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April 22, 2012 10:11 AM   Subscribe

10 Amazing Practical Jokes: a quick collection of funny and mostly good-natured pranks. [SLYT]

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posted by quin (54 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
An easier way to do the sneeze trick is to just spit on people. You might as well, since I don't know how you're going to convince someone that you actually just splashed them with water instead.

But I like the wall-paper one, and the string one.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:26 AM on April 22, 2012


All good ones - for #11 you can do the classic Windows desktop screenshot as wallpaper + hide icons.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:26 AM on April 22, 2012


The ketchup one is foul, and would probably earn you a well-deserved punch.
posted by Decani at 10:28 AM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Little known hack. Alt + F4 to reset your daily post limit on metafilter.

The last time I posted this, the comment was removed very quickly, so hurry up and tyr this before the mods find out.
posted by Fizz at 10:30 AM on April 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


OK, on my mac I don't have an "alt" key, would I use the option, control or command key?

And, what does "tyr" mean?
posted by HuronBob at 10:33 AM on April 22, 2012


⌘Cmd+W, I believe.
posted by Petrot at 10:35 AM on April 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


My German teacher in high school was a big fan of the thread trick. Never failed to get someone, and he had the greatest horrified look he would pull.
posted by calamari kid at 10:36 AM on April 22, 2012


One of my favorite pranks is to put big eyebrows on photographs. When I am at somebody's house, my girlfriend Coco and I like to tear out little pieces of paper in the shape of eyebrows, and then attach them over the eyebrows of people in photographs. This can go unnoticed for months.

We once did it in Al Franken's house, as shown in this video.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:39 AM on April 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


There are no good-natured pranks involving toilet paper.
posted by Beardman at 10:41 AM on April 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Additional practical jokes
  • Try to switch the ENTER and ESC keys on a friend's keyboard! Find out that they are different sizes and that you can't just pop keys back into place like you could on those old model M keyboards! Throw the keyboard away!
  • Remove all the toilet paper in your office's bathroom!
  • Stop paying your taxes!
  • Slash your friend's tires with a knife! Don't tell him you did it!
  • Buy a large package of cookies! Replace them with kimchi!
  • Libertarianism!

  • posted by The White Hat at 10:45 AM on April 22, 2012 [70 favorites]


    Try to switch the ENTER and ESC keys on a friend's keyboard! Find out that they are different sizes and that you can't just pop keys back into place like you could on those old model M keyboards! Throw the keyboard away!

    Microsoft FIND/REPLACE is a fun way to really screw with someone. Every instance of the word "the" replace with "butthead".
    posted by Fizz at 10:48 AM on April 22, 2012


    I would never, ever forgive the ketchup-straw thing. Ever. You would make a powerful enemy that day.
    posted by eugenen at 10:50 AM on April 22, 2012 [15 favorites]


    One of Christopher Walken's great moments on SNL was as the guest of a show called Pranked, a take off of Punk'd, where guests would describe pranks they'd pulled. Walken's prank was to wait behind a concrete column in a parkade for a coworker who kept taking his space, and then beat the coworker to death with a tire iron.

    I always wanted to try that one, but wasn't sure how it would work out.
    posted by fatbird at 11:00 AM on April 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


    "Take a sticky note and cut out a small rectangle. Now find a friend who has an optical mouse. If your friend has a mouse with a ball, abandon the joke, as any further ridicule would simply be unseemly."
    posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:01 AM on April 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


    I would for give the ketchup straw thing. After the prankster had eaten a sufficient number of fast food condiment packets straight. Including the Taco Bell sauces and the mayo in a packet that you can sometimes find.
    posted by Hactar at 11:02 AM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    I don't understand the point of the wallpaper "prank". That just seems lame and would be easy to see that it is fake upon close inspection. The one with the optical mouse is dumb as well. The first thing anyone does with one that doesn't work is turn it over and look at the sensor. Meh, most of these are terrible.
    posted by GavinR at 11:02 AM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    if you want to double your fun attach the piece of paper to the wallpaper with superglue. They'll laugh with relief when they find it's just a piece of paper then cry when they notice the only way to remove the paper is to ruin the wallpaper. Then while they are crying get some water from the sink and "sneeze" on their neck. You'll never have to suffer through one of their boring dinner parties again!
    posted by any major dude at 11:03 AM on April 22, 2012 [17 favorites]


