Plans That Didn't Go As Expected

Lots of plans don't go as expected. Here are some hilarious plans that didn't go as expected.


Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and it’s simply a part of life. But some plans veer so far from their initial aims that the outcomes become absolutely hilarious. From military mishaps to disastrous street parades, let's explore some recent and historic plans that really didn’t go as expected.

Famous Faces

It is no easy task to capture someone’s likeness in a painting or sculpture. But that hasn’t stopped several artists from attempting to pay tribute to celebrities by creating some questionable statues of them. While trying to immortalize someone with a statue is usually an honor, the statue below of Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo was more of an insult.


Cristiano Ronaldo’s statue was unveiled in 2017 when Portugal renamed the Madeira International Airport to the Madeira International Airport Cristiano Ronaldo, after its famous export. But the attention the statue garnered was not the kind sculptor Emanuel Santos had hoped for.

The internet went wild with widespread criticism and mocking of the wonky-faced, creepily-grimacing statue. Santos later created a new version of the sculpture, but his first would never be forgotten.

Still, Ronaldo’s statue seemed like a magnum opus compared to the next intriguing piece, supposedly depicting US first lady Melania Trump. The artist, Ales Zepevc, is a pipe layer by day, and an amateur chainsaw sculptor by night. It's safe to say that he’s no Michelangelo.

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Barney’s Thanksgiving Rampage

Barney the Dinosaur is all about family, so it’s easy to see why he would be used in the 1997 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But this otherwise cuddly dinosaur turned into a terrifying nightmare when the 60-ft, helium-filled balloon became swept up in strong winds.

Chaos ensued, as did screams from startled onlookers, as it became apparent that Barney’s handlers were struggling to keep him under control. After tense moments of threatening to crush onlookers and lift his handlers off into the Manhattan skyline, Barney was pierced by a lamppost.

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He sadly succumbed to his injuries and spent the rest of the parade safely tucked under a sufficiently-weighty policeman. R.I.P. But more serious problems occurred elsewhere in the parade, when a six-story-tall Cat in the Hat struck a lamppost, knocking part of it directly into the crowd. Two women suffered head injuries and filed lawsuits against Macy’s.

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Effortless Comeback

In 2014, Apple faced a backlash when countless consumers claimed that the iPhone 6 Plus was bent inside their pockets. Inevitably, Apple’s competitors used the opportunity to mock Apple and promote their own smartphones.

LG France, however, made a serious faux-pas when they posted their mocking tweet from an iPhone, totally undermining their point, and reverting all mockery back at themselves. Mon Dieu.

© LG_France via Twitter

Flash Mob Fail

When you hear the term “flash mob”, you think of a fun, dancing group of people who come together for humor or as a social statement. However, due to the nature of a flash mob, there’s always a chance for things to go awry.

When a flash mob formed in Platjad’Aro, Spain, they were merely pretending to be paparazzi chasing a ‘celebrity’, who was in fact nothing more than another member of what was hoped to be a humorous experiment.


Unfortunately, people mistook the mob’s tripods and selfie sticks for weapons, and they fled in sheer terror. Eleven people were injured in the ensuing stampede. Five of the German pranksters behind the disastrous flash mob were charged with public order offenses, and – presumably – they no longer saw the funny side.

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Hatters Gonna Hat

Public chaos is not a purely modern invention; equally-disastrous mayhem ensued when an 18th-century Englishman sported a bold new hat in public for the first time. Being fashionable requires some risk-taking, but haberdasher John Hetherington’s fashion statement became a fashion riot in January 1797.

All because he appeared on the public highway wearing an elegant, silky top hat; the first of its kind. According to countless reports from the time, several women fainted, unable to cope with the radical outfit, while children screamed and dogs yelped.

The screaming crowd even trampled a young boy, whose right arm was broken. John was charged with breaching the peace and inciting a riot. He was required to give ₤500 in bonds.


Shocked by his contemporaries’ extreme fear of change, Hetherington asserted he was not violating any law and was simply exercising his right to wear a headdress of his own design. A design which would, ironically, become extremely popular. I tip my hat to you, John Hetherington.


The Sweetest Proposal

Everyone wants their proposal to be memorable, but this hope doesn’t usually involve a trip to the Emergency Room. When Reed Harris decided to propose to his girlfriend Kaitlin Whipple in 2009, he thought it would be a fun idea to hide the engagement ring in her milkshake.


Unfortunately, one of their friends proposed that they race to finish the milkshake. To Reed’s horror, competitive Kaitlin immediately popped off the lid and scoffed down her milkshake, swallowing the ring. When they got to the ER, the x-ray confirmed that the ring was indeed in her stomach.

Reed later proposed to Kaitlin using the x-ray image of the ring, and she accepted. Two days later, after a journey it would never forget, the ring reappeared. Let’s hope Kaitlin washed it before putting it on.


Fyre Festival Disaster

It was supposed to be the dream weekend, filled with good music, private planes, wellness activities, villas and free-flowing booze on a private island once owned by Pablo Escobar in the Bahamas.

