After reading these reader-submitted tales of roommate horror, you will never be mad about a simple unwashed dish again. Warning: there will be blood.
Many of your roommate stories were also gross stories, as they contained disturbing amounts of pee, shit, vomit, and blood. Used condoms and used tampons figured prominently. I also learned my new favorite faux-pology: "I'm sorry that I did that but sometimes you are very annoying." Here, though, are the top ten tales of roomie terror — vote for your favorite at the bottom!
The Bleeding Thief
A reader tells the story of a roommate who stole her jewelry, clothes, and even underwear. When confronted,
she refused to look at me when I spoke. She also told me I was the one who violated her privacy (true), but she had been stealing from me all year (she also ate our food ALL THE TIME and lied about it) and I was technically taking back what was mine. She refused to give back one of the shirts (which I've had for years) and insisted it was hers. I just gave up on that one. She also told me that I was selfish for not allowing her to just take whatever clothes she wanted, because she would "give someone the clothes off her back" and she, unlike me, was a really unselfish person. Right. She told me that it was no big deal that she had taken/lost/broken multiple items of my jewelry, because it was just "costume jewelry."
But that's not even the bad part. This is:
She also had a habit of getting incredibly drunk and high and then bringing back a million guys. She literally brought back men she met ON THE STREET. All. The. Time. I don't care who you sleep with, but it makes me nervous to have a parade of sketchy men coming into my home on the regular. I once woke up to find my room DESTROYED and blood all over the bathroom walls. BLOOD. Admittedly, I had had a lot to drink the night before (I'm in college!) and didn't know if I had pulled apart my room in some kind of drunk episode, but I knew I had not been BLEEDING EVERYWHERE and not cleaning it. It turns out, she had brought some random guy home, and had pulled my room apart searching for condoms while I was asleep. (Safe sex!) She wasn't sure how they got blood all over the walls, but the guy was gone in the morning. She also didn't clean all of the blood for several days.
The Costume Thief
One year me and my roomate decided to have a costume party. I bought my costume in advance and was really excited about it. The day of the party comes along and I take my costume out of my closet and I notice that there was permanent marker smeared all over it. On closer inspection I realize it's my roomates name spelled backwards. I was very confused and asked my roomate if she knew what it was. She confessed that she had worn my costume while having sex with someone and before they had sex she had doodled her name on his body with a permanent marker and it had come off on my costume. Needless to say I did not wear the costume that night. Kudos to her for admitting it though. I don't think I could have owned up to that.
My roommate and I sublet our extra room one summer to a guy who we found on Craigslist and had pretty thoroughly vetted (we thought). He was in town to do a culinary program and was nice enough but we were happy to have our place back when he left to finish up his program in Italy. He was going to return in a few months and take his final exams, but a few weeks into his Italy stay we received word that he had gone missing, leaving everything he owned behind. We were contacted by his frantic mother and gave all the information we could as the local police dredged the river, his family gave interviews to the Italian press and they poured over his phone records. We checked a website daily that listed progress in the case and took donations to aid in the costs of his family living in Italy and funding the search. We were all convinced that he was dead.
One day I checked the website only to find that his parents had received word that he had run off and joined the French foreign legion (yes it exists)!! The only reason his parents even found out is that he smuggled a note through his friend who had left. He was then soon discharged for fighting with another legionnaire and getting pretty badly beat up in the process (the explanatory email had a line like "but you should have seen the OTHER guy!"). To this day, I still can't believe the story. We met his parents a few months later when they came to pick up the stuff he had left in our apartment and they turned out to be really nice, which made the whole thing so much sadder...and ridiculous.
The Dumb Dealer
The first line of this one is how a lot of bad things start.
I did not know Eric was a drug dealer. At first I just thought he had a lot of friends. But I put two and two together after a while and I suddenly came to the realisation that I was living in a drug den. Sure, it was "just" pot, but potheads are fucking ANNOYING.
With Andy's supplier living with him, Andy was pretty much high 24/7, as was Eric. They were wake and bakers, and after Andy got laid off, they spent all day smoking weed and playing video games. Then there was the week that Eric bought two pellet guns, which inspired all kinds of awful jackass-inspired assery.
But apparently, Eric wasn't a very good, or secretive, drug dealer. On 4/20 he and I were in his room watching Day of the Dead when three dudes walked in. I was used to dudes walking in without knocking by this point so I didn't think much of it.
But when Eric asked who the dudes were I got a little concerned. I got up to show some muscle, I'm a big guy, and about 6'6'', so I look pretty imposing. Not imposing enough, however.
