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“I Pranked Kids Who Were Playing Ding-Dong-Dash at My Door – One of the Mums is Furious with Me!”

Depending on where you grew up you might know it as ‘ding-dong-dash,’ ‘ding-dong-ditch,’ ring-n-run,’ or any number of other variations. Regardless of what you called it, the aim was the same – ring a neighbour’s door and scarper before the owner answered. As a child it was great fun, now as an adult, I’d wager most of us might have a different perspective on it.

Whilst many of us may have fond childhood memories of this game, for vulnerable members of the community like pensioners, or disabled people, it may not just pose an inconvenience to be on the receiving end, it could also be quite frightening. It’s worth noting too, that ‘unlawfully ringing doorbells’ is illegal in South Australia and carries a maximum penalty of a $250 fine! Horrifyingly, there have even been incidences in America of children who were playing this game being shot!

Not everyone gets infuriated by children playing this time-worn prank though. Today’s story is about a person who overheard some children in their neighbourhood planning which way they would run after they’d knocked his door, and decided to play along. But things took an unexpected turn when the mother of one of the children turned up at his door a short while later furious with him.

So yesterday my family and I were minding our own business at home when a bunch of kids started playing ding-dong-ditch. Honestly, it was pretty funny. I was upstairs with the window cracked and could hear the kids planning who was going to knock the door, and which way they were going to run etc. I think they thought we weren’t home or whatever. Anyway, after a brief chat with my parents (they are just so gosh darn happy that kids these days are playing outside), we decided to prank them back. Nothing extreme, the plan was just to wait for them to knock the door again and then rip it open and yell boo or something. When I heard the kids come back to our door, snuck quietly to the door and rested my hand on the handle. Kid knocks, I rip open the door and scream. They scream, they run, a couple of the kids stick around laughing and the ones who ran away.


Fifteen minutes later we get another knock at the door. We ignore it (thinking it’s the kids again) but whoever it was knocked again louder so I went and opened it. It was the kids mother. She asked if I was the one who scared her son, and I said yes and started to laugh. Clearly, she did not find this funny at all. She started yelling at me, saying I had no right to scare her kid like that and that I’m a terrible human etc. Then she tells me that her kid shit himself. Literally.

Kudos to the kid because I don’t think anyone noticed. I kinda feel like that could have stayed a family secret until they were ready to laugh about it but that’s whatever.


The kid was stood behind her crying, and honestly I felt pretty bad. My dad came to the door and told the lady to take a hike but I think I maybe took it too far?

Needless to say nobody thought that he had done anything wrong, and many peple had a good chuckle at the unfortunate outcome.

NTA. Knocking on doors is not a game – it’s harassment. You had every right to do what you did. At least these kids will know not to bother you again. (DawnShakhar)

NTA. I laughed. You did nothing wrong. I was thinking you threatened to call the cops or something like this from the title. Consequences to their actions. They thought they were doing the prank and got it turned back. It was harmless. The mom was TAH. (legallymyself)

One person also had a similar story of their dad scaring kids who were knocking his door and running away when he was trying to get a newborn to sleep.

My dad did a similar thing when some neighbor kids did that when my brother was a newborn. He asked them kindly to stop because they were waking up the baby. They did it again. So dad waited for them and the next time he ripped the door open and chased them out of the garden. One girl peed her pants, and while their parents never said anything about, the girls father never spoke a word to my dad again. He heavily disliked the guy, so he didn’t mind at all. The kids never bothered us again, so it was a double win for my dad. (Stormandsunshine)

In the whole situation, it was the mother’s reaction that many people had the most issue with. Instead of talking to her child and teaching him about the dangers of knocking on stranger’s doors, or the annoyance their ‘fun’ could be causing to others, she thought it was perfectly acceptable to take umbrage with the recipient of the prank!

NTA the kids were playing a prank on you, and you decided to prank them back in a harmless way. u didn’t have any malicious intent, and it’s unfortunate that the kid had an extreme reaction, but you couldn’t have predicted that. it’s important for kids to learn that their actions can have unexpected consequences. the mother overreacted by yelling at you instead of acknowledging her child’s role in the situation (nevrosaxo)

Not only that, but in her attempt to molly coddle her child, all she achieved was to further humiliate him!

Why would the mom even TELL you?

That’s WAY more embarassing for the kid, on top of being known as the one who got the shit scared out of you?

Having your mommy come marching down the street all dragonesque, steam literally billowing from her ears, only to scream about her LITERALLY shitty kid lol (zeeelfprince)


NTA. The kids were playing a prank, and you responded in kind. The mother overreacted by embarrassing her child further. Hopefully, the kid learned a lesson about ding-dong-ditch and pranks in general. (OkBalance8339)

On the whole, commenters hoped the situation would teach the boy a lesson, since it seemed his mother would not, with Reddit user SentientAristovrat quipping, “Kid learned a valuable lesson; Never bring a date to a scary movie!”

Do you have a ding-dong-dash story?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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