As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m not a particularly confrontational person. If the people who live above or next to me want to have a raucous party every once in a while, I’ll probably keep my comments to myself. However, there are times when even I can be moved to seek revenge against my noisy neighbors. So today, I’m going to share some of the ways you can get back at inconsiderately loud people.
Before I tell you all my wildest revenge fantasies, let’s briefly talk about when it would be appropriate to make them into reality.
Not All Noisy Neighbors Are Created Equal
At some point or another, all your neighbors will have especially noisy parties or lawn mowing sessions. But that doesn’t mean that you should get revenge on every single one of them. After all, there’s a difference between someone who is only loud when necessary, and very rarely outside of those circumstances, and someone who is behaving badly because they feel like it.
So before you go in on your neighbors for throwing a party or renovating their home, consider the following questions:
- How long will the noise last?
- How often do those neighbors usually make a ruckus?
- Is there a way to block the noise?
If you’re peeved because the neighbors are vacuuming, I’m sorry to say, you’ll have to hold your tongue. Or get them a quiet vacuum cleaner, if you’re feeling charitable. But if they’ve been banging away at your shared wall for days on end, don’t be shy about asking how long they’re going to take.
Of course, if that isn’t a common occurrence, you should just wait it out. It’s certainly better than starting a feud. You could even use it as an opportunity to do some work of your own.
Clearly, you could use thicker walls, complete with soundproof insulation, resilient channels, and several layers of drywall. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be hearing all that construction. Or, if the noise is coming from above, you could create a drop ceiling.
Before You Commit to the Idea of Revenge
Even if these neighbors are being knowingly inconsiderate, you should look into the local noise ordinance laws before you go through with your vengeance plans. It might turn out that their late-night album listening parties are completely legal.
In any case, you won’t know that your neighbors are being rude on purpose unless you ask them to stop. You can call attention to the fact that they’re being noisy by:
- Knocking on the wall or ceiling, if you live in an apartment building
- Calling your neighbors and politely asking them to stop
- Showing up at their doorstep to ask how long the noise will last and even request that they warn you the next time they plan to be loud
If talking to your neighbors doesn’t work, you should feel free to plan and execute your revenge.
12 Harmless Ways to Get Your Revenge
Between the fantasies I’ve had over the years and the Internet’s vast knowledge, I’ve managed to find twelve ideas you can use to start planning your revenge. But before we start strategizing, I ought to remind you that these tips are meant to annoy the kind of loud neighbors that think they own the block. So don’t use them to be the kind of bad neighbor we’re trying to discipline here!
1. Schedule Your Loudest Chores for When Your Neighbors Are Home
As we’ve established, I’m a bit of a passive-aggressive grudge holder, especially when it comes to neighbors. But if you’re like me, you’ll like the first course of action I’m going to recommend. In fact, I’ve decided to present this list going from the plans that are the easiest to implement to riskier alternatives.
So let’s start with the most basic plot you can hatch against your noisy neighbors. If they’re bothering you at the least convenient times — in the evenings or during quiet hours — fight fire with fire. Figure out the times when they are home, but prefer to be quiet. Then, commit to being your loudest self during those times.
If you have to vacuum your home, use the leaf blower, or mow the lawn, schedule it for when the neighbors aren’t in the mood for the racket. That would also be the perfect time to test out that new smoothie recipe you found a few weeks ago! But whatever you do, use the oldest appliances you can. Now’s not the time to use your quiet leaf blowers or blenders!
And you get extra points if you’re doing the same things your neighbors usually do to you. So if they like to renovate their home too frequently, you should make sure you’re up at the crack of dawn a few days in a row to hammer away at your walls. I’m sure your place could use a few more pieces of furniture you can joyously assemble to the annoyance of your neighbors.
2. Practice an Instrument or Put on Some Tunes
I’ve always liked the idea of poetic justice. So if your neighbors love to bother you by listening to horrible music or practicing disagreeable instruments, you should take a page from their book.
I can hear you asking, “What if I don’t play any instruments?” And to that I say: that’s ideal! Pick up a guitar, a flute, or a small drum set and go crazy — especially when the neighbors don’t expect it.
That can be during those quiet times we’ve talked about or when they start fiddling with their instrument. Your participation in the jam session should get the point across that you’re not interested in hearing your neighbor’s rendition of Wonderwall. And hey, if you happen to learn how to play while you’re trying to get sweet revenge, enjoy the added benefit. On the other hand, if you don’t own any instruments, you can at least contribute vocally.
As an alternative, you could use your speakers. If the neighbor wants to make you listen to whatever awful band of the week they’re into, they must be open to hearing your musical taste as well. So turn those speakers toward the wall and blast them.
You can even set them up so they play automatically when the neighbors are loud while you’re away. All it takes is a bit of clever engineering — as you’ll see in this video.
3. Exercise Your Dog
When I was a teenager, we lived next door to a couple that had shouting matches fairly regularly. Our family dog would always react adversely to their arguments, but it would never utter so much as a whine. We had trained it well enough that it would stay calm even during firework displays. Back then, we didn’t think to make a soundproof crate, so training it was the easier option.
At some point, I realized it wasn’t fair that the neighbors should always get the last word in. So I decided to allow our dog to pitch in. As soon as the neighbors got going, I had our dog start barking — another trick we had perfected.
The longer they went on, the longer the dog barked. Eventually, they must have made the connection that their raised voices were spurring the dog on. From then on, they were quiet for the most part.
