Do you ever stop after seeing a weirdly specific warning posted somewhere and think, what the ever-loving frick happened to make someone put that up? You’re definitely not alone. We guarantee that. There’s an entire Facebook group dedicated to these weird warnings and bizarre disclaimers that are beyond hilarious, but were probably the result of some very unpleasant situations involving lawyers, courts, and settlements. Perhaps. Maybe. It’s all super mysterious and very hush-hush, really.
‘Warnings and disclaimers that were clearly the result of a lawsuit’ is a fantastic group that documents various signs with strange warnings that are there for very specific reasons. Scroll down for some of their best posts, Pandas, and upvote your fave ones. Though keep in mind that while many of these warnings might sound silly to most of us, they still serve to protect some people.
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The founder and administrator of the Facebook group was kind enough to answer Bored Panda’s questions about its origins, the content they share, and the challenges of running a community of this size. “The group was initially set up as a fun way for me and a few family and friends to share funny warnings that we had come across,” she told us. “I have two young children, and some of the warnings on children’s toys are so puzzling, you assume they could only be explained as being the result of a lawsuit.” Be sure to read on for our full interview with the admin.
Warning: you might laugh way too hard at some of these pics. Be sure to share ‘em with your colleagues and classmates to let them know it’s time to take a break. And if you enjoyed the content, send the group a request to join—just be sure to follow the rules!
Currently, the private Facebook group has 52.7k members. Created back in August of 2020, the community recently celebrated its second birthday.
In that time, ‘Warnings and disclaimers that were clearly the result of a lawsuit’ has created a truly impressive digital archive of some of the funniest warnings to ever grace the real world.
According to the founder and administrator of ‘Warnings and disclaimers that were clearly the result of a lawsuit,’ the idea to create the group first came about after seeing two warnings that she came across.
“The first was a warning on a toddler-sized sit-on car that said ‘Not to be used in traffic’ and the second was a children’s ball pit that came with the perplexing warning ‘Do not use for shelter in a thunderstorm!’ From then on, I just started spotting warnings everywhere! I started sharing the tag group in public spaces on Facebook, and it slowly snowballed from there.”
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The administrator shared some of her insights with Bored Panda about the continuing success of the group. “I think the content resonates with a large number of people because we have all come across these kinds of warnings in our everyday lives,” she said.
“I think also, there is so much misinformation out there that some warnings, while appearing utterly bizarre to most of us, serve an important purpose for a minority of individuals who may be susceptible to hoaxes and conspiracies,” she noted that these disclaimers are actually useful for some people.
“For example, many of the various ‘home remedies’ for covid were ineffective at best, outright dangerous at worst, and so there was an interesting slew of government-issued warnings through the epidemic.”
As for the future of the Facebook group itself, the admin hopes to keep it growing. “The Facebook algorithm recently started bringing thousands of new people to us, so I don’t have to promote the group at all anymore. It’s become self-sustaining! I might need to take on some new admin though to help me cope!”
The founder of the group said that being the sole administrator of such a big group is a challenge. In real life, she works a very challenging job with long hours, and she cannot be ‘on call’ at all times. “The group has to wait for lunch breaks and weekends!” she quipped.
“Also, as with most large groups, the biggest issue are trolls and spammers. We don’t get too many trolls, but the members are usually very quick at bringing them to my attention. I have a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. so have no problem with booting people who threaten to make the group toxic,” the founder told Bored Panda.
“The huge new influx of members has meant that there are more spammers, but I have a system of keyword alerts which flags them up instantly and I can ban them quickly. However, spammers and trolls are issues that all large Facebook groups have to contend with.”
The administrator revealed to us what the biggest issue specific to ‘Warnings and disclaimers that were clearly the result of a lawsuit’ is. It’s people posting in reference to a famous lawsuit.
“Most people have probably heard about the woman who sued McDonald’s after she burned herself on hot coffee, leading to the warning on all cups, ‘Warning, contents may be hot,’ and people often like to make jokes at the expense of the victim. It’s often held up as the epitome of a frivolous lawsuit. However, when you actually read the case details, it’s shocking how criminally negligent McDonald’s were in that case, and how justified the victim’s lawsuit actually was,” the admin explained.
