The top 50 most common household arguments

By Richard Jenkins
Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 8:56 am
Updated Monday, 11th April 2022, 1:49 pm

Fighting over the TV remote, failing to load the dishwasher and squeezing rubbish into a full bin rather than emptying it are among the most common household arguments.

A study of 2,000 UK adults found the average household has 21 disagreements each week – many of which are over something trivial.

Many rows occur in the bathroom, as family members get frustrated at others not changing the toilet roll tube when it’s empty (19 per cent) or even failing to flush the loo (16 per cent).

Other common rows include people leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms, and shoes being left in the middle of doorways.

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    When the heating should come on, someone leaving the dishes ‘to soak’ rather than washing them up and leaving wet towels on the floor also feature in the top 50 list.

    A spokesperson for Cushelle which commissioned the research to highlight its longer-lasting double roll, said: “No family is perfect, and each one will have its own memorable disagreements.

    “You’d have to have the patience of a saint to live with someone day in, day out, and never lose your temper with them.

    “When you add kids into the mix, who often take several reminders to complete household chores, it’s a real recipe for bickering.”

    The research found each dispute only lasts around four and a half minutes, adding up to just under a quarter of an hour each day engaged in verbal sparring.

    Londoners spend the most time arguing – having an average of six rows a day, with each one lasting nearly six minutes.

    But those in the East Midlands and Scotland row just twice a day for three minutes at a time.

    Women most likely

    Women admitted they are most likely to be the instigator of the arguments (20 per cent compared to 16 per cent of men) but they are also more likely to see themselves as the peacekeepers in their home (38 per cent compared to 37 per cent of men).

    And when it comes to sulking – women also admitted that this is most likely to be them after a row with 27 per cent getting into a strop.

    Just 26 per cent named the children as being most likely to go off in a huff.

    To put the results to the test, the Wallin family, from London, took part in a video game to see who was most likely to be the instigator of some of the most common family arguments.

    Just under one in four adults believe their partner is most likely to hog the bathroom, leaving a queue outside.

    And partners also get the blame for putting food and drink containers back in the fridge – after having finished their contents, and also not changing the empty toilet roll tube.

    Despite this, 56 per cent of those polled admitted to running from the bathroom and leaving the empty toilet roll tube on the holder for the next person to contend with, with men more likely to be to blame than women (60 per cent v 53 per cent of women).

    Of those who admitted to doing this, while 43 per cent ‘forget’, 23 per cent simply can’t be bothered while 15 per cent don’t even know where the toilet rolls are kept.

    Effect of lockdown

    It also emerged 41 per cent of adults believe lockdown, and enforced time indoors, added to the number of rows their family had.

    And as a result, four in 10 find themselves arguing about things they otherwise would have let slide, according to the OnePoll figures.

    However, three quarters believe silly, trivial arguments are ‘part of family life’, and can lead to funny stories, after long enough.

    Cushelle’s spokesperson added: “Everyone will remember fondly some daft arguments they would have had as children in their own families.”

    “At the time, as children, what our parents were saying probably came across as completely ridiculous and unreasonable.

    “Of course, once you become a parent yourself, you really start to see their point – just a shame this realisation happens about 20 years too late!”

    Following the findings, Cushelle has created a quiz to allow you to find out which role you play in family arguments. Are you the instigator or the mediator? Take the quiz at


    1.            Someone leaving all the lights on when they aren’t in the room

    2.            Someone leaving shoes in the middle of the floor/ in the doorway

    3.            Messy bedrooms

    4.            Someone not doing their fair share of the chores

    5.            Not changing the empty toilet roll when the last of it is used

    6.            When the heating should come on

    7.            Squeezing rubbish into an already full bin rather than emptying it first

    8.            Leaving dirty washing on the floor

    9.            Leaving toilet roll cores on the floor, windowsill etc, i.e. anywhere but the bin

    10.          Someone leaving plates and glasses in their bedroom

    11.          Leaving the dishes to soak rather than just washing them up

    12.          Using up the last of something like the milk/ toilet roll and not saying anything

    13.          Leaving dirty plates next to the dishwasher rather than in it

    14.          Someone not flushing the toilet

    15.          Not rinsing out the bath or shower

    16.          Not taking items which have been left on the stairs up when you walk past

    17.          Someone being too noisy in the morning when everyone else is still asleep

    18.          Someone slamming doors

    19.          Leaving wet towels on the floor

    20.          Who started the argument

    21.          Someone cooking dinner, using every utensil in the kitchen and not washing up as they go

    22.          Leaving recycling next to the bin rather than in it

    23.          Who ate the last biscuit/ chocolate and put the empty box/ wrapper back in the cupboard

    24.          Emptying the bins but not putting in a new bin bag

    25.          Someone hogging the bathroom

    26.          Music being played too loud

    27.          Running water downstairs or flushing the toilet while someone is in the shower

    28.          Gadgets being used at the dinner table

    29.          Not making their bed

    30.          Whether the toilet seat should be up or down

    31.          Someone taking too long in the shower and using all of the hot water

    32.          Squeezing the toothpaste from the top rather than the bottom

    33.          Fighting over the TV remote

    34.          Someone pinching someone else’s phone charger

    35.          Who left the toilet seat up

    36.          Siblings using things belonging to the others without asking

    37.          Someone being noisy while you are trying to WFH

    38.          What film you should watch as a family

    39.          Changing the settings, radio station, seat position etc in the car

    40.          What time children should come off games consoles

    41.          Whose turn it is to load/ unload the dishwasher

    42.          Who is cooking dinner

    43.          Whose turn it is to make the tea/ coffee

    44.          What music to play on long car journeys

    45.          What takeaway to order

    46.          What time children should go to bed

    47.          Letting unopened post pile up on the kitchen table

    48.          Someone putting a dark item in a light wash and ruining the clothes

    49.          Board games which end in a row

    50.          Whose turn it is to put the bins out