There are some things in life that the rewards are simply worth the risks. Kids are willing to stand up to bullies, sneak candy, and sneak dates no matter what the cost. What is being grounded compared to finally getting your bully to leave you alone? Over on Reddit, people shared the times they got in trouble, but the rewards were worth the punishment. Here are 30 stories where the punishment was totally worth it.
1. Eat It
I had a teacher in middle school who tried to write me up and force me to come to Saturday school for talking during an exam. I hadn’t been the person talking, and the person who had been talking had already fessed up. I asked him, why I do I have to spend a Saturday in detention when someone else had already admitted to it?
He told me, “Do not question your elders and eat the consequences you were fed by them.” So, I crumbled up the slip and ate it in front of him.
2. Must Be This Tall to Order
In high school I was still pretty short, so restaurant staff would often ask me if I wanted the children’s menu, which annoyed me. So one time my mom, myself, and my sister were eating somewhere, and they asked if I wanted the kid’s menu. Fed up, I said, “No, I’m sure that the kid’s menu tastes better than the items on it.”
This became an inside joke between me and my sister after that. My mom yelled at me for being rude, but it was worth it.
3. Romance Has No Curfew
My mom was always very strict about my curfew. When a girl from work asked me out for ice cream after the late shift I couldn’t refuse. I called my mom, told her I was going on a date, and I would be home later. She wasn’t very happy but I went anyway. That date was the start of one of my best relationships.
4. Revenge Served Family Style
At my 11th birthday party, my stepsister’s son (who was also 11) hit me in the back if the head with a croquet ball. On purpose. Once I stopped crying, I punched him in the face hard enough to bloody his nose. My mom spanked me for it. No regrets. He was a mean little jerk who was always doing stuff then blaming it on me.
After I fought back, he pretty much left me alone. And no, he didn’t get in trouble for hitting me with the ball.
5. Keep Your Teeth to Yourself
At my last family reunion, the parents were inside doing adult things. Me and the other kids ages 5–10 were outside taking turns pulling the red wagon back and forward. This was before cable TV and there were no cartoons on. Well, my cousin kept the wagon to himself and would not let anyone else pull it so, I confronted him to get him to let the younger kids take a turn as one was getting ready to start crying.
That jerk shoved me to the ground and latched onto my left shoulder with his teeth. I ended up elbowing the back of his head so that one of his teeth fell out and was stuck in my shoulder. He goes crying to his parents, and I went to my parents since my shoulder was freaking killing me. As you expected, his parents went bananas on my parents, and that was the last time we ever went to a family reunion.
6. Payback’s a Mother Trucker
I was about 12 years old, I was at a birthday party for a classmate. We were playing this game where you tie a balloon around each ankle and run around trying to stomp out other people’s balloons. I got this one kid good, double stomp, he’s out. I yelled, “gotcha!” He grabbed my hand in anger, twisted, and broke my pinky finger.
I yelled “YOU JERK!” and hit him in the face with all the force I had. He dropped like a sack of potatoes. He cried. I got in trouble by the host’s parents. Worth it because I had to spend the first part of my summer break in a hand cast. The kid who broke my finger actually grew up to be a good guy. No ill feelings. Just a kid fight, ya know?
7. Take a Stand
I remember this time when these kids threw rocks at my friend. A couple of them hit his face and I went nuts. I had a cricket bat with me. They stole the ball earlier that day, and I’m not a cricket fan. These jerks would hoard the soccer pitch for themselves, and as I didn’t want to get involved into anything stupid, I would just stand back and find something else to do, which was cricket in this case.
Anyways, I smacked one of them with the cricket bat right above the hip. I didn’t hear anything then, but apparently it broke, or something broke. This dude tried to run away, so I obviously tried to run after him. I don’t know how to describe this, but you could say I caught him, and when I did I grabbed his hands, placed all of my fingers between his, and twisted, as hard as I could. I hope that made sense.
He went home crying, I had a bruise on my face, I don’t know where it came from, but my dad was very upset with me.
8. Let the Crime Fit the Punishment
One time, my younger brother told our mom I hit him. Just walked into my room and started screaming about me hitting him. I hadn’t even looked at him. So of course, mom comes in, won’t hear me AT ALL, and immediately grounds me. My younger brother has this snotty grin on his face. And I thought, “Screw it…I’m already getting punished for hitting him.”
