VOTE Weird Things You Didn't Know About Living in the White House  

Kellen Perry
433.3k votes 65.3k voters 4.8M views 30 items

List Rules Vote up the most surprising and revealing things about life in the White House.

Ever wonder what living in the White House is like? That's easy: it's weird! Life in the White House for the First Family (its only permanent residents) is like a cross between living in a fortress, a resort, and a museum... but somehow stranger. Do you want to know what it's like to not carry money or credit cards for four years? How about being the leader of the free world but still having crappy Wi-Fi?

The truth about what is it like to live in the White House is definitely stranger than fiction. Forget The West Wing: in the actual White House, the president and his family are billed for every meal they eat that isn't business-related, First Kids are sneaking up to the roof, and even the most powerful person in the world is scooping up dog poop. Enjoy these and many more facts about living in the White House: it's your patriotic duty!
1 21,990 VOTES

There Is No Private Entrance or Exit to the Residence


There Is No Private Entrance o... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Weird Things You Didn't Know About Living in the White House
Photo:  janeb13/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
It makes sense that the First Family can't just come and go as they please, but did you know that there is no private entrance or exit to where they live? It's one of the downsides to living in a combination fortress/museum. Staff and tourists have access to the Diplomatic Room - close to where the entrance to the living quarters is located - during regular operating hours, so the First Family has to duck behind brown screens to avoid detection.
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The President Is Billed Every Month for Food and Incidentals


The President Is Billed Every ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Weird Things You Didn't Know About Living in the White House
Photo:  janeb13/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
There's no free lunch (or breakfast, brunch, or dinner) for the First Family: all presidents and their families have to pay for their own food, dry cleaning, toothpaste, etc. while in office and they're billed at the end of the month. The "sticker shock" caught Nancy Reagan off-guard: she claimed nobody ever told her or President Reagan that they would be facing the charges. There's no charge, however, for food served at White House state functions - the taxpayers take care of that.
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3 21,318 VOTES

Carpet Stains from First Pets Aren't Always Removed Immediately


Carpet Stains from First Pets ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Weird Things You Didn't Know About Living in the White House
Photo:  skeeze/Pixabay/CC0 1.0
You would think that pet stains would disappear from carpet in the White House as fast as Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction cleans up crime scenes, but that's not always the case. It's unclear whether or not other administrations' pets left a mess behind, but there is one little legacy that has been confirmed. Obama family biographer Jodi Kantor says that the Bush cats left stains on the carpet that were still there when the Obamas moved in.
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The West Wing Is Full Of Roaches And Mice


The West Wing Is Full Of Roach... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Weird Things You Didn't Know About Living in the White House
Photo: Nilington/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

In 2017, White House officials submitted a number of requests for repairs and new equipment. But the most eye-opening request was for pest control to eradicate the mice getting into the Situation Room and the White House Navy mess food service area. There are apparently roaches in the West Wing, too.

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