    I thought a good novelty item would be to make a fake roll of toilet paper out of something like plastic or rubber and then put a single square of usable toilet paper hanging down. That way the victim would pull the single square and quicly realize that that's all they have.
    posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:09 AM on April 22, 2012


    I have a somewhat… extreme hitchhiker's thumb, and it can be pretty satisfying to feign high-five- and handshake-related injuries.

    There are also all kinds of little tricks you can play with OS X. Rotating the image 90° in the "Display" menu is particularly disorienting, as is using Control-Option-Command-8 to invert the picture.

    My favourite trick, though, came when I was teaching in a computer lab. None of the students realized that I could remotely view—and lock—their screens from the main workstation. Once or twice, when they had a free period to work on their projects, I'd sit back and wait for somebody to do something particularly incriminating, lock their screen and then casually walk around the room to "see if anybody needed any help."

    Apparently I like pranks more than I realized? The ones where nothing catches on fire, anyway. That ketchup one is the best.
    posted by wreckingball at 11:09 AM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    When your friend is not looking, stomp on their instep with nobnail boots!
    posted by parki at 11:10 AM on April 22, 2012


    I don't understand the point of the wallpaper "prank". That just seems lame and would be easy to see that it is fake upon close inspection. The one with the optical mouse is dumb as well. The first thing anyone does with one that doesn't work is turn it over and look at the sensor. Meh, most of these are terrible.

    Hey, GavinR, pull my finger.
    posted by HuronBob at 11:17 AM on April 22, 2012


    Yeah, some of these are harmless enough, but the ketchup one seems pretty mean.

    The toilet paper one ... I find two-ply toilet paper out of phase like this at work all the time. I am pretty sure it's not someone who thinks this is funny, just the result of bad dispenser design.

    One good one that only works seasonally is to, near the end of March, mail a friend a can with "Do not open until April 1" written on it. But then, when they open it, instead of springy snakes, SURPRISE! It's full of delicious cookies!
    posted by aubilenon at 11:48 AM on April 22, 2012


    I've always enjoyed gluing large denomination coins to the ground.
    posted by Damienmce at 11:55 AM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    My personal reaction to most of these by anyone in my inner circle would be immediate cessation of friendship, with the exception of the ketchup/straw gag. That one would result in a lengthy prison sentence for me as the stabbing that'd be certain to follow would be swift and messy - unless the judge and/or the majority of the jury hates ketchup with a similar passion that I do.
    posted by item at 12:27 PM on April 22, 2012


    Ketchup is one of those interesting substances that will always smell rotten no matter how freshly made or out of the packaging it is. The durian fruit of condiments, if you will.
    posted by item at 12:29 PM on April 22, 2012


    oh god no
    posted by item at 12:33 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    My best friend and I used to work in a restaurant together. When he stepped out of the kitchen, I replaced all the Coke in his glass with black olive juice. HA! You should have seen his face.
    posted by Daddy-O at 12:44 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    One time we were having a cookout. My sister asked me to make her a burger. I did, and folded up a paper towel and stuck it up there. She then proceeded to take apart her hamburger, because i had put the accessories [?] on wrong, and then reassemble it in the correct order. The best part, though, was that the paper towel got stuck via ketchup and mustard to the underside of the bun, so she managed to re-arrange the tomato and lettuce, and didn't even know it was there. The look on her face was great.

    I also put salt instead of sugar in her tea, on several occasions.

