Admit it, you vengeful fucks: everyone loves a good revenge story.
Not only is it a time-honoured pop culture tradition going back centuries (think Carrie or most Shakespeare plays), but it's a concept that seems to be hardwired into our brains. While research has found that exacting revenge in the real world tends to amplify the original wrong, contemplating it is actually downright pleasurable, causing increased neural activity in the caudate nucleus (the part of the brain responsible for processing rewards).
So, collected for your reading pleasure are stories from people who have managed to inflict a righteous pwning in the real world, and lived to tell the tale. Sometimes messy. Sometimes juvenile. They may be less grand than Hamlet, but trust us: your caudate nucleus will thank you.
Disclaimer: The following contains bad, no-good behaviour and is no way to treat fellow humans.
"I had total access to her Facebook account"
I worked with this girl for awhile who made my life hell. She was the daughter of some rich ambassador and born into all this privilege but her parents had eventually insisted she get a job, so she ended up working the front desk at this hotel with me. She would come in high, hungover as fuck, or out-of-it in general. Sometimes she would abandon me right as we were getting slammed. We would have these massive lineups and I'd be going crazy, and she'd be on a computer in the back, apartment hunting, or one time I just found her passed out on the suitcases in the bell office. She was also on Facebook basically all the time.
She'd often leave her shit logged-in at work, so one day I requested that Facebook send her password to her email, and wrote it down. Which meant that for the next two or three months, I had total access to her Facebook account. I'd set her privacy settings to "Only Me" so that nobody ever responded to her posts. Just week after week of no "likes" or "comments." Then when that stopped being fun, I'd slowly crop her profile picture, a bit each day, until she wasn't even in it anymore.
Best of all, I'd randomly change her birthday so she'd be getting random birthday wishes, like, two or three times in the same month. The best part about that is you can only change your birthday so many times, and eventually it got locked-in on the wrong day. Like it or not, she's a March baby forever now. It really wasn't that great of a revenge, but it made me feel a little better.
"I traded our shoes"
My first year in uni, my roommate spread mean rumours about me. So the day before I moved out, I traded our shoes (we had a pair of the same ones; hers were a size larger and mine were just a bit snug), and spat in her hand cream. Sometimes revenge is a dish best served with a generous helping of bodily fluids.
"They ended up calling the cops"
Back when I was in university, I ended up being part of a prank war/revenge cycle that went on for four years.
I was pretty close with a couple of guys on my floor, and we all used to get just wasted and do stupid shit in the dorm. There were these girls we were all friends with and, one night, in the first or second week there, we all got really drunk at three in the morning, and decided it would be a good idea to spray entire bottles of ketchup all over this one girl's door. It didn't go over well. She wouldn't talk to us for awhile after that. And then a couple nights later, we woke up to find that our door had been covered with tampons dipped in Kool-Aid to make them look used. It was all in good fun. We didn't retaliate immediately—we just knew we wanted to get them back somehow.
Fast forward to fourth year. Us guys all lived in a house together. We were still good friends with these girls, and we used to throw a lot of parties, and one morning we came down to find that one of our favourite paintings was gone. Someone had just taken it off the wall. We had a lot of art—most of which we'd found in alleys or on the street because we lived in a really hip neighbourhood. We were so pissed-off. We were like: "Who the fuck would come to a party and steal a painting?" Then we went to a party at their place a couple months later, and there it was, just hanging on the wall. And we thought: "OK. I guess this is still on."
So we waited until basically the end of fourth year, and spent a long time planning this final act of Prank Revenge. We knew we wanted to go all-out, but for the longest time, we didn't know exactly what to do. Until one night, one of the girls passed out at our place after a party. So we took her house keys and made copies of them. And we waited until one of their birthdays, when we knew they'd all be out, then went to their house with garbage bags and stole basically everything they had. All their kitchen appliances, all their schoolwork. We took everything off the walls. We flipped over couches and made it look like they'd been robbed, and left a really creepy note in red ink. Something along the lines of: "You took what's ours. Now we've taken what's yours." The only thing we left was the painting.
I'll admit it was a pretty harsh final act. Because this was months later, and so they thought they'd straight-up been fucking robbed. They were all crying. They ended up calling the cops and everything. They were really upset. One of them came over to our house and was saying: "I can't believe this. We were robbed." While we're all sitting there with all these garbage bags full of their shit. They found out pretty quickly that it was us, and they did try telling us that the cops were going to want to talk to us, but it ended up all being bullshit. On the bright side, they eventually returned our painting, and so we returned their stuff to them. They never did get us back for it.
"She ended up putting on 20 pounds"
There was this girl at the bar where I worked that we all hated. She was just the worst. She would come in and be really demanding, sit and play fucking Keno for hours on end, verbally abuse the staff. She had to be escorted out a bunch. And worst of all for the bar industry, she never tipped.
One night she asked for a drink recommendation, and I served her a vodka paralyzer made with heavy cream. From then on, that's all we served her. She'd throw back seven or eight of them a night. She ended up putting on 20 pounds. I guess we'll never be sure if it was just because of us, but anytime she came in after that, we all had a good laugh. Then we'd serve her another paralyzer.
"It took me a full minute to realize what I was looking at"
Once I had to write up a guy at work for a safety violation. He was super choked, and the next day when I opened my lunchbox, I discovered that he'd taken a shit in it. I was so sleep-deprived, it took me a full minute to realize what I was looking at. Worst of all, I dropped my work phone in it. I know you're looking for funny revenge stories, but trust me: it's a lot less funny when you're the victim.
"I'm not sure what she was so butthurt about"
When I was in my mid-twenties, I decided to do one of those solo voyages of self-discovery, and ride a motorcycle around New Zealand. I lived out of a backpack for six months and anytime I needed money, I'd swing into the closest town and pick up some agricultural work. It's easy as hell to get. There are whole areas of the country that basically run on foreign agricultural workers, especially around harvest time.
I'd spent a couple of weeks on this orchard near Napier/Hastings—this place where you could rent a trailer for a portion of your earnings, and stay onsite while you picked apples for harvest. And one day, the orchard manager ran over my motorcycle with her car. Bent one of the turn signals all to hell. She apologized profusely, said if I got an estimate from a mechanic, she'd pay for the damage, etc.
Around the same time, I'd taken off for the weekend, and been paid in the interim, so owing to some kind of weird clerical mixup, I'd accumulated a week's worth of charges for this trailer that hadn't been deducted from my pay—probably $100 or so. And when I'd come back on Sunday, one of the owners gave me this bitchy look and said: "Oh, you're back. Are you planning on actually doing any work?" Even to this day I'm not sure what she was so butthurt about. Maybe she thought I wasn't planning on paying them back. In the end we smoothed everything out, and agreed I'd start again the next day, and they'd take the trailer rental off of the next week's wages. Everything was settled.
But then, I take the bike into a mechanic, and when I come back with the estimate—again, about $100—this orchard manager gets all weird. I wake up on Monday morning to a note stuck on the door of the trailer with $10 taped to it, and some blather about how I was trying to cheat her.
And I remember thinking: "Fuck this." I rode up to her while she was giving an orientation to a bunch of new hires, tossed the money at her, and told her she could keep her fucking $10. Then I covered the entire inside of the trailer with this bottle of sunflower oil to attract ants (the place had a serious ant problem) locked the thing from the inside, tossed the keys in the nearest ditch, and drove off without paying the rental bill—but not before leaving a note inside that said "Are you planning on actually doing any work?"
Coincidentally, the bill for getting a locksmith out there would have worked out to about $100.
*Names have been changed.
Jesse Donaldson is a Vancouver-based author.