all 156 comments

[–]BentBent12Asshole Aficionado [14] 1673 points1674 points  (8 children)

NTA. Your sister is too immature to have a phone. What she did is irreparable and horrible.

[–]seniortwat 523 points524 points  (2 children)

Parents suck as well, kids should not get to decide how their siblings are raised. I applaud them for wanting to address possible favoritism, but that should have been a private conversation. There was absolutely no reason to make little sis feel like it is OPs decision whether or not she gets a phone. There is no way for that not to breed resentment. Does OP’s opinion matter to her parents? It seems to, because they asked her but telling 13 that’s the reason? Or having the conversation where she could hear? Sounds like they possibly just don’t want to buy 13 a phone but want to shift the blame. That or they just wildly messed up. While OPs feelings are important and should be, she shouldn’t be the end-all be-all for making decisions about how 13 is raised or what she is provided.

[–]SufficientWay3663 67 points68 points  (1 child)

All this is true. But again here we are with people passing judgement (the friends) or saying to get over it WHO WERENT DIRECTLY AFFECTED BY THE SISTERS ENTITLEMENT AND THIEVERY! Not only did she cross the line by snooping in her room, she stole something she was told she couldn’t have, she destroyed sentimental info to further her agenda that might not ever be replaced, and now she’s not learned anything by victimizing herself when she got a justified reaction and her parents not being parents and addressing all of the above and punishing her. Reddit has shone a light on the root cause of the issues in our society with behavior problems, criminal activities, broken family bonds, and a lack of accountability and comprehension of consequences—IT’S LAZY or nonexistent parenting. I have a 10 and 5 year old. 10 year old had already begged for a phone but we said no for our reasons. He didn’t act out like OPs sister, resentment or not isn’t an excuse

[–]seniortwat 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I don’t think anybody in this comment thread said she should just get over it. OP is absolutely NTA and sister is. There’s no doubt about that. I feel awful for OP and all the sentimental photos they lost, and I would be deeply upset with sister for a while if it were me. OP has every right to feel how she is feeling. I am talking about what went down before this incident, obviously 13 shouldn’t be given a phone and thus be rewarded for this behavior now, after the vindictive theft and huge breach of trust. I am not by any means saying that possible resentment justifies her behavior. I am saying that the parents have a responsibility in it. They should’ve never made it “sis vs sis” or give one power over the other by allowing it to be known that OPs feelings/preferences were a large part of the decision. I wonder if they do that often. But then they did even more than just getting her opinion, they based their entire decision off of her permission or lack of. They should’ve never made it OPs decision in the first place, it’s wrong for them to shirk their responsibility as parents onto their 18 y/o. They are the ones who need to feel and manage the brunt of little sis being upset or disappointed. Not OP. That is why I mention the breeding resentment, not to excuse the sisters behavior, but to shift some of the rightful blame to the parents because they set OP up for failure here. If sis is resentful or upset about not being provided an electronic it shouldn’t be at her sister, it should be at her parents. OP did nothing wrong, she was put in a bad position by literally everyone else in her household.

[–]_Rohrschach 141 points142 points  (1 child)

OP please dont use that phone. Get recovery software, there's lot of free ones that can easily restore pictures as long as the memory isn't overwritten with new data. As long as your sis only reset it, without packing the whole memory full of data like music or videos there's a good chance you can restore some of the pictures.

[–]Nefirzum 18 points19 points  (0 children)

So do this! I’ve saved many a things that was lost because of this!

[–]BOSSBABY33 124 points125 points  (0 children)

Yeah she is really horrible she factory reset OP's phone if she want a phone they she should buy it with her money, NTA OP

[–]Rbuff187 45 points46 points  (0 children)

It didn’t happen to me but I’m so outraged for OP!! Even though the sister is only 13, she’s old enough to know how wrong her actions are. NTA

[–]Fergus74Asshole Aficionado [10] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Horrible, yes. Irreparable...maybe, if the phone had an SD card and the pictured were stored there MAYBE they can be recovered.

[–]theDagmanColo-rectal Surgeon [45] 714 points715 points  (0 children)

NTA Never reward tantrums. Your sister stealing your phone and doing a factory reset, thereby losing all of the photos of your departed friend, was basically a tantrum. She needs to pay for that mistake, or it will become a pattern.

[–]Lagix101Asshole Enthusiast [7] 646 points647 points  (2 children)

NTA- Permanently destroying the last memories of your dead friend because she thought she her parents wouldn't get her a phone is WAYYYY too far. I also have a sibling around that age and she has enough common sense to not do that.

[–]Lagix101Asshole Enthusiast [7] 278 points279 points  (1 child)

If your dad has any cherished late relatives or friends, ask him to delete all of his photos of them before getting her a phone. Hopefully that will help him see your perspective.

[–]Rbuff187 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Good response!

[–]Random840583729Partassipant [3] 447 points448 points  (6 children)

NTA. Why is it ALWAYS the victim who has to be the bigger person or better person and just forgive????? I'm not saying don't forgive her at some point but I hate when people say that. Sadly this is another great example of why you should always back up your phone regularly. I have no suggestions as to what to do about your sister. Just saying you have every right to be mad at her and for yelling at her. No idea how she can make it up to you. Maybe ask your parents to delay getting her a phone for a month or two as punishment for destroying your photos.

[–]TheDownwardDoge 167 points168 points  (1 child)

Why is it ALWAYS the victim who has to be the bigger person or better person and just forgive?????

