At their best, friendships consist of two people bonded by mutual respect; at their worst, they’re downright cruel. When the Cut asked around, more than a few women were quick to tell us: They’d seen close friends do some pretty mean things. For tales of betrayal, backstabbing, exclusion — even one case of petty theft — read below: 11 women on the meanest thing they’ve experienced at the hands of a friend, and the meanest things they’ve done to friends, too.
1. She made me cook and clean for all her friends.
“A friend asked me if I wanted to throw a dinner party together at her apartment with mostly her friends. I was going to cook because I love to cook and it sounded fun. The day of the event, she was invited to ‘something better.’ Of course, I assumed she wouldn’t go, considering we were throwing a dinner party together at her house. She mentioned something about swinging by there at some point during our dinner. I ended up buying all the groceries, getting her apartment in tip-top shape, and cooking a feast for all her annoying friends. She never showed up to our dinner party. I left her apartment trashed. We never spoke again.”
2. She ripped my Best Friend necklace off.
“It was the beginning of my fourth-grade year, and best friend necklaces had just exploded in popularity. My friend Sarah approached me in homeroom with a small white box and the question I’d been waiting for. I said yes, put my necklace around my neck, and breathed a sigh of relief. Hours later, as my entire class stood in line outside of the gymnasium for P.E., Sarah walked up to me and loudly demanded that I relinquish my charm. After realizing it wasn’t a joke, I asked her why she’d changed her mind, and she refused to provide an answer, but once she clasped the necklace in her hand, she abruptly walked away from me and toward another classmate, handing her the friendship token in plain view.”
3. I ratted on her HPV.
“My boyfriend (at the time) and I were going to set my friend up with his friend. Both parties were really excited about it. Without thinking, I told my boyfriend that she had HPV. He then told his pal. The whole blind date was canceled. The guys shut it down. I never told her why … but it was really uncool of me to betray her that way. I don’t even know why I said it.”
4. She purposefully tripped me in front of older guys.
“One afternoon in seventh grade my most evil friend Christina and I were walking home in the snow with two boys from the eighth grade. We both liked the same boy, named Gabe. Out of the blue Chrissie stuck her foot out and tripped me on purpose so that I fell flat on my face into a snowbank. They all laughed for what seemed like ten straight minutes, reenacting my expression of rage, with a snow-covered face and splayed-out arms. Later, Chrissie made out with Gabe in my bedroom for over an hour while I had to watch TV with the other guy. To this day, Chrissie is held up in my household as an example of middle-school cruelty.”
5. I took a few liberties with her caloric intake.
“I have a friend who in college had a low-grade eating disorder and would only eat the following: salad with ketchup and mustard on it; pita bread, burnt to a crisp in the microwave and doused in I Can’t Believe It’s Not butter spray; and coffee from the campus Cool Beans, half the cup of which she filled with skim milk. Yadda yadda yadda — one day she asked me to get her a coffee and I swapped out the enormous portion of skim milk for heavy cream. What made it feel so mean was how grateful she was for the ‘favor’; I still can picture her sipping it, saying, ‘Yummm, this is SUCH good coffee.’ And then a few other friends and I got stoned and had a good laugh about it behind her back.”
6. She threatened me with a poop finger.
“One weekend in fourth grade, my supposedly best friend and I went with her dad to his office, which was at some sort of photography studio or place where we were allowed to run around for hours unattended. Halfway through the day, she stuck her fingers in her pants, and down her butt, and then put the finger in my face. ‘Lick it,’ she said, looking me straight in the eye, ‘or I’ll have the security guards remove you from the premises.’ ‘Come on,’ I said, too young to understand an empty threat or that she had no power over the security guards. ‘That’s gross.’ ‘LICK IT!!!’ she screamed, shoving her butt-finger closer to my mouth. I immediately burst into tears.”
7. She accidentally sent me an email calling me a whore.
“A very close girlfriend had it in her head that I was into her boyfriend. This was 100 percent untrue and without any merit. Yet for whatever reason, her brain was hooked on it. She emailed another girlfriend of ours a vicious email about me being a whore, unattractive, untrustworthy, shady … and all these things. Somehow she sent it to me instead. It was a stab through the heart. I’d never read such ugly things about my character. I wrote back to her right away and simply said, ‘I think you sent this to me by accident.’ I wanted to take the high road. I cut her, her boyfriend, and all her asshole friends off immediately. We never spoke again. I still wish I could unsee those words.”
8. I had a Fat Farm contact her.
“My best friend in high school had a ferocious appetite. She loved food like none other. My mother used to have to hide all the sweets before she’d come over because she’d clean us out. As the years went on, she really ballooned. But she had a great sense of humor about it. One day a few of us got together behind her back and contacted a bunch of ‘fat farms’ around the country … we had everyone send her pamphlets and brochures at her home address. We gave her home phone line to everyone and asked for ‘follow-up calls.’ She caught on pretty quickly … and didn’t find it funny at all. Nor did her mother. Things were always weird, and she was hurt, after that. I’ve always felt bad because we took the joy out of something she loved so much.”
9. She stole $300 in cash from my wallet during a dinner party.
“I had a very intimate gathering at the home of a friend’s house for my 30th birthday. The next day, I opened my wallet and saw that more than $300 I was missing. I called the host, and the same thing had happened to her. I emailed all the guests and told them to check their wallets. Another friend had $100 missing. It was a real mindfuck that one of my most trusted friends had violated us in that way. I had heard a few years prior from a mutual friend from our hometown who said suspected friend (let’s call her Joan) had stolen money from her on multiple occasions when we were in high school. I found out that the same thing happened to a friend of mine. The one guest we had in common? Joan. I never confronted Joan, but did let her know that whoever had stolen the money still had a chance to return it ($700 total), no questions asked. That never happened. I haven’t heard a peep from Joan since the thieving incident took place, nearly a year ago.”
10. She blew me off when I had cancer.
“When I had my surgery for breast cancer, she didn’t come and visit me because she said she was sick and was worried she’d get me sick. She is a hypochondriac, so I just accepted her excuse and didn’t think much of it. She was never a great friend to me, but I knew her for over 20 years. A couple days after my surgery, while I was recovering, I saw she posted current pictures on Facebook with this guy she just started dating, despite being ‘sick.’ Then she went to a party, where she was telling everyone (including my ex!) that I had cancer and using it as a conversation starter!”
11. I told everyone she farted in her job interview.
“I connected a friend to another friend at big design firm. When I asked my design friend for feedback, she told me that my friend farted — loud and smelly — in the interview. It was super-awkward, and the design people died laughing afterward, and meanwhile, no one wanted to hire her. My friend (who never mentioned the fart to me in her follow-up) was the brunt of the joke, which was not nice, but also kind of hilarious. I ended up telling everyone we know. She’s called ‘The Farter.’ It was so mean of me … and yet I still tell the story!”