If you’re of a certain age, you remember prank-calling random people AND getting pranked yourself sometimes.
It was a glorious time!
But I bet you also remember that sometimes, in the days before Caller ID, you’d get wrong number phone calls that would quickly spin out of control.
Heck, it must still happen today with our cell phones, but it’s been quite a while for me…
What’s your weirdest “wrong number” story?
Here’s what AskReddit users had to say.
1. Take me back!
“When I was 10ish (before caller ID was common) I got a call from some dr**k guy, probably college age or a bit older, begging me to take him back.
He must have been trying to call his ex girlfriend and dialed my number by mistake, and was already pretty hysterical by the time I answered the phone. He barely let me get a word in, and I was pretty frozen with shock, so the call went on for at least a couple minutes.
My mom finally asked me who was on the phone, I just shrugged, so she took the phone out of my hands right as he was accusing me of banging his friends. We still laugh about that story now.”
2. I love you…
“I got a call at like 6 am, and I was still sleeping so I kind of didn’t understand what was happening- but this person was SO EXCITED to tell me that they got the new job, and they recognized I was still half asleep so they said they’d call me back later.
And they said “I love you” – I just said “I love you too, I’m glad you got the job”. I absolutely did not know that person and they never called back, but I think of that call all the time.”
“I called a wrong number when I was in high school (I am a male and 43 now) and a teen girl answered. We quickly realized it was a wrong number but started having a little fun banter.
She seemed really cool and funny and so we kept talking. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was watching OJ Simpson in a police car chase on TV. I turned it on too and together we talked for an hour and watched the slow speed chase of OJ in the back of the white Bronco.
At the end, we laughed that we had shared that together and then said goodbye. I don’t remember her name or anything but it was a really memorable night.”
4. No anger control.
“Guy: Is Steve there?
Me: You have the wrong number.
Guy: Nice try, numbnuts, put Steve on the phone now.
Me: You really do have the wrong number.
Guy: Is this (my phone number)?
Guy: Then it’s the right f**king number, isn’t it? Put Steve on the phone.
I hung up and then he continued to call and leave threatening voicemails for a few hours, until he either got bored, realized he had the wrong number, or perhaps d**d of hypertension from being so angry all the time.”
5. Pretty stressful.
“I’m a woman. This guy kept calling my number and asking for a Benjamin.
Told him it was the wrong number. He said okay and hung up.
Thirty seconds later, he called again. Yet again I tell him it’s the wrong number. “Are you sure?” He asked. I asked if I sound like a Benjamin. He agreed and hung up.
Homeboy sent me a text to call him. I told him he still had the wrong number.
Few minutes later he called again, agitated that Benjamin still hasn’t called. I tell him this is the last time he contacted me and that he has no business getting angry when he’s been contacting me and not his friend. He tried to explain it’s the right number and if I’m sure he has the wrong number. I told him I don’t know anyone called Benjamin and to stop contacting me. He hung up.
He texted me a final time. I told him to f**k off and that I don’t give a s**t that Benjamin gave him the wrong number; I didn’t deserve this harassment and that I’d get the authorities involved if he contacted me again.* He finally accepted the fact that he had the wrong number and apologised. I told him to f**k off.
*I didn’t actually intend to do this, as they have more important things to deal with. But he just wouldn’t leave me alone and I had no idea you could block numbers back then. I only learned that later when I complained to a friend about this situation.
The scary part was that I had just cut contact with my narcissistic father and getting people to harass me seemed like something he would do. So that was pretty stressful.”
6. Needed a ride.
“I got a home very late at night/early in the morning after clubbing with friends.
I’m expecting one to call me to confirm she made it home. Phone rings, it’s not her. It’s a very dr**k man.
Baby, come pick me up, he said.
I was single at the time. Told him wrong number and hung up.
He called back. Baby, don’t be like that. I’m sorry, now come pick me up.
