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Americans Break Down The Best Things About Living In The U.S.

Americans Break Down The Best Things About Living In The U.S.
David Lusvardi/Unsplash

Do we have a health care system that is held together by anything other than a lick, a prayer, and the sacrifices of some seriously overworked nurses and other medical professionals? No.

Do we have common sense, reality-based laws that aren't archaic and rooted in norms from a society that doesn't exist anymore and truthfully may never really have existed? Also no.

Do we have anything resembling a functional or even up-to-date infrastructure system? Three for three, still no.

Do we have the ability to have cannabis and 5 boxes of cereal delivered to my house at 2:47 AM on a Tuesday? This is 'Murika - f*ck yeah we do! (in a lot of places - restrictions apply.)

Reddit user Leon2778 asked:

"Americans of Reddit, what's a good thing about living in America?"

People around the world still hold onto ideas about what America really is. Let's hear it from the Americans themselves, shall we?

Spoiler Alert: there are cats in America and the streets are not, in fact, lined with cheese. Feivel and his whole singing family lied to us all.

Natural Diversity

Grizzly Adams 70S GIFGiphy

"I like the diversity of the landscape & natural world."

"I’ve been to mountains & deserts & mountains in deserts."

"Been to the ocean with a sandy beach, to lakes with sandy beaches, to lakes with rocky beaches."

"Been to the woods & to forests."

"I’ve seen so many different native plants, all kinds of animals, & bugs. It’s pretty damn cool."

- ghosts-go-boo

"Some people say Americas greatest idea was national parks."

"Yah it’s highly commercialized, but it has preserved some awesome nature and in the US we have some of the most amazing and diverse national parks."

"We have forests with trees so big you can drive through, crazy arched rock structures you can drive through, hundred foot tall sand dunes, beautiful Jurassic park style steep mountains, arctic wonderlands, giant canyons, and so many more amazing forests mountains waterfalls deserts and so much more."

- Pristine-Ad-469

"National and state parks."

"National parks are beloved destinations for both citizens and visitors from around the world, even more people visit the state parks."

"With sweeping vistas, stunning forests and incredible wildlife, amazing hiking and camping adventure, parks are one of the brightest jewels of America."

- SuvenPan

"I’m Mexican and I live in the USA. There are plenty of national parks in Mexico too, but they all get filled with houses."

"There’s no real authority stopping anyone from building their house on a national park unless it’s one that brings in the dough, like the monarch butterfly sanctuary. The US does a great job of protecting its landscape."

- youburyitidigitup

As An Outsider

"Not American but I’ve lived in the US for 15 years. As an outsider:"

"Closets. I love all the built-in closets. I was never a wardrobe fan."
"Separate laundry areas."
"That most housing is detached. On the one hand it does mean a huge reliance on cars. On the other hand I never ever hear my neighbors."
"Accessibility of toilets is a heck of a lot better than any other country I have visited. During the day I can usually rely on finding a Target or Starbucks or something. Even if I have to buy something to use it they’re easier to find than in Europe."
"The casual way everyone dresses. My fashion-conscious friend is appalled but especially as a parent I appreciate that I can dash out in my pjs if I really, really need to."
"Convenience. Every time I visit my family now I forget that not all shops are open until 9/10 pm."

"I also live in Washington state currently and have developed a deep love for all the coffee stands around here."

- anyaplaysfates


Style Swag GIF by Pose FXGiphy

"Wheelchair accessibility."

"As someone who uses a wheelchair for all ambulation, I can say the US has a leg up on that compared to the other countries that I have been to."

- hisamsmith

"I've had multiple European friends visit me here in the US and each one, at some point in the trip, commented that one of the big differences they noticed from their home countries was that the ADA was shockingly effective compared to its equivalents elsewhere."

"Almost every public building had ramps, elevators, etc. as needed."

"Obviously it's not like other countries all dislike people with disabilities--just the fact that we did it on such a large scale seems representative of the same kind of inclusiveness that people are also talking about in the comments about American citizenship."

- darkshiines

Turning Right

"With a few exceptions, we can treat red lights as a stop sign if we are turning right."

- SmartAlec105

"As Jeremy Clarkson said 'It's America's only contribution to the western world.' "

- N8_Smith

"I can always spot the tourists when they're just sitting waiting at a red to make a right turn."

- [reddit]

"Not gonna lie, visiting Florida made me hate that rule because I always felt like I'm about to be run over any minute by someone without any patience in a pick up truck bigger than the local Starbucks."

- Night_the_Noivern

"First time I visited Europe and rented a car, I was turning right on red every time."

"No harm caused as far as I could tell. I legitimately didn't know you couldn't do that."

- IAMAdot2

Just Wear Whatever

"I can wear what I want."

