Hot Wiring A Car, And Other Tales Of The Worst Trouble You Ever Got Into

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It may feel like it’s been a long time since you were an idiot teen, but the memory of being grounded for the stupid things you did has a way of sticking with you. Last week we asked you to tell us about the worst trouble you got into, and the biggest takeaway from your replies is that many of you have very creative parents when it comes to delivering a punishment. So, without further ado, here are the best of those stories:

Gafferland’s parents pulled the ol’ switcheroo:

Junior year homecoming. A whole group of us were going to head to downtown Chicago and go to Second City after the dance, and we got my date’s brother to buy us an unreasonable amount of booze for the limo ride. We were going to meet at my house after the dance to pick up the limo, so I filled two backpacks will the booze and mixers and hid them in the bushes in front of my house. Dinner, dance, walk to my house, limo shows up, grab the backpacks, wave goodbye to parents standing on the porch, get in limo feeling good, like we pulled it off. Open first of two back packs, pull out big bottle of ... Ocean Spray Cran-Apple? Don’t remember packing that but I did grab a few mixers. Pull out second bottle of ... tonic water? Start sweating. Pull out third bottle of ... Diet, Caffeine-free Coke. Start swearing. Pull out note that reads “Nice try, Love Mom & Dad.”

Even a few months removed from the incident and finally ungrounded, I could appreciate that this was epic parenting. The story was so good it got passed around by both teachers at the school and, evidently, the local hairdresser community. My friend Colin heard the story FROM his hairdresser, and when he told her he was one of the kids in the limo it cause a minor sensation at the salon.

Anyhow, high school is terrible.

A River Of Bourbon Runs Through It made a key mistake:

Posted to acknowledge the sheer stupidity of HS kids (me and my sister) who think they know how to “get away with it.” My sister and I were two years apart in HS. Our parents went away for the weekend and we agreed to each pick a night to have a “party.” We weren’t nuts, that really meant 8 or 10 friends and indefensible amounts of beer being consumed. I know I know, fairly lame but I was like 15 or 16 and my sister 17 or 18 so we weren’t hardened criminal partiers just yet. Well some things went wrong, a few things got broken. There was some carpentry and painting that had to get done. There was a steam cleaner rented. But no one drove or anything and no real trouble. We thought we handled it all pretty well despite a few bumps along the way. We did make one significant oversight: for two nights of heavy beer drinking, it never occurred to us that putting all those cans in OUR trash can might be a smoking gun of sorts. Well, turns out one of our nosey neighbors (aka, my parents “friends” or whatever) might have noticed and said something about a bunch of cars, late music and noise and such. When my sister and I got home from HS on Monday and walked in the house, the outside trash cans were in our living room, still full of all those beer cans. It was a stop you in your tracks kind of sight for us and a stone cold move by my parents. Chrissakes we were idiots. I don’t remember how badly we were punished but I still remember the sight and smell of those trash cans in my house and it’s still chilling.


Another one from returnofthelivingdarcy:

I once got busted after cleaning up SO GOOD after a party. Everything was golden until my parents turned on the big ornate frosted glass light fixture in the living room. Turns out some jackasses at my party made a game of flicking beer caps up in to it. Invisible while the light was off but so fucking obvious the second it got turned on. There was like 30 god damned beer caps in there. So much trouble.

Amber’s dad actually sounds like a cool dad:

When I was in 11th grade, I thought I was slick enough to sneak into my sleeping parents house on New Years Eve and sneak out with a couple of bottles of wine. Soooo…a friend drove me home to do just that, and then we went back to the party…two blocks away. Thinking we were right as rain, we went back to our festivities. All was well and good until my dad (who was/is 6’6, about 240 pounds, with a handlebar mustache) showed up to the party about 20 minutes later holding his very own bottle of wine. Because I knew better than to assume he had come to join the party, I damn near shit my pants. Seething with rage he just stared at us for about 30 seconds and said absolutely nothing. Then, after what seemed like two years had passed, he said “IF YOU WANTED SOME WINE, WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST ASK??!” At which point he threw down the bottle with very impressive force (and it exploded, obviously) and silently walked away.

