“Always remember... Rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots.”—Ziad Abedlnour, the author of Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics.
Abedlnour isn’t wrong, it’s never a sign of good character to spread a rumor about someone. It’s worse once those rumors wind up making their way back to the person the rumor is about. If we’re lucky the stories we hear about us are funny and ridiculous, so we can at least laugh about them. If we’re not, maybe they can be hurtful, and while we might know that rumors are the province of haters, fools, and idiots, but that doesn’t make them easier to handle.
Fortunately for us, the users over at Reddit have shared the absolute wildest stories that they’ve heard about themselves so that we don't have to!
That I was dead.
I was on "The Corridor Committee" at school drawing up a code of conduct at the end of my fourth year (you can imagine how much action I got at school) and the new rules were to be announced the following school year.
But then I had to change schools at very short notice over the summer holidays and only told my socially isolated circle of friends.
So the new school year starts and everyone gets the Start-of-Year assembly where they're told "Welcome back!" and to "Work hard..." etc. Then they were introduced to the new Corridor Code.
The head teacher reads off the code and says "Special thanks to [list of people involved] and Raddigan, who sadly is no longer with us."
And that's how my death was accidentally announced to the entire school.
34. Rumors of My Death
When I transitioned into secondary school all my primary school friends went to a different secondary school.
One day, this guy who I knew from primary school who was still in contact with my primary friends and I were passing each other and he stops and says, "Remember Alice? She told me that everyone at her school thinks you're dead!"
I immediately messaged my best friend from primary if what he said is true. It was. She was so happy that I'm still alive. Someone spread a rumor that I fell down some stairs and died.
33. Naked Gardner
"He mows the lawn naked."
Um, gym shorts and a tank top is not naked.
32. Heavy Metal
Someone at my high school saw me walking to the end of my driveway to get the mail.
The next week there was a rumor that I sat on my lawn all day listening to metal and hissing at cars.
31. Just Tired
That I'm a stoner.
I just had a difficult family life, so I would come to school tired, sleep in my morning classes, and I would devour my lunch.
I've never once smoked weed, but it still stuck for some reason.
One kid asked to see my "piece." Thought he was talking about my privates.
A group of seniors once asked if I wanted to hotbox in this kid's new Mustang; had no idea what they meant.
30. Murder She Rumored
My mum had a seizure when I was at dinner with her after school. Her first ever, it was very traumatizing etc.
Anyway, I went to a Catholic school, so in the morning, they made an announcement about remembering my mum in their prayers (this was standard policy when family members of students were sick, injured or died.)
Somehow, a couple of girls interpreted this as my mum had died. They were really shocked that I was in school at all. So first I had to clear that up.
Then, some freshman girls decided that the actual truth was that I had killed my mother. They told a teacher they didn't feel comfortable around a murderer. The teacher told them they were too dumb to exist and told me about it later in the day.
So craziest rumor I heard specifically about myself was that the freshmen thought I had killed my mum.
29. Mistaken Identity
I had my best friend tell me his mother was livid with me. I asked why, and he told me that she had heard I'd asked a girl out to the prom and stood her up.
At the time, I'd never asked that girl out. I'd never asked anyone out.
I asked him to put her on the phone. I asked her where she'd heard the rumor. It was another mother. I called her and asked for the source of her news. It was the girl's mother. I called her and she said she'd heard from her daughter.
I asked to speak with her. First, I apologized if I'd done anything to upset her and asked about the situation. It turns out she'd been asked out by a young man with the same first name as me. No one in the rumor chain had clarified the last name. I apologized on his behalf and asked if there was anything I could to help her. She said thank you, but no.
28. I Was a Teen Vamp
I was rumored to be that weird kid who thought she was a vampire.
No. No, I did not. I was just in the middle of a very regrettable Twilight phase and was going through some severe issues.
27. Snobby or Shy?
That I was a huge snob. I was amazed to hear it because I was massively shy with low self-esteem and terrified to talk to anyone.
26. It’s Not My Party
In middle school, this one girl had a birthday party on a boat and invited pretty much every girl. I wasn't invited but I didn't care since we didn't know each other. Some girls who didn't like me decided to invent the rumor that I was having a birthday party on my yacht the same day as the other girl had hers.
