From “Just A Little Weird” To “This Should Be A Federal Crime,” Here Are 16 Things That Are Legal But Creepy

Recently, u/ArpanMondal270 took to Reddit to ask, “What is perfectly legal but creepy as hell?” and people’s answers were making me shudder.

1.“Making those websites that count down to (usually female) celebrities turning 18.”

Paris Hilton grimacing

2.“Divorce lawyer here: people fighting like mad to get the dog in the divorce, and then turning it over to a shelter out of spite. Now in California, there can be SERIOUS consequences for doing that due to recent law changes about pets and divorce, but it wasn’t always that way.”


3.“Following people on the street for extended periods of time.”

A city street


“When Jeffrey Donovan was preparing for the role of Michael Westen in Burn Notice, he followed people on the street to see if he could follow them without being caught.”


Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

4.“I babysat for this couple who had a 3- and 6-year-old. They both still breastfed. They were pretty normal otherwise…but seeing that 6-year-old pull down her mother’s shirt and latch was creepy.”

Close-up of person looking disapproving


“Ugghhh, my aunt breastfed her son till he was 12 years old. We never knew until he pulled her shirt up when we were visiting. My mom was so upset at her.”


“I took my son to the birthday party of a girl in his class who was turning 7. While I was chatting with the mom during the party, with coolers full of juice boxes and water, the birthday girl walked up to her mom and said, ‘Mommy, I’m thirsty.’ This lady whipped out a breast and began breastfeeding her daughter right there, in the middle of the conversation, while we’re talking about second-grade teachers. It was bizarre.”


HBO / Via

5.“Rummaging through your neighbor’s garbage once it’s on the curb for pickup.”


6.And similarly: “Sifting through others’ trash to collect DNA evidence.”



Lady Gaga sipping tea in her "Paparazzi" music video with Alexander Skarsgård sitting next to her


“‘We have the right of complete access to your private life because a lot of people enjoy work that you do.’ That’s the reasoning for their jobs.”


Lady Gaga / Interscope Records / Via

8.“In the USA, if you are on a public sidewalk, you can film through people’s windows into their house. There is no expectation of privacy for anything that can be viewed from a public space. If you want the inside of your home to be truly private, close your windows.”

People walking on a city street


“In the Netherlands, this IS illegal. You can film public space, but not into private space.”


Grant Faint / Getty Images

9.“Standing on your own front porch and not moving at 3 a.m.”


10.“The practice of online data tracking and targeted advertising. In the digital age, many companies and websites collect vast amounts of data about users’ online activities, such as their browsing habits, interests, and even location. This data is then used to create detailed user profiles, which are then sold to advertisers to deliver personalized ads. While this practice is legal and widely used, people should know that every move online is being monitored and analyzed for marketing purposes.”

The outline of a lock over a cellphone screen

“It raises concerns about privacy, consent, and the potential for manipulation based on individual preferences and behavior. This form of data tracking and targeted advertising has sparked debates about the ethical implications and the need for stronger data protection regulations to safeguard individuals’ privacy online.”


Nurphoto / NurPhoto via Getty Images

11.More on that: “Data brokering. That your personal identifiable information can be bought, sold, and exploited more or less beyond your control for profit. Children below the age of consent are pre-allocated marketing and targeting profiles before they can even spell the word ‘privacy.’ Privacy should be the default, and it’s not even opt-in anymore.”


12.“Being able to buy a life insurance policy on someone else without letting them know.”

A woman sitting in the driver's seat of a car as a house explodes in flames

13.“The guy who was a doctor at a fertility clinic who just used his own sperm without the women knowing. It technically was not a crime at the time because no one had thought that it needed to be legislated against.”


14.“Private investigators. Anybody can hire someone to literally follow and stalk you. You’ll have pictures snapped of you, your location tracked, and folks around you will be manipulated. I had a manager in the small business I worked in who had an ex-boyfriend who would send private investigators after her. We even had one smooth-talk us, ask to use the employee restroom just so he could take pictures of said manager’s office (unbeknownst to us, he was a PI). It’s the strangest and creepiest concept to me that this is a service you can legally hire.”

A Sherlock Holmes–type figure holding up a magnifying glass to their face and smoking a pipe
Headhunters / Getty Images

15.“Buying or selling a gun in a random parking lot is perfectly legal in my state, and I’ve done it several times before. It also feels so incredibly sketchy.”


16.And finally, something harmless but still…weird! “Buying popcorn in the cinema and just leaving without watching a film.”

Close-up of movie theater popcorn


“My father’s dad does this. When I was little, people would show up to the house and ask where Grandpa was. They’d say, ‘He just left for the movies; he’ll be back in 10 minutes.’ Never once bought a ticket for a movie, just wanted to bring popcorn home.”


Picture Alliance / DPA/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

If you can think of anything that, while legal, is creepy/weird/sketchy, etc., let us know in the comments! I like to read these, even though they make me stressed, TBH.

Note: Some comments have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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