Practical jokes. Elaborate gags. Ingenious pranks. No matter what you call it, there's something utterly satisfying about making an elaborate plan, having it go off without a hitch, and basking in the glory and laughter like a total legend. From twins taking advantage of their resemblance to office pranks that would rival those of Jim and Dwight, these stories are proof that nothing is funnier than an expertly executed gag. These Redditors came together to share the real-life stories of the wildest pranks ever pulled—and they range from hilarious to totally outrageous.
I was a lifeguard through high school. It was a great job, except for my lazy coworker. One day, she ordered Chinese food but it was her shift when her food came. I immediately got hold of her fortune cookie, carefully pulled out the fortune, printed off a replica with the exact size and logo on it and even had the numbers on the back. I carefully put the fortune in the cookie. Then I got a plate for her, put the food on it (like the nice guy that I am) and made it look presentable.
There was a priceless look on her face as she read, “Lifeguarding is not for you".
Back in university, my housemate used to live off of tinned food. He would have a massive variety of canned soups, curries, and veggies in his cupboards at all times. I’m talking dozens of tins, filling up the whole cupboard. One day, I carefully removed the label off of a tin of chicken soup and stuck it onto a tin of value cat food I had bought expressly for that purpose.
That evening I somehow persuaded him to eat chicken soup and he didn’t suspect anything. He picked up a tin of soup, opened it, and it was—chicken soup. "Oh well," I thought, "another time". Two weeks passed, and I’d sort of forgotten about the disguised can. Then, one night when he was in the kitchen making dinner, it finally happened. We heard him say in an alarmed voice, “Hey guys...what do you think of this soup? Looks a bit funny to me! Tastes funny, too".
At that point, I couldn’t breathe due to laughing so hard.
I managed to convince my sister's ninth-grade science teacher that my sister was an amateur arsonist. I had a study hall with Mr. D the semester before she started, and one day as he wandered by, he said, "I have your sister in my class next semester, anything I should know?" I think he was just trying to make conversation.
I don't know where it came from, but I jokingly told him, "Look, whatever you heard, it was completely blown out of proportion, no charges were ever filed, there haven't been any incidents in a couple of months, and besides some smoke damage, there's been no loss of property. Maybe just don't sit her near the wastepaper, just to be safe". He laughed and continued walking.
I forgot about that exchange until the parent-teacher night the next semester, when my mother came home and asked me what I had told my sister's science teacher. Apparently I played the defensive older brother act a little too well, as he spent the first three weeks of that semester with my sister under close scrutiny, and he even asked my mom about the validity of my claims.
I found out this past holiday that my sister had inadvertently helped the joke along that first week that she was in science! They had been lighting Bunsen burners, and Mr. D had asked if anyone knew how to use matches. Given that we grew up with wood heat and camping, my sister's hand naturally shot up.
One summer when my cousin was staying with us, he and I had a small “prank war". After pranking each other got boring, we decided to put our talents together and try to prank everyone else. We put small piles of flour on each blade of the ceiling fan in the living room, just enough to not be seen from the ground. A few weeks went by and nothing happened, we largely forgot about it.
But then, the day finally came. My mom had company over. I was in the kitchen, and I heard all kinds of shouting and screaming coming from the living room. My cousin ran up to me grinning and simply said, “It’s happening". The living room looked like it had just snowed inside. Everything was coated in a fine dusting of flour. My mother was screaming, her guests were staring in confusion, and the dogs were running around in circles. It was so amazing—until we had to clean it all up.
I told my younger brother that he was insane for wasting all the air in the bags of his chips and that I couldn't believe he opened the bag so fast, wasting all the air. From this point on, for about 3 to 4 years, he would open the corner of the bag and suck the air out of the bag before opening it. This was from ages 8 through 12 by the way.
When Dan was young he decided to prank his mom when she got home from work. After some contemplation, Dan chose to climb up a tree in the front yard and jump down near his mom when she arrived home. So she got home, parked the car, and walked up the front sidewalk. As soon as she was near Dan's tree, he jumped down right in front of her.
She screamed and whacked him pretty hard with her purse before realizing who it was! She is still scared of walking under that tree.
For our high school senior prank at my boarding school, we snuck out in the middle of the night and took the athletic director's prized golf cart. We pushed it up a hill to the school. One of our friends was able to get keys from a custodian and let us in a back door. We got the golf cart into the building, and then into a science classroom, and lifted it up onto the big lab tables. We decorated it with nonsense, left it there, and locked everything up.
In the morning, everyone not in on it was completely confused about how the heck we had pulled it off. We didn't even damage anything! Even the chain that we had had to cut to get the golf cart free was replaced, with a note, on our athletic director's doorstep. The custodial staff wasn't even mad at having to take the cart out because it was so ridiculous.
I can only imagine the double-take that the science teacher must have done when he entered his classroom that day!
When I was 13, I told my mom that my alarm had stopped working and asked her to wake me up in the morning. I stayed up until she went to bed and then snuck downstairs to the bathroom to retrieve a jar of Vaseline. I brought it back upstairs, put some Vaseline on my doorknob, and then went to sleep. The next morning, my mom woke me up like she promised—by screaming “WHAT THE...WHO DOES SOMETHING LIKE THAT!?”
In 1998, I was in fourth grade and got my hands on a universal remote watch. At the time, it was very high-tech and almost nobody had even heard of such a thing. I would sneakily turn the classroom TV on every five minutes. The teacher (who I despised) was convinced that ghosts were in the room. She unplugged it after the third or fourth time and refused to use it thereafter. I never told her it was me.
I saw a friend walking ahead of me, so did the old tap-on-the-shoulder-but-run-past-on-the-other-side maneuver. However, while concentrating on him, I didn't see the park bench, ran into it at full speed, and collapsed behind it in pain. Through the gaps in the seat, I could see my friend looking left and right, almost freaking out, wondering who had tapped him on the shoulder.
The tears from the pain in my leg and my amusement made me give myself away in about 20 seconds.
My mom can't tolerate sweet things. Since she can remember, she never ate sweets. When I was 6 years old, Mom left her newly brewed coffee on the table. My older brother encouraged me to put in more sugar as a prank. So, I did. Mom came back, stirred, then drank and spat out a rocket. We started laughing saying it was a prank, explaining that we put extra sugar in it. She looked at us as if we were stupid. Apparently, I had put salt in it instead. Her coffee was at sea salt level.
My coworkers in the Chicago office asked me to bring back a phone book and the hotel stationary from my business trip to Kansas City. They were preparing for another coworker's bachelor party. The groom was known for drinking to an extent that was considered legendary. After a night of drinking, he woke up on the morning of his wedding in a hotel room.
He checked the nightstand and found the Kansas City phone book. The desk was stocked with KC stationary. His friends had clued the front desk staff in on what was happening and convinced them to answer his room phone, "Good morning and welcome to the Kansas City Holiday Inn". It was five hours until the wedding, and he was only a couple miles from the venue, but his freak out was epic!
I have an extra mouse in my desk drawer at work. I have the USB plugged in to the docking station of the obnoxious guy a couple cubes away. On days where he's particularly obnoxious, I take my revenge. I'll take out the extra mouse and move it around every few minutes... he has never realized because it’s plugged into the docking station and not his laptop. He has even had the laptop replaced. Never noticed... It brings me to tears silently laughing sometimes. I have to be careful not to overdo it.
I made a friend believe she was being followed by a garden gnome. For years. Many of her friends are involved plus other helpers. She shows up at a B&B in Scotland (that we'd recommended) and there was a gnome in the garden, and it looked exactly like the gnome that'd briefly turned up in her yard. Then she saw it on her way to work. Then in Provence. And Germany. She always messages us saying that it looks like the same gnome. That's because it is.
