Thank you, Captain Obvious!

There are plenty of obvious things that people love to discuss, like how the weather currently is and how soon the holidays are. It’s totally fine to bring up topics like this in a self-aware way: “I know this is obvious, but I just really need to make small talk.” But sometimes, people think they’re being philosophical when they’re really just stating the obvious.

Below, we’ve gathered some of our favorite posts from the That’s How Things Work subreddit, which is dedicated to highlighting people who tried to be deep but failed miserably. From explaining concepts that already have a name to sharing “shower thoughts” that they probably should have kept to themselves, this list is full of funny, facepalm-worthy moments that might make you lose a bit of faith in humanity.

Be sure to upvote the posts that you get a kick out of, and then let us know in the comments: what’s the most obvious thing you’ve ever had explained to you before? Then, if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article featuring obvious things people learned embarrassingly late in life, you can find that right here!

#1 My Cake!

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#2 Thanks I Hate Names

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#3 Are You Twins In Real Life?

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Not everything needs an explanation. When we’re children, we’ll need to have some things spelled out for us because we’re learning everything from scratch, but as adults, we should be able to assume many things are common sense. Unfortunately, common sense isn’t always super common. No one knows that better than the members of the That’s How Things Work subreddit. This group, which currently has nearly 85k members, is dedicated to featuring all of those #deep posts that might make you question humanity’s sanity. Common themes on the subreddit are “Shower Thought”, “Article”, and “Deep”, but I have to say, Article is the most concerning to me.

Even our news sources are sometimes reporting blatantly obvious headlines, but maybe that should be obvious to me… This list makes it clear that the entire internet is full of painfully obvious statements. Social media, news sites, dating apps, and Wikipedia, we’re all capable of being Captain Obvious. But according to Portland Therapy Center, there might actually be a reason why we tend to say things that can go without saying.

#4 Help Me I’m Drowning

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#5 Ah Yes. Evolution Has Nothing To Do With Genetics

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#6 He Blames Pot

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“It’s so hot outside!” Of course it is, we can all feel it. So why do we feel the need to say things like this? Portland Therapy Center notes on their site that the main reason we want to state the obvious is to feel connected to others. “Language is our way of sharing understanding. In the distant past, all we had to communicate was the sound of our voices and smoke signals, and those important signals warned of war parties and resources,” Dr. Gregory Devore writes. “In today’s hyper-connected world, we now augment our reality by using email, text, phone, and social media apps to share information about just about anything.” 

Stating the obvious also makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. “When ideas are shared, creativity and action can occur,” Dr. Devore explains. “Those who are better communicators are more likely to receive support from others.” And if we don’t have support, we put ourselves at risk. So it’s perfectly natural to want to share our experiences with other humans, even if that means stating something super obvious. It’s snowing out, and you know that because you’re experiencing it too, but here’s a reminder that we’re all in this together.

#7 Low Battery? Charge Your Phone

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#8 Opinions Must Be Objective

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#9 Headlines

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Dr. Devore also notes that when we bring attention to how we’re feeling, we might work together with others to help remedy the situation. Personally, I tend to ignore something if I think I’m the only person feeling bothered. If I am freezing in my office and having trouble typing because my hands are numb, I’m not likely to bring it up. But if someone else does, I’ll suggest that we turn on the heater we have available and confirm that I feel cold as well. When you and a friend both agree that it’s hot outside, you might decide to go grab an iced coffee or stop in a café for a drink and to cool off in the air conditioning. Rather than responding with a sarcastic and dismissive response when someone states the obvious, use that as an opportunity to validate their thoughts and find a connection.

#10 How Stock Photos Work

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#11 What A Question

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#12 Amazon Review For A Backpack

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Many of the posts on this list are people who were attempting to be deep or philosophical on social media, but they ended up just stating the most obvious things. In 2019, Laura Brown published an article on Forbes discussing this exact topic titled “Trying To Sound Smart Could Be Making You Look Dumb”. She notes that for some reason, many people have the idea that if you write clearly and directly, you don’t sound as intelligent as if you use an unnecessary amount of words, particularly buzz words. But the first issue that Laura takes with that kind of writing is that not everyone will understand it. “It’s possible to get your head so deeply into jargon and convoluted language that you’re actually quite hard to understand,” she writes. Just because you’ve managed to confuse people doesn’t mean you sound intelligent.

