There are thousands of interesting conversations happening every day behind closed doors, but some of those doors may not be as firmly closed as people would hope. These Redditors share their stories of when they heard something that was absolutely not meant for them, whether they wanted to hear it or not.
1. Lose The Man, Keep The Mess
When my first marriage ended, I had depression and struggled with motivation to do anything really. My house wasn't dirty, but it was untidy. I went away overnight for work and my parents were feeding my cats. I had a cat cam set up and I logged on while my parents were there and heard my dad saying, “I don't blame him for leaving her, look at the state of this place".
My husband was terrible and cheated on me constantly for our whole 10-year relationship, but it was me leaving a couple of shoeboxes around that tipped him over the edge…
2. A Dazzling Lack Of Logical Thinking
My aunt and her husband offered out of the blue to buy a house and sell it to my parents at a very low rate. My family was very excited and gracious for the help as we had been stuck in our very old and tiny house for a long time and unable to move due to the financial burden my parents had to endure because my brother and I had various medical issues.
In the following months, our grandmother paid for our family plus my aunt's to go on vacation and I was excited to take my boyfriend of five years with us. When we got there my aunt asked if I could watch her 8- and 9-year-old stepsons while she and her husband went out to see the area. Now normally it would have been fine.
But I watch kids at my job all day and it was a family vacation with lots of other adults to watch them, I said no because my boyfriend would have had to entertain himself or be roped into babysitting with me. She smiled and said, "Sure no problem." And I thought that was the end of it. I was so wrong. Several weeks after the vacation I overheard my mom on the phone.
She was talking to my grandma in a furious voice about how my aunt decided to not help us with the house because I decided to not watch HER stepchildren on vacation and that we should be more gracious to them because they were being so generous. Needless to say, we no longer speak to that aunt and my parents never blamed me for my choice.
3. Money Can’t Buy Happiness
I work nights right next to a bar. The conversation that's stuck with me the most was when someone's baby mama found them and started a one-sided shouting match outside the window. She said something along the lines of, "You've got a million dollars in your bank account and still can't take care of your kids." Saw her running and screaming at him as he got in his car and drove off.
4. Food Fight
I've overheard a lot of great stuff while riding the bus. One time I get on and there are only two other riders. They're in the back cussing at each other loudly. Both these dudes were big guys and dressed like total punks with the leather, spikes, and grungy jeans. Obviously, me being a wussy kid I'm not sitting anywhere near these two giants.
These guys seem like they're about to start swinging at each other. But a few moments in, I can start to hear what they're discussing. "Yeah! And then I put some homemade whipped cream on that thing! Mmmmmmm!" They were yelling about desserts!
5. There’s A Lot Going On
Senior year of high school, I popped into the bathroom during lunch. While in the stall, three girls come in talking loudly about who even cares what. Then one of them asks, "So how is pregnancy treating you?" A different girl answers with absolutely no change in her cheery attitude, "Oh, we lost the baby. We're gonna try again when he gets released from incarceration.
First girl at least sounds a little sad when she adds, "That sucks, but I totally get why you're doing this. If your mom won't let you be together..." Finish up my business and walk out of the stall to see two freshmen and a sophomore who should be a junior...
6. A Quick A Wit As Ever
I was in a thrift store a few days ago, and there were these two older men in there, talking very loudly. One picked something up and kind of yelped and the other guy goes, “You must’ve looked in a mirror". Old people roasting each other is some of the funniest stuff ever.
7. You’re Wrong If You Do, You’re Wrong If You Don’t
I speak French and when I was about 18, I was walking on the sidewalk near an outdoor pool. A bunch of teens about my age were walking on the sidewalk towards me, all in bikinis. Not wanting to be rude I passed them without checking them out or anything. Then as I passed and kept walking, I heard one say in French, “He didn’t even look at me!”
Then the others consoled her and confirmed that she was hot enough to be checked out. They went so far as to say that I was being a jerk and maybe I didn’t think her beauty should be acknowledged. I was just flabbergasted.
8. What Happens In Vegas… Makes Others Sad
One time when I was in Las Vegas, I woke up and overheard my dad begging my mom to let him buy a working girl. I could hear the pain and hurt in my mother’s voice. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.
