Think back to your childhood: have you ever stayed at the night at friend's house expecting to have a fun time, only to have one of the most uncomfortable experiences of your life? Yeah, us too. For some people in these scenarios, the parents were the absolute worst. For others, they realized how weird their friend truly was. Either way, by the end of it, we just wanted to go home and never experience another night at our friend's house ever again.
Read these stories and feel the secondhand embarrassment of having to endure an awkward sleepover. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I was invited to birthday sleepover party for a kid in my class when I was in third grade. I barely knew the kid, but my mom said it would be nice if I went because he didn't have many friends. I was about to find out why. When I arrived to the house, the enclosed front porch was full of feces. To be honest, I'm not sure it was dog or human, although there were about 5 or 6 dogs wandering around. The smell immediately made me sick, and I asked the kid's mother if she could call my mom to come pick me up because I felt sick. She refused and said, 'I'm not going to do that, you just got here. That would be ridiculous.'
The next thing I know, me and the other kids (the birthday boy, another friend, and birthday boy's brother) are sitting on the floor of the kitchen eating pizza. We were required to finish three large pizzas because the mom 'spent all day making them.' It was immediately followed by cake and ice cream. Afterward, I again asked the kid's mom if she would call my mom to pick me up. She refused.
We were then told to go outside to sledding while she watched movies, and we were not allowed to come back in until about 10 pm. When we finally came back inside, my stomach was quite upset about being force-fed pizza and sweets, followed by being repeatedly sent down a large hill in the dark. When I proceeded to throw up in the house's only toilet, I was yelled out for messing up the mother's night and throwing up in her toilet.
She then called my mother to come pick me up. At midnight."
"I had an awful home life and as a result, I went to school with zero social skills. I made one friend on accident and it was only because she was being nice to me after I tripped and broke my toy on the bus. Her name was Brittany. Brit had a best friend named Kari, who was the prettiest, coolest girl in class. One day I got invited to Kari's birthday party/sleepover. I was so excited, my first sleepover. I looked at that invitation over and over again. I begged my grandpa to drop me off at the party early which was held at Pizza Hut because I didn't want to miss a minute of it.
Cut to the sleepover: it's just me, Kari, and Brit. I was on my back, laying down when I felt Kari straddle my stomach and Brit holds down my legs. Kari shoved a pillow over my face and proceeded to tell me how ugly I am and how she never wanted to invite me and that she and Brit weren't my friends. It hurt. I also couldn't breathe from the pillow over my face. The words did the most damage, though. I cried. I went home. I still can't see their names without remembering how awful that memory is to me.
I was in first grade when this happened, so about six or seven years old. Childhood was not kind to me, but I'm happy to say that that I'm in a much better place and surrounded by more friends than I can handle."
"We were playing hide and seek at my friend's and I hid in a bathroom cupboard. The door had like slats/vents in so I could see out but no one could see me.
My friend's mum walked in and used the toilet. Let me tell you, SHE WAS IN THERE FOR A WHILE.
Meanwhile, my friends were getting frantic. I could hear them calling my name and running around the house.
Then, someone knocked on the door. 'Mum, we can't find Susan anywhere. I think she might have left!'
Mum finished her dump and rushed out, and she started shouting my name and searched the house. I couldn't get out of the cupboard. There were seven girls and my friend's family looking for me in the house. If I got out, someone would see me and know where I had been hiding and what I'd seen.
So I stayed there, right up until she called my mum. I heard her ask if I've turned up at home and the anxiety in her voice as she told my mum that I'd disappeared.
So, I sheepishly made my way out of the cupboard to explain to my worried mum where and why I'd been hiding for over an hour.
I was traumatized. My friend's mum was mortified.
To make matters worse, she was my math teacher 4-5 years after this happened."
"I didn't have this experience at a friend's house, but they definitely had it at mine.
