What’s The Meanest Thing You’ve Ever Done?

Have you ever experienced those delayed, unilateral terrors that usually come in the wake of realizing that you are an absolute asshole? I started feeling really, really remorseful about a week ago that when I was twelve, I used to pull the shit out of my eight-year-old brother’s hair. And I know you’re thinking that such an antic would seem fairly typical of a juvenile, brother-sister rivalry but I didn’t just pull. I plucked. Like a sadist or an animal skinner from the depths of hell. So, you know, just ouch.

A week into the new year, it probably seems antithetical that I would suggest you look not at what’s in front of you but at the skeletons you’ve accrued and stowed in your closet heretofore.

I’m going to do it anyway.

This is a safe place — often even a digital confessional devoid of all religious implications — and sometimes, even in spite of the grandiose resolutions we might make to leave IT behind us, shaking off our compasses of personal evil isn’t as easy as scribbling absolutes into a notebook and calling it a new year.

Unless, you know, you’re a sociopath, in which case, I would be happy to lend you my conscience.

But I digress.

The deferred contrition typically manifests while I’m dozing off. It’s like, you’re almost sleeping, almost sleeping, just about there, then bam! One eye pops open and you remember that time your cousin came to meet you and your best friend on a street corner.

Asshole that you are, you told the anterior cousin that you were feeling tired and therefore going home even though what you were actually doing was parting ways with your BFF only to make it appear as though you were separating, when actually, you were meeting at the CVS on First Avenue and high tailing it the fuck over to Three Star Diner once said cousin was out of sight. You would eat ice cream and laugh at the expense of an innocent, wonderful human while the universe plotted your demise.

Nothing says Monday like getting all that which makes you a sinister mastermind off your chest so, please, be a pal and share with us the shittiest thing you’ve ever done. If not to serve as an open apology then at least to make me feel better about how awful I am?

No judgement, just friendship. I forgive you already.

  • Shayla

    Does the “my grandmother died so I can’t work” thing count as evil? I feel like so many people do it. It’s wrong though, right? Yikes.

  • Lily

    I regularly take the last bagel to work so my sister can’t have it

  • In middle school I had to walk to school I was part of a group of girls that would walk to school. Sometime in seventh grade the fact that I was drifting away from my friendship with one of the girls became more and more apparent. We just had nothing to speak about, and I started to dread the walk to school.
    One day my best friend — who is still my best friend, her name is also Emma — were walking down the road from my house when we spotted the aforementioned girl waiting at the corner. She clearly saw us as I pulled my friend with me down behind a car so that we could be able to walk to school sans other girl.
    I am still haunted by that moment whenever I see the vehicle (why don’t they get rid of that damn car already?!) or the corner where she stood watching us duck behind the car. My best friend and I always recall that moment and it almost brings us to tears because it is the meanest thing we’ve ever done.

    Unfortunately this dialogue always ensues:

    “It’s shitty, but we did what he had to do,” I say.

    “Yeah, I couldn’t stand another walk trying to force conversation at 8AM, ” other Emma says.

    So, while I realize that that was the cruelest thing I’ve done to date, it was also wholly functional, and the mission was accomplished. Help.

  • CDJ

    I was probably 12 and baby sitting my younger cousin. I think he was around 7. He was being annoying AF, so I told him to go pick some hot pepper’s from our grandfather’s garden and then told him to rub his eyes. He did. He cried. Still feel kind of bad about it.

  • CDJ

    oh my god. i just remembered another thing. i’m literally cringing. a boy in middle school would always make fun of me for either my buck teeth or my overall nerd/overachiever status, so i went right ahead and brought up his daddy issues. i knew his father was the definition of a train wreck, so i used that as my ammunition. OH MY WHY DID I DO THAT?? I FEEL SO BAD!!! THAT KID IS NOW ADDICTED TO HEROIN I KID YOU NOT AND IT’S PROBABLY MY FAULT. should i write him a letter???

