Best snippet of overheard conversation

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What's the best thing you've happened to hear when passing others on the street?

I heard someone say 'I don't like to criticise milk, but...' yesterday, which amused me by its strangeness all afternoon. The fact that I realised it was actually a valid and interesting conversation this morning (presumably about PETA's little milk slandering activity) has just made it more entertaining.

John Davey, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

A guy in the pub last night who said: "It's hard to believe it's only 50 years since those little black kids were trying to go to school in America and the army were shooting at them to stop them getting in."

Greg, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

six yr old scouser boy overheard on train (I've mentioned this before but it cracks me up):
"Family Values means we're all going to die"

mark s, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

"That guy in front of us looks like Vanilla Ice", it was on the bus and someone said that about my friend.

Ronan, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

My personal favorite, which has become a top notch in joke, was passing a fighting couple on the street:

Man: Will you hear me out?
Girl: I am not hearing ANYONE out.

Chosen as favorite w/ in jokes for obvious reason.

Ally, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Pure gold, that. My favorite, some years ago in a restaurant around here in the booth next to mine -- guy to two almost disciple-looking young fellers: "I used to be a fundamentalist until I got into The Simpsons." Now that's my idea of positive media influence!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

" He touched what?...with WHAT??...for how long?....and when he was done the lobster SMILED????...oh, yeah, Santa. WHAT!? Yeah dude, I'm way into patchouli!"

Mike Hanle y, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

i was talking about rape on the bus yesterday.

anthony, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Another good one, overheard at work:

My boss: Paul! What's up?
Paul: Wait, wait, hang, I can't do this now. I have to call you back (sounds very irritated).
My boss: called me!
Paul: No! (hangs up)

That's easily the best conversation of all time at work, up there with me being told to ask my boss's kid if he ate ice cream.

Ally, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

"There's nothing I love more than the smell of sex" (Overheard in Princeton, NJ, spoken by a woman in her early 60s)

Joe Keyes, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Two French guys reciting dialogue from the Holy Grail (in French), including the French taunting thing. There is nothing better than a French guy imitating John Cleese imitating a Frenchman (in French).

Nitsuh, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Overheard just now. "No lunch combo is too old fashioned, we need something more modern like.........................(long silence, 3 qualified marketing graduates deliberating) meal deal??, no no, meal combo???" (argument continues.)

Ronan, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

You did then rise up and go over to those people and pummelled them viciously, I hope.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

It's probably worth the unemployment that would ensue, but don't worry I think they'll get their just punishment when the fucking sausage burgers or the coke fries they're trying to flog fall on their face and their boss asks them what the fuck they were thinking. That's what happens when you let Nelly Furtado fans into civilised society.

Ronan, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Me and a friend taped someone talking about their divorce on a tube train once. We were collecting field sounds.

jel, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

man on cellphone: "they have got porterhouse steaks LIKE THE FUCK YOU'VE NEVER SEEN"

50-60ish white woman passing two young black men: "can i fuck you both?"

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Ronan: I have seen a meal combo offered here which is known as Tuck'n'Chuck. I bet they cannot beat that.

suzy, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Very late, last Christmas eve I passed a phone box and I heard the man inside suddenly shout:
"I'll get the fuckin' Russians onto you!"

DavidM, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

For all you New Order fans out there:
New Order fan (at Reading '98) to unconverted friend: "New Order? They're like...GODS!"

DG, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Returning to my pseudo-poncey public school, I walk past a bunch of ~12 year olds having a heated argument:

"That is a spatula in the shape of a Swedish butter knife."

Graham, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

On the bus I heard a guy ranting and yelling, "Emo? She thinks she's EMO? SINCE WHEN IS SHE FUCKING EMO? She thinks she's punk and she's not punk or emo, she's just a fucking wannabe...." That was funny because the kid who said it is, to my knowledge, not a punk either.

maria, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I wouldn't say this was particularly funny or positive, but I once saw a German woman tell Nazi jokes to a group of Frenchmen in a library. They nodded glumly. It was almost Pinteresque.

Magnus, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

New Order? They're like...GODS!

Um, are you sure that wasn't me?