All the attention was supposed to promote the Fyre mobile app for booking music talent. Instead, when guests arrived at the hyped-up Fyre festival, disappointment was the only thing awaiting them as it was a shambles and instantly canceled.

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The festival wasn’t on its own private island, but on a much less glamorous corner of a much larger one. “Exclusive villas” turned out to be disaster relief tents and the promised meals by a ‘celebrity chef’ were sad cheese sandwiches.

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Tickets started at $1500, which included the flight from Miami, festival tickets, meals and accommodation. Patrons said the scene resembled The Hunger Games, with people fighting for tents and mattresses and looking for lost luggage.

This notorious example of misleading fraud ensnared countless influencers, whose desperate search for the perfect Instagram post was exploited and foiled. The festival's main organizer, Billy McFarland, went from driving fancy cars paid with investor money, to being sentenced to 6 years in federal prison for his role in the fraud.

The disappointment fell on the unfortunate workers stuck there who never got paid, and those who’d forked over a small fortune for the experience.

To Infinity… And The Pond!

Live TV often seems so exciting because you never really know what might happen. But when the producers of a Fox 5 News morning broadcast had the great idea of starting their show off with a man in a water jetpack at the San Diego Yacht and Boat Show in 2011, they were probably not expecting this:

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Men In Uniform

Located between Switzerland and Austria, the country of Liechtenstein is one of the world’s smallest nations. It is one of only 15 countries without an official military but it did have armed forces in the past.

In 1866, during the Austro-Prussian War, the country sent forward an army of 80 men. Upon their return, they were pleasantly surprised to be able to boast of losing no battles and suffering no casualties.


This was in fact a result of avoiding all fighting, but who’s to judge their strategy? Their record was so impressive, that they not only returned with all 80 men but they had gained an extra troop. They met an Italian along the journey who was so impressed with their self-proclaimed success and military disciple, that he decided to join their ranks.


A Wasted Opportunity

During the US Civil War, during the Battle of Antietam, Union General George B. McClellan was able to lay his hands on the battle plans of his nemesis, Confederate General Robert E. Lee.


To the Union supporters who knew about the discovery, victory seemed inevitable. But despite the seemingly clear-cut route to success afforded by such a lucky break, McClellan was overly cautious and overestimated General Lee’s number of troops.

He also responded too slowly to the information and took 18 hours to set his army in motion. In all the delay, Lee got wind of the approaching Union army and sent troops to plug the gaps. This allowed him some time to gather his scattered units and re-evaluate his plans.

McClellan’s army, which could have totally destroyed their enemy’s forces, faced significant casualties. They were also unable to pursue the Confederates as they retreated. Understandably, Abraham Lincoln removed McClellan from his command following the incident.


Hamburglar's Bad Day

If you’re trying to avoid the police, you probably shouldn’t dress like an escaped convict. One man was seen trying to hitch a ride with motorists in the least subtle outfit, but whether he’d emerged from a jail-bird costume party in the woods behind him is unclear.

Unsurprisingly, his outfit attracted the attention of some police officers, like moths to a lightbulb.


The perplexed policemen searched the suspicious hitchhiker’s bags and found a significant amount of drug paraphernalia and other suspicious items. He was handcuffed and put in the back of the patrol car. Even if he hadn’t been there in the first place, he got a free ride back to the slammer and he’d certainly fit right in.

From Russia with Love

Christopher Columbus may have journeyed the world to discover new lands, but his statue’s global adventure was notably less successful. In the early 90s, Russia decided to gift the US a 600-ton, 350-ft tall statue of Christopher Columbus to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of the New World in 1492.


But it seems that the recipient thought the gift was a bit much. It was, after all, very Russian, with a distinctly industrial look that some have called ‘horrifically ugly’, but it could also be described as ‘proletariat chic’.

In 1993, the city of Columbus, Ohio turned down the gift, with some dubbing it “Chris Kong”. Baltimore, New York, Fort Lauderdale and Miami all followed suit when Russia tried to tempt them with the statue’s gun-metal charm.

The statue that stood twice the height of the Statue of Liberty finally found a home in Puerto Rico in 2016, but ol’ Chris must’ve felt a little unloved. Maybe his designer, Zurab Tsereteli, can gather another construction crew to build him an XXL girlfriend.

Memorial Irony

The story of the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Center in Melbourne, Australia is one of the all-time greatest examples of “what were they thinking?”.


The Center was built in the 1960s by Australian architects Kevin Borland and Daryl Jackson. It was set to be named the City of Malvern Olympic Swimming Center but the name was changed after Prime Minister Harold Holt died suddenly in December 1967.

A nice gesture, undeniably. But the facepalm-worthy, critical piece of irony that the re-design missed was that the prime minister had died by drowning. Perhaps associating his name with the implication of needing to learn to swim wasn’t the most thoughtful commemoration.


Although, maybe if they put a sign up that said ‘warning – learn to swim or end up like him’ it might encourage people to join up out of pure fear. It seems like pretty intense marketing, however.

I hope you were amazed at these plans that didn't go as expected. Thanks for reading!

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