These folks got in way over their heads, and had lots of explaining to do!
These Redditors responded to the AskReddit thread, “What’s the biggest scandal you’ve somehow been involved in?” Check out these wild stories!
[Sources listed at the end of the article.]
(1/2) “When we were young, me and my friends were obsessed with fire. We would light small things on fire and laugh. One day in the woods, we saw a mattress on the ground in a small opening–there was a road into this section of the woods. We lit the mattress on fire and laughed hysterically.
Then it wouldn’t go out. We all panicked and started smothering it with our jackets to put it out, but nothing was working.
Then the flames got huge and some trees nearby caught fire. Then it spread some more. At that point, we ran for our lives. As we were exiting the woods onto the street where I lived, I saw my dad running past us into the woods, screaming, ‘SOMEONE CALL THE FIRE DEPT!!'”
(2/2) “Before they came, you could see flames and huge plumes of smoke throughout our cul-de-sac. It was nuts. It took the firefighters several hours to put it all out.
No one knew it was us, and while feeling terrible, we thought we were home free. Then one day, my mom was cleaning our room while we were outside and she heard us through the window talking about ‘laying low.’ They put 2 and 2 together and we were apprehended by all of our parents.
We actually had to go to fire safety classes at the local fire station for a few weeks. All they did was show us videos of houses being completely engulfed in flames in a matter of moments. To a bunch of young fire-lovers, it was enjoyable if anything. We stopped lighting stuff on fire though.”
“When the Eliot Spitzer scandal first broke, I lived in the same building as the woman with whom he had been caught texting. I had read about it online at work that day, but didn’t realize she lived in my building.
Walking home that night, I was surprised to find a swarm of media people in front of my building. I was even more confused when they turned and started taking pictures of me. Then I got a bit closer, and heard one of the cameramen say, loudly, ‘It’s not her. It’s just… nobody.’ I’ve never felt like such a disappointment in my life.”
“At Dominoes, there was a special deal: any pizza for 6.99. We wanted two large pizzas and you were only allowed the deal on one pizza, so the other one would have cost 18.99. So me and my dad pretended to be two different people collecting our 6.99 pizzas each.
Two days later, Dominoes sent a coupon for the same deal in our mailbox. My dad happened to mention it to our next door neighbor, and he said he hadn’t received one in his mailbox.
It’s a trap. They’re onto us.”
“Woke up. Got ready for school. Walk out to warm up my car. Dead body in the road.
Hm. That’s not usually there.
Call the cops. After that, call mom because cops are blocking my driveway and I can’t get to school. ‘Hey mom, can I miss the first few hours of school?’ ‘Why?’ ‘There’s a dead body outside and I can’t get out because of the cops.’
Small town, about 2,000 people. It was big news at my school because a bunch of buses go right by my street and they saw the sirens. I got to miss like 3 hours of school and play some more video games.”
“In high school, I’d almost gotten expelled because in a K9 Unit career day presentation, the dog flipped out and started barking at my backpack. Mind you, I wasn’t the best student–mostly B’s, always a C in math, but I was certainly not a frequent user of substances by any means.
Anyways, they took my bag, opened it, and found a bag full of pot. I freaked. Totally speechless. In front of my entire school, I’d been caught with a whole backpack full of pot.
Then, in the dead silence, a very spaced-out girl two rows back goes, ‘Oh, thats where my bag went.’
If she hadn’t accidentally confessed, I’d have been sunk. Turns out we had the same backpacks, and at some point I took hers instead of mine.”
“Apparently I was a ‘hacker’ because some girls saw that I was messing around in the Command Prompt program on the school computers, and the whole school’s network happened to go down the same day.”
“I was there when a girl started a scandal about some guy potentially robbing the school’s cashbox during a talent show. Word got out, and the poor kid had his house searched and was suspended from school for at least a week. Everyone, including me, was questioned by the principal and police over the matter.
