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    21 Wild Celebrity Encounters From "Normal" People Who Didn't Even Realize The Other Person Was Famous

    If Tom Hanks gave me directions I would simply implode.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their "I didn't know I met a famous person" stories, and wowowow they really delivered. Here's what they said:

    1. "My dad was at a beach on vacation in California. He bumped into this guy on the staircase, who had this total surfer dude look..."

    "They exchanged the usual ‘sorry’ before my dad walked away. He looked familiar to him, but it took him a second to realize who it was. His now ex-wife had a huge crush on the said person at the time, and she looked back at my dad, in shock, and said ‘That was Keanu Reeves.’"


    2. "My grandma had been shopping in Rhode Island, and told me about some nice young blonde lady who'd helped her reach something off the top shelf..."

    "'She sings, but I've never heard of her. Your cousin said she recognized her though.' It was Taylor Swift."


    3. "My wife and I were hiking on a trail that was supposed to loop around but we were pressed for time so we decided to turn back the way we came..."

    "Five minutes later, we saw three people walking towards us up the trail and my wife said she wanted to ask them how far it would have taken if we stayed on our original route. She started talking to the guy while I’m chewing on my lip trying not to laugh. He gave us directions and we went our separate ways. After a beat I say to her, 'You know that was Tom Hanks, right?' She had no idea that she just had a three-minute conversation with him. Not to mention he was hiking with his wife Rita Wilson and another friend of theirs. We still laugh about it."


    4. "I used to work in a bank at a grocery store in Orange County, CA. Once I was walking back from the bathroom and saw the floral department lady chatting with a tall guy with long dreadlocks and sunglasses on..."

    "I said hi to her but kept on my way before I realized the man she was talking to was Snoop Dogg. It turned out that the lady’s son played on Snoop’s sons' football team and they had become good friends."


    5. "Years ago, my ex spent 15 minutes in conversation with another dad in a mom-and-pop toy store while last-minute Christmas shopping..."

    "My ex said the guy's voice sounded really familiar, but just couldn't think of who it was until he walked away. Bruce Springsteen is apparently also a last-minute shopper!"


    6. "I was working at a high-end retail store at a ritzy mall in my area. A man and a woman came in, and the woman immediately started picking out the coolest, most expensive things in the store..."

    "I started her a fitting room while she and the man kept looking around. The store was playing old R&B music at the time and I noticed the man snapping his fingers and bobbing his head along. I said to him, 'Aren’t these jams the best?' to which he nodded his head and smiled at me. A few minutes later a group of ladies came in asking for photos with the man. I had no idea who the people were until a coworker whispered to me…'That’s John Legend and Chrissy Teigen.'”


    7. "My friend invited me to go meet the original cast of Hamilton in New York City. We were admitted directly onto the stage in the theatre, and immediately we saw a man in a ponytail, center stage, talking to at least 10 people..."

    "We walked over, and my friend is basically tripping over herself, stuttering words of admiration about the man. In my head, I'm like, 'Why is she being so weird? Who is this guy?' He was so warm and sweet. He introduced himself as Lin, and my friend is literally ready to pee herself. Instead of telling him my name, I asked him where Leslie Odom Jr. was. It wasn't until 20 minutes later that I realized I shrugged off a conversation with one of the most prominent playwrights in modern history, Lin-Manuel Miranda." 

    – cpacheco

    8. "My dad worked the concession stand on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. He waited on a guy that 'looked like he wanted to be in a rock band...'"

    "The guy was Irish, but there are tons of tourists on Cape Cod over the summer so he didn’t think much of it. As the guy walked away from the counter, a few people walked up to him for his autograph. When he came back to concessions, later on, my father still had no idea who he was, but now assumed he was famous. He asked for his autograph. It was Edge, from U2."


    9. "I used to work for Walt Disney World and while I was loading the Goofy roller coaster I always made jokes with the kids coming on the ride..."

    "I went to the people in the last two cars and they were dressed in fun cat make-up. I said, 'This ride isn't for cats.' The gentlemen said 'Well, we're cat people. Is that okay?' I said 'Sure, just be safe' and sent them on their way. It was nice to talk to Mike Myers even though I did not recognize him at all."


    10. "Back in the late '90s, my dad got invited to watch a Liverpool game in London..."

    "He sat in the business lounge and noticed Robbie Fowler and a couple of top Liverpool players walk through the lounge with a few ladies. Once they had passed him, he turned to his friends and said 'Did you see Robbie Fowler?' His mate said, 'Yeah, but did you see who the ladies were?' My dad said no. Turns out it was the Spice Girls!"


