There’s a popular saying that when you marry someone you’re marrying their entire family, too.
On the screen, mother-in-laws are often portrayed as crazy or overbearing, sometimes both. The question is, is it just an over-exaggeration or is there some truth to these characters?
After doing a little digging, looking for any and all kinds of mother-in-law stories people were brave enough to share online. It looks like those TV and movie portrayals aren’t too far off. At the end of the day, some people can probably handle some mother-in-laws better than others, but we all get an A+ for trying, right?
1. One person took to Twitter to share their own funny mother-in-law story, proving that sometimes a mother-in-law’s complaints are actually valid. They said, “Mother-in-law complained about the sun being in her eyes. I closed the blinds, turned around and saw this…” No wonder she complained! We’d be surprised if the poor lady has any vision at all after that.
2. One Instagram user from Las Vegas shared an adorable shirt his mother-in-law hooked him up with after he saved a dying baby squirrel. He says his mother-in-law thinks he’s a “squirrel whisperer” now and I guess she wanted everyone else to know, too. She also gave him a squirrel ornament to go on his tree. Now she might be taking it a little too far.
3. Then you have scary stories like this one. One Twitter user shared a picture of the mug their mother-in-law gave them. At first glance, the mug seems to be covered in words of encouragement like stay positive, work hard, pay taxes and even reminding them to wear sunscreen. Sweet, right? Wrong. Keep reading and you have eat less, lose weight and to top it off inside the mug it says “…die anyway.”
4. Sometimes mother-in-laws are the butt of the joke, while other times they actually can make a pretty funny joke themselves. One person tweeted out a funny sign from their mother-in-law that reads, “Grandchildren Are God’s Reward For Not Killing Your Kids” Do you think she was trying to tell her kids something with this one?
5. Sometimes mother-in-laws can be over-the-top in the best, albeit strangest, of ways. Reddit user Langlock shared this dinner table his mother-in-law prepared in order to celebrate hitting level 30 on Pokemon GO. You have to give the woman points for being creative. That’s a dinner table to remember, for sure.
6. One MIL decided to decorate her holiday tree with a very confusing religious ornament. Reddit user Joshua Hubert shared this gem along with the caption, “I sat there, staring, wondering why my religious Mother in Law had a severed Toe Christmas tree ornament. Upon closer inspection…” Do you see the baby Jesus, or like us, are you having a hard time getting past the toe image?
7. Reddit user stacybw shared this photo of glow-in-the-dark silly string, saying her mother-in-law was generous enough to lend her a can after hearing they would be camping in an area with bear sightings. I’m not sure if the mother-in-law actually believed that if she put tape on the can and labeled it “bear repellent” it actually made it so or if this was just a joke.
8. Even when you think you’re lucky enough to shake your mother-in-law for just one holiday dinner, she manages to find a way to be there. Reddit user mwproductions posted this picture of his family enjoying their Thanksgiving dinner while their mother-in-law decided to crash the party by being there through a computer monitor.
9. However, not all mother-in-law’s faults can be laughed off. One Reddit user, EusociallyAwkward, says,”My MIL is extremely negative and can find fault with anything. My favorite example was when we went to the Holocaust Museum for an exhibit on Nazi propaganda art. When we came out, an employee of the museum asked us what we thought of the exhibit. My MIL told him ‘It wasn’t my cup of tea. Too depressing, and I think there was too much about Hitler.’”
10. Sometimes mother-in-laws are plain savage. Reddit user cherrycokecowgirl shared this crazy story: “My ex mother-in-law called me by her other son’s ex-wife’s name for the first three years I was married to her younger son.” That’s just wrong on so many levels! No wonder she’s an exmother-in-law.