It turned out the girl that started the rumor believed it was going to happen because a Magic 8 Ball told her it’d come true.
I can’t remember exactly what happened to the girl. I know she had to apologize to the guy and his family wasn’t charged anything.”
“I’m an employee at an auto parts store. I noticed a ‘special order’ vehicle air filter is priced at $0.01, when usually priced about $50. I proceeded to order 200 air filters, along with a couple of other employees doing the same.
An entire pallet of air filters shows up a couple days later… along with the district manager and the folks from loss prevention. It turns out our order on what was obviously a misprint had cause quite the panic at the head office, and they were none too happy to find out that their own employees were the ones to place the order.
Somehow, I didn’t lose my job.”
(1/2) “So at my first desk job, me and a guy friend got along really well. It was totally platonic, but everyone knew how close we were at work and would tease us about it. We worked in an office and just ignored all the gossip. We went to lunch every single day for 4+ years and would talk about everything, mainly his wedding and, after that, his baby being born.
He was strapped for cash after the baby came and started complaining about needing a raise. Then one day, he suddenly stopped complaining. I thought he’d just decided maybe I didn’t want to hear about it, or maybe his wife had gotten a raise or something, so I never really questioned him on it.
Turns out, he was helping himself to some of the prepaid postage bags our office used–which he was in charge of ordering–and then selling them on eBay. He got caught because he used his work email address as the eBay contact. Very smart. He was marched out of the office by the police and charged with some form of embezzlement.”
(2/2) “The thing is, seeing as we were so close, people assumed I had something to do with it or at least knew about it. I had no idea he’d done this, and haven’t spoken to the guy since.
I ended up leaving that job shortly after because I couldn’t handle being constantly under suspicion. Before this event, I’d been implicitly trusted by my boss to do anything. Suddenly, I had IT going through my emails and the Finance Department checking all of the company purchases I’d made–of which there were lots, as that was sort of my job.
Heartbreaking situation. Totally nothing to do with me, and I’m still super angry at the guy.”
(1/2) “I was one of thousands of bankers who helped trigger the Global Financial Crisis.
One memory that sticks with me is walking into the employee lobby of one of the bank’s towers where I worked and seeing a large poster of a beautiful chart. The chart was beautiful because it was decorated with images of smiling attractive families sitting on lawns in front of immaculate homes. The graph itself was exactly what employees and investors want to see in a graph… up and to the right.
On top of the graph was a wonderfully typeset title: ‘Balance Building.’ Yes people, we are doing inspirational altruistic work here at the bank. We’re helping to build balances and doing a remarkable job of it. Balances are building exponentially. After a half second glance at that chart, I felt energized and positive about the work I was doing. I’m going to work even harder now to build balances.”
(2/2) “It wasn’t until a few days later that I thought back to that chart and its meaning. Balance Building was in fact a creepy spin on what the rest of the English speaking world calls ‘debt.’
We were driving everyday people deeper and deeper into debt and celebrating it. Or perhaps we were just trying to convince ourselves that there was a positive dimension to what we were doing–home ownership, helping people realize the American dream, that kind of thing.
A colleague of mine used to joke that we had to check our souls in at the door every time we stepped into that place. But that was no joke. I’m sure other banks were the same. And we all brought you the biggest recession since the depression. You’re welcome.”
“I got caught after messing around with a girl in my grade in middle school. They sent a letter home to everyone in school (6th, 7th, 8th), and then held a school assembly. They were worried there would be some kind of epidemic.
Things didn’t go anywhere with the girl–I think we mostly just wanted to do something forbidden.”
“I am on an organ donation waiting list, and due to my previous health history was unable to get insurance. I was on state Medicaid when budget cuts came along and 51 previously approved potential organ recipients were told we could no longer get them unless we could find alternate funding.
It was an election year, and both parties saw opportunity to point a finger at the other on this issue. As a result, the story of us organ recipients got a lot of press coverage. Somehow I became the spokesman to the press, being featured on Countdown with Keith Olberman, Fox and Friends, the front page of New York Times, and countless smaller media outlets.”