9. A Multilingual City
I was eating in a restaurant in Amsterdam and was speaking English with the waiter. There were two women sitting next to my table speaking in German about basically everyone that came into the restaurant. I knew that the waiter spoke German so after about 30 mins of the German women's nonsense, I spoke in my best German to the waiter.
I told him that I found it wonderful that there are so many languages spoken in Holland and that everyone here is always so kind. These two women turned to look at me with the same beet-red faces. Priceless!
10. Was Jesus In Mean Girls?
A woman’s adult son was talking to his mom while walking around Target. His mom said something about not being a fan of Jesus (the biblical one). Her son said, “Why don’t you like him? Did he write something mean in your yearbook?” And I have never laughed so hard at a random one-liner in my entire life.
11. Good Thing She’s Got Harry
This lady sitting behind me was just tearing her dude apart while on the phone with a friend. The two lines I remember were, "He's fine, but he's got no ambition," and "I don't even let him touch me. I've got Harry for that. God, if he didn't make good money, I'd leave him."
12. That’s A Lot To Keep Hidden
I accidentally overheard my parents discussing whether to tell me and my four siblings that my dad had three children from a relationship he started at 16 over 40 years ago. My parents told us all together the next day. They only told us because the eldest of the three was sick and needed help.
13. We All Make Choices In Life, Some Are Better Than Others
When I was a teen, I overheard two women chatting at the supermarket. One told the other that she and her husband recently installed a surveillance camera in their 14-year-old daughter’s room and that the time would soon come where she would have to confess to her daughter. And do you want to know the worst part? She spoke about the confession like she didn’t do anything wrong and it was an inconvenience.
14. I Hope They Have Insurance
I was about 15 and waiting to be seen by my eye doctor. I think I got there early and was in the waiting room. There was no one else in there. However, I heard two doctors behind the wall talking about some patient and whether to offer a surgery. Essentially, they said the patient didn't need the surgery but they could make a decent sum of money, so they should encourage the patient to go through with it.
15. 3 Minute Wonder
The guy above my old apartment was a single dude. We barely spoke, but that's basically the one thing I knew about him. He'd occasionally have a new girl over, and I could hear him boinkin' whatever girl he brought over. I'm not trying to talk smack about the guy with this, but he and whatever chick would go at it maybe three minutes tops.
One night, he had a new girl over. I could hear mainly her, but after maybe thirty seconds—sudden silence, followed by this chick bursting into laughter. I heard her leave maybe five minutes afterward.
16. There Is A Right And A Wrong Way To Do Things
I wasn't exactly eavesdropping, because she knew I was there. Honestly, that makes it even more messed up: One night when I was about 11, I was doing my homework at the dinner table while my mother was on the phone with her best friend, and she just casually dropped the news that she was divorcing my dad. We had a cordless phone too.
It's not like she couldn't have left the room to have that conversation somewhere her fairly young, completely unsuspecting child wouldn't hear it?
17. You Get What You Pay For
I had just secured a place for my family to live with an old college friend and their family. My partner and I helped a lot around the house trying to make it sanitary and did the dishes on the regular. It became obvious we were just picking up after them at this point and they were not helping one bit. My friend mentioned to their mother-in-law that they felt bad.
She thought it was wrong that we were constantly picking up after them, to which she replied, "Well they are guests here, they should be pulling their weight, they're freeloaders if not." My friend agreed. Mind you, we were paying rent and allowing them to buy food off of our stamps since things were tight for everyone.
We stopped cleaning up after them, and told them we needed the money for our own food. The house was trashed in less than a week.
18. Maybe Walk Down The Street Next Time
My ex thought I was sleeping. She went out on the back patio which was under my master bedroom window that was open. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop, but overheard her talking to her friend about how they were both seducing an old man for money and pills.
19. Rules To Live By
At a 21st birthday party, a friend and I were having a smoke break. We heard two people leaving the party and talking in quite a distressed manner. One guy says to the other, “Mate, no matter how you’ve had to drink, never try and kiss your mate's mum". I don’t think I’ve ever laughed harder.
