Who doesn't love a good karma story? There's something that feels good seeing someone who did you wrong experiencing some of their own misfortune. After all, what goes around comes around.
These Redditors shared the most satisfying cases of instant karma they've ever seen. As always, content has been edited for clarity.
"In 1988 when I was 8 and my brother was 10, we were flying from Florida to Arizona for the holidays by ourselves. Because we were kids flying solo, we were sat first on the plane.
My brother and I were seated in the middle and window seats. A man in his 70s or so came down the aisle and sat down in the aisle seat on our row. He hemmed and hawed for a moment and started aggressively pushing the stewardess call button. The stewardess came over and he proceeded to go into a rant about how he paid good money for his seat and didn't want to sit next to children.
The stewardess asked him if we had bothered him and he said no. She tried to accommodate him by finding him another seat. He flat out refused to move because again, he paid good money for this seat! The stewardess said, 'No problem, sir.'
It was a packed plane (holidays) so she said, 'Guess what kids! You're moving to first class!'
The old guy started saying 'Well, I'll move to first class, that's not a problem.'
The stewardess promptly said, 'No no no sir, you paid good money for this seat. You can stay right here.'
We moved to first class and it was tubular."
"I worked at a convenience store several years ago. This was back before gas pumps were all either card at the pump or prepay. It was about 7:00 am and the morning rush was on. A suspicious fella pulled up to our farthest away pump and positioned his car so that it was not easily visible from the building. This is a dead giveaway for someone who is going to drive off without paying.
My manager and I watched this guy as we were ringing up other customers and sure enough, when he filled up, he got in the car and peeled out making a run for the road. He left our lot via a small access road that ends at a traffic intersection. Red light. He stopped for the light, then decided he needed to get out of dodge and booked it again through the red light. When he did that, he broke his drive shaft. His car coasted to a stop right in the middle of the intersection.
But wait....there's more...
The guy walked back INTO THE STORE and asked if he could use our phone because his car broke down! My manager said, 'Sure, after you pay for the gas you just stole.'
The guy got all indignant and said, 'I didn't steal no freaking gas!'
He started getting more and more agitated and confrontational. Just then, two police officers walked in. Now these were two lady cops, both in their late 50s or early 60s that were usually stationed at the local high schools but always stopped in for a coffee and a pastry. These ladies were the nicest people you'd ever meet, always with smiles on their faces. As soon as they turned the corner after entering, they saw the guy getting into it with my manager. Their demeanor changed in an instant, going from kindly grandmother to I'M GOING TO KICK YOUR TEETH IN in microseconds. They manhandle this guy away from my manager, push him up against the wall, cuff him and stuff him.
You know how you always think to yourself 'Why is there never a cop around when you need one?' This time there was."
"I was working as a medic a long time ago and get called for a leg injury at a Friday night soccer game.
We got there and determine it was most likely a torn ACL. That type of injury is painful but basically any hospital can handle and it's not really a priority. So we explained to the patient it would probably be faster and a lot cheaper if she just wanted to have someone else drive her to the hospital that was literally around the block.
Here comes this story's white knight; this guy oozed friend zone. He explained how he was a medical student going for his doctorate and she needed to go to the local trauma center, which was a good 30-minute drive. We explained no, we would go to the local, they could handle it. However, the patient pulled the nastiest look at us and said her friend knew more than my partner and me because he was actually studying medicine and we were just ambulance drivers.
My partner and I gave each other that look. An ACL tear isn't priority for trauma center, especially on a Friday night. A car crashed and the injured passengers were going to be taking up the ER there. We obliged the the request with documented protest.
The friend rode with us, but we made him ride up front. He explained how the surgeon there was his friend and she would get seen right away. We rolled in and sure enough there were about a dozen ambulance crews trying to unload patients in much worse cases than ours.
We got to triage after about 15 minutes and the RSN told us to put her in the waiting room. She started crying bloody murder. Cherry on top: she asked her friend to do something, he called his 'buddy' surgeon down. Turns out it's not his buddy, but one of his teachers who proceeded to yell at him about thinking that an ACL tear needed to come to a trauma center.
She could have been in and out the hospital in an hour if she had listened to us."
"First day of school, starting first grade, and I was wearing my uniform for the first time. Everything fitted me, except my shoes that were bigger than they should. My mom was going to change them later that day, but I had to survive my first day without any incident. All was good until break, when I decided it would be an excellent idea to play soccer for a while.
Of course it happened. My shoe flew all the way across the yard and fell hard on somebody's head. I was mortified, but luckily nobody else seemed to be paying much attention to it...until a kid pointed at me and started laughing as loud as he could and started screaming for everybody to see what had happened. Now people were staring and I was about to start crying.
But not even five seconds went by when another kid rant straight into the laughing kid, making him fall to the floor... on top of his really dark chocolate milk. He was a mess, covered from head to toe in milk. And since people were already looking in his direction, everybody laughed at him. Nobody noticed me picking my shoe and then running to the bathroom.
Maybe it was karma, maybe it was a weird accident. I don't know, but everybody remembered 'milk boy' that year."
