We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the pettiest thing they've seen a rich person do. They shared some of the rudest, most entitled, or cringiest moments they unfortunately witnessed from the top 1%, and honestly, it's a bit mind-boggling. Here are the surprising results:
1."I used to know these wildly rich kids growing up, as my parent was their music teacher. I really didn’t like them, and honestly, I felt like my parents wanted us to play just because they liked being in the company of their parents. I remember when I was 14-15 or so, arguing about something with one of the daughters who was about my age. I threw out what I thought was a witty comeback, and the girl calmly replied with 'Stop. We’ll get our lawyers to take everything from your family if you talk to me like that.'
"We’re not friends with them anymore, thank god, but it took a few years after that for the friendship to fall apart. Miserable people."
2."A number of years ago, I happened to meet a guy who had some connection to the Vanderbilt fortune. He seemed to get most of his friends by buying them drinks or dinner. I didn't like that kind of relationship, but I was a poor college student, so got caught up in a group of us going to a fairly fancy restaurant with this guy. Of course, he bought everyone dinner, and at the end, he was trying to figure out how much to tip. 'They don't like when you leave a bunch of ones,' he said and proceeded to throw wads of one-dollar bills on the floor before placing a few $50s in the folder."
3."I worked at a Mediterranean restaurant a few years back. An older lady came in to try it out because her neighbors bragged about how great the food was. She came in and ordered a shawarma wrap, but didn't like how tough the lamb meat was. We made her another dish since she was unhappy with the first choice; no big deal. Then, she complained about the meat being tough again, so we made her a chicken dish, but she complained about the same thing. After this, we informed her that we cannot make her any more meals unless she pays for them. Apparently, she wasn't happy because she just wanted to know how each dish tasted and refused to pay for any of it since she wasn't allowed to taste test each dish.
"She lived in Beverly Hills in a big house, drove an expensive Mercedes, carried a Prada purse, and some of the customers knew of her because of how much money she had."
4."My ex’s mom was pissed at her husband. She was driving on the highway, stopped, called for a car service, leaving him and one of her brand new Mercedes on the shoulder. She took the keys, went to the airport, and flew to another county to calm down. He called for a car and followed her to continue the argument. My boyfriend got a call that they found his mom's car on a highway with its doors open. If it weren’t for cell phones, no doubt they’d start a missing persons investigation.
"When the police came, he called her phone, and she said she felt like going to Mexico! Naturally, we didn’t know any of this until after he called her."
5."Back in the early 1990s, I was grocery shopping with my older sister at Randalls. She had stopped at the deli to get some cheese. While we're waiting, a woman in an ankle-length fur coat — in JULY in Southeast Texas — comes walking toward us. Now, this woman's barely touching the cart as if it's both covered in poor people cooties and a completely alien activity for her. She gets to the deli and asks for Swiss cheese. Even in the '90s, there was far more than just one type available, so the employee asked the woman, 'What kind?' which was a perfectly logical question. This woman straightens herself up, glares down her nose at this young woman, and declares loud enough for one third of the store to hear, 'Well, the kind with the HOLES IN IT!'
"I made eye contact with the employee, and we were looking at each other wondering if this is really happening. Then, I saw in the employee's eyes she was about to crack, and if she had, I knew I was going to laugh — and it would become a whole incident. So, I excused myself to the dairy section where I laughed until I had tears streaming down my face. This story has been an 'inside joke' with family and friends ever since."
6."I’m Indigenous and work for an Indigenous charitable organization. We put on a cultural performance for passengers on an ultra-luxury cruise ship (think over $5K per NIGHT for a basic room on board). Passengers are meant to donate afterward. I lost count of how many threw in loose change or pretended to toss in money when their fists were actually empty."
7."I'm a barista, and this young woman comes in and places an order for a macchiato, regaling her friend about her trip to Italy and how the coffee is just BETTER there. Well, if you've ever used Square, you'll know that sometimes when a transaction doesn't work, it'll just say declined even though it isn't declined (or it used to). When the woman sees it, she's about to go off, but my buddy at the register explains what happened, to which she says, 'Oh good, because I'm not poor.'
"I proceed to make her latte. We're slammed, so it's not perfection, but it is a macchiato (I didn't float the milk, sue me). She berates me and brings up Italy, so I ask her, 'I'm sorry, I don't know what kind of macchiato you had. Would you prefer spooned or poured?' Ah, the look of absolute ignorance still makes me glow, although her friend decided her drink was wrong for the hell of it."
8."I've seen rich people one-upping each other by buying horses. Some of my private school classmates talk about buying horses as if they were shoes, and then, they parade how many they own. One of them owns nine."
9."I used to belong to a stay-at-home mom's group, and most of us were doing okay financially, but one mom was extremely well off. She would have catered lunches at her house, extravagant birthday parties for her kid, had a nanny and a driver, etc. She was okay, but without even trying, she made us feel like peasants in her presence. One day, she had a playdate at her house, and my other friend had to leave for an appointment. The host says, 'Oh, just leave your daughter here because she is having such a good time. Pick her up when you are done.' While the mom was gone, her daughter got sick and threw up on herself. Without even thinking, the host just takes the girl's clothes (including her shoes, socks, and head band — things that the throw up didn't even touch) and promptly throws them in the trash can. She then gets one of her daughter's outfits and puts it on the girl.
"This lady had a maid and a washing machine, so it's not like she would have even had to stoop to putting it in the wash herself. When the mom returns and asks why her daughter is in someone else's clothing, the host goes, 'Oh, she had a little accident, and I threw all her stuff away. I gave her something much better to wear. Besides, that stuff was old anyway.'"
