When done perfectly, an ingenious prank can give everyone a good laugh and brighten up an otherwise boring day. When they go awry, well…not so much. From the practical jokes that went off without a hitch to the ones that went seriously south, here are 44 pranks to either give you a good laugh, inspiration for April Fools’ Day, or both!
1. Too Juicy to Keep Quiet
We had an IT guy at work who could not keep a secret. He was famous for it. It earned him the nickname “loose lips. “Anyway, one day my boss—security—did not come in because of another obligation. Loose Lips, who worked constantly on our high tech security system, asked where he was, and my work partner, in a moment of inspiration said, “I can’t tell you.”
Loose Lips became excited and begged. Finally, Partner “caved” and swore Loose Lips to secrecy, then told him our supervisor was on his way to Moncton to collect the 10 million dollars he won the night before in a lottery. Absolute BS. We had a great time using our security cameras tracking him going from cubicle to cubicle and building to building.
We kept our supervisor informed by text of the developments. He was amused, to say the least, but mid-afternoon we got a text from him saying that Loose Lips knows. “I just texted him instead of you by mistake.” Sure enough, the cameras revealed a fuming Loose Lips stomping towards the security building. He charged in and swore at us. He was not a happy camper.
“But wait,” my partner said. “We swore you to secrecy. Who did you tell?” Loose Lips’ shoulders sagged. “I told everybody,” he moaned. “Well, now you better go tell them all the truth!” “Yeah, I guess.” Much hilarity watching him retrace his steps. The great thing is that the gag depended on his own character fault to be successful and it was a great success!
BTW, he didn’t improve after this. Not one bit.
2. This Isn’t Where I Parked My Car
My boyfriend’s high school had a tradition of pranking this one science teacher every year. His graduating class disassembled an old car, dragged the pieces upstairs, and reassembled it in the teacher’s classroom. There’s even a video.
3. Gullible Gary
Did this to a guy at work. Bowling league. Wasn’t familiar. He threw three strikes in a row. When the monitor flashed a turkey he asked what it meant. We told him to go to the main counter because he just won a coupon for a free turkey! The staff had a blast with that one.
4. Did You See That?
My cousin thinks her house is haunted so her husband and I plugged a wireless mouse into her computer and he’s been messing with her ever since.
5. That’s Dark for Disney
This is on YouTube, you can look it up, it happened several years ago when Toy Story 3 came out. A guy edited the ending of Toy Story 3 so that the screen goes black when they are in the incinerator, then the credits play. He gave it to his mum who hadn’t seen it yet.
6. F Is for Fail
I drive a float in the Rose Parade. This kid wanted to drive it so bad and he would not give up on asking. It got a little irritating. So I told him if he wanted to drive it, he needed to go down to the DMV and ask to take the test for a class F endorsement on his license. I didn’t think he would take it seriously but he did.
He waited at the DMV, only to be asked what the heck he was talking about.
7. Whatever Do Moo Mean?
A former roommate of mine made fun of the fact that I went to UC Davis, a college known for its many cows on campus. For seven months, I kept inserting the word “moo” into our conversations and adamantly denying it whenever he would call me out on my strange behavior. On April Fools Day, I told my story to my college’s Facebook group, resulting in him receiving thousands of texts saying “moo” that day.
Moo, baby, get out the way.
8. Staying Sane in the Office
Office pranks were the only way to survive. We had a keyboard plugged into this guy’s computer so he would get extra characters every now and again. The office was such a mess that he didn’t pick up on the fact we had extras. This led to a good few months of him going mental. Another favorite was taking a screenshot of his desktop and setting it as his background, alternating with rotating his desktop so it was upside down or screenshotting and rotating.
Also, changing his mouse speed, putting tape over the mouse, or removing the ball when they were trackball mice. Oh, and wetting his chair. Nothing like a wet butt to set the tone for a shift in a crappy call center.
9. A 10,000 Dollar-Ish Prank
When I was in high school, my band teacher told me this story. Let’s call my band teacher Dave. Dave was in college in his masters program for music performance, so they had rehearsal a few times a week. He was good friends with the director of the orchestra and April Fools’ was coming up so they hatched this brilliant plan.
