“No tablecloths, silver cutlery, fine porcelain, sommeliers, or deep wine lists—that’s fine. But no service or hospitality? That’s going too far.” —Daniel Humm.
The future is here, and what does it look like? Letting strangers sleep in our homes for money. For the uninitiated, Airbnb is an online application that allows homeowners to rent their home, their spare rooms, or even just their beds, to visitors in exchange for a not unhandsome fee. In theory, this sharing economy should be the next frontier of hospitality. It’s literally warm beds and roofs at our fingertips! But old-fashioned humanity always finds a way to ruin a good thing.
Reddit asked Airbnb users (both hosts and guests) to share their strangest experiences with the service. From the helpful guests to the fluids left behind, the was no one way to be a good (or more often bad) user of Airbnb. Check into these 25 wacky stories about the best, worst, and weirdest of Airbnb.
25. Blowing Hot Air Backwards
Background: I live in NYC in a 1 bed. I have a floor AC unit that I keep in my bedroom.
So, I had this woman coming to NYC for the first time. She was staying for three days while I was upstate hiking.
Everything was great until the last night. She called and said the house was very warm and she didn’t think she would be able to sleep that way. So I said just turn the AC on.
I didn’t hear anything back from her until the next morning. She said she could barely get through the night and it was so hot because the AC was broken. So I get home and notice that the AC unit was on and blowing cool air, but she had moved the unit close to the bed and detached the exhaust hose so all the warm air was blowing out the back and into the room.
I called her up and had to explain what was wrong, and she said she just thought the cool air would be “more cold” than the hot air that was coming out the back.
Lesson: Make sure you leave detailed instructions on everything just in case.
On a good note, she still left me a 5-star review, so my 5.0 average is intact.
24. No Waste
The guy who got caught on our cameras drinking OJ from the bottle and then putting it back in the fridge.
23. The Helpful Guest
I had popped my bike’s front tire, and I didn’t have time to take it to the bike shop for a couple days. Since I use my bike to get to work, it was a serious pain.
My guest split the tires and re-inflated them, patching the hole with spare rubber. He also told me to call him if I broke my bike again. He wasn’t a bike mechanic, just a cycling enthusiast. Amazing guy.
22. Gifts Left Behind
I had someone leave a used enema behind some bottles under the sink…
I know who did it too. Ohhhh it irks me…
If you could capture my face when I got the text from the Guest who found it…
21. Bed up With You
My SO and I list the spare room in our home every summer on Airbnb to make some money and meet cool people. We maintained a 5-star rating and had around 50 perfect reviews before we had our very first nightmare guests.
They booked for three nights but after the first one, they left early in the morning and texted asking to meet up to talk about their stay in the afternoon. That was perfectly fine as we assumed since they were old as heck, they were unhappy with the bed they were sleeping on and needed something firmer. When they arrived back at our place, they wasted no time.
The wife immediately started telling me she wanted a full refund of the booking and she was unsatisfied with the mattress she had to sleep on. We let her know we figured as much and would absolutely be refunding her. She decided to reply to our understanding with hostility. She stood in our living room for five minutes crowing about how unhappy she was and how she expected much better. I took the chance to remind her of our 100% perfect reviews and she responded with something like “Well, that surprises me.” Her husband stood in the doorway the entire time obviously hating his life.
At first, we asked them to leave and she refused. We told her we had zero interest in hearing her opinion of our place and she made it clear she had a lot of interest. We couldn’t get them to leave until we threatened to call the police. They left a horrible review (as did we) and guess who never received a refund.
20. Room for the Stars
I live in LA (Hollywood) and was invited to a Universal Music Grammy party from a big wig who stayed at my place! I had the flu and probably gave it to everyone, but I wasn’t going to miss that party for anything.
Numerous film and music festival invites, and cool gifts like their local wine, coffee, and weed.
Also, did a filming for Drunk History, numerous Buzzfeed shoots, Nellyville (lol), music videos, and some independent movies. Life is dope.
19. Sleeping on the Down-Lo
We had a male model staying here for a while and female guests kept hooking up with him. He was super sly about it. I’d never have known if he wasn’t keeping me apprised.
18. Rude to Show up on a Full Stomach
I’m a traveler who uses Airbnb. I’ve had really great experiences. One of my hosts was a gentleman from Uganda who was disappointed I ate before I showed up because he had a tradition of feeding his guests.
17. What’s Up, Pussycats?
I stayed in an Airbnb in Portland years ago with a few friends. I showed up a day before the other girls did, met the owner, and received the details of the house, etc.
The owner noted she had a cat named “Poppet,” and he would come in and out through a locked door with a cat door on it that led to the basement/outside. I woke up alone the first morning and there was a tiny adorable kitten on the bed that I assumed was Poppet and began to play with it.
