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Teen Refuses To Drive Their Brother To School Because His Smell Makes Them Sick

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Being an older sibling comes with a number of responsibilities regarding your younger siblings.

Up to and including babysitting, helping out with homework, and giving rides every now and again.

If siblings have a good relationship, this doesn’t tend to be a problem.

Some people even relish the chance to be a de-facto parent every now and again.

If siblings don’t get along, however, problems are guaranteed to arise.

Redditor poiuytrueeq was less than thrilled with being tasked with driving their younger brother to school.

Not necessarily because they didn’t get along, but owing to the fact that the original poster (OP)’s brother’s presence often made car rides a something of a trial.

This led the OP to instate conditions to his driving their brother to school, conditions his parents refused to enforce.

Wondering if they were out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my parents I won’t drive my brother to school unless he is more hygienic because his smell literally makes me sick?”

The OP explained how they found driving their brother to school was almost physically impossible for them to do, unless changes were made.

“I’m a high school senior and my brother is a high school freshman.”

“I have a car that I bought with money I’d saved from work, and I pay my own gas.”

“However my parents pay my car insurance, so they said that driving is a privilege for me, not a right.”

“They said I need to drive my brother to school even though there’s a bus.”

“And the problem is that I get motion sick easily.”

“Even when I’m driving.”

“Too much driving makes me vomit, and bad smells when I’m in a car make me feel ill too.”

“I’m not exaggerating, I’ve always been like this.”

“As a kid, my family couldn’t go on vacation without me puking at least once.”

“I always make sure I know where my barf bag is on a plane.”

“I always used to take motion sickness pills, but I’m not allowed when I’m driving because they make you tired.”

“Anyway, I can handle the drive to school on my own fine, but when my brother is with me I literally feel so sick because of his BO.”

“Even with the windows on my side open.”

“My friend told me I should make a checklist of what my brother needs to do before getting in my car in the morning.”

“Have a shower with shampoo and soap, brush his teeth, put on deodorant, wear clean clothes including underwear and socks, remember to use shoe anti-fungal spray.”

“Right now, he doesn’t do that, he likes to sleep in to the last minute, skip showers most days, pick clothes up off the floor to wear, skip brushing his teeth, etc.”

“So I did that and told my mom and dad that I couldn’t do it anymore unless my brother had done the hygiene list in the morning.”

“Either they could check or I would.”

“And they blew up at me saying that I was being nasty and humiliating, that if I wouldn’t drive my brother I couldn’t drive.”

“And I said fine; I’ll go back to riding my bicycle to school or getting a ride from my friend.”

“And that caused a big fight, because I guess they were not expecting me to call their bluff and give up driving.”

“AITA for what I did?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

The Reddit community firmly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for demanding their little brother shower before getting in their car, or for calling their bluff and going by school to bike.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s parents needed to demand their younger son shower, not only so they don’t make the OP nauseous in their car, but mainly for his own good.


“And I seriously wonder why your parents are more afraid of hurting his feelings than parenting him and teaching him good hygiene.”

“Protecting his feelings, over yours, at that, is going to do more long term damage to him as a human being in the long run.”- drunkpunk138


“That’s a completely reasonable request.”

“And wth are your parents doing letting your brother go to school smelling like a ripe gym bag?”

“I get that teenaged boys sweat and can smell, but that’s no excuse for poor hygiene.”

“Good on you for calling their bluff.”

“They’re just mad that they don’t have leverage over you anymore.”- crittab


“I am really sensitive to smells and I work with teenagers.”

“Holy moly.”

“Few things can tear gas a car quite like an unwashed pubescent boy.”

“It leaches into your pores.”

“It sticks in your nose.”

“It’s a slime.”

“You are so NTA.”- GenuineRiskOfRegret


“They should want to make sure their son is hygenic anyway so he doesn’t get bullied and ostracized.”

“No one likes the smelly kid.”

“You are comfortable with their terms, NTA.”- pm-me-neckbeards


“I understand that your parents feel that you are obligated to take your sibling since they cover your insurance costs, however, it is on your parents to ensure that your sibling practices good hygiene.”

“They should be forcing him to shower, put on deodorant, etc. before going to school.”

“By not doing this, I think that they are responsible for any bullying that he encounters.”

“I also think that they are setting him up for failure in the long run by not teaching him important basic life skills.”- WiseSay


“You have a legit concern.”

“If your parents aren’t going to address it properly, then you should just call their bluff and catch a different ride to school.”- irisshadow


“But maybe you could barf on him a couple times and see if that gets him to take the bus/take a shower.”- Scottiegirl4


“Your brother’s nasty hygiene is probably making more people than you sick to their stomach and it’s not doing him any favors as a freshman to be such a mess at school.”

“Ride your bike and enjoy the fresh air.”

“But you should talk to your parents about helping him with this issues because some form of horrible public humiliation is going to happen at some point and that will hurt him far worse than anything you could say.”- Mirianda666


“I would start paying for your own insurance.”

“And also tell your brother you love him.”- TheHalfLizard

“Shoe anti-fungal spray?”

“Is he bathing in sewage?”

“I dig your play.”

“As long as you were solid and willing to execute.”

“I make it a point to never bluff, because if you get called on it and lose, you’ve permanently handed over power to the Ultimatum jerk.”

“You MIGHT want to get your hypersensitivity checked by a doctor, because this may lead to life problems down the line.”

“I occasionally have hyper smelling and it takes every bit of willpower not to barf from regular clean house smell.”

“Like Dawn Soap is one of my triggers, and I use that daily.”

“I might have tried offering the bike to the stink-lord, but it sounds like there are no good solutions here, your parents have trenched this in as a ‘respect’ thing.”

“You are NTA.”

“If you puked while driving, you’d be putting everyone around you at risk.”

“This is a safety issue as much as it is a stink issue.”

“Revised checklist”

“No you are not too tired to take a shower.”

“Get to it.”

“Yes you have to brush your teeth, so does everyone else.”

“Deodorant is non-optional.”

“Floor grabbed clothes don’t get a ride.”

“This includes clean socks.”

“No grody shoes.”

“Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cake hole.”

“Buckle up.”

“I’m sorry, even though you’re totally not wrong, I don’t think you’re going to win this one, the trench has been dug.”- Complete_Entry


“You explained the smell is making you sick, and decided that you would rather bike or ride the bus.”

“Good for you.”

“If your brother’s lack of hygiene is as bad as you say, he needs a checklist!”

“I don’t understand how parents either don’t notice or don’t care their kid has such poor hygiene!”

“Good for you for sticking up for yourself.”

“The steps you outline are basic human hygiene and are something he should be doing every day.”-IChooseYouSnorlax

“I kind of feel like this is the hill to die on.”

“Bus or bike to school until they see reason.”

“I’m sure there’s a way to handle this sensitively and there’s no reason to be cruel or smug, but there has to be a line.”

“NTA unless you were somehow a real jerk in delivering the ultimatum.”

“Do not tolerate bodily vileness!”- Suedeltica

It’s fairly surprising that the OP’s parents aren’t more concerned about their son’s bodily odor.

Not only owing to the OP’s hypersensitivity, but mainly that others will also likely notice and plug their noses.

Perhaps the OP’s parents should consider taking their younger son on an extended road trip, and potentially see more clearly what the OP is talking about.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.