16 People Share Their Craziest 'Butterfly Effect' Stories

List Rules
Vote up the craziest butterfly effect stories.

the butterfly effect is when a small change in a complex system leads to large effects. To name a few examples: walking in a different direction leads to marrying the love of your life, scrolling through the internet leads to saving a life, stretching your legs leads to avoiding death. What's awesome is that they're all included on this list. Vote up on your favorite butterfly effect stories below!

All answers sourced from this AskReddit.


  • 1
    3,787 VOTES

    A Wholesome Coincidence

    From Redditor u/Aercturius:

    I sent a very dear friend of mine a stupid meme and he called me a few minutes later to tell me that I unwillingly interrupted a suicide attempt and saved his life. He's doing better now.

    3,787 votes
  • 2
    3,836 VOTES

    The Good Of Some People

    From Redditor u/dartdoug:

    This past summer I commented on an AskReddit about a small donation that I made to a charity that supports foster children and young adults who have aged out of the foster system. Redditors from around the world saw my comment and made hundred of thousands of dollars in donations to the charity, allowing kids' wishes to be fulfilled.

    Reddit visitors caused the charity's web site to crash, so Redditors with tech talent worked with the charity to make the site more resilient.

    I've never been happier to witness the goodness in people.

    3,836 votes
  • 3
    2,412 VOTES

    A Stomachache Works Wonders

    From Redditor u/heroinechicish:

    My coworker’s family lived in Oklahoma City when she was younger. The daycare she went to was in the federal building that was bombed in 1995. That day her mom dropped her off at the daycare and headed to work. Her mom said she had a stomach ache and decided to call into work so she turned around and picked up her daughter from daycare then headed home. The bombing happened shortly after at around 9am

    2,412 votes
  • 4
    2,212 VOTES

    Drop Out!

    From Redditor u/zerbey:

    In early 1998 a friend of mine was working for an ISP and his boss asked him to set up an IRC server for a customer (who turned out to be Epic UK). He didn't know how to do it so he asked if I wouldn't mind doing it for him and just keeping an eye on things until the customer can take over. Took me about 15 minutes to set the thing up, made myself an Oper then I just hung out on that server for a while and just made sure the handful of people using it behaved themselves

    Anyway, fast forward a couple of months and I'm dropping out of University, his boss is impressed enough by what I did for that customer that he offers me a job which was my first full time IT job - he took a chance on a University dropout and I'll never forget it. Learned a ton working there, gave me the foundation I needed to go to bigger things. I stayed on that server too, ended up getting pretty close to a few people. One day I met a girl on there and we got talking. 18 months later I jumped on a plane and moved to the USA to start a new life and marry her. It's been 22 years and we've got three kids now and are still happily married.

    One quick favor for a friend changed my whole life.

    2,212 votes
  • 5
    1,897 VOTES

    Imagine If He Didn't Turn

    From Redditor u/trees_are_beautiful:

    I turned right down a hallway is never been down before in college instead of taking my usual exit. Saw a job posting. Got the job. Met a girl at said job. 30 years together this coming July. Two grown daughters living their lives. Right instead of straight out the door did that.

    1,897 votes
  • 6
    1,519 VOTES

    The Internet Isn't Always That Bad

    From Redditor u/look_ma_nohands:

    I was in a weird point in my life and suffering from agoraphobia so I never left the house. As you can imagine, I was getting pretty lonely and wanted someone to talk to. I made a random Reddit post and someone responded. After a few weeks of talking he convinced me to not only leave my house but fly out of state to hang out with him for the weekend. We had an amazing weekend and many thereafter. We’re now engaged and our son is 14 months old. I also was encouraged to seek out a career that was meaningful to me and found something I really love and have moved up significantly within my company.

    So basically a Reddit post made me a mother and gave me a partner, career, and life that I never thought I would be able to leave the house to have.

    1,519 votes