Friends having been playing jokes on each other since the dawn of time.
But when does a supposedly harmless trick go too far and cross the line into something more sinister?
Redditor casualfridaay recently found themselves on the receiving end of one such prank, so they turned to the subReddit ‘Am I the A**hole’ to figure out if their reaction was warranted.
“AITA for being mad that my friend lied about what was in his egg roll?”
The original poster (OP) explained what went down.
“I don’t eat meat and haven’t for five or six years. It’s not for religious reasons but it’s still something I feel extremely strongly about.”
“I don’t make ‘exceptions’ for it ever, regardless of how drunk I get or how hungry I am, etc. At the same time, I do not judge anyone who does choose to eat meat around me nor do I dictate what type of restaurant/bar my friends want to go to when we are out together.”
“Vegetarian options are super widely available so it’s always a nonissue. That being said – I respect other people’s choices for what they want to eat and I expect the same in return.”
“I was out drinking with my close friends and one of them, we’ll call him Ryan, offered me a leftover egg roll from his meal. I asked him if there was any meat in it and he said no.”
“I took a bite of it and again clarified with him, asking if he was sure. Ryan is well aware that I don’t eat meat. Again, he told me no.”
“Immediately after I finish eating the egg roll, Ryan gets this sick smirk on his face and tells me the egg roll had pork in it. Like he thought it was funny?”
“I asked him why the f**k he would lie about something like that knowing I’m a vegetarian and he told me to chill out. We proceeded to get into a huge argument where he refused to apologize and kept insisting it wasn’t a big deal.”
“He was laughing about it and said I was overreacting about the whole thing.”
“I told Ryan and our mutual friends that I don’t want to be his friend anymore. I haven’t spoken to him in over a month.”
“Our mutual friends think I’m overreacting and that we should just move on but Ryan still hasn’t even really apologized and instead keeps downplaying what he did.”
“I have never made my dietary choices anyone else’s business. I’m not annoying about it – I don’t judge my friends for what they chose to eat.”
“At the bare f**king minimum, I would appreciate it if they don’t trick me into eating pork knowing d*mn well I’m a vegetarian.”
“I could easily move on if it was a simple mistake – mistakes happen! It’s just the fact that he did it seemingly so maliciously – and it really makes me have no interest in mending the friendship.”
“I think what I’m so upset about is the blatant disrespect for what my clear boundaries are. Do you guys think I’m the **hole for staying pissed about this?”
After getting a lot of comments from readers, the OP went on to add some information about the current situation.
“‘Why are your friends not pressuring Ryan to apologize?'”
“- They originally were. Ryan is just a stubborn, difficult dude in general and has been doubling down for the past month that he did nothing wrong so I think they see the only way to the group getting past this is me forgiving rather than Ryan apologizing.”
“We only have one semester of college left and they want us to make up before when we go back to school for Spring semester – at this point the only way that would happen is me moving on without an apology.”
“I am a pretty forgiving person and before reading this thread I really was doubting myself and thinking maybe I was being dramatic over this. But you guys are right, what he did was f**ked up.”
“‘Has Ryan apologized?'”
“This is what his justification, more or less, for the last month has been:”
“- He keeps coming back to the fact that I’m not vegetarian for ‘religious reasons.’ He thinks that makes my food restrictions less valid.”
“- He also thinks that because I did not end up getting sick immediately afterward (which was a big part of our original argument in the restaurant) it makes the ‘joke’ more harmless.”
“- We have been good friends for years and joke around with each other all the time. How is he supposed to know where the line is drawn?”
“I’m more upset on principle, which is what he can’t see. All he keeps coming back to is that I’m ‘mad about an egg roll’ which I feel like is a gross oversimplification of what actually happened.”
Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They assured the OP that they were NTA for being upset and standing their ground.
“I’m a huge meat eater, but this has nothing to do with carnivores vs. vegetarians or eating preferences in general.”
“He ignored your bodily autonomy. He is TA. If he doesn’t apologize, sincerely, I would cut him out of my life.”
“This is exactly right. What if you had a serious allergy and ate something that he swore didn’t have the allergen in it? That could’ve been deadly.”
“This is no different. Tricking people into eating something isn’t funny, full stop.”
“I’m also vegetarian and, like you, really don’t care what other people eat. This isn’t about meat, it’s about respect.”
“He’s shown that he doesn’t have much of that for you. This guy is absolutely not worth keeping as a friend. No decent person finds this funny.”
“OP, you are massively NTA and have my sympathy for dealing with idiots who decide to take a decision that doesn’t impact them in any way whatsoever as a personal insult.”—lizardgal10
“Even aside from allergies, some vegetarians can get physically ill by eating meat after not doing so for weeks/months/years.”
“A ‘friend’ who would risk your physical wellbeing for a ‘Gotcha!’-moment is not a friend at all.”—Equivalent-Unit
“You explicitly asked if it had meat. He said no so you’d eat it and made fun of you after. What he did is food tampering and is a felony.”—stares-motherf**kily
Many encouraged the OP to find some new friends.
“NTA. He needs to apologise. He thinks he’s the big man for making a vegetarian eat meat.”
“He’s actually a rude a**hole who doesn’t show respect to his supposed friends.”
“That said, you might need to let it go and let this friendship fizzle out as he doesn’t seem keen to recognise the problems in his behaviour.”—ausernamebyany_other
“You set a clear boundary. You communicated that boundary.”
“You ensured that your personal boundary didn’t impinge on other people’s lives. You checked that your boundary was known and being adhered to.”
“Then this person decided not only to deliberately violate that boundary, but did so by lying to you, and *then* blamed you for your reaction. That’s in no way ok. At any level.”
“And, dietary prohibitions are an extremely important part of a lot of people’s lives.”
“I don’t approve of efforts to restrict other people’s diets in ways they don’t agree with, or to force other people to conform to beliefs they don’t share (obvious caveat there being ‘except when it comes to things like respecting others’ lives and safety, even of people you don’t like, and that includes being aware of allergies’ or ‘please don’t eat endangered species if you have any alternative options’)”
“But yeah, I mean, what would they expect to happen if they tricked someone who was Jewish or Muslim into eating pork?”
“Do they have any concept at all of how much distress that would cause? How much distress that causes to you? Do they just not care?”
“He’s TA, and so are any ‘friends’ taking his side on that. I hope you find better friends.”—Anemphenom
“NTA don’t let the friend group guilt you. It’s easier on them if you sweep it under the rug because then they keep both of you.”
“But personally, I’d rather have friends who have my back when someone has mistreated me.”—Nyankh
The OP agreed with those assessments, later adding:
“I think my other friends want the situation to blow over for sake of the group as a whole – but you’re totally right. This is about boundaries more than anything.”
“I am being gaslit into thinking I am overly sensitive but everyone’s comments so far seem to understand where I’m coming from. Thank you!”
If the OP’s friend doesn’t see the error in his ways, the friendship group might remain fractured for good.
Here’s hoping he thinks his “joke” was worth the price.