Parents might remember trying to sneak things while they were children. From cookies past bed time to watching cartoons when you were being grounded, many of us have stories about how we tried to get around rules. But with today’s technology helping kids to communicate and learn faster than ever, some parents and guardians are shocked by how easily their children can outsmart them. Parents are discovering that their children have the criminal genius that would make the Ocean’s 11 team blush.
Those realizations are what one Twitter thread is all about. It started with a father sharing a story about how his daughter hacked their Netflix parental codes. The thread blew up and other parents, guardians, and others shared their own tales of dealing with young Kingpins. If you think that your children aren’t using technology and wit to outsmart their parents, then make sure you check out these 40 incredible tweets!
My youngest hacked our Netflix parental code. She put light grease on the remote and got me to input the code when she wasn’t looking. Then she noted the numbers I’d pressed and went through the combinations later. I’m both frightened and impressed.
— Ed O’Loughlin (@edoloughlin) September 6, 2020
1. Little Safe-cracker
We heard that it starts young, but this is ridiculous! This mother discovered that her child could pick locks with hair clips. Best part of this tweet is how she wonders how long she has before losing control to her mastermind child. You have to wonder if this is how Carmen Sandiego got her start?
My 2 year old can pick simple locks with her cute hair clips.
So I’d like to know how old your youngest is, so I know how long I might be able to maintain an illusion of control in my household.
— Lee Brontide (@AmmoniteInk) September 7, 2020
2. Through the spying glass
This Grandparent remembers a time that their grandson used a reflection to figure out his parents phone password. What did he do with this unlimited access pass? Why the young boy read his mother’s messages for weeks before being caught. There’s a reason why they change their passwords so often.
My 6 year old grandson cracked his Mom’s phone by watching her enter the code in the reflection on her glasses. Then linked it to another device and read her text messages for weeks. He is 8 now. They change passwords weekly.
— Rick the LSU fan (@Tgerfan54) September 6, 2020
3. A career chosen in childhood
At age 14, this boy faked his age so he could order the parts to build his own computer. This was before the age of the Internet, so he had to do everything by phone and with COD payments. Best part was, this enterprising boy wasn’t caught until he was just about done building his own home-built PC. Is anyone surprised that he owns his own computer company to this day?
25 years ago, before internet, my son was 14. He lied about his age, ordered computer parts by phone and COD. The parts would show up before I got home. He built his own computer in our basement. I had no idea until his sisters let me know. He owns his own computer company now.
— Laura Zinszer (@lzapp16) September 8, 2020
4. Sleep Tattling
Sometimes you don’t need an intricate scheme or surveillance equipment to get passwords. You just have to find the right time to ask. That’s the story behind this tweet about a child who waited until their parent was sleeping to ask about the access codes. It’s almost scary to think that your codes might not be safe while you sleep!
I shared this with my oldest daughter and she told me it reminded her of my younger daughter.
Apparently she once asked me for the access code while I was asleep, and I told her.
I do not remember this!
— Dr. Pepper’s Husband (Kee Hinckley) (@nazgul) September 7, 2020
5. Biometric Scans for Dummies
Thumb print scanner on your device? Make sure you wear gloves while you’re sleeping. Because this parent discovered that their son used their thumbprints while they slept to unlock a phone. The Mission Impossible team would be proud.
My son used my fingerprint to open my phone while I slept 😂
— Katherine Trill (@KittyTrill) September 7, 2020
6. Hello! This is your Sysadmin calling.
In a clever display of wit and trickery, this 15 year old fooled their dad into giving access to the phone Wi-Fi. After setting himself up as admin for the wi-fi, they were able to play games until 4am for months before getting caught. It’s a trick that’s as old as those phone tech-support scams!
Our then-15 y.o. social engineered my husband by saying his phone wifi access didn’t work and using my husband’s phone to “check the issue”. He added himself as a wifi admin so he could disable restrictions each night. All summer he played games until 4am until I found him out.
— Kristen Pol (@kristen_pol) September 7, 2020
7. A way to cheat the meter
But cleverly cheating the system isn’t just for today’s kids. This Twitter user hid that they were driving the car at age 14 by unscrewing a cable to keep the miles down. They say it’s not that impressive but can you imagine buying a used car and wondering if the miles are really accurately represented? Still, not a bad way to get around and save yourself a trip.
and I thought I was smart in unscrewing the odometer cable in our 1979 Aspen so I could drive around and no one know it, when I was 14.
We lived far off in the country, never a cop out there and a little country store was only a few miles away. I used to walk it till I drove it.