I don't remember the first hit. I just remember falling to the ground and covering my head as they asked "where the shit was." Eric, being a bad drug dealer, smoked all his shit. He didn't have and drugs, nor did he have any money.
This pissed the dudes off, and they proceded to beat the holy hell out of us. One of them even pulled a gun and decided that the back of my head would be a good target for the butt of it. I still have a pretty nasty scar.
They left. I got 15 stitches, a scratched cornea and a busted lip. I moved out the following week, saved up some money and then left the state altogether. As for Eric and Andy, I couldn't care less about what happened to them. They both liked to brag about all the pot they kept in the house, so no doubt their big mouths caused the shit in the first place.
The Murderous Gnomes
For undergrad, my sophomore year, I decided to live with my freshman year drunken gnome...i mean roommate on the sole basis that I already knew her, we were decent friends (when she was sober) and it was better than moving in with someone whose habits i didnt already know.
it was 4 of us' friends' in a 4bedroom apartment. drunken gnome and the slutty shy girl on one side, myself and the crazy foreign student on the other side of the apartment. drunken gnome started dating a ghetto gnome and these 2 often fucked loudly over her desk (which was next to my wall). He practically lived with us, eating our food, hogging the remote and inviting his buds over. we had a halloween party and some of his fellow gangbangers showed up (no really, these guys had shown up to a frat party with a gun few weeks prior) and my foreign roommate had kindly told them they werent allowed on our housing complex premises (letters were sent to everyone). The gangbangers got pissy and seeked out their fellow ghetto gnome. who in turn, grabbed my foreign roomie by the throat, threw her against the door and told her tough shit.
i swooped in and told him to back the fuck off. he then raised his 5'4 arm to me as if ready to hit me, and i grabbed a knife from the counter. he backed off.
his girlfriend (drunken gnome) didnt. so for 7 mos. drunken gnome and slutty shy harassed the shit our of myself and crazy foreign roomie. bleach in our laundry. turning the stove to high and burning our food. ghetto gnome basically moved in and bullied us out of our living room. we complained to management to change us to another apt. she told us, "too bad, just stick it out".
i wake up one morning puking blood. rushed to the ER and hospitalized for 3 weeks. My gallbladder had been cut and no one knew why. crazy foreign roomie soon was hospitalized for stomach pain a week after.
upon coming home, we discovered shards of broken glass in various tupperware containers of food my mom had cooked. since i personally know my moms cooking doesn't include broken glass. the obvious was suspected. high levels of chemicals found in drano were found in our food but coincidentally not in drunken gnome's or slutty shy's.
needless to say, i left that school after my sophomore year. I was sick, worn out and exhausted. For years I had to control my diet so that I wouldnt spend 39 hours throwing it up. countless ER visits since then and the obvious trauma of "i never want to be friends with females again". So while they continued their bountiful journey of franzia drinking and ghetto fucking, I transferred to Harvard and have fabulous hair.
I had a roommate who was totally awesome. I loved her dearly then and love her now. She had a boyfriend who I actually really liked, too. Then only thing I disliked was his propensity to climb on top of the refrigerator and perch there, bird-like, in the middle of the night. For reals. One night, a mutual friend of ours was staying over for the weekend. She was in my room and got up to walk thru the kitchen, down the hall to the bathroom. She came running back in, terrified and claiming that "a man had broken in and was hiding on top of the fridge". I had to explain that was just "Bob" and that he just liked to hang out up there...
The Careless Menstruator
So we all have our periods (come on, menopause). Four girls, quadruple the period. It was around 10am, I had just stumbled in the door, feeling awful from a night out. All I wanted was to take a shower, eat something breaded, and go to sleep. I made my way upstairs, tossed my stiff party clothes into my hamper, and headed into the bathroom. Light was still a bit nauseating so I squinted as I brushed my teeth, having turned on the shower so the water would be center-of-the-sun hot by the time I climbed in. I pulled aside the curtain, stepped into the tub, closed my eyes and stood there with my back the water. Pretty standard. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something foreign on the edge of the tub. Something I had not noticed when I stepped in. I tilted my head downwards, allowing my eyes to adjust...and there it was. Unmistakable. A. USED. Tampon. Just hanging out, on the edge of the tub, like the soap's gross shower party guest. I freaked out, and turned the shower off, grabbed my towel, ran into my room. I was entirely too hungover to deal with another woman's menstrual blood. And there was only one girl who was home that day. And only one girl PERIOD (ha...menstruation humor) who was currently having her witchy moon time. In true hero form I made the "Mama" of the house deal with the situation. The crown jewel in the crown of Worst Roommate Alive. I hope she reads this site, but I doubt its in her shitty-human-being repertoire.
