The Beginner’s Guide to Regretting Buying That Turtle
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The Beginner’s Guide to Regretting Buying That Turtle

Welcome to The Beginner’s Guide to [Blank], our recurring series where our experts provide everything you need to know about your new endeavor, regardless of what it is. Life is full of exciting opportunities, and while it’s fine to tackle a new adventure on your own, we here at Bunny Ears know that it’s better to have an experienced guide to help on your journey.

This week we’ll be taking you through:

The Beginner’s Guide to Regretting Buying That Turtle

I don’t want to brag, but I’ve bought six turtles and regretted every single one of them. Leonardo DiCaprio, composer Alan Menken, and Will Smith have all owned turtles they have since grown to hate, so you know you’re in good company!

But we’re not here to talk about why Leonardo DiCaprio regrets his turtle (it cost $400 up front and will live for eighty years), we’re here to talk about you, your first turtle, the incredible amount of regret you feel and what comes next.

There aren’t too many reasons to buy a turtle, but there are several for why you might regret it. Let’s run through the most popular reasons before easing you into the next phase of this process.

Why You Regret Buying That Turtle


“My Turtle Costs So Much!”

Owning a turtle isn’t like owning a hat or goldfish; it requires food, vitamins, occasional baths I’d imagine and a cage full of rocks and turtle things. The upfront cost of purchasing a small turtle can seem low (as low as $20 from some pet stores and as even lower as “free” if you just sort of find one), but the cost of feeding and maintaining the turtle’s health only grows over time. Terrariums range from $200 to $400 and require constant upkeep. What seemed like a $20 pet has suddenly become a time and money investment, and since “time equals money,” it’s really more of a money and money investment, and you are NOT made of money.

“My Turtle Smells So Bad!”

All of the worst turtles smell and most of the best ones do, too. It’s why God made them with the shell, a natural way to show predators and prey alike that they’re ashamed of their bodies and accompanying odors. They can stink up a house and quick!

“My Turtle Doesn’t Respect Me.”

This is the most popular reason why people regret buying turtles. Most of us buy our first turtle believing that we’ll finally have something at home that truly respects us. Lacking the confidence to buy a cat (too smart) or a dog (too pure), you settle on a turtle thinking “Surely this slow, dumb, frog-dressed-as-a-van will look at me with the kind of fear and respect that I deserve but can’t seem to inspire in the eyes of my children, wife and coworkers.” As I’m sure you know, that respect will never come.
The turtle lacks a lot of things; friendliness, tricks, cool noises of any kind, and a high tolerance for alcohol, but what they’re NOT lacking in is integrity. Maybe you bought this turtle because you thought it would immediately respect your ability to walk on two legs, and maybe you thought that respect would be contagious, spreading to other members of your family much in the way that turtles spread salmonella, also to families. But listen:

Your turtle is never going to respect you.

Look at me.

Never.
This concludes the list of the only reasons people regret buying turtles.

So, What Now?

It’s time for you to decide how you’re going to move forward. Obviously you can’t return the turtle because the sixteen-year-old boy with those scary, hole-earrings who sold it to you at the pet store said he didn’t think you were ready for it and you swore— on your daughter’s eyes, I believe— that you were ready and that he’d better watch his attitude or you just might buy TWO turtles. You cannot face him again.

Your options are clear.

Live with the Turtle Until One of You Dies

A turtle can live anywhere from 10 to 80 years which is a punishing amount of time for a smelly armored shitbox of a non-pet. Some turtles can live up to 100 years, which feels like a crime. If you decide to live with your turtle, you should think of it the way people think about boats: this is a filthy, wet thing that I have to throw money at forever until I die and then it’s someone else’s problem.

“Return” the Turtle to the “Wild”

Drop it in a lake. Release it into the ocean. Roughly plop it into a deepish puddle after a long rain. No one will know and no one will judge you. Tell your children the turtle ran away because of something disrespectful they did.

