Sibling relationships are complicated. Sure, we love our brothers and sisters, but we also hate them—it’s a type of hate that lets us love them more deeply.
If you’ve got siblings, you understand exactly what that means. If you don’t…well, you’re probably confused. Fortunately, Reddit users recently shared their stories of sibling rivalry, and they’re excellent anecdotes for understanding the complexities of siblinghood.
We collected a few of the best stories, then edited them for grammar and readability. If you think you’ve got a difficult relationship with your kin, you haven’t seen anything yet.
When your sibling has a weakness, your job is to exploit it.
“After Temple of Doom scared the s*** out of my little brother, I snuck into his room at night and got a crazy look on my face,” wrote DipsomaniacDawg. “I chanted, ‘Kaalii Maaah! Kaaaaallliii Maaaaahhh! Shookteedaaaay!’”
“I had my hand outstretched towards his chest. He screamed as loud as he could, and I got in trouble. Worth it.”
Siblings can get pretty creative in their psychological torment. To this next Reddit user, not even colorblindness is off limits in pursuit of irritation.
“Both of my brothers are colorblind,” wrote a Reddit user whose profile has since been deleted. “While I was no match for them physically, I held my own by peeling the labels off of crayons, and later, by convincing them their clothes matched.”
Older brothers can be especially vicious.
“Growing up with my older brother, I absolutely hated him,” wrote ding_dongled. “[It was] about to the point that I wished him pain.”
If you don’t have an older brother, don’t judge.
“My dad had a bad ticker, so we kept our fights to ourselves, or took it out of the house so my dad didn’t have to deal with the stress. Eventually, he would find out when I came home with a black eye or when my brother had a busted lip. My brother was much bigger, so he’d usually always kick my [butt].”
“My brother devised a plan to vent our anger on each other without physically showing it. He went to K-Mart and bought some super-padded boxing gloves (sort of like Sock-’Em Boppers).”
“Whenever we were about to get into an altercation, he’d stop and point to the garage. We’d strap up and fight each other until all our anger was vented. Through this process, we actually became very close—like actual brothers—and we never fought again. We’d end up just boxing each other for fun.”
Older brothers don’t always win, though. That’s an important point to remember if you’re considering going after a younger sibling.
“My brother was threatening me (jokingly) with a metal meter ruler while I was trying to work,” wrote gingerahoy. “I was writing an essay at the time, so [I] turned around, declared that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword!’ and plunged my fountain pen into his hand.”
“He still has the scar. That was about four years ago.”
Sometimes sibling conflict deepens the bonds of affection. Apparently.
“My older brother and I were similar,” wrote Chris266. “We would constantly beat the crap out of each other. I’m not talking play fighting here—we would full-on fist fight for 45 minutes to an hour every day, even multiple times a day.”
“It drove my parents nuts. It didn’t matter where we were. Whenever he started egging me on, we would fight it out. Every time we fought, he would kick my [butt] so bad, but I would just keep getting up and fighting.”
“Our rule was that we weren’t allowed to punch each other in the face, but everything else was [okay]. We both knew the rule, and no matter how mad we got, we kept it up. As the years went by, the fights just got crazier and crazier. One day, we got into the biggest fight—he was 18, and I was 16.”
“We had been fighting for ages, and we were both totally hurt. I got him into a headlock or some other painful move where he had to give up, and he did. I had finally won a fight against him. He was so mad, and I kept rubbing it in his face.”
“I had never won one fight against him for the whole time we had fought. It was my crowning achievement.”
“I just wouldn’t shut up about beating him, so we started fighting again (which usually we wouldn’t do after one of us gave up). It got really serious quickly, if I remember correctly. One thing led to another.”
Chris266 made an offer: Just once, they’d put their no-punches-to-the-face rule aside.
“Some serious words were exchanged, and I must have said no, although I can’t remember all the details. But he ended up telling me that he didn’t even like fighting with me and didn’t want to do it anymore. That was the last time we fought, and that was 12 years ago. Ever since, we’ve been pretty much best friends.”
