Whether it's a dad sneaking his kid away for a ball game or some ice cream, or almost getting everybody killed, every dad has their stories that the mom can never, ever know about.
Below are 22 of the best 'Don't tell your Mom' stories, as told on AskReddit. Check them out below. A source to even more can be found on the last page.
I would ride bikes with a friend to the recycle center behind some stores. We would jump in the magazines bin and pull out all the dirty magazines we could find
Sometimes we sold them to our middle school peers and as fate would have it, some kid ratted me out when he got caught with it. My mom launched an all out search for them. She found somewhere near 200 (about 50% of the loot). They were all on the dining room table when I got home from school. Mom wouldn't even talk to me and just said "wait until your father gets home".
A couple hours later, I get yelled at by both parents, grounded for a month, no tv, no phone, no friends, etc. When I wouldn't give up the names of kids I sold to, I got an extra month of restrictions.
The next night I found a playboy under my pillow with a post it note that said "200 is excessive, but so is two months restriction to your room. Here is one. Hide it better and don't tell your mother."
I brought my sons, 5 and 10, to Circus Circus in Las Vegas for a weekend. I lost the younger one for a full 5 minutes at one point. Scariest 5 minutes of my life, and mom never heard about it.
Not a dad, I'm a mum, but in my experience telling my kids "don't tell mum" is a lost cause.
A few years ago when my oldest two were around 3-4 their dad took them to the park. I told everyone dinner would be ready when they got back so no ice creams or sweeties this time please.
When I opened the door, both boys looked at me, looked at each other, and said in unison "We didn't have an ice cream." Husband stood behind them face palming.
One night I was enjoying a small bit of ice cream after my four year old daughter went to bed. She came downstairs and 'caught' me. So I offered her a small bite, but since she was supposed to be in bed, I said "don't tell mom." She assured me she wouldn't. My wife wouldn't have cared anyway but it was a fun little game to play.
After she went up to bed and I was down on the couch, she snuck in to the master bedroom where mom was resting. She told mom that I had let her have some ice cream, and she was afraid of "sugar bugs" so could she please brush her teeth again.
My wife just laughed at me the next day. Little gal ratted me out to brush her teeth, something she doesn't like doing anyway.
When I was ten years old my dad came to my school before noon and told the principal that I had a doctors appointment. I had no idea he was coming at all, and seeing him in my class was a bit of a shock. He then told my teacher I have to go to the doctors, and I was believing that I was actually going to the doctors. We ended up going to a baseball game for the whole afternoon. My mom was out of town for a couple of days and my dad told me to never tell her that he got me to play hooky from school.
For literally a year, my mom was under the impression that elementary classes ended at 5 instead of 3. Each day, my dad would pick me up from school at 3, which is at the water's edge, and take me two miles down to cross the river and play at a MASSIVE park for 2 hours. Then we'd go home and do normal family stuff like listen to mom and dad fight while I play some Spiderman 2 in the freedom of my room.
I let my 2 year old son play with his toys on the balcony by himself. He can't fit through the bars so I thought there would be nothing to worry about. I was washing dishes just inside the house when I decided to check on him. He had squeezed himself between the wall the bars and was standing on the ledge 2 stories off the ground. I freaked out but didn't yell because if I scared him he could have possibly fell to his death. I got his attention and he squeezed back onto the balcony. He isn't allowed to be out there by himself anymore.
We do "dates" with our kids about once a month, just for one-on-one time with each of them. I told my wife my son (he's 6) and I were going out for dinner and ice cream...
We saw Dr. Strange instead. No regrets. The boy has maintained the secret.
When I was a kid, my dad would mow the lawn and then sneak up to the local dive bar and have a beer before my mom noticed he was done. I grew up in a town of roughly 1,200 people and the bar was two blocks away so it was totally feasible. My dad used to bring me with him, bribe my silence with a $1 bag of redskin peanuts and a can of Mountain Dew. My mom always knew because I'd slip up about the peanuts a day or two later.