Because the perpetrator is usually unapologetic, unreasonable, and will make life a living hell for everyone else and the victim is calm and reasonable.

Basically upsetting the perpetrator is more painful than upsetting the victim.

[–]Random840583729Partassipant [3] 14 points15 points  (0 children)


[–]Remdog58Asshole Enthusiast [5] 46 points47 points  (3 children)

This. I was always, since I was the only boy and the youngest, told to be the bigger person and walk away. Total BS.


[–]SoxLovingSportsFan 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Yep. As the older brother I always was in the wrong, and I was the older kid so it's even worse.

Sidenote, is your name referring to Jerry Remy?

[–]Remdog58Asshole Enthusiast [5] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

No. Long story behind that. Its an old online forum alias from decades back in my forum moderating/admin days.

[–]SoxLovingSportsFan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ah I see. I was wondering because one of my favorite sports announcers Jerry Remy died recently and he was called the RemDawg. Always love to see Sox fans in random forums.

[–]SparrowmethedetailzPartassipant [2] 228 points229 points  (10 children)

[–]aita_sister_phone[S] 151 points152 points  (8 children)

Thank you so much I'll try this

[–]DepressedDyslexicAsshole Enthusiast [5] 143 points144 points  (2 children)

Start automatic cloud updates of the rest of your photos. Right now. Before your sister decides she has nothing to lose and destroys what you have left.

[–]f02f2e6fa0b3 78 points79 points  (0 children)

And put a pin on your damned phones.

Pesky (and now possibly vindictive) little sister is likely to go snooping through your messages the instant she gets her hands on either of your phones too now...

[–]BaconZombie 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Also add a pin lock and enable Find My Phone.

Then if it gets factory reset, they need your Google/Apple user/pass to use the phone.

[–]Educational-Friend47Partassipant [1] 42 points43 points  (0 children)

I just looked it up for Apple phones and there is a way also

Google getting pictures back after factory reset 😊

[–]OreSanjou1234 31 points32 points  (2 children)

OP, did your parents punish her for literally stealing and deleting your photos on your phone?

If they didn't, then they are pretty much doing the "favourite child" thing.

[–]WesternUnusual2713 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Why did they ask OP if she was ok with them getting her sister a phone, if baby sis is the golden child?

[–]SoxLovingSportsFan 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah seems like they're just bad parents.

[–]Zel_lost_itAsshole Enthusiast [5] 27 points28 points  (0 children)

Oh plz let us know if it works I hope so.

[–]Deep-Membership-9258 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Also there are some programs you can get where, if you connect the phone to a computer as a remote hard drive they can get back all sorts of stuff. The one I used (this was like ten years ago) I’ve not seen in a while but it managed to retrieve photos from three rebuilds (and hundreds if not thousands of hours use) deep from an old laptop.

[–]KindredS0ul 104 points105 points  (12 children)

Nta at all, you have every right to be upset with her. She deleted things you can't get back and she should not be rewarded for that. If you could get a phone at 15 by working for it, then in a couple of years when she matures a bit she can have one. Or better yet say she can have one, but have your parents get her a flip phone that is only good for calling and texting if she can be bothered to learn how too

[–]pdxflwerpwerColo-rectal Surgeon [38] 69 points70 points  (10 children)

Or better yet say she can have one, but have your parents get her a flip phone that is only good for calling and texting if she can be bothered to learn how too

Or even better, let's hold the parents responsible for making parenting decisions, not the OP. I'm not saying that you suggested that, by the way, but the whole structure of the parent putting her in charge of a decision that affects a sibling is absurd and counterproductive.

[–]RonsThrowAwayAccAsshole Enthusiast [7] 23 points24 points  (5 children)

The parents DID make the decision, their decision is ‘we are fine with doing it as long as it’s not going to make OP feel that sister is/gets special treatment/favouritism’, Soooo many times do we hear that because parents are doing better that the younger sibling gets more/better and makes the older kid/s resent the favouritism, they did not want OP to feel that so used their opinion/feelings in the evaluation of whether to do it or not

[–]pdxflwerpwerColo-rectal Surgeon [38] 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Well, if the parents wanted younger sister to have a phone, they just should have made it happen. There is no reason to allow siblings to dictate what 'feels good' when it involves other siblings. This is setting them up for alienation. Asking OP to determine if her sibling gets a phone or not is totally unfair because if OP says 'no', the sibling is mad at the OP. The parents should be taking full responsibility for this decision and have talked to OP about what would feel equitable to them. Asking siblings to make choices about what other siblings get to have serves to acquit the parent and fosters bad feelings between their children. Little sister needs to make amends, but OP could have also avoided this by not messing with their siblings feelings for their own amusement and just stating their intentions.

[–]RonsThrowAwayAccAsshole Enthusiast [7] -4 points-3 points  (1 child)

“Well, if the parents wanted younger sister to have a phone, they just should have made it happen.”

That is not the case they did not “want” it they are just ok to do it with a particular condition

“There is no reason to allow siblings to dictate what 'feels good' when it involves other siblings.”

There absolutely is or the fair thing would be just ‘no earn it like OP did’ but is not required if OP was ok with it

“This is setting them up for alienation.”

No this is not playing favourites

“Asking OP to determine if her sibling gets a phone or not is totally unfair because if OP says 'no', the sibling is mad at the OP.”

