Levels of surprise

Surprises take many forms. Ideally, you genuinely surprise someone, but sometimes the person being surprised will fake a reaction to be polite to the people who put in the effort to surprise them. I'd categorized these reactions into a few categories:

  • Level 0: The person being surprised was suspicious that something was up.
  • Level 1: The most common form of surprise gets a muted response. After acknowledging being caught off guard, things resume as normal.
  • Level 2: These are the kinds of surprises that go viral on YouTube. They lead to people yelling and running around not knowing what to do. They're often associated with things like people showing up unexpectedly from out of town.
  • Level 3: The best and most rare kind of surprise is when people are left speechless to the point that they look like they're short-circuiting.