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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

21 Times People Had Instant Regret While Googling

Warning: Searching for "big black studs" will not give you the earrings you were looking for. Here's what else you should avoid typing into the search engine.

1 / 21

But was there cheesecake for dessert?

“I tried a recipe at our dinner group and I loved it, but all I could remember was that it was called something like Korean Beef. So I Googled that… and got an eyeful of very studly Asian men. I gave up and called my friend for the recipe.” —Jeanette K., Gainesville, Florida. This is how much Google really knows about you.

2 / 21
Ivan Kuzmin/Shutterstock

Hmm, what do people like to measure in inches and post on the Internet?

“I write children’s books and I was working on one about animals. One of the animals had a six-inch tongue and I was trying to think of something of a similar length that would be familiar to kids. So I googled ‘things that are 6 inches long.’ That got me a lot of results for… a certain male body part. Then I tried ‘things that are 6 inches long tongues’. That was so much worse! I wish that was the only time I’ve had a Google fail like that. The IT department at my work loves me.” —Sarah T., Minneapolis

3 / 21
Vladimir Volodin/Shutterstock

My family history took a strange turn

“I was looking at our family tree online and noticed an ancestor from the Netherlands. She looked like an interesting person and I wanted to learn more about who she was. Her name? Babe App. Yeah, that Google search didn’t go the way I intended! And the worst part is, I still haven’t learned any more about her.” —Melissa S., Everett, Washington. Don’t miss these hysterical autocorrect fails that’ll make you laugh-cry.

4 / 21

Dirty moms are the ones with peanut butter stains and boogers on their shirt, right?

“Ever since I had kids, the skin on my knees has been perpetually dry and darkened. I assumed it was from kneeling so much while playing on the floor with the kids. My dermatologist was no help. So I googled ‘dirty mom knees.’ Not smart.” —Leslie G., Chicago. Curious about the method behind the madness? This is exactly how Google works.

5 / 21
Bell nipon/Shutterstock

Human butt problems > dog butt problems

“My dog was having some trouble pooping and the vet suggested it might be an abscessed anal gland. I wasn’t sure what that was so I decided to Google it, to try and figure out if that’s what was going on with my dog. Unfortunately, I forgot to add ‘dog’ to ‘abscessed anal glands’ in my search. I’m permanently scarred from those pictures.” —Kristen M., Nashville

6 / 21
Sander van der Werf/Shutterstock

Running shoes, I was looking for running shoes!

“I needed new running shoes so on my lunch break at work, I opened up Google and typed in ‘’. I meant the sporting goods store but that was definitely not what came up! Even worse, it got flagged in our system and I had to explain to my boss why I was looking at that stuff on my work computer. Apparently, so many people made this same mistake that in 2011, Dick’s Sporting Goods finally bought that web address. Now, it’s a perfectly safe site!” —Keri K., Apple Valley, Minnesota

7 / 21

I swear I’m not a human trafficker

“My grandpa had a farm and sold baby goats so one day we decided to see what other ones were available. Here’s a hot tip: If you’re in the market, don’t search ‘For Sale Black Pygmy kids’.” —April Y., Denver. Check out the most popular how-to searches on Google.

8 / 21

Maybe this is why I never got a call back from that job…

“It sounds crazy but I can’t Google my own legal name (at least not anywhere where someone could see my screen). Apparently, I have a doppelganger out in Nevada who’s in a rather NSFW profession.” —Amanda J., Lakeland, Florida

9 / 21
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

All I wanted was a nice holiday recipe!

“Last Christmas I wanted to try making a cream pie for dessert but I wasn’t sure how to do it so I decided to look up some recipes online. I Googled ‘cream pies’ and quickly learned that is a euphemism for a particular sex act (that has nothing to do with pie!). Now I always add ‘recipe’ to any food search I’m doing just in case there are other food-sex things I don’t know about!”—Michelle K., Columbus, Ohio. Don’t miss these other 20 funny Google searches.