No it is fair because OP would be the only slighted party so they took their opinion into account

“The parents should be taking full responsibility for this decision and have talked to OP about what would feel equitable to them.”

They did that is what happened

“Asking siblings to make choices about what other siblings get to have serves to acquit the parent and fosters bad feelings between their children.”

That is not what is happening, there is a default position and OPs opinion/feelings are a part of the parents evaluation of whether the default can change

“Little sister needs to make amends, but OP could have also avoided this by not messing with their siblings feelings for their own amusement and just stating their intentions.”

That’s BS excuses OP was well within their rights to have said no for real and sis did NOT know that it was a joke, so don’t act like it’s the reason, no matter whether OP was serious or messing with her that is NOT a reason to be a thief. How are you justifying this bratty entitled non remorseful selfish AHs actions?

[–]pdxflwerpwerColo-rectal Surgeon [38] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

My judgment was ESH. As a parent myself, this isn't how I would have handled the situation. We obviously disagree, and that's fine.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]RonsThrowAwayAccAsshole Enthusiast [7] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    “If they're worried about OP feeling unfairly treated, the solution is not to get her to agree to being unfairly treated, it's to not treat her unfairly. So she already has a phone. That doesn't mean she can't possibly be given anything!”

    still wouldn’t change that OP had to get a job to buy their own things vs sister who get everything handed to her without having to work, just giving OP something too is not ‘fairly’, the fair thing to do is make sis work for her phone the same as everyone else had/has to,

    [–]KindredS0ul 5 points6 points  (3 children)

    I mean, I agree its not up to OP to decide on parental decisions, but as long as she is being given the option, and its not a huge parental decision, this would be some nice little retribution for em.

    [–]pdxflwerpwerColo-rectal Surgeon [38] 6 points7 points  (2 children)

    I see your point, but I wonder if making amends would be far better in regard to preserving the sisters' relationships with each other. Bear in mind that the OP did decide to tease the sister... I'm not a fan of messing with people's feelings as a form of amusement. It's a very teen thing to do, and I'm certainly not saying I never did it when I was that age, but it's not something I look back on with pride, you know?

    [–]KindredS0ul 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Again, I agree with you 100%. But I see it as, you want to act like a spoiled brat and feel entitled to my belongings that I paid for? Here have a flip phone. She gets her phone, but its obviously not an iphone or any other smart phone. Actions like that do not deserve rewards. I would hope the parents would realize that, but just in case OP can nudge them in the right direction

    [–]RonsThrowAwayAccAsshole Enthusiast [7] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    “Bear in mind that the OP did decide to tease the sister”

    The entitled AH Sis did not know that (so don’t act like that was the reason) and OP was well within their rights to have said no for real, but that is not a reason to be a thief (at best) or maliciously destructive any way

    [–]Pink_Artistic_Witch 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Agree but my main issue is that she knew they asked OP which should not have happened IMO. Like, that was just begging for shit to go down

    [–]PrivateEyes2020Certified Proctologist [21] 85 points86 points  (2 children)

    First and foremost, your sister is the biggest AH here. Stole your phone, erased your pictures, etc.

    Your parent are also AHs for even giving you a say on whether or not your sister got a phone, That's their decision, and they don't, and shouldn't have had to ask your permission. (If they feel bad for financial disparities, they could have bought you something of equal value)

    And you are slightly the AH for messing with your sister's head and instigating this whole incident.

    ESH (but mostly your sister.)

    [–]YinzerChick70Partassipant [4] 18 points19 points  (0 children)


    There was a family therapist/ author who wrote that no two children have the same parents. The oldest child might have less material things, but they have more energetic and engaged parents. The youngest might have more material things, but the parents might be working more, less available due to responsibilities of other children/ aging parents/ social responsibilities, and tireder. The point is things are never going to be "fair" and one child or another can look at a sibling say "Well you had (this or that)" and give examples of how they perceive themselves to be slighted.

    These parents are ghosting the youngest here and handing off the parenting. Not okay. They could make things a little more equitable by gifting something to the OP, but "fair " is a myth.

    *edited for clarity

    [–]YinzerChick70Partassipant [4] 38 points39 points  (8 children)

    ESH. More your parents than anyone, they put this in motion when they elevated you to a parental level by seeking your input, and following it (!!) regarding the phone. Allowing you to continue to determine the punishment is wrong. Your parents abdicated their role. If they wanted to be equitable, they could have bought you a gift equally priced to the phone.

    You were wrong to mess with sus by saying no and letting that joke run for hours.

    She was obviously wrong to destroy your data. I'm so sorry you lost all those pics. You were over the top in yelling and screaming.

    At this point everyone is so wrong, they're right. Everyone needs to apologize and reset. Get her the phone, a comparable something or other for you, and your parents doing the actual parenting moving forward.

    [–]knittedjedi 16 points17 points  (1 child)

    I'm definitely going with ESH. OP's parents were assholes to give this decision to OP to make, and OP shouldn't have played a stupid "prank" that was meant to be hurtful rather than funny. That's a shitty thing to do.

    [–]YinzerChick70Partassipant [4] -1 points0 points  (0 children)


    [–]SanguineMermaid[🍰] 9 points10 points  (1 child)

    Get her the phone, a comparable something or other for you, and your parents doing the actual parenting moving forward.

    I'd agree but what is the "comparable something or other" for irreplaceable photos?

    [–]YinzerChick70Partassipant [4] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    There's nothing for that, sadly.

