Embarrassed People Share The Absolute Weirdest Things Their Family Does Regularly
Every family is unique. They each have their own set of habits and traditions unlike any other.
But sometimes, you don’t realize exactly how strange those habits and traditions really are. When you’re young and growing up, they seemed “normal” to you, and you might have even assumed other families did the same things. It’s only once you grew up, spent some time around other families, and got some perspective of your own that it became clear what you thought was normal was actually not normal at all.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Take it from these embarrassed people, who recently shared some of the weirdest things their families regularly do:
Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#35 A Card Nothing To Do With The Occasion
We always get each other the stupidest and most unrelated cards for holidays and birthdays, Like, my mom gave me a card for my 18th birthday that was all about how she was proud of the strong black man that I had become… I’m white.
My mom had gallbladder surgery and my brother and I got her a bunch of “It’s a girl!” balloons. Lots of confused nurses asked us if we were looking for the maternity ward.
We also try to get weird things written on cakes. “Sorry About the Test Results” was one that we thought was hilarious. “It was only a mole.” was another.
A lot of people don’t get it. I have tried extending it beyond my family. I got my friend a “Happy Bat Mitzvah” card for her wedding. She was really confused and told me that neither her or her husband were Jewish (they also weren’t turning 13).
However, in college, I had an Australian roommate and he had to have his appendix removed, so I pulled the same stunt and got him a bunch of “It’s a Boy” balloons. He said it was the funniest thing he had ever seen — all those balloons and confused doctors and nurses.
#34 Flickering The Porch Light
Whenever we drop someone off at their house at night, we have them flicker the front porch light on and off to signal that they are okay.
#33 Gifts From Dogs
Once my younger sister stopped believing in Santa, my parents started giving us dogs that we knew as our presents: our cousin’s dog, our neighbor’s dog, even our own dog.
I think on this particular Christmas Eve, Mom and Dad were delirious and thought it would be funny, and it has stuck.
#32 What Is Family Tradition
Jeopardy every night. We always set it to record because sometimes we don’t have time to watch it when it airs. We don’t give the answer in the form of a question or keep score—it’s not that extreme—but the person that gets Final Jeopardy gets high fives. When I’m away at school, my mom always texts me the Final Jeopardy question so I still get to play a little when I’m away.
#31 Family Hold Back
When more guests arrive than expected, mom uses a secret code for me and dad: “FHB” (Family, Hold Back).
This is done so that we eat less, and the extra unexpected guests don’t run out of food.
#30 The Pine Tree Roulette
Whenever it’s time to go pick out a Christmas tree from a lot, my brother, dad, and I will walk in and grab one that is still wrapped up in twine.
It started about six years ago when we went a week before Christmas to get one because we all had been too busy to meet up. The pickings were slim, so we decided to go with a wrapped one and love it regardless of its flaws that would be revealed when we got home.
It would always be the ugliest damn tree you’d ever see. Pine Tree Roulette is so much fun and gives other trees a chance at a loving home. We’ve gotten two flawless ones in our years. It’s fun to see what you’ll get!
#29 Goodnight Isn’t Optional
You have to say goodnight to everyone in the house before you go to bed. If they’re already asleep, you have to say it outside of their door just in case they may still be awake to hear it. I never thought anything of this until I spent the night at my ex’s house and I wanted to say goodnight to his roommates. I seriously thought everyone did this.
#28 Hiccups For Sale
This is just between my mother and me, but every time I get the hiccups, she buys them from me. I’ll start hiccuping and she makes a big fuss and throws up her arms. “I suppose you want cash for those, huh?”
She’ll give me whatever spare change she can find in increasing amounts until I stop hiccuping. Usually, I’ll make about 50 cents, but one time I got $6 because she only had bills. She’s the best.
#27 Mosty Toasty
When I was a kid, I lived with my grandmother for a few years. When I was really young, she started “mosty toasty.” As in, she would say “I love you the mosty toasty!” And I would say “I love you the mosty toasty too!” Then she would gasp really dramatically, and say “But don’t you love Mommy the mosty toasty?!” And I would panic and exclaim, “Yes, yes I do! I love you both the mosty toasty!” But my grandmother would then say, “Oh no, you can only love one person the mosty toasty! You have to pick!”
90% of the time I would pick my mom and my grandmother would say, “That’s okay, you’re supposed to love her the mosty toasty! I still love you the mosty toasty though!” And I would say, “I love you too!” And if I picked my grandmother instead, she would tell me she was gonna call my mom and tell her that I didn’t love her the mosty toasty anymore and I would go “No no, don’t tell her that, I do love her the mosty toasty!”
