15 Times the Internet Helped People Find Things They Had Lost for Years

Photo Credit: Pexels

We all have those random memories that pop up from time to time. That catchy jingle from a radio ad in your hometown. A fun computer game you played for hours. A witty quote.

But what often happens is we can’t actually find the original source of these memories, which is just frustrating enough to be annoying.

A super interesting AskReddit thread tackle this very problem:

“A popular saying is ‘Nothing is ever lost on the internet’ but what is something you have been searching for years and you haven’t found it yet?”

Tons of people chimed in with stuff they’ve been looking for. And since the internet is amazing, other Redditors hopped into the discussion to help them find what they were looking for — to some success. Here are a few of our favorite “lost and found” moments from this thread:

1. We’d say this was a pretty effective commercial.

“This one comes from my mom:

A Canadian (or American, based in Ontario so we got NE US channels) anti-smoking cartoon from the 70s or 80s, where a guy is smoking and says “I should quit. This will be my last cigarette if…I see a woman in a fur coat!” and one immediately walks by, so he says “…wearing green shoes!” and one does, and then “walking a dog! on a diamond leash! actually, it was a TIGER!” and then when a woman in a fur coat wearing green shoes walking a tiger on a diamond leash walks by, he crushes his cigarette up and the tag line goes “What will it take for YOU to quit?”

Been looking for it for ages and haven’t been able to find it yet!” — NortonFord

Luckily, user BonJailey found the clip and shared a link to a video of the original commercial.

2. Gotta love a good internet hoax.

“Around 10 years ago I was using StumbleUpon and found a website outlining a mysterious expedition into a New England wood where a portal to an alternate dimension allegedly exists.

Something about a group that went into the portal and never returned. Something else about an upcoming expedition to follow the first. The alternate dimension is an America much like our own but uncolonized & pristine. There were even schematics to a sort of chair that made the trip easier.

The most curious part to me was the direction for finding the forest and the expedition group: something to the effect of “If you’ve found this website you have either been searching for us for a long time or you are meant to find us according to the will of the universe.

If you are to continue your journey you will be able to solve the riddle hidden in this page. If you cannot solve this riddle you are not meant to find us.” I’d be lying if I said this didn’t pique my curiosity and I’ve been looking for the website ever since. I’ve attempted to figure it out with StumbleUpon and I swear I bookmarked the page but no such luck.” — ManRahaim

He later edited his post after helpful Redditors helped him solve this mystery:

“Edit: Thanks to u/agely this appears to be an early internet hoax/game called Ong’s Hat. Http://www.incunabla.org has a mirror of the original pamphlet which I must have seen on long-gone site.”

3. Great advice for a tricky situation.

“A quote from a book (maybe Lundy Bancroft?) about how to get a friend out of an abusive relationship. I want the original source.

I believe it was in a Q&A format that ran a bit like this in ideas, but not phrasing:

Q: My friend is in an abusive relationship, but she won’t allow us to help her leave it. How do we safely get her out?

A: You don’t. You need to offer her the opposite of what her abuser is: choices. Allow her to socialize with whom she wishes, even her abuser because he’s probably isolating her. Forgive her for being flaky, because he may not be. Allow her to chose for herself even if you disagree with the choice because that’s the opposite of what he’s doing. She has to decide to leave by herself.” — KittyScholar

Someone was able to identify the book almost immediately, following up with this comment: ”

« Why does he do that : Inside the mind of angry and controlling men » by Lundy Bancroft.” — Mys974

4. Who doesn’t love the weird drama that plays out in “Antiques Roadshow?”

“An antique roadshow episode where the appraiser asked the owner if they had cleaned a priceless Milanese helm they responded “I hit it with a lil lemon pledge” and the appraiser visibly shivers.” — Battle_Claiborne

Quickly, Reddit users tracked down the answer to this mystery:

“I think this is why you can’t find the episode. Looks like they pulled it.” — RancidKitten

5.  Good financial advice that can also be applied to life in general.

“There was a quote that I read on the title of a post that went something like:

“Just because you’ve gone down 90% doesn’t mean you can’t go down another 90%”

It’s related to the stock market and can also apply to life, I’ve wanted to find out who said that for the longest” — HypedForever

Reddit to the rescue! Another poster followed up with the quote:

“Was it a post from r/CryptoCurrency?

In the thread they talk about going down another 90%

This quote:

Now imagining it dropping another 90%, which it has already proven it can do.

Edit- I added this post because they talk about “sunk cost fallacy”. This, very much, relates to relationships, work, and banking.” — ThisEpiphany

6. Grandpas always seem to have little phrases or sayings, don’t they?

“What color is Groglyn Gray?

Grandfather always talked about painting his house “Groglyn Gray,” but I can find no reference for it.” — BacktoBach

Another user quickly found the answer in a book:

“Found a mention of “groglin gray” in some random book on Google books:

“As dusk approaches, the sky becomes a certain color gray. Might ye know the name of that color?”

She shook her head.

“Why, that be called ‘groglin gray’,” he answered smartly.

“Groglin gray?” she exclaimed, scrunching her nose and eyeing him in disbelief.

Kathryn stiffened, turning slightly, knowing what was coming next yet was unable to stop it.

“Why, little lass, yer education be lacking for sure. Groglin gray is, of course…” he paused for emphasis, ‘the exact color of a she mouse’s fart.” — Nebula402

7. That’s Mr. ‘Doo moss’ to you, sir.

“Gonna hijack this to find a similar commercial. I’ve never tried to look for it because I dont know what product it was for but it’s this guy in a job interview and he keeps calling the guy “Mr. Dumbass” and saying things like, “for the whole Dumbass family” and at the end the boss just says ,”It’s pronounced doo moss” and you see a placard with his name something Dumas or Dumass I think.

