Pretending to be asleep while still very awake can lead to some very interesting discoveries. Sometimes those discoveries are more or less harmless, but other times the things one overhears when others think they're asleep can be totally world-changing. These people feigned sleep and learned something they'd probably be better off not know. We searched through Reddit to find the best stories and Reddit did not disappoint. Content has been edited for clarity.
“I had a joint birthday party with another girl when I was still in elementary school because she chose to do hers on my actual birthday weekend (when her real birthday was a couple weeks before).
We went swimming and back to her place for a sleepover. After movies and all of that, for whatever reason, I pretended to fall asleep… shortly after, all of my friends started to talk about how much they didn’t like my dad, and thought it was creepy that he was throwing everyone around in the pool.
It kinda broke my heart because my dad is a paraplegic and he had always done this with us in the pool because it was the only place that he really had the freedom to play with us like that.
“A French girl I met in a hostel came in to where I was sleeping and just sat there. I had just cut it off with her so I didn’t want to deal with her nonsense so I pretended to be asleep for a few minutes. She just mumbled random stuff, she was pretty hammered. Finally what got me up was when, in the cutest French accent, she told me she was going to set me on fire in my sleep.
I should have mentioned that, yes, I did sleep with her again after that. Sometimes you gotta do messed up stuff to stay not on fire.”
A Sad Christmas
“I think the last time I pretended to sleep on purpose I was 10 years old. It was Christmas Eve, the first Christmas that my mom, dad, and I didn’t go to another family member’s house for some sort of celebration. I remember having Rugrats wrapping paper strewn across the living room and shoved in the couch where I fell asleep a little too early. It was about 3 in the morning and I woke up to the commotion of my mom trying to herd my cat into my bedroom. She didn’t see that I was awake, so I pretended to sleep some more in case she was vouching for Santa that night. I heard the quiet beeps of the phone as she made a phone call: ‘Something happened, you need to get [me]…’ and she hung up. She walked past me again to stand in the window, and made another call: ‘My address is …’ Her voice was shaking. ‘My husband has had a grand mal seizure, I need an ambulance.’ And hung up again. She turned to face me, the floor creaking as she shifted her weight. ‘[My name],’ she said a little too loudly, ‘[My name], you need to get up and help me clean up a bit. Gramma is coming for you and she can’t see the house like this.’ Her voice trailed up at the end. I sprang up, having been conscious long enough to do so, and started shoving presents under the couch and throwing other unnecessary things that were in the way, into my room. My grandfather showed up shortly after and took me to my grandmother’s house, we passed the ambulance on the way there. It was Christmas Eve 2003, and it was my dad’s last Christmas. He passed 2 weeks later.”
“What Am I Doing Wrong?”
“When I attempted suicide at 13, I pretended to be asleep in my hospital bed. My parents actually believed I was and I heard my mom say to my dad, ‘First [my brother], now her. What am I doing wrong?’ It broke my heart because she is a wonderful mother and always had been, we just have bad genetics when it comes to mental illness in my family. I’ll never forget those words and I’m constantly trying to prove to her the wonderful job she’s done.”
The Worst Thing To Hear While Pregnant
“I was in this messed up relationship with my ex husband when I was pregnant with my second kid. We had a roommate (female) but we would all get it on with each other because we were ‘young and free spirited’ or something…
Anyway, I pretended to be asleep one night because I didn’t feel like having busy that night and didn’t want to turn anybody down or make up an excuse… My ex-husband and the roommate got to talking in the next room (the bedroom door was open so I could hear them pretty clearly) and she asked him why he married me anyway… His response:
‘I just didn’t know what else to do at that point. Seemed like the next logical step and I took it. I honestly wish I hadn’t done it and I wish I was single right now living life, but now I have this family and I’m not sure how I’m gonna get out.’
Hit me real hard…”
These Men Saw The Unimaginable
“My mum did this once when a friend of her father came round to visit. She was tired and pretended to fall asleep on the sofa because she didn’t want to be spoken to. Her father and his friend proceed to talk about the war (This is WW2 and they’re Polish). This friend was sent to the border between Poland and Ukraine, and some villages were attacked by neighboring Ukrainians for some reason I’m still not sure about.