Richard Tunnicliffe, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

If you were near me at Reading '98, possibly.

DG, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Today i heard this at the drug store
kid Excuse me
me Yes
kid I kinda need help
me im not the pharmacist
kid i know
me okay what do you need
kid condoms kid can you get me some
me okay

anthony, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Bending the rules slightly - heard on Kilroy this morning:
KILROY (for it is he): What is it about Seattle?!?!?
FAT BLOKE (being serious): Well, it's the music, isn't it? Hendrix, the Stone Roses, people like that.

DG, Thursday, 6 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

"Yes, but it always ends in masturbation".

The speaker - My ex.

Overheard by - the entire pub.

Trevor, Thursday, 6 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Sounds like a nice girl..........

Ronan, Thursday, 6 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

As you may well know, is all about this. My favourite:

"Dammit, would you stop being so PC? It's not stereotyping to say that gay men aren't attracted to women, it's a fact..."
--A girl having a heated conversation at an early hour outside my window

Nick, Thursday, 6 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Since there is somethign vaguely voyeuristic about all this:

A folk singer named Damien Jurado (whose own work is spotty, at best) recently released a CD that consists solely of messages from answering machine tapes he found at Thrift Stores. Not sure about the legality of this, but there is something oddly fascinating about them -- particularly one from a man left on the machine of a woman who had just broken up with him.

Joe Keyes, Thursday, 6 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link


Nick, Thursday, 6 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I can't get that site to work. Every single link I click on just brings up the same purple page.

Croooooow, Thursday, 6 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Ah, wait a minute... it was just my connection fucking up. As you were.

Croooooow, Thursday, 6 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

"I think like a squirrel", spoken by a sandal-wearing goth sitting in a tree.

Otis Wheeler, Thursday, 6 September 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

one year passes...
overheard by me and matos yesterday in boston.

"you're newly single? wow, i'm newly single too"

gareth (gareth), Sunday, 13 October 2002 19:40 (nineteen years ago) link

Behind me at a Rembrandt exhibition:

She: I used to think I quite liked Rembrandt, but then I decided there was too much brown.
He: I quite like the Impressionists.

I wondered by what means they had found themselves together at a Rembrandt show.

Similarly, when I went to see the movie The Elephant Man:

He: Oh, Anthony Hopkins. He's very good. He was in Psycho, you know.
She: Ooh, you don't half know a lot about films.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 13 October 2002 20:01 (nineteen years ago) link

Overheard on a bus. One (elderly) woman describing to her friend how her husband had been busy with DIY all weekend, and had helped her with hanging new curtains :

"It was awful. He spent all weekend screwing up them pelvises!"

(I *hope* she meant 'pelmets')

C J (C J), Sunday, 13 October 2002 20:27 (nineteen years ago) link ...ahhh, drunk people talking

, Sunday, 13 October 2002 22:26 (nineteen years ago) link

I always try to record these on my mini-disc. One funny one I recorded in NYC was some girl yelling on a cell phone: " I was like fuck, your on fire, and he didn't even know how he was on fire, and he was running all around"

A Nairn (moretap), Sunday, 13 October 2002 23:35 (nineteen years ago) link

and I heard my next door neighbors the other day. As I was walking by, two of them were out in the hall, and one was holding the other back, who was raging mad, and he said "He can't steal my spells."

A Nairn (moretap), Sunday, 13 October 2002 23:44 (nineteen years ago) link

i haven't got anything funny to add to this that i can think of jus yet, but can i jus say it's 3.01, i'm in manchester very drunk and this thread is the funniest thing i ever read on ILX. god love you people. all o yers.

actually though, now i think about it, kinda cheating, but in alan bennet's book 'writing home' he quotes one man in a donkey jacket shouting at another likewise dressed in the street saying
"look, there's NOTHING you can teach ME about road-sweeping..."

piscesboy, Monday, 14 October 2002 01:03 (nineteen years ago) link

"Look, I shag you, and I buy you chips. What more do you want?"

Sofa King Alternative (Sofa King Alternative), Monday, 14 October 2002 08:54 (nineteen years ago) link

Guy talking on his mobile in my street a few months ago:

"Armed robbery's a very serious offence, you know!"