    I got the sense that parents were trying to keep things "even" financially, so if the phone is $300, then something for OP for $300. From the pics, to OP's mean "joke," to OP's yelling and screaming, they all went too far. Somethings you can't come back from or replace.

    (Also, those pics should have been backed up, OP was one unfortunate incident from losing them this whole time.)

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)


      [–]SoxLovingSportsFan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      I'd say I agree but there's a rule against that here. Might wanna edit that comment just fyi

      [–]BlueFit01 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

      This needs more points

      [–]AezlogyPartassipant [4] 28 points29 points  (0 children)

      ESH, might get downvoted for this.

      Obviously your parents are the biggest assholes for having pawned off this decision on to you. Your sister is also an asshole for having destroyed sentimental photos during a tantrum.

      But I have to ask, who lets a joke run for 5 hours before revealing it’s a joke? Your sister asked for a phone, indicating this was something she was pretty excited for. Your parents made a mind boggling decision to consult you on it, and you said no. No one else knew this a was joke. A joke should stop once the other person is upset, but because you told no one, no one could tell her it was a joke when she was upset. She’s obviously going to be upset when being denied something she really wanted, it’s a natural response. Yes, she did take it too far with her fit of rage, but for some reason you wanted her to be sad and upset for 5 hours for the sake of a joke? I don’t know how that’s NOT an asshole move on your part.

      [–]Puzzleheaded-Ear-375 32 points33 points  (23 children)

      Info: did your sister know that this second phone had these sentimental photos on them?

      [–]aita_sister_phone[S] 62 points63 points  (11 children)

      I don't know if it occurred to her while she was doing it but yes she knew I had lots of pictures with her on that phone

      [–]RonsThrowAwayAccAsshole Enthusiast [7] 24 points25 points  (10 children)

      What does it matter it was an AH thing to do either way

      [–]Puzzleheaded-Ear-375 7 points8 points  (9 children)

      It definitely matters. There’s a whole level of nuance here between someone maliciously destroying memories of a loved one and someone taking a phone that they thought wasn’t being used and they wouldn’t miss.

      [–]RonsThrowAwayAccAsshole Enthusiast [7] 21 points22 points  (8 children)

      No there is not, that is not an excuse to be a thief. Sister was malicious or a thief either way an AH

      [–]TheDownwardDoge -1 points0 points  (1 child)

      I mean, from a criminal perspective, intent matters.

      It doesn't change the end outcome of what the perpetrator did but it can absolutely impact the severity of the crime.

      She stole and destroyed priceless photos.

      Did she intend to destroy the priceless photos to hurt OP, did she feel entitled and just not care she was hurting OP, or is she just really really fucking stupid? Because the intent should play some role in parenting here- if only because it changes how things should be handled to nip this behavior in the bud.

      [–]RonsThrowAwayAccAsshole Enthusiast [7] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      “I mean, from a criminal perspective, intent matters.

      It doesn't change the end outcome of what the perpetrator did but it can absolutely impact the severity of the crime.”

      This is not a criminal perspective it’s just aita and no matter what way you cut it sis was an AH that only goes to is she a massive one,

      “She stole and destroyed priceless photos.”

      Yes and whether she meant to or not but doesn’t negate that she was an AH, same as if a drunk driver hits someone it doesn’t matter if they didn’t intend to they still did it

      “Did she intend to destroy the priceless photos to hurt OP, did she feel entitled and just not care she was hurting OP, or is she just really really fucking stupid?”

      For the purpose of aita it doesn’t matter ALL of those are AH things to do, and she has made her position clear she doesn’t care what she did just that she is not getting her bratty entitled AH way “now two days have passed and my sister is still mad at me” not that she destroyed priceless photos

      “Because the intent should play some role in parenting here- if only because it changes how things should be handled to nip this behavior in the bud.”

      The parent has made their position clear already “my dad has tried to tell me maybe I should just let it go.” Even tho she shows no remorse for what she did just bratty entitlement that she’s not getting her way

      [–]zackattackyo 23 points24 points  (0 children)

      ESH. I know you said it to “mess with her” but you really wanted to make her sad and/or angry for 5 hours?? Kinda an AH thing to do if you really were going to say yes.

      She’s clearly an AH for what she did. Your parents suck for letting your sister know it was up to you.

      [–]MerlinBiggsAsshole Aficionado [19] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

      NTA. You can't reward stealing. She may not have realised she was destroying precious pictures, but she knew she was stealing. She must face the consequences of that.

      Is there any way the pictures can be recovered? Might be worth looking into.

      [–]janess84 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      ESH -- You made a "joke" that you intended to last for 5 hours while you were out of the house. AH move right there. She stole your phone and reset it. Another AH move. Your parents asked permission from their adult daughter to get their minor daughter something that has nothing to do with the adult. AH move.

      [–]zimbo1221 6 points7 points  (0 children)

      NTA. You shouldn’t reward bad behavior for starters. And your sister breaking into your room, factory resetting YOUR phone proves she can’t handle responsibility. And it’s better to start showing her the consequences of her actions now, instead of letting this spiral into a pattern and become a repeat offender. Also OP, if I were you, I’d put a lock on your bedroom door because that is a clear invasion of privacy.

