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Son Called Out For Mocking Mom After Her Roomba Escaped And Ended Up In The Pool

older woman seated on stairs watching robot vacuum
Massimo Ravera/Getty Images

We’re not quite at the Rosie the robot maid from The Jetsons stage yet, but home AI devices—like Alexa, Siri or Google Home—and robotic helpers that vacuum and even mop our floors have become commonplace.

One of the first and most popular robots invited into our homes were automated vacuum cleaners.

Many makes and models exist now, but in the beginning the brand Roomba was the first to establish a name for itself in the marketplace.

With so many robot vacuums in our homes, people quickly anthropomorphized—attributed human characteristics or behavior to—the little machines.

They’re given names. And people talk about them as if they’re a pet or a toddler buzzing about underfoot and getting into mischief.

Or acting as conveyance for the family feline.


People get quite attached to them.

So when disaster strikes, mourning is only appropriate.

Not appropriate?

Laughter apparently.

A son dealing with the fallout from an ill-timed case of the giggles turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

CatboyInAMaidOutfit asked:

“AITA because I LMAO’d when my mom told me her Roomba fell into the pool?”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“I’m on the phone with her as she’s in her winter residence in Florida (snowbird) and telling me that she was cleaning her house and left the screen door open.”

“And I’m like, ‘Where are you going with this?’—because my mom kind of rambles a bit with stories that go nowhere. Then she says the Roomba was missing and she found it at the bottom of the pool.”

“That completely caught me off guard and I’m howling with laughter. And my mom is like, ‘It’s not funny! That’s a $400 machine’—and somehow that made it even funnier.”

“And she’s not making it easy for me because she’s describing that apparently it didn’t die right away and for a minute the little brush things were still going round like it was trying to dog paddle its way out of there.”

“So my mom is angry that the Roomba wasn’t built with some sort of safety device in case it falls into water.”

“Like floatation bags are supposed to pop out of it like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or something, and at this point I’m in literal tears from laughing so hard.”

“So mom’s angry.”

“The Roomba is dead.”

“And I’m probably not invited to Easter dinner.”

The OP summed up their conundrum.

“I could not stop laughing because my mom told me her $400 robot vacuum fell into the backyard pool.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors shared OP’s mom’s sorrow, but not her condemnation of OP.

“NTA OP, first of all, the situation IS hilarious.”

“Secondly, this is the risk people have when keeping non-native species in their house. What if it hadn’t fallen into the pool and just went around vacuuming things‽”

“What if it outcompeted the native streetsweepers?”

“You can’t just let that thing out into the ecosystem and not expect SOME kind of consequences!” ~ Baileythenerd

“A Roomba would never survive in the wild.”

“Nature abhors a vacuum.” ~ MeanderingCrafting

“NTA. Haha, oh man, I’m trying not to laugh but picturing a Roomba doing a doggy paddle is too much.”

“And your mom thinking they should have built-in floaties? Priceless! It’s like expecting a vacuum to turn into a boat.”

“I totally get why you cracked up. It’s not really about the Roomba or the cost—it’s just such a bizarre, sitcom-worthy moment. Sometimes life throws these weird curveballs that are just plain funny.”

“But hey, maybe to smooth things over with your mom, you could send her a funny card? Like a ‘Sorry for your Roomba’s unexpected swimming lesson’ or something.”

“Or even better, get a tiny life jacket for her next Roomba as a gag gift. Could be a hit at Easter dinner, you know?”

“P.S. Farewell, brave little Roomba. You paddled valiantly.” ~ ConqueredAllOfEurope

“NTA, because that’s f*cking funny.”

“New warning coming on the packaging: ‘Warning, Roombas are not equipped with flotation devices’.” ~ 7hr0wn

“NTA. Trying to read this out to my partner and crying with laughter because it’s downright hilarious. The laugh I needed today.”

“Also funny because this is exactly how my own mum would react and I’m picturing it now…”

“Sorry about the dead Roomba though.” ~ rainyvillainy

“NAH. $400 and the little bastard doesn’t have sensors to prevent it from hurling itself into watery doom?

“I’d be pissed too, but not at you for laughing. It’s funny.”

