Roommate Horror Stories So Wild, You Won't Believe They're True

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
It's a fact of life: Sometimes a roommate is necessary to save a few bucks on rent. As humans, we all have our own quirks, and often our personal home habits might not vibe well under the same roof. Chances are you've had to deal with someone who wasn’t the ideal person to share an apartment with. But if your worst cohabitation stories include little more than dirty dishes or passive-aggressive remote-control hoarding, consider yourself lucky. Very lucky.

In the wild world of renting in L.A., there have been many innocent bystanders who have had to deal with much worse than a messy kitchen or an uninvited live-in significant other, à la Broad City's Bevers.

Get ready, because you are about to hear tales of human behavior that are so appalling, you’ll wonder how these people could be allowed to sign another lease. From single white females to surprise orgies, the 11 horror stories ahead may make you swear off two bedrooms forever — or thank heaven that your roomie's worst habits are not that bad after all.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Bathroom Snoop
My first roommate, when we were both age 18, was totally incapable of taking care of herself. She would sleep all day, stay up all night, and snoop in my room. Her diet consisted of butter-pecan Ensure, baby food, and bags of McDonald's burgers and fries, which she would put in our fridge and microwave throughout the week when she was hungry.

All of this was alarming, but the tipping point came one afternoon when I returned home to a foul smell in the apartment. Her bathroom was in the hallway, mine was in my room; and thanks to her constant snooping, I had started locking my bedroom door when I was out. I followed the smell into her bathroom, and to her toilet. Against my better judgment, I lifted the toilet seat to find that her toilet had become clogged, but that she continued to go to the bathroom for days, letting it pile up to the lid. I was furious.

I marched over to her room and banged on the door. Of course, she was too embarrassed to come out of her room, shouting it was my fault for locking my door and giving her no other options. Apparently, the snooping I had suspected was actually her using my bathroom. I called the building manager, had a maintenance person sent immediately, and told her (through the door) that she was coming out to explain herself to the worker.

But once he — a nice man in his 40s who had no idea of his fate — arrived, she pretended not to be home. There I was, banging like an idiot in front of this man, but she was silent. I'm sure I looked like I was lying to avoid the responsibility for what he was about to see. I had no choice; I showed him to the bathroom.

He walked in, lifted the seat, and turned white as a ghost. He looked at me as I swore it wasn't my bathroom, but he just said, "I have to go get some gloves." I kicked her out at the end of the month.

— Christine, 30
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Surprise Orgy
A few years ago, I moved in with a girl whom I had just met, but I really liked her, so I didn't think we'd have any problems getting along. We had everything in common, and she quickly became my best friend. We were both turning 18 and ready to move out on our own, so we found an awesome two-bedroom and moved in immediately.

Everything was great and she was the perfect roommate until one fateful evening. It was around midnight and I was in my bedroom, watching a movie in my favorite matching plaid pajamas, when I heard a man's voice. I wanted a snack (and wanted to know who was in my apartment this late at night), so I walked into my living room.

What did I find? Seven strangers and my roommate having an actual real live orgy. As I awkwardly dodged naked bodies, my roommate asked me to join in. I declined and tried to make my sandwich without staring too much, and fled back to my bedroom. The next morning, there were used condoms all over the house and blood on my dining room wall.

— Betsey, 27
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Queen Of Filth
My friend was a super-nice, chill, smart, and funny girl with whom I loved to hang out, but she had the destructive power of a Mötley Crüe-era Tommy Lee drunken rampage. The only saving grace was that she mostly kept her horrible messes to her room, though she’d still leave annoying traces of it in the bathroom (makeup sprawling, towels on the floor, nail clippings!) and the living room (huge ashtray full of doobie roaches, socks tucked into the couch, cough medicine spilled on the table, etc.).