Gradually over the course of two weeks, I moved my coworker's computer monitors closer to the front edge of her desk. Like 1/4" per move. Until they were so close the keyboard barely fit. "Stupid small desk," she grumbled, near the end. I then moved them back, just as slowly, over a few weeks. She never caught on.
I used to work for a cruise line. A passenger asked if the crew lives on the ship full time. My coworker and I jokingly explained that no, the crew leaves every night to fly back to Miami and then returns each morning. She walked away satisfied. After that cruise was over, our manager was sharing the passenger evaluations with us and was confused about one in particular. It was a woman who had stayed on deck 14 and had complained that she couldn’t sleep at night because of the noise of the crew helicopter.
Fact 1: 1,200 crew do not leave every night; we do live on the ship. Fact 2: That ship didn’t even have a helipad...Question: What was she hearing every night?
My friend swiped the Principal's keys to the school. We used them to break into the main office and change the national anthem, which was on an old tape. We'd sneak in and dub over the tape a few seconds into the song (so they didn't catch on that anything was wrong until it was too late). Our tamer option was Rage Against the Machine, but our best prank? Using sounds from an adult video. Still makes me laugh.
Over a decade ago, I worked in the warehouse of a Guitar Center. We dealt with inventory, shipping and receiving. We had a dumpster behind the store in a shared parking lot that people would leave random things in – even though it was not a public dumpster.
One day we found a broken beach chair in an open cardboard box. The box had a shipping label on it. It was left in such a way that it was easy to assume that the chair/box combo was left by the same person. We packed the beach chair in another box and shipped it back to the customer. I wish I was there to see the person's face when they received their trash back via UPS.
One night, I replaced every framed object in my boss’s office with a picture of me making a stern face. Posters, certificates, photos, etc. Took like 3 hours because he had like 30 framed things in his office. The next day, I made sure I was out doing field work to make him sit with it most of the day. He had a lot of foot traffic to look at his office that day.
I worked in the local library as a teen in the late 1970s, and some guy did something that angered my coworker/best friend. So, we started harvesting blow-in postcards from the magazine section. Every magazine. And hand wrote the jerk's name and address on hundreds (at least) of postcards.
Free subscription? Sure! Collectible plates? Yep! Columbia records? Enjoy your free dozen Albanian opera records. Book of the month? Silver spoons? Travel offers? Cruises? Bring ‘em all on. It took a couple months to kick in, and several more months for the tsunami to really hit. USPS stopped delivering to his house. Law enforcement was called, but the processing houses evidently didn't keep the postcards, and my prints weren't in the system yet anyway.
We stopped after a Christmas break flurry... until right before school started the following summer. One last blast of probably 50 more postcards with the most bizarre and offensive offers we could find. No one ever suspected us.
I was working in a hot factory, and our supervisor and job planner had this enclosed cubicle with a window AC unit in the middle of the shop – it was a nice 68 degrees in there while we sweat our butts off in 95 - 110-degree Fahrenheit heat.
There were always flies around; I kept grabbing the flies alive, walking into the cubicle to ask a legit question or say “I’m just cooling off” and opening my hand behind my back. I put 14 of those guys in there in one shift. He never did catch on that I was doing it and the planner was furiously swatting around because there were so many flies in there. The supervisor was cleaning out every crevice thinking some food source was supporting life somewhere.
It's been years since it happened, but I'm still proud of this one. I used to work at a science tutoring center in college. One of the things we taught was anatomy. So naturally, we acquired a few skeletons and various skulls. Well I was closing one night, and I knew my co-worker was opening the next morning early, so before I locked up, I assorted ALL of the skeletons and skulls in a sort of... welcome party near the front door.
The best part was that to turn on the lights, my co-worker had to reach down and come face to face with some lifeless skeleton skull in the middle of the shady opening. Needless to say, she screamed, and it was loud enough to make our boss come to see if she was ok. I woke up to some colorful texts.
One summer in college, I worked in the registrar's office, registering all the incoming freshman. A professor who was a mentor to me was teaching freshman seminar and asked me to hand pick a class for her. Straight A students, high SATs, whatever. So, I did. 15 students, all named Sarah.
My friend Neil wanted to prank a mutual friend of ours who was traveling abroad at the time. While this mutual friend was in Sweden, Neil texted everyone in his phone book and told them all that this mutual friend (Chris) had West Nile Virus. (It was a well-known, media-scare disease at the time.)
Well, people went INSANE. This mutual friend Chris was waking up to hundreds of missed calls and texts asking him how he was and if he needed anything while he was in the hospital. Anyway, Neil took a quick break from swarming people’s inboxes with West-Nile-News, and I swiftly changed my contact profile in his phone to, “VERIZON WRLSS” (and deleted all of our texts).
After about an hour, I started secretly sending texts to Neil stating, “Your data usage for this month is nearing the maximum on the account". This was back in the days before unlimited talk and text, so going over the monthly data plan meant a butt-whooping from your parents.
“Woah, I sent so many texts that Verizon said I’m using almost all may data for the month!” Neil said, and he put his phone away... “OK, I’m done for the night..". I waited about five more minutes before sending about ten messages in a row. “YOUR DATA USAGE FOR THE MONTH IS NOW AT MAXIMUM USAGE, ANY ADDITIONAL CALLS OR TEXTS WILL INCUR A NEW COST OF $10.00USD PER MESSAGE/CALL".
Before he could read on to the second message I sent, he was already in full meltdown-mode. I just kept sending, “YOUR MONTHLY BILL HAS NOW INCREASED TO $249.99 for February". And with every text, his eyes watered and his blood ran cold at the thought of his dad seeing this bill... all for a harmless prank... By the end of the night I had sent a running bill up to $790.00 before finally telling him it was all a joke.
His mixed look of relief, hatred, appreciation, and impressed was something I’ll never forget, and he even brought it up at his wedding ten years later.
I was in Kuwait on the way to Iraq, when our bird got delayed for three weeks. Well, Kuwait has these things called dub-dubs. A dub-dub is a lizard about the size of a small cat. They’re utterly harmless, but when they get angry, they hiss loud as heck and do this whole threat display thing. Looks really scary.
Well... being the enterprising marine that I was, I quickly set about catching them and placing them in any of the Airforce guys’ stuff I could find unattended. Backpacks, lockers, desks, toolboxes, glove compartments, sleeping bags. You name it. I must’ve planted at least 3 or 4 dozen dub-dubs in my boredom.
Some guy would go into his office, you'd hear a drawer open HIIIISSSSSSS, "OH GOD I HATE THESE THINGS SO FREAKING MUCH!" I was suspected as the dub-dub prankster, but it was immediately dismissed by the Airforce guys because, "He's a Marine, he's too stupid". Yes, yes, I am... suspect nothing and enjoy the new pet I left waiting for you in your pillowcase.
My best New Year’s was that of 1999. When I was 9, my dad and I pulled off the greatest prank in history. A few minutes before midnight, I synced up a wristwatch with the countdown on TV. My dad pointed me in the direction of the breaker which was in our garage and showed me the lever to pull which would cut all power to the house.
Now I don't know if you remember the hype, but the year 2000 was supposed to destroy all of our computers and technology sending us back to the stone ages. So, the moment grew closer as I watched the seconds tick by on my wristwatch, and it soon became apparent that I wouldn't need it, as I could hear all my relatives inside counting down 10, 9, 8... 2, 1!
