Not all heroes wear capes, you know. You don't have to be superhuman to be incredible. Some of the most amazing things that have ever happened have been done by people just like us. And some of the most remarkable inventions that have been thought up were created by plain Janes and average Joes. We don't need super-human strength or the ability to fly to do astounding things. The ordinary is pretty extraordinary if you look at it the right way.
In our experience (which is pretty limited, but if you could just work with us on this one, we'd be grateful), the people who do the best things don't really try to draw attention to themselves. They keep a fairly low profile, going to work, going to school, keeping their noses down, being inconspicuously awesome. We dig that. And that's why we made this post, which features 16 people who were low-key genius.
16 Let them down gently
Ah, yes. The old "give your parents worse news before you give them bad news" routine. We've seen it done a few times before, but never have we witnessed a performance as amazing as this one. This young man deserves some kind of award—just, not a biology award, because apparently he stinks at that.
It's not unusual, and people get through it when it happens. But just about any parent's worst nightmare is the thought that their teenager will get pregnant/get their girlfriend pregnant. Parents want their kids to succeed, and their definition of success typically involves graduating from high school and going on to college. It's pretty hard to juggle raising a child and studying for school. Parents want to spare their kids from that.
This boy knew that. He knew all of that. And he expertly tricked his father into believing he had made a drastic mistake before revealing that he had only made a minor hiccup, relatively speaking. Well played, bio-failing boy. Well played.
15 How to be a successful dog photographer
Dogs, why u no look at camera for social media picture!?!?!?!
Look. dogs. We love you. We really do. The way you wag your tails every time you see us, and the way you look at us with those big, friendly eyes, and the way you're always so excited about everything. It's just adorable. Seriously, we're big fans of your work. You're an inspiration. In fact, we can put to rest the age-old question of, "Who's a good boy/girl?" because we know the answer—you.
What were we saying? Oh, yeah. Dogs, you guys are awesome. Don't ever let the world change you. But if you could just do one thing for us (and it's a pretty minor thing, so it shouldn't put you out too much), that would be fab. Could you, you know, maybe look at the camera when we're taking a picture? That would be gre—oh, hold up! Never mind, we'll just follow this low-key genius's lead.
14 Frosty's revenge
Oh. Oh, dear. How wicked. What rascally little children, jeopardizing the well-being of a not so innocent jerk. Well, seeing as how this low-key genius moment was posted by comedian Michael J. Nelson, we're not really surprised to find such hilarious, albeit slightly dangerous, antics.
Now, we're not going to sit here and advertise for Mr. Nelson (founder of Rifftrax, a series of joke tracks that can be synced up to movies like Twilight, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings) and we're not going to tell you all about his past exploits (which include hosting the well-loved, and soon to be relaunched on Netflix, Mystery Science Theater 3000). Instead, we'll let this priceless anecdote stand all by itself.
This is a level of deviousness and cleverness that we all hope to achieve some day. Making a jerkwad driver pay for knocking over children's beloved snowmen by building one over a fire hydrant? Brilliant!
13 Sneaky way to catch some shut eye
Speaking of deviousness and cleverness, this tired student knows what's up. Skipping homework for one class in order to do homework for another? That's the reality of school. Staying up until three in the morning to study for a bio test (which, if this is the same kid from the first picture in the lineup, he failed)? That sums up high school to a T. We all like to pretend that school is all education and academics, but mostly school is just irritation, stress, and exhaustion. You don't always get a tight eight hours. Sometimes, you have to sneak in some Z's, even if it means snoozing through a history lecture.
Napping during a class is sometimes necessary. But you don't want to get caught, because getting caught spells trouble. You don't need to be tired and in trouble. That's too much. So follow this kid's lead, and tape fake eyes over your real eyes so you can take a snooze.
12 A thing that needs to happen
Menstruation is a pain in the ass—and the stomach, and the head, and the joints, and literally just about everywhere else. Seriously, period pain is not a game. Period pain does not mess around. It strikes mercilessly, unflinchingly, and we women are left to struggle through the pain because that's just the way it is. It isn't fair.