One day, since she basically took every single coffee cup and soup bowl that we owned to her bedroom, I went in there to retrieve them. I couldn’t believe it. The walls were splashed with what seemed to be hot chocolate, there were half-eaten sandwiches resting on the windowsill, and the floor was littered with clothes, kitchenware, bags of chips, dirty underwear, more drug paraphernalia, a huge dirty bottle of Astroglide(!!!), candy wrappers, condom wrappers, and books. It smelled like ash and sweat and rotting food! I have no idea how that girl managed to look so nice and well dressed most of the time, since all her worldly possessions were one big stinking tumbleweed of filth!

— Cheryl, 25
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Temper Tantrum
I had a roommate who would pretend to be sweet and demure, but she was actually really mean and violent (which I realized after we had signed a lease together, of course). If she didn't get recognized or didn't get enough attention at something like a sporting event or a bar, she'd come home in a fit of rage and start screaming and throwing stuff around the house.

Once, while my boyfriend was waiting for me in the front room, something weird happened. He heard loud noises and screaming, so he ran down the hall towards my room, thinking I was being attacked. My roommate was in her room, throwing shoes everywhere and screaming. We weren't sure what to do, so he came into my room and we sat there and waited it out. When we finally left my room, I became the target — for not letting her know I was inviting my boyfriend over! — and she started throwing shoes at me. Luckily, she had bad aim, except for just one pump that hit my boyfriend as we scurried down the hall and ran out of the apartment.

— Kitty, 24
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The Emotional Breakdown
I post room ads to Craigslist to fill the house I live in, and was once contacted by a 34-year-old woman named Samantha. She was polite and dressed really cute, so I thought she was just a normal girl. She told me she had just gotten out of a 10-year relationship, didn't drink or smoke, and paid her rent on time. She moved in immediately.

The first week, she called me while I was out dancing with friends. She was slurring. “Come home, bitch. I have vodka,” she said. My other roommate also texted me: “Oh man. You need to see this!”

I came home to find Samantha sitting in the living room in complete darkness. “Get on your piano, bitch,” she growled. I laughed and hopped on. She grabbed her guitar, and we tried to improv. It was terrible. Then Samantha broke down into sobs while trying to say, "I’m sorry, I don’t drink because of this.” I tried to end the situation by telling her to just let it out. I didn't bring it up the next day because it's really none of my business, but then arguments about silly things started to happen between us. Then I realized something: Samantha had suddenly transferred the role of boyfriend onto me. Every night, she would drink herself into obliteration, slurring and falling over. It was like “Drunk Girl” from SNL. I pulled back and distanced myself as much as I could.

Then Samantha downloaded Tinder. The slew of men who came through the door was rather interesting. I say this because I realized that after a long night of drinks, along with an arrival time of around 2:30 a.m., these men were not actually getting laid. They were getting nothing sexual. Just Samantha, picking up her guitar and attempting to serenade them each time. One by one, they bolted. Eventually, Samantha connected with a man named Pat. Pat began to stay with us every single night.

He was just as annoying as she was. For example, he used my other roommate’s razor to shave. The night before a get-together, I made three batches of brownies. I woke up to find that Pat and Samantha had drunkenly eaten 47 of the 60 brownies. They slept until 2 p.m. that day. Pat seemed to leave for an hour or two and then return to the house each day. When I walked my dogs, sometimes I would pass his SUV and realize it was packed to the top with surfboards, clothes, duffel bags. I also realized that he was leaving the house, driving his car around the corner so that he was out of sight, then returning to the same spot on the street in about one to two hours' time. Pat was squatting.

After a knock-down, drag-out fight that Samantha instigated, I decided she had to go. I asked her to pack her things up for the next month and be out by the 1st. Every other day, Samantha would text me or talk to me about how she “was so torn about leaving” and how she “kept flip-flopping on wanting to stay.” I found it both amusing and terrifying.

In her last week, Samantha left the house to buy some booze and returned home. I was out with a friend and when I came back, I noticed there was something dark and large in the street. Samantha, who drove drunk regularly, had left her car in the driveway without the parking brake on. The car had rolled back down and out into the street, narrowly missing parked cars, and ended up parking itself. Cars were having to do U-turns in the street because she had blocked it entirely. Of course, Samantha was inside the house, passed out, and had no idea what was going on.

