L.A.'s Craziest Tinder Horror Stories

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Dating in 2015 can be an uncanny experience, especially in a city that's filled with actors, models, and screenwriters. Thanks to apps like Tinder, a quick swipe to the right can bring you the person of your dreams...or your cleverly disguised worst nightmare.

Personally, I know this all too well. I once met a guy who texted me a picture of a sonogram as his excuse for the radio silence after our second date. His ex-girlfriend had, apparently, become pregnant, yet he still wanted to see me. The photo arrived on Christmas, like a present I wish I had never opened. I simply replied, "New phone, who's this?"

If you're single, chances are you've also tested the waters of mobile dating apps. While I truly believe in "casting the net wide," when it comes to finding love, a horrible dating experience can be traumatizing enough to turn a person off from using a site or app ever again.

Of course, there are stories out there far worse than my own. To prove it, I sought out nine of the most frightening Tinder tales of all time. While all identities remain concealed, let's not forget these less-than-stellar dates are still out there, swiping, chatting, and being generally horrifying. From a hot-tempered plastic surgeon to a double-booked gym rat, read on to know that you’re not alone in the mad, mad world of digital dating. 

1 of 9
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Princess Punch-Out
"I was talking to a girl who used to perform as one of the princesses at Disneyland. She said she was attracted to me because I looked like Charles Manson, which should have been the first clue that something was up. After texting and sending pics, we graduated to the phone. Now, we weren’t even talking about sex or anything really dirty and she suddenly lets out this big reveal: that I could hit her as hard as I wanted on the face. I didn’t understand what she was talking about at first and was like, 'What do you mean?'

"She told me she is 'really good at makeup' and could 'hide anything,' and that she had 'done it before.' The opening scene from a show like Law & Order popped in my head. I didn’t want to get mixed up in something that could turn bad fast. I told her I wasn’t into that kind of thing and I was not the guy she was looking for. She just kept saying it wasn’t a big deal, that she did it before, liked it, and could easily hide it. I kept responding that it wasn’t anything I wanted to try. I completely ignored her texts after that."
— Jean-Louis, 29, Downtown
2 of 9
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Barefoot Superhuman
"I went out with this guy who took me sun-gazing on our first date at Griffith Park. What’s sun-gazing, you ask? Well, apparently if you stare at the sun for a few seconds at a certain time each day, you’ll eventually be able to become a superhuman and won’t have to eat food anymore. Also, you can’t wear shoes while you do this, but since I thought this was a normal date, I wore heels and proceeded to trudge up the mountain in them. The whole thing was really weird and strange.

"Afterwards, I dropped him off at his work (he was a bartender) and vowed to never see him again. Later that night, he called me saying he left his keys in my car and asked me to bring them to him. Did I mention he didn't have a car? I considered ignoring him completely, but eventually I brought them to him. Needless to say, we totally boned — then I decided to never see him again."
— Helena, 24, Silverlake
3 of 9
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
A Tinder ElimiDate
"It all started when the guy I’m talking to invites me to his friends' BBQ. It’s pretty far — in the next county over — but he's charming and funny and not too bad on the eyes, so I decide to make the trek. 'Let me know when you're about 10 minutes away,' he says, which I do. He responds with 'I'm still at the gym, so I'll be there in 20.' That was my first red flag.

"He finally arrives, and we go inside to his apartment. There’s laundry on the kitchen table, dirty dishes, and cat hair everywhere. He excuses himself to shower, with the door open!

"We head to the BBQ. On the drive he says, 'I should probably tell you something before we get there.' He then tells me who will be in attendance, which includes another girl he met on Tinder. I say, 'You didn't think last night was a better time to tell me about this?' He says he didn't think I’d come if I knew. I told him he was right about that, and that this was hands down one of the weirdest situations I'd ever been in.

"We get to his friends' house and the other girl has not arrived yet. At this point, I've completely turned on bitch mode and wanted to punch him in the baby maker, but his friends have prepared a beautiful meal and I wanted to be polite.

"The other girl arrives, and let's just say, I feel like I have this 'Tinder ElimiDate' round in the bag. Then, I realize something. I don't want to win. So, I get up and thank the hosts for dinner. He gets up, and I say, 'Go ahead and sit back down. You're pretty worthless to me,' and I walk out and take an Uber back to my car."
— Deanna, 23, Downtown
4 of 9
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Angry Baller
"My date was a plastic surgeon who picked me up in a Porsche Cayenne. Right from the beginning of the evening, it was clear that he was trying to prove to me he was a baller. We go to Cut in Beverly Hills for dinner, and he’s dominating the conversation by telling me how much money he makes, while vaguely referencing some sort of side business he also has.

