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People Break Down Which Illegal Things They Did Regularly Without Realizing They Were Actually Against The Law

People Break Down Which Illegal Things They Did Regularly Without Realizing They Were Actually Against The Law
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Growing up, lots of us had parents who would tell us that driving with the cabin light on at night was illegal. In most places, it isn't. Those same parents then neglected to tell us about a whole bunch of stuff we might be into was technically the wrong side of legal.

Yeah, there are a lot of laws about sex so you're probably out here being a criminal not even knowing it.

One Reddit user asked

What's an illegal thing you used to do on a regular basis without knowing it was illegal to begin with?

And it turns out it's much more than just the bedroom where there people are unknowingly breaking the law.

The Chinese Lady In The Chicken Shop

Chicken Omg GIF by reactionseditorGiphy

When I was a kid I thought it was normal that we could buy movies the day after they came out from the Chinese lady in the chicken shop. I didn't realize it was a crime until middle school when I told someone my grandma had Avatar on DVD and they said that was impossible since the movie was still in theaters. Chinese lady was a real professional she knew how to get a good video.

- Western-Results8780

The Neighbor's Yard

Trespassing. As a kid (think 6, 7) my younger brother and I would go over into our neighbor's yard (he had a fantastic garden) and play quietly. He never said anything; he was a WWII vet and lived alone. I guess we amused him.

When he died, a new family moved into the house. We continued our ventures into the yard and the family must've found out, because we walked over one day to be met with a locked fence. Our days of playtime were over.

Apparently he lived alone because he had disowned his son for being gay, and once his wife died he stopped coming around. When he was dying my dad and mom visited him because no one else was. He was delirious and thought my dad was his son and started apologizing and saying he should've been a better dad.

The son in question never showed up to visit - but when he came to the neighborhood to look at the house, my dad told him what his father had said. He broke down sobbing.

I guess we were like the grandchildren he never had. Either way this whole story was more depressing than I thought so I'm going to grab some tissues.

- _theaidreader13_

Olive Samples

I used to think the little olive kiosks in grocery stores were samples. I would always leave with a little produce bag of various olives and enjoy my treat on the ride home. I had odd tastes as a kid.

- menstrually-unstable


Until I saw the sign posted as I exited Yellowstone National Park, I was unaware that it's illegal to make elk noises at the elk!

I'd been riding around on my motorcycle making elk noises all week! They love it. They all look up and stare at you as you ride past.

- cortechthrowaway

Piracy As A Business Model

I once had this coworker that was always coming up with hair-brained business schemes. One day he comes in and start going on this rant about how he's going to become a millionaire.

He explains that he recently purchased like 10,000 SD cards from China, and he got a card reader for them. They cost like $0.50 each or something, and he's all like "But they can hold up to 10 GB of data each! That's enough for like four movies, and I can sell them for like $20 each!"

He goes on to talk about the incredible margins his new business is going to have, and how he just needs to earn back enough so he can afford to upgrade to a "multi card reader." Also, his big plan was to put this stuff on "my Myspace" and then mail the cards to people.

At this point I'm feeling bad for the guy since he's obviously already dumped $$$ into this, but figured it's better for him to lose that than land himself in prison. So I'm like, "dude, you realize that's illegal right? You're going to get FBI coming after you for movie piracy."

The look on his face, just like, completely defeated. Felt sorry for him, but seriously?

- eblingdp

Is The Silverware Sanitary

As a teen living in the US, (Utah to be specific), and I was really questioning the sanitation of the utensils in the high school cafeteria. So I was carrying a multi-purpose tool with me that had a fork and a spoon on it.

However, I wasn't aware that it had a fully functional blade on it, 3 and 3/4 inches to be precise.


- SilentTempestLord

Do Not Touch The Art

art glitch GIF by G1ft3dGiphy

Had a friend who liked to touch all the paintings in museums. She had been doing this her whole life, thought it was totally normal, and had just happened never to get caught. She did not believe me when I told her that you aren't allowed to.