— John, 30
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Topless Drug Dealer
I had moved to Los Angeles to help my career and be with my boyfriend, and I lived with him for the first couple of months while looking for a place of my own. I finally got so frustrated with the whole house hunt that I decided to just move in with a stranger off Craigslist. I went to her house and she seemed nice enough, and the room was fine and relatively cheap, so I went for it.

I moved in, and about a week into the situation I realized we were pretty incompatible, to say the least. “No, no, you’re doing that wrong!” she shouted as my boyfriend was cleaning a glass in the kitchen.

“Hahahaha, that’s the dish sponge, not the glass sponge, haha!” she would say, punctuating each insane statement with even more insane laughter, as if the two things canceled each other out. I’m very easygoing, so I was pretty whatever about it.

But then came the polyamorous boyfriend with a ponytail whom she fought with constantly, the hair all over the sink, which she refused to clean up, and finally, the fact that she was a coke dealer (surprise!), which meant lots and lots of colorful characters coming in and out of the house at whatever hours.

A couple of weekends into my residence, I came home around 10 a.m. on Saturday morning with my boyfriend. I walked in and, upon hearing the door open, she popped her wild-eyed head out of her bedroom, saying she’d be right out and that she was just giving her ponytailed boyfriend an oil massage.

My boyfriend and I looked at each other, struck with terror. Within seconds, my oily, still-up-from-the-night-before, topless roommate darted into the living room. She grabbed a bottle of whipped-cream-flavored vodka and lept into my lap. She began to detail her adventures the night before: The threesome she had with a friend, the ponytailed polyamorous boyfriend, and a glass dildo. She illustrated each statement with an accompanying Polaroid. Shocked and stunned into silence, I attempted to alleviate the tension of the situation with nervous, tiny laughter until my boyfriend and I prattled some brief excuse to grab my stuff and leave. I don’t think I went home for a week. Surprisingly enough, I made it, like, another four months with her.

— Chloe, 29
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Angry Vegan
I found a new roommate via Craigslist, and at first he was nice, albeit a little awkward. But then he got progressively weirder over the six months he was there. He was a militant vegan and would do things like march into the kitchen when I was cooking brunch with my boyfriend and announce how everything we were making was awful. He’d loudly exclaim, “This is why Americans are fat and dying!”

At one point, he told this unkempt woman he was friends with that she could stay in the apartment for two weeks and sleep on the couch. He didn’t ask me beforehand, and I didn't find out until she'd already been there for three whole days. I thought I was going to have to call the cops to get her out, but she turned out to be an escort and left to go to Bali to meet an online "lover" soon after.

The roommate continued to get weirder and more awkward, and for the last several weeks, I was seriously concerned he was having a psychotic breakdown and was going to stab me in my sleep. He would do things like come home, not acknowledge my presence, slam his door, and start yelling or talking to himself at the top of his lungs.

Finally, when he was supposed to move out and I had a new roommate lined up, he didn’t actually leave until four days after he said he would. I thought I was going to have to call the cops to get him out, too! That’s when I swore off roommates.

— Michelle, 26
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The Clothes Thief
My roommate in college and I were pretty chill with each other. We would hang out every now and then and crack jokes, but for the most part were very busy with our own lives. One Saturday, the weekend before Halloween, we were invited to a costume party at a mutual friend’s apartment. I ended up going home to my parents' house, but she was around so she decided to go.

On Sunday, I was surfing on Facebook and I saw that she was tagged in a bunch of photos by our mutual friend. Her outfit looked very familiar. It was a long-sleeved, sheer lace shirt, leather gloves with bows on them, and a reproduced war-themed pin. Again, at first I didn’t think anything of it, except that I had the same pin, gloves that looked exactly like that, and I had recently bought a similar shirt, which I hadn’t even worn yet.

