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28 Satisfying Moments When Experts Embarrassed Know-It-Alls

Experts embarrass lying know-it-alls more of than you’d think. Experts put in their 10,000 hours of hard work and practice. Most of them don’t need to brag about how much they know or where they went to school. In fact, really smart people care about the respect of their peers but don’t necessarily care about awards or degrees. They know what they know. Occasionally, they embarrass a lying know-it-all who claims to be an expert in their field.

Mansplaining is a bad look. Lying is a bad look. Luckily, there are secret experts out in the world pretending to not know a language or how to do a job while someone much dumber explains it to them. These stories from r/AskReddit are like tiny, real-life episodes of Undercover Boss.

Honestly, it feels good to read these stories because I love to talk, even when I don’t necessarily know what I’m talking about. I know how to easily beat Mario 3 and a little bit about Ancient Athenian History. Everything else you hear me say is coming straight out of my butt. I will one day make this list.

Here are a few of the best moments when a hidden expert had the pleasure of embarrassing a know-it-all jerk:

1. Mansplaining the piano.

“I guy I went on a date with tried to serenade me with his okay piano skills. He was incredibly patronizing to me and tried to explain to me what the notes were even when I told him I’m also a pianist. So after his endless explanations I asked him to move over on the bench so I can try to play. I’m a two-time Carnegie Hall pianist. He never called me back afterwards. Worth it!” –natashkagankav

2. The man who knew too little.

experts embarrass know it alls

3. Read the room.

“Wasn’t me, but there’s a story about an old geotechnical engineer who used to work for the company I work for.

Several senior staff had to attend a meeting with the client, and some government regulatory staff who were being awkward and not approving the design.

This geotech guy is pretty much quiet the whole meeting. Throughout the discussion, the government guy keeps referencing this research document and shooting down anything anybody suggests.

Near the end of the meeting geotech asks government guy if he has the research paper with him. He responds yes and places it on the table.

Geotech asks government guy who is the author of the paper? Then slides over a business card. Turns out it’s geotechs own paper that government guy has been referencing to defend his argument.

Government guy went bright red and apparently approved the design the same day.” –MoodyBernoulli

4. Cite your source and I’ll surprise you with something.

“I once went to a museum with my sister and her friend, who I hadn’t met before. We got to the Greek art bit and her friend started telling me how she was super into Greek myth, and I thought that was cool, because I was, unbeknownst to her, doing a Master’s in it at the time and also keeping a blog of myth retellings, which was pretty popular, and it was a relief to have something in common with this stranger.

She then got weirdly haughty and told me she probably knew more myths than I did, so, being polite, I didn’t challenge her on it and just asked her to tell me her favourite, so that we could have a conversation about it.

She proceeded to tell me the myth of Daedalus and the minotaur. I asked her how she’d heard of that one, because it’s fairly obscure. She told me she’d read it on a viral blog post on a blog about mythology.

It was my blog.” –teashoesandhair

5. It pays to complain.

“A buddy mine was at a concert in bad seats and started complaining about it via twitter. All of a sudden the band starts reading some tweets and calls my friend up to sit on stage for a couple songs. They sit him at the piano and during the next song, they jokingly go “ok piano solo!” The crowd laughs for a second but then my buddy just starts jamming out, as he plays piano in his band. Talk about dream moment getting to play with your favorite band.” –noplanplan

6. Better have my money.

“I once challenged a girl who was a friend to foosball, not knowing she grew up with a table in her house and older brothers. I even, jokingly, put money on the game. Well I learned a bit about humility that night.. the icing on the cake was when she drove me to an atm to get her the money.” –chhccvhj

7. I got a basketball jones.


I’m a very unassuming looking guy. 5’8″, 150 pounds, not a tattoo to be found. But back in the day, I was pretty athletic and could hang in games with fringe D1/semi-pro guys. But I can’t emphasize how much I didn’t look like it at all.

Anyway, in college, hanging out in someone’s room, it came up that I play a bit and some dude I didn’t know started running his mouth about how he could destroy me. Just wouldn’t stop talking. I gave him every out, until it basically became personally offensive.

Other guys were a bit tired of this asshole hanging around, and they knew I could play, so we all trooped over to the gym, late as fuck in the dead of winter, so we could settle things.