Kill the Turtle

You know the old expression: “You can’t spell ‘turtle’ without ‘hurt’ unless you’re concerned with spelling ‘turtle’ correctly.” You knew going into this there was a chance you’d have to kill this turtle. You don’t feel like driving to the lake and doggone it, sometimes it’s nice to do something for you, something that makes you feel special, something that makes you feel like God. To that end, kill your turtle with your hands while looking it in its eyes. While it gasps and struggles, whisper “There is nothing after this.”

That’s it! Remember, we all get pets we might not be ready for and we all make the same mistakes. Congratulations on your first turtle experience and here’s to your next one being a success!

Oh also before I forget, it’s illegal to sell turtles in America because of the diseases they carry, so before you buy a turtle, regret it and consult this article, please consider not buying a turtle in the first place.

Daniel O’Brien
Daniel O’Brien

Author - Presidential Expert

Daniel O’Brien is the author of How to Fight Presidents, Your Presidential Fantasy Dream Team, the head writer for The De-Textbook and a senior editor for You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News (now a New York Times Bestseller). He is one of the original founding members of Cracked.com, an award-winning comedy website and now he travels the world with his very woke dog Jackson. He values his privacy but can be found on Twitter.

28 Comments
  1. But what if I name my turtle Salvador and give it an elaborate backstory as the fifth ninja turtle (sixth if you count Venus, which you shouldn’t). Would that help dull the constant ache of regret?

  2. It’s great to have you back, Daniel! I missed your writing when you went to all video (though that was great too). So it’s awesome to read your stuff again.

  3. I love that Daniel O’Brien is involved with Hollywood Culk Hogan and bunny ears 🐰↖️…I specifically watch every cracked video he’s in, but I’m not some crazy stalker, I like to think of it as friending from the shadows. HEY DAN HOW WAS BREAKFAST IT LOOKED DELICIOUS!!!

    1. my poor friend Cracked ditched all their talent for freelancers, they haven’t posted any videos in months. what a mess.

  4. What you do is dress it up like Donatello and leave it on the doorstep of the little boy you hate in your neighborhood (he asks you why you’re old a lot-fuck you Tod-stupid fucking name goes with your stupid fucking) and leave a detailed note that he requires pizza everyday or he’ll grow up and kill their entire family. Also he must save his brothers from the pet store before the world is destroyed. You won’t have a turtle anymore, the pet store has three less turtles, Pizza Hut will be getting business and your revenge is complete. Win win

  5. Dear Bunnyears.com / Daniel O’Briennnnnnnn,

    I have a bone (or shell) to pick with you.
    I am a turtle. I do not appreciate the harsh things you said about my species in this article.
    It is my understanding that decent humans don’t like stereotypes.
    Well, guess what? Turtles don’t like them either. I do realize that I just contradicted myself, but you get the point.
    Please keep in mind that human beings are not the only species that read your artticles.
    If you write an apology article to Turtles by next Saturday, March 10, 2018, I will consider subscribing to your website.

    Regards,

    Disgruntled Turtle

  6. There is a pack of turtles outside my house that hiss at me when I pass and the alpha won’t let me get to my car. Any advice?

  7. Bought a pet Russian Box Tortoise with an ex gf (80+ year lifespan) why?!!
    had tortoise longer than the girl.
    Eventually lost both, one ran away…

  8. OMG this is completely horrifying and delightful all at once! I have two turtles and one tortoise and zero regrets… Well, maybe a few, the tortoise sleeps with us and hurts me in my sleep. Asides from making sex awkward. Little fucker. I wish I could’ve made this up. This is my life now.

  9. Im in this pickle currently. I keep thinking releasing to the wild. He’s an aqua turtle and I know he’s miserable.

  10. Funny article as I’ve known people with turtle regret. BUT in all seriousness, DO NOT RELEASE pet turtles into the ‘wild’. Non-native turtles can significantly hurt the populations of local native turtles. Give it to a local animal shelter instead. And better yet, just don’t buy a pet turtle in the first place…

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