I didn’t go home for nine days.

Beer, Titties and Left Turns has a sneaky mom:

I wouldn’t say it’s particularly “bad” trouble, I was ground for a month, but it’s a funny story along the lines of Dazed and Confused.

I was 17. My sisters were staying with family and friends while I was left home alone so that my parents could celebrate their anniversary. I was a Host/Waiter/Bus Boy/Jack of All Trades at my local TGIF’s at this point in my life. So I had to work Saturday. Thankfully for me I pulled the “swing” shift for bus boying, which basically had me out at 8pm. My parents knew my schedule and called me up when they expected me to be home. I answered the phone. After the usual small talk, they asked what I was up to. I said “nothing, I’m pretty tired from work, I think I’ll just stay in.”

Of course they were right, I had already been making the calls, spreading the word, inviting my usual crew (this was 2002, before the days of Facebook and social media and easy mass-texting, etc.). So I have a gathering of friends, no more than 25 people, maybe. It was small, as quiet as 25 drunk teenagers can be, and nothing was damaged in the house. I took the bags of empties with me to my shift at TGIF’s the next morning and put them in the dumpster. I thought I was totally in the clear. I thought for sure I had out-witted my parents.

When I get home from work the next day (a brutal day thanks to my wicked hangover), my mom sits me down on the couch, “Beer, Titties and Left Turns, we spoke to Marie across the street, she said there were a ton of cars parked outside of the house last night. Did you have a party?” Me being me, I am instantly caved.

Fast forward a month and a half, a few friends are over while my parents are home and we’re all shooting the shit with my parents. And my mom drops the bomb: she ever spoke to Marie across the street, she just knew I had a party from the moment I said I wasn’t going out Saturday night, and she lied and trapped me into admitting it. As a young, virile, athletic 17 year old, my parents knew that I would never let a weekend night go to waste. She also knew that I knew from experience that the cover-up was always worse than the crime, and that I’m a schmuck who would never call her bluff. Point Mom.

Just when you think you’re clear, your sister rats you out. Here’s louboudreau:

Senior year in high school, my friend had a party when his parents went out of town. In preparing he went so far as to lock everything hanging on the walls away and put tape on the wall indicating what went where (which was quickly rearranged once people got there). Turned into a fairly typical but very well attended high school party, so eventually the cops showed up. My friend was hammered and slurring about how he didn’t want any “occifers” on his property. People either booked it or got stopped by the police and parents were called.

I never got in trouble in high school, and this was the second time I had ever drank. Obviously I hadn’t told my parents that I was going to a party; I think it was just go to a movie and then stay at a different friend’s house. When the police arrived I went upstairs and hid in his parents’ closet. I was in there for nearly an hour, during which a police officer came into the bedroom and shined his flashlight around (after I heard somebody I hated in high school respond to the cop’s question of whether anybody in there with, “I saw (louboudreau) go in there, but I don’t know if he still is”). He never opened the closet door.

After the house sounded quiet again I exited the closet. I called the friend whose house I was staying at, and he came back and picked me up.

My parents heard about the party from the awful women across the street from us who spent her free time listening to the police scanner. They found out I had been there because my sister’s boyfriend’s sister saw me there, and casually mentioned it to my sister, who immediately ratted me out because she is the worst.

I successfully hid from the police and was taken out because my sister told on me. It was the end of my senior year, so my parents limited the punishment to up until graduation, but I had to miss out on several pre-graduation activities.

My sister remains the worst.

Jim Irsay’s Briefcase got busted, but not in the way he expected:

There are more than I’m proud of, but the funniest has to be an incident in high school. My parents found my booze stash in my closet while I was at school. I came home and my dad says “I found something in your room that was interesting, why don’t you go grab it and bring it down here”. Being the genius that I am, I went up to my closet, grabbed the full handle of Smirnoff Vodka and bring it down to my parents. My dad turns to me and says “That’s great, but that’s not what I found”, then goes up to my room and grabs a grocery bag with 4 Miller Lites in it that I had completely forgotten about and stashed in a different closet. It all ended well years down the road as my parents never ended up drinking the handle of vodka, but kept it in the liquor cabinet. When I had a graduation party for my Master’s degree, I pulled out the rest of the vodka that got taken away from me and we all finished the bottle together like a good family should.