—48, North Carolina
10."I know someone who made his fortune early in life, so he no longer has to work at 50. I overheard him telling a friend that any time an online seller sends something without tracking, he claims it never arrived to get a free one or a refund.
"I lost a lot of respect for him that day. People are the worst!"
11.I was with my ex-friend, a trust-fund baby. We were out to lunch, and the waiter accidentally spilled water on the rich brat’s blouse. He was apologizing profusely, but she just kept screaming bloody murder and saying things like, 'This outfit is worth more than YOU!'
"She kept screaming and making a huge scene until the manager came out and comped her meal just to shut her up. I wanted to crawl under the table! Never went anywhere with that narcissistic fool again. Ick!"
12."When I was a teenager, my parents got a great deal on a dilapidated house in a wealthy neighborhood. Living in that neighborhood was wild, but the pettiest thing was when a particularly obnoxious lawyer sued the family next door to him for leaving their kids’ soccer goal up. 😒"
13."I used to work for a guy who owned three hotels, two nightclubs, and a travel agency. When we would go to any store to pick up supplies, he would keep any reward points, coupons, etc. The guy was worth millions and would spend lavishly on trips, cars, and houses but super stingy when it came to employees."
14."A girl on my dorm floor was a billionaire’s daughter. Her roommate would be staying up until 1-2 a.m. to finish her homework (she was in a very grueling computer science program). Despite her roommate working only on her computer, with no lights on, and making very little noise, the billionaire found that completely unacceptable.
"Much fighting ensued, until eventually, the billionaire complained to her father — who rented out a floor at the Ritz-Carlton for the spring semester for his daughter and paid for Ubers to and from campus multiple times a day because freshman couldn’t have cars."
15."My husband grew up rich, and he 'doesn't like to be handed things,' so if you're giving him a plate of food, a glass of water, etc., he won't take it from you, he waits for it to be set in front of him. Drives me nuts."
16."When I was younger, I lived around a rich family. They thought we were rich because we had a nice house. My parents were barely halfway through paying off the house, and they'd had it for 40 years. But the wealthy family would invite us over and start talking trash about everyone who wasn't rich. We moved after a few months of this."
17."A former coworker of mine worked at a resort/members club in Switzerland. One of the members was a middle-aged German man who never looked up at servers. He would snap his fingers and hold his glass to them for a refill, never looking up from his paper. When enough staff complained, the manager confronted him about it to treat them a little more respectful. His response: 'I'm rich. They're not; they need to learn their place.'
"He was banned from the establishment a week later. Karma at its finest."
18."I know someone who racked up a big bill at a bar with a huge rowdy group of friends, and then tipped only a few dollars, which the bartender kind of scoffed at. He demanded his tip back."
19."One of my cousins married a very rich lady. My family is not rich at all, but we do our best to live in dignity. One day, the lady came for lunch, and we were all chatting about material wishes we had (a new PC, a gym subscription...just random but not necessarily affordable stuff). Well, she told us that we shouldn't even think about those things and just focus on savings since we were poor, and that we should stop wishing for stuff out of our reach.
"Thanks dearest. I thought dreaming was still free!"
20."I worked as a nanny for a very rich family. A few days before Christmas, the mother called me in her office to give me my present: It was a jewelry box. At the time, I was a student, and I was way too poor to own jewelry. When I got back home that evening, I gave the box a second look — and on the bottom, there was the logo of the hairdresser chain she used to go to. She gave me a basic present she was given at her hair salon."
21."When my little sister was a kid, she made friends with a girl who was from a wealthy family. The first time the girl came over, she stopped, looked around, and said, 'Wow…our kitchen is so much bigger than this.'
"It was just so surprising and rude. 😂."
22."Once I had just gotten off work and went into a store, coming out with a bag of groceries, still wearing a three-piece suit. This sweater-around-the-neck type comes around the corner and almost hits me because he was too busy looking around to see who was watching his entrance. As he parked and approached me, I noticed flames spreading across his back seat. I tried to tell him, ‘Hey man, your…’ but he cut me off with a condescending and dismissive, ‘I don’t HAVE any change.’ I had to laugh and said, ‘I don’t want anything you’ve got, you understand that? Your CAR is on FIRE!’ Suddenly, we were equals, and he goes ‘Oh SH*T! Help me put it out!’
"Had to tell him, ‘I don’t have any change.’ I hope it burned to the ground."
23."My landlord is rich AF but also super frugal. She just cut off my internet because of the increased prices. I live in a 5m2 room with no kitchen or bathroom (shared toilet in the hallway), and she expects the rent in cash to avoid paying taxes. She also complained that I use too much electricity, even though I literally have, like, two electrical appliances in my tiny room."
24."We used to have those school fundraisers that were, like, 'if your class raises $500, then you get double recess' or something like that. Always had one kid who would bring in tons of cash and buy his class rewards while the rest of the school was begging their neighbors for sponsors."
25."When Neiman Marcus first opened in San Antonio, my mom and I stopped by to take a look. When we entered the Louis Vuitton store, we heard this woman just yell and belittle the store employees. Apparently, she was the wife of an NBA star and wanted to be addressed by a different last name since she didn’t want to be recognized. When she was addressed by her real name, she went after all the employees. I’m not sure if changing her last name or being addressed with her normal last name even mattered. There’s no paparazzi in San Antonio, and all we cared about was that she was downright rude.
"The worst part was that her husband went to the same church as we did, and every time I saw her, all I could remember was her disparaging the Neiman Marcus employees."
YIKES. What other petty, rude, or just entitled things have you witnessed from a rich person? Let us know in the comments below.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.