The Strangest 'House Rules' People Had Growing Up

Kid reaching for a strawberry on the kitchen countertop
Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

There's no official manual on how to raise kids since every household has different protocols that have been passed down between generations.

And while general rules like "no running around the house" or "finish your plate or you get no dessert" may sound familiar, there are those that are so specific, they almost make no sense.

Curious to hear from strangers who had to abide by the weirdest orders at home, Redditor AMGBOI69420 asked:

"What are the strangest 'house rules' you had growing up?"

Careful the things you say.


"You weren't allowed to say 'I know.' Because 'f you knew you, you'd be doing it.' Normally said while I was doing that thing."

– theDeuce

Prohibited Non-Expletives​

"Shut up, fart and hate were bad words."

– Tuesdayallweek

Preferred Semantics

"Saying 'shut up' was taboo in our home. My parents called farting 'tooting' which I suppose was one of my mom's gentlewoman idioms. She also called pooping a 'B.M.' for bowel movement -- and don't think I didn't get bullied for saying that in front of my classmates!"

"I think we could use the word hate (like 'I hate that color') but we could never say 'I hate you' to anyone."

– monkeyhind

Rules are rules and there was no room for negotiating.

Why I Hate Trays

"No food could be eaten on just a plate. The plate had to be on a tray (cause what if crumbs fall). Which seems so weird in a house that is way dirtier than mine is now."

"Needless to say, i hate trays, don't own any, and never will. My stupid rule will be 'no trays allowed'. It is what it is."

– clem_11

Respect For The Pet

"I wasn’t allowed to watch mice centric movies (The Rescuers, American Tail) because my mom said 'our cat finds them offensive.'”

– OrangeTree81

Preserve The Padding

"We had to flip up the chair cushions at the dining room table unless company was over. Gotta save that padding for a more valuable butt's occasion."

– hbkzd987

Hands Off

"No touching the walls, boy did we get a butt wooping just for touching the damn walls."

– Bubz-411

No Teen Drama

"I wasn’t allowed to watch Beverly Hills 90210 or Party of Five. Also was not allowed to eat Lucky Charms for breakfast (only dessert), but for some reason Reese’s Puffs were ok?"

– FineStein

These are head-scratchers.

Questionable Incentive

"Winner cleans up."

"Everyone always looks at me sideways when I say it after a game but that's the way we did it."

– aug2295

Ice Anxiety

"My dad was super weird about ice cubes. If you took one out of the tray instead of the big bin, he'd be mad about the missing cube. You had to empty the tray into the bin and then refill it. When I moved away for college, first day home I decided to see if he still checked and I took a cube out of the top tray waaaay in the back. He asked me about it less than an hour later!"

"They have a countertop ice machine now, so no more ice anxiety for my dad."

– Novah11

Snack Guardian

"My dad would count the snacks and sodas etc. If it was a juice container, it got marked with marker to show the level. We couldn't open the door, even if I could clearly see my friends on the other side through the peephole. One time I got permission to go play outside, but when I opened the door it was a neighbor walking up our front step. I said, 'Dad, Mr. X is here.' And he then grounded me for opening the door without his permission. Our neighbor tried to explain I didn't open the door for him and my dad just didn't care. Neighbor never came over after that."

– evanjw90

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