19 Things Your Parents Told You Were Illegal In The '90s

20th Century Fox

Kids say — and think — the darnedest things. We have overactive imaginations, adults like to mess with us, and we don't always understand everything we hear. That's why some kids call strawberries "straw babies" — a boo-boo so adorable, you don't even want to correct them. But you do anyway so that you won't have a 30-year-old child still saying "straw babies." Recently on Reddit, one user posed an interesting topic of conversation surrounding things we thought were illegal as kids, taking me back to the time a schoolmate told me she was going to have me arrested for stealing the AOL username she wanted for herself. I legitimately thought I was going to jail, you guys. Anyway...

Being afraid of police involvement is a surefire way to get a kid to stay in line, and possibly scar them psychologically for life, as well. Kind of like that one time I spilled a glass of pop at a friend's house, and as her mom was cleaning it up, she told me not to do it again or she'd call the police. I never went back.

It probably wasn't very funny at the time; but as adults looking back at things we used to think were illegal, you can't help but laugh.


Driving With The Lights On

While it's not technically illegal, it's incredibly dangerous and could still potentially get you pulled over.


Underage (Coffee) Drinking

Bla bla bla, coffee stunts your growth. Whatever. This kid was clearly on to something and knew at a young age coffee is the elixir of LIFE.


Drinking Anything While Driving

You can't blame a kid for taking "drinking and driving" to heart.


Crossing Through Meridian

Nothing makes a trip to your grandparents utterly terrifying quite like this.



Nice try, people. You can't get away with this one forever.


"Illegal Operations"

Didn't this scare the crud out of all of us? Didn't you imagine the FBI banging down your front door and telling your mommy?


Swallowing Your Gum

People would also try to convince you it stays in your stomach for eight years and blocks your intestines. What a load of bull.


Washing Your Money

Laundering. Laundry. Easy mistake.


Taking Fake Flower Petals

I totally stole flower petals that had fallen off in the garden of Home Depot, but had to be a ninja about it because I thought it was "against the rules."


"Illegal" Soccer Moves

At least you'd be arrest doing something you enjoy, so I guess there's that?


Removing The Tag From Your Mattress

I still think this is illegal. How is a mattress tag that intimidating?



Okay, jaywalking is illegal, but it's a low-level offense. Sometimes, as kids, if we wanted to live life on the edge, we'd jaywalk and then listen for sirens, convinced someone had busted us.


Beer Nuts

This goes right along with beer-battered chicken — something else we all thought we'd get busted for.


Being Home Alone

So many fears ran through your head when you were home alone as a kid. Maybe you'd be arrested. Maybe a killer would break in. Maybe there was a monster hiding in your closet, waiting for your parents to leave so it could eat you.


Putting Toilet Paper The Wrong Way

Ah, yes. And the debate for which way the toilet paper should face continues. (It should be on the outside, obvi. Fight me.)



Cuss jars are a better way to go about this, because #passiveincome. But threatening a child with jail time for using colorful language is another valid approach, I guess.


Being Out Late

That's one way to get your kid to obey curfew. Sneaky, sneaky.


Braking On The Highway

Imagine driving on a road where you're never allowed to brake. I think I'd rather walk.



Now there's a word you don't want to mix up.