For participants, the magic of the escape room depends on maintaining the illusion that you are, indeed, trapped inside a strange environment.
Even as adults, we love to play pretend. We suspend our disbelief for just long enough to imagine we are trapped explorers or people from other times.
And then we work together to free ourselves.
But what happens when a group of escape room goers gets a little too into playing pretend? It seems there is no limit to the lengths they'll go to get the heck out of there.
Redditor Curse_the_food asked:
"Escape room operators, what was the weirdest thing you've seen a group do?"
Many Redditors talked about the very gross things that happened. What is it that makes full-grown adults feel the need to spill their bodily fluids within the span of an hour?
"My daughter managed an escape room that had a toilet prop that moved away from the wall to reveal a hidden passage to crawl through after using clues to open it."
"Guests were informed that the toilet was inoperable. There was a note on the toilet stating not to use it. There was even a key hidden in the toilet."
"Someone peed in the toilet daily. They then had to fish the key out of their and crawl through a puddle of it to complete the game. Daily."
No Escaping a Hangover
"First clients of a morning, a player arrived wearing sunglasses inside, and ended up throwing up in the room. I made her boyfriend clean it up."
"A woman talking into an old (very obviously prop) shoe like it's a phone, hoping she'll hear clues."
"A group starting a game of ouija and waiting to hear voices instead of looking at the clues on the board. I went and shouted nonsense through their door."
Pee In All the Wrong Places
"A guy once proposed in the escape room I worked at, it was very cute, he had us put the ring in a treasure chest, and proposed on one knee when she opened the box."
"On a less nice note, I've had men pee in the corner of the room before/pee in the toilet with the door open, which was super awkward as the office is next to the toilet, at the end of a long corridor, which means I had to watch them do this whilst walking to the control room"
Didn't Factor That In
"A couple booked a private room in my facility and they showed up with a baby. They told me they couldn't get a babysitter so they wanted to play as the baby was in their baby carrier."
"I ended up accepting ; after all, nothing bad could happen, right ? The baby wouldn't be able to break anything in the room."
"What I did not expect is that the mother casually changed the baby diaper on the room's table, on the props."
"I threw everything away after that."
Others talked about the times that romance and relationship drama made its way into the escape room. Sometimes, pretend stress turns into real stress in a matter of seconds.
Doesn't Seem Very Comfortable
"Not exactly 'weird' but we've had several groups (couples) decide to hook up in our rooms, seemingly forgetting that every corner of the place is covered by cctv..."
Window Cleaners Share The Best Things They've Ever Seen | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
The Last Straw
"Breakups. You wouldn't believe the amount of long term relationships I've seen go to a head and become destroyed but just being in a locked room with puzzles."
"When I joined this company, they were the first in the city, and we were in an odd location that could be hard to find, so company policy was to call patrons who were 10min. late. We called this person, and it was a very agitated woman who didn't know who or what we are, and after confirming the booking name/number she snarkily told us that was her husband and we weren't something he'd be doing."
"We were polite and started to do some cleaning since we thought the booking was cancelled when the group showed up, acting jovially with the guy who booked it being very handsy with one woman. We confirmed the name on the reservation and mentioned that we just called and thought there might've been a cancellation. After confirming the number, the guy's face went white."
"We get the event started, with further PDA showing they were a couple. They win, we offer team photo. The guy did not want to participate in the photo, and had to be convinced by his entire team to jump in. Right before the flash went off, he dropped his head to hide his face. We figured out he was with his side-chick."
Finally, some shared the truly bizarre, unique, and hilarious memories they have from the job.
"We had this group of 3, the theme was an abandoned subway station. We had some flashing lights so they would see something but I forgot to switch the flip on when bringing them to the room..."
"They never ever, turned on the lights (the button was next to the door) and spent the whole hour in almost complete darkness, only using the metro carriage headlight to check every clue they had (they were doing very well so I didn't told them to turn the lights on)."
"Then, the same group spent at least 10 minutes reassembling a skeleton, arguing which bone would go where because they thought they saw some marks on the fake bones (still in almost complete darkness), after the skeleton was back in one piece they figured out it was useless and managed to find the final code and went out in time."
