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15 people share times they realized someone was unhinged in the middle of conversation.

15 people share times they realized someone was unhinged in the middle of conversation.


We all know the feeling. You're engaged in a benign conversation with someone, then suddenly it takes a turn and you realize they're living on a different planet than you.

In these moments as a captive audience, you have to figure out a quick exit plan that won't set them off any further. While it's deeply uncomfortable in the moment, these stories can be super funny to retell later on.

In a popular Ask Reddit thread, people shared times they realized someone was unhinged in the middle of a conversation.

1. From Jazigrrl:

My first job was at Target. I was in the food avenue section which is where you would buy popcorn, nachos or soft pretzels (most have been converted to Starbucks by now.)

Anyways, there was this lady K who would come in quite often. She had a little cart with 2 wheels that she pulled behind her, full of stuff. She would wear baggy dresses and hacked the hair up front in jagged pieces to the scalp like a mangy Benjamin Franklin. K would wander around for awhile and then come to food ave and buy a sandwich.

Whenever we exchanged money she would ask me if she swallowed or was choking on any change. I would calmly look at her and say “Nope K, you’re just fine,” sometimes repeating myself 4 or 5 times.

One day she looked at me and said “Thank you for being so kind and not treating me like I’m crazy. Everyone else does. When I was a little girl I saw my Grandmother choke to death.”

Can you F*CKING IMAGINE? This was 15 years ago. I hope K has found peace and contentment wherever she is

2. From NeatHedgehog:

So I went into a McDonald's and this woman recognized me from some of the college classes we had together. I think. Well, at any rate she seemed pretty certain, and she seemed like she might be familiar; two eyes, a nose, some hair, I might've seen her before.

She started telling me that her friend was psychic, could feel people's energy, and could read her mind. Now that's not the weirdest thing I've ever heard and I'd probably have been ok with that.

Then she started telling me about the radio DJ out of the next town over who was watching her in her house with video cameras hidden in her shower. She knew he was watching her because during his broadcasts he would play certain sound effects and tell jokes about her every time she farted. I told her I had to get going, I was just there for a carry-out and there were some people waiting in the car.

3. From Butterflylollipop:

Coworker - at first she seemed okay. She would tell me stories about her life where literally everyone in her life has done her wrong. I realized just how delusional she was when she was telling me about an interaction with a third coworker that I was present for. She skewed the details of that interaction so bad, meanwhile I'm listening and questioning everything this woman has ever told me.

4. From Janigiraffey:

I was at a family wedding, and there was this guy I didn’t know that was amazing on the dance floor. He had decent moves, but it was more that he was so dedicated to his dancing, so charismatic, that he really drew the eye. Anyway, my father-in-law got to talking to him, and eventually drew me into the conversation.

Dancer guy had been telling my father-in-law in great detail about a recent manic episode during which he’d emptied his bank account (shared with his wife) bought a boat and sailed it from the US to Denmark, and then stayed there in a drunken stupor for weeks before it finally occurred to him that he needed to tell his wife where he was, and also that they couldn’t afford a boat.

Partway through the conversation, it became obvious that he was currently in another manic state. But he was very engaging, so we didn’t try to extricate ourselves from the conversation. Eventually, his wife dragged him away. We felt bad for her.

5. From hem2323:

Work at the IT Help Desk at a small community college. People pretty frequently come by for directions to other parts of the college so when this guy was asking for “where they train the police” it seemed normal enough.

We have a police academy as part of the college so I started giving him directions there but he kind of just started talking over me and telling me he trained all the police here and he used to be an instructor but they moved. I was trying to give him directions but he started telling me I needed to look him up on my computer.

Around this time my former Marine coworker kind of heard what was going on and came in to assist. The strange guy asked my coworker if he was in the military (he was wearing a USMC shirt) and then proceeded to tell him how he was an 'Army Navy Ranger' and he trained all my coworker's superiors.

At this point, we realized he was totally bats**t and I told the strange guy I was going to grab another coworker who knew the area better to get him better directions and hit the Campus Security silent alarm button in the next office over. Security came, he acted like he recognized the officer and asked him what took him so long, and said he came here to see him.

The officer didn't know him, strange guy was just out of it. All security was really allowed to do was escort him off campus and hope he didn't come back so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pretty terrified walking to my car when I left that day.

6. From ihaveabaldhead:

I was in the smoker's section of a club a couple of years ago.

So I'm sitting there, enjoying my drink and filthy cancer stick, when this guy in full denim asks me to sit and talk.

Now, I was pinging pretty hard, so I was like 'yeah sure, that sounds like a great idea!'

So we're sitting down, and this guy straight up says 'after we shake hands we'll be connected for life'. So I laugh it off, shake his hand, and see where the conversation goes.

This guy starts playing the worst game of 20 guesses ever.

Him- 'you're 22' Me- 'nope' Him- '21' Me- 'nah bro' Him- '27' Me- ',nah, I'm this age' Him- 'I knew that! We are connected' Me- 'alright man'

So I feel like this guy has dropped acid and is tripping, but then he gets real weird and dark.

Him- 'I sense you have the beast in you, I do as well'

Me- 'what the hell is the beast?' (This is where I f*cked up)

Him- 'the beast is something in a lot of us, it is everything that is hate, and you can only control it by giving it what it wants'

Me- 'what does it want?'

Him- 'well, I'm a vegan, but the beast demands meat, without it he screams at my soul'

Me- 'ahhh ok man, I'm gonna bail'

Him- 'No! I'm vegan, I could never hurt an animal. But the beast needs what it wants. I do the right thing and only eat chicken, because chickens deserve to die'

Me- 'why do chickens deserve to die?'