    • Definitely write a letter.. maybe recommend a rehab clinic too? Poor you, poor him too.

    • alejandra

      DON’T THROW STONES WHEN YOU LIVE IN A GLASS HOUSE. THAT KID DESERVED IT. it sounds like he was a school bully and middle school bullies always get whats coming to them. dont be sorry.

  • liz

    Mean Girls came out when I was in middle school. It is the WORST film you can show a thirteen year old girl, who is suffering from crippling insecurities that can only be cured by cruelness to others. I thought the characters and their antics were awesome, and my friend group and I imitated all of their behaviors because it was funny (duhhhhh…) – I hope y’all catch the Mean Girls humor in that one!

    Anyways, my best friend’s mom is a jerk. I think that life has dealt her a tough hand full of disappointment and brokenness, and she takes it out on everyone. She is probably the most unpleasant person I have ever encountered. Well, at the ripe old age of thirteen, you don’t really take depression, self-medication, wasted talents, unaccomplished dreams, regrets, or any of that longing adult bullshit into account. We just thought that the mom was the anti-Christ, more or less. My friend group and I made this notebook that we passed around during class changes. I know, so original… It basically was a journal that we all shared. We would write about annoying teachers, our parents, friends who we hated on a particular day, stupid boys, etc. It was typically light-hearted and silly.

    On the cover of the book however, I drew a really terrible picture… I didn’t mention that the mean mom was rather over-weight. All of our other moms were cute and in great shape. I drew an awful picture of large mom in the middle of the page. Behind her were the eyes and partial heads of the other moms. The illustration communicated that large mom was too fat for the other moms to fit on the page, so you just saw parts of them.

    Writing this out literally makes my stomach hurt.

    Anyways, mean mom found the book, and it crushed her. I was so humiliated and ashamed. I think I actually chose to go to confession for it, which is saying a lot. I literally had like negative conscience at the time. Pretty much nothing made me feel bad, but this was a doozy. No, it was THE doozy. It still makes me squirm when I think about it. How could I be so cruel and disrespectful? How could I treat someone so badly? Why did my friends think it was okay? There is just so much wrong with the entire exchange. I ended up writing mean mom a letter apologizing, and she was extremely forgiving. She still lives down the street from my parents, and I still avoid eye contact at all costs.

    It makes me sad that people – even thirteen year old twits – have the ability to treat others so badly. This is the meanest thing I have ever done. Let the cyber bullying ensue, I absolutely deserve it.

    • Jill S

      You’ve paid for it all these years, and I know how that feels. I posted my own ugly here. No cyber-bullying from me…at least you learned from it. The true tragedy would be that you still behave this way as an adult (and sadly, I know some people who do). *hugs*

  • Samantha

    My old roommate was the worst.

    I coughed on her pillows when I had strep throat. I also used some of her milk and then refilled it with water because I am an adult.

    • Kat

      ….I have done the same thing to my truly awful roommate, My other roommate and started off doing things like that and feeling totally guilty, but then she continued to be an asshole so we really stopped having any feelings of remorse except for saying “we are so going to hell” to one another as we read her journal, put peroxide in her shampoo, and drinking her wine and replacing it with juice (which she then drank and claimed to be “so wasted” from). She still has no idea. I would feel more guilty if she didn’t treat everyone else like crap though.

  • Joshua Michael

    i used to be a legitimate asshole in college (that was like 5 years ago now) not just to girls, but every one in general. i have since sought therapy and am glad i’m not that person any more for sure

    but one thing ive always felt terrible about is once when i was a junior in college i told my long term girlfriend who had come up for the weekend to go home because she dyed her hair and I told her it looked terrible.

