Did you ever see that movie The Butterfly Effect?
It kind of flew under the radar, but it’s actually a pretty good film about how tiny decisions can affect a person’s life…and not always in a good way.
In this article, you’re going to read some stories from folks on AskReddit who definitely experienced what the butterfly effect is all about.
Let’s take a look!
1. A lifesaver.
“I had to call my heart surgeon to give him my new insurance numbers. I had only just gotten them because the person who had them had the flu and was not getting back to me.
As soon as I got my numbers, I called surgeon – the receptionist said, “oh, hey, we just had a cancelation for this Friday, do you want it?” Of course I wanted to get it over and not wait another month.
I decided to take the open heart surgery cancelation appointment (a month before my actual appointment), and well, surgeon said that thank goodness I did because once he got a look inside, he realized I would not have survived to the original appointment date.
So, if the insurance lady didn’t have the flu, I would have gotten those numbers a lot sooner, and never gotten the offer to have the surgery when I did.
Someone else’s flu saved my life.”
“Decided I would rather use my bathroom than a portapotty. Found my wife cheating, she attempted suicide, I moved multiple states away.
In the 7 years since I have made nothing but positive changes and went from $18/hour laborer to a well respected person in my profession making 6 figures. I’d probably still be working that dead-end job.
Aside from that, without recounting all the details; I went to see a doctor about a splinter from chopping firewood, 6 months later they removed most of my kidney with Renal Cell Carcinoma.
Without the splinter I’d likely be dead from kidney cancer.”
3. Just being friendly…
“I decided to invite my chem lab partner to lunch on the first day of college, just to be friendly and try to make more than one friend at school. We met up with the only other friend I’d made at school so far.
He thought my lab partner was cute, invited himself to hang out with her, and then fell in love with her roommate instead. He ended up married to the roommate – they’ve been together for 22 years and have 2 children.”
4. A horrible feeling.
“So a few years back, I lived in Nice (South of France) for a while. As a musician I would make a bit of extra cash busking, and one day, I figured I’d go and busk at the promenade ‘d’anglais by the sea. It’s usually packed, and it just a generally pleasant place to be.
I set up, played a couple of songs and was doing pretty well and making a decent amount of money. Then suddenly not one, but two of my guitar strings snapped (I even remember I was playing ‘The Scientist’ at the time).
I was massively gutted and decided to cut my losses early. I stormed off home (by the station) in a bit of a sulk at having to re-string my guitar and cutting short what was essentially one of my most productive days of busking since moving there. Literally one hour later, my phone starts to blow the f*ck up with family and friends freaking out and asking if I was at the promenade.
It was Bastille Day, 2016. The truck drove into the same crowd I was playing to, killing 86 people, including my at-the-time gf’s uncle. I had two other friends who were amongst the 458 injured. I moved home the next month because it was too much, and haven’t been back since.
It’s hard to explain, sometimes I think I was super lucky, sometimes I just kind of cry and wonder why I was lucky and others weren’t. It’s surreal, and despite what people think… it’s a truly horrible feeling.”
“I spilled my coffee.
I work in a bank and you learn never to do that, all the papers and files. You also learn to place it far enough away so it doesn’t fill out anything if it does spill. I worked in finance for many years. It was 8: 43 in the morning and I figured I had enough time to get downstairs and get another cup and come back up before 9:00.
So I went to the elevator bank. Waited for the elevator to come, It took a long time. Got in the elevator went down to the ground floor. I had my hand on the door leading outside to Liberty Street just as the first plane hit the first World Trade Center building on 9/11.”
6. Spotted in class.
“In high school I took an intermediate biology course. I had never done biology before but was good at science generally so I thought the intermediate course would be a good fit.
My science teacher of a couple year previous happened to walk into my class to talk to the biology teacher and she spotted me in the class.
She asked me what grades I had got the previous year. I told her and she nodded and left. A minute later she came back in and asked me to gather my belongings and leave the class. I was pretty sure I was in trouble for something I couldn’t recall.
She led me to another classroom and sat me down on an empty chair. Then she just started teaching. Turns out that she was running the advanced class that year and just decided to steal me as a student.