“Therefore, one rule in our group is that you do not make jokes at the expense of the victim in the McDonald’s lawsuit. There is a pinned post that explains the reasoning, and actually, loads of people have commented that they had no idea of the true story before they joined our group. I like to think I’m helping in some small way to undo the very effective slander campaign that McDonald’s waged against an innocent woman.”
If you plan on being a member of the group, you’ve got to adhere to the community’s rules. Respect for others is a key part of that. “Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required,” the Facebook group’s team writes.
“Make sure that everyone feels safe. Bullying of any kind isn’t allowed, and degrading comments about things such as race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity will not be tolerated.”
The team also asks its members to “give more to this group than you take.” In other words, don’t do any self-promotion and avoid spamming the page. “Being part of this group requires mutual trust. Authentic, expressive discussions make groups great, but may also be sensitive and private. What’s shared in the group should stay in the group.”
“That ferret looked ready to make an unprovoked attack at any moment”
There’s got to be a couple of very interesting and painful stories behind the window with the sign that says ‘NOT A DOOR,’ as well as the warning not to stick your fingers in the fish and turtle tank. Some stores and companies really don’t put in enough effort when it comes to safety: some people actually do end up getting hurt, which leads to warnings and disclaimers to protect folks in the future.
And while some signs are indications that something very serious happened, others are there due to temporary lapses of common sense.
Common sense isn’t as common as you might think. People do dumb things due to literally dozens of reasons. Some don’t know any better; others are having a bad day; and a small number of individuals are absolutely malicious and love spreading mischief and chaos everywhere.
That’s not to say that anyone’s actually immune to embarrassing mistakes that can later lead to warning signs. We’ve all had our moments! Even highly educated individuals have messed up in silly ways, as we’ve covered on Bored Panda right over here.
It’s how we deal with this sense of embarrassment in incredibly awkward situations that says a lot about our character. Having a good sense of humor can be incredibly helpful if you ever find yourself in a tough spot.
Professor Suzanne Degges-White, from Northern Illinois University, told Bored Panda during an earlier interview that both a sense of humor and flexibility are key traits for “successful adulthood and being able to laugh at our missteps allows us to go easy on ourselves when we do something potentially embarrassing.”
“No one likes to ‘lose face,’ and that is engrained to varying degrees across cultures. Unfortunately, our brains may be especially prone to catastrophizing events and so we might make something more out of something no one else really noticed and no one else will recall later on,” the licensed counselor said.
“Peace was never an option”
“For decades, magazines have been publishing those ‘Boy! Was my Face Red!’ type of columns where people shared their embarrassing moments. When we are able to ‘get it off our chest,’ we actually feel better about the event,” she said that opening up about our embarrassment and mistakes, rather than shying away from them, is the mature way to react.
“That’s a healthy response to an embarrassing moment. When our personalities are wired to feel that we must be ‘perfect’ in all that we do, we internalize negative feelings about the mistake we made and mistakenly assume that everyone else is judging us due to that one moment,” the expert said.
“Fortunately, our brains are designed to protect us from pain and many of us may suffer horrible humiliation at some point in our lives, but we can benefit from a brain that allows us to ‘selectively forget’ the incident or else we’re able to rationalize it by reminding ourselves that ‘everyone makes mistakes,’ ‘it was just one time and no one will remember it,’ or similar healthy responses.”
If you do end up making a massive mistake, acknowledge it, embrace it, view it as a learning experience. “Then remind ourselves that everyone makes mistakes—that’s totally normal behavior! Then figure out a way to laugh at yourself before allowing someone else to laugh at you first. When you laugh at yourself, others laugh WITH you, not AT you,” the professor told us.
“I think the story behind this is very clear”
“Found this today at the local laundry mat…just.. Why”
“We don’t use it but it’s not bad for you anyway. Allegedly”
“Found in the wild at a petting zoo I visited. I wonder what happens to the people who try”