I had a sleepover birthday party with around eight girls. We camped out in the living room and gossiped all night as tweens do. Eventually, we fell asleep.
Around 3 am, the worst howling you could imagine came from the center of our group. We woke up to find my cat, Helen, seizing on the floor and in the throes of dying. She was urinating herself as she contorted her body into horrifying positions. Immediately the gaggle of girls started screaming bloody murder. My parents came running downstairs, but the damage was done.
They wrapped the cat up and took her away. The promised to take her to the vet in a few hours. They told us whatever we needed to hear to get us to calm down. Helen didn't need a vet. She needed a hole in the ground.
So, yeah. My cat died literally in the center of my birthday sleepover."
"Late at night, we were playing with stuffed animals in her room. We were probably 7. At some point, I got up to go to the bathroom. As I said, 'Be right back' to my friend, she replied, 'Make sure you lock the bathroom door!' in a happy, chipper voice. I always did, so I just left the room without thinking about it.
I passed her parents' bedroom and locked myself in the bathroom. I heard some shifting outside and tried to pee as quietly as possible. The doorknob twisted... but the lock held fast. I thought it was maybe my friend playing a prank and I didn't want to seem like a coward, so I finished my business. I tried to breathe silently and waited a few minutes until the coast was clear. I was probably gone 10 minutes total.
I bolted into my friend's room. She didn't seem to have moved. She just smiled and asked me to shut the door. There was something off about her request. I slept with my door shut too, but her smile was off when she said it. At the time, I didn't know what was wrong. Her grin was pinched at the edges, just a little off... like it was forced and she was scared. I couldn't sleep at all that night. I stayed awake, watching the door in the dark.
I never came back for a sleepover. The next time I returned for a playdate, she mentioned that her dad had punished her recently for not locking the door to the bathroom. She was in the shower. He threw open the bathroom door and started filming her on a camcorder...to 'teach her about privacy.'
I shudder to think about the punishments I didn't hear about."
"The mom was a maximum helicopter parent. I would see her feet under the door when we talked about anything. When we played outside, my friend had to text her mom and tell her every activity we did. Everything was monitored. We played Sims and her mom told us she wanted to play, too. It was very awkward and strange to me. Her mom finally allowed my friend to visit my house after creeping my mom out with 60 questions about diet and house rules. My friend was shocked that all I had to do was tell my mom we were going across the street to the playground. She didn't understand why my mom trusted me so much and her mom didn't.
My mom didn't question what we wanted for lunch or for a snack. My friend was a little freaked out that it was a 'help yourself' household. My mom was usually very busy working at home so she taught me and my brothers to care for ourselves. My friend's mother did everything for her."
"I just remember going to her house for a sleepover, and she insisted on reading me her stories. She wrote a lot of stories. More power to her for being into writing, that's a fantastic hobby and I won't take away from it, but she made me sit there and listen to her read all of her stories.
I am not the type to read many books, not because I'm illiterate or anything like that, but I just don't have it in me to sit down, read a book, and comprehend everything I am reading. It was a problem throughout my education; I just don't like to read entire books. I loved going through encyclopedias, I loved reading up on studies and educational / reference type of stuff. I like to read so I can learn. But ask me to read a novel, like Harry Potter, or To Kill A Mockingbird? I'm sorry but I just can't do it. My brain doesn't let me.
So imagine being me, sitting there for what must have been hours listening to her read her stories in this monotone voice of hers. I really, really didn't want to be rude, but I was just dying of boredom. I prayed that she wouldn't be like 'sO wHaT wAs YoUr FaVoRiTe PaRt?'
I declined all invitations to sleep over after that."
"I was spending the night at my best friend's house in 9th grade, and her other best friend was there too. I was friends with the other girl as well, but not best friends. The two of them liked to get into some crazy stuff together that I wasn't into because I was a fairly tame teenager at this point in time. We all spent the night doing normal fun sleepover things until my bestie and the other girl got a great idea.