So mom’s like, “You’re grounded for hitting your brother.” I turned to him, and punched him as hard as I could in his sternum. He freaking DROPPED. Then I go, “Alright. I’m grounded.” And walk away. Oddly enough, mom didn’t say anything at that point. I like to think she realized what was up. Bonus: My brother never pulled that stuff again.
9. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
I let a friend do four loads of laundry in our basement while my parents weren’t home because her family’s washer and drier broke and they had five kids, and no clean clothes. I didn’t want my best friend to have to go to school in dirty clothes when I could help her. My family was not poor by any means, and we do laundry constantly, so I didn’t think there would be any problem with it.
We had already finished, and were just folding the last load of clothes, and putting them into her hamper bag when my parents got home. They waited until she left to yell at me and then “grounded” me, taking the door off of my room and removing all the “fun” stuff from my room (books, art supplies, etc.), and wasn’t allowed to go anywhere but school for three months.
I decided that they were being selfish jerks, and continued to help my friend do laundry, we just made sure to limit it to two loads and made sure she was gone before they were home.
10. Leave Nothing but Footprints
My parents were gone for two weeks when I was 16, and I had a series of parties making a huge mess. Somehow got everything cleaned up down to the last bottle cap even though they surprised me and came home early. A few days later, my dad came up to me and asked whose name was written in the dust on a mirror in the basement.
Got super busted, but hey, 10 years later I’m still dating the girl that needed to write her name everywhere she went!
11. No Smoking
My mom used to date this guy who snored so loud it shook the house. He also smoked Marlboros like a chimney. One day while he was snoring away taking a nap on a Saturday afternoon, my mischievous older brother decides to steal his pack of cigarettes, take out the tobacco, and fill it back up but this time with a firecracker fuse inside of it.
We didn’t put a firecracker or any gun powder in his cigarette, just the fuse. He wakes up from his nap and of course, we’re staring at him for some odd reason. He reaches for cigarettes and takes one out. We didn’t know if he had the altered cigarette. He lights it and takes a couple of puffs and while it’s in his mouth the fuse goes off.
He freaks out thinking it’s going to explode in his face. I kind of remember this memory and slow motion where he fumbled the cigarette into the air flicking and grabbing at it while freaking out and grunting. He was pretty angry thinking we put a firecracker in it. And once he found out it was only a fuse… well, he was still pretty angry.
12. Good Samaritan
I flew to Washington DC with some friends to see a concert. I told my parents I was at my friends for the weekend. I went to great lengths to hide the trip from my parents too. I switched my debit card to paperless—my dad was a snoop. The flight was really early in the morning, so for a week ahead of time I went to school early every day and told my parents that I had a study group before class, so it wouldn’t seem odd that I was leaving so early that one day.
I hid my car in a college parking lot. I almost got away with it too, but I left my phone at the concert venue and someone was “nice enough” to look into it and dial the home number and let my parents know they found my phone in DC. This was back in the day when it was basically a flip phone so I would have preferred he stole it.
I had talked to my parents a few times during that weekend. They were very protective, so I always “checked in” They were able to get ahold of me right away because I was with the same friend who they thought I was at her house. She answered the phone and acted like I had just left her house, we were at the DC airport on the way home.
My dad replied, “I know you’re in DC, give my daughter the phone.” I saw the immediate fear in my friend’s face. I was the one who was scared. I got grounded for about three months, no phone, no computer, no TV. Something good did come out of this though, they started loosening up. They saw that I could take care of myself and started to let me travel/road trip with my friends as long as I told them first.
13. Pulling Her Wig-Tales
When I was a kid in the late 70s, maybe early 80s, I saw an opportunity to get back at my sister, who wasn’t always kind to me. My mother had an old wig from the 60s. I made it look like there was somebody in my sister’s bed by putting pillows under the blankets and letting a bit of wig poke out. I had to work fast because she was just in the other room, and I knew she’d be going to bed soon.
She really freaked out. I think she was genuinely scared. I don’t remember what my punishment was, but I know I got punished and I didn’t care. It felt so good to pull one over on my sister for once.
14. Not A Bad Punishment
I had a, fortunately short-lived, shoplifting phase when I was 8. I would often steal gum and candy from stores and got away with it for weeks. It came to an end when I got cocky and tried shoving a giant bag of gummies in my pocket. A man caught me, and he looked me with a concerned face, asking, “Are you really going to do that?”