A timely tale from our own Rob Harvilla:

Alas, this is topical: I got busted in high school for sneaking my girlfriend into a Stone Temple Pilots concert. Her parents had said no but she insisted; as a cover story she told ’em we were going to see the longest movie currently in theaters that we could think of, which was Wyatt Earp. I got it more trouble than she did, which was some bullshit.


You never expect the guy on the golf team. Crunch-Tacos:

I got in trouble for making dry ice bombs in high school, and I’m probably on a terrorist watch list somewhere because of it. Luckily it was a month before my 18th birthday so it never shows me as a felon. Yay.

One of the gatorade bottles didn’t blow up and my buddy and I heard it go off. We kind of shrugged happy we didn’t touch the bottle and pull a JPP and continued watching the Angels vs. Giants World Series. Well come to find out a cop was out of his car looking around for the people making all the noise. When it went off he later told us. “I took cover behind my car.”

So basically he dives behind his car thinking someone was trying to kill him and calls in a perimeter. So the cops knock on my friend’s parents door with eight squad cars surrounding the house and neighborhood. He ended up giving us a missiles charge, which he later that night changed to a disturbing the peace charge. In class the next day officers arrested us and informed us we were now being charged with felonies related to bomb making.

So to sum it up I was the only golfer in my high school with street cred and a rap sheet.


You should think twice before doing a little dick graffiti. ohnopleaseno:

I drew a dick in white-out on a girl named Brittany’s dark blue, monogrammed backpack in 7th grade (using the B as the balls and drawing the shaft out to the left behind it, of course) and got suspended for three weeks. My dad made me mow the lawn every single day because he didn’t know how else to punish me. It was a push mower and we lived on 2 acres, so this took several hours per day and I only got one rain-out. I started cutting it like various baseball outfields I’d seen in pictures, but it never came out right. Brittany lived down the street and saw me mowing every single day when she got home from school. One day, she rode her bike past my house and I tried to say hi and apologize and she told me my shoes were green (from the mower) and I should go to hell. It wasn’t all bad, we got drunk and made out at our 5-year high school reunion five years ago and haven’t spoken since.


This is the kind of thing that only happens in high school. MexicanSandwich:

This is so stupid.

Remember those old desktop computers? The ones with those Dell plastic pop off logos? We had those in high school. Anyway, unbeknownst to me, kids had been stealing them from the library and the librarian had noticed and was PISSED.

One day in my English class we were using the computers for whatever reason and a classmate and I thought it would be funny to pop the Dell logos off. I took one and put it in my pocket. Maybe 10 seconds later the librarian rushes over and is FUMING.


Awkward silence between the ten of us.


More awkward silence, with whispers from my classmates that whoever took them to please give them back.

Since I am a good kid I handed mine in after about a minute and she takes my information down. (PS my classmate who took the other one never caved and never got in trouble).

Anyway, the next day I am called to the principal’s office. They considered this shit VANDALISM and it was to be reported to the school’s vandalism statistics!! Mind you, this plastic thingy popped right back on. My punishment? Three days suspension.

To say that my parents (my dad specifically) were mad is an understatement. He made a big show of taking my PS2 away. He locked away the cords to it. I was grounded for months. Etc, etc. I had NEVER gotten in ANY trouble before and I was in major trouble now. This was mere weeks before college applications were due and we thought this would keep me out of some schools!

Luckily after a couple of days my parents realized how absurd the punishment was and appealed to the principal. It got knocked down to two days of detention and no suspension. I got my PS2 back pretty quickly as well. Talk about a damned overreaction on the school’s part.

TL;DR - I was a good kid. Also, even though I was a junior the principal had no idea who I was and thought my young-ass was a freshman.