MarkH (MarkH), Monday, 14 October 2002 09:22 (nineteen years ago) link

Quoted by Kenneth Williams in his Acid Drops collection, two students late one evening:
"The conversation was rather precious wasn't it?"
"Yes. But I fancy I kept my end up."
"Oh, indeed; but if you don't mind my mentioning it, Botticelli isn't a wine."
"Isn't it?"
"My dear chap, it's a cheese."

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 14 October 2002 10:53 (nineteen years ago) link

In the pub last night:

"Yeah so i got the money, got all me mates round to celebrate... Fish and chips all round, strawberries and champagne, you know, the works!"

STeve.n., Monday, 14 October 2002 14:19 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
In the seedy Post Office down the road, there was this limpy guy slumped over the counter taking all of his money out. As he was waiting, wondering what epic stuff this guy must get up to in his spare time, I heard him use the words "the court case", and talking about allegations and how it dragged on for 2 years. But he was withdrawing his last £41 of compensation.

He's my favourite person of the day.

Graham (graham), Friday, 6 December 2002 16:35 (nineteen years ago) link

This morning I heard a couple of yoofs on the train planning a scam on J-D Sports in Croydon tonight. Something about getting 3 pairs of shoes in 1 box, paying for them on a credit card and then returning one pair. One of them was the inside man. Should be going down right about now.

Simeon (Simeon), Friday, 6 December 2002 16:52 (nineteen years ago) link

Little kid in zoo: "I wanna see the tigers!"

Mother: "If we wanted to see tigers we would've visited daddy at work"

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Friday, 6 December 2002 23:38 (nineteen years ago) link

There have been so numerous golden moments on Seattle buses that I could have captured, had I had the vision to buy a portable mini-disc recorder and compact mic.

donut bitch (donut), Saturday, 7 December 2002 00:48 (nineteen years ago) link

Today, outside my house, one 12 year year old to another: "I'm gonna overload on your mum's tits".

Eyeball Kicks (Eyeball Kicks), Saturday, 7 December 2002 01:39 (nineteen years ago) link

Skipping 361 messages at this point... Click here if you want to load them all.

"I heard you was beatin' people up for oranges."

"It's a good thing I did go to jail. If I would have married her I'd have strangled her." (That one not quite verbatim. I was trying to keep track of too much, since the material kept coming.)

I live in kind of a rough neighborhood of Albuquerque, but it's not really that rough. Really. I wouldn't be here still if I felt threatened. I don't walk around at night though.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 7 September 2013 00:11 (eight years ago) link

New neighbors. I'm not sure my landlord's mom does as good a job vetting new tenants as my landlord does.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 7 September 2013 00:12 (eight years ago) link

"I heard you was beatin' people up for oranges."


гір кривбас кривий ріг (Nilmar Honorato da Silva), Saturday, 7 September 2013 00:12 (eight years ago) link

Also something like: "All I do now is kick it and blaze."

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 7 September 2013 00:13 (eight years ago) link

I think the guy he was talking to just got out of jail so it actually makes a little sense.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 7 September 2013 00:14 (eight years ago) link

(said angrily, in an office-lunch type pub) "I'm *not* German and how do you know my name?"

heard a few years ago. still try to figure it out from time to time.

Fizzles, Saturday, 7 September 2013 06:31 (eight years ago) link

"...and then my therapist got in a car accident. It seems like everyone I get close to...everyone I touch... Well, thank you. Have a good morning. "

Guy in my office cafeteria, to the cashier.

how's life, Thursday, 12 September 2013 12:52 (eight years ago) link


Tommy McTommy (Tom D.), Thursday, 12 September 2013 12:53 (eight years ago) link

10 am this morning on Whitechapel Road, London. A guy in his 60s with four of his front teeth missing, shouting down his mobile "Just put a gun in his mouf and rob him!"

mmmm, Thursday, 12 September 2013 14:29 (eight years ago) link

I almost died, there was blood coming out of my ass. And he was like "don't shit in front of my house!"