I still don't quite understand the reason for this rumor. My birthday wasn't anytime soon, I certainly didn't own a yacht... all they did was make me sound rich.
25. Girl Talk
In Jr. High, a rumor was spread that I was a lesbian. It started because a very popular boy cornered me in a bathroom and tried to shove his tongue in my mouth—I pushed him back and told him I wasn’t interested, he told me every girl wanted him and I must be a lesbian. Obviously, he told a few people I was.
24. Sexuality Rumors
Someone started a rumor that me and my friend were gay for each other, and when there was an Instagram video of us messing around and LIGHTLY punching each other, the PTA had to ask if we were in an abusive relationship. It was very weird to explain that we were not, in fact, gay, and they didn’t believe us until we said it like twice, they kept saying, "you don't have to hide it" and we were like what the heck.
23. Best Friends Forever
My best friend and I were inseparable in high school. We did everything together. When we were juniors, two guys who were friends asked us out. We weren't interested so we both rejected them kindly. The guy who asked me out was chill about it. The guy who asked her out was overly persistent and kept asking over and over. When he finally got it through his skull that they would never date, he told the entire grade that we were secret lesbians which is why we spent so much time together.
We thought it was hilarious and just went with it, occasionally holding hands and stuff and pretending to get caught. This infuriated him even more. Since we didn't try to dispel the rumors, we became the hot lesbians that the guys in the grade were obsessed with and fantasized about. Totally backfired.
We aren't lesbians though, and both have great boyfriends while that guy is sad and lonely.
22. Breaking Bad
I had never even smoked in high school or drank for that matter, but I would have people asking me to sell them some weed after we graduated because their dealer had moved. And that is how I found that apparently I was a drug dealer and was high all of the time, which was news to me.
21. Mad Scientist
According to some rumor I wanted to build a nuke on my toilet at home.
I was a weird kid, but how?
20. Player’s Got Game
Several years after graduating I heard that when I was in high school I had sex with the majority of the girls there. I had no idea I was having all that sex! Why didn't anyone tell me sooner?!?!
19. Fight Night
When I was in middle school, I was backed into this corner by this big bully, and he grabbed me by my collar and shoved me into this wall. Me, being as wimpy as I am, fruitlessly flailed my noodle arms at him. After being headlocked and many (failed) attempts to slam me into the ground, a security guard broke up the fight.
A few days later, kids recognized me as "that guy who fought [that guy]." Plenty of people told me I was brave to fight him (even though I lost) and I think I gained some people's respect throughout the week or two everyone was talking about me.
18. Beast Master
Apparently, I killed a coyote with my bare hands.
17. Straight Out of Finland
That I was Finnish. I have no Finnish ancestry, know next to nothing about the country, but people thought I was? ???
16. Too Old For This …
I was a young Danny Glover who traveled to the future for a government experiment.
15. Drugs Are For Losers
Finally, one I can answer. That I snorted cocaine from toilet seats. I had never done coke, and have no idea who started this rumor, but I just want to know—why toilet seats?
14. Puppy Kicker
One lunch hour I'd had enough of all the kids picking on me so I just up and left. There was a really nice lady who was walking her dog beside the school and saw how upset I was. She stopped to console me and talk me down.
After that a rumor started I'd kicked her dog. Kids are pure evil.
13. High School Playboy
It was rumored that I was a playboy by some of the younger students in grades nine and ten. This could not have been the more opposite because I was a shy and awkward geek who never went to prom.
12. Hoovers Are For Lovers
That I had sex with a hoover. My best friend started telling this story about me with stupid details, and soon even my teachers thought did it, haha.
11. Satanic Panic
I went to a private Christian school for a year. Most of the people were racist, and I got kicked out because I eventually got sick of it and beat the snot out of a kid.
Two of my bullies also ended up at the school I went to afterward, and they approached me and asked why I wasn't at the old place. I looked them dead in the eyes and told them I got kicked out for being a Satanist and a cannibal, and walked away.
A week later, this guy I've literally never met before asked me if I could help him put a curse on someone, and I was confused as heck.
