Desperation can drive even the most straight-laced people to do things they're later embarrassed to admit. Of all the temptations we face, money is perhaps the most powerful one. It's s a necessity—we can't eat, drink, or be safe without it. So, it is no surprise that sometimes a person will agree to do something they normally wouldn't do for money, even if it's something disgusting or terrible.
This is a list of stories from people who committed shameful or embarrassing actions for money and were brave enough to share their stories with the world. Hopefully, you're never in a spot where you have to do anything this horrible.
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 This Is Child Neglect
I was around seven years old. My dad and his friends needed to keep me occupied, so they promised me a $20 bill if I cleaned out the refrigerator. Of course, I agreed... without even seeing the fridge.
I opened up a nasty, moldy, stinky, bug-filled box. It was completely covered inside with spilled soda, potato bugs, maggots, and black mold. It was awful. I'm fairly certain it would be considered child endangerment today. They didn't provide me with a mask or gloves. But I wanted that twenty dollars, so I got to work.
I'm not even sure how long I was working on it, but I got it as clean as I could before my dad told me it was time to go.
I never got that $20. The next time I saw my dad's friend, I mentioned he owed me money and he just laughed, saying, "Oh, that's right I owe you $5, I'll bring it next time, kid."
#2 Puking Honey Is Apparently Terrible
Once, I drank a paper cup full of Pizza Hut buffalo sauce for $10. Also related, I chugged a bear-shaped bottle of honey for $30. Puking honey is one of the most painful experiences I've ever had. 7/10, would not recommend.
#3 A Strange Collector
Some years back, a guy offered to buy my shoes off of me on the street. My shoes were falling apart, with a split down the heel, holes in the sole, and several ugly scuffs. He said to me, "I'll give you $40 for your shoes. I collect shoes."
I was actually just down the street from my flat, so I kind of looked at him for a second and said, "Are you serious?" To which he nodded solemnly. I got my shoes off so dang fast. I wasn't wearing any socks, either. This didn't seem to faze him. He immediately handed me $40, took the shoes, and walked off without another word. I went into my flat, put on another pair of even more messed up shoes, went back out, and spent that $40 on stuff.
#4 A Whole New Meaning To 'Pink Eye'
I rubbed grapefruit in my eye for a dollar. It hurt like heck.
I wore contacts at the time. When I put my contact back in, it burned all over again.
Two for the price of one.
#5 Everything Tasted Like Syrup
My brother dared me to chug the whole bottle of maple syrup at our breakfast table for $50.
I thought I was going to pass. It was so thick and disgusting, it just wouldn't go down. I literally tasted syrup for a week straight after that.
#6 Not A Good Mix
Once, for a bet, I ate a jar of mustard for $20. I hate mustard, but I was so tipsy I just scooped the mustard up with my fingers. All I can say is that adult beverages and mustard don't mix well inside your stomach.
#7 Too Much Of A Good Thing
When I worked at a grocery store, I used to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on break since it was cheap. I'd buy all the ingredients, sit in the break room and scarf down three to four sandwiches before returning to work.
One day, one of my co-workers saw me scarfing them down and asked if I could eat the whole loaf of sandwiches. I told him I probably could, but also asked what he wanted to bet me. He said if I could do it that he'd buy me a whole loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, and a jar of jelly. Naturally, I agreed.
I managed to eat the whole thing in a little under 30 minutes, but admittedly, I was being pretty sparse with my usage of peanut butter and jelly by the end. When I finished, I felt like walking at my normal speed would make my body explode, so I walked at half speed and took it easy. Admittedly, I did it as a broke college kid because I'd save about $4 by having him buy me a new jar of peanut butter and a new jar of jelly. This experience didn't stop me from continuing to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on future breaks.
#8 I Am The Charity
I needed money pretty badly when I was 17. I moved out of my parents' house and couldn't afford to eat or pay rent. Then, I got laid off from my job. I went around neighborhoods from house to house, asking people if they needed their lawns raked. After a couple of confused looks, I prepared a fake clipboard and donation slips for Multiple Sclerosis, saying I would rake their lawn if they made a $40 dollar donation. I couldn't believe how many of these I was able to do.
I never donated the money. I used it to live, but since I lost my mom and sister to MS, which kind of put me in that situation, I don't feel bad about it.
#9 Feeding The Fortnite Addiction
Apparently, my teenage nephew needed Fortnite money so bad he resorted to stealing my stuff. Like, I don't trust this sweet little man anymore because he's so addicted to that crazy game. He took a pocket cutter and a dugout from me, which he sold for like, $15 max.
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#10 Stirring The Pot
I was like, eight and I wanted money at the cottage.
