Sometimes, parents need to be managed. Let’s be real: if you told them everything, their heads would probably explode. And sometimes what that means is that you need to conspire with dad to keep things from your mom.

These 12 folks shared their most memorable “Don’t Tell Mom” moments on Reddit:

1. Mom’s tricky

Went on a 4 day elk hunting trip with my dad and the guys when I was 16. Started drinking as soon as we were off the county road and basically drank (mostly whiskey) the entire time except for the morning hunt and while we slept. 40% elk hunting, 60% drunk cards and cribbage and bullsh^tting with the guys and the other surrounding hunters in the area. It was f*cking awesome. Ended up bringing home an elk and on the way home got the talk of “you know what mom thinks about the drinking” and I was already pretty aware of the fact that it was a trip to get away from the wives and party with the boys without regulation for a few days, so I wasn’t about to nark on the whole thing. 2 days go by after getting home and my mom comes into my room and gives me this look and says something like “you know if there’s anything you feel like you can’t tell me about your hunting trip it’s ok you won’t be in trouble”. 16 year old me thought it would be a good idea to tell her “yeah I drank a little bit”. Bad move. I told her exactly what she wanted to hear. So my dad finally pulls me aside after a few days of angry wife/mom syndrome and enlightens me on how my mom will use “Jedi mind tricks” to get us to admit our guilt. It was the best bonding experience I’ve ever had with my father. We still talk about how mom uses the “Jedi mind tricks” on him.

2. Pizza night

My dad and sister died in a car accident when I was 13. As a kid, my mom was an RN working shift work. My dad could not cook to save his life. We spent quite a few nights at the nearby Pizza Hut, especially on wednesdays, when they had the buffet open. We knew the staff. We had a regular order. They knew us.

There was never an explicit “do not tell your mother” moment, but we never mentioned it.

After they died, it was a long time before I set foot in that same Pizza Hut. When I finally did, my mom and I went to eat dinner. We ran into the usual waiter we had who looked confused. “Where’s your dad? Where’s your sister?” I had to break the bad news to him.

This interaction did raise one eyebrow though: my mother’s. I believe her words were “wait… just how often did you guys get pizza…”

I guess my dad never told her. She eventually saw the funny side of it. It’s probably one of my most cherished memories.

3. Surprise!

My parents divorced when I was fairly young, and they moved to different states. As a result of the distance, my mom had custody of me during the school year, and my dad got me for the summers. He had also gotten married again and had additional kids. I was 12 or 13 when this happened.

So when I went to visit him, he always had at least one day a week that were just me and him days. He had recently moved to this town and he had a job with a well-known express delivery company. He drove a brown truck and delivered packages. This particular daddy – daughter day, he took me to work with him, and let me “help” by scanning the packages before he took them to the recipient. We got done with the deliveries really early, so he decided to take me to a local quarry he’d heard of to go swimming before we went home. The quarry was surrounded by trees and bushes, and there was a trail that you took from the parking area to actually get to the quarry. The trail isn’t really wide enough for us to walk side by side, so I was a step or two in front of him. So, there’s a bend in the trail, and around the corner comes this guy, completely naked except for tennis shoes, his junk swinging like a pendulum. Apparently, this quarry was a nude beach. My dad fre*ked out, hustled me back to the car, and took me to a different beach. On the way home, he said, “Please don’t tell your mom”.

I didn’t tell her until a few years ago (they were divorced for 35 years, got back together about 10 years ago and remarried each other). I give him sh^t about now, and we can all laugh about it.

4. The tri-tip was delicious

My mom loves tri tip, and my dad makes it all the time for her. One time we were in the back, just him and I because it’s where his bar is and we’re the only two who drank at the time, plus it was juuuuuuuust about time to put the tri tip on. It just so happened this day I happened across a bottle of Jameson (pop’s favorite) I hadn’t seen before, some extra aged or specialty kind. He couldn’t wait to try it, so we set the meat down and pour a sample each. It’s real smooth, really smooth, and we decide we needed another.

After a couple small sips we turned our attention back to the 3 or 4 pound hunk of perfectly seasoned meat ready to take a 3 hour nap in the bbq, to find it was no longer there. Instantly my dad yells “DROP IT!”, I look over just in time to see his giant doofus of a white lab drop the entire steak in his water bowl and run off.

My dad picked it up, dusted it off, seasoned it and gingerly placed it to bed in his bbq. He paused, if only for a split second, and turned to me with a steely look in his eyes, the look a man makes at his bachelor party when your wife is the only one who knows his, and says “If you say a f*cking word to your mom.”

We ate the brats and sauerkraut my brother cooked, mom raved about the tri tip.

5. Secret helper

Both my parents grew up in lower income working class families but have done incredibly well for themselves as adults. I’m in my mid-20s and self-sufficient. I did not follow them into tech, so I don’t have a lot of extra income to throw around.

My dad is happy as long as I’m comfortably supporting myself and will pay for little extras in life when he feels like it while my mom wants me to live within my means and doesn’t tend to offer gifts readily. He used to try to justify it to her, but now that I’m an adult he will just help out in small ways and say “just between us” and that’s the end of the discussion.

