Recently, redditor u/Hackedfaith asked, "What is the worst lie you caught your parents telling?" From little white lies to some truly unhinged falsehoods, here are 17 of the worst lies people shared:
Submissions have also been sourced from this similar thread.
1."In order to get me to stop sucking my thumb when I was really young, my mom told me that if I kept on doing that, it would turn red, then purple, and then fall off. I ignored her warning and kept on doing it. One night when I was sleeping, my mom dyed my thumbs red. I woke up and freaked out, but quickly resumed sucking my thumb. The next night, she dyed it purple. I freaked out so bad that I never sucked on it again."
2."One night, I went downstairs to ask my mother something. My dad was a light sleeper and would get really pissed if anyone woke him up, so I whispered, 'Mom! Mom!' All of a sudden, my dad sat up and yelled at me to get lost. They told me I should never sneak up on them, because they had a gun, and my dad thought I was an intruder and almost shot me. They scared the bejeezus out of me. Sometimes, when I tried to get to sleep, I'd remember how my dad almost shot me. For years, even after I moved out. Decades later, I mentioned it to my mom. She started laughing and told me they were having sex. There was no gun."
3."My parents told me that if I was lying, there would be bubbles on my tongue. So when they asked me something and they thought I was lying, they'd tell me to stick out my tongue. If I knew I was telling the truth, I'd open my mouth confidently and show off my bubble-free tongue. If I was lying, I'd try to scrape the bubbles off with my teeth. I now use it on my son. Still works."
4."My parents told me that, if I misbehaved, Michael Jordan would retire. I remember so vividly the first time he retired. Then, I did everything they told me, and he came back out of retirement."
5."That my mother was schizophrenic. I was 15 and knew she had been battling depression for years. Schizophrenia runs in our family, and as an angsty teenager, it was very easy for me to believe that she was mentally ill. She was completely convinced that my father had a secret second family. She was diagnosed and medicated for years. As it turns out, he did have a second family."
6."That my parents had no idea what that weird smell was in the basement when I was a kid. From around 8 years old to about 16, my mom would go down to do laundry, and my stepdad would go down to talk to her. I thought for the longest time it was just their little adult gathering place. They even had their friends go down there as well. When they went down, a few minutes later, I would smell this odd smell. As I got older and got in high school, I finally found out what the smell was through my more rebellious sister. It was weed."
7."I would hide in the pants displays at Walmart as a child. To get me to stop running off, my mom told me, 'You know how they make shorts, don’t you? A man comes by with a chainsaw and cuts the pants into shorts. If your inside the rack, he will cut you in half.'"
8."Up until I was 8 years old, my parents told me that my daddy was away at college. We would go see him on weekends. Years later, I found out that he was actually in prison. I wondered why we could only talk to him behind glass on a telephone..."
9."'Let's get your DNA banked in case you die in a fiery plane crash and we need to identify your remains.' It was an elaborate lie to cover up the fact that they were doing a paternity test 20 years after the fact."
10."They told us that if we didn't brush our teeth before bed, mice would climb into our mouths and eat the food between our teeth. That's why your mouth tastes gross in the morning when you don't brush — the mouse poops in there."
11."That my parents couldn’t afford to pay for college. I took a job during the day and paid my way through night and weekend school. Turns out, I had a decent trust fund from my grandfather. I could have graduated and started working for a higher wage four years earlier. I tell myself that graduating in 2008 wouldn’t have been a good idea anyway..."
12."My mom tried to tell my daughter, at my dinner table in front of my husband and I, that I wanted to get married in her backyard. This was an attempt to validate her taking over my wedding (and ruining it for me), and to 'back me into a corner and agree with her.' My husband and I shut that down real fucking fast."
13."They told me that the mannequins in clothing stores were kids who didn't behave. They were taken to the 'dungeon' in the store, where they would promptly be turned into mannequins."
14."One year, I made an agreement with my mom for my holiday present. I would pitch in $100 and she'd pitch in $100, and she'd get me a nice $200 laptop, which was decent enough for a teen at the time. Instead, she took my $100 and bought my brother and I each a shitty $50 notebook-style laptop with no battery, no Wi-Fi, and a barely functional mouse ball. I was disappointed when I saw what she got and was immediately suspicious. This was NOT a $200 piece of tech."
"I found the receipt from her order and had the receipt from the withdrawal and demanded to at least get my money back if she was going to back out on our deal. She denied ever making such a deal, ever taking money from my account, and said I should be thankful I got anything at all.
For reference, my family was by no means poor. My mom had a second antique car she drove in the summer. Dad had a boat, motorcycle, and ATV, all high end and bought new. They took two vacations a year without us kids, minimum, while I struggled to have lunch money on a consistent basis. This was the moment that solidified my belief that my parents didn't give a single fuck, and I needed to never rely on them again."
16."My mom told me that if I was a pack rat, that meant actual rats would come and make nests in my things. I was about 7 at the time and had been tossing toys and clothes behind a little couch in my room as a method of cleaning. After she told me about what being a pack rat meant, I tearfully knelt on the couch with a bent wire coat hanger, fishing things out, terrified of rats."
17."That the UPS truck was the 'Up Past Sleeptime' man and he collected children who didn't go to bed on time. Goddamn, I was scared of parcels."
18.And finally, "My parents said if I kept hitting the horn in the car, it would run out of 'beeps' and we'd have to buy a new one, and we couldn't afford that. I didn't know any different until I was 17 and learning to drive."
Have your parents ever told you a lie like these? If so, tell us about them in the comments below or via this anonymous form.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.