— Chris Batson (@Chris_Batson_1) September 7, 2020
8. A reflection of wicked genius
This child knew how to get the passcodes without grease or tricks like dust. She just ‘reflected’ on seeing the codes input on a remote. Wonder if her parents let the windows get a little dirtier to prevent this in the future.
Cut from the same cloth as my devious youngest daughter. She handed me the controls when I was sat with my back to the window at night so she could see the reflection. I think she was about 7 at the time. Now she’s 16 I sleep with one eye open.
— Marie McCabe (@mjmacc) September 7, 2020
9. Audacious, outrageous, Impressive
This twitter user remembers a time that their friend’s daughter hacked into an iPad and recorded the password onto the family Apple PC. They were so impressed by how they did it that they couldn’t bring themselves to rat them out. After all, as they said, kids will find a way.
My friend’s daughter took the iPad into their room for the unlock and recorded it on the family’s Mac in real time. My daughter told me and I thought it was too clever to rat her out. Kids are gonna find a way.
— kamknauss (@mamakamkamk) September 7, 2020
10. Accentuate the positive
This clever boy wanted his parents to have the best possible picture of him. So what did he do? He used a school planner for negative comments and one for only positive feedback. That way he could control what his parents saw. This child will have a stellar career in marketing.
Very, very impressive. My son ran two school planners – one with all of his good comments and one with his bad ones. Guess which one we got to see…?🤔
— David ‘Carajo’ Forest (@discodaveforest) September 7, 2020
11. The marvels of childhood Mechanics
Do you remember how in Regrats, Tommy Pickles would hide screwdrivers in his diaper so he could get out of the playpen? We have to wonder if this Twitter user did the same. He baffled his parents by dismantling the car seat while they were driving from the age of 2. Best part is that this case remains unsolved to this day.
My parents used to have to have a spare car seat in the car. As I would legit take the car seat apart while they were driving at age 2. It would take my parents days to put it back together. They still don’t know how I did it to this day. pic.twitter.com/YVUZBkqiS8
— Smolbeanchild (@Smolbeanchild3) September 8, 2020
12. Tricky little one
TV locks only work if you don’t give away the codes. This observant child fooled their mom into inputting the code as a TV channel number which gave them unfettered access to whatever they wanted to watch. They even faked being their babysitter to get codes when they were older. Better watch out for this one!
this reminds me of when i was younger and my mum put a lock on the tv so you had to enter a code if you wanted to watch any channel and you could use an app as the controller and so one day when she was upstairs i asked her to enter the password but rather than enter it in the
— faith :) (@RegretMeDaisy) September 8, 2020
password box she entered it as channel numbers instead so i could know the password 😌
i was always figuring out passwords for stuff, another time i had a babysitter and so i messaged my mum for the password to something pretending to be the babysitter, my genius never stopped
— faith :) (@RegretMeDaisy) September 8, 2020
11. Google, How do you Translate Naughty?
This Twitter user talks about how their young son-in-law would bypass parental restrictions on searches. They would use Google translate to change naughty words and phrases into Serbian and then search for images using those unchecked for phrases. That’s dedication to language that makes us wonder if the child ever became a polyglot of no-no words.
When my son in law was 12 and started to be interested in ‘the things of life’ he was by-passing the parental control, that used a corpus of forbidden words in french, by translating into serbian with Google translate and then searching images using the translation….
— evets ittaolla (@krakoukaos) September 10, 2020
14. Repetition leads to cracked passwords
This child noticed that his mother would use the same passwords for everything. So it was a snap for him to figure out how to get into any program or website he needed around the house. There’s a reason why most websites suggest using different passwords for everything, even if it is a hassle.
Mine would say “try this password, mum uses it for everything” 🤣🤣🤣
— Sussex Gardener (@TheSussexGarden) September 6, 2020
15. Hot breath, cool codes
Kids see everything and might not understand why you shouldn’t write them down. That’s likely what this parent discovered when she caught her child writing down ATM pin codes that he witnessed while riding with their mother. We hope it wasn’t too much hassle for his mother to change pins when she discovered what her child had done.
by age 8 I knew all our ATM PIN numbers by watching them from the backseat at the drive-thru ATM
I would breathe condensation on the window to write them down & got caught
Mom was very mad we had been driving around town with our ATM pins written on the back seat window
— Kickiniteasy (@kickiniteasy) September 7, 2020
16. If he doesn’t know, he knows how to find out
This Twitter user’s grandson got an early start in his hacking career. He started off with remotes and later learned how to hack through all of the household Apple products by age 7. The best part is he doesn’t let anything get in the way. If he reaches a lock he can’t crack, then he’ll learn how by finding tutorials online.