I pulled the lever at the perfect timing and everything went black. The first thing I heard was from my aunt, "OH MY GOD, IT HIT! Y2K HIT!!" I was only going to leave the power out for 10 seconds or so but the lever was stuck and I couldn't get it back up for about 2 minutes, while the whole time I heard my family freaking out... then eventually they looked outside and started to wonder why our neighbors still had power...
When my brother and I were in middle school, my brother liked to skateboard with our next-door neighbor. One day, my brother and the neighbor took the sheet of plywood from under my brother’s upper bunk bed (no one slept in the upper bunk) out of the house and started making a skateboard ramp out of it in the neighbor’s adjacent yard. My parents had explicitly told him that he wasn’t allowed to do that.
I started to craft an utterly evil plan. I hoped my brother would consider it belated payback for all the merciless teasing my brother had put me through. I ran to the upstairs window and yelled down at them, “[brother’s name], guess what?!! Mom knows EVERYTHING and she is SOOO mad". Then I slammed the window shut and ran to the stairs and waited while watching my mom read the newspaper.
A few moments later, my brother walks in the front door looking worried and says, “Mom, I’m so sorry". My mom (who had no idea what was going on) said, “About what?” While slowly putting the newspaper down. “For making a skateboard ramp out of the wood from the bunk bed".
“YOU DID WHAT?!!” At that moment, a wave of shock and realization swept across my brother’s face and our eyes met. I let out the evilest little sister cackle and ran into my room. We are adults now and still laugh about it from time to time.
Growing up, I had a friend that wasn't exactly that bright. One year when we had to be about 12 years old, he decided for April's Fool he was going to play a prank on his family. His prank was going to be something quite simple: It involved the salt and pepper shakers on the family dining table.
He decided that he was going to move the salt from the salt shaker, and relocate it into the pepper shaker; and the pepper would be moved into the salt shaker. Basically, just a simple salt and pepper switch-a-roo. But he didn't realize one crucial thing: Both of those shakers? They were clear see-through glass.
A friend kept trying to take my sushi off my plate at a sushi restaurant. So, while she wasn't looking, I stuffed it full of wasabi, put a bit of fish back on top to cover my tracks, and pretended to not be looking when she started reaching towards it. She tossed it into her mouth, started chewing down, and I just swung my head towards her to say, "You messed up".
Five minutes of coughing, muffled screaming, and copious amounts of water later, she had learned her lesson.
I don't know what it was about my dad's digestive system, but anything he ate came out smelling bad. REALLY bad. As in, after he was in the bathroom no one else could go in there for at least a half-hour–longer if he forgot to open the window. Heaven forbid you be the one Mom sent in there to open the window when he forgot.
One night, Dad came home from work (night shift), got in bed, stuck his butt out of the covers and passed a really rancid one then pulled the covers up over his head so HE didn't have to smell it. But he didn't realize what he was in for: Mom had eaten something for supper that was just as noxious on its way out. She waited until he got his head under the covers and got a good seal on it... then let one rip.
She said he came out from under those covers like a SHOT, gagging the whole time.
In high school, there was a girl that was acting foolish and laying on top of a table that me and some friends were sitting at. Mind you, this was one of those plastic, folding tables... and we were in the Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps class in the rifle range having some end of the year free time.
I then took it upon myself to fulfill a lifelong dream and tie her shoelaces together. The results were better than I could've ever imagined... My JROTC instructor entered the room and told this girl to get off the table and that's when it all came together. She hoisted herself off the table with full confidence that her legs would work as they always do. Her uneven weighting of the table caused her and the table to flip over while me and the guys were just sitting there.
At first, I was the only one who knew of the shoelaces and was dying of laughter. My friends noticed and started laughing and the instructor laughed some and then told her to do push-ups for causing a commotion.
My sister doesn't keep anything in her kitchen that she doesn't use. Extras go straight in the trash or to charity. So I started buying duplicates of things she'd gotten rid of and hiding them in the backs of cabinets. Over a year and a half, I slowly drove her insane. She had plates with concentric circles, blue on white. I found one with a slightly lighter shade of blue and she wondered if the dishwasher had faded it somehow. Then there was one with the same blue but different rings. And then one with the right blue rings but a different background shade.
She was getting very concerned. I finally confessed when she went to switch out her dishes for the seasonal, holiday ones and had more cups than she'd packed... now with saucers she hadn't had the year before.
I pulled a computer prank on a college friend. I replaced a single system sound file (the click for the mouse) with a 5-minute version. It started off normal, then there were 4 minutes and 50 seconds of silence, and at the end, my masterpiece: it would play my voice screaming. Now if another system sound would play, it stopped playing the previous sound.
So, he would use his computer, and then when he would walk away, it might scream 5 minutes later. He did come to me, but it was for help since I was pretty good with computers. While he was explaining what was going on it was difficult to keep a straight face.
He tried to show me, but I would make sure to never let the time hit 5 minutes... except for right before I was going to leave. Then I pretended to be all interested. I made up a story about how it could be a nasty virus, but then said it only came from really bad and illicit adult video sites. He was mortified, but said he only looked at normal adult videos. That is when I lost it and had to come clean.
Looking back, it was a dangerous bluff. But those were more innocent times.
The AM supervisor at my office is a short little man who likes to work from a laptop on a rolling adjustable desk. For over a year I gradually raised the height of this desk and watched as he went from sitting on a stool, to an adjustable tall task chair, to standing. Last week he removed the wheels from the desk to lower the height. He doesn't realize it's adjustable.
In high school I knew a guy who had one of those locks for his locker that just goes in 4 directions, not numbers. One day I was zoned out, and happened to see him put his combination in. I wrote it down immediately. It was too good of an opportunity to miss.
I noticed the locker next to his was empty. The next day after class, I waited until he went home. I took everything in his locker and moved it exactly one locker over. Everything was in the exact same place, same shelves, and then I locked it back up.
Next morning, he came in to class so confused, and said quietly, "I think... someone moved my locker". Needless to say, all his friends said he was crazy since nothing was stolen, and everything was in exactly the same place that he left it. The fact that he had written down his locker number in his planner was attributed as a mistake in writing, and was ignored.
So, the next day, I moved his locker five more over...
That was a fun meltdown to watch.
My best friend and I were roommates for a few years and sometimes when I was tipsy, I liked to draw caricatures of us. They were usually on pizza boxes and I would leave them outside of his room so it would be one of the first things he saw the next day. Eventually, he and his girlfriend decided to get their own apartment together closer to their jobs, so our time as roommates had come to an end.
I decided to leave him one last parting gift. He left his wallet out on the coffee table, so I took his ID and taped on little drawings of him where the pictures typically go. A few months later I hear from him about it. Him and his girlfriend were visiting some friends out of state and they were going to this bar.
Apparently, he handed his ID over to the bouncer like that and the dude laughed at him because of how ridiculous it was. I was honestly surprised it worked, I totally expected him to notice long before that, but I guess he didn’t.
My brother lives on the west coast, I live on the east coast. One night we discovered that there was about a five-minute delay for a "live" show. I saw it on broadcast TV about four minutes before he saw it on Dish satellite. During the Oscars, I called him and screamed at him to turn the Oscars show on. He asked why and I screamed at him again to just turn the show on. He said he was already watching it and I told him to keep watching it because SOMEBODY BLEW UP THE OSCARS!
I then started narrating what was on the screen and pretending like I was talking to a family member who was in the room with me. "I've never seen so much blood!" "Whose arm do you think that Harrison Ford is holding?" "Oh! That's Brad Pitt, without his arm. It's got to be his". "So. Much. Blood!"
My brother asked me what happened when it all started and I described the light and sound of an explosion going off. I could hear my brother excitedly telling his wife what they would be seeing. He asked me when it happened and I told him the last thing that was on the screen was particular part of a song and dance number.