"Their main feedback was 'we really liked the darkness it made it a bit difficult to navigate and read the clues but the immersion was great.' We tried the room without lights a few more times afterwards on groups we thought would not be complete idiots and made some minor changes to accommodate (like making it easier to navigate without bumping your feet everywhere)."
"The lights off became the default setting in the end."
Needed a Little Nudge
"Group shows up in the dead of night, high as a kite. There was an elevator door in the room, opened by a code. They stand in a semicircle in front of the elevator for a solid 20 minutes before asking for a hint."
"I chime in through the microphone 'Have you opened the elevator yet?' Dead silence for half a minute before one of them asks 'Dude, you got an elevator in here?' "
The Man for the Job
"Not an operator but a friend of mine was telling me recently about one where the final clue to open the door was in a file on the desktop of a windows computer."
"He's a devops and security professional, so naturally he turns off this computer, boots it into safe mode, gains access to the command line, uses that to access the files on the desktop, and solves the whole room in <5 minutes. I think the group then did the whole room properly but were pretty smug about their record."
Trying to Turn the Tables
"Last group of the night, they were drunk and got frustrated so they stole a bunch of sh** our of the room, we didn't notice until they left. They emailed us with a treasure map to find where they had hidden all the pieces through downtown."
"I waited until 8am the next morning, called the cops and the cops showed up with the guy, very hungover and made him go get all the pieces. While he did that, I Google him found out what company he worked for contacted their HR and offered them a company discount. His company booked and I informed their HR department that their employee was banned from the facility."
"There was one escape room that gave us a huge keyring with a million keys early on. We'd already solved the lock it went to, but were struggling to finish the other puzzles. The key item we needed to end the game was behind a lock. So when we realized we were low on time, we had one person try every key on that ring just in case."
"Turns out one of the keys worked, but none of them were supposed to. The operator was super confused and asked us which key so he could take it off the keyring for the future. I'm pretty surprised nobody else had ever tried that."
Making Themselves Right At Home
"So, I managed this room that had a decorative dungeon-like area that was behind a closed gate that was screwed shut and wasn't meant to he opened."
"So one day, a group of slightly tipsy yet overall nice and polite middle-aged men come in to play. As always I instruct them about the rules and tell them the usual "Everything that must be opened can be done so without excessive force and use of outside-tools blah, blah, blah...". The game starts and at one point they seem to be stuck and unable to find the next clue. So they start flipping everything over and generally making a huge mess (nothing unusual)."
"I turned away from the monitor for literally a couple of minutes to go to the bathroom and when I came back I see that one of them has a mini pocket-sized tool kit with him, that he's used to screw open the dungeon gate and is now trying to take apart a piece of furniture, while another one has fully undressed the mannequin that was inside of the dungeon and put on it's "bloody" robe on himself."
"Needless to say, they did not find the exit key in time and the room had to be closed for the rest of the day, due to the damage they did. They were nice enough to apologize and offer to help with cleaning the place up, however, some of the stuff they broke, couldn't be repaired as easily."
Sounds Like a Good Time
"An operator told me once about this group that was very high. They game was supposed to start with them chained to the floor and trying to find a key in their reach."
"Apparently they stayed the whole hour sitting on the floor, looking at the ceiling and laughing for no reason. When the game was over they had to be unchained by the operator. They claimed they had the best time ever XD"
"I was in an escape room, we had gotten to the end and needed the password to a computer so we could open files on a flash drive (I don't remember why, it was something about bomb codes)."
"The laptop was a Chromebook, and since we were running out of time I rebooted it and logged in using my own Google account and got the files open. The operator told me no one had done that before so I was pretty chuffed."
So before you destroy a lock or pee in the corner of an escape room, remember that there is an employee watching you the entire time--and they're just trying to get through a shift.