11. It only gets worse. Another Reddit user hochizo shares, “My MIL stole a stack of our wedding invitations to send to her friends that we weren’t inviting. We wanted a small, intimate wedding with only people we knew and loved. I hardly knew a soul there.” If that isn’t crossing a line…
12. Reddit user missus_b spills the beans on the first time she met her MIL: “We came to visit her and were sitting in her dining room.” The user says they were sitting there peacefully for a whopping five minutes when her husband asked when he was there last, suggesting he couldn’t remember. His MIL was ready to help out… “Oh, I can! You brought Michelle here. How is Michelle? I miss her. She’s so… (looking right at me) …pretty. Do you keep in touch? Tell her I say hello and I miss her so.” Low blow.
13. This might be the kind of scrutiny women have heard before but it doesn’t make it any less cringe-worthy. One Reddit user silly87 shares her mother-in-law’s reaction after she found out she wouldn’t be taking her son’s last name: “If you’re not changing your last name what’s the point of getting married?”
14. When your mother-in-law is kind enough to rearrange your entire kitchen, what other choice do you have other than to plaster a fake smile on your face and thank them while secretly hoping they disappear? Reddit user cappucinocarrie had one such mother-in-law who decided to take the initiative while she was out: “While you were gone, I arranged the kitchen for you, It didn’t make sense where you had put things…” Thanks a lot.
15. When your MIL starts outlining specific instructions on how to do your husband’s laundry as if he can’t do it himself… “When you wash it, all you have to do is X, Y, then Z [note: I don’t remember her specific instructions],” posted Reddit user hochizo. When breaking the news to her mother-in-law that she actually makes her husband do his own laundry, her mother-in-law asked her son “Should I be getting you an apron for Christmas?”
16. “Things mother-in-laws should never say” should get its own trending hashtag because it turns out there is a lot of them. Reddit user Truebluecat shares a great example with: “Boyfriend’s mom, speaking to my boyfriend about me: ‘You know you’re basically dating your sister, right?’” Why did she think this was a good idea? Why?!
17. Here’s another great example of something all mother-in-laws should never say but probably will anyway. Reddit user IvyKingslayer shared her awkward first encounter with her MIL. “The first time I met my ex’s mum she instantly put her hands on my stomach. Yep. She thought I was pregnant. Fun first conversation.”
18. Reddit user PoelseElse shares her infuriating discovery when her MIL decided to take control of the photography at a birthday party: “When my boyfriend threw his 30th birthday, she was in charge of photography, and I’m not in one single of the more than 200 photos.” Don’t underestimate the wrath of a mother-in-law.
19. After receiving a tie-dye onesie, one Reddit user believed his mother-in-law was purposely trying to sabotage him but decided he wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction. T0pd4wg shares a picture of himself posing in the onesie, seemingly unaffected by her failed attempt to embarrass him! Son-in-law: 1. Mother-in-law: 0.
20. Another Reddit user shares, “My SO’s mother told my then fiance not to marry me, that I couldn’t be trusted.” And as if that isn’t bad enough, zbplot has more: “Even went as far as to recommend tips on how I could get my money back on my wedding dress.” The nerve of some MILs!
21. Crazy mother-in-law alert. “She drove to my parents’ house and started screaming at me about a lost ring, she was very much implying that I stole it,” spills Reddit user glorifiedplumber83. “If that wasn’t enraging enough, she went on saying it was my fault somehow he didn’t have a job.”
22. Sometimes they don’t show any love at all, and sometimes mother-in-laws show too much. “My ex’s mom used to call me and talk to me on the phone for HOURS,” says Reddit user koalafrosted. “She would never stop talking so it was impossible to get a word in and say I had to go.” Not the worst thing in the world, but… “She continued to do this a couple months after me and her son broke up.”
23. Reddit user esk_209 shares, “My former mother-in-law was, when we all first met, incredibly narcissistic.” Not uncommon. “The night of our rehearsal dinner she stood up and said that she wanted to say something (we all assumed she was making a toast),” says esk_209. “What she actually wanted to do was tell us all that on the Wednesday following our wedding SHE was getting married.” Way to steal the limelight, mom.
24. Sometimes mother-in-laws can get a little dramatic. “My mom had a background check done on my girlfriend before she first came to town (met her at college),” complains Reddit user just_gopher-it. We’re willing to bet anything she’s not the first MIL to pull this stunt.