11-0 the first game. Not sure if we played after that, but I remember it was 11-0 because I made sure to not let the guy score. And I’m a pretty mellow guy and usually would have laid off and let him score a couple when it was clear that I was better, but this guy was a real asshole, so I just clamped down on him start to finish. I blocked a ton of his shit.

He stopped hanging around nearly as much after that, so I was kind of a hero to the rest of the guys. Like St. Patrick. Drove that snake out of our nation.” –Historical-Regret

8. Calm down, dude.

“I was a competitive swimmer for 14 years, including 4 years of NCAA, but I’m on the shorter side so people don’t assume I was any good. Was at a friends house on a lake one summer, and a macho guy challenged me to race to a buoy in the middle of the lake, to prove… something, I guess. The lake is deceptively large, about a half mile across, so I warned him that if he isn’t a strong swimmer it could be dangerous. He was running out of gas after about 2 minutes, so I offered to let him off the hook, but he insisted he would finish. I went to the buoy and was swimming back when I found him floundering, so I lifeguard swam him back to the house. His ego took a deserved hit that day.” –squeakycleaned

9. Pizzatown, USA.

experts embarrass know it alls

10. Take the loss, man.

“Not me but my brother & best friend. We were in Baltimore for a baseball weekend in 2009 and hanging out at a bar across from Camden yards. They had a Silver Strike bowling video game. At our local bar back in Boston we had one as well. I’m decent at the game but my brother and buddy were Fucking amazing at this game. Bowling 300 games and what not. So two dudes are playing this game and drinking. We ask them if we can play when they’re done. They ask if we want to play them. We said sure. My brother and buddy destroy these guys. Like it wasn’t even close. These dudes said it was a fluke and they wanted a rematch but this time for a round of beers. Again, annihilation city. But they kept wanting to play, to eventually win a game.

No lie, after THIRTEEN ROUNDS OF BEERS they finally gave up. They were great guys. We saw them the next day at the same bar and they walked up to Us with beers in hand already and said “rematch”. To this day we still hang out with them whenever we go to Baltimore. And to this day, they have never won.” –jerichomega

11. This person swears he’s not Barney from How I Met Your Mother.

“My office announced a laser tag teambuilding event, two weeks after I played in the laser tag (Ultrazone) national championships. Which were an actual thing in 1997.” –Fluxxed0

12. Respect your elders.

“When working as a teacher I beat a lot of students in Pokémon battles, cause they didn’t think of me being like 15 years ahead of them in fighting experience. Noobs.” –Amegami

13. Sounds like a fun person to be around.

“I dated a guy in college who was incredibly book smart – working on his master’s with the intention to pursue a PhD. I was doing the good ole 5 year plan for college and quite content with my level of brain power compared to his. What he underestimated was my fondness for word games, especially Scrabble. I like to think I’m quite good. Well, in the 3 years we dated, we only played Scrabble once and I beat the shit out of him. The icing on the cake was when I got a 50+ word score for playing one letter. He literally wiped all the letters off the board and had a mini hissy fit, claiming that I cheated. I got out my trusty Scrabble dictionary and proved his loss.” –sidesleeperzzz

14. When you’re the expert but they keep telling you otherwise.

“Not a physical challenge but I sell building materials for a living (think Home Depot but for guys that build skyscrapers and stadiums). There has been many occasions where an old man with zero construction knowledge tries to lecture me on what I do for a living.” –doogievlg

15. Is this your first day at a job?

“Mine’s kind of dumb, but I think it still counts. At work I’m kind of the Google Sheets “expert” and I make lots of tools for different departments to use. Enter “new guy” who needed to collect, aggregate and display a bunch of data. My boss was like, “Send Wish a calendar invite so you can tell her what you want and she’ll set it up for you.” New Guy was having none of that and insisted he was going to do it himself.

Well, a week later, he finally has this shitty sheet that doesn’t have half the information we need, and we have to have the numbers for the State by tomorrow. So my boss asks me to fix it and new guy is like, “Yeah, okay, that’s not really possible. This is is a good as it’s going to get!”

Two hours later, I send them both a fully functional and automated sheet that does everything we need, and we’ll be able to use it indefinitely, which means next time (and every time) the stupid state report is due, it will already be done.

New Guy was like, “I would have added that in if I’d had more time.” –Wishyouamerry