Sometimes, life just isn't fair. It's a sad reality. The goal, of course, is to be able to balance it out with a little hard work and a bit of good luck. But periodically, something so unjust screams, "That just isn't right!"
The offensive bias could be being held against a family member, a friend or oneself, but if it's truly unfair, it almost always feels like a personal affront. When life doles out such sour lemons, all one can do try their best to make lemonade... and hope the guilty parties get their comeuppance. Here are some of Reddit's wildest stories about the worst injustices people have ever experienced. Content edited for clarity.
"My friend's mom was rushed to the hospital for an allergic reaction. She had oxygen tubes inside her body and she was only supposed to stay for a week. Well, one of those days, a nurse accidentally unplugged her oxygen and didn't notice right away. Now she's left almost brain dead in a nursing home and all she does is move her eyes and cry.
My friend is a lawyer and attempted to sue, but he signed a mandatory, 'We (the hospital) are not responsible for a patient's death,' sort of paper when his mom was first admitted. It's beyond messed up."
"I was adopting my dog from animal control and I saw this guy come in asking about a couple stray cats he'd dropped off the day before. He had changed his mind and wanted to keep them.
The shelter had a policy that they don't put down animals that have been surrendered for at least 3 days. I guess it gets really overcrowded or something, I'm not sure. Point is he had 48 hours until that could happen to his cats. He explained all this to the front desk lady and she looked up the records for him.
She told him both cats were already put down. God, the look on his face still hurts my heart today. It was this look of hurt, guilt, anger, and sadness. It was simply gut-wrenching and he cried over those babies. He was going on about how he had more time and they'd said they wouldn't put them down for three days. It was absolutely not fair to the animals or to him."
"Growing up, my little brother broke most of my electronic devices and my parents blamed me and made me pay for everything that he destroyed. He broke things like my Gameboy, PSP, a TV, a few 360 and PS4 controllers, my PS4, Wii, GameCube, and a spattering of other bits and bobs. I worked for most of that stuff as I'd had odd jobs since I was 8, which allowed me to buy those things.
One specific thing he broke that I remember being really unfair was my old laptop. I went on a camping trip with friends. The laptop was working and the casing was a little cracked as it was like two years old and I'd used it at school a lot. When I came home, the laptop was dead so I put it on the charger. It wouldn't accept any charge whatsoever. I told my parents that it wasn't working and said I was going to try and fix it. I'm not too tech savvy, but I thought I could give it a go.
I took it to the garage where all the tools are and took it apart. My little brother thought it'd be a good idea to come down and play football in the garage. The ball hit a heavy lamp which slammed into my laptop. Then the lamp bounced off the laptop and hit me in the head, giving me a black eye and a heavy nose bleed. Blood got all over the cracked/bent motherboard; my laptop was ruined.
I told my parents what'd happened and showed them the damage, yet they blamed me and told me I had to pay them back for the laptop and buy myself a new one. Also, I later found out that it was my little brother who caused the laptop to not be able to charge because he'd messed with the charging port. He didn't get in trouble for any of it. Overall, my little brother has cost me and my parents about $2,000 in damages and he's gotten away with every single thing he's broken."
"When I was in Iraq, we raided a building one night and when we blew the door, the explosion knocked out the windows of a restaurant across the street. The civil affairs folks thought it would be a good idea to send us back out the next day to reimburse the restaurant owner for the damages we caused.
It seemed like a good idea and like it was the right thing to do. After it, that's what I came to Iraq for, to try and help. We may not have been helping but at least we wanted to fix our mistake. Anyway, the restaurant owner was this older Sunni man and our captains basically approached him with a bag full of cash, in broad daylight, in the middle of his busy business. He adamantly declined our offer. Somehow still confused, our guys didn't understand what would happen to this man if he took our money. He never did take it, by the way.
Sadly, despite him not taking it, the damage was done. That night, the insurgents paid the owner and his family a visit. They killed them all, cut their heads off, and left them just over the crest of the hill where the first patrol out in the morning would find them. That patrol was mine, again.
As I stood in that turret, staring at the severed heads of two adults and two children, all I could think was how unfair it all was. We tried to help and that's what happened. The restaurant owner played it smart and refused our help, yet that's STILL what happened. He had a younger daughter, an adult son, and a wife. All gone. Where's the justice in that?"
"One of my friends got cancer as a teenager, fought it for years, beat it, and then had good health for twenty years. In her late thirties, she got pregnant with her then-husband. She ended up getting divorced during the pregnancy because he had a problem and couldn't (or wouldn't) stop drinking, in spite of being diabetic and losing one of his feet due to his addiction.
So she had the baby and tried to nurse it but she couldn't produce any milk, so she went to the doctor. It turned out she couldn't produce milk because she had cancer of the mammaries. She put up an incredible fight, had a double mastectomy and chemo/radiation while being a single mother to a newborn, and she beat cancer a second time.
Five years went by and things were going well until she started feeling really tired all the time. She went to the doctor and found out she has cancer again, but this time it's in her spine and it's terminal. She'd been dating this guy who luckily turned out to be an incredible dude because he stuck with her throughout the whole thing. She fought it hard because her daughter was only five years old and she didn't want her to grow up without a mother.
