If you've ever had the misfortune of being stuck living by a petty neighbor, you know it's the absolute woooorst. Whether it's being passive-aggressive about parking or straight-up rude about something trivial like holiday decorations, it's a constant headache.
Because I love drama, I've been snooping all around Reddit for that sweet, sweet awful-next-door-neighbor gossip. Here are some of the best (or...worst?), most jaw-dropping ones:
1. The upstairs neighbor, who let their dog pee on their balcony and rain down on their poor downstairs neighbors:
2. "Some years ago, we had new neighbors move in next door. The husband traveled a lot, and his wife was afraid of just about everything — the dark, thunderstorms, you name it. So, they had really bright flood lights over their garage doors. She would leave them on all night, every night, even though you couldn't see them from inside of their house. They were positioned so that they would shine right into our bedroom at night. We tried blocking them with curtains, but they were too bright. So we asked them politely several times if they could turn them off at night. They adamantly refused. I offered to pay for a timer that would control them, but they wouldn't even consider it. Well, the solution that I arrived at was to simply loosen the bulbs up enough that they wouldn't turn on."
"Since they couldn't see them from inside the house, it took about six months before they realized that they weren't working. They screwed them back in. I waited a couple of weeks and unscrewed them again. Another few months went by. Finally, one day, my neighbor asked me if I ever had any trouble with my outdoor lights. I told him yes, as a matter of fact, I did. I said that they would loosen up occasionally and I would have to retighten them. I blamed it on vibration from the traffic on our street. He said that he had the same problem. I told him that I finally just gave up and left them off. He eventually did the same. We were happy with the final outcome, and we were able to keep peace in the neighborhood."
Here's a close-up of that sign:
5. "I lived in an upper duplex, and the people below turned the bedroom under mine into a TV room. They watched TV until 3 a.m. every night at full volume. I know it was full volume, because when I watched their cats, I checked. It was an old TV with the dials, and the volume was turned all the way up. I nicely explained how I could hear everything and asked them if they could please turn it down at 11 p.m., but nothing changed. Well, she had planted a garden with over $300 of flowers (she told me) beside my parking spot. So one night, I sprinkled five bags of cat nip over the garden. I went out the next morning, and there was nothing but dirt and tufts of fur left."
Here's a close-up of that first letter:
And the second:
8. "My trespassing neighbor cut down trees on my property, so I sent her a cease and desist. She responded by sending me a letter from her lawyer, making up lies about me, saying a bunch of foul language in front of her small child. It was her way of saying, 'If you take me to court, I’m going to attempt to damage your reputation, too,' as I work for a school. Well, her husband is running a business out of their home. He bought a vehicle exclusively for it, quit his real job, and hired two people. Another neighbor told me this is all under the table to avoid paying taxes on the income from the last three years. So, I sent an anonymous tip to the IRS. Enjoy being audited, bitch!"
11. "It was a cold winter day. Eight inches of snow had fallen the night before, and the windchill made it feel as if it were in the negatives. I drive an all-wheel-drive SUV, so I have no issues getting out. My wife, on the other hand, drives a Prius, which slides with the smallest amount of moisture on the road. My car was down at the time, so we had to take hers. I spent 45 minutes in the freezing cold shoveling that car out so we could get to the store. We were gone for an hour, and when we came back, our neighbor had taken the spot I had shoveled. Our apartment complex doesn’t have assigned parking, but in the winter, it’s understood that if you shovel a spot, it’s yours. So when I saw his car in the spot I had just shoveled, I was pretty pissed.
"I went inside and filled two 1-gallon jugs of water. I went back out and poured them on his windshield. Rinse and repeat. I must have poured about 10 gallons of water on his car by the time I was done. Being how cold it was, it was already freezing by the time I poured the last gallon on. It sat like that overnight. The next morning, I got to watch as he helplessly tried to scrape all of these layers of ice off his windshield. Don’t take my goddamn parking spot."
12. "Our homophobic neighbor complained to the city that our trash bins are on the side of our house. The city said we could put up lattice in front of the bins. Hope she loves our new lattice!"