Panaïs Pnin (The Yellow Kid), Monday, 16 September 2013 18:57 (eight years ago) link

fizzles could it have been "no I'm *germam* but how did you know my name?"

conrad, Monday, 16 September 2013 19:13 (eight years ago) link


conrad, Monday, 16 September 2013 19:13 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

"It was so good I wanted to, like, motorboat the cheesecake."

woman in my office

cwkiii, Wednesday, 8 January 2014 14:09 (eight years ago) link

high school girl to friend on the E train in Queens:

"Ranjit only got into Sarah Lawrence. Do you even know what Sarah Lawrence is?! It's like this college for rich kids who aren't dedicated."

signed, J.P. Morgan CEO (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 8 January 2014 14:53 (eight years ago) link

I need to get my eyes checked. I keep shouting "Hey, bitch!" but then it's some cunt I don't even know

Panaïs Pnin (The Yellow Kid), Thursday, 9 January 2014 05:08 (eight years ago) link

Love that this thread exists. A couple faves:

Mid-2000s, the mall, two 50/60something ladies: "I used to think Katie Holmes was a nice girl, but who knew she'd turn out to be such a nosebag."

A year-ish ago, the cafeteria at my university, two maintenance workers: "Yup, so many abortions that should've happened."

Inside Lewellyn Sinclair (cryptosicko), Thursday, 9 January 2014 05:23 (eight years ago) link

Just caught my own typo (autocorrect?). "Nosebag" should read "hosebag." Though overhearing someone call Katie Holmes a "nosebag" would also be memorable.

Inside Lewellyn Sinclair (cryptosicko), Thursday, 9 January 2014 21:50 (eight years ago) link

several times at work today I thought about a 50/60 something lady calling Katie Holmes a nosebag, I'm disappointed to find out it may never have happened.

soref, Thursday, 9 January 2014 22:10 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

I'm in the States:

Guy on phone:

'Yes, we have to show we're a millionaire company. He got his haircut, he's gonna wear a blazer, nice slacks. I'm getting a haircut right now, I'm at Supercuts'.

, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 01:44 (eight years ago) link

I seriously wish the entire world could be listening to this guy talk on his mobile phone.

, Wednesday, 9 April 2014 01:45 (eight years ago) link

Howd u get on?

(loud voice) 63, its bollox, he gave me 0 for 2 part ii and i know for a fact that-

Oh 2 part ii, the gaussian elimination?

................ whats gaussian elimination

recommend me a new bagman (darraghmac), Wednesday, 9 April 2014 01:56 (eight years ago) link


Drop soap, not bombs (Ste), Wednesday, 9 April 2014 13:57 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

20-something woman on subway, to friend: "To be honest I tried so many different kinds of beers and shots on St. Patrick's day that I wasn't even in control anymore, that was Jesus."

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Friday, 16 May 2014 15:00 (eight years ago) link

ten months pass...

"I couldn't work in an office, that's not a real man's job!"


not content (onimo), Friday, 10 April 2015 12:34 (seven years ago) link

"Is there a such a thing as tri-polar? Because I think..."

bernard snowy, Friday, 10 April 2015 14:52 (seven years ago) link

(Midwestern twang) "David BOOwie?? I don't know ANYBODY likes David Boowie!"

Sir Lord Baltimora (Myonga Vön Bontee), Friday, 10 April 2015 18:08 (seven years ago) link

"That German dude? I would go elbow deep in that bitch."

gybe horses (Stevie D(eux)), Sunday, 12 April 2015 03:54 (seven years ago) link

There used to be and possibly still is a site called Overheard in Dublin.
Unfortunately despite starting as a very laugh out loud selection it got progressively diluted by banal shite taht just happened to be overheard.
It has put out a number of related books, I picked one up from a charity shop and it was a dozeathon. But I think the 1st one was good.

But yeah have heard a number of things that you wish you heard the context for over the years.