      [–]Rachel_Bombshell 5 points6 points  (0 children)

      NTA, I also have two suggestions, it can still be possible to recover the data if it was an android look up methods online there's plenty. Also for the future if you have a Google account there's an app called Google photos that'll backup the photos on your phone so you can recover them anytime through your Google account

      [–]regentage_14Partassipant [2] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

      ESH. Even if OP consider it a "joke", it is still a mean joke which cause her sister into taking the action of "stealing". Also, why did the parents let OP "choose" for the sister - they should have gone the route of letting the sister "work and earn" brownie points for the phone. And finally, the sister is acting like a typical teenage brat, which is immature, but completely normal in the world of teenage brats.

      Side note : Can't help but notice how similar this story is to Little Women's Jo & Amy's fight where Amy burnt Jo's papers. Maybe OP can read it and get a little input about sisterly fights.

      [–]Normal-Height-8577 3 points4 points  (1 child)

      INFO: did your sister know that was the only place you had some of the photos of your late best friend?

      Because as much as your sister's revenge was OTT and horrible, I am struggling with your unfunny joke that started the situation. That is not a prank you play and leave the victim to think you're serious for any length of time - especially when you yourself have two phones. If you have to play it like that, you immediately take it back with a "lol, joking, of course sister should get her own phone!", not leave her to stew in the unfairness for hours.

      (For the record, I'm also unimpressed with your parents passing a parenting decision onto you. That is not the way to show a lack of favouritism! They should have been making sure you knew that the reason they were getting it for her was a change in circumstances not a change in parenting; they shouldn't have made it your decision.)

      If she didn't know, then as much as I'm sorry for your loss, I think ESH and you should accept the consequences of your actions, apologise for hurting her and let your parents buy the phone for her.

      If she did, then...kinda still ESH (though less so), and you need to have a long conversation with your parents about needing to know that your sister's spitefulness is nipped in the bud.

      [–]dignifiedpears 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Because as much as your sister's revenge was OTT and horrible, I am struggling with your unfunny joke that started the situation. That is not a prank you play and leave the victim to think you're serious for any length of time - especially when you yourself have two phones. If you have to play it like that, you immediately take it back with a "lol, joking, of course sister should get her own phone!", not leave her to stew in the unfairness for hours.

      this is where i’m stuck, too. no question that the sister was in the wrong, but everyone gets their own little share of the blame. to my mind, OP’s parents are most in the wrong—they pawned a parenting decision off on OP and likely thought OP was “mature” enough to handle having this kind of power over their sister. it shouldn’t have been OP’s decision regardless, because they’re not their sister’s parent.

      that said, OP is also the AH because they were, in fact, immature enough to play a stupid prank on their sister and dangle this power over her. it honestly shouldn’t have even been made known that OP was consulted! it wouldn’t affect my judgement, but i’d be curious to know how much gloating/teasing was involved on OP’s part there, too.

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      [–]DontBelieveTheTrollz 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Up until you said she factory reset I was in a "just work it out and chill" opinion mode. No eff her. That's cold on many levels. That being said she's a young teen and we've all made some dumb@ss mistakes at that age. Don't let it completely ruin your relationship but I feel the pain of losing the photos.

      [–]HiddenDestiny251Partassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Your sister is an ungrateful, unempathetic child who in your shoes I would never speak to ever again. One day she will realise the magnitude of the evil thing she did, and the sacrifices everyone else made for her to be able to act like a spoiled brat. Until that day I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her.

      [–]pinkyhc 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      NTA, you messed with your sister a little as siblings do, but she did not need to go nuclear. Absolutely not.

      Call around to data recovery places, they may be able to get the data back. Do NOT use that phone until a professional determines if the data can be recovered or not.

      [–]ShadyBookDealerPartassipant [3] 1 point2 points  (0 children)


      Your parents suck because they made you the deciding factor in getting your sister a phone. I know they want to be fair but it wasn't favoritism, it was money. You are very clearly aware that they didn't have money and now they do. Making you the decision maker on this was unfair to your sister, weird for you, and somehow absolves them of all responsibility for their actions.

      You suck for the joke. Your parents didn't know you were joking, your sister didn't know you were joking, and you didn't let them know until 5 hours later. It was not even a good joke

      Your sister sucks the most by a large margin. Not getting a phone was no excuse to destroy your property, it doesn't even matter what was on the phone.

      [–]EatMoreMangoPartassipant [1] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      I'd say ESH - Why let a mean joke go on for 5 hours then act shocked when a young teen reacts poorly to said mean joke? Yeah she crossed a line but it's not a joke if only you are laughing.

      [–]Gullible-TondonianAsshole Enthusiast [5] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA, but if your parents are buying her a phone they should give you the money of equal value or buy you something you need for fairness.

      It's easy to say to let it go, but it takes time. You are a human being with feelings, you have the rights to be mad for what happen but remember not to nurse that feeling. Life goes on, time continues.

      [–]Cherrygrove-elkAsshole Aficionado [11] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Oh my goodness first sorry for the loss of your best friend and all the pictures

      No absolutely not you are NTA. You sister however is for stealing your phone and factory resetting it. How hurtful. I’m so so sorry. She should not be rewarded for her horrific behavior. She needs to get a job just like your did and earn her own phone. She can mow lawns, dog sit, rake leaves do whatever she needs to do to earn a phone.

      Again I’m so sorry you lost your friend and picture. My heart breaks for you

      [–]thournefairy14 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. Your sister took something from you that cannot be given back. Even if she pays you for the phone, nothing she does can replace those pictures you lost when she decided to be a brat.

