In this article:
- With over 2.2 million subreddits, Reddit is home to tons of communities centered around super niche topics.
- People come to Reddit for advice, for judgements, and for sheer entertainment.
- From throwing a steak out the window in an effort to be polite to being taken to HR for calling orange cats dumb, these iconic Reddit threads show humanity in all its strange glory.
Reddit, a social news aggregation site, is home to some of the most active and interesting online forums. If you can think of a topic, however niche, there’s a subreddit for it. In fact, there are over 2.2 million subreddits you can browse. You can easily spend hours on forums like r/unpopularopinion, r/antiwork, r/childfree, r/skincareaddiction, or r/translatedinsults. Trust me, I know.
The platform is also a gold mine for human stories shared by its millions of users. Sometimes relatable, hilarious, sad, unbelievable, or downright cringe-worthy, these posts (or threads) are immortalized in the internet through thousands of upvotes, downvotes, comments, and, of course, screenshots.
If you have some time to kill, here’s a list of Reddit threads that deserve a spot in the internet’s museum of unforgettable posts. Fair warning: Some of these stories might have you saying, “Alright, that’s enough internet for today.”
Steak Out The Window
r/TIFU is the space on the internet where anyone can unload their biggest or most embarrassing blunders. The sub’s name stands for Today I Fucked Up, and some of the posters’ fuck-ups are incredibly funny.
Posts don’t have to happen on the day you share it. You can describe any event, even if it happened years ago.
Case in point: Two separate posts by u/defenestrate_me_now and u/mrs_defenestrator were posted two years apart but tell the story of one awkward dinner. The two Redditors are husband and wife, and the original post by u/defenestrate_me_now opens with, “TIFU by throwing my steak out a window.”
Throwing away perfectly fine food, especially something as expensive as steak, screams of wastefulness. But it is actually out of politeness that the husband attempted to hurl his meat through the window. The couple was at dinner at the wife’s boss’s house. Their goal, since the wife was new at the job, was to impress the boss.
Things were going smoothly — they were bonding over drinks and pleasant conversation — until the main course. It didn’t take long for the husband to realize that the cut of steak resting on his plate was much rarer than he liked, or than anyone would serve. “I probably could’ve resuscitated the cow had I tried,” he described in the post.
It was also clear that the food was impossible to eat, but how could he decline the free meal without offending their host? For some inexplicable reason, the most rational decision he could come up with was to throw the steak out the window. He would praise the boss for a delicious cut of beef that he finished in the few minutes she stepped away from the table.
But this isn’t a TIFU story without a hilarious turn of events. The wife’s boss might not be an expert at meat temperatures but, as it turns out, she was excellent at maintaining her home. The “open” window turned out to be closed, just squeaky clean enough that it looked open. That is, until he threw a slab of meat at it, leaving a trail of blood and grease.
The wife’s boss came running as soon as she heard the sound of meat smack against the glass, and the two women stared at our hero incredulously.
Anyone who finds themselves in that situation would probably want to disappear on the spot. But he was able to come up with a lousy explanation and feigned clumsiness, a story the wife was too stunned to corroborate. Then, he proceeded to chew every ounce of the raw, now dirtied, steak.
The wife’s version of the story is equally amusing. Her biggest fuck-up of the night? Inviting her husband to dinner with her boss.
Mysterious Post-It Notes
Six years ago, u/RBradbury1920 sought help in r/legaladvice for a strange and potentially dangerous situation they were in.
Random Post-It notes with handwriting they didn’t recognize started appearing inside the apartment. The first one contained innocent reminders to run some errands. The user didn’t recall writing it but assumed it was something they did in their sleep.
A few days later, another note with a spooky reminder to save computer documents materialized. The user did what anyone would: set up a webcam to catch the perpetrator. Is someone breaking in? Is the landlord a creepy stalker?
Another note warned, “Our landlord isn’t letting me talk to you, but it’s important we do.” This threatening Post-It prompted them to check the computer, only to find that the webcam didn’t yield any answers and the trash was wiped clean.
One day, the user found a blank sticky note on their door and many others in the apartment complex, so they went on Reddit to consider legal options.
The most useful response came from u/Kakkerlak, who didn’t provide legal advice but a practical and potentially life-saving tip. They said that the user could be experiencing something more physical or mental. Many others have suggested in the comments that OP’s first guess of sleepwalking, or sleepwriting to be more precise, might be right.
However, the more probable scenario is that OP is hallucinating. In a different sub, u/RBradbury1920 asked for interior design hacks for a windowless apartment, which got u/Kakkerlak into thinking that the ventilation is insufficient.
The commenter put two and two together and asked if OP had already considered carbon monoxide poisoning. MIT’s Deborah Blum later confirms this as a likely explanation. “You might get headaches, you might feel a little groggier than usual. And depending on the chronic exposure, you can even become mentally-off, cognitively-impaired in some ways,” says Blum.
It is possible that u/RBradbury1920 has become delirious enough to leave the sketchy notes and have no recollection of doing so.
In a followup post in r/legaladvice, OP confirms that they did eventually get a CO detector following the advice of u/Kakkerlak. Lo and behold, the level of CO in the apartment reached 100 PPM, which is considered dangerous if anyone is exposed to it long-term.
