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Shady Life Hacks That Are Actually Genius Guilty Pleasures

Darren January 30, 2023

Sometimes in life, we do things that we know are wrong for the sake of making our lives easier. It’s amazing how creative people can be when it comes to shady life hacks. We know that they’re immoral but they actually don’t hurt anybody. So today we’re going to look at the dodgiest life hacks on Reddit that are also guilty pleasures.

It’s fair to judge these individuals for their questionable behavior. But if we’re completely honest, we also admire many of them. Furthermore, while we don’t advocate acting this way in reality, some readers might learn something useful from this article. Don’t come crying to us if it lands someone in trouble, however, and enjoy these shady hacks right here.

Rock, Paper… Life Hack

This brilliant Redditor taught the world a sharp lesson. They explained how they play rock, paper, scissors with their sister. However, they’ve deviously conditioned their sibling so that they win whenever they want to. In short, it’s important not to be greedy because less can be more in life.


This is genious because they’ve psychologically manipulated the sister into thinking that they’re an idiot. Anybody with a sibling will understand that this is one of the most incredible life hacks ever. Don’t use it for the last slice of cake but maybe save it for when there’s a big game and she wants to watch a dumb re-run (via Snark Industries).

Children’s Tickets

Everybody wants to save money but the reality is that life becomes more expensive as we grow older. However, this Reddit user took a risk and it paid off. Now she does it all of the time and hasn’t faced any consequences. She buys children’s tickets when she goes to the cinema and no one has called her out.


This type of behavior requires a lot of confidence because some people will feel guilty. They won’t want to rip off the cinema or they think somebody will complain. But this Redditor showed that it’s a dog-eat-dog world and sometimes the little person can win. Now it’s one of their best life hacks (via the_girl).

Broken System

Here’s another of the smartest shady life hacks ever. This is useful for anybody who ever deals with local governments or the DMV. Everybody knows that they’ll be waiting for ages when they book an appointment. The only available day may be inconvenient but check out this person’s answer.


All it takes are a few limited photoshop skills and then they’re in. Nobody will know or care because they probably don’t earn enough money. It’s hilarious how easy it is to get ahead in life by moving into the grey zone. This doesn’t hurt anybody so who cares if it’s fraud? It also proves how useless the admin systems are in the hated DMV offices (via Cy_Surflex).

White Lies

Weddings are supposed to be the greatest day in everybody’s lives but they’re very expensive. It’s incredible how much the details like photography and catering cost. People think about renting the venue and buying a dress but they forget about bridal make-up or hiring a band.


That’s why this wise soul advises people never to tell vendors that they’re working for a wedding. It may seem mean-spirited but it could save a happy couple a few hundred dollars or more. In the end, it’s better in their pocket because they can put it toward their honeymoon or house. Remember, it’s a dog-eat-dog world so don’t judge too hard (via Norwegian_Blue).

Free Breakfast

Everybody agrees that the best way to get something for free is to walk into a place with purpose. It doesn’t matter if there’s no real reason to be there. Stride in with a sense of entitlement and urgency. Most importantly, this is also one of the best ways to get a free hotel buffet breakfast.


As the Redditor notes, simply walk into the breakfast buffet during prime hours and load a plate. Some hotels are wiser and will check visitors’ room numbers but they won’t always pay attention. Don’t go to the same hotel two days in a row because this will raise their suspicions. This may be one of the most useful shady life hacks ever (via SailorJery).

Free Laundry Hack

Public laundry facilities are one of the most annoying places on the planet. First, there’s a need to have a ready source of coins available to buy tokens. Then it’s necessary to deal with a bunch of morons who hijack machines and throw other people’s clothes onto the floor. However, this person made their laundry experience bearable by saving money.


It’s amazing how a simple plastic coffee stir stick can make a person’s life easier. It’s possible that this could help people in other shady ways. We’re not advocating to try and get free parking but it might work. There’s only one way to find out but this could be one of the smartest shady life hacks ever (via fixalated).

Real Hotel

It may feel mean-spirited to go to a developing country and try to scam traders. However, we have shady life hacks for every situation on this list. One Redditor suggested using the name of a real budget hotel when haggling at markets. Anybody who is ordering a fancy rug or antique may save some money.


