. Any auto parts store will have the battery, and most will replace it for you!"


A dead battery is unsurprisingly the most common reason a car key fob might stop working. Replacing them can get pretty pricey, so it's important to make sure it's not a simple fix like this before spending the big bucks.

16."We have a local plumbing company call 'Abacus' with the tag line 'you can count on us.' After 20 years, I realized their logo was an abacus."

—u/whatyoucallmetodayIf you're not familiar with an abacus, it's a tool that dates waaay back to ancient times and was (and still is!) used for counting. Odds are, you probably played with one as a kid — for some strange reason, they tended to be in pediatricians' waiting rooms. Anyway, the name and tagline are a pun!

17.And finally, "I should take this to the grave, but I somehow thought Mickey Mouse was a dog until I was 17. I’m 24 now. One day, I just saw a Mickey Mouse somewhere and went, 'Why does he have such a skinny little tail??? It looks like a ra-…wait…'"


I hope you had a laugh and perhaps learned something new from this! Now, it's your turn: Have you ever missed something that was seemingly obvious to everyone else and had an "aha!" moment like these people? If so, tell us about it in the comments below!

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.