People Share Their Weirdest Real-Life 'Butterfly Effect' Stories
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People Share Their Weirdest Real-Life 'Butterfly Effect' Stories

The term "butterfly effect" has been around for a long time, but for better or worse it was popularized by the 2004 Ashton Kutcher movie. For anyone unfamiliar, the butterfly effect describes the phenomenon in which one random event or choice impacts something seemingly unrelated (e.g., the old myth about how a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane in another part of the world).

The butterfly effect is often used in movies, shows, and books to explain time travel and how doing something like stepping on a butterfly in the past can domino into the apocalypse in the future. As evidenced by Reddit, there doesn't need to be a sci-fi hook for butterfly effect stories to happen, you just need to trace a major event back far enough.

  • A Mother's Broken Leg Led To Her Son Getting A Younger Brother

    From Redditor /u/busytoothbrush:

    My mother wore heels to work and slipped on the carpeted steps, resulting in a broken high heel and a broken leg. While she was home recovering, she somehow developed allergies that led to her needing an inhaler*.

    The inhaler* interfered with her birth control and now I have a brother 13 years younger than me.

    *Edit: mother confirmed that it was the penicillin that she was prescribed.

  • A Friend's Passing Led Her Friend To A Master's Degree In French

    From Redditor /u/avocadopixels:

    Grew up speaking Spanish so in high school my mom made me sign up for French. I didn’t really care, but figured whatever at least it’s something new. I was a good kid, bit of a cut up with absolutely 0 direction.

    In that class I met a girl and we sort of became friends. She got sick that year, cancer. It was horrible. Visited her in the hospital, got close to her family (still am), she passed the following year.

    French it turns out was her favorite subject and her dream had been to study abroad. Her parents asked if we (her friends from that class) could do that for her.

    The years went on, I worked every summer try to save up to study abroad. I noticed the others who had made the promise weren’t making moves towards it, so I worked even harder. Finally went for a semester my 3rd year.

    Tbf I always enjoyed French, but it wasn’t a passion. Except that semester something kind of shifted. Came home, finished undergrad, then got into a masters in French. The whole time my friend’s mom is excited, feeling like my friend is somehow vicariously living through me.

    I graduated from my masters and then moved back to France. Been here 3 years now, and May 1st was the 11th anniversary of my friend’s [passing.]

    As I type it out it’s not so outwardly obvious, but the entire time it’s been so clear for me that she’s been with me on this journey.

  • Not Getting Into An AP History Class Led One Person To A Career In Healthcare

    From Redditor /u/shipscrubber:

    High school, I didnt get into the AP history class wanted. Changed up my schedule, including a different gym class, without everyone I knew. I was heartbroken. I really wanted to teach, and without an AP class senior year, I was screwed.

    Made a new friend in gym class, who was wearing a volunteer firefighter shirt. He had just joined. Seemed interesting, and he invited me to check it out.

    They paid for me to get my EMT. Fell in love with healthcare.

    Fast forward quite a while, and I'm an ER Nurse and 'precept' students and new nurses, teaching them how to survive in the ER. I also do public outreach and injury prevention. And I love it. Glad I missed out on my class.

  • A Roommate's Diarrhea Helped A Man Find His Wife

    From Redditor /u/plateishot:

    I was going out to grab pizza and a case of beer for me and my roommate but he texted me he had a stomach thing so I walked to a restaurant and ordered dinner at the bar and met a girl there and now we are married and have two kids because my roommate had diarrhea.

  • An Overdrawn Bank Account Led To Four Marriages And Five Kids

    From Redditor /u/nuckingfuts73:

    I was just out of high school and new in town with no job. I was living off what savings I had left and my account went below zero without me knowing. I was overdraft charged like 10 times and owed $300+. I went down to the bank spoke with a teller and she ended up being a lifesaver. She worked with me and got all the charges removed. On top of getting the charges removed, we got to talking about my situation and she said that her son worked at a local restaurant and she would help me get a job. She was a woman of her word and by the end of the week I was working full time. Fast forward, I meet a cool dude who worked there, we became friends, I introduced him to my sister, they fell in love, got married and had two kids. His best friend came into town for the wedding and I introduced him to my roommate at the time, they fell in love, got married and had two babies. I also got my best friend a job at the restaurant where he met a girl working there, they feel in love, got married and had a kid. Right before I left I got my roommate a job at the restaurant, where he met a customer, fell in love, got married and had a kid.

    As a bonus, my best friend, who I helped get the job repaid the favor and got me a job at a different restaurant, where I met a girl, fell in love and got married.

  • An Arrest For Growing Weed Helped A Man Find His Wife

    From Redditor /u/pakiranian:

    Got arrested for growing weed, moved back home. Got first job I could at Ikea. After working there for over a year, randomly decided to check Craigslist for jobs and saw an opening at a cafe and they were hiring right then, so instinctively went for it.

    The cafe was connected and owned by one of the most popular brewpubs/beer gardens in the area. They hired me to host there, quickly worked my way up the ranks to eventually bar manager. Met girl of my dreams, we are now married with 2 amazing kids. Opened two more restaurants with them and currently assistant director of operations, overseeing three restaurants @ 3, 5, and 8 million a year in sales!

    Love my job, love my family, love my life. No idea what I'd be doing if I never got arrested, or never applied for the cafe job.