    We're best friends now.
    posted by FirstMateKate at 12:52 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    Should any of your friends play the ketchup joke on you, please feel free to contact me for bail. Having had it actually done to me, I can attest that it is, in fact, horrific. And I like ketchup.
    posted by dotgirl at 12:53 PM on April 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    Microsoft FIND/REPLACE is a fun way to really screw with someone. Every instance of the word "the" replace with "butthead".

    When I was in grad school, one of my colleagues set up a post-doc's auto-replace to include "the" -> "the stupid". It was a clever idea, we all thought - until said post-doc submitted a paper for publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society about the stupid reactions of all the stupid novel organometallic compounds he'd prepared. The dust didn't settle for a long time on that one.

    A personal favorite of mine is the spatula game. You ask the mark if they want to play a game, then take them to the kitchen where you get yourself a hand towel and arm them with a spatula. Then have them sit on the floor with their legs out and spread a bit wider than shoulder width. Pour a bit of water on the floor, between their knees. Tell them that the game is very simple: you think you are so much faster than them that you can wipe up the water on the floor before they can whack your hand with the spatula. Wave the towel around, feinting a few times...then toss the towel at them as you grab their ankles and pull.

    Fair warning: they won't hit you with the spatula BEFORE you wipe up the water, but you might just get hit anyway. It's worth spending the extra few seconds it takes to pass over the metal spatulas to find the rubber ones.
    posted by solotoro at 1:17 PM on April 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


    When I was a teenager at soccer camp several of us stole as much cherry chocolate cake from the lunch cafeteria as we could and stuffed it all into a long soccer sock, compressed it into a log, and cut the sock off to leave ~2.5 foot by 3 inch brown and red log in one of the locker room toilets, sort of trailing up the side as if the depositor had started walking off or something toward the end. It was very convincing. The part that still gets me, though, is that we taped a had written sign above it that just said, "sorry." It stayed there for several days before anyone did anything about it.
    posted by cmoj at 1:17 PM on April 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


    I don't understand the point of the wallpaper "prank". That just seems lame and would be easy to see that it is fake upon close inspection.

    Probably this depends on the age of the victim. I did it to my 9 year old this April Fools and she didn't tell me until much much later in the day and when she did, she burst into tears because she thought she'd broken my computer.

    (She and her friend who had slept over also got up at 4 a.m., because I set all the clocks in the house ahead by two hours. I thought my kid would wake up at her regular time (8:30ish) and freak out because the friend's mom was coming to get her at 11:00. Never in a thousand years would it occur to me they would wake up, see that the clock said 6 a.m. and think that was a reasonable time to get out of bed on a Sunday morning. I didn't realize what had happened until they tried to get me up at 8 (6) to make breakfast. Telling the kid's mom I had accidentally gotten her out of bed at 4 a.m. was awesome.

    I'm just glad I decided against pretending to cut my finger off while making breakfast.)
    posted by looli at 1:18 PM on April 22, 2012


    Oh, hell. You meant the actual paper wallpaper on the walls prank, didn't you?
    posted by looli at 1:20 PM on April 22, 2012


    My coworker, Iain, told me about a time when he stopped his car at a red light. Two guys who had pre-arranged this pulled up in their cars on either side of his car. They both put their cars in reverse, and let them slowly roll backwards. To everyone else it looked like two cars slowly rolling backwards. To Iain, it looked like he was slowly rolling forward into the oncoming traffic. After several seconds of frantically stomping on the brakes, he got the joke.
    posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 1:36 PM on April 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


    My favorite is to cut a friend's brake lines. Oh the look on their face!
    posted by LordSludge at 1:47 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    some time in the late 70s, i was told this really happened to someone a friend of mine knew - he was drinking at a bar and went off to his car and passed out behind the wheel

    his pals noticed that there was room to park in front of his car, so they drove a car up in front of him with the headlights on - then one of his buddies got in the passenger seat beside him and shook him awake, screaming, "WAKE UP, DUDE, WE'RE GOING TO CRASH!!!"

    panic and hilarity ensued
    posted by pyramid termite at 2:13 PM on April 22, 2012 [14 favorites]


    Unfortunately, my friends are all on to my party toilet paper game.
    posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:21 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    When I was a freshman in college living in dorms my suitemates and I somehow found ourselves in a prank war. This went on for months (with handfuls of days in between each prank, to lull our victims into a false sense of safety) so I definitely don't remember all of them. Some I do remember:

    - They somehow got my desk chair in here. The door opened inwards, so there was no way to get into the stall to retrieve it besides jumping over the door. There was barely enough clearance space to get my body through, and let's not talk about space within the stall to stand to get the chair back over.

    - One of my suitemates slowly and methodically stole all of my shoes, a pair at time every few days, over the period of a couple weeks. Each morning I would halfheartedly search for those that I wanted to put on and, in a hurry and frustrated that I had misplaced yet another pair, I would put on others. I eventually pulled out some old beat up things that I typically only wore when I planned to get dirty, still oblivious to the plot. My roommate, surprised that I had a pair of shoes he'd never seen, asked as innocently as he could, "Oh, you got a new pair of shoes?" It was at that point that I realized what had been happening and stared with incredulity as he pulled out all of my shoes from a drawer in his room.

    - The background trick is fun, but it's even better when you also reverse their mouse buttons, change the directions of mouse movement, change the icon to a dinosaur, change all of their sound effects (I recommend space ship sounds), change their screen saver to something obnoxious, and open their browser to something even more obnoxious (we were college freshman boys, so I'll let you use your imagination).

    -These make for a good under-sheet mattress topper.

    -Less of a traditional prank, but still funny, flipping everything in their room upside down. Everything.
    posted by Defenestrator at 2:45 PM on April 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


    I replaced the coffee in a friend's lidded cup with flat beer. He took a few more sips. I asked him why he didn't finish it and he just said, "I don't think it's very good coffee."
    posted by StickyCarpet at 3:07 PM on April 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


    TL;DW
    posted by Obscure Reference at 3:53 PM on April 22, 2012


    I've met so many people who get really grumpy and hurt when they are pranked. It's a shame, because I really, really love pranks!!
    posted by 200burritos at 3:55 PM on April 22, 2012


    Try to switch the ENTER and ESC keys on a friend's keyboard! Find out that they are different sizes and that you can't just pop keys back into place like you could on those old model M keyboards! Throw the keyboard away!
    The M key and N key FTW!
    posted by fullerine at 4:04 PM on April 22, 2012


    Fishing for rednecks, attach money to fishing line, leave money in middle of sidewalk, when the mark picks it up rip it out of their hands with a fishing pole, people sometimes get mad...
    posted by Hoosier Prospector at 4:12 PM on April 22, 2012


    Defenestrator, did I know you in college? We had a habit of labor-intensive pranks:

    Turning everything backwards/upside-down. Yup.

    Gluing everything that weighed a pound or less to the ceiling.

    Covering things in tin foil. Like, all things. In layers, so that the pens in the coffee jar have separately tin foiled pen caps and pen bodies, and then the whole jar is foiled as well. Then the whole desk on which the jar is sitting.

    Covering a car in tin foil got expensive.

    We spent a lot of money on tin foil, now that I think about it.
    posted by tempythethird at 4:18 PM on April 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


    The one with the optical mouse is dumb as well. The first thing anyone does with one that doesn't work is turn it over and look at the sensor.

    It totally worked. You'd be amazed at the counter-dumbness of my wife's co-workers.
    posted by vidur at 4:41 PM on April 22, 2012


    The ketchup packet is brilliant. I'm saving it for a friend of mine who liked to bang the bottom of his bottle of beer on mine, making it overflow. He also liked to slowly sprinkle Sweet and Low into beer when the victim looked away.
    posted by plinth at 4:59 PM on April 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


    April Fools one year in college spiraled out of control. It started with my roommates and I waking up at 3 am to duct-tape the R.A.'s door shut. The five stripes around the handle spread out along the wall were all we really needed. The strips totally covering the door well were just for show.