They thought it would be fun to dress up in giant sweatshirts, ruffle their hair and smear dirt all over their faces, sneak out her window, and stand on a corner down the street to pretend to be homeless and collect money. They tried to peer pressure me to join, but I refused because it was about 1 or 2 am at this point and I'd rather not get killed. So they dressed 'homeless' and snuck out, and I spent the next couple hours hanging out with my best friend's older brother and his pet snake. I love snakes!
I spent that time worried sick, pretty sure they were being attacked until they came back at 3 something perfectly fine and we all went to bed. We stayed friends for a bit longer, but I didn't spend the night over her house anymore. We'd been best friends since we were 10 years old and I used to spend the night regularly, but we grew apart during high school because of things like that. Our personalities grew into totally different directions."
"He was such a tattletale. We were playing with GI Joes and going through them, I picked up Dr. Mindbender and proclaimed, 'I don't like this guy, he's dumb.'
The kid shot out of his room and ran to his mom to inform her I called an action figure 'dumb.' She came barging into the room, yelling at me about how we don't use language like that in their house. My fault. I apologized and moved on.
At dinner, I accidentally dropped a piece of green bean on the floor which their dog ate. He snitched on me again and said I was feeding the dog. The mother again ripped into me about how 'we don't feed the dog people food in this house.'
After the verbal lashing, I got upset and asked to call my grandma to pick me up. Needless to say, I never talked or played with that weasel again because of his mom."
"I went to my childhood BFF's place for a birthday sleepover when I was about 10. Everyone was playing in the backyard when we heard shouting coming from the bathroom.
Her youngest brother (who would have been about 5) had done something to upset her dad and he was getting in MAJOR trouble. We heard a tirade of abuse followed by a very aggressive beating of the kid, done possibly with a belt. Her dad had taken him to the bathroom so none of us would hear it, but the window was open so it was crystal clear in the backyard. It only stopped when her mum went in shouting for him to stop. My friend didn't react at all, which made us all believe it was a regular occurrence. Her brother stayed in his room for the rest of the time we were all there.
I was scared of that man for the rest of my childhood. He was always nice to me, but I knew what lurked under his skin. I stayed with the family a lot because my mother spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital, but I never let myself get too comfortable just in case. My friend's mother has always been a lovely lady, I just don't know how she lives with such a monster."
"Up until I was about 12, I was hardly ever yelled at by my parents. With maybe a small handful of exceptions over more than a decade, they always spoke to us calmly and gently. My sister and I were good kids, and we pretty much did what we were told to do and hated making a scene.
I can't remember how old I was, probably around 8, I visited a neighborhood friend in the military base housing we all lived in at the time. It was the first time I was invited to dinner with someone who wasn't family, and likely my first sleepover outside of staying with my cousins at my Aunt's house.
They tried to feed us grape juice and peanut and butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, which I found odd. At that time, my mother stayed home so she always cooked us a really nice meal for dinner, so the idea of eating lunch food for dinner was a foreign concept to me. Additionally, although I would eat it sparingly, I was not a big fan of PB&J sandwiches. I was not a picky eater at all, but that was one of my few meh foods. I didn't say anything, but I barely nibbled on it. The parents flipped out, demanded I eat every single thing. It took me three hours to eat it, silently crying the entire time.
I was devastated that an adult yelled at me. I felt like the worst kind of person, a bad kid, and that I deserved to be punished. I didn't ask to call my parents because I felt maybe like I deserved to be yelled at. This was the first time any adult even raised their voice to me. I ended up throwing up, partially due to nerves and also due to eating this thing I didn't want to. They called my parents to pick me up. I mean, we lived right in front of each other (backyards touching) and they didn't walk me home, they just called them.