On his TV that moment came and went and he sounded surprised and said that nothing happened".
Yeah, I made it all up. Love you, bro".
My parents worked nights when I was in middle school, and I stayed at my friend's house while my parents were at work. This friend loved to torment me. One day, his 13-year-old brain thought it'd be funny to pee off the deck onto the feral cats in the yard below. I told him I was going to tell his mother, went inside, and told her, "When Trevor walks in, just act disgusted".
He walked in, she told him how disappointed she was in him (having no idea what he did), to which he replied, "I swear to God mom, he's lying; I didn't pee on those cats". Watching his face as he realized I told her nothing and he just told on himself was one of the highlights of my youth.
During my freshman year of high school, the big craze was this fifty pack of Crayola markers. A friend of mine had a pack that she was obsessed with. She had them organized in the pack in a perfect color gradient order. So, of course, any time she left the room I’d mix her markers up so she had to fix them when she came back.
This went on for a month maybe? And one day in the study hall she leaves, and she before she leaves, she turns to me and she says, “Don’t rearrange my freaking markers” So, I didn’t. I got an even more nefarious idea. I rearranged the caps.
You see, these markers were solid white apart from the caps and a little tiny nib at the other end. She got about halfway through “fixing” them when she noticed she was holding a marker with an orange cap and a turquoise nib. I can’t tell you the joy I experienced when she looked at me and said, “You didn’t even move the markers, did you?”
I laughed so hard I was asked to leave the study hall. She didn’t talk to me for two weeks. 100% worth it.
I convinced a coworker that the guy she had sat next to for three years was named Jay, not Dave. They worked in different departments but sat three feet away from each other for years. I got the guy in on it. And his manager. Then later his supervisor, group manager, division manager, and the entire department.
They bought him new nameplates for his desk, changed stuff in the system, so his name would print as Jay, etc. The only thing they didn't change was his phone number and email. She thought she was going crazy, and when I finally told her, she sucker-punched me in the stomach and dropped me to my knees (she was a personal trainer in her off-hours, so she got me good).
Totally worth it, and I still laugh about it a decade later.
At my sister’s swim meet, I found an ice machine tucked away in a garage looking thing. So, I started collecting the ice and somehow managed to put ice in nearly everyone’s shoe at the meet. It was a wild beautiful moment of pure confusion and chaos. Everyone started freaking out and no one knew it was the little shy girl who secretly enjoyed turmoil...
I saw a post about switching around mayo and vanilla pudding, so I emptied out a mayo jar, cleaned it well, filled it with a few pots worth of vanilla pudding and took it to my university. My university is very lax about eating during the lectures, so I waited until midday when I was sitting in the middle of all my friends and they were all eating their lunch.
Cue me taking out the jar of "mayo" and a spoon, popping the lid and taking a big ol' spoonful with a grin. At first, only the closest ones noticed, but after the third spoon it was like everyone was frozen around me. Pin-drop silence. After the fifth spoon, someone faux-retched and the spell was broken. The looks of sheer terror and disgust was well worth the pain of eating vanilla pudding (I'm a chocolate kind of gal).
Well, when I was 16 years old and my twin brothers were 12, one of the twins was eating all of the delicious yogurt clusters out of my “women’s health cereal” like a monster. So, I decided to become a monster. I got my mom in on it and I told her how I needed more of my “women’s health cereal” for my female development and period support, knowing my brother was next door within earshot. My mom explained what female hormones do and we went on our way.
Later I found, I legitimately terrified my brother. I caught him looking in the mirrors checking his chest. For almost a week he’d put things around his chest and I caught him googling estrogen effects. It was especially funny because he was starting puberty and his voice was cracking. It went on for about a week before my mother made me tell him.
Many years ago, I had a boss who spent most of the day on the phone, chatting to friends and avoiding work. The rest of us in the department worked very hard, but he didn't really appreciate us. I ended up having zero respect for him.
On his birthday, he received a memo from the big boss (who worked in another town). It said that from now on, phone calls were limited to one hour per day, incoming and outgoing. Any calls exceeding that time limit would be personally charged to them. I made the memo look very official; I used their letterhead, time-stamped it, etc., but down at the bottom I put a note that basically said, "Ha ha! Just kidding".
He didn't make it to the bottom. He called HQ immediately and started complaining about "today's memo". To his surprise, they hadn't received it yet! I heard him talking, so I went in and said, "Pete, you do know that was a FAKE memo, don't you?" He said "What? You can't do stuff like that!!" He was the laughingstock of the company that day.
During the mid-90s, I once cleared out a co-worker's cubicle while he was on vacation and sealed it off with yellow crime scene tape. When he came back, I called him into our manager’s office and told him a fairly elaborate, extremely believable story about how the FBI had raided the office, and how everything from his cubicle had been taken into evidence, because he was apparently a person of interest.
It freaked him out so badly that we had to come clean with him almost immediately!
I was about 6 years old. I was the baby of the family until my mum gave birth to the baby. Suddenly, I assumed position of “big sister” and I had to constantly be a big girl. I didn’t want to be a big girl – I was tired of the baby getting everyone’s attention. I was jealous of the baby; this was my gig! I was ROBBED.
One day, we had a huge family gathering at Grandma’s, where we’d see all the family we’d not seen in month. All the cuddles and kisses and cooing that was usually given to me, was now all for the baby. Now all I got was a high-five or head ruffle. Well, I was tired of being the big girl in the baby’s shadow – it was time to steal my thunder back. I had a plan.
I went outside into the yard where all my cousins were playing and did a cart wheel. I used that opportunity to fake crash land onto my head and completely “knock myself out”. I lay on the ground, out cold. My cousins all gathered around me and tried shaking me and yelling for me to wake up, before panicking and running inside to get an adult.
A few second seconds later, everyone comes rushing out to help me. Grandma, Grandpa, Mum, Dad, uncles and aunts, all there at my aid, all for me... it was then in that moment I realized: I’m the baby. I had all the attention. The baby became nothing more than just a pudgy flesh ball strapped to my Mum’s chest. I basked in the attention. I lay on the floor pretending to be really hurt and dazed. I remember someone asking if they should phone an ambulance.
My dad refused, he just picked me up and had me in Grandma’s bed the rest of the day whilst everyone bought me lots of ice cream.
At my last office job, we would prank people if they called in sick after a night of drinking. For one guy, we stacked a bunch of Solo cups into his cubicle, so even after he knocked them all over it would still be a hassle to pick them all up. With another guy, we covered his cubicle with cobwebs and rigged it so when he pulled his chair hundreds of paper cutouts of him as a spider would rain down on his head.
Even I wasn't immune and had my desk and everything in it covered in tinfoil. In my defense, I didn't even want to go out drinking that night and told everyone I was sick and woke up with a very high fever.
This is the greatest prank ever, and if you want to do it, it'll only set you back $4. I picked out every last marshmallow from my sister's box of Lucky Charms. Then I took a photo of myself eating a bowl of just marshmallows, printed it, and put in the bottom of the bag. I then sealed the bag back up, hot glued the box and back into the pantry it went.
I was 9 years old. My dad just had hernia surgery the day prior and was recuperating on the couch. Before I left for school, I put the Martha Stewart channel on and left the remote just beyond his reach. He spent eight hours learning how to arrange pillows on a bed. He exacted his revenge fifteen years later.
I’d just had my emergency c-section. My dad put Frozen on and left it on a loop while the entire family left for the mall – and he left the remote just out of my reach. Revenge is indeed a dish best served cold.