My grandson, age 7, started on his life off hacking at age 2 1/2-3. He started with remotes and he’s worked his way up to all of our Apple products. He pulled up a tutorial on You Tube for me when I bought my Air Pods. Can’t figure something out ? Ask Dominic, he’ll fix it ! ✌🏻❤️
— Teresa Massie (@jacem13) September 8, 2020
17. A clever child gets their way
From lying about addresses to go to Dunkin Donuts to cracking laptop security codes, this child is too clever for a 6 year old. We can only imagine what they’ll get up to when they are old enough to get their own resources and training. All we have to know is that this is a child who might get away with it, even if you know they’re up to no good mischief.
When son was 3 yrs old, visiting grandma asked him for directions home from the grocery. He sent her to dunkin donuts, miles away from home. School district still doesn’t know how son cracked computer security to unlock his laptop in 6th grade despite bringing experts in…
— eecarney (@ECGNecBake) September 8, 2020
18. A charming little rogue
It takes a clever and charming child to be recognized as a little devious rogue and still offer praise. This parent discovered that their cousin couldn’t even speak when they figured out a relative’s phone combination. It sort of makes you wonder if that young child got their start as the inspiration for Boss Baby.
My cousin was still unable to speak actual words when she figured out the PATTERN to my uncles phone! Your kid is on another level to have PLANNED what she did! This is just so cool!
— 🌸🌷spring panda🌷🌸 (@pandapaperclip) September 8, 2020
19. Teamwork makes the dream work
Chocolate decorations are a fun addition to any Christmas tree, but they run the risk of getting eaten by children with sweettooths. That’s why this parent figured putting the chocolate up high would keep the decorations safe. But imagine their surprise when they found the children using teamwork and a chair to collect the chocolates for themselves. Would you blow the whistle on them?
When my chn were 2&3 I put chocolate decorations near the top of the Christmas tree to stop them being eaten. One day I found my 3yo on a chair passing each chocolate down to my 2yo to put in a plastic bowl. I wasn’t sure whether to tell them off or praise their teamwork 😂.
— Dr Vicki M (@vickisess) September 7, 2020
20. A child will cheat them
This child was determined to enjoy their parents Netflix account whenever they wanted. So they attempted to trick their parent into showing them the password for later TV viewing. The parent had to admit some admiration for the clever child, even if they recognized the trick for what it was. Wonder if they got the password later on?
Tell me about it. We have a cable box that has the Netflix app and once I noticed that the app wasn’t on when he asked for the code so that he could see what I entered. Crafty for a toddler…
— Michael Rizzello (@MRizzello) September 8, 2020
21. Not quite the Gordian Knot but…
Sometimes, the simplest solutions are best. When this Twitter user had their long Internet cable taken away, they didn’t let that stop them. They simply wheeled the computer closer to the cable they had hidden all along. Can we just call this child, Lil’ Batman?
Ah, it’s so easy for kids nowadays. When I was a kid my parents took away my long modem cable, so I couldn’t go online. What does young Me do? Wheel the entire computer desk with desktop PC tower and CRT screen into the hallway to use the short cable I had hidden previously 😂
— Lilly Schwartz (@lilschwartzart) September 7, 2020
22. Forgeries made easy
You have to respect the ingenuity it took to create this traced signature solution. It all started by faking a homework assignment and ended up with a perfectly useful signature for tracing. Can you imagine this child getting away with everything thanks to that signature?
Ha ha. My old school trick for the many notes home for bad behaviour was to trace a map of Ireland on grease proof paper, add all the rivers and what not then grade it as an A+ exam then ask a parent to sign it. Voila traced signature at the ready!
— contenta at home (@joyredmond) September 6, 2020
23. The eye in the sky
This Twitter user used their iPad camera to record TV access codes from their mother. All it took was making sure that their mother input the code beneath the camera and checking the results later. The child was then able to watch TV whenever they wanted, even if they were being punished. Good thing that child wasn’t caught standing on a ladder to get to the ceiling fan.
i put my ipod on the glass of the ceiling fan and made sure my mom typed the code directly undearneath the camera so i captured the code and watched tv when on punishment 💀
— bandcamp bhaddie (@Timmyspitonme) September 8, 2020
If you ever wondered if dust and educated guesses could work, then look no further than this tweet. This user admits to using dust to figure out which punch codes had finger oils on them so they could work out how to break into their house. We don’t know what they were doing in that house, but we hope they used this criminal genius for good.