“I accidentally set off a fire alarm in my dorm, which emptied the entire place at 2 am, during a snow storm, during finals for about 45 minutes.
I needed a police escort because of the threats being screamed at me, no joke. Someone threw a flip flop at me.
How did I set it off? There were little ‘buttons’ on the wall at about head-level in the dorms. It said something on them, but it was painted over. The only thing you could make out ironically enough was the DO NOT PAINT OVER, which actually saved me later from being fined $1300 for the fire trucks and ambulances, etc. So I had my hand on the wall talking to my buddy and casually pushed on the button, and it fell off the wall and suddenly it was chaos. I came forward and told the RA what happened but it was too late, the wheels were in motion. Whoops.”
“My neighbors called the police to tell them that my mom was cooking illegal substances in our suburban house. I got home after school and she was crying hysterically. She tells me that the police busted into the house and tore through everything to find the substances she was supposedly cooking. She was by herself. My dad was off in Iraq and I was at school. She was so upset because they went through my room and ‘even my underwear drawer.’
The reason the neighbors called the ‘tip’ in? My mom sprinkled crushed-up moth balls around the yard to keep snakes out.
We were the talk of the neighborhood for a while.”
“Back in high school there was a guy in our group of friends who was the friend nobody liked. He would make a lot of nasty jokes that made us uncomfortable. We started meeting without him more and more frequently, and then one summer, a few days before school was supposed to start, we’re all hanging out at one dude’s house when he AIM messages that dude.
I don’t remember how it fully went down, but at some point, the issue came up of why we were bothering to do all this hiding and secret-keeping to spare the feelings of somebody who just made our lives worse by knowing him. When he was around, there was a lot of arguing, and when he wasn’t, it was mostly laughter and good times. Eventually, I volunteered to send him a message saying we were meeting without him. Nobody really objected.
I basically was the agent to have the group break up with him.”
“I was working at one of the worst startup companies ever. I’m not even sure if it’s still in existence. The whole management were related to each other somehow, so it was always them against us outsiders.
They were tyrants, refusing to let you even go to the washroom or take a five-minute break, unless you had their explicit permission to do so. They tried to turn us against each other, and finally managed to do so, resulting in me getting fired.
The last straw–and the real reason I left the company–was that I transferred a call to my manager’s personal number on a weekend, and she started freaking out on me. I told her I quit, refused to show up for work, and the next moment the HR was calling me in because I was fired. My colleagues had come up with all these ridiculous stories about me hating the company, when it was all really their sentiments.
Leaving that place was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
“When I was younger, I used to attend a sports camp during the summer. One day, we were playing team dodgeball and I managed to throw the ball so hard it broke a guy’s wrist.
I got sent to the office and had to detail what happened and sign a form agreeing with what I told them. From then on, I was also forced to throw left-handed–I’m right hand dominant–or underhand.
This persisted until we were prepping for an inter-camp match and one of the top administrators, who was also a teacher of mine, noticed me throwing lefty. When I told her why, she flipped out at the head office and got my restriction removed in time for us to play the other camp.
“When I was 12-13 and a little hooligan, I was hanging out at the corner store with a friend of mine. Being two little dunderheads, about 15 minutes beforehand we had stolen some candy bars from an adjacent petrol station.
As we were enjoying the stolen treats, out of nowhere 3 cop cars and 2 police on feet come storming at us with guns drawn yelling at us to get on the ground. We both freaked and dropped to the ground, screaming apologies about the candy bars whilst just about in tears. The police seemed confused about it.
Turns out, some kid in the lane behind the corner store had stolen a car, made it about 50 meters, crashed it, then bailed in our direction, and either me or my friend fit the description of this kid. The police did not charge us for stealing the candy bars and even let us eat them to help calm our nerves. I haven’t stolen anything since.”