What happens when a prank goes too far and the prankster holds you responsible for it?
That was the question facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) mappn3rd when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA for not wanting to pay for the damages after a ‘scare prank’?”
They began with a brief background.
“About 3 months ago, I had a home invasion.”
“It was scary, I have had trouble sleeping since then.”
“Unrelated to that, my boyfriend’s family is a fan of pranks.”
“I’ve already told them all that I don’t like it directed towards me.”
She then explained the situation.
“Anyway, my boyfriend and I were visiting his family and having a barbecue, drinking some beers outside.”
“I went inside to use the bathroom and when I was heading back out, I saw a man in a ski mask hiding at the end of a dark hallway, mostly hidden by a door.”
“I fled for the closest doors out, this pair of stain glass double doors.”
“I tried the handle and it didn’t open, even when I pulled really hard.”
“So in a panic, I grabbed a heavy-looking end table, broke the glass, and ran outside screaming ‘call 911’. “
“My boyfriend’s dad ran out of the house holding the mask.. I was immediately pissed, I yelled at him for scaring me.”
“He was upset with me about the glass and I just broke down and cried about how I was scared as sh*t this was another real home intruder situation since that had recently happened to me.”
“His mom was getting at me asking why I had to break the glass and I said I was scared and the door wouldn’t open.”
“She said it was a sliding door… Which made sense, I was pulling on it. But I’d forgotten that in my panic.”
“Anyway, his dad apologized for scaring me and said he had been waiting for one of his sons or wife to play a joke on them, and when he saw me he just hung back quickly, not trying to do the prank which was apparently going to be leaping out at someone.”
“But I still saw him standing in the shadows which I freaked out at.”
“I said that of course I was freaked out by a man in a ski mask hiding in the house, especially when I was alone and drunk.”
OP then explained the problem at hand.
“But anyway, after a few days, my boyfriend told me that his mom wants us to cover the cost of the stained glass doors I broke, which is $3500!”
“But my boyfriend doesn’t have that kind of savings and his parents know it.”
“So that would mean it’s all on me. And I honestly don’t think I should owe them for that … Like honestly if you try to scare someone sh*tless, it’s on you if they break something when they panic.”
“I want to tell them that it’s a total joke they’re even asking me for the money, but my boyfriend actually thinks we should pay. He says I knew it was a sliding door, plus I didn’t have to break it.”
“I told him that even though I’d used it a while ago, that’s not the thing you remember, especially when you only have a minute to act.”
“And honestly he should be proud he’s got a girl with the common sense to think on her feet and act fast.”
“If it was a real break-in, I’d have saved my own ass and also alerted everyone else sooner than anything.”
“He said the door was really expensive and I said I didn’t give a f*ck, if I had to light a million dollars aflame to save my own ass, I would. There’s no price on that kinda thing.”
She was left to wonder,
“AITA for not wanting to pay for the door?”
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 decided: NTA
Commenters felt no sympathy for OP’s boyfriend’s family.
“That’s the price you pay when you play sh*t pranks on people.”
“It doesn’t matter if you knew it was a sliding glass door when you’re in flight or fight mode you’re not thinking of small details, you’re literally trying to do anything to survive what you’re thinking is a dangerous situation.”
“Let this be a $3500 lesson to quit playing with people. Do not pay one single cent to those petty people.”
“I’m absolutely sure they knew about the previous home invasion. So they are even more the a**holes in this situation.” ~ PeteyPorkchops
“FIL, probably, was laughing at OP running.”
“Because, while I know it can happen pretty quickly, it still takes time to reach the door, pull on it, realize it isn’t opening, find something heavy enough to be able to make it through the glass, then break said glass.”
“FIL should have had enough time to yell at/catch (which yeah, would have freaked OP out more, but would have saved the glass. Maybe not FIL if OP turned on them though…) OP and prevent the damage.” ~ DiegoIntrepid
Some considered the legal ramifications.
“Small claims might divide the costs between both parties based on who they think was more responsible.”
“The thing is, the father never jumped out at her and was simply standing in the shadows with a ski mask. On his own property. As far as I know, that’s perfectly legal.”
“OP is NTA but legal shit is usually not based on that. OP will probably be liable for at least part, if not all in small claims.”
“If the father had jumped out and scared her on purpose, it would be completely different.” ~ SnooMaps3443
“Civil cases just need a preponderance of the evidence and 51% in your favor.”
“Any reasonable human would be scared of a man lurking in the shadows in a ski mask inside a house.”
“Add on a recent trauma, doubly so. She has every reason to fear for her safety. I feel like this is an unacceptable prank to play on anyone.” ~ ConcentrateRegular79
Some felt one good prank deserved another.
“I say OP should send them $3500 in monopoly money since they’re so fond of pranks” ~ HotCupofChocolate
OP did return to add some further context.
“Edit to add…”
“I sent an email to my boyfriend’s parents… Here’s what it said. They haven’t replied yet and I’m not sure if they will tbh.”
“Hey… About paying for the door…”
“It isn’t appropriate you were angry with me for breaking a door when (BFs Father’s) actions made me fear for my life and I only broke it to save my life.”
“I didn’t break it to be vindictive, I broke it because he put the fear of death into me.”
“I can’t conceive of how you all don’t understand that creeping around a dark hallway in a ski mask with your hands out of view could be seen as a threat to my life, and something completely inappropriate to do…”
“But I’ll still try and explain.”
“That is the behavior of a home intruder, a stalker, a person who may wish me harm.”
“I had a man stalk me for a year and recently break into my apartment when I was sleeping.”
“He behaved similarly to (BFs Father), quietly sneaking through my home. I was luckily able to subdue him until the police arrived.”
“He is imprisoned now. But that experience caused me to get a pistol for home defense and train on how to use it. That is the level of seriousness I take a home invasion”
“It isn’t a joke, and it isn’t silly or funny. It is life-threatening.”
“And that little ‘joke’ made me believe wholeheartedly that I was going to die if I didn’t fight or escape by any means necessary.”
“If you are angry about a door, I ask you to reflect on why you value a door over the life of your son’s girlfriend.”
“Because expecting me to avoid property damage when running for my life, or trying to blame me for it after the fact..”
“That communicates to me that my life has less value to you than $3500. And that is something I will never accept.”
“I did what I needed to to protect myself, and I would do it again regardless of the cost.”
“And if you don’t respect that, and don’t take full financial responsibility for the consequences of (BF’s Father’s) joke… “
“You have to understand that you are telling me my life and safety is worth less to you than a door.”
“I’m frankly disgusted that you would even ask me for money after that, rather than trying to make amends.”
Full disclosure: I do not like pranks.
In my opinion, they’re never as funny as they are intended to be and they seem to always end up hurting someone.
Still, some people love them so, of course, I encourage those people to have fun with them.
Just make sure that everyone else is having just as much fun as you are.
Otherwise, you might end up losing more then you gain.