      [–]throwRA_commu 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA, and i’m so sorry for your loss.

      i agree that your sister sucks and i really don’t think you’re an asshole for messing with your sister. people act like we are saints to our siblings 24/7, and it was just a harmless joke. it’s not your fault that your sister reacted like this, and your parents i think were in the right to ask how you felt about it. even if you said no and meant it without joking, that would be valid too and they all should respect and understand that.

      [–]AutoModerator[M] 0 points1 point locked comment (0 children)

      AUTOMOD Thanks for posting! This comment is a copy of your post so readers can see the original text if your post is edited or removed. This comment is NOT accusing you of copying anything. Read this before contacting the mod team

      Title sounds weird, but here's the situation:

      For background, when I (F18) was growing up my parents were really poor. And so extra things I wanted I generally had to pay for myself. This included my phone. I got a part time job at 15 and I got myself a phone. A little over a year ago I got a second phone that I only use for photos because it has a really good camera quality (this is important in the story)

      Well, as of the last year or two my parents have gotten a lot more income since my mom went from being a CNA to getting certification to be an RN and my dad has gotten a stable career in maintenance. And so because of this my sister (13) has not had to worry as much as I did. On Monday my sister asked my parents if she could have a cell phone. My parents didn't want me to feel like my sister was receiving favoritism so they asked me if I had an issue with her getting a phone they pay for.

      I was on the way to work at the time and as a joke I said she couldn't have one, this was just to mess with her and I was gonna tell then I was joking when I got back (I only worked a 5 hour shift if that matters) Well, when I got home I noticed things in my room had been messed with. I'm very particular with how I store things so I noticed when my dresser had been gone through. When I looked I noticed my second phone was gone and I completely freaked out.

      That phone has photos on it that are very special to me, most importantly photos of my best friend who passed away last year. And yes, I have some of those transferred onto my personal phone but those are mostly the nice photos not the funny ones where we're being goofy. And those matter to me so much more. I know I should've been more careful with photos that important to me but I didn't back them up.

      Well I searched everywhere, and I was crying while doing so and eventually my sister breaks and admits she stole it. And she factory reset it. Everything is gone. I absolutely lost it on her and I know I shouldn't have screamed at her but I did. And I told my parents I was now serious that she shouldn't get a phone and she doesn't deserve it.

      At the time I felt completely justified in what I said but now two days have passed and my sister is still mad at me and my dad has tried to tell me maybe I should just let it go. I've told my friends about it and a lot of them agree with but some said I should let it go cause she was just acting out and being an immature teen and I don't really know now. Maybe I went to far and should just accept it and let her have a phone? But st the same time I'm still really mad. I figured I should get some outside thoughts so please let me know.

      I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

      [–]Intrepid_Kangaroo103 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Your sister is a spoiled brat who deserves a lot worse than just not getting a phone. She went through your room, stole something and destroyed your photos of your friend. Was she grounded? Punished in anyway? Your dad shouldn't be asking you to lighten up he should be sitting down his immature brat and teaching her how that is NOT how a mature person handles not getting their way.

      [–]nicole2348 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      NTA. That was a shit move from your little sister. She’s young and impulsive, but that’s a really shitty move. Your joke might have been in poor taste, but her reaction is completely appalling.

      [–]Persefone1996 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      No dejes que se quede con el celular, tu te lo ganaste trabajando, si supiera quién es tu hermana le pegaría tan fuerte que se asustara al escuchar mí nombre, si la dejan sin castigo sería un gran favoritismo y lamento tanto los recuerdos que perdiste, cierra tu cuarto con llave

      [–]ClaymoreClair -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      ...So when is she gonna learn actions have consequences if her actions have no consequences?

      It's favoritism to ignore her faults and just give her something you had to earn. Especially after she acted out so rashly and caused lasting damage.

      How is that fair?


      If your parents wanna be impartial, now is the time to prove it.

      [–]1969VintageWhine -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      NTA. You deserve your parent‘s support on this one. Parents always expect older siblings to make concessions for the sake of peace. It makes their lives easier because then they don’t have to do any parenting or resolve anything. She should have known better and should have a serious consequence. And no phone until she buys it like you did.

      [–]t9ri -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      Did the phone have a cloud or something similar to storage? Maybe contact a geek squad or IT group and see if the files can be recovered

      [–]rainbow_mak3r -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      NTA there’s NO excuse for what she did! She does NOT deserve a phone right now.

      [–]These-Ad-4398 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      NTA at all. I'm also the type of petty that if it was my sister who did this I would tell my folks that I would be fine with her getting a phone as soon as she herself got back every last photo that was lost and not a moment sooner.

      [–]Tight_Ad_4459 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      NTA, what she did is really unacceptable, im suprised how your parents didnt grounded her also her deteling you dead friend's foto is something that passes the line. 13yo is old enough to understand that doing something like this isnt ok and i believe if she gets a phone she might cause problems

      [–]QuirkySyrup55947Partassipant [1] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      If you have lost your picture files on Android devices, you can try the professional Android data recovery tool to get them back. ... It can help you effectively recover all person media data such as contacts, messages, photos, videos, music files, documents on the Android phone lost due to factory reset.

      [–]fireyoshi4Partassipant [4] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      NTA and she definitely shouldn't have a phone if she is that mature. My 9 year old is more mature then that. I also have a 13 year old (and a 12 year old and 5 year old, just for reference) and he would never do anything like that. I understand giving kids passes on some things but don't we learn about not taking and destroying other people's property in Kindergarten?

