“Damn, You Live Like This?”: 25 Times People Were Shocked To See How Others Live

Published 1 month ago

No matter the setting, our homes shape our sense of normalcy. Whether you’re accustomed to sharing a snug room with siblings or revelling in a spacious private wing, each household has its distinct dynamics. Yet, it can be eye-opening to discover the stark contrasts in living conditions even among friends. 

Recently, Redditors have been recounting their experiences of visiting others’ homes and being taken aback by what they encountered. Below, we’ve compiled some of their tales, ranging from astonishment at parental affection to dismay over cleanliness standards. Scroll below to take a glimpse into these varied narratives and ponder the diversity of home environments.

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Image credits: TheKhannunisT


Image source: whatintheactualfeth, Askar Abayev / pexels (not the actual photo)

Went to a new friends house for the first time when I was in the 6th(?) grade. We walked through the front door.

Friend: Mom! We’re home!

Mom comes around a corner: Oh my god! It’s so great to finally meet you! Friend talks about you a lot! (Gives me a hug) How are you!?

Me: ^I’m ^fine.

Mom: Are you hungry? I was about to make us a snack. Dad! Come meet Friend’s friend!

Dad comes around another corner: Hey kiddo! It’s good to meet you. (Shakes my hand) If you guys are good, I’ll take you guys to Fun Place later and we’ll get some pizza. (Kisses Mom) I’ll be in the garage. (Smacks Mom’s butt)

Mom: (giggles) You guys go play in your room. I’ll bring you something to eat.

I was stunned. They were nice to me AND each other! I mentioned it to my friend later, and he apologized because they “were so embarrassing”. My parents weren’t in a room together without at least insulting each other.

I really hope Friend’s parents are still married and insanely happy.

Edit: Since this kinda blew up. They were really the nicest couple. They really loved each other and my friend, from what I saw. I hung out there for a bit, but I ended up moving (again) about a year later.

We indeed went for pizza that night, and his mom made a really big breakfast the next morning. The blueberry cake thing she made still lingers in my dreams.

They are the couple that I’ve most tried to emulate in my marriage of nearly 30 years. It really does help to have the right partner, but it is definitely worth the effort.


Image source: wishforagreatmistake, Wendelin Jacober / pexels (not the actual photo)

Delivered pizzas in my very early twenties in rural NH and around the Massachusetts border in an area that tended to be economically depressed. I saw it all. Houses where I would gag the minute the door opened from the melange of cigarettes, cat p**s, dirty dog, old grease, mold, and other less identifiable odors. Garbage EVERYWHERE, often bulging garbage bags sitting out in the open that were clearly not new, often with visible holes from rodents. Seas of empties, with every surface covered in cigarette ash and unidentifiable stains and crusts. Yards with knee-high grass filled with trash, broken cars and appliances, dog s**t, and sun-bleached toys. Floors that felt disturbingly spongy when I had to step inside and walls that were sweating from the humidity.

This isn’t even half of it, by the way. Rural poverty and the diseases of despair that accompany it is a fast path to the nadirs of the human condition.

#3 Buddy just had a baby with some girl just as lazy as him….diaper mountains in every corner of their apartment. Smelled like one too. He also uses Dip tobacco so there were wads of dip on the carpet and in his bed…..I don’t talk to him much anymore.

Image source: HeadFit2660, Carlos Santiago / pexels (not the actual photo)

#4 One of my tenants’ shower was entirely black from mould, except 2 footprints where she would stand.

Image source: tonychen0816, NordhornerII / wikimedia (not the actual photo)

#5 Knowing that where I live a lot of guys work 12 hours, scroll YouTube for some time and sleep, repeat this 7 days a week(yes, 7 days) and 12 months a year. This is hell. I’m somewhere close to that situation too and it’s scary.

Image source: just_let_me_goo, George Pak / pexels (not the actual photo)

#6 I did homecare for a woman. She wasn’t disabled, just really fat and lazy. She peed in a bed pan so she wouldn’t have to get up, was just the epitome of disgusting. She has a cat, very sweet, no name. I saw cockroaches in its food dish. It was wet food, and crusted over, it was old and disgusting. I took the cat the next time i was there. When I went back, she asked if I’d let the cat out, as he went outside occasionally. I said nope must have been someone else. She wasn’t concerned at all. She just wanted her damn fried chicken. I’ll never forget that cat, seemed so grateful for his escape.