    I of course apologized about it but was always doing something to apologize for so not sure if it was heartfelt then or that she took it with sincerity but that was a truly asshole/dickhead move and am truly sorry for it now :

  • REM

    I think about this incident every 2 months or so and have helpless bouts of guilt:

    So the funny thing to do in my middle school was to “pants” people if they were wearing sweatpants. The fashion was to wear spandex shorts underneath your sweatpants, so when someone “pants”-ed you, i.e. pulled the sweatpants down, your ass wasn’t hanging out. Let’s not get into how sexually inappropriate this is, particularly for 13-15 year olds, but in our minds, socially it was a funny game that our whole school played.
    Well I pants-ed a girl at lunch one day, but accidentally grabbed her shorts as well, which also pulled down her underwear. In front of the whole cafeteria. She ran out crying. I tried to apologize because I really wasnt a mean person, but it was hands-down the meanest thing I ever did. She didn’t talk to me the rest of the year, and I havent seen her since. This was about 8 years ago.

  • Shannon

    I stole a classmate’s Ying Yang ring in the first grade. Ying Yangs were the thing in the early 90’s and I just had to have that ring. She had the whole classroom searching for the ring along while it was in my pocket. My mom later saw me wearing it and asked me where I had gotten it. I ended up giving it back to my classmate a few days later, but said that I had found it on the ground. Stealer and liar? Just that one time and it still haunts me. I learned my lesson.


  • I still live in remorse of some of the awful things I did growing up…especially to my sister. At least we have the heart to feel guilty about it now? Right..?


  • A girl in high school was the definition of awkward + annoying (we still laugh about it at high school friends get-togethers). She kept wanting to be friends me so one day I wrote a really long bitchy facebook message telling her to shut up and stop talking to me.

    In another instance I was unaware of what I’ve done…it was the first time I won a speech competition so when I was awarded my trophy on stage I was overwhelmed with excitement…when the dude that won second place turned to shake my hand I completely ignored him (in front of hundreds of people.)

    But it sounds like everyone else who has commented are a lot meaner than me. 😛

  • Jill S

    My freshman year in high school, I wanted to be a Mean Girl, and so I was…I headed up a group of three other girls who stood up in unison and walked away with our trays from the lunch table when another girl we knew sat down. I’d been treated poorly by some (different) girls in my grade school previously, and I wanted to know what it felt like on the flip side. Well, I got my wish. But it felt horrible and I immediately resolved never to do anything like it again.

    I haven’t left it behind; rather I carry the memory with me and take it out from time to time as a benchmark of a way in which I *never* want to be again. I may have hurt people inadvertently in past years since then, but never deliberately.

    Ugh. I feel gross just typing it out here.

  • Liv

    I was 12 or 13 when I entered bitchland….and stayed there until my later teens. My mom would wake us up in the morning by sitting on our bed and sweetly singing. I hated it. Partly because I hated morning, and partly because I hated mom. One morning as she was singing me awake, she leaned down to kiss my cheek and I slammed my face into hers, pretending to be scared awake. Her glasses jammed into her face and I remember her being hurt. She asked me why. I’m sure I lied.
    I have always felt great remorse and still to this day get tears in my eyes when I think about it.

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    great post. I am trying to think of the worst thing I have ever done. I think it was a not very thoughtful comment to my mother about how I enjoy hanging out with my husbands family more because they have fun whereas my family just sits around the table at dinner and strangles each other with words. I can’t even remember what I said – which probably means it was so bad I tried to block it out…

  • Meanest thing I’ve done…i’m a do the 2nd one because the first is evil. I made everyone hate this girl, all her friends, we would yell things at her and throw things at her like food and milk & trash, run around saying she’s a hoe, wrote rude things all on her Myspace but that was middle school


