Every school has them: those quiet kids who barely say a word – but when they do, they surprise the pants off us all.
Take a look at these 28 stories of totally shocking times quiet kids found their voices.
1. Probably should stick with the quiet thing
So this one kid, who barely ever said two words, asks the teacher for the time (it was at some after-school thing and there was no clock). The teacher says the classic “time for you to get a watch”, which for some reason was funny to everyone else. The quiet kid doesn’t laugh. He looks the teacher dead in the eyes, and once everyone quieted down, he says “so are you gonna tell me the F_CKIN’ time, or what?” We were in like, 7th grade.
2. Don’t be mad he called you out
This happens in my school all the time. You’ve got kids that just play on their iPad all semester, hardly paying attention, and then one day they come in, in the middle of a discussion. For example, my English teacher used the word “maroon” as a verb. Somebody said, “Sir, what do you mean?” And the quiet kid says, “Maroon is a color.” English teacher says, “Really? Four and a half months and that’s your contribution?”
3. Nowadays? That would result in immediate expulsion and a psych eval
In middle school I would partner up with the other quiet “weird” kid in PE. One day we were walking back into the gym and he just looks at me and said “hey man if I ever shoot up the school I’ll let you live”. My response was basically “sweet, thanks” and he ended up dropping out shortly after.
4. Trivial pursuit champ
In Junior High in the mid eighties the game “Trivial Pursuit” was all the rage. We played it in math class one day and this kid, Gary, who NEVER SAID ANYTHING AT ALL totally spanked everyone else by answering every single sports related trivia question. He got a lot of attention for it and I believe he walked a little taller after that day. I don’t think I ever heard him say anything else, but I did see him sitting on the bleachers at a few sports events.
5. Not scary at all…
At school, having just shown me the scope for (supposedly his) sniper rifle: “If the fire alarm ever goes off and you can’t find me, don’t use the doors as an exit”.
6. As he should have
Giving a presentation in class, pulled out a screw driver and said “I could kill you, you, you, you, and you! Right now. ” If I remember correctly it was on safety, but he still got suspended.
7. I’d be caught off guard as well
One of my students hardly said a word all year until a couple weeks ago. I was trying to get a group of talkative ones under control and she had enough. She yells out “SHUT THE F_CK UP! IM TRYING TO WORK YOU F_CKING ASSH_LES” Awkward silence followed because I didn’t know how to handle the normally studious and quiet one losing it.
8. That’s kind of fun
We had a psychology class that included a “disorder day” where we had to pick a disorder and act it out the whole day, to show us how awful and tiring it was to actually experience them. Unbeknownst to all of us, the quiet girl picked kleptomania. In psychology that day, we were allowed to stop acting out what we did and relate our experiences to each other. When asked how her day was, she opened her backpack and took out a clock, six whiteboard markers, a teacher’s name tag, and a fire extinguisher. We were all a bit in awe.
9. Maybe a bee allergy?
The quiet kid from my grade stood up one day, grabbed a broom, stood on a chair and began trying to swat bees that got inside. One bee landed on the window where quiet kid proceeded to yell “DIE BEE DIE” and then swatted and shattered the window. He screeched when it happened and then sat back down. Never heard him speak again.
I was best friends with the “quiet kid” in middle school. It wasn’t so much shocking as the stupidest thing I’ve heard him say. He got this thousand yard stare all of a sudden and just said “I can’t remember what color my dog is”.
I went to middle school and high school with this boy named Daniel. Never once heard him say a word, a friend of mine said he would whisper sometimes. The night of our senior party we heard some music coming over from the corner where the karaoke machine was set up, at first no one really noticed him because people had been singing on it all night and most people stopped paying attention. But this was different cause no one was singing and the music was playing, the DJ stopped the music and started the song again. Daniel was standing there looking frightened but this time around when the song started he began to sing. Everyone in the room stopped what they were doing and just crowded around him. He wasn’t a great singer by any means but 99% of the people in the room hadn’t ever heard him talk. When the song was over every one started clapping and cheering and he walked away with a big smile on his face.
12. We say what we know
In kindergarten, there was this kid, Donatelle, and he never said a word. He was nice enough- played games and everything – but completely silent. One day we were looking out the classroom window as a cop drove by. Donatelle opens his mouth and says “police car.” At the time, we were all excited to hear him speak, but looking back, that kid must’ve had some real dark history.