Image source: Inevitable-Tank3463, Wendelin Jacober / pexels (not the actual photo)

#7 When I was 17 I went to a girl’s house… She and her mum were smoking in the room we’re in… They proceed to ash on the carpart… I must’ve looked surprised .. as the mum said “oh.. don’t worry . It’s a rental..”.

Image source: netpenthe, Jill Burrow / pexels (not the actual photo)

#8 I’m an HVAC service technician, so I’m in people’s houses all the time, every day. All walks of life, from extremely rich on down. I’ve seen the hoarders and the slobs, but the worst was a house that looked like 6 cats got together to buy a home, then decided to let an old man live with them if he stayed in the corner and put food out. Absolutely disgusting, with cat litter and s**t dusted literally through the entire house. I almost left and would have if it wasn’t just a case of his coil freezing because the filter was clogged with fur. Felt bad for him, obviously a mental health issue.

Image source: lost_horizons, zheng liang / pexels (not the actual photo)

#9 I didn’t even make it to his house. He was supposed to pick me up for a date, and when I opened the front passenger side door of his car, the floor was literally covered in trash. You could not see the floor matts, and the trash was at least three-four inches deep. I could not believe this dude didn’t even respect me enough to clean out his passenger seat before picking me up. Just expected me to sit in his trash on the way to our date. Can only imagine what his place looked like.

Image source: AnnamAvis, cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

#10 Worked on a 50 meter superyacht, It had the most hideous chairs in the dining room, each one cost $55k , I wouldn’t have paid $5 for one, but it really opened my eyes to how the other half live!

Image source: Brave_Hippo9391, Pixabay / pexels (not the actual photo)

#11 Mom of my sons friend would always drop him off at our house to hang out and she would always comment how lovely our house was, which was a sense of pride for me as it was my dream home that I designed and built.

Image source: btechpc, Iván Rivero / pexels (not the actual photo)

Then one day he was going to their house to hang out so I drop him off. Driving down the road to their house and round the corner to what looks like a French ski chateau, just grand and enormous. Let’s just say most of my house could fit in the garage.

She opens the door and my jaw hits the ground with the immense opulence and beautiful wood working. We exchanged pleasantries and of course I comment ‘this is a really really lovely place!’ She said thank you and off I went.

Picked up the kid later in the day, says how nice the parents and siblings are. Made me realize that not all rich people are a******s, only the ones who act like they have money but really don’t. Was eye opening for me.

#12 Walking into my friend’s dorm after they said it was super messy and realizing that it was nothing compared to the mess that was in mine. It was honestly a wake-up call.

Image source: AdorableRow7969, Pixabay / pexels (not the actual photo)

#13 I was really into this girl, she invited me over to her house and it was almost traumatizing.

Image source: klitchell, Helena Lopes / pexels (not the actual photo)

They had like a dozen pets with various smells and ailments, they were basically unattended and made the house stink

her 4 older brothers had been in jail, she had to keep her bedroom padlocked otherwise they would steal from her

Her little brother (maybe 12 at the time) was yelled at for smoking … in the house. If you were under 15 you had to smoke outside.

Finally her mother showed up and started telling us all about her health problems and I had to leave once the pro-lapsed a**s convo started.

#14 I went to a friends house that only had one downstairs bathroom. They had ‘p**s bottles’ in their room for when they were too lazy to go for a p**s in the middle of the night. 2 litre bottles of p**s just laying around their room.

Image source: Kothr-, George Becker / pexels (not the actual photo)


Image source: QuiteLady1993, cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

Cleaning my hording grandmother’s house. It had always been bad but it used to just be piles of stuff hundreds of blankets and bed sheets, cupboards over flowing with dishware and cookware, mountains of clothing, and piles of books and games. We would visit and argue about how unsafe it was and beg her to let us help her make space for herself and it would turn into a horrendous fight every time but as she got older she became less mobile and more senile.

We were cleaning out her space while she was in a nursing home for a broken leg and dementia and there was a bowl so full of maggots I thought it was rice we found cat and dog s**t petrified in the bedding piles (at this point it had been years since shed had any pets), they had a brown countertop and it took me a long time to comprehend what I was looking it. It was like looking at brown static eventually I realized I was looking at ants crawling around a slow cooker.


#16 Going to a friend’s house and realizing they have a fully stocked fridge and pantry with actual food, not just ramen and frozen pizza.