Long ago, broke into my neighbors apartment by dusting his punch code door lock to see which digits had finger oil. He was in the ICU and an EMT asked if we could find any relatives for him. Did find a relative and he also recovered.
— kee nethery (@keenethery) September 7, 2020
25. Tricking the unlock system
This young four year old wanted access to the iPad whenever they wanted. So she wiped her iPad clean whenver she handed it over to her mother to figure out where her fingers would slide. Thankfully her mother noticed and makes sure to wipe the device clean before handing it back.
When my kid was 4 she wiped her iPad b4 giving it to me so she can see my finger prints on what I number I pressed on, I made sure to wipe my fingerprints after that 😂
— Monie (@moniethe6th) September 8, 2020
26. A “starlet” gets into church
This tweet talks about how their eldest child smuggled an adult entertainer’s autobiography into church with a false cover. It’s like those scenes you see in school comedies where someone’s reading a magazine or book they shouldn’t by slipping it inside of their text books. You have to wonder how this child learned about Jenna Jameson in the first place.
Damn. That kid’s going places. Reminds me of my eldest smuggling the Jenna Jameson autobio into church by swapping the dust jacket from Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince.
— Mother of Hedgehogs (@FerociousFleur) September 8, 2020
27. “I have a particular set of skills…”
In a move that wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi hacker film, this child got the ultimate revenge for being locked out of the system. After hacking into their neighbors wi-fi they looked up how to break into security systems and turned the house passwords against their own parents. Not only did the parents have to awkwardly ask for help with breaking through, but it created a password free home ever since.
When my son was 7 I changed the master password on the computer and wifi, when he lost screen privilege. When I got home, he had hacked into neighbors wifi, looked up how to hack windows 7, and had locked us out of the computer, with his own partition on the disk. No pw’s since.
— Bison Herder (@justbecompetent) September 8, 2020
28. No remorse for crime
We’ve heard about using thumb prints while sleeping to get around access restrictions. But have you ever heard about what happens after the child is caught? In this case, the parent got a rude awakening when their child said “I guess you have to lose your thumb.” No remorse and no intention to stop from this calculating crook in training.
My then 8 year old would press my thumb to unlock his iPad and buy Roblox bucks while I was sleeping. When I caught this he said, oh we’ll, I guess you’ll be losing your thumb 😳
— Nasty Suburban Housewife for Biden/Harris (@GloriaPaulsen) September 7, 2020
29. Ask your father took a whole new meaning
When this child wants McDonalds, they are determined to get it. But rather than ask their parents, they took it to the next level by faking a text from their own mother. When father comes home with a hot bag full of McDonalds, mother was both surprised and impressed. Wonder if they got the toy they wanted from that happy meal.
When I was 5 I really wanted a toy from McDonald’s, so I took my mom’s flip phone (it was 2006) when she wasn’t looking and texted my dad asking to bring McDonald’s and it WORKED. My mother was both confused and impressed lol
— uh oh spaghettios (@aime_lynne) September 8, 2020
30. Your rules? Myspace.
This child didn’t like being monitored while they were online. So he hacked into his uncle’s computer program, uninstalled it, and installed a dummy program. This let him go on Myspace whenever he wanted without his uncle ever finding out the truth. Hard to imagine he did this at age 15.
This reminds me of me. My uncle put software to track my online activity, and I hacked the code, uninstalled it and put a dummy software on his computer to make him think he saw my activity. I was 15.
— Venise B. (@venisesb) September 8, 2020
31. Lateral thinking at its finest
This child wanted to crack a code and all they had was the clue word, “Birth”. After trying out the birthdates of everyone in the immediate family, they had a brilliant Eureka moment. They put in “2412” and it worked since it would be about the time of Jesus’ birth on the calendar. Their parents were impressed that they could crack the code. Good thing he paid attention in Bible school.
I guessed the parents’ computer code way back when. They put in “birth” as the clue, and I tried both their birthdays to no avail. then thought “we’re around christmastime”
it was (still is) 2412… turns out it’s also their phone pins and I blew their minds “solving it”…
— Isabelle A. B. #BLM (@ghosthermione) September 7, 2020
32. One “hot” summer
Do you remember the free AoL discs that would always come in the mail? Well this Twitter user remembers one 1997 summer when their teenage son got used those discs to get free Internet. He wasn’t caught until he used his parents credit cards to order porn tapes that arrived in the mail. Ever since, his mom called it “The summer of porn.”