She died earlier this summer. The dad is pretty much out of the picture and the guy who stuck with her through terminal cancer and the daughter are extremely close but he has no legal rights. I don't know what's happening with the kid but she basically just lost the two people she thought of as parents, so the best case scenario is that she'll end up with her grandmother and still be able to see the guy sometimes.
Even though the daughter explicitly said she wanted to live with the guy who helped raise her and he wants that as well, in the eyes of the court he's the same as any random guy off the street since he's not the biological father. They tried to go through the adoption process before my friend passed but the biological father caused delays and they didn't have time to finish before she died. My friend was one of the most wonderful and strong people I've ever known and she went through the wringer three times and then died. The whole thing was just so tragic and unfair."
"At my job, we have an internal company-wide instant messaging program. There's a coworker of mine who is a very attractive woman. A lot of the people in the office want to go out with her. This one guy, who is a giant jerk that we all hate, started messaging her on this app daily, asking her out. She would respond 'no' and leave it at that.
Then he kept messaging her until she finally said, 'No, I have a partner.' You could always tell when he was turned down because he would storm out and be super aggressive, yelling at random people. When he asked her out yet again she said, 'I am a lesbian,' and it still did not deter him. It got to the point where he would physically shove past her in the halls and be generally intimidating, call her ugly, and say he has a girlfriend anyway.
She finally went to the president of the company (it's privately owned and we don't have any HR department) about it. She got written up for using that program as a personal dating service. They told her she should have never responded to him at all. Also since the incident, the jerk has since been promoted and she has not."
"Growing up, I had a friend whose family was the worst, but I went over to their house a lot for playdates. One day a Korean girl who I'd befriended and helped her with her homework (she was younger than I) followed me to my friend's house.
When we saw her come up to the house, the mom shooed her away. She said, 'I don't want Chinese people in my house.' The girl went home crying her eyes out. I felt terrible for not following and comforting her, but I was 10 years old and didn't know what to do.
The worst part is that the mother who insulted the girl blamed ME for the incident because she was trying to save face. The Korean family told me they didn't need me to help with her homework anymore. I'm not sure if the girl was too shy or scared to tell the truth, but I never spoke to either of the families again."
"When I was a schoolkid, I hung out with a bunch of poor misfits. We all wore hand-me-down clothes and qualified for free lunch at school, stuff that like involving lots of single-parent families and government assistance. This one girl in my group complained more than anyone else about how her family was poor. She often didn't have lunch so the other kids would all chip in and either give her money or share our own lunches.
Two of the kids we hung out with were twin brothers. Their mom was raising them plus their older brother all on her own because their dad was incarcerated. He finally got out when we were teens, and pretty much immediately ran off and refused to pay child support.
Because of the circumstances, the boys started working to support their family really young, first doing odd jobs for folks and then getting real jobs as soon as they could. The two of them felt so sorry for this girl that they decided to surprise her for Christmas one year. They saved up what they could for months and bought her a brand new game system she'd been complaining about wanting. Meanwhile, she gave a few of us used games and books (obviously previously played/read by her) wrapped in tin foil instead of gift wrap, and we all shrugged it off because of course, she was poor.
A couple weeks after Christmas, the girl's parents decided to let her throw her first small party for her friends at their house. Her dad picked us all up in their brand new minivan and then drove us to their brand new house. After we arrived, we got introduced to her new puppy and then given a tour of their home which included five bedrooms and a pool. Also notable was the girl's bedroom, where her new game system sat alongside two other recent systems.
I found out later that her dad was an attorney and her mom was a medical assistant. Her parents' combined income was 3-4x what my family made in a year, much less our friends who had worked their butts off to buy her that game system. Her idea of being 'poor' was based on her parents not buying her everything she wanted immediately.
The reason she never had lunch money? She saved what her folks gave her to buy things for herself while mooching off kids who were on free lunch. The reason she always gave us used stuff as gifts? Because she would have her parents buy a bunch of stuff 'for her friends' during the holidays, then keep it for herself while giving us stuff she no longer wanted. I'll never forget the look on my friends' faces as they slowly realized that the person they'd worked to support out of sympathy was actually just a spoiled brat.
After that happened we gradually started cutting her off. She flipped her lid and caused a bunch of drama with me, and at that point, I dropped her. Other people continued to let her hang around, but throughout the next year, she continued to treat them wrong. By the time we finished high school, she had no friends at all. She's now 32 and never did anything useful with her life. I look her up every couple years and it seems like her parents are still supporting her while she tries to get strangers on the internet to GoFundMe her rent, without success."
"My psycho mom called the police on my brother and said he was hitting her. My brother was only refusing to give her money to support her gambling addiction and grabbed her wrist when he saw her pull out a knife to keep her from slashing at him. My brother would never hit a woman.
