It’s one of the very first lessons that we learn in elementary school even as we learn how to read and write: follow instructions. Of course, what they don’t always teach you is that sometimes following instructions as literally as possible can have unintentionally hilarious results.
These funny job fails are the glorious final product of a slew of brilliant thinkers, movers, and shakers who either took their task at face value — or just gave up halfway through. Whatever the cause, the end result will leave you wondering: what on Earth could they have possibly been thinking at the time?
1. Order Up
Getting a Filet-O-Fish sandwich from McDonald’s is not generally considered to be among the most complicated of life’s many processes. You roll up to the drive-through window, place your order, and behind the scenes, it’s compiled from very simple ingredients. Sure, it’s supposed to come to you fast. But then, there’s this.
Of all the funny job fails, this one leaves you wondering what happened on the other side of the counter. Were they in such a rush to get the sandwich out to the customer that they forgot the slice of cheddar cheese belongs, well, inside the bun? Or did they hear “cheese on the side” and take it just a tad too literally?
2. But Did I Win?
You finish the race with sweat pouring into your eyes, thundering down the track so fast that you can barely even see what place you got. You ask what your results were — and then you’re handed this charming medallion that you can wear proudly on your chest, if only you knew what the heck it meant.
Sure, the endings of ordinal numbers can vary, but really, there’s only four of them you need to know. Really, the person whose job it was to engrave these medallions ought to have taken a moment to try and pronounce this misstep out loud. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, now, does it?
3. Not Exactly Wrong
Some of our local supermarkets like to liven things up with some tantalizing descriptions of the food products they sell. And some of them try — but these vendors probably should have put just a bit more effort into their sales pitch. Honestly, is this the best they could come up with?
This funny job fail is just plain baffling. Would it not have been more simple just to write the word ‘bananas’? How did this sign make it to print? Considering it’s highly unlikely a customer would not have recognized this familiar fruit, you have to wonder the thought process that went into this masterpiece.
4. Well That’s News To Me
The news world is fast-paced and never sleeps. But that being said, one of the writers for this local news station might have wanted to drink that second cup of coffee in the morning before sending this cringe-worthy goof out to live broadcast. Sure, there’s plenty of names and people interviewed in the daily news circuit.
But was it really that hard to get all the information straight, let alone to take out this header? One has to wonder how hard it was for the news anchors to stifle a giggle as they read this out loud. This is one funny job fail that was certain to raise quite a stir in their local community.
Pandas are one of the most instantly recognizable animals on the face of the planet, with their black and white fur and adorable masks. And given that there’s not too many bear species ambling about, let alone black and white ones, it shouldn’t be particularly difficult to pick them out of a lineup.
Who knew the subject of bears could be so complex and nuanced that it would result in funny job fails like this one? The designer might be in need of a basic zoology refresher course. Not to mention — despite the nickname ‘bear’, koalas are a marsupial! Ignoring, of course, the thousands of miles separating China and Australia.
6. Some Assistance Required
Few things can be more frustrating than getting mixed messaging from a significant other or a loved one. Not knowing how to properly proceed is bad enough when it happens in our relationships with other people. So what do you do when you encounter such madness when you least expect it?
Let’s hope that at least someone might have had the forethought to set up a hidden camera outside this store to record the perplexed reactions of the customers as they stand swaying back and forth outside the door, wondering what action they should take next. Would you try to go in?
7. Opposite Day
There’s any number of things that you could do with these big unwieldy boxes. Clearly, whatever the contents are must be fragile enough to be crushed under any weight piled on top of it. But one has to wonder if its ominous warning is also printed on top. How could instructions that clear have been missed?
Or perhaps did the person in charge of organizing in this warehouse not peep over the side and wonder what those three words meant? It’s a funny job fail because it just boggles the mind how anyone could have overlooked a directive so simple and so plain to see. The question is: if they can’t be stacked, how must one store them?
8. Eye Scream
So your child is a big fan of The Lion King, and you decide to order them a plush toy of young Nala as a present for the holidays. Naturally, there’s a picture of the product along with the online description, and it’s a fairly simple toy, after all. Why think anything out of the ordinary?
You would never expect for it to show up at your door step looking quite like this. Sure, when mass producing plush toys there’s bound to be a few kinks in the machine. But sewing the eyes on correctly and verifying they look normal isn’t exactly rocket science! Just tell your kid Nala’s had a few too many.