20. Not Something To Brag About
I was on a bus once and I heard two guys sitting on the seat next to me. I was dozing off, but just woke up to hear one of the most messed up things I have ever heard. So, this guy was just telling the other guy how his mother and his brother used his father's retirement money to build a house and kicked him out later mercilessly.
He was smiling the whole time. He even showed the other guy a video in which his father was being interviewed by a local news channel to request people donate some money. I don't know how bad his father was to them, but that seemed pretty cruel.
21. Best Laid Plans
My mom and I overheard her sister-in-law planning to get the mafia to take out her husband for insurance money when they were drinking in a bar. She sobered up immediately and went and told my dad about it. He got his brother to change his insurance after some convincing. The wife left him when he told her he got his insurance changed.
Apparently, she's had several families in her past that she'd left. They were going to run him off a cliff on his motorcycle ride home from work he took every night.
22. The Realities Of Farm Life
This story is told from my point of view, witnessing a stranger eavesdrop on my mom's phone conversation. We have a family farm with animals who do what animals do and make more animals. My mom and I were at a Kinko's when she received a call from our groundskeeper. Her end of the call definitely sounded a bit wild.
My mom said, "Hey, what's up? She finally had her baby? Great how's it look? …Didn't make it huh, are you sure? …That's too bad. Ok, I guess just put the body in a garbage bag and toss it in the dumpster." I'm watching this poor random customer listening in on the conversation. The growing horror on her face as the conversation went on was hilarious.
It culminated in her dropping her shopping items and hustling out of the store just as my mom hangs up the phone. I thought it was the funniest thing ever. Mom, not so much.
23. Not A Great Start To The Day
One day I'm in the office handing something in from my teacher. A school bus had never turned up to take these kids to school so they all had to get rides. I'm talking 25 kids chilling in the office getting marked late. Each kid that walks in is getting told off by these nasty rude receptionists about being irresponsible and not getting on their bus.
All the kids pretty much take the scolding. After they all leave, the receptionists laugh and say, "Oops, apparently there was no bus. Oh well it will keep them on their toes," and thought it was the funniest thing ever.
24. A Unique Turn Of Phrase
Sitting in our favorite Mexican restaurant when my friends and I hear a college-aged woman complaining to her cohorts about how awful her boyfriend was. He gave her a ring, but it's not a promise ring, nor an engagement ring! How dare he?! "It's emotional waterboarding! It's totally emotional waterboarding!" She kept going on and on.
But always came back to his actions being "emotional waterboarding! Emotional waterboarding!" It struck us as completely ridiculous and hilarious, and we've been overusing that particular phrasing ever since.
25. And They Never Spoke Again
I heard my sister hooking up at a party. I wasn’t eavesdropping on purpose, I heard it by accident. I was at a big high school house party and I was with my buddies. I walked away for a minute and on that walk, I heard noises coming from a bathroom, I listened for a second because I didn’t know what noises they were.
But I then realized they were moaning and...other stuff. I quickly walked back to my friends and said nothing until I looked over and saw my sister leaving that bathroom. I never told anyone I know and will take it to my grave. One of my worst memories.
26. Be Careful What You Wish For
At an airport, I hear a husband and wife arguing. Long story short she is angry because he had been begging her for years to have relations with another woman. And she finally did. She really enjoyed it and can’t believe he is upset. His side of the story. He then said, “Yes it has been a huge fantasy of mine, but I didn’t expect you to sleep with my sister at a family reunion after I passed out. Now my entire family knows".
The best part was that they were at the airport traveling with the sister and other family members. He continued, “Now I have to sit over here with you, and on the plane with them for the next three hours knowing that they all know you slept with my sister".
27. Say Cheese!
In my last apartment, I walked into my bedroom late at night, and saw a small but very bright red light in the ceiling directly over my bed, I instinctively said out loud, "What the heck is that?" The lady upstairs gasped and a male voice asked, “What's wrong?” She answers with, "OMG, it's my fiber optic cable for my camera into his room. I forgot to cover it up!!"