We got kicked out of the museum.

Or rather, she got kicked out and I left with her. She walked down a row of paintings and dragged her hand across every one of them. A pretty pissed off looking guard asked her to "please leave."

No dramatic scene or anything, probably could have stayed if she'd explained that she really didn't know but she was pretty embarrassed by the whole thing so we just hustled out.

- gayvoter97


Forging signatures.

When I was younger because my mom wouldn't sign something or didn't have the time. It looked exactly the same too... By younger I mean 8.

- Interrogator999

Missed That Sign

Back when my ex was a barista at Starbucks I would drive her to work every day at 4AM and take a specific route.

Thought nothing of it and the route became muscle memory.

One day she asks me to pick her up early and I take the usual route. After I make a right turn on a red light (perfectly legal in the US) I suddenly get those dreaded lights behind me.

The police officer came up to my window and asked for my credentials. Fine...I thought. I considered myself a very competent driver up to this point and had never gotten into a crash or so much as a ticket.

She comes back and the conversation went something like this:

Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?

Me: (annoyed) no.

Officer: Do you realize that turn you made back there was illegal?

Me: Last time I checked it was legal to turn right on red, no?

Officer: Sure, but there's obviously a sign that says that you can't do it at that specific intersection.

Me: Impossible... I've been taking that turn every day for the past 6 months...

Officer: ........

Sure enough after the officer gave me the "are you f***ing serious" look along with my ticket I drove back to the intersection and every traffic light had a "Do Not Turn On Red" sign on it.

I totally deserved that ticket lol...

- Serious-Candidate

Rail Yard Police

I make a lot of things out of wood and metal.

I didn't know how aggressive rail yards can be about their sh!t. A few times in my life I've found railroad spikes partially buried in pebbles up to ten feet away from the track, and I've taken those to make knives and jewelry with.

Turns out they do not like it when people take their rusted, busted junk that they leave to the elements.

- Wrylis

Dude Just Wanted The Shady Spot

Fishing without a license.

Had a male Karen accost me over not having a fishing license a few months ago. I had no idea that was an actual thing or that it mattered for catch-and-release ponds.

He basically threatened to call the cops on my friends and I because we didn't have fishing licenses so we had to stop fishing and leave.

Keep in mind, this was a large catch-and-release pond with a nature center that you could rent poles from and buy that shitty green marshmallow bait. The dude just wanted the shady spot where you could catch bass to himself.

- MrLionOtterBearClown

Boating and Entering

Back when I was in sixth grade my friend (who was older than me) and I went to a boat marina in the parking lot where all the boats were stored cause it was winter time . The boats would be covered by a white plastic seal material and we would unzip them and go inside peoples boats cabin.

I never knew it was illegal.

- idkmanecat

The Wrong Flashlight

Owning the wrong type of flashlight.

Around 25 years ago i was looking for a flashlight and found a good one at a store specializing in camping and hunting goods. Since it came with a mounting bracket the salesperson pointed out that (here in germany) attaching a flashlight to a firearm is illegal. I don't even own any firearms, so i didn't care much and put the light in my toolbox.

A few years later i found out that the actual wording of the law states that a "flashlight designed to be attached to a weapon" is an illegal item and just owning the light and the bracket can be considered a crime.

- Dr_Allcome

Everybody's Yards

Trespassing. When I was a kid, literally the entire neighborhood was my playground. I was all up in EVERYBODIES yards. Frontyards, backyards. I would run around with my crazy imagination and fight all kinds of armies and monsters and dragons, aliens, zombies, demons. I would pick up any rock in anyones yard I thought looked cool and bring it back to my own collection. I climbed every tree around, ate from this one guys orange tree, and even made orange juice a few times. Played in all of the ditches, and climbed through all of the giant piles of tree clippings anytime someone trimmed a tree

But I also made friends with every kid around, and was invited into all of their houses to play video games. My childhood was wild.

