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Reddit’s AITA Thread Is My Quarantine Happy Place

Judging strangers on their bonkers behavior? Sign me up!

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As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, most of us are stuck at home, whiling away the hours, conferring with the flowers, and oscillating between boredom and panic. Luckily, there has never been a better time to be stuck in your home, thanks to our best friend/worst enemy the Internet!

Part of the appeal of the world wide web is that there is truly something for everyone: every taste, fandom, hobby, and bizarro interest is met online … and that’s just the porn. But seriously, the internet provides a veritable wealth of education, entertainment, and enjoyment.

And it was here, on Reddit of all places, that I found my latest love: the AITA subreddit, short for “Am I the A-Hole?”. If you’re not familiar with this subreddit, you’ve more than likely come across one via Twitter and social media. The premise is breathtakingly simple: folks post about their situations/disagreements/behaviors and ask the Reddit community to judge whether or not they are an a-hole.

The community description reads: “A catharsis for the frustrated moral philosopher in all of us, and a place to finally find out if you were wrong in an argument that’s been bothering you. Tell us about any non-violent conflict you have experienced; give us both sides of the story, and find out if you’re right, or you’re the asshole.”

You can choose one of four answers: NTA (not the a-hole), YTA (you’re the a-hole), NAH (no a-holes here), and EHS (everyone here sucks). As a lover of both bonkers stories and passing judgment on strangers, I find this subreddit to be *chef’s kiss* EXACTLY the kind of petty nonsense that I live for.

The AITA subreddit satisfies those deepest, most insecure parts of ourselves that often thrive during times of crisis. If you’re caught in a shame spiral over eating the last Easy Mac in the pantry, don’t worry. It’s not like you stuck your dick in the peanut butter!

Are you feeling bad for acting immature during a fight with your significant other? Whelp, at least you didn’t give away $5k worth of their beloved LEGO collection! And even if you did, you’re self aware enough to know that it would be an absolute deal-breaker.

Perhaps what I enjoy most about AITA is that it feeds my inner Eleanor Shellstrop, my dirtbag self that continues to stumble towards enlightenment. After all, it takes an a-hole to judge one, am I right? And while I may not be eligible for the Good Place, I’m definitely doing better than these ding-dongs.

kristen bell


Self awareness is a gift, and many people walk away from their AITA judgments learning something new about themselves. For many relationship posts, it’s victims of toxic or abusive relationships realizing that they deserve better. Those are my favorites. There’s also a sense of community, a sense of online support to be found in these most isolating of times.

I mean, where else will you find 3,000 strangers who agree with you that your sister-in-law using essential oils to treat COVID-19 is out of her goddamn mind? Nowhere. You can’t put a price on that kind of support and validation.

Are you as obsessed with /r/AITA and its companion subreddits like Relationships? Share your favorites in the comments!

(image: Marvel)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.