A few hours later, I was in the kitchen (by the cat food bowl) when I saw another cat, then another, then another, and then one that actually had a name tag reading “Poppet”…. Apparently, all the stray cats in the area got free meals from Poppet’s house, and I had been playing with a stray cat that morning.
16. Welcome Home
Airbnb guest here. I was traveling south from New England to Maryland. Stopped at a host house in North Jersey.
I was put up in the son’s room while he was in college. That night, the son decided to surprise his Mom and Dad to come home and visit. Walked into his room and turned on the lights…epic scream the kid had…
15. Get In!
Not the worst thing that could happen, but the guests took the keys with them when they left. Unfortunately for them, they left the country.
They had to pay to have the keys overnighted to another country. I’m sure that cost them quite a bit. Before you say, “just make another copy,” there are three levels of security to get in… keypad, key fob, and actual key. They took the fob and key.
14. Sorry for Party Rockin’
I rented my house out for a HUGE annual event. My house isn’t big, but I have three bedrooms and two living rooms. So I ended up renting to 10 Chinese people who flew in for the event.
While my house is rented, I sleep in the basement, which has its own entrance. These people were loud and obnoxious. They left the house a mess, broke two chairs, stained my tablecloth, tried feeding mushrooms to my rabbits, and other things I no longer remember. I ended up getting almost $300 from damages and left a bad review for them.
13. Secret Guest
I had a very wealthy woman who came from China in order to give birth at my house so that the child would be a US citizen.
She didn’t register the baby as a guest and when I returned I found diapers hidden in various places all over the house. DIRTY DIAPERS.
12. When the Beach Comes to You
A guest decided to wash a bunch of beach sand covered towels and clothing without shaking off anything, and sand got in things for a week or two afterward.
11. Starting From Scratch
The student who spent 3 months here this past summer. Was the most amazingly ridiculous cook but we had to teach him how to vacuum, wash dishes, and do his own laundry because his mom doted on him all his life.
10. I Spy
Not Airbnb, but several years ago we had a guy stay overnight to catch an early flight the next day. He had a normal haircut and was dressed only in a suit, before changing into jeans and a shirt. However, he stood very straight, with his shoulders pulled back as if he was constantly on a military parade.
My dad had met him in the Swiss Alps, undergoing ski training, but they’d actually conversed in a number of languages when they’d met before realizing that they were both English and switching to that.
Anyways, they were discussing helicopters, as you do, and it turns out that this guy had just learned to fly them and was shortly visiting some Scandinavian country to cover survival skills. We think he was a spy, but we don’t know. He kept quiet about his work, and only mentioned that he had been in the army until shortly before.
9. Not Ready for This
I’m renting my place on Airbnb for the first time in two weeks… Now I’m scared. We have a couple staying here for a month. We have all our stuff in the apartment. They’ll be in here alone for 3 weeks while we’re out of town.
I’m now terrified.
8. She’s Got Nothing to Hide
My roommate and I shared a 2-bedroom apartment and had an agreement that it was cool if one of us would be away for the weekend or traveling for work, it was fine to rent out our room while the other person was staying there. We both like meeting people and hosting out-of-towners and are in a great location for young tourists.
Needless to say, we’ve come across some interesting characters.
My roommate was away for the weekend and he had rented his room out to this Swedish chick while my girlfriend was staying over. This girl just absolutely never had clothes on in the apartment. She just walked around in the nude, sat down on the couch and talked to us nude….as if she wasn’t nude. When she first walked out of the bedroom naked, my girlfriend and I sort of looked at each other oddly without saying a word. But just let it go as she just carried on normally and chatted with us about our lives, the city, and her plans for the weekend.
I suppose it would have gotten weird if it was an attempt to be sexual…or maybe she was trying something. But it honestly just felt like she was a nudist and didn’t think twice about being nude in the apartment the entire time. I had no complaints (she was a looker) and my girlfriend seemed to eventually be comfortable after the initial apprehension (she was sort of an exhibitionist, or at least liked to have sex in discreet public places).
The second night she stayed there, my girlfriend and I stayed out late, so the Swedish girl beat us home and we returned to her just sitting on the couch naked, watching TV.
My girlfriend and I retreat to my room for some drunken sexy time and as I undress her, I stop and tell her to go out into the living room and just start up a chat with her, also nude. She laughed and then worked up the nerve to walk out naked, but she didn’t address her, she just got a glass of water and came back to the room.
I suppose nothing really crazy happened, but it was pretty funny to just a have a nude girl walking around for an entire weekend.
