If there is one constant in life it is that everyone has a story from their childhood that ends the same way—they messed up so badly that they were convinced once their parents found out their life was over. These moments can generally be chalked up to things like curiosity, sibling rivalry, or just downright bad attitudes, but regardless of how they got there, these people have relived those horrifying moments so we don't have to!
1. Quit While You’re Ahead
Got in trouble at school for basically reprinting quizzes, retaking them, re-grading them, and then contesting the grade with the teacher. It worked twice but I got greedy and did it a third time and he figured it out. I actually thought I was in the clear, an administrator who really liked me doled out a much lighter punishment than expected, one that didn't involve any parental notification.
The teacher took it upon himself to send out a letter about it, can't really blame the dude as clearly justice was not served. When I got home and saw my mom's face I knew somehow they were notified. Terror ensued.
2. Kid Logic
Every single day my mom told me to be careful near the frozen pond next to our house. One day enough snow melted in order for my friends and I to play soccer in the field next to the pond. As you can guess, at one point the ball ended up dead center in the middle of the pond on the ice. My child brain figured if I could throw a stick on the ice, it was safe to walk on.
So after making sure the ice was stable by throwing not one but two sticks, I started my walk to get the ball.
It was like a scene from a movie, I reached the center and the second I picked up the ball and attempted to turn around I fell straight through the ice and went under. I had to break the ice the entire way back to shore and had my clothes dried at a friend's house a few blocks away. By the time I got there I thought I was on my deathbed but I could never tell my mom I was dumb enough to go out there or she would have probably killed me.
I'm now 26 and have still never told my parents I did that.
3. It’s a Small World
This story takes place in the mid 90s. I was 16. Skipping school, out screwing around in my car with friends. Took a turn too fast and put the car in a ditch. We got the car out of the ditch with the help of a passerby. Not a scratch on it by some miracle. Get home and dad asks, "So how was school?" in a way that told me he knew full well I wasn't at school.
If there is one thing my father instilled in me it is this—no matter how bad you mess up, lying about it will only make it worse. Own up, take your punishment and don't do it again.
So I told him exactly what happened. He couldn't really take the car away. I'd purchased it from him for full trade-in value out of money I'd saved from working at a pizza joint. But he found other ways to make my life a living hell for a few months after that. Come to find out, the Good Samaritan who helped us out of the ditch was a coworker of my dad who recognized the car and had called dad to let him know about my adventures
4. Don’t Say a Word
I was 17. Drove my girlfriend home from school. We ended up in the shower together. Just as we turned off the water and she was stepping out, we hear her dad open the front door of the house. Of course, my truck is in the driveway so he knows I'm there, but I'm nowhere else in the house, obviously. My short life flashed before my eyes.
He came stomping down the hallway and banged on the bathroom door. My girlfriend, wrapped in a towel, answered the door and lied her butt off, "Spanxxx is down the street at one of our friends' house. I told him I'd call when I was out of the shower." Meanwhile, I'm standing frozen and shriveled in the shower behind the curtain preparing to meet the hereafter.
She finished getting ready and while she used the hair dryer I got dressed. I think she had to go to her room to get some portion of my clothes even. Maybe my shoes. We also made sure to use the dryer on my hair. Her dad had gone to the living room, thankfully at the other end of the house. We waited about 20 minutes like a teenage girl getting out of the shower kind of time and then she went to look for the clear path.
I tiptoed to the front door while she played blocker in the kitchen. I knocked on the front door from the inside and she came to the front of the house to "let me in" by opening the front door and screen door. Married that girl. Been together 26 years.
5. Made It Worse
When I was six, I spilled grape juice on the tan carpet in the living room. I put a pillow over it, laid on the pillow, and vowed that I would stay there the rest of my life so my parents would never find out. I lasted about 45 minutes. My mom was more upset that I got grape juice on the pillow, rather than the carpet.
6. Double Whammy
Getting pulled over by three police cars for doing 70 in a 45. My dad happened to call as I was talking with the officers. They asked to speak with him. After a few minutes, they handed the phone back and said, “You better go home, that is going to be worse than the ticket we are giving you.” That was a whole lot of yelling at home.