He didn’t seem like he was going to snitch on me, but he didn’t need to. He scared me so much that I put it back and my mom caught me pulling it out of my pockets. She finally realized why I kept having candy when before she accused my grandma of buying me excessive candy in secret. I was not allowed to watch TV, play video games, nor go to any friend’s house for a month.
I learned to never steal again.
15. Squash the Littler Bug
When I was about 11 and full blown into Pokémon, I was buying the sticker collection and just dropping the wrappers on the way home from the shop. My Mum saw the litter one day and asked if it was me and I admitted it. She sent me out with a bin bag and some rubber gloves and told me to clean up all the litter I threw, and any other litter in between and not to come home until the bag was full, which I did.
My mum was usually a really easy going parent and let me get away with a lot of stuff that other kids got punished for (staying out late, staying up late, not being where I said I would be, foul language etc.), and this was by far the harshest punishment I ever received. I never littered (intentionally) after that, and it wasn’t through fear of being punished, but because it was something my Mum was passionate about, so that meant it must be important.
16. Caught Red Handed
A friend if mine lived next to Chuck Norris’s stunt double, and when I was young I would go over there and play Gameboy. One day, my Gameboy batteries were running low while my friend was inside his house. Being the little jerk I was, I went into the open garage and took two AA batteries from a Costco sized pack of batteries.
Out of nowhere a guy I had seen on TV who I was fairly sure was a Texas Ranger starts asking me if I lived there and if I had asked to take the batteries. I was intimidated and answered truthfully, he told me off and I put the batteries back. From the tears in my eyes, he figured that was all that was needed and told me he’d not tell my parents… until my mom arrived to pick me up.
17. If Momma Ain’t Happy …
I was at this summer camp for kids 5-12 or so. I was one of the oldest kids at the camp. One kid had a birthday party and brought a piñata. I grabbed a bunch of chocolate candy. Then I put some in my mouth to soften it and then spit it out in front of these kids. I convinced them I didn’t poop normally and this is how I pooped.
Kids got freaked out and they had to call my mom to pick me up. She was freaking livid. Another time at school during the winter I brought some fake blood from Halloween to school. We had these retiree recess monitors. I laid in the snow and put fake blood all around me. I had my friend go get the monitors and when he saw me, he fainted.
My mom was a teacher at the same school and was so mad.
18. Hit and Break-Up
An old friend of mine played a prank on his girlfriend, and she didn’t take it well. When he was about 17 years old, he learned to take a hit by a car by rolling with it over the hood and up over the roof. Could still get bruised or hurt if you messed it up, but usually, it just looked cool and makes a terrific “thumping” sound.
Anyway, one time he decides to show his then girlfriend this trick by doing this to her car as she came to pick him up at his house. As she rounded the corner, he came jogging out of the trees near the road like he didn’t see her and perfectly rolled right up and over her car. Being who he was, he had those little capsules with fake blood in them and crunched them when he landed and just lay there as she got out of the car panicking.
Clearly that relationship was short-lived.
19. Candy Scams
My brother and I were very smart kids. He still is, I’ve settled around average. We came up with a plan to get candy. So much candy. I think we were around 10 at this point. Our parents would habitually go grocery shopping, and they would take us with them. We were both quite well behaved, and polite, so it wasn’t a big deal to bring us along.
Dad usually beelines for the butcher section, while mom putters around the produce section. This was a weekly thing. Dad would pick up something, and hand it to one of us. “Go put this in the cart.” Can you see where this is going? My brother and I realize that Mom doesn’t question when we put things in on dad’s request.
Dad doesn’t question things on the conveyor belt, because mom must have okayed it. We got so much candy. Remember Baby Bottle Pops? We had, like, two packages of them. Gushers. Gummy bears. Chocolate bars. Caramels. Those dip sticks that you lick and stick in powder that changes the color of your tongue and has the consistency of chalk.
Oh God, it was glorious. We get in the car, giddy to go home. Mom grumpily says to dad, “I can’t believe you let them buy that much candy.” Dad replied, “Me? You let them get it!” There was a pregnant pause as they both turned around in their seats and looked at us. “Guys. Seriously?” So we didn’t get the candy. They didn’t return it, though.
We were grounded for a month, and everything we brought to the shopping cart was now scrutinized. But so worth it. Because about six months later we got to eat the candy. Now that we’re adults, my dad still thinks that was one of the most clever things we’ve ever done.