I went on the take biology at undergrad level, and then a masters. I ended up doing a PhD in immunology and now work as an advisor for Pharma companies.
It gets better though. I decided I wanted to do my masters in London, and met a girl on the way. We are now 10 years in and own a house together.
All that because that teacher happened to look in my direction.”
“Watched ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ and got so annoyed at the candidates not knowing a simple question about Katy Perry, that I applied.
Got in. Got to play. Won a lot of money.
Booked a holiday to a dream destination with that money. Met my husband there. We now have a one year old son.”
“I had to renew the sticker on my license plate a couple of years ago and really didn’t feel like sitting in the waiting room by myself forever so I told my mom I’d take her out to dinner after if she came with me.
The guy working at the counter turned out to be my mom’s long lost biological brother. If she hadn’t come with me I would have never known.”
9. Love connection.
“My husband found out after 18 years that his moms side of the family was Spanish, not Mexican. He found this interesting and changed his country to “Spain” on MySpace instead the US where he really was.
Meanwhile in Australia, I was helping my friend find Spanish people to add as a friend as she was learning the language. I came across my now husband and decided to send him a friend request as well.
We got along really well and met in person after 3 years. Have been together 11 years, married for 7. If he didn’t change his country to Spain (and only for a day or so) we’d never know each other existed.”
10. That’s all it took.
“When I was in 8th grade (13 years old) I had a really long bus ride home so would pass the time by reading. One day I faced the very serious situation of nothing to read and a minute to grab something in the library, and for whatever reason I grabbed a book on astronomy.
That book was amazing and grabbed me like nothing else had before. I remember being excited to realize every astronomer on Earth was 13 years old once too, and that was a career you could actually do, even if you were from Pittsburgh.
Anyway, today I am a professional astronomer who studies gigantic space explosions for a living. There was a lot of work to get from that moment to this one, but I’m always grateful that I picked up that library book!”
11. Thanks, Dad.
When my dad was about 20, he needed a phone number so he called the operator from a pay phone, she gave him the number, he hung up, and she accidentally refunded the money back to the pay phone.
She called the pay phone back and asked him if he could put the money back in, which he did and hung up again. She accidentally refunded the money again and had to call back again to ask him to put the money back in; he did and hung up again. She was so flustered, she refunded the money again and called back again and my father got to chatting with her and got her number.
They set up a date (which she stood him up for), then she forgot his name when he called her again, then they actually got coffee and four years later were married. This coming August it’ll be 50 years for them.
If my dad didn’t need that phone number, I wouldn’t be here.”
12. All I wanted was some pizza…
“My desire for pizza set off a chain reaction that destroyed my family.
One day got home from school and really wanted pizza. family was poor so spontaneous food trips weren’t always in the cards. Really worked my pouty face to my mom and begged to go to the local pizza place for dinner. She said alright.
While chilling there I saw my uncle walk by, and I was like “da f*ck, uncle X is that you?”. Now you might say well he wanted pizza what’s the big deal? well he lived several states away so to arbitrarily be in town and not tell anyone was strange.
Turned out he was having an affair with his sister in law my aunt on the other side of the family. She was basically a money grubbing wh*re and the family protested. One thing led to another and everyone hates each other now and we haven’t had contact in like 20 years.
I just wanted some pizza.”
13. Good friends.
“About a year ago, I went to a study group with some people in my major. Now I have the closest set of friends I could ever ask for.
They helped me when my my car was broken and I couldn’t get to and from college, when I didn’t have enough money to buy myself food.
Now, I have a good job, and two of my friends and I are getting an apartment together in a couple of months.”
14. Your paths crossed.
“Out of university, looking for a job and exhausting all the online resources. On a whim, I looked in the career section in a print newspaper that was lying around in the house. (We never subscribed to that paper, I dont know why it was even there).
Got the job in a different city, met someone who is now one of my best friends, who introduced me to their friends, who introduced me to their friends and so on, until I was eventually introduced to my wife.
If I’d found a job where I actually planned on working, there is absolutely no way I would have crossed paths with any of these people.”
Have you ever had any weird butterfly effect things happen to you?
If so, please tell us your stories in the comments!
We’d love to hear from you!