I had a friend (and coworker) regularly bring up how annoying it was when another coworker would walk by him just... so uncomfortably close. There was plenty of room between the back of his chair and the wall, but daily he'd feel this guy walk past him. The guy wasn't trying to be a creep, but just had a lack of self-awareness in the office, clearly.
My friend tried doing a few things to get this guy to notice it was annoying, but of course he never actually spoke to him as the dude was more senior and he was intimidated. Luckily for him, that's when I had a brilliant idea.
Every day, he'd pull his desk back towards the wall a little bit closer. He knew it wasn't going to work immediately, but after a few weeks of slowly moving the desk, annoying-coworker would have to shuffle sideways by to make it. My friend would often busy himself and not help, or make a really big deal of getting out of his way.
Eventually, the annoying-coworker started taking another route through the office, where no one was inconvenienced, and my friend slowly moved his desk back to its original spot.
This dude was harassing my ex-girlfriend because he used to have her cell phone number, so I created an email address, signed up to Kijiji and placed an ad offering an 80" 3D TV for free with some excuse about a bad breakup and not wanting her to get it... I asked people to only text or call.
I then went to bed and forgot all about it until the next day at work I get a text from my ex asking if I had "done something on Kijiji". The dude was begging her to take the ad down and apologizing. I checked the email and there were five pages of responses even though I had told them not to email but to call or text... Dude’s phone must have been ringing constantly!
I took the ad down and she never heard from him again.
When my friend James was a little kid, he screamed one night about a monster under his bed. His Mom and Dad came running in. They checked under the bed, in the closet, and behind the door. Of course, there was nothing there. The next night, James decided to prank his parents and screamed again. His parents rushed in and checked again. Again, nothing there.
James repeated screaming night after night until one night, he couldn't help himself. He finally admitted to his parents that he was playing a prank, and that there really wasn’t any monster. Rather than let it go, his parents came up with a devious plan to teach him a lesson he'd never forget. They told him that they would always come running to check because they hadn't believed his poor older brother about the monster in his room.
They left the room pretending to be crying and upset, leaving James terrified and confused in his bed. James was an only child and had never heard about an older brother. He did not sleep well that night.
One day, my class was cooking at school. Different parts of the menu were to be prepared by different people. The girl tasked with the fruit salad was halving grapes when I passed her, so I made a comment about how wasn't peeling them as well. She looked at me, shocked, and asked, "Were we supposed to do that?" I answered, "Of course, didn't you listen? Ask the teacher!"
A long time later, I had already forgotten the matter, not expecting to be taken seriously—until I heard our teacher yell, "Anita, what are you doing?!?" Poor girl was almost done peeling a pound of grapes!
My friends and I rearranged my college roommate’s room and covered absolutely everything in tinfoil while he was away. He is overly dramatic and thus, a great victim. He had just returned from a trip and rolled into his room with his suitcase. We were watching TV when he went to his room and I heard, “Ohhhh my God".
He huffed back out and said the most "Dad" comment ever: “Why would you do this? If this isn’t cleaned up by the time I get back from work..". He went to work. We tinfoiled his suitcase.
My buddy and I were roommates in college. We were both out of town for a holiday, and when we came back, our room had been completely swapped. His bedsheets had been moved to my bed, and mine were on his. Our desks were perfectly swapped with every drawer exactly as it was, mirror image. The closets were also switched perfectly.
We decided to just switch sides rather than put everything back. Still don’t know who did it!
One of my friends once got a small item shipped to him in a giant box. The box was probably 2 feet by 2 feet by 3 feet, and about three-quarters of it was packing peanuts. Instead of just throwing them all out, we decided to play a prank. We put them in our friend's jacket, laptop case, backpack, drawers, and in his pillowcase.
The best part was that they were all hidden; the entire room looked like nobody had touched it, except for the single packing peanut we had left on his keyboard. He walked in and thought nothing of it...until he opened a drawer and found it full of packing peanuts! "Haha, that's a pretty dumb prank," he said. Then he went to grab his jacket—and packing peanuts flowed out of his closet. "Okay, really?"
After a bit of frustration, he rushed off to class—unaware that his backpack and water bottle were full of packing peanuts. Then the realization started to hit. He got rid of most them within a day or two, because he searched thoroughly through his stuff to find them all. It still took him almost two months before he stopped finding more though.
At that point, we decided to restock his stuff with the rest of the peanuts we had left over. He acted angry, but I knew he thought it was funny as heck!
In sixth grade on April Fools Day, my friend and I pulled the best prank ever. We went into the bathroom, opened the janitor’s closet, and grabbed the "caution" and "out of order" signs. We threw water on the floor to make it seem like something had broken, locked all the stalls, and then put the "out of order" sign up.
This bathroom was the only bathroom on the sixth and seventh-grade side of the school, and my school was BIG. It meant that everyone had to walk to the other side of the school and wait in the lines at that bathroom instead. It caused complete chaos and happiness for the kids, because it was a five-minute walk there, a few minutes waiting in line and doing their business, and five minutes back.
Everyone likes 15 minutes out of class! No teacher ever caught us, but we were legends among some of the kids.
When I was in the army, I decided to play a prank on my Lieutenant. When it was my turn to clean the toilets, I prepared some chocolate pudding. I scrubbed the toilet seats exceptionally clean, and then left a thin but clearly visible brown line of the pudding on one of the seats. During inspection, the Lieutenant saw it and yelled for the person responsible for the bathroom that day. I raised my hand and followed him into the stall with the "dirty" seat.
“What's this?” he said. I dipped my finger in the pudding, smelled it, and then slowly licked my finger. I replied, "It's poop, but I don't know who's". The Lieutenant was a hilarious guy, and after a few intense seconds, he cracked up and started laughing, then simply told me to clean it in case his commanding officer dropped by.
A friend of mine (Dan) was talking to his co-worker (John) about one of his "favorite" desserts. This dessert was a combination of chocolate pudding, corn, peanut butter, and mandarin oranges. This was not a real dessert; Dan just threw together ingredients that he thought would be disgusting. John was skeptical, so Dan promised to bring him some the next day.
Dan went home, and he and his wife concocted a mixture of those ingredients and a few more, and packed it up for John to have the next day. When Dan gave it to John he made a face, smelled it, and VERY hesitantly took a bite. He chewed and swallowed while Dan tried to hold in his laughter. Then John exclaimed, "Wow, this is good!" and proceeded to eat the entire container.
Dan did not see that coming.
A long, long time ago, before the age of Windows, I wrote a TSR app that captured the keyboard input before it made it to the system. Basically, it kept track of all letters, numbers, and symbols typed. Then it would pick a random time somewhere between one day to one week. When that time expired, it would randomly pick a key from the list, capture its input, and not let it through.
The effect was that the key, although typed, would not show up in the system or on the screen. My app would then start the protocol again, removing an additional key each time. Over time, fewer and fewer keys became available. I installed it on my coworker’s machine and let it run. The first key to disappear was something like the “#” key.
He noticed it but ignored it. Then, a character like “Q” disappeared, one that he used, but not too often. The third character was one in his name. By then, weeks later, I was really enjoying it. Then something like the “e” disappeared and he lost it. He was ready to nuke his whole system, so I stopped him and let him know what it was.
I had installed a back door, so it was easy to restore the keyboard and remove the app. He took it well...and then wanted to install it on our boss’s computer.
One day, when I was around 10, my Mom had just made brownies; the soft chewy kind. I was one of those kids who constantly played with my food so, naturally, I was squishing up the brownies into bite-sized balls. I noticed that these brownie balls looked strikingly like cat poop. So, I fashioned them into even more convincing cat poops and placed them in my sister’s room to gross her out.
