Devastating Secrets

July 30, 2023 | Sammy Tran

Devastating Secrets

Ever had a secret that was so crazy it could ruin lives if the truth came out? From second families to confidential cover-ups, these people have anonymously shared their earth-shattering secrets on Reddit. Reading these stories will make you believe that sometimes it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie. 

1. No Regrets

I used to work in a call center for my country's tax agency dealing primarily with benefits. The government here gives regular payments to people under a certain income threshold which isn't that low and so a good chunk of the population here gets those payments. A frequent type of call we would get at the call center was asking about why they didn't get the couple hundred bucks the caller was expecting to receive as usual.

One day I answered a call from a lady who didn't get her expected payment. We would get all sorts of callers, and you get a pretty good sense of when people were being legitimate and when they were telling you a fake story to play on your emotions. This lady had my internal alarm bells ringing—she called in about the missing payment and was clearly trying to hide the fact that she was severely devastated about not receiving the payment. It turned out that it was her daughter's birthday the following day, and she was planning on using that money to get her birthday gift which she now had no means of buying.

I noticed when she called that she lived in the same city as me, maybe about a 10-minute drive away. The database we have access to is the government's central taxpayer database ... and it has a ton of info on every single taxpayer in the country. Access to any account and any bit of information on an account is highly monitored, and anything you access is strictly and demonstrably need-to-know access only. 

Even the slightest mistake will get you insta-fired, and depending on what was accessed your termination can be accompanied by charges. Needless to say, recording any bit of information and bringing it out of the office is a big no-no.

But something in me felt...different when she called. I really felt for her. It wasn't a catastrophic situation like the calls sometimes are, but there are also a lot of callers who are clearly trying to guilt you into getting something. And she was clearly beside herself and actively trying to minimize and hide just how devastated she was that she as a single mother wasn't going to be able to get her pre-teen daughter a birthday present. After looking into the situation there was nothing I could do to get her the missing payment.

And she lived barely 10 minutes from my place ... so I decided to say whatever, I'm doing a good deed today, and memorized her street address. After work that day I went to her house and knocked on the door. She answered, and I told her that I was walking down the street and saw a $100 bill on her lawn as I pulled it out of my pocket and asked if she had lost it. She burst into tears, and through happy crying she told me that I had no idea about the day she's had and how timely this was. She did not refuse the bill when I gave it to her, and then I gave her some cheesy line about how the universe is a mysterious place.

So I mean technically was this a gross misuse of our country's taxpayer database? Absolutely. Did I feel bad about it? Not in the least lol.


2.  That Escalated Quickly

I had a close friend who loved breaking into vending machines back in the mid eighties to take drinks and change.

He tried breaking into one at an all Jewish school (I'm going to leave the location out) and inadvertently caused the machine to catch fire. This was on a weekend and no one was around. It burnt down almost half the school and caused them to close the school for over a year and probably a lot of money.

The news ran this "hateful act" for weeks and let me tell you, we were sweating that it would get out we were there and he was responsible. Lucky for us, it's the mid 80s and there were no cameras like today.

It was all over the news and in the newspaper. They just assumed some anti-Semitic organization had targeted the school.

Nope, two dumb, poor kids in hand-me-down clothes and bikes trying to get a free Coke.

Boy in green zip sweatshirt and cap reaches for won prize.MediaRec , Shutterstock

3. The Wet Bandit

I flooded the hotel on a field trip for school as I'd turned on all the taps in the men's bathroom and didn't understand why they weren't working.

I'd found out later there was a 10-minute cutoff of water supply during that time but forgot to turn off the taps after turning them all. Coincidentally a few of the taps had plugs in them that I hadn't noticed at the time. This caused two floors to suffer a lot of water damage including the girls’ dorm which would cost a lot to fix. (I guess this is why public places moved to push taps rather than manual).

Only one person knew I'd entered that bathroom during the time period and he kept quiet as the teacher grilled everyone. I refused to say anything as I didn't want my family to get fined and also didn't want to be ridiculed so to this day 15 years later I've not told a soul. 

Photo of boy in the bathroom wearing medical mask.freepik , Freepik

4. It’s On Me

I have spent 20 years feeling guilty about this. The first month I had my license, I hit the side mirror off of someone's car while driving down a narrow street. Nobody was around to see it and I knew my parents would freak out and be even more strict than they already were so I panicked and kept driving.