"Sure I have strict parents at the age of about to be 21. But coming from the middle east, most people in America don't realize the blessing we have here to be able to wear shorts or jeans or tank tops."

- DarkenedProdigy

"True, I guess Americans just have to deal with the societal taboos of doing so in the Bible Belt and not any violent consequences. Purity culture still exists here but it is less extreme for the most part."

- carissadraws

"I feel this. I love wearing shorts and cropped/tanktops, especially on a hot summer day, to walk around like nobody's business."

"If I do it in my conservative country, shame and all types of degradations will be blessed upon me and my mom will cry while pulling out all sorts of dramatic scenes."

- [reddit]


"I was very young when my parents and I immigrated here, and I have far more opportunities here than I would in India. So I’m very thankful for that."

- sunsetskye_

"I was almost born in Mexico. Since then I’ve visited often and appreciate what I have in the states."

"In Mexico if you aren’t wealthy it’s gonna be an impossible task to become a professional. People in the states take for granted what they have."

- Occhrome

"Completely agree!"

"My parents moved to Canada from Serbia for better opportunities. When I was 14 we moved from Canada to the US."

"I’ll never forget visiting my family back in Serbia and noticing how well educated everyone is, but then they end up having to work retail or manual labor jobs because there just aren’t opportunities there like there are here."

"I think it’s a bit better now that we have remote jobs as a possibility but it’s not like in the US where any ordinary bloke can own a company with a bit of ambition and some paperwork."

"Truly amazing!"

- wrong_world_666

Talk That Talk

buzzfeed video news GIF by NowThis Giphy

"I can talk sh*t about the president and not get arrested and disappeared. So that's pretty nice."

- Its_All_True

"Talking sh*t about the president is pretty much a national pastime, even when you generally agree with them."

- Sad-Frosting-8793

"Criticizing our 'leaders' for their bull is essential to the American experience."

"We have a large amount of Somali migrants in my area, they would come in to buy weed and always enjoyed our raucous talks about how our public servants abuse their power on the backs of the common person."

"Turns out hating ridiculous power structures is something everyone who smokes weed in any place hates with a passion."

"Seeing Somali couples go on libertarian rants with you makes you shed a tear of American ideals like no other experience. Open them borders and let some f*cking freedom ring yoz."

- jpz1194

Too Nice?

"The people here are actually very nice. There are a few turds that make us look bad, but most people are friendly and helpful."

- Actuaryba

"Was going to say the same. There are some jerks, but most people here are really sociable. At the very least, not rude."

"Knew a friend (here for school) from Finland. Had to keep telling him not to be suspicious when somebody holds the door open for you, or strikes up a conversation in line at the grocery store, or whatever."

"He said he was having culture shock because people were being 'too friendly' and he thought they might have some ulterior motive for it. He got over it."

- atx00

"Friend of mine is from Germany and said he had a similar experience when he went on a business trip here once. Now, though, he loves such trips because he really likes the culture here."

- Drakmanka

We're Open

"Everything is open, all the time."

"I realized how nice this is when I lived in Europe and stuff is closed on Sunday and at 5-6pm every day."

- mam630

"Funny, I moved to the US and the one thing I really miss from back home is that Sundays have a special Sunday feeling."

"Not sure how to describe it. Everyone is off, everything is closed. It's like, you have no option but to relax, it's out of your control, it's imposed rest."

"In the US, the closest feeling to that is snow days."

- deepuw

"Vegas local here. Wanna have a burger and a beer at 3am on a Tuesday? Done."

- EnricoPalazz0

"That's what I was going to answer with. If I want to go buy a big screen tv and a large milkshake at 3 a.m., I can."

- Trentorio

So much space

step brothers bedroom GIFGiphy

"Honestly, if I had to pick the #1 thing I'd say the open space."

" The USA has so much open space that we've carved off enormous parts of the continent to permanently be just open space. The US National Park system is the crown gem of the nation."


"US needs to preserve even more spaces like this"


"I'm not from the US, but from an outsider's perspective I'd have to agree with this. Your national parks are absolutely outstanding and I cannot wait to visit them."


"Capital W Wilderness areas are the crown gem of the nation. The wilderness act is the single coolest piece of legislation ever written. And I mean that in a littoral sense. The writing is so distinct and poetic."


Free pet pets

"You can go to humane society and pet cats for free!!"


"Which is a GODSEND for people with allergies. I don't want a cat, I want to interact with a cat juuust until I explode."


"My local shelter encourages people to come down to pet and play with the animals! One of my coworkers goes down for an hour a few days per week to love on the kitties, because she can't have one. They adore her for it."


"I volunteer at a NJ rescue affiliated with PetSmart charities. I feed and play with the cats once a week and then enjoy seeing them go home on Adoption Day. I have 2 cats of my own, so I’m not tempted to bring one home with me."