He said they killed people by sawing them in half and loads of other gruesome things she wouldn’t tell me.”
The Truth Came Out
“I must’ve been about 16, 17ish. I was staying at a friend’s house who was with his girlfriend. He was the first in our circle to lose his v card and he loved to brag about it: how much of a natural he was, how surprised his girlfriend was that she was his first, all that cliché bollocks. We all just laughed, let him have his fun, and got on with it.
Anyway, back to being at his place with her. I go and crash early on the floor of their room (in an awesome little blanket pile with her dog, it was great), I was just getting bored of him rampantly flirting at her like a brain damaged peacock. So, about a half hour later, they come in, and of course they start banging. I honestly think they forgot I was there or something. I hear very loud kissing, a few Batman grunts, a bit of whimpering – they had started and finished in less than a minute.
So I’m lying, curled up in the corner of their room under blankets and a dog, listening to my friend cry in shame while his girlfriend was finishing herself off.
That was a great night.”
“When I was about 13 or 14 (not that long ago), I overheard my parents talk about my dog, Chowder.
I was in the living room half passed out from exhaustion while they were in the dining area. Chowder was in the vet for a couple of days because of something called distemper. I just thought that after a few days, he’d get better and go back home and be the normal dog he would be. I was wrong.
I lay motionless on the sofa because I was too lazy to get up. I accidentally heard mom crying. I heard phrases like, ‘What will we tell her?’ and ‘She can’t know this before her exams… she might not do well.’ By this time, I got really curious so I tried my best to stay awake while staying in the uncomfortable position that I was in.
A few other medical terms passed and I hear the word, ‘euthanize.’ I knew what that meant and it took me a few seconds to put the pieces together. I cried the whole night and then ‘found out’ in the morning.”
They Never Trusted Him…For Good Reason
“I’m still not sure if the guy thought I was asleep or just not there. I was home sick one day and overheard a phone conversation.
This was back in the 90’s and myself and a couple guys rented out an old house turned into a duplex. Anyway, we would occasionally let folks that we knew crash with us for a night or a few days.
One of my roomies knew this guy who he went to high school with, this was right after we all graduated. I and a couple other people never trusted the guy as he never seemed to miss the chance to make up stories about knowing this rock star or that rock star. Like he was trying super hard to be the cool guy.
Long story short, on the day in question, I was laying in my bedroom which was right off the main living space. I hear him come in the front door and poke around the house a bit. He finally goes into the living room and calls his girlfriend. Boring sappy call etc. I start to doze off when he places another call. Started off with, ‘Yes, this is officer so and so, please connect me to Sargent so and so.’ As I listened in, he provided a progress report on what he knew about everyone that lived there and would come by, along with any of his suspicions of illicit activities.
The guy was a narc police plant. Apparently they thought illegal substances were being sold out of our house and planted him to gather evidence. I waited till later that evening and confronted him in front of the entire house. Crap hit the fan and he packed his stuff and we never saw him again.
Best part was he had nothing to report to his Sargent during the conversation. What I could gather from his side was they where not happy with him turning up no evidence. So I just imagine the crap storm he encountered when they found he blew his cover to boot.”
Sloppy Seconds, Anyone?
“My best friend and I were at another friend’s house. Other friend had a boyfriend at the time, but they were going through some stuff and split up but we were always like, ‘Oh they’ll get back together.’
We had a pretty cool weekend of drinking, games, watching films and eating food. We had the house to ourselves and we would fall asleep wherever. I was put up in a room with a spare bed and next to the boyfriend because I’m a guy and they wanted the guys together.
I had been sleeping pretty rough one night, and I awoke to hear soft moaning from the bed next to me. He’s just jerking off I thought, so I just turned over and tried to sleep.
Then it started again, moaning. But it wasn’t him… it was a female. My distorted hearing due to drifting out of sleep heard it get louder and more raunchy, I was so freaked out. I was fully awake and I just had to pretend to sleep, and endure this nightmare.