"Bored out of my mind, and well aware that I never wanted to see this guy again, I told him that I had read an article about plastic surgeons taking fat cells from cadavers to use in cosmetic surgery. He looks at me blankly as I ask him if that’s what his side gig is. He looks at me and starts freaking out, pounding the table and screaming, 'How dare you judge me! How dare you judge how I make my money!' He then gets up and flips the table. I still can't believe someone this crazy is allowed to operate on people."
— Brittany, 27, West Hollywood
5 of 9
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Wet Spot
"I'm out with this dude at a bar, having a really good time. Then, we go back to my place and hook up. In the middle of the night, I wake up to the feeling of wetness in my bed. I realize he straight-up peed the bed!

"He's passed out hard, so I go into the bathroom and call my best friend for advice. I'm freaking out and I just keep asking her what I should do. Should I try waking him up again? Should I Febreze it? My friend just keeps laughing hysterically at me, and I end up staying in the bathroom for two hours."
— Alex, 24, East Hollywood
6 of 9
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Balloon Fetishist
"I was out to dinner for the first time with a good-looking, mid-30s video game developer. Everything was going great at first — the conversation was awesome, we were drinking champagne, and just having a really nice time. Then he said, 'I feel like I can tell you anything.'

"In my head I was like, 'Uh oh.' He then tells me he’s a virgin and has never had regular sex, because he has this hyper-specific fetish called body inflation. This is when someone is turned on at the thought of certain parts of the body being inflated like a balloon. He then tells me that he asked me out because I had large breasts, and he's fixated with the idea of girls with big boobs blowing up balloons.

"I didn't want to shame him about his fetish, so I asked him how the whole thing started. He said it was ever since he was a kid and watched the movie Weird Science. There’s a scene where the two guys try to build a girl, and the boobs on the computer model get blown up really huge. I didn't even know what to say after that."
— Jessica, 28, West Hollywood
7 of 9
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
That Wasn't A Filter
"The dude I was talking to had some really cute photos: He had sweet tattoos, looked kind of hipster-y, and used some nice, vintage-looking Instagram filters. One night, we decide to meet at Taix in Echo Park for dinner.

"I'm at the table waiting, and this older man sits down. I'm wondering if this senior citizen is lost when he says, 'It's so nice to meet you.' I look at the tattoos on his arms and realize they are the same ones in the photos, except old and faded. The guy totally lied about his age and said he was 35 when he was probably at least 60! And, those were not cool Instagram filters he used, they were actual old photos that were probably antique by now. I stuck through to the end of the date, but was totally horrified."
— Laura, 27, Silverlake
8 of 9
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
The Tenacious D***
"I was chatting with this guy, and all of a sudden the conversation shifted to me coming over to 'hang out.' Keep in mind it was already late in the evening. After politely telling him that I was not the kind of girl to meet up to have sex with a stranger, I wished him luck on his hunt. He responded with some harsh comments and implied that I was a prude. I let him know we are all different and should basically just agree to disagree.

"Then, he really let loose on me — saying he had sex with 75 women this year alone, and all of them were horrible — and then he started insulting me more. I couldn't help but treat it as a joke. I then told him I wasn't taking him seriously, and that being such a terrible person was not the way to get laid. I was being light and funny about it, but then he got so crass and mean that I had had enough and stood up for myself. Then asked to sleep with me again! I told him that if this is how critical and mean he was just in conversation, I'd hate to hear what his notes on me in bed would be.

"Then he asked me to sleep with him again, and I repeated that I wasn't that type of girl…to which he responded that he loved me. I deleted the app soon after that."
— Rosa, 34, Glendale
9 of 9
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Possessed By Morrissey
"After talking for a little while, I agreed to meet this guy at a bar. He offered to buy me a drink, so I thanked him and as I began to tell him my order, he shushed me and said he had it covered. He marched up to the bartender, slammed both fists on the bar and demanded the absolute cheapest thing they sold. I couldn't tell if he was being funny or was actually cheap, but needless to say, he brought back two PBRs.

"He went on and on about himself, and when I finally got the chance to answer a question, he started swaying back and forth and jerking his head around. As I watched his eyes rolling back in his head, I wasn’t sure if I should call for an ambulance or an exorcist. I asked if he was okay, and he made this weird sound. His breathing was strange and bizarre, so I again asked what was happening. He then threw his hand up in my face and pointed up to the sky.

"Eventually, I figured out he was referring to the music the bar was playing, so I said, 'Morrissey?' He finally opened his eyes and looked at me, livid. I thought he was going to explode. He screamed, 'Yes, Morrissey! You don’t talk, you never talk when Morrissey is singing.' 'Ooh, right,' I said. 'What was I thinking?' Then he got up and left."
— Natasha, 32, Highland Park

More from Los Angeles


R29 Original Series