10 / 21

This is not the kind of support I was looking for

“My husband died when I was just 22 years old and I was devastated. To help me cope, I went online to find a support group of other young women who were in the same situation. I Googled ‘young widows.’ Big mistake! Who knew there is a whole genre of porn just about that? I was so shaken I ran out of the room, unplugging my computer for good measure.” —Cora P., Atlanta

11 / 21

I was betrayed by a milk jug

“Once I opened a new gallon of milk and on the underside of the lid it said ‘milk mustache.’ It was so funny that I thought maybe there was a promotional contest going on. So I googled ‘milk mustache contest.’ The results were definitely not about dairy products! This was my first experience with the internet and weird sex stuff.” —Lizzie V., Fort Mill, South Carolina

12 / 21
Zapylaiev Kostiantyn/Shutterstock

Why Mr. Bond, I’ve never seen this side of you!

“My husband and I wanted some information on an old James Bond movie so he innocently typed ‘James Bond’ into Google. Although there were some responses for the famous 007 spy, surprisingly most of the results were bondage fetish sites. He was so embarrassed! I thought it was hilarious.” —Ann H., Vancouver, Washington. Love these? Check out 10 hilarious product reviews that will have you laughing.

13 / 21
Mirco Vacca/Shutterstock

My name means what?!

“When I was in college one of my frat brothers added my full name to Urban Dictionary ‘defining’ me as a womanizer and a brawler. For the longest time that was the first thing that came up whenever people Googled my name. Thankfully since I’ve started my own law firm, now my professional credits take the top spots.”—Alexander D., Minneapolis

14 / 21

This is a whole other kind of golf scandal

“My son wanted to play a golf game on the computer. In trying to help him find one, we Googled ’18 holes.’ Turns out there’s a movie out there with that name… and it has nothing to do with golf. We both got a shock that day.”—Marie S., Lund, Sweden

15 / 21

When is a pipe not a pipe?

“My wife and I were making a wooden shelf and wanted to use some leftover pipe for the legs but the pipe was stained and we weren’t sure how to clean it. We Googled ‘how to clean black pipe.’ It was not our smartest moment. We had to take a break because we were laughing so hard.” —Joe R., Lakeville, Minnesota. Need more laughs? Check out 14 of the funniest 911 calls ever made.

16 / 21

At least I got to learn some German?

“I was looking for a specific erosion control fabric that I needed for a project at work. The brand name was Erotex so that’s what I Googled. Google immediately sent me to a German erotica/lingerie shop of the same name. I couldn’t click the window closed fast enough!” —Hannah H., Columbus, Ohio

17 / 21
G Allen Penton/Shutterstock

I can’t remember the right word but that is definitely not it

“I’m an RN and one day at work another nurse and I were trying to remember the medical term for a muscle spasm or twitch. The first thing we Googled — ‘muscle jerking’ — definitely did not give us the results we were looking for. By the way, the word we wanted is fasciculations, in case you were curious.”—Erin K., Alberta, Canada

18 / 21

Well, it is, technically, a fish and a rib cage

“I recently saw a fish at the aquarium in the Mall of America that looks like its rib cage is on the outside of its body. I couldn’t remember the name of it so I googled ‘Rib cage fish.’ Instead of aquatic life, I got a bunch of topless people with tattoos of fish on their rib cages.”—Sarah S., Lakeville, Minnesota

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David Lee/Shutterstock

I didn’t mean that kind of fullback!

“Back in 1996, when the Internet was still pretty new, they had Super Bowl 30, more commonly known as Super Bowl XXX. I love football so I searched for it. The results I got were definitely XXX and not in the Roman numeral way.” —Alison T., Ontario, Canada

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Rich Carey/Shutterstock

It was a fish first, people

“I used to work for a publishing company that specialized in field guides for animals and plants. We were working on a book about fish and we Googled one species named the ‘t.’ The results were… not good.” —Nicholle C., Alberta, Canada

21 / 21

Pretty sure there’s a rap song about this

“As a reward for a test, a professor promised my class homemade cinnamon rolls. His original idea was to make us sticky buns—until he Googled the phrase looking for a recipe. There are some things you just can’t un-see!” —Nasca R., Seattle, WA. For more fun with search engines, try these 35 fun Google tricks you never knew existed.

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen, BS, MS, has been covering health, fitness, parenting, and culture for many major outlets, both in print and online, for 15 years. She's the author of two books, co-host of the Self Help Obsession podcast, and also does freelance editing and ghostwriting. She has appeared in television news segments for CBS, FOX, and NBC.