Imagine a world without any rules. It’s pretty hard to do, right? It’s possible that human beings as a species simply can’t exist without hierarchies and structure and deciding how long one’s lunch break should be. Civilization as a whole wouldn’t exist without ideas and behaviors we can all agree on.

However, some rules seem unjust, unfair, and all-around oppressive. That’s why folks try to bend them without breaking them, and Bored Panda has collected the most clever and creative ways how people beat the system by following the rules to the letter. It’s some truly amazing inspiration for all of you Pandas who might feel too restricted, whether it’s at work or elsewhere. And it’s rock-solid proof that you don’t necessarily need to resort to anarchy to beat the system at its own game.

Remember to upvote your fave pics as you scroll down, and be sure to drop by the comment section to share your own stories about how you worked around unfair rules. Oh, and in case you need some more examples of how the rules are powerless against the human imagination, check out Bored Panda’s earlier two articles about it right here and over here.

Suzanne Degges-White, Licensed Counselor, Professor, and Chair at the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University, shared her insights about the importance of rules and structure in life with Bored Panda.

“While novelty is always enticing, for the most part, humans need structure and routine— especially as young kids and then mature adults. Structure gives us security and even though we may fight against it, we feel safe knowing that rules exist that keep us (and others) in bounds,” she explained to us.

#1

Celebrating Pride Despite Our HOA Not Allowing Pride Flags. They Don’t Regulate Yard Lights Though, So... There’s Always A Loophole

Celebrating Pride Despite Our HOA Not Allowing Pride Flags. They Don’t Regulate Yard Lights Though, So... There’s Always A Loophole

memon17 Report

According to Professor Degges-White, we might feel the urge to rebel when we become teenagers. However, this doesn’t change the fact that rules, as a whole, are vital to have.

“During adolescence, the urge to challenge parents takes hold, but without rules/expectations, we would feel adrift. While some of us will always try to bend the rules, break the rules, or challenge the rules, there is comfort in knowing that large-scale chaos isn't going to happen due to the rules that we may be fighting against,” she told Bored Panda.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that everyone has a different level of tolerance for following the rules. Some might embrace them to the fullest and have a difficult time living outside their routines. Meanwhile, others rebel against any and all rules (sometimes to the point of absurdity).

#2

Old Lady At The Bank

Old Lady At The Bank

rudy_betrayed Report

That other Panda
Community Member
5 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My gran is reading over my shoulder and just said ‘do you have that lady’s number?’

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#3

The HOA In My Friend’s Neighborhood Recently Threatened Her Neighbors With A Fine If They Didn’t Hide Their Trash Cans. This Is Their Solution

The HOA In My Friend’s Neighborhood Recently Threatened Her Neighbors With A Fine If They Didn’t Hide Their Trash Cans. This Is Their Solution

kalinkabeek Report

“There are some people who feel that any attempts to get them to ‘fall in line’ are unacceptable. I once worked with someone who would always turn in their reports late—whether it was late by a day or just a couple of minutes past the stated deadline, they were consistently going to buck the deadline,” Professor Degges-White revealed to Bored Panda.

“When asked why they behaved in this way, their response was that they were able to maintain control when they didn't follow the rules. For them, rules at work were something to be broken in order to satisfy their ‘control freak’ tendency,” she said.

“Others, though, use rules as ‘base level expectations’ and want to exceed those expectations and follow rules to a ‘t.’ They maintain their own sense of control by staying way inside of the rules—they take pride in this behavior.”.

#4

Unauthorized Protests Are Forbidden In Russia, So Artists In St. Petersburg Decided To Do Some Open-Air Practice

Unauthorized Protests Are Forbidden In Russia, So Artists In St. Petersburg Decided To Do Some Open-Air Practice

Homosusel Report

#5

Shorts Are Now Deemed "Inappropriate" For Retail Counter Workers At USPS. Skorts Are Still Ok

Shorts Are Now Deemed "Inappropriate" For Retail Counter Workers At USPS. Skorts Are Still Ok

timmay106 Report

Trigender_Turtle she/they/he
Community Member
5 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Both of them are rocking those skirts! Edit: thanks you guys for the upvotes, this is the most I've ever gotten!

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#6

My Wife Is A Teacher And Found This While Marking An Assessment

My Wife Is A Teacher And Found This While Marking An Assessment

jimmypompom Report

Whatever each individual’s tolerance for rules might be, society as a whole would fall apart without them.

“Everyone has a different view on rules/boundaries and it might be nature for some and nurture for others. However, on a larger scale, societies cannot function without clear rules and boundaries. Chaos and anarchy result—at any level—when rules fall by the wayside,” the professor told Bored Panda.