20. Support Our Sisters
My mom was drunk when my (eight-year-old) little sister told her that she wanted to do some acting in a school play. My sister was notoriously shy and my freaking mother sat there and told an eight-year-old that “I don’t think you can do it, you’re too nervous.” I lost my mind (I was 15), all I said was, “I can’t believe you just told your daughter you don’t believe in her!”
I got grounded and I’d do it again every day.
21. Caught Pink Handed
When I was young, I started taking a piece of gum from a store without paying for it. It wasn’t like a pack of gum, they were these small rectangles wrapped in silver paper with a Hello Kitty label. I’d only take one, and I’d put it in my pocket until we got home and I would chew it in my room while I played with my dolls or whatever.
I was very secretive about it. I probably did this four times or so without getting caught. Well, the next time we went to that store, I saw this adorable tiny pair of Hello Kitty scissors in a plastic pouch with a keyring. They weren’t much bigger than the gum pack, so I went for it. Put them in my pocket (along with gum, duh), and went about our day.
That night at bath time, I got in the tub, and a few minutes later my mom came in to get my clothes to wash them. I had already chewed the gum but left the scissor pack in my pocket. She found the scissors. She asked me where they came from. I burst into tears and told her I had taken them from the store. I probably got a spanking, but that wasn’t the thing that hurt most.
The next day, she drove me back to the store with money to pay for the scissors, and for the gums that I also confessed to stealing. She made me talk to the manager and tell her what I did, and that I had come to pay for everything I had taken. The manager was very kind, and accepted my money, we totaled it up, got a receipt and change, everything.
Then she handed me the scissor packet since I had paid for it. I cried because I felt so bad but also because she had been so nice. BUT—my mom took them away. She said that I did something wrong, and that while I was already punished, I didn’t actually pay for them, she did. So she took the scissors and put them in her jewelry box. Where they still are. 30 years later.
The punishment was worth it because: I stopped stealing. My mom still holds it over my head. Kind of a nice thing, when you think about it.
22. Do It for the Band
When I was in my teens, I was in a rock band with my best friend. Like so many bands, we went through various names before settling on our final one, which ended up being Lucky Strikes Again. Another friend of mine’s mom worked in the Chamber of Commerce in Pilsen and she was helping to organize this art and music festival.
He asked if we wanted to play at the festival and we agreed. We never really played many shows, it was mostly a band we had just to have fun on weekends, but this one was going to be the biggest show we ever played since there was likely to be a good amount of people at the festival. They asked us for a band picture and we didn’t want to do this lame picture of the three of us posing.
The name originally came from my love of Lucky Strike cigarettes and this drawing I did of the phrase painted on a wall that I wanted as a tattoo on my back. We decided to recreate that picture but do it on the side of a train car instead. My friend and I drove around the city looking for a clean train car to do it, but every time we found one it was being watched by security.
Finally, I was like, “Frig it, I got an idea, let’s go back to my house.” We got back and I went to the basement where we had a bucket of black paint left over from some project. I decided that we were going to paint it on the door of our garage and since we had time to do it right, we’d use paint and a paintbrush instead of spray paint like I had for the train.
As we’re heading back to the garage my mom was coming home with my cousin who was visiting from Mexico. She sees me and the can of paint and knows I’m about to do something stupid. I told her, “You can punish me later, just please let me do what I’m doing.” She didn’t really feel like dealing with whatever I was going to do, but she figured it probably wasn’t dangerous and left me alone.
Even though the show itself ended up being a mess for various reasons, it was totally worth it though because the picture came out awesome.
23. New Home Life
I was 13 years old, at the time my Dad was a drunk abusive jerk. Long story short, we are all at home one night, he’s mad at my mom, and he takes a swing at her, as per the norm. My sister who is 10 years old says something and he goes to smack her, I final snap and deck him. My mom calls the cops on me for hitting him, and I end up in youth services center.
My sister tells my grandparents what happened and I got to go live with them, that at the time was the best thing that could happen to me. My mom did leave my dad but that’s another story.
24. Baby Hacker
I was 10. I remember when my mom answered the phone, and I heard her telling someone that she didn’t think I’d “do something like that.” I got curious and snuck to different room to pick up another handset and quietly listen in on their conversation. “All I know is that the computers were working when she got here,” the lady explained.