I contemplated it, and rather than proceeding with a protracted courtroom struggle, a litigation process, plus guaranteed accusations of illicit conduct towards the lady living above me, I commenced an exhaustive search for a new, safer dwelling.
28. As Useless As A Million Dollars
Not really eavesdropping but reading a text. During the summer, I would babysit for my sister while her husband plays video games all day…and I mean All. Day. Nonstop. One day, I was trying to deal with the kids and they were too much for me (mind you, they’re three kids under the age of 5) so I left the kids with him and stepped out of the room to go have a frustration cry.
A few hours later, when he went to work and my sister got back from work, I was doing something on my phone and my sister was next to me texting him. The kids were all in bed by this time so it was relatively calm. I glanced at my sister’s phone and I what saw made me want to scream: It was a message from him saying that I was completely useless (in terms of babysitting).
This man sits on his behind all day while a teenager basically steps up and takes care of his kids. But apparently, I’m the useless one? Makes sense, right?
29. Rough Day
It wasn't intentional eavesdropping. I was in a conference room at work reviewing some scripts for a video coming up. And we start hearing some crying and talking in the next conference room. Apparently, they were letting someone go because she kept showing up to work intoxicated and they had warned her before.
30. All In The Family
I accidentally found out that a friend of mine got his aunt pregnant. I heard him ask someone over the phone, "Are you sure? I mean, Mom is going to be upset if she finds out. No, no, no, I'll go with you. For real, we can't see each other again? Wait, no, we can just go away...together, you know. No this it's not wrong. I love you. Please don't." When I asked about it, he told me the truth.
31. Not The Worst Thing To Overhear
I worked in a call center as one of the people who monitors calls for quality. I saw my boyfriend at the time was making a call so I tapped into the call. He was calling his dad to tell him he was going to propose to me in Cancun the following month. I felt like garbage that I heard it. Almost 22 years later I’ve never told him.
32. An Image Is Worth A Thousand Words
Not exactly eavesdropping, but I was walking behind a well-dressed man in an airport, he had a single rose in his right hand. Hair gelled, nice blazer. I was behind him thinking it looked like a nice gesture for a romantic partner. Then, without missing a step or turning his head, he raised his arm and dropped the rose into the trash as he passed a bin.
It occurred to me that I was exiting the airport and he was too. I have always wondered what happened.
33. To Each Their Own
As a teenager, my parents and I stopped for dinner on our way to our family cottage in northern Michigan. We overheard two elderly women at the table next to us discussing the life events of their grandchildren. One says to the other in a proud manner, "Well, Alice is doing great for herself, she found her life's calling with the carnival. She gets to travel and see the country."
I wish I could've taken a picture of my parents' faces in that moment; they were trying so hard not to break composure.
34. But It’s Part Of The United States
When out at dinner, two people, I'm guessing in their early twenties, were talking to each other about taking a trip to Hawaii. One said it was expensive to fly there. The other suggested they just drive a car. They seriously both thought this was a good idea. My mother was trying not to laugh to loudly but when she looked at my face, she lost her composure.
35. Don’t Judge Without Context
One time, a lady was listening in on me. My best friend and I both bought lab puppies from the same breeder. I got a black lab and she got a yellow lab. Well, I’m telling friends about our new puppies while waiting for a table at a crowded restaurant. I say, “Yes we adopted sisters! They have the same father but different mothers".
“The father was black and my little girl took after her dad, she is so black, literally her lips, nose everything is black. My best friend’s little girl is so light she’s almost white. I guess she took after the mother". Then I see the look of horror from a random woman listening to my conversation. Of course, from that point on I laid it on thick never once mentioning “dog” or “puppy,” only “adopted girls".
36. What Were They Doing At College?
I once went to a nearby university campus to do some work, I work remotely most days so I can do it from anywhere. Two college girls seated right behind me in the student center were comparing old photos. I don't want to talk negatively about these two girls but they were not studying engineering or medicine at the school if you know what I mean. I was treated to the most bonkers conversation I think I have ever heard.
I think about these two dumdums all the time and it makes me laugh. These are some of the things I heard them say: "That thing is big, is that a donkey (it was a dog)?" and, "What were you even doing in that outfit, was your mom trying to make you a pizza guy?"