Having structure in your life can help you deal with stress. Strict schedules and routines can be very useful when the world seems unpredictable and your future looks uncertain. It’s something to fall back on. Something to rely on. It’s something to give you a sense of control when there’s chaos left, right, and center.

#7

He Saw Us Feeding The Ducks And Pretended To Be One

He Saw Us Feeding The Ducks And Pretended To Be One

Rawc90 Report

That other Panda
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

“Look at me! I’m a duck! Quack quack.. quack.. it’s pretty cold down here”

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#8

My Mum Allowed Me To Put Any Flag On My Wardrobe Doors Except For The Pride Flag. So, 241 Flags Later

My Mum Allowed Me To Put Any Flag On My Wardrobe Doors Except For The Pride Flag. So, 241 Flags Later

Chernyat Report

Amelia Earhart
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hope your mum realized what a clever child she has?

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#9

I Wasn't Allowed To Use A Notebook At My Cashier Job, So I Started Writing My Book About Bullying On Printed Out Receipts. This Year I Finally Published My Novel

I Wasn't Allowed To Use A Notebook At My Cashier Job, So I Started Writing My Book About Bullying On Printed Out Receipts. This Year I Finally Published My Novel

ArbyLG Report

T J
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ummm I'm pretty sure that writing a book while you are supposed to be working is still against the rules

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In fact, a lack of structure can actually lead to more stress down the line. “If people don't have structure and are sitting around with less to focus on, then they also probably will find themselves thinking about the stressful situation more, which can also lead to additional stress and anxiety,” Rachel Goldman, Ph.D., told Very Well Mind

Besides lowering your stress levels, having a regular routine can help you form healthy habits, and make you feel more focused and productive. This can work both with self-imposed and outwardly-imposed routines. However, in some cases, we might not agree with all the rules in place. We might question the need for them or we might feel that the alternatives that we propose are far better.

This can lead to tension between those imposing and enforcing the rules, as well as those who are expected to abide by them. Let’s be frank, some workplace rules are truly bonkers, have no bearing to reality, or might be in place to stroke some managers’ egos. Meanwhile, others might be there for good reason (even if it’s not immediately apparent). It all comes down to good, effective leadership and whether or not bosses actually care about their employees. A good leader can create rules that make sense and benefit (nearly) everyone, not just the few.

#10

So The NYC Subway Has Banned Dogs Unless They 'Fit In A Bag'. New Yorkers Got Creative

So The NYC Subway Has Banned Dogs Unless They 'Fit In A Bag'. New Yorkers Got Creative

Perfectlysanecatlady Report

#11

Belarus People React To Lukashenko's Prohibition Of Pro-Democratic Flags

Belarus People React To Lukashenko's Prohibition Of Pro-Democratic Flags

Massimo24ore Report

Eddy Ng, the Smith Professor of Equity & Inclusion in Business at Queen’s University, told Bored Panda earlier that strong leaders in the workplace are those who are moral, principled, and choose to do the right thing. They stand in stark contrast to weak leaders who only do the things that make them popular and have a hard time making firm decisions: they flip-flop, they dither, they can’t make up their minds.

“The notion of servant leadership is gaining attention in the workplace. Although it is associated with many of the strong leadership traits such as empathy, selflessness, and humility, the focus is on the leader’s propensity to serve (or support) their followers. Servant leaders empower and lift up followers (employees) to motivate and fuel their passion,” the professor explained to Bored Panda.

#13

Good Boi Knows He's Not Allowed To Have Sticks Inside

Good Boi Knows He's Not Allowed To Have Sticks Inside

m33tRiley Report

#14

Czech Fans Were Forced To Take Down The Ukrainian Flag At The Championship. So They Found A Loophole

Czech Fans Were Forced To Take Down The Ukrainian Flag At The Championship. So They Found A Loophole

sport.cz Report

Šimon Špaček
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

On those flags it says "Go home Ivan" and "Natasha waits for you". Those are lines from pretty good song wrote to protest the invasion. Funny thing, in their clip the role of Ivan is played by Petr Novotny, who is major of one part of Prague and he is a huge pain in the a*s for Russians for a long time.

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#15

Satellite Dishes Are Strictly Forbidden

Satellite Dishes Are Strictly Forbidden

rastroboy Report

“Employees can manage that relationship to have work satisfaction. In this instance, employees need to communicate what they need (tools) or work conditions (autonomy) in order for them to perform optimally when working with a controlling boss. Employees need to convey what they can and are able to perform,” he said that the principle of exchange is an important one in workplaces.

