Home is where the heart is, but when you're a guest in someone else's home, you might not always feel so welcome. When you're the adult of the house, you can start setting your own rules, no matter how strange they might be. Just don't get offended when your guests start telling you exactly just how strange your routines are.
There is a room just as you walk in the house that is completely off limits. It's vacuumed constantly and is a picturesque pink frilly sitting room, pink carpets, etc. Think Dolores Umbrage.
My parents brought their dog over once (who is a fantastic chill dog) and she put a paw on the carpet and my MIL almost had an aneurysm. Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
Water Doesn't Grow on Trees
1 bath a week. If you had more than that you got screamed at. The kids would end up showering at a friend's house. Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
If you had too much fun doing something, they wouldn't let you do it anymore. It made my husband very good at lying and also very obsessive about things he enjoyed.
Or, if you had too much fun in a weekend you weren't allowed to do something fun later in the weekend. I.e. visiting a friend's house on Saturday, weren't allowed to do anything on Sunday except clean or do yard work. Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
Truth is a Luxury
Not allowed to argue with parents. Mom has a personality disorder and constantly lies. Dad always backs her up. She will lie about what the boys were doing and say they were breaking a rule when they weren't and they couldn't argue. (This rule is literally pinned to their wall). Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
My friend David was a tough guy... which was all the more cool that he chose to hang out with a scrawny nerd like me. We went back to his house, once (and only once)... which was literally 4 houses down the street from me.
It was a small, normal house, with a small comfortable living room. When I plopped into the big easy chair, David went white as a ghost. "that's my dad's chair." (pause) "no one's allowed to sit there." (pause) "ever."
"if he sees you in his chair, he'll get really mad." Well, I was a small kid, but even I knew that some other person's parent wasn't going to be allowed to do anything to ME. So I said, nonchalantly, "so what? He can't punish me."
My tough guy friend (and, truth be told, a bit of a bully to other kids) just got paler and paler.
Then he said (very quietly), "He might not punish you. but he'll punish me instead." I hopped off that chair like a shot. And learned a lot that day. Story credit: Reddit / DerProfessor
Master of Electricity
I had a friend growing up who wasn't allowed to plug anything in so basically anyone under 16 wasn't allowed to touch plugs at her house. I think we were 10 and I was definitely allowed to plug and unplug things at my own home, so this was really baffling to me. Story credit: Reddit / backstgartist
One for All and All for One
Growing up, myself (and often with other friends) would do sleepovers at a buddy's house. He was a bedwetter and wore diapers to bed, but we were cool with it... Never any teasing or anything.
His mother would demand that we ALL wear diapers to bed when sleeping over, which was odd, but it made our buddy even more uncomfortable about his situation. Poor dude would apologize constantly about the fact that we had to use them too. Story credit: Reddit / bostonwhaler
Why Even Have Both?!
Neighbors house for breakfast. They put powedered sugar and syrup on the table for waffles. I thought, OH YEAH I only get syrup at my house and douse the waffles with powdered sugar. I pick up the syrup.
"We only use one or the other at this house," The mom says. I ate dry and tasteless powder sugar covered waffles. that day. Story credit: Reddit / SuspiciousMystic
My cousins always had weird rules about which cups were acceptable to use for which beverages at their house. I can't tell you how many times I would go to get a cup of water just to have one of them appear out of thin air beside me and scream,
"THAT'S A SMOOTHIE CUP WHAT ARE YOU DOING!", or go to pour myself a cup of milk only to be berated for using a juice cup.
I've brought it up to my siblings and apparently it always made them really uncomfortable too, and it's given us all some degree of anxiety about using the kitchen at other people's houses. Story credit: Reddit / TheLastSpoon
Whenever I went over to a friends house, I wasnt ever actually allowed inside. Instead we always hung out in a trailer that was parked right outside of his place and if we needed to use a bathroom the mother forced us to go in a bucket. Story credit: Reddit / Robo0000222
One of my friends mother had some borderline obsessive rules. No walking on the carpets. You must remain on the strips of clear plastic carpet protectors instead, which were arranged to create walkways round the house. Guests must wear slippers, there were spares if you didn’t bring your own.
The leather sofas must remain completely covered in sheets to protect them. Even the dog was expected to follow these carpet protector paths and was constantly being told off for stepping off them.