My aunt told me I could "stir the hole" (in the outhouse) if I was that desperate.
So I picked up the longest downed tree branch I could find, took off all the twigs, then used that 8-foot giant to stir it up. Afterward, I went to collect my money.
She laughed at me; said she couldn't believe it.
#11 You Staple It, You Keep It
I guess some people might find this degrading.
A mate once said I could keep a fiver if I stapled it to my top lip.
I’d do it again.
#12 All The Chicken You Want
I worked as a cook in an adult club. The kind where the kitchen was at the end of the bar and you'd have to take the orders yourself.
One night, a tipsy, arrogant guy came up and started bragging about how much money he had. Then he asked for the deep fried chicken we had, which was about $10.
The guy pulled out $20 and flicked it my way. He told me he could afford to pay even more. He pulled out another $20 and does the same. Then another, still bragging about his massive wealth. So I proceeded to cook him up the best chicken tenders money could buy.
I kept the extra cash but also felt really dirty about it for the rest of the night.
#13 Expensive Tray
Once, I got $100 for running to get a guy a tray for his food. He was right outside the hotel's restaurant and the night manager of the restaurant came out to tell him to move away. Instead, he asked me for a tray. Well, sorry old Hutch (the night manager), this guy has a hundred with my name on it.
#14 Did Not Get Kidnapped
It was winter and I was walking down the street. An old man in a nice car drove up and said, "Hey, I'll buy your socks for 50 bucks." I'm like, "Yeah, sure," but then he said, "It's cold out, jump in my car." I said, "That's not happening; can I still sell my socks?" He handed me $50 and I gave him my gross torn-up socks.
#15 Air Fiddle
When I was in middle school, kids used to pay me a dollar to go sit at their friend's tables during lunch. I would sit there awkwardly grinning until they noticed me, whereupon I would say "Hi!" and then suddenly jump up from the table and play an air fiddle (making fiddle noises with my mouth, of course). I would jump around in a circle for around 15 to 30 seconds, making as big of a scene as I could. I have NO FREAKING IDEA how this got started, but I quickly gained a reputation as a sort of humiliation specialist, ready to be deployed at a moment's notice , and for a good two or three weeks, my services were in high-demand. In the end, I made about 20 bucks.
#16 Mole In The Crowd
I once worked as a "paid volunteer" for a local mayoral candidate. I got paid to stand in the crowd, cheer when she came on stage, and boo when a certain candidate arrived. More degrading than all the disgusting fast food and retail jobs I worked.
#17 Definitely Don't Try It At Home
I once fit my dog's tennis ball entirely in my mouth for $5.
Here's what I can tell you. It's easy to kind of squeeze the ball into an oval shape to fit it into your mouth, after which it will expand to the regular shape. It's really difficult to get a fully-round tennis ball out of your mouth. Having a tennis ball take up your entire mouth, from lips to the back of your throat, forcing your jaw open and making it impossible to breathe, is VERY, VERY FRIGHTENING.
#18 That Irresistible Belly
When I was 14, I was paid $10 an hour to walk around a school fair in an inflated Pillsbury Doughboy costume. The great thing about the Pillsbury Doughboy is everyone wants to “poke” him in the stomach. Or punch him in the stomach. I think the low point was whenever a six-year-old kid would punch me in the privates as their parents cheered them on.
There were multiple low points.
#19 They Gotta Learn Somehow
As a standardized patient, I took part in the "Introduction to Clerkship" program run by the medical school. One of the first things a med student did when they started their hospital experience was to learn how to do a standard rectal exam. I would be the patient, talking the student through the entire process as I laid on my back and then curled up into the left lateral decubitus position.
#20 Love Story For The Ages
I ate a live cricket for $20 when I was 16.
Later on in life, I met a guy who told me he had eaten live cicadas as a teen. He never got paid. It was just for fun.
We are married now.
#21 Arm Wrestle
Some friends worked room service for a luxury hotel brand. A wealthy business owner and a Navy SEAL put a couple hundred dollar bills on the table for an arm wrestle. After the first round, they put another hundred on the table. They went on for a few rounds.
#22 Fish Sauce
When I was younger, I worked part-time in a grocery store deli around Seattle, where the rent was starting to dramatically increase. One week, my hours were cut by a shift and I was already struggling to meet my bills. So I volunteered to drink fish sauce for $20. My co-workers were totally down, and I ultimately made about $60 from all the spectators. I can still taste it, seven years later. So incredibly disgusting. I made rent, though!
#23 Perfect Nickname
My friend licked a sewer grate for two American dollars in high school. His nickname was "Manhole" from then on. That nickname has only gotten funnier since he came out.