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Sometimes I think back to a teacher I had when I was a kid who demanded to know whether any of us were "raised in a barn" in response to crappy behavior. Namely littering. She hated littering. Can you blame her? It's a horrible habit and some people do it with no sense of shame. She dedicated much of her time to telling students to pick up after themselves and dispose of things properly. For that, I'm thankful.
But why didn't anyone else get the memo? The trash I see on the streets is obscene.
People had lots of thoughts to share after Redditor SneakyStriedker876 asked the online community,
"What seemingly uncivilized thing is commonplace in society?"
"We delight in the deaths of others as long as we feel it was justified. But when the reverse happens we act all high and mighty like we wouldn't engage in the same behavior."
"Slaughtering each other..."
"Slaughtering each other via warfare to solve political differences. It's standard policy worldwide."
Indeed it is. And it seems impossible to stop.
"Littering. Especially dropping cigarette butts on the ground/flicking them out the window.
The world is not your personal ashtray/garbage bin."
Every now and then I find new trash in my yard and I am constantly amazed by how nasty people can be.
"Mobbing someone because of their opinion or for a comment they made a long time ago, even if that time was yesterday."
"Xenophobia. The fact that racism and racial violence still exist is an indicator that we're still tribal primates in fancy clothes."
And it makes no sense! It's not based in reality. We are truly a tribal species.
"Shouting while arguing, refusing to listen to the opinions of others, basically the inability to debate and maintain proper communication."
"Letting people die..."
"Letting people die of curable conditions simply because they can't afford healthcare."
Probably the biggest reason why much of the Western world looks at the United States with shame in their eyes.
"Parents forcing their kids to hug family/friends despite the kid being uncomfortable doing it. They feel uncomfortable for a reason."
"During the holiday season..."
"During the holiday season, customers take products off of our online fulfillment carts. Y'all have legs. Get your own."
"Using phone speakers..."
"Using phone speakers in public. I don't care what you and your friend think about that restaurant, or how much that Spotify jam speaks to you. Nobody else wants to hear it."
We truly need to stop all of these, don't you think?
Have some opinions of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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I love presents. I try to hide my enthusiasm, and I do my best to appease the greater public by saying "it's the thought that counts." But that is a WHOLE lie. I don't just love gifts, I love great gifts. And if you go rogue from my lists, please keep a receipt. It's just plain rude to divert from what the recipient has requested.
This thought process has emerged from experience. I have received some trash presents over the years and now I'm too old to pretend you just went crazy while shopping. Like... "do you even know me?!"
Redditor u/sulemannkhann wanted to hear all about the presents some of us have received that we prayed, came with a receipt, by asking:
What's the worst birthday gift you ever got?
Have we met? That is an actual question I asked a gift giver once. (Who shall rename nameless) Football tickets. FOOTBALL TICKETS?! Who? What? I can't.
Looks FamiliarBroad City Wow GIF by Comedy CentralGiphy
"My own scarf. Yes, that's right, my mother went into my room took my only scarf, wrapped it and gave it to me like it was a new scarf."
"Thought I was getting a bike for my 15th birthday but my foster parents announced that they were sending me to a group home after living with them for 11 years. Devastation! That place was a wake up call. More independence then at my foster home but those kids had it really really bad, 12 year old heroine addicts, abuse... what the entire hell! I hurried up, graduated from high school at 16 and got the hell out of that place. I turned out ok, work in the legal field, live in Las Vegas. I did forgive my foster parents before they died."
The Forgotten One
"My brother and I worked for a farmer one summer, and he paid us with a used car. At the end of the next year, my brother graduated high school, so my parents paid me out for my half of the car, and that was his graduation gift. I gave them all a big discount compared to what it was worth. So like $500 for my share of a $2500 car."
"2 years later, and I needed $50 for some graduation fees, so I borrowed it from my mom until I could get to the bank. (Before mobile banking and ATMs everywhere.) Later, when my mom is telling me they invited all their friends over for a 'graduation' party, I asked if they had gotten a gift for me. "Well I gave you fifty bucks."