- raemnant

Hitting The Highway

I grew up in a rural Appalachian area, We would ride our dirt bikes on the highway all the time. Usually just a few miles to the next dirt road - but it never occurred to us that a 13 yr old riding on the highway with no drivers license no insurance and no license plate was against the law. Not until the new state trooper assigned to the three counties started chasing us.

The sheriffs department only had one deputy and they just waved at us. As long as you weren't doing wheelies on the wrong side of the highway or something they didn't care.

- SnooHabits8041

As Far As Authorities Are Concerned

I used to catch mice in a little box in the shop I worked at and would release them outside. We had poison down and glue traps but never caught anything and I felt this was more humane (I would take them to a little park nearby)

It wasn't until a few months after doing this that a park warden told me they were vermin and it was illegal to catch and release that I realized. I checked and in the city I live in, yes it is considered illegal.

I also used to mod and paint Nerf guns so they resembled firearms for Cosplay purposes, they were non working and rendered safe props but painting them black is a no-no as far as the Metropolitan Police are concerned.

- Glith_in_the_Pink

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People Break Down The Most Disturbing Thing They've Ever Casually Been Told

Reddit user DarthAbhinav asked: 'What is the most disturbing thing you've heard said casually?'

Every now and again, when talking to a friend or family member, a rather shocking piece of information might casually slip out.

Information one imagines they wanted to keep secret for as long as they possibly could.

In some cases, it's something embarrassing, that everyone will be able to laugh about with the passage of time.

In other cases, however, it's information that stuns us silent.

Learning something we wish we hadn't.

Redditor DarthAbhinav11 was curious to hear the most disturbing information people have ever been casually told or overheard, leading them to ask:

"What is the most disturbing thing you've heard said casually?"

An Acquired Taste

"I work in a deli and some lady asked me to cut her ham extremely thin to the point of seeing through it."

"I heard her justify it as 'so you can get rid of the ham taste'."

"I still think about this one."- Alternative_Net8931

Utterly Horrid

"When I was walking to my front door."

"My neighbor had their window open and was scolding their 3 year old adopted child."

"She was howling crying."

"'Do you want mommy to send you back?'"- BoredBSEE

It Arrives Sooner Than You Think...

At Macy's, two teen girls: 'Women over 30 have the ugliest elbows'."

"'OMG. I know'."

"'Very disturbing'."

"'I always ask my mom to wear long sleeves when we go out to eat'."- CapitalPhilosophy513

Never Too Late

"I when younger I worked at a pool and had to lifeguard senior aerobics classes."

"Most participants where 65+."

“'Where’s so and so'.”

“'Oh he won’t be here, his wife was put into hospice'.”

“'Well I feel bad for him, but we do need some more single men around here'."

"'He’s not bad looking, has a retirement too'.”- CuriousOne9320

Round And Round It Goes...

"'If the Earth is spinning, then why my front door is always facing east?'"- SuvenPan

"Something I once heard a passing stranger say for which I have no context: 'He wears a scarf around his neck so you can't see where he's decaying'."

"I've been curious for years and it annoys me that I'll never know."- xyanon36

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

"An ex after I ended things 'I don’t understand, if I want to be in a relationship with you but you don’t want to be in a relationship with me why do you get to win?'"- TinyFurryHorseBeak

Not His Decision To Make

"Was at an end of season event for my kid's baseball team when he was little."

"The coaches brought Italian ice for everyone."

"Mom has just served her kids and husband and comes back with her own."

"As she's sitting down to eat, I hear her husband loud whisper behind her something like 'absolutely not'."

"'You don't need any more calories'."

"I just watched her face fall."

"I can't imagine what their marriage must look like behind closed doors and what life must be like for her."


"Note that this woman was already probably a size 2 at most so this was not a scenario where there were serious weight-related health problems."

"This guy was just a jerk and this really wasn't the first time that season, but his reminders that they aren't living up to his standards were usually aimed at his kids on the field."

"I try to assume the best of people but that guy sucked."- littleirishpixie

The Truth Hurts

"I was in an accident once and was hospitalized."

"The accident left me severely disfigured."