One time when I was in a restaurant, I overheard a random couple talking about how someone had done the same to her car. I anonymously picked up their tab. It didn't really make up for my mistake but at least made me feel a tiny bit better about what I did when I was an idiot 16 year old.

Man smiling at waitress in restaurant while paying the bill.Viktoria Slowikowska , Pexels

5. Frosted Whats?

14 years ago, while IT was working on my work PC, the IT guy had to step away for a moment. I used those precious 5 minutes to exploit admin control. I went to the most-used company template used by 200+ people over 100,000 times a year and added a little easter-egg in tiny font. It said "Frosted Butts". I don't know why I did it. I just did.

I talked with a coworker who is still there about a year ago. Though I have long since quit, they have used that template millions of times in the last 14 years and it's still there.

Man seating on the desk by his PC making a thumbs up.freepik ,Freepik

6. All Play And No Work

I don't ever work. My job is horrible. We are looking for a senior angular dev to work on the worst app I've ever seen run. It's an awful job when you actually need to produce results but you can't even get the environment to run. 

On top of all this, the CEO made the app and is very proud of it so you can't point out how horrendous it is. I work from home but I spend less than an hour a day working. I have to assume everyone else does the same because my output is on par, lmao.

I'm getting a new job on Monday anyways.

Man is drinking coffee and working on his PC ,seating on the desk.Vlada Karpovich , Pexels

7. Evil Stepfather

I hate my father in law. I have absolutely no love for him. So does my wife (technically it’s her stepdad). Her mom can put it together that we all don't particularly like him. Everyone ignores him because he’s such a narcissist. No one knows why she puts up with him. He’s filthy rich so like maybe that’s why. But she has her own money too. 

He is leaving us (well my wife) a LOT of money, and our kids, in their will. I guess greed gets the best of us and we swallow our pride. But he’s the epitome of a tool. The only silver lining I have with putting up with him is that my boys are set up for success. I hate that he has this power over our family. But that’s life I guess.

Man in black suit jacket standing in front of a table with people having a meeting.Vlada Karpovich , Pexels

8. Knowledge Is Power

I have a spreadsheet that gives me a lot of power, and no one knows about it. It has the social security numbers and current salaries of every employee in the company, all the way up to the President. Someone in HR sent it to me by mistake.

Surprised woman is sitting with laptop and smiling.Andrea Piacquadio , Pexels

9. Write Or Wrong?

I learned how to write because I wanted to be an author. Anyways, I’ve made more writing personalized smut in a year than high ranking engineers do.

Man wearing grey shirt is working on laptop at office.fauxels , Pexels

10. The Old College Try

I have dropped out of college one year before getting the degree. If my dad and stepmom find out I might get kicked out in the streets again. Yes, I'm still unable to move out.

Young black man is slipping on books at school desk.Oladimeji Ajegbile , Pexels

11. Sad But True

I work with a lot of dementia patients, and I wish to dear god you could just end their suffering. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching their families desperately hold on to a person that is no longer there. 

They are just empty shells, they don’t recognize anyone or anything, they don’t remember getting hurt when they get hurt so they become distressed very easily. I hate it. I hate it so freaking much and wish that we could just put them out to pasture.

Man laying on the bed is talking with other person wearing yellow sweater.Kampus Production , Pexels

12. Spreading Weeds

This singular moment is the only time I've felt like my life was a movie. I tossed about 1,000 not-so-legal seeds off the beaten path in a nature preserve 15 years ago.

A person holding black seeds in hand in blurred background.Feyza Tuğba , Pexels

13. WonderBread

I hacked my university’s website and changed the welcome screen from a group photo comprised of students from various ethnicities and religions to a picture of a loaf of white bread.

The administration had embarked on a media campaign to make the school look more culturally diverse, which I thought was disingenuous at best, false advertising at worst since the student body was 96% white and Christian.

The administration was furious, especially when they figured out I locked them out from changing the code. The entire site had to be taken down and replaced. There was a full-on hunt for the criminals who humiliated the community. They never suspected me.

Man is looking at monitor and working on computers code.Lisa Fotios , Pexels

14. Shut Up And Drive

I never passed a driver's license test. When I went for my road test I failed it. I went to renew my learners permit, and upon exiting the DMV I looked at it and saw that instead of them renewing my learners they gave me an actual license. I went to the car and told my Mom, and she told me to get in the car and we left quickly. That was 30 years ago.