"I paid it back the next day, and she didn't blink. The 'graduation party' was just my parents friends, who said congratulations to me, but it wasn't really for me. A few years later, my little sister graduated, she got a car. They bought a used car for her, and our other little sister got the same when she graduated. My parents are mostly nice, and I never felt like they singled me out at birthdays or anything. Just my graduation seemed like I turned invisible."
Office Party Fail
"HR complaint from two subordinates fighting over how to throw me a surprise birthday party."
"I've never worked in an office environment, but the stories I've heard of people being required to buy a cake for the whole office and to celebrate their birthday with their coworkers would be enough to keep me in blue collar work for life, were it not for the fact that I love being active and working with my hands and could never sit at a desk all day anyway."
Basicslaw school finals GIFGiphy
"My Asian mom's gift was "no extra Kumon homework after school homework" so my birthday gift was that I didn't get extra homework from her."
Regifting is trash behavior. Do better. I'd rather you just say I forgot. Or... I just don't care for that much. But regifting? No.
"Stomach flu and my first ever period, at the same time. I think it was my 13th birthday."
"Omg, exact same story for me. It was my 13th birthday and my family took us kids to visit our relatives in Subsaharan Africa for the first time. I was sick, jetlagged, overheated and riding down a bumpy road in a Jeep driven by my dad in the complete darkness. We had just eaten at a restaurant where I found a giant scarab beetle in the bottom of my soup bowl. I have flashbacks to this day."
"My grandparents have been gifting me (and my brother) the same set of three vice grips for almost 10 years. Collectively we have 60 vice grips. I don't know if they bought a pallet of them, or where they are coming from. GET A GRIP GRANDMA!"
"I had a friend who's father was famous for doing Christmas shopping at the last minute. One year she complained that she went downstairs on Christmas morning and found, sticking out of her stocking, a spatula. Her birthday was a few days after telling that story, so myself and her friends all decided to get together and get her spatulas for her birthday, as a gag gift."
"Well, when it was our birthdays she retaliated. Which lead to a counter-offensive. And soon a new tradition was formed. And guys, I have so many spatulas now. Everything from dollar store cheap plastic, to hand-carved spatulas, a golden spatula, and even a replica of the famous Malaysian fighting spatula."
"I've got seasonal spatulas. As in, today it's time to pack away the Christmas spatulas and bring out the heart-shaped Valentine's day ones, followed by the bunny-shaped Easter ones. We've also been passing around this clip from the Weird Al Yankovic movie UHF. "Spatula City, we sell spatulas, and that's all!"
Their ultimate whack-a-doo move...
"A pair of homemade custom pajamas. Only problem was that they weren't made yet. It was just the fabric and a promise to make them for me. I had to give the fabric back and I never got the pajamas."
"Nothing legal just at our wedding they gave us a card that basically said 'have some land.' When the dust settled I asked what they thought we would do with it, they said build a home. I said ok, gonna need legal ownership for like building a house. They said sure we will get right on that. Then they decide to sell out and retire and never mentioned our wedding 'gift' again."
Gross...Disgusted Steve Carell GIFGiphy
"My grandma got me a hairbrush with a plastic horse head handle. The horse head was all chipped up and there was hair in the brush."
"My Godfather sent me a Birthday card each year which said, he paid 100 bucks to a bank account which I was supposed to get, when 16yo. He then got into alcohol, used all the money and died."
Oh for God sake, why even bother giving anything at all? Lint rollers, used brushes, homemade pjs... y'all ever hear of a gift card? Just put five bucks on it and call it a day. You can't hide cheap, so stop trying.
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I'm still on the fence about this whole extraterrestrial situation. I need more proof. Now I'm not naive enough to think that in this vast, endless universe only the human race exists. I just need proof, tangible, solid, didn't see it from my trailer through beer goggles proof.
I also need proof about the afterlife, another out there topic. Truth be told, I've never been that into this whole conversation. I've got enough daily problems on this planet, let alone worrying about making Will Smith's biggest hits into documentaries and not just popcorn/comedy space farce.
But let's compare thoughts...
Redditor u/ValencikHannibal197 wanted to discuss life beyond this planet, what do we really think? They asked:
What's the best theory on UFOs or aliens you've ever heard??