7. Check Your Surroundings
When I was about eight my sister and I used to play around the neighborhood with other kids, but we had to be home by 8 pm or when the streetlights came on, whichever came first. We had a watch on and every evening my mum would make sure that we had one with us and it was working. One evening we were 20 minutes late, and it was the second time that week.
If we were late twice in a week we weren't allowed to go out the rest of the week. My sister and I were talking by the back garden gate making up excuses why we were late and making sure we were both on the same page in case she questioned us. We opened the gate to go inside and my mum was standing on the other side of the gate, arms folded.
That was a "life flashed before my eyes" moment.
So we live in a two-story colonial. My parents are away on vacation. I'm in the yard and tossing a baseball up in the air and catching it, just a nine-year-old entertaining myself. I think to myself, "Hey, let's loft it onto the first split level roof and then it'll roll off and I'll catch it!" Second toss, CRASH, shatter sister's window. Grandma was babysitting. Grandma reported. I was smoked.
9. Not so Fast
I skipped school by leaving the house, climbing on the garage and waiting for my mum to leave. I jumped down to let myself in as she drove off and set myself up for a day on my PS1. She then came back as she’d forgotten something and I wanted to die in a hole. The yelling was something to behold. Didn’t do that again!
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10. Break Glass In Case of Emergency
My sister locked me out of the house and she was still inside. So I went around banging on all the doors, and she’s ignoring me. I started pounding on her bedroom window, and my hand accidentally goes through the window. Over ten years later and I still have a tiny scar on my hand.
11. Right Intention in Mind
There was a small lizard trapped in our garage under a pile of wood so I moved some of the wood so it could get out. I must have accidentally knocked over a larger plank in the process, which landed on my dad's car and went straight through the windshield. Lizard was fine though.
12. I Swear It’s Not My Fault
In college, I opened my class portal a few weeks into the semester to see my classes were all dropped, and I was no longer a student. I had no idea how it happened. I called my parents in a panic and the pregnant pause as my mom processed the information made my heart sink. Turned out it was a system error, and I was reinstated the next day, but holy hell was that a heart attack.
13. Good Idea at the Time
I made a slingshot out of a piece of wood and some elastic. Thought I should test it out by shooting the back window of my parents van. Slingshot worked.
14. Ahead of Schedule
17 years old, I had a party while the parents were out of town. I had to work the next day, but timed it so I would have plenty of time to clean before they got home that evening. Came home from work, the sprinklers are on and their car is in the driveway. Driving down my driveway I was anxiety and fear personified. I walk in the house and my mom tells me, "Your dad had to leave before you got here otherwise he was afraid of what he might do to you."
15. Forgetting Something
Parents were away for the weekend, so I took my dads keys and took the car for a small drive. I was never allowed to drive unsupervised because I didn’t have a license or anything. It was a thrill, I came back, parked, and left the keys in the same drawer he left them in. Monday arrives, I come back from school and my dad asks me to come look at the car, with a death glare.
I had forgot to pull the seat back after adjusting them for my 14-year-old legs.
16. Check the Parking Brake
When I was about 11 years old, our car was parked on the side of the road with me inside and my parents putting groceries in the trunk. I knew that if I rotated the key just a bit and put it in first position, the radio would start playing and I would be able to open the window. So I did just that.
Instead of stopping at the first position, I probably went too far, and the engine started running and the car jerked forward. Mind you, we were parked with the front of the car towards the sidewalk. I was lucky that there was no one in front of the car, but my parents really freaked out. My dad really scolded me for that, one of the few times he ever did. Really scared me.
17. Trying to Fit in
Grade 10—my first year of high school. I was a super good student and super shy kid. I was trying to make friends, so I let this dummy cheat off my answers for some English test we had. Teacher caught on that both of our answers were identical and sent me to the principal's office, where I had never been before! They had called my mom already and told her!
Anything they said after that went in one ear and out the other, I was dead when I got home anyway. Worst afternoon of my life to that point. Turned out to not be a huge deal to my parents at all, and found out many years later that was because my dad had been the dummy in that scenario many times in high school, cheating off the smarter kids!
18. Setting the Mood
I thought it was a good idea to play with some candles while having a Lord of the Rings marathon. Turns out that was a bad idea because I ended up getting distracted and set the family couch on fire. I frantically put it out and threw a blanket over it. I didn't leave that couch for a week.