Woman is taking a driver's license exam with driving instructor watching from outside.freepik, Freepik

15. Thelma And Louise

I “borrowed” a car with a friend when we were 13. We went on a ride for 300 miles. Then we abandoned it and hitchhiked back. No one ever knew. We had a great time–this was in the 70’s.

Close up photo of woman driving an old car.Ksenia Kartasheva , Pexels

16. Joyriding

When I was in high school, 14 or 15 years old, there was a little rover metro we used to “borrow” late at night. We were in a small rural town in the UK with officers about—but that didn't stop us from getting up to no good.

It would be left open with the keys in. We'd take it after 11 pm at night, drive around all night with smoke flowing out of the windows and go on little adventures, fill it back up with fuel, and park it back up before sunrise.

Other people found out about the little car and another friend started taking it and blew the clutch up and messed up the gearbox and then abandoned it about 10 miles away. I still feel sad that great little motor got trashed, and for the old person who owned it.

Photo of Beige car parked on the road by the woods.Phearak Chamrien , Pexels

17. Extreme Couponer

I worked at a big name crafting/fabric store for a while in college. It was kind of fun: I've always been referred to as an "old soul," so I got along really well with all the old ladies that went there. I'd ask them about their projects and what they were working on. It was really nice, and they seemed super excited to share their stories with someone who cared!

Now, this big fabric store chain does the thing where they overprice their wares, but then they "go on sale" for a more reasonable price. Well, the sale price is what the items should be priced as because that's usually closer to what they're worth. 

They just use the "sale" thing to make you feel better about spending exorbitant amounts of money. There are sales all the time, and there are coupons on their app, but there are all sorts of weird loopholes and stuff that makes those coupons meaningless.

I worked as a cashier, and you might already see where this is going. The coupons all had the same barcodes and could be used more than once. So, when an old lady would come up to the register and be spending over $100 just for some silly little crafting supplies, I'd be like "Oh look! I just found this coupon! How convenient"! 

And I'd give them the "discounted" price. I would also apply those discounts to most of the other things -- the 40% off one item doesn't work on anything on sale... But the whole store is on sale. So these people would be excited to use their coupon, and it wouldn't end up actually working because the thing they wanted was "on sale". So I uh...just bypassed that and entered the product key manually to change the price.

I saved people hundreds of dollars over the time I worked there (it was over the summer and into the fall, so like 4-5 months?). Was it unlawful? Possibly. Was it sketchy and could've gotten me fired if anyone found out? Absolutely.

But the customers were always so grateful and happy, and they were going to make so many cool things!! I wanted to help their creativity grow, not be the reason it got squashed flat.

Also: they had us sweep up all those fake, silk flowers that would come off their wire stems and onto the floor, and we had to throw them away. They were still perfectly fine, they just couldn't be sold, I guess. So instead of throwing them away, I'd put them in my pocket and take them home to scrapbook with or make into cute hair pins... To heck with that wasteful nonsense.

Exited woman is working at cash desk in cozy store.Ketut Subiyanto , Pexels

18. This Smells Fishy

I met my best friend in the 7th grade (2006/2007). We would spend almost every afternoon together as we lived in joined neighborhoods. We would 50/50 our houses. His mom would make salmon almost every time I came over because at one time I said it was my favorite (I think I was too nervous the first time I had it (she made it for me).

 Now, this was a big deal for his family and they ALWAYS fought over the crispy salmon skin. From 2006-2017 I ate more salmon and crispy skin than I would ever want. I don’t like salmon and I HATE the crispy fishy tasting skin. It’s horrible. I can’t even smell it when my husband cooks it. I hate it. 

I still have to lie to my best friend and his angel mother when I see them and she makes me my “favorite” food and tell them how good it is while dying inside. I can never tell them how much I hate it and it’s been too long at this point.

To add to this, I now teach in the same town I grew up in. I had dinner with them after school in December 2022. My best friend’s mom has had a hard go of things between caring for her elderly father with dementia (she herself is in her late 60s) and caring full time for her 4 rambunctious grandkids. This woman went out of her way to make my “favorite” meal that I know takes her a while to make. No one can know.

Woman adding spices and herb to raw , Freepik

19. Close Enough

My father-in-law isn't really who he says he is. The truth is that he’s actually his brother—at least legally, he is.