When I got back to my dorm room, I went into my jewelry box, which I kept inside my desk, for my pin. It wasn’t there. Then I looked through my drawers to find my gloves, and I found them in a place that I would never put them, in my desk with my school supplies. I thought that was strange, too. Finally, I looked inside my drawers where I keep my clothes, and I found my lace shirt, all stretched out with a big hole in the back. I had never worn this shirt.

I felt really violated, not only because had she asked me, I would have lent her the clothes. But the pin was a gift from my aunt during a really special trip, and seeing how carelessly she treated my clothes, I feared it was gone forever. When she finally returned, I got a half-assed apology, and she said, “I thought we had that kind of friendship where we could go through each other’s stuff.” I never got my pin back.

— Darshana, 19
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Spell-Breaker
I've heard a few bad roommate stories, but nothing compares to one I had a few years ago. One of my old roommates thought that his sister, who practiced Wicca, and her creepy boyfriend had used black magic to mind-control a homeless guy into breaking into our garage and stealing our other roommate’s battery out of his car. Why? A short while before it happened, he had a huge blowout with his whole family, including his sister. His band also got dropped from some festival, he lost his paycheck, and he had gotten into a car accident.

I think all the things that were going on with him were piling up and he couldn’t take it anymore. The guy that stole the battery ended up bringing it back and writing an apology note, which was weird enough. But my roommate didn’t think it was a coincidence — he believed that our “good energy” overrode his witch sister’s spell.

When I told him that wasn’t how things worked, he got really pissed and had a complete meltdown. He started fighting with me, throwing things around the house, and screaming for hours. The night ended with him writhing around and smashing his head against the kitchen floor. He finally calmed down, but this was just one of the many hot-tempered, ridiculous arguments that we had with him before we eventually kicked him out.

— Charlie, 27
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Single White Female
I once had a roommate who was nice, and I thought we were becoming decent friends. Living with her seemed like it would be ideal. She would always ask me questions on what I was interested in, and I would reciprocate. It was kind of sweet that she seemed open to my interests and what made me me. She soon stopped giving personal responses and started saying, "me, too!" to anything I was interested in. Then she started mirroring my opinions about things to mutual friends when we'd all hang out, just as all of her previous hobbies disappeared.

I found her behavior odd, but I wasn't alarmed until she cut and dyed her hair like mine, and my guy friends all told me she had hit on them. And my girl friends said she would ask if they knew if I had a crush on anyone, and if they guessed, she would go and try to hook up with them, too.

I started noticing clothes going missing from my room, and I would see her in them or see pictures of her in them, but she would deny having anything of mine or borrowing anything. At this point, I was starting to get pretty freaked out, and other people were starting to worry for me.

Then she got the tattoo I was planning on getting, exactly where I was planning on getting it a few weeks before I had an appointment. It was months before I was able to shake her as a roommate, and luckily, once she moved out, I never saw her again.

— Sienna, 26
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Tyrant Of Turds
A few years ago, I was up late working on a deadline one night when I heard my roommate outside of the front door, fumbling for her keys. She often came home drunk, and ordinarily I wouldn't help her in, but after a solid two minutes I thought I'd investigate. I opened the door and was immediately handed her shoes, purse, wallet, and keys by two strangers. My roommate was extra hammered.

I helped her in and went back in my bedroom to work. I tried not to let her bother me, but one thing I couldn't stand was when she would use my bathroom. Mine was in the hallway, and hers in her room. Of course, I heard her in my bathroom. I left my room to figure out what the hell was going on and got this horrible whiff of something. I looked around and I saw it. In front of her bedroom door was a turd. Then, a few steps over in front of my couch was a pile of shit. On the carpet!

At this point, I was freaking out, and I knocked on my bathroom door to ask if she was okay. I didn't hear a response and yelled to her again that I was going to open the door. I opened it, and there was shit all over! On my bathmat? Another pile of shit. My roommate was totally sprawled out on the floor, half blocking the door, and all I could see were her bare feet covered in poop. I asked her if she was okay, and she whispered, “Yesss.” We made plans to move out the next day.

— Mary, 24
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