My favorite story has to be this time this Aussie bro was staying in the other room and I was single. We have a strict no guests policy, but one Saturday night he comes home pretty drunk with two girls. One very attractive and one average. When he walks in with them, I’m thinking “ugh, this dude doesn’t listen,” but I made an executive decision that they could stay…since there were two. So I grabbed beers and tossed them around.
To my surprise, he was hitting on/bringing back the girl of average attractiveness, and her hot friend was tagging along probably at first to see that she was safe or to cockblock haha.
So I start chatting with them about their night and how they ended up here and find out they live two blocks away. I’m trying my best to flirt with the hot friend and everyone is having a good time. I’m glad Aussie bro broke the rules. Eventually, Aussie bro and other chick are making out and retreat to their bedroom.
Unsure if I’ve been laying enough charm on the friend, I get up and ask her if she wants another drink, which she obliges. When I bring it back to her she pulls me close and starts to kiss me. Next thing you know, we’re hooking up on the couch. We eventually retreat back to my room and had a great night.
We ended up casually dating/aka conveniently hooking up because of our close proximity for a few months.
Thanks, Aussie Bro! Despite your rule breaking, I would give you 6/5 if I could!
6. Lots of Love to Go Around
Drunk girl made passes at or had sexual relations with every male employee and guest at the time. Eight in total. Same guest also flooded out part of my basement and two bathrooms using a sink she was explicitly told not to use as the plumber would be there in two days.
5. Too Wet to Care
Drunk constantly keeps refilling fire pit after told not to, throws beer cans into neighbor’s yard, and then she wet the king-sized bed to the point I was gagging the next morning and I had check ins on that bed that night. Prime Now saved us. Memory foam king bed in 3 hours….
4. Party Down
We got $2,000 cash from a dude who threw a party at one of our units. People actually puked in the AC vents… like the old school come up from the floor vents… Done.
3. Mirror, Mirror off the Wall
Not me but a friend of mine (D) living in Holland had a guest staying from a small mountain town in Germany. Anyway, the guy was kind of odd, referred to himself as Ragnar, had a long brown ponytail, and role-played a Viking pretty much the whole stay.
First odd thing was (D) waking up in the morning having his toe tickled at the bottom of the bed by the guest, whilst he stared at him blankly to ask where to find something. Then later on, (D) went to the bathroom for his usual morning routine only to find the mirror wasn’t there.
The thing is this was a mirror that was screwed into the wall. He knew it could only be “Ragnar” who would know where it is as no one else had been in the apartment. So he goes to the spare room and finds the mirror in there. Turns out “Ragnar” wanted to brush and tie his ponytail and decided to unscrew the mirror from the wall with his handy pocket knife and relocate it to the room he was staying in. There are a few more tales but I think you get the gist haha.
2. Down the Drain
I rent my furnished basement suite on Airbnb. This one guest stayed for a week. He was a very pleasant guy: he hung out with my wife and me on the patio and chatted, he was in IT so we had a lot to talk about, he actually made ME lunch (burgers and a salad) one day, but then toward the end of his stay it unraveled.
He clogged the toilet downstairs (no big deal), but as water was rising over the toilet seat onto the floor, he began using our nice WHITE towels to mop it up… I heard some commotion downstairs, so I asked if he needed any help. When I learned of the problem I ran a plunger down there to him.
As I was walking back upstairs I heard a loud crash! He accidentally knocked the toilet tank lid off the toilet and it crashed into 50 pieces on the floor! To make matters worse, on the day he was leaving town, he took our key and we had a guest coming in the next day.
1. Little Hellions
Rented a friend of mine’s 1-bedroom apartment in a recently renovated building close to a university on Airbnb for the months he was abroad. A few stories, but this one was just the most bizarre.
Three very small girls planning to stay for one night arrived and seemed sweet and genuine. They had to have been about 20-23 years old, and I assumed I might have a night of partying to clean up after when they left. When I went to prep the apartment for the next guest, I was horrified to find that the door frame was completely split and the door kind of hung open.
These tiny girls somehow got locked out and kicked in the door to the apartment. I asked a friend of mine who lives a few apartments down if he heard the noise and come to find out one of the girls drunkenly climbed up to the second-floor balcony to try to get in after finding out they were locked out.
She was stuck on the balcony and was yelling at her friends below, waking up my friend who was able to tell me the events that unfolded. Eventually, someone let her friends into the building (key required to enter the complex, which they lost) and being locked out they did what any drunk frat bro would do, kicked in the door. Remind you these girls were all under 5’5″ tall and weighed a combined 300 pounds. Frat bro-type mischief was the last thing I thought these girls were capable of.
Made my claim, got my friend’s door fixed, wrote a bad review on these girls, and learned a lesson: never judge a book by its cover.