Accessible tech

"How inexpensive tech is"


"And how available it is. I have coworkers from other parts of the world who stock up like crazy when they're in the US."


"Looking at American online stores as a European makes my mouth water seeing the price of things over there."



Fast Food Drinks GIF by jjjjjohnGiphy

"Free refills."


"And free bathrooms! It seems so awful to me that in some places abroad you have to pay to use a public toilet or risk soiling yourself if you can’t cough up the cash."


"They can take my 88oz of carbonated water and syrup from my cold dead hands."


"Nevermind that. It’s the free ice water that just appears at your table at every restaurant."


"I had a friend visit from Europe and they would absolutely not believe me when I said they could go up and refill their soda cup. Absolutely thought I was condoning theft and they insisted they could pay for another cup"


Go to the store whenever

"Our grocery stores stay open really late. On the east coast, it's until 11 or 12 at night. On the west, it's 24 hours in some places. This is, in all seriousness, the thing I love most about my country."

"A close second place is our gorgeous national parks. But I don't go to a national park every week. I go to a grocery store."


"I don't even have to go to the grocery store if I don't want to, I can just get everything delivered in a few hours!!!"


"I’m in the south and we had several 24hr grocery stores it was really convenient but because of Covid they close at 11pm, hoping it changes. Love the national parks as well."


What to eat?

homer simpson mess GIFGiphy

"I'm not American, but when I was there it was undoubtedly the food. At no given point was I more than a ten minute walk from good food. Contrary to what Reddit would have you believe, it's not all fast food either(though Whataburger is insanely good)."

"There's a lot of good little places to eat and you're never far from one."


"And if you live in a decent sized city and/or metropolitan area, you can choose from among at least a dozen different countries' cuisines"

"Sure it might be Americanized to some extent, but that kind of variety is always appreciated"


"and even in Nowheresville, Midwest, you still have like 5 different nearby options for international food, often owned and made by people of that nationality."


Get with the program

"AC during the summer"


"Yeah the fact that other countries who totally have the infrastructure to have AC just... Don't. Blows my mind."


"Omg yes 😭 I was in Japan for the 2018 heat wave and the lack of AC was HORRIBLE. It was well above 100°F with insane humidity and even at night, it was still uncomfortably hot."

"I'm from northeast Ohio and was so not used to that heat let alone that heat without AC in many of the buildings. I have no idea how people there cope with that."


"Yeah I visited family in Spain a couple summers ago and let’s just say I’ll never make the mistake of visiting in the summer again. It was an insufferable heat that was impossible to get away from. My friend and I, who I traveled with, ended up not even really seeing much because the heat took away our desire to leave the house."

"That being said, I spend a summer abroad in England and that at least wasn’t too bad except for a couple days of heat wave where I didn’t leave my room and just had fans on me."


"Ice in drinks. We really value ice."


"I was so surprised about the lack of ice in drinks in Europe."


"England is a barbaric place without ice. I asked a server for a side of ice and he came back with a cube."


"When in Europe I ask for a FULL glass of ice and then also my beverage. Because if you ask for extra you get 2 cubes."


"10000%. It is such a nice luxury that cold drinks are by far the norm."


"This. You don’t realize how much you need it until you go abroad and it’s f**king summer and they hand you a lukewarm bottle of water for like four euros"


Alright fam, what American freedoms are you in the mood to celebrate?

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People Break Down The First Thing They Do When Entering A Hotel Room

Reddit user BlundeRuss asked: 'What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?'

red throw pillow on white couch
Photo by reisetopia on Unsplash

My family went on a lot trips when I was young, and we always stayed in hotel rooms. Around the time my brother and I were old enough to stay in a room by ourselves (our parents would stay in another one, usually across the hall), he also became a bit of a germaphobe.

At the time, I actually believed hotels changed the sheets on the beds daily, so when my brother fretted about the cleanliness of the hotels, I reassured him they were fine. He believed me at first, since I was his big sister, but by the time he was 12, he got suspicious.

During one of our trips, he decided to test this by making a mark on his pillow cover with a pen and turning the pillow cover inside out before we left for sightseeing the next morning. When we returned, he turned the pillow cover back, and his mark was still there, proving that the sheets hadn't been changed. He only had to do this one more time, during our next trip, for me to realize this wasn't a one-off.

Ever since, and even now in adulthood, my brother and I always intentionally spill something on our sheets during our first night in order to get clean sheets, at least for the duration of our stay. This, in fact, is the first thing we do.

I'm not the only person who does something a bit quirky like this when they first enter a hotel rooms. Plenty or Redditors have stories about this and are ready to share.

It all started when Redditor BlundeRuss asked:

"What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?"