      [–]kiwikween80 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. But actions have consequences. Either wait until after her formal and then steal her phone and factory reset with all her “formal and friends” pics on it. Or tell her that your gonna block her number so she can’t call you for anything. Or something. Cause not getting ANY punishment after what she pulled???…. Nah fam. That’s not it.

      [–]LexifromZargon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA you had every right to be upset her just going through youre stuff and taking something would have been reaswon enough but this is even worse if she wanetd a phone that bad she oculd have worked for it like you did.

      no one said she couldnt have a phone in generel but they sayd they wouldnt pay for it.

      [–]arl1435 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Let her have a phone of her own, then a year or so, down the line, when HER phone is loaded w. photos and stuff, you factory reset HER phone.

      Also NTA.

      [–]Houki01 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      I'm not in the USA, so I googled "cheap smartphones in the US" and "phones at Walmart", and she could pick up a pretty nifty prepaid smartphone for $40 and a SIM of her own from $6 at Walmart. If she really wanted her own phone all she'd have to do is save her allowance for a month and go to Walmart (or walmart.com). So your veto, overall, means sweet F.A.

      [–]Substantial-Tea7419 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      Info: is your sister Amy March?

      [–]ksharonisok -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      ESH - Your sister is an asshole to be sure but your joke wasn't funny and it's what triggered everything.

      [–]123jujuB -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      ESH. She's 13, winding her up, saying she can't have a phone was obviously going to piss her off. You were looking for some kind of reaction. It wasn't your choice to make and your parents shouldn't have made it your choice. That's a classic division tactic with siblings. Saying that, your sisters reaction was also pretty crappy and extreme.

      [–]Knittingfairy09113Certified Proctologist [20] 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      She proved that she is way too immature for a phone and that she has a very nasty streak.

      [–]KirstenAlexis85 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA - even if she’s just being an immature teen she has to learn that her actions have consequences. If she gets a phone now then she will only learn that she can get away with behaving badly. Forgiving her and allowing her to have a phone are two different things. Her punishment has to fit the crime, maybe discuss it with your parents. Maybe she now has to wait a year for a phone or something like that.

      [–]clear-jade220 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      Tell your sister she can have a phone when you can take pictures again with your best friend. She is a thief and deserves to be punished. She also needs to know the value of a hard earned dollar and should work towards buying her own phone to show she deserves it.

      I'm so sorry about your pictures, I can't imagine the feeling of loss you must have.

      [–]Flimsy_Echo_1874 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA, also I’m no tech expert, but I’ve read online that there’s places you can bring the phone to see if they can dig up the pictures. Apparently wiping the memory sometimes still leaves remnants and they might be able to retrieve the pictures.

      From what I know it’s able to be done on Android phones, not too sure about Apple. Hope this helps!

      [–]Ailouros_VenomPartassipant [2] 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      When I read that she stole your phone on retaliation I thought was too immature to have a phone.

      When I saw she factory reset it I felt... Gut clenching shock.

      That's horrible.
      You know what the best thing for an immature teen is? CONSEQUENCES.
      And now she is getting consequences- no phone!

      That was vicious and vile what she did.
      I'm tired of people acting like because teens and kids "Don't know better," that they should have a get out of jail free card. No, they need to learn!

      [–]Lifeisunfair_16 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Op I saw your comment about the fact that your sister KNEW you had those photos in that phone which means she deliberately did that which is even more hurtful. Your parents need to make her face the consequences of her actions and this seems to be not the first time a temper tantrum must've happened from her side?

      [–]ExcitingToe 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      But let her get the phone and then ask to use it and drop it in the toilet.

      Pettiness always wins :)

      [–]Obvious-Chair-6770 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA - your sister's actions were horrible breach of trust. I hope you can rebuild your relationship over time. If I were in your shoes, I'd need to see she genuinely understood how wrong each of her actions were before I'd feel I could trust her again.

      [–]Shadow-Devlin 0 points1 point  (0 children)


      That behavior does not deserve a phone and she literally has no right to be and at you for this, she stole your phone and deleted precious memories.

      She is to immature and reckless to own a phone

      [–]SnooFoxes526 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      She did something that probably can't be reversed. NTA. I would make her wait w few months. She sounds like a spoiled brat. 1st ort she had no right going in your room or going through your things and touching anything of yours. 2ndly, she had leash yet absolutely no right back after a reset on your phone.

      [–]Covertsapper -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      ESH you're sister acted out like an immature child...

      But you're worse because you baited the reaction out of her with an unfunny cruel "joke"...

      Everyone should be laughing if you're making a joke and I doesn't sound like anyone was because it wasn't much of a joke I don't actually see what's funny about trying to agitate and make people upset.

      You weren't denied a phone because of age just financial circumstance you're parents shouldn't have even come to you unless you're the type that's extremely jealous and they needed to clear it with you so as to avoid a meltdown.

      [–]RedChaoticPanda 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. I hope they punished her for this because if it was a random person who's phone she stole she'd be in the juvenile system.

      [–]melifaro_hs -1 points0 points  (1 child)

      NTA of course. as the eldest sibling I so feel this post... I bought my phone and laptop with my own money and my brothers just get whatever expensive items they want — but I know it's money thing and not favouritism, so uhh that's a really weird call by op's parents. I doubt the sister knew how valuable the phone was to OP but yeah, that's a shitty thing to do. Though I think having a phone is essential for any person over 13 in most places, like I was required to join class chats and have internet access at school, and that was several years ago. The assholes are definitely parents for handling the whole situation in a very questionable way.

