Image by Clockedin dk from Pixabay

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."

-- evelynesque

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."

-- takeiteasydoesit

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"

-- Saskyhu67

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."

-- ThatsSomeoneElse

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..."

-- Lyrianthalaasa

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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."

-- clouds6877


"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."

-- Ash_Fire

Finally, some shared the truly bizarre, unique, and hilarious memories they have from the job.

Happy Accident

"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."

-- meuh210

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?' "

-- Windingopossum

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."

-- goshpenny

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."

-- Thekrishub

Still Counts?

"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."

-- fuzzlequeen

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."

-- chocolateandbananas

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"

-- oUNdeSi

Came Prepared

"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."

-- Tajomstvo

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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Image by tookapic from Pixabay

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They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!