#13 Yes, That’s How Genetics Work

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#14 That’s Just What It Is

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#15 Yes, Doing Things Have Consequences

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Another issue with the kind of “eloquent business writing” that many companies try to use is that it can simply make you look bad. In fact, there’s even research to support this conclusion. Carnegie Mellon psychologist Daniel Oppenheimer wrote a paper titled “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly” (now that’s a mouthful!), and he found that readers actually consider unnecessarily long words as less intelligent than simpler vocabulary. “It’s important to point out that this research is not about problems with using long words but about using long words needlessly,” he noted. “One thing seems certain: write as simply and plainly as possible and it’s more likely you’ll be thought of as intelligent.”

#16 Smh

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#17 Cecil’s Brother, Jericho, Is Also A Lion, Don’t You Know That!?

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#18 Yes That’s How It Usually Works

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Just like trying far too hard to write in an “intelligent” way, trying way too hard to sound “deep” can certainly backfire. Pointing out the weather is a socially acceptable way of discussing what goes without saying, but when it comes to trying to explain obvious things to sound intelligent, you’re certain to get called out. But if we really want to channel someone who’s been featured on the That’s How Things Work subreddit, we could dive down the rabbit hole of, “Well, what’s obvious to one person may not be obvious to everyone else.” For example, when there are crumbs, dirt or anything else on the floor in my apartment, it makes my skin crawl. It is glaringly obvious to me, and I cannot rest until it’s been swept or vacuumed up. My former roommates, however, did not feel the same way and thought that I was crazy for seeing these crumbs with my “hawk eyes”.

#19 That’s Why It’s Called A Virus

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#20 Kinda The Goal, Right?

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#21 But-

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Have you ever heard someone note that their therapist told them something that they would have never figured out on their own, but once they heard it, it seemed entirely obvious? We can’t always see the “obvious” things that are right in front of our eyes, due to our own biases or based on the life experiences we’ve had. If you’re a doctor, a patient might come in extremely confused about what’s wrong with them, but once they explain their symptoms, it might be obvious to you what’s wrong with them. Yes, the photos on this list are not great examples of when we should give someone the benefit of the doubt, because those things are definitely obvious. But just some food for thought: what’s blatantly obvious to you might blow someone else’s mind.

#22 This Is A Fact

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#23 That’s Why Biographies Are Written

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#24 R/Showerthoughts At It Again

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As a kid, I used to get annoyed in school all the time because I would refrain from answering a question or pointing something out that I thought was extremely obvious (because why would I say what goes without saying?), but then inevitably, someone else would say exactly what I was thinking a few minutes later and be praised for how smart they were or what an excellent point they made. After many years of having that experience, I finally decided to start pointing out the obvious (within reason). As it turns out, by stating what seems clear as day to you, you might be introducing a great idea or sparking a new thought in someone else. Don’t be scared to share your ideas, unless they’re as obvious as the things on this list…

#25 If You Know How Old It Is Then You Know How Old It Is

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#26 Yep, The Wind Can Blow Across State Borders

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#27 That’s Pretty Much It Yeah

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Obviously, this list has some facepalm-worthy posts. But it’s not obvious to me which pics you’ll find the most cringey or hilarious, so be sure to make use of that upvote button! We hope you enjoy the rest of these painfully obvious posts, and then if you’re interested in checking out even more of them, you can find the That’s How Things Work subreddit right here! (That’s a link. Click the link on the words “right here”. Was that obvious enough?)        

#28 Are You High

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#29 That’s How Currency Works

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#30 Funny How Things Work

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#31 Yeah, No Sh*t Sherlock

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#32 Roses Are Red, I Serve My Master-

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#33 Its A Christmas Miracle!

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#34 I Am Enlightened By Such Powerful Knowledge

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#35 I Mean, Yeah

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#36 Thanks I Didn’t Know That

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#37 Thats How Humans Work

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#38 How Dare They Ask

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#39 Frenemies

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#40 Glad They Clarified These

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#41 A Woman Who Looks Like Her Parents

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#42 Thats How Vaccines Work

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#43 “You Won’t Look At These Things The Same”

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#44 M I N D B L O W I N G

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#45 That’s What Nostalgia Is

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Author: Mindaugas Balčiauskas