"I was driving on the freeway one day and needed to get over. I checked to make sure it was clear, signaled and changed lanes. I didn't realize there was an Escalade coming up behind at over 100 mph in that lane. He was going so fast that the lane looked clear when I checked just one second before.
The Escalade decided to teach me a lesson by acting like it wasn't going to stop and plow into me. There were now cars on both sides of me, so I couldn't swerve out of the way. So the Escalade screamed up until the last possible second and then hit the brakes hard so he matched my speed about a foot away from my bumper. While this was happening, I was freaking out and wobbling the car because I thought I was going to get creamed.
The cop that was one lane over and two cars back immediately flipped on his lights and pulled them over. That was quite a roller coaster ride of emotions for me."
"During my lunch break at work a few years ago, I ran over to this convenience store that sold a few deli items and also had a lunch of the day special. That day it was spaghetti.
I walked into the store and headed to the back to the coolers to grab a drink and I started walking over to the line that was formed to grab a lunch. This older woman, who was talking to a woman not even close to the line, saw me walking and literally strong armed me to get in front of me. She full on shoulder checked me. The cashier saw it, looked at me and I just shook my head as if to not call her out on it.
She got two orders of spaghetti in styrofoam compartment trays. She walked towards the door and someone came in that she knew so she was saying hi. I paid for my food and walked out the door.
As I was walking to my truck, I heard a loud 'OOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFFF.'
I turned around and this woman was planked on the ground with spaghetti and meat sauce all over her white shirt."
"A few years back, I was traveling on the interstate to meet some friends who attended a different college than I did for a weekend.
On the way there, I was in the right hand lane, minding my own business, when a car tried to cut me off. No big deal right? Except she ended up clipping my bumper and running me off the road, with her driving speeds of about 80-85 MPH. The other driver kept on going along her merry way, while I was on the shoulder attempting to contact the local police to report an accident.
Five minutes later, a state trooper pulled up behind me and asked what happened. I explained the situation, described the other vehicle, including a partial license plate number, and he asked if my car was still drivable. After confirming that it was, he said, 'Just follow me up to this next exit; I got a call about a driver who is out of gas and needs assistance.'
We pulled up to the next exit just shy of a gas station. Sure enough, it was the girl who was the other party in my hit and run. She tried to deny everything, until the trooper looked at my front bumper damage and her back end damage. He assessed the paint colors and they matched. Bonus is that her plate had the partial information I had gathered as she sped away.
Turns out, this girl has no insurance and no drivers license. She got hauled off to jail on a hit-and-run, all because she couldn't slow down and be a decent driver."
"I'm from Denmark and I used to ride the bus 50 minutes everyday to get to and from work. One day, two people got on the bus a few stops after me - a rather large woman and a smaller man, both of them Greenlanders. I'm not sure what their relationship was - they may have been mother and son, may have been a couple or something else.
As mentioned, the woman is rather large so she can't quite fit in the regular seats, so instead, she sat in the middle portion of the bus where there were a few seats that were usually reserved for people with disabilities.
After a few minutes of driving, she just kind of started shouting? Not sure why or what and the man with her doesn't really do anything about it. I just turned the volume of my music up a bit and ignore it.
As we got closer to the city and more people entered the bus, she started bothering a lot of the people close to her, even going as far as to shouting at a girl who was exiting the bus (again, not sure exactly what she was shouting). Finally, this older lady walked up to her and asked her firmly - but politely - to please keep her voice down. Upon hearing this, she just kind of flipped out and screamed something along the lines of: 'IS IT JUST BECAUSE I'M FROM GREENLAND? YOU RACIST!' So the older lady just kind of backs off. At this point, no one really wants to do anything about the shouting woman in the bus, and the mood is a bit tense in the bus.
A few more minutes pass as people enter and exit the bus, shouting lady still doing her thing, but then a ticket inspector enters the bus. He goes down the aisle between the seats and check the tickets and when he gets to her it turns out that she has no ticket. She and the man with her are then asked to leave the bus with the ticket inspector and surely had to pay a fine for that.
Of course, I have no idea what was going on and why she was shouting, but she was bothering so many people that it was so satisfying to watch her at least having to pay a fine for not purchasing a ticket."
"This is two fold.
The company I work for requires you to pass a series of tests to be considered for employment.
The first test is general knowledge (idiot test) just to weed out people who aren't that bright. I took my tests with 30 other people that day and 20 of them failed this test, leaving just 10 candidates.
The second test was general knowledge part two (the revenge of the idiot test) and a further seven people failed that test leaving just three people left.
The tests take a total of eight hours with breaks in between. We were not allowed to leave the building during testing. If we had to leave, then we would have to reschedule the tests for another day. I think this is because of fear of someone stealing a test booklet and finding the answers and different versions of the test at given on different days. Two other guys and I were stuck there together for the rest of the day so we got to talking in between tests.
One guy was older...maybe in his mid-50s, early-60s and was bragging about how easy the tests were and couldn't believe 27 people failed. The other dude was my age at the time and was pretty young for the job we were applying for. He was nervous and seemed happy he made it through the first two tests.