I understand wanting to keep your carpets and furniture nice but this was crazy. You couldn’t even see them under all this ugly protective stuff. Plus I nearly fell down the stairs wearing oversized slippers and tripping on this protective plastic mat that was draped down the staircase.
I was also constantly getting in trouble for not following the correct route around the room and instead walking straight to where I wanted to be. She would literally check for footprints on the carpet. Story credit: Reddit / sparky662
I live with my grandmother and our house has 2 bathrooms. 1 bathroom is her bathroom exclusively and the other bathroom is everyone elses bathroom. If you use her bathroom you're shunned from seeing her or being in her home for life.
My cousin and her 3 kids (her great grandchildren) have been banned from seeing my grandmother ever again because we completely forgot to tell my cousins ex husband about the bathroom rule. It's not a loss, cousin and kids are better off without her. Story credit: Reddit / gothiclg
I had a landlord rent me a room. I paid first and last months rent. When moving in he told me the room he showed me wasn't available. He showed me a converted CLOSET. Literally a 12' x 4' space. He knew I was stuck. His rules? No kitchen usage.
No BATHROOM usage. No strong smells (he complained about my roll-on deodorant being way too strong. No one else even notices). I had to be out by 6 AM, couldn't return until 10 PM. For $600 a month.
None of this was disclosed or remotely reasonable. We had a very heated argument when he told me all this, but at the time I had no choice. I stayed there two months.
He constantly made threatening comments to me, refused me access to the house at random intervals, and I caught his friends stealing from me twice. He said 'lawyer up.'
I did. I won. He threw me out after court. Literally drove back, took stuff from my parked car by smashing a window and sold it to his friend. Then he threw everything else in the yard and peed on it.
We went right back to court a week later. He ended up losing the place because he was subletting without permission. Story credit: Reddit / Paretio
I babysat for a family that locked us in the house. I called my dad and he said if I felt trapped I could throw a chair through a window and he’d cover it no questions asked. Never babysat for them again. Story credit: Reddit / designgoddess
Half Way Down the Stairs is a Stair Where I Sit
Had a babysitter when I was about 8 and my sister was 5. The rule was all day we had to sit on the stairs.
No couch, no kitchen table, nothing literally had to stay on the stairs the whole day (which was pretty uncomfortable even to my 8 year old body) and me and my sister were pretty well behaved so we did it without much question.
When my mom would come pick us up and started talking for what seemed like forever, of course, we would get to sit on the couch. only years later did I realize how weird that was. Story credit: Reddit / theGreatwasLate
I was probably 10 or 11, stayed all night with a new friend for the first time. Her family seemed normal, we had fun. Got up the next morning, theyre all 4 in the kitchen at the table eating cereal together. So wholesome. Her mom gets up, prepares a bowl for me, super nice of her.
I eat it, then try to be nice in return and pour my leftover milk down the sink. Mom stops me and hands me a partially full gallon jug; "no need to waste! pour it in the cereal milk jug."
I vividly l recall how nauseated I was when I realized the milk I had just consumed was recycled. Never went back. Story credit: Reddit / rainbowbright87
My friend’s mom was a huge germaphobe. So she kept bottles of hand sanitizer and a stack of napkins by the door, and you had to use them before entering the house. If you didn’t, she’d close the door in your face.
Also, she required anyone who wanted to pet her dog or cat, you had to brush them before and after to help “diminish any harmful human toxins”. Story credit: Reddit / ForgingHephaestus
They all shared a towel after showering. Like one towel for everyone, for one or two days. When I visited I asked where the towels were so I could shower after the pool they looked at me like I had two heads.
Explained the towel sharing situation, because “you’re clean when you dry off so it’s still clean!” Story credit: Reddit / FurTheGigs
I'm a medic, so we go into people's homes every day. We had a cardiac arrest, so we were working a man, and the wife was having a fit about the mess we were making.
Yes, there was some garbage from the pads, needles, meds, but we put all of it into our jump bag.