I definitely wouldn't turn down an excursion to AREA 51. I'd like to poke around and get a sense of the place. I've never personally been up close and face to face with a "non-Earther." Not sure I'd like to be...
TV Truthx files monkey pee GIF by The X-FilesGiphy
"UFOs/Aliens are a cover for all of the secret projects that the government is working on. Actually stole that from the X files."
"How human birth parallels alien abductions:
- Babies are taken from their home (womb)
- They still developing sight, so they see bright lights and grey figures.
- They hear an "alien" language they don't understand.
- They suddenly feel cold after leaving their womb.
- They are in a surgery room being poked with tons of instruments.
Long story short: some people suggest that abductions are just people who had memories of their birth."
In the Mind
"I just don't think anyone will ever see this. But I think that UFO's are the projection of our unconscious collective mind. Everything that exists in reality, also exists, in our immaterial mind. Is it possible that the insides of our mind are also just one drop in the ocean of consciousness... and together we create the material reality were in, simply by experiencing it in a real way, inside-out through our senses."
"My father was an aircraft mechanic and fabricator for test and spy aircraft for the USAF. He spent 75-85 working with test aircraft. He said that when they were going to do a test, that could possibly be seen by the public, they would make a betting pool on how many UFO reports local authorities and flight towers received."
Under the Seasci-fi ufo GIFGiphy
"I like the idea that some UFOs aren't machines. Instead they are some sort of Upper-Atmosphere Jellyfish. I found the issue of Fortean Times that had this article. Here's the cover: http://ft.gjovaag.com/q/images/a/ae/FT291.jpg"
Interesting. There are some ideas we can look into. None of it proof, but possibilities. There are certainly plenty of future film ideas.
"We are like that un contacted tribe and everyone agrees not to bother us."
"I've heard it explained from a channel (idk if you know what channeling is) kinda like this. First of all, we as a species tend to freak out, shoot first and ask questions later. Most humans would have a literal psychotic break. You have to believe in vibrational energy as it relates to our consciousness."
"The aliens (certain ones) are at such a higher level that it would be jarring for us to come in close contact with. We are slowly getting there but it's a process. Like 2012, end of the Mayan calendar, wasn't the end of the world it was the end of an energy cycle that we as the human race had never made it past before."
"Previous civilizations have been destroyed or destroyed themselves before they got this far. We passed a point where we are very unlike to destroy ourselves anymore. This doesn't mean we won't see some real bad hardships yet but we will keep progressing."
"train your eyes"Dancing GIFGiphy
"I was a firm believer in t em when I was in high school and kept googling theories and info in my spare time and during my study halls. They said their bodies were so lightweight or something that the reason why you can't see the evidence is that they disintegrate before hitting the ground."
"And then LOL it was so funny, some people would swear you could "train your eyes" to see rods... HhhahAHAHAHA. Like there were these experts. Video showed him walking around with a serious face, then pointing. And he's like, "that was one just there." "You can't see them, you have to be used to them... like me."
"I've spent many years immersed into hunting them finding them. That's why I can see them." And then one day China, who loves occult stuff, had like a lab that set up a nighttime camera to capture footage of rods at night... then realized they were normal bugs at overexposure. lol"
"The Dark Forest theory. Basically the theory that the reason we haven't made contact is because all the other civilized life in the universe/galaxy knows not to broadcast their location. They've learned that there's something awful or predatory lurking in the dark forest of our galaxy, and that it's better if they keep to themselves."
"That the universe is so vast that we haven't been discovered yet."
"This makes sense to me because traversing the distance to or from even our our stellar neighbors would require technology that is not known to us now or likely to be known by us anytime soon if it's even possible at all. To assume without evidence that aliens could possess this technology and have visited us does not meet my skeptical standards."
Back and Forthback to the future great scott GIFGiphy
"Time travel exists, and UFO sightings are actually future humans coming back to our time. That is why they are so discreet, and never openly make contact."
I hope time travel exists. Now that I'm onboard for. If aliens do exist... just come on out guys. We could probably use your help.