“I’m glad for the way things turned out. I guess it just took one super emotionally charged fight to get here.”
Don’t forget to use parents as pawns in your sibling battles.
“My sister used to have a lot of temper tantrums when we were at around the middle school age,” wrote jevanses. “She’s older than me by almost two years, but we were only one grade apart. While we’re very similar in looks, she and I are completely different people—she’s extroverted, into fashion, and has lots of friends, while I’m the person the extended family calls when their computer isn’t working.”
“Anyway, she went up to her room and started blasting music at 2:00 a.m. because my mom was [angry] that she was out past curfew with her friends. As soon as the loud music began, I crept down to the basement, flipped the breaker for her room, and went back upstairs. She couldn’t figure out how to turn it back on.”
You’d be amazed at efforts some people make to annoy their siblings…unless, of course, you have a sibling yourself.
“When she was a senior in high school and I was a sophomore, [my sister] was in the middle of some bad stuff and [was] dropping out,” wrote aHoodedBird. “One of her habits was to talk on the phone late at night [and] early in the morning, keeping me awake.”
“Since the closet in my room went to the attic, and the phone lines going to her room went through that attic, a friend and I rewired the phone lines to a switch so I could shut off her phone at any time I wanted.”
“Her phone would mysteriously stop working at midnight and then start working the next day, and she couldn’t do anything about it. I got peace and quiet for about a month after I did this. Then, I overheard my sister telling my mom that something needed to be done, and my mom was about to call the phone company to have someone come over and look at the wiring.”
“I had to come forward with what I did, because it was going to be found out anyway. I got yelled at for that, but honestly, this habit was causing her to drop out of school and I was diligent in school.”
“Today, I’m a software engineer making good money, and she’s a high school dropout working crazy hours and making less than half of what I make.”
When siblings fight, video games make a great battlefield.
“We were playing the original Super Mario Bros., and my brother was on his last life, I desperately wanted to play, but he just would not die,” wrote EatATaco.
“So at some point I said, ‘Hey, if you jump down that hole you get an extra guy.’ He did it, he died, I took the controller, and neither of us will let the other live that down.”
“I beat three of my brothers at Golden Eye,” wrote tomygun3. “It was the first and only time it happened, except, before the final score showed up on the screen, they turned the N64 off and ran away screaming that it didn’t happen. I’m still not over it.”
Brutal. But this next tale of revenge should make you feel better.
“My brothers are five and seven years older than me, and loved to play SNES Bomberman with me just to make me cry,” wrote mehunno. “And they wouldn’t just kill me in the first 15 seconds. They’d trap me behind a row of blocks until time ran out and the sudden death blocks killed me.”
“Then they went to college, and I started practicing in secret. They came home for winter break one night and couldn’t believe that I beat them. To this day, they can’t beat me unless I kill myself by accident, or they gang up on me and get a glove in the first few seconds. Little sister win!”
Where there’s one story of a sibling cold war heating up, there’s another…and another…and another.
“Well, let’s see,” wrote tjl2015. “My older brother and I had quite a fighting history back in the day.”
“When we were in elementary school, we each had our own Lego collections. We would borrow pieces from each other. This inevitably led to endless arguments about whose piece was whose. Eventually, Mom got so sick of it she poured one bin into another. From that day on there was only one Lego collection.”
Legos were far from the only source of conflict between tjl2015 and the older brother.
“One time in middle school, some big fight [between us] broke out,” tjl2015 continued. “It ended up with one of us wielding a closet rod as a pole-arm and the other one discharging a fire extinguisher.”
Oh, this Reddit user isn’t done yet.
“In the summer after his senior year of high school, my older brother got a job as a security guard,” tjl2015 wrote. “He came home one night after some ridiculously long shift. He got on the computer, and we all told him he should go to sleep or he would fall asleep on the computer.”
“A few hours later, I find him asleep, sitting at the computer. A reasonable person would shut off the computer, turn off the lights, and let him sleep. I shut off the computer, duct taped him to the chair, shut off the lights, and tied the doors to the family room closed ([it was a] set of double French doors).”