I once lived in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco with an old friend from college. The neighborhood has a reputation for being pretty rough, and unfortunately my roommate ended up being stabbed by someone one evening. After that incident, he relied heavily on pain medication and other illegal substances to get him through the days and eventually sort of lost his mind. One day I came home from work and he casually says "hey buddy, I was ridin' my bike in the rain and I saw a poor baby rat dying in the street. I felt bad so I rescued it and it's in a shoebox in my room. I'll nurse it back to health and let it go, but just wanted to let you know."
I love animals and all but being that one of my greatest fears in life are rats, I almost went apeshit on him. But I knew he was sensitive and so I tried to provide a more rational argument against him keeping this rat in our apartment in a shoebox. I called my friend who was a vet and left her a panicked voicemail begging her to give me a reason that this rat would transmit diseases to our house if we kept him. She called me back and wasn't really able to give me anything I could use so I kept my mouth shut for a couple of days. But I could hear the rat squeaking in its box and one night I got really paranoid when he wasn't home and shoved a bunch of books in front of his door to cover the small gap by the floor. He came home drunk and I was in bed, and I heard him kicking the books around and screaming at me. We got in a huge argument and I basically put my foot down and said the rat had to go. In fact, it could go live with the other rats that were in our back yard! He finally agreed to let it go. Shortly after, I moved out. We are still friends and can have a laugh about it now because he admits it was a stupid thing to do, but yeah...
At college my first year roommate used to masturbate in her sleep. I would wake up to find her moaning with her hands down her pants playing with herself. She had been totally unaware that she did this because she never shared a room with anyone growing up.
This went on for 6 months. She even tried putting mittens on but she would take them off in her sleep. Finally, after therapy, doctor visits and many sleepless nights, the college decided they had to give her a single.
Longest 6 months of my life.
In 2000, I had a roommate in university residence. At first she seemed really cool. Like me, she wasn't into the cheering and singing, and we both enjoyed a good drink and smoke. But after a few weeks she began to become annoying. She bragged to her friends that she didn't need to buy a computer "because my roommate has one!" She made my bed her official 'smoking spot', and often ashtray. If she poured too much lotion on her hand, she would walk across the room and wipe it on whatever part of me was closest to her. She was up all night and would bring strange guys home and expect me to sleep while they got it on.
Then, 'annoying' turned into erratic, strange, and eventually threatening. I am pretty sure she was psychotic. She started filling up our room with random objects she collected (we could have been featured on 'Hoarders'), and she claimed to have cured a man of AIDS with her witchcraft spells. She told me how she hated "skinny girls" and wanted to kill them all. (Not a good time to be a naturally skinny girl, which of course I am). She was not joking, and did become physical a few times by shoving me out of her way. She would listen to Eminem's song where he kills his wife Kim, and make orgasmic noises during the most graphic parts of the song. Of course, to others, this roommate was charming, exciting and fun, so the few nightmarish stories I shared with other members of our residence were perceived to be exaggerations.
Then a new game started. When I went to the washroom, she would lock the door, and either leave, or not let me back in. I often had to go downstairs and sign out the ‘lock-out key'. Then she discovered that if SHE signed out and kept the lock-out key for our room, AND locked our door, I would have absolutely no way of getting in to our room. It didn't take me too long to realize that I needed to have my keys with me AT ALL TIMES, even if just running across the hall. One time, I hadn't seen her in days, and I had to use the washroom. I thought it would be silly to bring my keys with me, but my paranoia was at an all new high, so I left the door unlocked, but brought my key. When I came back five minutes later, the door was locked. I opened the door and stepped into darkness. When I turned on the light, I realized that I was standing in a pile of dead and dried up flower petals. My roommate was nowhere to be seen. I didn't think much of it at the time, but when I relayed the flower petal story to a friend back home and said, "What do you think that means?", she answered, "It means get the HELL out of there!"
I did. After weeks and weeks of harassing the residence manager and sleeping on someone else's floor, I FINALLY got my own single room in a different residence! While I was still moving out, she had already put many of her things in my closet/dresser. My ex-roommate's crazy ways quickly became apparent to the rest of the residence, and I had multiple people seek me out to tell me they were sorry for thinking that I was the crazy one.
If your roommates haven't done anything this terrible, go give them a hug. Then vote!
Image via Natalie Dee