When my son was 13, in 1997, he got into online porn… he accessed the internet w/ one of those free AOL discs…I only found out when I received 2 porn tapes in the mail…he used my credit card that I kept in a drawer… I refer to it as the “summer of porn”…
— EllenlovesRichard (@ellenlovesrich) September 8, 2020
33. One is old enough for mischief
Just when you thought you could leave your 1 year old alone, comes this tweet. Apparently their mother had to stay with them at all times ot monitor their behavior. Because if left alone for too long, they would break into the safety pins and play with them. No one knows how they managed it to this day.
when i was like, 1 years old i think, my mother had to stay with me always because i unlocked the safe pins and played with them
your daughter is very fucking big brained tho, congrats!
— MikasSlime (@Mikas_of_Slime) September 7, 2020
34. Sleight of hand, successful
This child didn’t want phone lockdown time to end their conversation. So they took the SIM card to their phone before handing the phone over. This led to the conversation continuing from an older phone that the child kept around. A+ for recycling old electronics rather than letting them go to waste.
I took my daughter’s phone away it was after hours but I let her say goodbye, 2 hours later heard her voice so I went to her room. She had taken her sim card out of phone and put in an old phone to continue talking, it never would have occurred to me… Trickery Genius!
— eve cas (@Lady_Ecas) September 8, 2020
35. Grounding isn’t always easy
This tweet was all about a time that their mother grounded them for misbehavior. The loss of phone privileges would have been devastating if they didn’t still have a tiny landline phone that was given as a gift some time ago. You have to appreciate that they kept their gifts for so long a time. Too bad it meant that the grounding didn’t really do more than inconvenience the child.
When I was 12/13 (early 2000s) my mom took away my phone (cordless landline), but didn’t remember this tiny corded phone she bought me. It was the size of a tic tac box and had a pair of headphones. She never found out that I was circumventing my grounding.
— America’s Cutest Cryptid (@cryptickiss) September 8, 2020
36. The tables are turned
This tweet is a tale of revenge. in this case, the child had their PC access blocked on the wifi router. So the young hacker broke into the wifi settings and blocked everyone but themselves. Is this a clever hacker hero or the makings of a hacking supervillain?
My parentd once blocked my pc on the wifi router. I gained access to it and proceed to block everyone but me
— Loutranar’ (@AuroreLoutre) September 8, 2020
37. Keylogging in the 20th Century
Before keylogger programs became popular, this kid was ahead of the curve. He used a secondary keyboard plugged into another computer to record the access codes for later use and review. You have to admire the ingenuity of this kid for breaking into an International E-security industry at so young an age.
When I was a kid I made my mom enter the password to my computer while plugging the keyboard into a second computer so she typed it into a document there.
Then told her “Oh… sorry, keyboard wasn’t plugged in.”
Pretty sad keylogger but it worked. 😁
— Christian Bohnenkamp 🇪🇺 (@BHNNKMP) September 8, 2020
38. A lady sneak reveals her secrets
While clever plans are always sneaky and fun to hear about, sometimes you have to respect the simple ones. This child learned her grandfather’s phone password and demonstrated that they figured it out. When asked how they did it, the girl admits that it was all a matter of observation. Goes to show that children are always watching, even when we think they aren’t.
My uncles use to keep this little girl and she hacked my granddaddy’s phone. She took his phone out his hand and put the code in. He asked how. She says “I just kept watching you until I learned it”
— Dana🦋 (@SweetDana101) September 8, 2020
39. The Shawsank Inspiration
Have you ever seen a film that had a hollowed out book that’d be used to hide key information and items? Well this child certainly did and just HAD to test it out on a copy of a Ken Follett novel. The best part is that it was only discovered when the Twitter user discovered several square pages of the text in the trash. Good thing they knew the novel, since they had a library full of thousands of books.
I once went to look at a hardcover Ken Follett novel and found out that my kid had hollowed it out with a razor blade apparently inspired by Shawshank Redemption. didn’t put anything in it, he just wanted to see if he could do it
— Cabarle (@sharperlee) September 7, 2020
40. The not-so-safe mode
This child was told he couldn’t play games and saw his computer password locked. The child simply loaded the computer in safe mode and deleted the password as a sneaky work around. You have to wonder if their parents ever found out about the ruse and what they would have done.
My dad used to password protect our computer to prevent me from gaming when I was grounded. I used to go into safe mode and delete the password as the administrator.
— The_Bearstronaut (@TBearstronaut) September 7, 2020