19. It Adds up
My parents paid for my mobile phone subscription. Got a girlfriend and called a lot more. Too much more. Racked up a 600 Euro bill. My soul left my body that day.
20. Something’s Not Right
My sister and I—in 2010—had just gotten unlimited texting for $25 a month. I was 15 and didn’t pay for it. Between us, we sent and received almost 30,000 texts that month, which without the plan would have charged us $0.15 a text. End of month, the bill comes round and the cell company never applied the unlimited texting so we received a $4,500+ bill.
They fixed it quickly, but I never thought I was going to die that much before.
21. (Thank) God Is Watching
When I was sixteen, I was forced to go to church with my family. They knew I hated every minute of it, and so as a sort of compensation my mom would let me leave a few minutes early and pull her car up front as services were closing. So one Saturday my best friend spent the night and I dragged him to church with me. Well, at the usual moment, Mom handed me her keys and me and my friend went to pull the car around.
Now of course since my friend was there, I just had to show off a bit.
I pulled Mom’s car out of the parking space, where she parked right next to my Pop’s truck. When I pulled her out, for some reason I decided I should try a burn out or something funny. Well, I totally had no idea what I was doing and crashed Mom’s car into Dad’s truck. When the shock subsided a bit, I got out to survey the catastrophe. I was standing there in all my shame and glory as the entire church filed out.
Luckily we were on holy ground and there were too many witnesses, because I’m sure my parents would have sacrificed me there on the spot. Can you believe that they never bought me my first car?!
22. Felt Like Eternity
The five seconds between my mum catching me smoking and actually speaking back when I was 14.
23. Quick on the Draw
When I was 13 I had my two closest friends over for a sleepover because my parents weren't home for the night. We were in that phase where we were really into guns and Call of Duty and we thought we knew everything about guns because we played C.O.D. 4 all day, so my friend brought over his new airsoft pistol. There was a small closet next to the new 50 inch plasma flat screen my parents just bought and we were taking turns shooting at cans we put on the shelves.
It was my turn and I tried to do one of those cowboy-quick-draw shots where they take out their gun and fire within a half-second. I shot too quickly to really aim and the airsoft BB went straight into the screen of the TV. The screen went black and I hurriedly turned it off and then back on again and strange lines criss-crossed the screen and spider webbed to the point where the BB struck.
They got home an hour later and I didn't want them to find out randomly later so I brought my mom down and showed her. Did not go well.
24. Dude, Don’t You Ever Wash Your Face?
When I was about nine years old, my mom went out and left my sister and I at home with our dad. He was an extremely heavy sleeper, so whenever he was our sole guardian we knew we had our run of the house after about 10 pm. On this particular evening, my mom had left her makeup on the bathroom counter. This was too tempting for me. I gathered my tools and went to work on my sleeping father.
After a few minutes of carefully applying all of my nine-year-old boy makeup expertise, I moved on and forgot about it.
Fast forward. Apparently, dad slept through his alarm the next day and rushed out of the house to work without stopping in the bathroom. Dad was a truck driver, and not much of a fan of practical jokes. I can still remember when he got home. He opened the front door and just stared at me, not moving. Not speaking.
It was the one and only time growing up that I was genuinely afraid of my dad. I thought, "Crap, he's gonna kill me."
25. Lift With Your Legs
My bedroom was upstairs and it would get really hot, so I had an air conditioner in the window all summer. I had two friends over and somehow we had a necklace that belonged to a girl we didn’t like. We decided that it would be a good idea to throw it out the window—nine-year-old girls are petty, apparently. The plan was that I would hold the air conditioner, friend one would open the window, and friend two would throw the necklace out.
Well, turns out air conditioners are heavy as hell, so of course, it fell. It landed on the stairs to the back door, and both the air conditioner and stairs were destroyed. I freaked out and started saying my parents were gonna make me do chores for my entire life to pay for it. I ran and hid in the woods and bawled.
My parents weren’t even mad. My dad said, “it’s just an air conditioner, we’re just glad no one was hurt.” Looking back, I really admire them for their reaction. We weren’t doing well financially, and it would have been really easy to get mad at me for being stupid and ruining an expensive appliance. We didn’t even have to replace the air conditioner because my dad is a wizard and fixed it.