I thought it was hilarious as a kid cause swear words on tv and it weirdly stuck with me.” — PlumSweetSoda

This one wasn’t even a challenge for good ol’ Reddit:


That one was easy to find. I remember that one well!” — Scarabella

8. This one is actually kinda chilling.

“I spent about ten years searching for a woman I went to university with. I lived with her for two years and we were good friends. She was just not too hot at being contactable. Like the sort of person who loses their phone every few months so just gets a new one with a new number.

Anyway, she had zero web presence so was practically impossible to track down, but I figured maybe one day she would make herself known.

Well one day she did. Turns out she got married and had a young kid, and lived about three hours away. We spoke on Facebook for quite a while, and I thought I’d see if she wanted to meet up some time. And then she died.

It turns out she just made a Facebook profile to contact her old friends one last time and see how they were doing. She never even told me she was ill. Sometimes she pops up in my dreams and we have a chat there” — PM_Me_Rude_Haiku

9. Good ol’ Windows games.

“There was this game on windows 3.1 similar to the board game “life.”

You allocated time each day to studies, work, and rec in order not end up a bum on the street or dead.” — TundraTofu

Someone was able to solve the mystery and make this person’s day:

“Could it be “Jones in the fast lane”?

Here’s a video about it by LGR:

https://youtu.be/yJQ8LyOMl3E” — Borgoroth

Check out the original poster’s response, too:

“Holy SHIT!

THAT’S IT! OMG THANK YOU!!!!” — TundraTofu

10. What a fun job.

“This video I think I found on Vimeo of these guys working at a bong shipping facility. Apparently a customer requested a video of the process of putting together their new order for shipping.

These two guys put together a great video with them dancing to Maniac by Michael Sembello throughout it. I’d love anyone who can find what I’m talking about.” — ATP_generator

Of course someone found it almost immediately:

“I fucking know these guys! I’ll give you the link in a minute.

As requested: https://youtu.be/VuXjfofB2-o” — Meowzebub666

11. He’s lucky to have found it!

“I’ve been saying “Luck? I don’t need luck. Luck is for losers. Good luck to you, though!” for YEARS and I finally found where it’s from: the episode of ‘Recess’ where Gretchen becomes a yoyo champion.” — phroureo

12. Easy peasy, thanks Reddit.

“An American (I think) movie I saw as a kid about a girl in the country and her… cousin? A guy that was in a wheelchair that refused to go out. 90s, maybe 80s?

Lots of golden hour scenes and bright photography.

EDIT: it was Primo Baby! Thank you InformalWish!” — RedBarbera

13. Asked and answered.

“Around 12-13 years ago, I got into StumbleUpon, which was a Firefox extension that adds a button to your screen that takes you to a random page that someone marked as interesting.

Once, I found a Flash animation that portrayed a recreation of a white hat hacker doing a penetration test on a web application. The whole thing was a Linux command shell without any GUI. It started with an IRC chat where someone asks the hacker to look into his application and sent him a URL and another URL for the source code. After a sped up three minutes of curl, grep, and ssh, the hacker built a command line script that can pull any username and email from the site.

Never found it again.

Thanks /u/Zalmiak for finding the video. It’s called 0-Day by milw0rm.” — Yserbius

14. Woah, that had a surprisingly happy ending.

“All through school they taught us you can never truly delete anything online and even if you delete it someone can still find it. While this may be true if you seriously pissed off a master computer hacker but for the average person this claim is completely BS.

I went on a few dates with a girl a few summers ago and I really liked her. All of a sudden though she just vanished. Like her Snapchat was deactivated, completely disappeared off Facebook, Instagram, everything. I tried texting her a couple of times but she never responded.

I got a little worried because she’s not the type of girl to ghost like that and she struggles with suicidal thoughts and mental health issues so you can see why this might be concerning. Since she wasn’t responding and I didn’t really know any of her friends to ask about her I went full social media creep mode to try and at least find out what happened to her. I figured if she had killed herself there would be something online about it.

Well I didn’t find anything, like literally no evidence that this girl even existed besides a picture of her on her brother’s Facebook page. I didn’t even know she had a brother he was just the only person that came up if you searched her name on Facebook. Googling her name also yielded no results. Since I could literally find nothing about her online I figured she had just blocked me for some reason and I eventually gave up. I tried searching her on Facebook a couple times over the next year or so but nothing ever came up.

This past summer she popped up in my Snapchat friend suggestions and honestly it was such a relief to finally see some evidence that she was alive. I added her not expecting her to add me back but she did and she actually messaged me. We met up again and went for a hike and grabbed dinner together to catch up, turns out she was going through some rough times and didn’t want to talk to anyone and disappeared but she’s doing much better now. Things didn’t work out with us romantically again but she’s still one of my closest friends now.” — kg1206

15. People seem to have a lot of memories associated with their grandpas, which is sweet.

“My grandpa used to have this screensaver/idle screen on his computer that was a little painter/window washer guy who goes around the screen cleaning/painting. As a kid I’d watch it for hours, thought it was super relaxing.

Pretty sure it was light blue, and the little guy was wearing all white. Not sure on any other details.” — grimreaper-official

Someone found it and made this guy’s day:

“I hope you’ll be super relaxed once again https://www.softpedia.com/get/Desktop-Enhancements/Screensavers/Monitor-Washer.shtml” — DoYouLike_Sand_AsIDo

Gotta love a good happy ending like this:

“That’s him!!! Thank you so much, you just made my day!” — grimreaper-official

Well, one thing’s for certain: If you ever “lose” something again, be sure to ask Reddit because chances are, someone will be able to find it. And this is why the internet is so great sometimes.

What’s that one memory that keeps popping into your head that you wish you could find? We’d love to hear from you!

Let us know in the comments!