21 More "Butterfly Effect" Stories That'll Make You Rethink All Of Your Decisions
"So, basically, panicking about that job post got me laid..."
We recently took a look at a viral Reddit thread that asked, "What's the craziest butterfly effect* that happened to you because of a small decision you made?" Their incredible stories sparked even more amazing tales from our very own BuzzFeed Community! So, here are just a few more unbelievable stories of how right place + right time = life-changing result:
1. This sauce savior:
"My dad told me this story:
Before I was born, my dad was driving on the highway after leaving McDonald’s. He looked behind him and there was a car that seemed to be following him really close and driving erratically. He didn’t really think much of it, but — after checking his food — he realized that McDonald’s had forgotten the sauce for his Mcnuggets, so he got off the next exit to go back to get his sauce.
Later that day, he was watching the news and saw that there was a fatal accident on the same highway due to somebody being ran off the road by that same car that was following behind him. If he hadn't decided to go back to McDonald’s to get his sauce, I probably wouldn’t be alive today!"
2. This gut feeling:
"Four years ago, my boyfriend went with me to a baseball game for my brother's birthday. We were on the LightRail headed back to our car when he collapsed after his heart stopped. There was a nurse on board about 10 feet away. Long story short, she saved his life with CPR.
We ran into her again a year later at another baseball game, where she told us that she was going to get on the LightRail before the one we were on, but something told her to sit down, drink some water, and wait for the next one. If she didn't follow that gut instinct, she wouldn't have been on our LightRail to save my boyfriend's (who is now my husband's) life."
3. This Marvel-ous matchmaking:
"I’m married today because I decided to post on Facebook that I REALLY wanted to see 'that new Avengers movie' that everyone was so hyped about. A guy I knew through my brother said that he also wanted to go, but had no one to go with, so we decided to go together.
We’re now going on eight years together (five years married) and we have a 3-year-old that we named 'Wade' (after Wade Wilson). We’ve seen every Marvel movie together to date.
Thanks for the happily every after, MCU!"
4. This helpful friend:
"I was walking with my friend to a concert after eating at a restaurant before the show. It was our turn to walk and the light was red. Being excited, I literally jumped into the street the moment the walk sign came on. I looked back at my friend to see that she had dropped her bag about two steps back from me. I jokingly lectured her about how she needed to be more careful with her things while I walked backwards to help her pick everything up.
Just as I took a step towards her, a car just drove at full speed past me, right where I was standing seconds beforehand, running the light. I’m fully convinced that had I not gone back to help her, I would've been in the emergency room instead of that concert!"
5. This fantastic fib:
"If my now-husband hadn't lied about his height on OkCupid, I never would've found him in my ridiculously specific, way-too-high-maintenance search results."
6. This (surprising) party:
"After I graduated high school, I had soft plans to hang out with my best friend, but hadn't heard if he'd gotten off work early. While I waited for him, another friend called and invited me to his graduation party. It was mainly his relatives and his girlfriend.
I was bored, so I finally said I'd stop by. Right as I hung up, the phone rang and my best friend said he had to work overtime, so I told him I was hitting up the party — and if it sucked, I'd meet him in an hour.
Turns out, my other friend's girlfriend had brought along her cousin, who was in town visiting for two weeks from halfway across the country. We hit it off.
So, basically, if my best friend had gotten off work on time, I'd never have met my wife or had my kids or grandkids."
7. This turn of events:
"I moved to Europe for my boyfriend and, about three years in, I decided that I wanted to go to business school to get my MBA. My boyfriend was super supportive and 'so proud' that I had gotten into a top 10 MBA program. He made a big speech at my going away dinner, bragging about how 'smart' his girlfriend was, how he couldn't wait to marry me...only for him to cheat on me and dump me two months into my program because it was 'too hard' to be three hours away from me.
But I ended up meeting my husband in that MBA program."
8. This lucky horse:
"When I was younger, I lost my job and was broke. I was forced to sell my beloved horse. It was the biggest regret of my life and a huge mistake. I missed him so much, but it had to be done.
A few years later and much more financially stable, I was on a last-minute business trip to the other side of the state. I happened to have a free day and saw a nearby town was having a horse tack auction. I wasn't originally going to go, but I was bored, so went to the auction. Apparently that town had them scheduled every month, but rarely had horses for sale. Well, this time, they did have horses for auction (small local auction, no slaughter buyers). As I looked at the horses, I saw that one of them was MY horse.
Needless to say, I made damn sure I bought my horse back. I was so excited because he even remembered me! I had to put him down a couple years ago, but he lived to be 39. Had I not decided to go to that auction that day, I never would've seen him again."