"I was out of my mind on pain meds when I arrived at the hospital and told my family to call my girlfriend and let her know what happened and where I was."

"My mom called my girlfriend and my sister not knowing the particulars of my life called my ex."

"Neither knew the other had called and both ended up showing up."

"They arrived within an hour of one another while I was asleep."

"Since someone was there with me it gave my family a chance to go home and take a break."

"So I woke up to my ex and my girlfriend talking to one another."

"Obviously my girlfriend was mad my ex was there and things got heated between the two."

"My ex being level headed suggested they step into the hall since I was half awake and in no condition to deal with the drama."

"As they're arguing in the hall voices are being raised until finally a nurse comes to reign the situation in."

"The nurse breaking them up made my girlfriend leave."

"As she was leaving she yelled 'you can have his a**'."

"'It's not like I wanna be with some burnt up scarred dude anyway'."

"'He's f*cked'."

"At this point I was still bed ridden and hadn't seen a mirror."

"I was aware my body was f*cked but had no idea what I actually looked like."

"Hearing that was such a gut punch and it really messed with my head at the time."- Burnvictim49percent

Where To Even Begin?

"I am a tutor."

"I heard some of my students say ;What's the point in learning history? We should live in the present'."

"We are German."- GentlemanPirate13

Most of the time, when a friend or family member warns us or apologizes for sharing "too much information" or "TMI", what we've heard isn't that shocking in the grand scheme of things.

Indeed, as evidenced by the sad and shocking stories above, when people really share TMI, they often have no idea they're doing so.

A hand adds a yellow post it to a wall of yellow post its
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

There are rules in life where people are expected to just know how to operate without being told.

For instance, if someone falls down... help them.

When you like a sweater in a store... get money to buy it.

Just leaving with it won't go over well.

And there are more rules, or guidelines to adhere to...

Redditor christygl7 wanted to hear about what is expected in people's homes without words, so they asked:

"What's an unwritten rule in your household?"

If you have to pee... lift the seat cover.

The people in Port Authority always miss that one.


Cleaning Chores GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy

"Either my wife or I can do any chore when noticed. We thank each other for routine chores as we appreciate each other."


"That’s how my fiancée and I handle chores. Whoever’s around when the core needs to be done does the chore, typically. I find she does more regular cleaning of the whole apartment while I do more dishes and cooking."



"Replacing the trash bag IS PART OF taking out the trash."


"Similar to this, in my house, the rule is if the toilet paper ended on your turn (or there’s barely enough for the next person) then it is your job to procure the next roll and put it in the bathroom. It is NOT acceptable to let it run out for the next person."


"We have extra stored in every bathroom. I make sure of it. However, if it runs low/out on the roll, my wife will 100% of the time take the new roll and set it on top of the empty tube on the spindle, refusing to replace it. I actually called her over and shamed her into changing it in front of me the other night (not in an abusive way - we were both laughing about it)."


Finder's Keepers

"If you find money in the laundry while you are doing the laundry, it's yours."


"Yep. My boyfriend learned that lesson the hard way when we first started living together. He had a bad habit of just crumpling up bills in a big wad in his pocket, usually just ones, but sometimes he accidentally leaves a twenty in there. I tipped myself the twenty. It took him a couple of days of trying to figure out where it went before I took pity on him and told him."

"He now both turns out his pockets and washes his own clothes. I still find the occasional single dollar in the dryer."


Dropped something?

"If food is dropped on the floor it becomes the property of the dog. The dog knew this rule before we did."


"That was one of the hardest things after our family dog died. Dropped something? Who cares! Riley will get it. But then he didn’t."

"Also, I don’t live at home anymore but coming home to him barking and crying out of excitement and greeting me always made my day and I looked forward to it every time I opened the door and could hear him wiggling in excitement on the side hahaha. It’s a little less exciting coming home now."



Water Stay GIF by Kinda FunnyGiphy

"If the water you take from the Brita pitcher leaves what’s left below a certain line, you are obligated to refill the pitcher on penalty of death."