After they finished, he waddled off to the toilet after stepping on my bed naked and the girl was left there. I looked at her and realized it wasn’t his ex, it was my BEST FRIEND.
She thought I was asleep, I thought he was banging his ex, but I still gave her a high five for it.”
All The Family’s Secrets Out In The Open
“When I was 14, I went on a Caribbean cruise with my mom, grandma, aunt, and cousin. I was sharing a room with my mom and grandma, and one morning I woke up to them arguing and my mom crying. I pretended to be asleep because it would have been extremely awkward to just get out of bed in the middle of all that. My mom was calling my grandma out on all of the times she abandoned her and her brother and sister during their childhood (which was quite a few times). It was something that I kind of knew about before, but the stuff that my mom was saying to my grandma was just insane. My grandma denied none of it, but tried to absolve herself of responsibility.”
Can. Not. Unhear.
“So my very conservative family is big on taking family vacations. My parents never liked to spend a lot of money though, so for one week during the summer, my sister and I found ourselves in a cheap, two-bedroom cottage far away from civilization. One year, my ultra conservative parents allowed my sister to bring her boyfriend to the two bedroom cottage for a few days…
My parents slept in one bedroom and of course they demanded that I be a gentleman and a let my sister sleep in the one remaining bedroom. Whatever. I’m pretty laid back, but the fold-out couch sagged something fierce, so when I centered myself on the bed, the sides were practically encompassing me. My conservative parents of course, were not about to let my sister’s boyfriend sleep in the bedroom with my sister. Oh no. He was fortunate enough to get a tiny, old, rusty cot which my parents set up right next to me by the fold-out couch.
We had electricity, and we had running water, but that was about it. There was never that much of anything to do, but I enjoy reading, so I didn’t mind family vacations. One night, I was on the fold-out couch reading a particularly good book. It was around 1:00 AM when I finally turned off the lamp and decided to get some sleep.
So I turn off the lamp, put my head down on the pillow, and then a few seconds later, I hear the slider door open. Apparently, my sister and her boyfriend were outside drinking by the campfire. They were both giggling as they came into the cottage, and by their failed attempts at whispering, I could tell that they were both at least a little wasted. Not my business. I didn’t want to make things awkward for them, so I pretended to be asleep. I had my eyes closed and was keeping my breathing even… A few seconds later, I heard them kiss goodnight and they went their separate ways. My sister went to the bedroom, and my sister’s boyfriend plopped on the cot right next to where I was pretending to be asleep.
So not even a minute later, I’m half drifting off to sleep and I start hearing noises in the direction of the cot. It sounded like… fapping. Very cautious fapping. I was around 18 years old at this point. I’ve been around the block. I know how to recognize the tell-tale sounds of fapping when I hear them. So yeah… My now brother-in-law was on the cot right next to me jerking it to images of my sister. Ewwww.
So the cot was really freaking small. I’m pretty sure my sister’s boyfriend’s legs were dangling off the edge of the cot, but in any case the entire cot would shift and squeak every couple of seconds that he was doing the dirty. I didn’t want to make things awkward and interrupt the guy. So I made the ultimate bro sacrifice. I kept my breathing even and let the guy finish.
Looking back it was kind of funny because occasionally he would get carried away and realize that he had made too much noise. He would pause to listen and see if I had woke up, but I kept my breathing sorta heavy and even throughout the ordeal, so he eventually would get confident and keep going. Towards the end, the cot was practically like hopping up and down, and then things finally grew silent. I knew he had finished, and sure enough, a few seconds later, he made the rookie mistake of accidentally letting go of his sweat pants and I heard the classic thwap as they came back to his stomach.
So yeah, I had a hard time looking my sister’s boyfriend in the eye the next morning. Now he is my brother-in-law, and until now, I have not told anyone this story.”