“How do you know it was her,” asked my mother, “if you didn’t see her do anything?” “Well… it had to be her… none of the other girls even know how to use the computer.” Apparently, every computer in the library network had its hard drive formatted, and because this was in the days before the Cloud, they were pretty screwed.
My mother continued to maintain my innocence, and reluctantly, begrudgingly, the library lady backed down. I hung up then, and not long after, my mother came to stand in the doorway to my room. She glared at me for a long, long moment. Then she burst out laughing. “You’re so grounded.” And kept laughing as she walked away.
From what I hear, it took them six months to get their computers up and running again. I earned a lifetime ban from the library. To this day, my mother still laughs when she tells the story. She later told me that the library lady was a bit of a pain, we’ll call her Karen, and because I spent a lot of time at the library, my mother had to deal with Karen far too often.
Apparently, mother was thrilled that someone took Karen down a peg. I have never explicitly confessed to my parents, but I did disrupt the computer network. I didn’t know as much about computers as my Mom thought I did, but I knew more than enough to be dangerous. My mother just assumed her hyper-competent daughter was being a deviant genius.
She was proud of me in a way, so I didn’t know how to correct her: I didn’t mean to break their stuff.
25. Take Back the Halls
I was bullied a lot in middle school. I started lifting weights and boxing to protect myself. Once I had enough confidence, I stood up to every single one of my bullies (I had like five) by shoving them into walls or lockers, confronting and yelling at them in front of large groups of people, and just generally being a jerk to them.
I only really got in trouble once for an altercation, but these moments of me taking back my life were absolutely worth it.
26. Capture the Weapons
When I was a lot younger, there was a party at my house and a bunch of us kids were running around in the basement. The basement had divided into two factions because before the party I put every dangerous toy (nerf guns, a plastic meat cleaver that hurt when you got whacked with it) in one backpack. Half the basement was after the backpack, and the other half was trying to defend it.
We were at this for a solid hour and a half before somebody of the offensive team had made off with the backpack, so I threw my plastic shield at his face Captain America style. I got yelled at a lot because of that, but if that kid had gotten away with the backpack, many more kids would have been injured. Worth it.
27. Music Lessons
When I was in elementary school we had music once a week. For some strange reason, the teacher hated me, and I ONLY got to play the triangle while everyone else got drums and cool stuff. Well, my teacher’s hair was oddly the same every day so we had speculation that she had a wig. Well, one day, I got the triangle again and I let actions speak louder than words. I pulled her wig off to prove our assumptions.
My punishment was to spend the day as an in-school suspension in the teacher’s office. Joke’s on her, my principal loved me as I was president of hall council. He gave me cookies and helped me with my work. Looking back it was pretty mean, but I was a young kid.
28. Lie To My (Silly) Face
When I was young my mom would make this stupid silly face and put it like two inches from my own if she suspected I did something bad. Then she would tell me if I could tell her I didn’t do it without laughing (at this stupid face inches away) she would believe me. Being a little kid at the time, OF COURSE, I didn’t have the self-control to keep myself from laughing.
It didn’t matter if I was innocent or not, I would laugh at that dumb face and that was “proof” that I was guilty. So one time I had finally gotten old enough to show some self-control and was absolutely determined not to get in trouble for something I didn’t do. I took a deep breath, and calmly told her I didn’t do it.
HOW DARE YOU LIE TO MY FACE LIKE THAT! Got grounded much worse than if I hadn’t, but she never pulled that stuff again. 100% worth it.
29. Peace and Quiet
I was late to this one class every day in sixth grade because of the guy at the locker next to mine. He was always standing directly in front of mine so I couldn’t get to my locker. I ended up getting a lot of 30-minute detentions for being late. One day, I missed a detention I didn’t know I had (my mom had been told I was going to have detention but didn’t relay the message to me)
So, I had to have in school suspension (ISS). I got all of my work done for the whole day in about an hour or two, then spent the rest of the day reading with no one making any noise and disturbing me. Absolutely the BEST day of school I ever had (from middle school until the day I graduated).
30. Boys Night
I was in Belgium with the boy scouts and me and my two friends were in charge of collecting the firewood for that night while the others were on a hike. That’s when we came up with an ingenious plan. We went to three other camps and took all their firewood, paid someone to buy us beers, and sat by the biggest fire I’ve seen in my life. Wasn’t allowed to go to the water park the next day, but it was worth it.