9. This new best friend:
"When I was in high school, my school had off-campus lunch privileges for juniors and seniors. One day, I wanted to go get lunch off-campus, but none of my existing friends did.
A girl I didn’t know very well (who was friends with one of my other friends) piped up with an 'I’ll go with you!' We bonded over music during the short walk to the diner, and I have been best friends with her for over 20 years now. I haven’t seen or heard from those other girls since graduation.
My BFF is very reserved and wasn’t one to speak up like she did that day, so I’m so thankful that she had the guts to put herself out there. If she hadn’t, I might never have had this amazing person in my life!"
10. This incredible pregnancy:
"I had been told that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant when I was in my late twenties, so in my my mid-thirties (after years of trying) I decided to start getting tests done.
The first test was a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), where the doctor injects dye into your Fallopian tubes, then x-rays to see if there are any blockages. Scheduling the test was a big deal, because it HAS to be done exactly 10 days after the start of your cycle. I talked to three different secretaries and nurses to schedule, gave them all the same dates to confirm, and they all told me the same day to show up.
I showed up for my appointment and filled out paperwork, only to have the doctor tell me we would have to reschedule because 'the date was wrong.' She said we were 12 days past my cycle, not 10. She told me if it was 11 days past she would likely still have done the procedure, but 12 days was too late. She also explained that, if I was pregnant, the procedure would not only end the pregnancy, but it could also cause damage to my Fallopian tubes.
I was so angry, as I had scheduled time off work and didn’t want to wait another two months for the procedure. Plus, I had already paid my $40 copay. I tried multiple times to convince her to just do the procedure anyway, since there was NO WAY I was pregnant. She repeatedly said no, and told me to call as soon as my next cycle started so she could fit me in. I left the appointment pissed.
I found out two weeks later I was pregnant. It's my only pregnancy before or since, and my daughter turned five last August. Had the doctor done the procedure, it would've ended my pregnancy. So, basically, my daughter is here all because her support staff couldn’t do math."
11. This frightening possibility:
"My mom worked for an American company, so she would travel to different states there a lot. When she traveled, my sibling and I would stay with our Nan, but this one time, our Nan was on holiday, so we stayed with our aunt instead.
During that stay, both my sibling and I got sick with flu the weekend mom was due to go New York for work. Well, since we were staying with our aunt and she had to work during the day, she couldn’t look after us. So, my mom decided to take the week off from work to care for us. Her work was pretty decent about it, and just rescheduled her travel meetings for the following week, but that never ended up happening.
That's because the original dates she was supposed to be in New York were the 10th through the 14th of September in 2001. My mom would've been in the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11 if she’d gone when she should have gone. So, if my mom hadn't decided to stay home with us, I’d have likely lost her that day."
12. This unexpected match:
"I had just moved to Florida and didn't know anyone. I was skyping with my best friend back in New York, and she convinced me to sign up for Tinder so I could meet people.
I was screen-sharing with her as I was scrolling through. I stopped at one guy she insisted we look at. He was super-adorable, had some great puns on his profile (I LOVE puns), and we had some other common interests listed. However, he said that he 'loved going to the gym' and wanted to 'do gym dates.' I'm a chubby girl, so I said there was NO WAY this dude would be interested in me.
I was about swipe left when my friend told me to 'take a risk because who knows what'll happen.' So, because of her, I swiped right. We matched and started talking. I asked him to give me his best pun, and it was god-awfully amazing ('Who is the head on the intergalactic cheese mafia? Marscapone!').
Now, three years later, we're engaged. He's the most amazing man I've ever met, and I never would've even talked to him had my friend not made me swipe right."
13. This misread match:
"I met my fiancé because I read my work schedule wrong.
I was in high school at the time and went into my waitressing job, but it turned out that I was scheduled for the NEXT day, not that day. Since I was already there, I decided to stay for the shift to help out. I took home some leftover soup from that night's shift, and stopped to get gas on my way home.
My now-fiancé was my gas station attendant (shout out New Jersey)! It was so cold that night that I offered him the soup I had, and...we've been together for over four years now!
So, if I hadn't decided to work that night, I would've never met him!"
14. This fender bender:
"My best friend and I took a weekend beach trip. Before we got on the highway to drive home, we stopped off at an outlet mall. As we were leaving the mall to get on the road, she backed into someone in the parking lot.
Luckily, there was very minor damage, so they just exchanged information and we went on our way. The whole ordeal held us up by maybe 10 minutes.
So we finally get on the highway and, after a few miles, traffic slows to a crawl. There was a terrible wreck. A car was crushed under a semi-truck with several other collisions resulting from it. I always think about how, had we not gotten into that little fender bender in the parking lot, we could very likely have been involved in that wreck."