I do it with my kids now, but somehow it became more of a contest. The first one to say “I love you the mosty toasty!” wins, and you can do it any time of day. You can surprise attack with it and that’s it, you’ve won for the day. My daughter’s fond of nailing me with it right as she’s walking out the door to the bus stop. We’ve also changed the “there can be only one” rule, to include others, so we can love more than one person the mosty toasty.
#26 Kind of Creepy Way to Eat Corn
We have a family tradition where if you make eye contact with someone while you are eating corn on the cob, you must finish eating that corn without looking away, blinking, or swallowing. It usually ends in corn being spewed, but it’s plenty fun.
#25 Sundays Are Reserved
Not sure how weird this is, but for as long as I can remember, Sunday was “Family Day.” Even though we didn’t have a specific activity that we all did together, we all just stayed home and didn’t make plans with other people.
It’s something everyone in the family respects and actually looks forward to. Even now, I’m away at college and when I come home I never make plans on Sunday. On the strange occasion that there’s some other event I’d like to attend on a Sunday, I still ask permission from my parents out of courtesy, but of course, they never tell me no.
I guess it began to make sure we were an actual family. Well, it worked! They’re my favorite people.
#24 Goodbyes Are Hard
Drawn out goodbyes. Leaving to go home? Expect several “I love you’s,” a “call us when you get home,” at least two quick stories, and a random gift.
Hanging up the phone? It’s the same thing.
My husband eventually learned to leave 10 minutes early due to the excessiveness of it all.
#23 Keeping Family Matters Private
My mother’s side of the family never talks about their pasts, which is why I know next to nothing about any of my aunts and uncles younger lives.
My mom has five brothers and four sisters. My one uncle is the most open with me because we took similar paths in life and have a lot in common. I go over to his place every few weeks and we always tell each other stories. But it’s never about his sisters, his brothers, or anyone in the family. Only his own past.
Even when I specifically ask him questions about certain members of his family, he will always subvert by saying, “It’s not my place to say anything. I love them and they’re family. Unless they feel the need to tell you, their stories won’t cross my lips.”
Of course, it makes me madly curious, but I respect them all for being so stoic and respectful of one another.
#22 Toad Food for Dinner
My family refers to breakfast for dinner as “toad food.” There’s no reasoning for it, other than the fact that my mom called it that when she was a kid.
We also kiss our fingers and touch the roof of the car if we drive through a yellow light or if it changes while we’re driving through an intersection. No explanation for that one either.
#21 Singing And Screaming Over Stuffing
Every year at Thanksgiving, we end up singing the entirety of “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the dinner table, acapella. That’s 16 people, screaming and singing as loudly as they can, regardless of age.
Needless to say, anytime a new person comes to our Thanksgiving dinner they are surprised.
#20 Analytical Type of Affection
“Because I said so” does not exist in my family. We logically explain everything to each other. A conversation in my family always involves intense Googling as we look up stuff to prove whatever we’re talking about. We all over-explain everything and we’re all super into it.
It’s adorable and I love it. Also, the real world was an unpleasant surprise.
#19 Bonding And Bonfires
Both my mom and dad have a lot of siblings, which, in turn, means I have a lot of siblings and cousins. On my dad’s side of the family (which is white) we have what we call a “fam fire” (which is pretty much a family bonfire) when we’re all together. We first burn things that have hurt us, then we burn things for good luck, and lastly, we burn wishes for each other.
On my mom’s side of the family (which is black) we have family parties, but we have two main events, one for my grandma’s side and then one for my grandpa’s side. Back in the day, my grandma’s and grandpa’s tribes were enemies and hated each other, forcing them to elope. After an all-out war broke out between the two families during one of my older cousin’s birthdays, my mom and her siblings just decided never to bring either side together again and to just have separate family functions for each.
#18 A Reasonable Apocalypse Discussion
At the dinner table one day, we discussed, as a family, which one of us would get eaten first in the apocalypse. It was a serious conversation that involved weighing the pros and cons of each person’s contributions to the survival of the family, as well as contemplating flavor and fat-to-muscle ratio, among other things.
The result? Me. They’d eat me first.
#17 Introverted And Isolated
We’re solitary people. We always have an enjoyable dinner together, but then go off into separate corners of the house to do our own thing. It’s not out of dislike; we all just enjoy being alone. My mom would occasionally try to get us to watch a movie together or something because that was what “normal” families did, but it always felt forced and afterward we’d all go back to our separate activities anyways.