#24 Wear Dark Pants (They Won't See The Stains)
I am a former cruise ship piano bar entertainer. When you stop playing and take breaks, people leave. Three hours straight into a set, I was having the best night ever in terms of tips, but I had to go to the washroom. Everyone was tipsy and just throwing tons of money. I was wearing dark jeans and decided no one would notice, so I just went #1 myself in the middle of the "Freebird" piano solo. I cleared $1,600 bucks that night.
#25 You're A Mean One
This is equal parts degrading and cool. I had a friend's mom who owned a gourmet dog treat bakery. One year, she hired me to dress up as The Grinch and take pictures with people's dogs all day. I made $15 an hour plus a steak dinner. 10/10, would Grinch again.
#26 The Things We Do For Money
When I was in high school, my summer job involved catering to ritzy parties in a mega-wealthy neighborhood. Overall, it was a great job and paid very well, especially with tips.
However, I had to do anything that was needed. Anything. One of those things turned out to be bleaching and scrubbing about a dozen garbage cans. They were full of maggots. This was in the middle of the summer and it was very hot. The stench was oxygen depriving. It was pretty brutal and there was quite a big pile of deceased maggots when I was finished. Just looking at that pile made me want to puke. Some were still moving.
#27 Too Good To Be True
I got offered $20,000 to drink an entire bottle of hot sauce. I think "tipsy me" always knew I wasn’t going to get paid to do it, but "puking me" and "a week of only drinking milk me" sure hated "tipsy me" for being so stupid.
#28 The Bug Eater
I've eaten more than my fair share of bugs for money (wasps, worms, etc.), as well as absurd amounts of things that were certainly edible, but not tasty (such as shortening or a spoon of cinnamon). I haven't ever received more than $15 dollars for any specific task. This was kinda my claim to fame from middle school to early high school.
#29 This Is What Siblings Do
My sister offered me $5 to run around our house uncovered in the snow. She ended up locking the door and made me take another lap before unlocking to the door. I am unsure of what I did with that crisp 5-dollar bill.
#30 Sweaty Socks
Someone told me to deeply inhale the scent of their sweaty socks they had been wearing all day for 10 bucks. I was 12 or something at the time, so it sounded like a lot of money.
#31 Minty Pain
In high school in math class, the person behind me had some Altoids (the ones in the red tin). They had crushed up three of them into a fine powder. They tapped my shoulder and said, "Here's $20, sprinkle this in your eyes and the money is yours." Without hesitation, I did it.
#32 Had To Defend My Title
I used to go to the Boys and Girls Club, and you needed a member card to check out any game equipment: pool cues, ping pong paddles, etc. A replacement card cost $1, and I had forgotten mine one day.
I was a pretty good ping pong player, and during the summer they had this sort of “tournament” thing, which I won. For the rest of the summer, I was the “champ,” and would remain so until someone “challenged” me and won... The kid who was the number two was named Toby, and I freaking hated this kid. He challenged me all the time, and I would always win. But the day I didn’t have my card, someone told him, and of course, he challenged me. Because I couldn’t check out a paddle, it was an automatic forfeit.
A buddy of mine “bet me $1” that I wouldn’t walk down this disgusting, fetid ditch that most likely had snakes in it. Since I didn’t have any other pants, I stripped down to my underwear and walked about 20 feet down this ditch of eternal stench.
I got my $1, put my clothes back on, washed up in the bathroom, and whooped the ever-loving waste out of Toby, beating him by enough to invoke the “mercy” rule.
#33 Tastes Like Trash
When we were teenagers, my mate had the house for the summer. All my friends and I stayed there just drinking beverages and partying.
Outside on the balcony, we had this vase standing which we used as a trash can and it also got filled up with rainwater. My mate bet me that I wouldn't drink it for $100, but as I was so tipsy I followed through.
My throat was on fire for the next three days, but it was the quickest $100 I've ever earned.
#34 The Taste Of Italy!
I ate a tablespoon of dried Oregano for $20. Everything I ate tasted like Italy for the next nine hours. It was very gross.
#35 Diet Lies
A friend and I ran a Diet Pepsi challenge booth at a park in a bad neighborhood for my sister because she was scared to do it. We gave away all the Diet Pepsi in the first 10 minutes, made up phony results, told her we worked all day, and each got $100.
#36 Worst Decision Of My Life
I signed up for a medical study to research the psychological effects of writing down how much soda you drank per day. I was 22 and never drank a sip of soda in my life. So, I bought a pack to convince the testers I was a regular soda drinker.
That was six years ago. Now I drink three cans a week and am fully addicted. I got paid roughly $150.