13. wait, what? WAHT?
In high school, I had first level Spanish with this kid who was super quiet. At the end of the year, we all had to give a speech in Spanish in front of the entire class. This kid stood up and gave a speech, not in Spanish, but in a language that he had spent the entire year inventing.
14. Death by blimp
Oh man, a girl I used to work with was an incredibly quite woman, she was about 20 or so and didn’t talk or really interact with anyone, just took forever to get three words from her. One day, the topic of blimps came up, and someone had asked a silly question like “How many people die every year to blimps?” And, it went silent for just a nanosecond, and all you could hear from behind the group was this little girl saying “I could kill someone with a blimp” Just, like, bam, as we all turn to her, she’s just kinda looking at the group, with a slight grin, it was clear she wanted to be in the group and make a funny, so we share a hearty laugh, but I remember, I remember the look in her eyes. I’ve watched the sky ever since.
15. He asked politely
So this isn’t so much what he SAID. The seniors played “locker pinball” with the underclassmen. It’s exactly what it sounds like. They bounced one little guy constantly. Made him late for class a lot because they’d keep him bouncing so long. Well one day they were bouncing him and he super politely said “please stop, you’re hurting me.” obviously the seniors bounced him harder. Apparently that was this kid’s breaking point because he leapt onto the nearest senior who just happened to be our star basketball forward. The little freshman bit into the senior’s neck and literally tore a mouth full of skin off. He just stood there with this piece of bloody skin on his shirt GROWLING at everyone.
Jeremy. This guy was so silent that we believed he was a mute. The school had just recently painted the bins in all kinds weird styles. As our group was walking somewhere at lunch time, we passed a bin that was covered in hand prints. He offhandedly goes “that bin is handy,” leaving us dumbfounded at his pun-bomb.
17. Somewhat responsible
Nothing. Let me explain: I took a class with Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, one semester before the shooting. The class was called Contemporary Horror. It was a one-time elective offered by my favorite professor; we read horror novels and watched horror films and discussed the craft of creating scary stories but also how they reflected or represented their era’s fears. It was a great class. There were only about 15 students and it was discussion heavy. Cho was one of them. I honestly never noticed him, even in that small class, until half way into the semester. He wasn’t quiet; he was silent. So on the day we all finally noticed him, our professor asked him something directly. And Cho just stared at him.
I can’t remember the question, but the nature of it meant silence was potentially an acceptable and funny response. So we all laughed. Except Cho. He just kept staring at our professor. Our laughter awkwardly died, and after a few moments of uncomfortable silence, our professor just said, “Oookay,” and moved on. It was so strange. But I forgot about that weird moment until after his rampage. That professor later told me that Cho’s papers had been disturbing, but the nature of our course meant the envelope was being pushed a bit, and it had never been bad enough to suggest he’d do what he did. That professor was a good man, and he admitted he struggled with not blaming himself on some level for 1) not identifying how severe Cho’s mental health problems were and 2) for the graphic and terrible nature of some of what we watched in that class which may have inspired Cho. He knew that was wrong, but a part of him couldn’t help but feel some blame. It was terribly sad.
18. I’d have loved to hear the rest
He is dead quiet, always staring down. He had to do a physics presentation about friction in front of the class. First thing he says goes along the lines of this. “Friction is the grinding of two things together, kind of like being up in the club.”
19. Silent hero
There was this one quiet girl in my class. And she would never say anything (this was around 3rd or 4th grade) but I would always try and get her to talk. I would be nice, like when she had no paper in her binder I’d take notice and give her some before she can ask. When she was searching for a pencil in her bag I gave her an extra one I had. It was like small little acts. Picking up her pencil when she dropped it etc. Then at lunch this kid was picking on me (I was short, weak, and very emotional back then) she came out of nowhere and told the guy “I’ll give you three seconds to walk away.” I was stunned because those were the first words I’ve ever heard her say. The guy slapped me, and she did a straight kick to his balls after that. I was honored. And shocked she ever said anything. She never said anything after that but I did say thanks.
20. People tend to feel threatened by things they don’t know
One thing I always say, as a quiet guy, is whenever people are talking about me within earshot they usually say something like, “That guy, he just never talks.” Then I say, “No, but I hear everything.” They all just kind of laugh awkwardly, and slither away. I think it’s weird how my lack of conversation is such a huge conversation starter.