Mind the nuns. Hit Bull Win Steak:

My grammar school (catholic) was 3 levels, so there were a lot of stairs involved, especially when you got into the upper grades (6th-8th) and started changing classes. My buddies and I were hockey nuts (growing up in NJ in the late 80’s) and in between classes if we passed each other in the halls, stairs, parking lot, etc would administer vicious hip-checks to one another, whether that other person was ready for it or not.

I spent most of the time as the recipient of these as I suffered from a Magary-like awkwardness in my youth and was usually more worried about falling down in school on my own accord, much less getting boarded.

After a particularly brutal week in the checking dept for me, I spotted my buddy walking down the 3rd floor stairs completely oblivious to anything but some girl he was talking to. I seized the opportunity as I approached and let loose a check that would make Potvin/Nilsson pale in comparison. .All the books he was carrying, pencil case, trapper keeper, etc. go fucking flying....down the goddamn stairwell, plummeting down to the second level, and then to first. We hear a giant “smack,” followed by a “thud”, and then an ungodly scream that sounded like someone just shanked a farm animal.

We head down towards the scene to find out what happened and see the tiny, 85 year-old, bespectacled nun, who taught penmanship to the 1st graders, strewn about the lower stairs like she just went through a Luftwaffe bombing of London. A few bruises and scrapes, but nothing too gruesome, although it may have taken a few years off her just out of the fear alone.

We each got a disciplinary hearing (where they decide whether to expel you or not) and wound up with detention for an entire 2 1/2 month quarter, and worst of all, I lost use of my NES(!) at home for the same time period.



I grew up working at a flooring store that my dad managed. Once when I was 17, spent Friday night with some friends getting shitfaced at somebody’s house until 4 or 5 AM. Saturday about 9 AM, my dad calls and needs me to come in to work because 2 guys scheduled had laid out. I told him I wasn’t feeling well (truth) and hadn’t planned on working (also truth). Didn’t matter, he had to have somebody in there. So here I go, driving about 10 miles on 4 hours sleep and nothing in my stomach but a case of beer. I grabbed a breakfast sandwich on the way, but it ended up getting puked out the window. So I get there about 9:45 and I’m still so drunk that the room is moving. I go hide in the back and make myself scarce for a couple hours until I look somewhat normal again. Dad finally comes back there about lunch and immediately asks me if I was drunk. I had no idea how he knew. I hadn’t spoken to him, and nobody there would have ratted me out. So I ask him what he meant. He tells me to go check my car. I walk out to the parking lot and sure enough, my car is still running with the blinker on and the driver side door open, and had been for hours. I didn’t get to go out much for the next couple months.


I think this is a good lesson in not messing with your Marine father’s stuff. DeineMutter8675310:

My father (a Marine) had a trunk full of cool stuff in the attic, including a set of survival gear. One of the items in there was spool of trip wire. Which of course my friend and I thought was great (we were 11). There was this asshole who had been messing with us, and had destroyed the fort we had built in the woods. So we got the great idea to put the tripwire in front of his door. Which was on a flight of stairs. So yeah, we could have easily killed somebody. Fortunately a neighbor saw us putting it up and no one got hurt, but Jesus. I still have nightmares about it. My dad was so angry he threw the spool of tripwire so hard it busted through the drywall. I was grounded for 3 months, had to write a 20 page essay on how dangerous and stupid that was, and had to empty out my savings account (~$200) and give it to the Salvation Army.


I’m surprised Bgrngod’s parents didn’t kill him:

So I’m in High School (because of course) and my buddy who is also my age decides he needs to go with his roommate to Seattle (we’re in Portland area) to retrieve his roommate’s car which is still at his roommate’s old house. It’s a Tuesday in like March or something and I don’t even bother asking my parents because I know the answer is “No, you can’t go to Seattle on a mission to retrieve the car owned by the guy that is strangely roommates with your best friend”. So we all pile in my friend’s car and head on up to Seattle. This is my first trip there BTW.

So the trip up isn’t so bad, it takes a few hours and we get there around 8:30pm or so. We chat with the roomate’s old roomates and play some video games and eat some pizza. After a while we decide we should get home. My friend’s roommate asks my friend “Can you give me the keys?” to which he replies “I gave them to you” which in turn garners a wonderful response “I put them on the counter and asked you to hold on to them” and to this I reply “What the fuck you idiots?!”