10. Toenail-less Wonder
I once heard that I didn't have toenails, apparently cause I never took my shoes off
9. Not That Desperate
I came out of the closet as bi while relatively young, so a lot of students passed around the rumor that I wasn't ACTUALLY bi, but that I was so desperate to have sex that I resorted to having sex with other men.
8. No Smoking
A rumor went around that I was going around the school tearing down posters for the anti-smoking club. I was pretty well known for being a cigarette smoker at the time (I actually quit a couple years ago). The office got word that I was doing this and started angrily demanding my presence in the office for it.
Here's the best part: I wasn't even at school that day. Somebody misidentified the culprit, and the office didn't even bother to check with the attendance office that I had been called out sick for Mono for the past week. I thought the whole thing was hilarious.
7. Dating Rumors
One of my best friends informed me that there was a rumor I was gay with my other best friend. In retrospect, I don't know that such a rumor actually existed, and I suspect the person who told it to me was jealous of my relationship with the other guy.
In any case, it probably had the opposite effect of what was intended—I thought it was hilarious, and felt a flush of pride that I did anything worthy of rumor. A few years later, there would also be a rumor that I was dating one of the hottest, coolest girls in my school. I also did nothing to dispel that one.
6. Mean Girls
That I watched Asian adult videos. It started because I happen to have a crush on two guys and they were both Asian and I did mention I thought they were attractive.
The called me AP (for Asian porn) instead of my real name. One girl started photoshopping my head onto Asians and bringing them to school. Another brought me in a box of takeout rice one day. The same one also made signs to put on my back about it and put pictures of Asians on my locker (usually sumo wrestlers and other things). Basically, the whole school was participating.
The lunch aids and teachers, for the most part, thought that it was funny (a few teachers saw how ridiculous it was)... I ended up playing along because it would have been worse to let them know how much it was bothering me.
One of the same girls also accused me of being a lesbian and went around telling the whole school I was a gross lesbian because I zoned out in study hall one day and apparently "looked at her breasts" (definitely was not looking at her dumb A cups). I am actually bisexual but at the time I was still figuring myself out and it hurt and sucked and kinda made it harder to come out later.
The other girl also put gum in my hair and when I freaked out and yelled "what the ****!!" I was the one who got in trouble.... she literally got nothing done to her.
High school sucked, especially when your graduating class sizes are ~75 so everyone knows everything and no one forgets.
5. Dead Classmate Walking
I went to treatment in ninth grade from March to May. When I came back, people looked at me like they saw a ghost. Found out that there was a rumor that I killed myself. Needless to say, people were surprised.
Edit: I wasn't trying to be vague on the treatment part but those wondering, I was in treatment for depression, eating disorder and self-harm. Within those two months, I was two times inpatient, two times outpatient.
4. Safe Driving
That I wore bicycle helmets when I drove my car.
3. Elementary Rumors
Not high school—elementary school. A rumor was going around that I had been having sex with my date for the fifth-grade dance in our school pool.
We were ten years old.
Our school didn't have a pool.
2. Lollipop Vandal
There's a few but I'll stick with one for now.
There was a story going around of "The Lollipop Vandal" where, due to a school program/holiday event the teachers were handing out lollipops (the awesome sour blow pops) to their students. This mysterious criminal flew into a blind rage when he didn't receive his lollipop and kicked in a glass window up at the base of the theater building. He then fled the scene and is still at large. It was all over the school bulletin.
In reality: I was sarcastically complaining and pretending to throw a mini tantrum, leaned back into the window with my foot out to lean against it, and it shattered. To be fair it was thick glass and I was a big boy, and it sounded like a gunshot right when everyone was getting out for lunch. I had a friend escort me away from the scene and then ran away until I realized I had glass in my foot and turned myself in to avoid further injury by walking home.
1. Secret Agent Dad
Somehow the rumor that my dad was a government-hired assassin started to spread around the school because I didn't know exactly what my dad did when my friends asked me and it didn't help that he was always out of town on work trips. It started out as a joke between my friends but by the time I graduated my younger sister was getting questions from people I had never talked to in my life.