Fast forward to being 24. I'd just moved to a new state after grad school with my then-boyfriend's job, I was underemployed at the time and my only company was my new kitten. I didn't tell my parents but I think my dad always knew I was miserable. One day I got a package from home that was one pound of redskin peanuts. He tracked down the vendor from the bar and bought them in a bulk bag. Still warms my heart when I think about it three years later.
I'm at home, hanging out with my two year old daughter while mom is at work. I'm drinking a beer, and set it down for a second to go to the bathroom. My daughter is really smart for her age, and knows not to touch things that aren't hers, but I guess leaving the beer just out of reach made it too tempting to her. She grabs her chair, puts it under the dresser I had set it on, and climbs up and grabs my beer. I come back in the room just as she's taking a big swig. She hated the taste and spit it out instantly, but will never tell my wife about that one. To this day my daughter refers to my beer as "my icky".
When I was about 5 years old I was playing hide and seek with my mom and dad, Dad would pick a spot for me to hide and mom would come looking. Dad decided mom would never find me if he opened the window and put me out onto the roof of the balcony a floor below us (three story apartment house).
We're from the UK, and when I was really young and saw my dad on weekends, he used to drive over a hundred miles an hour with me egging him on all the way.
Always at the end as he pulled up home he'd tap his nose and say "don't tell your mum". Of course the first thing I did was tell her! And she'd just tut, laugh and say he was terrible.
Looking back I thought it was weird nobody really cared. Turned out his car was European and the speedometer was in Kilometers.
You know those noise maker gunpowder bangy things? Explaining to my daughter that you can put them in your hand and headbutt them to make them explode. We went through an entire packet of them that day.
At 16 my parents helped me get a car; the keys to freedom were:
Per Dad: No tickets, pay my own gas and maintenance.
Per Mom: home by curfew.
After a few close calls/negotiating a few extra minutes with upset Mom, Dad recommends I call him if I'm cutting it close. Really...? From then on, I'd call Dad, he'd tell Mom that he would wait up, aka fall asleep in the lazyboy. This was a 2 birds one stone deal. He got parenting credit from Mom (go on to bed, honey) and a good night's nap in the lazyboy until I drifted home.
Miss you Dad.
We went fishing in questionable conditions. Left the harbor in 6-8 foot waves in a 19' boat. Probably shouldn't have gone out at all in retrospect.
Had a great day off fishing in the lee of a point.
Start to head home and things have deteriorated big time. Going home in 10-12' waves, with big ones hitting 14'. Struggling to even make it through them.
All this is happening in late November in the north Atlantic. Bad news if anything goes wrong. No one else is out there to help us.
My dad tells me at one point "Take your life jacket off. It won't help out here, it will just make the inevitable take longer. We make it home or we don't. I love you."
To this day, that's the only time I have been scared on a boat, and I have been in some serious situations.
When we made it back he said "never tell your mom what I told you. That is between you and I."
So yeah that's my craziest don't tell mom story.
My oldest caught me being the tooth fairy. She agreed that telling mom or her brother might ruin it for them more. She still gets her silver dollar if she loses a tooth, I just don't have to be such a ninja to give it to her.
When I was young, we had the typical parent dynamic of 1:1 strict/lenient ratio. Mom was laidback and figured we were allowed to find our own fun while my dad was more critical. However, both agreed on the "no underage drinking" policy.
So my brother, fresh out of Freshman year and with his typical 15 year old "bro" egging him on, snuck tequila out of my parents' liquor cabinet and took about 5 shots each while my parents were sleeping upstairs.
Almost immediate regret.
Half an hour later, there's a cycle of being totally obliterated on the couch and worshiping the porcelain god. The whole while they're "sneaking around" to not wake up my folks.
The next morning, my dad pulls my brother aside and asks what happened the night before. My brother tries to blow it off, but my dad just dead-eyes him and says "That tequila made its way into the toilet somehow, I don't care if it was out one end or the other."
Brother fesses up. My dad nods, slaps him on the arm, and says "I think this is one lesson your mother doesn't need to hear about."