#16

When The Sign Says No Photography

When The Sign Says No Photography

faceater Report

#17

This Restaurant Is Only Allowed To Sell Beer If Someone Buys Food

This Restaurant Is Only Allowed To Sell Beer If Someone Buys Food

TusBus67 Report

#18

My Kindergartener Was Feeling Proud Of This Solution To Her Homework

My Kindergartener Was Feeling Proud Of This Solution To Her Homework

mortmorges Report

However, it’s not just at work where we find rules to abide by. Whether we like it or not, we also adhere to certain limits at home, too. In healthy relationships, both partners make the rules together, communicate efficiently, and respect each other’s boundaries. However, in some relationships, one partner might hold too much power or someone might not be able to enforce the rules and boundaries that matter to them.

#19

Sandwich Only Sits With My Wife, But I Think I Found A Way To Beat The System

Sandwich Only Sits With My Wife, But I Think I Found A Way To Beat The System

Swaggamuffins Report

#20

Iranian Girl Cheers For Her Favourite Football Team From Behind The Fence As Iranian Women Aren't Allowed Into Stadiums

Iranian Girl Cheers For Her Favourite Football Team From Behind The Fence As Iranian Women Aren't Allowed Into Stadiums

Cyrus-V Report

#21

Told This Guy I Only Date People 6 Feet Or Up And He Sent Me This

Told This Guy I Only Date People 6 Feet Or Up And He Sent Me This

Syrrruh Report

“In relationships and life in general, too much power can corrupt a person’s behavior. A man or a woman who is normally a very nice, caring, loving and understanding person, can sometimes become quite selfish, mean and unloving if given too much power in a romantic relationship,” Dan Bacon, a dating and relationship expert, told Bored Panda recently.

“Sometimes, a woman will be in a relationship with a man who says that he has boundaries, but then lets her defy those boundaries on a daily basis because he doesn’t know how to stand up to her in an assertive, loving, and effective way,” he explained that boundaries need to be enforced for them to matter.

#22

Cat Isn't Allowed On The Table, Found A Loophole To Still Be The Center Of Attention While We Eat

Cat Isn't Allowed On The Table, Found A Loophole To Still Be The Center Of Attention While We Eat

h_bear Report

Argle Bargle
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He's just playing the harp. Nothing to see here

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#23

I See No Issues Here

I See No Issues Here

haskinselizondo Report

#24

I'm Not Sure That's What They Meant

I'm Not Sure That's What They Meant

KraftyKyle Report

A B C (yes I'm back)
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's somewhere between technically correct and malicious compliance. I love it.

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“All he does is get upset, sulk and seek pity from her when she defies his boundaries, which she sees as weak, wimpy, and possibly even pathetic. This can then result in her losing respect for him, which can then make her feel as though his so-called ‘boundaries’ aren’t something that she needs to adhere to,” the expert pointed out that boundaries mean nothing if they’re only theoretical. Pleading, demanding, or trying to reason with someone will not get them to respect your boundaries.

“That kind of problematic outcome often happens when one person has way too much power in a relationship.”

#25

It’s 70’s Day And This Kid Is Dressing For The 1770’s

It’s 70’s Day And This Kid Is Dressing For The 1770’s

master_pingu1 Report

#26

It's Not Medicine, It's Pepsi

It's Not Medicine, It's Pepsi

bsurfn2day Report

Argle Bargle
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Deception. Parenting at its finest. *taking notes*

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#27

That Wasn't An Option But Well Done Anyway

That Wasn't An Option But Well Done Anyway

surfnbrd Report

A healthy relationship means that the power dynamic isn’t skewed too far one way or the other.

“Having boundaries respected is not about a man being overly domineering or bossy and making his girlfriend or wife feel like she has no power or say. That is not loving or effective and it will create many relationship problems and most likely cause the relationship to end in a breakup,” he told us.

#28

He Is Not Allowed To Put His Paws On The Screen Door So This Is What He Does

He Is Not Allowed To Put His Paws On The Screen Door So This Is What He Does

Ambz37 Report

#29

There's Always A Loophole

There's Always A Loophole

Exxile4000 Report

#30

Roxy Knows She's Allowed On The Barstool, And Not On The Counter. Roxy Also Likes To Test Her Limits

Roxy Knows She's Allowed On The Barstool, And Not On The Counter. Roxy Also Likes To Test Her Limits

marqoqo Report

“A man needs to approach the relationship in a way where his girlfriend or wife feels respected, but also feels the need to respect him in return. If respect is only one way in the relationship, problematic behavior will naturally emerge and boundaries may be defied or disrespected by an otherwise nice, loving, and caring person.”