His brother passed at a young age and his dad was too lazy to get another birth certificate. It was back in the day and they lived far away from the office where you apply for papers. So they just used his brother's documents.

Officially he’s named A, but we call him B.

Surprised young man is looking at side.Andrea Piacquadio , Pexels

20. You Win Some, You Lose Some

I made $4000 from $100 in a month from gambling in stocks. I proceeded to lose just about all of it shortly after.

If my family knew that I was trading at that time and that I lost $4k - I would never hear the end of it; especially since we’re deep in poverty and need just about every cent we have. I’m personally not too bothered by it anymore and I’ve chalked it up as a funny story and learning experience.

Woman is looking at cryptocurrency charts on her laptop.Anna Tarazevich , Pexels

21. Grand Theft Napkin

At a movie theater, I’ll often take dozens of napkins from the dispensary that I’ll hold on to, keeping them in my vehicle for “road napkins”.

I expect to be raided any day now.

Young man is holding paper napkin isolated on pink background.ViDI Studio , Shutterstock

22. Speedran Life

I have no actual desire to do most things. I work to just support my family and I just go along with whatever goals they have in life because I feel like I've done all mine. It's a secret because I know it would just cause arguments.

I just have no real goals anymore in my life for myself, I'm tapped out, I did all the things that mattered in my life: I'm debt free,  have a six-figure job, live overseas, sell and own homes, have monthly vacations with my family, been around the world...

Like I said... I'm tapped out and I'm not even 40. I had very little goal starting from a trailer park in a small town, and by the time I was in my 20s I already exceeded my life goals. I've just been adding to them, but now I'm out of ideas, wants, and needs.

Young businessman is walking downstairs on street.Hamid Tajik , Pexels

23. Friday I’m In Love

For most people this would be a dream, but for me, it haunts my conscience. My boss doesn’t care about my work and never watches me. I know this because after 30 mins of working every Friday, I go home while clocked in and clock out when my shifts are over.

Young elegant woman is smiling with feet on table in the office.Andrea Piacquadio , Pexels

24. Give It 20% 

I only really work one day out of a five day week. If there are deadlines, I work more. I look busy and do enough to not get fired. Everyone thinks I am constantly overworked and behind schedule. I'm not.

I don't volunteer for extra work or step up when they need an extra pair of hands. Why? Because I don't get a raise, a title bump, a thank you, or any form of recognition.

I no longer put forward my ideas (and I have really good ones). Any passion or enthusiasm I had was just ended by the narcissistic, demeaning, delusional boss who I have the misfortune of working for.

Man is looking at papers at his desk while speaking on cell phone.Tima Miroshnichenko , Pexels

25. Saved By The Belly

I cheated during the German version of a high school diploma.

If I had told anyone important up to two years after passing, I would have had the diploma taken away, i.e my university would have kicked me out.

I had written as many points on my belly with a sharpie that I could think of beforehand.

As we were allowed one short toilet break, I used it to check the things I couldn't answer.

I passed with flying colors.

A young man sitting inside the classroom and taking an exam.Andy Barbour , Pexels

26. He Didn’t Start The Fire

This happened to me when I was in fourth grade, back then we had a special needs kid in our class. He would often have sudden outbursts and overall was quite the hassle. Anyone, one day we had to get matches from our homes for a science experiment, and me being the chaotic kid I decided to try lighting a match in the classroom, which caused quite a stir. 

And when the class was interrogated about what happened and who did it, I shifted the blame to the autistic kid, and due to his previous records and tendencies, they didn’t doubt me in the slightest. The autistic kid got a temporary suspension, while I got away scot-free. 

I made it through the whole year without anyone suspecting a thing, and the next year I moved schools, so the chances of them finding the true perpetrator is impossible.

Am I proud of it, no. I exploited a person’s disability for my benefits, and I feel like a terrible person for doing it. As a kid I didn’t think much of it, I just thought I got away with it and that's all, but now that I am more grown and mature, I realize the absolute gravity of the situation. I could’ve gotten this poor kid expelled for something he had zero involvement in.

Hands igniting match on a black background.freepik , Freepik

27. Road Ragers

I was involved in a road rage incident that caused an accident, and I fled the scene.

I was at a red light waiting to turn left when a motorcycle pulled up to the car in front of me and they started talking through the window. I honked as the light had been green and I waited at least 30 seconds but I didn’t wanna miss the light because I was on my way to one of my college classes. 