She was screaming at us about it. I told her that her husband was very sick and we were doing everything we could to help. She said she didn't care if he died as long as we didn't make a mess. Story credit: Reddit / pokemon-gangbang
I was yelled at for quickly blurting out the question to a $200 jeopardy answer. Apparently, they played the game quietly individually tallying scores. No problem, I was handed a pen and paper and I played their game. I think I am doing pretty well after jeopardy and double jeopardy, eyeing everyone else…
I wanted to impress them with my vast knowledge and high score. I wager all of my money in final jeopardy because it’s a category I am familiar in. Back from commercial, soon as Trebek finished answer they all yell out what they thought was question.
Apparently, it’s only the first person to yell out correct question in final jeopardy that his/her wager counts. Psychos. I would have disowned them if they weren’t family. Story credit: Reddit / hard_An
This dude that managed local bands had a rule that only vegetarians could poop in his toilet. Find somewhere else to poop if you eat meat. Story credit: Reddit / aPastorius
My friend’s mother absolutely refuses to let guests pour their own drinks. Not just insisting “let me pour that for you” but will actually get mad if you do it yourself.
This doesn’t apply to food. Story credit: Reddit / Mellonhead58
Anarchy in the UK
My grandparents had a very specific order that food should be eaten. We’re a big English family and tea would be served at 5pm or so, after lunch at 1pm. Plates and dishes would be placed on the dining room table all at once, but, could only be consumed in the correct order.
Sandwiches first, then sausage rolls/assorted savouries, then sweet foods. It’s only so strange, because after my generation (16 of us) my grandmother now couldn’t give less of a hoot, and all the rules are out of the window, especially for great grandchildren and our spouses.
We’re just pretty bitter that we would get such a telling off for eating a sausage roll before a sandwich, since now apparently you can have chocolate biscuits before 2pm. Anarchy. Story credit: Reddit / eddthered86
Had a friend that had to go to bed at 7pm every night, because that was the bedtime for his younger siblings. He was 14. His mom would flip out if he tried to stay awake any longer. Story credit: Reddit / shadow023
Worth it for Dessert
I was in a foster home from ages 5 to 7. They were religious and the rules were as follows: women couldn't cut their hair, wear short sleeves after 5 years of age, could only wear dresses and nightgowns (even when swimming on vacation), and nobody could enter the home if wearing shorts.
Pants were fine. The upside was the whole family ate dinner together every night and there was always dessert. As a kid coming from a home where food was not aplenty, I thought it was wonderful.
I've stayed in touch over the years and went th o the moms 80th birthday party last summer. Lots of people were there in shorts, so the rules have obviously been relaxed over the years. One daughter even had hair a little below her shoulders, so that rule isn't enforced, either. Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
Family Bath Time
Stayed with a neighbor during a family emergency, estranged grandparent was deathly ill far away and parents had to make some speedy arrangements for child care. Neighbor had 5 kids. The Dad had a "one tub of water for the family" rule.
This was in a bathtub with a shower and when a normal water bill for a large family would be under $40 a month so I still don't get why. Dad would bathe, then Mom, then oldest to youngest. Guests last.
The water was cold, dark with muck and had a greasy film of skin cells on it by my turn. I was 6 or 7 and tried to refuse but they shouted at me and I gave in. I gagged the whole time. Story credit: Reddit / not_very_tasty
When the Jazz Man Testifies
Went to a friends house. Well to do kind of family, straight laced, all that stuff. The Dad came home and started practicing saxophone in the front room.
When I asked a question, my friend told me to shut up, and that nobody is allowed to make any noise while his dad practiced saxophone. Just as this short conversation was exchanged his dad burst through the door and told us all to shut up cos whispering really put him off his saxophone playing.
His son/my friend started to cry. His dad played for 3 more hours. We just sat in silence cos this was before mobile phones and I couldn’t get collected until later that afternoon.
I was asked not to tell anyone else at school, but enough people had been and experienced what I had experienced so everyone knew not to disturb this kids dad when he’s playing his saxophone. Story credit: Reddit / halhallelujah
My friend's mom was convinced that vomit corroded the pipes and could cause them to burst, so we had to go puke outside if we were sick. Story credit: Reddit / SheZowRaisedByWolves
Water Under the Bridge
When I was probably 7 or so, there was a kid down the block. I think he lived with his grandparents, who were weirdly strict with water.
