"Even As A Child, I Thought That Was Messed Up": 17 Extremely Strange "House Rules" People Experienced When They Visited Someone's House At A Young Age

When we were kids, there may have been a few times when we went to someone's house and had to follow a certain rule. So when asked: "What is the strangest 'house rule' you've encountered at someone else's home?" the BuzzFeed Community provided a lot of stories. Here's what they had to say below.

Two children entering a house, one wearing striped attire, with bags and coats hanging by the door
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1."I was friends with a girl down the road from my house and she was having a sleepover for her, like, ninth birthday. Well, it turns out she still wet the bed at night. It's not a huge deal, but her mom made her wear pull-ups at night — and so she wouldn't be 'embarrassed,' she tried to make the rest of us do it. My parents came and got me shortly after I found that rule out. Even now, as an adult, I look back and think it was more embarrassing that her mom tried to make everyone wear one when she could have just had her daughter put one on in the bathroom in private."


2."The weirdest thing I remember is that at my one friend's house, nobody laughed at farts. I come from a fart-positive family who thinks they're hilarious. Do you know how hard it was for me to stifle my laughter when my friend's mom ripped huge farts, and everyone acted like nothing just happened?!"

Girl covers mouth in surprise, outdoors with water in the background
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3."I used to visit this family down the road to play with the kids. If they got hungry, they would grab handfuls from the tin of dry cat food that they always kept in the playroom. They did not own a cat."


4."My cousins' other grandmother baked their birthday cakes. She baked little toys inside the cake, which I thought was fantastic. That is until I found out we had to give the toys back so she could use them in future cakes. I never thought about the choking hazard until I was an adult. Speaking of choking, I had neighbors who didn't make ice cubes. I do not know why. But they would freeze metal bottle tops and use them to chill drinks. Even as a young child, I thought that was f'd up."

A girl in a party hat enjoys cake at a festive birthday celebration with balloons in the background
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5."I stayed over at a friend's [house] once when I was about nine. For dinner, all the kids got a bowl of tinned beans or spaghetti hoops. However, my friend's little sister wanted beans but got spaghetti hoops, so she decided to spit in mine. Their mum just said well, I shouldn’t have let her spit in it then (like it's a normal thing I should have had to look out for…?), and I would have to eat the rest of her beans if I wanted anything as I wasn't getting anything else, so she spat in them as well so she could have both, and I went hungry."

What I Did In The Shadows

6."Whenever there was thunder, everyone had to huddle in the hallway until it was over. Super nice family otherwise."

Lightning strikes with visible bolts against a stormy sky, over a field with distant towers
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7."My best friend's mom used to make me drink milk with dinner. I was lactose intolerant and drank water at home. She also fed me liver. Also, probably because my parents were atheists, they insisted I go to church on Sundays. At church, she insisted that I get a blessing instead of taking communion because I didn't know if I'd ever been baptized. The whole thing was freaky, and to this day, church services creep me out."


8."Growing up, I had a babysitter whose daughter didn't like the 'taste' of water. So, no one in the house was allowed to drink water — and we HAD to have a drink before going to bed. I'm sure y'all know the taste of apple or orange juice after toothpaste...yuck!"

Glass half full of water casting a shadow on a surface
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9."When I was in elementary school, my best friend's family only cleaned their house twice a year by opening the front and back doors and literally hosing out the house. They started at the front and hosed it out the back. All of our houses back then had solid oak floors. So appalling, it's beyond words — I couldn't tell my mom, or I wouldn't be able to see my friend."


10."My dad had a rule that we couldn’t watch a movie more than once (back when we used to get DVDs), which was hard to do as a kid, but his reasoning is that he didn’t want us to veg out in front of the TV. Never mind that he used to spend hours in front of his computer (the math ain’t matching)."

Three children sitting on a couch, engrossed in watching TV, one eating a snack
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11."When my siblings and I were small, we weren’t allowed to say 'fart' because it was 'swearing' (seriously). We had to say 'pump' instead, which is a very British childish equivalent!"


12."Over the summer, I walked my dog in our usual spot in the woods with my husband. We see all sorts of people and doggos. We walk by a family without a dog and young kids. The kids picked up sticks and were whacking branches and dragging them on the ground and then one kid started scraping a rock, thus making him fall shortly behind everyone. The dad tells him to put the stick down because this isn't the time to play with sticks. YOU'RE IN THE WOODS… THIS LITERALLY IS ONE OF THE TIMES AND PLACES TO PLAY WITH STICKS."

Pile of freshly cut tree branches arranged haphazardly on the ground
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13."My husband grew up in a very strict household. A lot of the rules were basic 'strict parent' rules like having to clean your plate, no TV after a certain time, or no name-calling. But the one rule still affects him to this day: the boys were never allowed to leave the house without wearing a collared shirt and tie. He still refuses to wear a tie as an adult!"


14."I remember sleeping at a friend's house and was told I had to take a bath at night; I was 12 and used to showering in the morning. [I also] had to take their vitamins... I quickly became 'allergic' to them. They were nice enough, but even back then, I wasn't taking any pills that I didn't know what they were!"

A spilled bottle with capsules on a surface, health supplement concept
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15."I was about 12 years old when I went to play with a new friend down the block. Her brother and both parents were home, so I went to say hi and introduce myself. I was told that before we can play, they have a rule of checking for head lice for anyone who comes over. So here I am, sitting on a chair getting 'inspected' while the family stood around staring. I didn't have lice and was able to play, but the whole experience was so strange and uncomfortable that I never went back over."


16."The only 'weird' thing I ever encountered at a friend's house was when I was around 16/17. I slept over at a newer friend's house and brought candy because we were going to be watching a bunch of Halloween movies. I got yelled at and banned from ever going to her house again because her daughter wasn't allowed to have any sort of candy because she got 'hyper.' She was hyper for a matter of, like, five minutes and chilled out. I remember being mind-blown that a teenager got like that off of candy."

Two girls sitting outside, smiling, holding lollipop smiley faces
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17."No one was allowed to bother my friend's dad while he was in the bathroom… which is sensible, except he liked to lock himself in the bathroom to read the newspaper, and they only had one bathroom. After having to go out in the yard behind a bush out of desperation, if I visited again, I made sure to only drink what was necessary to eat."


Have you ever experienced a strange house rule while being in someone else's home? Tell us what it was and what happened in the comments below.