  • DriaM

    When I was a junior in high school, a boy that I will call Oliver, convinced my boyfriend to break up with me. Oliver had a little sister that I’ll call Agnes. To get back at Oliver, I went online to Craigslist, to FetLife, and a bevy of other chat rooms and websites and advertised that a stripping, pansexual “very open-minded”, blond, 5’6, 110 pound C-cup submissive named Agnes was willing to strip, phone-f*ck, or sleep with people for extraordinarily low rates, which I set as $50 an hour, all-inclusive for hand-jobs, foot-jobs, blow jobs, vaginal, anal, group, etc. I also posted that she loved to be talked dirty to immediately by her prospective Masters as soon as she picked up the phone; the dirtier, crazier, and scarier the better, because Agnes was super into “almost violent masculine domination” and “outlandish sexual fantasies; give me whatever you’ve been too scared to tell anyone else”. I then posted Oliver’s actual phone number on these ads, begging readers to call. My boyfriend and I got back together after a few weeks hiatus, and he told me that Oliver’s phone was blowing up with requests for insane sexual services and crazy dirty talk towards who he imagined was his little sister. I was told by another friend that after a year, Oliver had to change his number because it bothered him so much that he was still getting calls. To this day, Oliver never knew it was me and blamed one of his best friends. I don’t think they’re friends anymore.

    I still think it’s hilarious. Oliver was extremely mean to everyone, cut people down for no reason, sexually harassed one of my close friends regularly, and was slightly homophobic and racist. Sorry not sorry.

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    15 yrs ago,I killed a mouse with mouse poison. At the time I had no awareness of humane traps or that poison was a horrifically painful way for a mouse to die.Day later, I saw the mouse slowly crawling out of the rafters toward me and my brother told me he was dying and was probably desperately seeking aid .. I was gripped with the most intense pain and started shaking and crying, swearing to God I would never do this again no matter what. Found out later that it is the most painful way for a mouse to die. Have cried so many nights over this.

    This year we had mice again, got a humane Ramik trap, made a bed of shredded tissue inside and an array of organic food treats. Caught 5 adorable young mice over 3 days (temporarily relocating caught babies to a tissue and food filled bin with heating pad underneath, screen on top. When all appeared to be caught, relocated them in a home- made insulated nest, with 2 months food supply to a sheltered area on our property.

    I know I’ll never be able to make up for what I did, and I deserve to never forget and never get away from this pain and guilt.

  • kforkarli

    I drew on my sister’s Hanson posters..

  • bay

    i took a picture of my roommate scratching his butt when he’s sleeping and posted it on facebook

  • Tia Talge

    my parents divorced when i was quite young and i grew up mostly with my mum and then when i was 10 we moved in with my now stepdad. in a fit of like, pre-pubescent rage i decided to tell my father (who had no part in raising me whatsoever) that my stepdad (who did raise me) was a dick and treating me really poorly (when, in fact, he had legitimate anxiety/anger issues and just didn’t quite know how to deal with a pre-teen girl) so my father rang my stepdad and they got into a huge fight because of shitty and false accusations i’d given, and after my father went back to his home in another state, my mum and my stepdad split up and i felt awful.

    on the plus side to my duplicitous nature, when my mum got back together with him (at mine and my brother’s request) my relationship with my stepdad actually began to improve, to the point where for the last three years i have been calling him dad and we go out for coffees and talk about existential junk and i educate him on the evolutions of our culture and he educates me in the ways of life. i certainly regret my choices of the time, but i definitely don’t regret the outcome.

    • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

      wonderful outcome:-)

  • C

    In grade 3, the entire class bullied one girl for picking her nose/generally being different. We decided she had the “cooties” so everyone would run to the back of the line if they ended up standing next to her. I did the same and as I was shifting to get away from her 4 boys toppled over onto me. I still have a chipped front tooth as a reminder 15 years later.

