10 Facepalm Stories Where Someone Met A Celebrity But Had Absolutely No Idea Who They Were

Jennifer Aniston
Image Credit: Tinseltown /

Have you ever met someone in passing and could not help but think you recognized them from somewhere, only to discover later that they were celebrities? After someone polled an online forum, here are the best instances of this phenomenon.

1 – Lloyd Bridges

Los Angeles - circa 1991: Lloyd Bridges
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One person tells a story of when they were working as a ski lift operator in Bear Valley, California. They met a man who was always very nice to them in a fatherly way. They discussed her life and career goals, and she couldn’t help but think he looked familiar.

When he discovered that her father had passed away in a scuba diving accident, he hugged her, as he was familiar with the sport. However, it wasn’t until that summer when she saw his son that she realized who he was. Beau Bridges was a face she knew, meaning she had been connecting with Lloyd Bridges all that time.

2 – Hugh Jackman

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

During the Glastonbury festival, a man was staying at the same campsite as Hugh Jackman. The two talked leisurely over breakfast. They had no idea who the man was, even after he told them he was an actor. Being near the London theatre district, he asked if he might have seen him in any productions.

Hugh explained that while he loves the theater, he works primarily in film. Even after saying he had just finished filming Wolverine, the man had no clue who he was speaking with. As more and more people came up to talk to Hugh, he finally figured it out. Later that night, Hugh bought him a beer at the bar, and the two chatted over their mutual love of David Bowie. Very cool. 

3 – Denzel Washington

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 10: Denzel Washington attends the premiere of 'The Magnificent Seven' during the 73rd Venice Film Festival on September 10, 2016 in Venice, Italy.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A woman was working as a flight attendant on a 767 flight into LAX when she saw a man in first class looking around on the floor near the lavatory. He was dressed down in a sweatshirt and sweatpants, with thick glasses on.

She asked if he was looking for something, and he replied that he had dropped his contact lens. So they eventually gave up looking, and it wasn’t until she looked over the manifest after the flight that she realized it was Denzel Washington.

4 – Adam Clayton

Washington, DC US - Dec 3, 2022: Kennedy Center Honors Artists Group - Adam Clayton of the Irish group U2. Credit: Ron Sachs - CNP
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Another forum member worked in a music shop in Dublin in the 1980s. When a man came in and started checking out a bass guitar, he struck up a conversation with him—casually asking him things like if he was in a band and if he was keeping himself busy. The man eventually told him that he had about twenty bass guitars. Since this seemed like a lot, the employee asked what band he was in. The answer? U2. It was Adam Clayton.

5 – Jennifer Aniston

LOS ANGELES - JUN 7: Jennifer Aniston at the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award to George Clooney at the Dolby Theater on June 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Another response details the time they met Jennifer Aniston. They were picking up their nephew at Ivy’s restaurant in Los Angeles. However, the car in front of them had spilled over the line a little bit, making it hard to fit in the spot. They politely knocked on the window and asked the woman to move forward, which she did without question, giving them the room they needed. It was her nephew that recognized the woman as Jennifer Aniston.

6 – Spalding Gray

Spalding Gray
Image Credit: Washington Square Films.

A woman working at the local Grand Union supermarket in the early 1990s knew she had seen the man checking out in her line before but could not place him at all. It wasn’t until he handed her his credit card to pay that she realized he was actor and writer Spalding Gray. He saw the recognition dawn on her and gave her a warm smile, but neither said anything.

7 – Jimmy Carter

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 10: President Jimmy Carter speaks onstage at Emory University November 10, 2008 in Atlanta, Ga.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In 2005, a woman was flying with her husband and new baby from Madrid to Atlanta. Because of the baby, they were allowed to board first. As she was getting situated, a man stopped and said hello, and went to shake her hand.

He asked what her baby’s name was, and while she thought he was a sketchy baby thief, she was still polite to him. It wasn’t until he left that her husband clued her in that the man was Jimmy Carter, just being courteous to those he passed on board the plane.

8 – Matt Damon

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 08: Actor Matt Damon attends 'Promised Land' Premiere during the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival at Berlinale Palast on February 8, 2013 in Berlin, Germany
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A man and his wife were in New York City and went to a Shake Shack for lunch. The place was bustling, with wall-to-wall people. They grabbed a table once they had their food, and then a man around his age grabbed the table behind them with his family. He instantly recognized this guy but could not place him. So he asked his wife if he knew him from high school, and she replied, “That’s Matt Damon!”

9 – Ron Howard

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 15, 2018: Ron Howard attend 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Photocall during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One day a man was enjoying a beer and music with his wife at Luxembourg Palace and Gardens in Paris. She sees a man in a baseball cap and tells him it is Ron Howard. The man does not believe her one bit and calls it hogwash.

So he goes up to the man and asks him, hoping to prove his wife wrong. However, the man responds that yes, he is Ron Howard. He was very nice, though, and the two men had a nice, short conversation and even snapped a picture together.

10 – David Bowie

Iman and David Bowie at the Film Society of Lincoln Center honors for Susan Sarandon, NY 5/5/2003
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

When he was 14 years old, a boy was visiting his Uncle living in Bequia, an island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. They sailed to another island for the day and explored. He accidentally walked right into a man — or perhaps the man walked into him.

They both apologized to each other, and the very nice man then asked him his name and where he was from. He introduced him to his wife. That is when the boy suddenly realized that everyone around them was looking at them weirdly. His Uncle then revealed that he was speaking with David Bowie, which didn’t mean a thing to him.

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Written by Jake Valentine

I am the Editor-In-Chief of BossLevelGamer. I'm also a lover of video games, food, and beer.

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