26. Wrong Number
Was texting my brother asking for help with something so that my mom wouldn't get mad and called her the b-word in the text. Sent it to my mom.
27. We’ve All Been There
I didn't take the chicken out of the freezer while my mom was pulling up.
28. Looney Tunes Logic
When I was about ten, I was playing with a friend who lived down the street. His younger brother and my younger sister both wanted to play hide and seek. We begrudgingly agreed and said we would be "it" first. We found this bucket of liquid and for some reason thought it was glue. It was at this point we decided to spread it all around the safe zone thinking if we couldn't catch them it would stop them so we could tag them.
It wasn't glue. It was some kind of solvent. My sister ran through it, slipped, and landed directly on her head. Blood and tears everywhere. Thought she was dead. Was convinced I was either going to jail or my parents would kill me. Turned out to be fine. Didn't even need stitches. Only grounded for like two weeks.
29. Long Con
I was getting bad grades in one class because I wasn't doing the homework. The teacher sent home a printed grade report, which I forged my mom's signature on and returned. When report cards came out, my mom emailed the teacher asking for an itemized grade report to see my grades. I knew my mom's email password, so I signed in and deleted the teacher's email as soon as it came in, then deleted it permanently from the deleted folder.
But then she told me to ask my teacher in person for a grade report since she hadn't gotten the email. I thought I could get him to print a copy, which I could photoshop to look better. Instead, when I asked him, he just emailed it to her again, while I was at school and could not get to a computer to intercept it. Yeah, I got in trouble. Then I got in huge trouble later when my parents learned that I had been regularly forging grade reports.
30. Dodged a Ticket
My parents had just left for vacation when I got pulled over doing 85 in a 45. The cop didn't write me a ticket, but gave me his phone number and told me to have my parents call him by 6 pm. He told me if he did not get a call, he was going to issue a warrant for my arrest. Mind you, this was before cell phones were very reliable. I left a message with the receptionist at their hotel letting them know they needed to call home as soon as they checked in, and that it was an emergency.
The cop told them that there was no way he could write me a ticket that didn't result in me losing my license, and being that I was just a dumb, young kid being dumb, he didn't want to do that. He instructed them to put the fear of God in me and he would put the matter behind him. Needless to say, it was not my finest moment as a son.
31. Flew too Close to the Fuse
When I was about 10 years old, it was a couple days before the Fourth of July so we had a bunch of fireworks sitting around. We had some Piccolo Petes—these horrible fireworks that just screech loudly for 10 seconds and do nothing else—and I took them in the backyard. Now about 10 minutes beforehand, my mom had told me not to light off any fireworks before the Fourth. So I'm out there playing with my magnifying glass burning leaves and stuff, and I decide to see if the magnifying glass can light a firework wick.
But of course, I was going to stop it before it actually went off!
So, I see sparks flying, and I panic. I drop the magnifying glass and run inside where I meet face to face with my mom. She takes one look at me and says, "What did you do?" So I just stood there for a couple seconds sweating bullets, knowing what's about to happen. Then, from the backyard, you hear the unholy screeching of the firework begin to sound.
You could see the look on her face slowly change from "I know you're up to something" to "You're an idiot."
32. This Is Not a Playground
One time I was with a friend in the yard trying to hit golf balls over the top of the house—why, I literally have no idea. Ended up whacking one of those puppies into the siding and causing a dent. Also, another time, I hit a tennis ball through one of the garage door windows. I should probably have stopped playing sports in the front yard.
33. Automatic Locks
I once locked my mum’s car keys inside her car while she was at work. I was opening the boot of the car and I was going to go into the car afterwards, so I threw the keys into the car, shut the boot, and went to open the car door. It was locked and the keys were inside. My mum had to break the back window of the car to get in to retrieve the keys, and had to drive around with a bin bag taped over the window for like a month.
34. Saved by the Laugh
On Thanksgiving Eve, when I was about 12, my mom, grandmother and I were finishing up the dishes. We were unloading the dishwasher and drying/putting away dishes. My mom and grandmother were sitting and I was standing opposite them. I grabbed the cover of a crystal sugar dish. It looked like it had about a DROP of water in it. So to be a wiseass, I pretended I was going to throw it in my mother's face.