    11. "I got on an elevator with Ringo Starr once. During our thirty-second ride, we became best friends..."

    "To this day he still calls me on my birthday to sing the birthday song. I’ve never had the heart to tell him I’m more a Monkees fan."


    12. "I used to be a runner on a film and one day they needed more extras. I knew my dad finished work early that day so I called him and he was really excited to do it..."

    "I only saw him a couple of times on set because I was so busy. At the end of the day, we met up to go home and he was telling me about having food with the rest of the extras and some cast. He says this one guy was really friendly and they spoke with each other a little bit, I asked him who but my dad is not great with names and says 'I think it was Martin something.' The next thing I know Martin Freeman is exiting the building. He sees my dad and waves at him and then waves to me. They say a quick little 'Goodbye, nice to meet you' kind of thing and he gets in his car and drives away. I just turn and look at my dad with the biggest WTF face and he asks 'What?' 🤦🏼‍♀️"


    13. "A few years ago, I was at a local barbecue place, sitting outside on the patio eating. It was late afternoon and the restaurant was pretty dead..."

    "This big car pulls up and a guy in a suit gets out and walks inside. I see through the windows some of the employees getting photos with him. I thought it kinda looked like the current mayor, so didn’t think anything of it. A few minutes later, he walks out with a bag of food. I waved at him and he waved back. After the car pulls away, I walked inside to get a refill of my drink. I asked one of the waiters, who the guy was. He just looked at me like I was a complete idiot and says…'Do you not know who Jack Nicholson is?'"


    14. "At work I greeted a woman, a few moments later a man walked in. I went to greet him and then realized, 'oh they’re probably together...'"

    "And that’s how I embarrassed myself in front of Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood."


    15. "I used to work at a well-known furniture and homewares store in London. At the time, I was in the children's clothes and toys department and was showing this woman some baby clothes, finding various sizes and styles..."

    "I heard her then turn around and speak to a man who had appeared behind her, she asked him what he thought. I looked up from laying out the clothes and saw the man was Dustin Hoffman and then I realized the woman was his wife Lisa Hoffman!"


    16. "I used to work with an older lady and one day she came back from her break with ice cream. She said 'Some young guy and his friends decided to buy me ice cream...'"

    "She explained, 'He was about your age — I should have given him your number!' Later that night, she saw on the news that Drake had done an event near our job. She came in the next day to say 'THAT WAS HIM! I really should’ve given him your number!!!'"


    17. "I was having a beer at Seaport Village at a restaurant bar and this guy comes up next to me asking for the most complicated order..."

    "He wanted his food not touching, everything at certain temperatures, and a plethora of substitutes. Meanwhile, all these young girls were coming up asking for pics and giggling, so I figured it was someone famous. After he left, I asked who it was — it was Noah Centineo."


    18. "When I was in college, I worked in a very popular higher-end shoe store in Pittsburgh..."

    "Troy Polamalu had come into the store and one of my coworkers, who was a super sweet older woman, had no idea who he was. She got to chatting with him and his wife. She made a comment about how big he was and asked him if he played sports. He just smiled and said, 'A little,' and then they just went about their business with the shoes.

    Afterward, our coworkers told her who he was and she was so excited and embarrassed at the same time. This would have been around when the Steelers won Super Bowl XL. It’s still one of my favorite stories from that job. She couldn’t stop talking about how nice he was. It was just a super wholesome moment."


    19. "Back in the early '90s, my dad was a door-to-door salesman. He went up to a woman who was doing some gardening and started giving his sales pitch. She ended up taking his card, and then she went inside the house..."

    "He walked a little further down the street when another neighbor in their garden was smiling and asked my dad 'Do you know who that was?', and my dad said no. It was Catherine Zeta-Jones, mostly known at that point for The Darling Buds of May."


    20. "I was at the Taylor Swift Speak Now concert. My mom and I heard that she sometimes says hi to the fans out back so we went that way but ended up getting lost..."

    "We asked a cute boy for directions and thought nothing of it. Later that night we saw him on stage opening for was Hunter Hayes."


    21. "I was in line for a ride at Disney when the group of girls behind me started hysterically screaming and pointing..."

    "When I asked the girl who they were pointing at, she just gave me a funny look and got on the ride. And that’s the story of how I didn’t recognize Kylie Jenner at Disney World."


    Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.

    Have YOU ever had a wild celebrity encounter where you didn't realize you met someone famous? Share your story in the comments!

    And if you can't get enough of these hilarious stories check out our other celebrity encounter stories here, here, and here!