As I studied for the tests, there was one that I wasn't sure about. I knew I would have a hard time with that one and when they put out the docket for tests I saw the hard one would be the last one on the list. My plan was to pass four of the tests and reschedule the fifth to give me more time to study.
All three of us passed the third test and I had to listen to the old man gloat about how easy it was when the young guy and I lamented it was harder than we thought. The young guy said he knew all the math parts, but the theory and hardware parts would be the most difficult for him. I said the math would be hard for me, but I was confident with the hardware stuff. I was bluffing, of course. I studied using old navy manuals that didn't have anything about newer hardware, so I was ignorant to that stuff. I too was strong in the math part because I found out we would be able to use calculators and my father in law gifted me his beat up old scientific calculator. The old man called us both stupid if we thought that was hard and was in for a shock if we actually got the job.
I sat down for the fourth test thinking it was the math test according to the docket...but when I opened her book I found out it wasn't. It was the hardware test. I raised my hand and asked to reschedule because of the mixup and she said that was impossible after I opened the booklet. I freaked out...
My whole life was riding on this test. I moved here for the job, and if I didn't get it, I wouldn't be able to afford an apartment. I calmed myself and just tried to answer using context clues and deductive reasoning.
After the test, I asked the young guy how he did and he said he was sure he failed it. I said me too. This launched the old man into a tirade about how he had worked in this industry for 25 years and if I thought the tests were hard now then I was going to never make it in real life. This went in for 20 minutes - about how my generation was weak and stupid and he feared for the future. He said he knew that test like the back of his hand.
As you can probably guess, the old man failed. The young guy and I both passed. Ha! The old man didn't say a word and just got up and walked out.
Now I told you this instant karma was two-fold.
After the old man left, the other young guy went off laughing and making fun of him. Talking about how we 'got this' since we had our calculators and he was talking about how he hoped we would work together and how cool of a story it would be. He went to the pay phone and called his girlfriend and told her it was in that he was going to pass and that she can start looking for a new house and everything.
He had his calculator out playing with it while we waited for the last test. It was a TI-82 graphing calculator. I was bad in math in high school so I never took high level math, but my friends did, and I loved playing with their TI calculators. I looked at it for a minute and something hit me.
Holy crap...this calculator didn't have scientific functions on it at all. No octal, no hexadecimal, nothing. He assumed since it was so fancy it did...but it didn't.
I told him this and he went white. 'What do you mean?' he asked. So I showed him in my old beat up calculator how I do number conversions and he didn't have the buttons to do it.
Now being the overly prepared dude I am, I learned how to do it on paper in the event we couldn't use calculators. He was not so studious. So I tried to give him a crash course how to do it on paper and write out number lines and all that. He wasn't getting it. I said maybe he should ask to reschedule and get another calculator. He suggested I give him mine since I knew how to do it on paper.
Uh...man...you are cool and all, but I just met you. I'm not good at math and this is the rest of my life we are taking about. I'm sorry, I need mine.
He refused to reschedule saying he got this far and would be fine.
But the four tests he passed qualified him for another job that paid almost the same, but it was not as good and the one we were going for.
I got the job and have been here for 19 years now.
That day taught me to always be humble and never count your chickens."
"The first time I tried online dating was a freaking disaster. The guy I texted wasn't too bad looking and seemed pretty normal. Until we met in person.
We decided to meet up at a coffee shop and drink some coffee together. That's when I found out that he was the biggest redneck I've ever met. I casually mentioned that I failed at my theoretical exam for my driver's license (my depression was at its peak at that time, so I could hardly motivate myself to do anything at all, and studying was almost impossible). So apparently this guy thought if you want a girl to like you, you better make fun of her failing at a test. He went on joking about how women are too dumb to drive. The people from the table next to ours looked at me and I could see from their faces that they felt sorry for me, because his insulting jokes didn't stop and he said them loud enough for everyone to hear.
I had no self-confidence back then so I just mumbled some lame excuse why I had to go home, got up and left.
Like half an hour later he called me, crying, because he had crashed his car, which he mentioned earlier was his one true love and his only hobby, into a tree. Nothing had happened to him but his car was so demolished that it couldn't be repaired."
"About a year ago, I was visiting a tourist town in my state. A man playing a guitar and singing was in the middle of of the side street (pedestrian only area) and was playing really well. He had a hat with plenty of $1, $5, and $10 bills. I sat down and enjoyed his music while waiting for my mother to come out of the shop she was in.
My mom came out and it was time to go so I politely tipped the man for his service. It just so happened to be my last $2. I was 28 at the time and had recently moved to this state and had nothing but my clothes on my back after leaving a bad situation.
As my mother and I rounded the corner to a back alley shortcut to our vehicle, I saw a piece of paper on the ground. I picked it up and it was a $20 note. Absolutely no one was around for me to find the person who may have dropped it. Had that been the case, I would have honestly inquired.
I put the bill in my pocket and proceeded to the car. Once my mother and I returned to her house, I pulled the bill out of my pocket and unfolded it. To my surprise, it was 2 $20 bills stuck together. Karma?... I think so!"