The car drove off but the man on the motorcycle began spitting on my car and yelling at me. I honked and flipped him off, and he turned left and I quickly followed. He then proceeded to cut me off, screaming at me, and brake-checking me. I refused to let him get away with it—so as soon as traffic let me I did the same to him, and when I cut him off he must have hit the curb and crashed. 

I didn’t make any contact with him, but I did cause him to crash and I just sped off. I saw a fire truck pull over to help the guy… I do feel pretty guilty about that. Since then I don’t engage with people on the road anymore, it’s not worth it.

Person riding a motorcycle and waiting on the traffic light.Emir Anık , Pexels

28. Finders Keepers

A customer came in a couple of days ago and paid with a gift card. The register had trouble with the CVV code on the back and froze for a couple of seconds. Before I had the time to fix the issue, the customer had taken their groceries and left.

 Now I'm sitting there and thinking she must have scammed me with a gift card without any balance. I put the gift card back in the register and thought nothing of it. At the end of the shift I let curiosity take the best of me, and I took it home. When I got home I checked the balance, and there was 550 dollars on it. 

I have decided to use it all to pay for food and necessities for the rest of the month. I should point out that I am a struggling student, working two jobs on the side. Not that it makes it any more ethical.

Young woman making shopping online.Nataliya Vaitkevich , Pexels

29. Card Sharks

In 2006, here in Canada, there was a huge oil drilling boom in Alberta. Lots of young guys my age went out to Alberta to make $10k/mo+ doing manual labor jobs.

Several of my friends went. I stayed home because I was making a living playing poker at the time. One of my friends was injured on the job out there and invited me out there to play poker with him. There were tons of poker games going on everywhere, lots of young guys with tons of cash.

We spent the entire winter cheating at poker. We had a dozen tricks. Most of it centered around the idea of loading the bottom of the deck and base-dealing each other’s cards (mechanics grip). We had some good communication tricks, and we did it very well. We could make a couple grand per night.

We never got caught. It was a crummy living. We slept in a van or hotels for the winter and ate gas station food for a while.

Person wearing blue shirt and jeans is shuffling cards on a white table (close up photo).PrathSnap , Pexels

30. Who’s The Boss Now?

I came into work one day and a female coworker had been using my computer to Facebook chat. She had gone home and accidentally left her Facebook up. So, seeing how it was my office and my computer, I read through some of the IMs. She had been sleeping with her boss for months and the conversations were VERY intimate. 

Oh yeah, my boss is married. In one conversation he laughs about how the female employee left "five minutes before my wife came home". Now, the boss and I are even as far as rank goes, but we rarely get along and haven't for years. I've always thought he was a loser and this confirmed it. 

This took place about three years ago. We've had several head-to-head arguments since then and I've always known I could ruin his life if I wanted to, but I've always taken the higher road. He has no idea I have that full conversation still on my computer.

Young man is working in office on his desktop computer.Jonathan Borba , Pexels

31. Facebook Family

I found out my father isn't my biological father.

My real father passed a few years back and I never got to meet him while he was alive. Apparently, my mother was in love with him and once my parents split for a brief period in the early '80s I was conceived. Once I was born, my mother left him and continued with my father. 

The twisted part? Nobody knows I know, and I found his kids and family on Facebook (I haven't spoken of this to them or sent a friend request). Occasionally when I'm feeling down I go view their profiles and see how their lives are going. So I have two younger half-siblings I've never met. I doubt they know I exist.

I'm scared of telling my folks I know in fear of reigniting fires that have burned out or hurt our relationship deeply.

Young woman is working on her laptop at office.Andrea Piacquadio , Pexels

32. Swipe Right?

A little while back I downloaded Tinder to try it out. The tenth woman who came up was a friend's wife.

Bearded man is looking up surprised.Mikhail Nilov , Pexels

33. Forbidden Love

One of my good friends' wives is in love with me. They have been married and have three kids, and she has told me that she is willing to leave all of that to be with me. If that info got out, I know at least four people whose lives would be turned upside down. Doesn't make it better that I'm a chick and am 15 years younger than she is.

Young woman is feeling stressed.Mizuno K , Pexels

34. Not The Sharpest…

I teach high school.

A solid C student who is a good kid with not quite enough sense comes up to me after class. "Mr. Deradius, I was fishing this morning and forgot I had this in my pocket. I wanted to do the right thing".