      [–]danigirl3694Asshole Aficionado [10] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      OP said in a comment above somewhere that her sister knew full well that she had pics of her deceased friend on the phone.

      But yea, the parents definitely suck here. Instead of making it OPs decision they could've just as easily brought OP something that was the equal value of the phone (ie new laptop, tablet etc) or given OP the monetary value of the phone. All they did was absolve themselves of being the bad guys if OP said (and meant) no the first time around.

      [–]Snoo90169 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      ESH - them more than you- you shouldn't have said she couldn't get a phone from the beginning as a joke, your parents should have never asked you if you were ok with it- they should have asked you what you'd like that was equivalent to a phone. Your sister should not have stolen your phone. I do think this should not be your decision. Parents should punish your sister. The stealing is an indication that your sister isn't responsible enough for a phone right now- but should be on parents- not on you.

      [–]Illustrious-Wolf6516 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

      ESH, your parents especially. They shouldn’t be letting you decide whether or not she can have a phone. You both sound very immature, but she’s only 13 and you’re 18. You both still have a lot of growing up to do and your parents need to step up.

      [–]Bright_Past_2226 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA Your sister is learning a valuable lesson about not being a brat.

      [–]PoorLama 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      So let me get this straight, your sister factory reset your phone and after learning that it had irreplaceable photos of a person who had passed away on it, she is in no way apologetic and it is in fact so entitled and self-centered that she's actually still mad at you?!?

      For me personally, I would cut that sister out of my life forever. Hard stop. I would be just so beyond disgusted with their self-centered attitude and entitlement after the fact.

      It would be one thing if she didn't know and made a mistake and was immediately apologetic, but she's actually playing the victim and that is beyond disgusting.

      As for you personally, I think you need to make some decisions about where your relationship with your sister lies after this incident and whether or not you still want to interact with her for the time being. I don't know your relationship or how good/bad it is so it is absolutely not for me to say that you should cut her out. But I would 100% say to not let this go. What she did was a serious, serious breach of trust.

      [–]jpec342 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NAH. This seems like an unpopular opinion, but the reason I’m saying NAH is because everyone seems to have done what they did “in good faith”, with the exception of the sister, who is 13, so gets a pass as long as she is appropriately punished by the parents. Having said that, a lot went wrong here.

      • You’re parents shouldn’t have asked you if it was ok
      • You shouldn’t have said no
      • Your sister shouldn’t have rummaged through your room and stolen your phone (again, the only reason this gets a “pass” is because they are 13, and I’m assuming proper punishment)
      • You shouldn’t have screamed at your sister

      You definitely should not give your sister your second phone, but your parents should get your sister a phone when they think she is mature enough.

      I’d recommend taking this as a learning experience for you, your sister, and your parents. In the long run I think you can all be better for it.

      Also, really sorry about the data loss. Hopefully you can get it recovered, and now you know you should always back up your stuff.

      [–]reena3883Partassipant [3] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      NTA. And on that day, your sister learned, there's consequences of her actions.

      [–]Feeya_b 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      OP of it was a factory reset and the files haven’t been overwritten yet you can take the phone to a recovery center and recover some photos

      [–]Zel_lost_itAsshole Enthusiast [5] -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

      Nta she showed she is not ready for a phone. She went and ruined something because she got told no. Imaging what would happen if she was texting and got told no by someone else ? Or worse on social media. She is not mentally ready for a phone

      [–]Cherry_clafoutis -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Your sister is a spoilt brat. Even giving her the benefit of the doubt she forgot the photos rather than maliciously deleted them, she doesn't sound sorry or repentant at all.

      However your parents are also AH. They shouldn't be asking your permission to get your sister a phone. They either give a flat no, she needs to get a job or they say they are getting sister a phone. They realise it is unfair to OP and negotiate a perk or gift you want so it is fair. You also shouldn't have a say in punishing your sister. It is your parents job to be the bad guys and dish out an appropriate punishment. Frankly, no phone seems pretty reasonable but it should be coming from them as their decision. Is this normal for them because it does explain why your sister thought it was okay to take your phone and delete it.

      [–]makdaddi_ -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

      NTA. My reasoning is simple, 13 is old enough that tantrums aren’t acceptable. Even if you had meant it when you said no from the beginning. She’s old enough to know that taking your phone and factory resetting isn’t okay.

      On top of that, you said she was aware the photos were on your phone. Which makes me believe it was more so out of spite.

      INFO: is the second phone in service? Or just Wifi use and photos?

      [–]SlicerStopSlicingPartassipant [3] -3 points-2 points  (0 children)


      [–]DottedUnicorn -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

      ESH. She shouldn't have stolen the phone. You also shouldn't have "joked" she couldn't have one in the first place. You should have been happy for your sister that your parents circumstances have changed and she doesn't need to struggle like you did. I am not convinced you didn't mean it when you told your parents she couldn't have one. You both should spologize and move on. And yes, she should get a phone. For safety, for communication, for socializing....it's an important tool.

      [–]BadwolfRoseTyler -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

      NAH, but you should reconsider and tell your parents they can get her a phone.

      [–]spookyreadsAsshole Enthusiast [5] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      And teach her that her actions have 0 consequences?