The orchestra director had just bought a brand new French horn—Dave said it was almost $10,000. A couple of months back, they found an old beat-up French horn that probably hadn’t been seen in decades, but it looked just like the new horn the director had bought. April Fools’ comes and Dave is in rehearsal playing way too loud for his part, lingering on and playing long after the director tells him to stop.
This goes on for more than two hours, with the director getting angrier and angrier with Dave. So far, everything was going according to plan. At one point, the director had had enough and yelled at Dave to go wait in his office so they could talk after rehearsal. Dave had a pretty good reputation for being an upstanding guy so the rest of the orchestra was surprised at both Dave’s behavior and the director yelling at him.
So Dave goes into the guy’s office, grabs the old French horn—the beat-up one—and walks back into the concert hall. Dave then yells, “Screw you!” to the quiet hall and smashes the French horn on the ground and it breaks in several pieces. The rest of the orchestra is horrified now, as they think they just watched Dave smash a $10,000 instrument to pieces.
So, after a few seconds, the director runs to Dave, grabs him by the shirt, turns and smiles at the orchestra and says, “April Fools!”
10. Reversible Chair
Pretty simple to do, but zip tie the lever that adjusts the height of the chair so that when they sit on it, it lowers all the way down. Then when they get up, it raises back up. It will take them a minute to think about looking under the seat, and it’s funny to watch them sink when they sit down.
11. Becoming Bob
This was a little while ago, but my co-worker, who we will call Bob, decided to make his screensaver pictures of his family. One day, he walked away without locking his computer. I copied his directory of pictures to the file share and pointed his screensaver at it. Now, I could easily add and remove pictures from his gallery.
I then started modifying the pictures in photoshop. Slowly, all the pictures of the people—his kids, his wife, and animals—started to get Bob’s face.
12. Cordless Phone
Due to a teacher’s health issue and need to take the rest of the year off, I was hired at an odd time of the year, around mid-April. The district had its own phone system, as many of them do, where each classroom has a phone, but most of them can only make internal calls. The first time I went to use the phone in my room I picked up the receiver and got nothing.
Upon closer inspection, I saw there was no cord connecting the phone to the receiver. It wasn’t an emergency, so I just shrugged it off. During my next break, I went to the main office and said, “Um, this might sound a little weird, but the phone in my room doesn’t have a cord.” All the secretaries sighed in unison and one told me that a group of kids disconnected nearly every phone in the building by taking the receiver cords as an April Fool’s Day prank.
They were nice enough not to fully steal the cords, just left the pile somewhere, but someone still had to reconnect all of them, and apparently my classroom was missed. I tried not to show it, but I did laugh a little because it was one of the more creative pranks I’d heard about.
13. Oldest Trick in the Book
While traveling up the West Coast of America, we stopped in this small town for one night. We went out early that evening, and while walking through town we saw this $5 bill fluttering ahead of us down the street, always just out of reach. We quickly realized a couple of kids were literally doing the dollar bill on the fishing line prank.
They were laughing and having the best time. It was such a gosh darn pure and wholesome sight that my heart grew three sizes.
14. Skipping a Step
Certainly not the first, but my wife and I had a surprise wedding in our backyard. I tricked our friends and family into believing that I would be proposing to her and that they’d be in on a surprise engagement party. When we jumped around the corner in wedding attire, announcing that today was “a good day to get married,” we had the most amazing display of gaping maws and wide eyes.
I’ll certainly never forget one of my best friends breaking the silence with, “What the hell?!”
15. Playing Along
I was skateboarding down the street a few years ago when I noticed in the distance some young kids doing the invisible rope across the road to stop the car trick. With this knowledge, I decided to play along, so I skated as fast as I could and when they pulled the imaginary rope across the road I cracked a high ollie over it.
They just cheered! I made their day.
16. Salt Is the New Sugar
My brother replaced the sugar with salt when we were kids. He always used to tell on me when I put too much sugar on my Cheerios…but this particular day just kept encouraging me to pile it on. Grossest thing I’ve ever tasted. He got in trouble, but my dad had to leave the room because he couldn’t keep a straight face.
17. Speak up Sonny!
At my work years ago, April 1st rolled around, which is basically the best day of the year for my department. A co-worker went into our big photocopier room and slapped on a notice that said our printer was now voice automated—it wasn’t—but you have to speak slowly and may have to repeat yourself. The entire management team ended up yelling at the printer for most of the day until all of them resorted to the “old fashioned way” of just manually printing it by pressing buttons.
Nobody figured it out until around lunchtime when our TECH GUY finally clued in that he hadn’t known about this “upgrade”…and that it was April Fools’ Day.
18. It Has a Ring to It
Whilst working as a butcher, I convinced my fiancé that we had to change the name of black pudding due to complaints about racism. I told her that we had renamed it Ethnic Slice and that the bosses, in trying to roll out the name change, had put a jingle on local radio featuring the line, “Ethnic Slice is twice as nice.”
She fell for it big time and even had her colleagues roused into a disgruntled rabble over the idea of political correctness interfering with a traditional Scottish food! They were all so embarrassed when I revealed the truth.
19. Investing in a Night Light
All right, so we have a painting that floats around the house, as people take turns sticking it in weird spots to freak people out. So, I go to bed one night and someone puts it at the foot of my bed. The door closing wakes me up, and I can only make out a face in the darkness. I spent a minute trembling under the covers before I realized what happened.
20. The Curse of the Flip Flop
A long one, but believe me, so worth it! BTW, English is not my first language, so I’m sorry if I no word good. My parents have a country house where we go to celebrate New Years, along with a lot of uncles, cousins, and family friends. At the time, the kids—a group of about 10 children, between 10 to 15 years old—were sleeping on mattresses on the living room floor so the adults could use the beds in the rooms.
This living room had a billiard table right in the middle and we were sleeping around it. My dad, ever the trickster, got my brother’s flip flop—my brother is 6’5” and his flip flop was black—tied a fishing line to it, and went back to his room. Nobody saw this. The lights turned off and, like every teenage group, we started talking.
Suddenly, my cousin who was sleeping closest to the flip flop shot up and said, “Did you guys hear that?!” and started to shush everyone. We were trying to listen to whatever he was talking about when we all heard a dragging sound. Ever so slowly, something was being dragged against the floor. Now, we’re talking about a country house in the middle of nowhere in Brazil, so it could’ve been anything from giant bugs to lizards or snakes.
Out of nowhere, that same cousin gets on his feet and screams “WTF IS THAT?” then jumps on the billiard table. In the commotion, someone yells “SNAKE!!” and after that, it’s pure chaos! Kids running and screaming—everybody jumping on the table trying to escape. Then the SAME cousin screams, “IT’S A FLIP FLOP, HOW IS A FLIP FLOP MOVING ON IT OWN?! WTF IS HAPPENING?”
Mind you, this guy is 14. One of my uncles, who was sleeping in one of the rooms, is a Sheriff. He wakes up and comes to the room HOLDING A GUN TO SHOOT THE SNAKE! More people are freaking out now until someone has the bright idea to turn the lights on. Cue my dad coming out of his room, laughing so hard he can’t even talk.
Kids are crying/laughing, my aunt hit her leg on the bed in a startle, and another one of my uncles SOMEHOW slept through all of that. The guy with the gun puts it away and people are still asking where the snake is. My dad had to explain that he was pulling the flip flop by the fishing line from his room. To this day, my dad is so proud of this and he loves telling this story.
Oh, and the cousin? We still give him grief for being the first one to jump on the table and for thinking a flip flop was possessed.
21. Jokes on You, Everything Is Clean!
A few years ago, I lived across the street from two of my really good friends who were married. I had another good friend rooming at my place for a while and the four of us would hang out at each other’s places all the time. My neighbors/friends used to leave their back door unlocked all the time, despite my repeated warnings that someone could break in.
They also used to get completely blackout drunk frequently. One night, they went out on the town, just the two of them. My roommate and I, stoned off our minds, decided to teach them a lesson about not locking their door. Our plan was to hang out and play video games at their house until they got back to find us chilling in their living room.
We got super bored. An hour or so went by and we started commenting on how the house could use a cleaning. “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we did the dishes?” I said to my roommate. “Yeah dude,” he agreed. So we set to work washing and drying the dishes. With each dish we became more hysterical, laughing harder and harder.
“They’re gonna come home to clean dishes!” We squealed with glee. Then we noticed that the floors needed cleaning too. “Oh my god, what if we swept the floors and vacuumed?” Cue the explosions of laughter. Then we did exactly that. It went on and on, from room to room, with each task making us laugh until tears were in our eyes. “Holy hell, we’re scrubbing the toilet! AHAHAHA!”
Then, once we were done, we waited. And we waited. And waited some more. Those guys took so darn long to get back home that we got bored and went across the street back to our place. A few days later, my buddies come over to our place and they have a crazy story to tell. “You guys won’t believe what happened the other day…
…We came home from the bar and our house was immaculate. We don’t even remember cleaning it. We got super hammered and we blacked out and we must have cleaned our house without remembering.” My roommate and I looked at each other and back at them and didn’t say a word. I can tell you, it took everything in us not to burst into laughter in that moment.
My friends both decided to quit drinking not long after this incident, and I have good reason to believe that this had something to do with it. The secret came out some time afterward though, and we all had a good laugh about it. Scrubbing someone else’s toilet at 11 o’clock at night has never been more fun than that.
22. Blinded by the Light
Small one, but made me feel pretty smart. For a little context, I used to stare at lights until I could see the filament when I was a kid. Kind of weird I know, but looking at our hall light from my bedroom was how I fell asleep when I was little. Anyway, after I did this, I would always have that little blind color spot that takes a while to fade away after you look at a bright light too long.
One day, a friend and I were waiting our turns to read through our lines at a theatre. We had already been assigned roles and would read through the whole play out loud a couple times, with each person reading their particular role, before we started practicing for real. I was bored and not really paying attention, so I started staring at one of the stage lights.
This left me with a decent sized temporary blind spot, and when I looked down at my script, I realized I couldn’t read. The spot was naturally right at the focal point of my vision, and would block any word I was looking at directly. After about 20 seconds, it wore off and I could read again. I then immediately got an idea.
I waited until we were only about one of two scenes away from my friends’ lines and then I told him, “Hey, I bet you can’t stare at that light until you see the filament.” He accepted, seeing as he had nothing else to do, and thus began staring. Eventually, the reading grew silent. “Jack, it’s your turn to read,” said one of the adults.
“Oh right,” he responded, and then looked down at his paper. “Uhhhhh…Umm…Jeez…” He was staring at the paper but due to the blind spot, his ability to read had been stripped from him. “You good Jack?” Asked the director. “I…um…can’t read.” Naturally, the spot faded after a few more seconds, but man, I’ve never managed to make somebody look so dumb before.
Watching him try to explain why a middle schooler couldn’t read, even if but just for a moment, still makes me chuckle to this day. Hope you enjoyed this.
23. Going Above and Beyond
I made my younger friend think that a kids’ TV show was a blood-pumping thriller. I was in my mid-teens and they were around 11 or 12. We were driving back from sports, about six or seven of us kids, when friend two overhears my conversation with friend one discussing the violence level in Gladiator. “What movie are you talking about?”
Friend one, “It’s not one you’d be allowed to watch.” Friend two, “Yeah, we watch stuff like that all the time, it’s fine, what movie was it?” Friend one, “Postman Pat.” Friend two and his siblings were from the United States and had never heard of Postman Pat. Which, if you haven’t heard of, is like Fireman Sam, only even gentler.
We start talking about how violent Postman Pat is, but how it was super cool, and the scenes in it were amazing, but their parents probably wouldn’t let them watch it. Friend one assures us their parents will be fine with it, so we tell them fine and get them to get it next time they go to the video store. Then at home, I got a better idea.
I called friend one and ask them if they had a copy of Postman Pat. They have young siblings, and yes, they did. They drop it over. I call friend two and let them know I actually have a copy if they want to borrow it. I spend the afternoon making your typical early 2000s thriller VHS cover. It had fake actor names, ratings, etc. “Three thumbs up – Newark Times“. Basic plot on the back about how bad guys are using children’s TV to brainwash kids.
Friend two comes and picks it up. “Just, bear with it. It starts out super weird, but you’ll get what’s happening.” Friend two goes home and watches it with brothers and dad. Dad watches five minutes and thinks something’s wrong, looks at the cover, sees printer paper marks on the inside of the cover and figures out the jig.
They think it’s absolutely hilarious, take it to their cousins next door who were also in the car and heard the conversation. “Watch this, it’s super scary but awesome. Bear with it, it starts out weird.” The cousins figured out something was wrong when the credits after the first 15-minute Postman Pat episode started rolling.
24. Early Bird Gets the Ball
The best one I know of was a kid who lived near his school’s cross-county rival. He would sneak over to their football field every night and blow a whistle and spread out a few pounds of birdseed. Pavlov took over, and hundreds of birds started showing up at the sound of the whistle for some seed. You can imagine the first football game of the season when the refs blew their whistles.
25. Read the Signs
My girlfriend decided to prank her mom on April Fools’ with a very elaborate pregnancy prank. She spent the week leading up to the prank eating much more than usual and being very vocal about how she’d been very hungry as of late as a precursor to make it more believable. On the day, she started by giving her mom a “Congrats Grandma” card and her mom laughed it off.
She then started leaving small hints here and there, like open tabs of baby names on the family computer. It culminated when her mom got ready to make dinner and opened the oven to find a bread roll in it. Her mom just blew up and started getting mad at her for getting pregnant—she was 18 when she did this—and told her that she would have to BREAK UP WITH ME because she didn’t want to bring any kind of bad reputation to my family.
I thought it was hilarious.
26. Traveling Ghost
My mom was very superstitious. When she and my dad first bought a house she thought it was haunted. She would find pictures tilted slightly to the side, lamps would move mysteriously from one end of a table to the other, and various small objects would randomly find themselves in places they had no business being. The haunting continued for years in this house.
For unrelated reasons, they eventually decided to move multiple states away. My mom was absolutely shocked to learn that the ghost had moved with her! The same sort of thing was happening in the new house, but with MUCH less frequency. It took her almost a year in the new house to realize that these things only happened after my uncle came over to visit.
27. Say My Name
When I was in high school, I was on the wrestling team. There was a guy on the team named Dom. I went up to a couple of other teammates during a wrestling meet and told them that, “Dom said the coach was looking for you.” So, throughout the meet, my teammates were going up to the coach and saying “Dom said you were looking for me” and I would watch his reactions of confusion and annoyance.
If I remember correctly, he confronted Dom and Dom had no clue what he was talking about. I ended up not participating in wrestling my junior and senior year. I went to a wrestling match my senior year and told a wrestler I knew that Dom—who was still on the team—said that the coach was looking for him, so the guy goes up to the coach and says, “Dom said you were looking for me,” and in the corner of my eye I see my coach burst out into laughter.
His reaction made me happy because he remembered the joke I played two years ago. I went up to him afterward and said that I started the prank/joke and he thought it was hilarious.
28. Cereal Prankster
Here’s my proudest. For context, my family of six is a cereal family. We all have our favorite cereal and all of us would have a bowl for breakfast, afternoon snack, and bedtime snack pretty religiously every day from kindergarten to grade 12. I think I was in the fifth grade when I hoarded empty cereal boxes—of the favorite cereals—and stashed them under my bed.
If anyone saw and asked about me snatching them out of the recycle bin, I’d say it was for Box Tops or some other school project. No one batted an eye. I did it for a year and collected well over a hundred of these boxes. Middle of the night before April Fools, I took all the boxes and set them up in the kitchen for everyone to see when they woke up.
You couldn’t walk through the kitchen without knocking into a box. When my little brothers saw all of their favorite cereals, their eyes lit up in the most overjoyed, I-can’t-contain-my-excitement look you have ever seen. What was better was seeing their immediate disappointment after knocking a box over. I planned a year for that moment and all I got was a split second of my little bros’ high and low points.
Then, everyone was just like what the heck Nick, clean this up. I think I played myself, and I dedicated a whole year to it.
29. Great at Fist Impressions
This one was great because I didn’t even expect anything to come of it. When I was in college, I dressed up as a 1980s business guy for Halloween. I had a White Castle crave case I painted black and I made a big cell phone out of cardboard. ONE of the other accessories I had for my costume were these business cards I printed out at the library.
All they said was “-eDgAR-” on the front and my plan was to hand them out to people and say, “Let’s do business later.” However, I decided to have two different card sets. On some of them, I wrote my friend’s phone number, who was going to another college out of state. The plan was to hand the ones with the phone number to people I didn’t know and the other to people I did.
The night goes on and I’m having a blast playing into this character and handing out my cards to everyone. The next day, I wake up and find a text from my friend saying, “What the hell did you do? I have like a dozen messages from drunk people looking for you.” I explained what I did and he thought it was funny. We were both honestly surprised that people actually called.
I totally expected them to be tossed.
30. Pray for Us
My teen son slipped a Ouija board into the pillowcase of my super religious Aunt. She found it at about 3 AM after a long shift at work, as she was getting ready for bed. She flipped her God-fearing life and called me screaming bloody murder. She and her kids were so much fun to prank as they always fell for it and they always blamed the devil.
31. Word Play
I had a job right out of high school working at a manufacturing plant. I was working on a wall repair with two building maintenance guys when one started to look around for something, then told me to go ask his boss for a long weight, about this big—makes a hand gesture—and that the boss knows what it is. My dumb ass goes and asks the boss.
The boss goes into the shop and closes the door. About 10 minutes later, he pokes his head out and says he found one but it was broke and he’s looking for another one. About 10 more minutes later, he comes out and says, “Was that a long enough wait for you?” Got me good, and I deserved to feel like an idiot after that one.
32. Open Concept Bedroom
Re-telling this doesn’t do it justice, but at the firehouse, one of our buddies on the unit traded to the next day. That next day, he walked into his dorm during a break to see that it was 100% completely empty, with a note stabbed into the wall with a knife. The note was the first of many clues planted throughout and outside the station.
I wish I could remember them because I wrote them myself. I’m a bit of a creative writer and they were all rhyming, old-English style riddles that were a huge hit every time. In the end, it led him to him finding all of his stuff in his dorm set up on the roof exactly as it was before this all started—bed, nightstand, functioning lamps, TV, etc.
He slept there in good spirit. Dorky, maybe, but it took a lot of effort and had a huge payoff for all of us.
33. Prank for a Prank
One of my husband’s good friends pranked him in his last semester of university, so for the friend’s thirtieth, we hired a stripper to dance for him and rub her butt with lotion. While he was blindfolded we switched her out with another guy at the party. Once the birthday boy had a good double handful of lotion-y, skinny dude butt, we took the blindfold off of him.
Pranking my husband comes with consequences.
34. What a Tool
I used to work an auto parts store in a smallish town. The local car dealership was notorious for sending new guys out to find impossible items—blinker fluid, aluminum magnets, water pump for an old Porsche 911, elbow grease, etc.—and depending on how the guy treated us, we’d either play along and send him off to another store on the wild goose chase or let him in on the joke.
For the latter, we’d give him jokes to play back—request a Bravo Alpha 11N pressure containment device or tell the boss that HR needs an Id 10-T form. We had one poor kid who had been passed around to every hardware store and parts house in the county looking for a pair of metric slip-joint pliers.
35. It Will Make Sense in a Minute
Not so much a prank but a funny joke. In high school, we had a very easily flustered substitute teacher but a very nice guy. I had one person in the class say “chop” every two to five minutes during the 45 minute period. After everyone had said chop and there was about three minutes left in the period, I yelled, “TIMBERR” and everyone fell out of their seats.
The teacher finally understood why everyone kept saying chop randomly and everyone got a good laugh. From that point on, considering how much he enjoyed the joke, everyone went easy on him.
36. Call the Exterminator
A student pranked my mom, who was a teacher. During class, my mom had to go to the workroom for something and had left her laptop open by accident. So, one of the students walked over and put a fake cockroach on the keyboard and closed it. When my mom got back, she opened the computer and, needless to say, got a fright. Everyone started laughing, including her! Quite funny.
One year, before I got into high school, a kid put Viagra in the slushy machine, which is why we no longer have one at school.
37. Worth It
When I was little, one of my brothers had a Ghostface, the killer from Scream, costume from one Halloween. One night, my older sister got home late. My parents were at the top of the staircase waiting for her. I was behind the closet wearing the costume. She was walking up the stairs when I jumped out and scared her. She screamed and punched me in the face.
I was lucky I didn’t get a nosebleed, but our parents loved it.
38. Tight Grip
When I was about five and my older brother was seven, we were waiting for our dad to get home from working late. We saw his car pull up and pretended we were asleep on the couch. He came in and picked me up first to take me to the bedroom. I was the perfect actress. My body was limp, eyelids relaxed and closed, and mouth ajar.
He put me on the bed—for all of you who love details, it was a water bed—and went out to get my brother. I got out of bed and peered around the bedroom door to watch his reaction. After taking about five steps, my sleeping brother came to life and screamed “HIYUH DADDY!” My dad about jumped out of his shoes and swallowed his cigarette, but didn’t drop my brother.
To this day—28 years later—he says that was the best prank he’s ever been a part of, and the most he’s ever been startled in his life. I swell with pride at that.
39. Where Did Everyone Go?
Back in tenth grade, our school had to take on far more students than it could handle thanks to some stupid reforms. This resulted in every possible room being repurposed as a classroom. We had desks placed in the former school kitchen after they got rid of the stoves, a part of the gym walled off and a fair share of storage and utility rooms just packed full with benches and moveable chalkboards.
We were one lucky class residing in a former storage room; basically a slightly bigger broom closet with zero natural light and a hardly-working ventilation system. That room had nothing except for one thing—built-in closets on every wall. Now, about halfway through the school year, we discovered that the backs of these closets were just half-inch thick wooden plates and that those plates were the only thing separating our “classroom” from the hallway outside.
Furthermore, we discovered that in one of the closets, said plate was loose on one side. So, you could push it open from the inside and step out into the hallway. This worked just from the inside, because once you stepped through, the panel slipped back in its original position, leaving no clue that it was a hidden exit.
So naturally, one glorious day, the whole class decided to play the best prank ever. During the last two hours of the day, we would step into the closet one by one, to seemingly disappear into thin air. We would start slowly, with those sitting nearest to the secret exit. They would wait until the teacher turned their back to the class, writing something on the chalkboard.
He didn’t even notice the first one vanishing. He scratched his head at the second one. Now we got bolder. The students more far away also snuck out once the teacher’s back was turned. At the fourth one missing, he asked us what was going on. We, of course, acted like we knew nothing, and said the missing students called in sick the whole day and had never been in the classroom.
We actually convinced him. So, we took the next step and again, one by one, students would leave in plain sight. Every three or so minutes, one of us would just stand up, get in the closet, close the door and vanish. After the sixth one went missing, he finally went to the closet, ripped open the door and of course found an empty, innocent closet.
We acted as if we wondered about his behavior, asking him if he was looking for something. He told us that he had seen those students enter the closet. We told him that he must be mistaken because they were sick the whole day—flu season. This went on for an entire hour, with him ripping open the closet door multiple times before finally deciding to go to the director to have us all suspended.
By this time, there were only five or six students left in the room. Of course, as soon as the teacher left the classroom, we contacted the now missing rest of the class, who were waiting nearby to come back immediately. When the teacher and the director came back, they found a full classroom. It was the most hilarious and, at the same time, impressive prank I ever took part in.