No using the hose to play in (during a time of sprinklers and water balloons to beat summer heat) and I think remembering him saying he'd have to pay $1 for a cup of water. Story credit: Reddit / Exploding_Muffin
I Heard There Was a Secret Chord
My dad had a strict rule: no music with words.
I'm still wondering how Beethoven's Ninth ended. Story credit: Reddit / laterdude
Reading is for Nerds
My cousins house when I was a kid - there was a 'no reading during the day' rule. I was a bookish kid terrified of my mad uncle so I just went along with it. Story credit: Reddit / spiderbabyinapram
My step-grandmother does not let anyone under 16 (what she considers children) sit on her furniture, they have to sit on the floor. It should be noted that this rule didn't apply to her biological grandchildren. Story credit: Reddit / knightfall1128
I had a good friend whose family didn't drink anything while eating meals. They were convinced drinking something right after chewing food would crack their teeth.
So I'd always be the only one with a beverage at dinner. Story credit: Reddit / DaisyJaneAM
Anytime I was over at their house and we would go outside and play, I would have to knock on the door each time to come back in, even if I had been there for a while or if I had just walked in with their kid.
Their mother kept tabs on exactly how much I ate or drank while I was there and expected me to work for whatever they had given me. I had accidentally left something by the door and I realized after I got a few steps away from their porch so I just opened the door and reached in to grab it.
Her mother grabbed my arm and jerked me back into the house and screamed how I was a guest at their house and that I was to always knock before entering, how I was a rude child, she didn’t care that I was just there and what I grabbed was mine etc. I had known this woman my entire life.
We lived in the same neighborhood, she knew all of my extended family and treated me like I was some stranger. That was my last day playing over there. Story credit: Reddit / krdunlap88
I once had a sleepover party at a christian girl’s house in elementary, they had random pieces of duct tape on the floor in the hallway, and if I remember correctly we had to jump/step over them because that’s where knives were dropped, kinda like a superstition.
Except I didn’t get it and it still makes no sense to me to this day. Story credit: Reddit / Maximumdelirium
When watching a movie such as veggie tales, we weren’t allowed to laugh at characters misfortune even though it was clearly a comical joke in the movie. My poor friend tried to laugh at it but her mom shushed her hahah. Story credit: Reddit / Maximumdelirium
The Pancake Incident
I grew up in Mexico. My school had a lot of exchange programs abroad, so in 9th grade, I went to Boston. I stayed with a guy from the HS and his dad. Pretty weird family. But the strangest thing was that his father told me that I could not flush pancakes in the toilet.
He literally meant pancakes. It was not a euphemism, because I asked his son about it and he said "Yeah, there was an incident once." Story credit: Reddit / MantisToboggan14
Most people have at least a separate bin in their kitchen and their bathroom, right? Maybe a few more all over the house just in case, right? Wrong. My parents keep just the one, single, bin, in the centre of the kitchen/dining room, and the bin bag is changed once a week at the most.
I think they maybe just can't be bothered to go round collecting bins and so this is their awful solution. Having a period in that house was a barrel of laughs, let me tell you.
From the ripe old age of 11, announcing to the entire house "excuse me, coming through, used sanitary pad ready to go in the bin here, outta the way dudes."
These days as an adult when I visit, I make a huge deal out of it until they realise how awkward it is and give me a bin for the bathroom, but as a 12yo??
This was the most embarrassing, awkward thing ever. Not to mention when we had guests round, they would be sat in the goddamn dining room, and I would be forced to shamefully walk past them into the kitchen, used pad in hand, to use the bin.
That was some trauma right there. Story credit: Reddit / ronicadler
Shaken, Not Stirred
I landed a summer babysitting job when I was 15 or 16, and got yelled at because I took Cheetos, Doritos and Pretzels and put them all in the same bowl. They were snack sized bags, and I’d eaten the whole bowl full, but there must’ve been “crumb evidence” for Sherlock Mom.
She said “We don’t mix our food in this house.” And then she fired me soon after because she said she wasn’t comfortable with me doing stuff like that around her kids. Story credit: Reddit / SuperMommyCat
- You are never to touch the dining table with your hands or arms, however slightly or briefly.
- You are to sit straight up on furniture. You will never put your feet up, sit sideways, or lay down.
