Accidents happen; it's just part of life. But what if, instead of leading to awkward moments or poorly done physics homework, our mistakes somehow resulted in famous, universally loved foods? Believe it or not, this actually happens, and some of the most popular foods in the world were actually created by accident. So, let's take a look at how six of our favorite foods almost never came to be.

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies

sweet, cookie, chocolate
Missy Miller

It's truly heartbreaking to imagine a world without the most perfect cookie ever created, but it's true: the chocolate chip cookie almost never existed.

Before the 1930s, chocolate chip cookies weren't a thing, so let's take a minute to pour out a tall glass of milk for our ancestors who had to suffer through the horrors of corsets and cholera without even a simple chocolate chip cookie to ease the pain. Thankfully, along came a woman named Ruth Wakefield who tried to make chocolate cookies with pieces of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate, thinking that they would melt the way her usual baking chocolate did. Instead, the chocolate kept its form in little pieces, creating the chocolate chip cookie we know and love today.

2. Toasted Ravioli

Jenna Thomas

A St. Louis staple, "toasted ravs" (AKA toasted ravioli) are known and loved by practically every resident of the city. But did you know that this crispy-creamy creation is actually the result of a drunken mistake?

In the 1940s, at a restaurant called Oldani's, a chef named Fritz decided to sneak a bit of red wine while cooking an order of scallopini. A drunken man trying to multitask, Fritz dumped some ravioli into a deep fryer instead of placing them in a pan or pot. Rather than throw them out, Mrs. Oldani decided to cover the fried pasta in parmesan and send it to the bar. The result? An iconic dish for the city of St. Louis. I'm willing to bet many residents of St. Louis wish their own drunken mistakes would turn out so profitably. 

3. Ice Cream Cones

chocolate, cream, ice, ice cream
Jenna Thomas

Another feat of St. Louis ingenuity, the ice cream cone was invented at the 1904 World Fair thanks to the quick thinking of a man named Ernest Hamwi. Anyone who's been to St. Louis knows that it can get unbearably hot and humid during the summer, so it's no wonder that the elaborately dressed fairgoers were buying ice cream left and right.

Disaster almost struck when the ice cream vendor ran out of cups. Ernest Hamwi, who was selling a Syrian waffle pastry called zalabia at the next stand over, noticed the dilemma of his neighbor. He decided to wrap his pastries into a cone shape that could hold the ice cream, an innovative solution that combined his business with that of the ice cream vendor. The cone was an instant hit that saved the day and set the standard for ice cream stores in years to come.

4. Beer

liquor, alcohol, lager, stout, ale, beer
Jenna Thomas

An oldie but a goodie, beer was accidentally invented all the way back in Mesopotamia as early as 10,000 years ago. The Mesopotamians, who we also have to thank for the first written language and crop domestication, stored their grain in large silos. The stored grain was often exposed to the elements causing it to become damp and ferment into an early kind of beer.

And while I have a few questions for that first Mesopotamian who decided to drink the residue in the grain containers, I'm sure most Americans are plenty glad that he or she did. Let's hope that whoever invented Natural Light also did so by accident—because otherwise, it was just an act of plain cruelty.

5. Potato Chips

chips, sweet, potato, salt
Jenna Thomas

Fittingly, potato chips were invented because of the saltiness of one George Crum, a chef at the Moon Lake Lodge resort who did not take kindly to customers complaining about his food. When the same customer repeatedly sent back his plate of fries for being too thick and soft, Crum fried the thinnest possible potato slices for as long as he could in the hopes of teaching this customer a lesson.

The crispy, crunchy and salty "fries" that Crum sent out were actually a big hit with the picky customer. So the next time someone calls you out for being petty, be sure to remind this person that if George Crum hadn't been feeling petty back in 1853, we wouldn't have one of our most beloved snacks.

6. Popsicles

ice, grass
Megan Prendergast

In keeping with this article's trend of making the rest of us feel bad for not accidentally inventing anything cool, popsicles are here to put us all to shame—they were invented by an actual child. In 1905, an 11-year-old named Frank Epperson was making himself a drink using powdered flavoring and soda water. Epperson soon got distracted from his task and left his mixture on the porch with a stirring stick in the cup. Overnight, the cold air froze the drink, creating the first popsicle and saving the rest of us from a lifetime of hot summers without anything so perfectly refreshing and fruity. 

It's hard to believe that some of our favorite foods would never have existed if not by random chance, but hey, that's what we call serendipity. So, the next time you're feeling adventurous, creative or just plain petty, go ahead and follow through with those food-related plans of yours. You just might stumble your way into history as the accidental inventor of another cherished snack.