Life is full of suspicions and theories that we'll never be able to prove in concrete but are just obvious. I'm not talking about wild conspiracy, but thoughts that make sense without a shadow of a doubt. Just lacking tangible evidence. Which can sound like wild conspiracy.
Think about aliens, ghosts, unsolved murders, all situations we know we have validation, but... do we have solid receipts? The everlasting issue. Let's break it all down.
Redditor u/Lazy-Ape wanted to dive into what we know deep down are facts, no matter what others say, by asking:
What are you convinced is true but cannot prove?
I don't know where to begin. I know who killed JonBenet. But I can't say. But we all know, and we can't say. It's no theory, but we have no receipts.
"There is some scam going on with power companies in the US. The colder months when I literally don't turn on the AC at all (electric for heat and cold) is basically the same price... I called and asked them if they are averaging it and they say no... someone is lying."
"That Tom Holland "spoiling thing" and some "leaks" are all a marketing strategy. And it works!"
"I'm not a fan of superhero movies but i saw him idk why my algorithm did that and yes you are right, you have to be next-level stupid to be spoiling stuff accidentally, one time I understand but not again and again. He is not a kid (although he looks like one)."
"The real Sonic movie was already finished. Then they put some extra time in to make the bad sonic trailer. The outrage it cost was the best publicity they could get for the movie."
The X Files
"The evidence for aliens to exist is so strong that it is not really a question of their existence. Look up Drake's equation if you haven't. Just consider 100-400 billion stars in just our galaxy, the milky way. And then 100 billion other galaxies in the observable universe."
"Each star has a habitable zone and some have Rocky planets in their habitable zone. There are many forms of life and the are theories about forms of life that are not carbon based either. There is no doubt there is alien life. Now intelligent alien life is going to be much much rarer, but still there is a high probability of intelligent aliens. Look up Fermi paradox."
Show me the...Pay Day Money GIF by MOST EXPENSIVESTGiphy
"Money can buy happiness."
"This one's been proved. I don't remember the numbers but people are happier the more they make up to a certain dollar amount. If nothing else money buys peace of mind, which is the next best thing."
Life is a mess of confusion. Can any of us prove anything? Well yes, money DOES buy happiness. That is just truth. Go out and get some.
Fliesfight club fighting GIFGiphy
"That earth is simply a 5th grade science project for some kid, to whom we are the size and importance of fruit flies. Our entire existence and history amounts to about 5 days in her time."
"Google many worlds theory. Worlds is a misnomer, if iirc. Basically it's a solution/interpretation of quantum mechanical wave function I think (not an expert). It's much more complicated than that and a lot of it very sciencey. And very philosophical. Don't get surprised if you get an epiphany. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-manyworlds/ Here you go , it isn't deep quantum mechanics but it does do a nice job of explaining it."
"Ten-ish years ago Google offered a free 411 service using voice-to-text. You spoke the person or company you wished to call (and perhaps added the address) and the Google computer would respond with the information. They stopped the "experiment" or "beta" or whatever they called it after 3-4 years. The conspiracy theory? Google now uses that voice recognition for their Google Assistant devises and services. AND has sold the technology to the government to improve wiretaps and eavesdropping."
I WANT TO MAKE SURE IT FITS!!!
"I'm lowkey convinced there's a clothing industry conspiracy to keep physical retail outlets in business. There's an unspoken mutual agreement to make sure everyone uses their own proprietary clothing sizes. That makes it impossible to transition clothes shopping to a fully online experience."
"Clothing shops suck. The selection is garbage. They are always short on certain sizes. They are always understaffed and it takes forever to grab something from the backroom. It always takes forever to go through checkout. People still go to physical clothes shop though. What's the number 1 reason they give? I WANT TO MAKE SURE IT FITS!"
The King!elvis presley GIF by MauditGiphy
"Elvis Presley lived in Las Vegas impersonation himself from 1978 to 2013, when he actually died. Easiest case of witness protection ever."
Oh Elvis. Just say hi. Keep strong in your fortitudes. Find all of your evidence. Prove life.