This went on for probably 6-7 calls, he’s pleading, I’m trying to get him to understand he’s got the wrong number. He won’t take it in, and I don’t want to turn off my phone, as my friend still hadn’t checked in. Finally, despite the fact that my friend could be driving still (she lived some distance away), I called her. She’d just arrived home, thank goodness.
As soon as I disconnected, phone rings again. This dude is swearing and screaming at me, he’s furious and I’m done. I tell him one more time that he’s got the wrong number and I hang up, then turn off my phone.
Next morning, when I turn it back on, there are dozens of angry voice mails, calling me names one minute then pleading the next.
I wonder if he ever got his ride.”
7. Are you sure?
“I had someone call me and ask to speak to Sonia. Told them they had the wrong number. They were like “Oh sorry!”
Then, they called again. Told them they still had the wrong number. They read the number to me and it was indeed my number, so I told them they simply had the wrong number and that they should try to find the right one.
Hang up. They call back again! I tell them they still have the wrong number, and no matter how many times they call, it’ll always be the wrong one! They were like “But… Are you sure this isn’t Sonia’s number?”
Yes. Yes, I’m pretty f**king sure.”
8. This is awesome.
“I was home for from college for Christmas break around 2014, and ended up chilling downtown with a few buddies from high school who were also in town for the holidays.
While hanging out, I received a group text with a bunch of numbers I didn’t recognize. The message was a group picture with people who were obviously at a Christmas party. I made the only logical choice and immediately sent a selfie back with the message “wrong number.”
The rest of the people in this text absolutely loved this and responded with “hahaha”s and “you’re kinda cute” texts, until one person said “You should come to our Christmas party!”
The party was only a few blocks away from where I was hanging out, so I left my friends and went to the party.
I find the apartment, walk in, and it had a “record scratch moment” like from a cheesy 90s movie. Everyone goes silent stares at me: I am the only white person there. After a few seconds the host shatters the silence with the shout: “It’s wrong number guy!”
We end up doing shots and partying for The next few hours! By far the BEST wrong number experience ever!”
“I had a little old lady call me 3 different times to reach her friend who was all alone for Mother’s Day. She had this rich joyous voice with southern accent blended with her Jamaican accent.
She talked to me about her grandson that was her pride and joy. She was thrilled to hear stories of my wee ones on mother’s day. We shared some great stories and laughs.
Each call Sue and I had a lovely chat and reviewed the phone numbers. She just kept getting that pesky area code wrong. She kept saying God wanted us to chat. It was a great moment.”
10. Sorry, dude.
“Back in my community college days I had a pretty tight clique, but we lost touch when I transfered to university. After that I did an MA, so I was gone quite a while. The rest of them stayed tight.
Well, when I moved back to town after finishing my MA, I was invited to a New Year’s Eve party by one of my old friends. At this party was Gina, a girl I had had a crush on, but never got anywhere with. A few years later we had a pretty good time at the party, and ended up in the same car home.
So we were in the back seat and started fooling around. She got out at her stop, and I went home.
Next day I wake up with a massive headache and a text message from someone I didn’t know saying things like “If you f**king touch my girl again I will break your arms!” I texted back “I’m not so sure she’s your girl.”
The response: “Wait, 206 area code? Where is that?” “Seattle.” “Sorry dude, wrong number.”
I never saw Gina again though.”
11. It wasn’t me.
“I got a call from an unknown caller who thought I was banging his wife. He was threatening to come beat my a**.
I spent a good 20 minutes getting him to realize that he didn’t know who I was, where I lived, or anything else about me, and that I had no clue who either of them were either.
In the end, he seemed a bit calmer and more rational. Hopefully he didn’t go beat anyone up after.”
12. Do you have a goat problem?
“Got a call from a government agency, FDA maybe?
Anyway the first thing the lady says to me is, “We got a call that you have a problem with goats?” I’m like no, sorry, wrong number. “Are you sure you don’t have a goat problem?”
Nope. “Ok thanks, sorry about the confusion.”