The story definitely has the makings of Netflix’s newest psychological thriller, but the ending took an unexpected turn. Luckily for OP, they found just the right sub to crowdsource information with u/Kakkerlak scrolling the forum at the most opportune time.
Trigger warning: This story contains drug use and addiction.
For the uninitiated, r/IAmA is a sub where anyone of particular interest can introduce themselves and prompt the community with the Ask Me Anything (AMA) tag. Some of the most upvoted posts of all time are the AMAs by Barrack Obama, conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, and the lobster diver who was swallowed whole by a whale and survived.
The posts that make it to the top are typically the ones that educate us about something or serve as a cautionary tale.
Such is the story of u/SpontaneousH, an anonymous Redditor who tried heroin on a whim over a decade ago. The title of the now archived thread read, “I did Heroin yesterday. I am not a drug user and have never done anything besides pot back when I was a teen, AMA.”
Unsurprisingly, the post caused quite the controversy back in the day. Some users were genuinely intrigued about why and how OP decided to try heroin for the first time. Others shared their personal stories with recreational drug use.
There were comments that condemned the user for trying heroin, too, which is considered one of the most addictive drugs by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Sort the comments by controversial and you’ll find a lot of hate or judgment for OP, but most of the responses come from a place of concern over the potential for dependence on the drug.
It turns out that the forum’s worries were not unwarranted. The original AMA was followed with another post in the sub, with u/SpontaneousH sharing their hellish withdrawal symptoms after only two weeks on the substance.
Alarmingly, Redditors stopped hearing from OP after that post. That is, until a year later when another AMA revealed that they were in a psychiatric hospital for treatment.
It only took a couple of weeks for OP to go from being clean to becoming an addict in need of professional help, and the events unfolded quickly on the internet. While OP didn’t intend to be the internet’s cautionary tale against addictive drugs, they admitted to making a series of bad mistakes that could have cost them their life.
Don’t worry. This story does end on a hopeful note. Seven years since they made their first post, u/SpontaneousH updated in r/OpiatesRecovery. Much to everyone’s relief, OP said, “I’m now almost six years clean from all drugs and alcohol and life is good.”
Jorts (and Jean)
From Doge the Shiba Inu to Grumpy Cat, the internet has adopted many animals as its own beloved pets. The latest among the web’s furry friends to become a viral meme is Jorts, an orange tabby tomcat.
Jorts and a tortoiseshell cat named Jean are the resident felines of an American workplace. He became an internet sensation after a story was posted about him in r/AmItheAsshole.
The OP asked his fellow Redditors, “AITA for ‘perpetuating ethnic stereotypes’ about Jorts?” The title, sans context, is puzzling. Without knowing that Jorts is a cat, you might be asking, plenty of questions about jean shorts and why they’re associated with a particular ethnicity. But we learn that Jorts is indeed a cat that u/throwawayorangecat described as a “kind of a simple guy.”
In short, he is not very intelligent and requires Jean’s assistance for many things, like pushing doors open even when they’re already ajar. Jorts very often traps himself in places, falls into garbage cans, and gets cups stuck to his head. (Kevin, a Reddit legend who can also be described as a simple guy, comes to mind, but Jorts is at least loveable.)
OP’s coworker Pam has taken a particular interest in teaching the young tabby basic skills. In an effort to train the cat to lick himself clean, Pam rubbed margarine all over his fur. Unsurprisingly, this office tableau has become the subject of many memes.
Most of the employees in the office have accepted Jorts’ shortcomings in the intellect department except for Pam. What finally angered her was OP’s joke, “You can’t expect Jean’s tortoiseshell smarts from orange cat Jorts.”
Pam left in tears and sent an email to the office explaining how OP was “perpetuating ethnic stereotypes by saying orange cats are dumb,” and finished with demands for racial sensitivity training.
One can easily assume that Pam is a dedicated prankster (or that OP is a compelling fiction storyteller). How can you be racially insensitive towards cats? Where did the stereotype that orange tabbies are dumb come from anyway? Pam has got to be pulling the office’s leg. Many Redditors asked these questions in the comments, and validated OP as NTA (not the asshole) in the situation.
However, an update confirmed Pam’s reaction as genuine. She ended up speaking with HR about the amusing issue that is now, thankfully, resolved. Peace has returned to the office and everyone can enjoy Jorts’ blunders, which can very well make the page of r/TIFU.
It’s worth noting that there are no assholes in this scenario — not OP for his offhand remarks about orange cats, nor Pam for her misplaced sensitivity for Jorts. If anything, this story that fed us memes for weeks is the internet relief we all needed.
Even more so, Jorts is using his newfound internet fame to bring important labor issues to light. The Jorts (and Jean) Twitter account, which now has over a hundred thousand followers, advocates for the unionization of workers in the country. Not bad for a simple guy like Jorts!
Additional Reddit Reading
Those who’ve been around on Reddit long enough are surely familiar with these threads and more. Perhaps you yourself have a post you won’t be able to forget. Maybe it’s because of the descriptive storytelling, the edge-of-your-seat turn of events, or the amusing and loveable characters.
Other than the moderated posts in r/AItA, we’ll never really know if these posts are fact or fiction. I’d argue that as long as you were entertained and not put in harm’s way, these threads don’t really require any fact-checking.
If you have time for more, get comfortable for here are more fascinating reads for various reasons: