Do you and your partner or spouse like streaming TV shows together? If you do, then beware. if you believe Netflix, there’s a new threat to your relationship called: ‘Netflix-Cheating‘! 

After ‘Netflix and Chill’ became a popular euphemism for couples hooking up over a Netflix-streaming date, Netflix-cheating is the most recent phenomena related to streaming sites and binge watching of serials.  

What in the world is this?

Many couples watch TV series or stream shows on Netflix together, as a team. It’s a date activity and often amounts to spending quality time with each other. 

‘Netflix Cheating’ is when one of the two partners does the unimaginable and watches an episode alone without their streaming-partner. 

How is it cheating? 

The ‘cheater’ usually does not inform the partner that they have already seen the episode and usually ends up watching it the second time. 

And pretends like it was fun. The horror.  

And it’s on the rise!

Netflix would like us to believe that the incidence of ‘Netflix Cheating’ has been on the rise, with numbers tripling from 2013. Netflix has helpfully even conducted a survey with over 30,000 subscribers across 29 countries and says it has discovered that:

  • In almost half the couples who stream shows together, one partner has jumped ahead and watched an episode without their partner. 
b’Source: Twitter/Netflix’
  • People from Hong Kong are apparently the worst in the world at waiting for their partners. 
  • In India, the survey found that 46 percent Indians streaming shows with their significant others have not been able to resist the temptation. In fact, 42 percent of these ‘cheaters’ have done it with their partners  asleep in the same room. 
  • The phenomenon is not limited to any specific countries either. In the US, one in 48 percent of couples has Netflix-cheated, CNN reported. 81 percent subscribers in Britain have done the same. Brazil and Mexico have the highest percentage of Netflix cheaters while Netherlands has the lowest.  Which might also be a commentary on priorities in different countries. 

Why do people cheat? 

‘FOMO’ (Fear of Missing Out). ‘Cheaters’ admitted that often they cheated because they did not want to be left out of discussions about the new episode at work or with friends. 

According to the Netflix survey, 46 percent of respondents said that it was forgivable to Netflix cheat and 52 percent don’t consider it wrong. In fact, 25 percent of survey takers felt that if their partner fell asleep mid-show, they deserved to be cheated on and 70 percent said that they would cheat more often if they could get away with it. 

But not everyone feels that way…

Some feel that this is the ‘ultimate’ form of a breakdown of mutual trust between a couple, with 14 percent of survey takers worldwide maintaining it was worse than actual cheating. Really. Some people apparently actually said that.  

In India 60 percent couples who took the survey felt that ‘Netflix cheating’ was akin to actual cheating on their partner. The survey found 39 percent felt that watching consecutive episodes without the partner may even lead to a break up. Basically proving Indians take their serials very, very seriously.

But if you must cheat…

There are ways to do without getting caught. Here are some ways, as suggested by CNET, in which you can Netflix cheat on your partner without straining your relationship:

  • Rewind back to the end of the episode that you last watched with your partner. This way, even if you sneak in an extra episode in between, you can just ‘Continue Watching’ from where you left off with them.
  • Open a joint Netflix account with your partner to watch your couple shows while keeping your original, personal account separated. 
  • Open temporary burner accounts on Netflix, use them for illicit viewings, and cover your tracks by deleting them when the deed is done. 
  • If nothing else works, you can always rely on the oldest trick in the book: delete history. Go to the ‘Your Account’ tab, and then to ‘Viewing Activity’. You’ll know what to do from there. 


Would you forgive your partner for episode cheating on you? Let us know in the comments. 

Feature Image Source: Reuters