​Preparing For Sights

"Go to the balcony to see if it's going to be public nudity or private nudity during my morning coffee."

– hoffarmy

"I love that this doesn’t change your plans, just prepares your mind. Excellence."

– sewahyelah

Show Me The Truth

"Put my bags up on something and check the mattress. I also bought a UV flashlight but after using it at home I’ve decided that bringing it to a hotel would be unnecessary torture. Nothing is clean when you shine the thing on it. And I mean nothing."

– Fatguy73

Temperature Check

"One of my close friends travels a ton for business. She also loves to sleep in a f**king ice box."

"She has found some resource for how to basically jailbreak hotel thermostats. Each hotel thermostat has a specific key sequence that unlocks the lower temps that the hotel normally doesn’t allow guests to set because, you know, money."

– Sp4ceh0rse

"I do this in every hotel."

– jubilee__

Sweet Relief

"Set bags down."

"Look at room for cleanliness."

"Take a dump."

– PuzzledCitron8728

"I showed up early to a hotel after 12 hours straight of driving. Took forever for them to get me in the room (really it was probably only 30 minutes and they were super accommodating)."

"Anyways, I had been feeling the tyrannical gouging of a sh*t demon trying to claw it's way out for about half an hour beforehand. I ran down the hall, opened the door, threw my bag at something, and was kinda hovering over the toilet just in time. Hadn't put cheek to rim yet and my darling baby began his exit."

"It wasn't until after I looked up that I realized neither door was the self-closing kind and you could see all the way in from the hallway."

– coreylahe

"You’ve unlocked a childhood memory. I stayed in a lot of hotels while growing up and I saw someone in your position once, trail of belongings leading to the toilet. So I went and shut the door for him."

– scarfknitter

Disney Magic

"Find the bible and flip through it. When my sister and I were kids, we went to Disney, and I think she asked why is there always a bible in the drawer, waved it by the spine and 20 bucks fell out. So I always check now."

– TyWiggly

"I found $100 that way. 5 crisp 20's,. I was pretty broke at the time too."

– weisblattsnut

Always Check

"First, I look at the area between the mattress and headboard for any signs of bed bugs, then under the sheets. I’ve never encountered them, but I’ve heard so many horror stories that I’m paranoid about them."

– triceraquake

"As someone who worked in hotels, I always double check the door locks and then inspect for bed bugs."

– Chatterbxer


"Look for cameras. I'm a paranoid f**k."

– Gubble_Buppie

"If anyone wants to see an overweight guy in his mid-40s eat pringles in his underwear while reading Stephen King novels, then they have my flabby white blessing."

– oppernaR

"They sell surprisingly easy to use scanners on Amazon. I found a camera in an air bb bedroom alarm clock, threw a towel over it and got the whole stay for free. Some will detect signals but the best way is there’s a looking glass that’s red and it emits a light and you turn off all the lights and look around the room. Any active camera will shine like a cats eyes when you skim over it."

– Vacation_Kinkycouple

The Things We Find

"I check in odd places to see if anyone stashed drugs or money. You would be surprised at all the sh*t I’ve found over the years!"

– Deathbot-420

"We found an axe under the bed once."

– Punkstarbabe


"Yank the comforter off the bed and throw it in the corner. they rarely wash those things."

– whatever32657

"I discovered this recently while calling home to say good night to everyone. Dried food stuck to the comforter. Threw that bad boy off the bed."

– DuchessofSquee

"I cleaned an air BnB for a little while and I was so disturbed when they told me they didn't wash the comforter because hotels don't.... Like I guess I get it because they're heavy and they're trying to save water on the washes but yuck dude... Cleaning that air Bnb made me NEVER want to book one because of the sh*t the owners wouldn't LET me clean... I don't think I'd ever survive as a maid for a hotel, I could never travel again lol."

– ModestMeeshka

It's A Process

"Make a condom for the TV remote control. Take the ice bag from the ice bucket and put the remote in it. Now I never have to touch the remote."

– dontknowafunnyname2

"I'm sure disinfectant wipes could do the job."

– Pheobe0228

Check For Monsters...People Monsters

"Make sure no one is hiding under the bed or in the bathroom 😂😅"

– HeadInTheClouds916

"I travel a lot for work…and I’m shocked no one else mentioned this. First I check the closet, under the bed, the bathroom for a hiding serial killer…then check the mattress for bedbugs…"

– pdxmikaela

Today I Learned

"Check for cleanliness and then take pictures Traffickcam."

"Traffickcam is an app where you take specific pictures of your room and then upload them to their database. They use these pictures to check on the location of human trafficking victims."

– slappymasterson

"Take a picture of the room and post it on the Trafickcam app so if the room or similar has been used by human traffickers maybe it will help find someone."

