We’ve all had that roommate before – the guy who watched porn on top volume or the girl who ate your last bagel on a regular basis. Living with someone makes your rent cheaper, but the truth is, having a bad roommate can really suck.
We asked over 2,000 people to share their wildest roommate horror stories – and we got a little more than we bargained for: They skip rent payments. They forget to clean up dog poo. They get drunk and pee on the floor. (The floor!) Grossed out yet? Read on to get the dirt on more horrifying-but-true habits of the country’s worst roommates.
Breathe a sigh of relief: Our survey reveals that the most offensive (and disgusting!) roommate habits aren’t the ones that happen most often.
The habits that most horrify nine out of 10 people (who’s the other one!?) include stealing, peeing or puking on the floor, not paying rent, being rude to guests, not picking up after pets, breaking something, and being loud when you’re trying to sleep. But wait, it gets better. Have you ever heard the term “sexile”? For all you prudes out there: (sex·ile: /sĕk’sīl’/) verb; to kick out your roommate so you can have sex. Turns out people find this, leaving dirty dishes, and hitting on your friends just slightly less offensive.
So which roommate quirks are most common? We asked people to ‘fess up. More than four out of 10 admit they’ve made messes, and more than three out of 10 have left dirty dishes. Other confessions: They’ve swiped your food, used your soap or razor (ew), and hogged the bathroom. Only one in five admits to having loud sex with a roommate home (but that’s still one too many).
When it comes to obnoxious roommate behavior, people across the country have pretty similar pet peeves for the most part. But a few states have some interesting views on the worst sins a roommate can commit.
West Virginians hate it when you hit on their friends – they think it’s even worse than stealing! People in Indiana would prefer you pee or puke on the floor than invade their space (so when they say “Give me some space,” believe them!) People in Minnesota would rather you skip your rent payment than let your dog poop on the floor. (“Don’t worry about the rent, just clean up after the dog!” We always knew Minnesotans were nice).
According to our survey, guys are surprisingly good roommates. Only around four out of 10 admit they’ve skipped cleaning up after themselves, and more than three out of 10 have left dirty dishes and eaten your food.
As for women? Almost nine out of 10 confess to noisy sex sessions, nearly six out of 10 have rearranged the furniture without checking if it’s okay, and more than half invite their partners over all the time. Come on, girls!
In a miserable living situation, most of us can only be pushed so far. What are common breaking points for unhappy roommates? Peeing or throwing up on the floor is the top dealbreaker: Around a quarter of men and women would give a roommate the boot for even a single occurrence of that gross behavior. Only a handful of patient souls said they’d let it go.
On the flip side, only around one in 25 people would kick out a roommate for leaving tiny hairs in the tub after shaving – and 18 percent of men and 16 percent of women say they’d never kick out a roommate for doing that. Shave on, y’all!
So here’s a crappy roommate move – finding a certain habit really obnoxious and then doing it anyway. Who’s guilty?
One in 11 people hate it when roommates don’t pick up after their pets – but they admit to skipping cat or dog cleanup too. One in 11 also gets mad when their roommate’s rent is late, though they’ve been late too.
One in 14 admits to being a jerk to a roommate’s guests (though they can’t stand it when roommates are rude to their own visitors), and one in 14 has peed or puked on a roommate’s stuff despite knowing how disgusting that is. One in sixteen people hate it when roommates steal– but they also admit they’ve done it.
We asked people to share their own real-life roommate horror stories, in their own words – and they delivered. To figure out the common threads, we pulled the most frequent words and phrases from their stories.
“Loud sex” was one common comment – and unfortunately was paired with phrases such as “for hours on end.” (Sigh.) “Drugs” came up a lot, too – someone even shared the story of being arrested due to a roommate’s stash! The word “stole” was mentioned a lot – cars, cash, and clothes were all fair game for some awful roommates. Other often-used words include party, drunk, smell, boyfriend, terrible, girlfriend, constantly.
We all have our quirks, yet the habits revealed in our survey take roommate horror stories to a whole new level. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In a perfect world, your roommate would – at the very least – make you coffee when you’re hungover, share food when you’re too broke to get groceries, and be polite to your parents on the phone.
Do you need a new living situation? Download our free Rentable app – it’s the fastest, easiest way to search for apartments. There are more than a million listings in a bunch of major cities, so you can find the right fit – and no one will ever pee on your floor again.
Feel free to share the images found on this page freely. When doing so, please attribute the authors by providing a link back to this page, so your readers can learn more about this project and the related research.