It doesn’t matter if this sale could buy the trader’s children their schoolbooks. After all, it means a couple more daiquiris by the pool. Now we’re making ourselves feel bad which is saying something. But the counterargument is that they’re trying to rip tourists off so it’s right to scam them out of principle (via Joe1972).


The following piece of advice came from a drug dealer but it’s a doozy. He advises shady people to pick their noses when they think law enforcement is onto them. It’s a smart tactic because it’s the ultimate way to display a lack of self-awareness. It’s nice that he’s helping society with shady life hacks.


We’re not sure in which situations law-abiding citizens will use this tip but it may be useful one day. Who knows, maybe they end up in Harrison Ford’s situation in Patriot Games. Then this could be a life-saving tip that keeps them out of jail. If we’re being honest, they’ll likely be just dealing drugs (via getstonedplaygames).

Stock Photos

There are many shady life hacks on this list and this may seem to be the most boring. However, it’s also very applicable to many Internet users so keep reading. This genius Redditor found a clever way to find stock photos for free without watermarks. Copyright will never raise its dirty head again.


It’s a clever tactic that many bloggers and photographers won’t be aware of. Or they may think that nobody is petty or cheap enough to try to steal stock photos online. But they’re idiots because everybody wants everything for free in the 21st century. Suddenly, an unlimited library of stock photos opens up its doors (via Tallahasseean).

Free Chargers

Everybody has forgotten their phone charger at least once or left it in an inconvenient place. However, there is a naughty way to deal with this solution for free. It’s one of those shady life hacks that belongs in the grey zone because it’s technically stealing. But if it works, there are no consequences and if doesn’t, you can simply walk away.


The hotel will either automatically agree and hand one over. This may irritate the charger’s true owner but they won’t even know and are probably too far away to return anyway. If the hotel asks for more details, turn around and walk out the door. Then try another one or maybe don’t because we don’t want to encourage immoral antics (via iamadacheat).

Craigslist Hack

Craigslist is a fascinating place because nobody knows what they’ll find on it. It’s also a fantastic place to sell unwanted goods or to offer professional services. The following Redditor came up with one of the best Craigslist life hacks ever. It’s a little shady but it may help people to make a sale.


If somebody plays this the right way they could make more money because they’ll create a false economy. Consumers are stupid too because they’ll spend their hard-earned cash on anything if they think it’s popular. This may seem immoral but we’re not making them buy it so it’s ok (via ashhole98).

Amazing Airport Hack

Airports can be very stressful because there’s so much to think about. Every traveler dreads running late and dealing with long security queues or checking in. But disabled and elderly people have an advantage because they can skip the lines. One Redditor pretends that his leg is broken every time he goes to the airport.


We don’t want to promote shady life hacks but this one isn’t that bad. It will make the airport workers feel good about themselves because they think they’re actually helping people in need. It doesn’t matter if the passenger doesn’t have a problem as long as we fuel their egos. Shady people often win in this life but that’s the world we live in (via XForce23).

Sleep Deprivation

Airport life hacks are always entertaining but this one could cause some trouble. Frequent flyers know all about red-eye flights because they’re the most exhausting way to travel. The advantage is that they’re cheaper and will get them to their destination earlier. There is a way to get a cheeky rest but it could be risky.


One responder said that he was a Muslim but had no issue with this as long as people are respectful. It’s safe to say that most flyers wouldn’t have the confidence to do this because they’d be wary of offending someone’s religion. However, the lure of sleep may be too much to resist (via chrisw7128).

DMCA Complaints

Let’s start this section with a disclaimer and say that we don’t advocate stealing. Now that we’ve deflected any potential lawsuits it’s safe to share one of the wildest shady life hacks on the internet. This Redditor has a brilliant but immoral way to find movies and other digital software for free.


Many Internet users torrent audio and video files but this is another way they can steal. Remember, this may backfire because films and TV shows require money for ratings. Studios might not fund another season or sequel if they don’t make enough. It also affects the hard-working folks who created the art (via 1Str_3Int_2Dex_0Cha).