– CatsInTrenchCoat

And thanks to those last two stories, I'm a little scared to stay in another hotel.

Two young girls walk away with their arms around one another
Photo by Andrea Tummons

Small acts of kindness that only a few know about can change the world.

You never know.

One smile can change one person's day.

And that person could carry it on.

So doing it ourselves may be the only answer.Redditor sashayingthru wanted to discuss the ways we know the world is still good, so they asked:

"What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?"

As someone who has waited on many tables, just tip properly.

You'll go to Heaven.


Robin Williams Dancing GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy

"I once walked to a store to buy bags for my vacuum cleaner and I forgot to take my wallet. The shop owner gave me the bags, shook my hand, and told me to bring him to money tomorrow. He put his trust in a total stranger to do the right thing and I did."


In the Rain

"A man in a full business suit with a briefcase handed me an umbrella in a torrential rain storm and wouldn't take no for an answer. I still had to walk through Times Square to get to the train and I'm sure he got soaked going wherever he was going. A couple of weeks later, I gave the umbrella to a lost girl in my neighborhood when it started to rain and she didn't have one. Felt like the universe wanted it to happen."

"I'll never forget that man though."


Leggo my Lego

"When I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, I made friends with another kid in an airport, and he was playing with a couple glued glued-together Lego cars. Me and that kid played for like an hour with those things and when it was time to go our separate ways and board the plane, the kid insisted I keep one of the cars, and while I insisted he should keep them, he said it was proof that we were friends, and to this day roughly 20 years later, I still have that car packed up with my childhood mementos box."

"That friend of mine was a good kid. Hope he’s doin' well."


Don't Cry Tammy

"My husband and I were sitting on our porch holding hands and crying, just feeling overwhelmed because we were waiting to find out whether or not my tumor was cancerous. Our neighbor saw it when he was coming home. About half an hour later he came over with some freshly baked cookies. He didn't even say anything, just smiled, handed them to us, and then went back home."

"Just thinking about that moment has me crying again. From his kindness, not the fear. Tammy the Ti**y Tumor turned out benign!"



Fail Will Ferrell GIF by Paramount PicturesGiphy

"I literally coasted into a gas station out of gas on my motorcycle, then realized I didn't have my wallet. Some lady saw me patting all my pockets and I was upset and offered to fill up my tank. I only let her put $5 in, which on a bike is a lot. But it meant so much to me."


Give people gas as often as possible..

Pay it forward.


happy silent film GIF by Charlie ChaplinGiphy

"My realtor took less commission so that I could get my dream home. It was a rare find in a great neighborhood."


Egged Away

"Years ago my car got egged real badly overnight while parked on the driveway of our duplex. We had to go somewhere the next morning so took the wife’s car. Came back hours later and my car was shining like new on the driveway. The neighbor whose name I didn’t even know at that point had washed it for me while we were away."


Are those still a thing?

"I was in maybe 4th grade and my parents just had my younger sister, so newborn focused. I went to my school lunch, opened my paper bag (are those still a thing?), and unwrapped the foil holding my sandwich. There was nothing inside. It was actually just 2 slices of dry white slice bread and I was sad."

"Literally, my table mates all chipped in various components and made me the most amazing ham and cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. I’ve been chasing that dragon of ham sandwich since but I’m sure it was the response and not the ingredients that I loved."


Thanks guys...

"19 years old, first apartment, first winter, first winter utility bill. I smiled and told my coworker I'd just pay it, skip lunch, and eat cheap Mac and cheese for dinner. It'll be ok. All that month co-workers accidentally got extra chips from the vending machine. A wife packed an extra sandwich. A box of my favorite crackers would be on my desk when I came in. It was still hard but I didn't starve. Thanks, you guys."


Just Tears

Big Brother Omg GIF by Global TVGiphy

"I was on the subway, sitting there crying because I had just ended a relationship. I wasn't making any noise, just tears, but the guy sitting next to me gave me some tissues. I'll never forget that."


Some of the best people ride the subway.

Everyone has tissues.

Man holding onto partner's hand
Photo by Seth Reese on Unsplash

Content Warning: Toxic Behavior

As much as we might like to hope otherwise, not all relationships are meant to work out.

Not only are some couples not meant to be, but sometimes there are super valid reasons for a relationship to end beyond simply not being compatible, like toxic behaviors.

But a significant other being toxic will not be obvious upon first meeting them or going on a first date with them. Otherwise, we never would have dated them in the first place.

Redditor BlackenSphinx asked:

"What did your partner say or do that made you realize that they were a toxic person?"

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

"When they kept apologizing for the same thing, then doing it anyway, never changing for the past 10 years."

- crunchy_soupp

"My wife got a quote from a teacher that we've tried to instill in our kids:"

"'Saying sorry means not doing it again.'"