My friend calls his sister, who goes to his apartment and confirms that “Yet, the keys are on the counter. Where the hell are you?” and is thanked by being hung up on.

At this point the best plan is to just go home, but of course we try to hotwire the car. Me, being the youngest of the group, somehow manages to actually “OH MY GOD I ACTUALLY HOT WIRED THIS CAR!!” as the engine starts up. We jump into the two cars and drive on down to the gas station thinking this is it.. we’re home free.

The rescued car has a different plan however. Upon reaching the gas station, and drinking a bunch of gas, the 1970’s something Toyota Carina decides “You know what, this stearing column is a bit loose”. The steering wheel will not turn, no matter how much we try. We managed to push it out of the gas station pump area and over to a phone booth but not really in a parking spot. What’s the best plan now? Finding a hammer and making that god damn stearing column work like it fucking should! That’s what! So we’re wailing away on this steering column and all the parts around it trying to figure out how to get whatever pin dropped to undrop or fuck right the hell off... and... why hello Bellevue Police Officer!

So this cop shows up, and boy, does he have some questions. Mostly annoying stuff like “Do you own this car?” and “How old are you?” and “Where do you live?” You know, the kinds of questions that you really don’t want to be hearing when you are 16 with a car that has no proof of ownership, is clearly hotwired with your fingerprints all over it, while ALSO being pretty damn far from the home your unknowing parents are currently going to bed at. The good news is my parents didn’t mind too much when I was out late at that age. The bad news is Mr. Officer definitely wants to fucking talk to them.

And guess how I get to call them? With the pay phone! So I call my mom. And I start explaining the story. She’s pretty quiet. Not good. I’m telling this story in chronological order hoping she’ll eventually hear enough and assume that is it and I wouldn’t have to tell her the rest. I finally get to the part where I’m explaining the issue with the stearing column and she says “Well, call a locksmith or something. Don’t try to do anything yourself” as I am watching my friend smack the shit out of something in the car with his hammer. The cop really didn’t seem to give two shits that they continued to “work” on the car while I was on the phone. I don’t bother informing her of what that was all about. So the cop jumps in and wants to talk with her. They chat for a bit, apparently she says something that keeps me from being tossed in the cop car and then... the officer says “Good luck” and FUCKING LEAVES.

Shortly after, we somehow have a turning stearing wheel, a running why-the-fuck-did-we-do-all-this-for-this-piece-of-shit-car car, and we’re off. My friend and his buddy jump in the clunker and I drive the Subaru. We make some pretty damn good time all the way back to Portland and as soon as my friend pulls into his drive way (after SEVERAL hours of no issues) guess what happens? Stearing column LOCKS itself again. It’s a fucking miracle that didn’t happen on the road.

It’s pretty god damn late at this point. Late enough to be really EARLY in the morning. My friend’s roommate disappears to take a nap and my friend drives me home. As soon as I open the door I am greeted by not one parent, but two. And my brother. My brother looks scared. My older brother, who got in WAY more trouble than I ever have up to this point, looks scared. Scared like I’ve never seen him. Scared for not only my life but probably his own. This is bad.

My dad manages to somehow, someway, not kill me with one anger induced kick to the head. My parents never once physically punished or abused me in any way growing up, but my dad did get beat up by his own step-dad as I kid, so I always has this fear that someday he might just snap and I would literally be dead. Having the willpower of some kind of god, the only thing they say is “Go to bed” and I get a slow procession/escort to my room.

The next day I find out I am grounded for 2 months, which is about 8x longer than I’d ever been grounded before. I also can’t even use the phone and they take my pager (this was a weird time in the 90’s when my mom gave us both pagers and everyone thought we were drug dealers, which was some fun in and of itself). Television? Done. Video games? No fucking way. Magic cards? Almost thrown in the garbage. Oxygen? Just enough to stay alive. Chores? ALL OF THEM.


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