“So he woke up in a pitch black room, taped to a chair. He wasn’t too happy the next morning. Good thing I had long since figured out how to effectively barricade a bedroom door.”
Any sibling can tell you: Little brothers and sisters are awfully gullible.
“My brother is about six years older than me, and he hated me growing up,” wrote shutitjess. “He convinced me one night that we had [a] brother between us in age who went crazy and lived in the woods behind our house with raccoons—and then, he promptly locked me outside to fend for myself. I was about 4 or 5 in that episode.”
“When I was about 6, he told me that if you poured a bag of M&M’s into a glass of milk, it would turn into the color of alien blood. I ruined an entire bag of M&M’s as a result. In addition to these stupid episodes, he was aggressive and intimidating in general.”
“In retaliation, I snuck out to the garage and got an old curtain dowel. I got in place behind him, started running and screaming, and smacked him hard in the back of the head. Once I made [contact], I ran to the back of the house and locked myself in a bathroom. This all happened while my mom watched, and I didn’t get in trouble.”
Speaking of gullible, this Reddit user’s “game” with a sister sounds harsh.
“My younger sister is the definition of gullible,” wrote Waites. “One Christmas, when I was about 8 and she was 5, I convinced her to ask Santa for ‘girl’ Legos.”
You may not remember this, but at the time, “girl” Legos had a pastel color scheme, according to Waites. The sets featured families and houses rather than, say, rocketships and racecars. Yeah, sexism is stupid.
“I convinced her that we’d be able to play Legos together, and much happiness would be had by all,” he wrote. “So the jolly man in the red suit obliges, and she sets up her little house next to my massive Lego empire. Within weeks, my empire had declared war on her smaller, vulnerable state.”
“After an intense onslaught, I forced her to sign a treaty, annexing her weak population into my empire of awesomeness and setting up a puppet government. And who says kids don’t learn anything from history class?”
This revenge story is extreme, but ultimately satisfying.
“Me and my brother never got on. We hated each other with a passion, and still do,” wrote Kaer. “That’s why I came up with this little bit of cruelty when I was around 12 and [he was] 9. I never kept a diary, but I started to (for reasons that will become apparent).”
“I [mentioned that] I was keeping a diary at dinner. You could see my brother’s eyes light up. My mom saw that as well, and made it very clear that anyone who read my diary would be punished severely (other than me, of course).”
“So for the next month, I wrote about crap, with the occasional tidbit of gossip. I made mention of where I hid $5 in my room, and amazingly, the money disappeared. That was it—I had him.”
“My parents were going away for the weekend. I was staying with friends, and my brother was staying with the next-door neighbors. I knew that he would be allowed back into the house for a bit, and that he would use the opportunity to read the diary.”
That’s when Kaer wrote his final entry in the journal.
“I put this in: ‘My parents told me some interesting news today. Scott [my brother] has been diagnosed with cancer. He has about three months left to live. They told me, as they want me to be nice to him in his last months. They also said they don’t want to tell him, as nothing can be done to help him. It’ll be good when he’s dead; I’ll get the nice room.’”
“When my parents got back, the neighbors said he’d been crying all weekend. They asked him what was wrong, and he finally said he’s dying. He said he had read it in my diary.”
“I was brought in for a yelling, but all I said was, ‘I knew he was reading my diary. I was trying to catch him.’ I also mentioned my missing money.”
“My mom thought it was a clever plan, and decided to punish [him] accordingly. They thought he suffered enough for reading my diary, but for the theft, he got a caning, and I got his pocket money for the next two months.”
Finally, a warning to all would-be sibling-tormentors: Kids strike back.
“My sister would frequently pin me down and tickle me to such an extent that I would pee,” wrote Tliblem. “She would always jump away before this happened in order to spare herself.”
“Well, once, I drank a couple [of] glasses of water, and like clockwork, she jumped me and began tickling me. Before I even let out a single cackle, I started peeing furiously. That was the last time she ever tried that.”