She found them shortly after and started to freak out. I casually walked in and asked, "Whoa, what's going on?" and then proceeded to pick one up, eat it in front of her, and comment on the nutty taste. I have never seen her more horrified in my life, but I felt like a true mastermind that day.
I once told my sister that orange soda tastes better the more you shake it before opening it. It was great until my mom made me clean up the inevitable orange sticky mess that resulted.
We filled overhead cabinets with Styrofoam peanuts at my workplace several times during a spate of pranks. A fellow manager, who tolerated but wasn't actively engaged in our prank war, had his cabinets filled accidentally. He came in, opened up the cabinet door, and they poured out. To make it even better, he was standing there holding a cup of coffee with no lid, so the cup also got filled up with the rain of packing peanuts.
With a deadpan face, he made direct eye contact with me, lifted his cup up, and blew the peanuts out of it before taking a sip. I nearly passed out laughing.
Remember the Juicyfruit gum sticks? The ones with the wrappers? Well, I decided to carefully open the gum and save the wrapper. Then, I carved a piece of soap to look like the gum, re-wrapped it, and give it to my sister. The kicker was that after she first put the gum in her mouth and discovered it was soap, I laughed and then offered her a "real" stick of gum as an apology.
That second stick was also soap. She fell for it.
I set up a fake email address for the "Narwhal Appreciation Society" and sent a co-worker an email from the address saying, "We at the Narwhal Appreciation Society have been informed that you, too, have an affinity for this majestic creature and we wanted to see if you would like to join our society". He responded with, "Thanks for the email—not sure who referred me, but I don't have any interest in joining your society. Good luck!" Don't worry—I was just getting started.
A couple of weeks later, I emailed him again and listed off the membership dues for the society, and upcoming events. He responded with, "Once again, please note that I am not interested. Please take me off your distribution list". A few weeks later, I emailed him a note that his membership dues were in arrears, commenting that the faithful Narwhal would most assuredly pay its bills if it used currency.
I emailed him roughly two to three times per year for three to four years. For the first year, when we still worked together, I'd see him open the email, shake his head and say aloud, "Not these guys again!" However, he never attempted to block the email address. He responded to some (becoming increasingly agitated) and ignored others. In one response, he attached pictures of narwhals that had been slain by Inuit hunters and said, "This is what I think of your stupid Narwhal. I hate them. I wish them all dead!"
I eventually stopped and never mentioned to him that it had been me. Years later, a few ex-coworkers were out for pints and one guy said to me, "Whatever happened with that Narwhal stuff you were doing?" My pranked coworker’s eyes bugged out of his head, then he slammed down his pint and screamed, "THAT WAS YOU?!"
Ever had chocolate-covered Oreos? I made some at college once and brought some home for my sister. She loved them. About a month later, I was home and made another batch, and left some at home for her when I went back to college. After making them, I replaced the majority with a chocolate-covered monstrosity: Ritz crackers with tuna salad sandwiched between them, covered in chocolate.
They looked just like the Oreos. She texted me angrily the next day. The first one she'd eaten was an Oreo, but the one after that was the chocolate-tuna-cracker. She hated me. It was great.
I was sitting in the cafeteria in college, eating and studying, when a buddy of mine came and sat down. We made some small talk, and then he went to get food. He came back with nothing, explaining that he had forgotten his wallet at home. I offered him some money, but he wouldn't take it. I offered to share my food, and he declined, but jokingly touched the edge of the crust of one of the small slices. I told him he might as well eat it now because I couldn't.
I went on to explain that I couldn't eat food that I knew someone else had touched because I had a phobia about it. Fast forward over ten years later. He was not only married, but I also helped name his second daughter. She's about three now. He bought a house built in the 1850s, and we've practically rebuilt every aspect of it from the basement to the roof together.
Recently, I decided that I finally had to come clean about it, after over a decade of insisting no one could touch anything that I was going to eat. He was pretty moved when I explained that it was all because I didn't like the thought of him going hungry due to his pride. Of course, he did spend a couple of weeks touching just about everything I ate there after that.
This was in about fifth grade. I was sitting by the door and saw that a kid sitting by the window was copying all my movements. I made sure he actually was copying me by making some weird movements, and sure enough, he was. That's when I got a terrible, amazing idea. I noticed that behind his head, close to his shoulder, was an open window.
I swung my head as hard and violently as I could to the side; of course he did the same, also with a lot of speed—except he slammed his head into the window super hard, while I hit nothing but air. He whimpered and went home early because he had a headache. I felt pretty bad about it, but now every time I remember, it puts a grin on my face. Sorry, Tom.
I work closing shifts at a particularly well-known coffee chain. At my location, it can get extremely slow in the evenings, so once we finish all the cleaning, it's difficult to find something to do. Our solution to this little predicament was to pull pranks on the opening crew and other coworkers; it has now evolved into a full-store prank war.
Highlights include: rigging the door with a mop head on a string that flies towards you when you open the door; carving a human silhouette out of a cardboard box and leaving it in frightening places like the bathroom or the walk-in fridge; taping pictures of someone's face to the drive-through camera so it's the first thing you see when you turn on the screen; replacing sharpies with crayons; putting leaves in people's pockets and bags during the fall; and gift wrapping people's stuff during December.
It may have gotten out of hand.
Close to the end of my senior year in high school, a buddy of mine took a clock off the wall to see if our teacher would notice. She didn't. This was the final class before lunch, so we decided to see if we could snag most of the clocks in our small school without being noticed. For the classes that were in session, each of my friends knew someone in the class, and one of our group was an office aide.
The aide would go in and get a student in the class to distract the teacher as we made off with the clock. Meanwhile, the rest of us raided the empty rooms. It took us all of 10 minutes to get them all. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to us, someone had stolen a janitor's key and shut down the bell system! The result was our lunch period becoming exceptionally long.
As teachers felt things were off, they looked to the walls—and found they had no clocks! Most of them had cell phones and PCs, but they didn't help. Chaos and confusion ensued. The authorities were called about the keys, and my group got blamed for it. None of us did it, so we held our ground and asked the school to check the security tapes. We were fine being punished for the clocks, but we didn't have anything to do with the bells.
Once the principal knew we didn't mess with the bells, he saw the humor of the situation. Our punishment was to clean the clocks and return them—which kept us out of class! Success.
When I was in middle school, we had a teacher who we didn't like. So one day, when we were supposed to have class with her, we all went to an empty classroom with all of our belongings instead. Someone hid in the hallway to check on her. She went into the classroom, saw it was empty, and then went to the principal on the second floor.
We all ran back to the classroom and scrambled into our places. She walked in with the principal, explaining that the class was empty—and then froze when she saw us all in our seats. They asked where we had been, and we all said we were in the room the entire time and that she had been there a few minutes ago, looked around and left.
After that, she would always ask us if it was a prank, but we all insisted that everyone was in the classroom the whole time. By the end of the year, she was convinced that the room wasn't empty, but that for some reason, she had not seen us.
My sister and I once unwound a wire coat hanger and attached it to a leash and collar so that it looked like we were walking an invisible dog. It actually looked pretty realistic, because the wire bobbed up and down when we walked. We had a crowd of neighborhood kids convinced that it was real, and we even named him Clifford. We were celebrities.
My high school was a closed campus, and to make sure people didn’t leave, they had a woman in a golf cart stationed at the school’s entrance. Taking inspiration from a rival school, whose senior class had had the school property put on real estate listings as an end-of-year-prank, I put an ad in the local paper claiming that the golf cart was for sale.
I included the school’s main office number for the contact information, and they were inundated with calls and offers. They never found out who did it.