14. "When my grandma was living alone in her house many years ago, she had my cousins put up her Christmas lights outside and decided to leave them up all year, because her roof was really high and she didn’t want to risk anyone getting hurt. She didn’t turn them on, but just left them up. Honestly, the trim of her house was dark, and you couldn’t really see them when they weren’t on anyway, even during the day. She had this one neighbor who always complained about her and her house. One afternoon, I was washing my grandma’s truck, and the neighbor came over to complain. She and my grandma got into a big screaming match, where this lady told my grandma she needed to take her lights down because 'Christmas lights being up all year were as tacky as grandma’s pink lipstick.'"
"The next weekend, my grandma hired some guys to come paint her house pink — the same shade as her 'tacky' lipstick. She not only left the lights up, but she also turned them on every night, all year long. Sometimes, she’d sit on her porch with a beer in her hand, glaring at her neighbor with her Christmas lights on in June. She didn’t complain to my grandma about anything else ever again."
17. "Ever since I moved in, my neighbors have been nothing but annoying and rude. We share a wall, the front yard, and a front porch with a small divider. They sit on their front porch the majority of the year. Morning to night, they're always out there. They've done a bunch of really annoying — sometimes outright rude — stuff. The icing on the cake, though, was about two weeks ago. I did some major spring cleaning on the weekend, and it was now Monday. Garbage day is Tuesday at the crack of dawn. We've had a skunk/coyote problem, and all three trash bags didn't fit into the garbage, so one had to stay out. I put the bags on my front porch late Monday afternoon, right by the front steps so I could bring them out the next morning at 6:45 a.m. I left to go grocery shopping, and about 15 min. later, I started getting texts from the other neighbors. Turns out, she took a picture of my garbage bag and posted in the neighborhood Facebook group, making up lies about me."
"She complained that I am young (LOL, I am 38) and lazy (occasionally fair), and this garbage has been smelling up her porch for weeks (20 min.) and that it's now attracting rats, so people better be careful at the park across the street. I replied nicely, saying that I did spring cleaning and didn't want it ripped to shreds at the curb, but also didn't want to miss the garbage man. Everybody on the comments understood but her.
Still, I was fed up. I hated using our front door, as they were always on the shared porch and have often harassed me. My kids don't like them either, and my daughter often asked me to check if the neighbor is out there before she leaves to see her friends. I've had enough. I called my landlord, but he said he couldn't do anything. The rental market was absolutely out of control, and I couldn't afford to move. So what could I do?
This is going to sound super silly, but I am very happy with the results. I bought a wind chime. Not a twinkly one, but a real bonger of a wind chime. It's windy all the time here. I hung it as reasonably close to their side as possible without it ever crossing their property line. None of my other neighbors hang out on their front porches, so it wasn't bothering anyone else. It's small. It's petty. And it makes me giggle every time I leave the house and hear it."
18. The person who made the unfortunate mistake of going out with this petty, creepy neighbor:
19. "About six years ago, I had neighbors who were absolutely vile. I'm not white, and I rented my home, and they didn't like that. They felt I wasn’t the 'type' that should live on 'their street.' Anyway, they had awful fights, screaming at each other until the early hours of the morning. I would tell them to keep it down — either face-to-face or by a note next morning — but all I got back was verbal abuse, passive-aggressive hammering against the wall the next night, and their TV on full blast for hours to teach me a lesson. After one night when the fight went on all night (a particularly bad one involving her accusing him of having an affair), I waited a few days and anonymously phoned their house when I saw he had left for work and saw that she was home."
"Before she could answer, I said (in a disguised voice), 'Hey [man's name], can you talk? Has she left yet?' She screeched, 'WHO IS THIS?' I 'gasped' and hung up. Not long after, they moved…in separate ways. Don't fuck with me."