My eyebrows instantly raised—he proceeded to hand me a pocket cutter, 

The district has a zero-tolerance policy. It's unclear what will happen to this kid (depends on whether it has happened before), but it will be some pretty bad mojo.

The last thing I want is for this kid to learn first-hand at this point in his life that doing the right thing will get you fed into the wheels of a terrible bureaucracy where you will then be ground into dust. I knew I had to find a way around this.

So I told him about the policy and what would happen to him if I weren't me. Then I put the cutter in my pocket (wondering to myself if I'll get fired if I'm caught with it) and give it back to him at the end of the day, with a statement along the lines of: "I never saw this, you're going to go straight home and never bring this back to school, and we're never going to speak of this again".

Very, very rarely do I break or bend any rules or laws. I drive five miles under the speed limit. I felt guilty even doing this. But in this case, I could not in good conscience turn this kid in for doing what he was supposed to do.

A teacher is talking to his student in school hallway.RDNE Stock project , Pexels

35. I Got You, Bro

Me and my identical twin brother are both juniors at our uni, he's a outgoing, social frat who's always the life of the party and drowning in poon. I, on the other hand, find solace in the quieter things, a small, close group of friends, picnics at the park, low-key get-togethers at my girlfriend's house, nothing large, unlike my bro.

Well, one night my bro had too much to drink and just started to go a-wall. He got into some fights, threw a TV through the window in his frat house…

And got caught on camera sucking face with a guy.

First off lemme say that I don't have anything wrong with gay people, they're no different than heterosexuals. Me and my brother were both raised this way by our parents and he shares the same view. However, his socialite status would shatter if he was discovered to be the dreaded, earth-shattering, dog-kicking, male-into-males that all of his "in-crowd" friends blindly hated. 

So I did what any loving brother would do, I told everyone that it was me, not him. My friends and girlfriend knew the truth, and didn't care honestly, however, my brother was amazed I would do something like that. Seeing his face light up like that made all the jokes and ridicule worth it!

Twins-From the womb to the tomb!

Twin brothers wearing black hoodies and glasses are standing next to each other.cottonbro studio , Pexels

36. Like Father, Like Son?

When I was a senior in high school, I started dating a guy a year younger than me. Right before we split he confessed that his dad and my mother had an affair. 

I didn't believe it until I confronted her one day and she admitted it. She begged me not to tell my father. 14 years later I still haven't, but I was spoiled and used it as blackmail every chance I got.

Woman in a striped shirt crying on the pillow and looking at side.Karolina Grabowska , Pexels

37. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

I know for a fact my mother cheated on my father, and who she did it with. However, I know that life is complicated and people don't live in a black-and-white world. Furthermore, I was young and don't know the full context of their relationship. As a child, I was angry, but as I've gotten older I've seen that life is about choices. Sometimes people make bad ones. It doesn't always make them a bad person (I'm not excusing the behavior). It just makes them a person.

My parents are long since divorced for other reasons, but here's the plot twist—my dad is still madly in love with my mom. It would crush him and my younger sister if he ever found out. I'd rather my father continue to reminisce on the good times he and my mother had rather than tarnish everything because 'I need to tell someone'.

Young man wearing gray crew neck shirt is seating on the floor and thinking.Mike Greer , Pexels

38. Bed Of Lies

My friend's husband is under the impression that he is the first person she’s been with. She cheated on him a couple of months into their relationship. Now they're married, he has no idea and is one of the nicest people ever which makes it worse.

A black couple is sitting on a couch and holding hands.Ron Lach , Pexels

39. Would-Be Whistleblower

I used to work in a chain hotel in the burbs of a Midwestern city while I was in high school. It was a pretty easy job, but there happened to be a government-owned ammunition plant down the road that was going through a privatization process. The company that was buying the plant had a lot of their execs stay at our hotel during the process.

Well, one day a guy in a suit comes down late in the evening and asks me if I can fax some documents for him (late 90's alert! Fax machines in use). I ask him if he wants to wait for the confirmation and he says no thanks and just leaves.

Well, I go back to the office and start loading the documents into the fax machine and start browsing through and…holy cow. All the pages I'm sending are reviewing all the malfeasance, gross negligence, and environmental disasters that had been covered up at this manufacturing plant. Crazy stuff was going on like just dumping chemicals into the watershed that fed into the nearby town, chemical "storage" ponds whose dams would break, and on and on and on.