#37 Everyone's Favorite Memory
In a class of 32 students, 30 of them offered me $20 each to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon for the cinnamon challenge.
That is $600.
I was one of the poorest kids in our class. Heck yeah, I did it. At graduation, everyone claimed it as their favorite memory.
#38 Worse Than Sniffing It
Back in middle school, I drank liquid glue for $10 in exchange for a free lunch my friend said he'd buy me. The teacher turned towards the chalkboard and it was my chance. I drank it and he turned around. I'll never forget the face he made. He dropped his jaw.
Bonus: I missed a week of school because of it. A lot of throwing up.
#39 There Are No Words, Just Read
In college, when I was a freshman in a fraternity, during one of the cleaning days I noticed there was an apple lodged in one of the toilets, just enough that it would spin with water.
This apple was probably stuck there over a week. I thought it was the most disgusting thing ever. So I bet someone $50 they wouldn’t eat it. I lost that $50. He ate the apple down to the core.
#40 Dad Got What Was Coming To Him
My father offered to give me $50 to eat a whole bowl of wasabi when we were eating out as a family. I quickly ate the wasabi and promptly threw up all over dad's plate. Not quite so funny at the time, but 12-year-old me got $50 richer!
#41 Garlic Butter And Hot Sauce
I took three mini glasses of garlic butter sauce to get 50% off my food order. After I downed those, they offered the other 50% off if I took three glasses of hot sauce. I downed those too, and I got my $10 order for free.
I walked one block before I puked all over the sidewalk.
#42 A Rolling Sophomore Gathers Mud
During sophomore year, we had our first fire drill of the year. My buddy gave me five dollars to roll down this big hill to the soccer field while the entire school was outside. I was young and dumb, so I was game. Turns out, the grass was still wet from when it was raining earlier and I got covered in grass and mud. It was so notable it made the yearbook as the favorite moment of the senior class. One of my finest accomplishments.
#43 I Gotta Go
Some friends and I were at a candy store and my friend basically offered to buy my candy if I ate like, a pound of sugar-free gummy bears (which he also bought). The candy at this place was super expensive, so I figured, why not.
Well, for those of you who don't know, sugar-free gummy bears are basically laxatives. I knew this at the time and ate them anyway. I ate them at like, 7 p.m. and was up until at least 3 a.m. just constantly running to the bathroom because I thought my bowels were going to explode. It was the most uncomfortable night of my life. I couldn't finish the whole bag because, after the first three-fourths of a pound, they just become inedible. Another friend of mine finished them and I'll never forget the instant it got him. His face just went blank, he got up and immediately ran out my door shouting, "I gotta go."
#44 No More Ketchup
After I graduated from school, I had about two months' worth of living expenses saved while I started my job hunt. After that, if I hadn't found work, I was to go back home to stay with my parents. Thankfully, right at the end of the second month, I got a call from a company and started working quality assurance for them the next week. I was going to be fine, however, I was absolutely out of money and had none until my first paycheck came in after two weeks.
I stretched the few dollars I had on ramen and rice but eventually became super dry. I started living off of the free fruit in the break room every day. At lunch, a couple of coworkers went to McDonald's and asked if I wanted to tag along. I told them that I was trying to save some cash and didn't want to eat out but jokingly asked them to bring me back some ketchup packets to eat since they were free.
They actually did, thinking I wanted them for a lunch I had brought. When I told them it was a joke, I mentioned that I was near a point where I'd almost actually eat those though to fill myself up. My manager heard that, and made me a bet, offering me $100 if I could put back 50 of the McDonald's ketchup packets within half an hour. I didn't even hesitate and shook his hand before he realized how hungry and desperate I actually was. So he ran back to McDonald's and came back with another 46 or so packets, and popped them on my desk.
I went to town. I hate ketchup. Don't put it on my fries, hot dogs, nothing. Slurped all 50 packets dry, then waited for a moment, and booked it to the bathroom to puke the slimiest, reddest vomit I've ever experienced. My manager was having the time of his life. He coughed up the $100, which I used to buy myself the biggest burger I've ever eaten. No ketchup.
#45 Pizza And Chili Were Not Friends
My boyfriend and I were out with my parents for pizza. During our meal, they brought small dishes with extras you can put on your pizza. One of these extras was a pretty hot chili sauce, but in this sauce was a large, whole green chili just chilling there. I was dared to eat it. Eventually, I rose up to the occasion and said fine. My dad said he'd give me $200.
I ate it. I regretted it. The whole pizza that I had just eaten before the chili did not like the chili...
I threw up in the bathroom five minutes later. My boyfriend came into the bathroom to check on me and he said there was a young girl who looked traumatized by the noise coming from the bathroom. Still got my $200.