I tried to keep it in, but eventually, I told my mom and dad that my friend's parents were mean to me, and my mom flipped out. I didn't really know the details of what unfolded until years and years later, but what ended up happening: they had a screaming match once us kids were at school the next day, the neighbors started reporting my parents to the base for stupid things like yard supposedly not being mowed (which was fake, because every year our lawn won best yard in the base, complete with a plaque), noise issues, etc. They were clearly trying to get us kicked out. My mom started reporting them back, mostly for legitimate stuff since they were loud and we are pretty sure they were in a constant domestic dispute.
It escalated to small claims court over something I don't remember, and they lost. They got kicked out of the base (not sure if for that reason or another), and my mom felt victorious.
To this day, my mother will work to destroy anyone who hurts me or my sister. This is still not as crazy as the time she held a series of protests to destroy the election of my past elementary principal running for state Senator, because that evil lady told me I ate like a pig because I needed to wash my hands after eating an orange. Yes, she lost the election and got fired as principal."
"The family was awful.
I remember talking to my friend about saving money, telling him he'll want money for a car when he gets older. He whispered that he had some money saved in secret and out of nowhere his dad demanded to know how much he has saved. My friend beat around the question and his father started mocking him for probably only having $50. My friend proudly proclaimed he had around $500 saved up. I encouraged him because he's always blown his money on stupid things and his dad immediately started telling him if he's got so much he could help the family out and pay some bills.
Things in the house were tense after that and we played in the woods because anytime we were near his parents it become all about the money he had saved.
'Oh, you want dinner? You could help pay for food.'
'Oh, you're playing video games? You can pay the next electric bill or we are turning it off.'
It blew me away. My dad would have been proud of me for saving money, but his family became mean. I told my friend to hide the money and never speak of it again.
I found out later that my friend's dad was a manager at Wegmans and had my friend work there (he was 12 or 13 at the time, so I have no idea how he pulled that off). They never gave my friend any of his paychecks. If he ever refused to go to work (he wasn't getting paid so he didn't want to go), his parents would let the electricity get turned off or the cable shut down and tell him they couldn't afford it without his help."
"My parents sent me to stay with a family friend for a week when a relative went into the hospital and they needed to be 'on call' in case choices had to be made about life support and all. They were the ones who she deemed fit to make those choices, and she recovered fine.
The guest room the family friend put me in was super creepy to 5-year-old me. It had wallpaper, a scratched, cracked looking tile floor, and a fake bearskin rug that had teeth. In hindsight, it might have been a well-decorated room, but it was scary to me. Honestly, his whole house was kind of this way. He was a bachelor and lived alone, so his house was way too quiet to me.
I was certain there was a monster under the bed. Later, I realized I was probably hearing his cats, who liked me and a few of them were probably under the bed. He was a 'crazy cat man.' I've never known him when he had fewer than six that were residents. Way before animal fostering seemed to be a big thing, he was bottle raising litters of kittens for a cat rescue.
I started crying in the night and he came running, so I told him I heard something under the bed and the monster was gonna eat me. So his response was to tell me that there WAS a monster under the bed, but it wouldn't hurt me because 'if it was a kid eating monster, it would've starved living here, right? That monster eats other, smaller kid eating monsters. It's higher on the monster food chain.'
This was a really messed up thing to tell a scared kid in the middle of the night, but somehow it worked and I was able to sleep without fear for the rest of my visit. It helped that his huge long haired cat took this opportunity to climb into the bed and take the place of my usual stuffed animal, which had been left behind at my house. Family Friend got my dad's house key the next day and took me to get my stuffie and some toys/books so the rest of the week would be easier for me.
A few years later, I stayed with him again and he had redecorated his guest room to be more inviting and less creepy. The bear rug was gone and he had switched out the wallpaper for a pattern that had hidden birds and leaves. He told me the monster had asked about me and was glad I was visiting because 'bed monsters get lonely when they live in guest rooms.'
By then I was less believing of that kind of thing, but it makes me smile remembering it and realizing he said it to make it easier for me to sleep there."