“That said, you should go ahead and validate her anger and upset, too.” ~ LadyCass79

“NTA. It is very funny. And you got me with the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang comment.”

“Tell her to get a Shark; they don’t go over ledges and if it does, sharks can swim.” ~ tatersprout


“NTA, it was her duty to enroll that Roomba in swim lessons.” ~ JeepersCreepers74

“NTA—it’s a funny story. But also it sounds like a faulty unit because Roombas have edge/cliff detection and shouldn’t fall off ledges like that.”

“It may well be covered under warranty. Maybe help her check into that so she knows that even though it’s funny you do still care.” ~ interlnk

“CLIFF DETECTION MY A**! Your poor little Roomba brother died and you LAUGHED?”

“Listen, I love my little Roombas but I probably would have laughed my a** off too.”

“I feel bad for your mom, but I imagine she learned her lesson. RIP is my only judgment.” ~ nailgun198

“RIP = Roomba in Pool?” ~ Kitchen-Rabbit3006

“NTA. It actually reminds me of when my aunt’s unalived itself.”

“Hers would normally bonk back & forth across the hallway until it made it into a room, and she had seen it turn away from the top of the stairs many times.”

“Until one day she saw it bonk out of a room, turn and head straight down the hall and launch itself off the top of the stairs into the concrete basement.”

“Except my aunt had a sense of humour about the whole thing.” ~ MusketeersPlus2

“This is absolutely hilarious!”

“I can just see it doggedly (see what I did there?) swimming towards the ladder and wondering what kind of appendage is needed to get up it!”

“Your mom sounds a lot like mine. Caution, we become more like them every day as we age!”

“Thanks for the laugh. And NTA.” ~ cordelia1955

People acknowledged OP wasn’t alone in their laughter.

“Well, I laughed too, so if you’re an a**hole you’re in good company.”

“NAH. Your mom is out some money and is unhappy about it, which is understandable.”

“And what you described is objectively hilarious, so of course you laughed.” ~ booksandcats4life

“If YTA then I’m the a**hole too because I was howling with laughter reading this.”

“I get that it’s expensive and she wasn’t amused but it IS FUNNY and I think she’ll probably laugh about it at some point in the future.”

“My sisters will call me and say ‘I know I’m the a**hole, but…’ then tell me stories about them laughing at something like this. We ALL going straight to Hell.” ~ Swimming-Fix-2637

“ESH. As in everyone. OP, you, me, every single one of us.”

“Coz this funny af, but we are all going to robo Hell for laughing at this.”

“Except OP’s Mom. The robots will respect her concern and make her their queen.” ~ Vilamus

Mom’s Roomba wasn’t the first to ever escape…

“Around the holidays there was a video of a Roomba making an escape. They found it 4 days later in a pile of snow or leaves or in the bushes.”

“Mom’s only mistake was not having a ring camera on, because it’s HILARIOUS.” ~ Dogbite_NotDimple

…or meet a watery demise.

“OP, your mom’s Roomba is not the first one to suffer such a fate.” ~ Mereeuh

OP—with Reddit’s help—decided on an appropriate solution…

“NTA—let her be angry and send a condolence note for the dead Roomba.”

“Then buy a new Roomba for Easter and say it has been resurrected.” ~ Smarta**Mouth89

“For your card: ‘My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your Roomba. While this situation sucks, lil’ Roombie won’t have to anymore. He’s rolling with the homies in heaven’.”

“‘I have started a collection to assist with the adoption fees for a replacement (hands to heart and eyes to heaven, we all know he could never truly be replaced); hopefully we can pool our funds and help out!’.” ~ stinkykitty71

OP responded:

“That’s a good idea.”

“I could send flowers with a little Hallmark card they make for people who lost a beloved pet or something.”

“I’m going to get to work on that.”

…as well as a romantic take on the tragedy.

“Maybe it was in love with the robot pool cleaner?”

Whatever the Roomba’s motive or malfunction was, the outcome remains the same.

OP’s mom’s floors aren’t getting the attention they deserve, and OP’s place at Easter dinner is in doubt.

Rest in peace, little robot buddy.

We hardly knew you.

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.