Cheap Textbooks

College students are always looking for shady life hacks because they want to save money. The cost of living and the challenge of repaying educational loans is massive in today’s society. That’s why we’re happy to present the following solution to one of the most overpriced things they’ll ever buy.


It’s so annoying to buy a textbook that the teacher never uses. This is a clever and probably legal way to get around the problem. Often, these textbooks are available for cheaper prices in Europe and other places. Sometimes dodgy companies may print unsanctioned versions for a cut price too (via radil).

Good Seats

Everybody dreams of sitting in the best seats at a sports event or a concert. However, sometimes they’re far too expensive for us to justify. That’s when shady life hacks come into play. This evil genius came up with a way to attend an event and sit in great seats without paying for them.


The important thing is to go to the original seats first. Wait until about 15 or 20 minutes before the event starts before moving down to the better position. But be wary of stewards who may ask to check tickets because then the plan will backfire. It won’t always work but there are times it will be successful (via El_Apostrophe).

Late Order

Many of the best shady life hacks involve free food. This should make a lot of college students happy because they want to save every dime possible. There’s a proven way to get food from franchises like KFC and McDonald’s. Simply arrive when they’re about to close and there are a lot of leftovers.


This is a great tip and it also works in many grocery stores. Pass by the deli counter at the end of the day and there will be a bunch of discount stickers. Remember, we usually get what we pay for and the food won’t be at its freshest. But that won’t matter to anybody who is stingy enough to do this (via Lavishly).

Embarrassing Lie

It’s usually not a good thing to tell lies but we all do it occasionally. Sometimes it can backfire if we’re not careful and then we create even bigger problems for ourselves. Never give too many details because it can be too much information to keep track of. It’s all about quality over quantity as the person below reveals.


This is a great point because nobody wants to reveal embarrassing details about themselves. People are more likely to believe it or to stop questioning because they feel awkward. It’s one of the smartest ways to lie without giving too much away. Always be vague because this allows the target to create the story themselves (via Tomf1sh).

Little Details

Here’s another great tip about telling lies. We mentioned that it’s crucial not to give too much away. But it can be useful to divulge specific details as the cherry on top of the story. One of the most popular ways to skip work is to call in sick. Often businesses require an official letter but use the tip below if they don’t.


This could be one of the most useful life hacks that people ever read. We’re not encouraging anybody to lie to their boss because there’s no point in getting into extra trouble. But what they don’t know won’t hurt them and we’re all numbers in the end. Some people also think it’s best to use a family crisis as an excuse (via CaptainPedge).

Broken Integrity

Shady life hacks are always fun to use at parties. This Redditor came up with a novel way to receive free substances. It’s one of the shadiest tips on this list but it’s also brilliant. They realized that people are terrible and want to bring everybody else down with them. That’s why he uses the following life hack when he socializes.


Potentially, this will save ravers a lot of money but we’re not advocating taking illegal substances. However, adults are capable of making their own choices and deciding what to put into their bodies. Beware of anybody who claims that they don’t drink or smoke because they could be pulling off the same trick (via brezzz).

Visa Gift Card

Some of these shady life hacks are immoral but not illegal. However, there’s no denying that the following tip is stealing. But it’s also fascinating to see what people will do or try to save a few bucks. The Redditor recommends using a Visa Gift Card to save cash on offline purchases. Yes, it’s genius but it could get them in a lot of trouble.


This is a big risk but there is plausible deniability if somebody realizes it. The problem is that it is becoming more difficult to use this life hack. These days airplanes have wifi connections and airlines are smarter. They may reject gift cards or immediately process payments so exercise care or it will backfire (via slantview).

Free Toilet Paper

Students always find useful but shady life hacks. This is a classic of the genre but it’s also one of the most pitiful. Anybody who does this is probably a wretched soul but that describes most of the college population. Stealing toilet paper can save people a lot of money over a prolonged period.


All of those dimes and nickels add up over time. Even wealthy homeowners may benefit from this tip if they find themselves in a tricky situation. Sometimes we find ourselves caught short without toilet paper but the shops are closed. They could pop into the local bar and steal their toilet roll to solve the problem (via Matthew97424).