You know what else isn't fair? Having to walk around with a small diaper in your pants and/or a cotton bullet lodged up into your—okay, you get the picture. Anyway, our point is that women have to deal with a lot when it comes to menstruation. The least tampon companies could do is give us a coupon for half-off on some chocolate. Maybe if we had a little perk to look forward to during that time of the month, we wouldn't dread it so much. At the very least, we'd rather be in pain with a chocolate bar than in pain without one.
11 The real purpose of hoodies
In addition to dogs, we are big fans of hoodies. They're like a hug in a claustrophobia-inducing jacket. They keep you warm, they're great for covering up that ketchup stain that you got on your shirt over lunch, and you can have any number of great designs on the front of them. So, as you can see, there are a crap ton of reasons to fall head over heels in love with hoodies. We didn't really need another one. But when we took a look at this picture, we quickly changed our stance on that.
Did you know that if you put your hoodie on the wrong way, you can actually use it as a popcorn bowl? Astonishing, isn't it? The wonders of science never cease to amaze! Keeping your movie snacks in your backwards hoodie keeps them closer to your mouth. Plus, you could put anything in there: pretzels, gummy worms, cereal, and milk. Anything.
10 Some people have it coming
If you put roofies in a girl's drink because that's the only way you can get any action, you deserve to be smothered in hell fire and brimstone until every last shred of evidence that you ever existed is gone. That's a serious stance, to be sure. But date rape is a serious crime. Which is why we are all over this amazing bartender who saw a guy about to take advantage of a girl, and turned the tables on him.
Is there some kind of good citizenship award that we can give this guy? Can we find out where he lives so we can hoist him on our shoulders and praise him for being the unsung hero that he obviously is? No? Oh, well. That isn't going to stop us from appreciating the fact that real gentlemen like this still exist. Our faith in humanity has been officially restored.
9 Three hours of reeling to bring this puppy in the boat
As it turns out, you don't have to catch a big fish in order to catch a big fish. It sounds confusing, but hear us out on this. We might just save you some serious embarrassment.
Your buddy bet you that you couldn't catch a ten-inch largemouth bass. If you lose, you have to give him your stamp collection. If he loses, you get his. So, clearly, the stakes are very high. You set out with your rod and reel. You get in your boat, row out into the middle of Hypothetical Lake, cast off, and wait. And you wait. And you wait. Hours pass, and there are no signs of life. Then, suddenly, after five hours of floating in a boat, your bob goes under. You fight, you struggle, and what do you pull into your boat? A three-inch fish.
Lucky for you, you brought an action figure along for the trip. Your stamp collection is about to get a whole lot bigger!
8 The heat is on
Heheheh. Suckers. Look at you all, you simple, know nothing fools! Toasting your sandwiches with toaster ovens, grilling your cheesy breads with cast iron griddles, and pressing your paninis with panini presses. Don't you see? Don't you realize that people are taking advantage of you? Take a peek out from under the wool that's covering your eyes so that you can see what's really going on, here. You have carelessly, thoughtlessly traded in your hard-earned money to buy superfluous sandwich heating machines. And, meanwhile, the kitchen gadget big wigs are rolling in your money, and thinking up new ways to warm your lunches. It's sickening.
Don't let yourself get absorbed into the monstrous machine that is sandwich preparation gadget manufacturing. Instead, take a leaf out of this hungry office worker's book. Stick your cold ham and swiss between two laptop chargers. A low-key ingenious idea that kills two birds with one stone.
7 Making the best of a bad situation
Phones get broken. That's just a fact of life. No matter how careful you are with your iPhone, and no matter how much you coddle and protect your Android, you can't keep your mobile devices safe from everything. Much like parents with their children, a phone user's instinct is to shelter their gadgets. To shield them from reality. But we simply can't do that. If we want our phones to grow up and be successful, we have to let them be exposed to the harshness of the world.
You can buy screen protectors for your phone, and you can be super delicate with it, but sometimes even that isn't enough. But, you know? Just because your phone's screen is cracked doesn't mean that your phone is useless. Instead of spending a ton of money to get a new phone, or to have the screen replaced, we recommend taking this low-key genius route, instead.
6 Who steals a flip phone? Nobody, that's who
You know something else that can go wrong with phones? They can get stolen. And you could even argue that having your phone stolen is a hell of a lot worse than accidentally cracking your phone screen, because at least when you drop your phone and break the screen, you still have your phone. When your phone gets stolen, that's it. You are up a creek without a paddle. You are at a Target sale, but you forgot your credit card at home. You are SOL.