Neither one of us talks to her anymore. She's blown up our phones with guilt trips and lies, saying it's our fault her life sucks and telling us she owns us as our mother. I left for the Navy when I got kicked out of the house at 17 to get away from home. My brother had to continue dealing with her for several years because he couldn't join the military due to medical issues.
Our grandma (her mom) passed away and our uncle is in the hospital. But we don't talk to that side of the family now because most of them have been ignorant to the toxicity and grip that our mother has had on us, which sucks because they are really good people.
I've changed my number twice. I check up on my siblings and eventually my number winds up in my great grandmother's phone book where my mom gets a hold of it. I block her number and all family numbers that I've stopped talking to because of her. She's still capable of leaving voicemails and getting ahold of various people I know to contact me.
My brother urges me not to get a restraining order since that would escalate the situation. She flips out and manipulates people to do things toward us. Though I'm safe, she knows where my brother lives."
"My freshman year of college, I got to be extremely close with a girl who was a senior. We did everything together. At the time, I was heavily religious and so was she. We went to the same cultish church and spent almost all of our waking hours together. She was my best friend and my duet partner when we led worship at our university's Christian group. She was stubborn and beautiful and she loved so deeply and truly. Just an all around wonderful, intelligent girl.
The summer after she graduated, I went through some serious personal crap and I ended up walking away from church and religion. Because of that, we grew apart. I still saw her and we were still friends, but the lack of proximity coupled with the loss of what had first bonded us strained things.
About a year went by and I was seeing her less and less. I missed her and our friendship, so I reached out. She came over to my dorm and we spent some time together. We made plans to go see Les Mis in theaters the next week. We never got to go.
She'd been having back pain the doctors couldn't figure out and that week she started having seizures and throwing up. Because of those issues, she moved back in with her parents. She ended up getting diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. I was never able to afford the trip to be with her when she was sick. I still feel so guilty for not just figuring it out.
It's been four years since she passed and I still miss her so so much. I'm big on remembering people accurately and not pretending they were perfect just because they're gone. She wasn't perfect by any means, but she was closer than anyone else I've ever known. It was so unfair for someone like her to not only die young but to suffer as horribly as she did. It wasn't fair that I wasn't there for her when she needed me most. The world is truly dimmer without her light."
"A friend I had when I was younger, whom my parents eventually adopted, groomed and eventually began touching me at a young age. He had a rough childhood and all so everybody pitied him. When I grew up and high school taught me the reality of what we did, I obviously despised him. But I kept quiet because we needed his check for rent or else I'd move for the 15th time, and I just wanted to keep going to the same school.
I would always hear how I should try to be more like him when he did something good for once. I had no rebellious phase as a kid, while he punched walls and screamed. I spent my money sparingly and saved, while he bought illegal substances. When we kicked him out for throwing food on the side of his bed and trying to fight my parents, I told them what he did to me during those years before high school. Two months later, they let him move back in for his check.
We went right back to dealing with anger and him running wild with his imagination. Over the next couple of years, he moved out and back a few times, then seemingly gone for good. My mother then decided to remember what he did and now tells everybody she meets anytime she brings him up. I'm still stuck with my parents and still ignored for what happened.
He spread his mental issues like an infection, and I struggle to think about anything; my mind is just blank and lacking the motivation to even do the smallest of tasks, like my body is ignoring my brain. I've started punching my temples just to feel something, and I found out that razor blades are addicting. I'm still silent, passive, and stuck helping to pay for a house and food with 2 freeloading roommates who my father is too soft to kick out because they're family. They never help out and are jobless while all I can manage is to go to work and sleep.
Then all I hear every day is how I should actually help around the house because putting away dishes apparently counts more than my $700-$1,100 a month. At this point, it's a race for me to get health insurance and see a therapist or psychologist before it's too late."
"I went to a private Baptist college that did not tolerate drinking. The rule before and after the year this took place was that if you were caught drinking on campus housing, you were handed a drinking ticket and that was that. Not this year.
I was 21 living in campus housing (my athletic scholarship only covered campus housing). During fall break, the swim team stayed on campus because we were training for a meet coming up. My roommates and I thought it would be fun to invite people over and just blow off some steam by throwing a tiny shindig.
Some jerk noted we had people over so the resident advisor came and busted us. Sure, I knew I had it coming, so I was prepared to pay the ticket and end the party which I felt was fair for breaking the rules.
Oh no, that was not the end of it. The school quietly changed the rules to if busted, you were immediately expelled from housing pending a hearing. The police were called as well. Pretty soon, three security guards and a sheriff were standing in my apartment corralling everyone out. The resident advisor said I was to be charged for providing adult beverages to minors as well as the school's punishment. One roommate was hiding her illegal pet bunny and the other was openly sobbing.
I packed an overnight bag because we had to leave immediately. I offered to take the hit so my roommates weren't in huge trouble with the school too. So within the span of an hour, I went from throwing a party to being evicted. I arranged places for my roommates to stay but I wasn't anywhere close to where I needed to go. I sat on the curb pondering if I should make the two mile walk on the dark country road while the sheriff was in his cruiser writing his report up. I acknowledge that I broke the rules, but it just seems like the punishment was grossly unfair."