Corporate Emails

Many shady life hacks aren’t illegal but we frown upon them. The following is a great example because it involves bothering people. However, anybody who ever used a company’s customer service won’t care. They want to resolve their problem and probably hate the business now anyway.


It’s not always easy to find this type of information but it’s out there. Many other Redditors responded to this comment and agreed that it works. Technically, it’s the wrong thing to do because it’s not the director’s remit. But they work for the same business and want it to maintain its reputation so it’s a win-win (via smithincanton).

Disney Life Hack

This is one of the worst (maybe even the worst) shady life hacks that we’ve come across. It’s incredible the lengths that people will go to if it means making their life easier. Also, the sad truth is that money makes the world go around. That’s the case at Disneyland but we’re not talking about buying fast passes.


Shockingly, some parents will go this far because it’s completely immoral. They don’t care about the disabled person’s welfare and are taking advantage of their condition. On the one hand, it’s good that they have a nice day out. But it’s wrong to use somebody’s body for something this self-centered (via well_uh_yeah).

Keep The Receipts

It’s always smart to keep the receipts of something that will only be used once. The following account explains how a summer theatre always brings back its electronic equipment to Walmart. Nobody can blame them for wanting to save money because they probably don’t have a big budget.


This is a very specific example but it’s possible to use this in other walks of life. Some people buy suits and bring them back the next day after they wear them once. This involves a lot of care because they can’t spill anything on them. Also, they must keep the tags on the clothing so it may not always be practical (via BridgetteBane).

Car For Sale

There are two types of shady life hacks on this list. Some of them are naughty but also a little bit funny. The other is a disgusting act that only a specific type of person would dream of using. This is an example of the latter because it demonstrates a lack of empathy for bereaved families.


There’s nothing illegal about this but it’s also wrong to deliberately take advantage of people in this way. It’s different if they’re advertising the deceased person’s belongings. But it takes a special type of shamelessness to cold call suffering family members and exploit them for an automobile (via Koproller).

Lost Luggage

The following life hack may take more effort than its worth. They recommend buying a starting pistol for a race because the airport will be very careful with the suitcase. We’ve no idea how to register these devices or if they’re expensive. It may be much easier to use an air tag instead.


However, the disadvantage of an air tag is that it doesn’t stop an airline from forgetting a bag. The passenger knows where their luggage is but it’s far away and there’s a lot of inconveniences. This life hack ensures the airline won’t mess around and will ensure the bag arrives at its destination (via JTfromOKC).

Blame Children

Some people use their children as shady life hacks. Mothers always do this because they treat their prams like battering rams. But some parents take this too far and engage in illegal activity. The following story is hilarious but also shameless. We learn how a father tried to steal things by using his toddler son to take items.


It’s a clever tactic because it offers plausible deniability. Some security guards are smarter than we give them credit for. This could likely backfire one day and they’ll catch him telling the child to take the device. Nonetheless, he thinks that this is an acceptable risk. It’s like a modern-day version of Oliver Twist (via MikeHoltPHD).

Honest Person

Here’s another example of using a tiny detail to deceive another person. In this case, we’re talking about selling expensive secondhand items. The Redditor advises mentioning a detail that they would have overlooked. This lures the person into a false sense of security because they think the seller is honest.


It’s important to appear apologetic about this minor issue and perhaps to offer a planned discount. This also means that they can hide another more serious issue that they don’t want the potential buyer to know about. Yes, it’s one of the shadiest life hacks ever but a very useful one (via ReasonablyConfused).

Catfish Hack

These days many people meet online through dating apps. But it’s impossible to know if someone is using filtered images or deceptive angles in their pictures. Don’t worry because this Redditor found a way to confirm their validity. The only problem is that it makes them look like a creep.


Technically, it’s not wrong to see if someone is a catfish. But there’s a danger that people could abuse this when they learn how to use this hack. Maybe they’ll become stalkers and check out their match’s social media without their knowledge. It’s a little dubious, but this is the power of the internet (via DanielTheFirst).