My mum went on a relaxing 'ladies only' holiday with her friends for two weeks when my brother and I were 5 and 8 respectively. Two hours after we waved goodbye to her at the airport my brother managed to drop an entire drawer on his foot and severe his entire little toe.
The doctors weren't sure if they could save it but they succeeded. By the time mum got home my brother had a bandage around his toe and as far as he was concerned he'd just had an 'owie'.
I don't think she found out until about ten years later when my brother said, 'hey remember when I almost lost my toe while mum was on holiday?' -- that was a memorable family dinner to say the least.
This happened in my junior year of high school. I was sitting at lunch one day I saw my dad walking through the quad, and it was very dumbfounding for me. He told me there was a family emergency and that we needed to go, so I said goodbye to all my friends and trudged behind him, trying to figure out what was going on. He said he'd tell me when we got home.
We get home and he brings me over to the computer (which was alarming seeing as far as I knew he didn't know how to turn it on) and he asks, "I need to print this page. How do you print?"
So I reached down and hit ctrl+P, clicked OK, and out spat some little news blurb that was from a while ago. Then like it was just an ordinary thing to do he said, "Alright, back you go."
I talked him out of letting me miss Algebra II class. He dropped me back off at school and I went into my last class of the day, which really confused my friends, as they all saw me walk off campus.
I totally used missing algebra class as leverage to not tell mom. She would have been very upset that he came and took me out of school for an hour-ish when I could have done it for him just a couple hours later. It did mean a lot to him to have the news article though and 13 years later he still has it on his nightstand.
My friend's wife had a raging temper and the smallest things would set her off yelling at him and the kids.
About 5 years ago his son was 3 and had just learned how to flush the toilet so he was flushing everything. They played the same weekly numbers on the Washington lottery and that week his wife was away visiting her sick mother.
He bought the ticket and got 5 numbers and won $6700. This was huge because they were financially hurting.
Well you can guess what happened. He had the ticket on the counter and couldn't wait to surprise her when she got home the following day.
While we were playing Xbox we heard a flush so he got up to see what he put in he toilet this time. He walked in and saw the ticket in the toilet just as the little bastard was flushing again. I've never heard a yell so loud. It was too late though. $6700 gone.
He cried. I had never seen him cry before. He made me promise not to tell her or anyone because his wife would have exploded.
Worst day of his life by far. Kid still has no idea what he did.
My dad taught me how to make basic ''blackpowder'' using sugar, saltpeter, coal and ammonia. Needless to say I had a lot of fun with that and blew up loads of stuff. Needless to say, mom still doesn't know.
Also he caught me smoking when I was 13 and the first thing he said was: "Let's not tell mom." (since I stole his cigarettes)
I'm a dad, but this story is about my dad.
It was the summer before my last year at college. A friend of mine got a job across country and he decided to take the opportunity to see as much of America as possible before he had to start work. He asked me to come along. It was going to be a month long road trip. We'd contacted a few friends and relatives along the way where we could crash, the company was paying for gas and 5 nights hotel, and we brought along a tent for the days we didn't have a place to stay. I'd saved up a little money at my summer job.
The night before we left, my dad was sitting in his recliner reading the paper as always. I sat there on the couch watching TV.
Now, my dad was a very conservative man. Old school. The kind of "kids should be seen and not heard" parent. Not big on emotional displays. Frugal to a fault.
So after everyone else had turned in for the night, it was just me and him. He motioned me over, and pulled out an envelope he had hidden. Looked at me over his reading glasses and said "don't tell your mother about this" as he handed me the envelope.
It was filled with money. Not a lot by today's standards but a lot in 1986 and without a doubt more money than I'd ever seen my dad carry. I sat down and said "I don't know what to say."
He responded "have fun" and went back to his newspaper.
He died six months later. That moment was the last real one on one interaction I had with my father. A little while after he'd died, my mom was going through his dresser drawer when she found his stash. Apparently my dad had been squirrelling away cash for years. Walking around money for when he went on one of his many fishing trips. He dipped into it so that I'd have some walking around money on my trip.