21. But you speak with such wisdom
I’m the quiet kid. One day, before my economics class started, this guy turned around in his desk and asked me what I thought he’d be when he grew up. He never took anything seriously, and joked around a lot, so I answered, “Definitely a porn star.” The girl next to me started laughing really hard, and even when class started, she didn’t stop. The teacher walked over to her and asked her what she was laughing about. When she finally calmed down enough to answer, she said, “John said that Daniel’s gonna be a porn star.” And the WHOLE class heard it. Everybody, including my teacher, was staring at me, with shocked looks on their faces. I turned bright red and couldn’t find any valid excuse for what I’d said. And that’s why I never talk.
22. Speaking the truth
When I was in football in high school, the varsity team (all the juniors and seniors) went to a “boot camp”, wherein we all camped out on the property of a cabin owned by one of the coaches. We got divided into teams, and there was a running competition for the duration of the camp; we would have various events or activities where we would compete for points. Most of them were things where we would have physical competition, such as races or tug of war, etc. One day, the coaches decided to do something a little different and we all were tasked with having our teams perform some kind of skit with the coaches as judges.
My team really had no idea what to do, but someone came up with the idea of having a guy, let’s call him Mike, give a speech. Mike was one of the most soft spoken guys I had ever met. I had played football with the guy for years, and he averaged about a sentence per week. We figured this would be brilliant because no one would see this coming. When we suggested it, he just grinned and said “ok, let’s do it.” So, we went up to the “stage”, and the rest of the team and me introduced Mike as a real stand up guy who was just awesome, and Mike came on stage and proceeded to rip on us as lousy teammates who were incompetent and annoying. Everyone was so shocked at this that they laughed until they cried, and we ended up winning first in that event.
23. That’s what she said
I didn’t really know anyone and I was really shy. I had just gotten an iPhone as a birthday gift and had downloaded a “thats what she said button” app (it was 8th grade, it was still funny back then). I had hidden the phone in my pocket with the app running to try to get the kid next to me to say something that could be taken as a double entendre to use the app button.
The school was extremely strict with phone use in class, so when I heard the teacher come in through the door, I tried to press the power button to shut the phone off while it was still in my pocket. The teacher noticed that I was fumbling with the phone, so he yelled “HEY, what’s in your pocket?” I nearly jumped from fear and accidentally hit the button with the phone on max volume. “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.” He realized it was my phone, so he followed it up with “GIVE IT TO ME.” I also had my house keys in my pocket and the keys weren’t letting me get the phone out or find the power button.
I accidentally hit the button again. “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.” By now everyone in the class is about to pass out from laughter and I was extremely embarrassed. I finally took the phone out of my pocket and handed it to my teacher. Luckily once the initial anger passed he said it was actually kind of funny and let me off with a warning. I was able to make some friends as a result too.
24. Those are the moments I wish were recorded
I will never forget this as long as I live – it was like perfect cinema in real life. This quiet, weird girl in 10th or 11th grade, always wore this giant coat and looked messy. She was a bigger girl, and had a sister who was super pretty and skinny and popular. (As I type this out I realize it sounds fake or like a move!) Anyway this big, awkward, quiet, friendless girl shows up at a talent show at the school. People weren’t being obviously mean, but there was definitely an air of WTF when she came out on stage in her big messy coat and disheveled clothes. She sat at the piano and started to play, and sing, and just, my god… It was surreal. She sang this haunting bluesy song no one had ever heard before and the auditorium just went dead silent. I distinctly remember tearing up and I’m tearing up now 20 years later just remembering it. Who the hell knew…
25. How long is it, exactly?
In class he asked the woman teacher if he could go to the toilet. She sternly replied, “You’ve got two minutes, Richard” and Richard says, “Two minutes? It takes me that long to unravel it”. Teacher goes red and everyone loses it.
26. Sang it!
This one girl in my 7th grade English class was the “Quiet One.” We had a school talent show in January and she sang Total Eclipse of The Heart. Blew us all away. That girl can sang.
27. Okay then…
“My butthole is this big” while making a circle with her fingers.
28. Bad idea
“I’m only 20% done with the project because I’ve spent the last two class periods watching NBA highlights.” The quiet basketball player in my Spanish class admitted this to the teacher. Wrong move.
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