If you stay in my home and don't refill the Brita pitcher...

I'm setting your hair on fire at 3 AM!!!


Go Away Pink GIF by HacklockGiphy

"Check the toilet after you flush."


"This. My brother-in-law never does this. It's annoying and disgusting! You don't want to clean up after yourself because you think it's gross? How do you think it makes me feel to clean up after you?"



"Wake someone up if their alarm goes off. It's a pretty weird one but setting up alarms is a conscious and deliberate decision for all of us and you want to wake up when it goes off, so we just help each other out."


"I'll do this a few times, but my roommate needs to learn not to hit snooze because he's taught his body that alarms don't need to be woken up to. I don't wake him up anymore. He started waking up to them."


"I’ll wake them up because it annoys me when people snooze especially if I’m next to them in the bed and I don’t have to get up."


No Exceptions!

"Shoes off at the door. No exceptions."


"Shoes-on people must not be using the same public bathrooms that I do. 100% of them have a lake of dirty urine in front of the urinal. They must also be amazing at finding two urine-free spots that are shoe-sized on the shores of said lake. It’s fine if they want to bring that into their homes. It’s not allowed in mine, though."


Table Manners

"No tech at the table."

"Even with a teenage daughter this has proved eerily easy; we all love food though!!"

"Also murder is out of the question, it is non-negotiable. If any of us kills another then they are outlawed in the true sense."

"Other than this, we are pretty cool."



Well Done Applause GIF by MOODMANGiphy

"Let the dog out to go potty before you use the restroom. (Seriously, the dog is asking to go out and you think she can wait while you take a 30-minute poop first? Not cool.)"


Always let the dogs go first.

If you wait, you won't like the surprise they leave!

person using laptop computer to make a credit card purchase on Unsplash

Sometimes we look at a product and think "who would buy that, and why?"

For me the "Flowbee" home haircutting tool comes to mind. If you're unfamiliar, it's a shaver you attached to your vacuum cleaner so you hair was pulled past cutting blades.

It was sold on late night infomercials in the 1990s.

Who wouldn't want to style their hair like this?

Flowbee infomercial GIFGiphy

As fabulous as that looks, results did vary with most veering toward "yikes!" yet by 2000 the company reported 2 million were sold.

And *surprise* you can still buy one—for about $150.

It seems no matter how bad a product is, someone will buy it.

Keep reading...Show less

There's this amazing quote by Maya Angelou that we can all put into practice: "Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better."

This can be applied to anything in life, from learning more about a subject that we're passionate about, to practicing better time management skills, to being a better friend.

But there are some things that we may not even realize we need to do better... until we suddenly know better.

Cringing in anticipation, Redditor one-droplet asked:

"What have you always done, but later found out was gross?"

The Best Ice

"When I was like five or six years old I would love going to the grocery store with my mom because the vegetable and fruit and meat tables always had the best ice to chew on..."

- campio_s_a

"I work in a restaurant, and I try to grab a cup to get the ice before they use it for raw oysters and shrimp cocktails. It really is the best ice."

- AustinRiversDaGod

Toilet Paper Use

"As an Asian, I was always taught growing up to throw used toilet paper in the trash bin. It wasn't until I went on a school trip to Italy and the chaperone mentioned to everyone, 'The plumbing system here isn't as good as the USA so you guys are just gonna have to throw it in the trash bin,' and everyone went, 'Ew.'"

"That's when I learned that it was gross to throw toilet paper in the trash bin since the issue was you're basically having shit bits sitting around in a bin."

- stigma_numgus

Toothbrush Bristles

"All my life, I wiped my toothbrush on the hand towel to dry it up until my sister asked what the f**k I was doing."

- Sark_Doul

"My sister used to scrub the bristles on the faucet where the water came out when she was done brushing her teeth. I guess to dry it off. I still cringe thinking about it."

- Suspicious-Craft4980

That's Not Clay

"As a child, I would dig up bits of clay from the local sandbox. It wasn’t as good as Play-Doh, so I would cast it aside and continue digging."