She gave me a look like "don't you dare", so I threw the drop of water in her face...only it wasn't a drop. The entire dish was FULL of water. I soaked her face. Water dripping off her glasses and down her face to her shirt. If looks could kill, I would have been dead on the spot. I was terrified. I figured I was grounded for life...but I got a respite. My grandmother started hysterically laughing. Not just giggling, guffawing to the point of tears.
She saved my hide. I love my grandmother.
35. Speed Racer
I was 17 and hadn't been driving long. My car was a super slow Saturn that I stuck a fart can on and I saw an equally slow Civic with a fart can and wanted to race him. We took off doing about 70 down a 35 like idiots when in the oncoming lane I spotted my Dad's car, but too late. It felt like slow motion as we passed each other and made eye contact.
Immediately, I went into full panic mode and didn't come home for hours as if I was hoping he'd forget.
He didn't bother to chase me down after that. When I got home later he was waiting at the kitchen table and my gut was in my throat. He asked for my car keys and grounded me for two weeks. He kept track of my odometer to make sure I wasn't leaving the house while he was out. Didn't die, but felt like I wanted to be the emo 17-year-old I was.
36. Kid’s Have the Darndest Games
When I was a kid, my friends and I used to play a game on our trampoline called "ladybug"—I don’t know why it’s called that. So, our trampoline had a safety net so you can’t fall off, but ladybug was where one person was on the other side of the net and we had to body check them off. So one day we were playing the game and I body checked the person into a ditch. They broke their arm. I thought I was gonna die.
37. Search History
As a kid, my father and I would occasionally take weekend trips a couple hours down the road to see my grandfather and step-grandmother and stay in their house with them. These trips were fun because they were like mini-vacations, and both my grandfather and step-grandmother were veritably some of the coolest people you'd ever meet in your life. I actually didn't get to know them until I was half-grown, they were a disconnected part of my family. Sometimes my dad would leave me with them for the weekend.
My step-grandma had a fully kitted out—for the time—desktop computer in her office at her house. She was computer savvy and much younger than my grandfather. Me being a gamer, I was most definitely interested in her computer, and she let me browse the Internet on it sometimes. This was back when a fast internet-enabled computer in the house was less common.
One night, when all the adults were doing boring adult stuff and talking in the den, I snuck into the office to use the computer. Didn't have any ill-intent at first, just wanted to browse Cartoon Network or whatever like usual, but that night I had a fresh thought pop into my brain. I pulled up the very old original version of Google, and looked up "free... adult content."
With my heart pounding, I browsed some sites, all of which were very cringy and tame by today's standards. All the good stuff was hidden with starbursts and lens flairs. I looked at the sites for a little while, and then left the room thinking I'd gotten away with it. I didn't know that they could check my history.
My grandparents approached me later and told me they knew what I'd done. They asked me to confess and I did, then asked how I thought I should be punished, at which point I told them I was pretty sure my dad was going to be angry when we told him, but predictably I said I didn't think I deserved that.
They said I was forgiven and I apologized. My dad didn't spank me for it like I expected him to. I think my grandfather had a private heart-to-heart with him, or either didn't tell him at all. Seems silly in hindsight, but at the time it felt like I'd been caught red-handed with a murder weapon.
38. Wait for It
I was about nine years old shopping at Party City with my mom and four-year-old sister. We walked near an aisle full of Halloween masks, so I snuck over and put on the scariest one I could find. I waited for my mom and sister to almost reach the end of one aisle until I started a full on, intentionally loud sprint their way.
At the very last second, my sister turns around to see a demon screaming at her about six inches from her face. I’ve never seen so much true fear in someone’s eyes and I felt so awful, I had never really felt bad for picking on my younger sister until that moment. My mom was furious with me—rightfully so—and swore that she and my dad were going to scare me even worse than I scared her.
For years, I was checking around corners and terrified to take the trash out at night. I even resorted to a nightlight for far too long than I would like to admit. It wasn’t until I was about 20 years old when I finally told them that I had been afraid they were going to scare me for literally half my life. They didn’t even remember me scaring my sister at all and never made an attempt to scare me, but they had me scared for 10+ years so I think it’s safe to say that they got me back.
39. What Time Is It?
One time I woke up late for school because my alarm didn't go off. I am incredibly blind without my contacts and just glanced at the clock and was very late. In a furious panic to try somehow make it to the bus I put my contacts in, dunked my hair in water and grabbed my backpack and jacket as I sprinted to the bus stop.