21. "I used to live in an old, renovated farmhouse with one apartment upstairs and mine below. I had to get up for work at 3 a.m. every day, and the hardworking mom upstairs worked two jobs for her very obnoxious kids. Every time she worked an overnight shift, they would throw parties and be rowdy. They played loud music, banged on the walls, and made noise I could only describe as bouncing medicine balls on the ground. I went up several times and said, 'Look, I'm not gonna tell your mom or call the cops; I just want some sleep. So keep having fun, but please keep the noise down so I can wake up for work at 3.' I did this several times in a week once, and they finally told me, 'Go fuck yourself, old man.' I was 23."
"I knew my landlord, and he knew that I knew how to work on houses, so he gave me the only key to the basement where the electrical was. After being told to go fuck myself, I'd had enough. I went downstairs, flipped off the breaker to the upstairs apartment, locked the door, and went back for a peaceful night's sleep. I woke up at 3 and turned it back on before I left for work. Over the next two weeks, whenever the parties got too loud, I would simply turn off their power and enjoy a nice night's sleep. After that, there were no more parties. I think they got the message."
23. And finally, this roller coaster of a story:
"My dad had just lost his job, so we moved to a new, less expensive building. I was thrilled that we now had direct access to a courtyard and cement pathways that I could ride my bike on. While my parents were still unpacking, some of the kids from down the hall came to our door and asked if I wanted to ride bikes with them, which became our weekend routine for a while. It only stopped when an old lady from the same side of the hall made a complaint about us being in the courtyard. Not that we were being loud or vulgar, just that we were present. Mind you, all of the apartments on our side of the hall faced the road, which was completely opposite to the courtyard we used, so she couldn't even see us when we were outside."
"She claimed that people had complained to her specifically, worried about walking in the courtyard while there were a couple of kids on bikes in the general area. My parents pretty much ignored her and just told me to play with my friends on one of the nearby streets, but none of us wanted to do that since we couldn't practice bike tricks on the road.
About a week after I ignored her complaint, I had stayed out past the time I was meant to be home, and left my bike around the side of the building so I could get it in the morning. However, as you might have guessed at this point, I woke up the next day to find my bike missing. I, being a dramatic little kid, ran up the stairs to our hall sobbing and told my parents what had happened. Apparently, the old lady told my parents that she had taken the bike from outside because we were still in the courtyard, and they were mad at me for not going to the street like they asked. They then told me to go down the hall and politely ask for the bike back, which I did. Unfortunately, the old lady told me that I needed to be taught a lesson, and if I gave her a written apology (yes, actually), I could have it back at the end of the week (it was Sunday morning). I was, of course, pissed and started to plot my at-the-time brilliant revenge.
Next Saturday, I put my plan in motion. I had put on a pretty good show of being remorseful to my mom, who lent me some money to buy a tin of biscuits to apologize with. I had my written apology, the biscuits, and several voblas in a sandwich bag I had hidden in my coat. For those who have never heard of vobla, it is a salted, dried fish popular in Russia, and that I personally think is one of the worst smells maybe ever. My mom is Russian and loves them, which is why we had so many in the apartment. I knocked on the old lady's door, and she invited me in to put the things down. She accepted my letter and the biscuits, and I asked her if I could use her bathroom before I left with my bike, which she allowed.
While she was sitting in the living room, I was hustling quietly around her bathroom and bedroom, hiding one of those gross dried fish anywhere I thought she wouldn't look regularly. I stuck them between pipes under the sink, under her giant wardrobe, and even the top shelf of her closet. With the all-natural stink bombs deployed, I washed my hands and all but sprinted out of her apartment with my bike, thrilled with the stunt I managed to pull off.
From what I overheard, the old lady complained to the landlord about the 'awful fish smell' on several occasions before she finally hired a company to come deep-clean her apartment. She found and complained about the very old, very nasty fish, and actually moved out a couple of months later (although I'm not sure if that was due to the lasting effects of the fish incident or something else entirely). Of course, I feel bad about it now, but at the time, I felt like the biggest, coolest genius known to man."
Now it's your turn! Do you have a petty neighbor story like these? If so, tell us all about it (and feel free to include pictures!) in the comments below or via this anonymous form.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.