My friend and I used to send each other texts of long paragraphs that we copied and pasted from random internet sites, just to be annoying. It ultimately escalated to sending movie scripts over text, and eventually, the messages were so long, they would crash the application and we couldn’t even open messages anymore.
He did it once to my computer in the middle of a lecture, erasing my class notes in the process. So as revenge, I printed out the entire script to all three Lord of the Rings movies, snuck into his dorm room, and covered everything in the pages, including the door, while he was taking a final exam. Later that day, I got a text that just said, “you won".
A friend and I got banned from our local IKEA store in Malmö, Sweden, because of a prank—but it was so worth it. We got up early one Sunday in the middle of summer and ensured that we were some of the first visitors in the store. We were wearing shorts and t-shirts, but we had brought a bag of bathrobes and slippers. We then proceeded to the fake apartments in the showroom area, put on the robes and slippers, and sat down in one of the kitchens.
When other visitors arrived, we acted tired and hungover, but politely invited the other people in to see how we lived. "Oh, are you guys here already? Sorry, I'm not dressed yet, but do please come in. This is how we live". After about 20 minutes, the dreaded people in yellow shirts came and kicked us out. We weren't allowed back ever again and they demanded ID.
I replied that I had left my wallet in my other robe. They weren't amused.
When I was about five or so, my brother, our babysitter at the time and I pranked this little neighbor-girl who was very mean and cruel. We invited her over, and the babysitter told the girl I was in trouble for something and in my mom's room. I laid in her bed fake-crying so the girl could see me and was sold on it. They took the girl to the living room and I snuck into the bathroom, put red food dye on my hands and hid underneath the bathroom cupboard, below the sink.
Then, they brought the girl in and dared her to say “Bloody Mary” three times into the mirror. On the third one, I grabbed the girl’s legs, leaving red handprints on her. She screamed and ran out of the room, crying. I washed my hands and went back to my Mom's room acting entirely oblivious to what had happened.
Jay and I have been friends for over a decade. I once made a joke about filling his car with coffee straws; he said he didn’t believe that I would ever do it. So, on April 1st, I pulled up beside his car and dumped 20,000 coffee straws inside. There were two feet of straws across the driver’s and passenger’s seats.
I walked out to get lunch, and I saw Jay walk up to his car with some of his other friends. He opened the driver’s side door and froze as black coffee straws trickled out in a steady stream. He cursed my name at the top of his lungs and I folded over laughing. A few weeks later, while I was away, he filled my car with prophylactics as payback.
When I was a junior in high school back in 2009, I was at a mall with a friend and I saw one of my senior classmates in the food court. I sent him a text telling him that I liked his white and black South O'Brien Wolverine shirt. He clearly hadn't saved my number from the previous texts I’d sent him, because he replied with, "Who's this?"
I decided to joke around. I wrote, "How can you not remember me after that beautiful night we shared!?" He had no idea what I was talking about and asked for my name. I told him, "Steve, from the gym!" He asked, "What gym?" I told him, "Curves". Then he stopped responding to me. For the next three months, I'd leave sticky notes in his locker, talking about the upcoming Friday football games, or asking him to homecoming.
I'd have friends leave notes in his gym locker, and on his desk in certain classes. Teachers even got involved. When someone finally spilled the beans, it was all people at the school could talk about due to the amount of people involved and the duration of the prank. The individual whom I pranked laughed about it when he found out, and he called me "Steve" until he graduated.
During my senior year, my buddy and I snuck out one night, headed for the high school. The posted speed limit on school grounds was 10 km/h. We wiggled the signpost out of the ground, went to my friend’s barn, removed the 10 km/h sign from the post, and replaced it with a 50 km/h sign he had stolen previously. We went back to the school, put the post back in the ground, and hightailed it out of there. No one ever noticed.
About 10 years later, the 50 km/h sign was pretty faded, so it was replaced—with a brand new 50 km/h sign! 24 years after the stunt, the speed limit is still 50 km/h.
Years ago, I shared an office suite with another teacher at a high school. For April Fool’s, I removed all the contents and dividers from her largest desk drawer, lined it with a cut plastic tarp, poured about 10 liters of water in there, and filled it up with aquarium rocks, live minnows and goldfish, those little fish castles, and fake plastic plants.
When she got to work that morning, I asked her for a folder she kept in that bottom drawer, and she proceeded to open the drawer and stick her hand into a full-fledged aquarium!
About 20 years ago, my mom bought me a wooden snake toy. It’s made of pieces of wood with spaces in between them secured to a ribbon in the middle, so that when you shake it, it rattles pretty convincingly. Well, one day, after having this thing for at least two years, my dad found it and a put it under my mom’s pillow before she went to bed one night.
She found it and freaked out, as it rattled as soon as she touched it. We got our laughs for a day and then forgot about it—we had no idea what we had just begun. Fast forward about three or four months. My dad was working away from home most of the week and came home every other weekend. One day, mom put the snake in his luggage, and he found it when he opened his stuff at the hotel.
He called us, swearing, and we laughed. Again, we forgot about the snake, until suddenly my brother started cussing one day, months later. BOOM! SNAKE UNDER THE BLANKET. Fast-forward another three or four months...BOOM! SNAKE IN MY SOCCER DUFFLE BAG! This has been going on for 20 years. It started in a small town in Pennsylvania, and now this wooden snake has been to California, Colorado, Texas, New York, Florida, Japan, and Syria.
I no longer live within easy traveling distance of my family, but I have current possession of the snake. It hungers, and is waiting for its next chance to strike.
When my father was young, he attended a Catholic school. Suffice it to say, he really didn’t like it. There was one teacher who was known to be extra strict, but she always had a routine, and could therefore be avoided. She would walk from the staff room, up the main stairs, and back to her classroom at the same time every day after lunch.
My father and his friend decided to play a prank on her. They tied a fire hose to a chair at the top of the stairs, and as soon as they saw her, they turned it on and ran. It soaked her and flooded the entire wing of the school. When the class was asked later about what had happened, nobody would say anything, so my dad and his buddy were never punished!
I was a lifeguard at a summer camp, and the cutest counselor there drove a little Geo Metro. So one night, with some help, we swam in the floating dock and pushed the car onto it. I set the emergency brake so that it wouldn’t roll off of the small platform, and then swam it back out into the lake and attached it to the buoys.
Our dining hall sat on a hill with a beautiful view of the lake and swimming area. The typical morning mist covering the lake made it take a minute for the car to be spotted. As soon as it was, laughter and chaos erupted. I dated that girl the next summer.
In 2008, I decommissioned our old server at work, and that server has been sitting on a shelf in the storeroom ever since. Last week, I decided to finally throw it out, but I figured I had better remove the hard drives first. Apparently, my past-self had thought that it would be funny to glue a large plastic redback spider on the inside of the case so that when I opened the lid, I scared the heck out of myself and threw the case lid across the store. It took me 12 years just to prank myself.
My dad and I used to prank my grandmother every time she'd come to visit. She would use the same glass for water the entire week of the visit, every time. So, before she arrived one time, we drilled a tiny hole near the lip of the glass. It was just big enough for water to drip through, but small enough that you would never see it unless you were looking for it.
The best part was that it wouldn't drip every time she took a sip; she would have to have the glass at just the right angle for it to work. After a week of presumably dribbling water on herself, she finally lost it, thinking that she'd just randomly lost the ability to drink from a glass without spilling in on herself. That’s when we told her. High comedy.
I once took a screenshot of my buddy’s computer desktop, with all of his regular icons and shortcuts in place. I then set the screenshot as the background and removed all of the icons, so that if he clicked on one, nothing would happen. He panicked and raged at the computer—until he stumbled into photos and realized that the background was a screenshot. Then he raged at me.