"Obviously, accidents aren't included, but yeah when you hurt someone and apologize, don't do that thing again."

- JollySquatter

A New Kind of Arranged Marriage

"Lots of things, but I think probably the worst and most impactful was when she peed on a stick for her friend while she was pregnant."

"Her friend then convinced her boyfriend to marry her. They were divorced several years later, after what I can only assume was an absolutely awful marriage."

- conspirized

Emotional Abuse

"'Nobody as good looking as me will ever love your personality.'"

- MrNobody26501

"Ugh, that's the kind of s**t I'd think about and let eat me away for YEARS."

- SenorDangerw**k

In Sickness and In Health

"I was at a party with my ex-wife and someone brought out a newspaper with headlines about a local official being in an accident and being paralyzed."

"My ex-wife, without hesitation, said, 'If that happened to my husband, I would be out of here.'"

- nobody333254

"My biggest motivator of leaving an ex was that I couldn’t see him taking care of me if something were to happen to me."

- Puzzleheaded_Elk6243

Children Come First

"This one is minor, but I had an ex who wanted to buy her daughter some new shoes. We were at an outlet mall and they had a BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) sale."

"She found a cute pair for herself but was having trouble finding a pair for her daughter."

"I love being helpful and found a pair that fit her daughter's personality to a T."

"But she wouldn't buy them because they were $5 more expensive than the pair she was getting for herself."

"Both were combined under $50, and she wasn't hurting for cash. She just refused to spend more on her daughter than on herself out of principle."

- Calm-and-worthy

"This one reallyyyyy irritates me. She sounds like the kind of 'parent' who wouldn't give up a meal to make sure their baby ate if it came down to it."

"As someone who has to make that decision nearly every day... my baby eats, even if I don't. Always."

- DakotaTheAtlas

The Silent Treatment

"We weren't living together, but he randomly cut me off for like a full week. He wouldn't answer my texts or anything. We were long-distance (different colleges halfway across the country) so I couldn't, like, go check on him."

"Anyway, he finally comes back and tells me it was a punishment for not being interesting enough. He liked me because I was an intellectual who would have Deep Conversations (tm) with him and I'd been talking too much about things he didn't find interesting."

"I dumped him shortly after and he acted like it came out of nowhere."

- baby_yaga

Overly Critical

"He criticized everybody. He was mean about his family, his friends, and his colleagues. It seemed very small at first, I knew he was depressed and so was naturally more cynical and had a low view of himself, but he'd laugh and joke with friends on the phone or in person for hours and then the minute they were gone... Awful."

"I rationalized it for too long and then realized it would be the same about me. Then convinced myself it wouldn't be because he always hyped me up... Until I heard it."

"He played the victim so, so well. Scary, really."

- Important_Sprinkles9

Ableism at Its Finest

"I had an ex say. 'What could you possibly be depressed about?'"

"I was an id**t and stayed with her for three more years after that."

- WhatIsAJahBone

Not Over Their Ex

"He slept with his ex frequently for six months... in the house that I bought us... in my childhood bed that I took with me from home... all whilst I was at work."

"He was changing over phones from an old school brick type to an iPhone. He went out to work and his old phone kept buzzing. I saw a very familiar name pop up…"

"He told me that she was crazy and they weren’t in contact as she was obsessed with him (Red flag, I know). There are some things I read that I wish I could erase from my memory."

"When everything was out in the open, she began bullying me online about it."

"We were engaged. as well. Lucky I found out before we got married!"

- MissQII

Different Definitions of "Cheating"

"She cheated on me with a Yankees player because I 'cheated on her first.'"

"How did I cheat? By going to her favorite burger spot without her while she was having sushi with her girlfriends."

"I found out she cheated with three other guys too."

- HawaiianSteak

"Somehow the most venom in this story came from 'a Yankee player,' lol (laughing out loud)."

- SoftcoverWand44

"I'm guessing he's either a Mets or Red Sox fan."

- ScorpionX-123

Gone with the Rose-Colored Glasses

"It wasn't so much what he was saying but the action he did about it."

"He used to tell me all the time that I should get contact lenses because he wanted to see what I looked like without glasses."

"I need glasses full time to see because I have an extremely bad prescription and astigmatism. They're both very high and it's impossible to see without glasses. If I take my glasses off, I can't even find them so I have to make sure I know exactly where I set them."

"One day out of town for a large event we had been planning to attend for over a year, he hid my glasses and acted like he couldn't find them."

"I had NEVER had glasses just disappear. It might take me a while to find them, but if I have someone else around me, it's usually somewhere obvious."

"I figured, 'Oh, that's okay, I have prescription sunglasses on me, as well; I'll just wear sunglasses for the event.' I asked him to pull them out of my bag as they were in a zip glass case, I know for a fact they are in there because I switched them out after arriving at the hotel."