#31

Thought This Belongs Here

Thought This Belongs Here

Dry_Concentrate6653 Report

#32

If You Have A Stain On Your Shirt, Outline The Stain With A Pen And Give It A Name. This Will Make It Seem Like You Visited A Random Island

If You Have A Stain On Your Shirt, Outline The Stain With A Pen And Give It A Name. This Will Make It Seem Like You Visited A Random Island

life_lamp Report

Argle Bargle
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Will this work for spaghetti, or will someone call the police on me?

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#34

My 9-Year-Old Cousin's Invention. I Think He Did Good

My 9-Year-Old Cousin's Invention. I Think He Did Good

BrianCTaylor55 Report

#35

Well Played, Sir

Well Played, Sir

TetraCGT Report

#36

My Fourth Grader’s Math Homework. She Said “This Way I Didn’t Even Need To Think About It”

My Fourth Grader’s Math Homework. She Said “This Way I Didn’t Even Need To Think About It”

niceish1 Report

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#37

She's Not Allowed On The Couch

She's Not Allowed On The Couch

RainingDinosaurs Report

Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In the battle of man vs doggo, doggo will always win

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#38

Playing Outside

Playing Outside

Palana Report

Auntriarch
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Today's version of me sitting halfway up a tree reading, after having been told to stop reading in my room and go outside and play

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#39

In The 1990s, A California Man, Steve Comisar, Began Putting Ads In National Magazines Selling "Solar Powered Dryers" For $49.95

In The 1990s, A California Man, Steve Comisar, Began Putting Ads In National Magazines Selling "Solar Powered Dryers" For $49.95

Customers would then receive a simple clothesline in the mail.

bergerrc96 Report

#40

My Professor Asked For The Essay To Be In Times New Roman And A4 Size, He Didn't Say It Needed To Be On Paper Though

My Professor Asked For The Essay To Be In Times New Roman And A4 Size, He Didn't Say It Needed To Be On Paper Though

Alppe Report

#42

Teacher Said We Are Allowed To Bring Single Side Paper For Notes During Final

Teacher Said We Are Allowed To Bring Single Side Paper For Notes During Final

Jack114555 Report

#43

Very Fussy Chihuahua Will Only Eat If Another Dog Is Watching. Here’s Our Workaround While Our Other Dog Is Away

Very Fussy Chihuahua Will Only Eat If Another Dog Is Watching. Here’s Our Workaround While Our Other Dog Is Away

ineedmoredogs Report

#44

He Knows He's Not Allowed On The Counter, But I Never Said Anything About The Lunchbox

He Knows He's Not Allowed On The Counter, But I Never Said Anything About The Lunchbox

tigerlily5 Report

#45

I Wasn’t Allowed To Play Much, So Usually I Woke Up Earlier Than Everyone And Played On The PS1 With The Sound On Mute For A Couple Of Hours. Until I Got Caught

I Wasn’t Allowed To Play Much, So Usually I Woke Up Earlier Than Everyone And Played On The PS1 With The Sound On Mute For A Couple Of Hours. Until I Got Caught

EwenKai Report

TheNewJenBrady
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Why is there a demon in the window thing on the far right? What is that?

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#46

My Wife Is An English Teacher. She Gave This Student An A For This Assignment

My Wife Is An English Teacher. She Gave This Student An A For This Assignment

Scubazz Report

Monday
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not technically true....they would do this assignment, they'd just do it at the very last minute.

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#47

My Girlfriend Bet Me She Could Write Any Swear Word On My Calculator, I Bet Her $50 She Couldn’t

My Girlfriend Bet Me She Could Write Any Swear Word On My Calculator, I Bet Her $50 She Couldn’t

surftees Report

Argle Bargle
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

now you have a cuntculator (go on censor fairies, don't let me down)

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#48

Paris Marathon Was Cancelled So This Dude Ran Back And Forth On His 7 Meter Balcony For A Marathon Length

Paris Marathon Was Cancelled So This Dude Ran Back And Forth On His 7 Meter Balcony For A Marathon Length

elisha_nochomovitz , Marathonman313 Report

Viktor
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The sheer determination and monotony are amazing. But the GPS doesn’t seem overly accurate, so he should do an extra 5k or so.

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#49

My Friend Works As An English Teacher In Sweden

My Friend Works As An English Teacher In Sweden

_j0nas_ Report

#50

My Daughter's Job Only Allows Black Pants And No Rips. Her Normal Pair Was Still In The Washer So She Hacked It. Will It Work?

My Daughter's Job Only Allows Black Pants And No Rips. Her Normal Pair Was Still In The Washer So She Hacked It. Will It Work?

IndoorNewb Report

Argle Bargle
Community Member
5 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

So long as she goes in as the picture on the right, I see no problem.

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Note: this post originally had 100 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.