Stevolende, Sunday, 12 April 2015 12:09 (seven years ago) link

"... So I watch her gamble, but she has to watch me shop."

bernard snowy, Sunday, 12 April 2015 19:42 (seven years ago) link

"I'm a lawyer. He's a jeweler. But not in a bad way."

jmm, Sunday, 12 April 2015 20:16 (seven years ago) link

I tried so many different kinds of beers and shots on St. Patrick's day that I wasn't even in control anymore, that was Jesus." Still too many people like this around.

dow, Sunday, 12 April 2015 21:25 (seven years ago) link

One of the all-time threads, doing the Lord's work. Can't believe I never saw it before!

dow, Sunday, 12 April 2015 21:26 (seven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

"Cubs... cubs... cubs... CUBS?"

mea nulta (onimo), Friday, 1 May 2015 15:17 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

I didn't realize it was that serious. Of course he was always making jokes about how she had "water", but...

how's life, Monday, 8 June 2015 19:04 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

Male State Department Guard (loudly): ... buy a lot of alcohol and then drink Gatorade on the beach all day!
Female State Department Guard (disinterested, staring at her shoes): Oh yeah?
Male State Department Guard: Yeah, that's how you do it. You gotta forget your troubles, forget your problems!
Female State Department Guard: Forget about this place?

how's life, Thursday, 30 July 2015 19:49 (seven years ago) link

Reading that I was hoping FSDG would say "And go downtown?"

nickn, Thursday, 30 July 2015 22:01 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...

Walking out of ballet tonight, I won't do the accent:

"In Russia, is something similar. Is called Wampyrs ball. Is totally music only by Bonnie Tyler, is exact like this we have seen tonight but with wampyrs."

Not gonna lie to you I would totally rather have seen the Russian bonnie tyler wampyre wersion, and that statement us never not gonna be true whether I'm talking ballet or breakfast cereal.

MONKEY had been BUMMED by the GHOST of the late prancing paedophile (darraghmac), Sunday, 15 November 2015 01:41 (six years ago) link

a few weeks ago i passed two people standing outside a bar who were in the middle of what looked like a fairly intense debate. they quieted down as i walked by; a minute later, i heard one of them say, "it's only because the OTHER animals don't know how to milk the cow!"

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Sunday, 15 November 2015 01:49 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

(At Mcdonalds)

"Hi Chris, can you ask someone to please sanitize that table over there. We were just at mass and we're wearing our mass clothes. Yeah, could you please ask someone to sanatize that"

Week of Wonders (Ross), Monday, 25 September 2017 03:41 (four years ago) link

Two businessmen today walking by us

"Nipple cream"
"Nipple cream?"
"Yeah they all have it"

Had to confirm with herself but yep that was the exchange

passé aggresif (darraghmac), Monday, 25 September 2017 23:02 (four years ago) link

ten months pass...

guy at service canada employment next to me

how do you sign in
i dont even know how to sign in
rinse cycle repeat

eris (Ross), Thursday, 2 August 2018 20:26 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

i used to be able to put a time to things, but now i cannot
like i try to think of when my surgery was and i cannot even remember
like what are time lines, i mean i remember when you kids were born because there was a date
and a reference point, but now i dunno

sweetheart of the Neo Geo (Ross), Tuesday, 25 September 2018 17:48 (three years ago) link

five months pass...

you dont have to pay so much rent at your age you can just have sex

~mine own~ bitcoin (darraghmac), Monday, 11 March 2019 20:19 (three years ago) link

i have a website about myself

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Monday, 11 March 2019 20:20 (three years ago) link

middle-aged couple ahead of me in line at the grocery store: "are we getting enough toilet paper for this food?"

Simon H., Monday, 11 March 2019 20:22 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

They need to realise I'm an ARTIST not a researcher

Non, je ned raggette rien (onimo), Thursday, 18 April 2019 15:05 (three years ago) link

killing is her art

she was about to paint her masterpiece but was obliged to research it first so there may be a knock on effect in terms of delivery

fremme nette his simplicitte (darraghmac), Thursday, 18 April 2019 15:08 (three years ago) link

two years pass...

Nina has a very unique, very grounding energy in a group of people.

ledge, Friday, 1 April 2022 20:35 (four months ago) link

"I've enjoyed the last 19 years"

Being cheap is expensive (snoball), Friday, 1 April 2022 20:39 (four months ago) link

four months pass...

We're always in Birmingham for Ocean Colour Scene. It's the only reason we come to Birmingham.

dear confusion the catastrophe waitress (ledge), Wednesday, 3 August 2022 14:09 (one week ago) link

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