"He pulled out the case and tried to tell me they weren't in there and that I must have dropped them somewhere."

"I begged him to help me search the hotel, I called downstairs, I had staff members helping me search, and I was in the lobby on my hands and knees feeling around trying to find them."

"He was busy getting ready upstairs and told me to just go to the event without them; I'll be fine."

"I absolutely refuse to leave without my glasses. I told him to go have a good time but I'm not leaving the hotel room and going into a crowded strange place in a strange city being unable to see."

"Well suddenly, right before we're about to leave, he pretended he found my glasses and they were just sitting on the bathroom counter the whole time. As if I didn't search every single inch and feel around every inch of that vanity."

"After some crying, he admitted that he hid both of my glasses because he just wanted me to see that it's not so bad and that if I just go without them for a little while my eyes will adjust and I'll be able to see fine."

- ConceptAggravating95

Silence to the Extreme

"I had a girlfriend who got mad at me, and I had no idea why. For three days, she would call, say nothing, and if I hung up, she would call back."

"I turned off my phone, and she'd call my parents or show up at my house (in high school still living with my parents). This went on for three days. I basically didn't sleep."

"I was a senior and still in school, and she had graduated the year before. On the third night, she yelled at me for keeping her up, and it was the end of the fight."

"The next day, I asked what I did. She said nothing she was just angry and wanted to fight."

"It took me going to college and her finding some other poor sap to torture to finally get away from her. I was young and naive, and now know I should have involved a court order and police."

"It was h**l. But from it, I ended up with my now wife, and without that h**l, I would not be where I am today, which is something I would never change."

- FineSL

The Most Controlling of the Controlling

"She yelled at me for wanting to talk to my family after she and my dad had a minor argument. She also blocked my old friends, family, and coworkers in my phone while I slept."

- Arcane_booty_Magic

"Throw the whole girl away."

- BlackenSphinx

"I did that a month ago, and this has been the best month I've had in three years."

- Arcane_booty_Magic

These accounts were terribly eye-opening, and they're a great reminder that a toxic relationship may not be identifiable until it's made glaringly obvious to us.

Fortunately, all of these Redditors were talking about exes, which means that they were able to move beyond these tough situations.

Creey forest at night
Adrian Infernus/Unsplash

People love horror films because they know the terror depicted on the big screen is pure Hollywood magic and completely fake.

But when it comes to true-life terrors, even the most dedicated horror film aficionados can be left trembling in their boots.

Curious to hear some of the most absolutely hair-raising events from strangers online, Redditor Ok-Bid-1179 asked:

"What’s the scariest 100% true story you’ve heard of?"

These real-life stories may keep you up at night.

Befriending A Murderer

"My uncle was in a bar one night and started talking to this random guy. He described him as 'a really nice guy.'"

"He met him a few other times in the same bar. They drank and talked about random stuff. Soon after, my uncle stopped seeing the guy at the bar."

"Idk how long after, but my uncle got notified that he had jury duty. He showed up and found out what it was for. A serial killer and the killer was his friend from the bar. Derrick Todd Lee."

"My uncle was promptly dismissed from jury duty for obvious reasons."

– I_am_dean

People had sinister stories related to jobs.

Late Night Shift Employee

"I work midnight shift at a gas station and I have for quite awhile at various stations in different areas with varying levels of criminal activity."

"I have regulars, of course. I’m a small-statured woman (as is my partner the other half of the week, and we’ve always been partners) so these regulars often worry about us and keep watch on creepy occurrences when they can."

"I had one man who worked in the metro an hour away who would stop in every morning for his cigarettes. He never smiled or seemed friendly, and as I often do, I tried to think of what I could do that might make him smile one day."

"It took many months but I finally pulled it off by having his cigarettes ready on the counter and already scanned for him to pay for as he walked in. He smiled, and then asked me"

“Do you ever get scared on the night shift? You small girl, is not safe.”

"I said I sometimes did but we could lock the doors and hide if we had to, and that the provincial police (think state troopers, if you’re American) had a station close by and came in often to get their highway vehicles washed. I had a good rapport with those police. He nodded and then told me a story about when he first moved to our country from Eastern Europe with his wife and child back in the late 80’s, early 90’s."

"He fell asleep at work one night at the gas station he worked midnights at. When he woke up, the phone had been ringing for hours and his manager was shaking him violently asking if he was alright. He was fine, he said, what was the problem? He was sorry he fell asleep."

"His manager screamed that it was fine he fell asleep, to look outside. All of their motor oil was missing and the outside of the place was a mess."