Him- 'because all the r*pists, p*dophiles, and murderers get reincarnated as chickens'

Me- 'how do you know this?'

Him- 'they told me'

So I'm irked here, and decide to try and bail while changing the conversation a little.

Me- 'ah so how's been vegan?'

Him- 'I'm vegan 99% of the time, but the beast needs to eat. I feed him chicken nuggets 1% of the time. So every night I go to McDonald's and buy 20 nuggets. You should let your beast free sometimes too, or else you'll become all beast and come back as a chicken'

I just walked off at this point. It all sounds ridiculous, but the dude was super dark and sinister. I went back in after a while and the guy was sitting in the same spot with 4 people sitting around him listening to his word like it was gospel. I feel like I witnessed the start of a cult.

7. From PowerSkunk92:

I have a coworker who's a real chatterbox. It starts innocuously enough; what she had for dinner, how her husband is doing after his car wreck, what happened at church this past Sunday. She'll ramble on and on and on about this for as long as you'll stand there, only barely giving you a chance to say you've got to go do something else and politely end the conversation.

The best way we at work have found to get away is to signal someone over and turn her attention on to the new victim. The funny thing is that no one, not even me, has caught on to this, and we'll always happily trot over to see what the conversation is about only to get caught in the 'death chatter.'

However, if she ever starts talking about the news, run for your sanity. I don't know what news channel she watches, but every day it seems she finds a new story about someone somewhere r**ing and/or m**dering an infant.

And it's not something she mentions once and moves away from. She dwells on such things, rambling on about them for as much as half an hour at a go if you stand there and let her mouth run.

8. From johnnylovesbjs:

During our small talk since I was seated next to him at a dinner party everything seems cool, then the topic of marriage comes up, and he's flabbergasted I let my wife go to work, drive a car, and not be in my presence. He explains God created women to please and serve their men, and to be in the kitchen at all times, and to basically be a sl*ve to their men.

Literally went on for about 15 mins and I seriously thought he was just a chauvinist making a joke but he was dead serious. I excused myself and went to the restroom, and thankfully someone took my spot at the table so I had to move to a different spot.

9. From teke367:

The plumber we called was nice enough, but he started explaining to my wife that Hurricane Sandy didn't really happen, and the storms are due to the government 'shooting electrons' into the sky.

10. From emote_control:

It took me an absurdly long time to find out my good friend was a pathological liar. I just didn't have any good reason not to believe him, and my other friends didn't catch on either. He wasn't malicious or anything. He just wanted people to think he knew interesting people.

At some point, the good faith of friendship broke down in the face of the collective weight of his fake stories, and I just stopped talking to him. It did cost me some friends once when I repeated something he had said around a new group of people, and they thought I was the one making s**t up. What a goddamn mess that was.

11. From Subject1928:

When he told me the place I was headed to was full of reptile people. I stuck with my man until the end of the 14 hour Greyhound trip listening to his lunatic ramblings the whole time. He wasn't the 'Take your head off and run around the bus' type of crazy, more like the 'Cool crazy stoner type.'

12. From soonerguy11:

Everybody has met her: that loud, apprehensive person with a cracking voice possibly due to being in a constant state of self-inflicted crisis. She says more inappropriate things than appropriate things and her personal life somehow always finds itself leaking into her professional environment. The type of person who will leave mid-meeting with a client to go to Starbucks. Her.

Anyway, like two months after hiring her, she informs us she needs to see a person in Miami (we live in LA) due to some undisclosed arm pain issues. She didn't give us a time frame of return, but said it may be months to recover. During this conversation, we found that this was not a doctor (or at least not a licensed medical practitioner) but somebody that her friend recommended. In Miami. For 'months.'

Also, she threatened to sue our insurance company because it didn't cover whatever she was doing and she just assumed it would. We never saw her again, but she seems to keep bouncing back on her feet in pretty solid positions based on Linkedin.

13. From squeeeeenis:

My, very sweet, elderly next door neighbor explained to me how God gave her my house. She casually told me, 'Oh, you should have seen how beautiful it was the day we moved in. I touched your door, and I knew then and their that God wanted me to own your house. You may live in it now, but its only temporary.'

It gave me the creeps, but I didn't say anything because her husband mows my lawn for free.


I work in customer service. This dude said he identified as a cat more than a human. He also claimed the police were trying to kill his cats. Eventually, the conversation became about how he was going to starve to death because he didn't know how to cook.

He also said he couldn't dine out anymore because there were no places to get real food (hamburgers) in his neighborhood because of 'all of the gentrification going on since the blacks and Puerto ricans moved in' to his neighborhood.

15. From Tophertanium:

I had to go into work on my off day to terminate someone. I had fired people before on the past, no big deal. Just like with all the others, this person had gotten themselves fired. Never really had any “crazy” issues with them before.

So I go in about an hour before our location opens. Plan is to terminate the person quickly, then work their scheduled shift. In hindsight, I should not have been alone with them. I inform them why they are being terminated. They sign the necessary forms and head for the door. Then the crazy starts.

First, there were the fits of maniacal laughter, interspersed with shouts of rage. They were pacing back and forth, occasionally grabbing things I feared would be thrown at me. Outwardly, I maintained my calm, managerial composure. I calmly repeated they needed to leave the premises before I called the authorities.

They went to begging for their job, then laughing about how stupid they were, then raging at the supposed lies that were told about them (cameras showed they weren’t lies), then giggling sadly. I reiterated they needed to leave. After a half hour of coercing and having a phone in hand to dial 911, they left.

I immediately called my supervisor and informed them. I was nervous the whole day that they’d come back in and do something.

Sources: Reddit
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