Oops! 17 Embarrassing Misunderstandings That Could Have Been Avoided

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1British Navy

British Navy

During the Falklands war, the British Navy mistook whales for submarines and torpedoed them.

2. The battle of the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War was lost, due to Tootsie Rolls. A code reader mistook the code for mortar shells (“snacks”, they were called), and literally sent hundreds of crates of Tootsie Rolls to the marines who were out of mortar rounds.

3. Wrestling legend Davey Boy Smith, also known as ‘The British Bulldog’ was given his middle name, “Boy”, when his parents mistook ‘middle name’ for ‘gender’ on his birth certificate.

4. During the filming of Leon: The Professional, a robber mistook a scene for actual cops and "gave himself up" to a bunch of paid extras.

5. Bill Murray only agreed to do "Garfield" because he mistook the movie's writer--Joel Coen--to be that of the Coen Brothers.

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6Tollund Man

Tollund Man

The Tollund Man, a 2000-year-old corpse found in a Danish bog was so well preserved that those who found it mistook it for a murder victim and called the police.

7. Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed when an eagle mistook his bald head for a rock, and dropped a tortoise on him, thinking its shell would break.

8. Samuel L. Jackson was supposed to have an afro in Pulp Fiction. He was losing his hair so he needed a wig. A PA went to get an Afro-style wig. The PA didn’t know the different between Afro and Jheri curls and bought Jheri curls. Before they were able to return it, Jackson convinced Tarantino to keep it so he ended up wearing Jheri Curls.

9. Halle Berry attended a Star Trek screening and mistook an audience member for Trek's Klingon attorney Michael Dorn. When the man refused to say he was Dorn, Berry became angry, stood up during the movie, screamed and stomped out.

10. To promote his newest single, Paul McCartney painted "Hey Jude" on the window of a closed boutique store. A Jewish passerby mistook this as anti-Semitic graffiti ("Jude" meaning "Jew" in German) and smashed the window.

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11Minted coins

Minted coins

When Canada minted coins with poppies for Remembrance Day, visiting US contractors mistook them for suspicious nanotechnology and filed espionage reports about them.

12. When Adolf Hitler shot himself, Helmut Christian Goebbels (son of Joseph Goebbels, a German Nazi politician), mistook the sound of the shot for that of a mortar landing nearby, and screamed: "That was a bullseye!"

13. Green Day joined the lineups of both the Lollapalooza festival and Woodstock '94, where the group started an infamous mud fight. During the concert, a security guard mistook bassist Mike Dirnt for a stage-invading fan and punched out some of his teeth.

14. While the Breaking Bad episode "Half Measures" was being shot, filming was interrupted when a man mistook the character Wendy for a real prostitute and attempted to pick her up.

15. In 1987, a British tourist named Kris Tait in Tibet nearly had her shirt ripped off by a Chinese policeman because the cop mistook her Phil Silvers 'Sergeant Bilko' t-shirt for an image of the Dalai Lama.

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16Colin Farmer

Colin Farmer

In 2012, police tasered a blind man named Colin Farmer because they mistook his guide stick for a samurai sword.

17. In 1902 the congregation at the Shiloh Baptist Church in Alabama mistook a cry of "FIGHT!" for "FIRE!" and stampeded to the exits. 115 people died.

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