15. This magical friendship:
"In 2012, I was accepted into the Disney College program and picked a move-in date in mid-August. I couldn't wait to go. Then, my childhood best friend told me she had scheduled her wedding for my check-in date. I freaked out because I couldn't miss her wedding, and I was able to reschedule my check-in for two days later.
I had joined a Facebook group to find roommates, and ended up having to leave the group I was in and join one for my new date. I met a girl on there and we randomly decided to be roomies.
To this day, she is one of my absolute best friends. I was her maid of honor in 2016 and she was one of my bridesmaids in 2019. If my childhood best friend hadn't set her wedding when she did, I would've never met one of my dearest friends!"
16. This mother's foresight:
"I live in Boston and, during high school, a lot of teens hung out by Copley during Marathon Monday. I was in the 10th grade at the time, and I really wanted to make new friends, since 9th grade was a bit tough for me. Anyway, everyone was making plans to meet by the finish line and take selfies together.
When I asked, my mom would not let me go — so I lied saying I was going to the Copely library to do research for a research paper.
Something that day made my mom FORBID me from going outside. It was odd, as she normally lets me hang out with friends whenever I like. Still, she knew the library was closed that day because of all of the tourists, so she saw right through my lies and insisted I stay home.
I sat next to her on the couch in the living room watching the marathon...and then watching all the chaos that evolved when it was bombed. A lot of my schoolmates were (understandably) traumatized, and their social media posts were heartbreaking.
So, my mom's gut intuition saved me from the Boston bombing and, since that day, I always follow her intuition."
17. This Walmart wingwoman:
"Back in January, my mom wanted me to go to Walmart with her, but I wasn’t feeling it, so I decided to stay home. 25 minutes later, I got a phone call from her saying she ran into an old friend of mine from high school (who I had a huge crush on), and they were coming by the house to see me for a few minutes.
He stayed for three hours that night and, from that night forward, he and I spent every weekend together. We decided to date and have been living together since May.
If I had gone to Walmart with my mom, I probably would have just seen him there from afar and that would have been it."
18. This breakfast breakdown:
"A few years ago my parents were going out to breakfast and I'm not normally awake in time to go to with them. That morning, however, I happened to be awake. I wanted to go since I never got to, but — before I could actually get out of bed — I started feeling a bit unwell and decided to stay home. I regretted it all morning because I wanted to go and knew I'd probably feel fine in an hour.
I stopped regretting it when my parents got rear-ended by a lady who had gone into diabetic shock and was essentially driving like she was drunk.
The rear passenger side seat — the seat I would have been in — was destroyed in the accident. My parents had whiplash and some scrapes and bruises, but were otherwise unharmed. I probably would have died if I hadn't decided to stay home."
19. This nurse's call:
"My dad had cancer at 56. His health was declining, so he decided to go into Hospice.
One day, a nurse called me and told me that he was 'out of clean shirts' and asked if I could bring some for him. I thought it was odd, but I decided to just stop by that afternoon anyway. When I went to put the shirts I brought away, I saw that he had lots of clean ones left.
I got to talk to him a bit and told him about my day, even though at that point he was too sick to move much or speak. I gave him a hug before I left and told him I loved him and I’d be back tomorrow. He died early the next morning.
If that nurse hadn’t called me, I might not have gotten that last chance to see him when he was alive. I still thank God for that angel nurse."
20. The pandemic blessing:
"When the pandemic started I — like many other shy and responsible people — gave up on the idea of dating. I'd been looking for a partner for years, but nothing ever panned out.
In April, I got sent a job posting that I responded to pretty much immediately out of fear that nothing better would come along (given the way 2020 was going). I got the job, moved cities, and was in my new grocery store getting a bottle of wine for a virtual bookclub when I literally bumped shopping carts with a very cute guy.
We've been dating about four months now. He is very sweet, patient, and amazing! So, basically, panicking about that job post got me laid!"
21. And finally — this meta moment:
"About four years ago, I was bored and decided to randomly take a BuzzFeed quiz titled, 'What Dog Breed Should You Get Based On Your Sign?' I’m a Virgo, and it said I should get a Shiba Inu.
Because of that quiz, I started researching the breed and fell in love. I got my first one, Hawk, a year and a half ago and that is the only breed I will ever adopt. If I had never randomly decided to take that quiz, I'd never have known."
Now it's your turn! Can you outdo these? What's your absolute wildest "Butterfly Effect" story? Share in the comments below!
Some responses were edited for length and/or clarity.