It was the time of year where it's dark outside well into the morning, so it was still pitch black. No one was at the bus stop, so I figured I missed. I still waited for quite some time in case it showed up. When I realized I was so late it wasn't coming I walked back to my house, knowing I would have to wake my mom up to take me to school.
Fortunately, when I walked through the front door, she was already up waiting for me! She greeted me with, "WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!" I responded that I was sorry, but late for the bus and needed her to take me to school. She glared at me and told me it was something like four in the morning.
I had somehow misread my alarm clock in my state of panic and tried to explain that I really did think I was late and was really at the bus stop. She just assumed I had snuck out with friends the night before and was just coming home, something I had been doing off and on for a while at that time. So, I was grounded for sneaking out, when in reality I just woke up too early to go to school.
40. I Meant to Do That
My mom left my eight-year-old brother and 14-year-old me alone at home to run an errand. I don't remember what he did, but he royally pissed me off, and I had a BAD temper as a teenager. So, I chucked a cordless phone at his face. He started bleeding everywhere and we both panicked—I had knocked out one of his teeth!
So he ran to the bathroom to see which one, bawling the whole time. As it turns out, it was his extra tooth. He was scheduled to have it pulled a few days later. So then, the angry tears turned to grateful tears at avoiding a trip to the dentist. We did still have to call my mom, though, so that she knew why he was suddenly missing a bonus tooth. He confirmed that he was glad I knocked it out and she went "uh... I have to think about this." I was grounded.
41. That Escalated Quickly
I was sitting in my back garden with my best friend, and we'd recently acquired an air rifle. So obviously we started shooting it at things in an increasingly destructive manner—because we were 11. We shook up and banged out a can of Coke and then laughed as it went nuts spraying its contents everywhere. Then, we got a can of deodorant and it was even MORE ridiculous because it basically went bang but in a relatively harmless way.
Then we got a can of shoe polish. Turns out shoe polish is…a little bit flammable. A little bit more flammable than you might expect. The explosion set fire to my step dad’s shed. The can itself went straight up like a surface-to-air missile. Armed police arrived shortly afterwards. At the time I lived in reasonably central London, and this was in 1991, which just happened to be slap-bang in the middle of the biggest-ever spate of IRA terrorist attacks on the city and a couple of months after some IRA members had driven a motorboat up the Thames and fired mortar shells at the actual Houses of Parliament.
The bollocking we got from the police was...extreme. But it was nothing compared to the look in my mother's eyes the whole time it was going on, because my friend and I knew that it was when the police left that things were going to get very bad indeed.
The sense of apprehension was even worse than a riot cop carrying a rifle screaming in our faces about how stupid we were. It was horrifying. We were doomed. And so it came to pass. She went absolutely mental. My mother is a mild-mannered person but not that day. Not that day. It still terrifies me to think of it almost 30 years later.
42. Could’ve Been Worse
I think I was four or five. There was a rock quarry/gravel pit about a mile from my home that my parents didn't want me going to because a bunch of unseemly youths hung out there. So, of course, this is where my flying experiment took place. I tied four kites to my bike and thought if I rode fast enough and then took my bike off the steepest bank of the quarry, the kites would lift me off and I'll glide to the bottom.
Probably lucky for me, but the strings of the kite wound into the bike spokes and completely locked it, throwing me and I slid all the way down the edge of the gravel pit rather than make a measured jump. Scraped up to my elbows and from my knees down, all I could think on that painful walk home dragging my busted bike full of kites was how my mom was going to kill me.
Suffice to say, when your five-year-old walks in looking like the finale of Carrie you don't immediately jump to punishment.
43. Not the Best Lie
I had just gotten my first ever job at ACE hardware and a week in, my buddies hit me up asking if I wanted to head to the beach for next week and I was like, “Yeah of course!” So I told my boss at work a family member died and I couldn’t come in the next week. So my boss called my dad who also works for the owner of the company in a different department and starts telling him, “I’m so sorry for your loss please let me know if I can do anything to help!”
And my dad was like “What do you mean? What happened?”
And he ended up telling my boss I lied about the entire thing. I still got the week off and went on the vacation but the next few days at my job were nerve-wracking to say the least.