The goal, obviously, is to prevent your phone from being stolen by phone-stealing thieves. But how are you supposed to do that? Oh, sure, you could leave your phone behind at home, but that kind of defeats the purpose. Besides, your house could get robbed. No, the best way to keep your phone from being stolen is by putting it in a flip-phone case.
5 The ultimate homework helper
Transferring your handwritten notes to your computer is a pig and a half. Not, like, an actual pig and a half, we just mean that it's a pain in the ass. "Why didn't you just say that in the first place?" you might be asking. Well, excuse us for trying to add some variety to this article by including some fun, retro phrases! Gosh.
Whether you're fed up with our wordplay or not, we know for a fact that you're sick to death of having to manually type up all of your class notes/work projects/first drafts from a few hundred sheets of notebook paper onto your laptop. And the reason why it's such a pain isn't necessarily because typing is so hard. It's mostly because it's annoying to have to keep looking over at your paper, then back at your monitor. What you need is a simple hanger set up like the one in the picture above. Problem solved!
4 Lazy meets innovative
One of the most amazing things about mobile devices is that they give us the ability to watch TV shows, movies, and YouTube videos from just about anywhere on earth. That's incredible. Like, forget that cell phones allow us to talk to people halfway around the world. That's not what we care about. No, all we really want is to be able to catch up on our favorite shows while we're riding the bus home from work. Being able to watch media from our phone may not seem like a whole lot, but it's simple pleasures like that which make technology so amazing.
But if we had to come up with one beef about watching movies and shows from our phones, it's that holding our screen up for more than five minutes at a time makes our arms tired. Queue this low-key genius idea. If you've got a glass table and a couch, you'll be good to go.
3 Whoever figured this out
Dust. The number one killer of electronics. Actually, we don't really know what the number one killer of electronics is. It could be sharks or bears, for all we know. Or, it could be too-tired, overworked desk jockeys who forgot that they set their Starbucks cappuccino two inches away from their laptop. Anyway, our point is that dust is bad for electronics.
Food crumbs, hair, flakes of dead skin, Adam Sandler's film career—all kinds of disgusting things can get wedged in the tiny spaces between the keys of your keyboard. These icky things work together to make your keys sticky and greasy. And how the heck are you supposed to get that stuff out of there, huh? Your fingers aren't needle-thin. You can't clean your keyboard properly. Or, can you?
Yes, you can. Check out the picture above, grab your vacuum cleaner, and get ready to give your electronics the best cleaning they've ever had.
2 This desperate dad
Babysitting can be a lot of fun. Children are pure, sweet, innocent beings, and their unbridled enthusiasm coupled with their rampant imaginations makes spending time with them a real treat. Indeed, we may be adults, but we can learn a good deal from children. Things like "get excited about the little things," "take time out to think about what you've done," and "refuse to eat the PB&J that your mom made for you, even when she cut the crust off just like you asked her to." Truly, children are inspirational.
But we aren't going to lie to you, here. Babysitting can be hard AF. Especially when the kid that you're watching doesn't want you, they want someone else. That's why you need to remember this dad's clever parenting hack for the next time you watch a friend/relative's kids. With a coat hanger, some glue, and a little imagination, you can be anyone.
1 The only way to roast marshmallows
S'mores are quite possibly the best thing to ever come out of a campfire. No, scratch that, they are the best thing to come out of a campfire. And we say that because, when you think about it, there just aren't that many things that come out of campfires. So, technically, s'mores win by default.
But that doesn't mean that s'mores are totally without merit. They've got a lot going for them. For one thing, graham crackers. For another thing, marshmallows. And, as if all of that crunchy, gooey deliciousness wasn't enough, s'mores have another line of attack that helps make them absolutely irresistible. And that is chocolate.
When melted together over a campfire, the sweet, decadent duet of marshmallow and chocolate, conducted by the masterful support of a crisply toasted graham cracker, is a delightful dessert that is perfect for any occasion. And now, thanks to the low-key genius of whoever thought this up, you can make multiple s'mores all at once.