Ah, roommates: they can become your best friends for life, but they can also be nightmares that are still sitting in your kitchen when you wake up. However, thanks to sky-high rent and the surging cost of living that many of us are dealing with, roommates can be a necessary part of life.
If you’re living in a less-than-ideal roommate situation, you’re not alone. With this in mind, our staff is sharing (anon, please) some of our cringiest and worst roommate stories.
The banana-party-having, fruit-fly breeding roommate
Unfortunately, I’ll be sharing a roommate horror story where I was the horrific roommate.
In university, I lived with four of my closest friends in a sweet little house around the corner from our school and, one summer, one of my best friends (and fellow roommates) and I decided to stay in town, despite most students returning home.
For some reason (I really couldn’t tell you why – I guess I was young and naïve and very weird) I decided to have a banana-themed birthday party. I kind of did it as a joke, but all of my friends ended up bringing actual bananas as gifts, hanging them on the walls as décor and even wearing them taped together as crowns.
It was all fun and games at the time, until a bunch of bananas fell behind the couch without said best friend and I noticing. We had cleaned up the party, but slowly started to notice fruit flies gathering throughout the house. We figured it was just because it was summer and the air was hot and sticky, but as the weeks went on, more and more kept popping up.
One morning, we made our way into the kitchen to make some breakfast, only to notice that all of our cupboards (which were white) had somehow turned black – because they were covered in fruit flies. It was probably the grossest experience of our lives, and we took hours cleaning before finally finding the forgotten bananas.
Although we’re still very close, we haven’t spoken about the banana-themed party since and anytime someone says the word “fruit fly” around us we share a dreadful look before quickly changing the subject. — Anonymous
The roommate-loving lover roomie
I studied abroad in Denmark when I was 20. During that time, I had the opportunity to live in residence with other Danish students. We all had separate ensuites but shared a communal kitchen and living room. Luckily my new school set up living accommodations for me; essentially, a study-abroad student would stay in the same ensuite each semester, so the other Danish students became familiar with this setup.
Within days of arriving at my new home, I fell madly in lust with my 6′3″ blonde, fit Danish roommate. We shared a chemistry I had never felt before. I couldn’t get enough of him, even if that meant we had to get creative sharing my twin-sized bed.
After a few weeks, I asked him what our other roommates might think about the situationship — would it be weird for them? That’s when he opened up to me about his past: I wasn’t the only study-abroad student he dated. It turns out his ex-girlfriend (and his first love) was also a study-abroad journalism student who stayed in my exact same room (and likely slept on the same mattress) two semesters prior. Although they had broken up, he flew halfway around the world from Denmark to New Zealand to spend Christmas together just two months earlier.
When I did some more digging, I also came across another surprise. We shared the same unique cultural background: his ex was also half Asian and half Caucasian, and we totally looked similar. Of course, she just had to have a cooler Kiwi accent. — Anonymous
The dagger-wielding, Nickelback-blasting dorm-room partner — and her live-in BF
In my first year of university, I shared a very small dorm room with a complete stranger. Because we had the same major, I assumed we’d be fast friends and get along really well. But oh man… I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Things were perfectly cordial at first, save for a few odd things about her. For one, she carried a knife in her boot when going out and about (yes, you read that correctly) because her boyfriend “wanted her to have it.” She also kept a dagger on her desk. And when I say dagger, I mean DAGGER – this wasn’t just a small knife, it had a fancy handle and a pointy tip and everything. Some days, she slept with the dagger under her bed, which completely weirded me out. And secondly, she also had a fondness for blasting Nickelback (ick) and loved “Let it Rock” by Kevin Rudolf, which would be played on repeat despite the year being 2014.
Nonetheless, I was determined to be friends. I’d invite her to go to social events with me and offered her my notes on days when she had to miss class. Things were seemingly smooth – until she asked if the boyfriend could stay over for their anniversary. Determined to be a good roomie, I obliged – of course I wanted them to spend their anniversary weekend together, because he didn’t live in the city we were in.
But the weekend came and went, and two days turned into a week, which then turned into several weeks, and soon, the boyfriend had been with us for over a month. It was a tiny room that the three of us were sharing, with her twin bed being only about two feet away from mine. Things became cramped, fast, and it didn’t help that he had an incredibly creepy vibe.