Showdown Between Two Dads
“When I was 7, I was laying in my bed about four days before Christmas, right after my dad dropped me off at my mom’s from a visit. My dad came in to talk to my mom and stepdad about how I would spend time with each of them on Christmas. I remember laying awake staring at the ceiling hearing my stepfather talk about how he would kill my dad if it wasn’t for me, and to get the eff out of his house and all this other bull. I love my dad more than anything in the world, and I knew from a young age that I was his primary source of happiness. Hearing him just walk out and the door close broke my heart.”
He Thought No One Noticed Him
“When I was in high school, I was practically a loner. Before high school, I lived in central Florida and didn’t understand friendships and romantic relationships because of constant middle school bullies lying and messing with me and stuff. Anyways, I moved from a big city in central Florida to a small town in Redwoods, California. I moved when I was in 8th grade and I just kept to myself knowing that I’ll probably move again because of my dad’s job so I thought there was no point in making friends. I was always keeping to myself and minding my own business, and I had a lot of sad thoughts and I felt that (like in middle school) if someone learned of my sad feelings then they would make fun of me.
So I had to act like I wasn’t sad.
Since I wasn’t good at socializing and I realized one of the easiest ways to be in a good mood was to hold my classroom’s door open. I know it was a nice gesture so I just did it, and I thought being nice meant being in a good mood so I held a door open every time. So every morning I would always hold open my first period door open. I literally just stood there and held the door open, sometimes sitting, but mostly stood there. I got the occasional thank you also and I would just nod my head and not say anything. After a while, in my head I would say, ‘It’s working, no one will know that I’m feeling sad.’ So I also started picking up trash if someone littered and threw it away, I picked up a pencil when someone dropped it, if someone was sitting alone I would sit next them (although I wouldn’t say much), and I would say, ‘Good morning (name),’ to everyone in my first period. In my mind, it was a defense so no one would know I’m sad and oddly enough I didn’t get bullied.
Fast forward to high school. Well surprise, surprise there were bullies. I was made fun of because I was Asian on my bus rides home, I was being pushed around in the hallways, etc. However I kept on doing my gestures, because you know, I do not want people to know I’m sad, even though I did break down crying once on my bus. Another fast forward to sophomore year. Every morning I would always hold open the door to my high school’s zero period, which was really early in the morning, and I would almost always be the first one there.
One day, I was sitting there with my eyes closed to rest a bit, and I overheard some kid making fun of me and stuff. Typical. Then I overheard someone defending me. Saying I’m a nice kid and stuff. But it wasn’t just one person, but multiple people. They were talking about how dedicated I was to being nice to people: holding the door open, picking up trash, picking up dropped pencils, sitting next to the lonely kids, etc.
Soon after I started noticing people’s kindness towards me. One moment was when this one bully held me to the ground when there was no one around. He was telling me to put up a fight and saying ‘show me how Asian people fight”. Of course, knowing about expulsion I refused to fight and let him have his way. Then out of nowhere two tough looking kids shoved the bully off of me and told the bully off and not to mess with me. They were telling me how they got my back and stuff. I thought that was odd. Soon the days after I started noticing practically every clique was defending me. On my bus ride, a couple of country kids told their country friend to apologize to me for always making fun of me being Asian. Some goth looking kids were wondering if I was alright and that I should smile some more since I had a great smile. I even realized that it was a bunch of football players that one morning when I was pretending to be asleep that defended me.
Not long after, I started smiling more, saying hello to everyone I knew the name of in the hallway (which was a lot apparently), joined community involving clubs. Heck, I was even nominated for the Sophomore class homecoming king. I ended up telling people not to because I wasn’t good in front of crowds. I ended up moving like predicted by the end of my sophomore year, but when I casually mentioned it in my English class, everyone stopped talking and looked in disbelief. Looking back it was that moment that I realized for the first time that I truly mattered to people, and I haven’t had as many sad thoughts since.”
Some “Jokes” Just Aren’t Funny
“My mom to her friend, when I was like 8, ‘I don’t actually even like her. She’s so annoying, I want to get rid of her.’
Naturally I burst into tears. She said she was sorry, she knew I was awake, and it was just a joke.
She’s got a cruel sense of humor…”