"Maybe I didn’t have a very good sense of smell at that age, because I was well into adulthood before I realized it was probably cat s**t."

- Blue_Moon_Rabbit

Dirty Showers

"I showered in a dirty tub. Once I discovered how gross it really was, my hoarder mother didn’t like it when I cleaned the bathroom, so I just lived with it til I was able to get a place."

- TrustIsOverrated

"My hoarder mom was like this."

- Best_Eggplant_9259

"When I tried to wash the nicotine off the walls in my bedroom, my hoarder parents were not happy."

- obviouslyanni

Fresh Towels

"I waited until a towel smelled weird to swap it out."

- DrippyFlames

"Look, the towel forgets everything before the next shower."

- gljivicad

Self-Service Assorted Candies

"I used to really like those self-service lollies/candy buckets with the scoops. They were in most big box stores in Australia, like Kmart, Target, Big W. So much fun mixing and matching."

"But then one day I started working at Target. Every single day I caught old people and kids with their hands directly inside grabbing them out and munching down all slobbery-like. That turned me off forever."

"Though not too long after they started disappearing from businesses so obviously someone got the unsanitary message."

- blahblahrasputan

Not Flushable

"I flushed my tampons my whole life until I was about 30. No one had taught me they weren’t flushable. I stupidly thought they were like toilet paper."

"One expensive and embarrassing plumbing problem later, I never did it again."

- Ew_fine

Dental Habits

"Not brushing my teeth when I wake up. I would only brush my teeth after breakfast, and I would rarely eat breakfast."

"So most days I would only brush my teeth at night. I figured, 'Well, I brushed last night and haven’t eaten anything since, so why should I brush again?'"

" Then I learned about all the bacteria that feed on the tiny bits of food left in your teeth and they literally expel gas and feces in your mouth as they consume it. And this is what causes awful morning breath."

"So I have this mental image of bacteria poop and farts coating my mouth and have brushed every morning since regardless of eating breakfast or not."

- scatteredwardrobe

"Brush at night to keep your teeth, and brush in the morning to keep your friends."

- coykoi314

Not Just Yellow Snow

"Eating snow. Just take the same handful of snow you might see a kid stuff in their mouth and let it melt in a glass. Bet you wouldn’t willingly drink it!"

- Affectionate_Cloud86

Don't Visit Everyone's House

"I sit on my couch butt naked when I’m alone watching TV at night. I mean I’m relatively clean but I feel sorry for anyone else that sits there."

- Rich-Abbreviations25

Letting the Hair Fall Where It May

"I'm suffering from hair loss at the moment (51 Female) and I'm often absent-mindedly raking a hand through my long hair, glancing at what comes out and then dropping the strands on the floor."

"Just read on another sub that that's pretty disgusting to other people. In my defense, I work exclusively from home in my own small office and would never do it in public, but even so, maybe my husband thinks I'm gross."

- RadioDorothy

Shoes Indoors

"Wearing shoes inside. My family was not a shoes off family and they always wore outside shoes inside."

"I remember a few friends' homes were strict shoes-off homes, but I thought that was the minority."

"I was about 27 years old before I realized it was disgusting and people were definitely judging my etiquette."

- MyDogAteYourPancakes


"Double-dipping snacks. Pretty logical but only found out recently that’s very bad etiquette."

- AggravatingDriver559

"Double-dipping is only acceptable if you’re not sharing the dip with anyone."

- froderenfelemus

Fair Lessons

"Some things I've learned:"

"Wash my bedsheets every week, including bed, pillows, and covers."

"Only use the same bath towel twice before washing it."

"Use a new toothbrush head every month."

"Always wash my hands coming back from a store or public transit."

"And NEVER EVER go into a resort pool with a swim-in bar."

- freddg_mtl

This conversation was so cringe-worthy and left us wanting a shower in the worst way.

At least for most of these Redditors, now that they knew these are gross habits, they've chosen to do something better.