If you find yourself caught up in debates, wondering if you’re on the right side of an argument, knowing the Reddit AITA meaning can really entertain you with the endless discussions around who’s right in bizarre situations.
Ever wish you had an unbiased observer to weigh in on your ethically questionable actions? Or perhaps you just want to revel in the fact that your people skills are light-years ahead of random folks on the internet. Look no further than Reddit’s r/AmItheAsshole – it’s the spot for you.
What is the Reddit AITA meaning that you see all over the platform?
At r/AmItheAsshole, it’s all about making judgments. Users lay out scenarios where they’re unsure if their behavior was appropriate and seek the collective wisdom of the online community. Am I justified, or am I, well, the jerk? For those posting, it’s a way to settle debates or soothe their conscience. For subscribers, it’s a chance to put on their moral judge’s hat and pass verdicts from their lofty moral perch. Got into a spat with your pregnant spouse? Yep, you’re the jerk. Refused to cut your hair for your friend’s wedding? Nope, not the jerk. On to the next case!
This subreddit’s popularity has surged in the past year, skyrocketing from around 70,000 subscribers in June 2018 to over 10.000,000 today, per SubredditStats. In May, even model Chrissy Teigen gave r/AmItheAsshole a shoutout – practically a modern-day internet meme tradition – and the lingo used here has started infiltrating everyday online conversations.
Why is AITA fun?
The irresistible allure of the Reddit AITA meaning likely stems from the pure delight we get from looking down at others from our moral high horse. Similar to subreddits like r/relationships, part of the draw is the unspoken permission to pry into other people’s lives. But here’s the twist: while r/relationships aims to offer support, r/AmItheAsshole clearly states that it’s not the place for advice. Society often tells us not to judge others, but here, it’s almost encouraged.
What’s appealing about r/AmItheAsshole is how straightforward it is to join in the judgment fest. Posts adhere to a strict format: they start with AITA (Am I the asshole) or WIBTA (Would I be the asshole) for hypothetical questions. The poster describes the situation, and commenters cast their verdicts using five abbreviations: YTA (you’re the asshole), NTA (you’re not the asshole – the other party is), NAH (no assholes here), ESH (everyone sucks here, meaning everyone’s a jerk), or INFO (more info needed). After 18 hours, the top-voted comment seals the verdict.
The scenarios range from deliciously trivial (AITA for loading my pizza with jalapenos to keep my wife away?) to profoundly weighty (AITA for firing an employee after their parents passed away?). Most posters likely believe they’re not the jerk, seeking either confirmation or an outsider’s view if they’ve been criticized. Some bring up past events that still gnaw at them, or they use the forum as a moral compass for actions they’re considering.
Most posters roll with the judgments and often pledge to apologize or correct their misstep if labeled The Asshole. One of the subreddit’s core rules is “Accept your judgment.” Yet, there are exceptions – some repeatedly edit their posts, adding more details they think justify their actions and debating with those who disagree. The most entertaining posts are those featuring low-stakes grievances by folks who refuse to admit fault (like the guy who claimed gender bias because his boss said no to crocs at work), or those who seemingly lack basic etiquette (such as the woman who questioned her friend’s children’s paternity in private).
As with all corners of Reddit, it’s possible that some tales are fabricated – r/AmItheAsshole advises throwaway accounts to protect privacy and encourage candid discussions about true jerk behavior. The site’s user demographics likely shape the posts and judgments. Parent-child clashes and youthful relationships frequently appear, and advice often carries youthful idealism. Despite gripes in the comments about gender bias favoring women, a touch of misogyny can be detected in many discussions.
There’s definitely something a bit jerky about relishing jaw-dropping posts and feeling smug that you’d never find yourself in a remotely similar situation. Yet, it’s this mix of schadenfreude and indulgence that turns r/AmItheAsshole into an irresistibly captivating guilty pleasure. Is it wrong to take delight in gleefully judging others’ moral missteps? Well, let’s just say we all kind of stink here.
If you think that the Reddit AITA meaning is entertaining, for one of the most interesting stories in the subreddit, check out our article on how the “AITA for breaking up with my girlfriend” story divided Reddit.
Featured image credit: Reddit