Top Stories

People Break Down The Most Surprisingly Toxic Communities They've Encountered

A niche community often arises organically. At it's best, a web of bonds in real life or on the internet establishes a safe space for people that share a common interest or life-defining characteristic.

But such a community, based so directly on a the presence of an essential detail held by all members, inherently includes a boundary. The space is only a space if it has an edge that defines it.

Often, that's no problem. The members of a community celebrate that contained spirit while allowing the boundary to be permeable to new members and well-meaning people who respect the space.

Some communities, however, are not so permeable. Their boundary line is stark, guarded aggressively, and makes non-members keenly aware of their place outside the group.

And most surprisingly, these gatekept, even toxic communities often exist to provide support for a very wholesome and vulnerable cause.

Filmologic asked, "What's the most surprisingly toxic community?"

A Good Thing Gone Too Far

"As a Personal Trainer and someone who basically lives in the gym, it would have to be the Fitness Community."

"While it is incredibly important to include fitness as part of your life, I see far too many people in my gym take it to illogical extremes."

"From drug use, to using the gym as a means to avoid their families, spending up 5 hours or more in here, there's lots of unhealthy behavior that goes on in here."

-- KJR506

Cliques of Oral History

"I was most surprised by the toxicity of an online community devoted to the history and memories of my home town. I thought it was going to be about people's reminiscences, interesting tidbits of information and old photos, but it turned out to be a lot of sniping and politics."

"There was a core group, kind of like the cool kids and they would have get togethers and inside jokes and they treated everyone else like they thought they were losers."

"It was very high school - actually worse."

-- Paddlingmyboat

Arbitrary Designations of Legitimacy 

"It breaks my heart to say this: the disability community. The amount of gate-keeping is ridiculous and insane."

"Example: I take pills for a condition that is psychiatric in nature, but has physical side affects if I'm not medicated (drowsiness, hand trembles, shaky leg, compulsive picking). I've repeatedly been told that it's not a 'real disability' because I have it under control, or worse yet, it's 'in my head.'"

"Not cool, man."

-- skynolongerblue

Wheel Hierarchies

"Bicycling. My ex has a bmx repair business, mostly for kids, and the amount of hate he receives from road cyclists is unfathomable. Not just online, but on trails and in bike lanes too."

"How little scope do you have when you're willing to run someone into traffic because you don't like their style of bike? Then try to high-five your friend about it?"

-- Laynebutnotlayne

When Hate Gets Hold of It

"The RuPaul's Drag Race fandom."

"What started as a bi***y distraction for gay men has turned into a phenomenon for sanctimonious straight teenagers who are either hysterical sycophants or obnoxious racists."

-- DoneDidThisGirl

Sexism in the Gaming Community 

"Gamers! Some man feel threatened by woman and they begin doing anything to kick hem out of the community."

"I've seen some exposing the girls personal life like photos, affairs, jobs in order to make them feel embarrassed enough to leave the games."

-- soloamotu

Snooty Sellers

"Poshmark. I'm a full-time seller on poshmark and mercari, and my God do some other sellers have a god complex."

"Poshmark allows buyers to offer on items and a lot of sellers take every offer (low ball or a reasonable offer) as a personal insult and will either blast the potential buyer or just straight up block them."

"Some sellers have a 'no response' self policy, where if someone asks a question they refuse to answer because they see it as a waste of their precious time..."

" I understand some buyers ask too many questions with no intention of buying but that's just how customer service is baby, sometimes you gotta answer stupid questions!"

-- ladies_and_jellyfish

Inaccessible Storytelling

"Dungeons and Dragons."

"You would think that nerds bonding together over something as wonderfully silly as pretending to be Dwarves and Elves wouldn't breed toxicity, but many of them are not only snobby but extremely elitist about how they prefer to run the games."

-- ASDirect

Ironic Intolerance

"The kink communities in some cities."

"They say they're all about acceptance and everything rosy but can be a toxic cesspool of cliques and power-hungry narcissists."

-- JonSnowsdirtyd***


"Surfers. There are cases where someone gets beat the sh** out of/their car wrecked simply for surfing a spot whilst not being a 'local.'" -- FormerGoat1

"Was looking for this one. Everyone thinks it's all laid back and chill but in the water surfers are aggressive, selfish, and hostile to beginners."

"At certain crowded spots (i.e. spots in Santa Cruz) I'll count my session as a win if I go the entire time without some old guy or 'local' getting mad at me for some dumb sh**." -- Franklin-D-Bluth

Aggressive Rascals

Most kid game that have chat features. Club penguin, Roblox, wizards 101, etc."

"Usually if younger children are involved heavily in a games community I usually see a ton of racism and just plain hatred."

-- RTwistedReadsYT

Head on a Swivel Out There

"kpop. idk if it's a no-brainer to y'all now but when I joined I had no idea. the amount of cancel culture, bullying, gas-lighting, sh** talking... it made me so uncomfortable."

"I did not want to be associated with people who send death threats to others who don't like kpop or harass their idols. it makes me so angry and sad that the community is what it is..."

"....because I still enjoy some bands and songs. and I also feel bad that the people with actual healthy love for the genre and bands are ashamed to like what they like because of the shitty ass people."

-- NoodleBooOwO

Allegations of Overstepping

"PETA. They claim to be the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals but they tried to get Pokemon banned which is a fictional video game about collecting monsters (has nothing to do with animals). They also want to turn the whole world vegan."

"If they actually stuck to their core values of protecting animals they might actually be taken more seriously."

-- judas_crypt

Hiking Wrong

"Literally, Outdoors."

"Ever try to go on a quick run or a nice hike with an outdoorsy friend or relative? Or possibly even date?"

"Don't have the right shoes or expensive gear. Don't have the right drinks because water isn't enough anymore. Don't use the right running technique (whatever that means, I learned to run when I was 3 and never looked back)."

"And don't even TRY to find a nice serene place in nature that isn't gatekept by someone who thinks they own the land. It's outrageous."

-- Crowroth

Becoming the Enemy 

"Atheists (and I am one.)"

"If a major problem with organized religion is that it's very tribal (which it is), organized atheism has turned itself into just another tribe. One more version of 'us' against a different kind of 'them'. That's not an improvement."

-- Hysterical_Realist

The Prevention of Vulnerability

"Men to other men. Honestly it's sad how many men try and make others feel like sh**." -- Lethal_bizzle94

"Not surprising" -- Thoughtitwouldlast

"I think there's a fine line between ball busting and actual hatred. Also guys don't hold grudges much at all" -- Wes_Bugg

Only Advice for the Tight Coils

"Curly hair community. Gate-keeping is real. If you have loose, wavy curls or a mixed baby and you're trying to get some curly girl help online.... beware."

"They're coming for you."

-- bigmamaindahouse


"Community theater toxicity caught me off guard when I got into it in my town. Lots of ego, casting drama, and super right wing people with shi**y views."

"That last one is the one that got me the most. Maybe it's just a Florida thing but you'd figure that people into doing musicals wouldn't be the 'all lives matter,' 'I disagree with gay marriage' types regardless."

"Not everyone thankfully, my closest friends also came from doing it"

-- IniMiney

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.