However, even if your dog can’t bark on command, you can still use it in your revenge scheme. Namely, your dog can be a ready excuse for you to throw a ball around your apartment. You might accidentally hit the wall you share with a loud neighbor next door. Alternatively, if the loud neighbors live below, the frantic clicking of the dog’s claws might be enough to irritate them.
4. Play Hoops in Front of Your House
Playing a good-natured game of hoops can go a long way to annoy any noise-making neighbor. Simply install a hoop on the side of your building (which is bound to be noisy in and of itself) and dribble away with your friends or children.
And don’t forget to laugh uproariously — that’ll definitely contribute to the neighbor’s dissatisfaction. You’ll have fun, get your recommended daily amount of exercise in, and get back at your neighbors.
5. Have a Party
Having a loud party or two is another great way to get back at neighbors who often do the same thing without considering other people. If you live in an apartment building, let everyone know what they can expect, except for the annoying neighbors in question. In fact, you could invite the whole neighborhood — I’m sure everyone would jump on the chance to provoke your loud neighbors too.
As I’ve explained, the best revenge is one that reflects the original crime. If your neighbor often taunts the rest of you with their rowdy parties, give them a taste of their own medicine.
6. Make a Stink
Now here’s a perfect way to drive your point home. Make a stink — and I don’t mean just figuratively.
One trick many dog trainers use is to associate a bad smell with bad behavior. So that’s what you can do here. When you hear your neighbors being their usual noisy selves, hit them with a stink bomb. Eventually, it should sink in that loud noises will be answered with stink bombs.
You can get one online or make one yourself by putting milk, eggs, and vinegar in an airtight container and letting them spoil. After a while, stash the container in your neighbor’s yard (near their window) or the air vent next to their apartment.
Then, let things play out as they will. Once you feel they’ve suffered enough, you can retrieve the bomb without anyone knowing.
7. Doorbell Ditch
The next few ideas I’ve had all involve some of the most classic childhood pranks. And what better way to deal with an obnoxious neighbor than to ring on their doorbell incessantly?
Doorbell ditch, or ring and run, is a well-known game, so your neighbor won’t be unfamiliar with it. Therefore, you’ll need to make your timing as unpredictable as possible. After ringing on the doorbell (or knocking), wait another ten minutes to do it again, then twenty, then thirty. And don’t always do it at the same time of day.
Will this prevent your neighbors from being loud? No. Will it aggravate them further and cause them to be even louder? Possibly. But will it be fun? Certainly.
8. Put Vaseline on Their Doorknob
There’s not much to talk about here, honestly. It is exactly as it sounds like, you’ll apply a liberal coat of petroleum jelly, oil, or another slippery, non-drying substance on your neighbor’s doorknob. Again, it won’t stop the noise, and it may even amplify their anger. But it’ll be as sweet of a revenge plot as any.
9. Sign Them up for Junk Mail
You already know your neighbor’s address — that’s all you need for this prank. With that information, you can sign them up for any number of free subscription newsletters you find.
If you know your neighbor’s email, you can also do the same thing there. The funnier and more embarrassing, the better!
10. Taping or Egging Their House (Or Door)
Here we have two more American classics. If you want to get back at your noisy neighbors in style, you’ll need some toilet paper rolls. Then, hurl that sucker up at the tree in your neighbors’ yard or aim for their porch and roof.
On the other hand, you could pepper the neighbors’ house or apartment door with eggs. I wouldn’t do this unless you loathe the people. I wouldn’t wish that cleanup on my worst enemy! And whatever you do, promise me you won’t save the egg carton to use for soundproofing purposes.
11. Shut off Their Circuit Breaker
If you’re feeling daring, you could also cut off your neighbors’ electricity — if that will also cut the noise. If they live in the house next door, cutting off their electricity will undoubtedly require some trespassing. After all, their circuit breaker box will most likely be on the side of the house. So of course, I can’t recommend it.
However, if they live in your apartment building, you could write it off as a mistake if you’re found out. In that case, you may find the box that contains the switches to all of the apartments in the basement. If they’re not properly labeled, you may have some trouble finding the right one. And depending on the kind of box you’re dealing with, you might end up cutting everyone’s electricity.
As you may be able to tell, I’m not a huge fan of this particular tactic. Still, I’ve known some people who have done it. The only way I would do it is if I had an otherwise friendly relationship with the neighbors in question.
That would ensure that there are no hard feelings afterward and that they’d be able to return the favor with good humor. You see, I’m nothing if not a fair player!
12. Go Through the Official Channels
The last method I wanted to mention is the only way to feel the kind of vindication you’re looking for. If the neighbors are clamorous even after you tried talking to them, you have every right to get the building manager or the authorities involved.
But before you do, you ought to make sure that the neighbors’ actions are indeed illegal in your state. Additionally, you might also want to have some kind of record of the neighbors’ ongoing disruptive activities. Usually, having a history of complaints against them will do the trick. After you get the police involved, you’ll be able to step back and let them take over.
Can Revenge Help You Free Yourself of Noisy Neighbors?
As fun as fantasizing about your neighbors’ comeuppance can be, you’d really be better off resolving the conflict through mediation. If you can’t talk them into seeing your side, you could implement soundproofing measures to block the noise. And, if all else fails, I’m sure police officers would be happy to intervene on your behalf.