I could have totally screwed up a lot of people's days by making a copy of that and dropping it off at the local newspaper, but I was a coward and just dropped it in the trash bin and went on with my day.

Young businessman is receiving fax in office.Dragon Images , Shutterstock

40. Meet The Parents

I was the other guy in an affair. That's bad enough, but I also crossed the line to the point of no return—I ended up getting her pregnant. She gave birth to her in December. The husband still does not know. I regret my stupid decisions and now have to live with my mistakes and the weight that it brings.

I 'made a name for myself' so to say with the mothers of old classmates. I was a booty call for 6 mothers whose children I graduated high school with.

Man lying on gray couch ,thinking and looking sad.cottonbro studio , Pexels

41. Still In The Closet

I have had affairs with three active and two retired NFL players. I'm a guy. I met the first one through a response to a Craigslist ad and he introduced me to the others.

Three of them are married or engaged to women. Announcing what I've done would ruin several lives, maybe even careers.

Frustrated young man touching his head and keeping eyes closed.Photoroyalty , Shutterstock

42. Truth Hertz

I work at a business where the owners have been breaking the law for several years. Let's say it's a car rental, though it isn't. The law says the business is only allowed to lease cars to persons that will use the cars for extended periods, let's say month to month. These leases are also much cheaper than say, a daily rental–$15 monthly vs $13 a day. So the amount of money the business can make is capped.

They've been breaking this rule for I don't know how long, a long time. Leasing the cars for $13 a day sometimes even more when there are a lot of people in town for events, and they need to rent cars.

They make a considerable amount of money. God knows what kind of taxes they've been avoiding from underwriting their profits.

They've been investigated a few times but can provide very primitive fraudulent documents that say they only lease for extended periods.

If I were to turn over the computer files that say otherwise, they would owe a certain city a fortune and have to close their business. I've considered turning them into the authorities or blackmailing them. Why? They don't pay me well. They pay me peanuts.

I probably won't do either though, as I'm almost certain they'd hire some nefarious fellows to harm me and people I care about.

A woman is talking with a man wearing black suit in car dealership.Antoni Shkraba , Pexels

43. Everyone’s Guilty

At the end of eighth grade we all had a giant, I mean a giant project of writing all these papers, including immaculate bibliographies, and putting them in a binder. It was infamous. Even in sixth grade, we all heard horror stories. We technically had all year to do the project, but being eighth-graders we waited till the last possible moment.

Many pulled multiple all-nighters in a row. Kids from the high school who had already completed the project sold their papers and bibliography lists. It was pretty brutal for that level of schooling.

I showed up for school one day and the girl whose locker was next to mine was not present. She was cute and often hit on me so naturally I asked where she was. 

She had been expelled. It was a private school with a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism, and the teacher discovered one of her papers had been copied directly from Wikipedia. She was instead-gone, and it was kind of a big deal because her father was a big guy in the city government.

The real tragedy here... all of us plagiarized. All of us. We just changed words and sentences around so that they wouldn't match the Wikipedia articles. She was doing the same thing but forgot to alter that one paper.

Young student is taking notes while using laptop.Liza Summer , Pexels

44. Gave Away The Glory

A girl in my high school took a bunch of advanced placement courses early and pulled far ahead of the class. The yearbook took her photo early senior year to put her in the yearbook as valedictorian.

I took my advanced placement classes later and so near the end of the year, I was informed that I was the valedictorian. They asked me to come in and have my photo taken to replace hers in the yearbook. I would also be replacing her speech at the grad ceremonies. This would have been great news, if not for only one problem—she had been a friend of mine for 13 years: she was in my kindergarten class. No one even knew she was valedictorian, she was so quiet and introverted.

I refused. I refused to take my photo and I refused to give the speech. I wanted HER to have some glory, for once in her life.

They kept her photo but relabeled her as "top senior". And she gave a really good speech. I was happy with the knowledge that I was on top and was happy that she got to shine for one single day in her life.

Young woman in a graduation gown is giving a speech.Amos Getanda , Pexels

45. Toupee Secret

Back in the early days of the Internet, I was one of the founders of a company that specialized in creating websites specifically for recording artists. A VERY well-known artist, who wasn't that big of a celebrity in 2000, but still sold out shows, gave me his personal, digital camera to get pictures for his site. This artist was popular enough in 2000 to sell out arenas but got famous enough to sell out stadiums a few years later.

