The Lifehacker staff are all upstanding members of society with clean driving records and shiny white teeth; we’re not like those reprobates over at Reddit’s Unethical Life Hacks forum. I trolled their dark-side tips to bring you 20 of the most morally questionable, legally dubious, often hilarious (but sometimes useful) hacks Reddit had to offer.
(Please do not actually do any of these terrible things.)
Use a memory foam pillow as a fart bomb
I don’t own one of these pillows, so I can’t check whether this stealth cropdusting trick would work, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t.
Note: According to Lifehacker’s deputy editor, Joel Cunningham: Fart particles should be referred to as “farticles.”
How to slap your boss in the head
Sadly, our work-from-home world makes this one impossible to try out for many of us, and assault is illegal, so you shouldn’t actually do this. Unless your boss is a total jerk.
Get cheaper services just by asking for them
This tip is from two years ago, so I have no ideas if the specific pricing for Audible is still in effect, but it highlights a larger point: Often companies will offer you cheaper prices if you ask correctly. Try telling your cable company or phone service you’re thinking of switching, and see what they can do for you.
It’s not even unethical, really. Not as unethical as hiding what a service costs in the hope that you won’t ask for the lower rate, anyway.
Can you fool drug dogs through creative baking?
I have no idea whether this trick would actually work. I lean toward “no,” because them police dogs is smart. Anyway, who would want to be the first one to try it? Still, there’s something appealing about the creative challenge of baking edibles that could pass as dog treats instead of, say, wrapping your weed in a steak to get the same effect.
Get revenge on your enemies from beyond the grave
This “unethical death tip” seems unlikely to actually work, and you’d never know if it did, but it’s at least possible. And maybe thinking, “they may have the upper hand now, but I’ll get back at them someday” would be worth carrying a note in your wallet?
Use your AirPods as a spy tool
If you’re a handsome super-agent with a licence to kill, and SPECTRE is plotting to create an underwater civilisation by capturing nuclear submarines and triggering World War III, just go to the secret underwater lair in Atlantis, leave your iPhone on the table, and turn on Live Listen while Stromberg tells Jaws his evil scheme. Before long, you should be able to thwart the plan, throw Jaws in a shark tank, and make out with a beautiful woman. The Live Listen range is about 15.24 m.
Trick your friends into leaving you their money
This is a good tip if you want your most intimate friendships to become decades-long not-dying contests, while besmirching your own legacy.
I’d say “go for it,” but your dumb-arse friends probably aren’t leaving behind sizable estates.
How to get more cake
I’m pretty sure my older brother did this to me throughout my childhood. He also taped down the head of his Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robot so I could never knock his block off. (I didn’t need the extra cake anyway.)
Lie your way to your dream job
I’m using this “career gap” hack to stand in for a ton of “unethical” advice on Reddit that boils down to “just lie,” and it’s kind of bogus.
In theory, lying can solve a lot of problems, but in practice, it is very difficult to do successfully, and the difficulty increases in direct proportion to the size of the problem you’re trying to weasel out of — it’s easy to lie to your dog about the walk, but it’s nearly impossible to lie to a cop about the bloodstains on your shirt.
Explain your STD with koalas
There are two strains of Koala-Chlamydia. The most common is not transmissible between the bears and humans, but the second strain, theoretically, could be spread through contact with Koala-urine. As long as you’re cool with telling your spouse, “I didn’t cheat on you. My koala peed on me,” this would totally work.
Use aeroplane mode to hang up on people
Want to fake phone-trouble to get out of an annoying call? This tip will do it for you. I tried it out, and it does work with iPhones, although whether the person you’re calling understands the subtle distinction between a hang-up and “call failed” really depends.
How to redeem gift cards you give away
Many people don’t use the gift cards they’re given, and this hack lets you profit off that.
I encourage everyone to give me gift cards in the hope that I won’t redeem them. Why not turn birthdays into a game and give me motivation to not let those cards gather dust?
How to get free flowers for life
Wow, Reddit’s Unethical Life Pro Tips board can get dark.
Cheat on tests by learning Braille
I love the absurdity of this one: All you need to do to ace a test is learn to read without using your eyes, print up a cheat-sheet on a Braille printer (the cheap ones retail for $2,480), and hide it in your hoodie. So much easier than just studying.
Keep dogs away with deceptive signs
According to the honorable Judge Myron Ferguson, it’s illegal for me to build a spike pit on my own damn lawn, but I’m sure there’s no law against a deceptive sign. This is still America, right, Your Honour? We still have freedom?
How to make money through raccoon removal
If you’re going to go to all this trouble, why not just start an actual raccoon removal business? Raccoon-specialists are very much in demand in today’s job market, and top removers can make in the mid six-figures!
Do your laundry for free
I’m no ethicist, but if your landlord is charging you to wash clothes, ordering a key to the machines and changing the settings doesn’t seem bad to me, although it probably isn’t fully legal. Bonus points if you’re in a large building and giving everyone free washes — that’s just being a good neighbour.
How to get kids to brush their teeth
This tip is bound to result in a lifetime of parental resentment when your child learns the truth. But in the years between their baby teeth falling out and when they turn 14 or so, they’ll really brush their teeth hard, so you can judge for yourself whether it’s worth it.
Send fake emails praising your job performance
This “be dishonest” hack is easy to do and easy to pull off. In a lot of jobs, customer praise to management could actually make a difference in your employment life. On the other hand, it’s not fair to your co-workers. And they’re all just awesome, right?
How to make friends through lying
This might actually work, but you have to ask yourself if you really want to be friends with a bunch of angry people who just got stood up by their Tinder date. Maybe join an astronomy club instead?