13. What a story.
“A man with the same zip code as family called me repeatedly. We spoke. I told him I wasn’t who he was asking about. He called back, now I usually don’t answer if the number isn’t already in my phone.
But, I answered this time. I knew from a few short calls he was an old man, by the sound of him I could tell he was from NYC because I lived in NY as a kid. He told me he got my number from a pay website that finds records for people. Mine was the only number they gave him. He seemed genuine and while I was suspicious I felt a sense of urgency in him. If I was being scammed he was the best I’d ever heard.
He claimed he was WWII combat veteran; whatever else I thought about not being sure kinda evacuated me at that point. I ask him if he had gotten an address, he had the web search gave him just one. Conveniently enough only 20 minute drive from where I lived. Next county over.
I had made plans to eat breakfast with friends, but I offered to check out the address he’d given me. He was elated, and in disbelief. (He knew what he was asking for was crazy), to call the wrong guy and get help?
Crazy proposition for a New Yorker to go in on… The old man gave me the name of his friend he was trying to track down, they served together in WW2 and no one heard back from him; they had missed him at the reunions and wasn’t answering letters, no on could reach him. They tried calling him, but the phone just rang for minutes on end; no one ever answered.
During breakfast I make my friends aware of my intended plans; to meet a stranger, on the request of another stranger. They relay the obvious concerns; scam, setup, murder plot… but, at that time, i was in my mid twenties and intent on going. My brother asks to come along, and we head out just after noon.
We find an apartment at the address given. A man working on his car out front of the apartment makes eye contact as we pull in. I ask him if he know whether someone is living in the apartment. There is, an old man, his nurse comes almost daily but, doesn’t know much more than that.
The apartment is ground floor, 20 feet from the curb. The entrance in an end unit with a walk up that’s outside while the rest share a common hall. The guy has full view of me standing there knocking for what felt like an eternity. Why the hell did I drive all the way here? I knock loudly.
To which I get a yell, a hurrumpf even “ah yeah she already came today!”… confused, I call out and say something to the effect that I’m hear on a separate matter. I begin to explain my purpose for my visit; to inform him he has people concerned over his well-being and are desperate to reach him. He agrees to come to the door, which takes a long time; he opens the door and his eyes are pure white with cataracts, completely blind with no doubt. I can’t see you, he belted. I’m aware, I tell him.
After a lengthy explanation, which I repeat multiple times, he finally grasps it but, he’s a bit surprised and not sure he trusts me, but he lets me inside. I get a look at him as he motions me past him towards the interior; he’s probably 90 or older and his clothes drape over him. There is plenty of room, and it’s near empty, save for one wingback chair of indeterminate color, and an ottoman that’s been taped together with every know charity of tape: packing tape, medical tape, athletic tape, electric tape, duct tape, metal f**king tape.
It’s all tape, tape for days and days. He made his way to his chair, I move the phone to his side tape. Yeah it’s a rotary. I tell him I’m going out front to make a call (and signal to my brother that I still have my skin on). He sits in his chair and call from the front stoop. The man who’d set this into motion is elated to find his war buddy ain’t d**d, and thanks me profusely—again.
I ask him to call the house, the number had always been correct but, the blind old guy could never navigate to the kitchen in time to answer the call. I’m back by the phone it’s not ringing. I tell him to pick up when it rings, I remind the old man to lock the door, and tell him I’m leaving. He probably won’t but, its how I make my exit known. I close the door hard so he hears me step out. Before I leave the stoop I wait for the ring, the answer and l leave.
Years later, the caller… calls me back. It’s the guys wife this time. She’s again trying to find a number. She’s trying to reach the blind man, her husband is now in the early stages of dementia and wishes for them to talk on last time. I had kept the envelope I had used to take notes from his first call, all this time.
Luckily I had the number. She thanked me. I felt, and still feel, very fortunate for being able to help them.”
Have you ever had a weird “wrong number” story?
If so, tell us all about it in the comments.
Thanks a lot!