My aunt and her husband Frank live in Florida. Uncle Frank is a real prankster, but this is his best. He had a young nephew, about 10 years old, who had started his own business picking up the dog poop from people's yards. He charged a quarter a poop. His little business was going pretty well, and Uncle Frank told his next-door neighbor, a Chihuahua owner, to call the kid up for service.
Uncle Frank also had a buddy who was a zookeeper. The nephew came to do his duty for Uncle Frank’s neighbor, walked out into the yard of the Chihuahua owner expecting to make an easy quarter—and came face to face with a massive, dried out elephant dump. He paused just a moment before yelling, "UNCLE FRANK!!!"
I worked with a guy who listened to Christian radio stations at full volume, all day, every day. There is nothing fun about listening to sermons at 100 decibels that frequently. One day, I'd finally had enough—so I came up with the perfect plan. I bought a satellite radio receiver that would rebroadcast over a standard radio frequency. When he turned on his radio, I would tune in a metal station and rebroadcast right over the top of whatever sermon he was listening to.
This went on for several days, and every day, he thought he had figured out the problem, but then next day, it happened again. He never found out what was wrong with his radio and ended up listening to a portable device with earbuds. Everyone who knew what I had done thanked me.
After seeing the movie Poltergeist as a kid, I thought it would be funny to put all the chairs up on the table and open all the cabinets in the middle of the night. I thought it would be harmless, and that my parents would get a laugh out of it. Nope. They believed, one thousand percent, that we had a ghost (or a poltergeist) in the house.
It didn't even matter that I told them the truth; they still chose to believe it had been a ghost. I'm not sure why, but I think they really wanted the house to be haunted or something.
My college roommate ate cereal really slowly, and would typically take a while to get through an entire box. Every time he ate a bowl, I started to refill the box to try to always keep it halfway full. This went on for months, and I probably poured 10 entire boxes into the original one during that time. Finally, one night, he came home hammered and went to get a bowl of cereal.
I heard him exclaim in shocked admiration, "HOW MUCH IS IN YOU?!" I ran out of my room only to see him pouring the entire contents onto the table and staring, completely dumbfounded, at the amount that was leftover after eating from it for the entire semester. He was speechlessly gesturing to the table, looking up at me in confusion.
I played it off so darn cool, then never did it again. It's been like six years, and I still haven't told him it was me. One of his favorite college stories is about the "magical" box of cereal that contained an infinite amount...until he broke it one day by dumping it out.
I worked at a fast food restaurant where the boss was too cheap to get AC installed. In the super-hot summer days, we would all sweat so much that we could wring sweat out of our uniforms. There was this boy who I had a love-hate relationship with; we would always prank each other but my pranks were always tame, until one particular day.
He left his drink in the back while he was flipping burgers, so I grabbed a vinegar packet, cut open a corner, put a straw directly into it and exchanged it with the straw from his drink... Moments later, I was at the front of the store and I heard him spit and scream my name while calling me a jerk.
He still high fived me.
My mum's laptop wallpaper was a picture of her granddaughter. I copied the picture 100 times and made her wallpaper a slide show of the same picture over and over again, so the file would change but nothing would change visibly on the monitor. The pictures would change every 10 seconds. On one of the images, I painted a tiny little curly mustache on her.
So randomly for 10 seconds at a time, my niece would have a mustache. My mum thought she was either losing her mind or had a computer virus – and every time the mustache popped up, it was gone by the time she tried to show anyone.
I remember it like it was yesterday. At summer camp my cabin's leaders found a little snake that wasn't doing so well, so they decided to put it in an old terrarium in our cabin. A few of the guys were nervous about it. So, the next day when the leaders decided the snake was well enough to release, I asked that they keep quiet about releasing it. When the other guys got back to the cabin and found no snake in the terrarium, chaos ensued.
My manager had left me in charge of the store when I was 16 years old (not lawful but that’s a whole other mess) for a whole weekend. Saturday went well and I was happy with how I left the place, although my paranoid brain is always concerned about whether or not doors are actually locked. I’m the same with my house, but the store was worse.
So, I make my dad drive down to the store to double check that everything is okay. Fifteen minutes later I get a terrifying phone call. My dad says my manager and the authorities are at the store because the door was unlocked and people were inside. Cue to me on the floor in tears hyperventilating, while my dad is telling my mum (who had since picked up the phone) that he was only kidding and that everything was fine.
One year, my sister had to move back into my parent’s house. I was like 15 years old and she was a little older; mid 20s. April Fool’s Day comes along, and I know my sister woke up at like 6am. So, I took out the lightbulb in the kitchen, put Vaseline on the refrigerator handle, and put a rubber band around the water gun on the sink.
I waited for her to go in the kitchen (I was in my room pretending to be asleep), and all I heard was cussing followed by more cussing... Followed by her screaming my name and waking up my parents. My parents were not happy – the floor was soaked with water and it woke both of them up. I’d do it again though.
I took my SATs (college entrance exams, for those outside the US) on April 1st. (Should have known right? But apparently, I'm not that smart.) That night I went out with a group of friends, and when I got home my mom met me with a serious look on her face. She told me that the testing committee had called, that there had been an error and all test papers from that day were lost. Everyone was being contacted to schedule a date to retake the exam.
She totally sold it. Face, reactions, everything. I bought it hook, line, and sinker... and she let me believe it until lunchtime the next day. My mom is a diabolical person.
This happened during the early days of networked PCs; DOS and NetWare. I worked in a computer lab on campus, where all the co-workers would play pranks on each other. However, we had two coworkers who liked to loaf a bit too much for our liking. They took the lab assistant job because they thought it was easy money.
They had conspired to be assigned to a classroom lab that rarely had any students in it who would need assistance for most of their working hours. They would just sit around and play games while the rest of us were, you know, working. Clearly this could not stand. I rewrote a piece of code where if either of them logged on in a PC in that particular remote classroom, the code would drop an image of two undressed dudes having fun with each other on the monitor for a few seconds and reboot the PC.
Much hilarity ensued for the next two semesters.
I work at a wastewater treatment plant. We employ cameras to monitor things in the field that we need eyes on at all times. One of these cameras is pointed at the bed of a tractor-trailer that is used to haul bio-solids to the landfill. The video feed is a constant stream of de-watered sludge falling into the trailer.
When one section is full, an operator has to go move the trailer so the solids don't spill out all over the place and make a mess. One year for April Fools, I used the old ctrl+alt+up arrow to turn the camera feed upside down about 10 minutes before my shift was over. The person taking over for me was much older and much less tech-savvy.
When he noticed the sludge falling UP instead of down, he lost his mind! The next day I got scolded by my boss because my co-worker had had a panic attack and then contacted the after-hours emergency tech-support line to fix the cameras.
Told my very picky candy loving friend that I had a bar of really nice Swedish chocolate and he didn't even hesitate to thoroughly chew up a big piece of unsweetened baker’s chocolate. Also used unsweetened gelatin with clam juice and food coloring to make "jello". Anyone else would not have cared, but to this guy it was a big deal.
This was my dad’s story, but he and my uncle look EXACTLY alike, to the point where their wives of two plus decades have confused them. When they were in college, my dad was the lead in a show and my uncle came to see it opening night. My uncle saw his chance and—while my dad was in the bathroom—burst through the curtains and said, “That’s it! I’ve had it! I can’t work with these people anymore” and stormed off.
The director was basically losing his mind because nobody knew that my dad had a twin until my dad came back and—once he saw everyone’s faces—basically said, "Yeah, my twin is coming tonight. He messed with y’all, right?”
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
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