The strange part is that none of us are anti-social people, I think we’re all just introverts that need to recharge in the evenings. We still love each other very much and enjoy each other’s company, we just happen to enjoy breaks from each other’s company too.
#16 A Scary Start To Sleep
When we were small, my dad used to ask my sister and me if we were ready for bed by asking, “Are you ready for Freddy?”
It was fairly recently that I realized this was an “A Nightmare on Elm Street” reference. If I ever have kids, I’ll be doing the same thing.
#15 A Slew Of Sarcastic Threats
My family has a bunch of sarcastic threats that I now use on my own kids.
“I’ll rip your arms off, stick them in your ears and ride you ’round like a motorbike!” That one caused some mad mind visuals when I was little. My kids think it’s the funniest thing.
And “I’ll beat you with a white butterfly’s leg!”
Apparently, our sarcastic threats aren’t as effective on other people.
#14 Getting The Button-Pushers To Back Off
I grew up spending a lot of time with my family and we’re all button pushers, so you could imagine the levels of irritation we’re capable of producing. We have this rule where if we’re getting seriously annoyed or someone is going too far with a joke to the point that feelings are getting hurt, we just firmly say “BALLS” to the button pusher. It’s kind of meant to be a universal warning to back off but it’s also the silliest word to say in most situations so it ends up automatically diffusing the situation.
#13 The Sleep-Inducing Storytelling
Their apparent need to tell, in excruciating detail, a boring story that didn’t need to be told. That, coupled with their need to remain at the dinner table talking until bedtime, can be very draining. I love them, but I just do not have an interest in the butterfly they saw fly across the window at 10 p.m. on a Saturday.
#12 Family Food Fights
We don’t have holiday dinners. We have food fights.
I can, with complete confidence, say there are few things worse than pumpkin pie being shoved up one’s nose. Except maybe red velvet cake in the ear. Or pudding down the pants.
#11 The Must-Have Margarita Maker
This is the modus operandi for anyone related to my Mom’s side of the family:
Birthday? Party! I’ll bring the Margarita Maker!
Graduated? Party! I’ll bring the Margarita Maker!
Professional sports game? Party! I’ll bring the Margarita Maker!
Someone home from traveling abroad? Party! I’ll bring the Margarita Maker!
Have too many leftovers built up? Party! I’ll bring the Margarita Maker!
Bored? Party! I’ll bring the Margarita Maker!
#10 Salad Free-For-All
My family’s quirk is that when we have a big bowl of salad on the dinner table, we never use salad tongs or anything to transfer it to the plate, everyone just kinda grabs a handful with their hands. Kinda gross.
#9 A Family Full Of Strangers
My family’s so large that we don’t even know everyone in it. We show up to family parties and just assume the person standing next to us must be related. The best part is, we almost always skip past the awkward small talk, regardless of if we’re sure we’re talking to family or not.
#8 One Dirty Dish Towel
Using a communal towel as a napkin.
We never ever buy napkins or paper towels. We’d have a dish towel we’d pass around the table as needed. It’s gross, but in a way, it’s fairly convenient using a towel to wipe your hands compared to a flimsy napkin. Also, it’s good for the environment.
#7 Pass The Flipper
My family calls the TV remote a “flipper” because it flips the channel. All of my friends are always confused when I call it that!
#6 Comfortable With Kissing
My wife’s family are all lip-kissers. Brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, all ages.
Maybe this is more normal than I think, but to me, it’s weird. My brother-in-law and I are the only people in the group who aren’t part of this. At least I’m not solo on this one.
#5 A Copied Conversation
My sister and I can have an entire conversation using nothing but movie quotes.
#4 Burning The Trees
Every New Year’s, my family burns the Christmas Tree. It is exactly what it sounds like. We go around and gather other discarded Christmas trees and burn them. The flames reach well over what they should and melt the snow around our fire pit.
#3 Calming Cat Gestures
We slowly blink at each other sometimes to show affection or as a calming gesture. It’s because of the cats.
#2 Works Like A Whistle
My grandad has a “family whistle” which we all now use to get everyone else’s attention. It worked great when we were kids.
Literally, if anyone in the family does it we all turn to look like trained dogs.
#1 A Buggy Suprise
My parents leave little plastic cockroaches for each other in weird places. Cards, presents, meals, laundry, etc. My dad does a lot of scuba diving, so when he brought my mom on her first dive she pulled a roach out of her pockets. When my little sister was born, my dad put a roach on her swaddle (and the nurses flipped out). As a middle schooler, I would find them in my lunch.