Basically ever since I started college, my dad has indulged me in small ways that we keep between us. A new computer when my old one cr*pped out during an intensive summer chem class. Transferring the cost of flights to my account when he knows it cost me quite a bit to come home and visit. Reimbursing my lost wages when I join them on a family holiday that vacation days don’t cover. Just nice things like that which are no skin off his back but which my mom thinks I should have budgeted for.

6. Too bad he was a terrible liar

My dad took off work one day to take me and my sister to go to Putt-Putt and for pizza since mom had to go to a late meeting downtown and would be home later than normal. So I was happy at getting to cut class, I sucked at the mini-golf but the best thing was the batting cages. I wasn’t an exact rockstar at it but I was pretty good.

My sister however wasn’t so awesome at it, but she wanted to try the fast pitch just like I was. So my Dad was encouraging her to move up a little closer to the base and start taking a couple swings. Well, she gets hit in the hand and it smashes it pretty good against the bat – like turning black and blue real quick and swelling quite badly. So we’re all fre*king out a little bit as we turn in the stuff, get some ice and head to the children’s hospital for x-rays.

Now as a 10 year old I’m a terrible liar, and I’m thinking we’ve broken my little sister and that mom is going to be so angry with all of us (she wasn’t the most stable). So, in the ER they’re putting a bright green cast on my sister’s very broken hand (she broke her middle finger, so it looked like she was flipping everyone off). Dad just calmly explained that we’d tell mom that little sis tripped and fell…. the lie lasted less than 24 hours. Luckily mom thought it was pretty funny, she was less thrilled when my Dad pulled stunts that ended up breaking my glasses, mom’s truck, and that one time he lost both me and my sister at a soccer game.

7. He expected a 6-year-old to keep a secret?

I went to a football game in OKC with my dad as a kid. We brought his friend and his friend’s son. We had dinner at Hooters and I got the magazines, pictures…whatever memorabilia I could get my 6 year old hands on.

My dad made it very simple, “you cannot tell your mom we ate here”. Literally the first thing I did when we got back home was tell my mom how we went to Hooters. I thought it was hilarious. It’s been 20 years and my dad still brings it up from time to time. Somewhere socked away in a drawer at my parent’s house is a 1996 Hooters calendar.

8. Quality time

I was at most, 9 or 10 at the time, and my Mum was out of town for work, so it was just me and my Dad. After I went to bed, I heard some noise coming from the next door room where the TV was, so I go and investigate. It turns out that my dad had put on Lawrence of Arabia, since he thought I was asleep, and it wouldn’t wake me up.

For the rest of the time that my Mum was out of town, we’d stay up till around midnight watching war movies that contained far to much violence and bloodshed for 10 year old Halwoll. When the week was up, he told me not to tell Mum that I’d been up till midnight every night, and that I’d been watching war movies.

We ended up doing this every time Mum went out of town to work.

9. He understood

I was a big wrestling fan as a pre-teen/teen in the 90s. Height of WWE’s Attitude Era. Sable (every horny teen’s dream in the late 90s) posed for Playboy magazine. My dad bought the magazine for me without me even asking. He just told me to fill up the gas tank for him while he went inside to pay, and came back with it. Handed it to me in a brown paper bag, with a “Don’t tell mama!”

Thanks pops.

10. It was the 70s; don’t ask

My dad was doing some DYI putting in a breakfast nook in the kitchen and he drilled right through the wall into the built-in drawers on the other side. The drawer he happened to drill into contained my mom’s wigs (it was the 70s, don’t ask) She never wore them often, but they were expensive and well, power drill into a drawer, they were all a giant ball around the drill head like the world’s worst giant lollipop. My dad managed to extract the mess and just threw it all out with a “Don’t tell your mother” to me. Months later when my mom went looking she figured she had just misplaced the wigs, (it was a big old house) and years later when he came clean she just laughed it off. Decades later I can still get a laugh out of her with the story of him pulling the giant wig-ball out and going “Oh sh^t…”

11. Who plays with a scalpel?

It was Christmas eve and I was chatting with my dad in his office, him at his desk and me sat cross legged on the floor next to him. He was messing around with a scalpel, dropping it onto the floor trying to make it stick into the carpet or something stupid. Well, on one drop it slipped out of his hand earlier than he meant to, when it was positioned directly over my right leg. Blade goes straight through my jeans and the handle sticks upright. I felt no pain and was kind of shocked but immediately relieved that it had managed to find a baggy part of my jeans that had no piece of my leg under it, probably the only place it could have gone without piercing my leg as this was kind of in my mid thigh/groin region. My dad’s face was just white. I had to assure him that it had missed my leg. Needless to say, he didn’t want me telling my mum that he had just dropped a scalpel onto her son’s leg. Looking back I’ve no idea what he was doing playing with a scalpel but he learnt his lesson.

12. Shark attack

When I was around 7 or 8 we were at Sea World and at this time they had little sharks in like a tide pool area (?) There were some small sword sharks in there and signs saying don’t touch – but my dad put his hand through the railing and into the water. The sword sharks “teeth” caught on his watch and and cut his hand a bit. Not bad, but enough that it bled. We went to meet my mom who was holding seats at a show and he said “Don’t tell mom!” so naturally, as soon as we saw mom we shouted, “Dad got bit by a shark!”

The Sea World people took notice and we missed the show. LOL Next time we visited, they’d put chicken wire stuff around the rails so idiots couldn’t put their hands in.

I don’t doubt that my dad is the reason for a lot of rules. LOL