Image source: Sexylikequeen, Polina Tankilevitch / pexels (not the actual photo)

#17 My GF/now Wife visiting me unannounced one day when I was living in my Grandmothers basement. It was embarrassing, as it was almost at a hoarder level of mess. I was so ashamed at my situation that I changed. (Mostly) Hitting 30 years together this year, so I did something right.

Image source: Comm-THOR, Wallace Chuck / pexels (not the actual photo)

#18 Realtor here. One time, I went to an older couple’s home to answer some listing questions. Place looked immaculate on the inside: it stank beyond belief though. And not any normal smell; imagine mixing gasoline with just a hint of flower scented air freshener.

Image source: mrmonster459, Davide Baraldi / pexels (not the actual photo)

And it was overpowering. Not a single room in the house was the smell not vomit inducingly strong. 7 years in real estate, and it is the only listing I have EVER had no choice but to make an excuse to leave early.

After the retired couple moved out (but before we put the home on the MLS) we hired a home inspector to find the smell. Turns out these people were keeping toxic mole killer in their laundry room. Instructions even specified to keep it outside, that it was too toxic to be kept inside.

It may be a miracle those two are even alive.

#19 A friends brother apartment.

Image source: messeboy, Creative Vix / pexels (not the actual photo)

When he was done with a pizza, he would throw the box (and possible leftovers) behind the couch.

There was 3 feet of trash behind his couch.

So imagine his appartment now, but ad more trash.

#20 I was in the Boy Scouts when I was about 10 and had this friend who obsessively collected every single badge available. I went to his house on the outskirts of town one time to pick him up. I was confused as the house had scaffolding outside and looked like it was still in the process of being built, so I asked him about it. He said, “Oh, we’re doing some renovations, so we’re sleeping out there for now”, as he points out a tent next to the house. I thought, “Wow, no wonder he has so many survival badges, he literally lives out in the woods.”.

Image source: links2000, Ridwan Nugraha / pexels (not the actual photo)

#21 Visiting my best friend on the other side of the country in his modest apartment where he has his cat and all of his instruments.

Image source: ExpiredDairyProducts, Anna Shvets / pexels (not the actual photo)

He made me a very dude worthy meal instantly upon arrival without hesitation, I could tell it was something he didn’t make very often as it came out questionable but I appreciated the thought and effort. I’ll never forget the internal battle I fought for the first day to not judge his lifestyle… he did everything he could to make sure I was comfortable and worry free… and as the week progressed and the good times stacked I realized that I’d been overcomplicating my life which was leading to massive mental health battles.

He’s still my brother to this day and I have largely simplified my life since that trip and I’m much happier for it.

#22 When I went to a new friends house to teach him one of my recipes and found out the fridge contained nothing but butter and the carrots I’d asked him to buy. He was living on exclusively toast. Several years later and I’m proud to report he actually knows how to cook now thanks to me ?.

Image source: maxthefrenchone, SpotwizardLee / pexels (not the actual photo)

#23 Had a girlfriend for a long time who would always come to my place, no problem, not a big deal.

Image source: IllustriousLeader124, Wendelin Jacober / pexels (not the actual photo)

She was great and had a really good job in the same area as me, pretty high up in the chain in dc. Anyways, we were always going to my place. No exception. So one night we were out at the bar and I asked her if we could go back to her place so I can get to know her better and see how she does things. Get a better sense for her. Well, that was the last night we hung out. She was a hoarder. Like DSM-5 compulsive hoarder. And she had cats. Like an unknown number of cats. So many that I asked her how many she had and she said it’s kind of a rotating number and every now and then one of them dies so she hates to give a number and to be wrong. I tried to point out that giving the wrong number was the least of her problems. She wanted to insist that everything was fine and we could just enjoy relaxing after she cleared the bed. I told her I had to go home and she could call me again when she cleaned up. She never called, and I never missed her. In this literally at one point as we were walking through the house to let me out, I asked her how long it’s been like this and how she could survive that way. She literally did not understand the question. It was extremely upsetting.

#24 Client home visit. Opened the can of coffee and a mouse jumped out. And they made me a coffee without batting an eyelid. We both saw it. I then told them I only drink tea.

Image source: KittySpanKitty, David Bartus / pexels (not the actual photo)

#25 A girl I was dating wanted me to come over to her parent’s place. When I walked in, there were boxes of stuff everywhere. I said, “Oh, I didn’t know you all just moved in?” They had not just moved in.

Image source: ululationelation, cottonbro studio / pexels (not the actual photo)

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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cleanliness, homes, living conditions, living spaces, living standards, Visiting
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