On the camera, there were SEVERAL intimate photographs—not just of him, but of his band and other well-known artists.

The worst (for him) had him and a member of his band in bed, cuddling. You could only see it was the camera's owner via a reflection in a mirror—but it was him and his blonde bandmate. There were other pics of him giving the same band member shoulder massages and photos of them close. Plus, there were a few pictures of him without his toupee. Not very attractive.

But, what would have destroyed him and his other VERY famous recording artist friends was the heavy substance use that was photographed backstage at some concerts and at some recording sessions. It's no surprise that when I met with him to talk about his site, he was sweating like a pig.

I copied all of his photos to a CD and kept them for a while. I showed them to a few friends when no one believed me after I told them the tale of the pics. Then, years later, I felt guilty and destroyed my copy of the CD. I left the company in late 2002 though. I hear they still have the pictures on their drives.

Young man is pointing to a photo camera.azerbaijan_stockers , Freepik

46. Happy Families

When I was a sous chef, we had an open line with seating on the other side. There was this stereotypical rich executive type who would always come in and sit there, and he always had a different woman with him. 

Then he started coming in with his wife and young son (5-7) but still kept coming in with random women too. His wife seemed like your stereotypical trophy wife, and they didn't have a lot of love left between them. The whole thing was almost comical, to see two people with so much money so unhappy with their lives.

The thing that bothered me was watching the sleazeball grooming the son to be another slimy human being. I always wanted to tell the kid what a piece of trash his father was, regardless of how financially successful he was.

Parents and son eating breakfast at restaurant ,looking happy and smiling.freepik , Freepik

47. Mum’s The Word

I donated my eggs to a friend years before I had my daughter and the result was a set of twins. My family doesn’t know because they won’t understand that these are not my kids/their grandkids/their niece/nephew. 

If they find out everything will explode and they will probably pester my friend, wanting contact. So I am waiting til my parents pass to tell my brother, since he can’t keep his mouth shut.

Young woman is talking with a female doctor in hospital.MART PRODUCTION , Pexels

48. None Of Your Business 

When I was ten, one of my school friends always told us that her dad was away on a long business trip, but one night on the local news I saw a piece about him. He was incarcerated for embezzlement and wasn't released until we were 20. 

My mom made sure I knew that I had to keep this quiet and not tell anyone at school or in our friend group, or else I could make this poor girl's life completely miserable.

It came out when we were in middle school anyway and it still made her life miserable, but at least I delayed it a few years.

Blue convertibles

Young girl is seating in school bench looking at side.Pixabay , Pexels

49. Don’t Ruin The Illusion

While setting up the email on my father-in-law's iPhone, a questionable text came in from a woman he works with. I clicked on the message and discovered a history of texts going back almost a year. They were secretly meeting up before and after work. My mother-in-law leaves very early for her nursing job, so this lady was coming by later in the morning to "drive him to work". 

My in-laws have been married for 34 years and are very religious. My wife and her siblings had a fairytale childhood, and telling anyone would tear the family apart. The ONLY reason I can keep this secret, is because I don't know if my wife would recover from finding out what a horrible person her dad is. I've thought about confronting him privately, but I don't know where to even begin.

Man looking at a smartphone with surprised face.Mikhail Nilov , Pexels

50. The Heart-Breaking Truth

My grandmother always told us her dad was a firefighter who had a heart attack at age 35 and passed and her mom had told her a whole story down to the exact street corner he had the heart attack on and I never thought about it, except it did seem a little strange that no one else in our family had any history of heart disease, much less an early demise from it. 

When she had terminal cancer, her last wish was to be buried next to him, but she didn't know where he was buried so I told her I would try and help. I did a bunch of research and found out that he actually didn't pass from a heart attack, but instead just left my great-grandma, moved to LA, remarried, and had a new family. He passed there some 30 years after my grandma thought he did.

I never told my grandma that her dad abandoned her- her last memories of him were good ones and she ended up in an orphanage after that so he did ruin her life.

I'm curious to meet his new family, but I don't think they'd be interested to know he never divorced my great-grandma, so his marriage to their mom was never actually valid.

Grandmother and niece seating beside each other, talking and smiling outside.Andrea Piacquadio , Pexels

Sources:  Reddit,

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.