"The thieves had come and swiped all the oil and left him be because he slept through the entire thing, and then moved down the road to the next station for an encore. At that station, the clerk was awake and fought back, so the thieves stabbed him to death and left him to bleed out."

"When he finished telling me this, he concluded with."

“If you ever feel sleepy just lock the door and do it, it might save your life”

"I don’t work at that station anymore but I think about that guy all the time and wonder how his grandkids are."

"Here is a link to an article talking about how that poor other clerk’s killers were finally found 25 years later:"

– IgnorethisIamstupid


"There was an incident in Trinidad where some maintenance divers were removing a plug from an oil pipeline and were instantly sucked into it. One was able to escape but the other 4 were trapped for days in a small, oil coated pipe for days with only a small air pocket to breathe in before they died. Thinking about it in detail and imagining what it must have been like for them makes me extremely uncomfortable."

– superficial_user

There's no creepier place than being in the woods. Especially when these sorts of encounters happen.

The Wrong Friends

"When I was 17 I was hanging out with 2 friends and they wanted to go smoke in the woods. I didn't feel like it so I drove them and waited in the car."

"After a while I was getting bored and decided to go meet them but there were 4 paths going off in different directions so I just took the biggest one. After walking for a few minutes in the pitch black forest (before flashlights on phones), I come across this dip in the trail and on the other side is a bench lightly visible due to the moonlight."

"On the the bench is sitting a man and another one in standing in front of him but I can only make out silhouettes. Being sure these are my friends I yell out to them before walking over. If you ever walked the woods at night it's just an uneasy feeling all around so I was cautious to begin with."

"Well it turns out, juste after yelling out to my 'friends,' both silouhettes turn around towards me. Not a word, not a sound, the guy sitting down starts sprinting FULL F'KING SPEED towards me in complete silence. I got the absolute f'k out of there sprinting also the other way and tripping over sh*t because I couldn't see anything."

"I finally get out and lock myself in my car, but I was really worried for my friends. Maybe a minute later I see them both coming out of a completely different path, they also confirmed they never saw me or anyone else. My heart still sinks just thinking about that dude sprinting in silence wtf was that sh*t."

– NoFutureGuy

The Homeless Camp

"Weird....I have a similar story!"

"Years ago I remember sneaking out of my friends house at night to really do nothing but walk around the neighborhood and hide from car headlights. We were young and bored. There was a 'homeless' camp that was down in some woods off the railroad tracks not too far from his house. We had seen the trail and knew what was back there."

"One of the homeless guys that lived there was actually an old friend of my buddies Dad, and he had stopped over a few times and my friends Dad let him shower there and everything. He could have worked if he wanted, but legit told us he just liked living 'off the grid'. Just wanted to give you some backstory on the reason why we thought it would be cool and 'safe' to go check it out at night."

"We were a bit nervous at first thinking what if we get there and his Dads friend isn't we were sneaking up on it. It was a longer walk than we thought. We got kind of close and saw there was a fire going lighting up the woods a bit."

"We start sneaking closer but the trail seemed to continue straight, while the camp set off the trail to the left. We got idk maybe 100 feet from the camp (about 30 meters) and we looked down the trail and saw a faint silhouette of what we thought was a person. The silhouette looked like it was coming from deeper in the woods towards the camp. We froze and ducked slightly to the side of the trail."

"I told my friend that I didn't like it, and we should just sneak the hell out. He said he had the same feeling. As I said, the fire at the camp was just enough to light the area well enough to see. We end up slowly creeping slightly off the trail back to the railroad tracks. We get probably 30-40 or so feet (9-12 meters) and I told him I would rather just hit the trail and just slowly walk back because the bushes and trees and everything were hard to navigate and I would rather be able to see something coming so we could book it out. We played football and were both pretty fast."

"We slide out of the brush and see the silhouette has gotten closer, however moving further from the fire, the light was dimmer, but we could still make out someone or something was standing there moving closer. My first thought was that maybe they saw us duck into the bushes and were coming to check, but it just felt off. My friend and I looked at each other and both mutually and silently decided to pick up the pace. Almost on que, we both looked back and the silhouette was now BOOKING IT TOWARDS US ABSOULTELY SILENT. No noise, just fast movement. We high tail it as fast as we can."

Thankfully, the trail was wide so we weren't bumping into each other or anything. Neither of us looked back until we hit the railroad tracks, then hit the railroad track bridge and were on the other side. I looked back as I was slowing down, past the bridge and didn't see anyone. We got back to his house pretty fast and luckily that was the end of it."

– ZekeMoss18

Life is full of many creepy mysteries.

It's no wonder many films are based on actual events.

The ones that terrify me the most are the home invasion movies like The Strangers.

It may have been Hollywood that dramatized events depicted in the film, but there's no doubt such horrific events that have happened in real life are enough to keep us up at night and on high alert.