    The thing is, he didn't know who'd done it. He thought it was two other guys, and when someone finally rescued him, he decided to get even. One of his friends received a canning (where a wall of empty cans is set, leaning against a closed door. When the door opens, they get a wall of aluminum crashing down upon them), and the other, well, that was perfect. The other friend, for whatever reason, put a Century 21 'for sale' sign on his door. The R.A. stuck a piece of paper on it reading 'sold,' and removed every single piece of furniture from the guy's room, and left it in the hallway. The R.A. never found out who did it, either.
    posted by Ghidorah at 9:10 PM on April 22, 2012


    My uncle tells the tale of how, after being sacked from a job, he proceeded to cover all of the toilets with cling film (saran wrap). The lighting was poor enough that people didn't notice the reflection until it was too late...
    posted by neilb449 at 11:58 PM on April 22, 2012


    I had a co-worker once who told me about waiting for his asshole ex-boss to go on a two-week summer vacation and dropping several large-ish dead fish into his house through the mail slot in his front door. He also climbed on the guy's roof and dropped a few down the chimney for good measure.
    posted by moneyjane at 12:08 AM on April 23, 2012


    I don't understand the point of the wallpaper "prank". That just seems lame and would be easy to see that it is fake upon close inspection. The one with the optical mouse is dumb as well. The first thing anyone does with one that doesn't work is turn it over and look at the sensor. Meh, most of these are terrible.

    I didn't think the purpose of pranks was to fool people forever or even for a sustained period of time.

    For example I don't think the person drinking the ketchup is really supposed to finish the whole packet and then be perplexed when he appears to have finished his 'soda' so quickly. But if he did that would sort of be a cool back-prank.
    posted by six-or-six-thirty at 6:02 AM on April 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


    The best prank was when I kept expecting that video to suddenly turn to murder and it never did.
    posted by ckape at 10:57 AM on April 23, 2012


    The best prank in my opinion is when someone pulls one of these tricks on you -- you turn away, look out the window and put on an infinitely sad expression, turn back to the perpetrator with a "why have you betrayed our bond of friendship?" look and let a single tear slowly roll down your cheek.

    Alternatively, get really angry, accuse the person of malice, make gasping noises, go red in the face, clutch your chest and fall over as if dead.
    posted by storybored at 12:24 PM on April 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


    wreckingball: I have a somewhat… extreme hitchhiker's thumb, and it can be pretty satisfying to feign high-five- and handshake-related injuries."

    I'll see you and raise you. The 90 degree thumb flip will skeeve people out, but not so much as the full 180!

    (Pls ignore ridiculous manicure, thx.)
    posted by the latin mouse at 1:11 AM on April 24, 2012


    We got in to a prank war at my last job (made more interesting by the fact that we all shared a large bullpen cubicle) and my proudest moments included:

    -Disassembling a coworker's phone and rearranging the numbers to reflect the numerical keypad on a keyboard. It took him awhile to figure out why he couldn't call out to anyone.

    -Someone brought in a bag of "party poppers" - pull a string on the end and it discharges a small cap to make a bang. We all were trying to get each other with these things, but I ended up winning. I secured it to the back of a rather expensive piece of electronics with the string firmly stuck down to coworker's desk. When he picked it up to move it back to the lab, BANG! He was terrified he just ruined fifty grand worth of development kit.

    Same coworker managed to sneak a 10-DVD box set of softcore pornography in my flight bag one day, which I found only when I was digging through the bag in front of a group of people at the dispatch office. I held on to that thing until the time was right - another coworker asked me to cat-sit, so I snuck it in to his rather large DVD collection right around Christmastime. He found it and assumed it was a gift from his wife, and then his wife found it and was very confused about what this guy was doing in his free time.
    posted by backseatpilot at 8:06 AM on April 26, 2012


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