9. I Bless The Rains Down In…?
Even in the age of globalization, you would be surprised at how few people are able to accurately identify even the world’s largest countries on a blank map. But how do they fare when it comes to knowing what an entire continent looks like? This shirt is here to help you figure out the answer.
There’s only seven continents on Planet Earth, so surely picking out their shape from a lineup shouldn’t be the worst challenge out there, right? This funny job fail is bound to make more than a few heads explode — so perhaps it’s intentional? Could this shirt in fact be the ultimate wearable accessory for trolls?
10. Escher’s Stairs
This impossibly ridiculous structure has some minor flaws even before its most obvious screw-up. Small children walking down each staircase, theoretically, might not be able to see each other over the brick wall and could bump into each other pretty badly at the stairs’ bottom. But then, oh yes, the grandest design flaw of them all.
Whoever is responsible for the construction of these stairs had two options. Either actually create a ramp for people in wheelchairs to use, or don’t put the sign up in the first place. It’s not that difficult! There’s funny job fails, and then there’s ones that are just boggle the mind.
11. Lovin’ An Escalator
What’s even funnier than people seeing an escalator isn’t working and not understanding they can take it as they would take the stairs? This construction blunder which is simultaneously hilarious and madly impractical. It seems like it’s taken out of a surreal comedy sketch: people lining up to take the escalator and smack into the wall.
This mystifying blunder could have had a save face, if only the structure in front of them seemed to be temporary, but that side door indicates that nothing about this building’s planning was thought through thoroughly. Kudos to the developers on delivering this wildly funny job fail.
12. Did You Try Windex?
Downed power lines are more than just an inconvenience. They’re outright dangerous, and ought to be given a wide berth until the professionals can arrive on the scene and assess the damage. But it would appear that one local superhero in this charming neighborhood decided that waiting was not enough.
One can only surmise that a resident living on this street opted to take matters into his own hands and tie the splintered ends of this telephone pole together with duct tape, putting MacGyver to shame with his artistry. If this was actually done by the telephone company, then this is simultaneously a funny job fail and one heck of a head-scratcher.
13. Get Out The Way
See those cones placed at the side of the vehicle? They clearly were placed there to indicate that one ought not to park there, considering that there just might be some road work about to take place. Yet this bold naysayer simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to go against the flow.
And now, whoever this driver is, they’re rightfully paying the price for their boldness. It could be considered a funny job fail, or it could just be the road painter going about their work even if there were obstacles in the way. After all, it’s not like they weren’t warned from the get-go!
14. Best Seat In The House
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s important to take some time to disconnect from our technological addictions — and what better way than relaxing on a bench in the park with a good book? Unfortunately, some urban planners in this neighborhood didn’t quite see the bigger picture when they built this park.
This bizarre setup begs the question, which came first: the bench or the fence? Everything about this funny job fail is just one massive inconvenience. Your view of the park is marred, there’s no comfortable way to just sidle onto the bench and sit down. But if you’re very precise, you can rest your toe on the holes in the fence, perhaps?
15. I See London, I See France
With all due respect to those who job it is to do so, mass-producing knick-knacks to be sold at a souvenir shop in a major city can’t require too much finesse. You need to know the basics about the main attractions in the city, some national symbols, and you’re set to go.
This hapless designer, however, had one job to do and failed in the most epic way possible. How do you take the Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most easily recognizable buildings, and place it in the wrong city entirely? Let’s hope someone caught this mistake before a Frenchman saw it — suffice to say, they would be more than a little offended.
16. Wheels Of Fire
For starters, wherever this road is located, we’ll have to give local urban planners some points for at least having a bike lane for cyclists to use — unfortunately, it’s not a given around the world. But with good intentions meant to protect local cyclists from harm comes one funny job fail.
Of course, space options are limited when putting up a sign in the middle of the road that’s meant to help cyclists get safely to their destination. But putting it in the middle of their own lane with no space to go around — it’s more ironic than an Alanis Morissette single.
17. Kitchen Confidential
We’ve all been there. We’ve all had our fair share of kitchen disasters. Whether it was the cake that got a cup of salt instead of sugar, or the steak that turned out just a bit too well done, we learn to better our cooking skills through trial and error. And then, of course, there’s this.