- You will absolutely never nap on the couch. You may sleep in your bedroom at night, and that is it.
I don't like visiting my aunt's house very much. Story credit: Reddit / puppehplicity
No speaking above what was essentially a whispered volume. Girlfriend's father considered loud talking (what the rest of us considered normal volume talking) to be "trashy." Story credit: Reddit / FuzzyElf47
I once had a friends mom tell me "We sit down to pee in this house." I guess I get it and it would have made sense other than I'm a girl. How else did she think I took a leak? Story credit: Reddit / littleredhoodlum
Smile! You're on TV
Kid’s parents had surveillance cameras in every room, including their kids bedrooms. Anytime we were in a room without a parent, the surveillance camera had to be on.
There were many times I’d walk into the kitchen after being in the game room or my friend’s bedroom and see the TV on streaming surveillance from the room I was just in (it even streamed sound!). A friend of mine got kicked out of the house because he jokingly put a napkin over one of the cameras.
There were also times where if one of us said something the parents didn’t like while the cameras were on (they never told us when they were turned on either) a parent would burst into the room and yell at us for saying something they didn’t like. Story credit: Reddit / Mediocre-banana
But me and a buddy got roped into help a cousin move. She basically sat on her butt all day just pointing and snorting out orders. Anyway we we getting ready to leave so my buddy was washing up and we were telling some of the other family bye when this girl FLIPS.
Apparently she took the time to hang up the towels in the bathroom during us moving, so my buddy used them to dry his hands. But NOOOOOOO you cant use those! Those are decorative only!
How dare he! Not only did she not even tell anyone this rule (she assumed ALL households were this way), she didn't even put usable towels in the bathroom yet. Story credit: Reddit / akujiki87
Once when I was 8 or 9, I went to a friend's house and we were playing board games on the floor while her parents sat on the couch nearby. As I leaned over to reach something, I farted.
Nothing loud, nothing obnoxious. Well, CrazyMum is like 'What was that? Excuse me, what was that?! Who did that? I'm sorry, but we do not fart in this house.'
I'm sitting there like oh haha just waiting for her to break character and laugh or something. Nope. She then just left the room and didnt come back. Friend's dad took me home later. So basically their family house rule was... just not to fart... Story credit: Reddit / zenithica
When I was in second grade, I went over to my friend’s house after school, and while her dad made us snacks he asked what we were learning in class. I said we were learning to write our names but because I already knew how to write mine I thought it was a little boring.
He bellowed at me WE DO NOT SAY THE WORD BORING IN THIS HOUSEHOLD!! Super weird family, didn’t even scratch the surface. Story credit: Reddit / lookma_noserotonin
Foot in the Door
My dad married a really crazy woman for a couple of years who was an obsessive neat freak. We had three doors in our house. You could come into the foyer through the 'front' door, into the kitchen through the garage and into the living room through the sun room door from the backyard.
First I was told not to come in through the backyard because I could track mud inside. Fairly normal. Then I was asked not to use the front door because it was 'decorative' and she didn't want anyone seeing us use it. Weird, but fine.
THEN I was told that she didn't want anyone to be in the kitchen because it was 'her space'. So at this point every time I entered the house I would have to break some rule for some reason. And nope, she did not make exceptions for being in the kitchen right after I got home.
My Dad divorced her about 2 weeks after that one. Story credit: Reddit / [deleted]
I had a friend when I was young whose stepmom was a massive neat freak. Their kitchen floor was carpeted. I asked, "What happens if you spill something." He looked at me horrified and said, "You don't!" Story credit: Reddit / droid_mike
A friend I visited a few times when I was a kid had really strange parents.
There were wacky bathroom rules, like if I had to go she'd say "one or two?" Then she would carefully count the number of squares and hand it to me. This was particularly embarrassing since I had a little crush on my friend and he was always there to see me say what I had to do.
It was never enough, I always, always ended up poking a finger through the TP and they never had soap! I had to wash my hands with shampoo, once it was dog shampoo. Story credit: Reddit / bunnylajoya8
The Parent Trap
I had a friend whose parents would lock her in her room at night. As in, the lock was on the outside of the door and once she was in for the night the door was locked and there was no leaving, even for the bathroom. Story credit: Reddit / Jubjub0527