37. Use Your Powers For Good
At a music festival, I overheard (and saw) a few people just ripping apart their car looking for their keys, throwing things all over, and getting in a big fight amongst themselves. We went to our car to take a quick nap. I mention to my friend, “I bet these idiots don’t know they left the keys in the glove box or something".
We wake up a few hours later, go see some music, go back to our spot and THEY ARE STILL LOOKING. Upon us walking up we hear, “Oh my god, they were in the glove box this whole entire time". …I guess I should have said something?
38. Poor Ron
I applied for a promotion where I worked. It was between me and another guy. My experience was stronger and I'd been there longer. On the other side of my wall cubicle, two people from HR were talking and one said, "So I guess Ron didn't get the job". And the other said, "Yeah, don't know why he even applied, didn't have a chance, what a joke". I am Ron.
39. The Circle Of Life
I was pregnant and my water broke so I went and sat on the toilet while my husband made phone calls and did responsible about-to-be-a-new-parent things. While basically being stuck on the toilet gushing amniotic fluid, I can hear our neighbor, who we shared a wall with, turn on their shower. I then hear not one but two voices.
They proceeded to have very loud relations while I was sitting there not even three feet from them, separated by what must have been the thinnest wall, while I was in the beginning stages of labor. I literally can’t wait to tell my son this story one day.
40. What Is It?
So, we (me and my now husband) were leaving a youth hostel and there was this guy at the counter talking to the receptionist who was carefully explaining that there is a reason why they take a credit card number upon booking. At which point the guy loudly says, "But it’s everywhere! All over the bed, side table everywhere. Just give me some cleaning products and I'll clean it up".
At this the receptionist replies, “Sorry but the mattress will have to be replaced, using the card details". I didn’t stick around to find out whatever it was and I’m very okay with never knowing.
41. Not A Great First Experience
I was at a restaurant, and there was a group of four women. One of them was talking about how bi-curious she was and was trying to convince the other women to go to a hotel with her to experiment and how their boyfriends don't need to know. The other three were clearly uncomfortable and trying to laugh it off, but the one trying to convince them was really pushing it.
I don't know how close that group was before, but I have a feeling she made it weird!
42. That’s A Terrible Plan
A 72-year-old man was fired for not being able to produce the required 10 units per day. Later in the day, I hear the production manager who fired him laughing while telling another employee, “HR wanted me to have a plan to help him improve. There was no plan". The replacement has been on the job for seven months and struggles to produce even a third of what the 72-year-old man did.
43. Next Time, Try A Pinata
I got invited to the same birthday party by the same girl every year for several years. I only knew a few people but everybody was nice to me. One year, I even met a girl who was super into me, which never happens. That should have been a red flag, but I was popular enough to think that sooner or later I’d be able to land a pretty girl. I spoke to her that night, but she didn’t answer when I called to set up a date later.
I shrugged it off, these things happen. The following year, I overheard the party host and some friends talking around the corner, “We’re going to tell Paul (Me) that you like him, then you’re going to pretend to like him all night but then never speak to him again. He thinks we’re his friend. It will be so, so funny".
I did not reciprocate when the pretty girl hit on me, saying I had a girlfriend. Her retort was, “Who would date a loser like you?” It turns out this was a game they played every year.
44. One Benefit Of A Large Family
I was standing in an elevator with a couple of other people at a hotel in San Francisco when a guy gets on talking on the phone. As the elevator starts moving, he says, "God, Donna's family breeds like rabbits, so there should be somebody that's a match for his blood type." He looks around him, realizes that people are either struggling to keep a straight face or outright laughing.
His face goes red and he gets off at the next floor. I wrote his statement down as soon as I got the chance and still have the note in my phone.
45. Believe What I Say, Not How I Say It
I teach English in Japan, and the majority of my students had no idea that I knew Japanese. A girl came up to me and asked in Japanese, "Sensei, can you speak Japanese?" And I replied in Japanese, "No". She then skipped back to two of her friends and said, "See? He can't speak Japanese!" And one of her friends said, "Then how did he answer your question?"