The original poster of this culinary masterpiece explains just where this science project started before it became a literal seething mass of bubbling magma. They had the innocent intentions of making a batch of caramel on the stove, yet somehow along the way, they failed at this job — wildly so.
This mannequin of a torso might be feeling just a bit chilly. Whoever the employee in charge of decorating the racks was that generated this genius job fail, there’s more than a little chance that he or she took the instructions “Just put it on the mannequin” a tad bit more literally than necessary.
That being said, this may just be a bold new way to think outside of the box when it comes to advertising the clothing goods your store has to offer. Wouldn’t this peculiar setup be more likely to attract the average eye than the normal mannequins dressed in a more conventional way?
19. Product Placement
We’ve all had to resuscitate our phones after some unfortunate meeting with a body of water, or helped our friends to do the same. After all, what else is a big bowl of rice truly meant to be used for? So seeing an ad like this would surely pique our interest.
That is, to say, were it not for the funny job fail on the manufacturer’s end of things that meant the product most certainly does not do what it is advertised as being able to do. What’s worse: making a product that fails at its main job, or displaying its shortcomings for all customers to see?
20. Sign Of The Times
The English language is chock full of bizarre loan words and oddly-spelled phrases that could be just a bit of a challenge even to the most experienced wordsmith, let alone someone still learning the language. But of all the words in its vast lexicon, ‘stop’ is not the hardest to remember, or to spell.
Whoever stenciled this message on the road needs to take a good long look at their handiwork next time. That being said, this funny job fail actually may nonetheless have the desired effect that stop signs are intended for. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to STOP and have a look at what’s going on?
21. Refreshments, Anyone?
If this isn’t the height of passive-aggressive perfection, we’re not quite sure what is. Unless this a demonstration of some new brilliant method of poking holes in lemons to better aerate them in water, it would seem some disgruntled employee didn’t quite get the science behind making water with a touch of lemon.
Something about those lemons bobbing underwater and staring at passersby is downright unnerving. Was it that hard to slice them up and plop them into the cooler? Or is the zest on their skin alone enough to create that oh-so-delicate citrus flavor for the more refined palate? It’s a funny job fail for the ages.
22. Cat’s Out Of The Box
Sometimes, even the most innocently funny job fails can lead to disastrous results. The entire crux of this ruse rested on making this package as unassuming as possible. And it wasn’t as though there was another way to pass the message along — that’s what the special delivery instructions column is for!
With some luck, hopefully the child organizing the surprise party managed to get their hands on this package quickly and stealthily before disaster struck and their delicate plans were foiled by the delivery company. But if not, and Mom accidentally spied that not-so-subtle note, then it’s the thought that counts at least, right?
23. Straight To Print
In the journalism world, as reporters and writers rush to get the stories out both while they’re hot and so as to meet deadlines, a few things can get lost in the mix. But whichever editor turned a blind eye on this particular publication made for one extraordinarily funny job fail.
News writers and even prolific authors of prose often prefer to write the story first, and let the title figure itself out later. This writer clearly scribbled this gobbledygook to take the place of where the headline would later be placed. How it managed to make it to print is pretty jaw-dropping.
24. College Trust Fund
Going to an institute of higher learning definitely involves a certain degree of trust. You go in with the expectation that for your tuition fee, you will come out better equipped with the knowledge you came in search of. However, some schools are a bit of a letdown. Thankfully, this one appears to wear its reputation on its sleeve.
If you’ve enrolled in a College of Architecture and Planning, chances are, you would expect to roll up and see an elegantly-designed building with every corner planned out well ahead of time. Congratulations to the architect of this fine establishment who decided that, like Rose’s raft, there wasn’t enough space for that C.
25. Nope, Try Again
There’s some funny job fails out there that just leave us mere mortals wondering how in the wide world they could have possibly come to be. The instructions for filling this backyard pool were not really all that complicated. It’s empty, so all you have to do is bring the hose over and fill it.
While hoses left unsupervised are prone to wreak havoc, from the look of things this family unfortunately underestimated just how much evil was lurking in the heart of their seemingly ordinary garden appliance. Otherwise — how exactly do you intentionally fill up the entire backyard with water but not the swimming pool?
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