Sure, you might luck out with a wonderful roomie who maintains a clean space, keeps noise at a reasonable volume and bakes you cookies just because. Alternately, you might end up with a demon roommate from hell who has never touched a sponge a day in their life, blasts “Who Let the Dogs Out” at 2 a.m., while pretending they didn’t eat all of your groceries for the umpteenth time.
Today, we’ll be focusing on roommates of the latter variety. Below, eight people share their real-life roommate horror stories.
(For privacy reasons, some respondents’ last names were withheld. Interviews have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.)
Revenge of the freeloaders
“My roommate had her boyfriend and his friend move in thinking I wouldn’t notice. I worked as a server and would keep large amounts of cash in a lockbox in my room and he would steal money from me. She wouldn’t cover any bills for him and they ate all my food. I had enough and kicked them out. I had to work the night she left so I trusted she would leave peacefully.
I came home to destruction. They wiped boogers all over the walls, dumped a pizza under my couch, dumped Chinese food on the floor in her room, peed in my ice cube trays, my beverages and my shampoo bottle. Heard from a mutual acquaintance that her boyfriend shoved my toothbrush up his butt.” — V.D.
“I shared a room in college with someone who was a chronic liar and thief. She didn’t steal or lie about anything important though. She would eat my food and then lie about it, she would use my razor or tweezers and then lie about it, but the worst thing she ever did was steal my favorite pair of underwear. She got period stains on it, then put it back in my drawer as if I wouldn’t notice. When I confronted her about it, she tried to deny it, then admitted it but deflected the conversation by saying, ‘I’m having relationship problems right now, I can’t deal with this,’ and stormed off.” ― Sarah O.
Hot and bothered
“Roommates got kicked out after months of not paying rent. As a final act of revenge, they programmed the thermostat to go to 80 degrees every hour. We were never able to fix the problem fully and it was a constant thorn in our side until we eventually moved out of the house.” — Alex A.
“I was in college, living on the third floor of a dorm with a couple of guys. One night, a girl I’d been interested came back with me. Things started to get hot and heavy, and it was then that I notice a glint of light reflecting on my wall. It was coming from outside. Outside from the third-floor window, mind you. I turned my head towards the window and there, suspended outside my window, was a rear-view mirror that my roommates had attached to a broom handle and lowered from the fourth floor room directly above mine so they could watch. I jumped up as I saw all the eyeballs in the mirror open wide, as in ‘OH SHIT’ and — poof — the mirror shot up out of view. Needless to say, that was the last time I kept the curtains open.” ― Rodney LaCroix
Sharing is not caring
“I had a roommate who I learned had been using my toothbrush for months. I caught him one morning and I was like, ‘Dude, are you using my toothbrush?’ He replied, ‘Yeah, why?’ I responded, ‘Well for one, that’s disgusting and number two, that’s the toothbrush I use to clean my shoes.’” —Will Rodgers
Guests of dishonor
“I had a roommate who was very generous with our home. Within two weeks of moving in together, he let a friend crash in our guest space for two months. A few years later, I came home from work and there was a strange man sleeping in my basement. But I think I was most disturbed by the drunk strangers he’d bring home who would come into my room in the middle of the night.” ― Amanda P.
Cat’s out of the bag
“When we moved in, we discovered that our roommates hadn’t cleaned the four cat boxes in years. The cats had been using random basement corners, potted plants and clean laundry as toilets. They never even disclosed that they had cats.” — Shayla A.
Left in the lurch
“I signed a lease for a two-bedroom apartment with my best friend when I was 18. She never moved in. She paid rent for a while but decided to stop six months before the lease was up. I had to quit school and get a second job to afford rent.” — Brooke W.