Our poker faces would have put the most seasoned card sharps to shame that day.
40. Flipped the Script
One year for April Fools, the local newspaper posted an article about a truck full of wine bottles that had crashed. The article stated that wine was spilling everywhere and they didn’t want it to go to waste, so anyone could bring buckets to fill. One guy at my dad’s work saw the article and ran out. All the people at work laughed at him.
Halfway to the place where the truck supposedly was, the guy realized his mistake. He then went and bought a couple of cheap wine bottles and emptied them into the bucket he had brought with him. He walked back into work and tricked a couple of other people to run out for this wine truck. Now that’s what I call pulling victory from the jaws of defeat!
41. The One Puzzle He Couldn’t Solve
A coworker—Tom—had a 10 AM scheduled poop every day, and every day he would take the New York Times from the break room with him. Yeah, this was like a 30-minute break. One day, he was asked to stop doing that because other people wanted to read the paper and it was kind of gross. So, he started signing onto the NYT website and printing out the crossword puzzle.
Dude was so dedicated that he had a clipboard and a pen tied to a string on the board just for his daily BM. Tom would print the puzzle from the big printer in our mailroom, which was out of sight from his office. This was his downfall. One day, his puzzle was picked up in a stack of other papers by the mailroom guy, Greg, by mistake.
Greg’s desk happens to be in the same room as the big printer. Greg didn’t notice his mistake at first, until Tom stormed back into the mailroom to get the puzzle that he’d printed off for a second time when the first had gone missing. Somehow, Greg knew all about Tom’s daily BM ritual and the importance of the puzzle.
Greg held on to that original puzzle, waited a week, and then swapped the puzzle with a new one on the printer before Tom could come in. Tom came back from the restroom much sooner than usual and extremely agitated that the printer had somehow saved and printed an old puzzle. Greg did this occasionally for the entire year leading up to Tom’s retirement.
He would steal or swap out puzzles so that Tom would occasionally return from the bathroom much sooner than usual, outraged that he’d had the same puzzle from last Tuesday or whatever. Greg didn’t tell anyone until the last few months. By the end of Tom’s time with us, it was the highlight of my morning to watch a flustered Tom blow through the office complaining about how horrible the printer was.
Greg told the story at Tom’s retirement party. The outrage was very real—so much for taking things in good humor. I’ve never seen someone so angry.
42. Falling Asleep on the Job
When I was in high school, my sister used to set her alarm for 6 AM to get up and get ready. One morning, I had a brilliant idea and set my alarm for 5:45 AM. I snuck into her room, jumped into her closet, and waited for her alarm to go off. She wound up snoozing her alarm and I wound up falling asleep in her closet waiting.
When she woke up an hour later to get dressed, she found her brother asleep in her closet. Definitely scared her, but didn’t work as well as I had hoped.
43. Can You Spot the Cage?
My senior year of high school, I knew it would be my last April Fools’ at my parent’s house. So, the day before, while they were gone for a couple hours, I printed out 200 pictures of Nicolas Cage. I hid them in ridiculous places—the storage closet, crawlspaces, books, in the pantry, etc. Five years later and they’re still finding them.
44. Keep the Blinds Closed
My fiancé and I go to a thrift store in his neighborhood pretty often. He always looks at the paintings. One day, as we were leaving, he told me, “I just know one day I’m gonna find an amazing painting there.” About a year later, I sent a photo of an area of my finance’s room—he calls it his “shrine area” with all his favorite tchotchkes—to a professional artist and commissioned him to paint a two-foot still life painting of it.
Last month, I had a friend of my roommate who happens to manage the thrift store hang it with their paintings. I asked my fiancé to lunch by the store. We passed it on the way to the restaurant and casually went in. I died the whole time. On the way out, he stopped to check out the paintings and let out the most dramatic gasp I’ve ever heard in my LIFE.
It was like a BAD PLAY. I got to watch his brain short circuit in front of my eyes. “This is, my room?! This is mine!” It was incredible. My roommate was hiding in a rack of clothes filming it and I’ve watched the video well over 100 times.