46. Ignorance Is Bliss
While wiping tables at Starbucks, I heard a guy propose to this very attractive woman. The moment was so tense that even I was sweating then after a few seconds of hems and haws, the girl replied, "I love you so much, but I can’t." The guy then asked, "And why is that?" I think everyone listening that day flinched the moment he asked.
The next few words that would come out of the woman's mouth not only scarred the man but also made me hate this woman who I just saw for the first time. She said, "I've been seeing Dave behind your back."
47. So Many Questions
I was a cashier in a gift shop at the time, and these two old women came in, they were reading inspirational quotes off a wall near my cash register. One said, “Oh! I love that, that reminds me of Harold". The other replied, “Oh! it does, doesn’t it? Things just haven’t been the same since that awful lawnmower accident".
48. A Life’s Story, Heard Through The Grapevine
My neighbor is a wicked successful realtor and the nicest lady in the neighborhood. She always gave us popsicles, let us play with her dog, hosted movie nights in her yard. But she got in with the wrong crowd. And as bad choices do, it took her life from lavish to destitute real quick. Though she kept it pretty under wraps, pretty soon I couldn't help but notice something disturbing: Her two-year-old son was no longer around.
One day, mind you this is like a Tuesday on a school night, she comes to our door looking rough, hair a mess, holding her dog Charlie by the collar. I hadn’t seen her up close in a long time since her issues started, as she no longer gave us popsicles or hosted parties. I didn’t even recognize her. She immediately asked for my dad, which was weird, but I ran and got him.
He took her to our patio out back to calm her down, and we were watching Charlie. Me, being 14 and nosy, snuck to my room which overlooked the patio and quietly slid my window open. She was telling my dad how they were “partying” and her boyfriend took too much, passed out, and then woke up not knowing where he was and who she was.
The boyfriend had snapped and struck her. My dad walked her back home and proceeded to talk to the guy. My brother and I snuck down through the bushes as we were worried he would hurt our dad after hearing what she just described. Back in the day, my dad partied, so he knew how to talk this guy down. We could hear him saying, “Hey man, let’s all calm down".
“This is Tracy, you know her. She’s your girl. You’ve been partying, it’s all good. There’s more inside". The man brandished a tiki torch as a weapon, and it was apparent that reason had abandoned him. He fixed my father with a vacant, pitch-black stare and ominously declared, "I'm going to eat you." We saw my dad back away with Tracy to run back to our house.
We sprinted back through the street to get before him. Turns out the boyfriend was also her dealer and the one who got her hooked. A couple months later SWAT was at our door, asking permission to enter the backyard so they’d have a clear shot of her back door. I heard the SWAT guy say “ready to execute” once he had his shot. Thankfully they busted the guy without lethal force.
49. Rant Like Nobody’s Listening
I just got back home from spring break and I left the gate open to our driveway because my mom told me that my sister and her wife were coming to pick something up. I was sitting in the office room immediately to the left of the front door. My sister barged in angry that I had left the gate open and starting ranting to her wife.
“He is such a sorry loser that he can’t even close a gate. He is just going to stay in this tiny town and do nothing with his life! He is just going to be some dumpy middle school coach like the rest of them". I grew up in a small Texas town that had a huge poverty problem. She said some other things to her wife while I just sat silently and didn’t move at all.
After about a minute or two, I made a loud enough noise that I know my sister heard and she gasped. She left immediately and we never spoke about it again; we barely even spoke at all after that.
50. Always Be Nice To The Staff
I managed a theater for years and we had all types of rich entitled jerks come in. So, one night this guy comes in with a super-hot lady on his arm. Buys popcorn, a drink, and pays with a $100 because he is rude. And they go inside to get a seat. About 10 minutes later he comes running out and his phone is ringing.
He answers the phone and goes, "Hello? Oh, hey sweetie. Yeah, I'm stuck at the office late with some meetings. Kiss the kids goodnight and I'll see you when I get home". One of my employees has the great idea to scream, "SIR YOUR LADY FRIEND FORGOT HER POPCORN!" Right as he is getting off the phone.