…she also had a fondness for blasting Nickelback (ick) and loved “Let it Rock” by Kevin Rudolf, which would be played on repeat despite the year being 2014
If the claustrophobic living situation wasn’t enough, I soon found out that he was staying with us not simply because he loved my roommate so much that he couldn’t bear to be apart from her, but because he wasn’t in school, had no money and no job. And he’d moved in without telling his social worker, which also seemed strange. Soon, the rest of the people on the dorm room floor who saw him coming and going witnessed some shady behavior, and reported that he was dealing. I had thought he was sketchy before, but now I was even less enthused at sharing a space with him.
As more weeks went by, I would politely ask when he would be moving into a new place. I was too nervous to fully ask him to leave, because who knew what my roommate would do to me with that dagger! But every time I asked, my roomie had a different excuse as to why he needed to stay longer.
Things got tenser as the other girls who shared the common area and the bathroom attached to our dorm room were also incredibly uncomfortable due to his presence. Him being creepy was one thing, but unfortunately for us, we would know whenever he was in the vicinity because he smelled terribleFinally, one of the other girls snapped and asked when he would be leaving, pointing out that he wasn’t paying to live there – all of us were paying thousands and thousands in residence fees. It turned into a yelling match between her and my roommate, culminating in her storming out, reporting him, and the RAs banning him from the building.
I never saw him again after that, although some of the people on the dorm floor would spot him around campus every now and then, collectively reporting how sinister he seemed. But eventually, the school year finished, my roommate moved back home and switched to a different university, and luckily for me, we didn’t cross paths again. — Anonymous
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The lube-swapping, lying roommate
Back in university, my now-husband’s roommates were a grab bag of personalities. They all ended up living together out of convenience, and there was not much to bring them together outside of that.
There was one who lived in the basement room and was never seen or heard from unless we were having sex, and then they would casually appear outside the bedroom door.
There was one who ran the household finances for them as a unit (paying rent, grocery shopping in bulk etc.) and was concerned that having me stay the night might mean I was increasing their food bill by eating all their snacks in the middle of the night (this did not happen).
And then there was the one who was unhinged! Among the pathological lies and devious attempts to sabotage my partner at school (deleting essays off their computer etc.), they swapped some lube for hand sanitizer on us (emptied one bottle to then refill it with the other). If we hadn’t caught that before it was too late, it could have resulted in a trip to the ER for both of us.
You can choose your partner but can’t choose your partner’s university roommates. — Anonymous
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The furniture-free, lock-you-out roommate
I moved from the suburbs to Toronto after finding a roommate on Facebook, and I was overflowing with excitement to start my new city life. Everything seemed fine at first — she had high standards, curly hair and seemed active like me, so I pictured us trading curly-hair secrets and tips for a good gym day. But slowly, I started seeing that she wasn’t who she portrayed herself to be.
She acted like she was a neat freak when we were searching for a place, but when we moved in, she had zero desire to tidy up. She would leave her food out for days (and still eat it) and would conveniently forget every time it was her turn to clean. She left the apartment only for groceries, so I rarely had privacy, and — oh yeah — and she didn’t want to buy furniture. Our living room stayed empty for months because I refused to be the only one investing in the place.
Everything came to a head when she started deadbolting the door when I would come in late at night. I had to shamefully knock on the door until she decided to open it, sometimes waiting half an hour outside. She would text me incessantly when I was out past dark, asking what time I was coming in so she could deadbolt the door. When I got fed up and refused to tell her (because she’s not my mom), she gave me the silent treatment the next day. I called her out on it because, how old are we?
After a big blowup, the vibes were completely off and we agreed to just speak to each other only when necessary. I moved out before the lease was up, deciding the roommate life wasn’t for me. — Anonymous
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The ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ roommate’s-brother roomie
When I was in university, I was planning on living with a friend of mine. We had been looking at two-bedroom places, when she mentioned to me that her brother was also looking for an apartment because his living situation had just fallen through. She asked if we could start looking for a three-bedroom apartment so he could live with us. I’m pretty easy-going, so I agreed. Plus I loved her, so how could I not love him?
I was wrong… when he wasn’t playing guitar and singing wildly off-key (I hope I never have to hear an acoustic cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” ever again), he was on the balcony smoking plants (and like five-plus times a day from this giant smoking device, which smelled nasty). He would have friends over on weeknights who would stay over until 2 AM, screaming and playing loud video games.
I’m still great friends with his sister, but I don’t plan on seeing him ever again. — Anonymous