  • After watching “Mean Girls” as a kid we wrote a burn book too -_- Guess we didn’t realize the moral of the story was burn books were “BADD”

    The Artistically Challenged: Beauty, Fashion, Music, Lifestyle Blog

  • Anjela

    The spring before i started middle school my divorcee mother reconnected with an old high school boyfriend, and essentially picked up the family, took us out of school, and moved us to a new state to be with him.
    I was still incredibly angry at everything for a long time. I think i was maybe experiencing weird preteen anxiety about fitting in, but i found myself picking on this kid who was the victim of basically classwide bullying from everyone. It was really gross. One day in response to daily bullying this poor desperate kid in ill fitting clothing said that he had a list of the names of all the people who were being dicks to him, and for some reason my immediate response was to say ‘OH, YOU HAVE A HIT LIST?’.
    Then the situation got really out of control, and these bitchy girls and I wound up reporting him to the dean, and he got suspended for a long time, and wound up having to repeat the year.
    I am very sure he didnt have a hit list, he was definitely just going to tell the principle who his bullies were.
    My heart breaks for this 11 year old kid facing relentless bullying from his classmates. Even at the time i knew it was wrong and i felt bad, but i guess it was easier to take out my anger on an easy target than to do the right thing. After that went down I changed my ways, i stood up for people when they were being bullied, or when my friends would badmouth them.
    It’s been like 13 years, but i still think about this incident a lot,every couple of days, and I feel a real visceral pain in my chest. I probably won’t ever forgive myself. I still kind of think i deserve it for intentionally hurting another being.

  • Guest

    Lied about my grades and lost my scholarship. It’s been an expensive mistake for both my finances and my conscience, but holy shit did I learn my lesson. I’m grateful that it’s forced me to do it better.

  • Hudson Berry

    Lied about my grades and lost my scholarship. It’s been an expensive mistake for both my finances and my conscience, but holy shit did I learn my lesson. It ruined a friendship with one of my closest gal pals, which truly fucking sucks, but I’m grateful that the whole ordeal has forced me to stop lying (even little white lies) and do it better.

  • Celeste

    When I was in kindergarten, there was this boy who the class had collectively nicknamed “Farty Anthony.” One day, I was hanging out near the water fountain (cuz, ya know, I was cool) and Farty Anthony came over and gave me a construction paper heart with “I love you” written on it. I was so embarrassed that I ripped it up and threw it in the garbage right in front of him. I feel awful even writing it. He follows me on Instagram now though, so I guess we’re good.

  • Lauren

    My sister and I were at the beach. I shoved a handful of sand into her mouth. I wasn’t even mad at her – just evil.

  • Kate

    My 5-years’-less-experienced sister and I grew up on a dairy farm relatively close to an air force base, so we had low-flying planes overhead coming in to land on a pretty regular basis. We were pretty close and she clearly thought I was the coolest person ever to walk the earth and copied/believed everything I said and did. I can’t even remember what she did to annoy me, but to get back at her I took knowing advantage of her blind adoration and faith told her something completely evil…I told her that before a plane landed, it had to dump all liquids including fuel and the sewage from the on-board toilets so that it wouldn’t be too heavy on landing (or some such bogus scientific reason). Seeing her high-tail it with those stubby little-kid legs every time a plane came over always filled me with secret glee. She figured out the lie two years later and surprisingly, we are still close!

  • Anonymous

    I said “Tie 2 people together. Lift up 2’s arm and let 1 watch as you skin their arm. Have a bucket filled with the blood so that you can make 1 drink it. If he pukes into the bucket, shove it in their face. Then shave their heads and poke 1’s eye with a knife until they can no longer see. Then slowly do the other one. Then slowly cut off 2’s ears. Rip off 1’s toe and finger nails and force 2 to eat them. Then stab 1 to death, but stab so slow that they want death to come. When 1 is dead untie them and force 2 to eat 1’s organs. Then skin 2. Then stab 2’s eyes and let the blood spill into the bucket. Make him drink it. Then chop his tongue off. Then, when you get bored, Cut their neck slowly until their head falls off. Eat his organs.” to someone. http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/m-i3bzKJYxM/maxresdefault.jpg And it looks a lot like me.

  • Skrillex

    I made a song that insulted someone.

  • Ares

    @skrillex that’s crazy I just wanted to see.