My wife and I have a game we play on the streets of New York. I spot a celebrity, and she tells me that’s absolutely not them. If it weren’t for her, I’d end up on r/notreallyfamous, the subreddit for mistaken celebrity sightings.
These posts are cute because of people’s enthusiasm — they think, or they do a good job pretending, that they really met a celeb, despite all evidence against it. (A good r/notreallyfamous post isn’t just “Hey, this regular person resembles this celebrity!” For that, go to the more popular subreddit Walmart Celebrities.)
We collected our favourites here. We can’t copy the pictures because they aren’t ours, but if you open thirty new tabs you will be rewarded.
There are a few types of fake celebrity sighting. Sometimes, people fall for an impersonator:
Sometimes they happen upon an unassuming stranger:
Sometimes the mistaken identity is very official:
Sometimes it comes in threes:
Sometimes I’m convinced that it really was the celebrity:
Sometimes it really really is a celebrity:
Some make no fucking sense:
Yeah, some of these fake sightings were probably a joke in the first place. But don’t tell me. I can’t bear two letdowns in a row.
For more lookalikes without the “actually mistaken for a celebrity” requirement, see r/WalmartCelebrities.
For people who look like the signs they’re standing next to, see r/PSUSTRT. For knockoff merchandise, try r/crappyoffbrands. For the post that inspired r/notreallyfamous in 2014, see this Fake Gyllenhaal sighting.
What I really want is a celebrity pretending to be a normal person pretending to be a celebrity — like when Bryan Cranston wore a mask of himself around Comic-Con, or when Julia Roberts played a Julia Roberts lookalike posing as Julia Roberts.